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Don't Tell Me (What to Do), I'm Not Listening Anyway

Chapter Text

Bakugou sat sprawled out on a couch in the common room of the Heights Alliance Class 3-A dorms, as was his usual habit upon returning from a mild internship day. If he had a rough day, he usually found himself in his room, passed out in bed, or in the gym, punching shit ‘til it broke - or he broke his knuckles, whichever came first.

Today had been relatively peaceful, though, and the most Katsuki had managed to do was scare a few kids who had been fucking around in an abandoned building scheduled to be demolished soon. He’d given the kids a harsh tongue-lashing, channeling the nigh-tangible fury of his mother when she’d caught him misbehaving as a young child. It had worked, and the kids had scuttled off towards home, and probably wouldn't go poking around dangerous old buildings for at least another day or two. All in a day’s work for a hero intern. Boring-ass patrols were the norm, but that was probably for the best, considering that anytime Katsuki saw action he left smoldering swaths of destruction in his wake. Of course he’d learned to adjust his explosions to contribute to some of his non-lethal combat skills, but at the end of the day, Katsuki was a walking nitroglycerin factory and that wasn't going to fucking change anytime soon.

His phone chimed at him in his pocket and he withdrew it, glancing at the reminder and scowling. The reminder was for tomorrow, and it consisted of a single word: “pill”. Sighing heavily, Katsuki shoved his phone back into his pocket, returning to the textbook he’d been trying to read for the better part of an hour.  He was still on the same page ten minutes later when Deku stomped into the common room, looking far more haggard than Katsuki.

He slowed as he made his way across the room, ostensibly headed upstairs when he slowed even further, his nose wrinkling slightly. “Huh,” he murmured, coming to a complete stop, his eyes flicking over to Katsuki.

Fuck this, Katsuki thought absently, closing his textbook with a snap and pulling his phone back out of his pocket to text Kirishima, telling him to come meet Katsuki in the common room. If he wasn't going to make any headway in the textbook, he could at least try and help Eijirou with his calculus homework. It wasn't until Katsuki slipped his phone back into his pocket that he realized Deku was still standing in the middle of the room, staring at him. Katsuki glowered at Deku, but it didn't seem to have any effect on his dead-eyed classmate. That was worrying, usually a well-aimed glare was enough to get his classmates to back off.

Instead, Deku took a halting step forward, then another. “K-Kacchan,” he said haltingly, like it was hard to force the word out.

Something about his behavior was nagging at the back of Katsuki’s mind, it was eerily familiar but he couldn't seem to place it.

Deku took another step, his mouth moving a little before the word “Omega,” escaped, and suddenly, Katsuki knew.

“Fuck!” he exclaimed, digging into his pockets immediately, withdrawing two packages of pills, one set white, the other red. He popped two red pills out of the seal, cradling them in the palm of his hand before turning to Deku. “Ran into someone in heat? Probably didn't notice in time, because you were too busy saving lives or some shit,” Katsuki predicted, extending a hand, the red pills cupped in his palm.

The loud slap of Deku sending the pills flying sounded much louder in the silence of the common room than it had any right to. Katsuki cradled his hand, glaring furiously at Deku. “The fuck?!” he demanded, rising indignantly, and a flash of lucidity seemed to spark in Deku’s eyes.

Sit,” he commanded, and his tone rippled with power.

Katsuki was back on the couch before he quite realized what was happening. When it became clear, he whirled on Deku. “Did you just fucking command me, asshole? What the fuck!”

There was a cold, dispassionate light in Deku’s eyes, and his words seemed to be coming more easily now. Quiet.

Katsuki’s mouth snapped shut. Fuck. This was bad. He tried to stand, but the ripples of sit were still tugging at him, tying him down, he couldn't move! Panic began to set in as Deku moved closer, fingers fumbling at the waistband on Bakugou’s sweatpants.

Bakugou’s breath was coming in explosive bursts as he tried to wiggle away from the touch, and then Deku snarled, “Hold still!” and all the fight seemed to drain out of him.

Deku slipped Katsuki’s sweatpants down to his ankles, then began to tug at Bakugou's shirt. At least Bakugou still had his boxers on, but fuck! What if a classmate came in, they’d see a fucking alpha getting it on with an omega classmate and probably wouldn't even -

“Bakugou? Midoriya? What’s going on in here?” Kirishima came striding in, only to stumble to an immediate stop as he took stock of the situation.

“Get away!” Deku snarled (yes, snarled) at Kirishima, hands clenching posessively on Katsuki’s shirt.

Ignoring Deku, Kirishima shifted his gaze to Katsuki. “Bakugou! Are you okay?”

Katsuki couldn't speak, quiet still pulling him taut and trapping his words deep in his throat where they could never push their way out. But he shook his head slightly, fighting furiously against hold still to make even that small of a motion.

“Bakugou, you gotta answer me,” Kirishima wheedled, and Deku was growing more tense with every passing second, his fingers digging into the fabric of Katsuki’s shirt.

Katsuki wanted to answer, he really did, but it was so hard, he couldn't…

He just. Couldn't.

“C'mon man, answer me!” Kirishima put just a little more force into his request, and suddenly Katsuki’s mouth was flying open, only to feel a sharp, searing pain rip through his head.

Hold still. Answer me. Quiet. Answer me. Katsuki felt like his brain was being pulled in two opposite directions, and the stabbing pain set his hands clawing at his own face, trying to tear out the pain, but he still hadn't answered and he wasn't holding still, his face was on fire, everything hurt, Kirishima was yelling, “What did you DO?” and Deku was snarling wordlessly back at him, but Katsuki couldn't even hold onto that as the world dissolved into hold still and quiet and answer me, until he dimly heard a third voice enter into the fray, and then someone was rumbling “You don't have to obey them!” in his ears, and suddenly Katsuki realized he was on the ground, curled up in a ball, tear-tracks trailing down his cheeks. Ashido was leaning over him, concern emblazoned across her features. Behind her stood Kirishima, so pale that he looked moments away from passing out. Deku was sitting on a couch, head cradled in his hands.

“Bakugou,” Ashido said softly, her voice still stabbing his mind like knives - everything hurt, he couldn't deal with this shit right now.

Groaning, Katsuki pushed himself up to his knees, then his feet. Ashido hovered beside him, seeming unsure of what to do and how - or if - she should help. A look of concern in his eyes, Kirishima took a halting step forward, and Katsuki whirled on him in fury.

“Stay back!” his voice was reedy and hoarse from screaming.

Eijirou stepped back quickly, still opening his mouth to speak up.

Katsuki nearly throttled him for it. “Don't fucking talk to me. Not right now.” Without another word he staggered from the room, feeling like his mind had been drawn and quartered.  What the fuck had just happened to him? And how could he make sure it never happened again?

Eijirou watched Bakugou stumble away from the three of them and felt his hands begin to shake. He looked at Ashido, who was treating him to one of her patented disappointed looks. “Thanks for coming,” he said weakly, “I didn't know what to do.”

“Correction,” Mina said, her voice almost as cold as her eyes, “You didn't know what you'd done.”

Eijirou flinched at that. She was right. He still didn't know what he’d just witnessed, because Ashido hadn't bothered to explain when he’d busted into her room yelling that Bakugou was screaming in pain and rolling around on the floor trying to claw his own face off, and that maybe it was an Omega Thing, because he might have accidentally used an alpha command, and -

She’d just shoved past him, leaping down the stairs four steps at a time, and knelt beside Bakugou to rumble something in his ear. Eijirou hadn't made out the words as he’d come clattering into the room, but Mina had been forced to put more and more of that commanding power into her voice, repeating the phrase several times before whatever she said finally took, and Bakugou had slumped limply to the floor in relief.

“What did I do?” Kirishima asked, more than willing to take responsibility since Bakugou had started screaming almost immediately after Kirishima had slipped up and let a command escape his lips. He’d never meant to use something like that against his friend, but with Midoriya hovering over him like that, some part of him had just snapped, he felt he needed to get Bakugou to talk and the command had slipped out.

Rather than telling Kirishima what he did, Ashido ignored him completely in favor of moving over to crouch beside Midoriya, who seemed to shrink in on himself at her approach. “You good, Midoriya, or do you need blockers?”

“Took two,” Midoriya whispered brokenly, “Didn't realize triggers could override-” he cut himself off with a strangled gasp. “I didn't know,” he repeated brokenly, “I wouldn't have - if I’d known…”

“You got hit on patrol?” Ashido prompted gently, “With a rut trigger?”

“They had me wash it off and change clothes and take blockers, but there aren't really many omegas in any sort of hero work, so I guess they didn't think it was a big concern,” Midoriya explained haltingly. “I don't think many people know about Kacchan, even now…”

Kirishima was listening carefully, moving to stand beside his green-haired classmate. “It’s like all of you goes on autopilot at that first scent,”  he noted softly. “You didn't… go feral, though.” He thought of his own rut, how he’d lost the ability to speak in the flood of instinct.

Midoriya laughed mirthlessly at that. “Maybe I should have,” he said in a dark tone, “I wouldn't have been able to command him like that, at least.”

Ashido clapped her hands sharply. “Which brings up the point I was about to make - have neither of you done your field training with heat and rut interventions and preventative measures?”

Kirishima shook his head in response. Ashido sighed heavily, giving him a look. “You might want to brush up on the manual, then. It’s more detailed than what we had to learn in second year. Anyway, there’s a little thing you have to watch out for - especially if an alpha villain is taking advantage of his command. Competing Commands, though some people call it ‘alpha shakes’.” Ashido folded her arms across her chest slowly, glancing from one to the other. “Basically, when an alpha gives a command, an omega - and to a lesser extent a beta - feels compelled to obey. But what if two alphas make two commands where each command counteracts the other - in other words, what if the commands compete?

Midoriya's head jerked up, and he willingly made eye contact with the others for the first time since Kirishima had ripped him off Bakugou and practically thrown him across the room. “Nothing good,” he said softly.

Ashido nodded. “It hurts like a bitch,” she clarified. “The stronger the commands, the more it hurts.” She turned to glare at Eijirou. “Guess what, big guy? The manual also tells us how to counteract competing commands. And how to avoid them.” She glowered at him. “Have you been slacking off on your reading assignments?”

Kirishima had been doing exactly that, since he’d gone into his third year internship with the (apparently erroneous) assumption that practical experience was the more valuable lesson of the two. He regretted that  decision now, of course. “I’ll start reading right away,” he said, already wondering when he and Bakugou could arrange a time in the library to - oh. Fuck. Bakugou. Was he even going to be okay? He’d seemed so pale and weak when he'd finally gotten to his feet. Kirishima had to know. “Competing commands don't do permanent damage, do they?”

Ashido recognized the note of near-panic in his tone and shook her head calmly. “Not generally, unless an omega hurts themselves accidentally due to their pained convulsions, or they suffer mental trauma from the pain and terror of prolonged exposure. It’s also worth mentioning that competing commands are known to have been used as a method of torture.” She gave him a look. “Of course, you'd know all of this already if you'd bothered reading the manual.”

Kirishima felt his stomach clench in sudden disgust for himself. How dare he think about studying with Bakugou when he’d accidentally tortured the guy? He didn't deserve anything from Bakugou. But Midoriya didn't seem the type to not read the manual, so why hadn't he done something to help? He turned to his classmate, fighting to keep the accusation out of his tone. “Why didn't you try to help? Didn't you realize-?”

“I was afraid!” Midoriya shouted, suddenly leaping to his feet, hands balled into fists, “The blockers obviously hadn't worked as well as I thought and I was afraid of what I might do if I got closer, if I said or did anything more to him!” Midoriya’s voice broke as he continued, “I never expected the blockers to fail, but now that they have…” he was staring down at his open palms, which trembled weakly. “What if it’s not safe for me to go out in the field?” he whispered softly. “Maybe my instincts are too strong.” His eyes glanced back up, flicking between Mina and Eijirou’s faces like he was searching for something. “I never wanted to hurt people, especially not innocent people!” Tears had begun pooling in his eyes, the first trailing down his cheek as his whole body began to shake. “What have I done?” he whispered brokenly. “And how can I be sure it won't happen again?” His two classmates exchanged glances, saying nothing. They couldn't answer him, because they didn't know.  Falling back against the couch, Midoriya crumpled in on himself and began sobbing in earnest.

He was fucking shaking again. Struggling to stand on unsteady legs, Katsuki dragged himself up the stairs, fighting to stay upright. He’d managed to get through last year’s alpha command training exercises in their hero courses with only a few twitches and a deep, bone-weary exhaustion that he would never, ever admit to anyone. This… this was something else entirely. He felt like his nerve endings had all been rubbed raw, like his insides had been scrambled with a fork, and he couldn't stop shaking. It wasn't an emotional reaction, either. His muscles just twitched, like they'd forgotten how to move. 

