Once upon a time, there lived a small little boy at the tender age of four. Despite what was happening around him, his eyes were bright with hope, their red shining happily, and the boy was always seen smiling. Flashing rows of sharp teeth with the same twinkle in his eyes, as if no wrong existed in his little mind.
The boy smiled, even as his family waved him goodbye and shut the door in his face. He smiled even as he wandered the streets of the small town. He smiled wider when he saw a wolf on the side of the road, and stopped to pet the creature, his bright beaming grin never fading. His red eyes were wide, his hair falling over his face in soft black bangs. He pets the animal with care, tenderness, his small hands running through the fur with a strange gentleness, as if he had nothing to fear in the presence of such a creature.
Meanwhile, a small, wrinkled old woman made her way down the streets of the town, moving slowly. Her hair was drawn back into a bun, and her wrinkled lips were curled into a closed-mouth smile. Her name was Chiyo, but she called herself Recovery Girl, and she was well known as the town’s healer. Chiyo lived in a small cottage just to the borders of the forest, a common meeting place for animals, and the cottage was an open sanctuary to all animals. Creatures of every kind would go to the cottage in need of healing, vampires, ghouls, ghosts, and she would welcome them with open arms.
So when she saw this little boy, kneeling on the ground, dirt grazing his knees as he petted the wolf with no fear whatsoever, she felt compelled to do something. Which is why she approached the boy with a small smile as the wolf ran away. The boy giggled and ran after the wolf, before looking up at Chiyo with wide eyes, stopping in his tracks.
“There’s no need to be scared, little one. My name is Chiyo. Where are your parents?” Chiyo asked, her voice gentle. The boy looked slightly puzzled and looked around, as if trying to spot his parents.
“Mummy let me play outside. She waved goodbye and said I could play,” The boy explained, and Chiyo frowned slightly. It was starting to get dark out, it was not a safe place for such a young child to be in, alone. “Would you like me to take you back to your parents?” Chiyo offered, and surprisingly, the boy shook his head.
“Daddy and Mummy don’t want me to come back. It’s ok. I can keep playing here,” The boy explained, with a bright expression despite the true meaning of what he just said. A cool gush of wind passed them, and the boy shivered slightly. “It’s cold. And I’m hungry.”
Chiyo’s expression dropped. This child had been abandoned by his family. Wandering the streets alone, where anyone could come and take him, where anything could happen to him. How could someone be so heartless? And for a human child, too. It was extremely dangerous. The human town was right next to where the supernatural creatures lived. If a vampire got their hands on him, if he wandered into the forest alone…
Chiyo couldn’t let that happen.
“What’s your name?” She asked with a gentle smile.
“Ok, Eijirou. If you’re feeling cold, we can go back to my cottage and play there. It’s very warm, and you can have something to eat, too.” Chiyo offered, and Kirishima beamed. Chiyo held out her hand and Kirishima took it with a smile, and she took him back to her cottage.
The walk is slightly long, following a creamy, dusty pathway that leads through the forest and to a cottage. The cottage was fairly large, made out of a chestnut coloured wood, coated by the tufts of trees and small bushes that surrounded it. There were small steps that led up to it, and the door was fairly large and had an entrance for animals to come through. There were several windows, decorated with silk-soft curtains that hung down over them. The cottage was comfortable, small, and large enough to fit two people, luckily.
Chiyo opened the door and let Kirishima inside, who looked around at the room in awe. To the left of the room, there was a small kitchen with a pantry filled with food for all creatures. To the right, there was a huge couch with plush, fluffy cushions and a flickering fireplace. A small door led to another room, the main bedroom, which held Chiyo’s queen sized bed, and to the left, there was another door leading to the spare bedroom. Kirishima looked around in awe as Chiyo took off her coat, placing it on the coat hanger nearby. She looked up, and saw one of her handmade hoods hanging on one of the hooks. It was fairly large, much to large for her to wear herself, and was a deep maroon. Chiyo reached up and tugged the hood down, before holding it out to Kirishima.
