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banana brain.

Chapter Text

 

     people like you are rare

 

 

    あなたのような人々はまれです
  
       Anata no yōna hitobito wa maredesu

 

 

Katsuki swallowed hard, his adam’s apple bobbing with the motion.

Red eyes were narrowed in an intense stare all the way to the middle of the cafeteria, by the double doors leading inside. Some would argue that he looked positively constipated by the manner in which he appeared, a bit sweaty, widened pupils, mouth firmly pressed in a hard line, with his jaw jutting out.

There was chatter all around him, students of U.A. High rushing around to buy food, talking with their friends, discussing the hottest topics and stuffing their faces, all at the same time.

However, none of this bothered him as it usually did.

The source of all his agonizingly obvious attention made it all feel like distant background noise, like the countless nights he fell asleep with his TV on.

Long puffy locks of orange, a mop of hair that seemed bigger than its host, framing a slender but well proportioned body, with wider hips and a smaller chest, large fierce eyes that could put the purest of gold to shame and a toothy grin that gave way to some rather sharp looking canines. She was the very impersonation of rage, red, fire, passion and brutality, with a healthy dose of confidence. He didn’t even have to add pretty to that list, the word would do her no justice and the whelps at her table knew that, she knew that. And he preferred to not have noticed.

He was in his third year by now and she was in the second one, so he wondered how he hadn’t seen her until the beginning of the year ceremony. Perhaps it was all the things that kept him busy, all the events that transpired and stopped him from paying attention to other trivial surroundings, perhaps the bouts of guilt, the overwhelming happenings, perhaps his extremely messy mind that sometimes drove him mad with the desire to be better, be better and win. Win. Win.

But still, a sight like her, how the fuck did he miss that in a crowd of extras like them?

Absentmindedly, he realized that he was, like all boys his age, still, irrevocably, annoyingly, a teenager with needs, much to his chagrin. Granted, those idiots could never hope to compare to him.

Bakugou was not the kind of guy that was looking for a potential love interest, he was above all of that, he was never interested in wasteful relationships, petty girls, stupid gossip or good looks, he valued prowess and competency, he was looking for equals in his line of work, worthy opponents, worthy competition. He had a goal and that goal had priority no matter what --to surpass, to thrive, to be the number one hero. Never in his eighteen years of being alive had he strayed from this path.

But her? She was striking to the eye, that was what made him stop and stare in the first place. She had the red shape of a four petaled flower painted between her hikimayu-style brows, then there were the stark black stripes beginning from her ears and stopping mid-cheeks in a jagged pattern, like those of a tiger. Speaking of ears, hers were...pointy, odd, but in a good way that reminded him of those old RPG games he used to play as a kid, saving the elven princess --not because he wanted to, it was just a quest to finishing the game --she hid them behind the large locks of hair, but he had observed when she would brush away her unruly tangles, they would catch behind her ears.

It has been at least two months since he saw her first and he was still here, as always, staring dumbly at her from across the hall, unable to force himself to make any move, to say anything, anxious that he might choke up like a dumbass. It wasn’t like him to do this kinda syrupy lovey-shit stuff, anyway --he had excused his lack of courage with a nasty sneer.

“Ah, she moved here from Shiketsu, that’s what Uraraka said,” Mina hummed at the far end of their table, and that’s why he snapped out of it, jerking his head that way and seeing her point in the mystery girl’s direction. Kirishima had asked, a quick glance at the redhead made him put the pieces together, as the male in question sounded his awe and looked back in the same direction Bakugou had been staring in for the past ten minutes.

“She’s really...vivid !”

Vivid? His eyes twitched in annoyance, lip jutting out. “Shut up and eat, hedgehog,” the blond snapped, kicking his buddy’s chair and making the two’s little convo pause abruptly. As normal, his friend only grinned and nodded, oblivious, starting to dig into his food a second later, but Mina, after giving him the stink eye, left the table in favor of the one where some of the other girls had gathered. 

When he turned his gaze back on his intended target, his face completely blanked at seeing that she was looking straight at him.

Perhaps his outburst was louder than he liked it to be. 

She didn’t look intimidated when they made eye contact, merely sized him up and indifferently turned right back to resume her conversation with her colleagues.

“Tch.”



whatever

 

 

 

 

なんでも 
Nan demo

 

The next time he saw her, it was on an extremely rainy day. The humidity in the air felt suffocating and soggy on his uniform, which is why he chose to discard the jacket and wrap it around his middle.

School hours ended more than a while ago, so most students already left. Bakugo remained only because he had to go by the library --and he didn’t want anyone seeing rough tough Katsuki sneaking around with police novels, he had a reputation to upkeep.

When he was done, books in his backpack and umbrella in hand, the boy made to leave back to the Heights Alliance dorms, only to pause at the sight of her, under the roof of the main building’s entrance, glaring disdainfully at the pouring from above.

Tora was what she was called by the people that knew her well enough, he had found out a week or two ago. And her quirk was yet to be seen at its full capacity, but he knew from rumors that it had to do with something she called beast mode, as Mina gossiped with Uraraka during one of the class breaks.

It sounded cool, added a bit of spice to her already flavorful allure.

Not wanting to look like an idiot, the blond marched forward casually, closer to her, so close that he could see her pointy ear twitch just barely and her head turning a second later to regard him.

In awkward silence, he gazed out into the distance and prepared his umbrella. 

“What moron forgets their freakin’ umbrella during the rainy season?”

He cringed at his own words, mentally smacked himself for letting those be the first words he’s ever said to her, but honestly, who did that?

“Bakugou Katsuki, you do live up to your reputation,”

Oh no, she was snarky. His head snapped in her direction, only to find her golden gaze deadpan on him, lips twisted in a sneer. Her voice sounded nice, but her tone was extremely flat, unimpressed, much like the look she’d given him a while back.

“And what would that be, catty-breath?”

Her brows narrowed at the insult and it made her look cute, like a pissed off shiba inu. He did have a very creative mind when it came down to offending people and his lips twitched in a triumphant smirk at seeing her rising hackles.

“A crass, big-mouthed, bull-headed, selfish jerk, more or less,”

His smile completely vanished from his face and he could feel the sweat starting to form on his palms. In fact, his hand clenched so tight around his umbrella that it snapped in two, making them both glance down to the broken object as one of the halves fell on the steps of the school and rolled onto the wet pavement in the rain.

When they locked gazes again, him livid and her grinning with malicious satisfaction, he felt his heart leap in his chest and tingles beginning like small explosions in his stomach.

“Well, have a safe trip, Bakugou,” with that, she raised her backpack above her head and jogged down the stairs, pausing to turn around and stick out her tongue at him before running off into the downpour.

And Bakugou Katsuki was left staring dumbly after her, ears flushed red. It had been a chance to walk her to the dormitories, under the pretense that he had an umbrella and she didn’t, but he fucked that up.

Nevertheless, he just had his first conversation with her and she was….fiery.

Just like he imagined she would be.

Chapter Text

if I could overcome myself today,

I will be able to attain victory tomorrow.

 

    私が今日自分を克服することができれば、

私は明日の勝利を達成することができます。
  
watashi ga kyō jibun o kokufuku suru koto ga dekireba,
watashi wa ashita no shōri o tassei suru koto ga dekimasu.

 

It was a surprisingly hot and sunny day, the last day of the recent week, signaling that the weekend was fast approaching as soon as the last bell rang. While many hated the warm weather, Katsuki absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, he was stuck in class, staring out the window with an irritated expression on his face.

In fact, he was sure that history was not a subject he was that interested in and he should be out there gaining experience in the field, so he can get stronger, get smarter, get better. Grunting, he buries his face into his elbows and closes his eyes, bothersome thoughts flashing through his mind.

To think Izuku, having gotten All Might’s quirk, ended up passing the Provisional Hero License Exam on the first go, while he had to go to the remedials, to think that Izuku, that weak-ass roach kept and keeps surpassing all expectations Katsuki sets in stone --it still feels ludicrous, like a stab to his pride and the memory has yet to stop stinging. No matter, he’d reach his goal, he just had to persevere, he had to do it harder than ever.

The satisfaction that afterwards he beat the idiot, was short-lived. In hindsight, one could say that their relationship is not as strained as it used to be in the first and second year.

Now he actually acknowledged the nerd when they saw each other in the common area.

Shifting with a grumble, he leaned his head on the side this time, ruby eyes boring over the P.E field outside, where the second years were fooling around in what they were trying to simulate as football.

Then there was the familiar mane of orange, dressed in the P.E. clothes assigned to all students. Holding his breath for a second, he watched with wide eyes how the stripes from her face extended down her arms, in an intricate pattern and he wondered if those stripes happened to decorate her thighs or her wide hips...or her fleshy, bouncy….

He swallowed hard at how the pants stuck to her bottom.

“Bakugou, when was the first hero agency created?” his homeroom teacher suddenly asked,

Shit. Fuck should he know? “The name? Nothing?” Aizawa-sensei asked again, giving him a half-assed chance to answer.

Nothing.

And that’s how he ended up scrubbing the classroom’s floor at the end of the day. Eraserhead was not joking around when he told them at the beginning of their third year that this would be one hell of a time where he would overlook nothing. Arguing was not an option, he decided.

Instead he seethed at the back of the pro-hero.

Izuku asked if he needed help when the last bell rang, but Katsuki smacked him out of the classroom with a deafening roar and a kick in the ass. He didn’t need no help from that nerd, he’d do it by himself and he’ll be damned if it wasn’t gonna be the cleanest classroom in this entire damned school.

With raw determination, passion and fury, he procured a bucket, filled it with water and squished a soap bar in it.

He started just as other students went on their merry ways to their stupid clubs or the training grounds. At some point, Shinso passed by him in the hallway and quirked an eyebrow at the items, to which Bakugou snarled and shoved his way by the general department student.

The sun was starting to set when he finished half the floor, being extremely nit-picky about getting all the corners right.

Wiping some sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand, he dunked the rag from his other hand into the soapy water again and proceeded to wring it until it was satisfyingly damp and not soaking.

Then, he stood up to move to the front of the classroom again.

“Stupid stupid stupid…” the muffled voice coming from outside the room had him stop in his tracks and look at the closed door. It sounded familiar, so he slapped the rag on the teacher’s desk and walked up to the small window to peer through. When he saw no one, the explosive boy slid the door open and stepped outside, looking down the corridor and towards the stairs with a scowl.

Everybody was supposed to be at the dorms by now, that or at their after-hours clubs, which were definitely not located on this floor.

“Who the hell…” rubber soles met tile as he walked a few steps forward, pausing again to listen closely. There was this weird sound, very fine, like someone grinding rocks together softly. Weirded out, he pressed on soundlessly, brows furrowed and wet hands clenched into fists.

At the bottom of the stairs, sitting on the last step, was the tuff of orange, moving her arms viciously in the same motion, as if she was cutting something. Her backpack was resting against her side and she seemed agitated.

Bakugou casually stepped down the stairs, until he was a step above her and able to see over her head.

She was filing her...claws.

“Oi, what the hell are you doing?”

The girl gasped and leaped off the staircase, whipping around with widened eyes and slit pupils, as if he just found her in a very compromising situation.

Looking down at her trembling hands, he noticed that she managed to graze down three of her right hand’s fingernails. “I...what’s wrong with you!?” she retaliated a second after, eyes settling into a murderous glare.

“Go away, it’s none of your business!” her voice seemed raspy as she fumbled with the nail filing tool.

Trying to remain civil, he shrugged casually and turned on his heel to go back upstairs, when a sigh made him stop and glance back. Her shoulders were slumped and she was kneeling by her backpack, with a defeated look in her eyes.

“It’s part of your quirk, isn’t it?” he heard himself ask, more like, making an observation based on the facts at hand. She perked up at his inquiry and looked up with knit eyebrows.

Damn, she was cute when she made that face.

His mouth twitched into a sneer.

“Yeah, yeah it is…” she looked down at her hands “I hate them, they are so...unlady-like...it makes me understand why they say--” she bit her lip, refusing to go on. “I can’t help it, I try to file them every day to look normal, because I can hurt someone without meaning to….like today during…”

He turned his whole body to watch her, his head tilted to the side. “Fuck them,”

As if burned, she glanced up at him incredulously. “What?”

“Those are part of you, so why should it matter what they say? Fuck them,”

Since when did he start caring about these things enough to comfort someone else? With a huff, he glared away from her, annoyed at, well, he didn’t know what, but he could feel his hands getting clammy, so he stuffed them in his pants’ pockets.

“My quirk is sweatin’ nitroglycerin, it’s pretty fucking awesome, because I can create explosions, it’s a powerful quirk. Of course some dumbasses will say shitty things, I was called gross a few times, but fuck them, I knew they were just envious, that’s what shitty people do,” he explained really badly, realizing he had been a shitty person in his own right when Izuku came up with that mystery quirk of his.

He had been jealous, he had been on both sides of the problem actually.

“It does sound pretty gross,” she retorted after a second of silence. He snapped his head at her with a glare, ready to bite down and tear up, when he found her smiling and all of that sudden urge to rip apart melted completely at the sight.

“But it’s also a pretty cool quirk to have,” she continued, snickering. His ears flushed red.

“Sure is,” he mumbled hesitantly and looked away from her again, feeling unbearably hot.

Silence fell over them both for a couple more seconds, but she broke through that as well “Thank you, for saying that…”

There were small explosions in his belly, reminiscent of fireworks. His face was jerked away, along with his body, feigning indifference as he started back up the steps.

“Don’t let it go to your head,”

Like he did, thinking he was invincible when he was not. “I won’t,” her distant reply, offended, rung through his ears, echoed by the corridor walls.

As soon as he got back into the classroom, leaning his back on the closed door, Katsuki allowed a sigh to pass his lips, one clammy hand pressing over his racing heart above his shirt. Fuck, he was screwed.

He was gonna implode if this continued.

She was making him implode.

whatever...

 

    

なんでも...
Nan demo...

 

Chapter Text

       even monkeys fall from trees

 

 

    猿も木から落ちる
  
    Sarumokikaraochiru

 

He twisted and turned all night. Usually rain made him sleepy enough to just pass out as soon as his face hit his pillow, but now was not one of those times.

Thunder clapped outside, heavy downpour tapped on the window and the blond could barely keep his eyes closed.

If his mind was busy, it more often than not involved strategies, ways to become greater, things to do, steps to take, training regimens to try, the latest climbing magazine he always liked to read. But for some reason, his brain was occupied with her.

And that pissed him off more than anything. What was she even doing on his mind? She should stay the fuck out of his thoughts, she wasn’t a goal he was chasing and he knew damn well he had no need for her or what she had to offer. He had high expectations of himself, he wouldn’t let this ---”Aaargh!” he furiously scratched at his scalp and pulled at the short spikes.

Not like she showed any interest in him, anyway, he calmed down, teeth clenched.

It’s been two weeks since he spoke to her and the conversation still played vividly in his mind like it was some huge accomplishment. And he was so frustrated with himself that he began snapping at everyone else around him.

Until she would pass him by or he would catch a glimpse of her in the cafeteria.

Then it was game over. “Good morning, Bakugou-senpai,” --he never replied, only clicked his tongue and stalked off as far away as humanly possible, as if she were made of acid.

And her eyes always followed him with pained confusion.

It made him feel guilty.

And he despised it so fucking much that she was able to disarm him like that. He was not like all the other stupid ass teenagers --he was not and he would not allow himself to be, but his body was rebelling, his heart would start pounding, his stomach would knot up and the capability of speech would become a distant dream.

Groaning, he turned on his side for the twentieth time, his blanket a twisty tangle.

The light of the clock on his charging phone, next to his pillow, made for a very good distraction option right now. Scowling, he reached out and grabbed the device, unlocking it and beginning to browse through his numbers. Should he even bother Eijirou at this ungodly hour about the training session they had planned for tomorrow? Was it even worth it? He already knew the redhead was all in. He always was.

Maybe not.

Another idea ghosted over his tired mind and before he knew it, he was typing awkwardly into the browser’s searching engine.

How tio kmnow idf shge likes --hold up. His fingers weren’t working properly, what with the obnoxious shaking of his hands. They felt clammy, and heat was rising up to his face just because he was typing this shit.

Quikly, fuming, grinding his teeth together, he corrected it to ‘how to know if she likes me? ’ --not an unusual question to --”Shit,” he cussed when the page finished loading.

26 signs that she’s into you

10 ways to find out if she likes you

12 proven signs that she wants you

He blankly stared at the titles. How was he going to choose from all of these? Which was the best choice? The clap of thunder close by made him almost drop the phone on his face. Like a kid caught stealing from the cookie jar, he sputtered and regained his composure, fumbling like an idiot with the device until it was held firmly.

Shit, was he really doing this? Was this his downfall?

Well, he conceded, perhaps it wasn’t bad to be informed. Just to know. Just for the sake of being informed. Grimacing, he began with the first link --which propelled him into a rabbit’s hole of shit he could live without. They eloquently started with a whole fucking list:

‘She likes talking to you.’ --well, she doesn’t dislike it either, he thought, furrowing his brow. How stupid.

‘She laughs at what you say.’ --his eyes widened, heart stuttering in his chest. She did laugh, granted, not a full on belly laugh, but that was positively a laugh. Did this mean she was reciprocating? Had he not seen it? Was this -- ‘She's afraid to meet your eyes.’ --well, that was a no. ‘She notices you.’ --she did notice him in the cafeteria, but he had been shouting...everyone had noticed him.

‘She licks her lips.’ --he squinted, trying to remember if she ever did that, coming up empty. No. His ego was deflating the more he scrolled down. The more he read, the more he felt like chucking the phone away and screaming into his pillow.

This didn’t help him at all. From that website, he found his way on many others, finalizing with a forum that debated the difference between dating in real life and dating online. Frustrated, he ended up hurling the phone away and smacking it into his bedroom door hard enough to make it come undone.

Fuck that, he was gonna deal with it in the morning.

Seething, he pulled his blanket on top of his head and sulked into his pillow.

Stupid.

 

 

愚か. 
Oroka.

In the next building, on the same floor, with a nightlight as the only company available, you were waiting disdainfully for the downpour to stop, glaring at the ceiling. The thunder had kept you awake enough as it was, you sourly grunted, tomorrow you needed to get up earlier than usual, so you could be off to visit you father in Tokyo, for that you needed to catch the first train so you could actually spend time with him.

A strong booming thunder made the windows vibrate slightly. You sighed.

He worked at the Genius Office now, he had transferred from the other agency he worked for in the west. Because of this, he had to move you as well, he had full custody after all and as he said, he wanted what was best for you.

Personally, you missed Shiketsu High School. But you didn't want to see the usual happy glimmer from your father's eyes fade. 

Joining during a second year was stupid, you basically joined an already homogenized group of people that had been together from the start. It was only natural for them to look at you funny or ask questions, be doubtful about your intentions --’what if she’s a spy from shiketsu?’

That’s not how transferring works, you had bitterly thought, averting your gaze.

There were some nice people, mostly from other classes, the older ones always seemed more receptive and understanding. Maybe because they wise-up as they age up.

The storm continues to rage on outside, winds howling and lightning striking the sky like a powerful whip.

It lights up the whole room, including the Shiketsu cap you hung up by the door, making its colors visible to your peering eyes. You definitely missed the familiar faces of your classmates, the training together, the pranks and laughs you shared, but at the same time, you knew you had to move on. This was your situation and you had to adapt.

Huffing, you turned in your bed, irritated.

The light from your phone’s clock almost tempted you to snatch it up and play a game until the rain stopped. But you didn’t want to spend the rest of the night glued to the phone, you knew how bad you were with losing track of time and realizing that you had wasted important hours of sleep.

Your clawed fingers drummed over the white sheet covering your mattress.

Should you file them tomorrow? It hurt doing it and they would grow brittle. They did look bad though, sharp and dark in color --no wonder they laughed at the appearance of your hands, they were very unlady-like, bulky, manly.

The third year student, Bakugou, he said to not pay attention --’fuck them,’ you mused, morosely. If only you had his confidence to do just that. He was one of the best in U.A. along other names you heard during breaks or tests. Putting a face to the name was even easier, he looked the part, just as the rumors said. You envied him, how sure he was of himself, how much trust he had in his quirk --how he flaunted it, like a peacock. However, after encouraging you, in his own retarded way, he completely avoided you, as if he was ashamed of the words he had said. Well, it did hurt, but you couldn't blame a third year like him not wanting his reputation stained by hanging out with...well, someone not as good as him.

It stung. 

Despite your quirk offering you an intimidating appearance, it didn’t make you steel-hearted as well. That was all up to you.

And you were doing a very poor job at it.

If you even dared to think of becoming a hero, like your father was, if you hoped to inspire your little brother and sister to follow in your steps, then you had to get tougher, get thicker skin.

No, tomorrow you weren’t going to file your claws.

“Look what you did to me! I need a rabies injection now, don’t I? Fucking animal!” --the words of your classmate, however, still echoed fresh in your head. It was just a stupid football game and you always got pretty competitive, it was harmless roughhousing.

And it ended up with a slashed arm.

You did end up carrying him to the nurse’s office, despite his flailing and complaints.

She did tell you it wasn’t something serious, that nice old lady. "Recovery girl," you mumbled softly, as a reminder to yourself. He was healed in a second, good to go.

 

But…

 

 

    しかし...
  
Shikashi...

 

You squeezed your eyes shut and clutched your pillow. No, you wouldn’t give in, you were going to leave your hands as they were.

Just pretend you are strong.

fake it.

 

 

    ごまかす.
  
Gomakasu.

Chapter Text

      you are special to me

 

 

 

    あなたは私にとって特別です
  
   Anata wa watashi ni totte tokubetsudesu

 

The next week, it continued to rain. Heavily.

And you absolutely dreaded the weather considering a full-on storm caught you on your way to visit your father. The apartment was empty, brother and sister at their kindergarten and parent out there patrolling and helping the citizens in need --you assumed as much when you turned on the TV and saw there were news on several flooded areas of Japan.

Brows furrowed, your soaking wet form shivering, a bitter taste filled your mouth, making your fangs grind together beneath your lips.

You knew he did it to be helpful to the agency.

So the three of his kids wouldn’t have to need anything that he couldn’t afford.

After a few hours spent waiting at the empty and dark kitchen table, with the power going off at some point during the ongoing typhoon still far away on the coast to be relatively safe out there, you decided to pick up your backpack and return to Musutafu. As risky as it was.

The trains had stopped working, naturally and the winds began to pick up.

In the end, you arrived back to the campus dormitories in sloshing trainers and drenched clothes, resulting in a cold that spread through you in a matter of 48 hours. So here you were now, shivering with a fever in your bed, sneezing and cussing at everything.

To make it worse, you didn’t have any pills to take, you never needed them because you were usually a very healthy individual, with a very strong immune system. You figured, begrudgingly, that even you had limits.

When it became unbearable, senses foggy and fever raging, you finally pulled a sweater on, some large pants and rain boots, tied all that extra thick hair up, to stop sticking to your sweaty neck and --you cringed, pausing by the mirror in the bathroom, staring disgustedly at your red nose, flushed face and angry red eyes from rubbing them to get rid of the involuntary tears.

Well, who cared.

    Who cares?

 

 

 

    誰も気にしない?
  
     Dare mo kinishinai?

Maybe Recovery Girl could --no. You shook your head on your way out. It was stupid to bother the school nurse in the weekend for something so worthless. The tip of your ears felt like they were on fire, eyes bleary and movements sluggish.

The closest pharmacy to the school grounds was a bus stop away.

It still rained, but not as bad and this time you were smart enough to get an umbrella.

All the way there, however, you felt wobbly and everything about the people around you on the bus annoyed you to a hissing fit when some kid bumped into you at your stop, glaring menacingly at his big brown eyes as he stared up at you petrified.

Surely you were a sight to behold, jagged black lines and fury.

The lady at the chemist's counter kept asking you questions about how you felt, symptoms, prescriptions, and after minutes of the torturous explanations, you emerged with a little bag of medicine for your flu and some tips to sleep better at night.

You were ready to head back to the bus station, when a minimarket gathered your attention.

Huh. You didn’t know there was one so close to the dormitories, but you sure as hell were glad to discover this. Being new and all didn’t come with a map of the places you could go to when in need and you were too embarrassed to ask any of your colleagues for help. They’d think less of you for sure, helpless, guaranteed.

Okayu sounded good. It fit the occasion, if you could call it that.

Dragging your feet, bulky yellow boots slapping the wet ground, you found yourself sailing the aisles like a zombie, until you found the rice packs. So you halted and stared stupidly at all the different brands.

When you were a cub, your mother would often make okayu for you, especially during the flu season. She was attentive like that, always paid extra attention to any change in your voice or behavior --always assumed you were sick, so there was a lot of porridge.

It might have been because that was the only thing she knew how to do best.

You never saw what brand of rice she used, it just tasted like home.

Like...

 mother

 

 

 

 母さん 
Okāsan

A soreness spread through your body at her memory, ushering it away with a violent hiss with bared teeth and all. “You look like you’re choking on a fucking furball,” that choked you up fast enough to make your senses prickle, even through the haze that clouded them.

Aiming your searchingly pathetic gaze to the intruder, you found it was Bakugou. The same one that avoided you like the freaking fires of hell would sprout from your arms and consume his soul.

His expression was blank, unimpressed, lip curled into a sneer as if you interrupted his alone time.

He was squatting by the bottom rice shelves, holding one pack in his left hand, the other on his basket's handle. Choosing to return the favor, you turned your head away and grabbed the first pack of rice you could reach and then passed by him, or tried to --”I’m talking to you, catty-breath,” he snarled after you, standing up and seething. So, being ignored struck a chord with him. They had something in common after all.

You were ready to snark him out, when a sudden urge made you blink rapidly and your nose to --sneeze, on him, nonetheless. It made your body jerk forward and your eyes to tear up as you buried your face into the rice pack and sniffed irritated.

Bakugou, however, was speechless, staring at you incredulously. “Did you just sneeze your fucking germs on me?”

What?

You lifted your eyes to meet his, scowling. “‘M sorry,” you managed to grumble out, sniffling again pathetically. To be honest, on any other day, you would have bit his head off, but now you were feeling so bad you could barely hold your own. Pick your battles, your father would always scold.

“You’ll be sorry when I’ll finish with your dumbass --” he came to grab your collar when you sneezed on him again, making him lurch back in disgust. “You’re fucking gross!” he roared at you, rubbing his face with the sleeve of his grey hoodie.

“I’m not feeling so good…” you mumbled pitifully, voice cracking and mind growing hazier.

Seeing that you were having trouble, maybe, hopefully, had him back off, if the way he looked at you was anything to go by, as if all his angry facade slipped away. Perhaps it was just the cold talking, but for a second, you thought he was worried.

Without any other words, you stumbled away, to find some umeboshi for the bland porridge. The pickled plums always gave it a better taste.

The second pair of footsteps right behind you, though, had you turn your head curiously, only to see an annoyed Bakugou not too far away, his hands shoved in his pockets and red eyes flaring with unspoken rage. “What’re you looking at? I need something from the same aisle!”

Quietly, you sighed. Fine.

But then, after you were done and paid for your stuff, he was right behind you at the checkout, glaring daggers at you when you noticed him. “What? I have to pay for my shit too y’know?!”

Fine.

But then he was waiting at the same bus station as you, not too close, but not too far. And you could feel how he looked at you from time to time. That brought a scowl on your face as you turned abruptly and caught him. “What? We go in the same fucking direction!”

He was right. Yet it didn’t make it any less weird that he was doing everything at the same pace as you.

Finally, when you got on the bus, sniffling and sluggish, taking the seat at the back, he did the same, sitting on the other end, across from you. He folded his arms, plastic bag at his side and glared out the window, lip jutting out.

You watched him disdainfully for a second, before turning your attention to the soggy weather outside, watching as the sun disappeared in the horizon and pressing your hot forehead on the cold glass, your breath fogging the window.

It felt so nice that you closed your eyes.

So...nice...and

     comfortable

 

 

 

    快適
  
    Kaiteki

Until you were stirred awake by a kick at your boot, by none other than the explosive hero-to-be. “Get your ass up. It’s our stop,” he grunted, not even looking at you as he passed by to get off. Huffing, you pulled yourself up to follow.

At least he was nice enough to wake you up.

Like before, he waited until you were off and lingered in front of you at a certain distance, making it appear as if that’s how slow he liked to walk, right up to his dormitory, you assumed, given that he paused to fish for some keys.

You passed him by, trudging your feet without any energy left in your limbs.

“Thanks for looking out for me, Bakugou-senpai,” you offered in a flat tone.

You didn’t turn when he yelled after you, because you didn’t really care what he had to say. But you knew you couldn’t exactly mistake his intentions, he was a good guy, the same guy that encouraged you in his stupid, moronic way a few weeks back. It felt nice to not have to please others, even though you still ended up filing your claws for safety measures.

His heart was in the right place, you concluded, walking up the steps of your own dormitory, right next to his and turning to glance at him from over the hedge bushes, managing to see only his spiky head. Sure enough, he waited to make sure you got in safely.

He was staring with a pissed off look on his face, going blank when he saw you staring back and catching him again.

You waved amicably, but with a deadpan face.

He yelled a “Fuck off!” and hurried inside with the angry slam of the left wing’s double doors behind his retreat.

 

amazing.

 

 

 


素晴らしい
Subarashī

Chapter Text

 I want to become a good person

 

 

 

私は良い人になりたい
  
Watashi wa yoi hito ni naritai

 

The sports festival stopped being so flashy after his first year, when he actually had something to prove. With the sludge villain fresh in everyone’s minds back then, he had to make an explosive forced entrance into their minds, make them remember him.

The outcome wasn’t one he found satisfying. Even now, he still feels bitter, he can hold a grudge for as long as humanly possible --especially when that half-and-half bastard made it so easy with his stupid ass attitude. Or lack of thereof.

whatever

 

 

 

 なんでも 
Nan demo

Instinctively, his eyes narrowed, shifting in the direction of the red-white haired student making his way past his desk and out the classroom's door with calmness that had always unsettled Bakugou.

Only three chances’ --Aizawa had said. Only three chances to get recruited by a pro hero, a good one. That’s what it became, looking out for his future, advertising for the sake of a decent outcome, a path to pave to greatness, to become the number one hero.

In the second year, he tackled the challenge again, quite eagerly, but in the third year, he decided it was of utmost importance to put on a nice show, let them all see how great he is, how powerful, how much potential he holds, surpassing Izuku, surpassing them all. There were a lot of factors to think about, and Bakugou was nothing if not smart. The exams were going to be hell passing too, there were going to be no exceptions, no going easy, no slack, no pause, nothing but hard work until they were all certified.

Growing up, maturing, came with age for him, even though, to some, he appeared the same brusque, mouthy, pain in the ass, there had been events that completely fucked with his ideals, mind, body --and each of those, he had to face head on, had to overcome, contemplate, reorganize, regroup, get his shit together. There were changes he felt in himself, big, so big that he looked at his past self and cringed shamefully, and that was enough to prove himself that he had indeed become different. Fuck what everyone else thought. Regardless, he realized, he still had a lot to learn if he wanted to outrun everyone and make a name for himself in a world full of saviors, each spectacular in their own way.

He sighed and leaned his head back, making the chair stand on two legs, boncing his knee on top of his desk.

This year’s sports festival had been pushed back, due to the extremely bad weather. They were concerned about the fresh meat that just got in getting scared off. That and the media wouldn’t be able to show the event properly.

In his opinion, those rascals should compete through wind and rain, media or not. That’s how you properly fry the morons and groom them into heroes. In his first year his class went through so much shit that he was positive the first years now couldn’t even begin to try and handle it mentally. But that’s what made them the best of the best today.

And the second years --well, he was looking forward to see if she was going to participate, given that she didn’t have such an important event at her previous school. She looked pretty bad last he saw her too, with her snotty ass face and --

“Ah, hello, I’m here for --oh, haha, thank you, Mineta-senpai...I was...uh...they aren’t drawn,”

Imagine his shock when he turned his head and saw the tuff of orange came up to their classroom asking about ‘Todoroki-senpai’s’ whereabouts, sporting an awkward smile when Mina immediately came to greet her in order to make the little pervert sniff away from the increasingly uncomfortable girl.

And they began talking animatedly. Her voice sounded raspy still, so her flu hadn’t passed completely.

“You should come join me at lunch break, we can talk more!”

He knew the pink moron was familiar with her, he’d seen them interacting before in the hallway, Uraraka as well, but she wasn’t here; he didn’t know how familiar until he heard the proposition. What really riled him up was the fact that she didn’t even look at him throughout her conversation, as if he didn’t deserve her acknowledgement, making a weird sensation burn at his guts. So Bakugou did what he did best. He swung his legs from the top of his desk and glared heatedly at the second year, elbows on his knees, trying to look cool while forcing her to notice him.

“Oi, get out of here, you side character!”

The commotion in the class ceased slowly and she deadpanned, her slit pupils meeting with his red orbs in feigned ignorance. There weren’t many people inside anyway, so he didn’t really care about witnesses. He knew he struck a chord, however, when her expression darkened just enough to have him see it. His lips twitched in a cruel smirk and he stood up from his seat, making a show of trotting up to her, shoving his hands in his pants’ pockets.

All eyes were on them. He could feel the apprehension of some of his colleagues, some either shaking their heads or sighing. Luckily, Iida wasn’t here to chide him into behaving, neither was Asui, Yaoyorozu, Hagakure or Jiro, all of whom could have spoiled his fun by now.

She relented with controlled patience, turning her gaze to the cotton-candy heroine before she could come to her defense, judging by how befuddled she looked at him; as if she was trying to figure out what to do, stand up for her or ignore him completely.

“I’ll go now, Ashido-san, thank you for letting me know where I can find Todoroki-senpai,”

Rudely, he interfered between the two girls, shoving Mina aside a bit with a shoulder in the process, despite her grunt of protest, and tilted his head to the side mockingly, upper lip curling. “Why do you even need to find him, catty-breath?”

Her brows furrowed.

Shit. The angry shiba inu look.

“Because I want to ask for tips from the real winner of your first year’s sports festival,” she answered flatly, aiming an uppercut right under his ego.

His eyes widened and hands twitched in his pockets.

  what?

 

 

 

何?
  
 Nani?

There was a tiny gasp from Mineta not far away from them and a whining sound from the self-proclaimed alien queen.

“What did you just say?” his voice lowered a few octaves, feeling the familiar bubbling of rage starting from his toes up. “You heard me,”

It was as if those moments of calmness spent with her the past weekend just vanished. The vulnerability she showed, the way her cheeks were flushed, her soft eyes, her stupidly adorable rain boots, all, turned to dust, incinerated by this fiend that stared him down right now, with her fire and fearlessness.

“You guys, break it up, c’mon~” Ashido tried, raising her hands up defensively and laughing awkwardly.

Wasn’t this what attracted him in the first place? Made him gravitate towards her without even meaning to? So why did he want to see the frail girl now? The frail girl looking at him with those expressive eyes, searching for an opening to slip under his skin? Perhaps he got mixed signals. Perhaps she was a bitch all along.

A bitch he had no need for in his dreams, life or otherwise.

“Do you wanna fucking die?” he simmered, getting closer as Mina shot out a hand to his chest in an attempt to keep him back “Bakugou!” but he couldn’t hear her, couldn’t hear anyone. Not even Kirishima when he shouted his name and said something about manly stuff, not even Sero when he tried to come in and suggest he knock it off. No, his eyes were dead locked on hers, mirroring the same fury as his.

“This isn’t necessary,”

“Neither are you, but here we are, you extra,”

That seemed to make her brows unfurrow and her posture to dissolve in hostility. He saw how her lips twitched just a little, he saw how she covered up her hurt with an expressionless mask and he saw how she set her jaw and clenched her fist at her side, inching away from him.

“Sorry again for intruding, I’ll be on my way. Thank you, Ashido-san,”

“It’s --” but before the pink girl could say anything, the tuff of orange had turned and left, which made his classmate’s murderous gaze land on Bakugou “Why did you say that? We’re third years, we’re not elementary school students!”

But he stopped listening from that point on.

He just kept staring heatedly after her, as if he could bring her back by sheer will. He fucked up didn’t he? He fucked up again.

With renewed vigor and smoke coming out of his pockets, he shoved past the still blabbering Mina and stomped down the corridor after the girl, pushing and hurling students out of his way in a frenzy of anger mixed with guilt; he wasn’t that person anymore, he wasn’t like that anymore.

“Catty-breath!” he was almost there, her pace had slowed, he reached out to grab her shoulder when he was inches away from her, a snarl on his face --only for her to turn around lightning fast, grab his wrist with strength he had no idea she possessed, pull him forwards with force and headbutt him in the face so hard he stumbled back a foot or two, seeing stars glittering his vision.

      what happened?

 

 

 

    何が起こった?
  
    Nani ga okotta?

The hallway went dead quiet, everyone watching the second year and the third year’s interaction. Some students were from general studies, he had caught familiar faces from the other hero course as well, from the support department too.

Yet he paid no mind to those around him at this moment, he couldn’t. She burned so bright.

Her cheeks were flushed, eyes wild and body tense. “Don’t touch me! Don’t talk to me! Don’t even look at me!” she roared, voice laced with an animalistic undertone that made her positively beastly.

“And fuck you, stupid banana brain!”

And that’s how, he knew he was fucked. Standing there like an idiot, covering his broken, bleeding nose with a hand, eyes widened, completely frozen to the spot, with his heart hammering painfully in his chest.

There wasn’t any use denying the fireworks in his stomach as he watched her go. Hot trails of red sliding down his chin, onto his white shirt, over his uniform and down his hand. The pain was dazzling.

He fucked up. Big time. How was he gonna completely focus on his goal now?

“Shit.”

 

Chapter Text

     what is your real heart?

 

 

 

    本当の心は何ですか?
  
   hontō no kokoro wa nanidesu ka?


 

Todoroki was an immense help, but hard to hunt down, until lunch break, that is.

You had watched the sports festival of the U.A when you were younger, you always did because your mother and siblings were there with you, cheering on your favorite student, watching how they used their quirks, seeing how strong they were, getting motivated to be the same.

Granted, Shiketsu didn’t do that. Shiketsu didn’t flaunt, they just did what needed to be done. That’s why it held such prestige.

Last year and the year before were no exceptions, you had watched them with baited breath as one of the first years caught your undivided attention : Todoroki Shouto, also known as Endeavor’s son. Two quirks into one body, ice and fire, strong, calm, calculated, intelligent. Everything you wanted to be. Needless to say, even though you would never admit it, that’s how you knew of Bakugou as well, it was kind of hard not to notice him when he took first place and was chained up so All Might could put the medal on him.

Back to the person of interest.

His strategy was beautifully crafted, executed and thought out to the finest details, despite ending up in the third place. The others? You didn’t care. Perhaps it was because you felt like you had something in common with the heterochromatic boy. The way he used both of his quirks in his fight with that bland, simpleton was amazing.

And now you went to the same academy as him, so you decided you would seek out his advice.

Your quirk, just like his, was a combination of both your parents’. Your father, known as Berserk, with the quirk : berserk mode and your mother, Tigris, with her animal-type quirk, her super strength, indomitable will, ferocity and great roar. Neither of your two other siblings had taken after your father, just you, and controlling the combination was hard.

He tried. He tried very hard to help you control it, especially during your younger years, but as it was so unpredictable and violent, you decided to not use it at all. Heaven forbid the day you would have to tap into it out of desperation.

Unfortunately, your mother also passed away a year prior. That was the nice way to put it, the brutal truth was that she was slaughtered by a villain on live tv, trying to rescue the hostages that trash of a human being had captured. There was no other way, you knew, the sidekicks around her had their whole life before them, she was the oldest pro hero present there, you recognized the acceptance and courage in her eyes before she acted; you knew she made up her mind.

And you watched the reportage with a hole in your stomach, fat tears gathering in your eyes. You watched the clip, right until the camera was cut off due to the gruesome details that followed.

Your little brother and sister were sleeping at that hour, as it was very late, your father was not home, he was on a mission himself and...you were alone, clutching the acceptance letter to Shiketsu in one hand and covering your wails of despair with the other, so not to wake your siblings up.

The helplessness you felt then, the dread, you didn’t want to feel it ever again, you didn't want anyone to feel it ever again.

That was the driving force behind your desire to become a hero. You realized with a cringe how sappy your origin story sounded like, but it was the reality of the situation and the loss, the pain, they felt real, they felt eye-opening.

Being a hero wasn’t all nice and sunshine. It wasn’t easy. The villain had been arrested shortly after, the lives saved...but your mother, she wasn't going to be brought back. You looked him in the eyes at the trial and came to terms with the fact that he was alive and his imprisonment was the right thing to do, no matter how much it hurt you or your family. You punched your walls and tore everything in your sight, you hated him with every piece of your being...but...was killing him going to change anything? Was seeing his lifeless body going to bring her back? No. And you found no satisfaction in that, nor did you allow your mind to wander there anymore.

You accepted that.

In fact, as you looked at all your classmates, you knew each and every one of them had a story of their own. They all had their own demons and their own motivation, their own convictions --just like Todoroki Shouto had his own, as he said the day before.

“I didn’t use fire because it was a part of him. I was shown different by a friend. It’s my own --it’s your own. You shouldn’t be afraid to use it,”  he had told you when you had confided in him about your power.

You had caught him eating at the cafeteria on his own, at lunch break, and asked if you could speak to him about his quirk after introducing yourself, flustered from the previous encounter with Bakugou. You apologized mentally to Ashido, as the plan to have lunch with her and her friends had to be pushed aside in favor of you prioritizing. He was nice, polite about your intrusion, he didn’t seem annoyed that you had spoiled his time alone, just gestured for you to sit down.

You didn’t expect him to be open about his past either, assuming it was too personal, even if there had been speculations on the internet regarding his upbringing. He mentioned that he is working on the family issues still --and that it was important to know where his quirk comes from before passing judgment on why he didn’t use it to its full capacity at the sports festival in his first year. That’s why you were open with your own past in exchange. It was only fair, no matter how bad you stammered and fidgeted.

“When my father uses berserk mode, it strengthens him to an insane level, higher functions shut down and...at 100% he is a mindless punching machine. It doesn’t matter if it’s friend or foe, if it’s in the way, it’s going to be taken out --he can control it up to 65%, he never uses it to its full capacity…” you had explained, furrowing your brows and brushing your fingertips over the symbol on your forehead, the same as your father’s. Ironic how it looked like a flower, considering the insanity that came with it.

“Then don’t use it to that extent. Small doses should be manageable,” Todoroki supplied, his eyes tracing the same pattern as your digits. “I can’t. I tried 5%, it’s too much. My mind gets foggy...would I be able to compete only using my own strength, my mother’s--”

“The competition can get overwhelming. The last round especially, many from your year have powerful quirks and only the strongest end up competing until the final part,” he interrupted, a serious look in his eyes as he placed his elbows on the table. “If you wish to win, that is not enough, if you wish to simply move past it with minimal effort, then you will be fine,”

So that was that, huh?

Then...

 

 

 

次に... 
Tsugini...

You pressed your lips together and looked up at him. “Todoroki-senpai, can you please help me train then? With your powerful quirk, you can handle mine if it gets out of hand!” you spoke passionately, leaning forward.

He looked taken aback, if his widened eyes and inching away posture was anything to go by.

