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The Right Partner

Chapter Text

“Honestly, I don’t know what to do with him.” Best Jeanist tells his friend Spotlight over the phone, “I’ve tried teaching Bakugou to rein in his anger and about the importance of keeping up appearances but he is impossible.”

Spotlight is a hero in America that is also into fashion. Like his name suggests his quirk allows him to control and direct light. He can focus light into powerful beams or direct it where he needs it for photo shoots.

“He looks like a handful.” Spotlight replies looking at the picture Jeanist just sent him, “With that handsome face and powerful quirk he will definitely have no problem becoming popular.”

“If it wasn’t for his foul mouth and his abrasive personality, plus he runs off everyone I try to partner him with. The sidekicks at my agency refuse to work with him. He has great potential to be the number one hero if I can only teach him how,” Jeanist sighs.

“So… you need a partner for him that can take his shit and hand it back to him.” Spotlight says thoughtfully.

“Yes, but the people I know of that can deal with Bakugou already have accepted positions at other agencies. His friends understand him and are used to his behavior but he needs to learn not to be so explosive with his words.” Jeanist replies.

“You know I have someone who might be just what you’re looking for.” Spotlight said with a chuckle.

“Seriously? At this point I’m willing to try anything,” Jeanist says eagerly.

“It would be more like fighting fire with fire… someone with a strong personality and quirk that can keep up with Bakugou. Honestly, if this works they will be a scary strong team, and it just so happens that she is interested in being an international hero,” Spotlight tells his friend.

“I don’t need another problem child,” Jeanist says irritably.

“You misunderstood me, she isn’t a problem child. She gets along very well with others but is a very dominant leader in a group. I usually pair her with the newbies to teach them how to cooperate and listen in a team setting; she has a natural knack for it,” Spotlight informs him.

“Sounds promising,” Jeanist replied, “What more can you tell me about her?”

“Truthfully, I’m not really willing to let her go. She is already rising fast through the rankings here in America. She is an amazing singer and performer as well, and I’ve recently talked her into doing some modeling. Her potential is amazing but she is still lacking in some self-confidence,” Spotlight tells his friend. “She is one of those ‘she doesn’t realize she is beautiful’ types. I just sent you a picture.”

Jeanist opens the email his friend sent. The picture loads to show a young woman with beautiful almond shaped green eyes and long dark purple hair that looks like it would reach her waist if it was down. Her bright smile and alluring eyes make her look like someone very friendly while at the same time making her appear to be someone you wouldn’t want to make angry. “Wow, she is definitely a beauty but that won’t stop Bakugou from being and ass,” Jeanist informs his friend.

“Trust me it is not her looks I’m counting on,” Spotlight laughs.

“What is her quirk?” Jeanist asks.

“I’m glad you asked. I think it will be a perfect match for Bakugou’s Explosion…” Spotlight replies.

%%%%%

Great, this is just great… how many of these damn partners do I have to run off before Best Jeanist realizes I don’t need one? Bakugou thought to himself.
The young hero had been called in to report to Best Jeanist’s office. Bakugou guessed it was because he had found him a new partner. It had been a while since he ran off the last one, so he thought he had finally gotten the point across. Reaching the pro hero’s office, Bakugou threw the doors open with a bang. Flopping down in a chair he, glared at his mentor.

“If you break the door you’ll have to pay for a new one,” Best Jeanist tells the young hero.

“Whatever,” Bakugou scoffed, “What do you want?”

“Well, I think I’ve finally found you a partner,” Jeanist tells him.

“This shit again? How many times do I have to tell you I don’t need a damn partner,” Bakugou hollers.

“Whatever you may think, having a partner early in your career is essential to your development as a pro hero,” Jeanist tells him. “It took a lot to get her here from America. She was a sidekick for a good friend of mine, and he didn’t want to let her go.”

“Her? So you are pairing me up with some damn chick from America?” Bakugou blustered. “I don’t have time to babysit some fucking girly wannabe.”

“Wow, Spotlight wasn’t kidding. He really is quite the charmer!” a sarcastic voice came from behind him.

Bakugou turned around in his seat to see a young woman standing in the doorway. She was tall with dark purple hair and green eyes. She walked in with a bag slung over her shoulder and made her way to Jeanist’s desk. “Hello, sir.” she held her hand out to Jeanist. “I’m the hero from Spotlight’s agency, Wildside, and I want to thank you for this opportunity.”
Jeanist took the hero’s hand and gave it a firm shake. “I trust your trip here was a good one?” Jeanist asked.

“My flight didn’t have any problems and the person who picked me up was very nice,” Wildside said with a smile.

“Tch,” Bakugou scoffed. Great, another goodie two-shoes that is all smiles and fucking rainbows.

“Well, I’m glad you made it,” Best Jeanist said as he sat behind his desk. “I would like to introduce you to your partner, Katsuki Bakugou. His hero name is Ground Zero.”

Turning toward the ashy blonde man, Wildside held out her hand, “I’m looking forward to working with you.”

“Whatever, let’s get one thing straight: I work alone.” Bakugou brushed off her handshake and stood up to his full height so that the top of her head reached his eyes.

Matching his fierce glare, she smiled. “Well, I guess you will have to get used to working with a partner then.”

“Bakugou, I want you to show Wildside around the agency,” Jeanist interrupted.

“Like hell!” Bakugou yelled before storming out of the office.

“Well that was interesting,” Wildside said turning back to Jeanist.

“I’m sorry for his despicable behavior,” Jeanist apologized. “He may not seem like it, but he is an exceptional hero.”

“I will have to take your word for it sir,” Wildside said looking back towards the door. “Spotlight said I was going to have my hands full.”

“I hope you still wish to stay?” Jeanist asked.

“Definitely, I’m not about to let that grump ruin this for me. You can count on me sir,” She replied. “I should introduce myself properly. My name is Hales, Kia Hales.”

“It is nice to meet you, Miss Hales,” Jeanist bowed.

%%%%%

Bakugou slammed his locker shut after he shoved his costume inside. Grabbing his towel he turned to head toward the showers only to come face to face with his new partner.

“What the hell are you doing in here?” Bakugou asked. “This is the men’s locker room or can’t you read Japanese?”

Kia ignored his remark. “I can read Japanese just fine but I don’t know my way around the agency yet. Jeanist said to find you and have you show me to the support and wardrobe offices.”

“And what, you just figured you would come in here and take a peek?” Bakugou accused, aware that he was standing there in nothing but his boxers.

“Not saying that you aren’t impressive, but you’ve got nothing I haven’t seen before,” Kia said with a grin.

“What?” Bakugou snarled.

“I figured I would have to corner you to get you to help me, so here I am!” Kia said.

“The hell? Just wait outside.” Bakugou said pushing his way past her and heading to the showers.

Smiling, Kia made her way out of the locker room and sat on a bench outside the door to wait for her partner. Bakugou took as slow a shower as he could, taking his time to dry and dress himself. He was hoping his new partner would get tired of waiting and leave. Much to his dismay, when he left the locker room she was sitting there waiting for him.

“Where do you want to go?” he asked gruffly.

“If you could take me to wardrobe I would appreciate it,” Kia replied.

“Follow me,” Bakugou said.

Kia quickly gathered her bags and followed Bakugou down the hall. Pointing to his right he told her. “Women’s locker rooms are down that hallway.”
“Thanks,” Kia replied.

They walked in silence until Bakugou stopped at a door two floors up from the locker rooms. “There,” he said crossing his arms and leaning against the doorway.

Kia walked in and introduced herself to the staff. Bakugou remained at the doorway, curious as to what his new partner was doing. Pulling a suit out of one of her bags, Kia handed it over to the staff along with a file.

“Anything specific you want for your costume?” one of the staff members asked.

“Well if definitely needs to be resistant to burning or freezing. As far as color I’m not too picky. Try not to make it too revealing if you could please. That file contains the makeup of my old costume as well as specifics on my quirks.” Kia told them.

“Very well, we should be able to have your new suit ready in about three days,” the staff member said to her.

“Thanks so much!” Kia replied.

“By the way, who is your partner?” the other staff member asked. “Jeanist likes partners to have slight similarities in their uniforms.”

“Really?” Kia replied. “Well, my partner is Ground Zero.”

The staff members’ faces darkened when she told them who her partner was. “You poor girl,” one of them said.

“We will definitely have to make the fabric sturdy,” said another. “And she will need spares.”

“I hope you have better luck than his former partners,” one said while patting her on the back.

“Uhm …thanks?” Kia replied, making her way to the door.

She was surprised to see Bakugou still standing by the door, and from the look on his face, he had heard everything the staff members said.
Bakugou turned with his hands in his pockets, bangs covering his eyes he made his way down the hall. Kia followed behind looking closely at her new partner. Filing into the elevator, the silence continued.

“You didn’t like what they were saying, did you?” Kia asked.

“Who the hell cares what those losers think?” Bakugou snapped.

“You know, it’s ok to have...” Kia started. Bam!! Bakugou’s fist collided with the wall right next to her head.

“SHUT THE HELL UP IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DIE!!” Bakugou exploded.

“If you are trying to intimidate me, it’s not going to work,” Kia said with a glare.

“FUCK YOU!” Bakugou pushed away as the doors to the elevator opened. Turning away he stormed out of the elevator and towards the front doors of the agency. Throwing the doors open, he stomped off. Kia watched as her short tempered partner stormed away.

“Well we are off to a good start,” Kia sighed to herself. “I better find somewhere to stay.” She took off in the opposite direction, not sure what to think of her new partner.

Chapter Text

Bakugou was woken up the next morning by his cell phone ringing. “Who the hell…?” Bakugou grumbled as he rolled over in bed looking for the offending cell phone. Finding it, he opened one eye to see who dared to call him this early on his day off. “This better be good, Kirishima,” Bakugou answered the phone.

“Good Morning, Bakugou! How does breakfast on me sound?” Kirishima asked.

“Might as well, since you already woke me up,” Bakugou said glancing at his clock.

“Same old place?” Kirishima asked.

Bakugou grunted before ending the call. Sitting up on the end of his bed, he stretched to ease the stiffness in his back and shoulders. Heading towards his dresser, he pulled out a pair of pants and a regular t-shirt. Making his way to the front door he pulled a red hoodie over his head before grabbing his keys and wallet as he left his apartment.

The café he and Kirishima usually met up at was only a short bus ride from Bakugou’s apartment. Walking through the front doors, he immediately picks out his red haired friend’s spiky head towards the back. Sitting down and pulling a menu out of the rack, Bakugou casually glanced at it. He already knew what he wanted, but he hoped it would deter Kirishima from wanting to talk too much.

“How’s it been going?” Kirishima asked. “Anything new happen?”

“Who told you?” Bakugou demanded not looking up from his menu.

“That you have a new partner? I heard it down the grapevine. Everyone places bets on how fast you scare them all off,” Kirishima told him.

“And you are here to get info so you can place your bet?” Bakugou accused.

“Aww, come on, man, you know me better than that!” Kirishima said feigning hurt. “I heard it’s a hero from America.”

“So, what of it?” Bakugou said, sitting up so the waitress could put a cup of coffee in front of him, black just like he liked it.

“Well what are they like?” Kirishima prodded, “You know having a partner isn’t all that bad. You should lighten up a bit and give it a chance. Jeanist went as far as to recruit someone from another country to find you a partner.”

“Tch, she is nothing special, just a pretty face with a nice smile,” Bakugou replied.

“Well, she must be something if you are giving her a compliment!” Kirishima smirked.

“Shut up,” Bakugou blustered.

“So, what is her name?” Kirishima asked.

“Wild-something,” Bakugou replied taking a sip of his coffee.

“Really? You can’t even remember her name?” Kirishima sighed. Pulling out his phone he started typing in the search engine. While Kirishima was searching for info on his friend’s partner the waitress came over to take their orders. After Bakugou ordered Kirishima put his phone down and gave the waitress his order.

“So, do you think she is the one?” Kirishima asked.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Bakugou snarled.

“Geeze, don’t get so defensive. I meant the right partner for you,” Kirishima replied.

“The hell if I know, I don’t need or want a partner. She will get tired of me and leave just like the rest of them,” Bakugou said taking another drink of his coffee.

“Ever the optimist…” Kirishima said sarcastically. It kind of sounds like he hopes she won’t leave, he thought to himself. Picking his phone back up, he realized it had finished downloading a site on current American heroes.

“You said Wild-something, right?” Kirishima asked. “Wait, it wasn’t Wildside was it?”

“That sounds about right,” Bakugou replied.

“Dude, she is a total babe!” Kirishima exclaimed. “How did an ass like you score a partner this hot?”

“Go die!” Bakugou replied looking out the window next to their booth.

“Hey, says here she is a singer and it looks like she does some modeling too,” Kirishima informed him as he scrolled down. “So when do I get to meet her?”

“Huh?” Bakugou said, looking back at his friend.

“Oh, come on, Katsuki, you gotta hook a bro up!” Kirishima slammed his hands on the table. “Just introduce me. That is, of course, unless you want her for yourself?” Kirishima questioned.

“LIKE HELL! The last thing I need is you nosing around after my partner!” Bakugou exploded.

“Geeze, ok ok, calm down dude, I get it!” Kirishima said with his hands up. “I still want to meet her though. I gotta make sure she is a good fit for my best friend.”

“Whatever,” Bakugou replied. The waitress brought their orders to the table and the two friends dug in, their conversation taking a backseat.

When Bakugou made it back to his apartment he, decided to take it easy the rest of the day and catch up on some episodes of his favorite TV shows. Tomorrow he would head to the agency to workout. He had a bunch of paperwork to get caught up on and he guessed that he better show his new partner where some of the other offices are in the building.

%%%%%

The next day, Bakugou headed into the agency early and ended up getting there at about 5:30 am, he liked coming in early because he usually got the gym to himself for a little while. He headed to the locker room and threw on his workout gear. Clipping his I-pod to his armband, he put in his earbuds and headed to the gym.

He was just about to head to the warm up mats when he noticed he wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the early morning. Great, there goes my quiet morning… he thought to himself. As he got closer, he realized it was Wildside. She was dressed in a pair of leggings and shorts with a long-sleeved shirt. Her hair was up in a bun and the cord to her earphones disappeared beneath her shirt. She was currently bent over, giving him a nice view of her
backside.

“Are you going to stand there and stare, or say good morning?” she asked suddenly.

Startled, Bakugou snapped back, “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“I would think that was obvious,” she said, squatting down to stretch her leg muscles.

“Shut up.” Bakugou moved to the other side of the mat.

“Good morning to you, too, Bakugou,” she replied.

Starting his warm up stretches, he turned his back to her. Kia just moved into her next stretch, closing her eyes and focusing on the pull of her muscles.
After a few minutes she left Bakugou at the warm up mats and moved onto one of the treadmills. She figured she would start off with a long run. After a few minutes Bakugou moved to a treadmill five machines away from her and started his own workout.

Around 6 am, more heroes from the agency started filling into the gym. Ending her run, Kia moved her way over to the weight equipment, claiming one of the benches for her own. She started out with the usual curls before deciding to do a few reps on the bench press.
Bakugou watched her out of mild interest. He noticed of few of the other heroes watching her too.

Loading the bar with 150 pounds she started her first set of reps, but before she was finished, three guys walked over to her bench to introduce themselves.

“Hey there, you must be the new hero. You can call me Brawn,” the first one introduced himself. He was about the same height as Kia, but definitely beefy.

“And I’m Whiplash,” the second said.

“You can call me Shirokage,” said the third.

“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Wildside,” Kia introduced herself, bowing her head a little.

“That’s a lot of weight for a pretty thing like you. I could spot you if you wanted,” Brawn offered.

“Thanks, but I can handle it,” Kia replied with a smile. Ignoring his remark, she stood up and headed to the weight rack to add another 100 pounds to the bar.

“You sure that’s not too much for you?” Whiplash asked her, moving closer.

“I’m sure,” Kia said, sitting back down on her bench and doing another set with the added weight. Bakugou had ended his run and moved to a bench a little ways off from Kia’s. He could hear what the other heroes were saying.

After Kia finished her set, she sat up and reached for her water bottle only to have Brawn snatch it up to hand it to her.

“So you’re pretty strong. Have you been assigned a partner yet?” Brawn asked.

“Yes, I officially start work tomorrow,” Kia said standing up to put more weight on the bar.

“Too bad… I wouldn’t have minded being your partner,” Brawn continued.

“Well, I guess it’s your loss then, huh?” Kia replied.

“I have an idea,” Brawn started. “How about you and I have a lifting competition? If I win, you go on a date with me.”

“And if I win?” Kia asked.

“Anything you want, Kitten,” Brawn replied giving her a slight slap on the ass. Bakugou saw his new partner’s expression darken.

“Anything?” Kia asked.

“Yep, anything,” Brawn replied, not noticing the anger radiating of the heroine.

“Promise?” Kia asked, looking at him through her eyelashes and smiling sweetly. Bakugou noticed that her smile didn’t reach her eyes.

“Of course, Kitten,” Brawn replied again.

“I will hold you to it,” Kia smiled. Sitting down on the bench next to hers Brawn started getting ready to lift.

“What weight are you at now?” Whiplash asked Kia, as he started bringing weights over to Brawn’s bench.

“250,” Kia replied. “Does that work for you?” she asked Brawn.

“Yep, how about we each do five reps before adding more weight?” Brawn asked her.

“That works for me,” Kia replied. The two heroes lay down on their benches and prepared to start. Both easily made five reps.

“How much weight do you want to add?” Shirokage asked.

“What would you like, Kitten?” Brawn asked.

“I usually increase my weight by 100 pounds with each set,” Kia replied.

Brawn blinked a bit before turning to his friends. “You heard her.”

With the increased weight on the bars, both heroes easily did five reps.

“Another 100,” Brawn said glancing over at Kia. Again, both heroes did five reps with ease. By now, other heroes had stopped their own workouts to watch the two. All except Bakugou, who had lost interest and was going through his own workout routine. They kept adding more and more weight, Kia easily keeping up with Brawn. Soon the weight was at 950 pounds. Brawn looked over at Kia but she just smiled sweetly. Another five reps, another 100 pounds, Brawn was beginning to sweat.

“Are you sure about this, Kitten?” Brawn asked nervously.

“Absolutely,” Kia replied, getting a good grip on her bar.Brawn brought his own bar down and back up four times but struggled with the fifth before finally setting the bar back on its holder. Kia gave Brawn another smile as she easily finished her reps. Whiplash and Shirokage added another 100 pounds to each bar. Brawn went first, getting through the first two reps before struggling with the third. On the fourth rep he started losing his grip and three heroes had to step in and help him put the bar back on its hanger. Everyone look over at Kia.

“You only have to do 4 reps and you win,” Whiplash told her.

Smiling, Kia laid back on her bench. Hefting the bar off its holder, she finished all five reps. Cheers erupted around the two benches. Standing up, Kia walked over to Brawn’s bench bending over to look him in the eyes.

“You should learn to keep your hands to yourself… and nobody calls me Kitten,” she told him with a lot of bite in her tone.

“Yes ma’am,” Brawn replied.

“Now, about my winnings…” Kia said with a smirk.

“What would you like me to do?” Brawn asked with a gulp.

Looking around Kia noticed her new partner doing curls with his back to the group. Bakugou had put his earbuds in and cranked the music up to drown out any other noise. Smiling she leaned in close to whisper in Brawn’s ear.

“Ok and who is your partner?” Brawn asked.

Smiling, Kia pointed over to Bakugou. “Ground Zero”

Brawn paled and the people close to Bakugou started moving away from the unaware hero. “I’m sorry, is there anything else you would have me do?” Brawn pleaded.

“No, I think this will really make you reflect on your actions,” Kia replied.

Trembling, Brawn stood up and made his way over to Bakugou. The other heroes stood back waiting to see what Kia had told the losing hero to do. Bakugou’s back was still towards Brawn when the hero reached him. Raising his hand back, Brawn slapped Bakugou on the ass just as he had done to Kia.
Bakugou froze mid curl. Setting down his weights and taking out his earbuds, he turned around to find a trembling Brawn. After glancing up at Kia, who was having trouble not laughing, Bakugou said, “So you lost huh?”

“S-sure d-did K-Kitten.” Brawn stammered out.

Bakugou literally exploded.

Chapter Text

Kia made a quick exit as Bakugou lost his temper. Heading back to the locker room, she showered and changed before heading to the office she shared with her hotheaded partner. Opening the door, she saw the empty desk that was now hers. Looking over at Bakugou’s desk, she saw a large stack of papers waiting.

I will have to make it up to him somehow, she thought to herself, setting her bag down on her desk. She started setting up her things when she heard him coming.

BAAM! The door to the office blasted open revealing Bakugou standing there with his hair still dripping from his shower.

“WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?” Bakugou demanded. Stomping over to Kia’s desk, he slammed his palm down, activating his quirk to blow blackened dents in its shiny surface.

“Well, for one, it was hilarious,” Kia replied waving smoke out of her face. “And two, that guy needed to be taught a lesson.”

“NEXT TIME LEAVE MY ASS OUT OF IT!” Bakugou bellowed, “OR DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO GET SOMEONE ELSE TO FINISH YOUR FIGHTS?”

“I don’t need anyone to finish my fights,” Kia replied. “I figured it would be fun to mess with you. Why not kill two birds with one stone?”

“DIE, YOU BITCH!” Bakugou said, igniting another blast on her desk.

“Geeze, hothead, calm down! I didn’t think it was that bad of a prank,” Kia sighed. “Tell you what: to make it up to you, I’ll help you with that mountain of paperwork on your desk.”

“You think that will make us even?” Bakugou replied. “No one makes a fool out of me.”

“Alright, then how can I make it up to you?” Kia asked.

“You can do all my paperwork for the next month,” Bakugou said with a grin.

Kia gave him a huge smile. “Sounds good to me, but you are going to have to show me how to fill them out and where to take and file them. I don’t want to mess up and give you a bad name,” she said smirking.

“You planned this didn’t you?” Bakugou asked.

“What do you mean? There is no way I would use this opportunity to force my partner, who is reluctant to show me anything, how to do things in this agency,” Kia said sarcastically.

“DAMN YOU!” Bakugou yelled, igniting his palms on her desk again.

Standing up from her chair, Kia leaned over the desk and came nose to nose with Bakugou. “Go ahead and try to intimidate and scare me all you want. I’m a hell of a lot tougher than you think I am,” she said, looking him in the eyes.

Bakugou began to retort but the phone on Kia’s desk rang. Picking it up Bakugou answered. “WHAT?”

“You and Hales… in my office… now…” Best Jeanist said over the phone.

“Who the hell is Hales?” Bakugou bellowed.

“I am you butthead,” Kia said walking towards the door. Opening it, she stepped to the side and waited for Bakugou to lead the way. “You could at least learn your partner’s name.”

“What the hell did you call me?” Bakugou growled.

“You heard me, Butthead,” Kia glared.

“Listen here Sunshine; if you don’t want me to make your life hell I would suggest not calling me that.” Bakugou threatened.

“Sunshine?” Kia asked.

“Cause of that fucking smile of yours. You’re all sunshine and rainbows and its fucking annoying!” Bakugou replied, stomping out of their office.

“How would you know?” Kia said in a low voice. “You know nothing about me.”

She followed Bakugou to the top floor where Jeanist was waiting for them. The hero was sitting behind his desk with his hands folded. “Please tell me why you two thought it would be ok to destroy half of the gym?” Jeanist asked as the two young heroes sat down.

“It’s my fault,” Kia said.

“Damn right it is,” Bakugou huffed.

“Both of you will be paying for the damages,” Jeanist stated.

“But she…” Bakugou started.

“She may have initiated it, but you are the one who actually did the damage,” Jeanist interrupted. “Likewise, Brawn is getting a week long suspension and will be required to take sexual harassment classes. However, after the beating you two gave him, I think he learned his lesson well. In the future don’t use your partner to teach coworkers a lesson, Miss Hales. We do have an HR office that will handle any problems.”

“Yes sir, I’m sorry for my actions, I let my anger get the better of me.” Kia said with a bow.

“I believe the one you owe an apology to is Bakugou,” Jeanist replied.

“Oh no,” Kia said eyes going wide.

“Hell yeah,” Bakugou said with a smirk.

Gritting her teeth and turning towards her partner, Kia gave him a slight bow. “I’m sorry for using you like that, Bakugou…” she forced out.

“You should also say how I’m the best hero,” Bakugou teased.

“Don’t push your luck, Butthead.” Kia smiled.

“I told you never to call me that,” he snarled back.

“Whatever then, B,” Kia rolled her eyes.

“That is enough you two,” Jeanist said, “You will both go start cleaning up the gym and getting it ready for repairs. Bakugou knows where the janitor’s closet is, you should find all you need in there.”

“Yes, sir,” the two replied.

They both made their way down to the agency gym, stopping along the way to grab brooms and a garbage can. Opening the gym doors, Kia stopped. The mess was a lot bigger than she was expecting. Mirrors were shattered and almost all of the equipment was toppled over. One of the benches was a twisted mess and the bar was stuck in the wall.

“I think you went a little overboard,” Kia said, looking over at Bakugou.

He walked up to the bar and pulled it out of the wall. “He got what he deserved,” he said.

Blinking, Kia thought; does he mean for what Brawn did to me? Looking at the destruction of the gym she asked, “You didn’t almost kill him did you?”

“I’m a hero, Sunshine…we don’t try and kill people,” Bakugou replied.

Smiling, Kia walked over to an overturned bench and picked it up. Setting it right again on the mat she giggled. “The look on your face was priceless though,” she told him.

“Go die,” Bakugou grunted.

“Thanks B,” Kia said softly.

Bakugou merely grunted in response.

After a couple of hours, the two had picked up all of the broken glass and had been able to set the equipment upright. All that seemed to have gotten destroyed beside the glass was one workout bench and the mat it sat on.

“Well that didn’t take too long,” Kia said. Turning to Bakugou, she smiled.

“What the hell are you smiling about?” He asked.

“I think it was completely worth it,” Kia replied.

“Tch,” Bakugou turned to hide the smile pulling at his lips. “Let’s go dump this last barrel of garbage. You have a lot of paperwork to get done.”

“Still worth it,” Kia said grabbing the brooms.

%%%%%

“HAHAHAHAHA!” Kirishima roared. “She actually got someone to slap you on the ass!”

“Shut up,” Bakugou said as he took a drink.

He had met up with Kirishima at one of their favorite bars that evening. Apparently the news had spread fast that Ground Zero’s new partner had gotten him to beat up another hero. Someone at the gym had been videoing the whole thing and it now had quite a few hits on YouTube.

“I want to meet her even more now. Maybe she is a good match for you,” Kirishima said as he started watching the video again. “She is pretty strong, what is her quirk?” he asked Bakugou.

Bakugou sat his drink down. “Don’t know, I never asked.”

“Seriously? What about her name? Did you even ask her that?” Kirishima asked.

“Who cares? I don’t need a partner anyway,” Bakugou said taking another drink.

“Dude, how are you going to work with her if you don’t know her name or what her quirk is?” Kirishima asked. “It’s nice to have someone to back you up. You should actually try to work with someone before you decide against it.”

“Shut up, Kirishima,” Bakugou glared at his friend. “Sunshine can go back to America for all I care.”

“Sunshine?” Kirishima said. “Well at least you’re calling her something decent.”

“Go to hell!” Bakugou hollered at his friend.

“Seriously, Bakugou, just give it a chance! It might not be so bad,” Kirishima told him. “I still want to meet her, too.”

“Whatever,” Bakugou said as he finished his drink. They were supposed to go on patrol tomorrow so he probably better give this partner thing a try.

Chapter Text

When Bakugou got to the office he was surprised to see a cup of coffee and a note sitting on his desk. It read:

*B,
I headed down to support to pick up my costume. I will meet you in the foyer. Enjoy the coffee the gal at the shop across the street said it was what you usually order.
Sunshine*

Bakugou picked up the cup and gave it a curious sniff. It smelled like straight black coffee, so he took a sip. She must be trying to play nice, Bakugou thought to himself. He then headed down to the locker rooms to get into costume. Making his way to the foyer of the building, he ran into Best Jeanist, who was talking with his assistant, Nina.

“Good morning, Ground Zero,” Best Jeanist greeted. “Where is Wildside?”

“Huh? Oh, she is supposed to be meeting me here after she gets her costume.” Bakugou replied.

“Well it seems you’re putting in an effort…” Jeanist looked pleased. “I expect you to show her the ropes.”

“Yes, sir…” Bakugou turned away rolling his eyes. Looking up, he caught his breath as Wildside made her way over to him.
Her costume was a complete bodysuit that fit her like a second skin. It was black starting at the torso, and then faded its way to a dark green then purple going down her arms and legs. Her slim waist sported a utility belt, and on her feet she wore boots with flexible soles that went up to about mid-calf. She wore a simple black mask and her hair was braided down her back. A large red X crossed her chest.

“Miss Hales, you look stunning!” Jeanist said walking up to his new employee.

“I’m not sure about the design,” Kia said, turning for Jeanist to see. “They weren’t kidding about having matching elements for costumes.”

“I think it looks good on you,” Jeanist assured her.

“It fits perfect and it is comfortable,” Kia replied. “I think they got the pattern right, but I won’t know for sure until I use my quirk.” Turning to her partner, she asked, “What do you think, B?”

“Its fine,” He replied, turning around and heading for the door. Hurrying after him, Kia waved to Best Jeanist.

“Good luck!” Best Jeanist called out as the two exited the building. “Well, it looks like Bakugou is as closed off as ever. I really hoped that he would give it a chance,” Jeanist said to his assistant.

“I wouldn’t be so quick to think that he won’t,” Nina giggled.

“What do you mean?” Best Jeanist asked.

“Didn’t you see his face when she walked up?” Nina asked.

“No, why?” Jeanist replied.

“Oh, never mind… men can be so clueless!” Nina sighed.

%%%%%

Bakugou turned down the street, stomping towards his usual patrol route. Kia caught up to him just to have him speed up his pace.

“What is the matter? If you are pissed about my costume, I can ask them to change it again. Honestly, I think they might have riffed off of yours a little too much,” Kia said to Bakugou’s back.

“Your costume is fine,” Bakugou snapped. “Let’s just get to work.” Bakugou turned left down the next street into an area with a lot of small publically owned stores.

“Do you usually take this route?” Kia asked.

“Yes,” Bakugou replied. Stopping, he reached into his pocket pulling out and earpiece radio and handed it to her.

“Thanks,” Kia said, placing the radio in her ear. They continued walking down the street when an owner from a small grocery store called out to them.

“Hey, Ground Zero!” an older gentleman called out.

“Hey old man,” Bakugou said, walking over to him.

“Looks like you’ve got yourself a new partner, eh?” the old guy said, giving Bakugou a wink.

“Hello sir, my name is Wildside,” Kia said with a bow.

“It’s nice to meet you,” the old guy replied, “My name is Yuichi Kawahara. I own this store.”

“It is nice to meet you as well, Mr. Kawahara,” Kia said with a smile.

“Hahahah! How did a nice girl like you get stuck with a foul-mouthed guy like him?” Mr. Kawahara laughed.

“Just unlucky, I guess,” Kia responded, laughing.

“What did you say, old man?” Bakugou hollered.

“Ground Zero must be here,” an old woman said, walking out of the store carrying a box of apples.

“Wildside, I would like you to meet my wife Yuki,” Mr. Kawahara said, ignoring Bakugou.

“It is nice to meet you ma’am. Let me help you with that,” Kia said, walking over to the old woman.

“Oh, aren’t you a dear,” Mrs. Kawahara said, handing over the box. The two women walked to the end of the store to put the apples on display.

“Looks like Jeanist gave you a beauty to work with. Maybe he thinks a pretty face might get you to use some manners,” Mr. Kawahara said giving Bakugou a nudge.

“Tch,” Bakugou turned away.

“So, you are from America? Your Japanese is so good!” Mrs. Kawahara asked as she and Kia walked back over to where her husband and Bakugou stood.

“Thanks, I learned to speak multiple languages when I was very young. Best Jeanist is friends with my old employer and he suggested me as a partner for Ground Zero, so I transferred.” Kia replied.

“Oh? Well, I wish you luck my dear. Ground Zero could use a good partner…. don’t let his bad attitude fool you, he has a kind heart,” Mrs. Kawahara, said ending with a whisper.

“I will keep that in mind,” Kia said.

“Oi, Sunshine let’s keep going,” Bakugou said, turning and walking down the street.

“It was nice to meet both of you!” Kia said before turning to catch up to her partner. “They really like you,” she informed Bakugou, but he just ignored her. They made their way down the street filled with small stores before working their way over to the next street. The street they were walking down now was full of entertainment stores like arcades and restaurants. Kia kept an eye on their surroundings making sure to memorize the streets and the patrol routes Bakugou was taking her on.

“Ground Zero!” someone called out from behind them.

Stopping and turning around, Kia saw three young boys running up to them. One had on a black t-shirt with a big red X on the front while another’s shirt had Ground Zero written on the front. The smallest boy’s shirt looked like there was an explosion on it.

“What are you brats up to?” Bakugou asked.

“Who’s the chick?” the leader of their group asked.

“You better learn to show respect to heroes, kid…” Kia said, raising an eyebrow at him.

“She is my new partner. You three been staying out of trouble?” Bakugou replied.

“Yes, sir!” the three said, snapping to attention.

“You guys see anything suspicious going on?” Bakugou asked them.

“No, sir!” the littlest of the group piped up.

“Good work, if you do see anything call me or go to the police, got it?” Bakugou told them.

“Yes, sir!” they all replied.

“Excuse me. What is your name lady?” the littlest asked Kia.

“You can call me Wildside,” Kia said smiling down at the youngster.

“My name is Hiro,” He replied.

“I’m Haru, and this is Kuro,” the leader of the little group said, pointing to himself and the other kid.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you all,” Kia replied.

“What is your quirk?” Haru asked.

“It’s a secret,” Kia replied, putting a finger to her lips.

“Why?” little Hiro asked.

“That’s because Ground Zero hasn’t even asked me what it is yet,” Kia replied.

“Alright you brats, get out of here!” Bakugou said, turning to leave.

“See you, boys!” Kia waved. The boys waved and then ran off in the direction of one of the arcades.

“So you have some little helpers, huh,” Kia asked her partner.

“Tch, I caught those three trying to steal from one of the local electronic stores a couple years ago,” Bakugou replied. “Figured I could give them something to do to keep them out of trouble.”

“Guess you got yourself a couple of super fans in the process?” Kia laughed.

“I’ve got more fans than those three,” Bakugou informed her.

“How bad did you have to scare them?” Kia teased.

“What is that supposed --” Bakugou started, but Kia interrupted him.

“Shush!” She said, tilting her head.

“What are you - ?” Bakugou started again.

“I said quiet!” Kia said, holding up her hand. Bakugou felt his anger rising until he looked at his partner. She had closed her eyes and he realized that she was listening for something.

“Someone is robbing Mr. Kawahara’s shop!” Kia said taking off towards the next intersection, “You blast off over the buildings and I will meet you there.”

“Wait, how do you know that?” Bakugou asked.

“Just trust me!” she yelled as she turned the corner.

Gritting his teeth, Bakugou used his quirk to propel himself over buildings towards Mr. Kawahara’s shop. She must be able to hear long distance, he thought as the store came into view. Sure enough two men came running out of the store as Bakugou crested the building across the street.

“Shit it’s Ground Zero!” the first one yelled. Blades came out of his arms as his partner took off down the street.

Bakugou blasted his way towards the blade guy. I will take out this asshole first, and then I’ll go after his friend! he thought to himself. When he landed the thief rushed at him swinging an arm wide to slash at Bakugou. Dodging, Bakugou aimed a small blast up under the guy’s arm. Stunned, the guy faltered back a few steps. Bakugou lunged forward. Grabbed the guy by the face he slammed him into the ground giving him another small blast for good measure.

Making sure the guy was out cold, Bakugou looked up to see the other thief already three blocks away. Damn, it he must have a speed related quirk, he thought. Just then, he saw Kia come flying out of the intersection in front of the thief. The thief, noticing the female hero, sped up even more blowing past her as she gave chase, easily keeping up with him.
Bakugou took to the air using his quirk to chase after the pair. Just then, Kia jumped. Flames licked her hands and feet as they blasted her forward. Gaining on the thief, Kia spun and kicked the perp in the side before slamming him into the brick wall next to them.

Landing, she spun to face the thief, who pulled out a knife of his own and rushed towards her. Kia met the man head-on as the blade came down on her arm, slicing through her costume and revealing purple scales underneath. Taking advantage of the thief’s shock, Kia grabbed his wrist and twisted the blade away. She brought her knee up into the man’s gut, knocking the air from his lungs. The man fell to his knees, clutching his stomach. Kia spun, kicking the man in the side of the head and effectively knocking him out.
Bakugou landed as Kia took out a pair of cuffs and restrained the thief. “I got mine now, where is yours?” Kia asked lifting the thief up.

“What the hell was that?” Bakugou asked, gawking at his partner.

“I’d have thought you’d know a quirk when you saw one?” Kia replied.

Walking back to the store, Bakugou cuffed his thief while Kia saw to it that the old couple was ok. They then took their catch to the nearest police station and filled out the required paperwork. After they were done, they headed back to the agency to make their report.

Once they got to the office, Bakugou rounded on his partner. “What the hell is your quirk?”

“You are finally going to ask?” Kia replied.

“Just tell me already!” Bakugou yelled.

“Why the hell are you yelling at me? Would it kill you to ask nicely?” Kia yelled back.

“Come on, Sunshine, stop being difficult,” Bakugou replied.

“I’m being difficult?!” Kia yelled, her eyes glowing dangerously as her temper rose. “What is my name?”

“Who the fuck cares? You will be gone soon, anyways!” Bakugou yelled back.

“It’s Kia! Kia Hales you idiot!” Kia yelled as Bakugou watched scales appear across her cheeks and make their way down her jaw. Her pupils’ elongated and sharp canines poked out of her mouth. “You think you can get rid of me so easy that you don’t even have to learn my name? Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not going anywhere and nothing you do can make me!”

Bakugou was taken aback by what he was seeing. Sunshine looked dangerous; her fingertips even sported some nasty looking claws. Kia turned and stomped over to his desk and started searching through papers. Finding what she was looking for, she came back and shoved a yellow envelope into his chest.

“Why don’t you trying reading this, you ass! I’m going to support… and don’t worry I will fill out the paperwork before I leave,” Kia said as she left the office.
Bakugou was stunned. No one but his mother had ever yelled at him like that. Looking down at the envelope in his hands, he decided to open it. It was an information packet on his new partner.

Name: Kia Hales
Age: 21
Quirk: Dragon & Nitrogen Manipulation
Country of Origin: United States of America
Previous Agency: Spotlight Corp.
Education:
High School: US Hero High
Middle School: Not Available

“So…she has two quirks?” Bakugou read out-loud. He was going to have to talk to her about her abilities. She knew he could use his quirk to fly through the air so she had obviously done her homework on him.

Damn it! Why am I so pissed anyway? Bakugou thought to himself. She wasn’t in the way today… she was even helpful! I can’t even remember the last time I enjoyed working with someone. Wait… I enjoyed working with her? Bakugou gritted his teeth. He wasn’t going to admit it to himself yet, but maybe having Kia around wouldn’t be as annoying as he though…

Chapter Text

The next morning Bakugou headed to the agency early to get in a quick workout. Making his way to the gym he could hear someone else using the punching bags. Tch, there goes my morning again, Bakugou thought as he walked through the doors. Moving past the weight equipment he was surprised to see a familiar purple braid and long sleeved workout shirt.

“Good morning,” Kia said, lowering her fists.

Bakugou nodded before heading over to the treadmills. Picking one closer to where Kia was training Bakugou started a slow jog. Putting in one of his ear buds he turned his music on. He watched as his new partner struck the punching bag noticing her movements were fluid and precise. She’d had a lot of training in hand-to-hand combat.

Kia kept punching a series of hits her mentor had taught her in high school focusing on just working her muscles. “Do you always stare at others like that?” she asked Bakugou, giving the bag a last hit.

“Only when I’m studying their combat skills,” Bakugou replied.

“You want to know what I’m capable of.” Kia turned towards him. “Don’t suppose you would care to find out first hand?”

Bakugou stopped his treadmill. Smiling, he turned off his music, “I thought you would never ask.” Stepping off the machine, he started stretching out his arms. “You sure you are up for this?” he asked walking over to an open mat.

Kia shook out her arms and moved over to face him. “You just worry about yourself, B,” she replied, taking her stance.
Bakugou examined her stance and found it was solid, with her hands and arms positioned well to protect her face and sides as need be. She was in a defensive position and waited for him to make the first move.

Bakugou dropped into his fighting stance, “Gym rules, no quirks for hand-to-hand.”

“Don’t want to be paying to fix this place again now, do we?” Kia teased.

Bakugou moved forward bringing his right arm around in a big right hook. Kia ducked, dodging his swing as she moved to kick his feet out from underneath him. Bakugou jumped back, avoiding her attempt to knock him down. She then lunged at him, throwing in a punch of her own. Bakugou sidestepped to avoid her punch but, Kia whirled to meet him and threw in a combination that had Bakugou stepping back. Deflecting her blows, Bakugou continued to advance while throwing in punches of his own.

Kia avoided them all and moved back out of his reach. She aimed a kick for Bakugou’s shoulder. He caught her foot in one hand. Quickly, Kia twisted her body pulling her foot from his grasp, landing on her feet and hands. Bakugou kicked, missing his partner as she tucked and rolled away from him, landing back on her feet.

“Not too bad Sunshine. You’re fast,” Bakugou said, crouching back down into a fighting stance.

“Your reflexes are amazing,” Kia told him, darting in towards her partner.

They exchanged blows with ease, each deflecting the other as they danced around on the mat. Suddenly, Bakugou grabbed Kia’s wrist as she aimed a punch at his face. Twisting her arm around behind her back, he aimed a punch for her side, which she caught with her other hand.

“What are you going to do now?” he asked with a smirk.

“Play dirty,” Kia replied, as she stepped into him. Letting go of his arm, she brought her hand to his chest and softly tranced down the hard muscles all the way down to his abs.

Startled, Bakugou’s hold on her other arm loosed and Kia used the opportunity to break his hold, spinning out of his reach.

“I guess you are a normal man under that big ego,” Kia laughed.

Gritting his teeth, Bakugou took after her without holding back as he tried to gain the advantage. Kia ducked and twisted, making sure to stay out of Bakugou’s grasp. Finally, after what Bakugou thought was too damn long, he got a hold of one of her wrists. Twisting her into him he grabbed her other hand.

“Don’t think I will be falling for that again,” Bakugou gloated.

“No, this time I think I will just have you fall for me,” Kia replied.

“What?” Bakugou said as he felt her hook one of his legs. Kia shoved him backwards, causing them both to fall with her landing on top of him. Kia pulled herself up to straddle his stomach and hold him down. Bakugou still had a hold of her wrists and Kia locked her hands around his in turn.

“Looks like we are at an impasse?” Kia said smiling down at him.

“I don’t think so, Sunshine,” He replied, bucking into her and rolling over. However, he underestimated the strength of her grip on his wrists and found himself falling face first into her chest, their hands pinned beneath their combined body weight.

“Uhm, are we interrupting something?” a voice interjected.

Kia and Bakugou let go of each other, scrambling to untangle themselves from their current position. Two other heroes from the agency stood there staring wide-eyed at the two.
“IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!” Bakugou yelled at them. The two heroes turned and hurried off to the far side of the room to escape Bakugou’s rage.

“Oh my, I think the great Ground Zero is blushing!” Kia said, trying to step in front of Bakugou to look.

“Shut up!” Bakugou hollered, storming towards the door.

“Aw, are you embarrassed that you stuck your face in my--” Kia started to tease, but found herself cut off by his rage once again.

“SHUT UP!” Bakugou roared, leaving the gym. He could hear Kia laughing the whole way to the locker room, the blush he felt across his cheeks making him slam the door on his way out.

Kia left the gym and headed to the women’s locker room. Grabbing an extra set of clothes, she headed to the showers. She stepped into a stall, turning the water on cold. Her heart was racing and she could feel the heat in her cheeks. What is wrong with me? she thought, I’ve ended up in awkward positions before and never felt like this. She had teased
Bakugou because there was no way she was letting the chance to mess with him get away. After washing her hair and body she stepped out, toweling off before pulling on a pair of jeans and a long sleeved shirt.

Making her way to the office, she opened the door to see Bakugou already working on entering written reports into the computer. He was in full costume except for his gauntlets, which sat beside his desk.

“Are we patrolling again today?” Kia asked, sitting down at her desk.

“Yeah, where is your costume?” Bakugou growled, not looking up from his computer.

“Getting fixed, they said it should be done by nine,” Kia told him, looking at the clock. It was almost 8am. Looking back at him, Kia sighed. “I’m sorry I teased you. I know it was an accident, just don’t let it happen again or I will have to kick your butt.”

“I’d like to see you try,” Bakugou said, glaring up at her with a smirk.

Kia rolled her eyes before turning to the stack of papers on her own desk. At a quarter to nine, she left to go get her costume from support. While walking there, Nina, Best Jeanist’s assistant, called out from behind her. “Wildside, how are you doing?” she asked.

“Good, how are you? It’s Nina, right?” Kia stopped and waited for the woman to catch up.

“That’s right! How are things going with you and your partner?” Nina asked.

“Eh… off and on,” Kia replied.

“I’m impressed you are getting along with him even a little bit. He can be difficult to handle most of the time,” Nina said.

“I’m determined to gain a footing here, so I’m not going to let his yelling scare me off,” Kia replied.

“So, how is looking for an apartment going? Jeanist said you were staying at a local hotel,” Nina inquired.

“Finding something else isn’t going very well, actually. I haven’t had a lot of time to search, and the hotel is getting expensive,” Kia frowned.

“Well, I will keep an ear out and let you know if I hear of anything! We should exchange contact information,” Nina told her.

“Thanks, I really appreciate it,” Kia said pulling out her phone and putting in Nina’s contact number. “Sorry to cut our chat short, but I have to go and get my costume so I can meet Ground Zero for patrol,” Kia told her.

“No worries! I will see you later, ok?” Nina said, putting away her own phone and walking off down the hall while Kia turned and headed off to get her costume.

Nina headed down to the hero offices were she had to drop off some paperwork to a few of the heroes. As she passed by Ground Zero and Wildside’s office, she paused and decided to knock on the door.

“Come in,” Bakugou called from inside.

“Sorry to bother you, Ground Zero, but I have a quick question for you,” Nina said, opening the door.

“What?” Bakugou growled, still scowling at his computer.

“You live in a nice apartment complex not too far from the agency, don’t you?” Nina asked curiously.

“Yes, what of it?” Bakugou asked, looking up at the assistant.

“Do you know if there are any apartments available?” Nina asked innocently.

“I know the one next to me is open. Why do want to know?” Bakugou questioned.

“I’m just helping out a friend. Could I get the manager’s number from you?” Nina replied.

“They better not be annoying. I don’t need another shitty neighbor,” Bakugou said, pulling out a slip of paper and jotting down the number.

“They aren’t, I promise,” Nina said, taking the paper from him with a slight bow.

Bakugou turned back towards his computer as Nina exited the room. Walking off down the hall, she pulled out her phone and sent the apartment manager’s number to a hero she knew was looking for a place. Giggling to herself, Nina walked to the next office.

Chapter Text

Patrol was going smoothly. Bakugou took Kia on a different patrol route than usual. It went through a busier part of town with large shops and a lot of foot traffic. Bakugou’s intimidating figure split the crowds easily enough for them to pass through unhindered. A few braver souls called out to the hero, asking about his new partner. Kia would stop and introduce herself to the curious citizens. That made Bakugou’s temper rise and he kept threatening to leave her behind.

“Hey, I’m a new hero so I have to get my name out there,” Kia told him as she waved to the people she had just been talking to.

“We are supposed to be on patrol not signing autographs,” Bakugou snapped at her.

“Well, the only one getting asked for autographs is you, so…” Kia said.

“Shut up,” he snarled.

“Hey, it doesn’t kill you to act a little friendly towards them. Gaining the favor of the citizens is one way to become the number one hero,” Kia lectured.

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Bakugou said, ending the conversation.

Most of the time they walked in complete silence. Kia would ask questions every so often about the route or the buildings and their owners and Bakugou would always answer her with short, clipped sentences. She tried starting a conversation with him a couple of times but he just ignored her.

It was later in the day as they moved through a street filled with restaurants. Kia’s stomach rumbled at the amazing smells wafting from the buildings. She was just thinking about
getting something to eat when Bakugou spoke up first.

“You hungry?” he asked.

“What?” she asked him, surprised by his question.

“Are you hungry?” Bakugou asked again.