He made it to his room and collapsed on his bed, twitches running up and down his body. After lying facedown for a few minutes, he rolled himself over, staring down at his hands, tremors shaking them even when he wasn't trying to do anything.

He’d left his fucking textbook downstairs, and he knew without a doubt that his knees wouldn't be able to hold him up long enough to retrieve it. Cursing internally, Katsuki fumbled his phone out, nearly dropping it when his hands shook unexpectedly. This was fucking ridiculous.

He was about to text Kirishima, and ask him to bring the book, when a snarl seemed to tear through him like a knife to the chest. Answer me!

His hands shook so hard that he dropped his phone and it clattered to the floor. “F-f-fuck!” Katsuki cursed, hating that even his voice seemed to quiver in his chest before escaping. He reached down, vainly trying to grab his phone, but his grip was weak and his fingers spasmed. It took him nearly a full minute just to pick up his phone. Once he had it again, he considered his options. He really didn't want to see another fucking alpha at the moment. Scowling, Bakugou pulled up his contact list, and selected one of the few people he trusted to only mostly try his patience.

Me: hey volt-face I left my textbook on the couch downstairs. Bring it to my room.

Katsuki didn't have to wait long for a response.

DimBulb: y tho?

Katsuki sneered at his phone. Jerk. Though not unexpected, as Kaminari usually felt the need to demand answers before following Bakugou’s orders.

Me: Because I fucking told you to. I’m too busy to go back down there, and you never do homework until after dinner. So obviously you're the one who should go get my book.

The reply was near-instantaneous.

DimBulb: but if you left your book downstairs then you probably aren't doing homework either

Katsuki growled.


DimBulb: ok jeez chill I'll be there in a few minutes

That gave Katsuki a few minutes to try and get upright. Which he realized, as his arms and legs shook under him, might not be enough time. Instead, he staggered to his desk, fumbling with his papers and clutching a pencil, willing his body to stop shuddering uselessly. By the time Kaminari knocked on his door, the shakes had almost entirely faded.

“Just fucking hand it over,” Katsuki growled loud enough to be heard through the door, having no patience for the beta standing outside. The door swung open hesitantly, which frankly should have been his first clue that shit was about to hit the ceiling.

“Here’s your book,” came a voice from the doorway, and some deep part of Katsuki clenched painfully at the sound of it.

He took a deep breath before slowly turning to see Kirishima standing in the doorway, extending the textbook towards him, a contrite expression on his face. “What. The. Fuck,” Katsuki said in what he thought was a very calm and reasonable tone, but Kirishima flinched as though he’d been slapped.

“Kaminari said you needed this, so I volunteered to bring it,” he explained quickly. Every word he spoke seemed to tear a little bit deeper into Katsuki’s chest, creating a dull ache that radiated all the way out to his extremities.

Katsuki closed his eyes, steeling himself. He would not break here, not in front of this alpha. He knew it wasn't quite right, to see his friend as nothing more than an alpha, but he was mere hours from his heat and his ‘friend’ had used a fucking command on him. He wasn't feeling particularly generous at the moment. “Leave it,” he snapped, “and get out.”

Kirishima nodded, taking a step forward as he said, “Of course, I just wanted to apologize for-”

“Shut the fuck up!” Katsuki screamed, slamming his palms against his desk, not having enough control over his quirk to keep the explosion totally contained. Sheets of notebook paper drifted to the ground all around the room as Kirishima gaped at Katsuki.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, but his words scraped like nails on a chalkboard.

Katsuki pressed his hands to his ears. “I already told you,” he said, still able to hear the weariness in his voice despite his attempt to block out all sound. “Don’t talk to me right now.”

Finally, Kirishima seemed to understand, his eyes widening. He nodded his head furiously, taking two steps into the room and setting the textbook on the edge of Katsuki's desk before quickly scooting back to the doorway. He looked like he was about to say something when he stiffened suddenly, followed by his shoulders drooping in a dismal slouch. He carefully shut Katsuki’s door.

Bakugou dropped his fucking pencil, bent down to pick it up, and dropped it three more times before he could hold it with enough force to actually write something.

He was fucking shaking again.

Kirishima stood outside Bakugou’s room, staring at the door that stood between him and his friend. It felt more like a blockade, after the way Bakugou had told him off. The look on his face when he’d seen Eijirou there instead of Kaminari… his eyes had shown fear. Not for long, barely an instant, but it had been there and it was tearing Kirishima’s heart in two to think about it.

It was his fault, too, because he’d been too stupid to realize that the required readings would have important information about things like competing commands, and how to help an omega who was being forced to do something because of an alpha command. He’d hurt Bakugou, and more than that, he’d used a command on him! Because he was frustrated, because he didn't understand, and even after first year, he still couldn't seem to get it through his head that commanding an omega was wrong. He’d seen Bakugou go pale during alpha command training, watched him find out the hard way how close was too close to an alpha, and still he hadn't realized the true extent of how awful it was to use that on a friend.

And now Bakugou was afraid of him.

Turning slowly, Kirishima headed into his room. He had a lot of reading to do.


Chapter Text

It took Bakugou an hour to realize something was off. He’d turned the temperature setting on his AC down four times now, and was still sweating. Sighing, he dug in his desk drawer, pulling out his bottle of hardcore suppressants and sighed. Midoriya’s rut (and he was not ready to think too hard about that shit just yet) must have triggered his heat early. Plus, those damn alpha commands sure hadn't helped things any. Scowling, he shook one pill into his palm and swallowed it, washing it down with a swig of water from his bottle. He considered getting up and eating something, since he probably wouldn't be eating much for the next few days, but after the afternoon’s fiasco the idea of food was not particularly appealing to him, either.

He’d come a long way since his first year, at least in terms of recognizing what sort of symptoms meant his heat was imminent. Admittedly, this one was on the early side, but when he started blasting AC and still couldn't get cooled off, it was pretty much a given that his heat had started. Sighing, he grabbed his phone to text Kirishima, and froze. Dammit, usually Kirishima would help out by bringing him their class notes since the guy was always militant about taking his blockers when Katsuki was in heat, despite the fact that technically the suppressants reduced Katsuki’s pheromone output to the point where blockers weren't strictly necessary. Beyond that, Bakugou used scent neutralizers religiously, but all the same, it was nice to know your bro was doing his part to prevent any unfortunate situations.

Bakugou’s first day of heat was always the worst. Usually he could manage to drag himself to class, but sometimes his damn meds made him so sick he physically couldn't get out of bed without constant dry-heaves and vertigo so bad he couldn't tell which way was up. Because of this, he generally settled for telling his dorm-neighbor when he was in heat, so if he didn't make it to class Kirishima knew to collect notes for him.

Even when he did go to class, though, the suppressants pretty effectively shut down his endocrine system, which included his quirk. He could use anything stored up in his gauntlets, though that was assuming he could fight the vertigo long enough to stay upright in a sparring ring and actually deliver the blows. Generally speaking, he just watched the others train for the duration of his heat, and cursed his secondary gender under his breath.

But that was for a normal heat. Katsuki wasn't dealing with a normal heat this time, because Kirishima had gone and done a fucking stupid thing and now Katsuki’s stupid goddamn body hurt when he heard his best friend’s voice! Dammit, wasn't he suffering enough, trying fucking make it through hero training while being on fucking suppressants every few weeks? Now he had to think about alpha commands and what to fucking do about them. He’d figured out proximity and shit, and had figured that staying out of range while in combat would be enough, but no, Deku had shut him down in a few words (and fuck he still wasn't going to think about that or he was going to lose his shit). The part of the whole incident that had Katsuki so upset was the fact that he'd had no way to predict Midoriya was going to use a command on him. He was an omega, so he had no fucking sense of smell. How was he supposed to know if an alpha was in rut if they fucking always smelled like unwashed teenagers? The whole situation was unacceptable, he couldn't live his whole fucking life keeping a fifteen-foot radius between himself and any other alpha on the planet. It wasn't practical.

Fuck, he was going to have to figure out a way to beat alpha commands, otherwise there was no way he’d be able to make it as a top hero. Surely there was some way to do it. He just needed to do a little research. Nodding to himself, Bakugou turned to his computer, grimacing as his stomach clenched in pain.  Well, at least he could count on his suppressants to be as fucking terrible as always. Absently, he wondered if Kaminari would bring him class notes if he asked, or if he’d just shove the responsibility off on Kirishima all over again. Maybe he would ask Ashido, instead.

Before he decided on that, though, he had alpha command research to do - first of all, what the hell was it about competing  commands that allowed them to wreck him so thoroughly? And second of all, how could he prevent a situation like that from shutting him down next time? With still-shaking hands, Bakugou turned back to his computer. He had research to do, and precious little time before his meds kicked in.

Todoroki Shouto was doing his homework in his dorm room as usual, when a soft knock sounded on his door. That was… unexpected. Shouto was rarely disturbed when he was in his room. He stood up and walked to the door, opening it to see who could possibly be coming to visit. “Ah,” he said, not really sure if he was surprised or not. Since anyone coming to his room was a surprise, it was surprising just in principle. He couldn't imagine a single classmate that he would be unsurprised to see, but Midoriya certainly wasn't the most surprising person to be standing outside his door. Although, seeing him wringing his hands anxiously and biting his lip was more surprising than a smiling Midoriya would have been. Shouto blinked, then blinked one more time for good measure. “Did you need something, Midoriya?”

Midoriya’s face was downcast, his shoulders hunched inward. He didn't meet Shouto’s gaze, but rather scuffed his feet on the hallway floor awkwardly. “I was wondering… can we talk?” he asked.

As far as Shouto could tell, they were already talking, so it was a bit late to be asking permission for something of that nature. The fact that he’d spoken to Midoriya at all should be taken as tacit permission to talk. But Midoriya was likely requesting a more serious conversation, one that should not take place in the hallway. So, although he hadn't specifically stated it, Midoriya was more likely requesting permission to enter Shouto’s room. As he considered Midoriya a close friend, Shouto was willing to oblige him such a request. Rather than stating the obvious and pointing out that they were already talking, he instead responded by easing his door completely open and stepping aside to allow room for Midoriya to enter. “Come in,” he offered. “Would you like some tea?”

Midoriya stepped into the room, doing a quick double-take before a knowing look crossed his features. “Oh, that's right, you retrofitted your room to be Japanese-style,” he said aloud, a small smile flitting across his features for the barest of moments. His face momentarily scrunched in thought as his mind recalled the question Shouto had asked. “I’d love some tea, actually, thanks.”

“It’s my pleasure,” Todoroki replied smoothly, moving across the room to the side table where his hot water pot and tea cups sat. He plopped a bag of tea in a cup, and pumped some hot water out of the hot pot, before turning around and realizing Midoriya hadn't moved from the entryway. “The blue slippers are for guests,” he said, indicating the footwear in question. “Have a seat with me, sorry for the mess,” he tacked on the last bit as he realized his chabudai table was almost completely overtaken by homework papers and textbooks. Setting the tea down in one of the few open spots, he quickly began gathering up the scattered schoolwork and piling it at one end of the low table.

Midoriya lowered himself into one of Todoroki’s zabuton cushions, and accepted the cup of tea with a grateful nod and a strained smile. “I… messed up today,” he said finally, “and I’ve been a wreck ever since. I’ve reached a point where I’ve cried my eyes dry and I still don't know what to think, not really . I guess I just… need someone to vent to. Someone who won't mince words or try to excuse what I did.”

Todoroki lowered himself into another cushion and sipped at his own cup of tea. It was half-empty, but that should be enough to last for the conversation, anyway. “I see,” he said, though he said it more because it felt polite to do so, and not because he had any real understanding of the situation. “Are you going to give me the details regarding this allegedly terrible thing you did?”

Midoriya took a shaky breath. “So, I got hit with a rut-trigger today on my internship patrol.”

Shouto frowned at that; if the mistake that had Midoriya so distressed was related to a rut, then the green-eyed young man was unlikely garner much sympathy from him. “Go on,” Shouto encouraged, careful to keep his face and voice totally neutral.