“I do not think--” “Please! I’ve admired you since I saw you on TV at the sports festival, on your first year. I came to you because you’re strong, one of the top three! I know it’s asking a lot...but I really...I really want to win!”

For a long minute he was quiet, but your fierce gaze remained unwavering.

Bakugou had been an option, but he was reckless, impatient, brutish. The other one, you didn’t like simply because he seemed too soft to handle you properly, but Todoroki, he was perfect, the right balance between the two. He had the ability to help you.

No teacher would help with private lessons, you were certain, and none sparked your interest anyway, not enough for you to go and beg for their tutelage. Then again, you also felt absolutely ridiculous for even thinking of bothering a pro hero with your stupid requests. Feigning disinterest, was, as you figured out afterwards, a defense mechanism with you.

With him you didn't feel so self-conscious. He was close to your age as well.

Him, Endeavor’s son, had the capacity to put you on the path to victory.

“I will think about your proposition" he spoke, avoiding your glimmering eyes "...and I will give you an answer tomorrow or the day after,"

But that was good enough. You smiled broadly and thanked him, bowing your head in respect. Your encounter in the cafeteria garnered attention from other students, but none said anything so far. Not yesterday after class, not today.

Now, as you sat at your desk, listening to Midnight’s teaching, you couldn’t help but feel eyes on you.

The boy in front of you, tucking his wings back to see you better, kept glancing back with a nasty look on his face. Then again, he never really liked you from the start. He never said anything, however, not after you accidentally broke the classroom door when some girl tried to lock you inside after school hours...or after you wounded another guy during P.E.

It was glaringly obvious that you weren’t bullying material.

They just strayed away from you and stayed that way. They weren’t all bad, you wouldn’t exaggerate, but they weren’t as friendly as with those that had been there from the start, for obvious reasons.

One of the students you got along with was Kitai Takeshi, hero name: Gasleak, quirk: gas body, allowing him to turn his whole body or just certain limbs into, well, gas. He had bright lavender fuzzy hair, a purple complexion and pupiless black eyes. He was nice and helpful, quite witty and very creative with how he used his quirk in different situations, like you saw during the tests from the beginning of the year.

Likewise, a female student, Bani Nousagi, hero name: Leporidae, quirk: hare, was also a good companion, strong-willed and extremely righteous. She did resemble a rabbit, always correcting people, however, saying that she was more hare than rabbit and taking offence when she’d get brushed off like ‘it’s the same thing’ --you’ve seen her in action too, her legs, with long toes and knees bent backwards are so strong, she can leap great distances. Even in combat, they can break through bone, metal and cement, so one can imagine what damage can be done to a living, breathing villain.

She was often asked if she had any connection to the pro hero Mirko, but she never said anything, neither admiting nor denying.

Speaking of villains, thankfully, after the traumatizing events a few years back with the league of villains, there haven’t been many incidents afterwards. U.A. felt safe again and you hoped it would stay like that, as it was one of the biggest targets for evil-doers.

As more pro hero teachers joined, it probably was discouraging for them to try anything, even with the retired All Might. Granted, it was during such times of peace that dark clouds came from the horizon and blocked out the blue sky, like the quiet before a storm. You knew to always expect everything, keeping alert, as Shiketsu had taught you.

“They are a bit restless,” Kitai muttered during the break between the last class with Midnight and the next with Present Mic, after you had voiced your thoughts.“You were talking to one of the top third years, what was that about?” he asked, curious. Bani quietly watched you, just as intrigued.

“I asked him about his quirk and some tips for the sports festival,” you answered simply, leaning a cheek on your palm, unwilling to go in depth. “I don’t get why they should be restless, anyone can ask any of the third years for tips, it’s no big deal,” you added, furrowing your brows.

“Ah, well, most of them aren’t that bold,” Bani explained, her long brown ears twitching and laying flat over her shoulders. You shrugged.

A few more moments of silence passed.

“There’s also talk about you and that Bakugou,”

“Kitai!” Bani immediately reprimanded, smacking his shoulder. “What? Aren’t you curious?”

You stared blankly at the purple-skinned male. “Why...why would...good god,” you pinched the bridge of your nose and closed your eyes.

“Well it looked like a lovers quarrel! In the middle of the hallway and you expect nobody to say anything?” the boy tsk-ed, turning to glare away. Bani huffed, folding her arms over her large chest “It’s still not okay to ask such personal questions, you nosy brat,”

“There’s...no! There’s nothing between me and that moron! He was being an asshole, calling me names!” you defended yourself, scowling. Your female friend looked at you with empathy and smiled sympathetically “He is an asshole, everyone knows that, it’s just that not many get to headbutt him in front of everyone and live to tell the tale,” she covered her mouth mirthfully.

Well, he deserved it, so…

You flushed and looked away quite embarrassed. Maybe you overreacted, but that didn’t mean you were going to apologize. Kitai scoffed, but you could see the smile twitching at the corner of his mouth. “It was pretty brave, gotta give you that,”

Before any other exchange could be made, the teacher came in and asked loudly, for everyone to take their seats.

So people thought you two were dating? Your cheeks caught fire.

What a joke.

    Right?

 

 

 

でしょう?
  
desho?


 

...

 


Why were you still at school? You sighed and spread out your legs, nudging one bright orange sneaker with the other and puffing out your cheeks.

Well, because Todoroki was still here and you hoped for an answer.

You didn’t know what club he was part of either, so sitting idly inside the school was useless, therefore, you chose the steps at the entrance. He had to leave at some point, right? God, you really were a fucking weirdo, weren’t you? Waiting for a boy, hoping he would notice you and remember what you had asked. He probably forgot all about you already, right? What use did you have for someone with his reputations. Huh, thinking that a person you admired would actually stoop low enough to help you...

 

       What a joke

 

 

 

    どのような冗談
  
     Dono yōna jōdan

Lifting your gaze up to the sky, you noticed how cloudy it looked. Was it gonna rain again?

“The answer is yes,”

The cool voice from behind you, had you leaning your head back, only to see Todoroki staring down at you, a step above. And so close. How did you not hear him? 

Your cheeks flushed, but when the words finally got through, your mouth broke into a bright grin, eyes sparkling with joy. “Really?” your tone must have done something, because he averted his bi-colored eyes and stepped around your body.

“Yes,” he passed by you and down to the last step “I will talk to All Might before. I need to know that this is allowed and if so, if we are able to use any of the training grounds,”

Ah, he was already making a plan!

You followed him with widened eyes, a feeling of warmth in your heart. “You will do all that for me?” honestly, you were expecting him to help you develop in the dormitories’ courtyard or something, nothing fancy.

“You asked for my help. I will do my best,”

The warmth spread through you like current, making you stand up in a flash and march forward with open arms. Before Todoroki knew what was happening, your had already wrapped him in an embrace. A very tight, squeezing-the-life-out, kind of embrace that swept him off his feet, quite literally.

“Thank you so much, Todoroki-senpai! I’m eternally grateful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

The young hero didn’t fight back, he only cleared his throat uncomfortably and then patted your back in awkward motions, asking quietly to be let down.

But also managing a “You are welcome.”

Unbeknownst to the both of you, however, a certain explosive student watched from afar, hands clenched into fists and eyes widening with uncontrolled rage.

 

Chapter Text

somebody help me

 

誰か助けて 
Dare ka tasukete

 

It was driving him crazy.

For the past week, every fucking day, she would wait for that half-and-half bastard and they would disappear into the gym. Upon further inspection --no, he was not stalking, merely happened to be around the area --he understood what was up. Even if he had to bring --steal -- a ladder to peek through the high-up windows of the building. Even if he looked like an idiot scaling the wall with the fierceness of a tarantula that caught a meal. 

Thankfully, nobody saw him doing all that. He made sure before he smacked his hands on the window and pressed his forehead to the glass.

Oh. There they were. 

They were...training? 

He watched mesmerized how Todoroki used his ice and fire to provoke her and even more mesmerized when he watched the damage she could do in dodging the attack to launch herself at him. And he was talking about punches that turned the cement into craters and dust. She opened her mouth and a roar made the glass vibrate, forcing a 'what the fuck' out of him. 

Her fighting style was something to be desired. It was an aimless, reckless, blind fury, but the amount of strength she packed left him speechless and wide eyed. His heart skipped a beat at how majestic she looked while she forced the hetero chromatic boy back with a series of slashes and kicks that the latter tried to block with dense frozen water.

Suddenly, he forgot about his situation and he stopped paying so much attention to his surroundings, focusing completely on the battle inside.

Todoroki rose spikes of ice from the ground and she cut through those with her claws as if they were nothing, barreling towards him like a big, angry, jungle cat. He could see the half-and-half struggling a little, rose another glacier in her path.

The girl, instead of cutting or punching through it like she did so far, leaped up mid-sprint, caught the top with her claws, hurled herself over and down onto Shouto, hands spread like a tiger pouncing on prey.

There were a few seconds of reaction time and his classmate didn’t disappoint. His flames ran wild around him and upwards. She was falling straight into the flames.

Bakugou opened his mouth, ready to yell, do something --when, she twisted her body mid-air, in a feat of flexibility he had not seen before, forced her trajectory to change and landed behind Shouto on all fours, sliding back from the force she used.

When he thought she was done, she surprised him by bulldozing forward in a crazy sprint. Todoroki, as always, was fast to react and engulfed her in ice when she was but millimeters away from slashing his head clean off.

She struggled furiously against the frozen restraints, while the bastard calmly turned around and swept his thumb over her forehead. For a second, she went stiff, then limp, as if she just fainted, making Bakugou frown deeply.

What the fuck was going on?

He squished his face into the window, trying to see better.

“Bakugou? What are you doing there, dude?”

       fuck.

 

     くそ
  
     Kuso

Like a cat startled by a sneaky cucumber, the blond whipped around, bristling and sputtering, making the ladder lose the balance with his weight displacement and falling back.

That was when, he knew, he fucked up.

The crash was the most embarrassing thing he’s ever done. In front of Kirishima nonetheless, who just stood there with a very confused expression on his face, trying very hard to determine what the right course of action was. All while Katsuki remained on the ground, splayed out, with a ladder on top of him, staring into space.

He’s been caught.

“Do you want me to get the ladder off--” “Fuck off,” he was fast to hiss, blowing the ladder away with a shove of his hand and an explosion for emphasis.

A few more moments of silence stretched out as he sat up on his ass, face a red shade that resembled his buddy’s hair.

“What were you doing, man?”

Did he not know when to shut the fuck up? “Bird-watching! What the fuck do you think?”

“Oh. That didn’t look very safe, though,” Eijirou muttered, his face contorting into a grimace. Bakugou slid a hand over his face in utter defeat.

Another pair of footsteps came their way and this time, the explodo king was livid. Todoroki casually rounded the gym and strode towards them, sporting a blank expression on his face; as if he wasn't surprised by what he was seeing in the least.

Kirishima turned around at the sound and grinned at the presence of their classmate. “Yo, Todoroki! What are you doing here? Bird-watching --” a hand promptly slammed over his mouth, Bakugou behind him, holding the redhead in a choke-hold.

Unimpressed, Shouto stopped a meter away from them and gave them a once-over.

“Could you please stop making so much noise? Me and another student are trying to focus on her training,”

Kirishima’s eyes widened and he made to pull Katsuki’s hand off so he could speak, but the latter only clamped the hand harder over his face. “Don’t tell me what to do, you half-and-half bastard!”

Shouto blinked.

...

“We’re leaving!”

And so, Bakugou hurled Kirishima with him and proceeded to stomp off, flustered, angry and extremely sick at the stomach. Not only did this idiot find him and startled him, that other moron had to show up and make his humiliation sting more. Did he know he was there watching?

Fucking great. He would not be able to look that asshole in the eyes again.

...

Sunset found the two boys walking towards the dormitories, after stopping by the grocery shop first to get some food in their empty fridge.

“Bakugou,”

Eijirou had been awfully quiet on the way, in the shop and on the walk back, so him finally saying something had the ash blond stop abruptly to glance back with dread. “What do you want, shithair?”

“I’m starting to think that you weren’t bird-watching,”

Katsuki’s face just completely drained of color and blanked. What? He blinked once, twice, glanced to the side and then back at Kirishima.

Then he turned back around and resumed the walk to the bus stop.

  whatever

 

  なんでも 
 Nan demo

What did he do so bad in this world that he had to be punished like this? Granted, the readhead wasn’t bad company, he was actually one of the only people he tolerated and enjoyed being around. He just had these really...dense moments that sometimes left Katsuki speechless, but he supposed, that was part of his charm.

Between all the other idiots in his class and hearing Kirishima fanboying with Tetsutestu over their manly workouts, weights, heroic acts and schedules at 2AM, he preferred the latter.

“I’m right, aren’t I?” he caught up with Bakugou fast, a grin plastered over his face, to which the other grunted, powerless to actually form coherent words.

“So what, you were watching Todoroki? Wait, were you spying on him working out or--”

“Hell no!” he had to stop and glare at his friend, unable to believe he actually had the audacity of saying that. His distaste for the half and half was pretty obvious, he thought.

Eijirou also paused, the wheels in his head turning under Bakugou’s heated look, as if unfazed by his death glare. “...oh! Was it the other student then? The one he was training with? Aw man, he mentioned it’s a she, right?” the grin was back, ten times bigger.

“Shut up, hedgehog,”

“C’mon, dude, give me something!”

He resumed walking, with a very annoying redhead on his trail, asking him a billion questions per second, realizing he had just stepped into a trap, a vicious cycle that would not end well, as most things kept secret from him, didn't.

Chapter Text

do your best, kabe don!

    がんばってね, 壁ドン!
  
Ganbatte ne, kabe don!

 

Your hands were trembling like crazy.

And that was no good. Becoming a sweaty, nervous-wreck with a drumming heart in your ears was no good. Not now of all times.

“As expected from the three best! I heard Izuku Midoriya got second place! What a shame!”

“Well, that’s because Bakugou is stronger, have you seen what he can do with his quirk? I heard he didn’t even train for this!”

“Ah, but Todoroki-senpai is the strongest, with two quirks, you could tell he went easy on everyone, he’s so gentle~”

You couldn't stand all of this noise!

The third years’ competition had been concluded in the early morning, with principal Nezu giving a big speech at the beginning ceremony, as per tradition. Now everyone in the break room, where your class was getting ready, were looking at the TVs hooked up on the walls, watching the winners being given their medals.

Enviously, you glanced up at the three big heroes-to-be on their respective podiums, smiling and waving for the cameras.

The first years and second years still were in the ongoing competition, one last round to go, specifically. Which was why you felt so anxious. The first two rounds you had gone through were not as hard as you anticipated, at least not with your quirk and quick wit. You managed quite well in the first phase, which was mostly a triage of sorts, just like Todoroki had said it would be. 

He knew better and now you understood why. He’d been through this two times before. It was safe to say they would follow the same pattern this time as well. 

The second phase was the hardest, because it involved team work. The points you had accumulated during the first part made you a desirable target but also a good choice for the formation of a team. Oddly enough, this round was awfully similar to the one you had watched a few years back on TV. The whole system of choosing these competitions was randomized, so the chances of one repeating itself was not that crazy of a coincidence.

Bani and Kitai agreed to form a team with you, thankfully, so you only needed one more person. And that was, ironically, the winged boy that absolutely detested you, Torikage Akira. The animosity was put aside in favor of winning and with the strategy you came up with, you managed just that. The whole fiasco made you forget that you were on the big screens all over Japan, it made your forget that pro heroes were watching and it drowned out the crowd's voices. This allowed you to focus completely on the task at hand. 

At the end, when the winners were shown on the large board, you felt a sense of pride at seeing your team having made third place, advancing to the last round. Akira thanked you afterwards, as you all walked victorious towards the cafeteria for the noonbreak. He even offered to get you something to eat in exchange. 

It surprised you, but it also allowed you to shake hands with him, forming the beginning of camaraderie.

That was cool. You've been smiling and joking, being social for once. You were pleased to see that underneath all that dust, sweat and bruises, there were bonds forming between colleagues, a sense of belonging starting to take root in your rapidly beating heart. 

Until you realized that now you had to face them in the last part of the second year stage.

And that made everything crumble. 

With a frustrated sigh, you ruffled your already crazy mop of hair, feeling your emotions overwhelming you as you leaned onto the wall to one of the arena’s alleyways. You needed to be away from prying eyes, so you calmly walked out of the cafeteria after you ate a scrawny little sandwich to keep you energized enough not to faint.

Your first opponent was that same winged guy that you just made friends with.

The look he gave you when the names were shown made you sick to the stomach. All camaraderie was gone, leaving space only for dislike in his eyes. Ah, you would surely lose if you kept this up. And you trained so hard the past two weeks, every day, with Todoroki. You’d disappoint him if you lost, all that hard work for nothing --all his time wasted on a nobody like you.

“Waaah! I’m gonna screw this up, aren’t I?” you rubbed your face furiously.

You should have expected this. Todoroki mentioned this last round, this tournament of sorts, so you should have known. 

it's useless! it's useless! it's all useless!

無駄だ!無駄だ!それはすべて役に立たない! 
Mudada! Mudada! Sore wa subete yakunitatanai!

An empty pit opened up in your stomach and a knot formed in your throat, your vision becoming darker and blurry.

“You better fucking not, catty-breath,”

What? Your eyes widened and your head snapped in the direction of the explosive voice that boomed down the corridor, catching the spiky head of none other than --Bakugou? Why was he here? How did he even find you? You looked around, a bit confused, before scrubbing your eyes with an embarrassed flush on your cheeks. He came at the worst possible moment. Your sharp gaze fixed him again, angrily, settling lower to avoid his face. 

On his golden medal, to be exact.

The pressure on your heart just grew with that glance, so you looked away, at the wall in front of you, with dread. “I told you not to --”

SLAM!

His fist connected with the wall behind you, quite dramatically, his arm caging you between himself and the proverbial hard place. Then, in an abrupt move that made you jerk back in alarm and hit your head, he leaned closer, his elbow supporting him over the wall and his fist clenching above your head in one of those...romantic positions that you kept seeing in shoujo mangas and dramas. The pounding at the back of your scalp made it impossible to feel anything but irritation, though. You didn't even hear him coming and you sure as hell were not in the mood to deal with this jerk in the first place.

Consequently, your eyes narrowed and your mouth fell into a firm line.

He stared at you, sweaty and constipated, baring his teeth, with eyes blown wide and breathing heavily on your face. His medal swayed between brushing your chest and his, awkwardly. 

“What are you doing?” you asked calmly, trying very hard to keep your voice stern and your face blank. That earned you a death glare that could kill and a long, absolutely painful silence during which he remained there. It made you glance sideways uncomfortably, before your brain caught up with the pose. Was he trying to kabe-don you?

With a startling grunt, he pulled himself away from you, putting a few meters of space between you two, then shoved his hands in his sports uniform pants, grumbling a ‘fuck you, Kirishima’ and seething at the ground. You opened your mouth, but then closed it back, unable to think of anything appropriate to say to this.

He pissed you off two weeks back, and you headbutted him, told him to fuck off and never speak to you again, yet here he was, trying to pull some cliche sappy move on you right before the biggest moment of your life.

Which made you slowly question if --”Do you like me or something?” you blurted out before you could stop it. 

He bristled as he whipped around comically, his face going through various shades of green, red and blue.

“No! Fuck no, just...don’t fuck up!” he yelled brusquely, like he was offended just by the idea of seeing you any other way than just --what was it? An extra? Honestly, you didn’t even know how you stayed so calm throughout this, but it was probably the fact that you had an upcoming fight that occupied your mind enough to make this encounter not count as much.

“Then why the kabe-don?” you deadpanned, crossing your arms over your chest.

He clamped his mouth shut, livid, staring like a deer caught in the headlights, like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, incapable of speech. But then, long wisps of smoke raised in the air, forcing the both of you to glance down at his slowly roasting pants, where his pockets used to be.

It gave the saying ‘liar, liar, pants on fire ’ a whole new meaning. 

“Shit! Fuck..” he eloquently voiced out, pulling his blazing hands out and staring at them mortified.

...

this is awkward.

これは厄介です. 
Kore wa yakkaidesu.

He stormed off promptly, leaving you completely dumbfounded, wondering just what the hell happened; granted, with less of a weight on your shoulders than before.

Incredible.

He managed to put you at ease with his stupid way of trying to say ‘good luck’ and a dumb confessional wall slam move.

Regarding that, you were pretty sure he didn’t know what he was doing or what the meaning of it was, considering he was cussing out ‘Kirishima’. You'd chalk it up to a prank played by this person on the explosive boy. It wasn't unheard of for teenage idiots to do that to one another, after all, forcing them into embarrassing situations. Though, you didn't know Bakugou was so gullible. He didn't look gullible. 

“Tora! I’ve been looking everywhere for you! It’s time! You have to go now!” Bani's appearance brought you back to the reality of your situation that resembled a derailed train. 

Ah. It was starting. Your downfall. 

Chapter Text

like a distant star.

    遠くの星のように。
  
 Tōku no hoshinoyōni.

 

He shouldn’t have listened to that stupid Kirishima.

A very angry Katsuki threw a pair of singed sweatpants on the tiled floor of the boys’ locker room. Finding new ones was easy, he just went to the first locker on the left and picked one of Iida’s many clean, neat, ironed pairs that he brought with, 'just in case', as the moron explained when asked why, by Kaminari.

“Dude, you should do that! She’ll understand what your intentions are! Girls love when a man acts so manly and makes the first move!”

And he’d been double stupid to actually confide in the idiot about his crush for the second year girl that trained with Todoroki. It was impossible to keep the redhead from nosing into his business after that experience and instead of risking him getting all into it --or worse, embarrassing him, he thought it better to come clean, with the additional ‘I’ll fucking kill you if you tell her or anyone else’ --just for good measure.

Consequently, that set into motion a barrage of questions, suggestions of romancing, researching on the internet and eventually, a plan, all composed by Eijirou, with schematics and drawn pictures. “I’m gonna help you out, Katsuki, you’ll see! You two are gonna date in no time!”

“I don’t wanna date her, shit for brains!”

Kirishima had looked at him, unimpressed. “Sure,”

...

Frustrated, he punched a hole in Iida’s locker door and sat down, angrily, on the metal bench taking space in the middle of the room. He started bouncing both legs, his strong hands gripping the edge of the seating tightly, sweaty and slippery.

“What the fuck am I doing? This is stupid!”

The way she looked at him, those bright, unforgiving eyes of hers. He closed his, just to seal the haunting gaze away. It diminished him, somehow. He didn't know what it was, he didn't think much of it at first, but there was just that flicker, that manner in which she regarded him that made him feel....dumb, inadequate and weak. 

“The tournament for second and first years is starting, ladies and gentlemen! Please resume your seats. Participants, stand by your respective gates!”

The announcement blaring through the empty room, had the blonde snap out of his malign thoughts, crimson eyes darting up at one of the speakers hooked on the corner of a wall. He didn’t know what made him sit up, just like he didn't know the answers of many things revolving around her presence, but he knew that in the next seconds, he was heading for the door.

Just at that same moment, as if he were cursed, it swung open, with Iida and Izuku talking animatedly --until they came face to face with the irritated lord of explosions giving them the nastiest glares they've ever received from him so far.

“Oh? Bakugou, what are you --” the Ingenium hero-to-be began, before his eyes landed on his locker door behind and they widened comically. His arm gestured towards the damage in a chopping motion “What did you do!? More importantly, why did you do it, Bakugou? It is a crime to damage the goods of others--”

He had no time for that, the ash blond just passed by the duo, already having a hard time biting down some building remarks.

“Kaachan?” “Don’t ignore me, Bakugou!”

Ugh. “Fuck off!”

So much for keeping it in. The outburst had both males stare at him oddly, but quiet, more so because it was obvious something was really bothering him. And for once, it wasn't them.

...

Giving no window for inquiry, Katsuki marched down the corridor, towards the arena where the tournament for the second years was taking place, and, where he had reserved his seat for a better view of the fights.

More like he instructed Kirishima to stay in place and fend off anyone that tried to sit there, same thing.

He made it just in time, kicking people out of his way while he made his towards the familiar spiky red hair watching excited with an exaggerated grin on his face.

“Look, look! She’s going first!” he pointed out as soon as his eyes landed on Bakugou.

With a sigh, he sat down and turned his attention to the distant figures making their way in the middle of the round platform. Sure enough, the large, wild tuff of orange was there, facing off with some kid that resembled a bird, what with the black wings and chicken legs.

“The rules are simple! Force your opponent out of bounds! Or!” the big screen showed the loud pro hero getting close to the camera, with flashy gestures, nonetheless “You can make them say ‘I give up!’

As usual, Present Mic, commentator of the sports festival like in all years, gave a flourishing introduction to the opponents, “First, from the hero course, the crouching tiger!” he finger gunned in the direction of the female, who grimaced up at the booth “And from the same course, the killing harpy!” he put his hands on each side of his face “This is a battle straight from the jungle, let’s go!”

Katsuki slid a hand over his face. Why the movie reference? 

“Go crouching tiger!” Kirishima had stood up, much to his complete shock, cupping both hands around his mouth as he cheered above all commotion, followed promptly by a hard, loud, smack from the livid, mortified, explosive boy.

Said tiger glanced their way.

And received a hard kick to the face by the harpy.

"oh shit!"

"ああ、くそ!" 
"Ā, kuso!"

“Oh no!” Kirishima whimpered behind Katsuki’s hand clasped over his face, the latter staring wide-eyed at what just happened as well, before aiming his anger at the redhead, glancing up at him meekly. The look that said he knew he fucked up. “Shut the fuck up and just watch, moron!”

The moron nodded quickly, albeit sheepishly. 

Luckily, she recovered quickly, sliding just by the bounds, with her heel raised just above the line, in a crouch not different from that of a cat. He slowly let go of the headlock he had on his friend and focused on the fight unfurling before his eyes.

She didn’t stay there long enough. The moment the bird boy lunged at her, she was moving, zig-zagging around him with fast, precise changes of pace, forcing him to chase her haphazardly. He was shouting after her, though what, nobody knew, perhaps provokation to make her give up the flawless form?

He wouldn’t put it past.

The winged student became more aggressive, using wings to slash and talons to rip every time he came at her, managing some torn fabric on her sports uniform. What baffled him, however, was how she avoided offense and relied solely on defense. And that annoyed him, he saw what she could do, he saw how hard a punch she can pack; she could punch that twat out of the rink with no effort.

So why doesn’t she?

He realized soon that she’s aiming to tire him out. Clearly, the difference in stamina is big between them and carrying heavy wings on dainty bird feet isn’t an easy feat. Eventually he becomes sloppy and she strikes like a snake.

Her claws hook on a wing that he moved too slow out of the way and she yanks hard, forces her body back on her heels in a rotating motion. The harpy can’t do anything, flapping his other wing in a struggle against power he can't overcome.

She hurls him out of the bounds in a second, making him crash against the wall under the stands.

The way she calculated every little detail, the way she analyzed the situation and assessed the manner in which her opponent moved, let Katsuki know that she was not mindless, that this was a complete 180 to the way he saw her back at the Gym with Todoroki.

What changed? What was different?

what did he miss?

    彼は何を欠場したのですか?
  
Kare wa nani o ketsujō shita nodesu ka?

“Harpy is out of bounds. The winner is --” but Bakugou didn’t listen to any more of that, he watched her looking over at the fallen classmate with concern. Aizawa-sensei, playing the role of referee in the tournament of the second years, was checking the boy, turning to her afterwards and saying something that made her leave with a curt nod.

“Oh wow, dude, that was pretty neat, huh? She’s strong!”

Yes. Yes she was. So why wasn’t she using it properly? Was there a recoil? Most quirks had one, like his did when used without limit. The fight ended too fast, even with all of that dancing around each other. Just like his fights usually did, unless his opponent was someone like the half-and-half bastard.

“Hey, Bakugou, I’m gonna get something to eat, want anything?”

Kirishima startled him from his own mind’s spiraling theories.

“No, I’m good,” he’s starting to resemble Izuku now, with his stupid mumblings and nerd ass obsession over the usefulness of quirks. Might as well start buying notebooks to fill them in so he can actually play the part too.

The next match starts and even though it doesn’t involve her anymore, he stays there and watches.

For once, he wants to be the spectator instead of the spectacle.

Chapter Text

i am my own devil

 

私は悪魔です 
Watashi wa akumadesu

 

You had to make sure that he was alright.

Even when Aizawa-sensei told you that everything was fine and you could leave the rink for the usual medical check-ups after the battle. When you insisted on staying and helping carry the boy, he told you that Recovery Girl would take care of him, in a stern voice that left no space to argue.

Reluctantly, you left, worried but satisfied with the end result. An odd combination in your gut. Truth be told, you had hoped your father would be present in the stands and your eyes roved the crowds constantly, but he hadn’t shown up and the chances he would come were slim to none.

He had told you so as well, during your weekly phone calls.

“I’ll be watching, don’t worry, I know you’ll make me proud!”

Despite his happy tone, you didn’t feel the joy. And you came to terms with this fact, that he wouldn’t be here, so why were you whining and weeping about it now, like some little baby searching for its mommy’s warm arms?

You really needed to grow thicker skin.

Bani congratulated you as soon as you walked into the locker room for a breather, after a long, annoying check-up, intending to await your next match there, in silence. You met her with a smile, strained as it was. “You don’t seem happy,” she observed, sympathetically as always. For some reason she always seemed so in tune with how others were feeling that it was almost like reading minds...or hearts, in her case.

After a pause, during which you battled with your thoughts, you spoke up.

“I don’t feel like I belong. I still feel like I’m intruding...like I’m...not even supposed to participate in this important competition, like I’m holding a spot belonging to one of you guys…”

She frowned. “You know that’s not true. You have the right to be here as much as any of us. You gave your all, you passed the exams, you’re part of Yuuei’s hero course and your place is undisputed. You got it fair and square,”

You listened to her intently, brows furrowing and hands clenching the material of your sports jacket. “It still feels as if...no matter how much I try, I’ll be a stranger…”

“You have to have patience. Even in a class with students that have been there from the start, there will still be rivalries and animosity. It’s in our nature,” she wisely put it into perspective. Ah, she was really smart, that’s why she didn’t let small things affect her resolve.

You felt bad for moaning and groaning about such petty problems. In fact, you knew some others had it worse than you, so why should your problems be more important than theirs? That was just selfish. “You’re right,” you affirmed, determined to force yourself out of this well of overthinking “You’re right. I should stop doing this to myself. It’s no good,”

“It’s no good,” she repeated. “Besides, you’re gonna be up against a tough one next,”

At that, your eyes inched up at the TV screen hooked in the corner, displaying the new opponents for the next matches. Two rounds left, by what you could see. The next person you were supposed to fight was a girl from the other hero course, class B.

“She looks scary,”

“She is scary,” Bani confirmed, her ears flopping flat on her head. “I think her quirk has to do with earth or sand, I’m not sure. She took out her opponent in two seconds flat,”

That was indeed scary.

“Give it your all, it could mean everything if you pass into the last round,”

Nodding, you also noticed Bani’s name there, in the second round of battles. “You won the first fight,”

“I did. You had doubts?” she laughed teasingly, patting your head. One unimpressed side glance and she was snickering behind her hand, so lady-like as usual. Sometimes you envied her ability to be so elegant and poised at all times.

unlike you

 

あなたとは違って 
Anata to wa chigatte

“Hopefully, we’ll see each other in the finals,” she smiled, looking back up at the screen.

“I’d like that,” you answered simply, smiling as well. She would be a powerful opponent judging by what you saw her do so far. Her phone suddenly rang in her hand and you just realized she had it grasped tight in her lap. More so, why had she been alone in the locker room? You’d been too overwhelmed by your own issues to ask.

Her eyes quickly roamed over the text she received and you allowed her the intimacy, by turning your attention to the announcement on the TV.

“Well, I’m gonna go eat something fast before my next match. Good luck out there!” before you could say anything back, she stood up and made her way to the door, waving a quick farewell. You watched a bit baffled by the panicky retreat of your, dare you say it, friend.

She was never in a rush. Always calculated and organized with her time.

She never ‘ate something fast’ or ran out on someone mid-conversation. Your brows knitted together at the way she acted after that text she read. But then you shrugged it off. She was probably dealing with the pressure in her own way. Could you blame her?

Sighing, you laid back on the metallic bench in the middle of the locker room, enjoying the cool surface against your heated body.

You probably had some time to close your eyes before the next match. You’d take advantage of every second you could.

 

 ...

 

“I’m gonna crush you, Shiketsu bitch!”

Well, this didn’t start as well as you would have hoped. You were thrown in with a bully, an aggressive, foul-mouthed, pig-headed girl that thought she was everything. It reminded you of a certain someone.

A quick glance at the stands on your left confirmed that he was there, watching the fight.

With his stupid friend that made you take a foot in your mouth.

Huffing, you returned your eyes to the brown haired girl with pig-tails, cracking her knuckles. “Don’t call me that,” you responded, mildly offended.

“I’ll call you whatever I want, Shiketsu bitch!”

“You’re just repeating yourself now,” you egged her on, frowning. Aizawa-sensei shook his head, unamused, before muttering a “start fight,” and leaving the ring casually. You would have completely missed it if it weren’t for your hearing. The girl, too, was staring conflicted after the retreating Eraserhead, not having gotten the message.

Not until you came at her from above, claws slashing a good chunk of her jacket off. She managed to leap out of the way in time.

“You fucking bitch!” when she landed on her feet, some meters away, she slammed both palms on the ground.

You stood frozen, ears twitching. Nothing happened.

But she wasn’t moving either.

Suddenly, the cement under you trembled and shook, before the whole round arena turned to crumbles and chunks of what was once the platform on which you stood.

“Now you’re in my game!”

Frantic, you looked around yourself, remembering Bani’s words. Earth or sand? What was her quirk? To make such a big area crack and crumble, she must be powerful. So she wasn’t just a bragger, was she?

“So you’re gonna play it or get the hell out!” at that, spikes of mud shot up from the exposed ground, towards you at an alarming rate. Quickly, you moved backwards, dancing between them until you realized she wanted to drive you off the platform.

No! At the last moment, you leaped over the last spike that could have taken you out and put distance between the two of you from her side. Her face contorted into a vicious grin and she moved the hands on the ground, towards you, clenching them into fists.

You didn’t understand what was going on, until earth swallowed you whole, in a dome that constricted around your body fast and relentless. You struggled, screaming, but getting mud in your mouth and nose, kicking, flailing like an idiot.

You should’ve paid attention. She really was going to crush you.

You couldn’t breathe properly, you couldn’t --shit, you couldn’t move your hands anymore. Your legs felt stuck, they hurt, they were being crushed.

A crack resounded and you bellowed in pain.

“The competition can get overwhelming. The last round especially, many from your year have powerful quirks and only the strongest end up competing until the final part,”

The words echoed in your mind. Tears streamed down your face hotly. It hurt, it hurt so bad. She must have broken your arm, it hurt too much!

Too much!

Too much! Too much!

enough

 

    十分な
  
Jūbun'na

You didn’t know how you managed to rip your undamaged arm free, but when you felt that empty, sickening feeling in your stomach, you knew this was it. Your pointy teeth sunk into your hand with fervor, bringing out the metallic taste of blood in your mouth. Blind as you were inside the killing dome, you simply slid the bloody hand over your whole half of the face, feeding it what it needed to get you what you needed.

Beast mode.

The symbol pulsed on your sweaty forehead. Your eyes turned to pin-like slits, your whole body felt flooded, refreshed, ready. Your mind became hazy and the only thing that mattered was to survive, to get out of here, to take down the one that hurt you; a murderous intent rooted itself into your chest.

You tore the dome open with your bare hands, claws digging through and ripping it apart. A savage roar exploded from your throat, silencing the whole arena as you showed yourself, one arm limp at your side, bone tearing from flesh and a hungry, predatory look on your bloodied face.

“What...the fuck?”

She didn’t have time to say anything else. You lunged at her with speed she didn’t expect, punching her straight in the face with a strong right hook and then continuing the assault by twisting lightning fast and striking her down with a roundhouse kick to her back. The impact made her crash to the ground and while she struggled facedown in dirt, you bent and grabbed her by the collar of her shirt, dragged her up to her knees and struck her in the face with a hard knee kick, letting go just as it made contact and sending her flying to the other side of the destroyed platform as a result.

It worked to her advantage, tearing the cement apart. It stopped her from sliding out of the encircled area.

Your mind was getting fuzzier and fuzzier, to the point where you had to fight yourself not to sink your claws directly into her neck when you pulled her up. Your breathing came in heavy pants, but there was no pain registering from your broken arm.

“Is that…” your adversary coughed “all you got, bitch?!” slowly, trembling, she stood on her feet, wiping the blood from her mouth and glaring at you with a swollen eye.

Did you do that? A stroke of panic ran down your spine, snapping you out of the haze.

Enough to leave you open. Two large walls of earth crushed you on both sides, making you wail in pain. Then they crumbled over you, trapping you to the ground, under weight that felt like squeezing your soul out. Your vision was getting blurry, but the beast within you wouldn’t have it.

Raw instincts dictated you survive. So you spitefully glared at the approaching girl, thinking she won the battle. "Say you give up, Shiketsu bitch!" 

never!

 

  決して! 
 Kesshite!

Muscles tensed, brute strength pushed every little bit of what you had left and with a battle cry, you broke out of the earth prison. Your opponent stopped dead in her tracks, eyes widening at your rising form, then quickly trying to find a patch of earth to stick her hands into.

But you wouldn’t let her. Even in your state of mind, you realized the weakness of her quirk. She could only control earth when her bare hands were touching the ground. She left herself vulnerable when she broke the connection.

So you acted fast. You grabbed a chunk of cement with your good hand and hurled it at her while she was distracted with looking for a spot to use, managing to knock her over when it slammed square into her face.

All she managed was a yelp. Then silence.

Was it over? While you were still conscious of your acts, you brought your hand over your face and began scrubbing your forehead of the blood. Was she alright? Moments of clarity slithered in, unbelieving, short bursts of worry traveled through your body as the symbol between your brows ceased to feed.

With the rush gone, came the pain and overwhelming fatigue. As if all your body’s resources had been used to the max. “Did I...did I win?” You could only hear static noise in your ears, and your vision grew darker.

“What’s…”

Oh, these were the repercussions of using the quirk for more than 5%. Did you manage that? Was the girl okay? Was she alive? Were you okay?

There were distant sounds, but you closed your eyes on the world for now. It could wait.

Chapter Text

if they encounter happiness, humans suddenly become cowards.

彼らが幸せに遭遇すれば、人間は突然臆病者になります。 
Karera ga shiawase ni sōgū sureba, ningen wa totsuzen okubyōmono ni narimasu.

 

 


 

She was everything he hadn’t expected.

The fight ended brutally. With Eraserhead almost jumping in after the throwing of that cement chunk, assuming that the next course of action she would take was ending the battle in useless violence. Instead of attacking, however, she merely began scrubbing her forehead frantically, passing out face first into the dirt in a matter of moments, as if she fainted. Did she faint? He was staring dumbfounded. He could hear the same hushed, inquisitive mutters from the other spectators around him and Eijirou. 

It wasn’t by any means a long battle, but it had been intense in its delivery.

Bakugou bounced his leg and squeezed his knee cap with one sweaty hand to keep his cool. The arena was quiet, watching the two opponents, unconscious amidst rubble. “Oh man...wow,” even Kirishima had been reduced to a state of speechlessness next to him, staring befuddled.

Finally, Aizawa, seeing no movement, signaled for the medical teams to come forth, ready to call it a tie between the two.

Unfortunately for the tuft of orange, her adversary shot up with a gasp and a nasty bump on her forehead, almost giving the poor guy that was preparing to check up on her, a heart attack.

“Guess we have a winner, ladies and gents!” Present Mic announced from above, pushing the stadium into a mix between cheering and chattering about what just transpired.

All while Bakugou fought with himself not to go down there and give pig-tails a good punch for the state she left catty-breath in; he resumed to just clenching his teeth and violently bouncing both his legs. Since when did he feel so protective about that wretched girl? Nonetheless, it was obvious, pig-tails' dislike for the latter, the way she yelled and the manner in which she attacked, uncalculated, uncaring if it could kill or not. Eraserhead almost intervened at certain points, when she was slowly asphyxiating her within the earth’s grasp, but the brat got out before he could.

So the fight carried on at another level.

He watched with his breath held in his lungs how quickly she put her adversary on her ass. How fast, how strong she became in the span of seconds and how quickly her mind worked in tandem with her body. Above all, she looked like a goddess of war, ready to tear and defeat, what with her bloody face and broken arm. In fact, she looked like a starved beast being presented a fancy steak. 

dazzling

眩しい 
Mabushii

Such brute, raw strength was a rarity and he’d only witnessed it before in Mirio, one of the big three, when he was in his first year, then with Deku and All Might, but they were in a league of their own; the same quirk passed down each generation, during which it fed and got stronger --perhaps even FatGum? But his quirk worked in a different manner, none of the above came close to what he was seeing. The oddest thing was, he knew those particular moves, that combination of kicks and punches specifically, he’d seen them on TV when he was younger, at an underrated hero that mostly operated in the west, taking down drug and human trafficking rings.

“Berserker?” he tested the name on his tongue, satisfied that he had remembered.

He wasn’t a hero fond of the spotlight, or the media attention, which is why not many caught footage of his doings. It was only rumored that him and Tigris, a well-known chinese hero --Katsuki’s eyes widened. Tigris. Her death had been televised a few years back, those stripes, the orange mop of hair, the toothy grin --it was the only time Berserker allowed an interview; he had been in mourning, so the hero agency he was working for came forward with a public statement and everything, just to avoid putting him in front of cameras in his weak state of mind. He didn’t know if this pro hero was even active anymore.

Was she their daughter by any chance? The similarities between her and the tiger heroine were uncanny.

That’s how Bakugou found himself waiting outside of Recovery Girl’s temporary office, staring intently at the door. The healing hero had left not long ago, to tend to other students that had been facing each other in the tournament.

Swallowing down the uncharacteristic nervousness, in the form of a knot in his throat and an empty pit in his stomach, he turned the handle and opened the door.

a gentle breeze greeted him.

優しい微風が彼に挨拶した。 
Yasashī soyokaze ga kare ni aisatsu shita.

Almost immediately, she fixed him with eyes like a sizzling sunrise, freezing him in the doorway with the bitterness they carried. His heart skipped a beat.

She was sat up in one of the beds on the far end, her arm had been encased in cast and there had been several bruises covered by childish, colorful band-aids. Surely, the old lady’s work.

“What are you doing here?” was her first cutting question, dull in tone. For a second, her irises fell on the victory token he still wore around his neck, making her frown angrily when he caught her looking, with a brush of his thumb over the golden coin and a cocky expression on his rowdy features.

Ah, the angry shiba inu look. Why the fuck was she so cute? Another skip of his heart. It made him mellow down his comebacks. “Wanted to check if you’re dead or not; now I can leave disappointed,” he snarkily answered. Despite that, he slammed the door shut behind him and took a few steps inside.

Her frown deepened and she glared away heatedly.

“You screwed up and lost, I told you not to screw it up,” he casually sat down at the computer desk, in Recovery Girl’s chair, leaning back comfortably with his legs propped up on the tabletop, in an attempt to look cool and composed. The healing hero would probably whack him over the head with her walking stick if she saw him sitting like this though, so he glanced warily at the door, then back to the bristling second year again.