“Yeah, I was just thinking we should get something to eat,” she replied.

“Follow me,” Bakugou said, turning to cross the street.

Curious, Kia followed her partner as he moved a few blocks down to a smaller restaurant. When they walked up to the entrance, Bakugou stopped and held the door open for her.
Kia stared at her partner, not believing what she was seeing.

“Are you going to go in or not?” Bakugou growled.

“Yes, thank you,” Kia said, stepping through the door quickly. She followed Bakugou over to one of the small two seater tables against the wall. It was a nice little restaurant with a homey atmosphere. The lighting was low and there weren’t very many people, so it was quiet. As Kia looked around as the waitress came over.

“Welcome back!” the waitress said. The woman looked to be in her forties, and gave them both a warm smile. “It is rare for you to bring someone along, Ground Zero.”

“My name is Wildside, I’m his new partner,” Kia introduce herself.

“It’s is a pleasure to meet you. I am Sukimi, my husband and I run this restaurant,” Sukimi replied. “What can I get the two of you today?”

“I will have the usual,” Bakugou said, not even looking at the menu.

“I will have the same,” Kia decided. Bakugou and Sukimi both looked at her with surprise.

“Are you sure?” Sukimi asked. “Don’t you want to ask what it is?”

“If B eats here a lot he must know what’s good,” Kia replied.

“Ok…” Sukimi said, turning to go put in the order.

“I’m the first partner you brought to this place?” Kia asked Bakugou.

“Don’t read into it,” he replied. “I was hungry and this place was close.”

“Sounds good to me,” Kia said as she studied some of the wall décor.

They sat in silence for a little while until Bakugou asked her a question, “So your quirks… what all can you do?”

Surprised, Kia turned her attention back on her partner. Bakugou had never tried starting a conversation before, so she had expected that they would sit in silence and wait for their food.

“You opened the envelope?” she asked.

“Yes, but it didn’t give me any details on your abilities,” Bakugou answered. “I’m guessing you have heightened senses, and I saw the scales and talons at the office. Is there any more to it?”

“Yeah, transforming like I did at the office happens sometimes with really strong emotions,” Kia said, “I do have heightened senses and abilities. They are elevated when I activate my dragon quirk. My scales are like armor, not much can penetrate them.”

“Can you change completely into a dragon?” Bakugou asked.

Kia hesitated, “Yes… I can… but for certain reasons it is unstable, so I only use partial transformations.”

“Why is it unstable?” he continued. Kia’s expression turned vacant as she took a minute to answer. Bakugou could tell she was thinking carefully about her response.

Kia took a deep breath, “My past is not as bright and shiny as you might think. There are things I went through that have left… repercussions. It is nothing for you to worry about and it shouldn’t interfere with our work. If there is something you need to know about, I will inform you, but I’m not ready or willing to tell you all the details yet. I hope you can understand?”

“Is there anything I need to know?” Bakugou asked, irritated.

“I have trained constantly to have complete control over my emotions so I don’t lose control. However, if I ever did completely transform, don’t do anything that could be seen as a threat or a challenge. The best thing to do would be to evacuate the area. If I did attack, my nose is very sensitive and a powerful blast could distract and possibly deter me,” Kia responded. “When I transform my mind functions on a primal level and I start reacting on instinct…I become more animal than human.”

“Now the name Wildside makes sense,” Bakugou said.

Kia laughed, “You know, someone actually called me that name about six years ago. It fit so well that I just rolled with it.”

Bakugou studied his partner, thinking about the information she just gave him. Her smile didn’t reach her eyes as she fiddled with a napkin on the table. She had said her past wouldn’t interfere with their job but he couldn’t help but wonder what exactly her past held. At that moment, Kia didn’t look like the Sunshine he had been working with the last couple of days.

Sukimi came up to their table carrying to bowls and sat them down on the table in front of them. “Here you go, I hope you enjoy!” she said cheerfully.

Kia could smell the hot spices rising from the noodles and shrimp that sat in a red sauce. She looked up to see Bakugou and Sukimi watching her. They were obviously waiting for her to take the first bite. Grinning at them, she picked up her chopsticks, plucked a shrimp from the bowl, and popped it in her mouth. Instantly, her taste buds were assaulted by the flavor. It was very spicy, but Kia loved it.

“This is amazing!” she gushed, “I haven’t been able to find any really good spicy food since I got here.”

“Well, I’m glad you like it!” Sukimi said as she left their table.

“So, you like spicy food?” Bakugou asked as he picked up his chopsticks. “I’ve never seen anyone else be able to stomach this dish.”

“I love spicy food,” Kia said, slurping some noodles. “The hotter, the better.”

“You sure you can take the heat?” Bakugou asked, taking a bite of his own.

“You know, you still haven’t asked me the second most asked question people ask when they find out what my quirk is,” Kia said, taking another bite.

Bakugou stared at her for a few seconds before it dawned on him, “You can breathe fire?”

“Yep,” she replied.

“That’s cool,” Bakugou said giving her a smile.

Kia paused in taking her next bite. Looking at Bakugou with surprise she gave him a soft smile. He couldn’t place the look in her eyes.

“What?” he asked, confused.

“You should smile like that more,” Kia told him.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Bakugou asked even more confused.

“The way you just smiled, it looked really nice,” she replied.

“Tch,” Bakugou turned away, feeling embarrassed.

“And he’s back!” Kia laughed. Bakugou couldn’t help but laugh along with her. “You know, this stuff is pretty spicy, but it is still just only making the top ten of the hottest foods I’ve ever eaten,” Kia said, gesturing to the bowl in front of her.

“Really?” Bakugou asked skeptically.

“Yep, I can make a nine alarm chili that will bring you to tears,” Kia gloated.

“You think so?” Bakugou challenged. “I can handle a lot of heat.”

“I will have to make it for you sometime,” Kia said, taking another bite.

“Now you’re going to have to,” Bakugou replied. As they both sat there eating the meal they talked about the different foods they liked to eat. It turned out they both like to eat raw peppers. They also swapped stories about the hottest foods they had eaten. When they finished their bowls Sukimi, came to take them.

“I’m impressed you ate that whole bowl and didn’t even have to ask for a pitcher of water,” Sukimi said to Kia. “The only customer we have that eats this dish is Ground Zero. He brought Red Riot here to try it once but the poor man was practically in tears.”

“Red Riot? Who is that?” Kia asked.

“We went to school together. He is a hero in another part of town,” Bakugou replied.

“Don’t let him fool you,” Sukimi chimed in. “Red Riot is his best friend.”

“So, when do I get to meet your best friend?” Kia asked. “I need to compare notes on how to handle your moods swings.”

“Shut up,” Bakugou rolled his eyes.

“What, you don’t want me to meet him?” Kia asked.

“No, the red idiot has been bugging me about meeting you,” Bakugou growled.

“Really, why?” she asked.

“He saw the video of what happened with that muscle head at the gym,” Bakugou replied.

Kia busted out laughing. “He saw that and wants to meet me? He must have a pretty good sense of humor.”

“He thought it was hilarious too,” Bakugou deadpanned.

“So, when do I get to meet him?” Kia asked.

“Never,” was his short reply.

“Aww, come on, B, I’m going to have to meet him sooner or later,” Kia prodded.

“What about your other quirk?” Bakugou asked, trying to change the subject.

“Deflecting, are we?” Kia accused.

“Just answer the question,” Bakugou demanded. “What does it mean by nitrogen manipulation?”

“I can manipulate nitrogen by combining it with other elements and create different reactions, even change its form.” Kia replied, letting him change the subject.

“Is that how you’re able to breathe fire?” Bakugou asked.

“In a way,” Kia replied. “We weren’t sure if it was a part of my dragon quirk or not, since I can use it independently from the other. Plus, I don’t just breathe fire. I can shoot it from my hands and feet or cover my whole body with it.”

“You said you can create different reactions?” Bakugou asked.

“I can use it in a gas or liquid form and I can cause it to just burn like a flame or explode. I’ve even been able to use it to bolster other fire user’s attacks giving them more range or power,” Kia informed him.

“So, that is how Jeanist thinks our quirks are a good match,” Bakugou said.

“That, and my scales can defend against your explosions if need be,” Kia added

“You said you could make nitrogen into a liquid form. You don’t mean as in liquid nitrogen, do you?” Bakugou asked.

“Yes, but it is more complicated. It freezes so quickly that it can do too much harm to the target, or even freeze myself,” she replied.

“I suppose rapid heating and cooling can be a problem?” Bakugou inquired.

“Yes, depending on the quantities I use. I also have to have an understanding of how things react or form together so I don’t mess up and cause a huge reaction,” Kia said.

Looking at the clock, Bakugou stood up from the table. “We can talk more about this later. We better get back to work.”

“Do you want to keep patrolling?” Kia asked, standing up.

“We will for a couple more hours, then we can head back to the office to take care of a few things there,” Bakugou replied, making his way to the counter. “I was thinking about doing a few night patrols the end of this week.”

“Sounds good to me,” Kia said, reaching into her belt to pay for her food.

“I’ve got it,” Bakugou said, handing Sukimi money for the meal.

“Thanks, B, you didn’t have to do that,” Kia said.

“Just drop it and let’s get to work,” Bakugou snapped.

They exited the restaurant and headed back down the street, continuing their patrol.

Chapter Text

Bakugou and Kia continued their patrol in silence, keeping a watchful eye on everything around them. Kia noticed that Bakugo seemed more relaxed around her now. The tense way he held his shoulders was gone and his stride was more purposeful than angry. He was vigilant and liked to patrol without a lot of chatter. Kia didn’t mind the silence at all and only spoke up to ask Bakugo about details of their patrol route. It was getting later in the afternoon and most of the stores would be closing soon so the pair decided to make their way back to the agency when Bakugo’s cell rang.

“What is it?” he answered. Kia could hear Best Jeanist’s voice on the other line.

“Ground Zero, we have been contacted about a bank robbery in the financial district. I’m texting you the address and details now. The villain has a power type quirk and was last reported headed in your direction. Police are in pursuit,” Jeanist informed him.

“We will get him,” Bakugou said before he hung up. Opening his messages he held his phone out so Kia could read the details as well. “Do you think you could locate him?” he asked.

“Give me a minute,” Kia said as she closed her eyes and listened. “I can hear the sirens. They are in that direction; probably twelve blocks away,” she replied, pointing.

“Let’s get moving… and keep listening for any change in direction,” Bakugou ordered as he took off towards the action.

“Alright,” Kia replied, following at his heels.

Bakugou jumped, launching himself into the air and onto the rooftops. Kia followed him, jetting airborne with a blast of her own. They leapt across the rooftops trying not to alert the perp to their approach.

“He turned, and is headed this way,” Kia informed her partner.

Looking ahead, they could see the villain heading in their direction. He was a massive beast-like man and easily three times the size of a regular person. His hands were massive and he used them as well as his feet run. The bag of money was strapped to his back.

Bakugou and Kia jumped down to the street below, ordering citizens nearby to clear the area as the villain came closer. They moved to intercept him, each taking one side of the street as they moved to cut off any escape. The villain saw them and made for the next turn, but Bakugou blasted his way over to stop him. Bringing a hand up, Bakugou let loose an explosion that sent the villain flying back into the middle of the street. The police caught up, cutting off the route the villain had come from, and started directing citizens away, but the sidewalks were packed with those wanting to watch the spectacle. Bakugou and Kia closed in, cutting off the villain’s escape.

“Damn you, heroes!” the villain cried out. “You think you can stop me?”

“We just did. Now hand over the money and give yourself up. If you don’t, I will blast you to hell.” Bakugou threatened, igniting small blasts from his palms.

“Let’s just see about that,” the villain replied. Lunging toward the crowd, the villain grabbed a small boy. “You wouldn’t dare blast me with this kid in the way now, would you?” the villain cackled, holding the boy out in front of him. The small boy looked to be about five years old and the villain’s hand engulfed over half of him.

Bakugou racked his brain, trying to think of a way to hit the villain without harming the child. Something Kia had said earlier echoed in the back of his mind. Looking toward his partner, he met her gaze and she gave a slight nod.

“Let me go and I won’t squeeze this kid to death!” the villain threatened.
Just then, Kia lunged forward. Before the villain could react, she sank her claws into his fingers surrounding the boy. The villain roared in pain, letting go of the boy. Kia grabbed the falling boy then jumped back, spinning around to put herself between him and the villain.

At that moment, Bakugou lunged at the villain, hitting him with a massive blast that sent him flying. When the smoke cleared, the villain lay in the remains of a parked bus, knocked out, and the police moved in to cuff him.

Bakugou stared at his partner crouched on the ground in front of him. Two wings protruded from her back with purple feathers that shimmered with hints of green and blue. They wrapped around in front of her like a protective cocoon. Kia sat up, her wings moving back to a resting position behind her. Her purple tail still curled protectively around the boy in front of her.

“Are you ok?” Kia asked the boy, who nodded. “You were very brave,” she said, giving him a pat on the head.

“Kyo! Kyo!” a woman yelled, running from the crowd. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for saving my boy,” the woman said, embracing her son and looking between Bakugou and Kia.

“You are welcome,” Kia said, giving her a smile.

The police came and took the boy and his mother over to an ambulance to get checked out. Kia stood up, her tail and wings disappearing as she took her human form.

“Are you alright?” Bakugou asked.

“Yep, I’m fireproof, but thanks for asking,” Kia replied. “That was a powerful blast. You almost knocked the air out of me.”

“You knew what I was thinking before I even looked at you,” Bakugou stated.

“I’m good at working with others,” Kia replied. “It is one reason they asked me to be your partner.”

Bakugou looked back to where the police were putting the villain into an iron maiden. A couple of reporters swarmed around the two heroes wanting a statement from them.

“Ground Zero, would you be willing to make a statement?” the first reporter asked, shoving a recorder in Bakugou’s face.

“Was the capture difficult?” a second reporter shoved her recorder in his face too.

“Who is your partner?” appeared a third reporter.

Kia could see Bakugou was getting angry at the pushy reporters. Before he could explode Kia grabbed his shoulder and gave him a small smile when he turned to her.

“Well, I can introduce myself. My name is Wildside, and I just transferred from America,” Kia told the eager reporters.

Bakugou realized what Kia had just done. She drew the attention of the reporters to her, giving him a minute to gather himself so he could make a good impression. The two of them stood there for ten minutes answering all of the reporters’ questions. Finally, the reporters left to question nearby police officers and citizens.

“Well, that didn’t go so bad,” Kia said, smiling at Bakugou.

“Thanks for that,” Bakugou said.

“Hey, it gets on anyone’s nerves when they get overly pushy like that,” Kia replied. “Can I give you a little tip though? Try not to scowl so much next time you get interviewed,” she said, poking him between the eyebrows.

Raising an eyebrow, at her Bakugou grinned, “I will try to remember that next time,” he joked, pushing her hand away lightly.

Kia laughed, “Hey, just trying to help out. We all know how much you need it.”

%%%%%

Eijiro Kirishima made his way to the break room to get a drink after finishing a pile of paperwork. Reaching the breakroom, he saw Mina Ashido sitting on the couch with a couple other heroes watching a live news report on the capture of a bank robber.

Kirishima reached into the fridge to grab a drink when he heard the reporter mention Ground Zero and Wildside. He looked up to see a shot of his best friend standing and talking to his new partner. Leaning against the back of the couch he watched the report and was surprised to see the beautiful hero turn and smile at his friend before reaching up and poking him between the eyebrows. What happened next had Eijiro almost spitting out his drink on, Mina who was sitting in front of him.

“Wow, did you see that?” Mina exclaimed.

“What, the part where Ground Zero actually smiled or the part when he made that lovely heroine laugh?” asked one hero that was watching the broadcast.

“I didn’t even know that guy could smile,” another hero replied, surprise plastered on her face.

“Kirishima, have you ever seen Bakugou smile like that?” Mina turned to ask.

“No, actually, I haven’t,” Kirishima replied, staring at the TV. Amazed, he watched as the new hero talked and laughed with his usually surly friend. He definitely wanted to meet

Bakugo’s new partner now. What kind of person is she to get Bakugou to smile like that? he thought.

Chapter Text

For the rest of the week, Bakugou and Kia found themselves pulling eighteen hour days into the weekend. They were called all over Tokyo to help with both large scale and small scale villains. By the time they got done with the paperwork, they barely had time to eat and sleep before getting called back out. They even had to split up a couple of times so they could cover their own patrol routes. Before they knew it, another week had started and they had a mountain of paperwork to get through.

Kia stopped by a coffee shop before making her way to the agency, picking up a double shot for both her and Bakugou. Walking through the front door, she couldn’t hold back a
yawn.

“Wildside!” Nina called out.

Turning around, Kia saw the assistant walking towards her.

“Nina… what can I do for you?” Kia asked as the woman reached her.

“I was wondering if you had any luck with that apartment I found for you.” Nina asked.

“I have an interview with the building manager tomorrow,” Kia replied. “Hopefully I will be able to move in by the end of the week. I really do appreciate your help in searching.”

“It was my pleasure! You and Ground Zero have been busy lately. I hope you aren’t over doing it,” Nina said.

“I’m a little tired but, hopefully things will slow down soon,” Kia said stifling another yawn.

“Well, make sure you are not overdoing it,” Nina said as she turned to leave. “Let me know how the interview goes.”

“I will,” Kia replied, heading to the elevator. When she got to their office, Kia opened the door to find Bakugou lying back in his chair, sound asleep. Grinning, Kia stepped in and slammed the door behind her.

Startled, Bakugou almost fell out of his chair. “What the hell?” he blurted as he caught himself.

“Morning, sleeping beauty,” Kia said, setting a coffee down on his desk. “Hard at work I see.”

“What time is it?” Bakugou asked, reaching for the cup.

“It is only 8am. How long have you been here?” Kia asked, sitting down at her desk.

“Since five,” he said, taking a drink.

“I don’t know about you, but coffee is the only thing keeping me going,” Kia said, drinking her own coffee. “Is it usually this busy?”

“No,” Bakugou replied. “I’ve been trying to find out why there are so many active villains, but I haven’t found anything yet.”

“No links between the different cases?” Kia asked, sitting down at her desk and pulling out a file.

“Not that I can find,” Bakugou said, waking up his computer.

“I’m going to finish up the paperwork for the last incident we took care of,” Kia told him.

“Alright, I was thinking about taking a patrol down Mr. Kawahara’s street today. Should be a peaceful day,” Bakugou informed his partner.

“Sounds good,” Kia said. “By the way, I need to take off for about an hour or so tomorrow. I’m looking into getting an apartment and I have a meeting with a building manager.”

“That should be fine,” Bakugou replied, stretching.

A couple hours later, the two heroes were suited up and headed to patrol. It was early June and the weather was nice as they headed towards Mr. Kawahara’s store. The old couple was outside working as they made their way down the street.

“Hey, you two!” Mr. Kawahara called out as they approached the store. “You have been pretty busy lately.”

“How have things been around here?” Bakugou asked.

“Peaceful. Nothing has happened since you two caught those thugs that stole from our store,” Mr. Kawahara replied.

“My dears, you both look exhausted!” Mrs. Kawahara said, hurrying over to them. “Have you been eating properly?”

“It has been busy but we are sleeping and eating when we can,” Kia told the woman.

“Stay here and I will go get you something,” Mrs. Kawahara said, rushing into her store.

“Wait, you don’t have to…” Kia started, but the old woman was already gone.

“So, I’ve seen you two on TV a lot lately. Your partnership seems to be going pretty good,” Mr. Kawahara said.

“B isn’t as scary as he thinks he is,” Kia laughed.

“You’re just stubborn,” Bakugou replied nonchalantly.

“Well, please continue doing a good job. We are all counting on you!” Mr. Kawahara told them.

“Indeed we are,” Mrs. Kawahara said as she came out of the store. She had two bottles of water, a bag of bell pepper slices, and a small container of strawberries in her arms.
“Please, take these you two.”

“I appreciate it ma’am, but you really don’t have to,” Kia said.

“Oh, take them anyway, even if it is just to give this old woman some piece of mind.” Mrs. Kawahara smiled.

Kia took the food from the woman, thanking her again for her kindness. Waving goodbye, she handed one of the bottles of water to Bakugou as they continued on their patrol.
Kia reached into the bag of peppers. Pulling out a slice for herself, she stuck it in her mouth before reaching into the bag and pulling out one for Bakugou. “Here, it is probably hard to reach in the bag with your gauntlets on,” she said, holding out the slice for him.

To her surprise, Bakugou bent over and grabbed the pepper from her hand with his mouth. “You’re welcome,” she said, pushing aside the weird feeling in her chest. They walked down the street checking over all the businesses as they shared the bag of peppers. Kia opened the small container of strawberries. Popping one in her mouth, she hummed as the sweet taste spread over her tongue.

“So you like strawberries?” Bakugou asked, looking sideways at his partner.

“I love spicy food, but I also like sweet things too,” Kia replied. “Strawberries happen to be my favorite fruit. We have a small patch back home and my brother and I would fight over who gets the first berry every year.”

“You have a brother?” Bakugou asked.

“Yep! He is a couple years younger than me and I have a sister that is about ten years older than I am,” Pausing, she looked at him curiously. “You are really talkative today. Why the sudden interest?” Kia asked.

“Well, you don’t seem to be going anywhere soon, so it might help to know a little about you,” Bakugou replied matter-of-factly.

“How about you? I bet you are an only child,” Kia says.

“What makes you think that?” Bakugou asked, raising a brow.

“Well, for one, you don’t play well with others,” Kia teased. Bakugou just snorted and rolled his eyes. “I will take that as a yes,” Kia grinned.

Turning down the next street, they heard some familiar voices call out to them. “Ground Zero, Wildside!!” They turned around to see Haru, Hiro, and Kuro running towards them.

“Your quirk is awesome!” Haru exclaimed, coming to a stop in front of Kia. “Can you turn into a full dragon?”

“You’re a dragon, so can you breathe fire?” Kuro asked.

“Who do you think would win in a fight, you or Ground Zero?” Haru asked.

“Can we see your wings, please?” piped up little Hiro.

“Easy guys, one at a time,” Kia laughed. “Let’s see… first off, thank you, then yes, yes, me, and sure, since you asked so nicely.”

“Huh?” Bakugou said, catching her answer to Haru’s second question.

Ignoring her partner, Kia turned around. “Alright, step back, you three,” she said as her wings unfurled from her back. Gently, she spread them out for the boys to see. Her wingspan was more than twice her height, so she had to be mindful of what was around them.

“WOW!” the boys said in unison.

“Can you turn into a dragon all the way?” Haru asked excitedly.

“Not on the street. There isn’t enough room!” Kia deflected.

“Can we touch your wings?” Hiro asked.

Kia crouched down, folding her wings in so the boys could reach them. She smiled as the boys ran their hands over the primary feathers on her right wing.
“They are so soft,” Kuro said.

“It looks like they are made of jewels,” Haru added.

“Thank you, boys… that’s really sweet of you to say,” Kia replied. All of a sudden, she felt a hand on her left wing. Startled, she turned her head to see Bakugo had taken off his glove and gauntlet and was running his hand over her feathers.

“Did they really protect that little boy from Ground Zero’s blast?” Haru asked.

Looking back to the boys, Kia replied. “Yep, they are as hard as my scales.”

“Can we see those too?” Kuro asked.

Kia paused, looking a little uneasy. She relaxed as scales formed across her face and hands. Rolling up her sleeve, she held her arm out for the boys to see. All three of the boys rushed in to touch her.

“They are warm,” Hiro said.

“I’m warm blooded, so of course they would be warm,” Kia replied.

“I thought you would feel like a snake, but your scales are soft too,” Haru told her.

“Why are these ones a lighter color?” Kuro asked, pointing to the scales around her wrist.

“Those are scars from an injury. I’m not completely invulnerable so if an injury is bad enough my scales will grow back a lighter color.” Kia answered.

Bakugou knelt down next to Hiro and reached out to run a finger down her arm to her wrist. “How did it happen?” he asked.

Kia pulled her arm back, her smile disappearing from her face. “That is a story these boys don’t need to hear,” she replied, standing up.

“Wait! Do you have claws and fangs?” Haru asked, jumping up and down. “What about a roar?”

“You are just full of questions, aren’t you?” Kia said laughing at the boys’ enthusiasm. She knelt back down so the boys could see her fangs and gave a growl that had the boys bubbling over with excitement.

Bakugou stood back up and pulled his glove back on to watch his partner as she entertained their young fans. He couldn’t help but wonder what Kia had gone through in her past that would leave scars like that.

Chapter Text

Kia’s heart raced from the lingering feeling of Bakugou touching her scales. Even her wing felt all tingly from his touch. It was something Kia had never felt before and it left her feeling confused and a little scared, especially when she realized that she liked the way it felt.

Pushing the feeling aside she answered the three boys’ questions delighting in their excitement. She could feel Bakugou’s curious gaze behind her but pretended not to notice.

“You are so cool!” Kuro told her.

“Of course she is! She has to be if she is Ground Zero’s partner,” Haru said, crossing his arms. An older woman stepped out of one of the stores and called to the three boys.

“Thank you for speaking with us,” little Hiro said as they all gave a small bow.

“It was my pleasure, boys,” Kia replied.

The three turned and took off after the woman, waving back at the two heroes.

Kia returned to where Bakugou was waiting and they continued walking in silence. Kia could feel the unspoken question hanging in the air but she wasn’t quite ready to tell Bakugou everything. Their partnership was going well but she felt like they didn’t completely trust each other yet. Her past wasn’t something she shared with just anyone.
Bakugou could tell his partner did not want to talk, but he was irritated with the uneasiness between them. Maybe she didn’t trust him enough to tell him and that thought made him angry. Suddenly, Bakugou reached out and grabbed Kia by the arm to stop her. “You are always wearing long sleeves,” he stated as he took a step closer. Pulling her arm towards himself, he rolled back her sleeve. revealing her wrist. Without her scales, the scar looked worse; it was about two inches wide and wrapped all the way around her wrist. “You don’t trust me enough to tell me the truth?” he asked.

Kia jerked her arm out of Bakugou’s grasp. Looking him in the eyes, she asked. “Do you still want to work solo, or do you want me to be your partner?”

Bakugou scowled back at her. “I work alone…” he replied. Kia turned to walk away but Bakugou reached out again, catching her by her other arm, “…But knowing you have my back isn’t terrible,” he finished, looking away.

Kia stared at him, realizing that that was as close as he was going to get to admitting he wanted to be partners. Sighing, she replied, “I did some research on you before I came to Japan. You were once kidnapped by some villains for a couple of days when you were still in high school, right?”

“Yeah, what about it?” Bakugou asked.

“That is something we have in common,” Kia answered. Pulling her arm out of his grasp, she pulled back her sleeve revealing identical scars on both of her wrists. “Only I was prisoner for more than a few days.”

Studying her scars, Bakugou realized what had caused them. “How long did they have you?” he asked.

“Seven years,” Kia replied, pulling her sleeves back down. Kia turned and started walking down the street towards the agency.

Bakugou stood in the middle of the sidewalk, watching his partner’s back. To be in restraints long enough to leave scars, he remembered what it was like when he was captured by villains, and he couldn’t imagine what seven years would be like. Shoving his hands in his pockets he followed behind Kia thinking about the new information she just gave him.
Walking through the front doors of the agency, Kia made her way to the elevator. Hitting the up button she stood there waiting for the elevator when Bakugou walked up beside her. The doors opened and they both stepped inside. Bakugou turned around and pushed the button for the floor of their office. Another hero came up to get on the elevator, but stopped when Bakugou glared at him.

“I will take the next one,” the hero said as the doors closed leaving Bakugou and Kia alone in the elevator.

“I won’t ask you about it anymore today,” Bakugou said without turning around.

“It is not something I like to talk about,” Kia stated.

They both stood there in silence before Bakugou continued. “If you ever need to, you can,” he said quietly, still facing front.

Kia smiled at his back. Bakugou was loud and gruff with his words not to mention proud to a fault, but he always surprised her with how kind hearted he could be. Offering to listen to her while being vague as possible… it was like he thought showing that side of him would make him seem weak.

“Thank you, B. I will keep that in mind,” Kia said as the elevator doors opened.

The air was still tense between them as they reach their office. Bakugou walked in first, holding the door open behind him for Kia.
“What is that?” he asked, pointing at her desk.

Kia looked up and saw a big brown box on her desk. She walked over to investigate and smiled when she read the return address on the package. “It’s from home,” she replied.
Curious, Bakugou moved over to sit on her desk as she started opening the box with a claw. Reaching in Kia pulled out a smaller box that was sealed airtight.

“From home?” Bakugou asked, trying not to look interested.

“It looks like my family sent a care package,” Kia said, setting the box down and pulling a letter out of the bigger box. Opening the letter, Kia’s smile got brighter, “I haven’t been gone a month and they are already sending me stuff.”

Bakugou peered into the box. On top was a picture in a frame. In the picture was a large man with black hair, brown eyes, and a big smile. There was a woman standing next to him with short lilac hair, blue eyes, and a kind smile. In front of the couple, a young a boy with blue hair had his arms around the shoulders of two older girls. The older of the two had the same kind smile as the older woman and black hair. The other one was Kia. She and the boy had identical smiles to their father. Bakugou reached in, picking up the photo to study it closer.

“That is my father, Kayne and my mother, Mia,” Kia said, pointing to the people in the photo. “That’s my older sister, Karen and my brother, Miles.”

“They sent you pictures?” Bakugou asked.

“They grabbed them from my place back home since I didn’t have time to go and get them. I left from where I was working in New York before I came here,” Kia replied. Reaching into the box, she pulled out a small package wrapped in a bandana. Kia opened it and pulled out two braided leather wristbands. They were made out of black, green, and purple leather cords with a smaller thread of red woven in the mix.

“Oh, Dad, thank you!” Kia said out loud in English.

Bakugou could speak and understand enough American English to know what Kia had said. “Your dad made these for you?” he asked.

“Yeah, Dad knows how I feel about my scars. He probably made these for me after I sent them a picture of my new costume,” Kia replied. Rolling up her sleeve she fastened the first one around her wrist with the small buckles on the ends. Putting on the other one she held up both arms to see how they fit. The wrist bands were wide enough to cover the scars even when she moved and pliable enough not to restrict movement.

Kia turned back to the care package her family had sent. Digging through it to see what pictures they had sent when she came across something her siblings had hidden in the bottom. Pulling out a large bundle of cloth that turned out to be a sweater, she unwrapped a glass bottle with amber colored liquid in it and a red cap. A note was stuck to the side
of the bottle.

Pulling off the note Kia read out loud, “For those moments when you fucking had enough. Love Your Siblings. P.S. We had to sneak this past Mom!” Laughing, Kia wrapped the bottle back in the sweater and stuck it back in the box.

“What was that?” Bakugou asked, motioning at the box.

“A bottle of cinnamon whiskey, it is one of my favorite drinks. Maybe if you’re lucky I will share with you one day, but I think I will probably be drinking it because of you,” Kia laughed.

“Tch, what about this?” Bakugou asked, picking up the smaller sealed box.

“Ever had a pumpkin cookie?” Kia asked, grabbing the box from him.

“A pumpkin cookie?” Bakugou said.

“Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten one of mom’s pumpkin cookies,” Kia said, opening the box to offer him one.

Chapter Text

The next day found Bakugou at the coffee shop down the street from the agency. He stood there staring at the board trying to figure out what kind of coffee to get Kia.
She had brought him coffee a couple times now and for some reason he felt like returning the favor but he had no idea what she liked.

“Would you like your usual?” the barista asked with a purr.

“I’m looking,” Bakugou snapped back. He was getting more annoyed the longer he stared.

“You aren’t trying to pick out something for that girl who gets coffee for you are you?” she asked with a pout.

“Why?” Bakugou replied glaring at the girl.

“Because, if you are you, should order a Grande white chocolate and vanilla bean with a double shot.” said a voice behind him.

Bakugou turned around to find Kia standing there smiling at him. “Good morning B! I can’t believe you were going to get me coffee,” Kia said.
“Like hell!” Bakugou yelled turning back to the counter. “I will get my usual,” he told the barista.

The barista hurried to get Bakugou his coffee, bringing it back to the counter she sneered at Kia before pulling out a black marker and writing her number on the cup.
“Here you are, Ground Zero. You can call me if you ever need anything,” the barista said with a wink.

“Why the hell would I do that?” Bakugou growled before grabbing his cup and putting money down on the counter. “Get hers too,” he commanded, pointing a thumb at Kia.
The barista walked off in a huff to make Kia’s coffee. Bringing the cup back to the counter she shoved it at Kia who then reached into her pocket to get out some cash but
Bakugou tossed more money on the counter, paying for the drink.

“Let’s get to work already,” Bakugou said, storming towards the door. Shrugging Kia picked up her drink and followed him out the door. The agency wasn’t far from the coffee shop as the two heroes walked together down the street. Looking over at him Kia took a sip of her coffee.

“Thanks for the coffee,” she said to her grouchy partner.

Bakugou merely grunted in response, stopping as they came to a crosswalk. The streets were crowded with people on their way to work and Kia found herself stepping closer to Bakugou as they made their way across the street.

Bakugou could feel her presence next to him like an open flame. He quickened his pace as they made their way to the agency. He couldn’t believe how embarrassed he was at getting caught trying to buy her coffee.

Arriving at their office they both moved to their desks, getting ready for the day. As usual paperwork seemed to be a never ending plague. They had just sat down when
Kia’s phone rang. Taking her phone out she was delighted to see the name on the caller ID.

“Hey, I’m surprised to get a call from you!” she answered.

Bakugou looked up when he heard Kia speaking English. He was surprised at how fluently she spoke Japanese and without much of an accent. As he listened he wondered if she had a light accent when she spoke English. Her voice took on a different tone while she was talking to the person on the other line.

“My partner?” Kia said looking over at Bakugou and he met her gaze. “He is a total hot head with bad mouth and he’s a huge pain in the ass,” Kia replied, smiling at Bakugou.

Bakugou wasn’t fluent in English but he had learned enough to know what Kia was saying. He could feel his temper rising as he turned back to his computer and tried to ignore her.

“Yep and he has a big ego. I don’t know why, I didn’t have much trouble beating him in our first sparing match,” Kia laughed.

“WHAT THE HELL DID YOU SAY?” Bakugou roared, standing up from his seat.

“Yep, that was him. I was seeing exactly how much English he knew,” Kia said to the other person on the end of the line.

She is messing with me! Bakugou thought. Sitting back down and grumbling as he turned back to his work again tuning out Kia’s conversation. He heard a click and looked back up to see Kia snapping a picture of him. “What do you think you are doing?” he asked.

“Taking a picture, my friends want to know what you look like,” Kia replied sending the photo.

“Tch, you could have asked,” Bakugou grumbled.

“Don’t worry B, I got your good side,” Kia teased.

Bakugou rolled his eyes as he tried to get back to work when Kia’s phone rang again. Looking confused she swiped her finger across the screen.

“He is hot! We want to talk to him!” a feminine voice said over the phone.

“He can hear you,” Kia warned her friend. “Do you mind B?” she asked walking over to his desk.

“I’m trying to work,” he growled.

“Oh my, his voice is hot too!” another feminine voice came from the phone.

Feeling annoyed Bakugou turned away trying to ignore Kia and her stupid phone but she walked around his desk leaning over his shoulder and holding her phone out in front of them.

“Everyone, may I introduce, Ground Zero!” Kia said dramatically.

Bakugou looked at the phone to see three women crowded together on the screen. He sighed and leaned back in his chair, he realized he wasn’t going to get out of this.

“Hello,” he growled in English.

“Hi, my name is Sara,” the one on the left said.

“I’m Kris,” the middle one introduced herself.

“MY… NAME… IS… GRACIE!” the third said speaking loudly and slowly, over pronouncing the words.

“Gracie he’s not stupid,” Kia said shaking her head.

“Do you speak a lot of English?” Kris asked.

“Enough,” Bakugou grunted.

“A man of few words,” Sara said to Kia.

“Just wait until he gets mad then he could make a sailor blush,” Kia replied.

“What does that mean?” Bakugou asked in Japanese while looking at Kia out of the corner of his eye. She was too close to turn his head to face her.

“Basically you have a foul mouth,” Kia replied.

“No fair, we don’t know Japanese!” Gracie pouted.

“You hardly know English,” Kris said pushing Gracie off screen.

Bakugou found himself at the center of too many damn questions for the next twenty minutes. Kia had put her arm on the back of his chair and was leaning with her head right next to his. He could smell her shampoo and it was doing weird things with his head. He found it hard to concentrate with her so close.

“Well you better take good care of our girl, Ground Zero,” Sara warned.

“We miss you Kia,” Kris added.

“Call us sometime, ok,” Gracie added as the three said their goodbyes.

Ending the call Kia stood up. “Thanks for that B,” she said as she made her way back to her desk.

“Just don’t make a habit out of it,” Bakugou replied returning to his work.

“No promises,” Kia laughed, as the phone on her desk started to ring. “Wildside,” she answered “Right away sir,” she said before hanging up the phone.

“What is it?” Bakugou asked standing up from his desk.

“Jeanist said the district to the east is having problems with rampaging villains,” Kia replied heading for the door.

The two heroes headed to the locker rooms taking a couple minutes to put on their costumes. Kia met Bakugou coming out of the men’s locker room. “How do you want to get there?” Kia asked.

“We will take my bike,” Bakugou said. Turning down the hallway he led her to the parking garage. They past all kinds of vehicles before making their way to a sleek looking motorcycle near the far door. Bakugou stopped and grabbed an extra helmet, throwing it to Kia. “You ever ride before?” he asked as he grabbed his own helmet and straddled the bike.

“Hell yeah! I’ve got one back home,” Kia said. Putting on the helmet she hopped on behind Bakugou, wrapping her arms around his waist.

Hitting a button on the handle Bakugou started up the motorcycle as the garage door started to open. “Hold on,” he said as he pulled out of the garage. Turning down the street the two headed to help with the villains.

Bakugou wove in and out of traffic smoothly as they arrived in the next district. It wasn’t hard to find where the villains were as police officers diverted traffic and evacuated civilians. Turning the next corner they saw a couple heroes squaring off with three villains and the heroes were not doing so well. Bakugou felt Kia’s weight shift as she braced her hands on his shoulders and moved to stand on the seat.

Picking up on what Kia was thinking, Bakugou gunned it, heading straight down the street towards the villains. Coming up on them Kia dove off the motorcycle, tackling one of the villains to the ground as Bakugou blasted another and brought the bike to a stop once he had rode past.

When she tackled the villain Kia tucked and rolled pulling him away from his cohorts. Kia smiled, she had successfully separated him from his pals. Removing her helmet, she took a defensive position while the villain gathered himself off of the ground. The villain came at her, throwing a punch that was encased in water. Kia met his with a flaming punch of her own.

Steam rose, surrounding the battling heroine and villain as they exchanged blows. Ducking and rolling out of his reach Kia transformed, unfurling her wings she flapped them a couple times to clear away the steam that was accumulating around them.

The villain seeing Kia’s wings and scales began to coat himself in water creating a massive swirling suit as he came at Kia once again. She met him blasting away at the water trying to get in a good hit. The water was to strong and Kia’s attack just created more steam. She didn’t want to risk a massive blast since they were so close to the buildings. That left Kia with one option. Taking a deep breath she took a solid stance and closed her eyes to focus.

“How dare you close your eyes when fighting me! It will be your last mistake,” the villain howled as he came at Kia.

Just as the villain reached her Kia caught his fist in her hand. Water turned to ice as the villain watch his defense turned into a prison. Reaching a clawed hand up Kia melted enough ice so that the villain could still breathe. Leaving him frozen in his own armor she turned around to see how her partner was fairing.

Bakugou was fighting the two remaining villains, one of which had a fire quirk and the other an earth quirk who was throwing boulders he brought up from the destroyed street. Kia ran to go help Bakugo and watched as he delivered a blast that sent the fire user flying into the side of a building knocking him out. Reaching Bakugou’s side they turned together to face the remaining villain.

“Your pathetic blasts can’t break through my rock hard defense,” the villain cackled as he brought more and more rock to himself, compressing it into a harder and denser shield.

Bakugou sent a concentrated blast at the shield using his AP shot to try and blast through it. The blast only took a small chunk out of it.

The two heroes took turns trying to blast their way through the villain’s defense as he created a cocoon around himself. The fight was dragging on as they relentlessly tried to reach the villain.

“This is taking forever,” Kia snarled in frustration.

“We have got to find a way to break through,” Bakugou said as he landed next to her.

“I have an idea,” Kia replied turning to her partner. “I know we have never tried it before but do you remember how I said I can bolster another person’s attacks?”

“I hear ya,” Bakugou said grinning as Kia moved to his right side.

“The trick is to keep the components even so we can control the blast radius and minimize any damage to the buildings,” Kia told him.

“Got it,” Bakugou replied moving into position.

“I will follow you,” Kia said getting ready.

Bakugou blasted forward with Kia right next to him as he concentrated on a powerful pinpoint blast with his right hand. Kia moved in sync with him as she brought her left hand to meet Bakugou’s, mixing her own accelerant with his blast.

The resulting explosion blasted a massive hole in the villain’s defense giving the two heroes and opening to take him out. When the dust settled they stood over the unconscious villain. The blast took out a couple of light poles but the buildings remained intact.

“That was intense!” Kia said turning to her partner she held up a fist for him to bump knuckles.

Bakugou smirked bring his own fist up to hers. Kia knocked her knuckles against his, “Boom,” she said still grinning.

“Really?” Bakugou asked in a mocking tone.

“What, you to cool for a fist bump?” Kia asked.

Rolling his eyes Bakugou picked up the villain to take him to the police who were waiting with an iron maiden.

Chapter Text

Kia and Bakugou found themselves at the center of the media’s attention. The two of them had apprehended three villains that were wanted throughout Japan for all kinds of crimes. Answering all the questions that they could, it took them the better part of an hour before they escaped back to their agency.

Returning to the garage, Bakugou parked his motorcycle back where it belonged. Kia removed her arms from his waist as he put the kickstand down.

“Sweet ride!” Kia said, stepping down to admire the motorcycle. The bike reflected the design of his costume with the tank patterned like his grenade gauntlets. “I wonder if I could get mine brought over here.”

“You will have to get permits for the bike and go through tests to get your driver’s license.” Bakugou informed her.

“Yeah, I know, it will probably be too much of a hassle and a lot of paperwork,” Kia groaned. Turning to her partner, she gave him a mischievous smile. “Maybe you will let me drive sometime?”

“Keep dreaming,” Bakugou smirked.

“It was worth a shot. Oh well, I don’t mind riding behind you. It will be easier to stay together if I ride with you anyway,” Kia thought out loud.

“Sure,” Bakugou replied, turning to leave the garage. Kia put her helmet back on the shelf before following her partner back to their office.

They had just reached the second floor when Best Jeanist came walking down the hallway towards them. “Good job today you two. You handled the situation well,” he said as they met.

“Thank you, sir,” Kia replied. Bakugou merely stood there waiting for Jeanist to finish.

“I’ve been contacted by the editor of a magazine called Hero Today, they want to do an article on the two of you,” Best Jeanist told them.

“Really? When?” Kia asked.

“I’ve arranged for you to go over to their offices tomorrow morning. You will need to be in costume,” Jeanist informed them. “They want to do an interview and take some photos, so you will probably be gone all morning. I will have Nina email you the address.”

“Cool, B, our first interview as a team!” Kia said turning to her partner.

“Great,” Bakugou said with a huff.

“What is your problem? Interviews are a good way to get noticed by the public. It is one part of becoming the number one hero,” Kia said.

“The problem is Bakugou doesn’t have a very good reputation with interviews,” Jeanist replied, giving said hero the stare down.

“I can see that,” Kia said. “You won’t have to worry about it now though.”

“Really? How come?” Bakugou asked skeptically.

“Because you have me,” Kia said with a smile. “Let’s get to the office and I will give you some pointers.”

“I don’t need any help,” Bakugou growled as he stomped off towards their office.

“Sure you don’t, tough guy,” Kia said, following after him.

Jeanist watched the two heroes walk away arguing. Looks like she can put up with his attitude, hopefully she can help him with the interview, he thought as he headed back to his own office.

%%%%%

Entering their office, Bakugou sat down at his desk to get started on the paperwork for the day. Kia sat down on the front of his desk.

“So what problems do you have with interviews exactly? I can’t see you as someone who doesn’t like being in the spotlight and you are too smart for reporters to take advantage of you.” Kia asked.

Bakugou sighed and turned to face her, “You aren’t going to let this go, are you?”

“Nope, This doesn’t just affect your reputation, but mine as well. If you want to be a top hero, you have to be able to have successful interviews,” Kia reasoned.

“It isn’t that I don’t like interviews. Reporters tick me off and they often twist what I say or ask too many dumb questions,” Bakugou said.

“Sounds like they have figured out how to push your buttons and make you lose your temper,” Kia said. Turning towards Bakugou, she continued, “Well one thing I’m guessing you need to work on is how you say things. Make sure you don’t use inappropriate or vulgar language.”

“You want me to smile at the camera and act all bubbly?” Bakugou said sarcastically.

Kia snorted in laughter before she replied, “Although it would be hilarious to watch, no… you need to be yourself while keeping up appearances. You are a total badass and that will be one of your selling points as a number one hero.”

Surprised at his partner’s words, Bakugou smirked, “You think I’m a badass?”

“Yeah, yeah… don’t let it get to your head,” Kia replied, rolling her eyes. “Your ego is big enough. We don’t need it to get any bigger, or your head will explode.”

Bakugou chuckled. “Can’t help it if I’m the best, Sunshine,” he said, standing up to look Kia in the eyes.

“The best at what? Scaring little children?” Kia countered.

“Ouch, and they say I’m the harsh one,” Bakugou challenged.

“Nope, you are the loud, angry one.” Kia grinned back. Looking up at the clock, she realized her appointment with the building manager was soon. “I have to get going, but we can talk more about it when I get back. I’m going to YouTube some of your past interviews so I can see what I’m working with,” Kia said as she made her way to the door.

“What about all this damn paperwork?” Bakugou glared as he watched his partner leave.

“I will do my part when I get back, just email me what you get done or leave the forms on my desk. I will see ya later!” Kia said as she left.

Grumbling to himself, Bakugou sat back down, pulling a new incident report out of his desk. “So she thinks I’m a badass,” he said with a small smile.

%%%%%

Kia arrived at the apartment complex 10 minutes early. The building wasn’t very far from the agency and Kia would be able to run to work in the mornings. It was a large relatively new looking building that was eight stories tall and each apartment had its own balcony.

Walking into the lobby, she could see mailboxes at the back of the building with elevators on either side. Two people stood at the front desk. One was a young man in a uniform and the other an older woman in a suit. The woman turned to see Kia walking over towards them.

“Hello, you must be Kia Hales. I’m Yoko Hiroyumi the building manager,” the woman introduced herself with a bow.

“Thank you for taking time to meet with me,” Kia bowed back.

“Why don’t we get started? The apartment is on the top floor,” Hiroyumi said, gesturing towards the elevators.

Kia made her way over to the elevators as Manager Hiroyumi told her about the building’s main floor. “The mailboxes are in the back of the building and it is usually delivered by 12:30 pm every day.” Pushing the button for the elevator Hiroyumi continued. “The building’s layout is pretty simple. The bottom two floors have mostly single bedroom apartments and the next four floors have multi-bedroom apartments for families. The top two floors have two bedroom apartments that we usually rent out to local heroes. There is a special elevator for those two floors to accommodate heroes that are on call.”

The elevator doors opened as it reached the top floor. Kia stepped out into the quiet hallway. “It is at the end of the hall on the right,” Hiroyumi said leading the way. “We don’t place name plates on these floors for the privacy of the heroes that live here,” the manager said, pulling a key from her pocket and opening the door. “We also do our best to keep the media out of the building.”

Kia stepped through the door and into the hallway which led into a living room. The apartment had an open floor plan with the living room extending into a small dining room and decent sized kitchen. Another hallway led from the kitchen to a laundry room, bathroom, and two bedrooms.

“It seems a little big for just me,” Kia said looking around the bedrooms.

“Some like to use the second room as an office or spare room in case friends or family visit. The whole apartment is also sound proofed for your convince,” Manager Hiroyumi informed her.

Kia headed out on the balcony next. The view was nice. Looking around, Kia realized that it was connected to the balcony next door, with the two being separated by a gate.

“The young man next door keeps to himself and he works late a lot, so we rarely see him,” Hiroyumi said, noticing Kia looking at the gate. “Which is too bad… he is really quite handsome,” she finished, fanning herself.

“The whole place is really amazing,” Kia smiled “I’ll take it. When can I move in?”