“After that happened, of course I took blockers, showered, and the agency sent me home after that, so I came back here.” Midoriya couldn't seem to lift his eyes from the teacup, and his voice grew ragged as he continued to speak. “I thought it was fine, but Kacchan -” his voice broke, and Midoriya paused to take a shuddering breath before resuming his narrative. “Kacchan was in the common room, and I - oh god, this sounds so terrible - I smelled him? He’s gotta be like, hours from his heat it was all simmering right under the surface and I - I wanted that, needed it, I don't even know what I was doing,” Midoriya was babbling frantically, the words pouring out of his mouth as he rushed to describe what had happened. “And he was so smart, he knew, he tried to give me blockers and it felt like rejection and I was so angry, and then he yelled at me and I made him be quiet, I didn't let him move, and then I - oh god, I don't know what was happening but his pants were on the ground and then Kirishima was there? And I was furious, but then he tried to make Kacchan talk and it was wrong and the screaming kind of - it brought me back to myself, I guess. Oh god,” and here Midoriya buried his face in his hands, shuddering violently, “I’ve never heard screams like that, he was in so much pain, and the worst part is I knew!” Here Midoriya looked up, his green eyes full of rage, all of it directed squarely at himself. “But I was too scared to help, I froze, I did nothing while he screamed and screamed, and - oh god,” Midoriya clutched at his abdomen spasmodically, “I think I’m going to be sick again-!”

Shouto scrambled to find a plastic bag for Midoriya, but fortunately, the young man managed to quell his churning stomach after a few deep breaths, saving Todoroki from having to purchase new tatami mats.

“So that’s it,” Midoriya said finally, taking another deep breath, hands still pressed against his stomach. “I just don't know how to… process it, I guess. All I can do is think about it and it makes me sick, but I can't not think about it because that was me, I did something horrible, and I can't let it go.”

“You did several horrible things, actually,” Shouto told him carefully. Midoriya had claimed to come to him for his brutal honesty, and Shouto intended to be as blunt as necessary to get his point across. “Am I correct in interpreting your narrative by saying that you attempted to sexually assault a classmate?”

Midoriya's eyes widened, his fingers clutching at his stomach again, but he nodded sharply.

“And you accomplished this task by using an alpha command on said classmate,” Shouto continued.

Midoriya’s gaze dropped, his shoulders hunching as he nodded.

“So it’s safe to say that if Kirishima had not interfered, you would have sexually assaulted Bakugou,” Shouto concluded. “You're right, that is horrible.”

Midoriya looked ready to sink through the cushion and become one with the tatami mats. He still said nothing, though, ostensibly waiting for Shouto complete his analysis.

“Then, when Kirishima used a second command - and I won't address that now, but really, what the hell - it resulted in a state of competing commands, which caused Bakugou severe discomfort.”

Midoriya barked a half-laugh, half-sob at that. “It was a lot more than just discomfort,” he said numbly.

“Caused Bakugou some pain, then,” Shouto amended. “At which point you regained your senses, and… did what, exactly?”

“Cried, mostly,” Midoriya confessed.

“So that's your third error, then. You took no efforts to remedy the mistakes you made. Did Kirishima realize what had happened?”

“He ran off to get Ashido,” Midoriya admitted.

“Ah, then your neglecting to inform Kirishima of the state of affairs was another error, for he didn't hear your commands, and therefore may not have known that what Bakugou was experiencing was merely the result of two opposing commands.” Shouto took a sip of his tea to punctuate the thought.

Midoriya nodded again, unable to meet his gaze. “You're right,” he admitted, “I should have said something.”

“Yes,” Todoroki set his tea aside carefully. “What are you going to do about it?”

Midoriya’s head jerked up. “Sorry?”

Shouto blinked twice. “What. Are you. Going. To do?”

“What am I going to do?” Midoriya repeated, then covered his face with his hands. “I don't know,” he said in a muffled voice.

“You owe Bakugou and Kirishima apologies,” Shouto told him. “And you owe it to Bakugou to ensure that something of this nature never occurs again. Perhaps if you were to have another person accompany you to restrain you if you go into rut. It seems wise to have someone nearby who can keep an eye on you.”

“How am I supposed to ensure that?” Midoriya asked, an almost-whine in his tone.

Shouto fixed him with an unimpressed look. “What if you had texted me and asked me to come down to meet you at the door?”

Midoriya’s green eyes widened. “Oh, right. I guess a beta wouldn't have as much trouble with rut or alpha commands…” his face blanched as realization struck. “This all could have been avoided if I’d asked a beta to walk with me,” he realized, his tone hushed. Despite the fact that he'd claimed to cry himself dry, tears pooled in the corners of his eyes. “Oh god, I was right, my own overconfidence allowed this to happen!”

“Technically, yes,” Shouto agreed. “Although you were also assured by your superiors that the blockers would be sufficient to prevent your rut. So you were given faulty information. Choosing to act on information from sources you believe to be trustworthy is not a failing, although in this case the result of misplacing your trust was quite horrific.” Shouto took a thoughtful sip of his tea. “You may do well in the future to take additional precautions, even if others don't believe it’s necessary.”

Midoriya nodded slowly. “In the future,” he repeated, then gripped at his hair, “if I even have a future here,” he added.

“Using an alpha command on a classmate is grounds for expulsion,” Shouto agreed, “However, as this was your first offense, and technically an accident, you may only receive a suspension.”

Midoriya didn't seem particularly relieved to hear this. “Maybe I deserve to be expelled,” he whispered brokenly.

Shouto sighed. “Instead of focusing on things beyond your control, you should instead put more effort towards that which is within your sphere of influence.”

Frowning slightly, Midoriya cocked his head. “Such as?”

“First, finish your tea,” Shouto indicated the beverage in question, “since you've cried enough that you're likely dehydrated.”

Midoriya took a careful sip, eyes still resting on Shouto. His expression was still lined with tension and regret.

“After that, go apologize to Kirishima,” Shouto continued, “I would give Bakugou a little time to recover before approaching him, though.”

Nodding carefully, Midoriya drained his cup and set it down on Shouto’s low table, his eyes sad. He forced a smile, though it fooled neither of them, and rose to his feet. “Thanks,” he said, dipping into a deep bow, “I needed this.”

Shouto stood also, inclining his head in acknowledgement. “Of course.”

With that, Midoriya made his way to the door, quietly seeing himself out. Shouto sighed, glancing at his pile of homework at one end of the table, and drained his own cup of tea. Refilling his cup with hot water before moving back to the table, Shouto took a few loose papers from the top of the stack, and got back to work.

Eijirou was doing his best to focus on reading the section of the manual specifically relating to secondary genders and possible issues one might encounter in the field. He’d had no idea that alpha commands could do the kind of damage described in their text, since the practice they’d done in second year hadn't seemed to really affect Bakugou much at all - except for pissing him off every time a command to “stop” made his feet root to the ground. But this book was describing all sorts of side effects - mostly from “prolonged exposure”, though Eijirou was dismayed to realize that the wording was vague for a reason. Some omegas showed negative symptoms after as little as a week of alpha commands, while others seemed to suffer few ill effects even after years of command influence. The simple fact of the matter was that science did not have a solid answer to the question how much is too much?

Still, it was universally accepted that competing commands were a completely different level of attack, a blinding, incapacitating pain was the most common result, though Kirishima had been horrified to learn that a fair number of omegas exposed to such a thing for more than a few minutes could die . Technically, the cause of death wasn't the competing commands itself, but incidents resulting from the event. Sometimes the stress of agonizing pain could cause heart failure, or sometimes an omega bit through their own tongue and bled out, or they vomited and then aspirated the fluid and suffocated. The common theme was usually a lack of prompt medical care, though. As long as they were treated quickly, the lingering effects of competing commands were minimal.

In all likelihood, those lingering effects were why Bakugou had been so swift in turning him away. Heightened sensitivity to noise and physical contact were common in victims of competing commands, along with a heightened stress response. Since Bakugou was already pissed (for good reason), trying to talk to him when his ears were hypersensitive had been a bad idea. He should probably apologize for that, too.

He hadn't known, outright, that Midoriya had commanded Bakugou, so he wasn't willing to take total responsibility for the competing command situation. But that wasn't the only way of looking at what had happened. Eijirou had, though not maliciously, used an alpha command on his friend. Why? What had so distressed him that commanding Bakugou had felt like an acceptable response to the scenario?

He knew why, but knowing just hurt more, because Eijirou had sworn to himself that he wouldn't be like so many alphas out there - possessive, controlling, aggressive… And yet, when he’d walked into the common room, only to see Midoriya all over Bakugou, he’d been filled with a sick feeling of dread, and a simmer of rage. His fury had boiled over when Bakugou refused to answer him, to explain what the hell he was doing, letting Midoriya touch him like that, because…

...because Eijirou was supposed to be the one touching Bakugou, not Midoriya.

Enraged by rejection, in that instant, his body had responded instinctively, commanding his… friend. Except, Eijirou saw Bakugou as more than just a friend. He’d first started to recognize his feelings in their first year, but he hadn't been honest with himself about the depth of those feelings until recently. Seeing Bakugou with Midoriya had been something of a breaking point for him.  He was scared of his own fierce possessiveness towards Bakugou, especially because Bakugou seemed to have absolutely no interest in Eijirou. At least, no interest in anything more than the same friendship they’d forged as first year students. And could Eijirou really blame him, if this was how he acted towards Bakugou as a friend? Could Eijirou even trust himself around Bakugou after hurting him so badly? He didn't know.

He wished he did.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Kacchan didn't come to class. Most of his classmates just assumed it was Kacchan’s heat, but Izuku was worried it might be something more serious than that. It certainly didn't help things to notice Kirishima not-so-surreptitiously checking his phone. Their teachers definitely saw it, too, but it was pretty widely known at this point that Kirishima was the one who brought Kacchan notes when his heat made him too sick to function, so him checking his phone was unusual, but might have been related to his classmate’s heat.

Except the pinched look of worry on his face had Izuku suspecting that there was something else going on. A suspicion that was confirmed at lunchtime when Kaminari directly demanded to know why Bakugou had asked him to deliver notes - wasn't that usually Kirishima’s responsibility?

Ashido was watching the exchange, her eyes sharp as a hawk as she observed. Izuku’s gaze was locked on them too, both paranoid and curious.

“It's complicated,” Kirishima said, face downcast.

“Did you guys have a fight or something?” Kaminari asked. “He asked me to bring him his book yesterday, too.”

Kirishima’s face tightened like he wasn't quite sure how to answer. He chose his words carefully. “I… did something really bad, and upset him,” he said carefully, his eyes darting in Izuku’s direction.

Izuku immediately found great interest in his lunch, studying his rice with intensity, though his ears still strained to hear what else Kirishima had to say.

“Oh, so now he's being all grumpy about it,” Kaminari said, and turned back to his lunch, apparently deciding the matter had been settled. “That makes sense, then.”

It did make sense, for more than one reason, Izuku thought. Because Kaminari was also a beta, so his presence wouldn't be nearly as painful as trying to interact with another alpha. Beyond that, they were close enough that Kacchan trusted Kaminari with a task like bringing him his class notes. He felt strangely relieved to know that Kacchan had other people he could rely on, since… well. He would know more after he talked with Kirishima and apologized for the situation, and for making it worse. He just didn’t know how to broach the topic, or if Kirishima would even want to hear from him.

Still. He owed him that much, at least. He took another bite of his lunch, tuning out the conversation in the background, frowning at his rice as he contemplated his options. Maybe later in the evening, he would get the chance to approach his classmate and apologize properly.

Eijirou was worried. He had taken blockers after getting to class and realizing Bakugou wasn’t there, and had been keeping it up for the rest of the day, but he also wasn’t sure if that was really the reason that Bakugou had skipped class. What if there had been some lingering effects from the competing commands? He wanted so badly to text Bakugou and ask if that was the case, but he knew that was a bad idea. If Bakugou wanted to talk then he would have texted Kirishima to ask him to bring notes from class. But he hadn’t. He’d just asked Kaminari to bring him the notes instead.

So it was a bit surprising when he heard someone knock on his door, only to realize that Bakugou didn’t knock like that. Actually, he wasn’t sure he recognized the knock, so it wasn’t Kaminari or Ashido or Sero, either. He frowned to himself, setting down his pencil that he hadn’t really been using for homework since his page was still blank except for his name and the date which he’d scrawled down before getting lost in thought. He scooted back, rising from his desk and opening his door, only to blink in surprise, fighting down a wave of discomfort as he stared into green eyes. “Hey, Midoriya,” he said, his voice heavy with more weariness than he’d intended to let slip.

“Hi, Kirishima,” Midoriya replied, looking as awkward as Kirishima felt. “I wanted to talk? About, uh, you know…” he trailed off, searching Kirishima’s face as if seeking something.

“Oh,” Eijirou said lamely, not sure how else to respond. He realized that Midoriya was still standing in the hallway after a moment, and quickly jumped back. “Come in, I mean,” he cleared his throat uncomfortably, moving back to his desk before realizing Midoriya probably wouldn’t want to sit on his bed. Funny how he never worried about Bakugou sitting on his bed - damn, he shouldn’t be thinking about that sort of thing right now, but he couldn’t seem to push it aside. He gestured to the chair, and Midoriya took it with only a moment’s hesitation.