Her face hadn’t changed, but he caught the clench of her good hand in her lap.

“Are you related to Berserker and Tigris?” the way he blurted that out must have seemed bold and disrespectfully direct, but that was his way of going about things. Even when he confronted Deku on his borrowed quirk, he had been the same, cutting straight to the point. Why waste time dancing around the subject anyway? If only he could be that way about his feelings as well...

She tensed under his bleeding gaze and slowly turned her head to regard him apprehensively. “Why?”

“Just cause,” he scowled “Yes or no?”

“They are my parents, so obviously, we’re related,” she hissed irritated,probably at seeing his impatient attitude with her taking her time.

“Tch, so I was right,” he mumbled more to himself than the girl across from him.

“It wasn’t a secret to begin with,” she sneered, to which he smirked and narrowed his eyes at her offended visage “Then why didn’t you say something before? Seems to me like you were hiding,”

Her face fell into a deadpan expression. “Nobody asked, that’s why I didn’t say anything, idiot,” she pointed out calmly, adding an insult to, what she was making it sound like, a ridiculous statement. But he knew better; he also tried not to take the slight bad-mouthing personally, finding it was incredibly easy to let it go when she was concerned.

Seeing as his distrustful stare didn’t go nowhere, the girl scoffed in exasperation. “My appearance is kind of a dead giveaway...why would I --” she took a deep breath “You know what? I’m not gonna play your game, senpai,”

This time, she seemed upset enough to go along with ignoring him completely and that was not the result he wanted. His interrogation had to stop here then. Now for the second thing he came here to do.

Bakugou stood up abruptly, making her shoulders tense, but not considering it worthy enough to glance his way. “You know,” he began, nonchalantly closing the distance between himself and her bed “Even if you’re a loser, you looked pretty badass out there, kicking ass,” and younger him would have probably gagged and punched his current self for saying such sappy things.

Hell, he had difficulty just saying these things now and with his heart racing, palms getting clammy, he was having a very hard time not stumbling over his words. All while keeping a collected, confident facade. 

Nonetheless...

Fuck Kirishima’s way. He’d do it his way.

At his unexpected compliment, however, her eyes widened and she looked up at him with bright, confused eyes. Slowly, so very slowly, to control his hands as not to tremble, he took off the medal from around his neck and paused for a long, quiet, languid moment. The gold glistened in the sun rays creeping through the window’s curtains and for a second, this, now, this juncture, this brief period in time, seemed to grow so important, so special and resolute. For that second, he considered so many things, so many twinkles of thought flashed through his head...but --

why think so much?

なぜそんなに考える? 
Naze son'nani kangaeru?

Her gaze flickered with his movements, following, searching, questioning.

Without warning, he lowered it over her head and let go of it, allowing the silky ribbon to drape over her shoulders, then chest, with the weight.

“You can keep it if you want, as souvenir or some shit,” he muttered, ears flushed and hands habitually hiding in his pockets’ pants “Or you can give it back if you don’t want…whatever...”. The silence that stretched out between them felt unbearably heavy on his shoulders, leaving him wondering if she understood his intentions.

Wondering if --suddenly, the most heart-stopping thing happened just under his awkward scrutiny. Her cheeks blossomed into a rosy color and her eyes, embers in the sun, glimmered like gems as they widened, astute, knowing, understanding.

"Bakugou--"

Finally.

finally! finally...but...

最後に!最後に... しかし...

 Saigo ni! Saigo ni...Shikashi...

Like a coward, he didn’t stay for the aftermath. He turned on his heel and left the infirmary, just as Recovery Girl was making her way back down the hallway. “Oh? Young man, are you alright?” but she didn’t receive any answer, because Bakugou practically sped by her, with his head down, hiding the red color that inflamed his whole face.

The old lady was left staring after him, confused.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

  i thought that there was not enough 'tears' or 'laughter'

 in fact, that was not the case 

  私は十分な "涙"と "笑い声"がないと思った
 実際にはそうではありませんでした
    
 Watashi wa jūbun'na" namida" to" waraigoe" ga nai to omotta jissai ni wa sōde wa arimasendeshita

 


 

Oh goodness...was he there?

For the past week, it’s been a game of cat and mouse after the rather loud but subtle confession coming from none other than Bakugou Katsuki. It was unlike you to sneak around and hide behind walls or people, it was also unlike you to get so affected by something small like a stupid love confession, but here you were, peeking from behind the doors of the cafeteria.

Whenever you let your guard down, your mind would slither back to that absolutely ambivalent moment, playing it back just to wind you up. The problem was that...well, he was so cool, so collected and certain while doing it too, his burning gaze on you, dauntless and sincere, his intentions clear, simple, bold; even the way he said it, while putting his precious medal around your neck…

Ah, your heartbeat quickened just by thinking back.

It wasn’t as if you have never had this happen to you. The issue was that, despite your decent, humble number of admirers you’ve had so far, none of them managed to get a reaction or an acceptance of their feelings to begin with. You’ve never been interested in relationships or pursued boys in any way, dating was a foreign concept to you and nobody so far could garner the slightest of interest from you.

So why did he?

You didn’t like him romantically, right? You just admired his confidence, his prowess, his complete control over his quirk, the way he filled a room just by being there, the way his lip would curl up in that boyish sneer --and what about the things he said a while back? Could you just overlook that? No. You were the kind of person that held grudges for a very long time; why were you fine with erasing his crimes against you? That went against your nature, it betrayed your true self.

If he liked you like that, then why did he say those things in the first place?

“Are we going in or standing here spying on people like two creeps?” Bani’s voice snapped you out of the existential crisis that was currently frying your brain, forcing your attention on her amused face.

You almost forgot you were with her. Smiling awkwardly, nervously even, you tried to make it seem as if you were your usual calm, assured self and stood straight, clearing your throat. “Yeah, yep, sorry, I was just...thinking...about stuff...not stuff, but...just things, not people…”

That went well. You mentally smacked yourself.

“Right. Let’s go in before anyone notices this...whatever this stake out is,” she shook her head and went ahead, past you and through the doors.

Your shoulders tensed, "It's not-" but you followed nonetheless, no use in arguing with her. Besides, it was very cowardly of you to do this and run off like some mouse. You were anything but a fearful rodent. Glancing at the back of Bani, you took that back. For a rodent, she was pretty darn tough and fearless. She did win the Sports Festival, after all, put the earth controlling girl on her ass, you watched it on the TV hooked up in the infirmary.

And even though your father called you after the tournament’s conclusion, telling you he was proud of your growth and your control, you still felt like you failed somehow. He couldn’t come to see you this weekend either, he had a lot of work to do on a little group of villains causing chaos by robbing pharmacies. He believed they were not working solo, but under the influence of a bigger presence --regardless, you had to keep all your emotions in check, tied down, suppressed, as usual. You didn’t want to put more strain on his shoulders.

This was the way he coped with things, by working himself to exhaustion. Sometimes, you would catch him looking at you with saddened eyes and you were certain it was because of your striking resemblance to your mother --it kind of upset you a bit, because you knew you brought back unwanted feelings of grief in your father.

So it was good to have minimal encounters, you reasoned, even if...it did hurt when you knew you needed him to be there and searched for him like any child would for their parent, for that unconditional affection and encouragement.

At the same time, you had to be mature about it, instead of selfish. You needed to grow thicker skin.

Now with Bakugou, you didn’t know what to do.

Walking calmly after your friend, your heart stirred at the prospect of him being there, of him seeing you, of trying to confront you for an answer, he was direct like that --but, much to your surprise, he seemed to be avoiding you the same way you avoided him. Perhaps all this hiding away, running off, averting eye contact routine was unnecessary. Perhaps he realized he made a mistake and felt embarrassed by his actions.

You got your food, you chose the strategic seats in the back of the large room and began eating. Sure enough, talking about trivial things with Bani helped alleviate the anxiety you felt in your bones. The weight melted off your shoulders as you devoured the delicious Miso soup and spoke about the best hero costume makers in the industry.

Kitai didn’t join the two of you today either, which was odd. Instead, he sat with some of the other students from your hero course, Akira and the bunch, at a separate table. Noticing your lingering stare behind her shoulder, Bani glanced back as well, turning sharply to continue her meal. “Don’t worry too much about him,” she assured, chewing on her sandwich.

“Did something happen during the sports festival? He’s been very distant after the competition,” you inquired, brows furrowed together at the possibility. You didn’t do anything to upset him, did you? Neither did Bani, you were certain, it was very unlike her.

After another bite, she elegantly wiped the corners of her little mouth with a napkin and focused her eyes on the rest of the food she had in her homemade casserole lunch. “Nothing happened. I think he just wants to be around guys more, it must be tiring sitting with us all the time, he just doesn’t want to be ostracized by the other boys in our class. Boys will be boys, so let him be one, as they say,” she explained quite hastily.

After a moment or two, you let the topic go. Clearly she was getting unusually irritated by it.

“So what do you think of Nakimura Tohru’s costume designs? I like her work on Silky, the heroine,”

The change was welcomed eagerly and Bani’s eyes glistened. She loved talking about fashion and known icons in the hero society that had made fortunes from creating costumes or just launching their own brands. “Oh! I love her out-of-the-box thinking to be honest! Have you seen Dove’s costume? It looked celestial! The intricate ---”

However, as your friend began talking and talking about the materials used, the geniality behind the outfit and whatnot, your eyes fell on the two people just entering the cafeteria.

oh no

 

  あらいやだ 
Ara iyada

Rubies met citrines.

Your heart skipped a painful beat and you were positive the tingles in your stomach were not because you ate something bad. You could feel the heat coming up, flushing your face as the words he had said before came back to your mind with a vengeance. Immediately, you broke eye contact and stared down at the empty bowl on the table, unable to face the situation just yet.

Bani’s rambling was cut short when she noticed the change in mood and she discreetly glanced to the side “Ah,” was what she managed when her gaze returned to your suddenly timid, quiet self “That makes sense,” she mused.

Flustered, you frowned and clenched your fists on the table “What does? What are you talking about?”

“Don’t get defensive with me. It just makes sense why you’ve been so on edge the past week, hiding behind me, refusing to go eat lunch, sitting in the classroom all day, looking around paranoid as if something’s about to jump you…” she paused, to which you covered your face with both hands, pitifully. You didn’t even realize how obvious you’ve been. “I can go on and on. So, what happened?”

“Nothing,” you quickly hissed behind your warm palms.

“I can just go and ask him myself--” suddenly, her phone vibrated on the table, making you peek between your fingers. In a flash, she swept it up and looked it over, her face falling into a deadly calm, a serious, stern expression you had never seen on her face before.

Slowly, your hands slid over your face and down on the table as you regarded your friend with some worry. “Bani? Is everything--”

Abruptly, she stood up, giving you a strained smile. “Sorry, I’ll have to take this call. I’ll meet you back in class,” and she was gone, rushing past tables and out the twin doors of the cafeteria.

Again, you were left staring dumbly after her. Since that time in the locker room with her phone, she’s been getting a lot of messages and calls that she’s been running off to respond to. She was very secretive about it and dodged any questions you had in regards to the whole ordeal.

Which only made you even more alert and observing of her body language. Was it a boy? Maybe a stalker? Or her family? Was everything alright on her end? She never talked about her parents or siblings, and she was extremely good at deflecting. 

Onto the current problem, however, this was the first time you’d been alone in the same place as Bakugou since that time in Recovery Girl's office and you felt exposed, with nowhere to hide and no one to interact with.

Helplessly, you bit your lip and looked back to the entrance. But he was gone.

Did he leave? Where did he disappear to? 

Your eyes quickly roved the crowded room, then scanned the large body of students to your left, trying to see if you could spot his signature ash blonde spikes. Losing your opponent from sight was bad --well, he wasn’t your opponent, but...the rule still applied. In the animal kingdom as well, with predator and prey. Lose the predator from your vision and you get eaten--

SLAM!

A hand smacked hard on your table, making you shriek and jolt back in your seat, banging your head on the brick column right behind you in the process. Your hands cupped the back of your scalp, massaging through the thick locks of hair, while you hissed at the throbbing pain that surged through.

“What the hell is your problem?”

Opening your eyes, fury overtaking your previous emotions, you snarled at the blond asshole towering over you on your right side. He glared right back, clearly unaffected by the look you gave him and continued with a sneer and the familiar curl of his lip. Oh, he looked pissed. Was it because you’ve been dodging him this whole week? He was doing the same, though!

“I told you if you don’t wanna, just give it back, but you’ve been fleeing as if I’m gonna fucking eat you or something,”

What? Your face turned red with rage. How dare he? It wasn’t as if you were the only one ghosting him, he did the same and now he came at you like this, in public nonetheless! A few tables around the two of you fell silent, trying to hear what he was saying and that knowledge, that people were listening, mortified you. This was humiliating! Rage bubbled up in your veins at his audacity and with vigor, slit pupils settled on him like a piercing bullet.

“If you want it back then I’ll give it to you, idiot! And I’m not the only one keeping clear, senpai, you’ve been scarce lately too,” you stood up to him, meeting fire with fire.

His eyes widened at the challenge. “I don’t want it back, you fucking moron! I thought you needed space or some shit like that!” his tonality became louder, making you more agitated with how many people were beginning to notice the commotion.

please stop

 

停止してください 
Teishi shite kudasai

You didn’t want this. He might not have a problem with people staring, he was like that, he didn’t care what people thought of him or saw him doing...but you weren’t like him, you did care. A lot.

“Just stop!” you outright screeched at him, feeling your pulse quickening at the expression that overtook his features.

For just a fleeting second, you saw through him. You saw the bruise, the disappointment and the sting that he quickly covered with a mask of practiced neutral annoyance, one that he wore too perfectly, too easy. 

“Whatever,” and honestly, that word alone hit you harder than all the things he said before as you watched him skirt by your table and into the crowd ahead. The people that stopped eating to stare, continued their conversations almost immediately, probably trying to not make this more awkward than it already was. Thankfully, only the few tables around yours took notice and the fact that not the whole school was here to begin with, gave you some solace.

It didn’t erase the pang you felt in your chest.

You knew you fucked up. Surely he took that as a rejection, even if you didn’t mean it that way. Coming to grips with that alone, made you frustrated with yourself.

...

After lunch break, you continued your daily routine, finishing classes and retreating towards the dormitories, but not before making a small detour for the minimarket to buy some things. The same one you went to when you felt sick, where Bakugou found you looking for the right kind of rice.

Absentmindedly, you paused by the same aisle, where the colorful packs stared back at you in the artificial lighting from above.

A feeling of longing grasped your heart, so you picked the one you got last time. He walked with you, made sure you got safe to your dormitory, in his own rowdy way. That had to mean something, right? Then the time when he caught you filing your nails, you stopped fussing over them as much after that talk, and even with that thing he said...weren’t boys usually mean to the girls they liked? Your mother used to laugh about that, when one boy in kindergarten used to pull on your hair and ears every day. Later, he shared his toys with you, declaring he will be your husband one day because of his generous act.

You took his toys, but told him simply that you don’t want him to be your husband.

Regardless, wasn’t this the same? At a bigger scale, but similar?

As you went to pay for what you bought, you opened your backpack to take your wallet out while the cashier scanned your items and came across the cruel glimmer of the golden medal, snuggled between your notebooks like it belonged there. You forgot you carried it around like this, with the conflict it came with, unsure if you should give it back and putting it off each day because you'd lose courage.

the first place, his first place

 

 

 

 

最初の場所、彼の最初の場所 
Saisho no basho, kare no saisho no basho

He shared his victory with you, so wasn’t this important, telling enough?

He let you know he liked you, it was obvious with how boldly he showed it. Were you able to reciprocate? How could you know that you liked him back? Was fretting over this proof enough? You would never fret over things like this, you never did in the past. But you had grown older now, so maybe it was just hormones...or probably not. Maybe you continuously put off giving it back for the simple reason that you wanted to keep it...

“Uh...miss?” the cashier lady looked at you awkwardly, having stood there for a while now, ready to take your payment.

“Sorry!” you quickly scrambled through the bag and fished out your wallet, flushing with embarrassment as you handed the woman a few bills. With the speed of light, you took your change, your groceries and ran out of the store.

This was getting really annoying, spacing out like that!

And the spreading feeling of dread, like an empty pit in your stomach, after saying that to him, was not helping either. You didn’t mean that, so why did you say it? Because of the increasing pressure you felt, the eyes that watched, the building anxiety of having attention on you, the things people thought of you while staring.

‘Fuck them,’ --he made it seem so easy. God, you were horrible --because, if you were honest with yourself, with your truest, purest self, you didn’t dislike him. He was a good guy, underneath all that tough hide like the rocky sides of a mountain. In fact, he seemed more real, more genuine than anybody you’ve met so far, even if that sounded mean towards Bani and Kitai. 

You didn’t want to reject him, you admired him, but you didn’t know if you wanted to accept him either.

At the same time, why did you fuss so much over this? It was simple. Did you want to try this out or not? You never dated anyone, so this would be a first, it would be an experience and if it didn’t work, then it would be over. Neither of you would lose anything, other than some time spent together, but that’s what all couples did, right?

And you wouldn’t even have to spend all day with each other. He didn’t look like the type to want someone clingy and you didn’t like clingy people either.

But you wouldn’t know unless you tried, right?

Besides, it would do you some good to...try and be close to someone like him, right? Maybe his confidence would rub off on you, maybe you’d learn new things and make new friends, right?

Right.

You just had to find the courage to speak to him first.

On that note, it started raining, making you groan. “Why wouldn’t you cooperate with me? It’s no good to get a cold now,”

"Then make sure you have an umbrella in your backpack at all times," came a monotone response as a black umbrella covered your sight of the grey sky. Eyes widening, you whipped your head back, only to come face to face with Todoroki's bi-colored irises. "Todoroki-senpai? What are you doing here?" 

He raised his other hand, showing a familiar bag with what you assumed was medicine from the pharmacy you also visited in your ill moments. "Oh, you're sick?"

"Not yet. I wish to prevent it, however," 

That was a good idea. "Are you heading back to the dormitories?" he continued with a question, not giving you the chance to say anything after his previous statement. You nodded, uncertain of what else to add, the fact that you lost the tournament still fresh on your mind. He wasted his time on you, didn't he? Perhaps you should apologize --"Good, I'll walk with you," 

But what about the bus? You glanced towards the station with longing. Having noticed your hesitation, he supplied "Walking is good for your body," and there was no arguing with him over health, you knew that first-hand from your training, when he was extremely attentive of your well-being. 

"Okay, we can walk then," you sighed, giving up and taking the spot to his side when he began the trek back to the Height's Alliance "I'd offer to carry that bag for you, but I feel like that would be insulting," then why even mention it? He was so straightforward and serious with the most trivial of things. 

Regardless, you smiled, because his manner of speaking was so polite and somber that it inevitably became humorous. This was the first time you really talked to him since the competition as well, so, it was due that you should apologize to him for not repaying that with results. The silence, however, was very comfortable, and even if the urge to say something was big on your parts, you didn't dare break it. 

And before you knew it, you were in front of your assigned dormitory, waving goodbye to the male. Maybe next time, then. 

Chapter Text

just one second of courage

 

 

 

 

勇気のちょうど1秒 
Yūki no chōdo 1-byō

 

It had been an extremely stressful week for Bakugou.

One that didn’t seem to end already so he could lock himself into his room and sulk properly. He’d done his best to stay away from her, out of sight, give her the space she needed, as per Kirishima’s suggestion after he had told his friend he did confess --”I mean, she needs to think, man, that’s how all girls are like, the Love&Love magazine says so as well, in this article about relationships--” and now? Now when he got tired of waiting with nothing changing other than her gaze elsewhere whenever they even saw each other in the hallways, Katsuki decided to take matters into his own hands. While also realizing that the redhead knew as much about dating as a peanut did.

Fuck Kirishima’s way, he’d do it his own way. Again.

Only this time, it was a complete disaster and he felt sick to his stomach afterwards, ducking into the closest men’s bathroom to throw up. After what felt like minutes of dry heaving, and after he wiped his face off and cleaned his mouth with water, the ash blond stared into the mirror above the sink he was using, his face unusually pale. The way she looked at him, the way she yelled that he stop, her voice, as if she didn’t want anything to do with him...it made his heart drop. He wasn’t easily affected and he played it coolly in that moment, like he usually did, but he couldn’t lie that he just wanted to be far away after that went down.

Serves him right for straying from his path.

he foolishly thought that he could have both

 

 

 

 

彼は馬鹿げて、彼は両方を持つことができると思った 
Kare wa bakagete, kare wa ryōhō o motsu koto ga dekiru to omotta

He should’ve known better. Getting distracted by something stupid like a crush was a mistake and now he learned his lesson. Never again.

The pro hero to-be waited patiently, uncharacteristically so, for the classes to be done. In fact, by the last hour, he was staring blankly out the window with a large knot in his throat that didn’t seem to go away.

Was this his first rejection? Romantically speaking, yes. Did it hurt? Like a bitch. But like all things hurting him throughout the time, it would go away, he was certain.

The extra salt on his wound came later that same day, when he saw Todoroki walking her down the street through their glass doors, right by their building, while he was in the process of taking off his soggy sneakers from the pouring outside. With wide eyes, he watched as they passed the large windows of the common area, visible for all to see, shamelessly unaware and smiling, under one umbrella.

what the fuck?!

                                                                       アホ か?!
                                                                        ahoka?!

Never in his life did he ravage his room in anger, but this time, he needed the outlet. The moment the door clicked shut behind him, everything was thrown down, smashed and torn apart in a bout of blind fury. He knew he was acting like a fucking child, throwing such a pathetic tantrum, but nobody could understand the frustration he felt in that moment.

“Fuck this! Fuck her! Fuck him!” he straddled his pillow and punched it a few more times, panting and shaking from the rage he felt. Feathers flew all around him as he smacked his face into the softness of it and screamed out his rage, successfully muffling it.

Moments later, Kirishima knocked on his door with a worried ‘hey dude, you alright in there?’ --figures it would be him, he was the only one that actually dared disturb him in moments like these.

“Fuck off!” was the only thing he was able to roar at the interruption, managing to drive his friend away for now, judging by the padding of feet. He knew better than to try and talk to him when he was in this kind of state.

What the hell was wrong with him? All of this for just some girl?

He felt absolutely stupid and --”Argh!” he couldn’t help it, his chest felt like it was being split open and set on fire.

...

Hours trickled by and the rain outside turned violent, the pattering against his window calming his agitated mind.

Midnight found him curled up in his bed, in the middle of the chaos he created, with the light of his phone as the only light source in the darkness. Tomorrow, when the weekend would settle in, he would clean it all up.

Despite his roughed-up appearance, he was a very tidy, neat individual and he despised messes, so naturally he hated being surrounded by one. Cleaning was always a way to keep him calm and focused, something his father taught him to do in order to make all that surplus energy go away when he'd get out of hand. he’d need that. With the thought in mind, he closed his eyes after a while, sighing and burying his face into the pillow, or what remained of it.

Maybe she already had someone she liked. Rejection was something he took into consideration, so why did he react like this? It was the wait that mainly got to him --not like he was any better when he ran off after he confessed.

Another sigh.

He had to act like a man and take this as it was. A rejection. She had the right to say no, he was the one that had no right to get pissy about it.

...


The weekend was gone before he knew it, too fast, much to his chagrin. He fell into a state of numbness, came to grips with the fact that it was not to be. Despite his maturity regarding the situation, it didn’t stop him from glaring at the half-and-half bastard whenever he saw him...or being petty and releasing small explosions when he passed by, just to make him flinch or jump. A provocation was what he was looking for, if he were honest, a chance to beat his damn face in. If only for the temporary satisfaction that he was, indeed, better than the icyhot asshole.

The atmosphere became thick and heavy with tension inside the dormitory and the fact that he didn’t leave the building at all during these days, didn’t make things better. In fact, most of the others preferred to not stay around the common room too long whenever him and Todoroki were there, which suited him just fine. He liked cooking in silence.

When there was nothing else to do, he chose to simply sulk inside his room, searching for ways to move on from a crush, on his phone.

Needless to say, nothing worked.

And then school began again, with the public announcement about the new festivities involving the Cultural Festival and the internships. Naturally, at the gathering inside the campus, he saw her again, among those from her year, listening intently to Principal Nezu’s speech. As it was expected, there was no way to avoid her when they went to the same damn school. She should’ve stayed in Shiketsu.

go to hell

                                                                          死ね
shine

He gave her the nastiest glare he could muster, now that she wasn’t aware of him --when out of the blue, she turned and locked her damned gaze on Bakugou’s, as if she had some kinda sensors telling her he was staring.

His heart skipped a painful beat.

But he bravely held her eyes, irked, accusing, yet hers only softened in response, taking him by surprise and giving him no fuel. Brows furrowed, he watched in bewilderment how she reached into her uniform’s jacket pocket and pulled out --was that the medal he gave to her? Rubies widened in recognizance and he let out a sharp exhale at what came next.

With utmost care, she placed the red-white striped ribbon around her neck and let the golden coin slide down her chest, where it dangled playfully.

His burning gaze followed the motion, confused, surprised...unprepared, before it snapped back to her face for confirmation of what thoughts ran wild through his mind.

She was blushing, watching him intently.

His heartbeat quickened, throbbed, leaped, his palms became clammy inside the pockets of his pants and he swallowed hard, audibly hard. Finally, she offered him a tilt of her head, in regard, and raised her hand up to the symbol of his victory, cupping it in her palm and pressing it to her chest.

She was…

Fuck. She was...she was --she just --an acceptance ?

Heat traveled through his body like a torrent of lava, turning his face and ear tips into a red mess. His brain completely stopped functioning and he opened his mouth, with no words coming out, there was nothing he knew how to say. Instead, he just pointed at himself, dumbly, after making sure none from his group looked at him, of course.

She nodded, then looked away, flushed, embarrassed.

After all of the emotions he went through, after struggling so bad, after ordering a book about moving on from a shady website about break-ups? After destroying half of his room's items and having to replace them?

They needed to talk.

He needed to know, to be sure, to save himself the ache in case this was just her way of saying that she wanted to give the medal back to him.

he needed to know

 

 

 

 

彼は知る必要があった 
Kare wa shiru hitsuyō ga atta

So he waited for her last class to end, even if he had to excuse himself from his with a bullshit reason like going to the infirmary --he had said it so casually that Present Mic probably knew he was lying, but he didn’t really care.

For 30 minutes, he stood stuck to the wall across from her classroom door, squeezing the handle of his backpack so tight he was afraid it might break or he might burn it.

When the bell rang, the second years came out pouring, pausing to regard him being there, whispering questions, staring oddly and moving on with a glance back. She was the last one to come out, with another girl by her side, talking animatedly --until she saw him. Her face immediately lost color and her friend upon noticing him, gave her a pat on the shoulder and skipped ahead.

“Bakugou--” “We need to talk, catty-breath,”

Her face fell into her angry shiba inu look when he called her that, but he couldn’t bring himself to stop using it just because he liked her.

And that’s how they found themselves walking side by side on a detour towards the closest minimarket they both frequented. Simply going to the dormitories didn’t allow for enough time to actually talk, so they agreed to just go by there and turn back, to make it longer. It was her idea, actually, saying that she wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere too far.

The silence was unbearable, especially when there was so much to say. He decided to get straight to the point instead of wasting time marching idly.

“Was that a yes?”

She turned her head to look up at him abruptly, her doe eyes wide and panicked. “Yes? What was?”

He groaned. “Your answer...to...you know...that...don’t make me fucking say it,” he grumbled, his lower lip jutting out with irritation.

“Oh…”

Oh? Just oh? He was ready to chew her up, when she stopped suddenly, forcing him to halt a foot in front of her. With the sun setting behind her, she looked...she looked like she was going to be the death of him.

“Yes, it was a yes….if you still wanna…” she shrugged, looking as uncomfortable as he was.

He glared away and his shoulders slouched as he kicked a pebble from the sidewalk, watching it bounce off into the street. Words pieced together, sentences stitched up haphazardly in his mind “I still wanna…” came his slow, gruff admittance, like a child acknowledging he was in the wrong .

“You have to ask, that’s how it’s done,”

Her voice sounded mirthful. When he looked back at her, his cheeks the color of the reddening sky, she was grinning cheekily, fangs and all, at him. “Who the fuck cares how it’s done! Consider it done!” he snapped, embarrassed with the whole idea. Like hell he would be some stupid ass teenager asking for permission to be her stupid boyfriend!

Her face immediately fell into that deadpan look that he absolutely despised.

“But it’s not done properly. I’m not gonna take it into account then…” she explained simply, beginning to walk again and passing by his livid figure.

“Fine!” he yelled after her, furiously striding up to her as she stalled to glance at him. Glaring, sneering, lip-curled and eyes like they meant to kill, he grabbed her wrist brusquely and clenched his teeth.

….

An awkward silence settled over them.

He still stared heatedly, unable to form the words, struggling, sweating. This was so...disgustingly rotten.

“You look like you want to kill me…” again, with her snarky, big mouth. “I might go through with that if you don’t shut up and let me do it at my own pace!”

“Your pace is the pace of a snail, senpai,”

“Shut up!”

She sighed and yanked her hand from his, scowling and resuming the walk, as if she was giving up on this whole thing. And Bakugou hated being dismissed like this, now of all times, after all the shitty things she already put him through. This was it. This was all or nothing --at least, it felt like it. 

Inhaling deeply, he stomped his foot on the ground, gathered all his courage and --”Be my fucking girlfriend!”

She halted, as if frozen.

A few seconds passed in complete silence. When she finally turned around slowly, she appeared genuinely surprised, with a brilliant red color painting her cheeks. Her eyes glimmered like gemstones in the rays of the orange sun and she smiled brightly. Just for him. Because of him. He made her smile like that.

“Okay,”

And he could swear his heart was going to burst out of his chest. The explosions that rattled his bones when he fought were nothing compared to the fireworks that overtook his stomach or the incredible feeling of a weight being lifted off his shoulders, leaving him lightheaded and drunk on the sight of her in front of his eyes.

That’s how the dating life of Bakugou Katsuki began.

Then he realized, he had no idea what dating really was, because he didn’t think that far ahead. It was a miracle enough that this was even happening. For once, however, he was content with how things turned out.

So, he simply smirked back as he strode up to her, confidently this time. Proud of himself.

Finally. Finally. He kept chanting in his mind, coming up close to her, knowing that from now on he had no reason to avoid being in her proximity like this. That now he was allowed to be there, by her side, when he wanted to be. It felt so outlandish and...weird.

Staring down at her, he grabbed one of her hands in his, quite aggressively and tugged her with him, towards the minimarket. “Let’s go already. I need to buy some shit for myself,”

“You know, you don’t have to hold my --” but the words died in her throat when he squeezed her smaller hand in his, glancing back with annoyance “I wanna. That a problem?” he met no resistance from her eyes, so he returned his gaze ahead. Like hell he’d pass the chance to do this.

Her sigh of defeat was all he heard before her hand held back onto his.

This feeling growing in his chest.

It was euphoric.

Chapter Text

  please do not change tomorrow

 

 

 

 

    明日は変更しないでください
  
Ashita wa henkō shinaide kudasai

 

Did it honestly happen?

It still felt surreal, even after a whole week passed, the Bakugou situation still felt like some distant dream you had the night before, after which you woke up dazed and questioning. Had it been all real? You didn't have much time to wonder or ponder. The weekend was upon you once again and after it, the Cultural Festival was going to take place. Besides the obvious event coming up, the results of the Sports Festival, in the shape of nominations from Pro-Heroes, came in and you were happy to see that two of them saw potential in you: Hound Dog and Mirko. Said workplace training would transpire after the main course, which you were thankful for --as for your hero name, it didn't take long for you to scribble it down, it had long been decided, since you were but a little kid with a big dream. Consequently, all these mentally-exhausting feats kept you distracted throughout school days, busy with helping your classmates plan the program for the festival, deciding which hero resonated more with you and making some changes to your hero costume.

All in all, it was nice to do something normal and you were one of the many that reveled in the change of pace.

Your colleagues decided on turning the classroom into a hero cafe. Where you could use your quirks to make pastries and serve the best coffee ever made, along with different types of cakes and goodies you had all been agreeing on baking. Besides coffee, you also had to arrange a menu, something that you and Akira, the winged boy, chose to write, all that by doing your research first, on the internet, together, in the common area.

The experimental baking in the common kitchen was a disaster, though. Everyone one wanted something different and it ended up a mess, despite the previous agreement. Too many items that you couldn’t cram together, too many ways to do them, too many opinions. You needed something that could cater to a variety of people.

Bani suggested visiting some coffee shops after school, so you could learn first-hand how it was done. Kitai refused to have anything to do with this whole thing, therefore, you, Bani, Akira and a few others, made a habit of going to different cute places that Bani chose from reviews she’d read online.

It wasn’t as fun as it sounded, because you constantly had to pay attention to how the waiters and waitresses acted, the menu, the things they had on display, their displays, uniforms etc. and take notes. During this debacle, you got to spend time with Akira and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, when you got over his initial dislike of you.

“Akira here just had a bad run-in with some Shiketsu students a year back. Nobody believed him when he said he got beaten by them...there was a huge fuss over it from his parents, but eventually everything got swept under the rug. U.A. was also going through some stuff, so...I guess he just held onto that…” one of your classmates, a girl with bright blue hair explained, while said boy went to the restroom.

That was awful and you did know some groups in Shiketsu disliked Yuuei students. Obviously, some took the competition too seriously, both schools had prestigious reputations of making the greatest of heroes.

But Akira was good, all things considered. He seemed a bit timid as well, but good-intentioned and righteous. During your fight in the tournament, he said some hurtful things, yes, and now you knew where they came from; besides, he already appeared guilty enough whenever he locked eyes with you. It was hard to get past a bad experience, but by showing him you were not like what he imagined, you hoped, soon, you would be able to be friends. In fact, he seemed much more at ease with you, going as far as offering you a napkin when you got chocolate around your mouth from the slice of cake you'd been devouring. For once, you were happy, content with the people around you. It was rare that you felt like you belonged and after the Sports Festival, things seemed to get better, there was a bond being woven, slowly but surely.

When you walked back to your dormitory, at Bani’s side, another sort of conversation sparked up between you and her.

Everyone was laughing and talking ahead, but you were the kind of person that enjoyed taking the backseat more than often, observing the ones at the front. Habits like these died hard and even though your friend was confused about it and asked why you did it, you couldn’t for the life of you figure out the reason behind. Simply because it felt instinctual. How could you explain instinct? 

“So, what did you and Bakugou-senpai talk about?” her tone was amused, knowing almost. At that, you recoiled visibly. It wasn’t a subject you really wanted to delve into.

“Just...stuff,” you flushed, recalling the events at the beginning of the week.

Romantic stuff?” she astutely asked further.

Well, after you reached the minimarket, both of you blushing, stealing glances and holding hands, the rest of the time was spent with Bakugou casually going through the aisles, dragging you with, while he chose vegetables and chicken breast for his meal that evening. Granted, it prompted you to do the same, picking and plucking some items that tickled your stomach's interest.

Even though you two didn’t exchange many words, other than ‘this is good’ or ‘where is that?’ ‘oh, it’s here’ ‘should I get that too?’ ‘yeah, it gives the vegetables more taste’, the whole thing didn’t feel awkward at all, much to your surprise. It felt nice to...make physical contact with someone.

Hah, look at you touch-deprived idiot swooning over being held by the hand. Truthfully, the hands were a sensitive subject for you, since you found them repulsive and someone touching them was giving you a heart attack. You didn't want him to think he absolutely had to hold your hand, hell, for a second you wondered if he was being deceitfully nice, but then you remembered this was Bakugou-senpai. There was no nice filter with him, so your muscles became looser with the realization.

Nevertheless, at the end of the grocery shopping, he made sure to force your number in his phone, despite your childish complaints --”We can just talk at school, it’s not like we’re from different areas,” “Don’t fucking care, give me your number,” “But, we live so close too. It’s impossible not to bump into each other--” “Did I fucking stutter, catty-breath?”

By the end of the trek back, you resigned and gave him your number.

He texted you a few times during the week, but otherwise he’s been quiet. Most of the messages were simple‘Morning' s and after you’d respond, there was silence. Nothing more.

Either he didn’t like to text or he forgot he even texted you. Rinse, repeat. 

You weren’t complaining. 

The embarrassed face and sudden quietness, however, told Bani everything she wanted to know. “I was surprised, seeing him waiting for you there. Didn’t take him for that type of guy,” she mused, looking ahead at your goofy classmates. “When did he even confess? Or did you confess?”

Seeing as there was no more dodging “At the Sports Festival...after…” you mumbled, cheeks the shade of tomatoes.

“It had to be him then, you were in the infirmary afterwards,” the bunny-eared girl concluded “You seem more calm now. Last week you were acting so weird and panicky. I’m glad things got sorted out, though, I could never imagine someone like senpai would ever like a girl,”

Yeah, you believed the same. He seemed so driven to win and be the best at everything, that’s how he ended up in the top three students of Yueei. The three most likely to become pillars of the society, like All Might had been.

So much weight on his shoulders. He needed a titanic kind of strength to carry that around with him everywhere and absurdly, there he had been, confessing to you --putting another burden on himself for no reason. What even did he like in you to prompt him to act on said feelings? He appeared very out of tune with openly saying things…

But you weren’t better either.

“Please don’t tell anyone. I don’t like the thought of people knowing…” you stated casually, the conversation stopping with Bani’s vigorous nod.

gossip. you dislike gossip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    ゴシップ。あなたはゴシップを嫌う。
  
Goshippu. Anata wa goshippu o kirau.

As soon as you got to your dormitory, you settled down on the bed, your friend placing the two plastic bags with the cupcakes you bought for later, on your mostly empty desk. The two pairs of shoes were left on a mat by your door, two pairs of fluffy slippers taking their place. You always had an extra pair just in case someone visited.

“You still didn’t give your room a makeover?” she inquired, looking around. It was simple, very impersonal; you couldn’t bring yourself to put the effort into it, honestly, you felt too dejected when you first moved in, so you left it as it was. Empty, cold, unwelcoming.

Your Shiketsu uniform was hung inside your open wardrobe, with a few other clothing items, your bed was covered in dull grey covers and there were a few books here and there. “You should really do something nice with this. It doesn’t even feel like you’re living here,” she sighed, taking a seat next to you.

“I...I don’t really know...what I can do…”

Bani hummed, leaning back on her elbows. “Put a personal touch. Can you think of something that you like? That feels like home? Something that makes you feel warm on the inside?”

A warm feeling? Like...like when you and your mom would huddle around the kotatsu table in the living room, underneath the heavy blanket, with mugs of hot chocolate, peeling oranges. She was so dexterous with her claws, they peeled so easy when she did it, unlike you, who often slaughtered the fruits into messy, mushy, slops. The smell felt almost real if you closed your eyes. Father would join you two, and he always kissed the both of you right between your eyebrows when he got home. You and your mom would wait in cue for that, baring your foreheads of bangs, smiling. Then your siblings came, one by one into your lives and the cue got bigger. The table was filled, small feet under it, giggling, shuffling and there were more oranges to peel while you soaked in the warmth.

“I think I can…”

...


You searched for a place that sold kotatsu tables, the good kind. Once you found the store that you’ve been looking for, along with a location, conveniently within range of Musutafu’s centre, you counted your money.

Your father always sent enough to keep you comfortable, but you never spent a lot. Therefore, you had enough for such a purchase.

But how would you carry all of the things it needed. The top, the futon, the table itself? It wasn't about strength, more like numbers. Shamelessly, your eyes fell on your phone by the laptop. Shifting in bed, you rolled on your back and swiftly began texting your ‘boyfriend’ --"It feels weird to even think it," you mumbled to yourself. Surely, he would help, right? That’s what boyfriends were for. And you read enough magazines, shoujo mangas and novels to know that they were supposed to be helpful and eager to make their girlfriends happy.

So you gave him a chance to do it.

‘senpai, can we meet tomorrow at the bus station?’

You pressed send and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more. Thinking that he wasn’t interested, you were ready to put the phone aside and think of another solution, when it chimed a sparkly chime.

‘At what time do you want to meet?’

‘nine.’ you swiftly replied, narrowing your eyes at how polite his speech was through text. You expected it to be a bunch of typos, insults and explosive, careless writing, like his personality.

...

No answer.

Was that a yes? You’d take it as a yes.

 


 

 

On the other line, Bakugou was sweating profusely, draped casually on the common area’s green couch. Was this a date? His wide eyes kept re-reading the exchange, again and again. It had to be. To think she would be so bold about it too, he hid his face behind a hand, brows furrowed in furious awe. What kind of man was he? Letting her make the first step? Then again, it wasn't as if he knew how to do this shit and asking someone about it --anyone --was out of the question. He would have to to everything on his own from now on, go with the feeling in his gut.

It would be a lie to say he hadn't been waiting for something to happen. Since the beginning of the week, when that happened, he’d been euphoric, in a state of calm content that his classmates took notice of too fast for his liking. It pissed him off when they were so perceptive in regards to his change in behavior. Kirishima especially --who was now grinning from ear to ear, trying to see what made Katsuki so flustered after reading whatever was on his phone.

Izuku and Uraraka were sitting at one of the dining tables, comparing notes from a class, where the latter didn’t understand something. Once in a while, their hands would brush, their eyes would lock and they would blush bashfully at one another; truthfully, because he'd been watching, Bakugou was this close to say something that would humiliate the nerd, until his phone buzzed with her message. And the tables turned.

Iida was across from him, on the opposing couch, typing feverishly on his laptop and Mineta was next to him, smiling creepily at something on his phone from his laid-down position over the armrest.

As if everyone could sense the change in mood, eyes swarmed upon Bakugou’s tense figure, shielding his phone from the redhead sitting next to him, the sports magazine he'd been ruffling, long forgotten. “C’mon, show me man, don’t be like that, I wanna see!” Eijirou whined in what he considered a hushed tonality. Only, it wasn’t hushed. Kirishima’s obnoxious whisper was like spying on someone with a broken washing machine. Impossible.

“Get outta my face, shit for brains!” the ash blond hissed back, pushing Red Riot’s face away with a clammy hand.

“See? See what?” Mineta’s stare was fixed on the two boys across, with a glint in his eyes.

shit



kuso

They stopped, frozen at the inquiry, with Kirishima nervously waving him off after exchanging a weary look with the ash blond “Nothing, nothing Mineta! Haha!” and Bakugou had to pinch the bridge of his nose, sensing a headache already beginning between his brows. “No, I wanna know too! Come on guys, you never let me in on things,” the short grape-haired boy moaned, twisting on the couch.

Ever present, Iida intervened with a chop in the little pervert’s direction “Mineta, it’s not nice to intrude on someone’s privacy. If Bakugou does not want to share this with you, then the sensible thing to do is to stop prying,” another chop of his arm “How would you feel if he were the one intruding --”

“I wouldn’t mind sharing,” came the interruption from Mineta, a dark, creepy aura floating around him when he looked Iida in the eye. The glasses-wearing male grimaced away when Minoru suddenly whipped the phone in his face to prove his point, two large pairs of breasts overtaking the whole screen.

“No, please, stop it!” a quick, defensive chop and the phone flew from the short boy’s hand and landed on the floor, under the gazes of Bakugou and Kirishima. Both their faces turned a dark shade of red and instantly, Katsuki kicked it away, under the couch Iida was seated on.