“Wear this, Eijirou. It’ll keep you warm,” She said, as she placed the hood around his shoulders and did up the button on the front. The hood hung down over his head, covering almost half of his face, and the hood itself was so big that it slid down to the floor below Kirishima, like a cape.
Kirishima giggled, pushing the hood up slightly, revealing his face again. “It’s red!!” Kirishima cried, way more enthusiastic than Chiyo thought he would be.
“Yes, it is! Do you like the colour red?” Chiyo asked, and Kirishima nodded enthusiastically. “It’s my favourite colour!”
“How about we call you that? From now on, you’ll be Little Red. Okay?” Chiyo offered, leaning down to ruffle his hair.
“Okay!!” Kirishima chirped, and Chiyo smiled.
The night finally arrived, and Chiyo tucked Kirishima into bed, the fluffy blanket brought up just below his chin, and he beamed, his red eyes wide as he made himself comfortable in the huge bed. Chiyo brought up a chair beside his bed, holding a large book in her hand, one filled with hundreds of fairy tales she would read every night. Kirishima was excited, she could tell from his eyes, so she cleared her throat and begined the story.
“ Once upon a time, there lived a small girl in a house beside a forest.. Every time she went out into the village, she would wear a red riding cloak, so often that everyone started calling her Little Red Riding Hood. ” Chiyo began, holding the book out to where Kirishima could easily see the pages. His eyes brightened as he looked at the image, and he pointed to it with a smile.
“That’s me! That’s me! I’m Red!” He chirped, and Chiyo laughed.
One day, Red decided to visit her grandmother, who lived in a small cottage in the woods. She packed a small basket filled with treats and goodies. The baker warned her to be careful in the forest, because there could be wolves there.
“If I’m Red, you can be my grandmother! And this is the cottage!” Kirishima continued, heavily invested in the story.
“ But on the way to her grandmother’s house, she got distracted and stopped to look at some flowers. She didn’t notice an animal creeping in from the shadows. Suddenly, a wolf appeared beside her.
‘What are you doing here, little girl?’ The wolf said, in the friendliest voice he could.
‘I’m on my way to see my grandmother, who lives in a cottage in the forest.’ Red replied.
Little Red Riding Hood then realised how late she was, and waved goodbye to the wolf to go to her grandma’s house. However, little did Red know that the wolf was already there, waiting. ”
Kirishima’s eyes widened ever so slightly, and he stared at the page, waiting for Chiyo to continue. Chiyo turned the page, clearing her throat before beginning to read.
“ Red unlocked the door, and went inside. The wolf jumped, pulling the covers up to his throat. ‘W-who is it?’ He croaked in the best grandma voice he could.
‘It’s me, grandma! Red! My, you sound awfully sick,’ Little Red Riding hood ran up to the bed, before noticing the wolf’s ears. ‘My, what big ears you have!’
‘All the better to hear you with, my dear.’ The wolf replied.
‘My, what big eyes you have!’
‘The better to see you with, my dear.’
‘My, what great teeth you have!’
‘All the better to eat you with!’
Red finally realised that the person in bed was not her grandmother, but rather, the wolf! She ran across the room to the door, crying out for help at the top of her lungs as the wolf chased after her.’
Kirishima was leaning forward now, his eyebrows turned upwards in fear. He’s completely engrossed in the story, living through it. “What’s going to happen to Kirishima? What about her grandma?” Kirishima asks, and Chiyo smiles comfortingly. “Don’t worry. She’ll be fine, and so will her grandmother. But Eijirou, you have to be careful. There are wolves in the forest, and there’s one for your story, too. I’m the grandmother, you’re Kirishima Riding Hood, so there is a wolf. You have to be careful. Promise?”
Kirishima nods, looking down at the page again.
Times change quickly, years go by in the blink of an eye, and now that day reading in bed seemed like so long ago. Kirishima’s now seventeen years old, a bright, happy teenager with hair the colour of precious rubies and eyes that put the gem to shame. He never took the hood off the day Chiyo gifted him when Kirishima was four, except now, the hood fits him perfectly. Kirishima wears it proudly on his shoulder, the hood drooping down his back or hanging over his head.