%%%%%

Bakugou glanced at the time. Kia had been gone for almost two hours. When the hell is she going to get back? he thought. Turning back to his computer, he opened his email to send Kia copies of the report he filled out. Searching through the agency’s address book, he found her company email and sent the report.

Leaning back in his chair, Bakugou stretched looking at the clock once more. Where did she say she was going again? he wondered when a message popped up in his inbox. Sitting up he opened the message to see a reply from Kia.

Thanks B, I will be back to the agency around 3:00 pm. I’m just finishing up a couple things.
-Sunshine

Bakugou chuckled at her use of his nickname for her. Closing the mail, he checked the time again. She said she would be back around three, so that gave him about an hour. He could head out on patrol without her or wait for her to get back, but what would he do while he waited? All the paperwork was done except for Kia’s half of the reports. He decided that maybe he should look into his partner more.

Opening a browser window, Bakugou typed Kia’s hero name into the search engine. A YouTube link popped up and he clicked on it. The video title said the clip was from a concert in America that quite a few heroes participated in to raise money for a bunch of charities.

As the clip started playing it showed Kia in a purple version of her costume except it was sleeveless with black wristbands and black heels. Her hair was let down and curled with black clips holding it out of her face. Judging from the date on the clip she must have been in her final year of high school. She had an electric guitar in her hands and a mic headset on. Four other young women stood on stage with her, each one with a different instrument except the one in the middle. They all started playing as the one in the lead began to sing. Kia and the girl playing the bass walked forward and began signing back up and dancing with the lead singer. They were pretty good and the crowd cheered. They sang the cover of a song called “Every Time We Touch” by Cascada.

Bakugou couldn’t help but notice Kia wasn’t really into the song even though she never missed a chord or step. The smile on her face didn’t reach her eyes. When the song ended, the bassist step forward to sing lead and then the keyboardist and the drummer sang lead to other songs after that. All of them where cheesy love songs that made Bakugou want to pop in his ear buds and crank his playlist up. He had expected Kia to step up and sing one of the offending songs but the curtains closed and the clip ended.

The title of the next clip, Wildside Kills It at Charity Concert, caught Bakugou’s eye so he clicked on it. This time Kia was front and center on the stage with a different set of heroes playing instruments. The drummer gave off a count to start before he started playing the song. The other heroes started playing rock music as Kia stepped up to the mic and started singing, “When Legends Rise” by Godsmack.

Bakugou found himself liking the music and Kia put on a good show that left the audience screaming for an encore. The clip continued to show the encore when there was a knock at the door. Pausing the video, Bakugou called out, “Who the hell is it?”

“Yo, Bakugou,” Kirishima greeted him as he walked through the door. He was in his hero costume so Bakugou figured he was here on official business.

“What do you want?” Bakugou asked his friend.

“I was running some stuff over for Fatgum and figured I would stop by,” Kirishima said, looking over to Kia’s desk. “You didn’t run her off already, did you?”

“No, dumb shit, she is out for a while,” Bakugou growled.

“Aww, when will she get back?” Kirishima asked.

“Around three,” Bakugou answered.

“Damn I have to be back to the agency at three,” Kirishima sighed after looking at the clock, “Oh well, I will have to catch her another time. What are you working on?” he asked, walking around Bakugou’s desk. “Doing some research on your partner, huh?” Kirishima said after seeing what was in the browser.

“Looks like I’m stuck with her, so might as well,” Bakugou replied.

Kirishima couldn’t help but notice his friend didn’t seem disappointed in the least. “Well, if you are researching her, check this out,” he said, reaching over to open another window. Kirishima typed Wildside and model into the search engine. He clicked on one of the websites and the home page of a modeling agency came on the screen.

Clicking on the models tab he found exactly what he was looking for and clicked on Kia’s name. A portfolio of images came on screen. She modeled a lot of sportswear and everyday clothes.

“Hold on a second,” Kirishima said as he searched through the images until he came to one of Kia in an evening dress.

It was a red and black low cut halter-top that hugged her every curve with jewels sewn in to draw a person’s gaze to all the right places. One long leg was exposed by a slit that went clear up to her hip, showing off the matching red and black heels. Her hair was done up in ringlets while dark eyeshadow and bright red lipstick completed the look. She was beautiful.

“She is a total ten, yeah?” Kirishima asked smirking at the look on his friend’s face.

“Who is a ten?” Best Jeanist asked from the door.

Startled, Kirishima and Bakugou both jumped at Jeanist’s sudden question.

“Uh, we were just looking at some modeling pictures of Wildside,” Kirishima said sheepishly.

“She isn’t here?” Jeanist asked.

“No, she said she had something to do today and will be back around three,” Bakugou said, still in a daze.

Moving around to join the two younger men, Jeanist looked at the pictures they had on screen. “Spotlight told me he had convinced her to do some modeling. I was actually hoping she would do some for our agency as well. Now I see what he means about her lacking confidence,” Jeanist said studying the image.

“What do you mean?” Kirishima asked confused.

“She looks very beautiful, but her expression is off. It is more than just good looks and pretty clothes that make a good model,” Jeanist replied.

“I still don’t get it,” Kirishima said, more confused.

“She isn’t comfortable in that getup. Her smile is forced and she feels uneasy,” Bakugou interrupted, “She doesn’t usually show much skin. It looks like it might be photo shopped too.” Kirishima and Jeanist looked at Bakugou surprised. They were not expecting the hero to interject like that.

“Exactly,” Jeanist said. “How do you know it is photo shopped?”

“Her wrists aren’t covered,” Bakugou replied like that was supposed to explain everything.

“The scars,” Jeanist realized clicking the next image which was a view of the dress from the back, “I see what you mean. In this image she looks even tenser. It would make sense why her expression is off. Spotlight told me she didn’t do well with backless apparel.”

“Backless?” Bakugou said then he realized. “You mean... she has scars on her back?”

Chapter Text

“Scars? What are you two talking about?” Kirishima asked, looking at Bakugou who turned away with a scowl.

“I only know the little bit that Spotlight told me,” Jeanist said to Bakugou. “It seems she has begun to tell you about her past.”

“Only a little,” Bakugou replied, still scowling at the computer screen.

“Sorry, Red Riot, but it isn’t a story that is ours to share without Miss Hales’ blessing,” Jeanist explained to the sturdy hero.

“I understand,” Kirishima replied. “I need to get going anyways. I will come by your place on Saturday,” he said to Bakugou, who just grunted in response.

“I will talk to ya later then,” Kirishima said as he left.

Jeanist turned back to the computer on Bakugou’s desk. “She really is beautiful, isn’t she?” Not getting a response, he continued, “Spotlight didn’t tell me much, just that she was kidnapped by villains when she was eight and was gone for seven years before she was found. He said she has scars from her experience, and prefers to keep them covered.”

“Sunshine doesn’t like to talk about it,” Bakugou replied, closing the Internet browser.

“Let her know I need to talk to her when she gets back, will you?” Jeanist said, moving towards the door.

Ignoring his employer, Bakugou decided to get ready for patrol.

Pausing at the door, Jeanist said, “I’m glad you two are getting along well. She seems to be a good partner. I’m hoping she will stay for quite some time.”
After hearing the door shut, Bakugou muttered under his breath, “Me too.”

%%%%%

Kia ran back to the agency after visiting a couple of furniture stores. It was five to three and she was hoping Bakugou hadn’t gone on patrol without her yet. Dashing through the front door, she almost collided with Nina.

“I’m sorry!” Kia exclaimed as she caught the files Nina had been carrying.

“What is the rush?” Nina asked, taking the files from her.

“I was hoping to catch Ground Zero in time for patrol,” Kia explained.

“Oh, were have you been?” Nina questioned.

“Actually, I just had an interview with the manager of that apartment complex you found for me,” Kia replied.

“Really? How did it go?” Nina asked excitedly.

“Good. The paperwork is all signed and ready to go. I even stopped by some furniture stores and got a few things. Everything will be delivered on Saturday, and I can move in then!” Kia cheered.

“Congratulations!” Nina beamed, “I’m glad it worked out so well. Did you get a chance to meet any of your neighbors?” she asked innocently.

“No, but the manager said a handsome young guy lives next door,” Kia laughed. “I better get going if I’m gonna catch B.”

“Alright, I will see you later!” Nina called out as Kia disappeared to the elevator, “Can’t wait for you to meet your handsome neighbor,” she mumbled, walking away with a big smile on her face.

%%%%%

Bakugou opened the office door to come face to face with Kia.

“Good, I made it back in time,” Kia said as she pushed past him. “I figured you would have left without me,” she said as she sat a backpack on her desk and kicked off her shoes.

“You took long enough,” Bakugou said, crossing his arms. Kia shrugged off her jacket and set it on the back of her chair before reaching down to pull off her shirt. “What are you doing?” Bakugou asked, flustered.

“Relax, B, I’ve got my costume on underneath,” Kia replied as she pulled her shirt over her head. Bakugou watched as she unbuttoned her pants and slipped them off her hips. Kia laid the clothes over her chair before reaching into her bag and pulling out her boots. Pulling them on, she fastened the buckles and put on her mask and belt. “Ready to go!” she said, turning back to her partner.

Bakugou stood there wide eyed at her impromptu strip tease. “Couldn’t you do that in the locker room?” he asked.

“Would you have waited?” Kia asked.

Shrugging, Bakugou turned and stomped out the door, thankful that his mask hid part of his face. Watching her wiggle out of her clothes made his heart beat funny and it pissed him off.

The two heroes patrolled their usual routes before moving on to more populated areas as it turned into evening. There was a lot of activity as they broke up fights at bars and stopped a random purse-snatcher or two, but no major crimes happened.

They got back to the agency at ten and started to work on the paperwork for the small crimes they stopped. It only took about an hour for them to finish the forms. Shutting down his computer, Bakugou got ready to leave for the night. He was usually the last one to leave, but Kia was still typing away at her keyboard as he opened the door.

“You’re not done yet?” Bakugou asked looking back.

“I’ve got to finish up those reports you sent me today,” Kia replied. Looking up at the clock she added, “I’m gonna wait till midnight anyway to head out. The lady that works the hotel desk till midnight is always cranky when I come in late.”

“You stay at a hotel?” Bakugou asked.

“Not for much longer. I was out looking at apartments today and I should be moving in this weekend!” Kia said. “Have a good night, B, and I will see you in the morning. I will be here at six.”

“When is the interview?” Bakugou asked.

“It looks like it starts at nine, so we will have some time to strategize.” Looking up Kia smiled at him, “I’m still going to watch some of your old interviews.”

“I don’t need any help, but knock yourself out,” Bakugou growled as he left.

%%%%%

The next morning, Bakugou walked into the office to see a cup of coffee sitting on his desk. Taking his seat, he took a sip as he turned his computer back on. He was not looking forward to the interview, and just the thought of it was already souring his mood.

Kia walked into the office carrying a small box and sat it on his desk before rolling her chair over to sit across from him. Pulling a muffin out of the box, she bit into it as she sat down.

“Does my desk look like a damn breakfast table to you?” Bakugou asked.

Rolling her eyes, she swallowed before taking a sip of her own coffee and setting it on the desk. “Just drink your coffee,” she replied, offering him a muffin. Bakugou raised a brow at her before reaching in and grabbing one. “I watched some of your interviews last night, and I think I have a plan,” Kia told him.

“Oh, yeah?” Bakugou said sarcastically before taking a bite out of his muffin.

“As I thought, you either run out of patience with a bad reporter or they try to make you lose your temper,” Kia said, ignoring his bad attitude.

“I told you I don’t need any help, damn it!” Bakugou snapped.

“Take it easy, all I have to do is run interference,” Kia said. “With two of us there, they can’t badger you.”

Bakugou sat back in his chair while eyeing his partner. She met his gaze while taking another sip of her coffee. “Besides, you aren’t the only one who has problems with reporters,” she said, looking away.

“Really? I figured you would be one that reporters would fall head over heels for,” Bakugou chided.

“Yeah, and for the most part I don’t have any issues as long as they don’t start getting too personal,” Kia replied. “Sometimes a reporter gets wind of my past and starts asking a lot of questions I don’t want to answer. Those interviews never go well.”

Bakugou saw how uncomfortable Kia was getting just from bringing the subject up. “Alright, so if they start I will just interrupt them,” he told her.

Surprised, Kia’s head snapped back up to look at Bakugou. “Thanks, B, I really appreciate it. You know, you should show this nice side of you more often,” Kia teased.

“Fuck that,” Bakugou barked, stretching his arms and putting his hands behind his head as Kia laughed.

At eight, they both got into their costumes and made their way over to the magazine’s office building. It was a little ways away from the agency, so they took Bakugou’s motorcycle. They arrived at 8:45 and were greeted as soon as they walked through the doors.

“Mr. Ground Zero, Ms. Wildside,” the receptionist bowed. “I will let Mr. Yakimura know you have arrived. Please take a seat in the waiting area,” she said as she picked up the phone.

Bakugou and Kia made their way over and sat in two seats facing away from the reception desk. Kia opened one of the pockets on her belt and took out a pair of ear buds before inserting them in her ears. Bakugou looked over at his partner and wished he had thought to bring his own. Kia noticed him looking at her and took her phone out of the pocket. Setting it on her lap, she offered him the left ear bud. Bakugou hesitated not wanting to have to listen to some girly music.

“Don’t worry, I won’t play anything too sappy,” Kia said, handing him the ear bud.

Bakugou took it from her and placed it in his ear. He was surprised to hear American alternative rock playing. Kia handed him the phone. “My taste in music is very eclectic, so you will find pretty much anything in my playlist.”

Pulling off his glove and gauntlet, Bakugou took the phone from her. Kia grabbed his gauntlet and held it on her lap as she scooted closer to look at the phone with him. Bakugou scrolled through her songs, asking a couple questions about different titles as they listened to music together.

Twenty minutes later Kia was just pointing to one of her favorite songs when they heard a clicking sound behind them. Turning around the two heroes saw three people standing there, looking at them. One was holding up a camera, another had on a suit, and the third was the receptionist. Standing up, Bakugou handed Kia back her phone and ear bud as she gave him back his gauntlet.

“Hello, Ground Zero and Wildside. Thank you so much for agreeing to come here today,.” The man in the suit stepped forward while handing them his business card with a bow. Nodding slightly, Bakugou took the card from the man.

“Thanks for asking us to come, Mr. Yakimura” Kia smiled and bowed slightly.

“Please, call me Ryuski,” the man said. “This is our photographer, Kenji. Well, why don’t we head to the studio and take some photos?”

Bakugou and Kia followed Ryuski and Kenji to a photo studio where a crew was setting up a backdrop and lights. Ryuski lead them over to a set of chairs where a makeup crew was waiting.

Bakugou hated this part of photo shoots. He understood that they wanted to make sure the photos turned out good, but he didn’t like anyone messing with his hair, especially since his internship with Jeanist his first year of high school. Every now and then, the older hero still tried to tame his ash blonde spikes.

Kia walked over to one of the stools and sat down so the stylists could get started. She looked as uncomfortable as Bakugou felt, which he found weird since she was supposed to be a model and singer. Taking the stool next to her, he tried not to fidget as the stylist started on his hair.

Ryuski sat down on a stool across from them pulling out a small recorder and an iPad. Looking up at the two heroes he started the interview.
“So, how long have you two been partners?” Ryuski asked.

“It’s been only a couple of weeks now,” Kia answered.

Ryuski scribbled on his notepad before continuing. “How has the partnership been going? Ground Zero has a bit of a reputation for running off all his partners,” he asked Kia.

Wow they aren’t wasting anytime, Kia thought before she answered, “It has been going well, I think. We have had our ups and downs, but that is normal.”

“And what do you think, Ground Zero?” Ryuski asked, turning towards him.

“Yeah,” Bakugou grunted closing his hands into fists.

Realizing that was the only answer he was going to get from the hero, Ryuski turned back towards Kia. “So, you are from America, is that correct?”
“Yes,” Kia replied with a smile.

“These next questions are for the both of you, so if you could both please answer I would appreciate it,” Ryuski told them. “How old are you?”

“21,” they both answered.

“When is your birthday, and what is your blood types?” Ryuski continued.

“December 20th and A+,” Kia answered.

“April 20th and A,” Bakugou grumbled.

“What is your favorite color?” Ryuski asked the next question.

“Purple,” Kia answered.

“Do we have to do these stupid questions?” Bakugou asked.

“Come on, it isn’t going to kill us.” Kia rolled her eyes at her partner.

“Tch, Black,” Bakugou huffed.

“What kind of food do you like?” Ryuski asked them.

“Spicy,” they answered together.

“Alright, I think that is all for the basic questions. Now we will go into some more personal questions.” Ryuski said. “Do either of you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, or are you dating each other?” he asked.

Bakugou almost fell off his stool at the direct question. Kia recovered first and answered, “Uhm, no and no. I’ve only been here for a couple weeks.”

“What about you, Ground Zero?” Ryuski turned to the flustered hero.

“No!” Bakugou snapped.

Turning back to Kia, Ryuski continued the interview. “So, what brought you to Japan?”

“I’m really interested becoming an international hero and work in areas of international crime,” Kia replied.

“International crime? What all does that include?” Ryuski asked, scribbling in his notebook.

“One area I helped work on in America is human trafficking. There is a lot more of it than people realize. There are organizations that kidnap people because of the kind of quirks they have. Some organizations are very discreet and hard to track down. Before I came to Japan, I was part of a group that uncovered and brought down one of the top human trafficking rings in America,” Kia answered.

Bakugou listen intently to what Kia was saying, not only interested in the info on international crime, but also interested in learning more about his partner.

“Wow, do you think there are such crime rings in Japan?” Ryuski asked, scribbling furiously.

“I know there is,” Kia replied. The whole room froze at Kia’s declaration, including Bakugou.

“Do you have any tips for citizens on how to keep from being a victim? What are the target groups of these human traffickers?” Ryuski recovered.
“The target groups are mainly children, but there are reports of people being taken up to the age of 45 depending on their physical condition and quirk type. Everyone should be on the lookout for suspicious behaviors in their neighborhoods. An example is blacked out vehicles that are seen parked in suspicious places, or strange people asking too many questions. Especially strangers that approach children to ask questions, instead of talking to an adult,” Kia explained.

“Let’s move on to a different topic, shall we?” Ryuski said looking back over his notebook.

Bakugou sat there staring at his partner while remembering something they had been talking about the other day.

‘How long did they have you?’

‘Seven years’

The blank spots of information about his partner were filling in. Before he had time to think on it, Ryuski was asking him more questions.

“What is it like having an American for a partner?” Ryuski asked him.

“Fine. She stays out of my way and does her job,” Bakugou replied.

Raising an eyebrow at his response, Ryuski turned back to Kia. “What about you? Do you think it will be difficult to gain popularity while being partnered with a hero like Ground Zero?” he asked her.

“I’m not sure what you mean?” Kia replied confused.

“Ground Zero is well known for his inability to cooperate and his hot temper. Many believe he could very well turn sides, especially with the incidents in his past,” Ryuski said unashamed.

Bakugou’s temper went from a simmer to boiling over in less than a second. He made a move to stand up when Kia placed her hand on his arm and stood up herself instead. Bakugou had made her mad enough times to know that her smile was forced, and that she was pissed.

“I don’t know where you get off making accusations like that, sir. Ground Zero is an exceptional hero. Not only is he skilled in fighting villains with his explosions, he can do so without causing any collateral damage. I have looked through his arrest records, and he has never failed to capture a villain once he arrived on the scene. The citizens on our patrol routes all love him and will tell you how kind he truly is under that fierce scowl. He diligently protects everyone in our district and misses nothing when on patrol. He stays later than anyone at the agency and is undeniably working hard to be the number one hero. Anyone who says otherwise hasn’t taken two seconds to truly see the amazing hero he is becoming,” Kia stated, her fake smile still plastered on her face as Ryuski cowered under her gaze.

Stunned, Bakugou could only gawk at his partner’s defense on his behalf. He couldn’t believe what she had said. They had only been partners for a couple of weeks, yet she believed in him that much. He started feeling bad about the vague response he had given about her.

Kia sat back down on her stool, taking a deep breath as she schooled her expression into her bright smile once again.

Clearing his throat, Ryuski flipped a page in his notebook. “Well, why don’t we continue with the interview then, shall we?”

Bakugou continued to stare at his partner. He couldn’t help but think how amazing a partner she truly was.

Chapter Text

The stylist finished prepping Bakugou and Kia for the photo shoot, so the interview moved to the stage where they would pose for pictures. The small break was just what the interview needed to move past Kia’s anger at interviewer’s rude remark about Bakugou.

“So, Wildside…” Ryuski continued, “Since you want to be an international hero you must speak different languages. How many languages do you know?”

Kia paused. “I’ve never really counted before,” she said as she started counting on her fingers. “Not including English, I think about twenty.”

“That is amazing! How old were you when you started learning to speak other languages?” Ryuski asked.

“My mom started teaching me German and Spanish when I was five,” Kia answered.

“Did she teach you all the languages you know?” Ryuski asked.

“No,” Kia responded as her smile slipped.

“Where did you learn to speak the others?” Ryuski prodded.

Seeing Kia hesitate, Bakugou spoke up. “Are you going to ask me any questions? I thought this was a team interview?”

“Of course, my apologies, Ground Zero,” Ryuski stammered as he flipped through his notebook while asking Bakugou some questions.

Kia relaxed as she moved into place in front of the camera. Kenji was adjusting the lens and looked up.

“Miss, could you turn slightly to me? We will do a standing pose to start with,” Kenji said.

Assistants moved in to show Kia how she was supposed to stand but the heroine had already taken up the pose. Kenji snapped a couple of photos as he gave Kia instructions on what pose to take. Kia went through the motions that Spotlight had taught her, bored out of her mind.

It was true that Spotlight had talked her into doing some modeling while she was at his agency, but she didn’t particularly like the boring poses. She liked it better when she had a good partner or a group to pose with and they could just goof off and have fun with it. This whole thing was way too formal and she didn’t know anyone here. At Spotlight’s agency they had so much fun during the shoots. Sometimes Spotlight himself would step in a strike the pose he wanted the models to take.

Kia found herself smiling as she recalled her friends back in America.

“What is the stupid grin for?” Bakugou asked as he walked up to her.

“Just recalling some fun memories,” Kia responded.

“Well, they said it is my turn.” Bakugou gestured back towards the crew.

“Alright,” Kia said as she moved out of the way.

Bakugou stood stiff and awkwardly in front of the camera as the assistants stood back, too nervous to approach him. Kia stifled a giggled as Kenji tried his best to get Bakugou into the right pose. Taking pity on her partner and the photographer, Kia stepped up to help.

“I know you don’t want to do this, but you have to relax, B,” Kia said as she stepped in front of him.

“What is the point of all this?” Bakugou asked, giving her a questioning look.

“Good publicity and Jeanist said we have to,” Kia replied matter-of-factly.

Bakugou snorted as Kia grabbed his shoulder. “Turn towards the camera slightly while moving your left foot forward about…15 cm,” she told him. Bakugou moved as she told him, and Kia moved around behind him to check his pose.

“Now relax your shoulders,” Kia said as she ran her hands over his shoulders and down his back. Bakugou felt his muscles relax instantly at Kia’s touch. Moving back in front of him, she poked him between the eyes. “How many times do I have to tell you not to scowl so much?” Kia laughed.

Bakugou just scowled harder at her. “What makes you think I’m gonna listen to you?” he asked.

“Just close your eyes and take a deep breath. When you open your eyes, look directly at the camera. Think you can handle that?” Kia mocked, moving away.

Giving her a dirty look, Bakugou did what she told him. Kenji snapped a picture as soon as Bakugou opened his eyes. Kia guided Bakugou through a few more poses before the hero was fine relaxing on his own.

Stepping back behind the camera, Kia watched as Bakugou owned the camera. Kenji did an amazing job of showing off Bakugou’s good looks with the different poses.

“Now could you smile?” Kenji asked cautiously. Bakugou attempted a smile only to have Kia burst out laughing so hard she doubled over.

“Good luck with that!” Kia laughed, “That is something I have only seen a couple of times,” she said as she walked up to her partner, pushing on the sides of his mouth to imitate a smile, which only made Bakugou’s scowl deepen.

“Well let’s move on to the team pictures then,” Kenji said moving back behind his camera. First, he positioned them back-to-back, asking them to turn towards the camera a little.

Bakugou took a deep breath again and relaxed for the photo. Opening his eyes, Bakugou noticed everyone had funny looks on their faces. Puzzled, he ignored it as Kenji snapped the first photo. One of the assistants snorted a little, drawing Bakugou’s attention off the camera. Looking up, he caught Kenji smothering a laugh with a cough. Wondering what was so funny, Bakugou looked over at Kia to see her doing her best-exaggerated impression of his own scowl.

Figuring he might as well get his revenge, he grabbed her face with one hand, smooshing her checks together while he used the other hand to push down on her eyebrows. Everyone at the photoshoot burst out laughing at the display.

Batting his hands away, Kia smiled up at her partner, causing him to grin back at her. Hearing a shutter click, they both looked back at the camera to see Kenji giving a thumb up.

In the next pose, Kenji had Bakugou sit down while Kia stood behind him. Taking the pose and waiting for the shutter to click, he was surprised when Kia leaned forward and hooked her fingers in his mouth to pull back his lips in a forced toothy smile. Much to Bakugou’s horror, the camera clicked just then.
The onslaught of tricks and pranks had begun. Every pose they went through, they took turns picking on each other. While Kia was standing in front of him, Bakugou figured out she was ticklish and he used that to his advantage. Pretty soon, everyone in the room was laughing including Bakugou, albeit not very loud.

“Alright, can we try a couple shots with you guys using your quirks?” Kenji asked.

“Have any ideas of how you would like us to do that?” Kia asked.

“Wildside, could you encase each fist in flames and take up the back-to-back pose we started with?” Kenji asked. “Ground Zero, take the same pose and hold your hands up in position to use your quirk.”

“How big a blast do you want?” Bakugou asked.

“Something small, we don’t want too much or it will mess with the lighting,” Kenji replied.

Taking up the position, Kia lit her fists as they waited for Kenji’s count down. Bakugou ignited explosions in his palms enough to be flashy, but nothing too big.

“Thanks guys, I have a feeling these are going to turn out great!” Kenji said, standing up straight. He walked over to the two heroes, giving them a bow he asked, “You two were amazing, could I have your contact information? I do some art shows and have an idea for a couple of shots I would like to do with you both.”

“It is ok with me. What about you, Ground Zero?” Kia asked, turning to her partner.

“Sure, why not?” Bakugou replied.

After giving him their information, Kia and Bakugou said their goodbyes to Ryuski before heading to the parking garage. It was almost 11am when Bakugou and Kia left for the agency. Kia leaned forward, wrapping her arms around Bakugou as he sped down the street.

“Thanks for that, B,” Kia said through the headset in their helmets.

“For what?” Bakugou replied.

“For interrupting when Ryuski asked me where I learned how speak a lot of languages,” Kia reminded.

“You looked like you didn’t want to answer,” Bakugou replied.

“I didn’t,” Kia said, squeezing him tighter.

Bakugou didn’t ask any more questions and Kia didn’t loosen her hold as they turned a corner headed towards the agency.

As they parked the bike, Kia placed the helmet she was using back on the shelf. “I should have my brother send my helmet over,” she thought out loud. “A friend of mine painted it custom to look like a dragon.”

Bakugou didn’t respond as he put away his own helmet and made his way to the door. Puzzled, Kia hurried to catch up with him. They walked in silence as they made their way to their office. Once there Bakugou sat down heavily at his desk.

Kia walked over to her own desk, starting up her computer to check her e-mail. “You know, you did a really good job with the photo shoot. The camera really loved you. I think the pictures are going to turn out amazing,” Kia said, looking over at her partner.

Again, Bakugou didn’t respond. He just stared at his computer, his scowl getting ever more prominent. Frustrated, Kia stood up, placing her hands on her hips as she looked at her partner. She didn’t think she had done anything to make him really mad so she wondered if he had something he wanted to say.
“Alright, what is it?” Kia demanded. Bakugou looked over at her, his scowl deepening. “Either I pissed you off or you have something you want to say.
Which is it?” Kia asked.

Bakugou mumbled something under his breath.

“What?” Kia asked, straining to hear her partner.

“I said……” Bakugou mumbled again.

“B, I can’t understand you, speak up!” Kia said.

“I SAID THANK YOU, DAMN IT!” Bakugou yelled.

“PFFT!” Kia burst out in laughter, doubling over as she clutched her stomach.

Bakugou stood up, his anger and embarrassment at the boiling point. “IF THAT IS HOW YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE MY GRATITUDE, THEN GO DIE!!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Kia gasped, trying to get herself under control. Shaking her head, she straightened up to look at him. “You really have a hard time accepting help, don’t you?” Bakugou just glared at her before turning away. Kia walked over and put a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, I’m sorry, ok. I shouldn’t have laughed. What do you feel you have to thank me for?”

Bakugou turned back around to face her. “You stood up for me with that reporter. I’ve only had one other person do that for me with the media.”

“Of course I would defend you, B! You’re my partner. It’s not a big deal,” Kia replied.

“It was a big deal to me,” Bakugou admitted.

Kia was surprised at the sincerity in Bakugou’s gaze as he confessed to her what her words meant to him.

“I meant everything I said.” Kia gave him a smile.

Bakugou was about to say something when there was a knock at the door. Kia walked over and opened it to see Jeanist standing there.
“Hello, how was your interview?” Jeanist asked, walking in.

“I think it went pretty good,” Kia replied standing back. Bakugou walked over next to her and gave a nod in agreement.

“I’m glad. The agency could use some more publicity for our up and coming heroes,” Jeanist said. “I actually came here to talk to you,” he said, looking at Kia.

“What can I help you with, sir?” she asked.

“I’ve been asked to provide some models for the cover shoot of a popular magazine. I was hoping you would oblige and model for me,” Jeanist said. “Of course, you will be paid for your time.”

Kia hesitated while thinking about the offer. “When will the shoot be?”

“Two weeks from now,” Jeanist informed her.

“What kind of modeling will it be?” Kia asked.

“It will be for the fall line of a popular clothing brand, so just everyday attire like pants and jackets,” Jeanist replied.

“Ok, it doesn’t sound too bad, I will be happy to do it,” Kia said with a smile. “Think you can manage without me for a day?” She turned to Bakugou.

“I will be just fine,” Bakugou snorted.

“Alright then, I will be counting on you,” Jeanist said as he turned to leave.

When the door closed, Bakugou turned back toward his desk. “Let’s get ready to go on patrol,” he said.

“Alright, sounds good to me,” Kia said, walking over to shut off her computer. “Want to get something to eat first? I’m starving.”

Bakugou nodded as he put his gauntlets on and headed towards the door.

“Do you like sushi? I found this great spot a couple blocks from here? Since you paid last time, it will be my treat.” Kia smiled.

“Sure,” Bakugou replied as they headed out.

Chapter Text

After lunch, Kia and Bakugou headed down their usual routes and everything was calm with no problems in sight. They had just got done talking to Mr. Kawahara when both of their phones went off. Kia looked at hers to see a message with an address while Bakugou answered a call.

“Ground Zero,” Bakugou answered.

“We have and emergency,” Jeanist said over the phone. “There is a group of villains robbing a store in the Ginza district. They have taken hostages, and the police are calling for backup from any available heroes.”

“We will head there now,” Bakugou said before hanging up. “We will have to go back for my bike,” he said, turning towards Kia.

“We don’t have time for that! It will take too long to get back and Ginza district isn’t exactly close,” Kia replied. “I have a better idea so we can get there faster.”

“What are you talking about?” Bakugou asked. Kia stepped closer to him, wrapping her arms around his torso in a hug. “What are you…”Bakugou started before Kia’s wings spread out behind her.

“Hold on,” she commanded before taking off from the sidewalk. Startled, Bakugou wrapped his arms around her shoulders, holding on as his feet left the ground. Kia’s massive wings had them airborne in a couple of powerful strokes, and soon they were soaring over the tops of the buildings.

Amazed, Bakugou looked below them as they rose with every sweep of Kia’s wings.

“Jeeze, you are heavier than you look,” Kia grunted as her wings gave another sweep through the air. “Just relax and hold on, it makes it easier to carry you.”

“You’re not going to fucking drop me, are you?” Bakugou asked, still looking below them.

“Don’t you trust me?” Kia laughed.

Turning to look at her, Bakugou realized how close they were. He was literally face-to-face with her, hanging off to one side so she could see where they were going. His heart beat faster, but he couldn’t tell if it was because of the height and their sudden take off or because she was so close.

“You could have given me a heads up,” he pouted.

“This will be faster and quieter,” Kia explained. “Since we have a ways to go, I can get us to the roof of the building and we can get in without them noticing. Also, you won’t have to overuse your quirk to get there. The backlash of your explosions must wear on your arms, don’t they?” Kia asked him.

“Yeah, if I use a lot of big explosions it can, but I’ve worked on endurance since high school,” Bakugou replied.

“How high up should we go?” Kia asked while looking below them.

“High enough that no one can see you carrying me like some fucking damsel in distress,” Bakugou growled.

Laughing, Kia flapped her wings, carrying them higher in the air. “Here, keep your arms around my shoulders and lift yourself up so I can grab the back of your belt,” Kia told him.

Obliging, Bakugou lifted his body up so Kia could grab his belt with her left hand. Reaching up, she grabbed his right hand with her own. “Ok, now let go with your left and hold your body as close to me as you can… and relax so you don’t throw me off balance.”

Letting go, Bakugou turned to face the same way as Kia, holding on more than being held on to. The wind felt amazing as they soared over the city high above the buildings. They were making excellent time as the Ginza district came into view.

“Have you done this a lot?” Bakugou asked, meaning flying with someone.

“Actually, no…” Kia admitted. “Most people can’t get the feel for it, so it makes flying hard.”

“Why did you decide to fly with me then?” Bakugou questioned, a little worried.

“I’ve seen the way you move through the air with your own quirk and the way you move when you fight and ride. Your sense of balance and reaction time is amazing. When fighting together, you and I move in sync. I figured if anyone could move with me while flying, it would be you.”

Bakugou could feel his face heat up at her praise. “You’ve never been able to fly properly with anyone before?” he asked.

“No,” Kia answered.

A block away, they could see a building surrounded by police. It was a large jewelry retail store with several other businesses inside the large building. Kia started circling high above the building as they looked for any lookouts on the roof.

“I can only make out one guard on the roof,” Bakugou said.

“Me too, but I can’t do anything while flying with you. We don’t want to alert the rest, so we probably shouldn’t use your explosions right now,” Kia thought out loud.

“Can you fly down there with me and I will take him out?” Bakugou asked.

“Here, let me wrap my arms around you from behind,” Kia said.

Bakugou let go of her, somewhat free falling while Kia held onto his belt, moving him in front of her so she could wrap her arms around his chest again. Once she had a good hold of him she asked, “Are you ready?”

“Hell yeah!” Bakugou grinned.
Pulling her wings in, Kia moved into a dive, rocketing towards the rooftop where the villain was standing unaware. Bakugou grabbed her wrists as she spun, leveling out to come at the villain from the side. Locking wrists together, Bakugou dropped, holding tight to Kia as he aimed a kick at the villain and sent him tumbling across the roof into an unconscious heap.

Pulling up, Kia set Bakugou down before landing silently on the rooftop. Bakugou quickly pulled a pair of handcuffs out of his belt and cuffed the villain.

Kia moved to the roof access door and placed her ear against it, listening to see if someone was on the other side.

“I don’t hear or smell anything so I bet no one is on the other side,” Kia said as Bakugou walked over to join her. Jiggling the handle, she continued, “The door is locked.”

“Move out of the way,” Bakugou said, holding a hand out towards the knob.

Kia grabbed his hand, “Wait! If you open it with an explosion it will be loud and will alert the villains. If you blow our advantage, I will freeze your ass to this roof,” she threatened.

Glaring back at her, Bakugou turned away and crossed his arms, “Fine then, how are you going to get the door open?” he asked mockingly.

“The old fashion way,” Kia responded. Reaching into a pocket on her belt, she pulled out a lock pick. “It looks just like a plain lock and they don’t usually put alarms on roof doors,” she said as she went to work picking the lock.

“Since when have you been able to do that?” Bakugou asked, looking over her shoulder.

“Pick a lock?” Kia replied, “In high school they taught us all this as basic skills. You can’t always use your quirk.”

“Teach me,” Bakugou demanded.

Looking up at him Kia smiled. “Say the magic word.”

“Or else,” Bakugou shot back.

Kia stifled a laughed as the lock she was working on clicked and she opened the door. “Wrong word” she said before stepping into the building.

Bakugou followed her with a grin. Making his way to the stairwell, he peeked over the side, checking for any more villains as Kia closed the door quietly. “I don’t see anything… what about you?” he asked, turning towards her.

Kia closed her eyes, scales blossoming across her cheeks as she used her dragon senses to see if anyone was in the stair well. Shaking her head, she
looked over the railing. “No, but there are people two floors down. They smell scared, so they are either just hiding in the building or they are hostages,” she said, following Bakugou down the steps.

They made their way down while checking the top floor for anyone before heading down to the next. Stopping at the door, Bakugou beckoned for her to come over and listen. Pressing her ear to the door, Kia listened and breathed deep.

“There are six… no… seven people in there. From the sounds of it they are hiding,” Kia whispered.

“We should be on guard just in case,” Bakugou stated, reaching for the door handle. Kia stood up and moved to the other side of the door. Looking at Bakugou, she nodded to let him know she was ready. Turning the handle, he pulled the door open and rushed inside with Kia right behind him.
Looking around, they saw that they were in an office area full of cubicles. “We are here to help,” Kia called out softly. A man’s head peeked out from under one of the desks.

“It’s Ground Zero!” The man called, coming out from under the desk. Slowly, six more people made their way out of hiding and came over to thank the heroes.

“What can you tell us about the villains?” Bakugou asked the first man who had recognized him.

“Not much… I ran as soon as I saw the first one,” he replied.

“We saw them come in,” said a young woman who was clinging to the young man at her side.

“There were five of them that we saw. They are robbing the jewelry store three floors down. We were there looking for engagement rings,” the young man added.

“We ran up the stairs and hid here when one of them followed us. He came in here but I think he headed to the roof,” the young woman finished.

“We already took care of that one,” Kia assured them all.

“I want you all to head to the roof now,” Bakugou ordered, taking out his cell phone, “I will get ahold of the police to let them know you are up there.” Bakugou dialed the police as Kia directed everyone into the stairwell.

“What is your name?” one of the other men that had been hiding asked Kia as he moved past her.

“Wildside,” Kia responded. “Don’t worry Ground Zero and I will stop these villains.”

“Thank you,” the man said as he followed the others.

Kia made a quick sweep of the floor then returned to Bakugou, who was just getting off the phone. “I’ve informed the police of the situation. Let’s head down to the next floor.”

Together, they headed down the stairs. Just when they got to the door, Kia put a hand out, stopping Bakugou. Looking over at her, he saw her put a finger to her lips. Moving to either side of the door, the two heroes waited.

“I’m going to see what is taking that dumbass so long,” a villain said. Bakugou and Kia could hear the beep of a walkie talkie as the villain let the call button go.

“Radio back as soon as you have found him,” another voice said over the radio.

“Rodger that,” the villain replied as he opened the door, turning and coming face-to-face with Kia.

“Hey there, I’m lost, could you point the way to the exit?” Kia said, distracting the villain.

“What the…?” the villain started only to have Bakugou grab him by the collar.

“I would drop the radio if I were you,” Bakugou threatened.

The walkie clattered to the floor as the villain recognized him. “G-G-Ground Z-Zero” the villain stammered. “Please don’t hurt me.”

“Then tell us what we want to know,” Kia demanded.

“How many of you are there?” Bakugou questioned, slamming the villain up against the wall.

“Seven all together,” the villain confessed. “Please don’t hurt me, I’m not even that powerful… my cousin dragged me into this and said it would be good money.”

“How many of you are powerful?” Kia asked.

“Four,” the villain answered.

“What are their quirks?” Bakugou growled.
“I don’t know about two of them, but my cousin has a water quirk and his friend has some kind of defensive quirk.”

“How many hostages are there?” Bakugou demanded.

“I don’t know, I didn’t count them all… maybe a dozen,” the villain answered uncertainly.

“Is that all?” Kia asked raising a brow. “If you are lying to us…well, you should know that my partner here has a short fuse.”

“I swear!” the villain cried.

“Good,” Kia smiled. “For being so cooperative, I will make this quick.”

“What?” the villain whimpered right before Kia punched him in the face, knocking him unconscious.

Pulling another pair of cuffs from his belt, Bakugou eyed his partner. “You could leave some of the fun for me, you know,” he said as he secured the villain.

“You can have the next one,” Kia offered as they checked the floor the villain just came from.

After securing the floor, they moved their way down to find the next floor was a clothing store. They searched the area, not finding a single person.

“The villains and hostages are supposed to be on the floor below us,” Kia said.

“Yeah, the trick will be getting in there,” Bakugou replied.

“No blasting through the floor,” Kia interrupted as Bakugou opened his mouth to say something else.

“That’s not what I was going to say!” he growled. “We need to find out the layout and where the villains and hostages are.”

“Got any ideas?” Kia asked. Bakugou shook his head, thinking it over. Looking around them at all the clothes, Kia got an idea. Pulling a jacket off the rack, she looked at the size.

“This is no time to be shopping, Sunshine…” Bakugou said.

“I’m not shopping, I’m thinking of a way to scope out the floor,” Kia said as she moved through the racks.

“What is your plan?” Bakugou asked.

“I will dress as a civilian and get caught by the villains. Then I can use the earpiece you gave me to tell you positions and numbers so you can blast in there and we can catch these guys,” Kia said, pulling a dark blouse over her costume.

“Are you stupid? You are going to let yourself get caught?” Bakugou hissed at her.

“Got a better plan?” Kia challenged, kicking off her boots.

Bakugou gritted his teeth as Kia pulled on a pair of black dress pants and heels. She pulled her hair into a bun at the base of her neck and grabbed a pair of glasses from the counter.

“How do I look?” she asked.

“Like a secretary,” Bakugou replied.

“Good. Now to get them to come up here,” Kia said, looking around. The floor in the store was tile, so she bumped one of the display racks, causing it to screech across the floor. “You had better find a place to hide,” she said, turning to Bakugou. He slipped away two seconds before the door to the stairs burst open, showing a large villain.

The villain stalked through the aisle, looking for what had caused the noise. He was making his way to Bakugou’s hiding spot when Kia knocked over a display of necklaces. Spinning around, the villain caught sight of her. Kia took off for the stair well only to have the villain cut her off.

“I’ve got you now!” the villain chuckled as he grabbed Kia by the arm.

“No! Please let me go!” Kia exclaimed as she pretended to try and pull away.

Bakugou hid in the shadows, gritting his teeth as he watched his partner put herself in danger. Kia continued struggling against the villain until he slapped her across the face. Kia went limp at the contact and slumped to the floor.

“Pretty little thing, aren’t ya?” the villain said as he threw her over his shoulder. “Maybe we could have some fun with you.”

It was all Bakugou could do not to rush the villain. He stood up, wanting to go after them. but Kia’s eyes opened from where she was slung over the villains back. Meeting his gaze, she gave him a wink before closing them again. Bakugou took a deep breath, realizing that the whole thing had very well been an act on Kia’s part. He reached up making sure his earpiece was in place and got ready to do one thing he hated most… wait.

Chapter Text

Kirishima ran up to the policeman in charge, “What is the situation?” he asked.

“Red Riot! I’m glad you and Chargebolt are here,” the policeman answered. “We might need backup. At least five villains have taken hostages in a jewelry store on the sixth floor of the building. Ground Zero and Wildside have successfully made their way inside. They are making their way down from the roof.”

“Ground Zero is in there?” Kaminari said, exchanging looks with Kirishima. It was known that stealth missions were not Bakugou’s strong suit. He tended to lose patience and charge in with a bang.

“Can we get in the building from the ground floor?” Kirishima asked the policeman.

“They have barricaded the third floor with some kind of stone. We haven’t been able to break through it,” the policeman informed them.

“Let’s head up there,” Kirishima said, turning to Kaminari.

“Yeah, it shouldn’t be long before Ground Zero blows a fuse,” Kaminari laughed.

Just then the policeman’s cell phone rang. “It’s Ground Zero,” he said before answering. “Any new information?” he asked.

Kirishima could hear Bakugou’s rough voice as he told the policeman new information. “Seven villains, and you have captured two,” the policeman echoed. “Sunshine has gone undercover and been taken hostage… Who is Sunshine?” the policeman asked.

“His partner,” Kirishima clarified, “Let me talk to him.” The policeman handed his phone over to Kirishima. “It’s Red Riot. Chargebolt and I are here now. How can we back you up?”

“Kirishima! Took you long enough,” Bakugou growled. “Are you and Dunceface able to get inside the building?”

“Yes, but only up to the third floor. The villains have barricaded it there,” Kirishima replied.

“Get there and be ready. Sunshine is playing hostage and will radio back the number of hostages and the positions of the villains. Have Sparky patch you two into our frequency.”
Kirishima turned to his own partner. “He wants you to tap into their frequency,” he told Kaminari.

“He called me Dunceface didn’t he?” Kaminari asked.

“Hey, at least he knows who Chargebolt is!” Kirishima offered. “Let’s head inside,” he said as he handed the phone back to the policeman.

Making their way to the front doors, the two heroes slipped inside.

%%%%%

Kia pretended to wake up as the villain carried her to the sixth floor. Kicking and beating on his back, she demanded he let her go. The villain walked through the door into the jewelry store, throwing her on the floor and binding her hands and feet with some kind of hard substance he created.

“The heroes are gonna stop you!” Kia said after he was done binding her.

“Well, we will just see about that, won’t we, Sweetheart?” the villain said, grabbing her jaw and looking her in the face. “I bet a pretty thing like you would go for quite a bit in the right market,” he chuckled. Kia swallowed her anger and gave the villain a horrified look one would expect from a hostage.

Laughing, the villain pushed her down and walked over to where five others were standing. Pushing herself back into a sitting position, she looked around the room. There were a lot of hostages and all of them had their hands and feet bound. Kia could count eleven all together. They were all huddled in a back corner of the store. Pretending to rub her face where the villain slapped her, Kia turned on her earpiece.

“B, I’m in,” she whispered.

“It’s about damn time,” Bakugou growled.

“Oh, your partner is a woman? Is she hot?” Kaminari’s voice came over the ear piece.

“That’s Chargebolt, and I’m Red Riot. We are here to back you up,” Kirishima clarified.

“How many hostages and villains?” Bakugou asked.

“Eleven…six,” Kia replied in a whisper. The other villain had lied and there were actually eight of them all together.

Kia straightened, up leaning back against the desk behind her. A woman sat crying next to her with an elderly gentleman on her other side.

“It’s ok, the heroes will save us,” Kia reassured the woman.

“Hey! You, over there! Shut up!” said the villain that carried her in. Walking over to her, he grabbed her by the throat and lifted her off the floor. “You better keep quiet or I will show you what happens to naughty little girls,” the villain leered.

“Let her down,” said the elderly gentleman.

“You want to take her place, old man?” the villain asked, dropping Kia back to the floor.

Stomping over, the villain kicked the old man in the stomach, causing the woman next to him to shriek.

“Leave him alone!” Kia said, coughing after being choked.

Bakugou could hear everything that was going on and snapped. “That’s it, I’m blasting down there!”

“No!” Kia coughed.

“If the villains are in the center of the building, an explosion could cause the ceiling to collapse,” Kirishima warned. “I know it is hard to listen to, but stay calm, Bakugou.”

“Not to mention the property damages…” Kaminari added.

“Tch,” Bakugou started.

“Stop I’m … I’m ok…” Kia’s voice said over the earpiece.

“You think so, do ya?” the heroes heard the villain say.

“What is going on over there?” another villain called out, walking over to where the hostages sat.

“We have a hero lover here that is causing problems,” the first villain responded.

The new villain crouched down in front of Kia. “So, you think heroes will come save you?” he asked her.

“What makes you think they won’t come right through the door?” Kia croaked. Catching her meaning Bakugou headed to the stair well.

“There are six of us, and nothing is harder than Yuma’s quirk. They won’t be able to break through,” the villain laughed.

Kirishima smirked hearing the villain’s declaration. “We will see about that… We are just about to reach the third floor.”

“Hurry up, damn it!” Bakugou snarled over the earpiece. “I’m at the door,” he told Kia.

“What are you going to do with all of us?” Kia asked the villains tearfully.

“The heroes will be busy trying to save all of you while this place goes up in flames,” the villain laughed.

“I can break through,” Kirishima informed them over the earpiece.