“Hey no, that’s my phone!” Mineta quickly dove after it.

“You’ve got no self-restraint you short piece of shit!” but the change of topic was welcomed, no matter how annoying the moron was. Time to retreat.

As soon as he stood to leave the common area and worry about the real problem at hand, he was met with Deku’s calm, calculative, analyzing stare from across the room. Ochako was cluelessly glancing between the boys fussing over Mineta's doing, while the two rivals held each other’s gaze.

was he looking for a fight?

 

 

 

 

 

 

彼は戦いを探していたのですか? 
Kare wa tatakai o sagashite ita nodesu ka?

“What you staring at, shit-face?!” having had enough, the louder of the two broke the silence.

His strong voice snapped the green haired boy out of that irritating state of overthinking and almost immediately, he gave Katsuki a nervous smile, raising his hands in defense “N-Nothing Kaachan,”

Sneering, he turned on his heel and left the common area.

Iida sighed, Mineta whined because he couldn’t reach under the couch with his short hands and Izuku watched helplessly how his childhood friend departed the possibility of being interrogated. As expected, Kirishima waved at them, yelling a 'good night' before following his comrade up the stairs. It was hard to admit it to himself, but sometimes he was envious of how close the two were and how easily accepted Eijirou had been by Bakugou. Even from the start, they got along so well...

“Something’s up with Kaachan,” he told Uraraka, returning green eyes on the notebooks splayed over the table “Ah, you think?” the girl echoed, beginning to scribble down some definitions, her yellow puff pen grazing her fair cheek. The motion mesmerized him for a few quiet seconds.

Forcing his attention from the cute sight of her face, Izuku nodded. “He’s been acting strange for a while now. I wonder if he’s alright,”

Uraraka paused abruptly, then turned to him with big innocent eyes “Oh yeah! Come to think of it. He usually flaunts his medal all around after the Sports Festival. Last year he did it for a whole month, remember? Now I haven’t even seen it once!”

Oh? He didn’t even notice that detail. Ochako was so observant~ “He’s growing humble,” she declared with a fist pump.

Midoriya cringed. No, that surely wasn’t it. Bakugou and humble didn’t go in the same sentence.

“My teachings must have finally gotten to him, then,” a solemn conclusion made itself known, right next to them, scaring them both with its appearance. “Iida!? Where did you come from? You were all the way over there--” “I have always been here, Midoriya,”

Right.

Well, he’d find out. Bakugou was a very complicated individual and if he’s learned anything along the years, it was that he kept most things bottled up. Like he did with All Might's untimely retirement, back in their first year. The memory was still vivid in his mind.

It was decided. A heart-to-heart, hopefully not a fight, would solve this mystery.

Or he could just ask and if he got exploded, then at least he tried.

Chapter Text

the first step is always the most difficult.

    最初のステップは常に最も困難です
  
Saisho no suteppu wa tsuneni mottomo kon'nandesu

 

If this was a date, then she wasn’t dressed for the occasion.

Bakugou, in all his splendor, black jeans, buttoned up burgundy shirt, new leather jacket and white as snow sneakers, on which he spent a considerable time to make look so pristine, was currently staring dumbly at the girl waiting for him at the bus station.

Her mess of tangled orange was a crazy, big, thick bun strapped on top of her head, strands fanning out from her temples. It wasn’t a bad look on her, per say, but mixed with the oversized yellow hoodie that looked worn out, as if it were her comfiest workout go-to, the yellow sneakers that appeared just as ratty, with only a pair of black tights on and a black backpack slung over a shoulder, carelessly at that, she didn’t quite make the picture of a girl going on a date.

And that was the first red flag in Katsuki’s mind when he approached her.

Embers locked on him, striped cheeks and pin slit pupils, dot-like brows coming together in a cute frown that signaled annoyance. “You’re late,” then, she looked him up and down, while his anger simmered into his belly “And now I know why. What’s with the get-up, senpai?” she cheekily asked, the angry shiba inu expression melting away.

Honestly, the ash blond was speechless.

He even put the effort in making his hair look less insane, with some hair gel he got from Kiririshima in his quest to look as presentable as possible on this important moment of their lives, which was starting to crumble slowly under his feet. “We lost the 9 o’clock bus. We’re gonna have to wait for the next one,” she supplied again, at his silence.

What the fuck was going on?

“What the fuck is this?” he managed with the calmest tone he could muster, the picture he had in mind of her dressed prettily, excited for this event, nervous, cute, feminine, withering in the heat of his red gaze.

She casually fished for her phone, from her hoodie’s kangaroo-like pocket on the front and busily tapped on it with both her thumbs, face scrunched in concentration. Didn’t she hear him? Irritated, he stepped up to her and roughly plucked the phone from her fingers, forcing her attention on him.

“What are you--” “What the fuck is this?” he hissed between gritted teeth.

She stared up at him for a silent second, and he could almost see the wheels turning, until --“You’ll see. You know, senpai, you don’t have a lot of patience,”

His eyebrows twitched in rising anger. “Stop this senpai shit! Where the fuck are we going?”

Her eyes widened before they narrowed in a glare. “I said : you’ll see!” and with that, she snatched her phone from him “Now if you’ll let me look at the route on my phone so we don’t get lost, that would be nice!”

Oh, so she was gonna sass him out now? “Well it would be fucking helpful if I knew where we were going and I might be able to help with that fucking issue!” he roared back at her, getting in her face.

Now she looked like a pissed off rottweiler, baring teeth and snarling. “The center of Musafatu,” she hissed, bristled and ready to pounce.

His shoulders loosened and his gaze broke from hers, turning towards the approaching bus.

“That’s our bus then,”

“I know. I told you we missed the first one,” “Just shut up,” he grunted before grabbing her hand and signaling for the driver to pull up at their station, lest they miss this one too. As the tires scrunched the pavement, the tell-tale squeaking of breaks and opening of doors, the girl decided to add a snarky “He was going to pull up anyway, you didn’t need to wave your hand like that,”

He decided to let that go with a vicious snap of his red irises back at the aforementioned snarker, yanking her with him to the back seats under the judgmental gaze of an old lady in the front. 

While he begrudgingly plopped down by the window, she gracefully took her position next to him, sinking into the red cushion and checking her stupid phone again. Upon glancing down at what she was doing, he noticed she was actually studying some route on the map application, a familiar one to him, marked with blue. “It’s only eight stops, don’t bother with that shitty thing,” he muttered, folding his arms over his chest, adding, quite irritated, “And this better be worth it,”

start date

開始日 
Kaishi-bi

The second rising red flag in Katsuki's mind should have been the moment they were standing in front of an old looking shop that made traditional furniture for traditional households. After almost getting lost through narrow alleyways and dubious looking areas, the girl finally halted and tugged on his jacket, forcing him to look up from his own phone, where he'd been busily focusing on finding their way back to a main street that he'd know.

Livid, he turned to regard the awestruck tuff of orange by his side, seeing the delight in her sparkling eyes and the tight clasp of her hands over her heart. “I think this is it,” she whispered, as if it were such a sacred place that a loud voice could cause it to crumble.

Incredulously, he returned his crimsons on the offending store.

“What the fuck is this, catty-breath?”

But she wasn’t planning on entertaining him with an answer; she grabbed his hand --for the first time, voluntarily, which caused a stir of tingles and fireworks to erupt in his stomach --and dragged him inside. As if by magic, all bubbling anger settled into a calm sea, floating him into the unknown, his hand instinctively closing around hers and feeling the points of her claws grazing his skin.

An older woman greeted them with a smile and with a standard ‘welcome to Mujin, let me know if you need assistance,’ to which his companion only nodded dismissively and marched deep into the shop, passing by the kitschy showroom part of it, where various furniture items were ordered in a manner that resembled the old japanese houses in the posh areas of Japan. For a second he was certain that this was where Shouto got the materials to renovate his room inside the dormitory to look like a fucking temple shrine, that creep. 

but

    
しかし
Shikashi

What exactly was she looking for and why the fuck were they inside a furniture store?

Breaking her lulling spell, Bakugou snatched his arm back, halting her quite easily and making her look back at him with big, wide eyes. “Wait a fucking second,” he frowned “Why the fuck are we here?” the cussing flowed easily on his tongue, matching the irritation beginning to spill through his veins again.

“I want to get a table,” she replied flatly. He stared at her, unable to make up any coherent words.

Was this seriously their first date? Buying a table? Did she like this kinda stuff? Kirishima had said something about girls wanting to go to places where they feel comfortable on their first dates. So, was this it? Was this what made her comfortable?

A heavy sigh passed his lips and he pressed the heel of his palm to his forehead, disbelief and defeat mixing together.

Fine. This was fine.

He would help her get the best fucking table ever then. Giving up on this just because of this little hiccup seemed silly now and that old hag of his mother didn’t raise a quitter.

Besides, he really liked her and he got so far already. Why back off now?

Just cause she was into furniture? There were far weirder things out there, he was certain.

“Fucking great. Let’s get you your stupid table and ditch this place,” he grumbled out, sliding the palm over his face and letting it fall at his side. That seemed to please her, because she nodded and began walking ahead, eyeing different pieces of furniture here and there.

Throughout the process, Katsuki chose to stay quiet and simply observe her, because, firstly, he had no damn idea about interior design and secondly, because he preferred to let her do her thing, the sooner the better. However, the way she lingered by certain items, the way she measured by eye, how she touched the surfaces or analyzed the structures, was all intriguing to see, wondering what exactly was going through her mind.

Until she stopped at a specific one, a kotatsu table, made of what looked like distressed wood.

“You like this one?”

She didn’t respond. Instead, she slid off her backpack, setting it down and approached the item, kneeling just next to it and placing a hand over the surface. Slightly offended that she once again ignored him, Bakugou tried his best to keep it under control by stuffing his clenched fists into the pockets of his jacket and glaring childishly at the girl.

With muscle-memory movement, she slid her legs underneath the table and laid her forehead over the top, stretching her arms out at the same time. “I like this one,” she mumbled after a few silent seconds, turning her head to glance up at him.

thump thump thump

her eyes

彼女の目 
Kanojo no me

That expression completely disarmed him. There was a certain something in her gaze, a sadness so fragile that he immediately felt guilty for pushing her around. A knot formed in his throat. He swallowed it down like a disgusting pill.

“Why this one?” his curiosity bested his better thoughts, however, and he couldn’t help looking at the other twenty tables that appeared similar.

“Because it feels familiar,” she answered without missing a beat, unbothered by his prying.

Familiar? Did she miss her home? Didn’t she move from --ah. He was a moron, wasn’t he? “My friend told me that my bedroom looks empty, so I decided to fill it with something familiar,” she added, sitting up and brushing her fingertips over the polished wood. “I’ll take it,” came the verdict shortly after “And you’re gonna help me carry it,” her eyes mirthfully swooped over his face “It’s not an issue of weight, just too many parts that I can’t carry alone,”

So...is this why she called him? “Since you’re my boyfriend now, I wanted you to be the one to help me, that’s what boyfriends do, right?” she cheekily asked, irises glistening with mischief.

He wanted to kill her and marvel at her at the same time. The first thing that made him stop trying to strangle her for using him was the fact that he was the one person she thought of to rely on, and the second thing was that she called him her boyfriend, which made him redden and glare away furiously.

“You’re a fucking piece of work, aren’t ya?”

“I’ll buy you a burger, from that american junk-food place by the minimarket,”

Was this how it was gonna be? Did she think that would placate him? “Whatever,” blazing reds turned further away from the smile threatening to curl her lips, jaw jutting out in annoyance at how easily he gave in.

but, that's normal, no? 

    しかし、それは正常です、いいえ?
  
Shikashi, sore wa seijōdesu, īe?

Next, she picked a decent duvet for the table, one that had some weird duck pattern all over, in a baby blue that she believed felt homey, no matter how embarrassing the print was. So that’s how they ended up trudging down the street, Bakugou carrying the duvet and electric heater under his arm, all dressed up and fuming, while she carried the heavier pieces, the table bottom under one arm and the table top under the other.

Honestly, this was emasculating, but no matter how many times he insisted on being the one to lift the heavy weight, she always looked at him funny and came up with some logical argument that deterred him from going through with it.

His only hope was that nobody familiar would see him in this predicament.

When they finally reached the dormitories, after a whole hour and a half of walking through streets and dead ends thanks to her shitty phone, the girl insisted on him hiding behind the hedges around her classroom’s designated building, explaining that she didn’t want rumors to start about him coming to her room. “Fair enough,” his agreement pleased her, and he watched her run up the steps like the furniture she was carrying weighted nothing.

Seconds after, he also watched her jump out the third floor's window, onto her all fours, all color having drained from his face as she ran back to him to retrieve the duvet and the electric heater, as if what she just did was a normal occurrence.

“Are you fucking crazy?”

“It was faster this way. Do you wanna eat while it's still light outside?”

“As if it’s my fucking fault you wanted to go furniture shopping,”

“It took longer than I expected. I didn’t know it was that big of a place,” with finality, he shoved the offending printed material into her arms, glaring heatedly. “Just fucking go,”

“Will do, senpai,

“I told you to stop with the stupid --” but she was already bouncing off, a certain giddiness in her step that he hadn’t seen before. Was he the cause of that? She looked like she was enjoying herself throughout the time they spent together so far. That was good, right? Was she gonna come back? What if she just ditched him now? It's been morethan five minutes already. Bakugou paced around the hedges, as if he weren't supposed to be there, the more time passed, the more he felt his mouth drying and his stomach knotting.

When she returned to him, this time using the door like normal people did, she was smiling, and all his doubts fled from his anxious heart. In order to mask his previous mental conflicts, he gave her an unpleasant scowl --“Do you even know how to put that whole thing together?” he snarkily asked when she stopped by his side.

“I’ll figure it out,”

And without warning, she brushed her hand over his, a sudden shyness peppering her striped cheeks in a crimson hue. Then it retreated timidly, as if she changed her mind, but it was already awkward with him staring between them sporting a quirked brow.

They stood like that for what felt like an excruciatingly embarrassing eternity. 

“Was that your weak ass attempt of holding my hand?”

Her face fell into that sour deadpan expression she wore so well. “Let’s just go already,” she skirted by him, clearly flustered by his remark, but he just shot out his hand to catch hers before she was too far.

Her head snapped back at him with shrunken pupils and beet red cheeks.

Shit. She was cute. 

 

...


The darkening sky found them sitting down at a corner booth inside Billy’s Burgz, chomping down a burger each, with fries on the side. Even though she appeared famished, Bakugou observed with amusement, she was still making an effort to eat as delicately as she was able; small bites, plucking one fry at a time and avoiding eye contact while maintaining a blank face.

He chewed carelessly on his meal, rubies staring across from him at the tuff of orange. Today hadn't been the best time of his life, true, but it wasn’t the disaster he had imagined this morning, either.

This was a win. He’d take it.

Pausing, he reached for his drink and slurped noisily the remaining juice at the bottom, earning him the unimpressed stare of his company. “Stop that,” she chided half-heartedly.

He spitefully made it louder, the sound forcing a scowl out of her this time and he watched mesmerized how her pupils turned into thin, black pins within the golden sea of her irises, giving her a rather feral appearance. “Tch. Or what?” he challenged, front teeth digging into the straw of his plastic cup.

“I’ll break up with you,”

When they barely even got on a first date? Was she fucking serious? One brow rose daringly, questioning her statement. When she abruptly stood up from her seat and skirted by their table, Katsuki sputtered a mix of words in bewilderment “Wha--I didn’t fuckin’ --wait the fuck up ---” but before he could stand up as well, she pinned him down with a glare.

“I’m going to the restroom,”

Oh. His face twisted in disgust and he returned to his meal, or rather, her meal, catching the roll of her eyes as she left.

She didn’t have to fucking tell him that. He pulled the rest of her fries in front of him, along with her strawberry milkshake, which he found that he really disliked after just one sip.

With his features contorted, he allowed his gaze to sweep the place while he waited for catty-breath to finish her business so they could go. That is...until he saw a green haired moron walk in, all serious and determined. That’s when all color drained from his face and he began looking around frantically, trying to find a space to hide--maybe under the table, but if she returned and saw him like that, surely she’d --”Kaachan!”

Oh shit. 

“Kaachan? What are you doing here?” the ever annoying Izuku had already marched up to his table, wide eyes watching him cluelessly. Bakugou was frozen in his spot, unable to come up with one coherent lie, while his eyes darted behind the idiot, in case she showed up. He was pretty sure she didn't want people seeing them like this, as per request a while ago, when she asked him to hide while she took her belongings to her room. This wasn't good, this wasn't gonna end well. Hopefully he'd leave before she came back. Bakugou was ready to say something, when the other male interrupted him.

“Actually, I think this is a good opportunity to talk,” and oh so casually, Midoriya took a seat across from him and Katsuki screeched internally, sweat building up over his forehead and palms, forcing him to clench his hands into fists. As he was holding the milkshake in one, the pink liquid came splurting out through the straw and onto the table, under the strong vice grip squishing the cup.

Both heroes-to-be stared at the mess.

“Just like I feared. Kaachan, do you need someone to talk to?” the teen began, concern etching his face “Because I am here to listen this time. I remember last time, how ignorant I was about the way you felt and how it...got out of control. I’m looking to be better at reading people--”

Katsuki was dying inside, pale and staring blankly at the freckled face of his rival trying to have a heart-to-heart with him at the most inappropriate moment. “I mean,” he fiddled with his hands, placing them comfortably on the table, in the seat that was not his “I know you’ve been very distant lately, more quiet than your usual self and I guess that’s what really gave it away. This time, let’s not fight, let’s talk like adults, like this. If we communicate our emotions more accurately then we will definitely avoid any conflicts in the long run --”

What the fuck was he rambling on about?

“Bakugou-senpai,” oh no, she was back. He didn’t even see her coming. With panicked eyes, he turned to look at her, standing idly by their table, staring at Izuku with her usual deadpan expression that betrayed no emotion.

“Ah? Oh, hello! You know Kaachan?”

Bakugou covered his face with a hand, pinching the bridge of his nose and letting it slide down his absolutely mortified face. It was as if everything was going downhill from here, like a land slide or an avalanche. “You’re occupying my seat,” she replied in a monotone voice, still staring at him.

Deku looked between them, then cracked a shy smile. “I think you have the wrong table? Me and my friend have been here --”

“Stupid Deku, can you just fucking leave?” Bakugou interrupted from across with angry eyes and a snarl on his face. No use hiding anymore.

“Why...she clearly --” a second or two trickled by. “Oh --OH!” the green haired boy scrambled up so fast that the girl had to move out the way, watching him stumble out with furrowed brows.

“I’m sorry, you were on a d-da --oh, this makes sense now, everything does --oh no, did I --oh, I’m sorry Kaachan, I didn’t know that --”

But before this could go on any longer, Katsuki shot up from his seat, face completely red, grabbed her hand and dragged her with him out the door, leaving behind a sputtering and utterly embarrassed Midoriya.

It wasn’t until a good distance away that he let go of her hand --thankfully she didn’t say anything, just allowed him to zoom them by, down the streets, in silence.

“That fucking moron, screwing up everything all the time,” he muttered to himself, stomping towards the direction of the dormitories “Tch, should’ve punched him in the face --”

he was always unlucky. how embarrassing...

    彼はいつも不運だった。どのように恥ずかしい...
  
Kare wa itsumo fuundatta. Do no yō ni hazukashī...

“Senpai,”

Her voice snapped him from his rampant thoughts and he paused just long enough for her to catch up with him. “You’re walking too fast, I don’t wanna run after I just ate,” she stated unamused, giving him the angry shiba inu look. He felt words dying in his throat and glared down at the pavement, kicking his foot outward and stuffing his hands into his jacket pockets.

“He wasn’t supposed to--” “It’s fine. I didn’t mind,” she quickly intervened, as if she knew what he wanted to say. His lip jutted out when she tried to peer at his face and he turned his head away just to avoid letting her see his shameful grimace.

“If you don’t wanna anymore, then it’s fine…” he mumbled in an unusually quiet voice. After all, could anyone blame her? That was fucking embarrassing and with how bad Midoriya was at keeping things to himself, he couldn't vouch for nobody finding out one way or another about this. She didn't want rumors to start and he just fucked that up. He was gonna kill that stupid moron, wipe the damn floor with him and --

“I do wanna. You had to put up with me furniture shopping, so we’re even now. Next time we can go somewhere further away, so the chances of bumping into people we know will be slim to none,” she spoke calmly, side-stepping in front of his face with a little, barely-there, smile.

That caught him by surprise and he was left staring dumbly. Was she gonna let go of this so easily? 

“It’s getting cold, can we go now?” his heart leaped in his chest and it fucking hurt just looking her in the eyes. Closing the distance, she yanked his wrist free from his pocket and held his hand into hers as she pulled him with, in a hurried walk.

He had no choice but to stumble after her, hiding his scalding hot face with his free hand.

she was going to kill him.

    彼女は彼を殺すつもりでした。
  
Kanojo wa kare o korosu tsumorideshita.

 

Chapter Text

the worst nightmare is witnessed with eyes open

 

 

 

 

    最悪の悪夢は目を開いて目撃される
  
Saiaku no akumu wa me o aite mokugeki sa reru

 

The next week was a complete dazzle. A rain of stars and little gasps ruptured from your lungs, making you feel lighter on your feet, air-headed at the most inappropriate moments and fuming. He didn’t wait for you at the end of classes, no, but he did brush by you whenever you happened upon the same hallway and he did sneakily hold your hand in the crowd that gathered for the Festival’s beginning speech, delivered by yours truly, principal Nezu. Luckily, the classes were mixed together instead of holding an individual row, so finding each other was quite easy.

Or rather, him finding you. He always amazed you with how easy it was for him to locate you. Then again, you did not look that common, not even in this gathering of quirky individuals.

You surprised yourself with how much you actually came to enjoy this….couples thing; the presence, the subtle lingering gazes, everything. For some reason, it came to you naturally, like you’d been waiting to have someone close to you in that way. Or perhaps, those were just the hormones of a teenager speaking their mind, but you couldn’t deny that there was something glimmering, crackling and electrifying about the way he looked at you, even all the way across in the cafeteria, even when he didn't sit with you. There was no irritating clinginess, nothing suffocating about how he approached you.

It didn’t mean that you didn’t have to fight yourself over why he was interested in you. In classical you fashion, doubts, insecurities and anxiety piled up on top of the stress coming from your worries about your internship and the Cultural Festival looming over.

Then you kept going over the events of your, dare you say, date, when he was patient with you picking out the perfect kotatsu table, while you waited for him to simply up and leave. By the way he was dressed that day, it was clear that there had been a misunderstanding in what you both expected from the other--so, would you have blamed him if he left your crazy ass at the store? No.

Subconsciously, that was what you expected and you glanced at him every few minutes during the bus ride, wondering when he’d throw his arms up and jump ship.

When he didn’t, you felt warm and fuzzy inside, but also the nail-biting question of why, rearing its ugly head. Why hadn’t he left? Sure, he did say he liked you and all, but crushes were temporary, weren’t they? Nobody could possibly like you, of all people, enough to put up with that, right?

right??

 

 

 

 

   でしょう??
  
desho??

Regardless, at the end of day, when you got up to your room and did a few happy spins, with a ‘falling on the bed breathless’ finale, you gave yourself a pat on the back for managing to keep all your usual negative thoughts at bay. He looked like he genuinely enjoyed his time with you, and he selflessly believed that you wouldn’t want to be with him anymore just because that guy from his class saw you two --it was a journey, one that you still had to recover from and get your shit together. Time during which you put together your kotatsu table and allowed yourself to get toasty and warm under the duvet while you chewed on every detail that made the date, good and bad, slamming the breaks when necessary.

After all, you knew you got carried away easily. You didn’t want to be blinded, you weren’t that kind of girl. For all you knew, this could just be a phase for him, after which he’d end up liking another girl and so on. Leaving little broken-hearted you on the sidewalk, feeling like garbage. You didn't wanna be garbage. 

...

The coming of the special day everyone’s been waiting for kept your mind focused on more urgent matters, such as decorating the classroom and giving it a coffee shop look, rearranging the desks, going all out on the candles and the flowers, the menu and the outfits.

All the girls ended up wearing a typical waitress ensemble, black tight skirt, white frilly blouse and white frilly apron, with black shoes to complete the look. You had made sure you tied all of your thick orange locks in a high ponytail, making it look puffier than it really was, just to avoid having hair fall in people’s drinks or sweets. The shedding season began and your brush already looked like you could make another couch for the common area from all that gathered on it --not to add all the hair on the carpet and pillow, bed, everywhere.

When it was all done, Bani and you were quite pleased with how it turned out, the hard work paying off. You even sent Akira and some of the other boys to offer flyers that Bani handmade the previous night to advertise your little project. That had some of the teachers show up, in tow with students from other classes, juniors and seniors, at your doorstep.

So you and the other classmates welcomed them all with big smiles and warm greetings, so unlike you.

Before you knew it, people kept coming, waves after waves, throwing you all into quite an attraction, considering two other classes decided on making their own quirky cafes. Finally, after four hours, you switched roles with two other girls and took a break outside the classroom, where Bani sighed in relief “Ah it’s so good to take a breather!”

You smiled at her and looked down the hallway, over her shoulder. There were so many decorations and small shops put up throughout the school that you were just itching to go see. From what you heard, the seniors of general studies had set up a haunted house as well, with the help of the ones in technical support, so you were pretty sure that was awesome and worth a try.

The other hero course of your year had their own future guessing & tarot readings hut, along with magical trick shows that you were intrigued to go watch.

“I think our coffee shop was a success,” the brown haired girl commented, taking out her phone “It was a good idea to check out the real thing. Our menu was very good, I heard Midnight praising our strawberry shortcakes!” she beamed at you, before turning her gaze to the screen of her device.

“I’m happy. We got to work together and some of the people that came in were civilians, probably writers from newspapers. Do you think they will write an article about U.A.’s Cultural Festival?” you leaned your back against the wall, next to her.

“Pretty sure they always did. It’s always been a big deal,” she chuckled “You want to go look at the other main events? I hear that the seniors are battling in a music band contest on the stage outside. It should begin any minute now,”

“I’d like that! Maybe we can go to the haunted house under our floor as well. Some of the students that came in were saying it’s crazy scary,”

No reply came from your friend, so after a few seconds in complete silence, you turned to look at her.

And your smile completely vanished at her expression. She turned pale, which was something considering her tanned skin tone, her eyes were wide, she looked terrified, sweaty and panicky.

“Bani? Are you--” “I’m sorry! I have to go,” she cut you off, snapping her head to you and placing her phone screen down over her thigh. “You’ll have to go alone, but I’ll make it up to you, I promise,” she hurriedly squeezed your shoulder with a strained smile and bounced off shortly after, rushing by and knocking people out of the way in the process, yelling sorry left and right.

Puzzled, you watched her disappear from sight.

how strange

 

 

 

 

    奇妙な
  
Kimyōna

These sudden vanishing acts became so frequent lately that you started worrying. Was this about a secret boyfriend? You blushed at the notion, feeling entirely hypocritical for thinking that. It wasn’t your business. When she felt comfortable telling you, she would. It simply bothered you that she didn’t trust you as much as you --scratch that, you hadn’t told her about Bakugou either.

Might as well explore on your own then.

Sighing, you allowed your feet to carry you down the hallway in the opposite direction of where Bani went, embers passing over various set-ups and colorful ornaments hanging from ceilings and classroom doors.

Given that this event was open to the public, there were many civilians peppered around, along with some police officers and pro-heroes guarding the perimeters.

In your opinion, it felt exposed and vulnerable for U.A. to open their doors like that, but in their opinion, it was perhaps a show of strength and unity, screaming ‘I’m not afraid’, on the social media screens and tabloids.

Somehow, you ended up outside, a good lengthy distance away from the stage and the on-going battle royale happening upon it, between class 3-A and 3-B, the music blasting powerfully throughout the large field, full of reporters, cameras, civilians, parents and students cheering their favorites. Figures everyone would flock around the more bubbly events, the more dynamic and interesting ones, instead of the static ones like your classroom's cafe. 

As you took in the stage and the instruments, the flashy rocker outfits and the whole arrangement, no wonder you didn’t see Bakugou at all for the past two days, he'd been working hard alongside his fellow colleagues. And right now, he looked like he was having the time of his life, drumming away in the spotlights, behind some of his guitarist classmates. In fact, you could spot Mina as well, and that annoying guy from the fast-food place that took your seat. Your location didn’t betray your presence and you were far enough away that you didn’t mingle with the crowd either.

So you indulged in the sound and grinned to yourself.

Until someone bumped your shoulder as they passed, jerking you back and making your good will vanish in favor of a nasty scowl.

“Hey, watch where--” but as soon as the guy turned to look at you, your voice died and your brows scrunched together, a shiver going down your spine. He was wearing a hoodie over his head and his face looked pretty banged up, giving him a very scary appearance when he glared at you with menacing, sickly green eyes. Not to add, he didn’t look like a teen or a parent. His aura was weird and the vibes he gave off made your skin prickle.

His mouth suddenly turned into a creepy grin, mouthing something that had you take a step back, instincts spiking in alarm, before his companion, a just as shady character, grabbed his shoulder and pulled him with, forcing him to move forward.

There was something that felt intrusive to your mind, tug at the seams, prodding.

You stood there, eyes wide and lips pressed together, unsure, anxious, hackles rising. Should you report the suspicious sight? Maybe you were just overreacting. Surely your imagination was playing tricks on you and your anxiety probably made you see things that were not there. It was easy for you to misinterpret certain gestures or expressions and overthink them.

That was all. You slammed that topic to rest.

this is enough

 

 

 

 

    これで十分です
  
Kore de jūbundesu

Your gaze returned to the show, but as soon as you eased into the spectacle again, something began nagging at your conscience. “Why can’t I just have a good time?” you questioned yourself acidly as you peeled yourself away, deciding to return inside the school and go check out the haunted house.

Suddenly, the ground shook as a powerful blast resounded in the distance, another following suit and then another and another.

You whipped around, but a wave of aftershocks sent you tumbling backwards in an instant. Dust rose in the air and your ears rang, eyes wildly searching the surroundings --”What the fuck?”

You slowly moved your aching body, panicking when you still couldn’t hear properly, senses muddy, and you took in the sight behind. There were people running around aimlessly, some bleeding, others laid dead on the ground, there was a big ass fire towards the entrance of U.A.’s grounds, there was smoke, thick and black and pro-heroes shouting orders, carrying people, shoving debris aside.

The walls around U.A. were crumbling, blasted in some powerful explosions, if the craters were anything to go by. Villains were swarming the grounds, battles erupting between the evil-doers and the heroes present.

U.A. was under attack, your mind supplied.

why did this happen?

 

 

 

 

    なぜこれが起こったのですか?
  
Naze kore ga okotta nodesu ka?

And you didn’t even know you were shaking and wheezing. Not until hands grabbed and shook your shoulders. Turning your widened eyes to the person, focusing on who they were, your brain quickly realized it was Bakugou. He was saying something, but you couldn’t --your breathing became erratic and he shook you again, snapping you back from your panic attack, keeping your eyes trained on his.

‘Go hide’ he was saying, reading on his lips ‘Get cover,’

“What’s happening?” you asked, the ringing slowly becoming static noise, allowing you to hear a very distorted version of what was going on. Your question was stupid but you needed to be sure “We’re under attack, moron, what the fuck do you think is happening? Now get the fuck out of here. Round up as many first years as you can, they’re the most vulnerable. Hide the fuck away until we get this handled,” with that, he let go, turning his fierce red eyes to the direction of the most commotion.

Your fingers dug into his arms. When did you even manage to grab him? “Bakugou--”

He glanced back at you, teeth clenched and fearless. “Go!”

That made you lurch back and let go of him, brain wiring up, taking off towards the school building, with a sprint that had your calves aching in protest. Adrenaline, however, had your muscles numbed after a while.

Where were you even going? What could you do in this situation? Rescue training felt foggy as you tried to remember, as if you couldn't tap into your memories, as if it didn't even exist.

Your feet squeaked on the tiled stairs of the first floor in an abrupt turn. Heart hammering in your chest when you saw the collapsed form of two dead students, gritting your teeth, you only paused when you reached your classroom, sliding through the door and swinging it shut behind you. Ringing in your ears, again, that annoying ringing driving you crazy. You couldn't focus properly! 

You grabbed your head and wailed in protest. 

“Tora?” the voice made you hiss in defense at the unexpected presence, baring your teeth at...your classmates? There were many of them inside, huddled together, some cowering under desks, others having taken a defensive stance when you probably barreled inside, in an attempt to protect the others in case of a villain finding them first.

They were wearing their hero costumes. How?

Seeing familiar faces, however, you let out a deep breath and fell down on your ass, panting heavily and trying to get it together while you were safe. A comforting hand touched your shoulder and you tensed up, eyes snapping at the owner, your breath hitching when embers met embers.

“Mama?”

She smiled down at you, crouching as you scrambled away on your hands, until your back hit the solid wall. Behind her, the bodies of your colleagues lay torn open in a grotesque display. “This is impossible,” you whimpered, beginning to tremble. Her bright orange locks, wild and long as you remembered, her golden eyes, her specific stripe pattern on her forehead and cheeks -- wearing her scent.

Your hands came up to grab into the roots of your hair down to your scalp, claws digging into your flesh as you went into a full-on panic attack, wheezing and sputtering nonsense.

“Hush now, I’m here,” her deceiving voice cooed, making you look back at the horrifying sight twisting right before your eyes.

Her smile became vile, her hero costume bloody and her face smashed and torn.

“Don’t you recognize me?”

You screamed. Hard.

...   ....  ......   .........

That’s when you felt it. Pain. Searing. The chime of a bell. In a flash, everything changed around you, turned, vanished like an illusion and left you breathless. It felt as if you had just woken up from a nightmare while you were taking hungry gulps of air and stared at the ground below. People looked so small from up here.

Blink. Once. Twice. A strong breeze made you inhale sharply.

You were standing on the ledge of the school’s rooftop. One leg about to take a step into the nothingness that awaited over that boundary. A surge of electricity ran down your spine and you lurched back, gasping, falling down on the safety of the hard surface behind with a pathetic shriek.

What the fuck? Your eyes were blown wide, lungs starved for air and heart racing madly, as the realization of what was about to happen slowly sunk in.

You were about to jump.

You were about to jump your ass off this roof and kill yourself. A headache made itself known, pounding painfully, your conscience was blurry at best and you felt as if you just woke up after days of being asleep. Your body was trembling violently with the epiphany.

Your first instinct was to check the surroundings. So, you crawled fearfully towards the ledge again and peered over it, both hands hoisting you up just enough to see --nothing. There were no crumbling walls, no smoke, no fire, no villains or hysteric civilians and students, no fighting pro-heroes, no post-apocalyptic portrayal. The distant sound of the ongoing concert slowly overtook your ringing ears, letting you know that the festival was carrying on as planned, without interruption.

So what the hell was the shitshow you just went through? “What the fuck? What the fuck?!” were you going mad? You brought a hand over your forehead, only to find it sticky. That had you pause and lower your fingertips to your eyes. As if your senses were catching up with the dazed state you were in, the smell of blood intoxicated your airways.

It didn’t coat your quirk symbol, but it did linger down your temples.

It must be what you felt. That pain that --”Woke me up…was it an illusion?”

But it felt so real.

Fuck, you were hyperventilating. The hard breathing made your vision bleary, your eyes blinking back tears that you didn’t even realize you were producing. With the prospect of an untimely death, also came the rage. Losing control over yourself, over your own body, over your damn mind was something that effectively screwed up with your head.

Puzzle pieces came together as you quivered, limbs becoming numb against the cold cement as you slid down on your haunches.

This was the effect of a quirk. You’ve heard of such things as mental manipulation based quirks, they weren't as uncommon as one would prefer, and the fact that you’d been trapped in some nightmarish world while your body carried itself on the roof with the intent to end your life, that sure as hell said something. Malevolence. Villainous intent.

Immediately, your brain shifted its attention to the man that bumped into your shoulder earlier and the way he looked at you. It felt peculiar, disgusting and creepy at the same time, it rose many alarms in your head, you remembered the odd tug you’d felt afterwards, the prod, like the prick of a needle into your conscience.

The event had been open to the public. A villain managing to slither through was not surprising. Now you cursed yourself for not going to report the shady occurrence to the first pro-hero you could find, but perhaps that was the deranged fucker's plan, make sure you didn’t tattle by causing a little, easy-to-cover, accident. Who would miss one less student?

With trembling fingers, you rubbed the blood off of your cheeks, away from your forehead, taking in shaky breaths and exhaling slowly to calm yourself down.

Going to the principal now was futile. There was no guarantee that Nezu would believe you, there were no witnesses to back you up and the guy was probably gone already, along with his companion.

So you had nothing. This was going to have to stay with you. Besides, having a mental breakdown here was not going to do any good.

For someone that was about to splatter the entrance stairs, you were taking it in a pretty rational step-by-step fashion. That was your logical side overtaking the emotional one in times of crisis --it felt vaguely familiar, like when you watched your mother’s demise on live TV.

Nobody had to know about this incident.

Calmly, you stood up on buckling legs and breathed through your nose, focusing on making it seem like nothing happened. You quietly dusted off your skirt, re-did your ponytail, checked yourself for any other injuries and made a note to find a mirror on the way back to the classroom.

It wasn’t the healthiest method to cope with shit, but it worked for you.

As you stared your reflection in the dim girls' restroom a few minutes later, you kept telling yourself that heroes did this every day. They dealt with trauma and shock without a peep --so you had to do that as well if you wanted to be like them one day. Keep it together. Swallow down your pathetic whimpers. Grow thicker skin. Weak hearted people didn’t get to become saviors.

But as you entered the wannabe cafe classroom, you couldn’t help the flashes of your mother’s twisted and torn face appearing before your eyes, or the haunting sight of your brave classmates huddled like scared animals under the desks...or the crunch of broken glass on the floor, from the ear-splitting explosions..

“Hey,” a hand landed on your shoulder and you jerked away, sharply, making eye contact with a surprised Bani “I thought you went to check out the haunted house. Don’t tell me they managed to scare you so bad, you look like you’ve seen a ghost,”

“I --yes. It was pretty scary…” you meekly replied, remembering your plan to move on as there was no end result if you decided to chase this.

Say thank you to your guardian angel that you were still alive. Bad day, bad run-in with a psycho. You’ll go through worse.

“Are you okay? You look really bad…” she scanned your face and then stopped when you pulled away “Yeah, I just feel tired. I think I’ll go to the infirmary,”

 ...

And that’s where Bakugou found you after what felt like a good two hours of silence behind the cover of the curtained bed. Being alone with your own thoughts allowed you time to get your shit together, right as the ash blond menace slid the curtains aside with the power of a hurricane. An angry, concerned hurricane.

“What the fuck is this, catty-breath?”

You blinked, unimpressed. Did he go to your classroom to see you? Did he ask anyone where you were when he didn't find you? Ah, your classmates will start suspecting things, with him showing up so boldly. Surely Bani knew something was up by now. 

Crimsons roved over your whole body, in search of the reason why you were here in the first place and when he found none, he scowled at you. “Oi, you gonna answer me?”

He was still dressed casually, from his band battle royale, and the frantic image of him shouting at you to run in the midst of the attack, had you avert your gaze from him. “I wasn’t feeling well. Too...many people…” you answered vaguely.

He didn’t need to know. He didn’t need your stupid weight to carry. You’d carry your own.

Rough fingers suddenly squeezed between yours, intertwining almost aggressively by your side. The gesture took you by surprise and you turned to look at him questioningly, only to find him glaring down at the sight of your hands laced together, red faced and lip jutting out.

“Do you need anything?” he asked, brusquely. You just stared at him confused “...anything?” not knowing what else to say, or what he meant by that.

“Yeah, like a pill or some fucking water, I don’t know!” he snapped, looking angrily into your eyes, the redness on his face spreading to his ears.

“No, I’m fine…” no, you weren’t “Can you...stay for a bit?” your gaze fell on your lap and his hand tightened its grip as an affirmative, despite his offhanded ,“Whatever,” and plopping down on the side of your bed unceremoniously, much to your annoyance, and making sure to not let go in the process. You discretely smiled at the thoughtfulness, spike of irritation gone, and took comfort in letting your hand be enveloped by his warmth.

Small talk helped. Distractions worked even better.

“How was your day, senpai?” you began, the exhaustion settling heavily in your bones as you finally relaxed against the bed's headboard.

“Fine,” he grumbled, hunching. 

“Did you win?”

He scoffed “Of course, who do you take me for? That loser Deku?”

“Does your class have any plans later?”

“Just going to some stupid ramen shop. I don’t think we can bring anyone --” “I know, it’s fine, senpai,”

“Quit it with the senpai shit,” he grunted, giving you a sideways glare “And...it’s not like you’d wanna go anyway,” he wavered at that, turning his head to fully look at your face in order to make sure he didn't fuck up “...right?”

You rolled your eyes. “That’s not my idea of spending the rest of the day, no,”

“Tch. Course it isn’t,”

 

of course

 

 

 

 

    もちろん
  
Mochiron

 

 

Chapter Text

i miss you

    あなたがいなくて寂しいです
  
Anata ga inakute sabishīdesu

 

The student uniforms changed with the rising temperature; from long sleeves to short ones, from warm tights to knee-high socks, from jackets to nothing at all, leaving a lightness on the shoulders reminiscent of something tasting like childhood, simpler times and watermelon.

This was not the only change that Bakugou witnessed as hours became days and days became a whole week of buzzing restlessness. There was something boiling under the surface when it came to her. She was like a frozen lake, dangerous to step on, ice thin, deathly cold waters underneath, or like a volcano, laying asleep but not quite. Her, the girl he had come to text almost on a daily basis, if not hourly basis sometimes, was behaving in a way that he didn’t know how to deal with.

He wasn’t an expert in relationships to begin with, so the chilling shoulder she was showing was a situation that he had no knowledge in approaching.

Since that day at the Cultural Festival, things seemed to slow to a stop between them, or actually, a smash-the-breaks kind of stop, with the flying through the windshield, just for good measure. And with the summer break looming over, internships and exams beginning for them all, it was really pissing him the fuck off when he was given no explanation.

One red flag up. The next illogical action she took came in the form of what he considered a bad decision.

her lips look dry

    彼女の唇は乾燥して見える
  
Kanojo no kuchibiru wa kansō shite mieru

“I chose to intern under Hound Dog,” and when she had said that, he couldn’t understand why, especially since she mentioned Mirko, the fifth top hero, had shown interest in her abilities. His mind tried to comprehend why she would go with the obviously crooked path to success. Didn’t she want to become a great pro-hero? Interning under a top hero would guarantee a smooth sail. Did she prefer to struggle?

It was during one of the rare times she actually spoke to him, after he caught up with her walking alone on the way to the dormitories. Her skin was sickly pale, her voice strained and her whole appearance disheveled in a manner that made him grimace unintentionally. What the fuck happened to her to affect her like this? “You look like shit,” --he realized later that those weren’t the most sensible words he could have said at that moment, especially when she turned to glare at him heatedly.

her eyes look tired

彼女の目は疲れて見える 
Kanojo no me wa tsukarete mieru

Then she stopped answering his texts or calls. Second flag up.