The fabric is warm, comforting, it hugs him and coats him in a permanent feeling of ease and safety. Kirishima also proudly wears a handmade dress from his grandmother, complete with fluffed short sleeves, an apron around his waist, a basket in his hand, filled with first aid material. The dress is comfortable, and it’s a physical version of his grandmother’s care for him, with the hours she spent making it. Chiyo’s grown old, however, her healing work lives on. She taught Kirishima everything there is to know about healing before retiring, leaving the cottage in his hands.
Kirishima’s familiar with almost all the animals in the village, the same as Chiyo, if not more. He gets along with all creatures easily, all of them immediately falling in love with his friendly words and comforting smile.
Today, Kirishima’s on his way home from a visit to the marketplace. He adjusts his hood as he walks, a permanent small smile on his face, a slight skip to his step. Kirishima’s basket is resting on his left elbow, he takes it everywhere with him now. Chiyo used to the same, she’d pack treats and first aid materials, all snugly fitting in the basket, and now Kirishima did the same. And it came in handy, as Kirishima often ran into animals on the way.
Kirishima looks up to attempt to see how far his cottage is, when he hears a small whine. A distressed one. His healer self immediately kicks in, and he turns to the direction of the noise, listening. Another small whine comes, as well as a grunt and growl. Kirishima turns on his heel, running off track into the woods. He pushes past the trees, moving stray branches out of the way until he reaches the source of the sound and his eyes go wide. It’s a wolf. Kirishima’s veins immediately course with fear, flashbacking to each warning about wolves flashing in his head. The creature in front of him is huge, sandy, ash coloured fur. It’s lying down, expression twisted in pain, a section of its fur on its leg stained red. It seems that Kirishima’s big heart overcame his fear, because he pushed the thoughts out of the way and crawled down to the wolf.
“Hey... are you ok? I’m going to help you, okay? Trust me.” Kirishima’s voice is gentle, as usual. He lifted his hand to try to get the wolf to sniff his scent, to trust him. The wolf, however, jerked his head up, teeth snapping, and Kirishima pulled his hand back, getting slightly started. However, he took another deep breath.
“I’m trying to help you. Please, just trust me. I’m not going to hurt you.” Kirishima wasn’t sure if the wolf could understand was he was saying, he wasn’t sure if animals in general could understand what he was saying. But the wolf made a small noise before dropping its head back on the ground again, giving Kirishima permission. Kirishima smiled gratefully, reaching into his basket to pull out his first aid kit, rummaging through it to find the antiseptic with the least sting. When he located the small bottle, he poured a bit on a small towel before pressing it to the wound carefully. Kirishima heard the wolf let out a noise of complain, thrashing its head and grunting. Kirishima winced, pulling the cloth back, waiting for a moment before applying it again, waiting for the wolf to get used to the feeling before rubbing carefully. When the wound was clean, Kirishima bandaged the wolf’s thigh.
Kirishima stood back, and the wolf craned his head to look at the work, then turning to Kirishima before slowly standing up. Kirishima knew that the wound wouldn’t heal like that, it’d need continuous treatment. Kirishima debated for a minute, before deciding to take the wolf back with him. He had space, of course. And it was the right thing to do. Kirishima reached for a treat in his basket again, pulling out a small treat and holding it out to the wolf. “I’m going to get you to come with me, just so I can take care of your leg. You’ll be safe, don’t worry.”
The wolf grunted again and eyed the treat, snapping his head forward to grab it and eat it, his teeth narrowly missing Kirishima’s hand. Kirishima laughed slightly, then got back up, dusting himself off. He picked up his basket again, and started walked back towards the pathway, making sure the wolf was following him in the corner of his eye. The wolf was limping slightly, due to the pain in his leg. Kirishima kept walking carefully, his eyes on the wolf, which caused him to trip a few times over various objects on the road (twigs, leaves, rocks-- easily avoidable). Soon, his snug little cottage was in view, and Kirishima went up the steps leading to the doorway. He unlocked it and stepped inside, immediately comforted by the familiar warmth of his home. The wolf soon followed, stepping inside.