“Sounds to me like you guys might be a little over confident,” Kia smiled, looking down at her lap.

“What?” the villain named Yuma snarled.

“Did you ever think that a hero might get into the building through the roof?” Kia asked, grinning up at them.

“Has anyone heard from Manzo?” the second villain demanded.

“Not yet, Kono… Why?” the third villain asked.

“Who the hell are you?” the villain named Kono barked at Kia.

Scales spread across Kia’s face as she smiled up at the villains. “A hero,” she stated as she sunk her claws into the restraints on her feet. With a heave, Kia split her restraints in two, freeing herself and jumping to her feet.

At the same time, Bakugou blasted through the door and barreled straight into Yuma. “You said the next one was mine!” He grinned as he slammed the villain’s face into the floor.

Kia transformed, spreading out her wings and tail to cover the hostages as she faced Kono. “He is all yours,” she hollered back.

“You fool!” Kono exclaimed. “You didn’t think to check her before you brought her down here?”

Yuma grunted and stood up as the same substance he used to restrain the hostages covered his entire body. Bakugou peppered him with small blasts, trying to find a weak spot in his armor. The villain swung wide as Bakugou dodged, blasting him in the face before grabbing the villain’s wrist while twisting and using one of his blasts to give him momentum to throw the villain. Bakugou sent Yuma crashing in Kono and they went stumbling into the other villains.

“You two are going to regret this!” Kono threatened. “Shig! Uyeda! After them!” Two of the other villains lunged forward; Shig’s fists alight with flame and Uyeda turning into some kind of beast.

“Where the hell are you?” Bakugou snarled through his radio.

“Almost through!” Kirishima answered.

Bakugou blasted Shig backwards into a display while Kia lunged forward to meet Uyeda head on. Kono turned around to join the other three villains as they gathered the bags of jewelry.

Bakugou turned, aiming a blast at the other five villains, but Kono turned around and threw up a shield made of water that stopped the blast. One of the other villains stepped up next to Kono and began throwing metal balls the size of golf balls at Bakugou. Blasting them away, Bakugou realized the villain must use some kind of magnetism quirk to throw them. Defending the hostages from the two villains, he watched as the last villain and Yuma kept gathering the bags of jewels together.

Kia dodged as Uyeda flailed at her. The villain was stronger than her but not faster. He also seemed to lose his sense of self in his beast form, making his attacks unpredictable. She glanced over to see how Bakugou was fairing, which gave Uyeda a chance to grab her, swing her around, and throw her across the room. She braced herself as she went through the wall and found herself falling down the middle of the stairwell. Unable to use her wings to stop herself in the narrow space, she braced for a hard landing. Suddenly, a pair of arms shot out, catching her in midair. Surprised, Kia found herself in the arms of a red haired man.

“Hey, handsome! Nice catch!” she smiled at her rescuer.

“You’re welcome,” Kirishima smiled back, blushing a little at her compliment.

All of a sudden, they heard Bakugou yell followed by a few explosions and screaming hostages. Kia jumped out of Kirishima’s arms and bounded up the stairs.

“You help the hostages get free while I help Ground Zero,” she said to Kirishima.

“Yes, ma’am! Chargebolt, you help Wildside,” Kirishima said as they burst through the hole in the wall.

Bakugou was holding off four of the villains by blasting one after another as they tried to get close. The cramped space only allowed him to create small blasts so he wasn’t able to knock out any of the villains. Kia sprinted to his side, grabbing the magnet villain with her tail and throwing him into the checkout counter.

Kaminari rushed to stop the last villain from getting away with the jewels only to come face-to-face with Uyeda. The beast reached out to grab him only to find out the hard way how Kaminari got his hero name. Uyeda slumped to the ground after being electrocuted and Kaminari rushed after the villain with the jewels.

Kirishima had made quick work of the restrains and was showing the hostages through the door and down the stairwell when the fifth villain came barreling through them followed closely by Kaminari. Stopping, Kirishima hardened his arms and stepped up to clothes line the villain as he tried to run down the stairs. Kaminari cuffed the villain as Kirishima grabbed the bag of jewels. They escorted the jewels, villain, and the hostages down the stairs to where the police were waiting outside.

As the two heroes turned to go back inside, a loud crash sounded overhead. Looking up they saw Kia and Uyeda, who had recovered from Kaminari’s attack, hurtling towards the ground. The police cleared out from under the two as they fell. At the last second, Kia spun the villain under her, cratering him into the pavement and effectively knocking him out.

A loud blast sounded overhead as the remaining four villains jumped out the window onto a swirling vortex of water Kono had created as they fell. Bakugou blasted out the window after them. Kia took off, leaving Uyeda to the police as she rushed to her partner’s side. Kirishima and Kaminari rushed after their comrades. Bakugou dodged Shig’s blasts of fire as the villains tried to make their escape. Picking up speed, Kia flew into Kono, breaking the villain’s concentration on the water vortex and sending them all falling to the street. Kia landed in front of the villains as Bakugou blasted his way behind them.

“It’s four on two, heroes,” Kono said.

“You might as well give up now,” Kia taunted.

“Get them!” Kono yelled. He and Shig advanced on Kia as Yuma and the magnet villain faced off with Bakugou.

Bakugou blasted Yuma with strong explosions as he dodged the other villain’s projectiles. Kia used her wings to defend from Shig’s fire as she tried to hold back Kono’s water with her flames causing the area to become ingulfed with steam. Kia sent a blast at Kono when two discs flew by her imbedding themselves into the street at the head villain’s feet.

“Wildside, look out!” Kaminari yelled as he got within range. Pointing his finger, he let loose his electricity as Kono sent a blast of water at the electric hero, a move that only acted as a conductor for Kaminari’s quirk. The villain was helpless as Kaminari’s electricity shot down the water and hit the villain full force, giving him the shock of his life.

Kirishima ran past them to help Bakugou with the villains he was fighting. The sturdy hero ran straight for Yuma, crashing into the hardening villain and sending him stumbling backwards as Bakugou squared off with the magnet villain.

“Let’s just see whose quirk is harder.” Kirishima challenged as he held up his fists.

“No chance, little man!” Yuma said. “Nothing is harder than my quirk!”

Rushing each other, the villain and hero began to pummel each other as they tested the other’s endurance. Hardening himself as much as he could, Kirishima let the villain hit him full force. The villain’s own quirk shattered as he connected with Kirishima. The villain cried out in pain as his quirk crumbled. Smiling, Kirishima pulled back a fist.

“Looks like you aren’t the hardest one around,” Kirishima said as he hit the villain square in the face. Yuma flew backwards, landing in a heap.
Throwing a fist up in the air, Kirishima turned to see Bakugou use his AP shot to send the other villain’s projectiles right back at him. The villain wasn’t prepared as his own attack pelted him. Bakugou shot forward using a blast to knock the villain out.

Bakugou immediately turned around to see the last villain blasting Kia with fire from both hands. The resulting inferno was starting to melt the pavement around the heroine. Kirishima had took a step forward to go help when Bakugou held out an arm to stop him. The fireball Shig was blasting at Kia was getting bigger and hotter but it was clear that the villain was starting to tire.His flames started to die down as he ran out of steam. Soon they flickered out to reveal Kia standing before the villain, unhurt.

“There is one thing you should know about me,” Kia said as she walked up to the villain, “I’m fireproof.”

Shig dropped to his knees and put his hands up in the air in surrender and Kia cuffed him.

Chapter Text

The four heroes helped the police gather up the captured and unconscious villains, delivering them one by one into the iron maidens the police had at the ready. Thankfully, Uyeda had shrunk back down to his normal size and the police were able to carry him easily.

Kia stood next to Bakugou as they watched the police load up the last of the villains. She turned to him while holding up her fist and smiling. Bakugou rolled his eyes before giving her a fist bump.

“See? It worked!” Kia said, crossing her arms.

“You could have gotten hurt,” Bakugou said, grabbing her chin and turning her face to see where Yuma had hit her.

“You know I can take a hit, B,” Kia replied.

“You are lucky you’re tougher than hell,” Bakugou told her.

“I’m going to go find that shop owner and tell them about the clothes I borrowed,” Kia said. “Unfortunately, they were not as fire proof as my costume,” she added before walking over towards a group of people talking to a policeman.

Bakugou watched her go, shaking his head about how reckless his partner had been.

“Dude, she is totally hot,” Kaminari said, walking up and putting a hand on Bakugou’s shoulder.

“Why won’t you give me a fist bump?” Kirishima asked, walking up on his other side.

“Both of you can go to hell,” Bakugou growled, shrugging Kaminari’s hand off.

“Seriously, man how did you score a partner like that?” Kaminari asked. “Oh, how I wouldn’t mind staring at her all day. I might just have to ask her out.”

“She’s more than something to stare at, and I doubt she would like to be treated that way. Besides, she is out of your league,” Bakugou warned.

Kaminari and Kirishima exchanged looks of surprise. “Ouch,” Kirishima winced. “Guess you don’t have a chance then,” he said as he gave Kaminari a shove. They watched as Kia talked to a middle-aged woman who must have been the owner of the shop. “So, are you going to introduce us?” Kirishima asked.

“Why would I do that?” Bakugou said, turning toward his friend.

“Come on, man! I have wanted to meet her,” Kirishima whined.

“Introduce yourself, then,” Bakugou retorted.

“Here comes our chance,” Kaminari said, nudging Kirishima.

They all looked up to see Kia walking back towards them. “Well, she wouldn’t let me pay for the clothes I borrowed.” Kia told Bakugou as she walked up to him. “She said that saving everyone and keeping the villains from burning down the place was enough.” Turning to look at Kirishima and Kaminari, she gave Bakugou a questioning look before sighing and introducing herself. “Hi, I’m Wildside,” she greeted.

“Hey, beautiful… how would you like to grab a bite sometime?” Kaminari flirted.

“You must be Dunce Face,” Kia said, raising a brow.

Kirishima snorted and laughed out loud at his partner’s crestfallen face while Bakugou grinned at his partner’s retort.

Clapping Kaminari on the shoulder, Kirishima introduce himself, “Don’t mind this idiot, he is harmless. They call him Chargebolt, and I’m Red Riot.”

“You are the one who caught me earlier, thanks for that,” Kia said, bowing to Kirishima. “So your name is Red Riot? That must mean you are B’s best friend.”

“Did he tell you that?” Kirishima said in disbelief.

“No, a lady at a restaurant did, actually,” Kia confessed.

“I should have known. There is no way he would outright admit that,” Kirishima laughed. “It is nice to finally meet you. I’ve heard some stories.”

“I’m surprised to hear that. Hopefully they have been all good stories,” Kia smiled.

“So far so good,” Kirishima grinned. Bakugou rolled his eyes from where he stood behind Kia.

“Hey, let me treat you to dinner,” Kia offered. “It could be my way of thanking you for catching me, and we can see if the stories do me any justice.”

Kirishima blinked in surprise, as did Bakugou and Kaminari.

“Really? You don’t have to… just saying thanks is enough.” Kirishima blushed.

“I’m serious, you pick the place and I will pay. You seem like a really nice guy, and I haven’t gotten to know anyone except B since I got here. Maybe you could show me around the city sometime?” Kia asked.

Kirishima’s face was almost as red as his hair. “Alright, why don’t we exchange contact information, then?” He suggested. A deep frown overtook Bakugou’s face.

Kia pulled out her phone and gave Kirishima her e-mail and phone number. “I’m Kia by the way… Kia Hales,” she said, holding out her hand.

“Eijiro Kirishima,” he replied, shaking her hand.

“Eijiro… that’s a nice name. Do you mind if I call you that?” Kia asked.

“S-sure! Can I call you Kia?” Kirishima asked.

“Of course!” Kia beamed.

“I’m Denki Kaminari!” the electric hero butted in. “You can call me Denki if you want,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows at Kia.

“I think I might prefer Dunce Face,” Kia replied.

Kaminari’s face fell as Kirishima burst out laughing. A small smile graced Bakugou’s face before it slipped back into a frown.

A reporter walked up to the group. “Can we get an interview with all of you?” he asked. Kia, Kirishima, and Kaminari stood there talking to the reporter and filled him in on the details of what went on in the building. Kia kept looking over at her partner, who stood a little ways off his with his arms crossed and a deep scowl on his face.

Kirishima noticed Kia’s confusion at Bakugou’s sour mood. Catching her eye, he gave her a questioning look but Kia merely shrugged in response.
Looking back at his friend, Kirishima wondered what had put him in such a bad mood. The reporter asked Bakugou a few questions and the hero answered them without any problems, much to the surprise of Kia and Kirishima. Bakugou seemed as though something was on his mind.

“Hey, B, are you ok?” Kia asked after the reporters walked away.

“Yeah man, your acting weird,” Kirishima added.

“I’m fine!” Bakugou snapped.

In Kirishima’s experience you left Bakugou alone until he was ready to talk. Otherwise, his short temper tended to flare up. So he was surprise when Kia walked over to his friend. Stepping in front of Bakugou, she looked him in the eyes.

“What pissed you off? I know you well enough by now to tell when you are angry. It feels like you are mad at me,” Kia confronted her partner.

“Back off and leave me the hell alone,” Bakugou warned.

Kia crossed her arms as she stared down the intimidating hero. “I have to fly the both of us back to the agency. I’d rather not have a pissed off grenade hanging from me while in the air.”

Kirishima watched as Kia and Bakugou argued. He still couldn’t believe the way she confronted him. Kia wasn’t backing down at all, no matter what Bakugou said.

Kaminari leaned in to whisper to Kirishima, “I think Jeanist found someone just as stubborn as Bakugou.”

“No kidding,” Kirishima whispered back. He had never seen anyone stand their ground against Bakugou’s rage and not even flinch.

“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what I did to make you angry,” Kia told Bakugou.

“I’m not angry,” Bakugou growled.

“Could have fooled me… then what are you?” Kia replied.

Bakugou’s scowl deepened as looked at Kia. “You’re not going to let this go, are you?” he asked.

“Do I ever?” Kia replied.

What happened next had Kirishima and Kaminari’s jaws hitting the pavement. Taking a deep breath, Bakugou stepped closer to Kia and looked down at her. “I’m not mad at you,” he said in a calm voice.

“Ok then what is bothering you? Did we miss something?” Kia asked, concerned.

Bakugou mumbled something under his breath that Kirishima and Kaminari couldn’t hear. Shock appeared on Kia’s face at whatever Bakugou had said.

“You don’t have my number?” Kia repeated. Choking back a laugh she smiled up at her partner. “You could have just asked. Don’t tell me you are jealous?” Kia accused with a smirk.

“Jealous? Like hell I’m jealous of Kirishima!” Bakugou sputtered.

“I don’t know, B… it looks like your blushing a little,” Kia teased.

“GO TO HELL!” Bakugou bellowed, turning away from his partner. Looking up, he saw the other two heroes watching the whole scene with identical looks of disbelief on their faces. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO LOOKING AT?!” he yelled at them.

“He is blushing!” Kaminari said in awe.

“Dude, you really don’t have her number?” Kirishima asked.

“SHUT UP!” Bakugou stomped off down the street. They could practically see the smoke rolling out of his ears.

Giggling, Kia moved to stand next to Kirishima and Kaminari, “Sometimes he really surprises me…” Looking at the other two heroes, she bowed. “It was nice to meet you both. I would like to talk more, but I better catch up with him.”

“It was nice to finally meet you too,” Kirishima replied, bowing.

“I don’t think I have ever seen Bakugou actually blush,” Kaminari said, amazed.

“Sounds like you two have known B for a while. We will have to hang out sometime,” Kia said as she took off after her partner. “See ya!”

They both watched as Kia ran off in the direction Bakugou had gone. “She is something, isn’t she?” Kaminari offered.

“You don’t think that he…?” Kirishima dropped off as he looked at Kaminari.

“Bakugou has never shown any interest in anyone before, so how are we supposed to know?” Kaminari replied. “But a guy would have to be blind not to be a little interested in her.”

“I wonder if she is interested in him?” Kirishima thought out loud.

“Bakugou’s good looking, which makes him popular with the ladies, but he usually runs them off with his shitty personality,” Kaminari replied.

“She doesn’t seem to mind. She really was worried about him being mad at her,” Kirishima added.

“I don’t know Red… she did ask you out on a date,” Kaminari said, winking.

Kirishima blushed. “Yeah, but it isn’t really a date.”

“You are going to have dinner with her. It’s a date,” Kaminari declared. “If Bakugou does have a thing for her I would hate to be you. That is some serious breaking of the bro code.”

“Maybe I can find out what she thinks of him?” Kirishima wondered.

Chapter Text

“B, wait up!” Kia yelled as she ran after her partner.

Bakugou ignored her as he stomped down the street trying to get in control of his emotions. Why the hell am I jealous? Bakugou thought to himself, She even called me out on it in front of Kirishima and Dunce Face. Fuck! If she wants him to show her around Tokyo that is her decision. Not like I want to anyway.

“B, I said wait!” Kia called out as she weaved through the foot traffic. Sighing, Bakugou stopped, not turning around as he waited for her to catch up.
“Jeez, do you plan on walking back?” Kia said as she caught up to him. Bakugou huffed and continued walking down the street. Kia followed beside him, glancing at the brooding hero every now and then. Quickly, she reached down and snatched Bakugou’s cell phone out of his pocket.

“What do you think you are doing?” Bakugou asked, trying to take his phone back.

“What is your passcode?” she asked, dancing out of his reach.

“Why the hell would I tell you?” Bakugou snarled.

“So I can put my number in, duh!” Kia replied, holding it out to him. Snatching his phone away, Bakugou unlocked it and handed it back to her. Opening his contacts, Kia entered her number and e-mail then called her own phone before handing it back.

Bakugou grabbed the phone and looked at the new contact info. He chuckled when he saw what she had put as the contact name. “I’m starting to think you like your nickname, Sunshine.”

“Figured it would be the only way you would know it was me. Besides, I’ve been called worse.” Kia grinned as she put Bakugou’s number into her contacts.

“Like what, Kitten?” Bakugou said sarcastically.

Kia faced darkened as she glared daggers at Bakugou. “I’m only going to tell you this once. Don’t ever call me Kitten,” she warned.

“Why?” Bakugou asked, intrigued by her immediate change in attitude.

“It’s what my mas… the man my kidnappers sold me to called me,” she answered darkly.

“Alright,” Bakugou said. He was shocked she had just shared a part of her past so willingly. Usually she would hesitate before deciding whether or not share details with him.

Kia finished entering his contact into her phone. “There, now we can get ahold of each other if we need to.” She smiled and Bakugou put his phone back in his pocket.

“So, are we walking back?” Kia asked, putting away her own phone. “I could fly us back, if you want. I would like to practice with another person more. If I could learn to carry someone while flying, I would be able to use it to get people out of dangerous situations.”

“It definitely would be useful but I don’t like the idea of being carried like some helpless loser,” Bakugou added.

“Oh, come on, B! I promise I won’t carry you like a princess or anything,” Kia said, spreading out her wings.

Bakugou watched as her scales and fangs appeared with her transformation. He wondered what her dragon form would look like. Her massive wings looked more like a bird than the usual bat wings you thought of when you imagined a dragon. Both her scales and feathers were so soft he wouldn’t have believed how strong they were if he hadn’t seen it for himself.

“Do you have horns?” he asked suddenly.

Kia hadn’t expected the forward question. “Yes, I do… Why?” she asked, but Bakugou just shrugged. “Do you want to head to the roof of this building?” Kia pointed, “I can pick you up there before we take off. That way we have more room.”

Using his explosions, Bakugou made his way to the roof of the building Kia had pointed to. Kia lifted herself into the air with her wings, following after him. He landed on the roof as she circled the building before swooping in to grab Bakugou’s hands. With a great sweep of her wings, she lifted him off the roof. She angled upward, taking them higher in the air.

Bakugou looked down at the city below them. The thrill of being so high up sent adrenaline coursing through his veins. He looked up at Kia and could see the excitement in her eyes.

“How fast can you go?” he asked.

Kia smiled down at him. “I’m going to need to get a better hold of you for that. You ready?” she said.

“Ready for what?” Bakugou asked right before Kia dropped him. Startled, Bakugou righted himself into a free fall. He looked around to give Kia a piece of his mind but didn’t see her. Until he felt her arms wrap around his chest from behind. With a sweep of her wings Kia caught him and took them back into flight.

Kia laughed as Bakugou cussed at her for dropping him. “Relax, B… I told you I would never let you fall,” she chuckled. “Well, I guess I should say I will never let you fall far.”

“That wasn’t funny, damn it!” he snapped. Looking back to where they were going, he relaxed. It was like flying with a living hang glider. Kia pulled him tighter to her chest, trying to streamline their bodies together.

“You ready to find out how fast I can fly?” Kia said, the excitement burning in her eyes.

Glancing at her Bakugou couldn’t help but smile, “Hell yeah!” With that, Kia’s wings swept through the air, beating harder and faster as they picked up speed. The wind whipped past them and Bakugou looked down to see how fast they were going. “We are going to reach the agency pretty fast like this,” he said.

“Let’s go a little farther. I want to try banking turns with the extra weight,” Kia replied.

Bakugou nodded as she banked left. Kia spiraled one way, then another… trying out long turns then attempted a tight turn with Bakugou as a passenger.

After spiraling down for a ways, Kia leveled out before climbing into the air again. Once they were high above, Kia dived and pulled her wings in around them as they spiraled towards the earth. Bakugou realized they were headed straight for the roof of the agency. Remembering their move earlier, he grabbed her hands. As Kia leveled out, Bakugou dropped to the roof and rolled into a standing position.

He looked up to see Kia flying up into the sky again. He watched as she flew around, just enjoying being in the air. Suddenly, she rocketed up into the sky, climbing higher and higher. Falling backwards into a dive she spun, dropping fast. Spreading her wings, she slowed her descent, leveling out into a barrel roll. Her circles got bigger as she passed by the building. Arcing up out of her roll, Kia came over to the building, righting herself and tucking her wings in so she dropped to the roof. She stood up from where she landed, rustling her feathers and her tail lashing in excitement.

Bakugou walked over to her, admiring the shimmer of her scales and feathers. “You done playing around? We have work to do.”

“Sorry, it has just been a long time since I’ve been able to stretch my wings like that,” she said as she brought a wing in front of her to brush a hand over her flight feathers.

“Are your bones hollow?” Bakugou asked, walking around behind her to look at where her wing bones met her back.

“No, but they are lighter than a regular person’s. They are also denser so it takes quite a bit more force to break one. Thankfully, I heal faster than normal,” Kia replied.

Bakugou nodded as he stepped forward to run a hand along the back of her wing to where they attached to her back. He could see the seam on the back of her costume that allowed her wings to slip through without exposing any skin.

“You have two shoulder blades,” Bakugou stated as he ran a hand over her shoulder. When she didn’t reply, he looked to see what was wrong. Kia had frozen. Her eyes were wide and her cheeks had a pink tinge to them. Realizing how he had been touching her without asking, he dropped his hands and backed away from his partner.

Clearing his throat, he tried to hide his own embarrassment. “So… you have two shoulder blades,” he said again.

“Uh, yeah… The second set sits on top of the first and connects to my wings.” She quickly moved away from him.

Bakugou noticed she was shaking a little, “I, um… are you ok Sunshine?” he asked.

“Yeah, you just startled me. I wasn’t expecting you to touch me,”

“I should have asked…” Bakugou started but Kia interrupted him.

“No, it is ok. I’m just going to go inside. I will see you in the office,” she said before quickly transforming to her human form, opening the roof door, and disappearing inside.

Bakugou ran a hand through his hair. He wasn’t sure exactly what he did to scare Kia, but that is exactly how she had looked: scared and confused. He knew it wasn’t the first time he had touched her. She said that she hadn’t been expecting it though. Maybe that was the difference. It must have something to do with her past, he thought to himself. More and more, he wondered what his partner had gone through.

%%%%%

Kia hurried down to the women’s locker room. Checking to see if anyone else was in the showers she took off her costume and stepped into one of the stalls.
Turning the water on hot she let it run over her shoulders and back.

“Damn it!” she said out loud as she rested her head against the tile wall. Relaxing, she let herself transform so the water could run over her scales and feathers. Curling her tail around her feet, she brought her wings in and wrapped them around herself. She had never been so confused about what she was feeling. She hadn’t been expecting Bakugou to touch her. His touch had been soft and gentle but she had started to panic as her heartbeat raced. Placing a hand to her chest, she tried to slow her still rapidly beating heart.

She hadn’t felt threatened by Bakugou at all and yet she had frozen at his touch. Her mind had gone blank as she focused on feel of his hands. Her subconscious, however, had been waiting for pain. Gritting her teeth, she stood up straight, letting the spray hit her in the face.

Dropping her head again, she literally growled in frustration. She thought she had gotten over the issue of being touched. Usually she was always aware of how close people got to her. That way she could move away if they were going to try and touch her. Of course, people had touched her before, but she had never had this kind of reaction. Why the hell did it make a difference that it was B? she thought.

Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself down before turning off the shower. Shaking the water from her wings, she used her quirk and heated up her body to dry off. Pulling on her spare uniform, she stowed the other in a backpack she had in her locker. She brushed and braided her hair before heading up to their office.

When she got to their office, Bakugou was already sitting in front of his computer loading the paperwork they needed to fill out for the day. He looked up when she walked in, wondering if she was all right.

Kia walked over to his desk and Bakugou leaned back in his chair, waiting for her to speak.

“I want you to try that again,” Kia said looking Bakugou straight in the eyes.

“What?” Bakugou asked, confused.

“I want you to touch my back like you did on the roof,” she clarified, getting up from her chair and walking to the middle of their office. “I don’t understand the way I reacted.”

“And that is supposed to make any sense to me how?” Bakugou asked.

“I was conditioned to react. It is something I’ve dealt with since my rescue and I thought I had it under control,” Kia replied. “You were seeing how my wings are attacked to my back, right? I can explain it if you want, but it is easier to feel it,” she said turning her back to him.

Bakugou didn’t really understand why she was being so adamant about it, but he was curious. Moving from behind his desk, he walked up to her. He could see the tension in her shoulders and back as she waited for his touch.

“You are not going to freak out on me again, are you?” Bakugou asked.

“No, I won’t. I’m not so damaged that I can’t handle being touched. I’m not weak,” Kia replied insistently.

Wondering what she meant by that, he reached out a hand and laid it on top of her shoulder. Kia took a deep breath, relaxing as he felt down her shoulder to her back. He could feel where the two shoulder blades sat one behind the other. Bringing his other hand up, he ran it down a thick set of muscles that seemed to attach to the second shoulder blade.

He ran two of his fingers along the top of her second shoulder blade, finding a joint where the wing bones attached. Kia transformed, letting her wings sprout from her back slowly under Bakugou’s hands. He had an up close view as the wings extended and feathers sprouted before his eyes.

“Does it hurt?” he asked.

“No, it feels like muscles stretching and pulling,” Kia replied, looking over her shoulder at him.

Stepping, back Bakugou let his hands fall to his sides but Kia turned around, grabbing one of his hands and holding it palm up in her own.

“My turn.” She smiled at him. “You sweat nitroglycerin right?”

“Yes,” Bakugou replied. He watched as she ran a finger from the heel of his palm down to his fingers. She softly ran her thumb over callouses on his hand.

“You can secrete it at will?” She asked as she felt down his wrist.

“Yes,” Bakugou said again, swallowing thickly as he watched her expressions. Her eyes were focused and she bit her bottom lip while she studied his hand.

“Have you ever burned yourself?”

He shook his head no before tensing his hand to secrete some of the nitro sweat for her to see. A look of surprise came across her face as she brought his hand to her face and breathed in deeply.

“It smells sweet!” she informed him, “I thought that smell might be your quirk. It mixes well with your natural scent.”

“Are you telling me I smell good?” Bakugou smirked.

“You have a unique smell.” Kia rolled her eyes, “I could find you easy just by your scent.”

“How good is your sense of smell?” Bakugou asked.

“Let’s just say I could easily out track a bloodhound,” Kia replied. “Strong smells can be overpowering though and make me dizzy, How bad is the recoil on your body?”

“Depends on the size of the blast and how much I use it,” he told her.

“What about today? You used a lot of blasts to capture those villains.”

“Those were mostly small blasts. It is the big ones that can cause problems.”

Kia glanced at the clock. “We had better get these reports filed before it gets any later,” she said as she moved to her own desk. “Did you want to patrol more when we are done?”

“No, we are going to have to submit paperwork for the job we did in both districts. We will be working on this shit for a while,” Bakugou grumbled.

“How about we go out for a drink afterwards then? It will be my treat,” Kia offered.

“Sounds good to me,” Bakugou said as he sat back down at his desk.

Chapter Text

Kirishima stretched as he finished submitting the paperwork from the hostage situation he and Kaminari had helped with earlier that day. Looking at the clock, he realized it was late in the evening. His partner, Kaminari, was laid back in his own chair, dozing with his feet on his desk. Kirishima let out a big yawn as Mina Ashido cam walking around the corner.

“Hey, Eijiro!” Mina said as she walked up to his desk. “Heard you guys did an awesome job today!”

“Sure did,” Kirishima replied, “We helped catch a group of robbers that were holding a bunch of people hostage. I just finished all the paperwork.”
“I’ve been messaging Ochaco and Kyoka. We are going to meet up for a drink later. I was wondering if you and Kaminari would want to come too?” she asked.

“I’m game. Hey, Kaminari wake up!” Kirishima yelled, throwing a balled up piece of paper at his partner.

“What?” Kaminari babbled as he woke.

“You want to go out for drinks later?” Mina asked him.

“Heck yeah! I could go for a drink,” Kaminari cheered.

“Well then, we will see you guys at the usual place at 11:00 pm,” Mina said as she walked away.

“We will see you there,” Kirishima replied. Turning to his partner, he asked, “Denki, did you finish your report on the robbery today?”

“Uh, almost,” Kaminari said, rubbing the back of his head. “I wasn’t sure what all I’m supposed to fill in since we worked with Bakugou and Hales. They were the main heroes that fought against the villains. Shouldn’t they do most of the paperwork?”

“Jeez, Dude,” Kirishima sighed. “You are a pro now, you should at least try and do the paperwork.”

“Sorry, I just can’t help it! I’ve had Bakugou’s hot partner on my mind,” Kaminari said, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Not cool. You really need to treat women better. Then maybe you would be able to keep a girlfriend.” Kirishima chided.

“Hey, I can’t help it. I’m a man who appreciates a beautiful woman,” Kaminari defended himself.

“I don’t think Kia is interested in you, anyway,” Kirishima said.

“You are probably right,” Kaminari said. “Besides, I’m not the one who has a date with her.”

Kirishima blushed. “I don’t think it is that kind of date.”

“Dude, you got her number and you get to call her by her first name,” Kaminari teased.

“Yeah, but she is paying for dinner. Plus, she said it was a thank you for catching her in the stairwell,” Kirishima countered.

“Come on, Eijiro! She is easily a ten or better. You are telling me that you aren’t even going to try?” Kaminari said in disbelief.

“With how Bakugou was looking at me when I got her number, no way!” Kirishima shook his head.

“Bakugou? Wait, are you telling me he really was jealous?” Kaminari exclaimed.

“I’m not sure. I’ve never seen Bakugou interested in a girl before, so it is hard to tell,” Kirishima said, “She sure is interesting, and it seems that she works really well with him and understands his personality.”

“You think he will have any luck with a short temper and crappy personality?” Kaminari asked skeptically.

“I think she might be able to see through him. Bakugou isn’t as bad as he was in high school,” Kirishima said. “He seems to accept her as his partner. It will be interesting getting to know her.”

“Bakugou has amazing skills, smarts, and looks. It would only be fair that he has trouble getting the girl,” Kaminari whined.

“With how focused he is about becoming the number one hero, I’m pretty sure the girl is going to have trouble getting him,” Kirishima chuckled.

%%%%%

Kia made her way to the foyer after changing into her regular clothes. Bakugou had told her to meet him there. Shouldering her pack, she stepped out of the elevator. Glancing at her phone, she saw it was almost 11:00 pm. Looking up, she could see Bakugou leaning against the counter looking at his own phone. He wore baggy jeans and a t-shirt. Kia couldn’t help but admire how good he looked. His eyes were softer instead of the usual scowl he always wore.

Shaking her head to clear the thought from her mind, she walked up to her partner. “Hey, I’m ready to go.” She smiled.

Bakugou looked up at his partner as she approached. She was wearing a pair of blue jeans that hugged her hips and a tight tank top with a jacket. She was showing a lot more skin than she usually did, and he could see the end of a scar along her collarbone.

“It is about damn time,” he growled.

“Oh, please… like you have been waiting long,” Kia rolled her eyes. “Better be nice, or I might take back my offer of buying you a drink,” she smirked.

“Just hurry up,” Bakugou said as he picked up his own bag and turned to walk out the door.

Bakugou led her to a bus stop and they didn’t have to wait long before one pulled up. Bakugou stepped aside to let Kia get on first. Moving down the aisle, Kia sat in a window seat and Bakugou sat next to her.

“So, where are we going?” Kia asked.

“Just my usual place,” Bakugou said before pulling out a set of ear buds and plugging them into his phone. Kia was searching her own bag for her earbuds when Bakugou held out one of his for her. Kia looked up at him in surprise and smiled as she took the offered earbud. Putting it in, she sat back in the seat. Bakugou hit play and they both sat in silence listening to his playlist.

After about 15 minutes, Bakugou nudged Kia to let her know they had reached their stop. Getting off the bus, they walked a couple blocks before coming to a decent looking bar. Stepping forward, Bakugou opened the door and stepped aside so Kia could go in first.

She was starting to realize that despite his rough attitude and yelling, Bakugou was actually very respectful towards her. She wondered if maybe his mother had something to do with that.

She made her way to the bar, sitting on a stool as Bakugou sat in the one next to her. The bartender came straight over as they both sat down.
“Well, well… I never thought I would see the day that Bakugou brings a woman in for a drink.” the bartender teased.

“Shut up,” Bakugou snapped.

Laughing, Kia bowed her head to the bartender. “Hi, I’m Kia, his partner.”

“Nice to meet you, I’m Minoru.” The bartender bowed back, “So, what has you drinking with this hot head?” Bakugou glared at the bartender.

“It has been a long day,” Kia replied.

Minoru chuckled as he pulled a couple of glasses out from under the counter. Putting some ice in the cups, he asked, “How long of a day?”

“It’s been more like a long couple of weeks,” Kia grinned.

“Alright, then! I’ve got just the stuff,” Minoru said as he poured.

He passed them each a glass. Kia picked hers up, taking a small sniff at the glass before sipping it. The alcohol was smooth as she swallowed.

“This is good. Thank you,” she said, taking another drink.

“I’m glad. Just let me know if there is anything else I can get for you,” Minoru said before moving down the bar to help another customer.

“You must come here often?” Kia asked looking over at Bakugou.

“Sometimes,” he replied, taking another drink from his glass. “Kirishima and I come here.”

“So he really is your best friend?” Kia said taking another drink.

“Yeah,” Bakugou replied.

“He seems like a really cool guy. I think a person should cherish their friends. You never know when you might lose one,” Kia added, looking solemnly at her glass.

Bakugou watched as she took another drink. He could tell there was something more behind her words. “Do you have a lot of friends back in America?” he asked.

“Yeah, and they are all really great,” Kia replied, smiling fondly, “What about you? I’ve met Kirishima and Kaminari but do you have more friends?”

“There are a few more from High School,” Bakugou admitted.

“You went to school at U.A., right? What was it like?” Kia asked. “Attending Hero High was crazy. The teachers really put us through the ringer
teaching us how to be heroes.”

“I know what you mean,” Bakugou said, taking another drink.

“I hear your sports festival is really something else,” Kia said, “Hero High had something similar, but I don’t think it got nearly the ratings that U.A.’s did.”

“You had a sports festival?” Bakugou asked.

“It’s not called a sports festival, but they did hold tournaments so students could show off their skills to potential employers,” Kia explained.

“Tournaments… that sounds better than the sports festival,” Bakugou said.

“The tournaments were a lot of fun. There was even a talent competition, too. My class put on a concert once for it,” Kia recalled.

“Ours did something like that too,” Bakugou said.

“A concert, huh? Did you play or sing?” Kia asked.

“Played the drums,” Bakugou stated.

“Well, tell me about the concert. Did you guys kill it, or what?” Kia pried.

“Hell yeah, we did!” Bakugou said with pride.

He started telling her all about how he and his classmates killed the other departments with music and Kia told him about her own classes’ musical debut. Little did the two of them realize but they were being watched.

%%%%%

“Come on, Kaminari! We are already late,” Kirishima said.

“Hey, I just wanted to make sure that I looked good!” Kaminari replied as they made their way to the bar.

They were meeting up with Mina and some other classmates at one of their favorite bars. Kirishima walked through the door and instantly recognized Mina’s pink hair and horns. Moving over to the booth, he could see Kyoka Jiro, Ochaco Uraraka, and Izuku Midoriya were also sitting there.

“Sorry we are late guys, but Kaminari took forever to get his paperwork done,” Kirishima said as they both sat down. When no one responded, he looked up to see all four of them staring at something across the room. “What is up with all of you?” he asked.

“I never thought I would see it,” Jiro said with wide eyes.

“Never thought you would see what?” Kaminari asked confused.

“Kacchan is here...” Midoriya replied.

“With a woman!” Uraraka finished.

“What?” Kirishima said, turning around. Sure enough, he could see his best friend sitting at the bar having a drink with his new partner. They seemed to be deep in conversation. Bakugou said something they couldn’t hear that made Kia laugh. “Oh, that is his new partner.”

“Wait, his new partner?” Uraraka asked.

“Yeah, she is a total babe!” Kaminari interjected.

“We should go see if they want to join us.” Kirishima turned to walk over to them but was stopped by Mina.

“Wait a minute. I totally want to watch them for a little bit,” Mina hissed.

“Why would you do that?” Kirishima asked.

“Because it might happen again!” Mina replied.

“What might happen again?” Kirishima asked completely confused. Just then he heard a deep chuckle from across the bar. He looked over to see Bakugou laughing at something Kia was telling him.

“I didn’t know Bakugou could actually smile and laugh in a way that wasn’t… you know… Bakugou,” Uraraka said in awe.

“I haven’t heard Kacchan laugh like that since we were kids,” Midoriya added.

“You guys are being weird,” Kirishima told them. Looking back at the two, he had to admit that he had only ever seen that kind of expression on Bakugou’s face when Kia was around. “I’m gonna go invite them over,” he said, walking off.

Kia saw Kirishima as he made his way over to them. “Hey, Eijiro! What brings you here?” Kia asked.

“I actually met some of our friends here for a drink. I came over to invite you two to sit with us,” Kirishima explained.

"Hell no.." Bakugou started only to get interrupted by Kia.

“Sure, why not?” Kia replied. Standing up, she grabbed Bakugou’s hand and followed Kirishima to the booth while dragging her reluctant partner the whole way.

When they got to the booth Kirishima introduced everyone. “Hey, guys! This is Kia Hales, she is Bakugou’s new partner. You’ve met Kaminari, and next to him are Jiro, Uraraka, Midoriya, and Mina,” he explained as he sat down next to Mina.

“It is nice to meet you all,” Kia said.

Bakugou sat down next to Kirishima on one end of the long U shaped booth. He figured Kia would sit at the other end where there was more room, so he was surprised when she sat down right next to him.

“You all can call me Kia if you want,” Kia said. “What are your names again?”

“I’m Ochaco Uraraka, and my hero name is Uravity,” Uraraka replied.

“I’m Izuku Midoriya, but you can call me Deku,” Midoriya smiled.

“I’m Kyoka Jiro, and they call me Earphone Jack,” Jiro replied.

“And I’m Mina Ashido! They can me Pinky!” Mina bubbled.

“My hero name is Wildside. How do you all know each other?” Kia asked.

“We are classmates. We went to U.A. together.” Kirishima told her.

“So, that is how you all know B?” Kia inquired.

“Well, Kacchan and I grew up in the same neighborhood, so we have known each other since we were kids,” Midoriya clarified.

“Kacchan? Why do you call him that?” Kia asked.

“Adding chan to someone’s name is one way to show familiarity. It is common for childhood friends to call each other something like that,” Mina explained.

“Kinda like how you call Bakugou B, which is short for his last name, right?” Uraraka asked.

“Well, not a first,” Kia laughed.

“Why do you call him B, then?” Jiro asked.

“He told me I couldn’t call him butthead so I figured I would shorten it to B,” Kia replied, taking a drink from her glass.

Bakugou, who had been taking a drink of his own, almost spit a mouthful all over the table. “What the hell!” he yelled.

“Relax, B, of course it is short for Bakugou now… depending on how big of an ass you are being, anyway.” Kia shrugged. The others at the table burst out laughing at Kia’s confession and Bakugou’s rage. “Besides, you call me Sunshine and I know you aren’t meaning it as a complement,” she continued.

“I don’t mean it as an insult,” Bakugou grumbled.

“Well, if you want, I could call you Kacchan or something,” Kia offered.

“Hell no, it is bad enough that fucking Deku says it!” Bakugou snapped.

“So, you call Midoriya Deku… does that mean you to were close childhood friends?” Kia asked.

“Actually, Deku is what Kacchan called me to make fun of me,” Midoriya replied, rubbing the back of his head. “But it ended up being my hero name, so I like it.”

“You were a bully?” Kia turned to her partner. “You know, I don’t think I’m surprised, honestly.”

“Go to hell!” Bakugou crossed his arms. The other six sat there watching the two of them bicker back and forth.

“So, Kia, how do you like Japan?” Uraraka interrupted.

“So far, so good! I’ve been so busy working that I haven’t really got to explore much,” Kia admitted.

“We should all go out and show you around sometime!” Mina said excitedly.

“Sounds like fun!” Kia replied. “I would really like to see some of the festivals you have over here. One day, I hope I can travel around and see more.”

Bakugou sat there listening to them all discuss when they would have time to make a road trip. Looking up at the clock, he realized it was starting to get pretty late. He nudged Kia to get her attention, “We should be heading out. We still have to be at the agency in the morning,” he said.

“We need to get going too,” Midoriya said, looking at Uraraka.

Everyone got up and started making their way over to pay for their drinks before heading out. Kirishima put a hand on Bakugou’s shoulder, stopping him and whispering something to him. Kia was standing at the bar talking to Mina. She turned to pay for her and Bakugou’s drinks, but he had already laid money down.

“Hey, I told you I would buy,” Kia reminded him.

Bakugou grumbled something that sounded a lot like a real man would pay for the drinks. Kia snickered as she followed everyone out of the bar. They all said their goodbyes and headed off into the darkness. Bakugou and Kia walked back to the bus stop where they had gotten off. Hopping on the next bus, they made their way back to the agency.

When the bus dropped them off, Kia told Bakugou goodnight and headed in the direction of the hotel she was staying at. Bakugou fell into step right next to her as they made their way down the street.

“Do you live this way?” Kia asked.

“No,” Bakugou replied.

“Then why are you following me?” she asked.

“You shouldn’t walk back on your own in the dark,” he replied.

“You do remember I’m a hero too? Anyone who tried to mug me would be in for a surprise,” Kia pointed out.

“Kirishima told me I should walk you back,” Bakugou grumbled.
“Alright, it isn’t too far.” Kia rolled her eyes. They walked in silence for a couple of blocks before Kia spoke up. “They all seem to be really good friends,” She said.

“Yeah,” Bakugou replied.

“I meant good friends for you,” Kia clarified.

“Tch, shut up.” Bakugou stomped forward.

Laughing to herself, Kia followed after him. All of the a sudden, something jumped out of the shadows at her. Kia was surprised since she hadn’t even sensed anyone nearby. The figure grabbed her hand and held it behind her back while pressing a blade to her throat. “You have to be kidding me,” Kia said in disbelief.

“Just hand over your money, and this pretty little bitch won’t get hurt,” the mugger demanded.

“Dude, your night is just about to go to hell,” Kia warned as her scales started to cover her skin.

“What are you…?” The mugger started only to be cut short by Bakugou’s fist.

Cracking his knuckles, Bakugou stood next to Kia, sneering at the mugger on the ground. “And now you die,” he said. Walking forward, he grabbed the mugger by the collar and lifted him up to see that the man was already knocked out cold. “What the hell? Is that all this loser’s got?” he said, dropping him and standing up.

Kia walked up next to him, handing him a pair of cuffs. When Bakugou turned to take them from her, she leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.

“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!” Bakugou sputtered in surprise.

“A thanks for being my hero,” Kia replied dramatically, “It doesn’t happen very often that someone saves me for a change,” she laughed.

Bakugou bent over to cuff the mugger and to hide the blush on his cheeks. His heart was thundering so loud he swore Kia could hear it. Shaking off the feeling, he stood up and threw the mugger over his shoulder.

“Want me to walk with you to the police station?” Kia asked.

“No, I’ve got it,” Bakugou replied.

“Alright then, thanks for walking me this far. I will see you in the morning and I promise to bring coffee. Goodnight, B,” she said as she headed for her hotel once again.

“Goodnight,” Bakugou replied quietly. He watched as she walked away, still confused as to what his new partner was doing to his head and his heart.

Chapter Text

When Bakugou got to the office the next morning there was a cup of coffee sitting on his desk waiting for him but Kia wasn’t there. Taking a drink, he set his bag down and started his computer. He hadn’t changed into his costume yet and wanted to check his e-mail before heading down to the locker room. He leaned back in his chair, wondering where Kia had run off too. When he got done sorting through his e-mails Kia still hadn’t shown up.

Bakugou pulled out his cell phone and opened his contacts. Scrolling to her number, he sent her a message. “Where are you?”

It didn’t take long to get a response. “Break room” was all that the message said.

Bakugou grimaced as he read the message. He never went to the break room. It was always full of losers who either wanted to be friends with him or were scared of him. With a huff, he headed there anyway. Opening the door, he saw Kia leaning up against the counter with her coffee to her lips. She was looking intensely at a paper in her other hand. The break room went silent as Bakugou walked over to his partner.

“Morning, B,” Kia said not looking up from the paper.

“What is that?” Bakugou asked, leaning against the counter next to her. He looked up to see the other heroes in the room staring at the two of them. Bakugou glared at them and they all turned away and went back to what they were doing.

“It is a schedule Jeanist gave to me this morning. He wants me to participate in some photo shoots,” Kia sighed.

“Do you not want to?” Bakugou asked peering at the schedule. There were a lot of dates with descriptions about what would be modeled.

“Sometimes it feels like I’m just being put on display like some pet,” Kia replied. “I know that isn’t the case, but I get uncomfortable. The money is good and it can be fun. I think I will pick out a couple of them but I really wanted to focus more on being a hero.”

Bakugou nodded, understanding what she meant. He could feel the gazes of the other heroes in the room drifting to the two of them again. Looking up, he glared at them.

“Now I just have to figure out which ones I want to do,” Kia said, setting down her coffee.

“Might I make a suggestion?” A good-looking man walked into the break room. Bakugou recognized him as one of Jeanist’s lower level sidekicks. He couldn’t remember what his quirk was, but he knew the guy did way more modeling that hero work.

“I guess. Who are you?” Kia asked.

“You can call me Laos,” the man said as he grabbed her hand and kissed the top of it. Bakugou nearly snarled at the action.

“Ok?” Kia replied, pulling her hand from his grasp,. “I’m Wildside, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t touch me, please.”

“I apologize, miss… it was too bold of me,” Laos said with a bow. “I am a model here at the agency and I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation. It would be an honor to model alongside someone as beautiful as you,” he said with a deep bow.

“Thank you?” Kia replied confused.

“I do hope you choose to model for the agency,” Laos said, stepping closer.

“Well, I’m going to think about it,” Kia said as she grabbed her coffee and started nudging Bakugou towards the door. “But right now my partner and I have a ton of paperwork to finish, so we are going to go,” she finished as she shut the door behind her. “Guys like that make my skin crawl,” she shivered.

“You’re not going to get him to grab my ass too, are you?” Bakugou asked.

Kia paused for a minute, looking at him confused before bursting out laughing. “No, I promise I won’t do that again.” She continued to laugh.

“Good. If you need the shit beat out of someone, you can just ask,” Bakugou smirked.

“Thanks, tough guy, but I can fight my own battles. Besides, the only guy that has been annoying me lately is you,” Kia said shoving him playfully.

“Are you going to kick my ass?” Bakugou challenged pushing her back.

“I will if I have to,” Kia laughed.

“It sounds to me like you could use another sparring match,” Bakugou offered.

“You’re on!” Kia accepted as they headed towards the locker rooms.

Jeanist stood back watching the exchange between the two heroes and smiled at how well they were getting along. Pleased with himself, he turned around only to be startled by Nina.

“It looks like they are getting along well, sir,” Nina commented, watching the two walk away.