At first he blamed it on the internship keeping her busy and the exams she was studying for dutifully, but after a while it became clear he was being ignored. That caused him to snap at anyone invading his space, even by just glancing at him in a way that he didn’t like. Deku and his less talented classmates took the worst of the brunt, while Kirishima dodged it expertly, after two years of already dealing with the worst of Bakugou’s moods. It never went beyond roaring, stomping and throwing things at them, however. He’d grown out of picking fights for the sake of releasing the pent up anger, instead, he focused on the sidekick work he was assigned by Best Jeanist. Apparently, the pro-hero had a hand in taming the more tempestuous impulses in Bakugou, even if he would never admit that out loud. With the time left, he studied and worked out, either by lifting weights and reading at the same time or jogging and listening to audio-books.

This routine kept him distracted during the day throughout the late hours of night. Inevitably, in pitch dark, with only the light of the phone illuminating his features, his thoughts travelled nack to her and the nerve she had to ignore him like this, while sliding his thumb over the many unanswered and seen texts.

He wouldn’t bend. Bakugou Katsuki never did. No matter the person.

Until someone knocked on his door at 10 PM, when he was busily lifting weights on the side of his bed, while skimming over a book about the history of the world before quirks, as he found it fascinating how people used to live without them in the past; a quirkless existence for everyone. The ash blond threw the dumbell on the floor with a snarl and marched to the door, already annoyed with being interrupted, ready to yell, only to find the meek form of Izuku shuffling awkwardly in the hallway.

“Hey, Kaachan,”

With a grunt, he slammed the door in the idiot’s face.

“Kaachan! I think I know why you’re upset! Can we talk...please?” the muffled voice coming from outside made the explosive teen grit his teeth and scowl at the wooden barrier separating him from strangling that moron that thought he knew every fucking thing. As he stood there, weighing his options, the part where he ripped out that fucks’ tongue out sounded better and better, especially with the recent things that had been going on.

And the embarrassing position he was put in during their ramen shop outing, where the nerd decided that telling their classmates about their childhood together was a good idea. That time he almost climbed over the table to burn the fucker if it weren’t for Kiririshima that held him back.

Sadistically, he settled on amusing himself and swung the door open again.

“And what the fuck do you think you know, Deku?” his smile was cold, sharp and predatory, forcing a few stammers from his rival “Uh...I --Umm...a-are you…” he gulped under the smoldering red gaze of Katsuki’s running patience “I-is it...b-because of that girl?” his voice went completely high pitched at the end when the blond’s eyes narrowed dangerously.

But come to think of it. He nailed it, for once in his obnoxiously oblivious life, he nailed it.

“Fuck off,”

That only served to make him perk up, eyes growing wide with realization at being right. “So that’s --” yet Bakugou cut him off by grasping his shoulder tight in warning, grin turning wicked “I sure fucking hope you didn’t tattle,” at the hushed threat and the bubbling heat against his flesh, Izuku frowned, an expression so oddly out of place on his features that an image of All Might’s face flashed through his mind, a fierceness so alike it made his curling lips settle in a firm line. Calmly, Midoriya gripped his wrist and pushed his hand away slowly, locking eyes with the disbelieving blond.

things change

    物事が変わる
  
Monogoto ga kawaru

“There’s no need for threats, Kaachan, I didn’t tell anyone,”

His tone was different and Bakugou was reminded that this Deku was not the same Deku as three years ago. This Deku could stand up to him and unlike the younger version, this one learned how to be brave.

So Katsuki scoffed and shoved his hands in his sweatpants’ pockets, all malicious self-indulgence lost. “Glad you learned how to keep your mouth shut when it’s necessary,” he grumbled “But I don’t need to talk, to you of all people, about that kinda stuff. So get lost,” and with that, he closed the door, albeit, with the same rude slam, in Midoriya's face.

He had made his mind up to climb in bed by now, all energy leaving his body in a state of exhaustion that was unlike him.

“I wanted to let you know that Midnight requested us to give the second years a little speech about the upcoming provisional license exam--”

Exhaustion that was gone in an instant, the same door flying open, with Bakugou’s guarded stare fixed on the smiling nerd. “If you’re lying--” “No no!” the boy raised both hands in defense “I’m telling the truth! You know how after our generation, they returned to only allowing second years and third years to participate in that examination process,” he blabbered, waving those hands awkwardly “They have the summer vacation to prepare for it, but like us, they need a good word, so they know what to expect! We’ve had our licenses since our first year, we can definitely give them some tips, right?”

Going to her class, seeing her again, giving her pointers, sharing his experience in the license exam, her having to listen to what he had to say, unable to interrupt him? Yes. He very much liked the idea. Absentmindedly, he smirked, scenarios already playing in his head. Seeing the positive reaction, without knowing the depth of his thoughts, the freckled boy added “She asked for the three of us, me, you and Todoroki,”

At the mention of icy-hot, Katsuki sneered, all excitement gone from his face. But they were the top three of Yuuei, it did make sense, no matter how much he disliked it.

“Sure, whatever. When’s this?”

Izuku grinned from ear to ear. “Next Monday! Right before the exams and right after their internships end!”

Such good timing. Almost planned.

What he didn’t expect, however, was to be rushed inside the Gamma Gym by Cementoss, full hero costume, smack in the middle of the very intense training session that the 2-A class was undergoing, in the pursuit of developing new techniques for their quirks in the spirit of the upcoming event and milestone in their lives. For a moment, he was tongue-tied, awed by the colorful costumes and flashy quirks being used all around them, but when silence completely fell over the students and twenty pairs of eyes turned to them, stopping what they were doing, he inevitably allowed his gaze to seek her out among the bodies.

fuck

 

くそ 
Kuso

And he found her, alright, in a tight spandex bodysuit, no less, that sported long sleeves and no leg material, exposing her bare thighs and fleshy buttocks to everyone present. It was cinched with a black utility belt that broke the orange of the whole outfit and went well with the striped pattern of the suit, which also gave a continuation to the skin’s dark stripes growing more faded as they went from her hip to her calves.

Crimsons roamed shamelessly.

The long sleeves ended with fingerless, black and studded gauntlets that looked menacing even from this distance, the same as her black, mid-calf high studded boots that had a white fur lining around the tops and ankles. The same fur, exaggeratedly big and puffier, could be found around her neck, like some sort of a jungle tiger’s mane. In respect to the whole theme, her usually crazy mop of orange was gathered in two large buns atop her head and a black mask accentuated her golden eyes.

Golden eyes that stared mortified at him from across the field.

“Alright, gather around everybody! I have a little surprise for you brats!” Midnight shouted, grinning from ear to ear. But Bakugou’s attention was completely on her livid expression, slowly walking with the others

She was right to be. What the fuck was with that stupid revealing costume? Letting her ass hang out like that with so many idiots around oogling it. They thought they were slick, but he could see the dumbasses falling behind just to watch and elbow each other with perverted ‘look at that’ grins, while the rest of the class gathered in the middle of the gym, lining up.

“As you can see, I’ve brought the big three of Yueei to our training session today. The reason for this is so they can share their experiences as participants in the provisional license exam and sidekicks to professional heroes. You already know that you will be going through the examination process as well this year, so I expect you to listen carefully to what they have to say,” she gestured towards them, Izuku nervously waving, Shouto muttering a quiet uninterested ‘hello’ and --

Bakugou shooting nasty, pissed off glares at the boys in the group, snarling and appearing all around scary, forcing a few eyes to drop down at the floor, intimidated. These little bastards better learn their damn place before he did it for them. Whatever Midnight was blabbing about stopped registering in his mind as soon as that same menacing gaze fell on her, watching him with those cute brows drawn together.

Oh. The angry shiba-inu look. Some of his anger simmered down, like a dog being told he was behaving badly and scolded with just a stern glance.

“I believe that the only piece of advice I can really give is : don’t give up!” --what? He glanced at the green-clad Deku as he said this, surprised to find that he didn’t catch any of whatever happened. Apparently he’d finished his speech, as they’d discussed before getting here. Let him talk first, since he was the friendliest of the three and they didn’t wanna scare them off by letting him go on in the beginning. As expected, there was murmuring and hushed conversations coming from the younger students across from them, some impressed with what the nerd had told them, some nodding, some skeptically eyeing them up.

Bakugou resisted rolling his eyes. Instead, he rolled his shoulders, the metal collar around his neck feeling a bit annoying all of a sudden, as if he hadn’t worn his hero costume so many times before.

The difference was that now it was under her scrutiny, the heaviness of it making his stomach tingle, wondering if she approved of this side of him, the hero part of him. Like a peacock, he puffed out his chest just slightly, making himself look more imposing.

“Bakugou? Do you have anything you would like to say?” Midnight suddenly asked him, forcing his eyes to snap back towards the expectant faces of the second years before him. He could tell some of them looked up to him, by the way their eyes were sparkling with interest at what he’d have to share.

So share he did.

“Don’t half-ass anything you do. Get to the damn point and win, cause that’s what heroes do,”

A long silence stretched out over the students, who exchanged looks and waited for the continuation of that...continuation that never came, as that was the only piece of advice Katsuki formulated for today’s meet-up, finding that nothing else could sum up the way he conducted himself.

Beside him, Deku smiled awkwardly “That’s v-very good advice, Kaachan!” he chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. Soon enough, murmurs broke out, some agreeing, others smiling nervously as to not get on the explosive hero’s black list. The reactions were not as grand as he expected them to be, so he huffed and jutted out his lip --what ungrateful pricks.

Todoroki was the next to talk, taking the stage with his usual unsettling coolness, and Katsuki took the opportunity to look at his stupid girlfriend again, finding her mingling with her classmates, talking to one of the girls next to her in hushed whispers.

The fact that she was ignoring him made him clench his gloved fists at his sides.

As if sensing his murderous stare, she met his angry reds with her glimmering citrines. She didn’t seem angry with him anymore, and she looked less sickly than when he last saw her, that was good.

Then her cheeks blossomed in a pretty shade of pink and he lost his breath.

There were flutterings in his stomach and he felt this need to just go up to her and hold her hand or bite her head off or scream at her or do something, anything. He didn’t know where this overwhelming feeling came from, but it had him break eye contact, embarrassed with the realization that he just missed her.

Never in his life had he submitted to someone else’s stare.

never

    決して
  
Kesshite

“What about the work you do as sidekicks? When you graduate, are you gonna be part of the agency you interned at?”

Questions began pouring after Todoroki told them they can ask them anything as part of their visit, and, thankfully, Deku proved himself helpful and took the challenging ones in stride, answering most of them based on their own knowledge. Sometimes icy-hot would come to his aid with short addings, while Bakugou sat there mostly annoyed and abashed, stealing short glances at their audience.

Until he noticed the way the winged boy by catty-breath’s right was watching her with a dumb smile on his face as they exchanged a few quiet words and he knew that expression well, he knew the stupid grin and drunkenness in his eyes, he saw that plenty of times in Midoriya whenever Uraraka talked to him.

“Oi, bird-brain, why don’t you look at us when we speak, ha?”

He didn’t even care he had interrupted one of Deku’s ramblings about how rescue missions were extremely important and the highlight of the provisional license exam, he just felt his blood boiling and needed to let that moron know that he’d been caught red-handed. “Not interesting enough for you? Think we came here cause we had nothing better to do?” he expertly avoided insults, but that didn’t stop Deku from giving him a panicked look, seeing the rising smoke from the ash blond’s hands. “Kaachan? What are you --”

“This moron thinks he can just disrespect us --” “Kaachan!

The winged boy just stared wide eyed at him, then at Midnight, who intervened by coming between them and placing her hands on her hips with a click of her tongue. “Tsk, Bakugou, please refrain from verbally attacking my students and interrupting your classmates,” at her serious, spiteful tone, the explosive male huffed and crossed his arms over his chest, grumbling cusses under his breath.

Todoroki sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, clearly wanting this to be over with.

“Well,” Midnight, once again spoke up, clasping her hands together “I believe that’s enough for today! We will be seeing more of the top three next week, when they will give us a demonstration of their most powerful moves that they created themselves! Just so you all get an idea of what is expected from you!”

With that said, they were hurried out by a disappointed Cementoss, having to drag the angry Bakugou with, while the latter kept glaring aggressively at the terrified winged extra until they were outside. Even then, he raged and huffed and puffed.

“Why the fuck did we even have to wear our costumes anyway?”

During the walk back to the main building, the male growled and hissed about everything and anything, from the way the girls were all dressed in 18+ outfits to how disrespectful the class was throughout their q & a. The green haired boy already figured what the problem really was, but he chose to not vocalize his findings, in fear that it may trigger his old childhood friend further.

“I would guess it’s more impactful, seeing us like this,” Izuku offered, smiling meekly. Next to him, Todoroki simply nodded. “They have seen us on TV, I’m sure, working alongside heroes ion the field, so I guess that it felt more real, even serious, when we showed up in our gear, it’s supposed to leave an impression,” he continued.

Bakugou scoffed. “So why were they dressed in their costumes then?”

“Because they need to get used to the feeling of wearing them, so they can make changes in case anything is uncomfortable, before they go out on the field,” Todoroki explained, with Deku nodding his head.

That actually did make sense, much to his chagrin.

It didn’t change how he felt about seeing her plump ass-cheeks all up in everyone’s faces, no matter how hot it made him just from memory. He stomped onward faster, not wanting the other two seeing his beet red, steaming face.

How the mighty have fallen.

Chapter Text

 

 

quietness before the storm

    嵐の前の静寂
  
Arashi no mae no shijima


Robbery in progress.

That was not what you expected to happen during patrol on your last day of internship. Hound Dog was the closest to the place of crime, snarling and barking instructions at you while he barreled down the street, following the GPS attached to his utility belt, as police cars sped by with sirens blaring in warning. For a second, everything seemed surreal.

Seeing action was not what you had in mind when you chose the pro hero to intern under. The dice had been rolled, however and as the bank came into view, police officers swarming and said hero huffing and puffing next to you, the first slithers of realization settled in like a heavy rock thrown into water. Guts sinking, palms getting clammy, tunnel vision, a state of nausea you hadn’t seen coming, all unfurling into your body like angry waves crashing onto shore.

As you stood there, behind Hound Dog, watching the whole commotion with wide eyes, an image flashed through your mind, that awful feeling from the roof making itself known at the very fringes of your conscience.

Your mouth suddenly went dry.

“Is that clear?” a heavy hand squeezed your shoulder and you met the fierce eyes of your mentor. What did he say? Did you miss anything important? Try as you might, no words could form. But he took that as affirmative and rushed by, some distance away, to speak to some police officers surrounding the perimeter on the far side of the bank.

“We will put a negotiator through, they have hostages,”

Hostages. You hated that word. Ears twitched. For once, you wished to be normal. Quirkless.

how will you feel?

    どのように感じるでしょうか?
  
Dono yō ni kanjirudeshou ka?

You stopped listening, aiming your fearful gaze towards the building. It was your last day, out of a week full of uneventful hours spent patrolling and shown the ropes of heroing, for example, making the public like you --and having Hound Dog as your role model, he always gave pep talks and motivational speeches that made you feel better, some in calm tones, some in excited barking. You listened to some, pretended you understood some of the other, sincerely tried your best, because you were looking for boring, trivial nothingness --something that he delivered plentifully, not that he was a bad, good-for-nothing hero, not at all, he simply didn’t see as much action as others, at least you assumed so, considering his position at U.A.

Everyone was gawking so much at the tops that they forgot the little ones, the underestimated ones, like good ol’ hound here trying to handle something that the famous pros wouldn't normally bother with.

In that same category, you found your father. But that was a whole different story, that involved the destructiveness of his quirk and how people were always kind of weary to employing such a hero to do simple, delicate deeds.

Now, however, you were faced with a dangerous situation and told to stay out of it, linger on the sidelines. Which you shouldn’t have any problems with --but then they mentioned hostages and that term had a deep root into your heart strings that snapped you out of the frozen state your legs seemed to find themselves in. Your mother paid the ultimate price for hostages, putting their lives above hers and you swore to yourself that day that you would make sure nobody would feel the way you did. Nobody would have to watch their loved one die on live TV while you could do something about it; so there you were, imagining that young fourteen year old sitting in front of the screen, watching with horror how their parent was faring in this scenario, wondering if they would walk through the front door tonight.

"no!"

    "いいえ!"
  
"Īe!"

And you couldn’t bear it. Damned be the consequences.

Clenching your fists, mind made up, you turned to walk to where Hound Dog was, to let him know that you would stubbornly help, when all of a sudden, a huge red truck burst through the bank’s front entrance and collided with a few police cars, rolling them over, injuring some officers that had been close, skidding in a turn and speeding down the street.

You stared at the scene with your mouth agape as the robbers escaped.

Hound Dog had been sent flying with the policemen he had been conversing with, or he leaped out of the way in time, taking the men with him, you didn’t know, but there were victims and bad guys getting away with it.

“I can use my quirk while I’m interning,” you swallowed hard, trying to decide what to do. Go after? Chase? You glanced to where your mentor was laying on his back, clearly knocked out, on the opposite side of the bank. Should you make sure he was okay first? But time was running out. Count the hostages? What if they had one with them? And how did they manage to get a fucking truck inside the bank? What the hell was wrong with people?

You circled, stopped, looked around, sweated, clenched and unclenched your hands, paced --what the hell were you doing? What should you do? What would she do? 

Finally, you made your decision.

Sharply, you turned in the direction the truck went and lurched forward, in a frenzied sprint.

The costume allowed you full flexibility and freedom of movement, so you felt unrestricted as you darted down the road at full speed. There was no burning in your muscle, no obstacle that you couldn’t leap over as you went, springing over vehicles, evading civilians, focusing completely on your target.

they will not escape

    彼らは脱出しません
  
Karera wa dasshutsu shimasen

When the truck was eventually in your sight, you pushed your legs harder than before, your mother’s quirk offering you the stamina and strength you needed in covering ground fast and hunting down your prey.

Growling, you sped up behind it while it crashed into cars, pushing them out of the way and making a mess in its wake --but the slowdown was exactly the opening you needed before it accelerated again, and with one deep breath, you jumped, claws outwards, digging into the metal of the trailer's rear door, where you held on, panting and tensed.

What now? You caught up, what now?

Frantically trying to come up with the rest of your plan, you scaled the back to the top of the cargo trailer, wind blowing your hair around wildly. Your two buns came undone during the whole debacle, you absentmindedly thought, muscles tightening and claws burrowing harder to keep you balanced as the vehicle took a sudden turn with screeching tires, almost sending you soaring to the side. Grunting, you gritted your teeth and forced your body to slide safely in the middle.

Right. You had to stop it. A few deep breaths, squeezing your eyes shut. This was real. This was happening. 

Pushing your feet to crawl on all fours against the violent gusts of wind, you slowly escalated to the head of the truck, stretching your body and climbing over the gap, where you paused to contemplate your next actions. If they had a hostage then surely they wouldn't keep them in the front, so that left the trailer. You didn't even know how many they were and the possibility of some hiding in the back was looming over you like a damned shadow.

Ah screw it!

“Fuck!” you raised one arm and brought your claws down into the red paint of the metal roof, grunting with the effort as they pierced through like a knife through butter.

BAM

A bullet whizzed through that same roof, past your face, making you recoil and almost lose your balance as you scrambled back, more shots being fired through the ceiling in an attempt to get rid of you. “Bastards!” before they could try that again, you lunged forward, back to where you broke through the first time and shoved your claws back in, pulling the piece back as if peeling something off. The metal groaned and gave into your strength, offering you a full view of the driver staring up at you with a look of complete disbelief.

“She’s a fuckin’ teenger!? I thought that shitty dog got us!”

You found the self-restraint to not snap as you made to reach inside, when the barrel of the gun from the passenger's seat halted you. Your eyes widened and you jerked back as the idiot took another shot at you, but this time, when you lurched back, he came out after you, through the hole you made, aiming his gun at you with a wicked grin.

“Gotcha sweetheart,”

This was it then? Blood rushed in your ears, heart leaped in your chest.

You couldn’t do anything, you were a sitting duck. The click of the gun registered in your brain.

But then a strong force hit the vehicle from the side, making it jolt and lose direction, tires screeching as the driver tried to straighten it, screaming incoherently. That’s all the distraction you needed, though. The shooter was momentarily confused, cursing because he lost his footing. You surged forth and grabbed the barrel of the gun, thrusting it upwards as he took a shot at the sky, crying out when you came onto him so unexpectedly. Before he could do much else, you pulled your arm back and punched him straight in the face, the nasty crack of his nose resounding in your ears and knocking him out cold. With his grip slack, you forced the weapon out of his hand and threw it away.

The man slumped back inside, unconscious, which caused the driver to yell in surprise at the weight that fell over him and for you to take advantage of the situation, shoving your arm through the hole again and grabbing the other robber by his hair "Just a teenager, huh? Don't ever call Hound Dog a shitty dog, asshole!" with that, you slammed his head into the wheel hard enough to black out. When he slid backwards into the seat, your hand shot to the helm, trying to control it.

“You are the most reckless intern I have ever had!” the truck swiveled with the force of someone jumping onto it, behind you “Do you have any idea what you have done? And under my watch nonetheless?” the familiar voice of Hound Dog came through, his heavy steps continuing to your position while you tried to think of what to do with the truck diving down the street.

“I’m sorry sensei but I think we should stop this before it crashes!” you screeched, trying to keep a straight course down the main road. Gruffly, the hero barked back the lecture, grumbling instead, and crouched by you. “The state of the villains?”

“Unconscious,” you replied immediately, keeping your eyes ahead, feeling panic rise in your stomach.

“The police ensured the evacuation of the streets up to the docks. I have enough time to get inside and stop it myself. Hold it steady,” with those instructions, the pro hero slid to the edge, hanging on the side of the vehicle's front with just one hand, while he opened the driver’s door with the other. Through the hole, where you held your arm up to your shoulder, you could see him push aside the driver and the passenger, noticing how bloodied both their faces were, before Hound Dog took the wheel from your trembling hand.

Hesitantly you let go, allowing full control. “Hold on tight!”

And so you did, almost toppling over when he slammed the brakes into an abrupt, sharp and neck-breaking stop.

That concluded your last day as an intern. The robbers were cuffed and taken by the police. Apparently, the driver’s quirk was pocket teleportation, which allowed him to store items into a pocket in space, where he could pull them out from. Their whole plan was to escape with the money by using that truck to surprise the authorities. The passenger was quirkless, relying completely on his buddy’s ability to make things appear, such as the gun he had used on you.

Inside the truck, there were two more robbers found, knocked unconscious by being bounced around and smacking their heads during the chase, lucky for you, since they were both armed.

The money were recuperated and you were praised by the detective in charge for your quick thinking and bravery. Something Hound Dog snorted at. Later, you received your lecture on acting recklessly, as you didn’t know if they had any hostages or not, putting your own life in danger, not knowing your rescue training bases, not respecting his orders and not waiting for him to come to, instead choosing to take things into your own hands.

But you took it all like a champ. In the end, everything was okay. You were okay. The whole event gave you back something that had been missing since that incident during the festival, it gave you a piece of yourself back and you smiled gratefully at yourself in the bathroom mirror that night before you went to sleep, brushing your teeth with a glow on your face.

The next day, however, you had to endure the presence of Bakugou and while you were relieved to see that Todoroki-senpai was there as well, you couldn’t say the same about that other guy with the green costume, being reminded of that evening inside the burger place, when he saw you and his explosive classmate. Having the aforementioned see you in your costume, though, made you incredibly self-conscious as it revealed more than it was considered modest, but then that turned to annoyance when you saw the attitude he came in with.

The fact that he looked...attractive in his suit didn’t even register at that second, especially not when he picked on poor Akira out of nowhere.

Regardless, you were too busy with studying for the end term exams to confront him the next day or the next or the one that came after that.

So when he came at you out of the blue, while you were putting the brooms away in the storage closet after you’d concluded cleaning the classroom at the end of day because it had been yours and Bani’s turn to do, you weren’t prepared to match his fire with your own.

"such stupid thing...can't possibly exist,"

    "そんなバカなこと...あるわけがない,"
  
"Sonna baka na koto...aru wake ga nai,"

What?

A hand slammed on the door, past your head, shutting it and making you jerk away, your back hitting his chest in the process.

With furrowed brows, you turned your head just enough to catch his furious eyes, glaring down at you. “What? Banana ?”

“What?! What’s with you and bananas?”

You twisted between him and the door, the kabe-don not doing it for you at all. “What do you want?” you asked, crossing your arms over your chest, not in the mood to explain yourself right now. If he came here for an argument, you sure as hell were going to give him one, that's how not in the right mind state you were.

The rage that he came here with seemed to just melt off his face, however, as soon as you got to the point. He glanced to the side, unable to meet your own scorching gaze. “...why the fuck are you avoiding me?”

Oh. Right.

You’ve done that for the past two weeks now, haven’t you? Without meaning to, of course. You just didn’t feel like being around anyone, not just particularly him. The fact that he thought it was done intentionally made you flinch, remembering the reason behind. “I wasn’t…” you mumbled under your breath, breaking the ice in your citrines and feeling guilty for snapping like this.

“Then what the hell was it? Cause it sure as shit looked like it,”

Take one step back and he gains terrain, takes over, sets fields on fire, takes over the damn world. Give him one finger and he takes the whole arm. Ugh, and here you wanted to be lenient with this brute. “I just wanted to be alone! Is that so bad?” you viciously retorted, meeting his reds in a battle of sorts.

“No, that’s not it. You aren’t fooling me, catty-breath, you looked like shit after the festival and I’ve got no damn idea why,”

“It’s personal! You don’t have to know everything, Bakugou,”

“I’m your fucking boyfriend--” but you interrupted, smirking cruelly  “Oh, so now you can say it. Amazing how you get rid of inhibitions as soon as it’s advantageous to you,”

“Don’t change the damn subject, this isn’t about --” he tried, he really did, but you were already fired up “It isn’t?” you hissed, getting up in his face, irritated about where this was going already. His nose almost touched yours and his chest against yours wasn’t making it any easier to realize the situation you were in when voices chirped loud in the distance and quick footfalls slapped the ground, down the flight of stairs.

Bakugou was the first to react and he looked between the end of the hallway, you, and the closet. In a second, you found yourself squirming into the small space, crammed by his larger body, as you were trying to tell him that the door had an automatic lock and could only be opened from the outside anyway.

Though, you were too late in forming a coherent phrase and the door clicked closed as you stared calmly at the light coming from underneath it. The calm before the storm, more appropriately, because as soon as you got your bearings, you were on him like white on rice.

“Why did you do this?!” you slapped his back once “Oi, what the--” and then twice, making him push you back with a snarl “Stop hitting me!” he somehow managed to yell in a hushed tone “You don’t wanna be seen with me, so I’m doing you a fucking favor,” his finger jabbed into your sternum as he said this, scowling down at your vicious glare.

“Well it’s a bit late for that, considering the outburst from last time, senpai,” you spat back, getting more and more annoyed by the second “Now everyone’s talking, thanks to you,”

“It’s not my fault that guy was oogling you like that, do you have any fucking idea how obvious it was? Those fucking vultures--” “I don’t wanna hear it,” you interrupted, holding your hand in front of his face in a ‘stop it’ gesture.

A few moments of silence passed and when you were sure the students were gone, in order to avoid the humiliation of coming out of the storage closet with a boy in tow, you fished for the door’s key in your uniform’s pocket. “Tch, whatever,” you heard the ash blond grumbling next to you, thankfully giving up, but not without a last word.

Typical. You just rolled your eyes, then slid the key into the lock and --SNAP.

A cold chill ran down your spine. The key cracked in two, jamming the lock.

“What the hell did you do?” came the male's quiet, calm, composed question after a while in which you stared at the item with horror-filled eyes. 

Livid, gulping down the knot in your throat, you turned your head to look up at Bakugou’s own mortified face. “I...I think we’re stuck here,”

...

 

"WHAT?"

    "何?"
  
 
"Nani?"

Chapter Text

you are too much

    あなたはあまりにも多い
  
 
Anata wa amarini mo ōi

 

“What do you fucking mean by stuck?”

“What do you think I mean by it? The key broke in two. It’s jamming it, there’s not way that door’s gonna open!” she huffed, throwing her hands up in exasperation.

Bakugou was not good with being stuck. He also was not good with remaining this way, helplessly, and a cold sweat began slicking his palms in response.

“I’m gonna blow it off the hinges!” he snarled, feeling the dread crawling up his legs, old memories buried away starting to bubble up and break surface. No, Bakugou was not going to be stuck anywhere. Not if he had anything to say about it.

However, before he could proceed with his explosive plan, heat already building up around his digits and pores, smaller hands tugged back his elbow and halted him startingly easy. “You can’t! There’s gas pipes next to the door, you’ll blow us to pieces! Besides...you’ll destroy school property!” she breathed out, eyes wide, almost imploring that he listen to reason.

Normally, he was always very perceptive of his surroundings, so when he looked again, this time more carefully, at the wall next to his intended target, he realized in what shitty situation he was about to put them both. What were the consequences going to be? Burns on most of their bodies? He had resistance, he did, but her?

Slowly, he lowered his hands and grunted, willing his quirk to settle down into just smoke that faded out as he stepped back. “Can’t you just break it? You’ve got super strength or some shit, don’t you?”

At the insinuation, she scowled and crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not destroying school property. Plus, I don’t know if that will actually work or get us in more trouble by screwing up the door worse than it is,”

Fair enough.

“Do you have your phone with you? I left mine in my damn backpack,” he asked after a few seconds of silence, not even looking at her.

“Oh, yes, yes I have it!” she answered quickly, like it hadn't dawned on her to even think about a way to get out. 

Thank the heavens for him, then. Katsuki rolled his eyes and glanced at her sideways while she patted down her uniform skirt, finding a pocket and pulling out the device. The artificial white light bathed her features in the mostly dark closet, showing the smile blooming over her lips once the lockscreen slid up to reveal her contacts.

And he took a moment to analyze her, take in her soft looking skin and long, dark eyelashes fanning those shimmering embers

He forgot about the bad situation, or the boy with the oogling stare, the avoidance, the ignoring. But only for a second, until her smile dropped and her phone went black, allowing darkness to swallow them whole again.

“Oh, I didn’t have enough battery…” she murmured, her voice barely above a whisper.

He brought one hand to rub his neck, feeling his skin beginning to itch. “Fucking great…”

just wonderful

    ただ素晴らしい
  
Tada subarashī

“I managed to call my friend, but I don’t know if it went through...she went to the library to get some books on rescue protocols. I was supposed to come after I was done with putting everything away...though...she will come looking for me…” the tuff of orange explained, tone hopeful as she grasped the device close to her chest “It might take a while, however,” she added with a sheepish grimace.

This was going from bad to worse.

Groaning, he leaned his back on the wall across from her and slid down on his ass, legs spreading out as he clenched his fists and glared at the floor. Stupid door, stupid girl, stupid situation, stupid ...everything. Everything was stupid and this was not how it was supposed to go down.

She mirrored his movements and sat down, but with her knees pulled to her chest and chin resting on them.

Like a moth to a flame, his eyes pinned her immediately, taking in the dimly lit frame of her body and listening to her breathing pattern, while also trying to calm down his rocketing pulse. Being confined made him restless, made him hyper aware of everything and caused his guts to twist and knot.

“What’s up with you? Your breathing is labored,” she chirped from the other side. Her leg slid a bit and touched his. Suddenly, the storage closet seemed so much smaller than before, and his breath hitched in his throat.

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“I have good hearing,” she replied mockingly. In the shadows, he could pinpoint her face, guided by the shining of her eyes, like candle lights flickering over him. Figures she would with those ears of hers, that didn’t mean he would admit to shit like that.

“Nothing’s up with me,” he grumbled, feeling his face warming up and avoiding her gaze to simply glare daggers at the culprit door. What else was there to say? Nothing. If she didn’t want this and it seemed like she didn’t, then he would let her be, he wasn’t some creep forcing her into a relationship or some crap like that. He was a man and he could take the rejection. Maybe she was just not into this. Maybe she liked that moron from her class. Maybe she didn’t know what she wanted.

And that was fine.

that was fine.

    それは大丈夫だった。
  
Sore wa daijōbudatta.

….

 

More silence suffocated them both, to the point where he was sweating profusely and had to wipe his palms, noisily, over his pants. Many scenarios played out in his head, many thoughts ran through his mind, while the walls seemed to just cave in on him.

“Bakugou,” her voice made him cringe “I…” and it died just like that, leaving him wondering and guessing like she’s been doing this whole damn time. What was he to her? Some kind of way to pass the time? Call when she needed a hand in carrying her damn furniture? Some company over a burger meal?

“What?” he drawled out, gritting his teeth with a vicious glimmer in his crimsons.

Her leg that had made contact with his, previously, leaned back into the touch, forcing him to glimpse sharply at the point of connection. “I didn’t do it intentionally...or maybe I did, but without realizing it...it just sort of...I needed to, it’s complicated...and I know this isn’t the explanation you were looking for but I wanted you to know that it’s not something you did or say, I was just not…” she rambled, pausing, struggling, leg remaining there unmoved, her warm flesh against the side of his clothed shin “...I was just not...myself...and I didn’t want to talk about it either…” and he just shot up to his feet, unable to take it anymore unless he wanted to implode or explode. Right now, both were possibilities he took into account.

The sudden move had her jerk up as well, cutting her whole speech off. “Bakugou?”

“It’s fine. I fucking get it,” he growled, turning his back at her and resting his hot forehead on the wall he had leaned against before, squeezing his eyes shut “Everyone’s got issues, I’m not gonna force you to tell me anything. Could’ve just said so from the damn start,”

Do the right thing. He kept chanting that. Do the right thing. Say sorry. Break off.

End this. Rip the damn bandage off.

the end

    終わり
  
Owari

A few moments trickled by, her silence deafening, the closeness making him tense to the point it strained his muscles. The room was too small, this space was too small, it was unbearable, her presence so close was making it even more difficult. “About...that outburst, that guy...I--” he was choking on his own words. How fucking pathetic. 

He just wanted to blast that damned door down and run the fuck away. Now, facing the wall, he felt overwhelmed by things that should not overwhelm him in the first place, an apology stuck in his throat.

“It smells like...burnt sugar…”

That froze the blood in his veins. She picked up on that? How --”What?” he turned to look at her, incredulous, but ended up coming face to face with her sniffing the air, nose almost touching his.

“It’s coming from you?” she asked puzzled, completely oblivious, so close to his face that his heart leaped in his chest. She inhaled again before settling down, making him absentmindedly realize she had been on her tip-toes “It is from you, you smell like caramel? It does make sense...nitroglycerin smells like that...but that means your quirk --” she paused, her eyes growing wide like she just discovered something that had been there, under her nose, all along “Are you alright? Do small spaces bother you?” she quickly followed that with a furrow of her brows “Do you suffer from claustrophobia? It would make sense considering that your heartbeat is so fast and your breathing is growing shallow, sweating, becoming agitated, those are all signs of it, or so I read in this article about --”

just stop!

    ちょうど停止!
  
 
Chōdo teishi!

He shut her up promptly and effectively. First kiss gone, poof, left in the dust of his frazzled nervousness, agitation, panic and seeking of comfort in the wake of what could have been the end of whatever this was from the beginning.

It was sudden, unplanned, clumsy and completely inappropriate bearing in mind the situation they were in, but fuck it if it didn’t feel right. Her lips were soft, full, malleable against his, tasting like honey embedded chapstick.

Oh fuck.

He pulled away fast, staring down at her completely shocked features and muttering an irritated “Shut up,” at the girl, too calm for what just happened between the two of them. By now, his vision somehow adjusted to the dim lighting, so he could make out the furious red coloring blossoming over her face and it served to distract his mind from the surroundings when she comically snapped out of it, like a cat having had its fur ruffled.

“W--what...I...um...oh…” she stammered, stepping back and pressing a hand over her chest, where her heart was. Golden gems were brave no longer, avoiding his whole face like it was the devil himself peering at her from beneath a mask. “I...aren’t we...moving a-a bit f-fast?” incredible how he managed to revert the usually snarky female to nothing but a sputtering, flushing teenager. It felt like a bittersweet victory, as he wasn't better off.

Though, at her small words, he frowned. Moving fast? They were barely crawling at all. He’d seen couples moving faster in a week than they did in a whole month and a half now. Was that not what he was supposed to do? He read on some love advice forum that he was supposed to take the first step and she would follow, but now she just seemed to panic, so he might as well erase the information he had stored away from the aforementioned website. Should he have been more patient? Was this the part where it ended? Had this been it? Whatever came at him, he’d take it, he had to.

And she must have noticed how his shoulders slumped slightly and his usually neutral-angry expression seemed to melt into uncertainty, because that made her reach out and cup his face between her hands. “I-I’m sorry, that’s not --” “It’s fine,” his features schooled themselves back into the unreadable mask he wore so well, but she was stubborn and kept his face firmly in place, eyes frantically searching his.

“I don’t know what...what I’m doing…so...” whatever “--doesn’t fucking matter,”

His hands came up to push her away, but when she suddenly squished her face into his, clanking their teeth together in an awkward kiss, they froze just over the bend of her elbows, his brows rising up and eyes widening in surprise.

Fuck. She was kissing him. A shiver ran down his spine.

Oh fuck. Oh Kami-sama.

His heart beat like a drum in his ears, flesh growing hot as his eyes slid shut and he pushed into her lips eagerly. Calloused hands settled over her back and neck, bringing her closer, while his head angled instinctually to the side, mouths fitting better just as her fangs grazed his lower lip when she pulled an inch away to breathe his breath. His brows settled into a listless scowl, peering with half-shut eyes down at her, questioning the delay, the abrupt end to this new and exciting feeling.

“I’m sorry…” she whispered, hot air fanning over his face when she voiced her apology so sweetly, betraying a vulnerability he’d only seen back when she was filing her nails and he found her, at the bottom of those stairs.

He didn’t respond. Instead, he captured her mouth again, hungrily, willing to learn more about this kissing thing that so many couples seemed to enjoy --a game that made his blood feel like lava in his veins, twisting his insides and making him dizzy, just like the rush after an explosion. Lips, tongues, teeth, they met, they brushed and caressed against each other, exploring, testing, pushing, until they had no more air and had to break surface in panting sessions where they gulped down oxygen to fill their lungs and watched each other ravenously.

'if this is a dream, i don't want to wake up'

    'これが夢であれば、私は目が覚めたくない'
  
'Kore ga yumedeareba, watashi wa me ga sametakunai'

Until --”Tora! Are you here? Tora!”

Oh.

She untangled herself from him in an instant, choosing to stare mortified at the offending door that trapped them in here, and, for the first time since that happened, Bakugou cursed the timing of their savior. He could have done with a few more minutes, he found himself believing, despite his hostility regarding the crammed space, now it felt like it had been a good thing, being so close to one another.

“Bani! Bani I’m here!” the girl shouted, placing a palm over the cold metal of the barrier separating them from the outside.

The footsteps of her friend seemed to pause, before bounding closer to the storage closet.

Katsuki glanced at the girl next to him with a questioning gaze regarding their position, the fact that they both were in here and the moment that door opened, her friend would surely know. He also noticed how flushed she looked, how red her cheeks looked against the sliver of light coming from the gap in the doorframe, how blown wide her pupils were, how flushed and raw her lips appeared and how disheveled her hair ended up, as if she’d been---

He turned away, before other kind of thoughts plagued his mind, which was already in overdrive.

“What are you doing in there? Is this why you called me? Are you alright?”

The tuff of orange pressed her forehead against the door and sighed “Can you please let me out? I --We got stuck…”

Bakugou’s eyes snapped to her just as hers sought out his, with a small smile on her lips and a shrug of her shoulders.

We!?

The handle began rattling violently.

it's not the end

 

    それは終わりではありません
  
 
Sore wa owaride wa arimasen


When the door opened and light poured in, Katsuki had to shield his vision with the back of his hand, squinting against it, while the girl adapted to it fast enough to come out first and greet her friend.

“Oh goodness, are you alright? You look like --oh...Oh! Senpai?!”

As his sight adjusted, he only grunted in reply to all the noise this girl was making, relief flooding his muscles when the fresh air reached his famished lungs. He hadn’t even realized how hot it had been in that damned closet and how badly oxygenated it was becoming the longer they remained inside.

“It’s not what you think!” he heard his girlfriend defend frantically, moving her hands defensively to try and explain the situation.

“It’s not!?”

He wasn’t gonna stick around for the continuation of this, the male decided, shoving his clammy hands in the pockets of his pants with an irritated sneer. “Oi, catty-breath, see you tomorrow. Make sure you study hard so you don’t fuck up the written exams too,” and with that cocky comment thrown out there, he left the two girls gawking after him.

A large, uncharacteristic grin stretched over his face while he descended the stairs of U.A., feeling the taste of honey chapstick still fresh on his lips.

Chapter Text

husband's sorrow, daughter's anger

 

 

    夫の悲しみ、娘の怒り
  
Otto no kanashimi, musume no ikari

 

 

The good news was, you passed all the exams with flying colors.

The bad news was, during the short summer break, your father insisted that you come stay in Tokyo with him and your two siblings. Honestly, you’d hoped you would be able to remain in your dormitory during the time, train for the upcoming, doomingly close, looming over the shoulder, Provisional License Exam.

But you couldn’t say no to him either. He said that he’d taken time off especially for that, too.

Bakugou also decided to go stay with his parents, something about going to some Onsen’s name you didn’t pay attention to in the least, nor did you really care. On the day you found out you successfully passed, you two met up in the evening, when school ended and exchanged a few words. And a kiss or two, stolen behind a cherry tree.

His wicked grin was still fresh in your mind. His warm touch on your skin, where your summer uniform sleeve ended, his rough fingertips around your elbow and his chapped lips on yours. It almost made your knees buckle as you stood on the train, a stupidly drunk smile stretching out on your face as you tightened your grip on one of the leather handles by the doors. Even the fluttering in your stomach wouldn’t stop and you had to cover your face to avoid earning any attention with how red your cheeks were.

Since that day in the storage closet, you’ve been feeling so light, as if you’ve been walking on clouds. Bani was in on it, she would knowingly smile when you’d space out or when your eyes inevitably found him in the crowd of the cafeteria.

“Why don’t you go sit with him? I won’t be upset,”

“N-No! That’s embarrassing!”

“You’re too uptight about this. It’s perfectly normal to have relationships --” you shushed her with a dying-inside expression on your face. She was always understanding, so she stopped, with a comforting pat over your hand. “Do whatever makes you happy, then, sorry for butting in,” she soothingly murmured.

That helped. Having someone that didn’t go over certain boundaries was good.

Now, as you waited for your stop to come, you really wondered if you were exaggerating with this whole thing, making a mountain out of a molehill, as they say. Maybe you were too extreme regarding the couple situation. A lot of people your age did it.

Why did it feel inappropriate for you, then?

Why would someone want to see him with you of all the pretty girls out there, though? Specifically, why did he like you instead of some cute girl that you’d sometimes see fawning over him or confessing their love in pink, perfumed letters slipped inside his locker? Surely, you weren’t that interesting or attractive. It made one wonder, you admitted to yourself in a self-deprecating manner that was inevitably you.