Kirishima went over to the large, plush chair and tapped on it, encouraging the wolf to come. He did, and made his way over, climbing up on the furniture before settling down, resting his head on the armrest and curling himself on the soft mattress.“Here.” Kirishima says, taking off his hood and wrapping it around the wolf carefully. “I’m going to give you food, then I’ll heal your leg.” The wolf lets out another grunt. Kirishima looked through his fridge, and got out some raw meat and some dog treats. He’d never treated a wolf before, but he’d treated dogs. That’s kind of what a wolf was, right? A big dog? With sharper teeth, maybe.
Kirishima laid the food on top of the armrest on a small plate, so that the wolf could eat it. And it seems Kirishima chose correctly, because he immediately dug into the food presented to him. While the wolf was distracted, Kirishima got some more disinfectant and put it on a small rag, moving slowly. He unwrapped the bandage, and the wolf moved in discomfort, but didn’t object. With a small exhale, Kirishima fully exposed the wound, and pressed the rag to his leg. The wolf snapped his head up and let out a large cry of pain, knocking his plate onto the floor with a clatter. He ran off the chair immediately and bared his teeth at Kirishima, growling, his eyes wide and aggressive.
Kirishima’s heart was beating at a hundred miles per minute, trying to find a way to calm down the wolf and survive at the same time. After all, ‘killed by aggressive wolf’ didn’t seem like a pleasant way to die. Kirishima held up both his hands in defeat, stepping back, trying to remember what his grandmother had taught him. “Hey, hey, I’m not going to hurt you. I’m sorry. I just want to treat your wound.” Kirishima went on to his knees and held out the rag, not looking away from the wolf. “Could you please let me help you?”
The wolf’s growls ceased, and he eyed Kirishima again, before relaxing, his teeth no longer bared. Kirishima let out a sigh of relief, and pressed the rag to the wound again gently. This time, it was fine, but the wolf’s fur pressed against the wound. Kirishima moved his hand back, expecting the wolf to lash out again, but instead the creature just hissed in pain before letting out a frustrated grunt. Then, he flashed white, and Kirishima looked away, squinting. But when he looked back again, the wolf was gone.
Instead, there was a man.
A man no older than he was, visibly around 19. He had the same sandy-ash blond hair that the wolf did, except his hair spiked around his head. His eyes were the same piercing Kirishima, and his body was a cream-like colour. He was built-- extremely built, with lean muscles and-
Oh. My. God.
Reality suddenly dawned in on Kirishima, and his eyes went wide, expression shocked. He blinked once. Twice. Pinched his arm. Nope, still there. The wolf was actually a shifter. Shifter, meaning a creature who was both a wolf and a human, and could switch between forms at will. “Wait, wait, wait, you’re a
” Kirishima squeaked, more of his shock dawning on him because as well as the wolf he was previously treating suddenly transforming into a human--and a very attractive one-- he also had no clothes. Right, when shifters shifted they were naked, right. Ugh, god. Kirishima quickly reached to the chair and grabbed his hood, throwing it over him and covering his naked body.
“Fucking looks like it, doesn’t it?” The shifter grumbled out, and Kirishima was immediately taken by surprise before he realised he was just answering Kirishima’s external cry of shock. “Why the fuck are you wearing a dress?”
Kirishima was slightly taken aback, looking down at his dress, slightly self-conscious before he rubbed the back of his head. “I--..uh, my grandmother made it for me.” Kirishima paused again, slightly awkward. He was trained to help
How the hell do you talk to humans? Kirishima cleared his throat. “Anyway. I’m Eijirou. Eijirou Kirishima. B-but I usually am just called Red, it’s basically my name.”
The shifter let out a snort and gestured up to his hair. “Heh. It matches.” Kirishima’s cheeks immediately burned.
“What’s your name?” Kirishima pushed again, slightly frustrated that his introduction hadn’t hinted at one back. The shifter eyed him again, and those eyes were captivating, god. “..Bakugou. ‘M name’s Bakugou. Katsuki.” Bakugou finally mumbled, and Kirishima nodded. “Ugh..’re you gonna fuckin’ heal me, or what? Stupid fuckin’ human.”