“I wanted to tell you that I’m…” Midoriya’s fists clenched and unclenched briefly. “I’m so sorry for what happened,” he finally said, “You had no idea what was happening, and I had the opportunity to tell you, and I was too scared to do anything.”

As much as Eijirou wanted to agree with that sentiment, he couldn’t. Not really. “It’s not all your fault,” he said carefully. He knew what it was like to freeze up, to not be able to act in a moment of crisis. It had happened to him before, and might very well happen again, no matter how desperately he tried to avoid such a thing.  “I still saw… something odd… and my first response was to force Bakugou to answer me. That was wrong too, and we’ve both been through the second-year command training. I know what commands can do, and I still used it.” He couldn’t bring himself to look Midoriya in the eye, staring down at his hands instead. “Maybe you were wrong, but that doesn’t change the fact that I was, too.” He sighed heavily.

“I guess the person both of us should really be apologizing to is Kacchan,” Midoriya said quietly.

“Yeah, but he obviously wants nothing to do with me,” Eijirou said, failing to hide the bitterness in his tone.

“Kacchan seemed… off… for about a week after last year’s alpha command training, too,” Midoriya reminded him quietly. “Remember?”

Eijirou blinked hard, suddenly remembering. Damn, Midoriya was right, Bakugou had been irritable and more aggressive than usual. At the time, he’d chalked it up to his friend wanting to show his classmates that just because their alpha commands worked on him didn’t make him any less of a dangerous opponent. He’d never considered that there might have been other factors involved, too. “Do you think it’s something similar?”

“I mean, competing commands are a lot worse than your typical command,” Midoriya said carefully, his eyes calculating as he looked at Eijirou. “But he was commanded by all the alphas in our class, as well as using the commands to identify a range from which the commands were no longer effective. That’s a lot of exposure, even if it wasn’t at a competing command level, it was probably still… overwhelming?” He sounded unsure, like he wasn’t sure what the right word to choose was. Probably because he, like Eijirou, had never actually felt the effects of an alpha command firsthand.

Still, the idea that this was still within the realm of a ‘normal’ reaction to something like a competing command and that Bakugou might return to his usual behavior before long was a relief to Eijirou. “So I guess just wait until he’s ready to interact again, and then apologize,” he mused.

Midoriya bobbed his head in agreement. “Yeah… I’m still sorry,” he said, “For putting you in an awkward situation. But I’m glad you were there,” he added in a weak voice. “I don't,” his voice broke, and he took a shaky breath before resuming, “I don't know how bad it would have gone if you hadn't intervened, but it probably would have been a lot worse.” His wide eyes were fixed pointedly on the floor, unable to face Eijirou directly as he spoke the words. “So thank you, for stopping me from doing something I would have regretted for the rest of my life.”

Eijirou wished he could say the same, but he had the distinct feeling that his intervention, or rather, his method of intervention, was something that he would regret for the rest of his life. Now all he wanted to do was find a way to fix it.

If regular heats were bad, then post-alpha-command heats were downright hellish, Katsuki quickly realized. His whole body felt ablaze and his suppressants made it impossible to keep solids down - even fluids were dicey at best. Still, those were all pretty normal parts of being in heat for him. That's what happened when your quirk was related to the same system that produced your heat hormones - since he was constantly increasing the output of his glandular systems to strengthen his quirk, it was hardly surprising that his body tended to overproduce in other aspects, too. But none of that had prepared him for the fucking bullshit that he was dealing with now.

This wasn't a usual heat for Katsuki, first because he had been in contact with an alpha in rut, albeit briefly. It was hardly a pleasant experience, nor was it familiar to him. In fact, he hadn't been forced to deal with the shit that typically resulted from encountering an alpha in rut since his first heat, when he’d accidentally triggered Kirishima’s rut and had to slam a fucking door in his face just to resist the urge to jump his damn bones.

But this heat he’d practically been assaulted by Deku (which was not something to dwell on, not feeling like this). Despite his blockers, Deku had still been on the cusp of his rut, which had in turn sparked the ball of desire now burning brightly in Katsuki. Which was really the worst part of this whole heat. It was bad enough that he’d been affected by Kirishima that one time, but to get aroused from contact with Deku? It was intolerable. Sure, he’d survived this shit before, so it wasn't like he had to touch himself or any of that shit, it was just fucking embarrassing to be hard simply because Deku had gotten too close to him.

To make matters worse, the alpha commands that both Deku and Kirishima had used on him really hadn't made things any easier. His body was shaking, but this time it wasn't like the trembles from yesterday. It felt as though the rumbling tones of the alphas’ voices had wormed their way inside him, curling up and grasping him from the inside, and fuck, it felt good. He’d known, from his own research, that omegas could get off on an alpha in rut commanding them, but he’d assumed it was some weird kinky shit, not something that would actually be an issue for him. Except apparently it was, because his stupid body didn't know how to fucking chill.

Still. He was stronger than this. Just… not willing to go to class sporting a stiffy, and he flat-out refused to do anything about it besides cold showers. They worked about as well for his fucking dick as they did to lower his fever, which was to say very little, but it was better than nothing, and left him with the illusion of doing something useful to deal with his shit.

He heard a knock on his door, and he cursed under his breath, standing unsteadily and making his way to the door, willing himself not to fucking trip over his own feet and fall down like he had on his way to the bathroom earlier that morning. Pulling the door open, he saw the idiotic face of Kaminari staring back at him. “Brought your notes,” he said, as if this wasn’t obvious.

Katsuki extended a hand. “It’s about time.” Classes should have finished over an hour ago, so he wasn’t sure why his classmate had waited so long.

Kaminari handed it over, a concerned look on his face. “Don’t be mad at Kirishima for very long,” he urged, “It’s really inconvenient for the rest of us.”

“The fuck is that supposed to mean?” Katsuki snarled viciously, snatching the notes out of his hands and glaring balefully at him in lieu of threatening him. It was hard to threaten anyone when his quirk wasn’t available to him and he could barely stand up straight, but if Kaminari’s hard swallow was any indicator, he still had enough of an intimidating look about him to make people think twice before acting like morons.

“I mean, he just seemed really worried and bummed today,” Kaminari said, “and you guys are usually super friendly, but you asked me to bring the notes even though he always does that, so I figured you had a fight. I really think you should apologize.”

“What the actual fuck?” Katsuki snarled, “Why should I apologize?”

Kaminari shrugged. “I don’t know, I just figured that if Kirishima had been the one to do something bad he would have said he was sorry already, so if you two are still fighting, then it’s probably because you haven’t apologized yet. You should hurry up and do that.”

Taking a deep breath, Katsuki shut his eyes and willed himself to remain calm. Shouting and screaming would just be a waste of precious energy. “It’s not my fault, and I’m not fucking apologizing. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” He fought to control his voice, mostly because Kirishima’s room was literally next door and he didn’t want the asshole to think that Katsuki was talking about him because he wasn’t and this sort of harebrained deductive reasoning was why Kaminari was so bad at hero work that involved strategy or intelligence gathering. Because he had no intelligence, if this conversation was any indication.

“Whatever you say,” Kaminari said, with a knowing wink. “Just… try and apologize soon, he’s really bummed.” With that, he shut the door behind himself - before Katsuki had the chance to slam it in his face.

Dammit! Katsuki would have to remember to slam a door in the poor bastard’s face unexpectedly at some point next week, just to remind him not to fucking steal his thunder when ending a conversation. He glowered at the door for another minute, then staggered back to his desk, sighing heavily at the notes. They appeared to be a collection of notes from Yaoyorozu, which was good, because if Kaminari had brought copies of his own work, Katsuki might have found the strength in his limbs to outright strangle him. As it stood, he was pissed about Kaminari’s assumption but couldn’t exactly blame him, since generally speaking it was Katsuki that created conflict and refused to back down from a confrontation. If he weren’t intimately aware of the current situation, he might have been tempted to assume the awkward tension was his own fault, too. But it wasn’t, and he was in fucking heat and didn’t have any interest in trying to resolve shit while he was too busy willing his body not to drag itself down the hall and beg Kirishima for his kno-

Fucking hell.

Katsuki sighed, dragging a hand down the front of his face, forcing his mind to return its focus to the notes sitting on his desk. This damn heat was going to be the death of him.

Chapter Text

When Bakugou showed up to class the next day, it wasn’t surprising to most of his classmates. What had Shouto concerned was the fact that Midoriya and Kirishima were surprised by his presence. This indicated that none of them had communicated with one another following the incident wherein the two alphas had forced their classmate to endure treatment that was considered a form of torture by most governments. Normally, Shouto would not concern himself with these details since it really had nothing to do with him. However, Midoriya had come to him for advice, and he felt somewhat obligated to continue assisting as best he could.

That said, he really didn’t have much to offer when it was plainly clear that Bakugou was not interested in talking to anyone. It was common knowledge at this point that if Bakugou had to miss a class, the last thing one should do was acknowledge his absence. Even their instructors had quickly learned that making allusions to his return to the classroom would - at best - result in sullen silence and even less cooperation from the omega than he normally gave. And Bakugou was not exactly known for his cooperativeness in the first place. So how to address the elephant in the room? Fortunately, Shouto didn’t have to figure that one out on his own, because Bakugou made it easy for him after Ashido made the mistake of greeting her classmate on her way to her seat.

Bakugou shot to his feet, wobbling ever-so-slightly as he did, whirling to glare at the room at large, pointing at each of his alpha classmates in turn. “THE NEXT FUCKING ALPHA WHO OPENS THEIR GODDAMN MOUTH WITHIN TEN FEET OF ME IS DEAD,” he roared. Not shouted, or even screamed. He roared, like a wounded predator intent on scaring away any creatures that might consider attacking him in his vulnerable state. It was almost unsettling, especially since as far as Shouto knew, Ashido had not been more than tangentially involved in the competing command incident.

Since no one was aware of the incident besides Midoriya, Kirishima, Ashido, Bakugou, and himself, a few mutters quickly scattered about the room, a few of their classmates tossing irritated looks in Bakugou’s direction even after class began and they were all meant to be focused on the lecture. Still. The obvious frustration hinging on panic was something Shouto felt was useful to note, though he felt a minor twinge of concern when he realized Bakugou’s behavior might spur Kirishima and Midoriya to action, in a misguided attempt to “make right” the wrongs they had done. Fortunately, though, following the dramatic display from Bakugou, even the alphas most likely to stick their nose in where it didn't belong seemed to think it prudent to delay their conversation for a more appropriate time.

That said, Shouto was not an alpha. So he approached Bakugou after lunch, during their physical education portion of the day, while most of the class was waiting for their chance to spar. It was unlikely that Bakugou would be sparring today, or if he tried, that he would be very successful. He’d been stumbling around all day, and had barely managed to dress himself in the locker rooms. Usually on days like this, Bakugou would walk with Kirishima, relying on his friend to keep him upright if he stumbled, but with the incident still fresh, and his ultimatum about alphas, it seemed fairly obvious to Shouto that Bakugou was more concerned by the presence of alphas than he was his lack of support. This was a concern, and something Shouto wished to address. If Bakugou was simply pouting, it might be better for Midoriya to apologize ow and get things resolved as soon as possible. On the other hand, should Bakugiu still be suffering physical ailments as a result of the commands, Shouto would advise Midoriya to hold off on that important conversation for a bit longer. That decided, he cautiously approached his prickly classmate.

“Bakugou,” he said, and the man in question jumped at Shouto’s comment, startled. Obviously he hadn’t been paying attention to much of anything besides the current sparring bout - it was between Yaoyorozu and Iida, and while not particularly interesting, had been enough to keep Bakugou’s attention. Or maybe Bakugou was just focusing on the match in order to not focus on anything else. Either option had potential, and Shouto didn’t see the point in speculating too deeply on the true motives of Bakugou. Frankly, he wasn’t sure how he would feel about being right about what went on in the mind of someone like that . Bakugou wasn’t easy to understand, and Shouto was happier knowing that his own mind operated in a very different manner.

“The fuck do you want, half-and-half?” Bakugou snarled, only half glancing at him before turning back to watch the match.

“Are you feeling adverse effects of your heat today?” Shouto asked, knowing full well that if Bakugou were at his best he would have to duck quickly to avoid an explosion to the face. He still had to duck, but there was no explosion behind the hand striking at his face, so it failed to have the desired effect of chasing him off.