“Yes, indeed,” Jeanist replied.

“You gave Kia the modeling list today?” Nina asked.

“Yes, but she didn’t seem very interested in it,” Jeanist replied, “I was really hoping that she would model for us.”

“Maybe she will. Just give her some time. After all, she is still new here,” Nina said.

“You are right,” Jeanist said, giving a sigh. “I hope we can find a way to make her more comfortable with modeling.”

“I might be able to think of something,” Nina grinned.

%%%%%

Bakugou entered the gym and made his way over to where Kia was stretching on a mat. She was pulling an arm over her head as he moved to join her. After their warm up, they moved to the sparring mat away from the equipment. “So, are you going to face plant in my chest again?” Kia teased.

“Go to hell!” Bakugou growled.

“Are you ready?” Kia asked, sinking into her fighting stance.

“I’m gonna win,” Bakugou grinned.

“Keep dreaming, B,” Kia retorted.

This time Kia moved first, darting in to attack Bakugou straight on. Dodging, he moved his way around the mat, watching how Kia moved. He was always surprised how fast she was, and his own quick reflexes just managed to save him from her hits. Bakugou countered by throwing a large right hook in, causing Kia to move away. Bakugou started his own assault, trying not to give Kia any time to counter his attacks. Kia ducked and twisted, avoiding him as he tried to grab ahold of her. Finally, he caught her arm and was surprised as Kia flipped while grabbing his arm and used the momentum to throw him to the mat. He landed flat on his back with Kia grinning down at him. “That is one win for me,” she smirked.
Jumping to his feet, Bakugou took after her again and attacked relentlessly. He caught her by surprise when he feinted and ducked, sweeping a leg under her and knocking her on her butt. “I win,” Bakugou sneered.

“Not so fast, hot head!” Kia said as she got up.

The two of them continued sparring without noticing the crowd that was beginning to gather around. Bakugou aimed a kick for Kia’s head, which she dodged easily, before sweeping his other leg out from under him. Bakugou flipped, catching himself with his hands he lunged in again. He was finding out that Kia was very good at fighting opponents bigger than her and was able to break most holds with practiced ease. It made it hard to knock her down and he was starting to get frustrated.

Kia stepped towards him, aiming punches at his torso, which he deflected. Kia threw in a kick which Bakugou caught and pulled towards himself, knocking her off balance. Kia tried to spin out of his grasp but Bakugou was ready for her. With a big pull, he stopped her spin, causing her to fall hard on her back. Kia grunted as she hit the mat. “Another win for me,” Bakugou gloated.

Getting up, Kia smiled then rushed Bakugou, who put his arms up, ready to defend. He was surprised when she jumped up, put him in a scissor hold, and used the momentum to throw him to the mat.

“Looks like that is a win for me,” Kia smirked.

Bakugou was getting up from the mat when a call sounded over the PA system, breaking their concentration. Kia and Bakugou looked around, noticing they had an audience. “What they hell are you looking at?” Bakugou yelled at the crowd, causing most of them to quickly disappear back to their own workouts.

Kia looked at the clock on the wall. “We had better get going if we are going to patrol today,” she informed him.

Nodding, Bakugou started towards the men’s locker room as Kia headed to the women’s. They met up in their office a few minutes later in costume and ready to patrol. Kia sat her bag on her desk and pulled out the piece of paper Jeanist had given her.

“If you don’t want to do it, then don’t,” Bakugou said, standing by the door. “Let’s get the hell out of here, we have work to do.”

“I’m coming, just cool it,” Kia replied, turning to join him.

They headed out of the agency and made their way towards the Kawahara’s store, stopping by to check in on the old couple.

“My dear how have you been doing?” Mrs. Kawahara asked as the two heroes entered the store.

“We have been seeing you two on television a lot lately,” Mr. Kawahara added.

“We are good. How have things been here?” Kia asked.

“Business has been good,” Mr. Kawahara replied, “We just got in a new shipment of produce and this batch looks really tasty!”

“I just hope we will get it all unloaded today,” Mrs. Kawahara sighed.

“Is there a lot? Would you like some help?” Kia asked.

“We couldn’t possibly ask you to do that. It would be too bothersome, and you need to get back to your patrol,” Mrs. Kawahara replied.

“It wouldn’t be a bother at all!” Kia smiled.

“We are heroes, we are here to help,” Bakugou added walking into the back room of the store. Kia followed him.

“We really appreciate it you two,” Mr. Kawahara said, showing them to the loading dock.

Bakugou and Kia were surprised to see two pallets of produce sitting on the dock waiting to be put in the cooler. There were large cases of melons and flats of berries and boxes of apples.

“You two have to unload this buy yourselves?” Kia asked.

“Well, we usually have a couple of high schoolers that come and help on truck days, but they are gone for a school function this week,” Mr. Kawahara informed them, “We thought that we could handle it ourselves.”

“Jeez, old man! Don’t go biting off more than you can chew,” Bakugou said, removing his gauntlets and setting them on the counter.

Kia walked over, grabbing a big box of melons from the top of one of the pallets. “Where would you like us to put them?” she asked.

Mrs. Kawahara brought them into the cooler and showed them wear to put the boxes. After unloading most of the pallets, Kia carried boxes out to the store for Mrs. Kawahara so she could stock the shelves.

Bakugou hefted a bag of potatoes over his shoulder and followed Mr. Kawahara to the back room to store them.

“You seem to be getting along well with your partner,” Mr. Kawahara said.

“Yeah, she is alright,” Bakugou replied.

“Did you know that she comes here to buy groceries?” Mr. Kawahara asked.

“No,” Bakugou responded.

“She always stays and helps the Mrs. with things,” Mr. Kawahara continued, “She always has good things to say about you, too,” he said, giving Bakugou a sly look.

Bakugou didn’t respond as he set the bag down.

“Kia really is a good hearted woman. It is nice to have a strong, smart, honest woman by your side. If you ever find one, you should make sure she doesn’t get away,” said Mr. Kawahara

“What are you getting at old man?” Bakugou asked.

“I’m just trying to give some advice, one man to another,” Mr. Kawahara shrugged.

Bakugou followed the old man out of the storage room. Kia stood there laughing with Mrs. Kawahara and he couldn’t help but smile. Seeing him, she turned and asked, “Are you all done? We should probably get back to work.”

“We won’t keep you any longer,” Mrs. Kawahara said. “Thank you for all your help, and you remember what I told you,” she said, giving Kia a wink.

“Yes, ma’am,” Kia replied as she moved to the door. Bakugou grabbed his gauntlets and followed her out as he put them on.

“What did she tell you?” Bakugou asked as they walked down the street.

“What?” Kia said, confused.

“What did Mrs. Kawahara tell you to remember?” Bakugou asked again.

Looking at him, Kia blushed a little before turning away, “Nothing much, just some advice from a wise woman,” she grinned; her cheeks still a little pink.

Realizing he wasn’t going to get any more out of her, Bakugou shrugged it off. They continued working their usual patrol route; talking to business owners and citizens as the day moved on. When it started getting dark they moved into the busier parts of town. They were making their way through a street with lots of bars when a woman called out.

“Ground Zero!” a feminine voice sang out behind them.

“Shit…” Bakugou whispered as he sped up his pace. Confused but not looking back, Kia followed after him.

“Who is it?” she asked in a hushed voice.

“Just keep going,” Bakugou growled.

“Ground Zero, I know you can hear me!” the voice called again, this time closer. “You had better stop!”

Bakugou was about ready to break into a run when a flashy heroine darted around in front of them. The woman had platinum blonde hair and big blue eyes. Her skimpy costume barely concealed her massive chest and her skin sparkled as though it was made out of diamonds.

“Ground Zero, baby! How I have missed you!” the woman purred, pressing herself up against Bakugou.

Kia’s jaw dropped at the display as Bakugou grabbed the woman by the shoulders and pushed her away.

“Do you have to be so rough with me, darling?” the woman asked, batting her eyes.

“How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me that?” Bakugou growled, trying to put some distance between him and the woman.

“Don’t be such a tease, baby. Why don’t you come have a drink with me?” the woman said, pushing her chest out towards him.

Kia was still in shock at what she was seeing. She had met some floozies, but this woman by far took the cake.

“I’m not your baby, damn it!” Bakugou snapped, trying to push her away.

“Uhm? Who are you?” Kia asked.

The woman stopped pressing herself on Bakugou and turned around with her nose in the air. Looking Kia up and down, the woman huffed. “Don’t pretend you don’t know who I am!”

“If I knew who you were I wouldn’t be asking,” Kia replied.

“I’m he hero, Razzle Dazzle! Everyone knows who I am… and who might you be?” Razzle Dazzle asked with a better than thou attitude.

“Wildside. I’m Ground Zero’s partner, and I think he would like you to back off a bit,” Kia replied, her smile forced.

“Sorry, girly, but this hunk is mine. Why don’t you get lost so the adults can have some fun, ok?” Razzle Dazzle said, turning back to Bakugou.

“Will you get off of me, dammit?!” Bakugou growled. He was doing everything to get the heroine away short of blasting her with an explosion.

“Oh, but honey pie, I’m not on you… at least not yet,” Razzle Dazzle purred.

Something snapped inside Kia as she felt her anger boil over. Reaching forward, she grabbed the heroine by the arm and forcefully pulled her away from Bakugou before stepping in between them with her wings flaring. “He asked you to back off, lady!” Kia said through gritted teeth. Bakugou stood there stunned while Kia’s scales, fangs, and even her tail made an appearance as her anger got the better of her.

“What do you think you are doing?” Razzle Dazzle screeched. “You think you can take my man away from me?”

“One, he isn’t your man… and two, you need to learn to take a hint!” Kia snapped.

“You little bitch! How dare you get between us? You think that pretty little face will tear us apart?” Razzle carried on.

“You misunderstand what I meant by partner. I don’t want any trouble, so just let us get back to work,” Kia said turning away. “Let’s go, B.” Bakugou turned to follow her, still stunned at what he was seeing.

“Ground Zero, you aren’t really going to leave me for this ugly little wyrm?” Razzle spat.

Kia stopped. “What did you just call me?”

“You heard me! An ugly… little… wyrm!” Razzle exaggerated.

Spinning around, Kia stood nose to nose with the other woman. “You had better take that one back,” Kia warned.

“Oh, am I hitting a nerve? Jealous that a little wyrm like you can’t compare with my beauty?” Razzle said, sticking her nose farther in the air.

Bakugou remained rooted on the spot as he watched a pair of silver horns appear in Kia’s hair and sharp looking spines sprout along her back, “I’m going to say it one more time. Take that back,” Kia growled.

“Oh, are you going to hiss at me next?” Razzle taunted.

Snapping out of it, Bakugou stepped forward. Putting a hand on Kia’s shoulder, he gently pushed her back. Kia shook her head, looking up at Bakugou as he stepped between them. “Easy there, Sunshine...” he said, facing her.

“Ground Zero! How could you pick her over me?” Razzle sobbed, pointing a fake fingernail at Kia.

Rounding on the overzealous hero, Bakugou glared at her. “Razzle, I’m not interested… so get lost!” he barked.

“What? But you are so hot and I’m gorgeous! We would be perfect together!” Razzle whined.

“I said get lost!” Bakugou yelled.

“Fine, you’re not good looking enough for me, anyway!” Razzle pouted. Flipping her hair, she turned away and stomped off down the sidewalk.

Kia stood there growling as they watched the heroine leave, Bakugou’s hand still on her shoulder.

Turning back to his partner, Bakugou looked at her with surprise. Her teeth were bared and her wings were held open while her tail lashed back and forth. She was completely covered in scales and her horns, which sprouted out of her head above her ears curved backward gently, spiraling to a point. “There are more important things than looks!” she hollered after Razzle.

“Easy, Sunshine,” Bakugou said again. “You are starting to scare people.”

Kia blinked. Looking around, she could see many people had stopped and were pointing at her. Taking a deep breath, she calmed down and her dragon features started disappearing as she got in control of her emotions.

“That stupid hussy wouldn’t know the difference between a dragon and a wyrm if they bit her in the ass,” Kia huffed, crossing her arms. “Any other crazy wannabe girlfriends I should know about?” she asked Bakugou.

“What the hell was that?” he demanded.

“What?” Kia said, embarrassed.

“You were about to throw down with another hero in the street!” Bakugou said.

Kia blushed. “I hate it when people judge others by what they look like. Besides, the way she was hanging on you… I’m pretty sure that could be defined as sexual harassment!”

“I’ve been trying to get rid of her for years. She just won’t take no for an answer,” Bakugou replied.

“Well, she better keep her fucking hands to herself,” Kia growled, glaring in the direction Razzle had gone.

Bakugou’s chest went tight at Kia’s words. “Come on, let’s head back to the agency. I’ve had enough for tonight.” Kia nodded as she walked next to him back in the direction they came.

Bakugou realized he probably wasn’t going to have much trouble with Razzle Dazzle that night. He couldn’t help but think about how Kia never denied it when Razzle accused her of wanting him.

Chapter Text

Kia was still fuming when they got back to the agency. “A wyrm? Seriously?! Who would look at me and think wyrm?!” Kia grumbled as she stomped through the front doors.

Jeanist and Nina were surprised to see the heroine so cross. They had never seen her with such a fierce glare on her face. They continued to stare at her as she stood in front of the elevator muttering to herself.

They walked over to Bakugou as he came in the doors after her.

“What happened to Wildside?” Nina asked.

“You didn’t do anything, did you?” Jeanist asked, turning to Bakugou.

“We ran into Razzle Dazzle,” Bakugou replied. Jeanist and Nina were well aware of Razzle’s infatuation with Bakugou.

“Really? What happened?!” Nina asked excitedly.

“Razzle called her a wyrm and Sunshine didn’t take it well,” Bakugou told them.

“Called her a wyrm? Is that all that happened?” Jeanist asked.

“How could a hero act like that? That fact that she hasn’t been turned in for sexual harassment is beyond me,” Kia stated from where she stood in front of the elevator.

“What did she do?” Nina asked walking up to Kia.

“You should have seen her! She was throwing herself all over him even when he told her to back off. Then told me to get lost so the adults can have fun and called me a girl and a wyrm,” Kia growled before slipping into another language, clearly not saying anything good about the hero.

“Wildside, I will not allow that kind of language in my agency… French, Japanese, or otherwise,” Jeanist warned.

“Pardon, monsieur,” Kia apologized, bowing to Jeanist.

Suddenly, Nina’s face lit up and she turned to Jeanist with a big grin on her face. “The photo shoot tomorrow… it is for your new jean catalog isn’t it, sir?”

“Yes, why do you ask?” Jeanist looked at his assistant. She knew what the photo shoot was for because she organized the whole thing.

“Isn’t the Glamour agency sending over some models? I believe Razzle Dazzle was one of the models listed. We will have to keep an eye out and make sure she isn’t harassing anyone while she is here,” Nina said, giving Jeanist a wink.

Catching what she was hinting at, Jeanist nodded. “Yes, and there is a competition to see who gets the most likes for their photo. There will be a winner for the men and the women. I believe Razzle Dazzle won it last year,” he added.

“Oh, really?” Kia said with a determined look on her face, “Sign me up, Jeanist! I will model for you tomorrow and I’ll show that hunk of coal just how much of a GIRL I am.”

“Great, can you be there at 8 a.m.?” Jeanist asked.

“I will be there. Sorry, B, looks like you are flying solo tomorrow,” Ki said turning to her partner.

“Ok,” Bakugou replied, surprised at how disappointed he felt.

“I’m not going to lose to that sad excuse for a hero,” Kia sneered getting into the elevator.

Bakugou followed her, a grin plastered on his face.

%%%%%

When Bakugou woke up the next morning he was surprised to see a move in crew taking furniture into the apartment next to his. Great, a new neighbor… if I’m lucky they will be quiet and leave me alone, he thought, turning to lock his door.

He stopped by the usual coffee shop before heading to the agency. As the barista brought him his coffee, he looked around. “Did the person who buys me coffee come in this morning?” he asked her looking her straight in the eyes.

“No, she didn’t. You know, this is the first time you’ve actually looked at me.” The barista blushed.

“Can you get me what she usually orders?” Bakugou asked the girl, ignoring her remark. The barista hurried to get the drink for him. He reached out to take the drink but the barista didn’t let go. Surprised, Bakugou looked up at her again.

“Is she your girlfriend?” the barista asked him.

“What?” Bakugou said, surprised.

“Is she your girlfriend?” the barista repeated.

“No, she is my partner,” Bakugou answered.

Breathing a sigh of relief, the barista leaned forward. “My name is Nana, and I just have to tell you that your eyes are a beautiful color of red. Would you please go out with me sometime?”

Bakugou stood there staring at her, his temper flaring at the girl wasting his time. He was about to tell her to fuck off when a voice echoed in the back of his mind. “You need to work on how you say things.” He could almost feel Kia’s hand on his shoulder. Taking a breath, Bakugou looked over at the young woman who was eagerly waiting for an answer. “Thanks, but I’m not interested,” he replied.

The girl’s face fell at his answer, “Is it because of her?” she asked.

Bakugou looked at her, confused. Taking the coffee, he laid money on the counter and left.

“I don’t think he even realizes,” Nana said to herself.

%%%%%

When Bakugou made it to the agency it was already 8:30. He headed to his office. Setting the drinks on his desk, he turned on his computer so it would be ready when he got back from bring Kia her coffee. He then headed up a couple of floors to where the agency’s modeling department was. Walking down the hall, he nearly ran into by Nina who burst out of the door in front of him.

“Watch where you are going, you idiot!” Bakugou said, moving the coffees out of the way.

Nina stared at him for a second before her face lit up with a big smile. “Ground Zero, thank goodness you are here! Come with me!” she said, grabbing him by the front of the shirt and dragging him into the room. “Jeanist, I’ve found someone!” Nina shouted as they crossed the room.

“Found me for what?” Bakugou demanded as Nina dragged him over to where Jeanist sat.

“Ground Zero?” Jeanist said, surprise to see the hero being pulled by his small assistant.

“He will be perfect for the job!” Nina exclaimed, “He has the right build and everything!”

“Perfect for what?” Bakugou asked.

“One of our male models didn’t show up for the shoot today. Would you be willing to stand in for him?” Jeanist asked.

“The pay is really good!” Nina added.

“You want me to model for you? Hell…” Bakugou started to reply when a familiar voice came from behind him.

“B?” Kia said coming around the corner of a dressing room.

Turning around Bakugou nearly choked on his tongue. Kia wore a dark pair of tight fitting jeans that had a few rips in them, a deep red tank with a plunging neckline, and a matching jean jacket. She also wore a pair of black boots and her hair had been pulled back on one side and curled. They had done her makeup so that it brought out the color of her eyes and her full lips were the same color as her shirt. She looked good.

“You brought me coffee!” she said, flashing him a brilliant smile. Bakugou stood there wide-eyed as Kia came over to him and took her coffee. “I didn’t have time to stop and get some this morning.” Taking a drink, she moaned. “This is amazing thank you.”

Bakugou was about to say something when another voice called out. “Ground Zero!” Razzle said as she walked over. “What are you doing here?”
The heroine fluttered her eyelashes.

“We were just asking him if he would stand in as a model today,” Nina interrupted.

“You are going to model?” Kia asked, surprised.

“You can be my partner, handsome. I would be honored to show you all the ropes!” Razzle smiled while looking Bakugou up and down.

“Actually, the model he would be filling in for was supposed to pose with Wildside,” Jeanist said. “I hope you will consider it. We are running late as it is, and it is hard to find models on such short notice,” he said, turning to Bakugou.

“No,” Bakugou glared.

“Oh, come on, B! It will be more fun if you are here,” Kia said.

“Fine, but don’t be plastering me with makeup, or I’m out of here,” Bakugou warned.

Razzle huffed, walking back to where her own partner was waiting.

“Let’s get you dressed then,” Jeanist said as he gestured for Bakugou to follow him.

Reluctantly, Bakugou made his way to the dressing room pulling on the pair of jeans and a tight shirt one of the assistants had given him. Stepping out of the dressing room, he sat in a chair and Jeanist stepped up to attempt to do something with his hair.

“HELL NO!” Kia heard Bakugou shout from behind the hair and makeup department. Peering around the corner, Kia saw him clench the arms of the chair he was sitting in as Jeanist tried to smooth out his hair.

Snickering, Kia walked around the corner, making her way over to the two arguing heroes. “Do you mind if I make a suggestion?” she asked.
“What do you have in mind?” Jeanist asked stepping back.

“You can’t smooth his hair forward like that, it just looks wrong,” Kia laughed at her scowling partner.

“The last time you did this it took me forever to get it back the way it was,” Bakugou growled at Jeanist.

Picking up a spray bottle and brush, Kia stepped in front of him, “Do you trust me?” she asked Bakugou.

“You better not make me look like one of those losers,” Bakugou said, pointing to the other male models.

“I promise, and I will even fix it afterwards,” Kia said.

“You better,” Bakugou warned sitting back in the chair.

Kia grabbed a towel and put it over his shoulders before spraying his hair with water. Once she had it completely wet she took the brush and started brushing in back out of his face. “Do you have any hair glue?” she asked Jeanist. One of the assistants brought over a small black container, opening it so Kia could dip her fingers in it.

“That isn’t really glue?” Bakugou asked, eyeing the container.

“No,” Kia giggled. “It’s just a really thick kind of hair gel.”

Rubbing the paste-like gel on her hands, she started running it through his hair. Her fingers running along his scalp felt so good that Bakugou
closed his eyes and relaxed. Once she had worked it into his hair evenly, she stepped around in front of him. “We are supposed to have a kind of grunge look, right?” she asked Jeanist.

“Yes,” Jeanist replied, curious what Kia was going to do next.

“Do you trust me?” Kia asked, looking back at Bakugou.

“Just get on with it,” Bakugou snapped.

“Sit on the edge of the seat and let me stand between your legs,” Kia said, nudging his knee.

Doing what she asked, Bakugou swallowed hard as she stepped closer to him. His face was level with her chest and her shirt dipped really low. Kia started combing her fingers through his hair while adding heat to dry and style it in a slicked back and slightly curly style. The combination of the heat from her hands and the glue made his hair stay in place.

“Well done, Wildside! Where did you learn to do this?” Jeanist asked stepping up to look over her work.

“I used to do it all the time for a friend,” Kia replied. Bakugou noticed the sadness creeping into her eyes.

“Was he the one you lost?” Bakugou asked, looking up at her.

“Yeah,” Kia replied, smiling softly at him.

Jeanist cleared his throat, “Well, we better get this photo shoot started or we are going to run out of time.”

Standing up from the chair, Bakugou caught Kia’s surprise as she took in his outfit. “Oh my god, B! Did they paint those on you?” Kia covered her mouth, looking at the pants he wore. “They might be tighter than mine!” she laughed.

“Shut up! If they look that bad I’m done with this!” he growled, clenching his fists.

“Wait, I didn’t mean it in a bad way,” Kia said, circling around him. “They actually look really good, I’ve just never seen you in anything but baggy pants. I really want to see you try and get out of those,” she said

Nina made a squealing sound. “That’s not what I meant!” Kia said, blushing hard.

Smirking, Bakugou teased his partner, “You want to see me out of these pants, huh?”

“Shut up,” Kia said rolling her eyes as she blushed even harder. “If that ego inflates anymore you aren’t going to be able to get out of those pants.”

The both of them laughed as they left the changing area and walked over to the stage. There were six other models already waiting: three men and three women sorted into pairs and wore different styles of jeans.

“Alright, let us start with the pop style pair,” Jeanist said gesturing to the two models with light colored jeans and bright colored clothes. They started with taking individual photos before moving on to pairs. Bakugou and Kia were last to be photographed. Stepping in front of the camera,

Kia moved through the poses with practiced ease.

“She is sexy as hell,” one of the other male models sitting next to Bakugou said.

Glancing over at him, Bakugou could see the other models nodding in agreement. All except for Razzle, who looked like her head was about to explode. He looked back at his partner and couldn’t help but agree with what the other model had said.

“Alright, Ground Zero, you’re up next,” Jeanist said.

Bakugou stood up and made his way over in front of the camera. To his surprise, Kia stayed by the stage instead of going to sit in the waiting area. Glancing at her, he remembered her advice from their photo session during the interview. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, he relaxed, looking into the camera when he opened them.

After a couple of poses he glanced at Kia to see her poke herself between the eyes. Realizing what she meant, he relaxed his face.

“Could you give us a slight smile?” Jeanist asked.
Bakugou watched as Kia moved behind the photographer. Wondering what she was doing, he was caught by surprise when she stuck her tongue out and flipped him off. Bakugou grinned and almost laughed and the camera clicked.

“Alright, now for the couple photos,” Jeanist said, gesturing for Kia to join Bakugou.

“Good job,” Kia said as she walked up to her partner.

Looking down at his partner he crossed his arms. “I don’t lose,” he said.

“Me neither,” Kia said. “Thanks for filling in. It has been more fun with you here.”

The two didn’t notice that the photographer had been snapping pictures the whole time. After going through a couple of poses, Jeanist had the rest of the models come back so they could take a few group pictures.

“Thank you all for participating in today’s photo shoot. I would like to apologize that it ran longer than we expected,” Jeanist said as he dismissed the models.

Making their way back to the changing rooms, Bakugou slipped into one of the closed off cubicles to change back into his own clothes. Unbuttoning the pants he wore he tried to take them off only to nearly fall over when they got caught on his legs. Cussing, he sat down while fighting to get the pants off. In the next stall, he could hear Kia laughing at the commotion he was making.

After getting changed, he made his way out to the makeup chairs and saw Kia getting her hair and makeup undone. Sitting in the chair next to her, he let the assistants wash the hair glue out of his hair. He was towel drying his hair when another set of hands grabbed the towel. Looking up he saw it was Kia and sat up as she draped the towel on the counter and moved behind him.

“I told you I would fix it afterwards,” Kia said as she heated up her hands and started running them through his hair again. Bakugou almost moaned as she ran her fingers through his hair.

“It’s so soft,” Kia said as she played with his hair. “It’s pretty long though. When was the last time you cut it?”

“It’s been a while,” Bakugou replied.

Kia finished drying his hair and pulled her phone out of her pocket. “It is almost 2:00 pm, do you want to run and get something to eat?” she asked.

“Sure,” Bakugou said, getting up from the chair. They went to a restaurant not too far from the agency. They were sitting there talking about how the photo shoot went when Kia’s phone went off.

“Hey, B, I’m going to take the rest of the day off,” Kia said, reading the message.

“What for?” Bakugou asked.

“Well, hopefully by the end of today I will be out of that hotel and into my own place,” Kia smiled, gathering up her stuff. “We are off this weekend, right?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Bakugou replied, watching her get ready to leave. “We are still on call though.”

“K, well if anything comes up call me. Otherwise, I will see you Monday!” Kia said as she walked out of the restaurant.

Finishing his meal, Bakugou went to the counter to pay only to find Kia had paid for both of their meals on her way out. Shaking his head at her sneakiness, he headed back to the agency to finish the paperwork he was going to do that morning.

Chapter Text

After leaving the restaurant, Kia rushed to the hotel she was staying at so she could gather her things and check out. She made her way down the street after packing a large duffle bag over her shoulder and a rolling suitcase behind her. When she got to the apartment complex, the building manager was there to greet her.

“Miss Hales, I’m glad you were able to make it on such short notice,” the manager, Hiroyumi said. “Your things started arriving this morning and I have been informed that the rest should arrive shortly.”

“Thank you,” Kia said. “I’m more than ready to be out of that hotel.”

“Here are your keys,” Hiroyumi said. “Let me accompany you to your apartment.”

Kia followed the manager to the elevator. When she got inside the manager hit the button for her.

“I hope that you didn’t have any important work to do this afternoon,” Hiroyumi said.

“Not really, my partner will take care of the paperwork we needed to finish. We had just finished a photoshoot and were eating lunch when I got your message.” Kia answered.

“Oh, you have a partner? It sounds like the two of you get along well,” Hiroyumi said.

“I think we do. He is an awesome hero and a good friend,” Kia said as the doors to the elevator opened. She followed the manager out and down the hallway to her new apartment. As she passed by the apartment next to hers, she paused while looking towards the door.

“Is something wrong?” the manager asked.

“No, I just thought I smelled something familiar,” Kia replied as she stepped up to the door of her new apartment. Opening it, she walked in and saw that most of the furniture she ordered had shown up.

“Well, I will leave you to unpack,” Hiroyumi said. “If there is anything you need, don’t hesitate to call me. I will be out running some errands of my own this afternoon.”

“Thanks!” Kia said as the manager left. Setting her bags down, she closed the door then turned around to look over her new apartment. “Well, it isn’t going to organize itself,” she said pulling out her phone. Hitting play, she set her phone down on the counter and started arranging her new furniture.

%%%%%

After finishing his paperwork, Bakugou decided to go out on patrol. As he walked down the many streets he couldn’t believe how quiet it was. He used to love patrolling on his own but now he found himself missing Kia’s company.

“Tch,” he said to himself. I’m acting like some kind of sissy that can’t function without their partner, he thought.

“Ground Zero!” someone called out to him. Turning around, he saw his building manager walking toward him. “It has been a while since I’ve actually seen you around,” Hiroyumi said.

“I’ve been busy,” Bakugou replied to the older woman.

“Has there been a lot of villain activity? I haven’t had a chance to keep up with the news lately,” she continued.

“Did you need something?” Bakugou asked.

“I forgot to let you know we have a new tenant in the apartment next to you,” Hiroyumi informed him.

“I saw the movers this morning,” Bakugou stated.

“Yes, she is settling in right now. I hope you two will be able to get along. I know your last neighbor was not exactly… well… we will just say they weren’t a good neighbor. I guess I should probably let you get back to work. It is always nice to see you. Call if you need anything,” Hiroyumi said before walking away.

The streets were proving to be void of any issues and Bakugou started getting more and more frustrated as time dragged on. Giving up, he turned around to head back to the agency. As he came up the street where Mr. Kawahara’s store was, he saw the old couple was outside switching out their signage.

“Ground Zero!” Mr. Kawahara greeted. “Where is Wildside? You didn’t finally chase her off?”

“No,” Bakugou growled. “She is looking at getting an apartment.”

“Well, that is good news. I know she hasn’t liked staying at the hotel. She even comes by here in the evenings and stays for a long time. I think the poor thing is lonely,” Mrs. Kawahara said.

Bakugou hadn’t really thought about it before. What did Sunshine do when she wasn’t at work? He didn’t have a clue, and they had just exchanged numbers.

“Well, she is a long ways from home,” Mr. Kawahara added.

“It must be hard being so far away from family. I wonder if she has much family back in America.” Mrs. Kawahara wondered.

“Her parents are still around, and she has an older sister and younger brother,” Bakugou replied.

“Oh, she has talked to you about her family?” Mrs. Kawahara asked.

“She had a picture of them,” Bakugou replied.

“She never really talks about herself when she is here. She likes listening to our old stories,” Mr. Kawahara chuckled.

“I wonder if she will need anything for her apartment.” Mrs. Kawahara said. “Maybe we could get her something as a gift?”

“We will have to ask her when we see her again,” Mr. Kawahara told his wife. “Do you know where about she was looking?” he asked Bakugou.

“Uh, no I don’t,” Bakugou answered.

“Well, I hope she has luck finding a place,” Mrs. Kawahara said.
After telling the old couple goodbye, Bakugou continued on to the agency. He hadn’t really thought much about where Kia was living or what she did while she wasn’t at work. He usually stayed home or went out when Kirishima dragged him somewhere. Until recently, the only person he saw Kia talk to other than the Kawaharas was Jeanist’s assistant. Maybe she was lonely.

Arriving at the agency, Bakugou realized he was worried about his partner. Why the hell am I so worried about how she is feeling? It’s not like she and I are very close, he thought to himself. But the more he actually thought about the last couple of weeks, he realized that that wasn’t true. He liked having Kia around. She made work fun and brightened his day like the nickname he had given her. Maybe they were getting close.

Glancing up at the clock, Bakugou saw that it was still early in the evening. He guessed he would go home at a decent hour for once and started getting ready to leave. Maybe he would message Kia and see what she was up to.

%%%%%

Kia finished setting up her furniture how she wanted and put her clothes away. Looking at the time, she realized that it was getting close to dinnertime and the fridge was completely empty. Throwing on some running gear, she figured she would go over to the Kawahara’s store to pick up a few essentials and get in a good run while she was at it.

A little while later, she came running up to the store to see the two of them outside.

“Wildside, you just missed Ground Zero,” Mrs. Kawahara said as the hero slowed to a walk.

“Really? He is probably enjoying his quiet time,” Kia laughed, “I actually came here to pick up some things for my new apartment. The fridge and cupboards are bare.”

“You got the apartment? Congratulations! Come in, come in, we can definitely get you set up with some groceries,” Mr. Kawahara said holding the door open for Kia.

“Is there anything specific you need?” Mrs. Kawahara asked as she followed Kia inside.

Twenty minutes later Kia was headed back to her apartment carrying a bunch of sacks. The Kawaharas had loaded her up with groceries and even gave her a discount despite her telling them they didn’t have to. It took her half an hour to get back to her apartment. She eventually made it on to the elevator and to her apartment without any of the bags ripping.

Setting the groceries on the counter, she busied herself with putting everything away. Once that was done, she looked around and decided to take a shower, especially since she had run the whole way to the store.

She took her time enjoying the comfort of being in her own place. Stepping out of the shower, she dried herself off and wrapped her hair up in a towel. Pulling on a pair of shorts and a tank top, she grabbed a hoodie and pulled it on. She grabbed a couple of the beers Mr. Kawahara had given her and decided to check out her new balcony. She slid open the glass door and stepped out into the evening air. Setting the beers on a table by the railing, she took the towel off her head and draped it on one of the chairs. It was really warm out. She leaned on the railing, opening one of the beers and chilling it down with her quirk. She hadn’t been out there very long when the lights in the apartment next door turned on.

“It looks like my handsome neighbor is home,” Kia said to herself. Taking a seat, she started brushing her hair. She had it all brushed and was starting to dry it when the neighbor’s door opened and he stepped out onto his side of the balcony.

%%%%%

Bakugou made it to his apartment just as the sun was starting to set. Pulling out his keys, he unlocked his door and walked in flipping on the lights. Slipping his shoes off, he walked over to the kitchen, and tossed his keys onto the counter.

Then he headed to his room and changed into a pair of sweats and a sleeveless shirt. Grabbing some leftovers out of the fridge, he stuck it in the microwave to reheat. While he waited, he decided he would go out on the balcony for some fresh air.

He pulled out his phone as he opened the sliding door and started a message to send to Kia, but was startled when someone spoke.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. I just can’t seem to get away from you!” she laughed.

Bakugou turned around to see Kia sitting in a chair on the balcony next door. He stood there staring at her for a second before it sunk in that Kia was his new neighbor.

“I thought that I caught your scent in hallway earlier,” Kia said. Standing up, she grabbed an unopened beer from the table beside her. Twisting the lid off the bottle, she blew into the neck of it, chilling it with her quirk. “Hi, I’m your new neighbor, Kia Hales.” She grinned as she held the beer out to him.

Taking the bottle from her, he took a drink. “How the hell did we not figure this out?”

“I have no idea. I never even thought about the possibility that the handsome young man Hiroyumi said lived next door would be you!” Kia laughed again. “I should have guessed, especially when I caught your scent. I guess I was just too focused on getting the apartment.”

“You found out about this apartment from Jeanist’s assistant,” Bakugou stated.

“How do you know that?” Kia asked, surprised.

“She came and asked me if there were any openings a little while back,” he replied.

“I’m going to have to ask her why she didn’t tell us. We really didn’t ask either though,” Kia shrugged. “Well, I guess we are neighbors as well as partners now,” she smiled. “I hope you don’t mind. I can leave you alone if you want me too.”

“You better not be fucking noisy.” Bakugou glared.

“I’m not unless you count playing music too loud. The rooms are sound proof anyway,” Kia countered.

“Yeah, but they don’t keep out everything, Bakugou said.

“I will promise to be a good neighbor if you do,” Kia replied.

“Deal,” Bakugou nodded. He watched as Kia turned to grab her drink from the table. Sitting back down in the chair, she started running her hands through her long hair. He realized that she was drying her own hair like she had done to his earlier that day. “How do you do that?” he asked.

“Do what?” Kia asked.

“Dry your hair like that?” Bakugou asked.

“It actually isn’t too hard. I bet you could do it with your quirk too. Why don’t you try it?” she said, standing up and bringing her chair over to the gate.

“On you?” Bakugou said, surprised. “You want me to blow up your hair?”

“Your hands get hot using your quirk, don’t they?” Kia rolled her eyes. “Just create heat, not a big explosion. Don’t worry, my hair is as almost as tough as my scales so I doubt you will do much damage if you manage to screw up.” Turning the back of the chair against the gate, Kia sat down and flipped her hair out so it hung down the other side. “Try keeping the heat at about 32 degrees Celsius. You don’t want to go too low or it takes forever, and too high can fry your hair.” she said.

Bakugou hesitated before reaching out and grabbing a handful of Kia’s hair. Using small reactions, he heated up his hands and started running his fingers through her hair. At first he didn’t create enough heat, but it didn’t take him long to figure out how to adjust it to a temperature that dried it with every stroke of his fingers.

Kia relaxed as Bakugou worked on her hair. It had been so long since someone had messed with her hair that Kia had forgotten how good it felt. Tipping her head back, she closed her eyes.
Bakugou slowly worked his way through the long strands. As he worked, he noticed Kia was wearing a zip up hoodie over what looked like a tank top. Once again, he could make out the end of a scar along her collarbone.

“How’d you get that scar on your collarbone?” he asked, still drying her hair. “I thought your scales are like armor?”

Kia opened her eyes and looked up at him. “They are, but they aren’t completely impenetrable. You could probably break them with your quirk if you really had to. Besides, I wasn’t wearing my scales when this happened,” she replied while touching the scar.

“So your skin isn’t as tough,” Bakugou clarified.

“No more than a regular human’s,” Kia replied. “I can activate my scales in an instant though. Phoenix just got in a lucky shot.”

“Who is Phoenix?” Bakugou asked. He watched as Kia’s expression went from relaxed to sad. “He was your friend that you lost,” he said with realization.

“I guess you could kind of say he was my partner,” Kia replied with a sad tone.

“Why did you call him Phoenix?” Bakugou asked as he finished drying her hair.

“It was the name he was given because of his quirk. I never knew his real name,” she confessed, sitting up straight.

“Why were you guys fighting?” Bakugou asked, watching her closely. Kia tensed at his question. Just then, Bakugou’s microwave beeped, breaking the silence that was stretching between them.

“It sounds like your dinner is ready. I’m getting hungry too, so I’m gonna go make something to eat. I will talk to you later, ok?” Kia said, giving him a forced smile.

Bakugou nodded as he watched Kia walk back into her apartment. He stood there for a minute before grabbing his beer and walking into his own apartment. Heading over to the microwave, he pulled out his meal as he thought about the conversation he just had with Kia. She had said her friend was given the name Phoenix and she didn’t know his real one. He had a suspicion that Phoenix wasn’t the name of another hero.

%%%%%

Kia shut her sliding door behind her, pulling the curtains closed as she took a deep breath. She turned around, heading over to where she had stacked the boxes she still needed to go through. She started rummaging through them until she found the box she was looking for. Digging to the bottom, she pulled out a small case. Opening it, she paused while looking at the necklace that lay inside. It was made from a simple leather cord and had a beautiful gold and red feather tied to it. Picking it out of the case she held it up and it glimmered in the light. Sitting down she held it on her palm stroking the feather’s soft vane.

“Why don’t I just tell him?” Kia said to herself. Slipping the necklace over her head, she put her face in her hands and stared at the feather hanging from her neck. Because I don’t want him to look at me like that, she admitted to herself.

Chapter Text

“Please Master, I promise I’ll obey. Please just don’t hurt him!” Kia pleaded from where she knelt on the floor.

“Tisk, tisk, Kitten. It is too late for that now. If you had only behaved I wouldn’t have to sacrifice one of my best pets.” The Master smiled down at her.

“I promise from now on I will do whatever you say! Just please, don’t hurt him,” Kia begged tears streaming down her face.

“It’s ok, D,” a young man said from where he knelt in front of her.

“No, don’t say that!” Kia cried. “Please, Master… I’m sorry! I swear to do whatever you want, just please don’t …” she choked, unable to say it.

“Now, now, Kitten, that is enough of that. I have tried disciplining you every way I know how and you have left me with only one option left,” The Master replied, walking around the two of them. “I’m hoping this will finally push you past this ridiculous rebellious stage. I believe you will be the best but I have a feeling he is holding you back,” he said, putting his hand on top of the head of the young man in front of her.

Kia sobbed, realizing there was nothing she could say that would stop what was about to happen.

“D… look at me,” the young man said in a soft voice. Kia looked up into his deep blue eyes. His smile was just as bright as his sun colored hair. “Remember what we talked about. Whatever happens, promise you won’t let him break you. D, there is something I’ve wanted to tell you. I just wish it wasn’t like this,” the young man admitted. “You are the strongest person I’ve ever met and I know you will get out of here. I hoped we would get out together cause then I was going to tell you… I love you.”

“Stop… please…” Kia begged once more while pulling against her restraints, making her wrists bleed.

“I’m sorry, my pet… but this is all your fault.” The Master sneered right before he plunged a dagger into the young man’s heart.

“PHOENIX!!” Kia screamed.

Gasping, Kia bolted up in bed. She was covered in sweat and felt like she hadn’t slept at all. Laying back down she took deep breaths, wiping away the tears pouring from her eyes as she tried to calm herself down. Looking at the alarm clock she realized it was five a.m. but there was no way she was getting back to sleep after that nightmare. She wished it really was just a nightmare. She rolled over and grabbed the feather necklace that lay on the bedside table. Slipping it over her head, she got up and headed into the kitchen to make some coffee.

Rubbing her eyes, she plugged in the coffee pot the Kawahara’s had given her to celebrate her getting an apartment. Flipping the switch, she leaned against the counter as the coffee started to brew. Looking down, she realized her shirt was soaked. Pulling it over her head, she made her way to the bathroom and started filling the tub. Slipping out of her shorts and pulling her hair into a bun, she stepped into the tub and sank into the hot water. Holding up the feather, she looked at it as she soaked. The colors were still as bright as the day Phoenix had given it to her. When she closed her eyes she could still see his blue ones.

After a while Kia got out, drying herself off as she went to her room and pulled out some leggings and a tank top before putting them on and heading back to the kitchen. Pouring herself a cup of coffee, she sat down. Sipping it, she hoped to get rid of the restless feeling in her chest. When she finished her cup, she still felt like she was going to suffocate. Grabbing her phone and keys she headed to the door, pulling on a pair of running shoes and a long sleeved shirt as she left her apartment. She locked the door before turning to walk to the elevator. She was surprised to see Bakugou leaving his apartment as well.

“You look like shit,” Bakugou said, looking her up and down.

“Thanks, I didn’t sleep well last night,” Kia said as she walked past him.

Bakugou followed her to the elevator, getting on and pressing the button for the main floor. He couldn’t help but notice that she couldn’t seem to sit still, switching from one foot to the other as they waited for the elevator to go down. When the doors opened, Kia bolted out of it and through the front doors.

Walking out of the building Bakugou saw her heading down the street, stretching her arms and legs as she went. He had decided to go for a run early this morning anyway and followed after her. Kia stopped to wait for the crosswalk as Bakugou walked up next to her.

“What are you doing?” Kia asked.

“Going for a run, got a problem with that?” he replied, stretching out his arms.

Kia shrugged, breaking into a jog as the ‘Walk’ light lit up.

Bakugou followed after her as she set a brisk pace. Pulling alongside her, he looked over to her to see her raise an eyebrow at him. He just looked forward, speeding up into a run. Kia kept pace with him for a couple of blocks before she sped up and pulled away. Grinning, Bakugou took off after her, passing her as he caught up. Looking back over his shoulder, he saw the surprised look on Kia’s face before it turned into one of determination. Kia caught up to him and the two heroes began to race, each one trying to overtake the other. It was a good thing it was so early and the streets were not crowded.

Soon they made it to a park where they started pushing each other faster and faster, both of them breathing hard. They were barreling down one of the paths when a pedestrian walking their dog stepped out in front of them. Bakugou grabbed Kia’s sleeve, pulling her to the side as he stepped off the path to avoid them. What he hadn’t counted on was how wet the grass was. Slipping on the dew, he lost his footing and fell to the ground, pulling Kia down with him. They tumbled over top one another down the slight slope, landing in pile.

Laughing, Kia tried to get up only to fall back down on top of Bakugou. He grunted as her elbow hit him in the stomach. Rolling off of him, Kia laughed harder while still trying to catch her breath. They both lay on their backs next to each other.

“Thanks for that, B,” Kia wheezed.

“For what?” Bakugou asked, panting.

“I really needed a distraction,” she replied, taking a deep breath.

Sitting up, Bakugou looked over at his partner. She looked better already. The brightness was back in her eyes and her cheeks were flushed.

“Just too bad you lost,” Bakugou said, standing up straight.

“Excuse me?” Kia said. “You think I lost that race? I do believe that I was in front of you when you grabbed me.”

“The hell you were. I was pulling ahead and saw the mutt before you did,” Bakugou argued.

“Well, we will just have to continue our race to see who is faster,” Kia challenged.

“Alright, Sunshine… if that’s how you want to play…” Bakugou rolled his shoulders.

“Loser buys breakfast. One, two, three, go!” she blurted before taking off down the path laughing.

“You damn cheater!” Bakugou yelled as he took off after her.

%%%%%

“He knows we are coming over today, right, Kirishima?” Sero asked.

“Yeah, I told him the other day we’d be over,” Kirishima replied.

The two of them and Kaminari were currently taking a bus on their way to Bakugou’s place.

“It’s early enough… I wonder if we could get him to cook for us?” Kaminari said as he looked out the window.

“I’m not going to be the one to ask him this time,” Sero said shaking his head.

“I’ll ask him,” Kirishima offered.

“Hey guys, look!” Kaminari said suddenly, pointing out the window.

Turning around, the three of them saw Bakugou and Kia racing down the sidewalk.

“Who is that?” Sero asked.

“That is his totally hot new partner,” Kaminari answered, “Eijiro has a date with her.”

“Shut up, Kaminari! It isn’t like that and you know it. I wonder what they are doing,” Kirishima said, watching them run by.

“It looks like they are headed to his place,” Sero said.

“Come on, let’s follow them!” Kaminari said as the bus pulled to a stop.

Running off the bus, the three of them hurried after the other two while staying a ways behind so they wouldn’t be noticed. “Jeeze, these two are fast!” Kaminari panted.

“Come on, they are almost to his apartment,” Kirishima said.

As Bakugou and Kia got closer she was in the lead, not letting Bakugou get around her. Suddenly, Bakugou put on a burst of speed, reaching the building just before Kia. Slowing down, they both came to a stop in front of the doors.

“I win,” Bakugou said with a big grin.

“This time,” Kia laughed. Punching in the code for the door, they both went inside.

“Hurry up!” Kirishima said to the other two as they approached the door. Looking in, they saw Bakugou and Kia getting on the elevator. “Follow me,” Kirishima said. Punching in the code, he opened the door and headed for the stairs with Sero and Kaminari on his heels.

They ran up the stairwell, trying to beat the other two to the top floor. When they got to the access door they opened it up and slowly stepped out into the hall. They had just ducked behind a vending machine when the elevator doors opened and Bakugou and Kia walked out.

“Rub it in, you jerk. You just got lucky,” Kia said, scowling at Bakugou.

“Luck?” Bakugou scoffed. “It’s not luck, Sunshine. Its skill. I’m the best and you might as well get used to it,” he said as they walked towards their apartments.

“Careful now, or your head might explode,” Kia teased.

Kirishima, Sero, and Kaminari were all peering around the vending machine, watching the interaction between their two friends.

“That is his partner?” Sero whispered to the other two. “She is really beautiful.”

“Do you think he invited her over?” Kaminari asked quietly.

“I don’t know, he never said anything to me,” Kirishima whispered back.

All three watched while Kia and Bakugou walked up to the door of his apartment.

“Are you expecting company today?” Kia asked Bakugou.

“Yeah, Kirishima is supposed to come over, why?” he replied.

“Cause he is crouched over there with Kaminari and some guy that smells like scotch tape,” Kia said pointing.

Turning around, Bakugou saw his three friends trying to act like they hadn’t been spying on them.

“Hey, Bakugou!” Kirishima said, coming out from his hiding place. “What are you doing here, Kia?” he asked.

“It turns out B and I are now neighbors,” she answered, pointing her thumb over her shoulder at her apartment.