Kirishima quickly snapped back to normal and nodded, grabbing his basket and running towards Bakugou. He pulled up the hood just enough to reveal the cream-peach skin of Bakugou’s leg, and then the wound. Oh god. It looked even worse on human skin. “Oh wow...this doesn’t look like it was a bite from a predator. How exactly did this happen?” Bakugou grumbled, letting out an annoyed sigh. “...Hunters. Fuckin’ group of humans who hunt monsters were tryin’ ‘ta kill me. I got caught in one of their traps, caught my leg.”
Kirishima winced and lightly ran his fingers over the wound, watching the wolf flinch in slight pain. “Okay, it’s easier to look at without the fur in the way. I’ll put more antiseptic on it and bound it.” Bakugou tensed for a moment, before nodding again, and Kirishima was able to carefully treat the wound. His touch was gentle and careful, looking at up Bakugou to read his expression for signs of distress, but in the end, was able to heal him well.
“Okay, so uh... you’ll need to come back every now and again. Just to check up on it! Haha…” Kirishima was slightly nervous. Again, animals were a breeze to look after. He was an awkward mess around other humans. Bakugou eyed him suspiciously for a moment.
“..Yeah. Thank you.” The shifter mumbles, and Kirishima immediately beams, his face brightening up before he laughs and shakes his head. “You don’t need to thank me! I’ll see you soon, yeah?” Bakugou grunted a reply, before slowly shifting back to a wolf, and disappearing into the woods again without another word.
Bakugou began to slowly come back to the cottage every now and again, to Kirishima’s delight. Today’s one of those days, where Kirishima has just returned from a quick visit to a nearby village to find Bakugou in his half-wolf form, curled up in one of the recliner chairs. Upon getting to know Bakugou, Kirishima finds out that he actually has three forms. Fully human, fully wolf, of course, then a hybrid. A human form, but wolf ears and his tail. He’s sleeping, tail curled around his body to give him warmth, which means he’s obviously been there for a while. It’s a routine, now. Bakugou comes back, Kirishima checks on his wound, feeds him, maybe talk if Kirishima’s lucky, Bakugou leaves.
“Bakugou, I’m back!” Kirishima makes his way over to the chair Bakugou’s in, and ruffles the top of his head. Bakugou groans, and scrunches up his features, a sign that he’s officially been woken up. Kirishima moves back while Bakugou lifts his head in a yawn, rubbing over his eyes and huffing. “Took you long enough, shithead.” Kirishima chuckles, Bakugou’s usually grumpy when he just wakes up.
“Why do you keep coming back here, Bakugou? Your wound’s all healed now…” Kirishima has a coy smile on his face, because as much as Bakugou argues, Kirishima knows the shifter comes here because he enjoys Kirishima’s company.
“I told you, idiot! ‘S not because of you! Food, no predators, and ‘s warm from winter. Shut the fuck up.” Bakugou crossed his arms over his chest, huffing in annoyance again. He keeps on tugging at the hem of his shirt every now again, having still not gotten used to the concept of clothing. It took a lot of painful time for Kirishima to convince Bakugou to please wear any sort of clothing when he shifted. And with a lot of bribery and meals, Bakugou reluctantly agreed.
“Okay, okay, drama queen. Maybe I should’ve left you in the woods that day.” Kirishima paused for a moment, thinking. Bakugou had never told him the full story of what exactly had happened in the woods that day, why he was being targeted. “Hey Bakugou, what actually happened in the woods? With the hunters?”
Bakugou immediately tensed, looking up at Kirishima, before he let out a sigh, turning his head away. “They’re a group of human hunters who work with monsters to hunt down other monster parts n’ sell ‘em to get rich. Apparently the claws from a Shifter ‘re a rare item, so they were tryna’ kill me. Got chased by a guy named Shigaraki Tomura, ‘s been fucking at my neck for so damn long. Annoying as hell.”