It was this feeling that kept you guarded, still.

you must be reasonable with yourself

 

 

    あなたは自分自身に相応しいに違いない
  
Anata wa jibun jishin ni fusawashī ni chigainai

You only had a few seconds from the moment you opened the door, until you were accosted, to catch the quick padding of small feet and brace yourself. The two rascals, Hyo and Shishi, respectively your little brother and sister, always liked to pounce on you when they saw you, no matter how it sent you on your ass in the hallway, for all the neighbors to hear and look through the peephole in search of the noise source.

A startled laugh was ripped from your lips, regardless, as they hugged and tugged at the same time, a chorus of ‘Nēchan, you came!’ taking over the building floor. Immediately, your father came from the kitchen and peeled each of them off, under both his arms, greeting you with a practiced smile and a “Welcome home, Shōko,” the nickname that your parents had always used when your were little.

You smiled back, albeit, strained, before dusting off your pants and coming inside the hot apartment.

The day progressed normally, too normally. You stayed with your siblings mostly, watching TV around the kotatsu table in the living room, talking about how Hyo was leaving preschool next year, while Shishi still had one more year to go.

“Nēchan, I wanna go to Yueei and become like All Might!” the boy announced, determined, big eyes on you as if you were a tiny bit of that dream he was dreaming. Sheepishly, you glanced back towards the kitchen, where your father was still working diligently on today’s menu, curious if he heard that. When he didn’t show signs of reprimanding anyone with his usual stern glance, you returned your attention to the expressive face of your brother and simply reached over to ruffle his hair, making your little sister giggle at his pouting face.

“That’s a high target you set up for yourself,” --but not impossible.

And why wasn’t the AC turned on? It was uncomfortably warm in here.

...

Dinner was quiet, except for the childish banter between the two youngsters. Thankfully, the windows were now open, letting in the slightly cooler air of the night, crickets sounding in the distance. Sometimes, you felt your dad’s gaze on you and when you’d turn to look at him, his eyes would avert from you as if the mere sight of you deeply affected him. You always pretended like you didn’t notice, knowing how much he missed your mom and how much you looked like her. It was part of the reason why he didn’t object to you moving to the dormitories of U.A. and it was also why he often avoided having direct interactions with you, resuming to texts or calls. You know how hurt he still was, you knew he must be torn, on one hand because he was acting so coldly towards his daughter and on the other hand, because you brought him grief by simply looking at him.

You knew he was trying his best. Calling you to stay here during summer break was his way of making amends.

When Shishi and Hyo ran off to fight over the remote and which kids movie they should watch on TV, you were left only with him at the table, across from you. Too awkward to excuse yourself as well, you remained there, poking at the last bits of your meal.

“I heard that you have passed all of your exams,” he began slowly, taking a sip from the glass of sake he poured for himself.

You paused to look at him and when his eyes turned down to his plate, you did the same. For fuck’s sake, you couldn’t even look your parent in the eye anymore. Was this how it was gonna be from now on? It’s been two years since her passing! Why couldn’t he just act like a normal father for once and stop avoiding you!? You didn’t even realize that your face settled into an angry scowl, but he did and he quickly stood from the kitchen table, taking the plates of your siblings with him.

“Yes. I did,” your reply came late, irritation clear in your dry tone.

“That’s good. I’m proud of you, you know that, right?” he sputtered that in a rush as he turned on the water in the sink, beginning to scrub at the dishes with his back turned to you.

And you felt so far away from him.

How was this any of your fault? Anger melted into pangs of sorrow, misery and heartbreak. You fought back the sour knot forming in your throat, biting your lip hard and glaring at the plate in front of you with glistening eyes.

“I’m finished eating,” your chair scraped the tiled floor and you were gone, joining your siblings back in the living room.

He didn’t say anything else, he didn’t join the three of you like he normally did when she was still here, he only stood in the kitchen and cleaned, then busied himself with house chores in an attempt to keep the distance. You knew him well, you knew him because that’s how you were as well and while you might have taken most of everything from your mother, you definitely took his emotional fragility.

Shishi and Hyo fell asleep on each side of you as soon as it got later than their usual bedtime hour, and he only came to pluck them from beside you with a forced smile, in order to tuck them into their own beds. Afterwards, he awkwardly stood there, by the doorway, until you couldn’t take it anymore and snapped your sharp gaze onto him before he could turn away.

He looked like a panicking rabbit, stared down by a hungry wolf.

“I...umm…” this was painful to watch “I will...uh, Hyo is sleeping with me in the bedroom, so...uh..you will share a bed with Shishi. I got you a spare pillow, everything’s…” he cleared his throat “..everything’s in the room. I..I also...there’s your bag there too…”

With a frown, you returned to the TV show currently playing on the screen, some game between couples, the prize being a trip to Paris. Seeing as you didn't say anything, he just left, allowing the silence to swallow you whole.

This had been a mistake. You should have insisted that you remain in the dormitory. You knew that if you persisted when he called, he would have ended up saying yes, he was easy to convince, but a small part of you wanted to be here, hoping. It was enough that you lost one parent, you didn’t want to lose the other as well, even if...right now, he seemed so far away from you it wasn’t even fair.

Later, when you couldn’t keep your eyes open anymore, you finally trudged towards your little sister’s small bedroom. You almost stepped on a figurine of Mt. Lady on your way to the bed, where the body of Shishi only occupied a tiny portion of the mattress, giving you enough space to indulge into as you pleased.

Sighing, you sat on the side and glanced around, night vision allowing you a clear view of the objects around, the princess wardrobe, the many other figurines of pro heroes, the little table and stuffed toys strewn on the floor and --the picture of your mother staring back at you on top of the nightstand.

Gently, you reached over and grasped the frame, bringing it to you and glowering at it as if it had all the answers. Her grinning face, those black stripes, a unique pattern that you used to trace when you were younger, that glowing sun-kissed skin, her beautiful, warm and kind eyes, that bright tangerine hair that tickled your face whenever she kissed your cheeks or held you to her --you missed her so much. You wanted to tell her so much.

Those traitorous tears were back, fat and ugly and rolling down your cheeks. “What am I gonna do, mommy? I feel so...so hopeless…”

and lonely

 

 

    そして寂しい
  
Soshite sabishī

When the sun was high in the sky, casting an uncomfortable glow right on your face, you knew you slept in too long. But judging by the small body huddled up to you, you weren’t alone at least.

During the night, Shishi was like a small tornado, turning and twisting and aiming a kick in your ass that startled you awake and a smack on your face that almost gave you a heart attack. It was challenging to fall asleep, but eventually you did. As soon as you sat up, she began stirring as well, though.

Breakfast was odd, because you could feel your father was behaving weirder than usual, almost dropping a plate of toast when his phone pinged. “Daddy, are you okay?” your sister asked, tilting her head to the side, while Hyo was stuffing his face with everything he could get his hands on.

“Yes! Yes, I’m fine, I just --” he exhaled as he sat down and his face turned serious “I decided it’s time for a family trip,”

All commotion ceased. Three pairs of eyes turned to him, all at the same time.

“Family trip?” you finally broke the silence, brows furrowed.

“Yes! I booked us a family suite at the Fujinami Onsen...the air is cool there in the summer and I think we can all enjoy a hot spring,”

Your two young siblings erupted in laughter and cheers.

The name sounded familiar for some reason. You stared at him suspiciously. Was this another one of his attempts to bond? More than likely. “Why? Why are we going on a trip...to an Onsen of all things?” you inquired again, ignoring the excited giggling of your sister and your brother’s clapping.

He didn’t look directly at you. Instead, he smiled at Shishi, patting her head. “The air conditioning system broke yesterday. It’s going to get hotter in the next days, too, so we will benefit from this and we’re spending time together too. Win-win,”

 

troublesome

 

 

    面倒な
  
Mendōna

 

So that’s how you ended up in the passenger seat of your father’s car, the very next morning, with your two younger siblings chanting a song in the backseat, completely off tune with the one on the radio. You simply stared out the window, forehead pressing on the cold glass as you tried to suppress a groan at how bad your hearing was affected by all this squealing.

The other day was spent packing mostly and helping Shishi choose her clothes, making sure that she didn’t just fill her duffel bag with unnecessary things like her beloved figurines. You had to explain why she couldn’t bring them with, while Hyo kept poking fun at how she was a wuss for even thinking about taking those with. Goodness, your siblings were too much to handle. How did your dad manage by himself?

As soon as you evaded the tall city buildings and the scenery became green and lush, you began relaxing, however. The song on the radio became less of a nuisance and your sister’s laughter didn’t sound like nails on a blackboard anymore, taking the quality of a bell in the wind instead.

Slowly, you eased into your seat and stared mesmerized out the window at the river sparkling in the distance and the bright, grass fields that spanned and spread like blankets. There were only a few white clouds, like cotton balls, floating lazily in the blue sky and the country side seemed to just brim with a life of its own.

Why did this road seem so familiar?

“Have we ever been to this place before?” you asked suddenly, making your siblings stop their singing instantly. Your father, appearing surprised, glanced at you, before focusing back on the road and as you looked at him, you noticed how a small, nostalgic smile seemed to curl his lips and soften his harsh features.

“Yes," he affirmed with a pause "Me and your mother met there, when we were both on summer break. Because we fell in love there, we kept coming, every year on our anniversary. We brought you with us once as well, before she had Hyo...afterwards, we both became...busy, I suppose,” his face became lined with remembrance and regret then, his wrinkles, the very small ones that you hadn't noticed before, becoming evident with the tight pull of his lips in a fine line.

Ah. That’s why it felt familiar. It was the Onsen in that one story too.

“Really? You met mommy here?” Shishi exclaimed from the back, her small hands catching the cushion of your father’s head rest as she leaned forward. “How did you meet mommy?” she continued, making your father chuckle. “I can tell you all about it, Shishi,”

“That's ewww!” joined in Hyo, making you sigh with content and focus back on the scenery. You knew the story well. Your mother had a sparkle in her eye whenever she recalled it and a blush on her face that made her look that much more innocent and in love. Despite everything, you knew, you knew how much they loved each other.

Was he finally trying to find closure? By going here? Was it good for you to be here?

 ...

The journey took almost three hours, including the traffic you encountered and the small breaks. But the clean, mountain air that filled your nostrils when you got out of the car, was all worth it. Mount Fuji was not far away, you could see it very well from the Onsen’s parking lot and you bet you could see it from the suite’s window too.

Your siblings got out as well, bickering between themselves and cackling. 

The white sundress you decided to wear, felt a bit too thin on your body now, making your skin prickle and a shiver to run down your shoulders. Tangerine locks were blown by the slightly stronger breeze, the messy bun on top of your head loosened after such a long drive. Perhaps you could hike tomorrow, find a good trek to follow and build some endurance while you were at it, train your senses more. Maybe coming here wasn’t such a bad idea. You could relax in the hot spring by night as well, it was good for your health.

“Shōko, I’m going to the reception to pay for the room. Can you look after Shishi and Hyo while I’m gone? We’ll take the luggage afterwards,”

You nodded absentmindedly, still taking in the sights and the people that came and went. It seemed busy, for this time of the year. You saw some tourists around as well, checking the souvenir shops and the prices for the hotels across from this one. There were a good few restaurants nearby, but you were content with the one inside the Onsen you were staying at. It was always nicer to just go down and have your breakfast instead of hunting for a place to do so.

Feeling like you had a sound plan in your mind, you turned to look down at your siblings, believing that it was too silent for nothing to have happened --only to realize they were not there. Ears twitching subtly, you looked through the backseat windows. Nothing.

“Shishi? Hyo?” you rose your voice as you called their names, going around the car and letting your eyes shift over the rest of the parking lot, where only a few vehicles took space. A sinking feeling drowned your stomach and chest and your closed the car doors to venture further, running around the parking spots in hopes that they were simply hiding behind the cars or something.

No such luck.

“Shishi!? Hyo!?” you held both hands around your mouth as you yelled and by now, you had already taken off, down the opposite street, panicking, looking this way and that.

This couldn’t be happening. Did you just lose your brother and sister?!

“Shishi!?! Hyo!?! You better come to me right now or you’re in big trouble!”

Nothing.

People that passed stared at you oddly, while you dodged by and barreled through the area, shouting their names over and over again, each more desperate than the other. And then, when you believed all hope was lost and your only chance was to call the police and face your father, you saw two tuffs of the same identical hair pertaining to his, clawing at the souvenir candy shop's window, a good distance away from where your accommodations were located --and where they were supposed to be.

A wave of anger washed over you as you rushed over to them so fast they didn’t even notice you coming.

One plucked up by the dinosaur hoodie, squealing, and the other under one arm, squirming and wailing. “What do you two brats think you're doing?!” your voice wasn’t the usual calm, indifferent one it has always been, it was an inhuman growl that made both of them halt all movement.

Hyo slowly turned his head to face you, a livid look on his chubby features. “Nēchan! I’m sorry! It was Shishi’s idea!”

While Shishi went completely stiff under your arm, a gasp leaving her pouty lips. “Liar! You said we can get candy and--”

“Enough!” you were beyond furious with these two troublemakers, ready to give them the lecture of their lives, one that would impact their growth from now on, one that they would remember for the rest of their existence and think back to whenever they would find themselves in difficult situations, a speech that would make them think before acting, only...it died in your throat at the pair of familiar crimson eyes boring into yours from behind the glass doors of said souvenir candy shop.

They shifted slowly, judgmentally, over your face, over your sister under your arm, over your brother dangling from your other hand and then blinked, unimpressed.

You must have looked like quite a sight.

“Tora! Shishi, Hyo! Thank goodness I found you!”

Oh no.

You grimaced and closed your eyes just as your father skidded to a stop next to you, panting and mumbling nonsense as he looked over the two rascals.

This was the most embarrassing moment of your life, you were certain.

 

 

Chapter Text

no word in the world matches you

    世界のどの単語もあなたにマッチ
  
    Sekai no dono tango mo anata ni matchi
    


     
  

The good news was, he was alone when she barreled down the street in front of the souvenir shop.

The bad news was, she was here and so were his parents, granted, at the Onsen they booked their holiday at, having their stupid lunch after the aggressive shopping spree his mother just finished.

He would take this small victory, however, thankful that he told them to fuck off while he looked around the area, coincidentally, for something to get for his currently gawking girl. The old hag would have had a field day with this, just to humiliate him in front of a girl --not like he said anything about a girl to either of his parents, but Mitsuki was a very observant bitch. Genes which he inherited.

A part of him was rejoicing, finally seeing the tuff of orange in a position he didn’t think he’d ever get to see, in a role he wasn’t familiar with witnessing. Vulnerable, open, raw, with two little shitheads, whom he assumed were her siblings, shouting, angry and alight.

But then she met his eyes and all that bonfire flickered to a little candle flame, subdued, controlled.

Red orbs shamelessly laved down her body.

She looked nice in a dress.

like flowers

花のように 
    Hananoyōni
  

And just as a smirk pulled at his lips, her father came barreling in mostly the same manner as her, skidding to a stop in a cloud of dust just next to her, with a comically mortified expression on his face, so much like her own. Apparently, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.

He immediately recognized him as Berserker the pro-hero. They did work at the same agency, under Best Jeanist. Though, work was work and right now, he was his stupid girlfriend’s father, not a hero he was looking up to in a professional environment; this was a far more delicate situation, one he had no knowledge of handling as there were no protocols to follow or general rules that people could abide by. It didn’t help that he barely saw the man around, since he was always sent away on missions that were completely out of Bakugou’s league for the time being, limiting any decent interactions to none. Therefore, he couldn’t say he knew much of anything about him, other than what the media wrote throughout the years.

The older male handled the two brats easily, saying something to the girl that made her scowl and shoot back at him. That’s when the same red flower symbol on the forehead, albeit darker in color, turned in his direction and he was seen standing there like a witness to something he was not supposed to see. For a second, a rare surge of panic shot up his spine and the ash blond was tempted to pretend like he was just looking around and ignore the fuck out of the embarrassing wave Berserker sent his way.

Thank God his parents were not with him.

Forcing a smile that looked crooked and ugly in the window’s reflection, the teen waved back, unenthusiastically. He had to walk out now, there was no way around this. He’d been caught, he had to make some small talk --’hey, so I’m dating your fucking daughter,’ should probably not leave his mouth, by the look she gave him, she was agreeing vehemently. Perhaps it would do him good to not be too vulgar. Why was he working himself up so much over this? It was just some pro-hero working withBest Jeanist, just work, so make it about work. 

Oh, fuck it. Here went nothing. The door’s bell rang with his exit.

“The explosive sideckick, I recognize you! I didn’t know you guys were allowed vacations! What a coincidence!” the imposing, towering father placed a hand on his shoulder as soon as he was close enough, squeezing the muscle in greeting. “Shōko, this is one of the sidekicks working at the agency --”

Sidekick? Did he even know--

“I know Bakugou-senpai,” she quickly intervened before he could, flushing and fidgeting. The father’s eyes suspiciously squinted down at his clearly uncomfortable daughter, retracting his hand a bit too fast, even though he was slightly relieved he did. “Oh?”

“It’s good to see you here...sir,” Katsuki took the ball before she messed up further, keeping a straight face despite the offending fact that Berserker didn’t even know his damn name and throwing a casual formality at the end just for shits and giggles “But it’s more like a family vacation, my parents should be expecting me--”

Those same suspicious eyes turned to him. “You know my daughter? How--”

“We go to the same school,” the tuff of orange followed swiftly, crossing her arms, pointedly glancing away. The two little brats watched the scene unfold with big eyes, from behind the parental figure’s jean-clothed legs.

appropriate

    適切な
  
    Tekisetsuna
  

“Oh,”

That seemed to brighten his face again. “Yes...same school,” Bakugou provided as well, just to make it stick, choosing to ignore the way she glanced at him warningly.

“I see, I see. You were saying your parents are here as well...Bakugou, was it?”

Good god, he hated being asked so many questions and he didn’t like where this was heading or the tone used. 

“Yeah,” he awkwardly answered. An uncomfortable silence fell over, when he refused to give any more details. Which his girlfriend seemed to catch onto,clearing her throat and putting herself in her father's line of sight. “Uh, maybe we should go now. We still need to get our luggage --”

“And where are they staying, if you don’t mind me asking? It would be really nice if we could have some dinner while we’re all here, considering you two are colleagues and we’re also working at the same agency, too! I’d love to meet the people that raised such a successful young man like yourself! I find it better to know the sidekicks that work with me. Bonds, I feel, are important in our line of work. As a future pro-hero yourself, you should know,”

Katsuki stared blankly.

What? Why? What was going on here? “Father! That’s inappropriate! We’re not even close! We barely see each other in the hallways and I’m only friends with one of Bakugou-senpai’s classmates --”

“You say we a lot, Shōko,” the male chuckled, glancing at his livid daughter and then back at the sweating, constipated face of Katsuki. There was something in that gaze, something primal, knowing, dangerous, lurking just underneath the facade of a well-intentioned co-worker just wanting to innocently know him better for work's sake. Did the old man catch onto them? Were they that obvious? No. That couldn’t be it.

“Sure. I’ll let them know. We’re staying at Fujinami,”

...

Silence.

...

Berserker’s eyebrows rose up in surprise, while the girl looked mortified back at him.

“Oh, that’s where we’re staying too,”

Oh shit.

fuck

    くそ
  
    Kuso
  

A terrible shiver ran down his spine when the pro hero grinned wide. “It’s settled then! Speak to your parents for tomorrow morning? Breakfast downstairs at 10?”

Was he serious? In a flash, his eyes darted to the girl, only to find her gawking at her father, unable to say anything.

“...uh….sure…”

And she turned to him with a ‘what the hell are you doing?’ face and gesture of her hand. A spike of anger rose up to the surface. What was he supposed to do? Say no to fucking Berserker, the pro hero that just invited him and his family for breakfast? It was her fault to begin with. What came after was on her.

“Great!”

The man lowered his upper body and picked up his youngest daughter, holding her against his chest with a smile. “I will see you then...Bakugou!” a smile that gave the latter the creeps, followed by the pat on his son's head “Come on then kids, we need to get the luggage up to our room.”

While Bakugou stood there frozen, watching the family leave with a highly inflamed tuff of orange complaining and hissing behind them.

What did he just agree to?

 


 

 

Because he didn’t wanna bump into them again, he spent more time looking at useless shit around the area, getting himself busy, spending ridiculous amounts of time studying the map of the resort. Inevitably, he had to return to the Onsen, which was later during evening, when he was certain that there was no way anyone would be out and about the hallways and after he let his father's 20th call to go to voicemail.

The family suite he shared with his parents was quite lively when he walked inside. His mother was fussing over some wooden bowls she bought earlier in the day, along with a new pair of leather boots that she’d pestered his father into purchasing at a ridiculously higher price than what they were worth. He knew because he was there on the day she first saw them in the window shop and the nightmare began until he gave in.

The woman was dumb like that. But then “Katsuki, you’ll see when you will have a girlfriend of your own, that small attentions and gifts are the key to her heart,” the annoying hag had preached “That is, if you will ever get one. By how things are looking right now, that seems like a distant future,” she added, smiling smugly at her fuming son.

“Shut up, you hag!” “Katsuki, that’s no way of talking to your--” Masaru began, always mediating, when a fuse blew “What did you just say to me you brat!?” and a whole argument broke out. Bull-headed the both of them, it was no surprise how they clashed so easily. But that was how it had always been.

Now, he didn’t take advice from his mother often. Even when he did, it was not something he would freely admit to. The thought, however, stuck with him. Did catty-breath like gifts? Was she expecting anything upon his return? Possibly. That would be the right thing to do. So that’s how he ended up at the souvenir shop, scratching his head at the display of cutesy, pink-wrapped chocolates and boxes of candy, wondering what would impress her.

As luck would have it, she was already there. No point in buying her anything then, no reason to make up excuses for coming inside the shared space with a pink box in his hand or lying to his parents about it, thank god for a small favor.

“You’re finally back?” his mother chirped from the living area, where she watched one of her favorite dramas while sorting through her precious bowls, not even sparing him a glace. Masaru was organizing the shopping they had done, poking his head out of their bedroom to give him a wave.

“Yeah,”

“Good. Your father was about to file a missing person’s report--”

“I was not! Mitsuki! You were the one getting worried--” a slipper immediately flew towards the bedroom, where his father ducked into lightning fast “Shut up!” --there they went. 

ugh

    うーん
  
 
    U ̄ n
  

How was he supposed to even breach the subject of meeting his girlfriend’s parent tomorrow morning at breakfast? Theoretically, they weren’t, but technically, they were.

That’s why, Katsuki decided not to. Let things play out spontaneously for once. They didn't have to know about what she was to him, he didn't need that headache, not while he was on vacation.

“Whatever. I’m heading for the hot springs later,” he informed them as he trudged in, shoving his All Might-themed socked feet into the Onsen’s provided slippers.

“Oh, son! Did you eat anything? We have some leftovers from the restaurant we went to for lunch,” Masaru quickly asked from the bedroom, pausing by the shoji doors to smile at Katsuki.

“Yeah, sure, I’ll have those later, leave them out,” he casually shrugged, going for his own quarters across the living area and passing his mother’s scrutinizing gaze “Thank your father. I told him not to take them, but he wanted to, for your sake,”

“Yeah yeah,” the ash blond brushed her off and disappeared behind the shoji doors of his own, separated room, as they slid shut.

 ...

The shower before the much-awaited soaking was refreshing and as he entered the bathing space reserved only for men, welcomed by the steam and warmth, with no other person in sight, Katsuki felt content. He groaned appreciatively at the hot water licking at his sore muscles and after he settled down against the stony edge of the basin, the teenager relaxed completely with a sigh of relief.

This was true bliss in its purest, fucking form.

Eyes slowly slid shut and the body loosened, mind quieting with the rising fog curling above the water.

Until he heard giggling and splashing on the other side of the bamboo wall meant to separate the genders. In most cases, they were flawed in their construction, though, presenting small holes through which shameless imbeciles could try to peep through. He was still wondering if that was deliberate or not. The space between his brows creased in annoyance as another squee scratched at his eardrums. If only it could block out the fucking sound too, that would have been helpful. 

“Stop that!” --yeah, that shitty brat better --

Red eyes widened at the voice, recognizing it as hers in less than a second.

“Why? It’s just us, Nēchan!” another splash followed suit and then a familiar hiss “Shishi!”

Shit.

Instantly, his head turned this way and that, wondering if the father was anywhere in sight. Anywhere that he might have not noticed. After a good few moments in which he watched his surroundings like someone was going to just jump him, the male relaxed just slightly.

Nothing. Maybe he was in the shower? Getting ready to come in? Dread laced in Bakugou’s stomach like a web. Fuck. FUCK!

“Dad will be disappointed if I tell him you’re acting like this,” catty-breath reprimanded.

“Daddy is not here!” a raspberry was blown mockingly, childishly. For Bakugou, it was the revelation that had him release a tightly held breath of relief.

Thank fucking god. His stomach eased little by little.

A loud exasperated groan resounded. Slowly, Katsuki sat more alert, his eyes fixed on the wall and the sight that might be behind it. 

Another splash. “That’s enough. Your hands are pruned now, you’ve been in for too long,” she chided again, forcing a squeal from the brat. “Come on, it’s time for you to get out. Father wants you in bed by nine,” there were some more splashes, another squeal and finally, wet slaps of small feet running off.

“Finally…” she breathed out, soft splashes allowing Katsuki’s imagination to run wild, guessing her movements. Was she relaxing now? Sinking into the water? He did the same. Up to his throat. 

They were alone. 

only them

    彼らだけ
  
    Karera dake
  

The sound of crickets and distant laughter from other patrons having a good time at the nearby bars or inns could be heard in the night. But here, it was just them.

“Oi, catty-breath,” he broke the silence that made his mind buzz with images of her immersed in water, both inappropriate and confusing. 

A sudden, spastic sound of water sputtering around reached his ears. “Bakugou!?”

“Who the fuck else?”

“I--I’m sorry about my father! That was so...it was embarrassing and you don’t have to come, obviously, he’s just...stupid like that!” she quickly raced through things that she probably wanted to say. He could imagine how flushed she was, how flustered she looked and a stupid smile stretched on his face. 

“Didn’t even tell my parents anything, it’s whatever,”

“Oh god,”

Her voice sounded closer now, was she closer to the bamboo wall. He inched closer as well, absentmindedly. If there was a hole in this wall and he wished there was one now, he really wanted to find it so he could at least see her face --no. NO. That was creepy. He wasn't shitty Mineta or that dumbass pikachu wannabe. 

“Whatever happens, happens,” he muttered, shrugging to himself, forcing his eyes anywhere but the ridges in the barrier. It wasn’t as if this was some kind of next step to their dating. They weren’t making it official, so to speak, it just happened to be a coincidence. Her father just wanted to know his parents because that was polite, considering they both worked at the agency. Trust between pro-heroes and sidekicks was important, he knew that. 

He shouldn’t read into it. “Still! It’s...it’s so embarrassing and humiliating…” she whined, this time closer than ever. She was right next to the wall, he was certain, so he closed the distance as well and rested his forehead on the bamboo wood.

“Shut up,”

A silence of a few seconds followed, in which he just closed his eyes.

“Did you stalk me, catty-breath?”

“What?! No!” she sputtered, hitting the wall and making him lean back with a smug smirk. “It’s kinda suspicious, you showing up at the same Onsen, in the same area, while I’m here, after I told you where I’m gonna go,” he added, staring at the barricade between the two of them.

“That’s dumb! I didn’t even pay attention! Stop fucking around! My father planned this…” she trailed off, sounding entirely offended by his accusations. Knowing he managed to rise her hackles again, he proudly soaked into the water, this time to his chin, sporting a shit-eating grin that she couldn’t see.

“That’s a fucking stretch,”

“It’s because---” she paused abruptly “It’s because of...of my mother…”

Oh.

Shit.

He fucked up. The grin vanished and he straightened up, realizing he just shoved his own foot in his mouth. “They met here,” she quietly explained “I didn’t know this was the place, even though I’ve heard the story so many times. The name felt familiar...they used to come here every summer vacation for their anniversary, until my younger siblings were born,”

“Ah..” was the only intelligent response he could find in his short-circuiting brain.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t have come here...it’s weird,” she stated after a while.

That made the ash blond frown. “Why the fuck is it weird?”

“We just started...dating,” she spoke in an incredulous tone “It’s weird, it feels like it’s too much all of a sudden, don’t you think so?”

Did he think so? No. This wasn’t bothering him like it was supposed to. He didn’t find it weird. He actually...liked to know that she was here with him instead of who knows where. Was that so wrong? Was it wrong to feel that way? They had shared pecks on the lips a few times now, it felt...appropriate. Was he wrong about that? He tightened his jaw and glowered. 

Knowing her outside of school, outside of their responsibilities and --”I was gonna get you a fucking souvenir, but I guess that’s useless now that you’re here,” he changed the subject, unwilling to continue down the road she chose. 

He wasn't a shitty wimp, he'd take that like a man. His fists clenched as he shoved both hands under the water and rested them on his knees. 

“Thoughtful,” came her dry reply a second later.

“Ungrateful brat,” he retorted back, glaring at the water rippling with his breathing, chest expanding, constricting.

“Hypothetically speaking, if you did, I would have been grateful,” she scoffed, the sound of water sloshing making his head turn back to the wall hiding her from him, surprised by her answer. The frown was gone and his cheeks were red up to the tip of his ears --and it wasn't from the steam.

More movement, a rake of claws against the wall, then the drum of fingers and a quiet, feminine sigh. 

She was naked, behind there, his hormonal mind supplied as a matter of fact. Completely bare. Her skin was probably flushed from the hot temperature and her cheeks were probably red as well...her wider hips and narrow --her skin, her lips, her big doe-like eyes that sucked him into a bonfire --ah fuck. Maybe it was the steamy atmosphere jumbling up his brain, maybe the fact that there was only this thin boundary restricting his vision, maybe the intimate factor of being here only with her...

“Bakugou?”

He missed something she said. “What?” he swallowed down the knot in his throat, sitting up straight.

“I said I’m going inside,”

“Why tell me? Do you need my fucking permission or something?”

He heard a soft ‘ugh’ and then the splashing of water, signaling her leaving. The padding of feet followed after, which gave wake for a deathly silence to come afterwards.

Shit.

Was tomorrow still gonna happen? How was he gonna get his parents to come without sounding suspicious? Tell them they just had to go down for breakfast? Would it be horribly disrespectful if they didn’t show up?

More than likely. She said he didn’t have to, but his rational side dictated that he should. He didn’t need that guy giving him nasty looks at the agency every time they saw each other.

Chapter Text

I count one, two, three; wide eyes, you see me

    私は1、2、3を数えます。広い目、あなたは私に会います
  
    Watashi wa 1, 2, 3 o kazoemasu. Hiroi me, anata wa watashi ni aimasu


 

 

The whole thing was absolutely out of this world. Not in a good way, of course.

He can’t meet your eyes but he has the audacity to behave like this concerned, caring parent? Sure, it felt good to have his protective side slither through, but as you began carrying the luggage with him, up to your suite on the second floor, he returned to the awkward, tense man you’d come to be familiar with for the past almost two years.

This only served to frustrate you further, prompting you to throw your duffel bag on the floor and stomp your way around like a child, right under his nose, to make sure he knew it as you rubbed your nose in it. How dare he humiliate you like that? You wished you would have ended up with your mother’s parents instead. They insisted on many occasions to care for you and help with your younger siblings. Perhaps it was because you looked so much like their daughter that made them favor you more in comparison to your siblings, as cruel as that sounded.

Your father, however, refused vehemently. Family relationships always eluded you. If there was bad blood between them, you weren’t privy to the subject.

That’s why, for the rest of the day you remained bitter and quiet, refusing any other interaction with him. Not even when he offered to order in and asked what you would like. You thankfully shared a bedroom with Shishi while Hyo was the one stuck with that insufferable old man. It made it easier to shut him out, until he insisted you keep the doors open so he could hear if Shishi was having problems sleeping, since she didn't like unfamiliarity.

In retaliation, you slammed the doors regardless and smacked everything you could find to smack around without it breaking.

unfair!

    不公平です!
  
    Fukōheidesu!
  

The long soak in the hot spring was a nice way to unwind, but as you had to go with your little sister, it turned into a babysitting mission that you dreaded. Bakugou’s presence made that tolerable, though, following the little tornado’s departure, he made your stomach flutter and your cheeks to hurt from that horribly cheesy smile he managed to put on your face --sure, after the initial embarrassment of the situation and your graceless almost-drowning whale noises at hearing his voice. Thank goodness he wasn’t able to see how light-headed he left you. At the least, you got to apologize for your father’s out of place reaction. Which put your mind at ease.

Honestly, you didn’t see it coming either and the fact that Bakugou and your parent were working at the same agency was an affair you had not known about until recently. One that senpai also failed to mention --and he had plenty of chances to do just that. Secretly, you wondered if he did it intentionally or he just didn’t find it that important, but those were questions for later.

Right now, you were sitting between your father and little brother, tense and panicked at the prospect of your --his family coming downstairs any minute now. The table was big enough for eight people, four cushions on each side. The Onsen had it’s own cozy restaurant where people could drink their coffee in the morning, eat a nice breakfast or lunch and dine for the evening. Granted, it was only reserved for the patrons, not the outsiders looking to get a random meal.

So far, your brother managed to gulp down a few pieces of toast while your father was patiently slathering jam on your sister’s loaf of bread, explaining why it was important to put the butter first and then the jam, not the other way around. Scowling, you sipped on your tea, stomach too in knots to down anything else, lest you wanted to throw up all over the table from so much anxiety building up in your gut.

By the looks of it, you thought to yourself, the Bakugou family was not going to make an appearance. That meant he took your advice and didn’t tell them, made the right decision.

It felt a little...odd. You were happy to be spared the humiliation, but at the same time...you did want to see who his parents were, how they were like as people. Who did he take after? Whose attitude did he inherit? What about the hair? You knew for a fact he didn’t have to do anything to that mane of blond spikes to make them look so..explosive. Your fingers ran through them without obstacle that time in the storage --not now. You blushed furiously as you set down your cup.

“You better not patronize me, brat! I will stuff my purse down your--” “Mitsuki!” “Tch!”

Oh.

A lady with shoulder length explosive-looking blond hair came down the stairs first, swinging a purse, followed by a man with explosive-looking brown hair trying to placate her with soft words and delicate touches and a very pissed off Bakugou trailing behind them with a snarl on his face that made his lip curl upwards.

You had to be an idiot not to spot the similarities.

This was the Bakugou family.

“Ah, Bakugou!”

You lividly turned your head to watch your father’s passionate waving. Waving which forced the two members of the volatile family to turn as well and stare puzzled at your table. Their son took the lead and pushed between the two confused adults, forward, in your direction. That’s when you made eye contact, when the teenager plopped down and offered a short, respectful nod to your father.

...

You internally screeched, losing all color from your face.

“Katsuki?!” his mother was the first to stride up to the table, eyes wide, all while you and him continued to just stare dumbly at each other. More like, you were staring dumbly at him and he was just giving you his usual resting bitch face. “I apologize for my son, I don’t know why--”

“Oh, I invited him and your family to have breakfast with us --”

“Katsuki?!” “But who are you?” “Do you know our son?’

A myriad of questions poured forth and you had trouble keeping up with the franticness of the situation, feeling your heartbeat quickening and your palms getting clammy. All while your father stood up and tried to explain things as calmly as he was able.

“Son, why didn’t you tell us?” “Is that alright? I wouldn’t want to impose if there were other plans-- I’m --” “I recognize you! From Tv. You’re Berserker, the pro-hero, right? Oh, it’s a pleasure to meet you!”

The father Bakugou began an easy conversation with your father, introducing himself as Masaru and apologizing for the awkwardness, saying he ‘had no idea, because Katsuki didn’t say anything, but now understands why he rushed them out the door at ten for breakfast’ --he then left shortly to get his family some breakfast and beverages. 

Mitsuki, as she hastily introduced herself with a polite smile, the mother, was very friendly as well, joining in on the topic and pausing to coo at your two siblings, saying how adorable they were and going as far as attempting to pinch Hyo’s cheeks.

Until Hyo made a little growling noise and your father had to apologize for it, taking the chance to introduce them both and lastly, you. That's when the husband returned, setting down the drinks and a basket with rice cakes, eggs and toast. It was the distraction you needed to calm your erratic breathing. 

“That makes sense now, I had no idea our Katsuki was working alongside you,”

Bakugou rolled his eyes and downed the orange juice his father just placed in front of him.

“Well, that is a stretch. We have many sidekicks, but the other pro-heroes tend to talk a lot about his potential,” your father commented easily “Besides, I learned that my daughter and your son go to U.A. together as well, I thought it would be a good thing to socialize, considering,” his eyes settled suspiciously on the ash blond.

Your heart was up in your throat. 

Bakugou made a choking noise, as soon as those words came out of your father’s mouth and then coughed loudly, hitting his sternum with his fist to make it stop.

what an embarrassing situation!

    なんて恥ずべきことだ!
  
    Nante hazubeki kotoda!
  

“Oh?”

Red orbs, identical to his, scanned you from head to toe. And you felt as if you were being sized up by an apex predator. Mitsuki then broke into a smile “Are you friends with Katsuki?”

“F-Friends?” inevitably, your voice trembled and your face turned beet red. Most certainly not friends.

That was when Bakugou finally came to your aid and groaned loudly, intentionally, making all the attention turn to him instead of your incriminating face. “What’s with that question? Tch. You’re so nosy! That’s why I never bring anyone home,” he angrily spat at his offended-looking mother “Did anyone ask you anything you brat?!”

Oh god. Your pulse was rocketing.

“Mitsuki! Katsuki!”

“So!” your father intervened as well, trying to dilute the tension that just broke out “What plans do you have for today? Perhaps some hiking? We love hiking, don’t we?” he turned to you furtively, then to your two unusually quiet siblings, that simply stared with big eyes at the unfolding scene.

You sighed shakily. This was not going well. There was a constricting feeling in your stomach, like you were about to throw up.

“Well, me and my son do love climbing, if I’m being honest! When he was little, he had so much energy and we needed to find something that he could pour all that into. Not many sports made an impact on him, except climbing! I’ve been taking him climbing every summer vacation since we discovered he likes it!” Masaru continued, ever willing to mediate, it seemed.

Your hands, folded in your lap, crumpled the fabric of your long t-shirt into fists.

Anxiety was eating you up from the inside and you couldn’t help feeling like you were being suffocated by the proximity of everyone at the table. The chatter around you turned into background noise and your ears buzzed while your heart slammed against your ribcage. There was this unbearable hotness beginning around your head, temples, cheeks and throat and you felt nauseous.

Your slouched posture must have been noticed, because your brother’s little hand came to tug at a lock of your long hair to gain your attention. When you glanced at him, he worriedly looked up at you and in his eyes’ reflection, you could see how deathly pale you appeared. “Nēchan? Are you okay?”

And that was enough to make the whole table look at you.

That was it.

“I --I have to use the restroom!” you shot up from your cushion instantly, not even looking at any faces as you scrambled around the small body of Hyo and marched purposefully out of sight, into the hallway where the bathrooms were signaled to be as per the wooden sign on the wall across. The end of the corridor was actually framed by two sliding doors that gave way to the gardens, a passage which you gladly took instead of the restrooms.

When the clean mountain air filled your nostrils and the sun caressed your face, you felt the tension melting away, little by little. It was quiet, except for the cicadas, the running of water and the occasional thump of the tsukubai not too far away. The greenery was calming, so you stood there and let your hearing take in all the familiar, harmonious sounds.

breathe

    呼吸する
  
    Kokyū suru
  

You must have made quite the impression. Leaving like that, so rude.

What awful person did that? Your father must be embarrassed now.

How could you return now? You didn’t want to.

You just --”Thought I’d find you here, catty-breath,” with wide eyes and a pathetic whimper, you turned to meet the bored gaze of Bakugou, peeking through the sliding doors. He casually pushed one of them aside and stepped out completely, moving those cherry red irises over the garden in silent appreciation.

“I’m sorry --” “It’s fine,” he grumbled before you could apologize. He was wearing a black t-shirt with a skull over his chest and some camouflage sweatpants, paired with camel-colored boots. "They're a damn handful. I know,"

You weren’t fancy either, with your dark grey t-shirt that went past your buttocks, the black tights and the worn-out orange sneakers you always liked to wear.

“I don’t...I don’t want to go back,”

“Then don’t,” came his curt reply, hands comfortably stuffed in the pockets of his pants. He didn’t even look at you, he just kept glancing around, which mildly annoyed you.

“But I have to,” you retorted, brows furrowing and gaze shamefully aimed at the floorboards under your feet instead.

...

breathe

    呼吸する
  
    Kokyū suru
  

Suddenly, his hand reached out and caught yours. When you looked at him, he was already off the terrace and pulling you with him, down the concrete step-stones of the garden with a wicked glint in his eyes that didn’t quite reach the rest of his features.

“Then let’s just run off,”

Your lips parted to protest but the way your heart leaped in your chest made words feel worthless.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

There is always a point in time, when two people that come together, fall in love, when they connect in a way that’s impossible to explain. It’s a short moment, a second, a heartbeat, in which you feel everything and nothing at the same time. The world falls apart and there's just two souls left, brought together by a red string trying them around each other, fates intertwined.

You supposed, that’s what happened, because your hand wrapped around his and tightened, while your whole body felt weightless in the motion.

He dragged you with, in a rush, not the desperate trying-to-get-out kind, but the rebellious-getting-away type. It felt good, liberating. Were you really doing this? This cliche runaway twist that lovers did in dramas and novels?

It made you grin and cackle at how absurd this whole escape was, how utterly childish this felt and a plethora of emotions tried your heart mercilessly. The best part was, he was right there with you, a reckless troublemaker, grinning impishly, and that alone made this precious as the two of you bolted by confused locals and tourists alike throwing themselves out of the way and shouting incoherent things after you for not saying sorry. And your smile only widened as you sprinted behind him, still holding hands like two young fools.

you felt free

    あなたは自由に感じました。
  
    Anata wa jiyū ni kanjimashita.
  

By the time you stopped, your laughing was a mix of panting and wheezing, resting just behind a traditional crafts shop. Bakugou was leaned on the wooden wall, watching you with a certain spark in his eyes, just before pushing off and catching your cheeks between his calloused hands. While you both had stamina to last you a long time, the whole excitement of the moment coupled with the laughing, caught up with your bodies, and, just like you, he was catching his breath while he just stared at your smiling face. “That wasn’t so fucking hard, was it?”

Your own hands covered his as you let out a series of breathy chuckles. “No, not really, but we’re gonna be in trouble,”

“Fuck that,”

His head tilted slightly and he leaned closer, closer, closer --was this going to be like the storage closet? The other kisses were small pecks on the lips, a light breeze compared to that passionate first one. That one would always remain in your memory, you wistfully realized. Your eyes slowly slid shut and the smell of burnt sugar filled your senses like a hazy mess --until, oh --”You two punks better not be shagging behind my shop!”

What?

Instantly, your eyes snapped open and with just a brush of the lips, you pulled away, forcing Bakugou to yank back as well, with a nasty scowl at the one that interrupted you.

“Oh you two shameless --”

“What did you just say to me you old --”

Shit.

Bakugou was getting ready to turn around and face the old woman waving her walking stick around, but you had other plans. Your hand found his again and with a short giggle paired with the intertwining of fingers, you pulled him along, successfully distracting him from the obscenities the grandma was spouting the further you went.