“Really, how did that happen?” Kaminari walked over with Sero.

“Long story, so why were you three spying on us?” Kia asked.

“Uhm, we saw you guys outside and wondered what you were up to,” Kirishima replied, rubbing the back of his head.

“Why didn’t you just say something?” Bakugou asked.

“Well, we didn’t want to interrupt anything,” Kirishima said, looking sheepish.

“Interrupt what?” Kia asked, both her and Bakugou giving him confused looks.

“Uh, so what were you guys doing?” Kirishima deflected.

“She was losing a race,” Bakugou smirked.

“Shut up or I won’t make breakfast,” Kia threatened.

“Wait, you are going to cook?” Kaminari asked excitedly.

“Well, I was thinking about it. I could just take you out for breakfast if you want,” Kia said turning to Bakugou.

“It doesn’t matter to me, you can cook if you want,” Bakugou said, surprised she was thinking about cooking for him.

“Sweet, home cooking!” Sero cheered.

“We haven’t met,” Kia said to Sero. “I’m Kia Hales.”

“I’m Hanta Sero,” he said, bowing his head.

“Nice to meet you, Sero. Are you a hero too?” Kia asked.

“Sure am, my name is Cellophane.” Sero pointed to himself.

“Well, I guess the tape smell makes sense now,” Kia said.

“Tape smell?” Kaminari asked.

“I have a heightened sense of smell,” Kia told them.

“So that is how you could tell we were here!” Kirishima realized.

“What are you going to cook for Bakugou?” Kaminari interjected.

“Actually, I’m not sure. What would you like?” she asked her partner.

“Hey, you should make him something from your country,” Kirishima suggested.

“Is that ok with you?” Kia asked looking at Bakugou.

“Whatever, as long as it tastes good,” Bakugou replied, turning to open his door.

“Ok, I will be over in a little bit then.” Kia said, walking to her own apartment.

The other three followed Bakugou into his apartment. Bakugou headed to his room for a change of clothes as his friends made themselves at home.

“Wow, how did Bakugou get such a babe for a partner?” Sero asked as he flopped down on the couch.

“I know, right?” Kaminari added.

“Jeanist recruited her from America. Apparently she worked for a friend of his over there,” Kirishima replied.

Bakugou listened as he headed to the bathroom for a shower. Washing quickly, he got dressed, flinging his a towel over his shoulder he walked out into the living room, drying his hair how Kia had taught him.

“Dude, are you drying your hair with your quirk? When did you learn to do that?” Kirishima asked when he realized what Bakugou was doing.

“Sunshine taught me how last night,” Bakugou replied.

“What!” all three of them exclaimed.

“She was over here last night?” Sero asked.

“Wait, how did she teach you to do that? Had you both taken a shower?” Kaminari pried.

“What the hell are you losers talking about?!” Bakugou yelled. “She has never been in here, she just moved in yesterday! She was drying her own hair and offered to show me when I asked.”

“Wait, so you dried her hair?” Kirishima asked.

“Yeah, what of it?” Bakugou grumbled.

“Is it really soft?” Kaminari asked, “I bet she smells really good.”

“Why the hell would you ask me that, Dunce Face? Like I would fucking tell you if she does,” Bakugou snapped.

“Aw, come on, be a bro!” Kaminari whined. Bakugou reached out, grabbing him by the collar as Kirishima and Sero laughed.

Bakugou was about to start yelling at his yellow haired friend when a knock came from the balcony door. Tossing Kaminari back on the couch, he stomped over and opened the door to let Kia in. She had a large bag hanging off one shoulder.

“Hey, I figured it would be easier to just make it over here. Mind it I borrow your kitchen?” Kia asked him.

“Just don’t make a fucking mess,” Bakugou growled, closing the door behind her.

“Thanks, B. You guys asked for it. I’m gonna make you pancakes.” Kia smiled as she set her bag down on the counter.

“Wait, you mean like the dessert?” Sero asked.

“No, you said make something we eat back home so these are my dad’s recipe, American style breakfast pancakes,” Kia corrected.

“Cool, she is making us breakfast too!” Kaminari celebrated.

“I’m making something special for you, B,” she winked, “Do you have a couple pans I can borrow?”

“In the bottom cupboard next to the stove,” Bakugou replied, interested in what she was going to make just for him.

Kaminari and Sero turned on Bakugou’s TV and started to play video games while they waited. Bakugou and Kirishima sat at the table drinking coffee and watching Kia as she worked. Soon she had the batter mixed and started pouring it into the pan.

“B, can you get me out a plate?” Kia asked.

“What do you say?” Bakugou asked still sitting in his chair.

“Or else,” Kia smiled, looking over at him.

Grinning, Bakugou got up and grabbed a plate from the cupboard, sitting it down on the counter as Kia started making something else.

Kirishima came over and helped Bakugou get out some more plates and silverware, setting them on the table as Kia continued cooking. Soon she had a large stack of pancakes sitting on the plate on the counter.

“These smell good,” Kirishima said as he grabbed the plate and put it on the table.

“There are a couple jars in my bag if you could get them out, please,” Kia asked Kirishima as she stood at the stove.

“How come you say please to Weird Hair and not me?” Bakugou asked, pulling some glasses out of the cupboard.

“Because Eijiro is a gentleman and you’re a butthead,” Kia replied, causing the other three to laugh out loud.

“I said don’t call me that!” Bakugou growled.

“She has you pegged,” Kaminari quipped. He yelped as Bakugou grabbed him by the back of the shirt and rubbed his knuckles on top of the smaller hero’s head.

Sero and Kirishima laughed as the electric hero struggled to get out of Bakugou’s grasp. “You trying to say I’m a butthead, Dunce Face?” Bakugou asked maliciously.

“B, put him down or I’m eating this myself,” Kia said, bringing the last plate to the table. Dropping Kaminari, Bakugou walked over and sat down in the chair next to Kia. Kirishima sat down on her other side while Sero and Kaminari took their places across the table.

“Thanks for the food!” Kaminari, Sero, and Kirishima said in unison.

“Alright guys, now I will show you how we eat breakfast at my parent’s house,” Kia smiled. She piled a couple of pancakes on her plate then reached for one of the jars Kirishima had put on the table.

“What is that?” Sero asked.

“Syrup my mom sent me. It’s really sweet. If you don’t like it, the other jars have different jams in them,” Kia said, pointing to the jars. The boys all three piled pancakes on their plates like Kia had done.
Taking turns they poured the syrup over top the pancakes before taking a bite.

“These are good!” Kaminari said, taking another big bite.

“They are way denser than any pancake I’ve ever had… and they are sweet!” Sero commented.

Bakugou sat there watching while the others ate the pancakes. “You said you had something else for me?” he asked, looking over at Kia.

Grinning, she grabbed the plate she had put on the table. “We talked about our favorite spicy foods, so I did my best to make you one of mine,” she said, pushing the plate towards him.

“Is that Omni rice?” Kirishima asked.

“No, its an omelet,” Kia said, “Usually I put bacon or ham in it too, but I didn’t have any on hand.”

Bakugou grabbed the plate and picked up a fork. Taking a bite, he was surprised at the flavor. It was good, but not up to his level of spicy. “It’s not very spicy,” he said, giving Kia a skeptical look.

“You have to put this on it,” Kia replied. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a small bottle with a red liquid in it. Bakugou took the bottle from her. The moment he opened it he could smell the hot flavor of the sauce. He added a couple of drops to the omelet before taking another bite. He chewed slowly as the spicy flavors worked their way over his taste buds. He loved it; Sunshine has even put hot pepper in with the eggs. “Not bad but it still isn’t in my top ten,” he said taking another bite.

“Oh, really?” Kia said. Bakugou nodded taking another bite. “I’ve got more spicy recipes up my sleeves.”

“Is that a challenge?” Bakugou asked.

“You better believe it,” Kia replied.

After they finished eating, Kirishima and Sero offered to clean up as a thanks. While they washed the dishes, Kaminari challenged Kia to game only to find out the heroine was good at video games to. They all spent the day playing video games and visiting.

Chapter Text

“We better get going. We have a meeting at the agency in a couple hours.” Kirishima said checking the time.

“I’ve got some stuff to do too,” Sero added standing up.

They all headed to the door saying their goodbyes. After Bakugou closed the door he turned around to see Kia packing her things back into her bag. “You can keep this, I’ve got more,” she said, setting the red sauce on the counter.

“What are you doing?” Bakugou asked.

“I thought I would go back to my apartment since the guys left,” Kia replied.

“You can stay if you want,” Bakugou said, not looking directly at her.

Setting her bag back down on the counter, Kia looked at him funny. “Are you sure? I don’t want to bother you.”

“I don’t care. Do whatever you want,” Bakugou snapped, moving back to the couch. Smiling, Kia sat down on the couch next to him.

“Alright then, what do you want to do?” Kia asked. Bakugou shrugged, turning on the TV as he got comfortable. When he didn’t offer up anything, Kia settled into the couch.

“The pancakes were good,” Bakugou said suddenly.

“Thanks, they are my dad’s recipe. He would make them every weekend when I was little. He still does if we are at his house on Saturdays.” Kia laughed. “You would walk in and see this bear of a man in an apron flipping pancakes.”

“Is he big?” Bakugou asked.

“Yeah, he still makes me feel like a little kid when he hugs me,” Kia replied. “He has a beast quirk and can transform into a gigantic bear-like creature.”

“Did you get your mom’s quirk then?” Bakugou asked.

“Yes and no. Mom has and elemental quirk. She can manipulate the elements to a certain degree,” Kia replied. “My dad comes from a long line of different beast quirks. My quirk is a mix of theirs. I get the dragon from my dad’s side of the family and the nitrogen manipulation from my mom. My brother is a mix too. He turns into a wolf that can manipulate lightning. My older sister turns into a lioness, but she doesn’t have any elemental power. My nieces and nephew all turn into big cats but only the twins can manipulate elements.”

“Are they your sister’s kids?” Bakugou asked, leaning against the arm rest.

“Yep, my nephew is eight and the twin girls are four. They are quite the hand full.” Kia smiled, “I will have to show you a picture sometime. What about you? Do you have a big family?”

“No, just Mom and Dad.” Bakugou replied.

“Whose quirk did you get?” Kia asked.

“The explosion I get from my dad but being able to secrete it a will comes from my old hag,” Bakugou shared.

“You call your mom a hag?” Kia snickered. “If I called my mom that she would kick my butt.”

“Is she strong?” Bakugou asked.

“My mom is five foot three and married to a man that is over six feet tall and can turn into a gigantic beast. She raised three kids all around six feet tall with quirks that turn them into gigantic creatures with sharp teeth and claws. She rules the house with an iron fist. No one messes with my mama,” Kia smiled.

“She didn’t look scary in that photo,” Bakugou said.

“That is just it, my mom is the sweetest woman you will ever meet but if you make her mad she is the scariest person you’ll ever meet.” Kia shivered. “Mom can manipulate the elements and she knows how to do it well. I was getting out of control one time after I came back and she shocked me so hard my scales hurt for a whole week.”

“She sounds cool,” Bakugou grinned.

“She is. I wish I was more like her but I’m too much like my dad,” Kia laughed, “Maybe it is a beast thing.”

Bakugou sat there listening to Kia talk about her family. The look on her face showed how much she loved and missed them.

“Who are you more like, your mom or your dad?” Kia asked.

“People tell me I’m a lot like my mom,” Bakugou replied scowling.

“Your looks or your personality?” Kia inquired.

“Both,” Bakugou snorted, causing Kia to laugh.

“I bet she is nice once you get past the yelling then,” Kia smiled.

They sat there talking and watching TV until it started getting late. Kia stomach grumbled loudly, “I’m hungry. What about you?” she asked. Bakugou didn’t say anything. He just got up off the couch and headed to the kitchen. “What are you doing?” Kia asked.

“Making something to eat,” he answered as he opened the fridge and started taking out ingredients.

“You can cook?” Kia asked, turning around and folding her arms on the back of the couch.

“Of course, only an idiot wouldn’t be able to cook!” Bakugou snapped, grabbing a cutting board and knife.

“Yeah, but are you any good at it?” Kia smirked at him.

Looking back, he spun the knife in his hand as he glared at her. “I’m going to make you eat those words.”

“Looking forward to it!” Kia grinned.

Bakugou set to work cooking as Kia watched him from her spot on the couch. She wasn’t surprised to see he was very adept at using a knife as he swiftly prepared a meal. Kia yawned as she watched him cook. Soon she fell asleep with her head resting on her arms on the back of the couch. Bakugou turned to ask her a question but saw she was sound asleep. He turned back to what he was doing, knowing she had said she didn’t sleep well the night before.

A little while later, Kia woke up when Bakugou yelled at her. Jolting up straight she rubbed her eyes to see him standing by the table holding a couple of bowls. “If you are just going to sleep I wouldn’t have wasted my time making enough for two,” he grumbled.

“No, I’m coming,” Kia said as she stood up and stretched. “Sorry I fell asleep. Everything smells good.” Sitting down, she clapped her hands together and smiled at him. “Thank you for the meal,” Bakugou sat down and they began to eat. Taking the first bite, Kia was amazed at how good it tasted. “It’s really good, B!” Kia said, sampling another dish.

After they finished, Kia got up and took her dishes to the sink to start washing them. Bakugou brought his dishes over and reached around Kia to set them on the counter. He noticed Kia freeze once he got close. Moving away quickly, he grabbed a towel and started drying the dishes she had finished with.

Kia held her breath for a few seconds before exhaling. When Bakugou had come up behind her she was overpowered with his scent, which smelled amazing. The sweet scent of his quirk mixed with his natural scent, which reminded her of burning cedar. She felt her dragon side respond and she almost whined out loud. What the hell was that? she thought to herself as she continued washing the dishes. Looking over at Bakugou, she wondered if he had noticed. If he had, he wasn’t letting it show.

Bakugou was too caught up in his own thoughts to notice Kia looking sideways at him. Stupid dunce face! It is all that idiot’s fault for asking me what she smelled like! he growled in his head. When he had set his dishes down, he caught a whiff of her hair. She smelled floral along with a scent he could only describe as sunshine and heat. It had made his head swim as he retreated backwards and started drying the dishes to give his hands something to do.

They stood there in silence as they cleaned up. After putting the last dish away, Kia went and picked up her bag. “I think I’m going to head home,” she said, stifling a yawn. “I’m getting really tired.” She was tired, but her head was still swimming with his scent.

Bakugou followed her out onto the balcony and watched as she stepped through the gate. When she turned around to latch it, he stopped her. “Leave it open,” Bakugou told her. “You can come over whenever you want, just knock,” he said as he turned to go back inside.

“Same here B. You’re welcome to come over if you want,” Kia said as she opened her sliding door. “Sleep well.” Grunting in response, Bakugou went back inside his apartment. Kia entered her own apartment and put away the things in her bag. It didn’t take her long to get ready for bed and soon she was fast asleep.

%%%%%

She could hear the crowd cheering through the thick door in front of her. Her adrenaline was spiking with the anticipation of what was about to happen. Trembling, she stood with her eyes closed. Fear, rage, despair, and excitement… so many emotions coursed through her as she waited. A booming voice announced the next match and the crowed exploded. Her sensitive ears throbbed at the volume but it wasn’t as bad at the scents that assaulted her nose. The door in front of her started to raise, the light blinding her as she walked into a hell she thought she would never escape.

Kia jolted awake as she hit the floor of her bedroom. Her breathing was quick and shallow as she tried to calm down. Flicking on the lights, she turned around to see stuffing spread everywhere. Walking up to the bed, she picked up the remains of a pillow she had shredded in her nightmare. Looking at the nightstand, the time blinked 2 am. Sighing, she started cleaning up the fluff off her bed.

After shoving the destroyed pillow in the trash, Kia grabbed a blanket and headed out to the balcony hoping the fresh air would calm her. Sitting in a chair, she wrapped the blanket around herself. She closed her eyes as the wind blew in her face. Taking a deep breath, she laid her head back and relaxed. After a few minutes she started to doze off.

%%%%%

Bakugou woke up at 6 am the next morning. He planned on going for a run again so he pulled on a pair of shorts and a tank. I wonder if Sunshine is planning on running? he thought as he walked over to his balcony door to go ask her.

When he stepped out on the balcony, he was surprised to see Kia sleeping in one of the chairs. As he walked over to her he saw she was twitching in her sleep; he reached out and grabbed her shoulder to wake her up. The instant he touched her Kia lunged, transforming as she lashed out at him with her claws. Reacting quickly, Bakugou grabbed her wrists as she slammed him hard onto the balcony, knocking one of the other chairs aside. Kia paused, breathing heavily with her fangs bared.

“Sunshine?” Bakugou said softly.

Kia blinked, shaking her head as she became aware of her position on top of Bakugou. Jerking away, she landed on her butt between his legs, taking deep breaths. Sitting up, he looked at her. Her face was in her hands as she breathed deep, trembling with each exhale. A deep red feather hung from a cord around her neck. Cautiously, he reached out a hand and gently brushed his fingers across her hair. Kia jerked and Bakugou pulled away. Turning away from him she whispered, “I’m sorry.”

Bakugou didn’t say anything. He just turned and moved so that he was sitting shoulder to shoulder with her. He could feel her heart pounding through her ribs as they sat there in silence until her breathing had gone back to normal. “Do you want to talk about it?” he asked. Kia shook her head. “I came over to see if you wanted to run,” he said. “I shouldn’t have grabbed you.”

“Did I hurt you?” Kia asked, not looking up.

“No,” Bakugou snorted, causing Kia to look over at him.

“A run sounds amazing,” she smiled. Bakugou stood up and held a hand out to Kia. Reaching out, she took his hand and stood up. “Thank you. I will be ready in a minute,” she said as she walked back into her apartment.

“I will see you in the hall,” he said as he headed back to his own apartment. He walked over to the front door and put on his running shoes. Grabbing his keys and phone, he left to wait for Kia outside her door.

When she came out Bakugou was leaning on the wall next to her door. “You ready to lose?” Kia grinned.

“Not likely,” Bakugou leaned in, fixing her with a heated look. “Don’t forget, Sunshine… I’m the best.”

“Doesn’t matter if your name means victory, I’m not going to lose!” Kia narrowed her eyes at him.

“I didn’t think you even knew my name,” Bakugou said raising his eyebrows in surprise.

“I’ve known your name since the beginning, I’m not and idiot,” Kia implied, heading to the elevator.

“Why call me B then?” he asked following her.

“Because I think Butthead suits you better,” she laughed, getting on the elevator. She leaned against the back wall as Bakugou stepped on, pushing the button for the main floor.
Walking over to her, he put his arm up on the wall, caging her in. “Fine, if I win this race you have to say my name,” he challenged. “That way you might remember who is the best.”

“Deal,” Kia replied unflinchingly.

The door dinged and they both walked off and started stretching. “Are you going to cheat this time and take off?” Bakugou asked.

“No, although it was worth it to see your reaction,” Kia laughed. “Shall we run to the same place?”

“There and back, turn around is at the fountain,” Bakugou said as they exited the building. The sidewalks were empty as they lined up. It was still dark and the street lamps would light their path. Kia stepped up next to Bakugou and took a running position. Following her actions, Bakugou got ready to start. Glancing sideways at each other they took off.

They started off at an easy run with Bakugou in the lead for a few blocks before Kia pulled ahead of him. As they got to the park Bakugou pulled ahead making it around the fountain. Kia stayed hot on his heels as they started back towards their apartment, their speed increasing as they went. A couple of blocks away they were running full out with Bakugou in the lead. One block away Kia started to move next to him. Bakugou pushed even faster but Kia stayed with him. Twenty feet from the door Kia pulled ahead of him, winning by a second. “Damn it!” Bakugou spat as they slowed down.

Grinning, Kia threw her hands up in the air making a V with her fingers. “Whoohoo! And the victor is?” she said as she walked up to him catching her breath.
Breathing hard, Bakugou glared at her. “You won’t win again,” He declared.

“We will just have to see about that,” Kia smiled. They walked around to cool down before heading back inside, Bakugou pouting the whole time. Kia gloated about her win as they rode the elevator up to their floor.

“Go to hell!” Bakugou growled as he walked off the elevator.

Laughing, Kia followed him. “I’m sorry B, I couldn’t help it. Teasing you is too much fun!” she said as she followed him to his door. As he unlocked his door, Kia stopped laughing.

“What is on your back?” she said worriedly.

“What are you talking about?” Bakugou said, looking back at her.

“Right here,” Kia replied, stepping up to him and pulling his shirt out to look at his back. “Holy shit!” she exclaimed. “Go inside.” Stepping inside his door, he and Kia removed their shoes.

“Take your shirt off,” Kia ordered as she shut the door.

“Huh?” Bakugou said, giving her a funny look. Pushing on him, Kia steered him into his kitchen and pulled out a stool for him to sit on. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“You have a huge bruise on your back,” Kia said, lifting up the back of his shirt. “How…” she started before it dawned on her. “It must have happened this morning on the balcony.”

Bakugou turned around to see a guilty look on his partner’s face. “It’s just a bruise, Sunshine...” he assured her.

“Yeah, but it is my fault. I’m sorry, B… I never wanted to hurt you,” Kia replied.

“Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t even hurt,” Bakugou said standing up.

“Oh really?” Kia said skeptically before poking the bruise.

Bakugou flinched, moving away and trying to rub his back. “What the hell did you poke it for?” he yelled.

“Go clean up and I will do something about it for you,” Kia said walking to the balcony door.

“What, are you a healer now?” Bakugou scoffed.

“Just do it,” Kia said before disappearing onto the balcony.

Shaking his head, Bakugou headed into the bathroom to do what she asked. Pulling his shirt over his head, he looked at his back in the mirror to see a large dark purple bruise low on his shoulder blade. Taking a quick shower, he got out and grabbed a towel, drying off before wrapping it around his hips.

He walked out of the bathroom and headed to his room to get some clothes when Kia appeared at the end of the hallway.

“I’m sorry, B, I…” she started but stopped short when she looked up and saw him standing there in a towel. Bakugou smirked when her eyes went wide and she spun around. “Sorry, I forgot to knock,” she said as she headed back to the living room.

Kia put her hand on her chest to slow her rapidly beating heart. She had seen him without a shirt on before but she didn’t really look at him since she was pissed at him at the time. The guy was ripped, more than anyone she had ever seen for his build. He looked like he had been carved from marble. With just a towel hanging low, showing off the lines of his hips Kia felt as though someone had replaced her blood with fire. Shaking her head, she told herself to cool down and to quit reacting like she was in heat.

“Did you like the view?” Bakugou walked into the room with a pair of sweats on and a huge grin on his face.

“Shut up you perv,” Kia shot back at him.

“I’m not the one walking in on people after they have bathed.” Bakugou accused.

“I already said I’m sorry, now sit down.” She pointed to the couch.

Bakugou sat down with his back to Kia. She sat down behind him, hesitating before laying her hands on him. Gently touching the bruise, she inspected it. “You must have hit the other chair, do you remember?” she asked.

“No, do you?” Bakugou replied.

“I don’t recall anything till I was sitting on top of you,” Kia answered ashamedly. Placing her hands over the bruise she started cooling them down and gently massaging it.

“Were you having a nightmare?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’ve been having them lately,” Kia answered.

“Why?” Bakugou continued.

Kia’s hands paused before answering. “I’ve been treated for PTSD ever since I was rescued. It is rare for me to relapse these days but the nightmares are one thing that does trigger it.”

“You have nightmares about what happened to you?” Bakugou asked.

“Yeah, it is not something you can forget,” Kia replied as she worked on the bruise.

“I grabbed you while you were having the nightmare. I’ll remember not to do that from now on,” he said. Kia’s hand felt good on his back as she used her quirk to cool the area to prevent swelling and more bleeding.

“I’m sorry, B. I hate that weak part of me,” Kia said with a little bite in her voice.

“You aren’t weak,” Bakugou said, looking over his shoulder.

“Thanks, but losing control like that to me is weakness,” Kia replied.

“Then figure out how to gain control,” Bakugou said plainly.

“Really? I’ve never thought about that at all,” she replied sarcastically. “I’m done,” she said, taking her hands off him.

Turning, Bakugou stood up and slowly stretched his back. Kia had done a good job. There was very little stiffness or pain in his back. “You can do it. You just have to figure out what makes you snap,” he said, looking down at her.

Kia opened her mouth to respond when her phone rang. Pulling it out of a pocket she muted it. “I’ve got to take this. Thanks for everything today,” she said as she turned to leave.

“You can talk to me about it,” Bakugou called after her.

“I know.” She smiled before disappearing to her own apartment.

Chapter Text

“Hey mom,” Kia answered the phone as she stepped into her apartment.

“Hi Angel, how are you doing?” Kia’s mom Mia asked.

“Good, I just moved into an apartment,” Kia replied.

“You sound tired sweetie have you been getting enough sleep?” her mom asked concerned.

“Not really,” Kia admitted.

“Have you been having nightmares?” her mom asked.

“Yeah… for the last few days,” Kia replied. She knew better than to try and keep anything from her mother.

“I knew we should have sent Chloe with you. I bet there is a way we could get her there,” her mom started planning.

“Its ok mom I will be fine. I will find a way to deal with it,” Kia assured her.

“Well, if it goes on to much longer you should call your doctor,” her mom nagged.

“I know mom, I promise I will talk to Doc if I need to,” Kia sighed.

“You had better, I worry about you Angel,” her mom warned.

“I know you do mom and I appreciate it,” Kia smiled.

“Is there something else bothering you?” her mom asked.

“My partner tried to wake me up this morning and I attacked him. He only got a bruise on his back from the fall but still I’m mad at myself,” Kia confessed.

“Is he mad at you?” her mom asked concerned.

“No, in fact he was really cool about it. He just sat with me until I calmed down and asked me to go on a run with him,” Kia replied running a hand through her hair.

“Wait… why was he at your apartment?” Her mom questioned.

“It’s not like that mom, he lives next door and I was sleeping on my balcony that is connected to his,” Kia clarified.

“How have things been going with him? What did you say his name was again?” her mom asked.

“Katsuki Bakugou, his hero name is Ground Zero,” Kia replied. “Things have been going really well between us actually. I’m having a lot of fun working with him. He is a very talented hero.”

“I’m glad to hear that Angel,” Her mom said. “Did you get the care package?”

“Sure did, I even shared some of it with B and his friends when I made them breakfast,” Kia replied.

“You cooked for him?” her mom sounded surprised.

“Yep and he made me dinner last night. He is a good cook,” Kia said.

“It sounds like you two are getting along really well,” her mom said.

“I really like him. He can be a grouch sometimes but I like talking to him,” Kia added while taking a seat on her couch.

“Have you talked to him about what happened to you?” her mom asked hesitantly.

Kia paused. “A little,”

“I’m happy to hear that. You need someone you can open up to,” her mom sniffed.

“Geeze mom, you are being a little over dramatic aren’t you?” Kia said.

“I just want you to be happy Kia. You have been through so much. I want you to find someone you can trust and can make you smile again,” her mom confessed.

“You know he is just my hero partner right? You’re making it sound like I just got back from a date or something,” Kia accused.

“You never know!” her mom replied. “I had better get going. I hope you are able to get some sleep.”

“Thanks mom, I love you,” Kia replied.

“I love you too my Angel,” her mom said before hanging up.

Kia set her phone down on the counter and made her way to the bathroom. Throwing her clothes in the hamper she stopped and turned looking at herself in the mirror. She traced the small scar on her collarbone to her shoulder. It was thin and fading as she got older and didn’t look so bad. Another large scar on her left hip wrapped around to her lower back following the line of her body. It stood out being a lighter contrast to her skin. Looking at her back she felt a tightening in her chest at the memories it brought up. Sighing deeply, she turned to start the shower, blasting the hot water as she stepped into the spray.

Kia couldn’t help but think about what her mom had said to her on the phone. Finding someone who made her happy wasn’t something she had thought about in a long time. When she lost Phoenix she was sure she wouldn’t find anyone else that made her feel that way. As she was thinking about it an image of Bakugou’s soft smile came to her mind. Shaking her head she quickly washed and got out of the shower.

%%%%%

The next morning Bakugou left his apartment to head to the agency. He knocked on Kia’s door but got no response so he left. While walking down the street he looked up to see a familiar head of purple hair at the crosswalk ahead of him. He walked a little faster catching up to Kia before the light changed. She seemed to be deep in thought as he stood next to her.

“Good morning B,” she said suddenly.

“For a moment I thought you were still asleep,” Bakugou replied and shoved his hands in his pockets.

“I already told you, I could smell you coming from a mile away,” Kia smiled looking up at him. She looked tired and he wondered if she was still having nightmares. “I’m going to go grab some coffee before heading to work. Want me to get you some?” she asked.

“Sure,” Bakugou replied as the light signaled for them to cross. He studied his partner out of the corner of his eye. He watched as she yawned stretching her arms up and back. As she did he noticed the red feather hanging from her neck once again. He didn’t say anything as he followed her to the coffee shop. Standing in line at the counter Kia yawned again. When they got to the counter Nana was the barista waiting on them.

“What can I get you today?” Nana asked Kia.

“I will get a double shot cinnamon mocha and a Ground Zero,” Kia replied with a smile. Nana looked between the two of them before walking off to get their coffees. Kia and Bakugou stepped to the side to wait for their order.

“A Ground Zero?” Bakugou asked.

“Didn’t you know? You now have a coffee named after you, just look,” Kia said and pointed to the board. Sure enough Bakugou looked up at the order list and Ground Zero was on there.
Nana brought their drinks to them handing Bakugou his first. When she handed Kia hers Nana grabbed her hand in between her own. “I just want to let you know that I give up and will be cheering for you,” Nana declared sincerely.

“Uhm… Thanks,” Kia replied, taking her coffee and following her partner outside. “Well that was weird. What the hell do you think she was talking about?” Kia asked Bakugou as they exited the shop.

“How the hell am I supposed to know?” Bakugou replied before taking a drink of his coffee.

When they made it to the agency they walked into to find everyone staring and pointing at them. “What the hell is up with these losers?” Bakugou said looking around.

“I don’t know?” Kia said tilting her head to try and catch some of the conversations.

“What do you hear?” Bakugou asked as they made their way to the elevator.

Kia stopped suddenly. “I will meet you in the office,” she said then turned and left through the front door.

Puzzled, Bakugou headed up to their office. He started up their computers and checked his email for new reports. He was just finishing up when Kia walked in.“Well, I figured out why everyone is looking at us funny,” Kia said as she tossed a magazine down on his desk.

Picking it up Bakugou realized it was the latest copy of Hero Today. Opening it he flipped to the page with his and Kia’s interview. A large picture of him and Kia standing back to back. The article then broke down into the questions they had been asked. At the end of the article it showed the picture of Kia getting Bakugou to smile, and a picture of them sitting together in the waiting room. Could this American beauty be pulling the pin to Ground Zero’s heart? Bakugou read.

Kia stood there watching Bakugou’s expression go from bored to something else she had never seen before. “Truthfully I’m not surprised,” Kia said watching Bakugou’s expression turn to shock. “We are going to have a lot of unwanted attention for a while. How do you want to handle it?”

Bakugou went from shocked to rage in a split second and used his quirk to blast the magazine into ashes. “I’m going to make that son of a bitch wish he had never met me!” he hollered.

“Take a breath B, beating the shit out of Ryuski won’t solve anything even though it would be satisfying right about now,” Kia said leaning against the door.

“The hell it won’t!” Bakugou yelled getting up and stomping toward the door.

Kia stuck a hand out against his chest, stopping him. “Seriously? I thought you would take this better than you are. You do realize you have to put up with this kind of shit if you are going to be a Pro? You can’t just go beating up anyone who pisses you off,” she said. Gritting his teeth Bakugou struck the wall next to the door. “We have to be smart about this B. Now, how do you think we can handle this without escalating it?” she asked.

Looking at Kia he huffed before turning around and sitting back at his desk. Crossing his arms Bakugou glared out the window, “Tch, obviously we will deny it,” he said.

“Obviously,” Kia rolled her eyes. “But we do have to tell them something. I figure we can just tell them the truth.”

“And what is that?” Bakugou asked looking back at her.

“We are partners so of course we have gotten close, and I think of you as a good friend,” Kia replied.

“You really think that will stop them?” Bakugou said.

“It’s a start. I know if we fight it, it will just get worse. I guess I could go on a couple dates to throw them off,” Kia said thoughtfully.

“With who Kirishima?” Bakugou snapped.

“That's a thought but no, I don’t want to have the same trouble with him. I’m really not interested in dating. It would probably just make more trouble for me. It looks like we will just have to be adamant that we are just friends,” she said moving to her own desk. “I think if we ignore it, it will go away eventually.”

“Tch,” Bakugou said annoyed.

“We should probably split up when we patrol for a while too,” Kia added.

“Fine,” Bakugou huffed.

%%%%%

“This isn’t good!” Nina exclaimed walking into Jeanist’s office.

“What isn’t good?” Jeanist asked from his desk.

“Ground Zero and Wildside just headed off to patrol in opposite directions!” Nina said slamming her hands down on his desk.

“It’s probably because of that article that came out in Hero Today,” Jeanist concluded as he sifted through some paperwork on his desk.

“No, they are supposed to be getting closer not farther apart! Can’t you do something? Force them to stay together?” Nina demanded.

“That isn’t going to help things. They are handling the situation well. In a couple weeks the attention should die down and they can go back to their usual routine if they want,” Jeanist said.

“Nooo, these two are too perfect for each other!” Nina whined.

“How do you know? Have you used your quirk on them?” Jeanist asked looking up at his assistant.

“No, sir, I haven’t but I don’t need too,” Nina replied. Nina’s quirk allowed her to read people’s hearts when she held their hand. She often helped out with interrogations by serving as a human lie detector.

“If you truly think that the two of them are meant for each other you need to leave well enough alone. If you push the matter it will only blow up in your face, and with Ground Zero involved that might just be literally what happens,” Jeanist said.

“Alright, sir,” Nina pouted putting her hands on her hips.

“Of course that doesn’t mean we can’t create situations in which their relationship might deepen,” Jeanist smiled.

“Oh, what do you have in mind?” Nina asked with a mischievous grin.

%%%%%

“Can you hear me?” Kia asked over the radio.

“Yeah,” Bakugou grumbled. “I’m not going to do this the whole time. People will think I’m nuts talking to myself.”

“Like people are going to openly make fun of you for talking to yourself,” Kia laughed.

Bakugou smiled when he heard her laugh through the radio. “What is that supposed to mean?” he asked sarcastically.

“I don’t know if you realized but you aren’t the most approachable hero,” Kia teased. “I can feel you scowling through the radio.”

“I’m not scowling,” Bakugou snorted as he moved down the street looking out for any trouble.

“Yeah right, I dare you to make eye contact with someone. I will buy coffee for the whole week if they don’t scurry out of your way,” Kia challenged. Taking her challenge Bakugou made eye contact with a young couple walking up the street towards him. The two sped up walking around him in a wide berth. Kia laughed, “I was right wasn’t I.”

“Shut up,” Bakugou barked.

“Here, I will send you a mental poke between the eyes,” Kia said.

“You really think that is going to work?” he scoffed.

“Well you tell me, are you smiling?” she asked.

“Where are you anyway?” Bakugou changed the subject.

“I’m headed south,” Kia replied. “So far everything is quite.”

“Careful, if you keep going that way you will run into a bunch of hostess bars and casinos,” Bakugou warned.

“Yes mom,” Kia rolled her eyes.

“Seriously, Sunshine, there are all kinds of low life’s looking to take advantage of a woman there,” Bakugou snapped.

“Then I guess I’m headed in the right direction then. I’ve been itching to let out some frustration,” Kia said as she looked around at where she was.

“What, you bored of sparing with me?” Bakugou asked.

“No sparing with you is fun and challenging but I don’t usually feel the need to punch your lights out. Beating up low life’s that are trying to prey on women is therapeutic,” she chuckled.

Just then Bakugou noticed a commotion in the alley across the street. “Hey, Sunshine, I gotta go,” he said while he made his way across the street.

“K, call me if you need me,” Kia replied.

Bakugou walked over to the mouth of the alley standing just off to the side of the opening. He could hear voices coming from the alley and they sounded young. Geeze it’s just a bunch of kids, Bakugou thought.

“You better give us what we want kid or else,” one of the youngsters said.

“Yeah, or Tenryu will blast you one,” another threatened.

Peering around the corner Bakugou saw three boys that looked about ten years old standing over a younger boy. “Please, I already gave you everything I have!” the little boy sniffed.

“Not good enough,” one of the older boys sneered. Holding out his hand the young boy blasted the kid on the ground with wind from his palm, much like a sonic boom. The little guy was flung a couple feet away and the other two older kids ran forward and started beating him up.

Bakugou made his way into the alley and walked up behind the young boy that had created the blast. “What the hell do you think you are doing?”

The young boy froze, slowly turning to look behind him. When he saw Bakugou standing there he trembled. “Ground Zero?” the head bully said in little more than a whisper.

“Don’t move from that spot,” Bakugou ordered before walking forward to the two boys that were beating the younger one. Grabbing them by the nape he said once again. “What the hell do you think you are doing?” The two bullies turned their heads around to see Bakugou glaring at them. “Get on your knees,” Bakugou ordered. Whimpering the bullies did as he said. Bakugou them pushed their foreheads to the ground before the younger boy. “Now apologize,” he ordered.

“We are sorry!” they chorused in unison.

Bakugou let go of them both. “Get up and face me,’’ he told them. The bullies did as he asked facing the livid hero with tears in their eyes. “Don’t ever do anything like this again or I will treat you like villains,” Bakugou warned.

“Yes, Ground Zero, sir!” They chorused again.

“Now get the hell out of here,” Bakugou demanded. The two boys scrambled to leave the alley leaving their other friend behind. “Get over here,” Bakugou growled looking back at the third boy. The last bully made his way over to where Bakugou kneeled beside the younger kid. “Help him up,” he told the bully. The boy reached down and helped the younger kid to his feet. The youngster wiped the tears from his eyes doing his best to stand tall with a bloody nose. “You’re one tough kid,” Bakugou said as he reached for his belt to grab a small first aid kit. He cleaned up the younger boy before making the bully give back what he had stolen from him.

“You going to be ok getting home kid?” Bakugou asked the young boy.

“Yes, sir, Ground Zero!” the kid said giving him a small smile. “Thank you so much!” the little boy said giving a deep bow before leaving the alley.

Standing up Bakugou turned to the remaining bully. “What is your name?” he asked.

“Tenryu,” the boy mumbled while looking down at his feet.

“That is an interesting quirk you have,” Bakugou said. Surprised, Tenryu looked up at him. “To good of a quirk to be used to bully others,” he continued staring down at the young boy. “With a quirk like that you should be studying to get into U.A. not bullying some little kid out of his allowance.”

Tenryu blinked, still staring in disbelief at the hero. “You really think so?” he asked.

“You can create sonic booms from the palms of your hands, right?” Bakugou asked and Tenryu nodded eagerly. “A quirk like that could be used in many different ways.” Bakugou said lifting his own palm up he ignited a couple of small blasts. “If you work hard and train to have complete control over your quirk.”

Tenryu looked at his own palms creating a small blast of his own.

“If you promise to stop acting like a villain I won’t report this to the police,” Bakugou said.

“Really?!” Tenryu asked.

“U.A. won’t accept students with bad marks on their records,” Bakugou said turning away. “So what will it be kid. Are you going to be a villain or a hero?” he asked as he looked back over his shoulder.

“I want to be a hero!” Tenryu exclaimed clenching his hands into fists.

“Then study hard and don’t look down on others,” Bakugou said before leaving the alley. As he walked down the street the young boy came running out of the alley.

“I’ll show you! I will be a better hero than you one day!” Tenryu yelled after him.

“Good luck kid,” Bakugou replied continuing on his patrol route.

“That was really cool, B,” Kia’s voice came over the radio.

“What the hell you were listening!” Bakugou snapped.

“You didn’t turn off your radio so I heard the whole thing,” Kia replied. “I think that boy is going to have to work really hard if he plans on becoming a better hero than you.”

“Shut up,” Bakugou grumbled before turning off his radio.

Chapter Text

It was dark outside when Bakugou made it back to the agency. He hadn’t heard from Kia the rest of the day so he decided to try her on the radio. Pressing the call button on the device in his ear he said, “Sunshine are you there?”

It was a moment before Kia replied. “Yeah, B, what’s up?”

“I’m back at the agency. Where are you?” he asked as he sat down at his desk.

“I’m still out. I dropped off a couple rowdy drunks at the nearest police station a little while ago and I’m continuing through this area,” Kia explained as she walked down the street, keeping a sharp eye on the shadows around her.

“How come you didn’t call me?” Bakugou snapped.

“I’m pretty sure I can handle a couple drunks on my own,” Kia replied, a little irritated.

“I’m your partner damn it!” Bakugou told her.

“I had the situation taken care of before you would have even got here. I don’t need a babysitter,” Kia growled back.

“How much longer are you going to be out?” Bakugou asked.

“I’m going to be out for another couple hours. If I need help I will call you,” Kia replied. Just then three men walked out of the alley in front of her. Kia stopped as they started walking toward her with lewd looks on their faces.

“Lookie here fellas, a hero out on her own,” one of them chuckled. His friends laughed as three more men came up behind her.

“You shouldn’t be out here alone at this time night,” another spoke. “There are some bad characters around this area.”

“You don’t say,” Kia replied as she assessed the situation. “Would you be so kind as to point out these bad characters for me?”

“Who is that?” Bakugou asked standing up from his desk.

All six of the men chuckled. “It’s a little too late for that, sweetheart,” said one of the guys behind her.

“You sure this is a smart move?” another asked his comrades. “She is a hero.”

“I’ve never heard of her before. Besides… look at her, she would fetch a good price,” the first one replied.

“What the hell is going on?” Bakugou growled hearing the conversation over the radio.

“You might want to start heading this way,” Kia replied smirking. “I’m going to need someone to help me carry these bastards to the station.”

“It will be too late by the time they get here,” the first villain said. “Don’t worry, we will find you a rich master to serve, I promise.”

“On second thought, B, you might want to get here and stop me from beating the shit out of these guys,” Kia said, her temper flaring.

Bakugou was already headed to the garage to get his motorcycle. “Don’t do anything stupid,” he warned Kia as he burst through the door to the garage.

“They are the ones who have done something stupid,” Kia replied as one of the villains tried to grab her. Dodging him, she stuck her foot out and tripped the villain. The next one lunged for her but Kia spun and punched him in the gut so hard he emptied his stomach onto the sidewalk before passing out. “You guys think you can take me down? Let’s just see you try,” she said with a wicked grin on her face.

“Get her and don’t hold back!” the first villain yelled.

Kia jumped back dodging as the men in front of her tried to grab her. One of them stuck his hand forward, shooting a sticky web like substance from his palm. It stuck to Kia’s right arm and leg and the man pulled, trying to bring her in but Kia used her flames to burn away the gunk.

“I can get her!” yelled another. Sucking in a breath, he blew out. Sharp blades of wind formed from his breath. Kia transformed, her scales blossomed along her skin instantly and the blades glanced off as they hit.

“What the hell is this gal?” said one of the villains. He jumped, sailing through the air to land behind Kia. He jumped the second he landed and headed straight for Kia but she was ready. Her tail whipped out, knocking the villain to the side as his comrades began their assault. The head villain’s arms began to stretch as though he was made out of elastic. Turning his hand and arm into a loop, he threw it at Kia catching her around the torso. “Try to burn me all you want sweetheart, but I’m fireproof,” he chuckled.

Kia smiled as her wings sprung forth and beat against the ground. Shooting straight up into the air, she dragged the villain with her. She spun in the air wildly, causing the elastic villain to flail around her. The web villain tried to catch her with another shot but his comrade jumped at the same time, getting caught in the web instead.

The villain with the bladed breath launched another attack at Kia and his winds threw her off balance, forcing her to land. The elastic villain hit the ground with a thump, dizzy from the ride Kia took him on, his hold on her loosed and she was able to escape the loop. Turning to the three villains still standing, she charged. The web villain tried to trap her again but Kia ducked, coming in close enough to grab him by the arm. Stepping into him she used her momentum and his weight to throw him into the concrete. Then next villain charged in, growing in size as he advanced on Kia. He swung a punch wide and Kia caught his fist in her clawed hand. He swung his other hand and Kia caught that too. The villain was at least twice Kia’s size and he was leaning into their connected hands trying to push her down with a combination of his weight and strength.

The elastic villain staggered to his feet as his dizziness wore off. Signaling to the wind villain, they circled around behind Kia, planning on grabbing her while she was dealing with their comrade. Kia saw the two closing in on her back and swept her tail out behind her, knocking the two of them off their feet.

Facing the giant villain once again, she gritted her teeth and took a step forward, pushing the villain back as he struggled to hold her in place. Whipping her tail around his foot, she pulled and knocked him onto his ass. Kia jumped over him using a blast of fire to give her jump more force and the villain flipped over, hitting his head against the street. Kia spun quickly, throwing the villain into the nearest wall.

The elastic and wind villains had gotten to their feet. The elastic villain threw his arms forward, hoping to snare Kia again but she caught his arms before the loops could settle over her. “You said you are fireproof but what happens if you get super cooled?” Kia asked. Before the villain could react, ice started to coat his arms rapidly making its way to his body. The villain screamed as his entire body was covered in ice. Letting go, Kia turned to face the web and the wind villain, who had regrouped.

“You are going to regret making this difficult,” the web villain spat as he brought both palms up. The wind villain sucked in a deep breath, getting ready to attack again.

“You villains don’t know who you are dealing with,” Kia warned as she braced herself. The wind villain unleashed his breath attack, hitting Kia full force. She braced herself as the blades of wind sliced at her costume and scales, unable to make a mark. The moment the wind villain’s attack stopped, the web villain threw a mass of web at Kia covering her completely in the sticky threads.

“We got her now!” the wind villain exclaimed.

“No one can get out of my webs once they have stuck,” the web villain declared.

“Are you sure?” Kia replied as she froze the sticky mass before blasting it apart with a flame attack.

The two villains took a step back, eyes wide as Kia broke free. “What kind of hero are you?” the wind villain asked.

Kia stepped out of the frozen remains of the web villain’s attack with her wings spread out wide and tail lashing while the street lights glinted off her black horns and claws. “I’m Wildside,” she replied. “Now it is time to show you my breath attack!” Kia breathed deep, roaring as bright flames burst from her mouth, blasting the two villains into the building behind them.
Kia walked forward pulling a pair of cuffs out of her belt she cuffed the two broiled villains. She turned and saw that the villain with a jumping quirk was still caught in his friend’s web, unable to get out. A groan sounded a little ways up the street from the villain she had knocked out first. Walking over she grabbed him by the front of the shirt and held him up in the air. “Now, I have some questions for you and you are going to answer them or I will roast you like I did your friends, do you understand?” Kia asked. The villain looked around at his fallen comrades before quickly nodding. “Good, now have you six captured anyone else?” Kia started.

“Y-yes, we h-have a holding facility a couple of b-blocks from here in an old warehouse,” the villain stammered.

“Tell me the address,” Kia demanded.

As the villain was rattling off the address, Bakugou arrived and pulled up next to Kia on his motorcycle. He looked around at all the unconscious villains on the ground, impressed with his partner’s work. It hadn’t taken him very long to get from the agency to where Kia was. “Looks like you didn’t need me after all,” Bakugou said as he got off his bike.

Kia wasn’t listening as she asked the villain another question, “Who are you selling too?!” she snarled.

“I don’t know!” the villain cried as he eyed Kia’s fangs. “The boss was the one who contacted the buyer we just served as the muscle.”

“B, can I use your cuffs?” Kia asked. He handed them over while still sitting on his motorcycle. “I’m going to hand you and your buddies over to a friend of mine,” Kia said as she cuffed the villain. “I suggest you cooperate.”

Bakugou walked over to where the wind and web villains lay as Kia drug the other guy over to were the villain was caught in the web.

“Have you called the police yet?” Bakugou asked as he brought the two villains over to where Kia was standing.

“No, these guys aren’t going to the station,” Kia replied as she pulled out her cell phone and dialed. The phone rang twice before someone picked up. “Hey, Derek, its Kia, I’ve caught a group of traffickers,” Kia explained to the person on the phone.

Bakugou stood there getting more irritated as Kia talked to the person on the phone. She told them their location as well as the address the villain had given her. He couldn’t take in anymore when she hung up. “Who the hell was that?” Bakugou asked, his temper flaring.

“That was my coworker with the HTSA office here in Japan,” Kia replied.

“What the hell is the HTSA office?” Bakugou growled.

“Didn’t you read my file?” Kia asked giving him a funny look.

Bakugou turned away not looking at her as he replied. “Not all of it.”

