“Oh, please.” Katsuki pointed his fork at Izuku in what he hoped was a menacing way, still chewing as he spoke. “Everyone knows it’s All Might. Like, literally!” He paused to shove more rice into his mouth before continuing with, “He’s top of the charts and the hearts.”
Inko reached across the table to tap Katsuki’s forearm twice. “Please don’t speak with your mouth full.” Katsuki grumbled a little, but sat back and complied. Inko smiled. It had only been two or three months since she took him in, and they already had a small unspoken system. He was still afraid of her hitting him, as it was such a short period of time, but he talked more and was more willing to ask for things. Whenever he got frustrated, she would let him tell her why, no matter how loud or angry or sobby he got, and then would do her best to fix it. Sometimes it ended in ice cream, sometimes it ended in naps. Izuku was coming more out of his shell, too. He was less afraid to make jokes at Katsuki’s expense, and Katsuki was less likely to yell at him from across the table. They were becoming Her Boys, not Her Boy And His Friend. Whenever she needed to correct his behaviour without sounding too harsh, she would tap his forearm twice before saying anything.
“Well—Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Izuku puffed his cheeks out and slid down in his chair, arms crossed over his chest. “They always make him super powerful in video games, too. I wonder if this will be different…”
Katsuki snorted. “Definitely not. He’s the best! Why change anything?” He shovelled more food into his mouth and finally remembered to swallow before adding, “Plus, no one knows his Quirk! So, he gets to just be super OP and no one can say anything about it.”
“Did you see that theory that he could be a…” Izuku held his hands up and waggled his fingers as he whispered, “shapeshifter?”
Katsuki gasped and leaned forward, eyes wide. “Tell me more. Right now. Tell me, tell me, tell—”
“Gimme a second! Geez, maybe you’re the fanboy.”
“Boys, please.” Inko held back her laugh and stood, pulling Izuku’s plate across the table and on top of hers. “Katsuki, are you finished?” He went quiet and shifted a little. He kept his eyes trained on a suddenly interesting stain on the dark wooden table. “It’s okay if you are, we can save it as leftovers.” He nodded slowly and she pulled his plate into his other hand. Inko set them on the counter as carefully as she could before turning back to her boys and ruffling their hair simultaneously. “Go and fight about All Might somewhere else while I clean up.”
Izuku slid out of his chair and Katsuki followed, but Izuku stopped him and stood up straighter, then gasped. “Am I taller than you? Mom! Mommy, look! I’m taller than him!”
“Shut up! No you’re not, we’re the same!”
“Nope! I’m taller than you, I’m taller than you!”
“I hate you.”
“No, you don’t.”
“Get away from my brother, asshole!” Katsuki slammed his fists into the high schooler’s chest, effectively shoving him back a foot or two.
The much larger boy snorted and put his hands on his hips. “What’re you gonna do, Squirt? Pretend like he’s not a freak?”
“He’s not!” Katsuki rushed forward to hit him again, which only got him shoved to the side. “Just leave him alone! I’m the only one who gets to tease him! I’ll—I’ll seriously fuck you up!”
The group of teenagers behind them ooooohh d and the biggest of them, the one who was shoving Izuku around, guffawed. “Great, so the baby can swear. I don’t give a shit. Look, kid, stay out of it. It ain’t your business.”
Katsuki’s hands clenched into fists and his chest started rising and falling quickly, ears red with anger and his entire body trembling. Inko’s voice rings distantly in his mind: “Never use your Quirk when angry. It only leads to chaos.” He shoved her words to the side and charged forward, shoving his hands against the high schooler’s chest and releasing explosions. He yeowled and jumped back, clutching his then-burnt uniform with wide eyes.
“This kid’s a fuckin’ lunatic, we should get outta here. Some Quirkless kid ain’t worth this trouble.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” One of the boys from the back of the group threw Izuku’s bag back at him as they walked away.
Once they were out of sight, Izuku mumbled, “You didn’t have to do that. I was fine.”
Katsuki snorted and held his still-trembling hand out to help Izuku stand up. “Sure, and I’m the Queen of England.” Once Izuku was stable on his feet, Katsuki pulled his bag from the ground and rooted around in it for his water bottle. “Close your eyes.”
“Wha— ew!” Izuku spluttered as Katsuki splashed his face with water. “What the hell!?” Something rough wiped across the scrape on his cheek. When he cracked one eye open, he was met with Katsuki’s careful gaze and a paper towel. “Oh.”