“That fucking---”

“Let’s go somewhere else, Bakugou,” you knowingly interrupted him, twirling around to give him a little smile. Public shows of affection did get uncomfortable when witnessed by third parties and you felt bad for allowing someone to see something that would normally make you cringe just as much.

Maybe you got too ahead of yourself there, lost sight of the world around. But he didn't give a fuck about the world.

“Where the hell do you wanna go?” his eyes narrowed at you, and you noticed how, despite the annoyance on his face, he didn’t let go of your hand, just held tighter and allowed you to lead.

Where did you want to go? Aimlessly, you shrugged, golden orbs darting around for anything, anywhere.

“Anywhere,” you replied simply, glancing back. “Anywhere is fine, as long as it’s not back there,” and just as you said that, a thought ran through your mind, something that should have been important sooner.

“Bakugou,” you paused, having him stop by your side with an inquisitive raise of a brow “I forgot my phone in my room,”

As if not even fazed by your words, the male just scoffed “I left mine in the room too. What’s so freakin’ bad about that?” one of his hands came up to scratch at the back of his neck, nonchalantly.

So no phones. That meant no way for the parents to contact you two. Brows knitted together in worry, already imagining scenarios that made you anxious.

“Stop overthinking,” he snapped at you, so suddenly that it made you jolt slightly from the tonality of his voice. You stared at him like a deer caught in headlights. Taking a step forward, he tugged on your arm, prompting you to follow his steps as he took the lead. “I know where we can go, so c’mon, stop wasting time with useless bullshit,”

Said and done.

simple

    単純な
  
    Tanjun'na
  

However, you didn’t expect for that place to be a small tea shop on the fringes of the resort. It took you what felt like an eternity of walking through winding, narrow streets and alleyways to find the place, right across a small bridge over a little stream that ran in the area. The further you went, the more traditional the houses became and you would stop sometimes to just look for a little longer, lingering over the sights and the differences between the touristic center and the old country architecture of the outskirts.

“When I grow old I’d love to move here, live the rest of my days in this place,” you mused, somewhat morbidly, if Bakugou’s grimace was anything to go by. “Who the fuck plans the days before they die?”

“It’s good to have a plan,”

“Shit, you’re weird,” he finished climbing the narrow steps up to the small rustic shop and turned to you, waiting for you to be done staring off at the sun slowly setting in the horizon. “Why don’t you come up here and live in the fucking moment for now?” that made your gaze turn to him, finding a hand outstretched towards you.

“You know, Bakugou,” a small smile bloomed over your lips “That might not be the worst idea you’ve had recently,” and you grasped his hand as you climbed the last steps, stopping right in front of him and allowing yourself to simply take him in, orange glow and glimmering rubies. He had a boyish charm to him that you came to appreciate, with all his explosive looks and cocky personality. There was just this way that he looked at you recently, something that you couldn’t pinpoint, but it felt so intense it was impossible to turn away or pretend you didn't notice it.

“Just shut your smartass mouth and let’s go inside,”

In response, your heart skipped a beat and the very tips of your ears felt hot.

This day didn’t go so bad after all.

Apparently, the little place didn’t only make the best green tea around, they also served Bakugou’s favorite spicy noodles. And while you savored the hot beverage, under the careful scrutiny of the owner, an old man named Yamada, your companion pigged out on the food like he had a black hole instead of a stomach.

Yamada was a very attentive host, asking if you enjoyed the blend, saying that was his secret recipe for the best tea in Japan, but his wife chimed in with a snarky “Actually, that’s my grandmother’s recipe, you didn’t do anything, silly old man,” while carrying the second serving of spicy noodles for Bakugou. The latter snorted at the banter the two had while you were there, otherwise remaining unusually quiet. Not many people came here because they didn’t advertise it modernly, through social media or flyers, but by word of the mouth.

“I found the place when I got lost once during vacation. The old man helped me with directions, been coming here since then,” he explained on your walk back to the Onsen. The atmosphere between the two of you became weirdly comfortable and you appreciated how he went out of his way to make you feel better after that disaster in the morning. Even if, you knew, he would never admit to that being his intention.

The closer you got, however, the heavier your heart felt.

“What are they gonna think? We both just ran off at the same time, they’re bound to at least suspect something,” you worriedly peeked at him. On his part, Bakugou seemed pretty calm and indifferent, walking casually by your side, with his hands lazily stuffed in his pockets and a neutral expression on his face.

“I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks,” his reply was short and clear “Parents or otherwise,” he added, glancing down at you and your flushing cheeks. If only you could have the same boldness in you.

amazing

    すごい
  
 
    Sugoi
  

“Sometimes...sometimes I’m jealous, you know...of you,” the confession sprouted from your mouth before you could even think it through “I wish I could be so lion-hearted, so...immune to what people think or say,” it was too late to take it back, so you just went on, finally voicing the thoughts that often plagued you at night.

“Lion-hearted? Tch, that sounds cool,” he kicked a pebble out of his way, that scorching gaze of his aimed at the pavement in a rare softness that you almost missed “But I’m not that fucking good at it all the time,” the last part was said in a quieter tone, like he was weary that somebody might find out, might hear him and have his whole reputation crumble around him.

But you heard him, clear as a bell. “What do you mean?”

“I’m not gonna say it, so don’t make me freakin’ say it,” he grumbled, a sharp glare sent your way “Nobody’s perfect, stop saying shit like that, stupid,” when his jaw set and lip jutted out in annoyance, you knew to drop it. That was deep enough for him, that was enough showing sides of him that were not meant to be seen.

“Thank you, for saying that,”

“Whatever,”

“You just have to have the last word,”

...

“I’m leaving tomorrow,”

Your eyes widened at the sudden statement. “Home?”

“Yeah,”

You were in the Onsen’s parking lot by now, close to the entrance, where a few lights were still on inside. “Oh,” that was all you could muster “I guess...I’ll see you at school?” but before you could say anything else, a painful flick on the forehead made you hiss in surprise --”What the --what is wrong with--” you were ready to go on a cussing out mission, glaring at the asshole with all your might, when he suddenly leaned over and pressed his mouth to the place he just hit.

Thump.

And stood like that. Long enough to make your whole face turn into a burning furnace as you took lungfuls of his scent. Even his heart, it was beating faster than normal, oh god, this was so...overwhelming and embarrassingly intimate! But you stayed there, still as a rock, hands over his chest because you were about to bring them up to rub your forehead when he made this ridiculously cheesy move on you and trapped them like that. Was that a kiss on the forehead? Was this his way of ‘kissing it better’? Wait --did he flick your forehead just to have an excuse for this?

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Nevertheless, it felt nice, this...whatever this was.

Just as it began, it was finished, in a few moments, when he pulled away with a face you couldn’t read. “You talk too damn much,”

“H-Have a safe..trip?”

His features settled into a deadpan look. “Just go in already,”

He didn’t like saying goodbye, did he? Nothing was normal human behavior with him, you realized.

“Fine. Goodnight,”

“Night,”

Was he going to stay out longer? Was he letting you go in first so not to make people look at you weird? Were there any people around to begin with? Whatever, you had to go, regardless of what he wanted to do.

Seeing your hesitance, he glared at you, irritated. “What are you doing? Move your ass!”

Okay. That was enough to put you in motion.

 

... 


As soon as you reached the second floor, where your suite was, however, you began worrying again, to the point where you just stood in front of the sliding doors anxiously and fidgeted with your shirt’s hem. There was some noise coming from inside, sounding like the TV was on, but it was too late for your siblings to be awake. And did your father care enough to stay up and wait for you? You were still bitter from the morning's events. A little rush of a rage long extinguished began sparking anew. 

Taking a deep breath, you pushed on the wooden barrier and stepped inside the dimly lit living area.

“Shōko?! Tora!”

Immediately, two strong arms wrapped themselves around you and lifted you up in a tight embrace. The impact was dizzying and momentarily, you were stunned and rigid at the contact, unfamiliar but familiar at the same time. “You’re back! Where have you been? Why didn’t you say anything? What happened to you?” the barrage of questions, the nuzzling of your father’s face into your hair as he held you so close, it made you breathe in shakily. Like a knot, your chest constricted.

What was happening?

“I’m --I’m fine...I just...I was just...uncomfortable?” your voice sounded weak and as he set you down and leaned slightly to look at your face, you knew he noticed the crack in your strong facade as well. Both his hands cupped your face and for the very first time in some very long years, he looked you in the eyes, really looked at you, not furtively, not for just a second, not with anything but concern and love.

“I’ve been worried sick, I was about to call the police because I didn’t know --I tried looking for you, I felt so --” helpless? You’ve been feeling that way too. His eyes looked like he was about to cry “I know I’ve been...I haven’t been myself lately, Shōko, I’m sorry if...if that made you --”

Father--” “I know that things haven’t been quite alright between us, I thought that if..if we came here, then maybe it would be a way for us to bond again. I didn’t even realize how --”

Father,”

“--how it made you feel. I didn’t even think of that, how stupid of me, right? I’m an awful father, aren’t I? Letting my grief affect you like this, making you uncomfortable --” “Father…” “ --but you have to know, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, you know I love you, I love you more than anything in this world, you and Shishi and Hyo are my world, everything and--”

“Papa!”

His blabbering stopped. Your lips were quivering and eyes welling up with annoying tears. He said he loved you, he said so much, he --he really --”I’m sorry, papa,” it didn’t even matter anymore, where you’ve been or why he had been acting that way, nothing mattered at this moment more than this precious thing that blossomed again in your chest. Like a flower, it had wilted with no nourishment, but now, as you looked in your father’s eyes and saw the same shimmering tears in them, you felt it come to life again. That wonderful feeling.

You broke into a choked up sob and wrapped your arms around his neck just as he wrapped you in his warmth again, nuzzling your face under his chin like you used to do when you were little.

“Shh, shh, it’s alright, Shōko, everything is going to be alright,”

And god, you sure hoped so, because right now, your heart was going to burst from so much relief and happiness.

Chapter Text

my heart goes boom boom boom

    私の心はブームブームブームです
  
    Watashi no kokoro wa būmubūmubūmudesu
  

 

It was safe to say that Bakugou had it bad. There was no way around admitting the cold, real facts. 

The feeling of anxious, suspenseful, angry and eager longing to be around the object of his attention, turned and twisted into something...else, for lack of a better word, ever present, like a nagging old hag he knew. She ran through his mind persistently, like a fucking ghost he couldn’t catch no matter how hard he tried, almost every waking moment. Scratch that, he had a few inappropriate dreams about her too, that phantom feeling of her hand, her sparkling fucking eyes, the contours of her body and her plush lips haunting him like a vengeful poltergeist.

Perhaps the heat outside made it worse, perhaps her absence made it harder not to think about her, perhaps... many things.

What was truly clear was that it affected his everyday routine. To the point where he would end up staring dumbly at his toothbrush, in the bathroom, wondering how hers looked like, quickly evolving into a daydream envision of their toothbrushes sitting together in a shared toothbrush holder, his bristles no longer lonely by the sink, but with the company of hers. That would also mean sharing the same space, the same bathroom, the same bedroom, the same...home?

He would then promptly smack himself and glare at the mirror, cussing out the germs in his mouth and brushing his teeth aggressively, until he tasted blood.

It sucked that this was his last year and the internship was becoming more of a part-time job than the extracurricular activity it was meant to be in the beginning. There were also those damned exams he had to take at the end of the last semester, exams that would determine his place in this world, and, whether he would be set on the road to success or be kicked out in the dumps along those heroes that never got to make it.

Bakugou certainly knew what he wanted for himself.

Best Jeanist taught him all he could in regards to hero work and there was no more to be shared between mentor-apprentice, other than the vague experience on the field, as that could range from boring patrols to stopping crazy ass villains hell-bent on killing everything in their sight and shooting up banks. One day was not like the other, and, as the number 3 pro-hero said when Katsuki began his last year, ‘Take all you can from each situation. Learn to adapt and be flexibly resourceful, because life can and will throw unexpected quizzes your way. You don't want to be caught with your proverbial jeans around your ankles' --it also meant that by graduation day, he was pressured into settling for a codename as well, like he had time to even think of that.

Some would probably blow up from all the weight and stress placed upon their shoulders, but Katsuki liked to believe he was carrying it all without a visible strain --though, he still didn’t understand why ‘Lord Explodo-kill’ was not an appropriate alias or why everyone was so butthurt over hero names. If he were honest, he knew worse.

Whatever.

    なんでも
  
    Nan demo
  

Today felt like one of those boring patrol days, where he ended up having lunch on some rooftop with a good view over the sector assigned, forced to be satisfied with just junk food in his stomach. School lasted a total of three hours, as some days usually did, where he couldn’t even catch a glimpse of catty-breath. Granted, she must be pretty busy, what with her provisional license exam looming over her like a cloud of shit. When was that again?

The only contact he had had since the summer break days were a few text messages, few inbetween.

He scrunched up his face as he tried to remember. She definitely mentioned the date of the examination day…

….

Oh.

Today. Shit.

Bakugou halted all movement, right behind the pro-hero in charge with the scheduled patrol time today, prompting the aforementioned male to do the same and look back at the blank face of his sidekick. A face that most men made when they realized something important had been happening right under their noses.

“Bakugou?”

Ever relentless, an idea sparked in his brain, a quick scramble to make it fixable, after all, the day didn't end --and, he worked at a hero agency, they had to have some connections. “Oi, you know anyone from the Provisional Hero Licence division?”

The man turned around fully to stare at Katsuki with a raised eyebrow. “Why would I --why do you need to know that?”

Growing irritated, as this was a sensitive matter, the younger male clenched his fists and did his best to swallow back the vulgar reply bubbling to the surface. That wouldn’t help him much in this situation, he had to play it smart. “Family. I need to know if they passed,”

“Oh,” the pro-hero scratched at the back of his neck, humming to himself “I don’t know someone personally, Best Jeanist is very good friends with someone on the board, though,”

Or he could go ask her father. Surely she would have told him if she did pass or not.

“Huh, I almost forgot that was today. My sister’s nephew is participating this year. He tried a few times before, hopefully the fifth time’s the charm, right?”

No. He couldn’t ask her father. Not after the stunt they pulled back at the Onsen. Besides, Katsuki hadn’t seen him at the agency in a while, just a glimpse last week. Apparently, he was assigned to a mission that required a longer time period of being away, or that’s what he heard the agency PR tell Best Jeanist while he happened to be in the pro-hero’s office. Speaking of parents, his parents made sure to make him feel embarrassed enough regarding the situation that he had a hard time even looking in Berserker’s direction for too long without having his mother's voice ring through his mind like a bell of shame.

“That poor girl, how does she even cope? To think that this has been happening right under my nose! You punk! Why didn’t you say something!”

“Mitsuki, you should be happy for our son--”

“Shut up, Masaru! This is not the time!”

“Mitsuki--”

“Listen here, you brat! You better treat her with respect or I will smack you so hard you won’t even remember your own name!”

oh, he remembered

ああ,彼は覚えていた 
    Ā, kare wa oboete ita
  

Though, Berserker didn’t seem fazed enough to actually confront him about the incident yet. That, or he remained blissfully oblivious to what really happened. Bakugou doubted the latter very much. It didn’t help the 'no texts, no calls,no talking about it' from catty-breath either. Considering the stressful period, he allowed the space and the quiet. They both needed it.

But now it felt like too much time without contact. Something must have happened.

 

...

 

“Absolutely not,”

The ash blond glared daggers at the hero clad in denim. “Why the fuck not?”

Language,” the older male admonished, his eyes narrowing above the mask made of jeans, before folding his arms over his chest, standing up from his desk “And because it’s highly unprofessional to use my contacts to check on your family members --” then he paused, falling into thought and staring blankly at the scowling face of his young protege.

“You don’t have family participating in the examination,”

Cold dread made Katsuki’s palms sweat all of a sudden and his face completely deadpanned.

“How do you know that?”

“I have your file,”

“That doesn’t explain shit,”

“Language,” the second admonishment came swift with a stern look “Who is it that you wish to check on so desperately?”

“Desperately?! That’s fucking--” Bakugou stumbled to a halt when Best Jeanist cleared his throat in warning “T-that’s stupid! Nobody. Forget I even said anything,” and with that, he turned on his heel to leave his mentor’s office, thoroughly flustered and angry.

“I can help, if you tell me who it is,”

But Bakugou turned his head only to give the pro-hero a vicious glare, lip-curled and brows furrowed in a nasty frown. “No fucking way!”

 

...

 

And that was that.

He didn’t want to call or text either, he didn’t want to seem eager about what she did or else she might think he was some stupidly obsessed nerd. She’d tell him. On her own. Without him insisting.

They were a couple. She’d feel the need to say something, right?

….

The more he pondered on it in the common living room, draped over the green couch, next to Kirishima, the more he thought that maybe she wouldn’t. She wasn’t that type of person. She rarely did things like that of her own volition, unless she was, situationally speaking, backed into a corner.

Fuck it.

‘you alive?’ --it sounded better in his head, but before he could back-track, his thumb hit send.

Eyebrows knit together, he waited.

And waited.

And waited some more. “Dude, you look like you wanna murder your phone,” came the unexpected statement from Eijirou, who the ash blond found had been leaning in closer to take a peek at what he was glaring at on his screen. Before the redhead could, however, Bakugou elbowed him back with a murderous glint in his eyes.

“Screw off.”

Enough was enough. Kirishima blinked, dumbfounded, and watched as Katsuki shot up from the couch and marched to the doors of their dormitory building with purpose. “Where are you--”

“To the fucking store!” the blond growled out before his friend could finish that question, carelessly stuffing his feet into some beaten down sneakers he had by the entrance hallway.

“Oh--”

“Do you want anything, shitty hair?!”

“No, I’m fi-”

And the door slammed behind the explosive hero-to-be.

Truthfully, right now, Bakugou was riled up. She didn’t answer his text, the only one she got from him in a few days now. Though, she’d clearly read it. It said so. Shoving his hands into his sweatpants’ pockets, the boy’s back slouched slightly while he stomped his way towards the bus station. What did he even want to buy from that stupid store? He had no clue, he just wanted to get out of there.

stupid.

    愚か。
  
    Oroka.
  

Inevitably, he realized that her class’ dormitory was in the other direction, so he paused abruptly and glared at the pavement.

Fuck it.

He turned on his heel and stomped back aggressively. He was just gonna look. Just to make sure she was fine. He knew the window and the floor she was on, after all, she did jump out of it that time when he helped her with the table. It was fair to assume that was where she lived. Not that he specifically wanted to remember her room’s specific location, he just remembered things at convenient times, his memory was extremely good.

Taking advantage of the high green hedge surrounding the building in the same pattern as his class’, Bakugou came to a stop just in the right spot to have the right angle to see her window clearly.

No light.

Despite all the other windows next to hers being alight.

His teeth clenched in a nasty scowl as he pulled his phone out and glowered at it with all his might. It definitely said 'read' under the message bubble. Did something bad happen then? Did she not pass the examination? Was she embarrassed and upset? Was this why she didn’t say anything yet?

He didn’t pass it first try either. He remembered how he felt.

Maybe she was up there, needing some sort of comfort but unable to ask for it. Normally, Bakugou was not a touchy-feely type of guy, he wasn’t good at offering advice or showing compassion. For her, however, he was willing. To try, that is.

Just like he tried that time when she was filing her nails on the staircase's step. Something felt right about cheering her up. Then and now.

Even if he had to climb up that fucking building and get to her first.

....

“What are you doing?”

The determined glint in his eye fizzled out into a livid expression morphing on his face almost in slow motion, thought process catching up with the voice.

Her voice.

When he turned his mortified eyes to look at her, doing his best to regain his composure and school his features into their usual neutral state, as if he wasn’t thinking up a plan to clamber up to her room’s window without making noise, he was actually taken aback by how okay she appeared.

An oversized t-shirt hung over her bare thighs, making his gaze lower down to her scraped knees and the worn out yellow sneakers she seemed so fond of always wearing. Red orbs traveled back up to her unimpressed face, which had a particularly ugly scrape on her right cheek and a nick above her eyebrow. Otherwise, she looked fine.

Too bad words failed him.

Her astute gaze flicked from him to her window, the object of his previous attention.

“Were you checking up on me? Like a stalker?”

what?

    何?
  
    Nani?
  

Stalker? Fire blazed up in his chest anew at the insinuation. “Who the fuck would wanna stalk you? I wanted to know if your sorry ass was still alive, cause you don’t wanna reply to my damn text,”

Her brows pulled together. The angry shiba inu look.

And just like that, his irritation melted away and he huffed, glancing away from her. “I didn’t reply because I wanted to get back in my room first,” she spoke calmly, her footsteps approaching. Bakugou clicked his tongue and leaned his head to the side, avoiding the peering of her golden eyes, knowing she was close enough to see everything.

“Where were you anyway?” he sulkishly asked in a mumble, kicking a foot out like a child.

“To the store,”

“Tch,”

…..

The plastic bag in her hand should have been pretty telling. 

“I don’t wanna go back inside now,”

He side eyed her, jaw jutting out and eyebrows twitching into a light frown. “Then don’t,”

Was this deja-vu he was experiencing?

“Do you have anywhere in mind?”

“If you wanna break the curfew,”

“I feel like it should be an exception tonight. I feel bad now that you’re out here and I can’t invite you in either,”

....

He rolled his shoulders, casually staring out in the opposite direction.

“I know a place,”

 

 ...

 

The riverbank was quiet at this time. Only the streetlights above broke the serenity of the night, with the occasional passing car and the lulling sound of cricket wings.

She was sipping from a can of orange fizzy drink, and he was just opening his own cherry flavored one that she offered to him as soon as they sat down on the grass, uncaring about the clothes they were wearing. These absolutely trivial realities seemed too far away to be reached in this moment by either of their minds.

The familiarity of the place made the ash blond a tad more relaxed, blurry memories of his childhood years coming back like some old movie scenes, scratchy and mute; a confession from some girl in middle school coming to mind, pushing stupid Deku in the water, coming here alone to think. But she was here with him now and suddenly, all his senses became acutely aware of her presence, altogether, committing this to his memory. Her breathing, the slight bounce in her bent legs, the way that stupid t-shirt rode up her thigh and the way her eyelashes fluttered every time she blinked.

He rested his elbows on his spread knees, bent just enough to give an air of casualness. The can of cherry fizzy drink dangled between his right hands’ fingers lazily and his mouth set in a firm line.

She took a sip from hers again and he could hear the restless bubbles of the beverage come to the surface after she settled it back down.

He needed to say something.

“Mmm,”

Well, that was a stupid sound to make, so before he made a fool out of himself, the boy cleared his throat and stared intently at the river surface, focusing on the sound the lapping water made in tandem with the crickets.

“So, it’s no big deal if you have to take the examination again, you don’t have to give a shit what others think about--”

“But I passed. Why do I need to take it again?” she interrupted with amusement in her voice, forcing him to halt abruptly in the speech he was going to give. Before he could even think of anything else, she sighed and shimmied closer to him, arms brushing against one another and head leaning on his shoulder “Thank you for that, though, Mina-san told me you and Todoroki-kun didn't on the first try,”

Damn that pink idiot.

The suddenness of the gesture, however, had him tense up like a coil, ready to jump and...and do something, while his face reddened furiously, to the tips of his ears, and he had to hide his face into the sleeve of his opposite shoulder because he felt like a nerd. Though he was pissed with that Ashido, he couldn't bring himself to say anything.

Fuck it.

He closed his eyes and breathed in, muscles relaxing under her weight and company.

“I’m sorry for not being...a normal type of girlfriend,” she muttered tiredly, shifting more of her weight into his side. At the apology, Bakugou’s eyelids slid open and he glanced at her face, her golden irises catching him off-guard. “I don’t...I’m not very good at this,” she confessed to his face. The only thing Katsuki could do was stare dumbly at how sublimely out of place she looked there, yet how right she felt at the same time, right there, right next to him.

“What’s a normal type of girlfriend?” words spilled out without filter, red orbs fixed on those gleaming citrines of hers.

Her lips pulled into a smile, making her already sparkling eyes brighten up instantly.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

Shit. He was all red again, wasn’t he? Why was she so damn cute?

He had to avert his gaze, lest she sees how easily she can get through to him. “I guess...the type that calls and texts her boyfriend all the time, the type that…” she straightened up, leaving the warmth of his side “The kind that is clingy, overly-affectionate, that makes bento boxes for him every day or...the type that would buy matching keyrings and take lots of pictures with them together to show her friends,” her voice sounded softer and softer the more she went on and Bakugou risked a peek. Her shoulders were slumped and her expression defeated.

“The type that’s not like me…”

“That sounds fucking annoying, to be honest,” he grunted, frowning and glaring away as soon as she turned her head to look at him. “I’d get...annoyed…”

“Really?”

“Tch. Of course!” he angrily declared and brought the can of juice up to his mouth, chugging it down ungracefully, until there was nothing in it. He was kind of...like that, wasn’t he? Clingy, as she put it. Was it so wrong to have matching keyrings, though? He crushed the can in his bare hand and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

“I don’t think you mean that,” she spoke, her tone having some kind of finality to it, like no matter what he was gonna say, her mind would not be changed “That’s why, I...I wanna be better at this, it’s kind of unfair to you, isn’t it?” she looked at him with that shiba inu scowl, making his heart beat erratically in his chest.

“I like you,” she declared simply “That’s why I wanna try harder,”

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Fireworks bloomed in his stomach and chest at the same time, his mouth felt dry and his whole head too hot. Without even realizing, the popping of small explosions coming from his clammy palms, right against his knees, had broken the moment. Dumbly, he stared down at the slowly burning material.

“Bakugou, you’re setting your pants on fire,”

.....

........

They ended up walking back to Alliance Heights hand in hand. His pants had holes at his knees and they were partially wet, his sneakers sloshed at every step, but he was fucking happy.

Chapter Text

all the sparkling stars smile at me

すべての輝く星が私に微笑みかけます 
    Subete no kagayaku hoshi ga watashi ni hohoemi kakemasu


 

 

“Don’t worry about it too much,” Mina had told you a few days back, while at lunch. The hours were slowly slipping away and you were counting the stressful minutes until the clock struck ‘examination time’. As it was an important milestone in one’s hero career, it was understandable why you were so worked up over it.

“Ashido-san, I can’t help it! It’s...it’s so close!”

The pinkette grinned knowingly. She’d been through this, you should take her words to heart and remain calm, but when did that ever work out well for you? “I know, I know. I’ll let you in on something about our top three, just to put your mind at ease,”

You perked up at that, eyes set on her face and ears twitching with the attention you suddenly surrendered completely to the upperclassman.

“Did you know…” she trailed off, index finger pressing over her lower lip playfully “...that Todoroki-kun and Bakugou-kun didn’t pass on the first try?”

Oh.

Wow. 

really?

    本当に?
  
    Hontōni?
  

At that time, you were stunned by the information. How could such powerful quirks not ensure a safe passage through this sort of examination? You’d think they would be the ones to pass it the easiest, considering.

However, when you stood in the midsts of it all, lost, while everyone was savagely trying to get by, no matter the manner in which they succeeded, you began to understand. Anything could have happened. Anything could happen. 

The whole arena looked like a warzone, people hunting each other and the line between doing a good deed and being selfish becoming completely transparent. Many of your classmates, including you, were faced with this moral problem. In the end, this was a competition between many schools and while reputation was certainly important, at the core of it all, it was the righteous compass that led the right people on the right path. After all, not many were made from the right material to become heroes and when you stopped thinking about yourself and selflessly extended your kindness and help onto others, that’s when the heroes were separated from the proud and ambitious simple-minded.

“I think this is where many of us will really discover ourselves,” Bani had said just before you marched into the unknown, uncharacteristically anxious.

And she was right.

It might have been an examination, but everything had felt real, the intent behind other contestants’ participating, their ire, their will, the dirty tricks….even the malice in their eyes. The more popular the school, the meaner the looks. Needless to say, U.A. got the worst.

The first part of the examination was the most challenging, mostly because you had lost your classmates in the mass of hysteric wannabe-heroes pushing and shoving like an unforgiving wave to 'get it done'. And then you had a nasty run-in with the Shiketsu students, some of which used to be your classmates in your first year...and that was almost the end of you. They were unforgiving to someone that 'deserted' and they went out of their way just to make sure you knew that. 

“Traitor,” you remember one girl hissing that out while she stomped over your bruised back. It stung. Five against one. No matter the trick up your sleeve, it wasn't wise to go against them all, unless you wanted more than a battered body. The odds were not in your favor, but you did manage to stubbornly kick the girl in the ribs and headbutt her before she brought you down, so you grinned in the dirt at the damage you did. At least you gave them something to remember you by. 

In the words of Bakugou : "Fuck you!" 

Before she could end your short-lived exam, however, Bani swept in and the rest of your current classmates followed --or rather, the ones that still hadn't finished. Akira was quick to help you on your feet and you took the Shiketsu bastards right on.

“You look like you’re about to cry,” he commented while he helped you walk back to the tower when the end of the first phase of the examination was announced --with it, your temporary victory.

“Is it bad that I thought you guys abandoned me?”

“Have more faith. You’re with us now, we look after each other,” Bani interjected quite offended by that, if her tone and scoff were anything to go by.

The second phase involved rescue missions among the ruin that the first phase caused to the arena. Despite them being mock civilians, everything seemed real and convincing enough to spring you into action. Midnight had insisted upon going over the basics of rescue procedures a week back, so you deduced that it would serve you well to give them more importance in your studying and practicing --even if it was on Hyo and Shishi during your weekend visit.

By excelling during the second part, surprise villain attack and all, you proved that even with a destructive quirk, you could still be of help in delicate situations. After helping with a few victims, you joined those that held back the mock villains so the others could finish the job until the last civilian was brought to safety.

In that aspect, Akira and Kitai were most useful.

Now, after all the crazy was done and over with, a good day and a half later, as you stared at the sleek white card sliding between your fingers while you played with it, you wondered if it was even worth all the psychical and physical exhaustion you felt afterwards.

How could this little thing offer you so much freedom? It was kind of like a badge of sorts, but looked like a backstage pass in a way.

“So, I can act as a hero now?” you looked up at the back of Bakugou sitting at his desk and studying diligently. He suggested --no, demanded, that you sneak up in his room in the afternoon. It was a free day for him and the weekend for you. Because you didn’t have the balls to have him up in your room, he took the initiative with a ‘fuck their stupid rules’ kind of approach. In truth, you really did believe he didn’t give a fuck. He was already in his third year, small transgressions like this could be overseen if he were to get caught.

Regardless, you were a bit hesitant in accepting the offer. Not because you imagined some other sort of reason or intent for his surprising suggestion, but because you didn’t want anyone in trouble, especially yourself. He quickly shut that down with “Those nerds don’t even get close to my door,” which you could actually believe, considering his reputation and the way you saw him interact with his classmates.

So, here you were, awkwardly cross-legged on his bed, waiting for him to finish the last bit of studying he needed done before you could figure out what to do next. By the strewn around packs of junk food and fizzy canned drinks, the video games in the corner and the movies next to them, you could take a guess at what he had in mind. How totally normal of him.

“No, stupid. They are temporary licenses that enable you to legally engage villains in combat and save civilians in times of danger,” he cited eloquently, while flipping another page in his textbook and scribbling over some papers.

Right.

you forgot

    あなたが忘れてしまった
  
    Anata ga wasurete shimatta

Your rolled your eyes. 

Sometimes it caught you offguard how well-read and smart he was.

Then again, you did hear about his incredible strategies and tactics from other, older students that encountered him, things which could only come from a very intelligent mind, almost prodigious in nature. Not only that, but he was a very good student as well, at the top in more ways than one, if his grades were any indication. How did he end up with such a rowdy personality, you couldn’t understand. Those were polar opposite traits in your book. His room, too, looked to be very well organized and clean, another unexpected thing about Bakugou that surprised you as soon as you stepped foot on his balcony and tapped on his sliding glass doors. Bed made, no funny smells, tidy, no clothes thrown about, no garbage, no dust, no messes --not what you’d prepared yourself for, keeping in mind that it was a boy’s room.

Your male classmates were quite bad with keeping clean and neat, even in the common area, which you sometimes took upon yourself to tidy up with the help of the other girls. If you got lucky, some would end up feeling guilty and they would take out the garbage or vacuum the floor. Better than nothing, you reasoned with yourself many times. Their bedrooms were a whole new universe, however, and by the way Kitai’s looked like, you could only guess at the others.

Bakugou was a nice change.

You liked that. It was a new part of him that you just discovered and liked. You yourself were a particular breed of a neat-freak --part of why you always took the initiative in your class’ dormitory to clean.

“What are you doing anyway?” you asked after a long, thoughtful pause, during which you shoved the license card in your jean shorts’ backpocket.

“Reading shit,” came his short reply. Another page flipped.

“I assumed as much,”

Silence.

Whatever. You rolled your eyes again. Even if he told you, you probably didn’t care, you were just bored of sitting and doing nothing. Why did he even call you over and made you go through the trouble of climbing the damn building if he wasn’t even finished with his chore? Huffing, you plopped on your side, his scent filling your sensitive nostrils to the point where it made you feel light-headed. Caramel. Burnt caramel. Sweet. Your nose buried into the black covers of his bed as you sniffed contently.

Thank god his back was turned, otherwise he would think you a weirdo.

That night on the riverbank, you got to smell this again….just like in the storage room, where you felt it for the first time strongly emanating from him. Usually it was just a waft, a remnant, vague, but there, you never gave it much thought until recently. You liked that too. His smell. It made his presence known before you could even hear his footsteps lately.

Your eyes fell over the weights by the bed and you blinked lazily. The balcony door was still open and his gossamer curtains fluttered with the breeze. The sound of his continuous scribbling and your heartbeat made for a calm background noise that relaxed your muscles.

Like a spell, your legs uncurled from the edge of the bed and loosened as you settled more comfortably with a slight shift that lacked any kind of energy.

Shockingly, you didn’t feel too out of place in his room and while it felt odd to be in here at first, the moment you familiarized yourself with the space while he was busy, it was fine. Throughout your exploration, until you settled down, he didn't try to stop you once, hell, he didn't even turn to yell at you as you wandered. His lack of reaction only made you more comfortable, though. You knew he wasn’t the kind of guy to try anything stupid, he respected you, that was obvious, he wasn’t some perv trying to get you in his bed --well, he did get you in his bed, but not in that way.

Lethargically, your gaze strayed to his back, shoulder muscles tensing with the motion of his writing, almost hypnotically, peeking from underneath his sleeveless tank-top.

Slowly, your eyelids lowered further and further, until your vision blurred and darkened.

For once, your mind quieted down and you sighed your content with relish.

You were at peace with everything.

 

...


The next time you opened your eyes, the room was dark, no longer colored in pink and orange pastels from the sunset. The light of the small TV across the bed was the only source of sound, muffled as it had probably been turned to a low volume. Your pupils shrunk and dilated, quickly adjusting to the change.

Oh, you were still in his room. And cocooned in his blanket no less. He was sitting down by the edge of the bed, watching some reportage playing softly on the screen, his red eyes focused on the text running over the bottom. His features were highlighted, every curve, every dip, and you admired how handsome he was, when he wasn't scowling or angry.

“Why didn’t you wake me up?” your voice was sluggish, hoarse and annoying, even to your ears, but he didn’t seem bothered by it at all when he glanced back at your half-opened eyes.

“Cause you looked tired as shit,” he promptly answered, taking a moment longer to take your whole puffy face and ugly bed hair in “It’s only been two hours. At least you were quiet and I could finish my fucking assignment,” then he turned back around.

“Thoughtful,”

“You wanna eat? Cause I’ve been starving here waiting for your ass to wake up,”

Slowly, you shimmied out of the blanket cocoon and rolled over the edge of the bed, startling Bakugou when you suddenly crashed next to him and almost kicked him in the head in the process “What the fuck is--” he stopped, however, choosing to just glare down at your sheepish expression as you laid on his floor, legs settling hesitantly over his lap. Was that a blush on his face?

“I am kinda hungry,” you shifted your leg and you almost missed the way his red orbs traveled the expanse of bare flesh, starting from ankle to striped thighs, to the t-shirt that rode up and exposed your toned stomach.

Almost.

Realizing the promiscuity of it, you pulled yourself up and bent your legs underneath you, face flushed and gaze averted while you sorted yourself out.

He did the same, looked away, jaw set and brows pulled in a scowl. “You wanna go somewhere to eat?” he grumbled out the question as he stood up abruptly and turned on the light by his bed before he shut the TV off.

“Sure,” you meekly replied, also getting up, somewhat wobbly on your feet.

“Then you gotta sneak out the same way you got in,” he stated offhandedly, going to the door of his bedroom and glancing back blankly “See you down,”

What a gentleman. Again, you rolled your eyes. It wasn’t like you could just waltz out there while his classmates were around. Everyone would get the wrong idea. So, ruefully, you turned to the open balcony door.

Should you turn off the light first?

Indifferently, you looked around before sliding the glass door shut behind you. Nah.

leave it as it is

    そのままにしておきます
  
    Sonomama ni shite okimasu
  

You climbed up the ledge and crouched, sizing up the distance and wondering if your sleepy joints could handle it. Whatever. You leaped.

The landing was a bit off and you ended up hitting the hedge, but other than a few twigs and leaves stuck in your hair, you looked fine when you stumbled out of the perfectly-trimmed bushes.

Bakugou was patiently waiting there, looking pleased with himself when he saw you plucking out greenery from your puffy locks. “Took your sweet time,”

“Next time, you try doing that flawlessly,”

“It’d be too loud, catty-breath, but I totally would, just to prove my fucking point,”

You settled for a sour glare.

 ...

“So, what are you going to do for summer vacation?”

It was a topic. August was almost on the doorstep, signaling the end of the first term. While the short summer break earlier in July was nice, you were looking forward to enjoying a whole month off. Especially now that you passed all exams.

“Study and train,” he grunted, slurping from his drink after having devoured a burger in several bites.

It was stupid of you to say anything else. He was in his last year and he had to focus on that. But as you sat there on the sidewalk having this little meal, you wondered what the future would hold for this...oh, you hated saying it, but...relationship. You knew it was stupid to even think about it, after all, who could say how long it would last, but you were always one to ask these questions of yourself.

You did what you did best and kept to yourself, taking a timid bite of your own burger.

Dating was still a foreign concept, yet you did say you would try to be better at it, so you made it your mission to research it as soon as you got back to your room.

“What about you?”

Hm? You snapped out of your thoughts at his disarming question and the sideway glance he offered you. Swallowing the bite with some difficulty, you looked down at your scraped knee and the band-aid you had slapped on it carelessly.

“Umm...I don’t know…” you truthfully admitted, realizing you hadn’t made any plans for the prolonged break from school “Get ready for the second term...I guess,”

“Tch. You know you’re gonna do internships again, right?”

Right.

“O-Of course,”

He huffed, amused, muffling a sort of laughter that made his eyes soften. Your brows knitted together in a half-hearted frown. “Don’t laugh at my expense,”

“You just always like to sound so fucking sure of yourself,” he smirked, slurping from his drink again just as your lips pursed together, ready to contradict him, when suddenly, he draped an arm around your shoulders and pulled you in. Words were choked up in your throat and your eyes widened at the clear display of affection.

“You couldn’t have known that, stupid, they’re gonna tell you after the beginning of the term,”

Oh. Well, that made you even more annoyed. “You’re awful,”

But you didn’t pull away, you just accepted the half-embrace and smiled into his tank top, the smell of caramel engulfing your senses again.

 

 ...

 

The stupid smile didn’t vanish from your face for a very long time. Not even as you sat alone in your room, doing research on your laptop, like you had promised yourself you would.

‘17 easy ways to be a good girlfriend to your boyfriend’ had popped up after you typed into the search engine this arduous question that had bothered you for a while now : how to be a good girlfriend?

‘Want to be that girl who your boyfriend can’t stop talking about, and be with your man for keeps? Read up on these easy tips to being a good girlfriend.’ --your man? That was a stretch, honestly. You just wanted to know how to make a relationship work well...and how to be that kind of person he deserved.

You pressed on however, undeterred.

#1 Be the “friend” in girlfriend --oh. Your eyes quickly skimmed that one. It did make sense. Be a friend to him, a companion that he can trust. A bond. Did he trust you? It felt like he did. Were you trusting him? That made your smile fade a little. In retrospect, you did feel more at ease around him and you...shared things with him that you wouldn’t with others.

Regardless --you shook your head --this was something that came with time, you reasoned.

#2 Give him his space. Fair enough. You weren’t naturally clingy...but he did seem like he would prefer you to be sometimes. This is where your doubts began to flare up. Perhaps this article was trying to aim for a broader audience. You wouldn’t give up now.

#3 Like his friends. You smiled again, hope restored. You did like his friends, the ones he tolerated, that is.

#4 Make his friends like you. But you didn’t know them well enough. There was this redhead he seemed close to and he looked fun, so you liked him...but...approaching was...a bit much? The smile faded away once more, replaced by a worrying expression. Was this step important? Should you try to get to know the people around him more?

#5 Feed him well --oh...you weren’t feeding him anything. Was this important as well? Remembering your earlier conversation by the riverbank, he seemed like he’d like that too, that typical girlfriend that made bento boxes --should you do that too? Dread slowly laced into your stomach. You were shit at cooking.

#6 Don’t give him a reason to be jealous. You never did, did you? Besides, what other guy was really interested in you that way? You crossed that off completely, there was no reason to even take it into account.

The rest were kind of normal, like not nagging him or being a nice person and trusting him, but then your eyes fell on something particularly concerning.

#12 Be great in bed.

Your face immediately turned red and you almost exited the tab frantically, but then you paused, fingertip mid-air, remembering the way he had looked at you earlier in the day and with great effort, you bit down on your lip and continued to read.

‘Okay, so we’re not saying that you have to be a porn star.’ --oh god, you were really doing this ‘But sex can be an important part of any relationship, so make sure he feels that you’re enjoying it just as much as he is.’ --this was so embarrassing! Did he want this? ‘And if you’re not, speak up! Communicating with him, as well as listening and being open to his needs, is key to having great sexual chemistry.’

Sexual chemistry? Your face flushed hotter.

Like a whirlwind, you were thrown into another dimension of the internet, where you had to force yourself to read things out without whimpering helplessly at how uninformed you really were regarding the topic.

From questions about being in pain during the first time, to condom talks and foreplay, by the end of it, when you had had enough and slammed the laptop shut, you felt like you were overwhelmed by it all.

The question remained.

Did he want this with you? More importantly, did you want this with him? Was it too soon to even think about such things or was he the one being patient? More data had to be collected in this sense.

You just wanted to be a good girlfriend.

 

why was that so difficult?

    なぜそれがそんなに難しかったですか?
  
    Naze sore ga son'nani muzukashikattadesu ka?
  


A loud thud from outside your bedroom, however, snapped you right to attention. It was quite late at night and most of your classmates were probably asleep. You did end up spending too much time on the internet and forgot about the hour --as you now discovered, was striking a worrying 1am.

The thud resounded again, this time louder, making you jerk up from the chair at your desk.

On the third one, you were out the door, ears twitching in search of the source.

Just at that same moment, Bani came bursting out of her bedroom, which was the one next to yours, with eyes widened and forehead bleeding.

“Bani?”

Two other girls came out from their own bedrooms, awakened by the commotion.