“Fuck you!” Bakugou snarled, his eyes no longer on the sparring match. He swiped at Shouto again, but his strike was neither as precise nor swift as usual. “Fuck you and your goddamn nosy-ass questions,” he paused, “Why the hell would this be any fucking different -”

“Because you’ve spurned all alphas,” Shouto cut him off, raising an eyebrow. “Is there a reason? Did one of our classmates proposition-” He’d only meant to get enough of a rise out of Bakugou to get him to talk, he hadn’t expected to be tackled by his classmate. But there they were, rolling on the ground, Bakugou’s hands wrapped around his throat like a vise, straddling him as he growled something senseless at him. Shouto tried to focus on what the hell Bakugou was saying, but it was hard when he could feel something else that was hard pressing against his abdomen.

Apparently Bakugou felt it as well, because his eyes widened suddenly and he threw himself off of Shouto, scrambling backwards. This was fortunate for Shouto, as he had been convinced he was seconds away from combusting from sheer mortification at the whole sordid predicament.

“Fuck you!” Bakugou gasped, hands firmly planted over his groin, “Fuck you and your fucking shit-ass fucking questions about goddamn fucking things you’ve got no business fucking asking about! Fuck!” His face was red, but not the sort of embarrassed red that Shouto would have expected. He was panting, too, but not…


Shouto realized, belatedly, that Midoriya had mentioned he’d been in partial rut, and Bakugou’s heat had began the very next day… oh. Oh. Immediately, Shouto realized he’d overlooked a crucial element of the whole debacle. Bakugou wasn’t telling alphas to stay away from him merely because of the heat and the commands. He was telling them to stay away because he was aroused by their presence. Because that was what an alpha’s rut did to omegas, especially omegas weakened by alpha commands and already on the cusp of heat.

He stood quickly, noting as he did that nearly everyone had lost interest in the sparring match on the field in favor of eyeing the two of them. Including Bakugou. Who looked positively ravishable, and despite the fact that Shouto wasn’t the slightest bit interested in him, he could clearly see that whatever was happening, Bakugou’s pheromones were out of control. If even Shouto found Bakugou - smeared with grass, red-faced, and furious though he may have been - vaguely alluring, they had a serious problem. A problem he had exacerbated by asking Bakugou an inappropriate question.

Striding across the space, Shouto extended a hand. “Let’s go,” he said, half expecting Bakugou to slap the hand away. He didn’t. He also didn’t take the hand, climbing unsteadily to his feet under his own power, wobbling slightly once he stood.

“Fuck you for doing this,” Bakugou muttered under his breath, “I had it under control until you fucking-”

“Yes, I recognize that I spoke in error,” Shouto cut him off, if only to get them moving before anyone in the vicinity started moving towards them. So far the gazes had been mostly innocent and curious. “Did you take your afternoon suppressant?”

Bakugou’s eyes flashed at him. “What’s it matter-”

“You didn’t,” Shouto realized, his thoughts escaping verbally as he pieced together what was happening. “You weren’t going to take it until after the sparring, so you would have less vertigo and more strength.”

“It’s fucking training,” Bakugou snarled, shoulders stiffening, “I do it all the goddamn time-”

“Not when you’ve been seduced by an alpha in rut, you don’t,” Shouto interrupted, before realizing he’d shown his hand.

Bakugou’s face was red with rage, now. It was, surprisingly, an improvement over the flushed face of arousal. “Who fucking told you that?” he snarled, whipping his head around like someone had whispered the detail into Shouto’s ear.

“It’s obvious,” Shouto rolled his eyes, “Your scent is different, even if you can’t smell the difference, the rest of us can, and I was trying to explain that-”

“You asked me if an alpha had fucking propositioned me!” Bakugou snarled back. “What the fuck does that have to do with-”

“You were telling all alphas to stay away from you and you smell different.” Admittedly, Shouto hadn’t really been trying to discern such a thing, but once he’d mentioned it, the smell seemed so obvious to him that he was somewhat surprised he’d missed it before. Bakugou did smell different. He smelled like arousal, hot and heavy and desperate. It was almost distracting, once Shouto noticed it. I was hard to think when faced with a smell like that. Of course, that could also mean that Bakugou’s frustration was making the smell stronger, especially since he was delaying his suppressant dose.

“Bakugou?” a third voice said hesitantly, and Shouto watched in a mixture of amazement and horror as Bakugou practically melted at the sound.

A ripple worked its way down Bakugou’s spine, his mouth dropping open as he panted heavily, legs trembling until he dropped to his knees a moment later. The name that dropped from his tongue a moment later came out in a groan. “Kirishima.”

This. This was not at all what Shouto had intended when he’d approached Bakugou. He’d just wanted to find out if Bakugou was merely upset by the alpha commands, or if he’d told alphas to stay away because their presence was physically causing him discomfort. It seemed incredibly obvious at this point that the presence of alphas was causing at least one form of physical discomfort, and it was also incredibly uncomfortable to witness. So Shouto did the only thing he could think of, and scooped up Bakugou into his arms, declaring, “I’ll take him to Recovery Girl.”

Bakugou growled in the back of his throat and struggled, his frustration just giving off so much more of that awful enticing scent that even Shouto caught himself finding Bakugou’s wriggling vaguely seductive. It was totally unacceptable to permit this behavior to continue, and certainly not something to which he could allow the alphas in their class to be exposed. So Shouto moved quickly, carrying Bakugou until he wiggled hard enough that Shouto dropped him.

“I can use my own damn legs,” Bakugou snarled, sounding both breathless and furious. “Just… fucking walk with me. And don’t you dare look at me.”

Shouto really had no complaint as he wasn’t particularly interested in looking at Bakugou, and was also not willing to leave the omega alone in a state such as this. So he nodded, and allowed Bakugou to take the lead, pointedly ignoring the way the omega leaned heavily on him as they moved carefully towards the nurse’s office.

Katsuki was going to fucking murder the icyhot bastard as soon as he had his quirk back. Bad enough that he’d asked a goddamn stupid and invasive question in public, like Katsuki owed him anything, but to ask a compromising question like that, when Katsuki was already fighting so hard to keep his body under control… he’d fought the whole damn day to keep his body still, to stay the fuck away from alphas even though all he’d wanted was to -

Fuck! He was not letting his mind wander that way, not again, the half-and-half asshole had done enough damage by asking him if - and dammit, that was why he was in this mess in the first place, because fucking alphas had used their commands and left his body reacting to things that wouldn't usually bother him and now even a casual “good morning” was enough to send arousal curling down his spine! And that damn scarred fuck had just… “did they proposition” Seriously, what the fuck? The audacity! Of course he’d tackled him for asking that shit, what the hell sort of question was that?! It didn't matter if it was even true or not it was none of his goddamn business! And then, insult to injury, his stupid fucking body had chosen to see straddling the asshole as somehow worth responding to!

Anyway, with the dust finally settled, the two of them had staggered into Recovery Girl’s office, and now he stood there, staring down at his suppressant meds and wishing he could fucking blow the two-faced fucker sky high. With a sigh, he tossed the pills back and swallowed them, chasing them down with a swig of water and grimacing at the bitter aftertaste they left behind. “Can I go back to fucking class now?” he demanded.

The asshole was still standing awkwardly in the room, rubbing absently at his throat. Katsuki hoped it bruised. It would serve the fucker right for being a nosy creep.

“Unfortunately,” Recovery Girl began, and Katsuki sighed, since that one word was all he needed to know things were about to get fucking complicated. “Before you go back we’ll need you to shower with the scent-cleansing soap, and apply a heavy coat of scent neutralizer before you go back to class. Todoroki was right to get you out of there when he did, your pheromones appear to be at heightened levels of production.” She looked concerned. “We’ll need to watch that, your dose might need raised again.” He could see the dismay on her face at that, and Katsuki felt his own heart sink in response.

It was a lot easier to blame this bullshit heat on other people’s shit, but even before this, his suppressant doses - already some of the most hardcore available - had been steadily rising. His doctors had theorized it was related to his quirk’s increasing capacity, since apparently his heat and quirk made use of similar systems in his body. Unfortunately, unlike his quirk, Bakugou didn't have control over his heat, but increasing his quirk capacity meant his heats were steadily intensifying, too. He’d been regularly upping his doses to maintain control over his heats so he didn't end up in a fucking coma, but those dosage increases had been coming more regularly. This dose increase, if it was really necessary, would be a whole three months ahead of “schedule” based on the rate he’d been upping the dose.

Of course, this might just be a fluke. “I came into contact with an alpha about to rut,” Katsuki explained quickly, “Would that be a reason?”

Recovery Girl nodded slowly, but her eyes were still unsure. “maybe,” she said, still making notes on her clipboard.

“I… got commanded, too. By the alpha in rut,” Katsuki added, pointedly ignoring the fact that halfie was still in the room. He wanted to tell him to leave, but that felt too much like admitting vulnerability, and Katsuki wasn't fucking weak . He could handle any bullshit life threw at him, even nosy assholes like Todoroki.

Recovery Girl was staring at him, her eyes sharp. “You didn't report-”

“Of course I didn't,” Katsuki snarled, “I went into fucking heat!”

Recovery Girl was digging into her folder, muttering under her breath. “Did anyone else know?” she asked.

“I’m not a fucking snitch,” Katsuki snarled back, not about to throw anyone else under the bus. Except maybe fucking half-and-half, since this whole situation was his goddamn fault. “Besides, it was an accident. Bullshit, sure. But not malicious.” He wasn't sure if he was trying to protect Kirishina, or just avoiding retelling the story by playing it off as no big deal, but goddamn Todo- fucking -roki just had to step in and speak up at this point.

“It was Midoriya and Kirishima,” Todoroki said, “Ashido stepped in to help after. Midoriya and Kirishima induced a state of competing commands.”

“Yeah, by fucking accident, because they're a pair of morons,” Katsuki protested, then frowned. “Who the fuck told you, anyway?”

“Yes, and why did no one inform the instructors?” Recovery Girl demanded, appearing horrified, disappointed, and furious, all at the same time. “I think it’s time we had a discussion with…” she trailed off, already hurrying across the room, probably to contact someone official. Dammit.

Katsuki sat down on the cot in the office, hard. He wasn't getting back to class today after all. He should have just stayed in fucking bed.

Principal Nezu stared at the five students seated before him, waiting for one of them to speak. It was a technique that often proved to be effective, however, in this case, it did not seem to be having the effect that he had anticipated. Generally after about a minute of awkward silence, at least one of the students would speak up. Now, however, he found himself facing down five of his third-year students, and not a single one of them was willing to speak up. Some of them couldn’t even meet his gaze. Midoriya and Kirishima were both fixated on the floor, unable to lift their heads. Ashido’s dark eyes flicked back and forth between them, Bakugou, and Todoroki. She seemed nervous, but also refused to speak up. Todoroki stared ahead blankly, not really seeing anything, just existing without interacting with the environment any more than was necessary. And Bakugou… Bakugou was glaring at Nezu with unmasked spite, a fury that not only confused but worried Nezu. Of all the students in his office, it seemed from the report he’d received that Bakugou was the victim, and yet he was also the student who seemed most upset by the meeting. It was puzzling. But humans were always puzzling, and Nezu had long since learned to accept that fact. He was about ready to begin the conversation himself when one of the students finally spoke.

“Can I go?” Bakugou demanded. “I don’t know why I have to be here for this.”

“You’re here because it’s been intimated that you were the victim of an improper use of alpha commands within the school grounds,” Nezu replied. “That’s why you have to be here for this.”

Bakugou flopped back into his seat with a scowl, folding his arms over his broad chest and glaring at Nezu with undisguised hatred. It was, unsurprisingly, a look that Nezu found quite familiar, as he’d been on the receiving end of human hate for the crime of merely existing ever since he developed his quirk. As far as things went, he could hardly be bothered by something as simple as being disliked for forcing a student to endure an awkward conversation where the details of what transpired between him and his fellow classmates were brought to light. That was just part of being a principal, really.

“Now,” Nezu said, his gaze sweeping across the five students in his office, “are any of you willing to talk?”

“It was my fault!” “I’m the one responsible!” Midoriya and Kirishima said in the same moment, voices overlapping in their rush to take the blame. Even for third-year students, that level of dedication to personal responsibility was impressive, especially considering what was at stake.

“You are aware that using alpha commands on a classmate without supervision or permission is an expulsion-worthy offense,” Nezu said slowly, turning his eyes from one boy to the other. Both boys nodded sharply, eyes still downcast, though they each spared a momentary glance up at him, eyes full of remorse. That was promising, at least. It was the students who didn’t feel shame for their mistakes that made Nezu nervous - the last thing he wanted was for his school to produce powerful quirk-users who couldn’t recognize their own shortcomings and seek to remedy them. Part of being a hero was recognizing mistakes so that one did not repeat the offense. However, some consequences were greater than others. “Explain,” Nezu said sharply.