Kirishima went quiet, looking down for a moment. Bakugou looked up and clicked his tongue. “‘S why I was so aggressive n’ shit when you tried to help. ‘M not that good with people.” Kirishima’s heart sank with empathy. God, he had no idea. That would be so... ugh, so hard.
“What’ll you do if they come back?” There was always the possibility. Kirishima’s heard stories about the hunters, and they’re not one to give up easily. The thought of them coming back, and finishing what they started... it made Kirishima’s stomach drop. Not only because of his love for animals. Sure, he’d fight to protect anyone. But Bakugou? Kirishima couldn’t let anything happen to him. Kirishima didn’t know what he’d do if something did happen to him.
The shifter clicked his tongue, again, and turned his head away. “‘F they come back, ‘ll kick their ass. Simple as that. Don’t get your fuckin’ panties in a twist.”
Stay away from wolves, Eijirou. They’re dangerous. Like in Little Red Riding Hood, they’re a mean and nasty creature that you can’t take care of, or they’ll eat you up. I can’t let anything happen to you, so you have to promise me, okay? That you won’t get hurt. Promise me, Eijirou.
Three pairs of footsteps trudge through the forest, slowly, and it’s as if the sky shrinks back as they walk, it’s like the dark follows them like a dog on a leash. Lead by Shigaraki Tomura, the leader of the group of human hunters, draped in fabric and two sleek black gloves on each hand. Followed by the unnamed alchemist, Dabi, and Shigaraki’s companion, Kurogiri. Shigaraki leads, eyelids drooping and scratching the underside of his chin as he scans the forest around him.
“The mutt got caught around here... find the trap. Kill him... we need to get his fur... bring it back to master.” His voice was quiet, deadly, like the uttering of the reaper upon deathbed. Shigaraki’s steps were slow, and he turned his head, looking around the area for that damn blond wolf he was after. He’d been chasing it for so long now... too long. Shifters were hard to find, they were rare creatures, after all, and if he let another one slip through his fingers? Master would not be happy.
“Tomura... you might want to come here,” Kurogiri said, and something told Shigaraki that he wasn’t going to be bearing good news. Shigaraki pushed past the trees, moving Kurogiri out of the way to get a view of whatever he was looking at. Shigaraki’s eyes went wide, and he scowled, his eyebrows knotting together. The trap was there, well enough, its metallic silver teeth bared and tight chain tied. But the mutt was nowhere to be seen. Crimson, cherry blood stained the metal, and Shigaraki’s vision flashed Kirishima.
“He got away...” Shigaraki hissed, and Dabi let out an annoyed sigh, before shaking his head.
“Are you an idiot?” Dabi cocked a brow, and stepped closer, and Shigaraki’s pupils dilated in anger. “Wow, you really are. He didn’t get away. Look at the way it’s open. Someone let him go.”
Shigaraki snapped his head back to the trap, analysing it carefully. And sure enough, it was wrenched open. He bent down, looking around it for a clue. And beside the trap, there was a small piece of torn, red fabric, as well as sugar-sweet crumbs from a sweet of some sort.
A light bulb flashed in Kurogiri’s eyes, and he took the fabric from Shigaraki’s hands, turning it carefully. “I know where he is. This fabric, it’s from that animal healer, Recovery Girl. She lives in a cottage, just outside the village.” Shigaraki got up, slowly, turning back to Kurogiri, cracked lips stretched into a dangerous grin, his eyes widened sadistically.
“ Take me to her.”
Kirishima and Bakugou were walking side by side after a quick trip to the village. Kirishima’s basket was stocked with new treats, and he could tell that it was taking Bakugou every amount of self-control he had not to eat them. Bakugou had shifted back to his wolf form upon exit for the sake of comfort, and was whining, his stomach growling.
“Just be patient, you can have some food as soon as we get back! It’s not lunchtime yet.” Bakugou let out a grunt of annoyance, but let it go, and continued walking. The sooner they’d get there, the better. The two followed the familiar, sandy path that leads to their cottage. Bakugou came back so often that it was basically like he lived there. And there was no complaints on Kirishima’s side, quite the contrary. He was the one to tell Bakugou not to leave.