Kia sighed. “I believe you heard me tell the reporter how I helped bring down a large human trafficking ring in America. Well the people I helped are called the HTSA, the Human Trafficking and Slavery Agency; they specialize in investigating human trafficking cases all around the world. I’m a part of the agency and I’m working with the office here in Japan,” she explained.

“Why the hell are you working with me then?” Bakugou asked.

“The agency is covert, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to infiltrate any of the trafficking rings. You are a hero who patrols wide areas. Also, you get called to all kinds of emergencies all over Japan. I researched you before I agreed to come. I believed that being your partner would put me in a position to track down any traffickers and I do want to stop other kinds of crime too. Plus, you are a very competent hero. Your skill and intelligence would be a big asset to any investigation. Although right now I’m starting to doubt the intelligence part,” Kia replied.

“Why didn’t you explain this to me before?” Bakugou demanded.

“I assumed you had read my file and knew what I was doing in Japan. Since you didn’t ask me about it I thought you were not interested or didn’t have any information. Besides, we have been so busy with all kinds of crime that I haven’t had a chance to do any specific investigations. I see now that I should have talked to you about it before,” Kia said.

“Damn right you should have!” Bakugou yelled. “I’m your partner you should trust me!”

Kia stared at him in surprise. “You are right, B, I should have trusted you more. How about you help me round up these losers so they can haul them off to the HTSA?” she said giving him a smile.

“Tch, that much is obvious,” Bakugou said before stomping off toward the giant villain. Luckily Bakugou had cuffs in the saddle bags of his motorcycle big enough to restrain the huge villain.
It wasn’t long before three transports and two police cars came up the street. A short white man with brown hair and eyes stepped out of the first car and made his way over to Kia and Bakugou as the rest of his team started loading up the villains.

“Kia, it is good to see you,” Derek said.

“You too. Derek, this is my partner, Ground Zero,” Kia said gesturing to Bakugou.

“Nice to meet you, Ground Zero,” Derek said as he held out a hand and Bakugou shook it.

“Good job the both of you on apprehending these villains,” Derek said. “Kia, I will e-mail you the paperwork when I get back to the office. Which one is the leader?”

“This one,” Kia replied as she walked over to the villain incased in ice. “He has an elastic quirk.” Derek signaled to one of the other officers who brought over quirk cancelling restraints. Kia started melting the ice on the villain’s arms so they could cuff him. When the last villain was loaded into the transport Derek came back to where Kia and Bakugou stood. He was talking on the phone and hung it up as he reached them.

“That was the recovery team. They made it to the warehouse and found a dozen women and children there. All of which had been reported as missing in the last two months. They are being taken to the hospital to be checked out as we speak,” Derek informed them.

“Thank goodness, hopefully you can find out who they were planning on selling them to,” Kia said.

“I want to thank you for your help once again. Hopefully we can start getting some more leads on the trafficking ring here in Japan. The HTSA will be counting on your help,” Derek said nodding to the two of them.

“Of course, please keep me in the loop on what you find,” Kia asked.

“Will do,” Derek said as he turned to get back into the police car.

Turning to Bakugou, Kia gave him a blinding smile. “Did you hear that? We saved a dozen lives tonight!”

“What do you mean ‘we’? This one was all you, Sunshine,” Bakugou said. “I didn’t realize that human trafficking was such as problem in Japan.”

“A lot of people don’t,” Kia replied following Bakugou back to his motorcycle. “The big trafficking rings are really hard to track down. I have a feeling these guys were new.”

Bakugou straddled his bike. He grabbed and extra helmet he handed it to Kia. As she reached out to take it Bakugou pulled it back fixing her with a fierce scowl. “No more surprises between us. If you are going to be my partner you need to clue me in, deal?” he said.

“Deal,” Kia smiled and took the helmet from him. Bakugou put on his own helmet and started his bike as Kia hopped on behind him. Wrapping her arms around him she chuckled, “It wouldn’t have been a surprise if you had read my file.”

“Go to hell” Bakugou snapped as he took off down the street.

“Not even your bad temper can bring me down tonight B!” she laughed as they headed back toward the agency.

Chapter Text

The next day Bakugou walked alone to the agency. He and Kia had agreed it was better if they kept their distance so she left a half an hour earlier than him, promising to pick him up a coffee. He sighed as he crossed the street with the rest of the foot traffic. It was terribly boring not having Kia around but he would never admit that out loud.

When he got to the office Kia was still not there. He turned on both of their computers and sat down to complete his paperwork from the day before. He was just opening an email when the door opened and Kia walked in. She was completely focused on her phone as she sat Bakugou’s coffee on his desk and went to her own.

Bakugou stared as she smiled at her phone typing a reply to someone. “Who has you in such a good mood?” Bakugou asked.

“Eijiro,” Kia replied still focused on her phone. She sat her phone down and turned to her computer opening her own email.

“What does Kirishima want?” Bakugou asked.

“He is just asking when a good time would be to go to dinner.” Kia said looking over at her partner. “He has Friday off so he wants to take me somewhere.”

Bakugou didn’t answer as he glowered at his computer screen. He couldn’t understand why the thought of Kia going to dinner with Kirishima pissed him off so much. He didn’t want to be
stuck between the two of them if they did start a relationship. At least that is what Bakugou was telling himself.

“I told him that should be fine pending any emergency calls. What do you say B, think you can handle things without me for an evening?” Kia asked.

“Tch,” was Bakugou’s only response.

Kia was puzzled by her partner’s sour mood. It was like he didn’t want her to go to dinner with his friend. “Hey, do you want to come too?” Kia asked.

“Like hell I would!” Bakugou yelled not looking away from his computer.

Kia got up and came over leaning over his desk. “B will you look at me?” She asked.

Turning to face her Bakugou did his best scowl to hide his emotions. “What?” he growled out. Looking her in the eyes he noticed how really tired she looked today. Her hair was tied back in a messy pony tail and she had dark circles under her eyes.

“What is wrong? Did you not get enough sleep or has your coffee not kicked in yet?” Kia asked giving him a questioning look. “Are you still mad at me for yesterday?”

“Do you like Kirishima?” Bakugou blurted out.

“He is attractive but I told you I’m not looking for a relationship. I want to get to know him, he is your friend after all and I prefer one on one conversation,” Kia replied, “So you are just worried I like Eijiro? Why?”

“No I’m not, just forget I said anything,” Bakugou huffed.

“Well then are you still mad about yesterday?” she asked again.

“No, I said drop it damn it!” Bakugou snapped.

“Alright, I’m going to go patrol the south routes again today. I’m want to see if there are any more signs of traffickers in the area,” Kia informed him, “First, I have to finish this paperwork for Derek.” Bakugou just nodded and continued on his own work.

%%%%%

An hour later they both got into costume and head down separate patrol routes. Kia headed off to the south while Bakugou decided to head east. He had been walking for a couple hours when his phone rang. “Ground Zero,” he answered.

“Hey Bakugou!” Kirishima’s said. “How is it going today?”

“What do you want, I’m working?” Bakugou growled.

“Hey I’m planning on going out with Kia on Friday and I wanted to make sure you were ok with it,” Kirishima asked.

“Why the hell are you asking me?” Bakugou asked getting irritated.

“Well she is your partner,” Kirishima replied. “I wanted to let you know that I’m just having dinner with her since she invited me.”

“Who gives a shit she can do whatever she wants. Why should I give a damn?” Bakugou yelled his temper rising.

“Do you give a damn?” Kirishima asked curious.

Bakugou paused for a minute the question making him realize he did give a damn. “Go to hell Kirishima,” He snapped.

“Cool your blasters dude. You could come with us if you want,” Kirishima offered.

“Like hell I’m going to come and be your damn third wheel. It’s not like I’m worried, Sunshine could kick your ass without breaking a sweat,” Bakugou smirked.

“It’s rare of you to give out compliments. You must really like her,” Kirishima said.

“I don’t know what the hell you are talking about weird hair,” Bakugou argued. “If you don’t have anything else to say I’m hanging up.”

“Alright, dude, but my offer still stands you can come with us if you want,” Kirishima said with a sigh. “I’ll catch you later.”

Bakugou hung up and shoved his phone in his pocket as he stomped his way down the street. His conversation with Kirishima had left him pissed off and the more he thought about it the angrier he got.

“Fuck it,” Bakugou mumbled before blasting off of the street and onto the nearest rooftop. He really wanted to find a villain he could pummel right about now. Reaching up he turned on his radio. “Sunshine you there?”

“Yeah, B, everything alright?” Kia replied.

“Anything happening in your area?” he asked.

“Not really I’ve been talking to people around here but they haven’t noticed anything strange going on. A couple of the business owners asked if I could do some more late patrols in this area. I’m headed to the nearest shopping district now,” Kia said.

“Which way are you headed?” Bakugou asked.

“East why?” Kia replied.

“I'll meet you there,” Bakugou said blasting his way back down to the street he started walking.

“I thought we were working separate for a while?” Kia asked. “If people see us together it could cause the rumors to flare up.”

“If the media wants to spread rumors than let them. I’m going to do whatever the hell I want,” Bakugou declared. Kia’s laughed sounded over the radio and a warm feeling spread through Bakugou’s chest. His bad mood seemed to start to disappear.

“Aw, does that mean you want to work with me?” Kia teased.

“Shut it Sunshine,” Bakugou growled.

“Alright, I will meet you there. How about we pick something up to eat while we are at it?” she asked.

“See you there,” Bakugou replied turning off the radio. He broke into a jog as he hurried to meet up with Kia.

%%%%%

Bakugou was just walking to the doors of a large shopping mall when he heard the swish of wings. He turned to see Kia landing on the sidewalk not far from him. Smiling she trotted over to where he was waiting.“Hey B! So what do you feel like eating?” Kia asked, “I could really go for a burger. How about you?” They both turned heading into the shopping center. Stepping inside Kia stuck her nose in the air and sniffed. “Come on B this way!” she said.

“You really are a blood hound aren’t you?” he asked.

“Hey when looking for good food always follow your nose,” Kia laughed flashing him her fangs. She led him to a Freshness Burger and got in line. After ordering they went and sat down at one of the tables. Kia looked around at the different stores and people. After they ate they started walking around the center. Bakugou was on the lookout for shop lifters and the like. Kia walked along beside him taking in the new sites. Just then a group of teenagers came walking up to the two heroes.

“Excuse us!” the girls’ giggled holding on to notebooks and magazines.

“We were wondering if we could get your autographs?” one of them asked holding out her notebook.

“Tch,” Bakugou said glaring up at the ceiling.

“He would love too!” Kia replied giving her partner a slight shove.

Bakugou reluctantly reached out and took the notebook and pen from the teen. Scrawling his hero signature on the cover he handed it back to her and grabbed another. Kia was standing there watching him in amusement when one of the teens approached her holding onto a magazine.

“Wildside could I get your autograph too?” the girls asked.

“Mine?” Kia asked surprised.

“Me too!” another teen stepped forward, “You are so cool and pretty!”

Kia reached out to take the magazine and realized it was the issue of Hero Today. “Can you sign on your picture?” the teen asked.

“Of course!” Kia said writing her hero name next to her picture.

“Is it true that you and Ground Zero are in love?” the girl asked.

Kia heard a snap and looked over to see that Bakugou had broken the pen he was using causing the girls to take a step back. Kia snickered as she answered the girl, “No we are just friends,” she replied.

“But you were walking right next to each other and in the pictures you are so close,” another girl asked.

“You listen to music and mess around with your friends don’t you?” Kia asked. “I depend on and trust Ground Zero to have my back when we are in a fight. I look out for him too so he doesn’t get hurt. It is only natural for us to be close and don’t let the scowl fool you he really is a good guy.”

“Keep telling yourself that,” Bakugou retorted as he signed another magazine.

One of the girls handed her notebook over to Kia and leaned in. “How do you not have feelings for him, I mean look at him!”

Kia glanced over to her partner before smiling back at the girl, “He is attractive but you should fall in love with who a person is on the inside not what they look like.”

“So is he good on the inside?” another girl asked.

“Underneath a hot temper and big ego, he is,” Kia laughed as she handed back the magazine.

“Alright Sunshine, that is enough talking about me like I’m not here,” Bakugou glared at Kia as he signed the last notebook. The girls thanked them before running off giggling and waving back at them.

“That wasn’t too bad was it?” Kia asked turning to face Bakugou.

“Hopefully we don’t have to do it again,” Bakugou said before walking away. Kia hurried to follow him. Unfortunately for Bakugou they were stopped often by fans wanting to get autographs and ask what their relationship was. Bakugou’s temper was reaching its boiling point as they were stopped yet again. Scribbling a quick signature he shoved the paper back into the fan’s hands before yelling, “I’m not in love with her damn it!” and stomping off.

He stopped a little ways off to wait for Kia when he felt a tug on one of his gauntlets. Looking down Bakugou saw a little boy about five years old with tears in his eyes looking up at him. “You are a hero so you can help me right?” the little boy whimpered.

“What’s the matter kid?” Bakugou asked as Kia walked up next to him.

“I can’t find my mom!” The little boy cried, tears pouring down his face.

Kia knelt down next to him. “Its ok, we will help you find her,” she said tenderly.

“Quit crying kid. You need to keep an eye out for your mom,” Bakugou said as he grabbed the boy, picking him up and putting him on his shoulders. “Let’s take him to the information desk,” he said to Kia.

“What does your mom look like?” Kia asked the child.

 

“She has black hair and brown eyes,” the boy mumbled grabbing onto Bakugou’s hair.

“Can you remember what she was wearing?” Kia asked. The little boy shook his head no. “Well what is your name?”

“Yamato,” the little boy sniffed.

“It is nice to meet you Yamato, I’m Wildside and this is my partner,” Kia said looking at Bakugou.

“Ground Zero,” little Yamato said holding tighter to Bakugou’s hair.

“Pull out my hair kid and I’m dropping you on the nearest bench,” Bakugou warned.

“Are you a fan of Ground Zero?” Kia asked smiling up at the little boy.

“Yep, he is so cool and strong. He’s never afraid of anything!” Yamato replied.

“You're right about that,” Kia said smirking at her partner. “I bet you can be just as brave as he is.” Yamato nodded furiously sitting up a little straighter on Bakugou’s shoulders. Bakugou however was pretending he didn’t hear what the little boy had said but Kia noticed he stood a little taller.

The information desk was at the other end of the large building. They had made it down one wing of the shopping center and were walking through a food court when Yamato’s stomach growled loudly.

“If you are hungry we can get you something to eat,” Kia offered.

Yamato was about to refuse when Bakugou walked up to a bench and sat him down. “What do you want to eat?” Bakugou asked.

“Crepes?” Yamato asked looking up at the two heroes.

“Tch, you stay with him Sunshine,” Bakugou said before walking away.

Kia chuckled as she watched her irritated partner stalk off towards the shops. Turning back to Yamato she could see the awe in the little boy’s eyes as he watched his favorite hero. “You really do like Ground Zero don’t you?” she asked. Yamato nodded again before starting to look around the area around them. “So do you remember what your mom had come here to get? It could help us find her.”

“No,” Yamato replied looking down at his shoes. “I was looking at a toy in the window and when I looked up she was gone.” His eyes started filling with tears again.

“It will be ok,” Kia smiled at him. “Is there anything you like to do? We could play a game or something while we wait.”

There were a couple of men in the middle of the sitting area playing music. Yamato pointed toward the musicians. “I like music. Mom always sings to me when I’m upset.”

“Well, I think I can manage that,” Kia said patting him on the head.

%%%%%

Bakugou grumbled to himself as he walked off to find a stand that sold crepes. “I can’t believe I’m going to buy some little brat a crepe.” Finally finding one he stomped over to the counter. “Give me something a little kid would like,” he demanded and the clerk hurried to fill his order. As he stood there he noticed a display of candied strawberries sitting off to the side. When the clerk came back Bakugou pointed a finger at the case. “Give me one of those too.” He paid for the two items and started walking back to where he had left Kia and the kid. As he got closer he noticed a large crowd was gathered around the sitting area. He could hear music playing and a woman’s voice carrying over the crowd. Pushing his way to the front he stopped and stared. Kia was in the middle dancing and singing to the music. Her wings and tail glittered as she jumped, spun and twirled gracefully across the floor. Her beautiful voice rang out clear and smooth as she sang.

Bakugou stood there transfixed with the rest of the crowd as his partner continued to dance and sing. To soon the song ended and Kia stopped and smiled at little Yamato. He started clapping and the rest of the crowd joined. Kia looked around surprised, she hadn’t realized how big of a crowd had gathered. Spreading her wings open she took a deep bow before walking over to stand next to Yamato. Many people came over to thank her for the performance and find out which hero she was.

“My, what a lovely young woman,” an older gentleman said off to Bakugou’s right. “Does anyone know which hero she is?”

“Isn’t she that new hero with Jeanist’s agency? The one from America?” another bystander added.

“I remember! She is that new hero called Wildside. I think she is partnered with Ground Zero,” said a woman standing in front of Bakugou.

“Get out of my way,” Bakugou said scowling down at the woman. Turning around the woman practically jumped sideways when she realized whose path she was blocking. Bakugou made his way over to the bench were Yamato sat as the crowd dispersed. When he reached them he handed the young boy his dessert. Kia turned around and Bakugou shoved the candied strawberries at her. “Did you really have to go and make a big scene?” he growled.

Kia opened her mouth to retort but was caught off by a woman running towards them. “Yamato! There you are I have been so worried!” the woman cried out as she made a bead line for them. “Thank goodness you are safe!” She hugged her son. Looking up at the heroes the woman smiled. “I don’t know how I can thank you for looking after my son.”

“Why don’t you start by not ditching him in the first place?” Bakugou grumbled.

Kia elbowed him in the ribs before smiling back at the mother. “It was our pleasure ma’am he is a sweet boy.” She said.

“Yamato what do you tell the heroes for watching out for you?” his mother said.

“Thank you!” Yamato smiled with whipped cream all over his face. Bowing low the mother and son headed off into the shopping center.

“So what the hell was that?” Bakugou asked turning back to Kia.

“What the hell was what?” Kia asked looking at the strawberries.

“Are you a fucking ballerina now?” Bakugou replied.

“The kid said he liked music and I started to sing and dance for him to cheer him up. Beside I love to sing and dance. My whole family does,” Kia replied glaring at him.

“Where did you learn to dance like that?” Bakugou asked.

“It was one of the few things I was allowed to do. He liked to watch me dance,” Kia replied a dark expression crossing her face.

Bakugou hesitated when he realized what she was saying. “Who is he?” he asked.

“The man that bought me,” Kia replied. Picking up the candied strawberries on a stick she took a small bite. Her face lit up and she smiled at him. “These are great B thanks!” she said before turning around and walking off.

Bakugou followed after her realizing that she had willingly shared a bit of her past with him. However it only left him with more questions.

%%%%%

As evening came they headed to a rougher area where they found themselves busy into the night stopping all kinds of villains. It was late when they got back to the agency. Exhausted they decided to leave the paperwork for the next morning. It was 2:00 am when they got to their apartments. Walking down the hall Kia’s stomach growled. “We didn’t get a chance to eat dinner.”
Kia said placing a hand on her stomach. “I’m too hungry to sleep and too tired to cook.”

“I’ve got some left overs in the fridge we could eat,” Bakugou said as his own stomach growled.

“Right now that sounds amazing,” Kia gave him a sleepy grin.

The two of them entered his apartment, taking off their shoes and heading straight for the kitchen. Kia grabbed two bowls while Bakugou pulled some leftover fried rice out of the fridge. After warming it up they both went and sat on his couch. Bakugou turned on the TV to watch the late night news while they ate. When he finished his bowl and turned to ask Kia if she wanted more only to find her fast asleep. He picked her bowl off of her lap and sat it down on the coffee table. Leaning back he stretched his arms out behind his head. “I guess she is even more tired than I realized. I will just leave her here,” he thought as he closed his eyes for a second.

The next thing Bakugou knew he woke up and was laying on his back on the couch; the alarm on his cell phone was going off. Half-awake he reached out to shut it off but something heavy was laying on top of him. Looking down he saw Kia snuggled into him with her head on his chest. Instantly awake he felt is face turn beet red and he froze unsure of what to do next. His heart was hammering in his chest and he was sure it was going to wake her up. Grabbing his phone he turned the alarm off. “Uh, hey, wake up,” he croaked.

Kia shifted as she began to wake. “Wake up,” Bakugou said again. This time Kia looked up at him her eyes still clouded with sleep. Suddenly her eyes snapped open and her face turned a brilliant shade of red. She bolted up trying to get off of him but their legs were intertwined causing her to fall off the couch with a thud.

Scrambling towards the door she grabbed her shoes. “Good morning! Thanks for the leftovers! I’m sorry I fell asleep, see you at the office!” she shouted as she slammed the door behind her.
Bakugou sat up, he was sure his face was as red as Kia’s and his heart was still pounding. “Tch, what the hell,” he moaned rubbing his face. He couldn’t believe he had fallen asleep on the couch like that. The image of Kia sleeping on top of him flashed in his mind and his heart thudded harder.

Chapter Text

Kia’s heart was racing as she closed the door to her apartment. It seemed she was going to wake up with her heart pounding in one way or another. She could still feel Bakugou’s body heat on her skin and she was covered in his scent. “Geeze, what the hell was I thinking falling asleep at his house!” Kia scolded herself. It could have turned out bad if she had a nightmare while sleeping next to him.

“Wait, I didn’t have a nightmare...” Kia thought suddenly. In fact, she felt like she had slept really well and couldn’t remember having a dream at all. That freaked her out even more. She hadn’t been that comfortable around someone as long as she could remember. She never even let her guard down that much around Phoenix. Walking to the bathroom she turned on the shower so she could get ready for the day. Looking at her phone she saw that it was 7:00 in the morning. That gave her plenty of time to get ready and get to work. Undressing she stepped into the spray, washing away Bakugou’s lingering scent and willing her heart rate to slow to normal.

%%%%%

Bakugou got ready for work and left without Kia. He figured she would talk to him while they filled out paperwork this morning. She had left so abruptly and he wasn’t sure what to do with the awkward feeling between them.

When he made it to their office he opened the door to find it empty. The computers weren’t on and there was no coffee on his desk so he figured Kia hadn’t arrived yet. He sat down and got to work. After an hour Kia still hadn’t shown up. Bakugou pulled his phone out and sent her a message. He continued doing paperwork until another hour had past. Still no Kia and she hadn’t replied to or looked at his message. Irritated he opened his contacts and called Jeanist.

“Hello Ground Zero. What can I do for you?” Jeanist answered.

“Have you seen Kia?” Bakugou asked.

“Yes, she came in early this morning around 7:30. I asked her to do a couple of things for me. She should be back around lunch time,” Jeanist answered. “Did she not tell you?”

“No,” Bakugou snapped.

“You didn’t do anything to make her mad did you?” Jeanist said accusingly.

“No,” Bakugou fumed.

“Well, all you can do is wait for her return,” Jeanist said.

Bakugou hung up and set his phone on his desk. He continued working until noon, still no Kia. Grabbing his phone he sent her another message. “I’m not doing all this damn paperwork myself,” he typed. Getting up from his desk he decided to eat at the agency today and made his way to the small mess hall on the second floor. Exiting the elevator he turned and saw Kia standing outside the mess hall talking to Nina. Kia’s phone dinged and she looked at it typing something before sticking it back in her pocket.

Bakugou’s phone vibrated and he took it out of his pocket to see a reply from Kia. “Send them to me and I will finish them this afternoon.” Her message said. Bakugou was pissed. She had been gone all morning and that was all she was going to tell him. He headed over to where she was standing and he saw her shoulders tense before he even took two steps.
“Sorry Nina I’ve got to go,” Kia apologized before walking towards the stair access doors. Bakugou went after her, throwing the door open with a bang he saw Kia had just made it down the first flight.

“Hold it right there Sunshine!” he yelled making his way down the steps. “Why the hell are you avoiding me?” Kia had stopped on the landing waiting for him to catch up. Bakugou came down the last steps and reached for her arm but Kia pulled away. “What the hell is your problem?” He bellowed.

Kia didn’t turn around. “I’m sorry; I know it is stupid but I can’t talk to you right now.” Kia answered not looking at him.

“Why because of what happened this morning?” he snapped. “Who the hell cares!”

“I just need time to get my head on straight,” Kia sighed looking up.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean? Quit being an idiot and let me know when you decide to go AWOL. You just ended up sleeping on the couch with me; it’s not a big deal,” He said but he could feel his face heat up.

“Maybe it’s not a big deal for you Bakugou but it is for me,” Kia said spinning around to face him. He couldn’t quite place her expression it was a mix of angry and something else. “I don’t expect you to understand but I never drop my guard like that and it scares me. If I had a nightmare and lashed out at you in my sleep again...” she paused clenching her fists. “I know it was an accident and it didn’t mean anything but I have trouble with that kind of thing. So if I need a morning to get back to normal then just leave me the hell alone. I will get my work done before the day is over I can promise you that. Just e-mail me the forms,” she snapped turning back around and continuing down the stairs.

Bakugou watched as she exited the door at the bottom. “What the hell does she mean she has trouble?” he thought to himself. The whole conversation just pissed him off even more. He didn’t understand what the hell was bothering Kia so much that she didn’t even want to talk to him. Was she so appalled at sleeping on top of him that she couldn’t even look at him? Sulking Bakugou shoved his hands in his pockets, deciding he wasn’t hungry he headed back to their office. When he passed the door to the second floor he didn’t notice that is was open a crack and Nina was on the other side listening to their conversation.

%%%%%

Kia headed to drop off a bundle of reports at another agency for Jeanist. She felt bad for snapping at Bakugou like that. Waking up on top of him had scared the shit out of her. The image of his blushing face would not leave her mind and she didn’t like the feeling she got when she thought about it. He was her partner and she trusted him but the feelings she was having were dangerous. It reminded her of how Phoenix used to make her feel and he ended up getting killed. She swore she would never feel that way about someone ever again. She did realize how stupid she was acting but the whole thing seriously rattled her. Giving a deep sigh she knew she should go back and explain things to Bakugou but she still wasn’t ready to tell him everything.

She continued to run errands for Jeanist until 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Leaving Jeanist’s office she made her way down to her and Bakugou’s but when she got there it was empty. “Bakugou must have gone out on patrol,” she thought to herself. Turning on her computer she opened her email to see Bakugou had done his half of the reports and all of them were ready for her to finish. “He really is a good hero,” she said out loud. She spent the next couple of hours completing all the reports and sending them off for review. When she was done it was dark outside and Bakugou hadn’t come back from patrol. Kia packed up her things and headed home deciding to let Bakugou blow off some steam on his own.

When she got to the apartment building she paused outside Bakugou’s door and listened for any movement inside. Hearing nothing she continued to her own apartment. Stepping inside she took off her shoes and locked the door. Moving into the living room she paused looking at the pictures she had hung on the wall. “Maybe I should have brought Chloe,” She said as she looked at a picture of her and a black and white border collie. After changing into a pair of sweats and a long sleeved shirt she headed to the kitchen deciding to make Bakugou something spicy as an apology. Sticking her earbuds in she hit play on her favorite station and started to get lost in the music while she cooked.

%%%%%

Bakugou got back to the agency late and was disappointed to see the office was empty. Checking his email he saw that Kia had gotten all the paperwork done and submitted, leaving nothing else for him to do for the night. Gathering his stuff together he decided to go home. When he got to his apartment he took a shower then pulled on a pair of sweats and a shirt. Wondering if Kia was home he headed out to the balcony, crossing over to hers he was relieved when he found the light on and the door unlocked. Opening the sliding door he stepped in to see Kia dancing around in her kitchen. Looking closer he could see she had her earbuds in. Leaning against the door frame he stopped and watched her dance as she cooked.

Kia reached into the cupboard and grabbed two plates. She whirled around to the music and set the plates on the counter next to the rice cooker; she loaded up the plates with rice before dancing back to the stove. Pulling a spoon out of a drawer she dipped it into a pot on the stove tasting the sauce she was making. She hummed at the creamy texture and spicy kick. Picking it off the stove she set it on the counter and turned to grab the chicken she had cooked. Dropping the chunks of chicken on top of the rice she poured the sauce over top, then grabbed the steamed vegetables off the stove and spooned them onto the plates.

While Kia was plating the food Bakugou quietly moved into the apartment and sat at the counter behind her. He couldn’t help but smile as she swung her hips to the beat of whatever song she was listening to. The food she was making smelled delicious and he smirked at the fact that she was fixing two plates. Kia moved to the sink and was washing out the pot when her head jerked up and she spun around to see Bakugou sitting at her counter. “Jesus Christ B! You scared the hell out of me!” she exclaimed in English pulling her earbuds out.

“One of those better be for me,” he said pointing to the plates.

“You are lucky I didn’t claw your eyes out,” she said turning around to grab the plates. Setting one down in front of Bakugou she handed him a set of chopsticks before grabbing some for herself.

Bakugou ignored her as he grabbed a chunk of chicken from his plate. He didn’t hesitate as he took a big bite and was delighted when a bunch of spice hit his taste buds. “Do you like it?” Kia asked picking one of the steamed vegetables off her plate and popping it in her mouth. Bakugou merely nodded as he took another bite. They sat in silence as they ate both too preoccupied with their meal.

When they finished Kia took the plates to the sink and started to wash them. Bakugou came around the counter giving Kia a questioning look and she pointed to a drawer. Bakugou opened it to find hand towels inside and he started drying the dishes as she washed them. After putting the last dish away he set the towel on the counter and leaned against it looking at Kia expectantly.

“I’m sorry,” Kia sighed. “I know what happened but you gotta realize it is hard for me.”

“What do you mean?” Bakugou asked not moving.

“If I’m going to talk about this I’m going to need a drink,” Kia said walking to the refrigerator. Opening the freezer she pulled out the bottle she had received from her siblings in the care package. Sitting it on the counter next to him she opened a cupboard and pulled out two glasses and poured a little of the amber liquid into both. Handing one to Bakugou she retreated to the opposite counter taking a sip before looking back up at him.

Bakugou swirled the liquid in his glass giving it a curious sniff before taking a drink. The alcohol burned its way down his throat warming his belly and leaving a strong cinnamon taste in his mouth. “What the hell is this?” he asked looking at the sweet liquid again.

“Fireball whiskey,” Kia replied taking another drink. “My family loves the stuff.”

“It really burns,” Bakugou said taking another drink.

“Yeah, you get used to that,” Kia chuckled.

“So are you going to tell me what you meant?” Bakugou asked straight out.

“They guy who bought me is a real piece of work,” Kia started, taking a drink. “He thought of the people he bought as animals and treated us as such. His favorites had it worse though. Not only would he torture us physically but he likes to mess with your emotions and play with your mind,” she paused. Bakugou said nothing as he waited for her to continue. “It was like he wanted to see how far he could push you before you broke.”

“Did he break you?” Bakugou asked.

Kia hesitated looking up at him before draining her glass. “He did, in a way,” she replied setting her glass down on the counter and pouring more whiskey in it. Reaching into her shirt she pulled out the cord with a red feather on it and held it up for Bakugou to see. “Around two maybe three years after he bought me he introduced me to a boy that was about my age. He kept us together and the boy became my partner of sorts. He was the only person close to me that could understand what we were going through and he became important to me. We did everything together and even shared the same cage until we got older. I only knew him by the name Phoenix and as the years went on he became my rock in the storm and I was his.” Kia said turning the feather over in her fingers.

“I didn’t realize it at the time but that was exactly what the master wanted. He put us together hoping we would form a bond. Then he could use that bond against us. One day I disobeyed the master’s orders,” Kia continued with a faraway look in her eyes. “Master wasn’t happy with me. He had a lot of plans for us and Phoenix wasn’t showing as much promise as I was. Master decided that Phoenix was holding me back so he brought us to a room and had the caretakers chain us down facing one another. Then he told me how it was all my fault right before he shoved a dagger into Phoenix’s heart. I don’t remember much after that.” Kia swallowed down the rest of her glass.

Bakugou stared at Kia. He couldn’t believe what she had been through and here he was calling her Sunshine not realizing what she hid behind that bright smile. “Shit,” he said as he downed the rest of his glass. Kia grabbed the bottle filling her glass before reaching over and pouring more into his.

“I’ve only told that story to three other people,” Kia said taking another drink.

“So you don’t want anyone to get close to you?” Bakugou asked not fully understanding what Kia was getting at.

“It isn’t that I can’t or don’t want to have real relationships with other people. I just always keep them at a distance. But you’re different; you are becoming someone who could be used against me and that scares the hell out of me,” Kia admitted. Finishing her glass she sat it in the sink and put the bottle back in the freezer. She then walked into the living room and plopped down on the couch holding the feather up to the light.

Bakugou stood in the kitchen still processing what Kia had said. Draining his own glass he walked over to where she sat. Leaning over the back of the couch he looked over at her. “I’m not weak enough to let anyone use me against you,” he told her.

Kia smiled at him, her cheeks red from the alcohol. “I know B; you are a lot stronger than Phoenix was,” she said. Reaching over she grabbed the back of his head pulling him close to rest her forehead against his.

Blushing Bakugou pulled away. “What the hell was that?”

“It’s an animal thing, I guess you could call it a nuzzle? Dad always did it to comfort us when we were little. I guess I just need some comfort,” Kia smiled. “Sorry I should have asked first.”

“You’re drunk,” Bakugou accused her.

“Only for the next ten to fifteen minutes. My body tends to metabolize stuff fast,” Kia said laying her head back on the couch.

Bakugou stood up and moved over to the wall where a bunch of pictures were hung. He recognized the picture of her family. He also saw a photo of her with a group of people that included her three friends he met on video chat. Then there was a picture of her with her arms wrapped around a black and white dog. “You have a dog?” he asked looking back at her.

Kia’s head came up off the couch as she looked at what he was talking about. “Yep that is my service dog Chloe. I got her after I was rescued, she would wake me up when I was having nightmares,” Kia said lying back on the couch.

“Why didn’t you bring her with you?” he asked.

“There is too much paperwork and regulations here in Japan to bring her over. Besides I would have to keep her in the apartment and she is used to running through the fields at dad’s house,” Kia explained.

Looking over the photos he saw one of Kia holding two infants with a little boy peering over her shoulder. “Those are my nieces and nephew,” Kia said walking up beside him. “Here they are transformed.” She pointed to a picture farther down. Bakugou looked at the picture to see a lion cub with two spotted kittens getting ready to pounce on his tail.

“The twins are jaguars. You can’t tell them apart unless you know the differences in their coat patterns,” she said, her cheeks not as red as they were a little bit ago. Kia continued to tell him about the people in the pictures until it was late.

“Well I don’t know about you B, but I’m ready for bed,” Kia said smothering a yawn.

Bakugou walked over to the balcony door before stepping outside he turned around. “Hey Sunshine, thanks for telling me.”

Kia smiled at him. “Thanks for listening.”

Bakugou stepped out on the balcony. Making his way to his own apartment he thought about everything Kia had shared with him tonight. He couldn’t help but feel like she had only told him a small part of her past.

Chapter Text

The next morning Kia walked to work with Bakugou, stopping by their regular coffee shop before heading to the agency. He couldn’t help but notice that the tired look in her eyes had lessened somewhat. The whole day passed by fast. They patrolled together and found themselves busy stopping petty crimes throughout the day. That night Kia came over while Bakugou cooked dinner and they stayed up talking about their different experiences fighting villains. As Kia left for the night she agreed to go get coffee with him again in the morning.

Bakugou woke up the next morning and ate a quick breakfast before heading out. He opened the front door and was surprised to see Kia standing there waiting for him. Her long hair lay down her back and she had on a loose fitting shirt with half sleeves. He also noticed the black wrist bands that were always around her wrists and the red feather that lay on her chest, exposed by the low cut neck line of her shirt. His heart thumped in his chest when she flashed him a big smile.

“Ready to go?” she asked.

Bakugou didn’t say anything as he closed his door behind him and made his way to the elevator. Kia fell into step beside him and they exited the building together. It was a beautiful summer day as they walked to the coffee shop. They got in line and waited to order while Kia looked at flyers pinned up on the board next to the counter.

“Hey, it looks like there is a summer festival this weekend!” Kia said pointing the flyer out to Bakugou.

“So? Who would want to go to one of those? They are noisy, crowded and there will be a bunch of brats running around.” Bakugou growled irritated at how slow the line was going.

“I thought it might be fun. Besides I’ve never been to one.” Kia pouted crossing her arms.

After getting their coffee they headed to the agency. Nina watched them as they walked across the foyer to the elevators. A small smile appeared on her face when she saw them arguing. Those two seem closer than ever. Nina internally squealed. She wished she could find a way to get more details on their impromptu sleep over.

When they got to their office Kia moved behind her desk. “Do you want to get in a quick workout this morning?” she asked him while she turned on her computer, “I’ve been really bad about sticking to my usual routine since I got here.”

“Sure” Bakugou replied sitting down in his chair.

“Oh and don’t forget I’m taking off before 5 today.” Kia said.

“What the hell for?” Bakugou asked looking up at her.

“It’s Friday, I’m going out with Eijiro remember?” She reminded him.

“Tch, fine, go have fun with weird hair.” Bakugou huffed turning back to his computer.

“Come on you grouch.” Kia said walking over and tugging on his hair, “Let’s head to the gym.”

Bakugou got up from his desk and followed Kia to the locker rooms. They met up at the warm up mat and started stretching. Bakugou glanced over at Kia as she stretched out her legs. “So where is he taking you?” he asked suddenly.

Kia looked at him surprised, “I thought you didn’t care?” She teased.

“Go to hell! Of course I don’t!” Bakugou snapped turning away.

“Tokyo Tower” Kia continued, “He said it has a pretty good view and there is an aquarium and a restaurant inside. You sure you don’t want to come?”

“Hell no,” Bakugou growled. Kia rolled her eyes.

After stretching they made their way over to the treadmills. “How long do we want to take this morning?” Kia asked him.

“Usually I work out at least one hour a day but our schedule has been crazy lately.” Bakugou said starting the machine.

“We could start coming in early if you don’t mind the company.” Kia offered.

“Fine, as long as you aren’t noisy.” Bakugou said turning up the speed on his treadmill.

Kia started her treadmill and sped it up to match Bakugou’s speed. After 20 minutes they moved to the weights. They separated as they did their individual weight routines. Bakugou moved to the bench press and loaded up the bar. Lying down on the bench he lifted the heavy bar from its holder and started his reps.

Kia watched as her partner bench pressed a considerable amount of weight. She couldn’t help but admire the way his muscles flexed under his skin giving him even more definition. His tight tank top didn’t leave much to the imagination as to what lay underneath. Bakugou finished his set and set the bar back on the holder then got up to add more weight to it. Kia realized she was standing there ogling her partner. Mentally slapping herself she turned back to her own workout.

Bakugou paused to get a drink from his water bottle and looked over to where Kia was. She had turned her back to him and was currently bent over to pick up a couple of weights she had set on the floor. Her tight pants showed off her long legs and hugged her firm ass in a way that would make any man drool. He found himself wondering what those long legs would look like if she wore shorts.

Taking another drink from his water bottle he laid back down to do his next set. Kia had finished with her weights and was putting them back on the rack when she glanced over at Bakugou again. She noticed he had a lot of weight on the bar. While watching to see if he might need a spotter she found herself staring again. Bakugou’s shirt had ridden up while he lifted giving her a delicious view of his abs. Kia couldn’t deny it, her partner was hot. Bakugou finished his set and sat up grabbing the bottom of his shirt and using it to wipe his face. As he went to put his shirt back down he caught Kia staring.

“Getting a good look Sunshine?” He smirked.

“Please, I was watching to see if you needed a spotter,” Kia replied trying to cover up the fact that she had indeed been staring.

“Trust me Sunshine I don’t need one,” Bakugou said as he stood up and pulled his shirt off before tossing it to the side. He turned to add more weight to the bar.

Kia couldn’t help but smile, for some reason she found his cockiness charming. She watched as he lifted the heavy weights enjoying the unshielded view. I better knock it off or I’m going to
be in trouble. Kia thought to herself.

She walked up to the bench as Bakugou lay back down and lifted the bar again. He had done about three reps when Kia stepped up next to him. Placing her hands on the bar next to his she leaned into it a little. “You sure you don’t need a spotter,” she asked leaning on the bar a little more.

Bakugou smirked as he brought the bar back down with Kia still leaning on it, bringing them nose-to-nose. “I’m sure Sunshine,” he replied as he pushed the bar back up.

Laughing Kia got off and went back to her own workout. Setting up a bench for herself she started loading weight onto the bar. She had gone through her bench press and was setting up to start squat lifts when a group of female heroes walked into the gym. Bakugou was still lifting and hadn’t put his shirt back on, which attracted the gaze of the ladies who had just walked in.
Giggling the group went over to the treadmills and picked out ones that faced the benches. As Kia did her sets she could see the heroines eyeing her partner who was oblivious to their gaze. A dark burning feeling she had never felt before erupted in Kia’s chest as she watched them giggling and whispering about Bakugou.

She tried shoving the feeling down but it surfaced again when one of the women got off her treadmill and made her way over to him. Kia could feel her fangs elongate and her skin tingled as her scales threatened to break out.

“Ground Zero?” the woman said sauntering up to Bakugou. She was wearing a pair of short shorts and a sports bra. Bakugou turned around glaring and raising an eyebrow at the woman. “I’m Chouko. It is a pleasure to meet you,” she said batting her eyelashes.

“Bug off I’m not interested,” Bakugou said turning back to his bench.

“But we have hardly even talked,” Chouko gasped taken back by his bluntness.

“Doesn’t matter,” Bakugou replied sitting on his bench and picking up a weight.

Kia set her bar back on its holder and picked up her water bottle. Leaning against the framework of her bench, she watched the exchange. Her dragon side practically purred in delight when she heard Bakugou reject the woman.

“You won’t even give me a chance?” Chouko asked him. When Bakugou ignored her she moved in front of him. Putting her hands on her knees she bent over pushing her chest out with her arms. “I promise I will show you a good time,” she said giving him a wink.

At that, Kia felt the dark emotion explode in her chest. Grabbing her water bottle, she started walking over to Bakugou’s bench, grabbing his discarded shirt along the way. By the time she got to the bench Chouko had sat down next to Bakugou and was rubbing her boobs against his arm to try to draw his attention. Bakugou, however, was looking at his partner.

“Come on handsome; just go out with me once please?” Chouko said giving him big puppy dog eyes. Her attempts were cut short when Kia squirted her water bottle in her face.
“What the hell was that?” Chouko screeched standing up.

“Go take a cold shower already. He said no,” Kia replied, throwing Bakugou’s shirt in his face. “Geeze, B, put your shirt back on before you distract someone else,” she told him. Sputtering, Chouko stomped off back toward her friends giving Kia a fierce glare as she left. “What is with you and attracting pushy women?” Kia asked giving Bakugou an exasperated look.

“I can’t help it if I’m fucking sexy,” Bakugou grinned. Kia grabbed his shirt and shoved it over his head.

“Yeah let them spend five minutes with you. You’ll send them running,” Kia snorted taking a drink from her water bottle.

“Usually I have them screaming before that,” Bakugou remarked.

Kia nearly choked as she realized what he had said. “I’m surprised you are so versed in that area. As focused as you are on being a hero I didn’t think you realized what a woman was,” she chided.

“Trust me Sunshine I recognize a good woman when I see her,” he replied. Kia didn’t recognize the heated look in his eyes.

Feeling the blood rush to her cheeks Kia turned around and headed back to her bench. “I’m going to finish up and head back to the office. How much longer are you going to be?” Kia asked changing the subject.

“Not much longer. I will meet you there,” Bakugou said watching her walk away. He knew he probably shouldn’t mess with her, but he liked seeing Sunshine flustered.

%%%%%

Kia walked back to the office running her hands through her wet hair as she went. When she got to the door she opened it to see Bakugou already filling out paperwork from the day before. He looked up as she walked in. “I sent a couple forms for you to finish filling out,” he said.

“Alright, how many do we have left to do?” Kia asked sitting down at her desk. She opened up her email then started running her hands through her hair again as she waited for it to load.

“Why didn’t you do that in the locker room?” Bakugou asked.

“Hey, I have a lot of hair! Besides I can’t stand sitting in there listening to all of them giggling like a bunch of school girls,” Kia explained.

Sighing Bakugou got up from his desk and moved over behind her. “You’re taking too damn long,” he said as he started drying her hair. Kia closed her eyes and let her head fall back against her chair humming as Bakugou’s fingers stroked her hair. After a couple minutes Bakugou finished and went back to his own desk. Pulling her hair over her shoulder Kia started tying it in a braid. She stopped when a sweet scent hit her nose. Lifting her hair to her face she inhaled deeply recognizing the sweet smell. Her hair smelled just like his quirk, a sweet smell that reminded her of brown sugar and caramel.

After they finished up their paperwork they suited up and headed out on patrol down the street where the Kawahara’s store was. The old couple were outside when they came walking up.
“Hey, Mr. & Mrs. Kawahara!” Kia called out as they walked up to the store.

“It’s been awhile. How have you been?” Mr. Kawahara asked.

“Did you get settled into your new apartment all right?” Mrs. Kawahara asked.

“Sure did and the funny thing is it turns out Ground Zero and I are neighbors,” Kia replied with a smile.

“Oh really?” Mrs. Kawahara grinned.

“There is nothing like having a beautiful neighbor, ‘ey, Ground Zero?” Mr. Kawahara said.

“Shut up old man,” Bakugou replied.

“It actually hasn’t been too bad…” Kia said. Then turning to Mrs. Kawahara she whispered. “Turns out he is a pretty good cook.”

“My dear I thought you said you are neighbors but it sounds like you are roommates!” Mrs. Kawahara exclaimed.

“No just neighbors. Our balconies are connected though so it is easy to walk over and visit,” Kia replied.

“Come on Sunshine we need to get going,” Bakugou growled.

“Oh yeah I don’t want to be late for my date,” Kia smiled.

“Date? You two are going on a date?” Mr. Kawahara asked.

“No I’m going on a date with one of his friends,” Kia clarified.

Mr. Kawahara walked up to Bakugou and put a hand on his shoulder. “Tough break kid…” he muttered.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Bakugou snarled.

“Nothing, nothing,” Mr. Kawahara replied.

“Well we will see you both another time,” Mrs. Kawahara said waving them both off. The two watched as the heroes walked off continuing their patrol. “Those two haven’t got the slightest clue do they?” she asked her husband.

“That boy is bursting with jealousy. I wonder how long it will take him to figure out why,” Mr. Kawahara wondered putting an arm around his wife. “Hopefully he won’t take too long.”

“I thought you said that a good woman was worth the wait?” Mrs. Kawahara smiled at her husband.

“They sure are my dear,” he replied kissing her on the forehead.

%%%%%

Bakugou and Kia got back to the agency at four o’clock. They had taken care of a few small time thieves and had the paperwork finished in twenty minutes.

“Eijiro is going to pick me up at my apartment at five so I’m going to head out, okay? See ya later B!” Kia said as she gathered her things and left.

After another ten minutes Bakugou decided to call it a night and headed home. When he stepped out of the apartment complex’s elevator he saw Kirishima knocking on Kia’s door. Spotting him Kirishima called out. “Hey man how’s it going?”

“Tch,” Bakugou said as he headed for his own door. He had just stuck the key in the lock when Kia emerged from her apartment. She had on a tight pair of dark jeans and black boots that came up almost to her knees. The dark red shirt she was wearing had a plunging neckline that laced up and she wore a black jacket over top of it. Her hair was pulled up in a side pony and was still wavy from being in a braid all day. Now it was Bakugou’s turn to stare.

“Wow Kia you look great!” Kirishima whistled.

“Thanks!” Kia smiled. Turning to Bakugou she noticed him staring. “Getting a good look B?” she teased.

Bakugou’s thoughts jerked back to reality and he glared at Kia. Saying nothing he opened his door and stepped into his apartment slamming it behind him. Sighing Kia turned back to Kirishima who offered her an arm. “Alright sir you lead the way,” Kia said taking his arm.

%%%%%

Inside his apartment Bakugou stood in his entry way breathing hard. He was so pissed and he didn’t even fucking know why which only made him madder. Goddamn Kia why did she have to invite Kirishima out? Bakugou growled internally. Taking his shoes off, he threw his keys on the counter then stomped to his room pulling his shirt over his head as he went. He threw the shirt into his dirty clothes basket and walked over to his dresser. Ripping open a drawer he grabbed a nice pair of pants before pulling a shirt out of his closet. Stomping to the bathroom he cleaned up and put on the fresh clothes. Then he grabbed his keys and a hat and jacket before pulling on his red and black boots. Slamming his front door closed he made for the elevator. He mashed the down button a stood there fidgeting as he waited for the doors to open. Once the elevator arrived he stepped on hitting the button for the ground floor.
He was restless as he waited for the elevator to finish its decent. When the doors opened he pulled the hat down low on his head and shrugged the jacket on. Exiting the front doors he made his way towards the nearest train station. When he arrived it didn’t take him long to pick Kia out of the crowd. She stood next to Kirishima waiting for the next train to take them to Tokyo Tower. Marching to the nearest window Bakugou bought a ticket and stood a ways off watching the two of them.