“I started it,” Midoriya said quickly, “I was in rut, but I thought it was blocked, and I…” he broke off sharply, shoulders hunching as he seemed to curl in on himself. “I forced myself on Kacchan.”

“I made it worse, though!” Kirishima protested, “I walked in and freaked out! I tried to make Bakugou talk and used an alpha command, which was the last thing I should have done in that situation. I ended up hurting him because of my poor judgement.” He hung his head in shame. “It’s my fault.”

“It was a clusterfuck of idiocy,” Bakugou chimed in, arms still folded tight over his chest, eyebrows furrowed in a baleful stare of defiance. “They’re both brainless morons, nobody was seriously injured and no one died, so why are we fucking here? Just forget any of this shit ever happened and move on. This is fucking stupid.”

“It was stupid,” Ashido jumped in, “but it also didn’t have to happen. People made mistakes -”

“Yeah, and we all lived to tell the tale, shut the fuck up, Pinky,”  Bakugou snarled at her. “I get to decide when I’m pissed off and when to let things go, don’t fucking make those choices for me.”

Ashido bristled at his comment, whirling to glare at him. “But they-!”

“I don’t give a fuck!” Bakugou snarled, lifting his hands in claw-like shapes, as if he were trying to trigger his quirk. Since he was still on suppressants, he was unable to produce so much as a spark. The motion was familiar enough, however, that his classmates still shrank back at the motion. He turned then, pointing at Nezu. “I don’t want them expelled,” he snarled. “I wanna fucking beat them, I can’t win if they don’t get the chance to compete. Leave it. Forget about it. I don’t care what happened, it doesn’t matter.”

Kirishima jumped up at that. “But it does matter!” he yelled, “you wouldn’t even talk to me-!”

“I WASN’T TALKING TO YOU BECAUSE YOUR VOICE FUCKING HURTS!” Bakugou roared, turning to fully face his red-haired classmate. He took a deep breath, his voice dropping to a growl as he continued. “Listen, you shitty-ass alpha,” he began, “just… leave it. For like, three days. And it’ll be fucking fine. Just… goddamn, what the hell, do you have no patience?” He was waving his arms again, like he would have been setting off explosions in time with his words, were he able (though Nezu was secretly glad he wasn’t, as it took ages to get the smell out of his office). “Can you not just wait, for five whole-ass days? What the fuck?” Bakugou’s arms dropped to his sides a moment later, and his voice softened to a half-whisper as he turned away from Kirishima, pointedly not looking at anyone in the room as he added, “It’s only a goddamn week, asshole. Give my brain time to fucking recover.”

As much as Nezu enjoyed watching humans devolve into chaos, he recognized this was not a productive setting for anyone. “Bakugou. You’re saying you would prefer there to be no consequences at all for this behavior?”

“I don’t care if you make them write a bunch of shitty essays or clean the dorms or some shit,” Bakugou replied, plopping back down in his seat. “Just don’t kick them out.”

“I’ll gladly abide by whatever punishment you decide,” Midoriya said seriously, face pale. “It was my fault, after all.”

Kirishima’s mouth opened like he was going to argue, but then he sighed, his shoulders slumping as he too returned to his seat. “Yeah. Whatever you decide, I won’t fight it.”

Considering this, Nezu turned to Ashido and Todoroki. “There’s no reason for you to be here for this, go.”

Todoroki stood and exited wordlessly. Ashido followed a moment later, her face lined with concern. Nezu turned to Midoriya and Kirishima. “Step outside for a moment, please.” The two boys nodded and quickly rushed out as well. When it was just Nezu and Bakugou remaining, he sighed, turning to eye the young man with a serious attitude problem. “Are you certain of your decision?” he asked. “By all accounts, what happened was clearly in violation of the rules.”

“They’ll learn from this,” Bakugou answered sharply. “Deku isn’t stupid enough to make a mistake like this twice, and Kirishima won’t let himself do it again and he’s already beaten himself up over it enough.” He sighed heavily. “It wasn’t fun, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to go through shit like that again, but I meant what I fucking said. Nobody died. So forget about it and move on.”

Nezu nodded seriously. “Your opinion will be taken into consideration. You may go now - please send in Midoriya and Kirishima when you leave.”

Bakugou nodded, moving for the door, though with far less speed than his classmates. The vertigo caused by his suppressants was the likely culprit. Still, Nezu said nothing about it. Bakugou had enough on his mind without adding more frustration to the mix. Besides. Nezu still had to decide what to do about the two foolish alphas under his guidance. With a sigh, Nezu settled back in his chair. It was going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

Part of Eijirou felt that two months of after school dorm-cleaning duties was a far lighter punishment than he and Midoriya truly deserved, a sentiment that was only intensified by the knowledge that Bakugou had gone to bat for both of them in that meeting. His words in the office had been far kinder and more reasonable than Eijirou really believed he deserved, but he wasn’t sure how to thank Bakugou for his insistence that they remain at the school, rather than being expelled as they deserved. Honestly, what the hell could he even say? “Thanks for downplaying the fact that I basically tortured you so that I wouldn’t end up expelled for an act born of my own stupidity”? “Thanks for taking one for the team because I’m an idiot who doesn’t know how to control his own emotions enough to hold back an alpha command”? “Thanks for acting like this isn’t a big deal even though it obviously was and I’m a shitty person for not listening to you when you said to leave you alone”?

On second thought, maybe cleaning duties were a good punishment, the movements were so routine that he found himself lost in thought as he worked. He’d been cleaning the common room every evening for a week now, which meant he’d had a week to consider in depth all the many ways he’d hurt Bakugou by reacting on a gut-level instead of actually thinking things through and appropriately assessing a situation. And he’d done it again by insisting on talking to him when Bakugou had tried to put distance between them. Eijirou hurt him again, too, because he’d spoken to him in Nezu’s office, all because he couldn’t seem to get it through his thick skull that talking to Bakugou was causing his friend pain . The worst part was that he knew that was a possibility! He’d read it in the section of their text on alpha commands, a section which he’d now read through in detail no less than four times, and yet he still kept making the same stupid mistakes because he couldn’t remember to keep his damn mouth shut!

Eijirou vacuumed the common room with a vengeance, trying to push that thought out of his head, but it stayed lodged firmly in the forefront of his consciousness. He’d hurt Bakugou with his reckless use of a command in part because of his own ignorance. But now? Now he was continuing to hurt Bakugou because he didn’t respect him enough to let him establish boundaries. That’s what this was really about, wasn’t it? Even after seeing how badly things had gone because Eijirou couldn’t bear to see Bakugou in a position he disliked, he kept trying to push Bakugou, to make him respond in the way that he wanted, rather than letting Bakugou set the pace, choose when and how they interacted after this whole mess. Everything that had gone wrong had been his own fault and every time he tried to fix things on his own initiative he just made things worse. He shouldn’t be trying so hard. He needed to step back and let Bakugou make the first move, to be more patient with his friend.  


Eijirou jumped at the sharp tone from across the room, nearly sending the vacuum through the nearest wall. He shut it off and turned around to face whoever had addressed him.

Bakugou stood with his hand shoved in his pockets, shoulders hunched, a scowl on his face. “Don’t say anything,” he warned. It was the first time he’d directly addressed Eijirou since… well. Yeah. Since everything had gone to hell.

Eijirou nodded at Bakugou’s request, biting his lip just in case he lost himself and tried to say something. He was determined not to screw up this interaction, and if that meant drawing blood with his teeth so he remembered not to talk, then so be it.

“We need to talk,” Bakugou said. His eyes widened a moment later, as if the implications of what he’d just said hadn’t occurred to him. “Fuck! Not about any of that bullshit, though, forget about it,” he added quickly, his shoulders hunching inward like he wanted to disappear in that moment.

His words left Eijirou feeling baffled. He wanted to ask what sort of topic could be one that Bakugou wanted to talk about so badly he felt it trumped the whole alpha-command-gone-horribly-awry situation, but the tug of his teeth at his lip was enough of a reminder that he wasn’t supposed to be talking. Instead, he tilted his head and tried to make a confused face. Considering how confused he felt, it wasn’t hard to get his point across.

“I wanted to discuss… eh, let’s call it training, ” Bakugou explained, straightening up just a hair as his eyes searched Eijirou’s expression. “When do you finish with this shit?” he demanded, pulling one hand out of his pocket to gesture around the room.

Eijirou almost answered, then remembered he wasn’t supposed to be talking to Bakugou. He bit down a little harder on his lip, the sharp pain a reminder. Instead he lifted his hands, flashing ten fingers, then seven fingers.

Bakugou made a small face, as if this response had confused him. “What the fuck?” he demanded, then a look of knowing crossed his face. “Oh. No, you idiot, I’m not still in heat, it’s been like four days since that ended. You can talk or whatever, it’s fine, I just meant that you needed to shut up and listen for five seconds.”

“Oh,” Eijirou said, relief blooming in his chest. He felt instantly lighter, especially when Bakugou didn’t flinch at the sound of his voice this time. “I should finish around five, but then I have to clean the bathrooms tonight at nine.”

Bakugou scowled. “Fuck. So when do you do homework?”

“I mean, that’s four hours,” Eijirou said, “I can do most of it in that time, especially if I just eat at my desk.”

Wrinkling his nose, Bakugou asked, “What about training?”

“I mean, cleaning is kind of a physical activity,” Eijirou answered weakly, “and we’re still attending classes.”

“Yeah, but what about training?” Bakugou pressed, “This isn’t really developing your quirk or any of that shit.”

“No, but-” Eijirou started, only for Bakugou to cut him off.

“I want to practice something, but I need a partner,” he told him, obviously not interested in Eijirou’s excuses. “You in?”

“What kind of practice?” Eijirou asked.

Bakugou’s face twitched slightly. “Practical… skills… development. Like supplementary field training.”

Something about the look in his eyes made Eijirou nervous. “What kind of practical skills? What sort of field training?”

“Look, I just think it would be good to get some more practice with actual, real-life combat scenarios, and I need someone to work with me to develop more powerful responses to certain situations that may come up in the field,” Bakugou was definitely talking in circles, trying to avoid something, but Eijirou couldn’t figure out what that might be.

Was suspicion reason enough to outright refuse to work with Bakugou? Biting his lip again, though not for the same reason, Eijirou considered the request. “I can spare an hour,” he said finally. “I still have homework and dinner to think about, but I can work with you for an hour.”

“I’ll see you at ground beta when you finish here, then,” Bakugou told Eijirou.

“Okay,” Eijirou agreed, though it really hadn’t been a request.

Bakugou spun on his heel and marched away. Eijirou felt his heart sink as he watched him go. What the hell had he just agreed to?

By the time Kirishima finally arrived at ground beta, Katsuki had worked himself into a bit of a state. He knew he would definitely need this training to succeed as a pro hero in active combat, but convincing Kirishima to go along with it was going to be rough. At this point he’d managed to visualize many ways in which this next conversation could go horribly wrong, and his chest was tight like a vise had been wrapped around it. He fucking hated awkward conversations.

“Hey,” Kirishima called, jogging over. “So I’m here. Do you mind explaining to me what exactly you wanted to train for?”

“I need to learn how to resist alpha commands,” Katsuki said, just spitting the words out as fast as he dared. He figured it was better to get this out in the open sooner, rather than spending more time dancing around the issue. “So I need someone to do that.”

Kirishima blinked hard, his face growing pale. “Wait,” he said, “You want me to… command you?”

“So I can figure out how to break it, yeah,” Katsuki replied. It was going better than at least half of the imaginary scenarios he’d concocted, because Kirishima hadn’t punched him or fled yet.

“Wait, but, hold on,” Kirishima’s face twisted with confusion, “You want me to command you?” he asked again.

“Did I fucking stutter?” Katsuki snapped. He hadn’t really expected Kirishima to not understand what he was saying.

“But we already learned our range and stuff last year,” Kirishima protested, still looking baffled. His face tightened into an almost-pained expression. “And commands can be dangerous if you don't have careful supervision.”

“We have Recovery Girl,” Katsuki shot back, “and besides, my quirk is shooting explosions from the palms of my hands. Dangerous is what I do.”

Kiriahima’s face seemed to argue that explosions and commands were different sorts of danger, but he didn't say anything. Instead, he nodded slowly. “So how are you going to resist alpha commands?” he asked instead.

“Let’s start small,” Katsuki urged, “and you can give me a less powerful command, so it'll be easier to break.”