A deafening scream left Bani’s mouth then and she began shaking violently, toppling over and scrambling into the wall across, raking her nails over the paint until they came off.

And all you could do was watch horrified.

what is this?

    これは何ですか?
  
    Korehanandesuka?
  

“It’s useless! It’s useless! They’re dying!”

In a heartbeat, both you and the other girls sprung into action, one held Bani down, you were quickly trying to shake her out of this manic episode and the other girl went to call a teacher for help. “Bani! Look at me!” you cradled her face between your hands while she thrashed against you and the other girl, things that made no sense whatsoever coming out in gibberish out of her mouth, repetitively.

“Bani!”

Her eyes were glazed over, as if she were in a trance, as if she was seeing something you couldn’t.

So, you slapped her as hard as you could.

“Are you crazy --” the other girl began, but then Bani’s body went completely still and despite the red mark left on her cheek, she was looking around, conscious of her surroundings. Her trembling didn’t stop though, neither did the heavy fall and rise of her chest as she took in everything.

Her arms were limp, fingertips bleeding and her forehead had a nasty cut in it as if she’d banged her head into something sharp.

“Bani?”

When her eyes fell on you, they filled with tears and a shaky whimper left her lips.

This made a shiver run down your spine. “Hey, Nousagi-san, what happened? You look like you--”

Quick footfalls halted your classmate holding Bani, Midnight showing up in her pajamas and a carelessly thrown-over cardigan on her shoulders, with the other girl behind, a concerned look on her face when she saw the state of your friend.

“You two, go back in your rooms, now! I’ll take it from here!”

The girl kneeling down with you nodded, but you clenched your fists and stood up “I want to help! She’s my friend! I’m not leaving her alone!”

Momentarily, Midnight seemed convinced, but then she just shook her head and a strong miasma took over your senses, wafting like a cloud in the air. Your mind became drowsy in an instant, just as the girl behind your teacher dropped on the floor, asleep, followed by the other one behind you and Bani.

Through clenched teeth, you struggled to remain vivid, but the battle was lost shortly and you hit the floor gracelessly.

What was happening? What was going to happen to Bani now? What happened to Bani in the first place?

“D-damn it…”

Chapter Text

our own way

    私たち自身のやり方
  
Watashitachi jishin no yarikata

 

The first sign that something was not quite right was the lack of a text message after the heart-stopping, gut-wrenching, stupid, amazing honesty moment that happened just a few nights prior.

“Probably busy,” he muttered to himself, pocketing his phone in the midst of class, right under the scrutinizing, judgmental glare of Iida's eyes.

Afterwards, Kirishima managed to take his mind off of the rising alarms in his head at that time, through ranting about some fighting game that just came out, involving characters modeled after real pro-heroes. He was hooked, for a while.

A whole night of competitive in-game fighting, in Kaminari's room, ensued, with small snack breaks and a lot of energy drinks thrown about. 

The second red sign came when rumors began circulating around, about one of the students in 2-A having had a psychotic break and being sent off in an ambulance, by none other than Midnight, their homeroom teacher. He tried to keep calm when he heard about it in the hallways from some loser passersby.

"That's awful! I hope they are doing better," Uraraka sympathetically spoke after asking for more details of the gossiping second year. 

They were from the same class as her. Of course they’d know before any of the others. He didn't appreciate the spreading of useless information, however. 

As protocol suggested, their teachers would never say anything about such an incident, everything was kept hushed as to not cause concern or panic, but Bakugou knew better and while he agreed with the fact that it could stir shit up, he couldn't help the sliver of annoyance at not knowing anything certain. Surely, her quietness was due to this event, unless she herself was that student, the coincidence didn’t feel like a random happening, but she would say something, right?

A cold chill ran down his spine at the prospect.

“No, she fucking wouldn’t.” he muttered to himself, staring blankly at the food in the cafeteria as he waited in the queue. 

"Hm? Did you say something, Kaachan?" 

"Mind your own damn business, Deku!"

After class, on one of the days he wasn’t requested at the hero agency, he waited to catch a glimpse of her in the hallways, finding himself growing significantly worried when there was no mop of orange locks bouncing through the doors or down the stairs at the end of day.

He must be overreacting.

Give her time.

Maybe during lunch break? One, two, three, four, five missed meals.

The cafeteria felt barren, even if he was sitting across a rambling Kirishima, crimson eyes quietly searching the room, and when the end of the week rolled through with no luck, he finally decided that he had to take matters into his own hands.

 

as usual

    いつものように
  
Itsumo no yō ni

“Oi,”

The plumage of feathers bristled at the rough edge in his voice, yet Katsuki couldn’t be bothered to be nice about it anymore. Slowly, the boy turned to face the blond, wearily eyeing the hostility in his body language while his talons gripped his backpack just a bit tighter.

“Y-yes?!”

“Where’s…” he grumbled out, gesturing with his hand as if that was supposed to be enough for the younger male to understand who he was referring to.

Instead, however, the bird boy glanced from side to side, meekly tilting his head in question.

“W-where…?”

“Catty-breath,” Bakugou finished with a curl of his upper lip, clenching his fists at his sides. This was the same cretin that looked so lovestruck with his girlfriend a few weeks back, after all. No need for table manners, the gloves were coming off.

“C-catty breath?” now he seemed more confused than before, eyes widened and posture rigid at the show of teeth that the explosive teen involuntarily displayed.

“Don’t play dumb, loser!” he rose one hand, palm lightening up with his quirk.

That must have ruffled the dweeb’s feathers, because he immediately stepped back and made himself smaller. “C-catty...as in cat...breath...uhh...the only one that c-could match that description--Tora?” he quickly mumbled to himself, aiming the question at Bakugou with determined eyes.

“Yea,”

That made the boy brighten up, hopeful that this encounter was going to end at last. “Hospital! With Bani, the one that had that weird episode! Uhh...I think it’s...it’s the one closest to U.A., t-the big one --Hosu General Hospital, that's the one!”

Huh. That was more information than he had expected.

“Good enough. Now get lost,” he jabbed his thumb backwards, giving the scrambling bird one more death glare just for good measure.

 

 ...

 

It didn’t take long to find the hospital on his phone or to get there through the tube station and just as he was trying to convince the nurse at the reception desk that he was a colleague of the girl by the name of Bani --without actually knowing her last name and winging it not-so-subtly --he was discovered by none other than the orange mop of hair.

She wasn’t impressed when she saw him half hanging over the reception desk attempting to grab the nurse by her shirt in a fit of shouting-cussing.

“I thought I heard barking,”

Was she calling him a dog now? Furious red eyes swept ablaze, only to be extinguished by the coldness in hers. So he kicked at the grass under his black sneakers, choosing to glare at the bench across the pathway instead.

She dragged him outside and sat him down on a bench identical to that one, but instead of lecturing him she simply glared him down.

Which felt worse.

“You were bullying Akira-kun,”

First name basis? What the fuck? Blood rushed hotly through his veins. How did that shitty side character end up so close to her, yet she kept calling him by his last name?

“Tch, that snitch is gonna--” “Shut up,” she quickly interrupted his vengeance-filled words, prompting him to look up at her again like a scolded child. She surely played the part of a disappointed parent, hands on her hips and chiding frown on her --still pretty as fuck --face. If it weren't for the school uniform she was wearing, any passerby would think she was an authority figure.

Beneath that, the angry shiba-inu look.

When he slouched back into the bench and jutted his lower lip out in irritation, she deflated and sighed. At the exhausted sound, he finally took her in, really took her in.

She looked tired, like she hadn’t slept well in a while. Her clothes were a bit rough-looking and not even her shoe-laces were tied.

Even her skin looked paler, hair wilder than usual.

“You look like shit,” he commented as soon as she sat down next to him, smoothing the skirt under herself.

“You sure know how to make me feel better,” she retorted, staring off with a blank expression he couldn’t read through. “I appreciate the effort, though,”

“Effort?”

Her face turned towards him a bit, the shine in her eyes faded, “Coming here, asking about me, being concerned,”

He could feel his face heating up to the tips of his ears. “Don’t say embarrassing things,” he grunted, shoving his hands into the pockets of his pants while glancing away.

He heard a light scoff and then felt the weight of her head on his shoulder. Immediately, his whole body went rigid.

“She’s my friend, I’m worried,”

The change of tone had him loosen slightly, followed by a sideways glance and noticing that her eyes were closed. “I was there, during her...psychotic break,” she continued, brows knitting together, as if the last words felt ridiculous in her mouth, laced with doubt, no less.

What was it that she was really thinking?

“The doctor said it was that, because of the stress and pressure she was put under….but…”

Ah, there it was. “But?”

Her eyelids slid halfway open, saffron orbs meeting his for just a moment, then shying away to her feet.

“It’s nothing...I’m just being weird,” with that, she pulled away and stood up “I think they will discharge her soon, you’ll be seeing me around more often, promise, I didn’t forget…maybe we can make some plans for summer vacation,” she smiled slightly, though, the warmth didn’t quite reach her eyes.

And Katsuki couldn’t stand lies, white or otherwise.

troublesome

    面倒な
  
Mendōna

He searched for the cracks in her obvious mask, arms outstretching over the bench’s backrest and head tilting to the side as he leaned into the seat more comfortably. “You can cut the bullshit.”

She bristled under his gaze. “Tell me what’s really going on in that head of yours, catty-breath,”

“I--”

Before she could go on, commotion suddenly broke out behind her, at the gates of the hospital’s main entrance. Both their attention was captured by the number of reporters that had gathered out of the blue, shouting questions and calling out a name.

“Mirko? The number five hero?” she asked out loud before he could voice it himself.

What was she doing here? In civilian clothes too. Was she visiting someone?

The heroine yelled back at the crowd when they became too much and jabbed a finger into some guy’s chest so hard he ended up falling back and threatening with suing. That left enough space to notice that she wasn’t alone, but with an older couple trailing behind.

Then she went inside after she opened the door for the two companions first, where the reporters couldn’t go further in.

“That’s...how…?”

What?

When he looked at her again, after standing up to get a better view of the whole scene, Katsuki took in the surprise on her face, as if she just realized something important.

“Oi,” that snapped her out of it, forcing her attention back on him “You were gonna say something?”

“It’s...it’s nothing,” she quickly stuttered out, glancing away as if she were looking for an escape route or for a change of topic.

He was running out of patience. His brows twitched into a frown and his jaw clenched as a result of his growing irritation.

Without thinking much, he reached up and grabbed her round face between his hands --slightly sweaty, nonetheless --and glared down at her dumbfounded face. But then, his narrowed eyes landed on her mouth and her puffy lips half-way parted and smushed together from the grasp he had on her soft, stripped cheeks.

He swallowed hard.

Those annoying, bright and doe-like eyes stared at him expectantly, waiting for something.

Something...but he didn’t know what exactly.

His lips pressed in a firm line, growing extremely weary of how this could play out, argument completely forgotten.

He did fucking miss her, so was it appropriate to do this? It did feel like it was. And why was everything glowing about her now? Her gaze was just sucking him in like some black hole.

No, that wasn’t a very helpful comparison. No more thinking about holes --

Fuck this!

His face grew increasingly hotter.

“Bakugo--” “Katsuki, just...fucking call me Katsuki,”

he wanted to kiss her

彼は彼女にキスをしたかった 
Kare wa kanojo ni kisu o shitakatta

“Hey, you two! Some people are trying to have a quiet moment with their family here! Do you have no shame?” an old man shouted from the bench not far away from theirs.

Both of them pulled away at the same time, embarrassed, him with a nasty scowl aimed at the family of five and her with a furious blush on her face, twiddling her thumbs and turning her back.

“I’m gonna go now,”

“I’ll walk you,”

“I need to go by the store first,”

“Then I’ll come with. I need to buy some stuff too,”

He wasn’t giving her the escape route she needed. “Fine,” she agreed with a suspicious glance at his no-nonsense expression that practically spelled out his intention of not letting her slip through just yet.

She was about to turn around and take the lead when he seized her hand and held it tight in his own.

“Tsk tsk, shameless teenagers,” the old man mocked again, in a disgusted tone, at the public display of affection.

Only, Bakugou was not the kind of person to let something like that fly for too long.

“Mind your fucking business, old man!” he shouted back, while catty breath was desperately trying to pull him with, whining for him to quit it and just leave, that they could recognize them by the uniform and that it was embarrassing enough already.

He ended up stomping through the hospital gates, cussing and thundering the whole way.

They rode the train back, until the station closest to the mini-market came up and they had to get off --still hand in hand, as he had insisted to do that to make sure she doesn’t just run off.

“As if I’d do that,”

“I’m not risking it,”

She sighed for the umpteenth time. Was he being annoying and clingy? Did she hate this? Did she not like the fact that he wanted to do this?

“If you hate it then I’ll stop,” he muttered before he could think it through properly. But he was a man of his word and as a result, he let go of her hand while they checked out from the station.

“I don’t --” but instead of continuing, she grabbed him by the hand again with a determined expression on her face and intertwined their digits. "There, don't just let go like that," she admonished with a blossoming red flush to her cheeks.

He hid his smile by looking elsewhere as she dragged him towards the small shop, her smaller fingers clutching onto his and claws almost pinching the skin, not uncomfortably.

At least she stopped filing them.

 

this was good

    これはよかった
  
Kore wa yokatta


“I can get one too,”

“We’re sharing, it’s the only one left,”

“I can wait for one to be --”

“There’s no fucking time for that shit, c’mon,”

It felt oddly satisfying that they were sharing the same grocery basket, going through the aisles together. Though it might seem like a trivial, monotone, everyday chore, for Bakugou it was an experience that he was thoroughly enjoying.

“Do you think this rice is good for onigiri?”

“No, that one’s too flaky, it’s gonna come apart, this one’s better,”

“Do these carrots look old to you?”

“Yeah, pick the ones from underneath, they look fresher,”

And he simply found himself watching her while she went through vegetables and fish varieties. Honestly, he felt a sort of peace of mind that was rarely ever present before he met her. In fact, he couldn’t believe he was thinking this, but perhaps a distraction like this, like her, from his indomitable desire to become the top pro hero in the country, it didn’t sound so bad. It felt nice.

Now that he was taking things like these into consideration, his path to greatness didn’t feel so lonely, it didn't feel like it should be a one-man journey, it wasn’t just one goal to achieve, one narrow road just for him, now it felt like he could share it with someone else.

With her.

And he felt bad that she was trying so hard for him, because it wasn’t in her nature to be that perfect, typical girlfriend that he’d seen on TV when his mother was watching her stupid soap-operas or those pretty, delicate women in distress, hoping to be saved by a hero, helpless, completely dependent on the protagonist and frail, only to make the savior more manly, more appealing, more powerful and her, the deer with a broken leg; a role that many women felt they had to embody. She wasn't like that, she didn't have to be for his sake. And that was alright.

She didn’t have to be the one trying hard to be better.

When they left the store, two bags in one hand so he could hold hers in the other, he finally decided to give his thoughts a voice.

“Y’know…”

But when she looked up at him, wide eyes and plush lips, he almost --almost, felt his mind blank completely.

“Uh…” he swallowed, cleared his throat and forced his eyes onward “It’s okay to be the way you are...I don’t mind…”

“What are you talking about?”

For fuck’s --”About us! This...this! Don’t make me say it!”

Relationship?” a cheshire grin appeared on her face, like the cat that got the cream “Is that it?”

He grunted. “I just...I don’t want you to try to be someone else for my sake, we can make our own way of being, our own thing...we don’t have to be like those basic ass couples on TV,”

She wasn’t saying anything.

He risked a quick glance. She looked deep in thought.

“So, no matching key-rings?”

“No,”

“No bento boxes?”

“No,” 

“No clinging?”

“No. You get my point, stop interrogating me!”

She chuckled, aware that he was growing uncomfortable by the minute."I appreciate the honesty, I think I wouldn't mind the matching key-rings, though," 

He didn't say anything, his heart was already doing somersaults. 

For a moment, it was quiet. 

“Then, can I also be honest about something? Can I ask you an honest question and can you answer me honestly?”

He paused on the sidewalk, looking down at her with a raised eyebrow. After a few seconds of trying to figure out her intentions, he gave in. What could she possibly ask that was so bad?

“I’ll bite, yeah, ask me,”

“Baku--Katsuki-kun, do you want to have sex with me?”

…..

….

what?

    何?
  
Nani?

His soul left his body.

He blinked. Once. Twice, Three times.

She was staring up at him expectantly, as if she didn’t ask anything inappropriate just now.

“Katsuki-kun?”

It felt like his brain completely short-circuited, like when that stupid Kaminari used all his power kind of brain-dead state. What...what was he supposed to say to that?

Was it some kind of trap question? Was she testing him?

If he said no, then she’d think he wasn’t attracted to her, but if he said yes, she’d think he’s a pervert, in it for just that. A male his age was supposed to feel those type of things, he knew it was normal and natural to reach that point in a relationship, he could admit he had more than a few vivid dreams of her and…

What the fuck?

He'd started sweating without even realizing.

“What the fuck kind of question is that?” he almost screeched at her, letting go of her hand so he could cover his half of the face that was beet red, eyes narrowed.

For a fleeting moment, he could see the fear of rejection in her gaze, followed by a sort of embarrassment. “I...I read somewhere...that it’s important...for a healthy relationship to work. I didn’t mean to...make you upset,” she backpedaled quickly and he wanted to slap himself for making her feel guilty for asking something absolutely normal.

“Of course I wanna,” he grabbed her hand again and began a faster stride towards their dormitories “Eventually...but it’s not...it’s not a big part of…” he groaned in frustration at his lacking ability of finding the right words to express himself.

“Look,” again, he stopped, making her halt with him as he turned furious red eyes on her surprised ones “I fucking like you, a lot, that’s all that matters, if it’s gonna happen, then it’s gonna happen, but you don’t have to feel…” he gestured like an idiot “pressured...to do anything that you wouldn’t normally do,”

That seemed to clear the air and he noticed how her eyes brightened again.

“Got it,”

“Fucking finally…” he breathed out his relief and resumed walking, grumbling nonsense as she tightened her grasp on his hand.

“Mouthful of...fucking nerdy, sappy shit...gonna feel sick...what she made me fucking say, damn it,”

But it was worth it. Since it felt like that had been bothering her for a while now. And there was a pep in her step, a smile that reached her eyes when she looked up at his half-hearted cranky expression. He would live.

 

everything was fine

    すべてが大丈夫でした
  
Subete ga daijōbudeshita

"Oh, it's that guy again," 

Huh? His body froze.

He was so lost in his own mind that he didn't even notice the two approaching figures of none other than Uraraka and Deku, holding hands and chatting happily. 

"Fuck,"

"Uraraka-san!" his girlfriend casually called out as soon as she recognized the other person, waving enthusiastically. What the fuck was she doing?!

He frantically slapped a hand over her mouth, but when he looked back, the two had already seen them and just like him, Deku was sporting a mortified expression on that stupid face of his. Thankfully, he was quick to act and dragged a flailing, confused catty-breath with, before Uraraka could get the chance to even say anything, yelling an angry "You didn't fucking see anything!" 

 

Chapter Text

i love everyone except me

    私以外のみんな大好き
  
Watashi igai no min'na daisuki

“You look a bit sick,”

Did you? Pupils shrunk in the light, then dilated slightly, adjusting to the figure on the hospital bed. You did feel a bit lightheaded recently, as if you were walking on molasses. Not like you would admit to your friend that thoughts kept you up at night or that you didn’t eat as much as you were supposed to. 

Or that you felt overwhelmed by the fact that she just confessed her relation to Mirko, the pro-hero. 

“I just...don’t know what to say…” you mumbled, slumping into the chair by her bedside. 
Was this why you had an offer to intern for Mirko? Because Bani had asked her for this favor? You shouldn’t assume things, but it felt oddly coincidental. So did this psychotic break. 

Her parents had just left to buy some lunch from a nearby place that had takeaway and Mirko herself had been there in the morning --she didn’t come often, she was busy, after all. You missed her, but you did get to meet Bani’s parents during the week that you came by. They were humble people and the mother looked so much like Mirko that you could see the familiar traits and how telling they were in case someone did meet her family. 

Mirko and Bani’s mother were sisters. That made Bani the niece of Mirko. 

“I don’t want people to know that we are related. I feel like I would never be judged by who I am, but by who she is,” the girl explained, fumbling with the sleeve of her pajama top. 

That made sense, yes, but it didn’t make you any less apprehensive. 

This was not the time to discuss such things, though. Your friend was recovering from a scary mental breakdown that made no sense. She seemed to be content with that explanation too, thankful she didn’t sustain worse damage to her head than a minor concussion and a split forehead. 

Pale green eyes flashed through your mind and you squeezed your hand in a fist atop your lap. 

“I don’t care about that. You know I would never--” 

“I know,” she leaned over and placed a comforting hand on top of your head. “That’s why I wanted you to know, I feel like you would understand it best,” 

Because your dad was a pro-hero too. 

Your mom as well. 

You nodded, lowering your gaze. 

“Let’s stop talking about this awful topic. I heard that Bakugou-kun came by the hospital,” she pulled her hand back and grinned mischievously, “Akira told me that he came looking for you,” 

embarrassing

    恥ずかしい
  
Hazukashī

Immediately, you cheeks blossomed in a red blush that spread up to your pointed ears. 

“He...I--” 

“Him and you, huh?” the glint in her eye made you turn your face anywhere but to her. And she took that as a victory. 

“I’m right! You and him are --” she leaned up suddenly, making you snap your attention back to her in case she fell off the bed, arms already outstretched to catch her just in case, when she suddenly grasped your hands in hers, halfway hanging off the bed “You’re dating seriously?!” 

“Bani! Sit back on the bed properly!” you admonished, furiously red. 

But her only response was to giggle and hold your hands tighter. “I’m happy for you! I knew there was something going on when the two of you got stuck in that storage--” 

“Bani!” 

But then the door opened and her parents walked in with the takeaway bags in their arms, chatting amongst themselves. There went your chance to ask her what you intended to for a while, about pale green eyes and a sickening smile. Inwardly, you cursed yourself for getting distracted. 

“We brought ramen!” the mother, Asukina, raised the two plastic bags in her hands, smiling at you and Bani. 

“C’mon now, let’s eat before everything goes cold,” the father, Usugi, commented, passing by his wife and coming to place two other plastic bags on one of the nightstands in the room. 

They bought some for you too and you accepted, thanking them for the meal. 

Silence and easy conversation fell over the room once again. At least, you thought, your friend was going to be okay. But you still needed to know, to know that your instinct was wrong, that your gut feeling was wrong and that this was indeed an isolated occurrence caused by stress. 

“We got some strawberry shortcake too, to celebrate getting discharged!” Asukina announced, looking at Bani with a strained smile. 

Did they feel guilty? Because they didn’t know the struggles of their daughter? 

You remembered her mother sobbing into her father’s shoulder once when you visited, usually they weren’t there, Bani made sure, because she felt like they would embarrass her in front of her friends. 

“They didn’t have carrot cake?” 

“No, but we got second best, huh? Taste it! It looks heavenly!” 

“Only the best for our dear Bani,” 

“You have some too, dear!” 

As soon as you left, bidding goodbye to Bani and her family, you made sure to text Bakugou --well, Katsuki --that you were heading out now. 

The plan had been for him to come pick you up and to go check out the Systema event, which was mostly a gathering of the greatest minds that made hero equipment, tools and suits. He had texted you about it a day or two ago --you completely forgot about it considering the recent events. Normally, only pro-heroes and students could attend, using their licences. Apart from that, there was also a speech and the big reveal of new technologies to help police in crime-fighting. 

Because you had no license before, you had no way of getting in.

Now you could and you did need a change of scenery, so you accepted going with him. 

Like a date, your mind supplied. 

Your father was probably there as well, given he had finished his mission in Tsukuba and you knew how much of a nerd he was when it came to gadgets. Apart from a few calls in which he asked what you’d like to eat when you came over next weekend, there was no other indication, but you were counting on his passion for everything tech.

You skipped the last few steps, your backpack bouncing on your shoulder, having spotted the impatient spiky blond pacing.

“I’m here!” you announced as soon as you reached the outer gates of the hospital.

“About time,” he grumbled out, red eyes sharply averting. 

“Sorry, I stayed for desert, Bani’s mom insisted,” you grinned apologetically. 

He only checked his phone, almost too indifferently, to the point where you could feel the vibes coming off of him. “We missed the 4 pm bus, we gotta wait for the next one,”

“Sorry --” “It’s fine. It closes late,” but he still seemed irritated, in a passive-aggressive kind of way. 

be kind to him

    彼に親切に
  
Kare ni shinsetsu ni

You grasped his hand in yours --physical contact that felt so foreign but nice at the same time -- “No, I really am sorry. I didn’t consider if you had plans afterwards, I’m sorry for that,”

He had a busy schedule most of the time, and he barely found time to spend with his friends/classmates, on top of that, he had to make time for you too, so that was endearing enough. Sometimes, you had to admit, you could be quite inconsiderate. 

Especially when you got too lost in your own head.

His gaze seemed surprised when he stared down at you, but the sharpness was gone. 

“It wasn’t anything special, just stupid karaoke,” 

Ah, so he did have plans. “I don’t mind if you leave earlier. I’ll be fine on my own,” at least you knew why he was in a sour mood. He did wanna spend time with his friends and that was understandable, just like he accepted that you wanted to visit Bani every day after school or during the weekend.

 His hand tightened around yours, fingers locking together. 

You’d never get used to the feeling it produced in your stomach, like tingling and nausea, the good kind.

“That wouldn’t be fuckin’ nice of me,” he retorted almost immediately, offended that you'd even think of suggesting that “I’ll just cancel--” 

“We could go together, if you’d like...if...if you’d have me…” 

You couldn’t believe the words coming out of your mouth. Mostly because you didn’t enjoy the thought of everybody knowing, but...that Midoriya kid knew, Uraraka-san knew...Bani knew and...maybe he wouldn’t have to separate the two all the time. It felt right if it spared him the headache --unless he didn’t want to. It was a good compromise, especially taking the latest happenings into account. It even said so on that forum, that it was good for you to meet his friends and make a good impression.

So why did he go silent all of a sudden? 

You averted your gaze, cheeks getting hot, ready to let go of his hand, accept the rejection and move on like the big girl you were. 

Maybe he was fine with people not knowing. He did react embarrassed when you were spotted by those two classmates of his. Maybe he actually preferred it this way, rather than going through the hassle of mixing the two environments together.

Maybe you stepped over his boundaries just now and made everything awkward. Maybe he didn’t want that, maybe you shouldn’t have put yourself in such a position.

Did you sound clingy? Desperate? Both?

“I mean, you don’t have to agree, obviously--” you began a nervous rant “It’s just that I feel bad that you always have to either spend time with me or with your friends when you’re free, so naturally I thought it would be a good idea to--” 

“Sure,” 

Sure? Your widened eyes locked on his calm red ones. 

“Really?” 

“Are you sure you want that, catty-breath? Last time I checked, you didn’t want people to know,” now his eyes narrowed, as if he was trying to gauge if you were lying and doing this because you felt pressured. He did say he didn’t want you to do anything that made you uncomfortable. 

But for some reason, this didn’t feel as uncomfortable as you had expected it to. Despite it sounding like foreign land compared to your personal bubble. It wouldn’t hurt to do this for his sake, it was the least you could offer to tip the scale in a fair trade.

“Yeah...I do,” you smiled sheepishly at him, just as the bus arrived. 

consider his needs

    彼のニーズを考慮してください
  
Kare no nīzu o kōryo shite kudasai


After that little exchange, more than ever before, Katsuki became extremely attentive in a very short time span. He boarded the bus before you did and chose the seats, shoving you to the window one, while he took the edge. You shrugged that off until you realized he had done that to ‘protect you’ from all the bodies that ended up getting on the bus and over-crowding it, to the point where a crotch or a butt would have ended up in close quarters to your face. 

He didn’t even flinch. 

Though, he did shift the tiniest bit closer to you. 

“Did you take your hero costume?” it started innocently, with that simple question. You nodded, showing him the backpack and letting him draw his own conclusion. “What about water? Did you take a water bottle with you?” 

And it escalated from there. 

“Did you have anything to eat? The last thing I need is for you to pass out on me cause of fucking malnourishment,” 

“Did you pack a jacket? If you get a cold in that tiny-ass suit of yours, it’s not gonna be on me,” 

“Did you charge your phone? You’re forgetful when it comes to that damn phone,” 

“Did you bring your license card? You ain’t getting in if you didn’t,”

You inhaled. Exhaled. Got off the bus, the male trailing behind you, having gone off on a rant about how he would have to talk to Great Jeanist to bring you in if it came down to that and how you would probably have a VIP pass that not many would be able to afford. 

enough

    十分な
  
Jūbun'na

“Katsuki!” 

At your exasperated tone, he went still and silent, mid-sentence. 

“I can take care of myself. I did bring my hero costume, I have my license, I did get a water bottle and I did pack a jacket and an umbrella just in case --and yes, my phone is charged, battery full, I’m okay!”

He blinked, almost taken aback by your reaction. As soon as the situation was processed through his own filter, however, you could see his face changing to that neutral-angry expression that he always wore. 

“Whatever. Fucking chew my head off for looking out for you,” he pushed past, shoving his hands into his pockets as his messenger bag slung by you. 

Ugh. Why did you have to be the bitch? Now you felt guilty. 

“Katsuki…” you groaned after him, dragging yourself half-heartedly. He stalled, glaring at you sideways when you fell in step. “I didn’t mean it like that,” you reasoned, brows furrowed together as you pleaded your case “And I do appreciate that you’re being attentive, but just because I want to meet your friends and I agreed for us to be seen like...like this,” you gestured between the two of you “--doesn’t mean that you have to be extra nice to me as if you owe me this,” 

That seemed to drive the point home, because, as you reached your destination, his burning gaze singed your boldness to address the obvious. 

“What the fuck are you rambling about—” 

You sighed, frowning and stepping in front of him with your hands on your hips, completely oblivious to the people that were crowding the area or the many reporters going about. 

“Don’t give me shit! You don’t owe me anything, just like I don’t owe you anything. Just because I’m going to karaoke with you and your friends tonight, doesn’t mean I expect some kind of payback from you. That’s not how a relationship works,”

Look at you, giving a speech about relationships and everything.

His jaw tensed and he glanced away, scowling. 

Bingo. “Now,” you approached, placing both hands up on his shoulders “Let’s change into our hero costumes and enjoy ourselves, okay?” you gave them an encouraging smack, making him spare you a fleeting glance of disapproval. 

Better than the silent treatment. Did this mean he wasn’t too mad at you for saying all that out loud? Was this him giving in?

hopefully

    うまくいけば
  
Umaku ikeba


“Okay,” you made to pull away, but he grabbed your wrist before you could, grumbling incoherently and dragging you with, while striding up the building’s entrance steps, shoving by some people that were having a lengthy conversation right at the top. 

“Hey!”  "What the!"  "Hey, who do you think you are!" "No manners!"--but he ignored their whining, while you simply looked back at them with an apologetic face, feeling embarrassed by how rude he was acting. 

Not that they should be stationed smack in the doorway having a chat, but alas, it was still mean to just push them aside.

“Katsuki—” before you could go on and chide him for this behavior, he let go of your hand and showed his license card to a scanner on the side of the sliding doors.

Did he go deaf or was he ignoring you now? For his sake, you hoped it was the first.

You stared after him heatedly, watching as he passed through the doors, nonchalantly, and then at how they promptly shut in your face right after.

excuse me!

    すみません!
  
Sumimasen!

Only then did he look back at you, expectantly, through the glass.

Right, time to get your license out. 

You mimicked his actions, or tried to, almost dropping the shiny card a few times, much to his annoyance. And him getting annoyed with your fumbling made you annoyed too, resulting in more fumbling and the scanner not being able to properly scan your card because your hand was trembling and Katsuki just shouting at you through the doors that didn’t allow you to hear anything anyway, didn't really help. 

........

Ugh! You were getting really panicky and anxious because now you had a group of bystanders just watching impatiently and shooting remarks at you about how to hold the damn thing right or to hurry up. 

After a while, you managed and the doors opened, much to the relief of the people waiting in line behind you. 

understand them

    それらを理解する
  
Sorera o rikai suru

“I can take care of myself, I’m okay,” Katsuki mocked you in a dumb voice as soon as you walked in, earning him a heated glare and a slap on the back. 

“Screw you!” by now your face was beet red and you felt sweaty, heart racing and stomach knotted. 

Being in such a position always made you incredibly nervous, especially when you had people behind you waiting. Even if it was just the grocery shop cashier queue. 

He rolled his eyes at you and you wanted to claw them out with your bare hands. How can he be so inconsiderate about your feelings!?

“Go get changed already and stop with your whining!” 

Gasp. Whining? 

Your face must have said everything, because he cowered in the opposite direction, where the male changing rooms must have been. In typical Katsuki fashion, he made it seem like he wasn’t affected by your searing glare, and simply chose to leave on his own accord, maintaining a cool air about his casual stride. If it weren’t for the slouching shoulders, you would have believed it yourself. 

Satisfied with his retreat, you went to go get yourself changed.

troublesome person

    面倒な人
  
Mendōna hito


When you were done with the whole struggle of adjusting your utility belt and lacing your boots, attire fully on, you finally left the fancy dressing room, just as a few other young women came out of their own stalls, in their own hero costumes, looking extremely well put together. 

In all honesty, they appeared, dare you say, sexy. 

Were they students as well? 

You walked up to the full-body mirror, next to them, to tie your hair in a pony-tail as there was no use in doing the whole two buns get-up. 

“I can’t believe he’s here too! He looks so handsome, doesn’t he?” 

“You should totally ask him for his number, you keep putting it off,”

“I’m just shy, he doesn’t seem like he’s interested in dating and —” “Oh stop it, the two of you work at the same agency, you’d be the cutest power couple!” 

“Okay. You know what? I will!” 

“That’s the spirit, now let’s go out there and show him who’s the boss!”

Love life issues, huh? You could almost feel her pain. Must be annoying as hell. A knowing smile played on your lips. In fact, you were about to turn and encourage the poor girl in her endeavor to win this guy's heart, but it was too late, they were gone now. 

You shrugged. Oh well, whatever, not like your words would have mattered anyway. 

And then you walked out. 

And saw that same girl and her friend, talking to Bakugou, who looked extremely uncomfortable. 

Oh. 

Your pace slowed, until you were just standing there, a few feet away, watching awkwardly as the scene unfolded. 

This was...weird. Were you supposed to intervene? But the poor girl barely had the guts to go up to him and confess and she was so pretty too! If you just waltzed up to him, she would be mortified and embarrassed. 

Should you go back inside the changing rooms area? 

Or maybe just wait to the side over there? 

“Oi! What took you so long?” 

Before you knew it, there was Katsuki shoving past the flustered girl and her friend, bulldozing straight for you with an irritated face on. The girl turned to look as well, her cheeks red, a confused and shocked expression on her pretty features when she saw you. Her friend covered her mouth and quickly ushered her away, comforting her as they strode off. 

Oh no. 

sympathize with her

    彼女に同情する
  
Kanojo ni dōjō suru

“Did you hear what I —” “She was really pretty,” you remarked, brows drawn together as you gazed after her. Sincerely, your heart felt heavy for her. Rejection was...bitter. It didn’t have to be humiliating as well. 

Katsuki stared at you puzzled, before reaching down and grasping your gloved hand in his own, tightly. 

Right. He was wearing his hero costume. You finally looked at him, taking in his appearance, distracted from the event that just transpired. 

Handsome. So very handsome. “Stop rambling nonsense and let’s get going,” 

You simply nodded, squeezing his hand back. 

And that was the end of that. 

...

 

The two of you moved through the large hall, professional hero agency booths and numerous talented engineers testing out their gadgets and suit accessories on interested parties, lined the whole place, from more prominent names, to lesser known ones. There were many heroes gathered here, some faces familiar, some just new additions to the crime-fighting world. Among them, you began feeling the tiniest bit suffocated. You were part of this world now, weren't you? Why feel this way? You should enjoy this. 

That's why you marveled at everything, stopping with every opportunity to check out what the greatest minds of the hero support teams came up with this year. 

“Oh wow, this is amazing!” you exclaimed after seeing a demonstration of flight using some enhanced boots that propelled their user forth in a very Gran Torino manner. 

Katsuki never left your side, you’ve been wandering hand-in-hand this whole time, much to your relief. You were bad with directions too and getting lost in this huge place was not something you wanted to try out. 

You turned to him with a smile on your lips, which he met with a shake of his head and an amused smirk. “I think I wanna get something cool,” you added, pulling him along, considering maybe getting an upgrade for your costume or maybe a badass gadget. Yes! That's more like it. You needed something to be excited about, to distract you.

“Maybe some boots! Some boots that can stick to things! I’d be able to climb anything!” 

“Sticky boots? If that’s what you’re looking for, miss, we’ve got you covered!” a voice to your left intervened. And much to Katsuki’s exasperation, you ended up trying all sorts of boots from Endeavor’s hero agency booth. 

....

 

“Are you gonna spend the whole fucking day like this?” 

“I might,” you retorted, the bag with your new boots swinging from your other hand. “Aren’t you going to buy anything?” come to think of it, he didn’t look for anything for himself, he just let you drag him around to what you wanted.

Oh, you were being a bitch again. “Nah, I’ve got everything I need. The agency takes care of all the upgrades I want, for free,” 

Ah. That made sense, you supposed. 

Something else, however, grabbed your attention.

From your periphery, you saw flickering flames and as soon as you turned, you felt your heart leap in your chest. Endeavor himself was chatting with two other heroes, Selkie and Gang Orca. 

“Oh my god! Look, look! It’s Endeavor! And Gang Orca!” you excitedly squeezed his arm, giddy at finally seeing the number one hero in the flesh. Honestly, you had always been a big fan of his, even when he had less than desirable interactions with people. There was just something about the way he did his work, something about the passion with which he did his job, that had you hooked and rooting for him since you first saw him on TV.

“Yeah yeah, I’ve got eyes too, catty-breath--”

Oh, and there was your dad, making his way through the crowd and exchanging some words with Best Jeanist? 

“Isn’t that your boss--” you were flung to the side in a second, unable to understand what was happening, until your were crouching behind one of the booths, by a wide-eyed Bakugou, who held you there and looked agitated. 

“Katsuki?” 

He shushed you by smacking a hand over your mouth. As if they could hear you over all the commotion. 

Frowning, you pushed his hand away with minimal effort. You were stronger than him in this regard, thanks to your quirk, as it was logical, but that didn’t seem to register with him at that moment, because he turned to look at you oddly.

“What now?”

“It was your father and my fucking boss,”

You raised an eyebrow. “So?”

He stared at you blankly. 

Was he avoiding your dad or his boss? Oh. Wait. They worked together. Perhaps he was afraid of your father finding out and then his boss getting mixed in this as well. That had to be it, right? 

be kind to him. understand him. 

彼に親切に.彼を理解する

Kare ni shinsetsu ni. Kare o rikai suru

“Okay,” you lowered your gaze, feeling embarrassed.

You were being really awful today, huh? It felt like you’d been arguing and shooting each other down all day now. It was supposed to be a fun time. Somehow, you felt like it was your fault, your stress, your thoughts, your insecurities, your rage.

you are terrible

    あなたは酷いです
  
Anata wa hidoidesu

First you were late, you missed the bus, got here and messed up with the card after snapping at him for being too nice to you, then made things awkward for that poor girl, now you were insensitive about him choosing to avoid the hassle of his boss and your dad finding out about the two of you and to top this all off, you were barging in his time with his friends. 

And you hit him too. 

What the hell was wrong with you? You didn’t even say sorry. God, you were such a nuisance. 

He was about to stand up, probably having noticed that the two men were gone, but you tugged on his arm, gaining his attention when you didn't stand up with him.

“What the hell--” he stopped short after glaring down at you “...why are you…” 

In the next second he was kneeling in front of you, holding both your cheeks between his gloved hands. 

Why was he looking at you like that? 

Your mask felt a bit damp. Oh. Why were you crying all of a sudden? To hell with this day! You really needed to grow thicker skin. How pathetic. 

“I’m sorry,” you mumbled, “I’ve been horrible today,” 

Behind his mask, you could tell his brows raised up, because his eyes widened. “What? No...no, no...hey, catty-breath,” he scowled, tightening his grip on your face and squishing your cheeks “I was an ass today, you didn’t do anything wrong, just cause you called me on my shit --” he looked a bit panicky, probably because you were putting him in a bad position by tearing up like the wimp you were, probably because he didn't know how to handle you like this. He shouldn't have to. 

“Shit…” 

He ran a hand through his hair, in frustration. You took the opportunity to wipe your stupid face off and look anywhere but at him. You were really ashamed for being this way out of the blue, quite literally. “I’m sorry, I -I really screwed up t-this day, huh?” you chuckled weakly.

Instantly, his hand grabbed your jaw and yanked you to face him, serious red irises searing into your very soul. “Listen here, idiot, you didn’t screw shit. Fuck this place anyway, who the fuck needs to be here anyway?”

What? Why wasn’t he mad at you? 

“Let’s ditch and grab some junk food from across the street, then we can go to my dorm and watch some movie or whatever,” 

But what about his karaoke night? As if he read your thoughts, he scoffed and ruffled your hair, making your ponytail unravel. “I don’t wanna go to karaoke anyway, let those losers go sing off-key by themselves,” 

not fair

    公平ではない
  
Kōheide wanai

“But I want to,” you interrupted him in a pleading tone. Just this, only this. Let him allow you this to make up for this shitty day. 

He regarded you quietly for a few seconds, as if trying to decide if he was making the right choice or not, then sighed. “Are you really up for that?” 

“Yes,” 

Another sigh and a groan. “Fine. But we’re still ditching and getting food,”

“Okay,” 

“Tsk. Stubborn brat,” 

 

...

 

Said and done. In less than half an hour, you were both changed in civilian clothes and walking out of that overcrowded building hand-in-hand. 

You intertwined your fingers together and squeezed. 

He was really too good for you, wasn’t he? Putting you before such an event where his presence among top rank heroes was quite valuable. Where he could talk to influential people in the field, where he could make connections and get to know the best pro-heroes. 

You treated him to burgers, much to his annoyance. “I’m supposed to get you food, stupid!” but he let it slide when you smiled sheepishly at him, muttering a “Maybe next time,” 

The rest of the night went by smoothly. You walked all the way to the karaoke place that him and his classmates were frequenting, but as you stood at the door with him, the negative feelings that had swarmed you previously in regards to this ground zero meeting, you realized, completely vanished. 

Hah, ground zero meeting. Leave it to you to compare this to the point on the earth's surface directly above or below an exploding nuclear bomb or the hypocenter, the center of an explosion. 

Everything had to do with explosions when it came to Katsuki, huh? 

“You’re definitely the ground zero of my life in this moment,” 

“Ha? What are you on about now?” but when he looked at you, confused as to why you even made that random comment, a switch seemed to have gone off in his mind and his eyes suddenly brightened. 

what was that?

    何だって?
  
Nani datte?

“Nothing. Should we go inside?” 

“Yeah, let’s show these extras what karaoke’s all about,” 

Needless to say, a few jaws dropped when Bakugou Katsuki showed up with a girl, of all things, to the friendly gathering of familiar and unfamiliar faces. 

And honestly, it was the best night you had in a long time.