“Shut up. You’re an idiot, you know that? Mom told us not to leave the house after six without her.”
“I saw a puppy, Katsuki, I wasn’t just gonna leave it out here!”
“Did it have a collar?”
“Then someone was probably looking for it. I’m sure it’s home now, or whatever. I’m done. We need to get Mom to disinfect it when we get home, it looks gross.”
“You’re so welcome.”
“Who’s that boy you saw at the mall?”
“The one with the black hair.”
“There’s a lot of guys with black hair, dipshit.”
“The one with pointy teeth, dipshit.” Izuku sat up to rest on his elbows, chin on his hands. He waggled his eyebrows. “He looked nice. You guys talked for a while.”
“Oh. Kirishima. Yeah, his moms know Mom from college. We weren’t talking about anything interesting.”
“Really? ‘Cos you looked super invested. Or was it just because he was c—”
“I will kill you if you finish that sentence.”
“Was it just because he was cute?”
Katsuki narrowed his eyes.
“I got in! I got in, I got in, I got in!” Izuku shoved the envelope in Katsuki’s face, a wide grin spread across his cheeks. “I can’t believe it! I—I guess everything did pay off!”
Katsuki smiled. Behind his eyes were dull, and his sclera were stained pink from crying, but Izuku was too happy to notice. For that, he was grateful. “I’m proud of you. Still super weird that you broke every single one of your bones for that girl.”
“Not all of them! Just… some of them. A lot of them. Plus, they’re fine now! See?” Izuku flexed his fingers. “Just like new. Anyway, Mom and I are going out to eat. You wanna come?”
Katsuki shook his head. “I’m tired. I think I’m just gonna sleep for a million years, but thanks. Have fun.”
Izuku grinned impossibly wider. “I’ll make sure to bring you something back. Don’t sleep too much, or you’ll end up becoming a hermit. Bye!” He slammed Katsuki’s door and there was a muffled, “Sorry!”
Katsuki curled back up into a ball, arms locked tight around his pillow. He closed his eyes and clenched his jaw. Not gonna cry. Not gonna cry. Not gonna cry. A tear slid down his cheek as Izuku’s smile flashed in front of his eyelids again, a painful reminder of his lack of an acceptance letter from UA.
“Yeah. Guess they sent it too late, or something.” Katsuki leaned back in his chair and grinned. “I totally fucking killed the test, though. I knew I’d get in, no problem.”
“Wow. If only your heart was as big as your ego.”
Kyōka cackled and his head fell back, arms wrapped around his stomach. “Ah—Ah, man, your face. Anyway, you said you’re into music, right? You’re totally gonna love this.”
Izuku looked away from Katsuki and smiled up at Tenya. “So… you know Todoroki?”
“Hm? Oh, yes. We have been acquaintances since we were children. While my brother may not be a chart-topping hero, he is a well-respected one. We met at many meetings and parties.” Tenya pushed his glasses up, cheeks dusted with a red blush. “I’m quite fond of him.”
“I see. Katsuki’s the same way with this one kid! I don’t know if he’s gonna be in our class, but I saw him at the entrance exam! He had red hair, now, though.”
“Wait, Kirishima was in the exam?”
One of the loud girls who had been talking to Kyōka that morning turned around. “Y’all know Kirishima? Hold on, Yao-momo.” She turned her whole body and put her chin in her hands. “Y’all know Kirishima?”
“Sort of? Katsuki does!”
“I don’t! We just—we’ve seen each other a lot.”
“Wait, what’s your last name again?”
“B— Midoriya.” Katsuki sits up straighter, chest puffed out.
Mina’s eyebrows shot into her hairline. “You and Freckles are related?”
“Sort of. He’s my… uh…”
“Brother.” Katsuki’s eyes didn’t leave their spot, staring into Mina’s. “We’re brothers.”
“Cool. Anyway…” The conversation dissolved into them talking about how they knew Kirishima (who Katsuki later learned was called Eijirō) and just why Katsuki looked nothing like Izuku. Not the whole story, but… the bits that were relevant. Inko adopting him.
Katsuki would still jump at people yelling and at doors slamming, he would still get frustrated and yell. Inko wondered if that would ever end. She had seen him work on it through the years, but going through what he had when he was so young… she found herself questioning whether she would be able to help him any more or not. She had decided when she took him in that she would never stop helping him, even if he shoved her away one day and stopped talking to her. However, when him and Izuku came home from school, chatting too loudly about their new classmates, she smiled from her room and turned another page in her book.
Yeah. He’ll be okay.