Kirishima shuffled his feet nervously. “I don't know how to do that,” he admitted quietly. “I don't know how to judge how strong or weak my commands are.”

“So then it's good training for both of us!” Katsuki replied, feeling vaguely relieved. If this was an exercise that Kirishima could also benefit from, he had a better chance of convincing him to keep training together. “Just, I don't know, try to keep making your commands consecutively weaker until I say it's not a command anymore, then you'll know how mild they get. Then work your way back up until you hit your strongest command.”

“But wouldn't that strongest command hurt?” Kirishima asked, concern flashing across his features. “I don't want to hurt you-”

“It’s fucking training,” Katsuki barked back irritably, “you wouldn't worry about hurting me if it was sparring.”

“I mean, I do actually worry about things like that when sparring, too,” Kirishima said in a soft tone. “And in sparring, you can tap out. How can you tap out of an alpha command?”

That was a fair point, Katsuki had to concede. “Maybe in your command, add something like ‘if something is wrong you can tell me to stop,’ that should work,” Katsuki suggested.

Kirishima’s entire body seemed to slump as tension eased from his body. “Oh. Yeah. That makes sense. I can do that.”

Katsuki grinned at that, finally starting to feel like this conversation was going to turn out all right. “So let's get started,” he suggested.

Kirishima blanched, his eyes darting side-to-side. “Wait, you mean now?”

“Why the fuck not?” Katsuki demanded, his heart sinking. Fuck! He’d known this had been too easy! “We’re here already, and you said you could spare an hour.”

“Yeah, but…” Kirishima scrubbed at his face, looking tired. He sighed heavily, then glanced back up at Katsuki. “You just started talking to me again, man, I don't - What if you - I mean,” he scrubbed at his scalp, tousling his spiked-up hair as he did so, “You said my voice hurt,” he said softly. “I don't want to - I missed you, Bakugou. I don't want you to start avoiding me again.”

“Then I won't,” Katsuki replied stubbornly. Fuck it, he could handle some discomfort if that's what it took to get Kirishima to practice with him. Besides, he’d only felt vaguely uneasy after their week-long intensive alpha command training in second year. He’d done intensive command training before and been fine, so this shouldn't be any different. “I’ll be fine. We can still study together and shit.”

Kirishima’s face brightened. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Katsuki assured him. “But before that, can we fucking train now?”

Kirishima bit his lip, sharp teeth digging in slightly, though not deep enough to draw blood. “Yeah,” he finally agreed. “Let’s start. What should I tell you to do?”

Bakugou wasn't able to resist Eijirou's first command, or the second, or the third. By the time he managed to resist for a second or two, Eijirou felt like he had a better idea of how to weaken his commands, though Bakugou didn't really seem to be succeeding at resisting them, even if they were weaker. “Hey, did that one feel weaker to you?” he asked Bakugou, just to check. Maybe he was overestimating his ability to figure out what a weaker command felt like, since Bakugou was still having so much trouble.

Bakugou pulled himself to his feet with a heavy scowl. “Yeah,” he admitted grudgingly. “Still not fucking weak enough, though.” His face twisted, like he wanted to say more, but he didn't. Instead, he glanced at Eijirou and simply said, “Again.”

Eijirou nodded, focusing on making his friend listen, really listen, focusing on how he wanted Bakugou to (submit) pay attention and (obey) cooperate. “Sit down on the floor, and tell me to stop if you need to,” he commanded, really trying to hold back, trying to force himself to back away from the pulsing need to dominate, to consume, a sensation that seemed to be getting harder and harder to resist the longer their training time dragged on. Eijirou was glad they were only practicing for an hour, he was starting to get… antsy? He felt weird, like his body was more aware, more alive than usual. He felt like he could taste the air, like every command he gave was buzzing under his skin, he could feel everything more clearly than usual, he thought that might be called hyper-awareness. He could also feel something more primal stirring. That scared him, because the last time he’d felt something simmering that deep, he’d used a competing command , completely disregarding Bakugou’s personal boundaries because something inside him hadn't liked what it saw.

At least they only had fifteen more minutes before their agreed upon hour was up. Eijirou thought that if Bakugou insisted on continuing this sort of training in the future, he’d probably ask him to knock it down to thirty minutes, mostly because the repeated commands were making Eijirou feel super uncomfortable.

Bakugou let out a yelp and dropped to his knees, gulping in air as he did so, swiping at his forehead, which was now beaded with sweat. “Ten!” he gasped out, “Made it to ten that time.” His voice was ragged, laced with the sort of strain usually reserved for the heaviest weights in the gym, or when he’d been training his quirk to its limit. It didn't sound right coming from him after a mere ten seconds of resistance. But that was the nature of omegas, Eijirou thought, they weren't supposed to resist alpha commands. It was a biological drive, and trying to will oneself to overcome instinct was hard.

“You don't have to obey,” Eijirou said quickly, noting with an internal wince the way Bakugou’s shoulders eased upward as though a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He felt a little curl of irritation in his gut, what was so bad about his commands that Bakugou looked relieved when they were lifted? He should consider himself lucky to have the opportunity to -

Eijirou shook his head hard, dislodging that thought as fast as he could. Bakugou was still panting on the ground, even though Eijirou had lifted the command. “Hey,” Eijirou said softly, “Do you want to maybe, uh, call it a night?”  

“That's… not a terrible idea,” Bakugou ground out. With a heavy sigh, he rose, wobbling unsteadily on his feet. His face was pale, eyes glassy. There was no way he could have gone another round, and Eijirou was glad he’d been willing to stop early because he would not have felt comfortable commanding Bakugou when he was in this state.

Bakugou turned to walk for the exit, and stumbled, almost tripping over his own feet. Eijirou jumped forward to offer some support, but froze before touching him. What if Bakugou didn't want to be touched after all the commands? What if he was hurting? What if -

“I’m not going to fucking break,” Bakugou snapped, his eyes flashing with a familiar spark. His features softened into a carefully neutral expression a moment later. “...but if you feel like standing close I won't tell you to stop.”

Eijirou eased up beside him. “I got an arm if you need a bit of support,” he offered.

Wordlessly, Bakugou reached over and gripped his arm tightly. His fingers were trembling. Eijirou hated that, more than he’d hated everything else about this weird, uncomfortable training session. He didn't want to hurt Bakugou, especially not using something as powerful as an alpha command. It felt like cheating, somehow, and even though this time he was technically using his command on a consenting party, the fact that Bakugou didn't like being commanded made it that much harder for Eijirou to go through with it.  

“I think…” Bakugou began, pausing midstep, his voice sinking into that register of quiet exhaustion he rarely allowed others to hear, “...I think we should probably keep this training to once a week, at least for now.”

Eijirou would have preferred to never repeat it, but he understood that learning how to resist a command was important to Bakugou, and despite how uncomfortable he felt with this arrangement, he was still selfish enough to go along with it. For as much as he hated using his command like this, the only thing worse than hurting Bakugou with his command was the thought of some other alpha using their command on Bakugou.

Chapter Text

Bakugou was fine. He wasn't sick, even if his body ached like he'd come down with something, even if he'd been unable to keep his breakfast down, even if he'd been shaking so badly that he'd been unable to hold a pencil steady at all last night, and hadn't been able to finish his homework until that morning. He was fine. He could handle this. It wasn't even as bad as his suppressants, and he could still use his quirk, so he was fine. A little dizzy, maybe, but that was to be expected. Besides, he needed this. If he'd learned nothing else from his training with Kirishima, he'd seen just how far he still had to go when it came to resisting alpha commands. 

So he was fine. He had to be. That said, classes were miserable, since he could barely concentrate. After class, Kirishima made some noises about how confusing their math homework was, and Katsuki reminded himself that he'd fucking promised him that their training wouldn't disrupt their friendship. That he'd be cool. So he very coolly suggested they study in the Library after Kirishima finished his cleaning duties. It wasn’t his fault that people nearby cringed at his volume and vocabulary. In any case, Kirishima agreed.

It would be fine.

He did his homework, which took longer than usual thanks to the low-grade headache that he'd been enduring all day slowly worsening. By the time he made it to the library he was deeply regretting leaving his room. Kaminari wasn't helping matters with his blithe exclamation of “Wow, Bakugou, you look like shit!” 

Katsuki was already in a mood to murder, and unsolicited criticism was enough to put Kaminari on the fast train to slaughter central. But that would probably get them kicked out of the library, so Katsuki restrained himself, resorting to using his words. “Fuck you,” he snapped, “I guess we're not fucking studying, then? I’ll just go-” he turned to leave, more than ready to call the whole day off.

“Wait!”  Kirishima yelped, half-standing, reaching out to Katsuki. “I really don't get this, man, and I only have a few hours to study…”

Katsuki sighed, he’d only really come to help Kirishima anyway, it would be shitty to leave just because Kaminari was an idiot. If that was really reason enough, he’d never be wanting for an excuse to leave anywhere . “Fine,” he growled, before whirling and pointing at short circuit with a snarl, “You shut up and find your textbook, I’m not putting up with your bullshit today.”

“When do you ever?” Denki muttered, obediently rummaging in his backpack, thankfully pulling out his math book without further comment.

“About this problem,” Kirishima said, leaning into Katsuki’s space, pointing out one of the trickier equations they’d been working with, “I’m not sure if I followed the steps right…”

His voice. It was like water trickling down Katsuki’s spine, not in a bad way, but in a way that sent a slight shiver through him. He couldn’t concentrate, his whole body seeming to want nothing more than to go limp and pliant. What. The. Fuck. It was just Kirishima! Why the hell was his body pulling this shit? Why now? Fuck!

With more effort than should have been necessary, Katsuki refocused on the math problem. It was easy enough to solve. He tapped the page with his finger, indicating where Kirishima had missed a key step. His hand was shaking. He hoped no one else noticed. “Here’s your problem,” he said, “You didn’t…” he blinked hard, not sure what he’d been about to say. The numbers all swam before his eyes, and he felt tired, bone deep weariness of a sort that usually only hit him after his heat. But he hadn’t been in heat for awhile now, and wasn’t due for his next one for a few weeks yet. Katsuki stared at the math problem until the numbers settled back into view. Oh. Yeah. “You simplified this part wrong,” he finally said. 

“Oh,” Kirishima replied in a soft voice. His eyes were not on his homework. They were fixed on Katsuki.

Dammit. He hadn’t noticed, had he? His eyes looked worried. He’d noticed. 

Kaminari sighed. “I don’t understand this part either,” he scooted his own book closer to Katsuki, “Did I do this right?”

Katsuki dragged his eyes away from Kirishima to look at Kaminari’s homework. It was almost totally illegible. And that was before his vision had gone all weird and fuzzy. “What part of show your damn work do you not understand?” Katsuki demanded irritably. “This answer makes no sense and I don’t even know how the fuck you got to it!”

“I just plugged it into the calculator!” Kaminari protested, “I don’t know how it could be wrong, that seems like the calculator’s fault.”

Katsuki resisted the urge to scream, but only just. It was going to be a long afternoon.

Bakugou was acting weird. He was trying to hide it, but he wasn’t doing a very good job of it. It was in his eyes, a weird sort of look that Eijirou wasn’t accustomed to seeing there. Not exhaustion, but something close to it. Like Bakugou was forcing himself to act like everything was okay when it wasn’t. Eijirou was convinced it was because of the training they’d done the day before - he still felt all jacked up from it, like he was riding on a weird alpha command high. He’d never even known alpha commands could do that, make you feel … more. More of what, Eijirou couldn’t explain, at least not in any sort of way that would make sense to other people. He just knew that using his alpha commands so much had made him different, and he didn’t exactly like it. And seeing that Bakugou had changed too… well, it made him like the whole training idea even less. Part of him dearly hoped that Bakugou rejected the whole training idea for good, but he had the sneaking suspicion that was not at all what Bakugou had in mind.

So Eijirou would have to figure out some other way to deal with this weird alpha feeling churning inside him. He wasn’t sure what to do, either, since he was pretty sure the obvious advice was to just stop using alpha commands. But if Bakugou insisted on training, Eijirou didn’t have the heart to say no, and he sure as hell didn’t want any other alpha commanding Bakugou around. Of course, that attitude was probably coming from the same part of him that seemed to be empowered by his excessive use of alpha commands, so maybe that wasn’t the best part of himself to be listening to. 