Suddenly, Bakugou stopped in the middle of the path, as soon as the cottage came into view. “Bakugou? What’s wrong-...” Kirishima looked up to his home, and his throat went dry. Three men stood in front of his door, clearly older than him. They looked dangerous, and were holding knives, a bat, a familiar looking trap taken from the forest.
Kirishima’s heart began to pound a million miles a second as he finally realised exactly who these mysterious men are. The leader, scratched and peeling skin, face hidden behind a hood, piercing red eyes and a wide, sadistic grin behind stretched cracked lips. Shigaraki Tomura. The main leader from the group of human hunters. Kirishima stepped forward, pushing Bakugou behind him.
“Well, well, well, I was expecting the old woman, but her grandson? Now, this is fun!” Shigaraki’s eyes were dilating, and fear coursed through Kirishima’s veins, his throat dry. Even though he was absolutely frozen with fear, only one thought repeated in his mind.
Bakugou snarled, trying to move forward, but Kirishima promptly cut him off, shaking his head. His eyes were blazing with intensity, and upon seeing that, Bakugou’s eyes went wide in shock. “Hey, hey, you don’t have to get hurt. All we’re after, is the mutt.” Shigaraki whispered, revealing a sharp dagger as he walked forward, and Kirishima let out a noise of surprise, but stood his ground.
“I’m not going to let you take him. If you want to take him, then you’re gonna have to go through me. Take me instead.” Kirishima ignored Bakugou’s noise of protest, and he sucked in another breath. “My grandmother taught me everything about healing! I know everything there is to know! And besides...” Kirishima trailed off, before crossing his arms in front of him. He clenched his eyes shut, praying that it would work, and sure enough, something rippled through his arms right upon command. His skin turned jaggered, travelling down his skin one after the other, like dominoes. And in less than two seconds, both of his hands were hardened, jagged and sharp, a human shield.
“You’ll have to go through me, ” Kirishima repeated, his voice sharp, and Shigaraki stepped back for a moment in shock, before laughing. “You really think a protective ability will be able to stop us? If you want us to go through you, then get ready to die!”
Before Kirishima could even process the next move, Shigaraki ran forward and swung. Kirishima narrowly blocked, getting skidded back in the process. Bakugou yelled out and stepped in to join the fight, beginning to shift forms, back into his human one. Kirishima acted upon instant and grabbed Bakugou, throwing him as far back as he possibly could before again, blocking another hit by Shigaraki. Kirishima’s blood was pumping through his body fast enough to give him a headache, his hardened arms starting to weaken.
No. I have to stand my ground, I have to stand my ground, and keep him safe! It’s my job, as a healer!
Kirishima looked back up at Shigaraki, who aimed another blow to his torso. Kirishima wasn’t able to harden fast enough and the air was stolen through his lungs, and he fell to the floor in a cough. He shakily stood up again, and hardened his arms as the next blow came. Kirishima swung back between hits, his hood getting tore and mangled off his shoulders, his basket forgotten, dress tearing. He didn’t focus on Bakugou, all he could think about was taking them down, getting them out of here.
The other man finally stepped in with a coarse laugh, before holding up his hand and immediately setting light blue flames into the air. Kirishima’s heart stopped. “You really think you stand a chance? Step away from the fire unless you want to get burned, little boy.” He taunted, and Kirishima squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head. His eyes were forced open when he felt a searing pain in his stomach, Shigaraki had thrown another punch while he was distracted. Kirishima fell to the floor, coughing blood. The two men loomed over him, and Kirishima’s facade dropped. He looked up in complete and utter defeat, fear paralysing him, taking over his body like a virus. Kirishima couldn’t move. He couldn’t move a muscle. Not even as the two lifted their hands to land the final blow, he saw the flash of blue and the sadistic, dilating pupils and he couldn’t move.
But he didn’t have to.
As soon as the blow hit Kirishima was sent crashing to the floor, crying out in pure pain. He heard a roar, a familiar, throat wrenching bellow that merged into a growl. Kirishima was able to make out the shape of Bakugou in front of him before his vision went black.
“Oi, Kirishima. Get up.”
“God, you’re such a fucking idiot-ugh, wake up!”
“Kirishima. Oi, Kirishima! Fucking hell, Kirishima! Please...”
Kirishima opened his eyes, blinking slowly, scrunching up his face in discomfort. His eyes go wide as his memories flood back, and he sat up in a hurry. Bakugou was kneeling in front of him, and he looked absolutely awful. His pale skin was now blue-purple, scattered with bruises. His lip was split, blood caked his face, mixed with the spattered brown dirt. Both of his eyes were bruised and black, and he looked on the verge of passing out. Kirishima’s eyes began to water and he scrambled forward, taking Bakugou’s face in his hands.
“Bakugou! Oh my god, Bakugou, what happened? Where’d they go? Are you ok? They didn’t hurt you too bad, did they? I’m so sorry, I’m so, so sorry-” Kirishima rambled, and Bakugou winced in pain, his eyes drooping, his body falling in Kirishima’s hand. When he finally spoke, his voice was hoarse and quiet, lidded with pain.
“You... passed out. They left, fuckin’ cowards. God, you scared me so much, you’re such an idiot...” Bakugou trailed off, his body going completely limp, his eyes fluttering shut. Kirishima caught him, immediately letting out a cry of surprise, completely panicking. He had to take care of Bakugou, he had to get him medical treatment and had to do it now. Kirishima moved Bakugou into his lap, cradling him close to his chest and rushed back to the cottage as fast as he could.
Kirishima ran inside, his body straining to carry Bakugou in his sore state, but he couldn’t care less. He placed Bakugou down on the bed, his heart pounding like a drum inside his chest. Kirishima cradled Bakugou’s head, pressing Bakugou’s forehead to his, whispering It’ll be alright, I promise it’ll be alright.
Kirishima didn’t sleep that night.
He stayed up in a buzz, completely and utterly panicked. Kirishima pulled out every book he had, every bit of first aid he could find to try and help Bakugou. Kirishima’s eyes prickled with tears when he caught sight of Bakugou’s wounds, big and ugly, scarring his picture-perfect skin. Kirishima bit his lip, knowing that he couldn’t let that stop him, and went over to treating the next wound. At that point, the moon began to rise into the sky, exchanging the light for night. The cottage was lit by moonlight, and Kirishima wasn’t tired, at all. He had to make sure Bakugou would be ok. He had to do anything to make it okay.
Kirishima finished treating all of his wounds, panic still pounding in his chest. He pulled back the blankets, gently tugged out the plastic he’d placed underneath Bakugou before covering him gently with a thin blanket. Kirishima sat in the chair opposite the bed, curling up in it as best he could, pulling a spare blanket over his body.
He tried to sleep. But sleep never came.
“ Kirishima. ‘S that you?”
Kirishima’s eyes shot open in the chair, and he looked up to see Bakugou sitting upright in the bed, groaning as he pulled back the blanket to take a look at his mended wounds. Kirishima let out a happy cry and ran out of the bed and to Bakugou’s side, tears forming in his eyes. He wrapped Bakugou in a hug, gently, and Bakugou lets out an annoyed groan and struggles and wrenches in his gasp, causing Kirishima to laugh.
“Oi! Get off me, you fucking idiot!” Bakugou hissed, but Kirishima just laughs again, the tears starting to freely fall. Bakugou goes quiet. “Oi. Why’re you cryin’?”
Kirishima just shook his head with another laugh, holding his hand to his eyes to wipe away the tears before turning to Bakugou with a smile.
“You saved me, Bakugou!” Kirishima exclaimed, letting go of Bakugou. “The big bad wolf, saved me.” Kirishima marvelled, stepping back. Bakugou looked at him in complete and utter confusion, and Kirishima just laughed again. Laughed because they were safe, they were here, it was okay.
Little Red Riding Hood, saved by the Big Bad Wolf.
And that was a story to tell.