Anyway, doing extra physical labor around the dorms really hadn’t done anything to relieve the strange internal pressure to dominate and consume that had been bothering Eijirou all day, so he turned to his usual source of information - the internet. Pulling up a search engine, Eijirou started by typing in the phrase ‘ feel too alpha, how to calm down’, which turned out to be a terrible mistake and resulted in a whole bunch of omega porn sites. Not what he was looking for. Nope. He tried ‘too many alpha commands’ next, but that just led to a bunch of omega support sites for people suffering from competing commands or excessive commands or other similar phrases. Which was great, he was glad that sites like that existed as a network for hurting omegas who needed other people to talk to who understood what they were going through. But what about alpha support sites? Who could Eijirou talk to about his weird hulk-out alpha command machismo problem? 

Was the problem that most people didn’t see it as a problem? Maybe most alphas didn’t get all weird about this, maybe this was just part of puberty? But no, he hadn’t felt like this when he’d presented, he hadn’t even felt like this when he had gone into rut. When Eijirou had been in rut, it had been like he was in a trance, like he couldn’t even control his body. He’d been practically nonverbal and couldn’t seem to control any of his reactions at all. In contrast, this felt more like he was in total control of absolutely everything and everyone else should acknowledge his total control. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by instinct, it was more a feeling of being the one doing the overwhelming. He tried again, this time typing in the phrase ‘too many alpha commands makes alphas aggressive’, which actually seemed to get some traction, and he finally found a website that seemed to be some sort of health blog. It talked about how alpha commands were a natural part of alpha biology, typically used between consenting individuals. If used properly, alpha commands could be enjoyable for both partners…

Eijirou blanched and quickly scrolled down, but he couldn’t focus on the rest of the article, mostly because he was distracted by his own head. It was just too easy to imagine Bakugou as an omega mate, especially after their practice session. But then, that made sense, didn’t it? If alpha commands were actually intended to strengthen a bond between an omega and an alpha, it would help make the alpha feel more protective and dominant, to be stronger for their omega, to be more confident in their mate’s submission to them.

Oh. Oh no. Bakugou would murder him if he ever thought that Eijirou wanted to dominate him, to make him submit. As much as his inner alpha relished the idea, he had to erase the very idea from his brain immediately. And if he could have done so, then he would. It was too bad that the mental images were already there, and Eijirou liked them. He’d already seen Bakugou submit. Seen Bakugou on his knees, which had been - !

Eijirou stood up from his desk and marched around the room a few times, taking in deep breaths and letting them out in a whoosh. He smacked himself on the head a few times, did a few jumping jacks, chugged an entire bottle of water, and finally just grabbed his pillow and screamed into it until his lungs ran out of air. It didn’t help at all. That mental image was in there, and had been since yesterday, especially since he’d seen it in the flesh, right there in front of him for the better part of thirty minutes last night and oh shit, oh shit, it was too good. He wanted it so bad, he just - 

No, no, no! This was not what he’d been trying to do, he was trying to get rid of the weird alpha urges, not fantasize about a friend who totally didn’t reciprocate Eijirou’s feelings! Why was he so gross? He was the worst friend. The worst alpha. Just… the worst.

With a groan, Eijirou rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. Maybe he’d try meditation. He’d heard that could be calming. It might be able to soothe the alpha roaring in his chest. 


In any case, it was better than doing nothing.

Chapter Text

As the days progressed, Katsuki’s constitution improved. As a result, his mood also shifted from a general malaise and irritation with the world at large to a more manageable level of exasperation with his classmates’ antics. He was also pleased to discover that the alpha command training did not appear to have a significant effect on his quirk output, which was something of a best-case scenario, as far as Katsuki was concerned. Nonetheless, Katsuki found himself struggling to find the motivation to try the training a second time. He wasn't sure why, exactly, just that he didn't feel like it. Katsuki wasn't one to put much stock in feelings, though, so he steeled his nerves and knocked on Kirishima’s door exactly one week after their previous training session. 

“Hey,” he said as soon as Kirishima opened the door, “Ready to train?”

Oddly enough, Kirishima looked nervous. But all he was doing was giving commands! What would he even have to be nervous about? Shrugging the thought aside, Katsuki waited for Kirishima’s response.

“Oh yeah,” Kirishima said weakly, scrubbing at the back of his neck and giving a sheepish half grin, “I almost forgot about that.” For some reason, he seemed to be having trouble looking Katsuki in the eye. 

Not that Katsuki was really in the mood to worry about something like that. He had more important things on his mind - like figuring out how to fucking resist an alpha command. “Are you good, or should I ask someone else?” Katsuki demanded. Even as he said it, he knew it was bullshit. He couldn't imagine trusting anyone else to use their alpha command on him without abusing the opportunity. Kirishima was different, though. Katsuki trusted him. That didn't mean he was going to tell Kirishima he was the only alpha he trusted. Not because he thought it was sentimental, though. It just felt too close to admitting weakness if he acknowledged the fact that he couldn't stand the thought of another alpha using their commands on him. 

Kirishima looked weird, though. Like he had indigestion or something. “Good?” he repeated in a weak voice, chuckling nervously before adding, “I guess I'm good. I mean, if you want to train.” His eyes widened. “I mean, of course it's training, what else would it be?” He laughed again, but he sounded even more stressed. “So yeah! I'm fine with that! Because it's training. It's not like it means anything.” His face paled, and he tried to clarify. “I mean, it means that we'll both get stronger, but it doesn't mean-”

“I’m going to stop you there,” Katsuki cut him off, giving him a look. “What the fuck is wrong with you? Did you hit your head in PE today? Do you have a concussion or some shit?” he had no idea what the fuck Kirishima was going on about, he just knew the guy looked stressed. Maybe this wasn't a good night for him after all. Katsuki didn't like the idea of postponing the training, but Kirishima looked genuinely distressed, and Katsuki took no pleasure from seeing him like that. 

“I guess I'm just… feeling off,” Kirishima answered, scrubbing at the back of his neck, still avoiding eye contact. “Sorry, dude.”

Katsuki considered that for a moment, then sighed. “It doesn't have to be tonight,” he said, “Should we aim for tomorrow instead?”

Kirishima made a small face. “I don't think putting it off is going to help much,” he muttered, which only added to Katsuki's growing confusion. 

So what was the problem? Katsuki wasn't sure what Kirishima was trying to say. “So are you saying you do want to do this tonight, or you don't?” Katsuki demanded exasperatedly.

“I don’t - I mean, sure, I guess,” Kirishima said weakly, still unable to meet Katsuki’s eyes.

Holy fuck, Katuski was going to strangle Kirishima if he didn’t start giving him a straight answer. “Are. You. Ready. To. Train. Or. Not?” Katsuki growled, giving each word enough weight to feel like its own sentence.

“I guess I am,” Kirishima chuckled weakly. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

Katsuki nodded briskly. “Then let’s go, we already wasted a bunch of time on trying to figure out whether or not you were ready to train.”

Kirishima made a distressed noise, but he followed Katsuki without protest, which was good enough for Katsuki. They made it all the way to the training ground before Kirishima spoke up. “Hey Bakugou,” he said hesitantly, “You didn’t have any… uh, lasting effects from the last training session, did you?”

Katsuki was staunchly putting that crap out of his head, mostly because he figured the best way to make it better was to build up a tolerance to this alpha command crap. Also he didn’t want Kirishima to worry. “No,” he said sharply, “I mean, it was tiring and shit, but I’m fine now.”

“Oh,” Kirishima said, his voice sounding almost disappointed, though Katsuki wasn’t sure if he was disappointed because he’d expected a different answer, or if it was because he’d wanted a different answer. Honestly, the guy could be confusing, and Katsuki was having enough trouble dealing with his own life, he wasn’t going to try and analyze Kirishima’s life too.

“Why, did you have any lasting effects?” Katsuki asked, more to keep Kirishima on his toes than out of any expectation. To his surprise, Kirishima’s face went bright red.

“I, uh, well actually…” Kirishima couldn’t seem to find words. “It was kind of, but I mean it wasn’t really, but then it could have been…”

Literally, he’d said nothing. He’d given Katsuki a bunch of words and they meant absolutely nothing. What the fuck was his deal? “Kirishima, if something’s wrong, just fucking tell me that something’s wrong,” Katsuki snapped, tired of dealing with this bullshit already.

Kirishima squeaked nervously, scrubbing a hand at the back of his neck. “It’s not bad,” he said, “It’s just not, well… not good?” He ended his statement so it sounded more like a question.

“Let’s go, you can tell me about this fucking not bad not good bullshit on our way to the training ground,” Katsuki snapped, turning and walking. 

“Oh, okay,” Kirishima followed, quickly jogging to catch up and walk beside Katsuki. “It’s just… I don’t know, using the commands makes me feel weird.”

“Weird how?” Katsuki demanded, sparing a glance in his direction. Kirishima’s face was still bright red. How the hell could he blush almost as red as his hair? It was incredible. It didn't seem physiologically possible, and yet…

“Like, well. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain.” 

Kirishima was staunchly refusing to meet Katsuki’s gaze, which only made Katsuki stare harder. Why was Kirishima avoiding him? “So try explaining,” Katsuki snapped. “Weird how?”

“It’s like using the commands makes me feel more alpha, and I’m not sure that I like the feeling!” Kirishima finally explained. “It’s… weird.”

Katsuki couldn’t think of how feeling more alpha would be a bad thing. He wouldn’t mind feeling more alpha himself, and he was an omega! “Is it painful?” he asked, not sure how this was a problem. “Is it making you go into rut?” That could be a problem, since alpha ruts were known to trigger omega heats, and Katsuki’s heat was a fucking nightmare.  

“No, it’s not like my rut,” Kirishima explained, “It’s just… I don’t know, alpha. Like, controlling and grrr,” he growled, lifting his arms and flexing demonstratively. 

Katsuki had no idea what the hell ‘controlling and grrr’ was supposed to mean, but he figured it couldn’t be any worse than the dizzy spells he was dealing with after being commanded up, down, and sideways. “Is it bad enough to make you stop training?” he asked, fervently hoping Kirishima would say no. He couldn’t ask anyone else to do this, and he needed to develop a tolerance to the commands. He didn’t know anyone else he could trust to do this and not take advantage of the situation. He hated showing weakness, and this was Katsuki at his absolute weakest point. He couldn’t let just anyone see him like that. Fuck, what if Kirishima couldn’t go through with this?

“It’s not that bad,” Kirishima said, finally turning to look Katsuki in the eye. “Just weird. I just… thought you might be grossed out by me going all alpha.”

Katsuki raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t that the whole point of commands? Tapping into your inner alpha?”

Kirishima blinked, his eyes widening in surprise. “I never thought of it like that,” he said. “I guess… that makes sense, though, because only alphas have commands.”

“It’s like if I tried to sweet-talk you into calming down and not commanding me, I’d be tapping into my inner omega,” Katsuki explained, making a face at the very idea. Calming people down was basically the opposite of how he liked to approach combat situations. He’d already done that accidentally, once before, and it had fucking sucked, because no one would willingly throw a goddamn punch at him, at least none that connected. Once his classmates started actively trying to hit him and Katsuki had figured out how to hype himself up enough that the omega pheromones weren’t interfering with his sparring, that issue had resolved itself. Still, he hadn’t forgotten how weird people had been acting around him. Maybe that’s the kind of weird that Kirishima was referring to. He could see how that might be off-putting. 

“Huh, that’s something to consider,” Kirishima said, apparently missing the point as he continued, “maybe you should try beating my command using your omega trait.”

“What the fuck,” Bakugou said flatly, “do you mean by that?”

“Doesn’t it make more sense that your way to resist an alpha command would be through a corresponding omega trait?” Kirishima asked.

“But the whole point of commands is to be used on an omega,” Bakugou argued.

“They still work on betas, don’t they? And sometimes if they’re strong enough, commands can even affect other alphas. So it isn’t that they’re used for omegas only, it’s just that omegas are more susceptible to commands,” Kirishima argued. “I uh, I did a lot of research on commands,” he added sheepishly.  “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to hurt you or anything like that.”

“So you think that alphas might be correspondingly more susceptible to omega traits than betas or other omegas?” Katsuki asked, surprised he’d never considered this himself.

“It’s possible,” Kirishima said. “Anyway, I just had the thought that maybe using an omega trait might be the way to resist commands. You know, rather than trying to resist the command itself, trying to weaken the resolve of the alpha giving the command.”

Katsuki considered the idea. It was surprisingly sound logic. Kirishima had done his homework, it seemed. Katsuki was surprised he hadn’t thought of it himself. “That might work,” he admitted. Especially when one took into consideration the fact that pure bullheaded stubbornness had meant absolutely nothing in the face of Kirishima’s commands the week before, trying a new tactic made a lot of sense. Besides, Kirishima’s idea had some merit. “Let’s try that tonight.”

“Okay,” Kirishima said, flashing a quick grin at Katsuki. “I hope it works.”

Katsuki hoped so, too.