Kia was laughing at something Kirishima said when her head jerked up slightly. Bakugou ducked behind a pillar as she looked around the platform.

“What is it?” Kirishima asked.

“It’s nothing I just thought I smelled something familiar,” she replied. She grabbed her hair and brought it to her face giving it a sniff. She could still smell Bakugou’s quirk. It was probably just my hair, she thought to herself.

“Hey, the train is here,” Kirishima pointed out. As they boarded the train Bakugou got on the car two cars down, making sure to keep them in sight. He watched as they stood there talking, cursing that he could not hear their conversation. All too soon the trains stopped and they got off heading for the tower. Bakugou did his best to keep his distance and not lose track of them.

“So what do you want to do first?” Kirishima asked Kia.

“I’m starving, how about we eat first?” Kia replied.

They made their way to the restaurant and had a short wait before they could get a table. They took a couple of seats in the waiting area. “Thanks for taking me out. I hope that I haven’t caused you any trouble. I didn’t even think to ask if there was a special someone in your life.” Kia said.

“That’s alright. I don’t have a girlfriend, so no problems there,” Kirishima grinned.

“Really? I find that hard to believe,” Kia said.

Kirishima blushed, “Well, being a hero is a lot of work. You don’t have much time to do things like go on a date.”

“Yeah being a hero is definitely time consuming,” Kia laughed, “I really appreciate you taking the time to show me around.”

“How come you didn’t ask Bakugou?” Kirishima asked.

“B? He really doesn’t seem the type to do things like this. Besides I totally want your scoop on all the embarrassing stuff he did in high school. I need some dirt to use against him. That and I want to be friends. A nice guy like you seems to be a good choice especially if you can stand being around Bakugou,” Kia replied.

“Well I don’t have a ton of dirt on Bakugou. Back in high school he was even angrier than he is now. At first I thought the guy was a total jerk but the more I hung out with him the more I realized what he was really like,” Kirishima said leaning back against his chair.

“I know what you mean. He doesn’t exactly make a good first impression,” Kia laughed. “I do believe the first time I met him he said something about not wanting to babysit some girly wannabe.”

“Yep, that’s Bakugou for you,” Kirishima sighed. “The whole class didn’t think much of him. Except that he was really talented.” Just then the hostess came over letting them know their table was ready and the two stood up following her into the restaurant. Bakugou stepped out from where he had been hiding. He had been able to hear everything they said. The hostess returned and he walked up to the podium.
“Give me a table where I can keep an eye on the two you just seated but they can’t see me,” Bakugou demanded.

“I could put you at the bar if you would like,” the hostess suggested.

“Good enough,” Bakugou growled before following the hostess to his seat.

Chapter Text

Bakugou followed the hostess to the bar and was surprised to see three familiar faces sitting there. Mina Ashido, Ochaco Uraraka, and Toru Hagakure were sitting at the bar wearing hats and shades while peeking over top of their menus. Hagakure even had on a fake mustache.

“I figured you were all together since you’re all so interested in that couple over there.” the hostess said pointing to where Kia and Kirishima were sitting. Bakugou turned around to leave but Uraraka had already spotted him.

“Bakugou, what are you doing here?” Uraraka hissed.

“What are you doing? You all look fucking ridiculous and what the hell is on her face?” Bakugou asked pointing to Hagakure.

“A mustache, what’s it look like?” Hagakure replied sitting up a little straighter. “We are here to spy on Kirishima and his date!”

“We’ve told you her name is Kia and she is Bakugou’s partner,” Mina said to the invisible hero.

“So are you here to spy on them too?” Uraraka asked giving Bakugou a questioning look.

“No, I’m here because I’m hungry,” Bakugou lied.

“Whatever, you are totally spying!” Hagakure snickered.

“The hell I am!” Bakugou snapped his voice getting louder.

“Quiet!” Mina hissed.

Uraraka reached out and grabbed Bakugou’s sleeve pulling him onto a stool next to her. He started to complain but she shushed him. From where they were sitting they could see Kirishima and Kia sitting at a table across from the other side of the bar. Bakugou had a clear view but from this distance he couldn’t hear them. Uraraka held an earbud out to him and he noticed there was a device sitting in front of the girls with two sets of earbuds plugged into it, Mina was pointing a small receiver in the direction of their unaware friends. Bakugou stuck the earbud in and heard both Kia and Kirishima laughing.

“King Explosion Murder?” Kia exclaimed laughing. “If that doesn’t describe his personality to a T!”

“Hey, I suggested Explosion Boy but he didn’t go for it,” Kirishima laughed.

“I imagine not,” Kia continued laughing.

Uraraka nudged Bakugou, “They’ve pretty much been talking about you since they sat down,” she told him.

“Tch,” Bakugou replied turning away from her. I’m gonna kill Kirishima, he thought.

“So, speaking of quirks, yours is hardening right? How does it work? We were so busy during that fight you helped us with that I didn’t really get a good look at it,” Kia said. Kirishima explained his quirk to her and even hardened his arm for her to see. “May I touch you?” Kia asked.

“Sure,” Kirishima replied holding his arm out towards her. Kia reached forward and ran her fingers over his hardened skin. Bakugou felt himself tense up when she touched his friend.
“Can I check out your scales?” Kirishima asked.

“You showed me yours so it’s only fair I show you mine,” Kia smiled and started pulling her right arm out of its sleeve.

“Shit,” Bakugou hissed, “Get down!” he ordered, pushing Uraraka and Mina under the bar.

“Wha…mfh?” Uraraka started to ask but Bakugou stuck his hand over her mouth and glared at her.

“Hey, ghost chick, tell us when she transforms back,” Bakugou hissed quietly.

After a couple of minutes Hagakure motioned to let the three know they could stand back up. “What was that all about?” Mina asked.

“Sunshine has a really good sense of smell and hearing but her abilities are amplified when she uses her dragon quirk. She has already met the two of you so she might recognize your scent. That and you three look really suspicious,” Bakugou replied.

“She did stop and look around when the scales appeared on her arm,” Hagakure said thoughtfully.

“Wow, I didn’t realize her quirk was like that,” Uraraka said in amazement.

“Hush you guys I can’t hear,” Mina snapped. Bakugou and Uraraka picked up their fallen earbuds and stuck them back in their ears. “They are really getting along aren’t they?” Mina said quietly as they all watched the two interact. Bakugou looked over to find the pink hero looking defeated.

“Hey, she just wanted to see his quirk. It’s not like they are holding hands and flirting,” Uraraka reassured her friend.

“Do you have a crush on weird hair or something?” Bakugou flat out asked. He didn’t think Mina could turn any pinker.

“Wh-what? I don’t know what you’re talking about Bakugou,” Mina denied.

“Oh yeah, she has been crushing on him for a while now,” Hagakure sold her out.

“Toru! Why would you tell him that?” Mina asked.

“Don’t worry Pinky I won’t say anything,” Bakugou said rolling his eyes.

The waiter had come to take Kirishima and Kia’s order. “So you like spicy food too?” Kirishima asked Kia after she ordered.

“Yep, I’ve never found anything that was too spicy,” Kia replied. She then told him about the first time she went out and ate with Bakugou.

“I remember that place. I can’t believe you were able to eat that stuff,” Kirishima said, “Way to spicy for me. You two must have iron stomachs.”

“Maybe it’s because of our quirks? A fire breathing dragon and a guy who can create explosions from his hands… we are just built to take the heat I guess,” Kia laughed.

“Wait, you can breathe fire?” Kirishima exclaimed.

“Yep, I’m kind of cliché that way,” Kia joked.

“You can turn into a dragon too, right?” Kirishima asked.

“I can but I can’t control it so I haven’t transformed fully in six years. It is just too dangerous, especially in the city,” Kia replied.

“Yeah, I can see where that would be a problem,” Kirishima said.

“So how did you get your scar?” Kia asked pointing to his eye.

“Oh this, it happened when my quirk first manifested. I actually hated my quirk back then,” Kirishima admitted.

“I hated my quirk at one point too,” Kia told him.

“Really? Why?” Kirishima asked.

“It got me into some trouble when I was younger,” Kia replied. “I actually didn’t want to be a hero when I was little.”

“What did you want to be?” Kirishima asked.

“I wanted to be a singer,” Kia confessed.

“Well you still could be,” Kirishima pointed out.

“Yeah, but my dreams have changed since then. I have something I want to accomplish as a hero. I had a friend when I was young, he wanted to be a hero and the way he talked about it made me think I should use my powers to do some good in this world,” Kia replied.

“What happened to him? Is he a hero now too?” Kirishima asked.

“No he died about seven years ago,” Kia said looking down at the table.

“I’m sorry,” Kirishima said.

“Its ok, I guess in a way, I’m trying to make his dreams come true too. I think it is the least I could do for him,” Kia smiled. “He would have been a great hero.” The two of them moved on to a different topic. It wasn’t long until the waiter brought their food.

A waiter had come and taken Mina, Hagakure, Uraraka and Bakugou’s order while they eves dropped on Kirishima and Kia’s conversation. Their food came not long after Kirishima and Kia’s did. As he sat there eating, Bakugou couldn’t help but think about what Kia had said about hating her quirk and about her friend wanting to be a hero. I bet the friend she was talking about was that Phoenix guy, Bakugou thought.

After eating, Kia and Kirishima headed out of the restaurant and Kia paused at the door turning to look around the restaurant before following Kirishima.
The three girls hurried out of the restaurant dragging Bakugou along with them as they tailed the other two. “If we stay together like this they are definitely going to catch us,” Hagakure said.

“Right we should split up,” Mina added. “Toru, you come with me and Ochaco can go with Bakugou.”

“Like hell I’m joining your little party,” Bakugou scoffed turning to head in the other direction.

“Are you going to tail them by yourself then?” Uraraka asked.

“I already told you I came here to eat,” Bakugou snarled.

“Sure, whatever you say,” Uraraka rolled her eyes.

Bakugou left the girls to their own antics and followed Kirishima and Kia on his own. He watched as they headed to the aquarium and bought tickets. He watched as Mina, Uraraka, and Hagakure bought tickets and hurried in after them. Bakugou waited longer before buying a ticket himself. He entered the aquarium and walked around for a while before he caught sight of Kirishima and Kia. When he found them they were standing in front of one of the largest tanks. He moved behind a nearby pillar so he could listen to their conversation.

“So you have to explain to me why a nice guy like you is single? Is there someone you are interested in?” Kia asked.

“Well there is someone but she doesn’t even know I exist,” Kirishima replied frowning.

“If that is true then she is either stupid or blind,” Kia replied.

Kirishima looked at her in surprise. “What do you mean by that?” he asked.

“It doesn’t take long to realize you are a nice guy, Eijiro. Plus you’re handsome, easy to talk to and really fun to be around. Any female with eyes would think you are attractive. You need to have more confidence in yourself,” Kia replied.

“You really think so?” he asked his face turning the color of his hair.

“Yep and if you ever need girl advice you are more than welcome to ask me. I may not have a lot of experience in dating but I am female,” Kia smiled.

“Thanks, but what about you? Is there anyone you are interested in?” Kirishima asked her.

Kia paused thinking while she watched the fish in the tank. “I’m not looking for a relationship,” she replied.

“What about Bakugou?” Kirishima asked.

“What about him?” Kia responded confused.

“Well what do you think about him?” Kirishima asked.

“Well for one the guy is a total hot head. He is proud to a fault and hard to work with,” Kia replied. Bakugou bristled as his partner complained about him. “I swear I’ve never met anyone as stubborn as he is and I come from a whole family of stubborn people. Also he either can’t remember anything you tell him or he just doesn’t listen at all. Especially when I tell him that I could recognize his scent from a mile away, even if he has shoved his hands in his pockets,” Kia said raising her voice and looking over at where Bakugou was hiding.

“Shit,” Bakugou cursed stepping out from his hiding place. Kia walked over to him with Kirishima following behind her. “How long have you known I was here?” Bakugou asked.

“I thought I smelled you at the train station but I wasn’t sure until we left the restaurant,” she replied.

“Why didn’t you say something sooner?” Bakugou snapped.

“Because picking on you is more fun. So where are the other three?” Kia asked.

“What?” Bakugou and Kirishima both said.

“You know… Ochaco, Mina, and the other gal that was sitting at the bar with you,” Kia said looking around and giving the air a sniff.

“You knew we were here the whole time?” Uraraka said stepping out from where she was hiding with Mina and Hagakure. The three of them took off their disguises.

“My nose doesn’t miss much. Why are you all spying on us? If you wanted to join us you should have just said something,” Kia said.

“We didn’t want to interrupt your date,” Mina replied.

“I told you guys it wasn’t that kind of date,” Kirishima said.

“Even if it was why would you guys spy on us like that? Kind of a breach of our trust don’t you think?” Kia scolded.

“Sorry…” the three girls hung their heads.

“I guess I can forgive you,” Kia smiled. “I don’t think we have met,” she said turning to Hagakure. “I’m Kia Hales; it is nice to meet you.”

“Toru Hagakure, pleased to meet you!” Hagakure replied.

“Since you all are here why don’t you join us?” Kia asked.

“Sounds like fun!” Uraraka said looking towards her two friends.

“Sure,” Mina replied glancing at Kia.

“Let’s take the full tour then!” Hagakure suggested.

The three of them and Kirishima headed to the podium where a group of tourists were waiting for a tour to start. Kia started following them but stopped and turned around to give Bakugou a questioning look.

“What?” he asked glaring at her.

“Well are you coming?” she asked her sulking partner.

“Tch,” Bakugou responded dragging his feet after her.

The girls chatted while they waited and Kia noticed the way Kirishima’s smile grew bigger when he talked to Mina. The tour guide started speaking and Uraraka, Mina, and Hagakure moved closer. Kia walked up next to Kirishima and whispered, “It is Mina isn’t it?”

“Am I that obvious?” he asked quietly.

“Only if someone is paying attention. Go stand with her!” Kia said giving him a nudge. Taking her advice he went and stood next to the pink hero.

“What was that about?” Bakugou asked as he came to stand next to Kia.

“I’m just trying to help out a friend,” Kia replied. “So… you going to tell me why you were spying on me?” she gave him an accusing look.

“I wasn’t,” he snapped.

“Sure you weren’t. Are you worried I’m going to steal your best friend? I promise I won’t,” Kia replied smiling at him. Bakugou ignored her and they stood there in silence as the tour went on. Kia couldn’t help but notice Mina giving her funny looks anytime Kirishima talked to her.

“I’m going to run to the restroom,” Mina said a little while later.

“I’ll go with you,” Kia said following the pink hero.

Neither of them said anything as they made their way to the restroom. When Kia came out of the stall Mina was washing her hands at the sink and Kia stepped up to the one next to her.

“Hey, I want to let you know that Eijiro and I are just friends,” Kia said.

“Really?” Mina replied.

“Yeah, and I would like to be friends with you too,” Kia smiled as she dried her hands.

“I’d like that too.” Mina smiled back.

Bakugou was surprised to see Mina and Kia walking back to the group laughing. The tension between the two had been so thick before. Mina went back over to stand with Kirishima and Kia returned to Bakugou’s side.

“You must have made peace with raccoon eyes?” Bakugou said as Kia returned.

“Yep, she is really nice. Do you think she likes him?” Kia asked pointing to were Kirishima and Mina stood.

“She does,” Bakugou said.

“How do you know?” Kia asked.

“I asked her and the invisible one confirmed it,” Bakugou shrugged.

“Well I guess Kirishima isn’t going to need my help after all,” Kia smiled.

“The two of them need to just suck it up and tell each other already. It is starting to get annoying,” Bakugou growled.

“Well aren’t you a supportive friend?” Kia snickered.

“I’m tired of hearing Kirishima whine about it,” Bakugou glared.

“So you two sit around talking about girls?” Kia teased.

“Kirishima talks about a girl,” Bakugou stated.

“What, do you talk about guys?” Kia said smothering a laugh.

“You think you’re really fucking funny don’t ya?” Bakugou scowled at her.

“Not my fault if you walked into that one,” Kia replied.

Bakugou stepped in front of Kia leaning in close so that he was looking down at her. He brought a hand up and swept her ponytail forward over her shoulder tangling his fingers in her purple locks, Kia’s stood still watching him closely. “I’ll have you know Sunshine; I am definitely not interested in men.” He smirked as he tugged hard on her hair.

“Ouch! Hey, that is attached!” Kia laughed shoving him away. “I guess I deserved that one.” She smiled while rubbing the back of her head. The two of them didn’t realize that Hagakure and Uraraka had been quietly watching.

“So why was she on a date with Kirishima?” Hagakure asked Uraraka.

“Maybe she just wanted to learn more about Bakugou?” Uraraka replied. To their other side Kirishima and Mina were also absorbed in their own world.

“Maybe we should give these relationships more opportunity to evolve?” Hagakure said.

“Got any ideas?” Uraraka asked taking the hint.

Grabbing Uraraka by the arm, Hagakure pulled her over to where Bakugou and Kia stood. “Hey you two, we are going to run to the restroom why don’t you two go get something to drink?” Hagakure suggested.

“Why the hell would we do that?” Bakugou asked.

“We are trying to give them some time alone,” Uraraka whispered, pointing over at Kirishima and Mina.

“Come on B, let’s go get some drinks,” Kia said turning towards the exit, “You guys want anything?” she asked.

“No just go ahead and get something for you,” Hagakure said, before she and Uraraka disappeared in to the crowd.

Bakugou and Kia left the aquarium and headed to the food courts. “Do you want anything?” Kia asked.

“No,” Bakugou replied.

“Me neither,” Kia said pulling out her phone.

“What are you doing?” Bakugou asked.

“Just wishing Eijiro luck and letting him know I’m ditching him,” Kia replied as she hit send. “I’m going to head up to the observation deck. I want to look at the view,” she said before heading towards the elevator. She was surprised when Bakugou followed her. “You don’t have to come with me if you don’t want to,” she informed him.

“I don’t do anything I don’t want to,” Bakugou replied looking around with his hands shoved in his pockets. Kia smiled as she pushed the button for the elevator.

“Should we go to the 150 meter or 250 meter deck?” Kia asked as they got on the elevator.

“250,” Bakugou replied.

When the elevator stopped they got off and Kia made her way to the windows. The sky was a clear and you could see Mt. Fuji in the distance. “It really is beautiful here.” Kia smiled taking in the view.

Bakugou looked over at his partner and he couldn’t help but remember what she had said to Kirishima earlier. “So why did you hate your quirk?” he asked.

“I knew it! You really were spying on us!” Kia said pointing a finger at him.

“You said it got you into trouble when you were young,” Bakugou said, ignoring her accusation.

“I was kidnapped because of my quirk. Apparently, being able to transform into a giant purple dragon is considered exotic in some markets and being able to breathe fire puts a couple more zeros on the price tag,” Kia replied, the smile disappearing from her face.

“Shit, I uh…” Bakugou said, feeling guilty about bringing up bad memories, though he would never admit it.

“Don’t worry, you haven’t ruined my day. We don’t want you straining yourself trying to apologize,” Kia said looking at him with a smirk.

“You told Kirishima you wanted to be a singer when you were a kid,” Bakugou changed the subject.

“How much of our conversation did you listen too?” Kia asked.

Bakugou turned away gritting his teeth. He wasn’t going to confess to Kia just how long he had been spying on them. “You said a friend changed your mind . . . was it Phoenix?” he deflected.

“Yeah, he talked about it all the time. He even told everyone that one day he would save us and then go live his life as a hero,” Kia said with a soft smile. “His quirk was actually called phoenix too. He turned into a giant bird with red and gold feathers and looked just like you think a phoenix would. His feathers would ignite and he would be covered in flames. Watch I’ll show you,” Kia said grabbing the feather that hung around her neck. Holding it up to her mouth she blew on it gently. Sparks appeared from its barbs before small golden flames licked along the sides of the feather. The flames went out the moment Kia stopped blowing on it. “Cool huh?” Kia said grinning.

“How did you do that?” Bakugou asked looking closer at the feather in her hand.

“You have to blow on it just right. Phoenix taught me how. I can use my own flames to make the fire bigger too,” Kia said.

Bakugou was relieved to see a smile back on Kia’s face. “What did he look like?” Bakugou asked.

“Well, when he wasn’t a large bird his hair was a gold color and his eyes were a deep blue. He was taller than me but he didn’t have a very heavy build and he always had this huge smile on his face. I swear the guy was an idiot; nothing ever seemed to damper his spirits. He always believed we would get out of that place,” Kia said shaking her head.

“You miss him, don’t you?” Bakugou asked.

“You always miss the people who are important to you,” Kia replied smiling at him. Bakugou turned and looked out at the landscape reluctant to ask the question on the tip of his tongue. “Thanks for hanging out with me. I wish you would have just come with us from the start,” Kia said drawing his attention back to her. “Of course then I probably wouldn’t have gotten to hear about the embarrassing stuff you did in high school,” she laughed.

“Tch, remind me to kill Kirishima later,” Bakugou growled.

“Why would I, King Explosion Murder?” Kia teased.

“Go to hell,” Bakugou glared.

Chapter Text

Kia and Bakugou were riding the elevator back to the main floor when Kia’s phone dinged. Pulling it out of her pocket, she saw Kirishima had replied to her earlier message. “Well, it seems like things are going well for Eijiro. He asked her out!” Kia smiled, holding her phone out for Bakugou to see.

Bakugou grinned when he read the message. “It’s about damn time,” he said.

“Hey, B… thanks for listening to me talk about Phoenix, it’s nice to talk to someone about him,” Kia said putting her phone back in her pocket. The elevator came to a stop and the two of them got off the elevator. “I think I’m going to head home. What about you?” Kia asked.

“Sounds good to me,” Bakugou replied heading for the entrance. Together they left the tower and headed down the sidewalk towards the train station. They reached the station and a man sat outside selling flowers from a stall.

“How about a beautiful flower for your beautiful girlfriend?” the florist said holding out a red rose to Bakugou.

“Thanks, sir, but we aren’t…” Kia started to explain, but Bakugou was already pulling money out of his pocket. Grabbing the rose from the man, Bakugou turned and handed it to Kia. She took it from him, staring at him in surprise. “Thanks, B,” she said holding the flower to her nose.

“It’s just a flower,” Bakugou said shoving his hands back in his pockets and continuing to the train station.

“Yeah, but red roses are my favorite,” Kia said rolling the stem in her fingers.

Bakugou stopped and looked back at her. “Really?” he asked.

“Yep, I love the color and scent,” Kia said holding the flower up for him to smell.

Bakugou leaned in and gave the flower a sniff, “Smells like a flower,” he said before standing up straight.

“Hold on,” Kia said taking a step closer. “It’s the same color as your eyes,” she said holding it up next to his face.

He could feel the blush spread across his cheeks as Kia looked up at him. Ducking his head he turned and headed to the platform. “Come on,” he growled.

They hopped on the train that went back to the station in their part of town. They stood in silence the whole ride, with Bakugou refusing to look at Kia. Getting off the train, they started walking back to their apartment complex. Kia kept glancing at Bakugou, concerned why he seemed upset. “Bakugou, are you ok? I didn’t say anything to piss you off, did I?” Kia asked.

Bakugou gave in and looked over at his partner. When their eyes met his heart thudded hard in his chest. He huffed, trying to get rid of the strange feeling growing inside him. “I’m fine, Sunshine… just tired,” he said as he opened the door to their apartment building and stepped aside so she could go through first.

“Me too,” Kia smiled heading to the elevator. Bakugou followed her onto the elevator and they rode it up to their floor. Walking towards their doors, Kia turned around. “You still up for working out in the morning?” she asked. Bakugou nodded, still unable to trust his voice. “Meet you out here at 5:30 then?” Kia asked.

“Sounds good,” Bakugou said as he turned to unlock his door.

Kia walked over to her door while pulling her keys out of her pocket. Bakugou was about to step into his apartment when her voice stopped him. “B?” Kia said pausing at her own door. Turning around to look at her, Bakugou was surprised to see her smile in a way he had never seen before. It wasn’t overly big or sweet like the smile she gave everyone else.

“Thanks for the flower,” Kia said as she opened her door.

“You’re welcome,” Bakugou mumbled.

“Good night,” Kia said, walking into her apartment.

“Night,” he replied, stepping into his own. Closing the door behind him, he took off his shoes and headed to the living room. Flopping down on the couch, he rubbed his face with both hands. “What the fuck is the matter with me?” he wondered out loud. Sighing, he got up and headed to his room to get ready for bed.

%%%%%

Kia looked around; recognizing the room she was in as the gym at the agency, except all of the equipment was gone and the lights were off. She tried to take a step forward but something cold kept her from moving her feet. Looking down, she saw chains around her ankles, shackling her to the floor. “Hello?” she called out into the darkness. No one answered. She held her hands out and found that they too were shackled and blood ran down her arms from where the cuffs rubbed her wrists. Her breath started coming faster.

“This isn’t funny!” Kia called out. Looking up at the mirrors on the wall in front of her, she thought she saw someone move behind her.

Twisting around, she saw nothing but the wall behind her. “What the fuck is going on?” she said. Turning back around, she yelled when she came face to face with Phoenix. “Jesus Christ, Phoenix, you scared the hell out of me!” Kia said, smiling at her friend. His lips moved but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. “What did you say?” she asked him.

“It’s your fault,” he whispered as blood stared pouring out of a wound on his chest.

“Oh my God, Phoenix no!” Kia cried, trying to reach out for him but he disappeared in a puff of smoke. She fell forward; hit the floor, and the lights flashed on in the room, blinding her.

“Well, well, Kitten, here we are again,” a cruel and familiar voice purred. Blinking, Kia’s vision returned to show her a pair of eyes she never wanted to see again.

“Master…” Kia spit the word out like it was poison. The Master said nothing as he sneered at her. The lights flashed again and she found she was no longer in the gym… she was back… back in the last place she ever wanted to be, where she spent seven years fighting for her life. “This isn’t real… I need to wake up…” her mind shouted.

“You should have listened,” the Master’s voice called from high above her. Looking up she was startled to see Bakugou standing on the terrace above her.

“B?” Kia whispered. Suddenly, the Master appeared from behind her partner, dagger in hand. “NO! Katsuki, look out!” Kia yelled but it was like he couldn’t hear her. With an evil grin, the Master lifted the dagger above his head, starting at her partner in front of him. She watched as the dagger slowly dropped towards Bakugou. “NO!” Kia’s yell turned into a roar and she felt her body transform.

Jolting upright in bed, Kia woke up covered in sweat and panting. Looking down at her hands, she realized she had sliced holes in her mattress. Sighing, she flicked on her bedside lamp. She turned, moving so she wasn’t sitting on her wings and set her feet to the floor, she let her tail drape over the side of the bed. Her body was covered in scales and she reached up to touch the horns on her head.

Getting up, she headed to the bathroom, turned on the sink, and splashed cold water on her face. Looking in the mirror, she took a deep breath and willed her body to transform back into her human form. “What the hell is wrong with me?” she asked herself. Leaving the bathroom, she decided to go to the balcony to get some fresh air.

She put her hands on the railing and took a few deep breaths to calm herself. She looked over at Bakugou’s apartment and noticed all the lights were off. Passing through the open gate, she walked onto his balcony. When she reached the sliding door she stopped. I’m being and idiot, she scolded herself. But I have to make sure he is ok. Grabbing the door handle, she pulled to find that it was still open and Bakugou hadn’t locked it. Opening the door, Kia stuck her head in and took a deep breath. She could smell him and there wasn’t a hint of blood or anyone else in the apartment. Shaking her head she closed the door quietly and made her way back to her own apartment. “Geeze, Kia, it was only a dream,” she thought out loud.

Going back to her bedroom, she grabbed her phone off the nightstand. Opening her favorites list she selected the number she was looking for. The phone rang a few times before the person she called answered.

“Kia, it’s been a long time since you called. Is everything alright?” the person asked.

“Hey, Doc, sorry to call so late,” Kia replied.

“I gave you this number in case of emergencies… what happened?” Doc asked.

“…I’ve been having nightmares,” Kia sighed.

“You are in Tokyo, right? What kind of dreams have you been having?” Doc continued.

“For the most part they don’t make much sense, and I wake up and go back to sleep right after… but there have been a couple vivid ones… about Phoenix…” she admitted.

“Are you transforming during the vivid ones?” Doc asked.

“A little. Tonight was probably the worst,” Kia replied down sitting on her bed.

“Are you lashing out?” Doc inquired.

“Not really, I’ve been tossing and turning mostly. I’ve taken out a couple pillows and a set of sheets. I buried my claws into my mattress tonight,” Kia said.

“Was the one you just had worse than the others?” her doctor asked.

Kia had to think about it for a minute. Was it worse? Her chest got tighter when she remembered the Master holding the dagger behind Bakugou. “Yes, it was worse,” she replied.

“Why don’t you tell me what you remember?” Doc said. Kia told him everything she could remember about her dream and even about going to Bakugou’s apartment to make sure he was ok.

“Has anything been different in your routine lately?” Doc asked.

“Well, I haven’t been sticking to my workouts and I’m getting less sleep than usual,” Kia replied.

“Of course, how have your eating habits been? Are you taking in more caffeine than usual?” Doc asked her.

“Just one coffee a day, but I have been getting a double shot. As far as eating goes, I’m not eating as much red meat as I do back home,” she said.

“Alright, let’s cut you down to a single shot in your coffee and see if you can increase your red meat intake. That could be a factor with your dragon quirk. What were you doing today? Maybe it was something you did that caused you to have a nightmare?” Doc asked. Kia told him about work, her date with Kirishima and her talk with Bakugou. “Well, talking about Phoenix with someone could definitely cause you to dream about him,” Doc said. “But from what you told me it was your partner being in your dream that caused you to react.”

“Bakugou? Why would he be the trigger?” Kia asked.

“He is your partner isn’t he? How close has your relationship with him become? Is it similar to the relationship you had with Phoenix?” Doc asked.

“I trust him like I did Phoenix,” Kia replied.

“Your mind might be connecting those feelings of trust and that is why Bakugou appeared in your dream,” Doc explained.

“So what, I need to not trust Bakugou so much?” Kia asked confused.

“No, if anything it will be healthy for you to have someone you are close to, like you were with Phoenix. It may help you get past your trauma of his death. How much of your past
have you told Bakugou?” Doc continued.

“Not much,” Kia admitted.

“And why is that?” Doc asked.

“I-I don’t want his opinion of me to change…” Kia said.

“You don’t want him to pity you…” Doc said for her.

“Yeah, there is that. People freak out or get weird when I tell them anything. I don’t want to lose B because of my past,” Kia said getting upset.

“Did you hear what you just said?” Doc asked her. “You don’t want to lose Bakugou. Do you think he will want you to leave when he finds out?”

“I don’t know,” Kia groaned.

“I think you should keep opening up to your partner. Don’t be afraid to tell him what happened. Talking about it is one way to get to the root of the problem. In the meantime you need to change some of your habits and see if that helps your nightmares. Start working out every morning again, cut back on the caffeine, and go eat a steak every once in a while. Call your therapist and set up an appointment as soon as you can. She can help you find out what is triggering these nightmares. I don’t think we need to put you on meds right now, as long as your nightmares don’t get worse. If they do or you start showing any other symptoms of PTSD, call me immediately!” Doc ordered.

“Yes, sir,” Kia said. “Thanks for talking to me Doc.”

“Of course, Kia. Now I’m going to send Doctor Andrews my notes from tonight and let him know what is going on. Since he is your physician while you are in Tokyo, you should make an appointment with him as well to keep him up-to-date on how you are doing.”

“Will do,” Kia replied.

“Do you think you will be able to get back to sleep?” he asked.

“Yes, I should be ok,” Kia assured him.

“Then I will wish you a good night,” Doc said.

“Thanks, Doc, you too,” Kia replied before hanging up.

Getting up, she took the sheets off her bed to survey the damage she had done to her mattress. Grabbing a blanket, she laid it over the holes and put a new set of sheets on her bed. Climbing in she thought about what Doc had said about telling Bakugou about her past. I don’t know if I’m ready for that… she thought as she drifted back to sleep.

%%%%%

The next morning, Bakugou left his apartment to find Kia still hadn’t left hers. Walking over to her door, he raised a hand to knock but the doorknob turned and he had to step out of the way to avoid it hitting him. “Morning B, sorry I’m a little late,” Kia said when she saw him. Kia smiled her usual sweet smile but Bakugou could see that she was tired.

“Are you still having nightmares?” he asked. It pissed him off seeing her tired all the time.

“You don’t miss anything do you?” Kia asked, her sweet smile falling into a frown. He was beginning to think that the sweet smile she usually wore was forced. “Yeah, I had a
nightmare, but don’t worry, I called my doctor and he suggested changing some things to see if that helps,” Kia replied, turning around to lock her door. “Unfortunately, one of those changes means less caffeine.” Her shoulders sagged.

“What else?” Bakugou asked.

Kia looked up at him suspiciously. “Was that concern I heard?” she asked.

“Like hell, I don’t need you falling asleep on me when we are out fighting villains,” he snapped. “What else did your doctor tell you to do?”

“Less caffeine, workout regularly, and eat more meat,” Kia replied.

“Anything else?” Bakugou asked.

Kia paused. “Nope, that’s it,” she smiled.

He didn’t miss the look she gave him before she answered. “Bullshit,” Bakugou growled. “There is something else; you’re just not telling me.”

“How do you know?” she asked, crossing her arms.

“Because you have that fake-ass smile on your face!” he shot back with a glare of his own. “Just tell me.”

“I don’t want to talk about it right now,” Kia said, walking off toward the elevator.

Scowling, Bakugou followed her. “Why the hell not?” he asked.

“Because it’s not important. It can wait,” Kia said, pushing the button for the elevator.

“The hell it ain’t!” Bakugou said, his voice getting louder. “If you don’t have enough sleep, you will start messing up, which can put you, me, and anyone we try to save in danger! I will be damned if I’m going to let you fuck up and get yourself hurt.”

“Drop it, Bakugou. You are going to wake up the whole building!” Kia glared back at him. The elevator door opened and she got on while Bakugou stomped on behind her.

“Who the fuck cares if I wake up the building? Why won’t you tell me?” he said, cornering her in the back of the elevator.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Kia said again, bristling.

“Then tell me what your dream was about,” Bakugou demanded.

“Why would I do that?” Kia asked, standing nose to nose with him.

“So I can help you figure out why you are having nightmares,” he argued.

“Why do you care?” she asked.

“Because I don’t like seeing you so damn tired all the time! I can tell when you’ve had one of those fucking nightmares! Do you think I like worrying about you?” he yelled. That took
Kia by surprise. She had no idea that he worried about her, or that he recognized when she had nightmares. He had cornered her in the elevator and was yelling at her because he was worried.

“It was about you…” Kia said giving in.

“What was about me?” Bakugou asked standing up straight.

“My nightmare…” Kia confessed.

Bakugou fell silent. He thought for sure it would have been another dream about her friend Phoenix. “Why was I in your nightmare?” he asked, confused.

“Because I trust you,” Kia mumbled, leaning against the wall of the elevator.

“Trusting me gives you nightmares?” he asked, confounded.

“I know it doesn’t make any sense!” Kia yelled, throwing her hands in the air. “I trust you like I did Phoenix, so my messed up brain went ‘ok let’s go with this’ and I dreamt that the psychotic bastard that tortured me for years was going to kill you like he did my best friend!” she yelled, pacing in the elevator. “I didn’t want to lose you, and I freaked out! Because of that, I might need to buy a new mattress!” Kia finished, putting her face in her hands.

Bakugou stood there stunned; he hadn’t been expecting that at all. “Why do you need a new mattress?” he asked.

“Seriously, out of all the crazy shit I said, that is what you take from it?” Kia started laughing. Giving a deep sigh, she looked up at her shocked partner. “Sometimes when I have nightmares I will start to transform. Nightmares and sharp claws don’t bode well for mattresses and pillows,” she explained.

“Is that why you freaked out the morning after you slept at my house?” Bakugou asked.

“Yes, if I had a nightmare while so close to you… I never would have forgiven myself if I hurt you,” Kia replied, hanging her head.

“But you didn’t have nightmare that night, did you?” Bakugou asked as the elevator doors opened behind him.

“No, I didn’t…” Kia admitted as they walked off the elevator. “I actually haven’t slept that sound in a long time. We had been working a lot then and I was really tired. Maybe that’s
it?” she said, looking over at Bakugou.

Bakugou was deep in thought as they left the apartment complex and headed down the street. Kia kept glancing over at him nervously. “What?” he said when he noticed her fidgeting.

“Sorry you have to deal with this,” Kia sighed. “I haven’t had trouble with this in years and honestly it is extremely frustrating. I thought I was past all this crap.”

“What does trusting me have to do with you having nightmares?” he asked, still not understanding.

“I don’t easily trust people. Yeah, I’m friendly enough to everyone, but as a hero we have to be. The last person I trusted completely was Phoenix. I knew no matter what he would
have my back and I could count on him for anything. I’ve never trusted anyone like I did him, except maybe Griff, but he was left behind when I was rescued. I don’t even know what has happened to him,” Kia said, a sad look crossing her face. “At least I’ve never really trusted anyone else until I was partnered with you. You’re stronger than Phoenix was and you don’t sugar coat what you are thinking. Your natural skill at combat meshes well with mine; it’s like we just know what the other is going to do! I’ve fought with a lot of different people but I’ve never had anyone fight so fluidly with me like you do, not even Phoenix. You worked well with Kirishima and Kaminari too. I don’t understand why Jeanist thought you needed to learn to work with someone? From what I’ve seen, you work with other heroes just fine.” Kia stopped, realizing just how much she was saying. She looked over to see Bakugou staring at her, his ever-present scowl replaced by something softer.

“Do you really mean that?” he asked.

“Of course I do B; I’m not one to lie. I’ve been accused of speaking my mind to much too. I just don’t do it as…boisterously as you do,” Kia laughed.

“I couldn’t trust the idiots Jeanist tried to partner me with before,” Bakugou said.

“I guess you are trying to say you trust me?” Kia asked, smiling at him. This time it was a real smile and not the fake one.

“Tch,” Bakugou replied turning away from her. Kia laughed out loud at his actions. Kia’s laugh never sounded faked or forced to him.

“Now that is the Bakugou I know! For a second I thought you were going to get all emotional on me,” Kia snickered, gently shoving Bakugou with her shoulder.

“That will be a cold day in hell,” Bakugou grumbled, scowl returning to his face.

“I’m sure it will be,” Kia chuckled they walked up to the agency doors.

“Who the fuck is Griff?” Bakugou asked, pausing when he pushed the doors open.

“I’ve never told you about him?” Kia asked as she stepped into the agency.

“Obviously, or I wouldn’t have asked,” Bakugou growled.

“Griff was another one of the kids that was sold to our master,” Kia replied as they headed to the locker rooms. “There were a lot of us, but there were only five that I was really close to. Phoenix, Griff, Si, Peggy, Cam and I were all the master’s favorites, I guess. Cam died while I was there, and Peggy was sold off to be some rich guy’s daughter’s pet. After Phoenix died, it was just Si, Griff and I. When the heroes came, I was such a mess that I couldn’t help save either of them,” Kia laughed, stopping at the beginning of the hallway that lead to the women’s locker rooms.

“You regret it,” Bakugou said, stopping next to her.

“Every day,” Kia replied. Her face said it all. “If only I had been stronger, I could have gotten them out of there.”

“I think we all think that at some point,” Bakugou said.

“Think what?” Kia asked looking up at her partner.

“If only I had been stronger,” Bakugou replied.

Kia couldn’t see any pity in his gaze, only understanding. “You know, my doctor told me I should talk to you about my past. He thinks that because I trust you so much, it would help.”

“I already said you could talk to me,” Bakugou said, his scowl returning.

“I know. I want to but it’s not something I find easy to talk about. I will tell you, just not yet,” Kia replied.

“Tch, you’re going to make me wait a while, aren’t you?” Bakugou asked.

“Hey, it will be a good chance for you to work on being patient!” Kia laughed as she headed down the hall to the women’s locker room.

“Meet me on the sparing mats, damn it!” Bakugou yelled after her.

Kia waved a hand in response and Bakugou turned to go to the men’s locker room. Everything Kia had told him was running through his mind. He wasn’t a very patient person, and Kia waiting to tell him about her past pissed him off. As irritated as he was, he could understand her hesitation; he wasn’t a very open person himself. One way he knew how to let out his frustrations was by fighting. Maybe their sparring match today would help both him, and her.

Chapter Text

Kia and Bakugou were in the middle of their sparring match when Jeanist came walking into the gym. Standing at the edge of the mat he watched the two heroes fight. Nina came in a couple minutes later carrying some files. Kia and Bakugou stopped when they noticed their employer and his assistant.

“What can we do for you, sir?” Kia asked, breathing hard.

“I have a couple of things to talk to you both about,” Jeanist replied, taking a file from Nina. “First off, we have been getting more and more fan mail in for you both. I’ve set up a separate e-mail account just for your fan mail. You will need to start looking over them every day.”

“We are getting that much fan mail?” Kia asked, surprised.

“Yes, the both of you have been in the news more because of the high number of cases you’ve been helping with lately. It also seems that your approval ratings are going up, Bakugou. Have you been interacting with citizens more while on patrol?” Jeanist asked.

“Yeah…” Bakugou muttered, looking over at his partner.

“Reluctantly,” Kia snickered.

“Yes, well, I’m guessing you can thank Miss Hales for that. Another thing, the agency received a letter that I wanted to deliver to you in person,” Jeanist said, pulling a sheet out of the file and holding it out to Bakugou.

“Who is it from?” Kia asked, moving over next to her partner so she could read the letter.

Mr. Ground Zero,
My name is Akemi Yamasaki, and I am writing to you because of my son, Tenryu. I am a single mother who works long days at a hospital here in Tokyo. I have been aware of my son’s actions as of late, but I was having a hard time figuring out how to correct his bad behavior. He was skipping school, getting into fights, and even got caught stealing. So I was surprised when suddenly he started going to school and studying hard. He stopped getting into fights and has even started helping me around the house! When I confronted him about the change, he told me what you said. I can’t thank you enough for the guidance you have given my son. I realize as a parent I need to work harder to support him. He tells me he wants to go to UA because that is where the best heroes went to school.
Sincerely,
Akemi Yamasaki

“Tenryu… Isn’t that the boy you caught bullying a younger kid?” Kia asked. “Looks like you’re his mom’s hero now too,” she smiled, patting Bakugo on the shoulder.

“So the kid actually listened to me,” Bakugou smirked.

“It always makes me proud to see heroes receive letters like this. One way we protect the people is to inspire the next generation to become exceptional heroes. Well done, Katsuki, keep up the good work,” Jeanist said nodding.

“Yeah,” Bakugou replied, trying to not look embarrassed.

“That’s not all!” Nina practically squealed as she pulled out another piece of paper and handed it to Jeanist.

“What is it?” Kia asked.

“The latest pro hero billboard charts,” Jeanist replied as Kia took the paper from Nina.

“You’re in the number one spot! Congrats!” Kia said, looking up at Jeanist.

“Thank you, but that isn’t why I’m showing it to you,” Jeanist replied.

Kia continued reading down the list. “B, you’re in the top 30!” she said, holding the paper out to him. Bakugou took the paper from her and saw his hero name in the 28th spot.
Previously, he had been hovering around the 37th and 36th spot.

Reading the other names on the list, he saw many of his classmates were somewhere on the list. Deku was five spots ahead of him, and Todoroki was two behind. Damn it! Stupid nerd! At least I’m beating Icy-Hot, Bakugou thought to himself. He kept reading down the list. When he got to the bottom, he held it back out to Kia. “I’m not the only one on here,” he said.

“What?” Kia asked, taking the paper from him. She saw that her own hero name was in the 47th spot. “Sweet! I wasn’t expecting to get into the top 50 so soon!” she exclaimed.

“You are both doing very well. I think with a little more attention from the media you both will continue to move up the ranks, which brings me to another reason I came to talk to you. The photoshoot you both did for my new jean catalog had positive reviews. Kia, your photo won the most likes, as did the shot of you and Bakugou together. I would like you both to do some more modeling. It could help bolster your popularity,” Jeanist suggested.

“You want us to do more modeling, together or just in general?” Kia asked.

“Both, actually,” Jeanist replied. “For example, I have a photoshoot tomorrow that I would like you both to participate in. It is for a fall and winter clothing line. There will be individual and group photos.”

“Why the hell should I?” Bakugou snapped.

“The pay will be good and meals will be included,” Nina added.

“How long is this photoshoot going to take?” Kia asked.

“We will start at 7am and should be done around noon. You will be able to resume your hero work in the afternoon,” Jeanist replied. “I truly hope you both will seriously consider modeling. You are both naturals once you relax in front of the camera. Bakugou, I’m sure your parents would be thrilled to see you participate, especially since they themselves are in the fashion industry.”

“Really? I didn’t know your parents worked in fashion,” Kia said to Bakugou.

“What does it matter? I joined this agency to be a hero, not a damn model,” Bakugou growled.

“I know very well why you joined my agency. There is a lot of opportunity to get high paying cases here which will help you out, since you wish to start an agency of your own,” Jeanist said.

Kia was surprised; she never realized that Bakugo wanted to start his own agency. She had wondered why he would choose an agency like Jeanist’s, especially since he seemed to not like the fiber hero very much. Jeanist’s agency was very popular and successful. It would be a good idea for any young hero to learn what they could about running an agency from Jeanist. Thinking about Bakugou’s ambitions Kia made a decision. “I will model for you,” she said to Jeanist.

“Excellent! What about you, Bakugou?” Jeanist asked.

“No way in hell!” Bakugou replied.

“Hold on a second,” Kia said grabbing Bakugou buy the arm and pulling him off to the side. “B, think about this. The pay from modeling will be a lot more than we make on average for our hero work. If what Jeanist said was true and you do want to start your own agency, modeling will be a huge help, not only in saving money but boosting your image. You will need both to be successful,” Kia said.

“I don’t want to be labeled as some fucking sissy who loves clothes,” Bakugou snapped.

“Trust me, no one is going to think you are a sissy. You can pick and choose what and when you model. If there is something you don’t like, you just turn down the job offer. Winter clothes are easy. They cover up a lot and the poses are usually not complicated. Just think about it,” Kia said.

Bakugou scowled at his partner. He knew she was right but he had hoped he would be able to gain popularity just through his work as a hero alone, but that was proving to be difficult. “Fine,” he growled.

“Cool! It will be so much more fun if you are there,” Kia said.

“Why are you so interested in modeling?” Bakugou asked her.

“You aren’t the only one with a dream that needs funding. Besides, I think you wanting to start your own agency is awesome! If I can help you at all, I will,” Kia replied before turning back to Jeanist and Nina. “What are the details of the shoot tomorrow?” she asked them.

After telling them the details of the photoshoot Jeanist wished the two heroes a good day before leaving the gym. Nina was practically dancing as she followed him back to his office.

“That went better than expected!” Nina said as she closed the door to Jeanist’s office.

“Yes, indeed. With those two modeling for me, my clothing line will get a lot of attention,” Jeanist said sitting behind his desk.

“What do you have in mind for getting those two closer together?” Nina asked.

“I told you, we just have to coax them into situations where they will recognize their feelings. I have a few matching outfits I plan on having them model together. Their feelings will fall into place naturally, without us meddling too much. You will just have to be more patient,” Jeanist replied.

“I don’t want to be patient! Come on, Tsunagu! Just think how adorable their babies will be!” Nina giggled.

“I wish my sidekicks had as much drive about stopping villains as you do about match making. Crime rates would drop substantially,” Jeanist said. Turning to his computer, he brought up his list of models and started adding Bakugou and Kia’s names to the list.

“You’ve really been focused on your clothing line lately,” Nina stated.

“I enjoy my work as a hero, but I’m getting older. With young heroes like Bakugou and Hales moving up the ranks, it won’t be long before I’m out of style. I think it’s about time for me to step back and take on more of a supporting role,” Jeanist said.

“I will support you no matter what you decide, sir. Now, how about we discuss these ‘situations’ you were talking about?” Nina said with a grin.

%%%%%

Bakugou and Kia headed to the locker rooms to wash up and get ready for patrol. Once again, when Kia got to the office, she found Bakugou ready and waiting for her. Moving over to her computer, she opened her email. To her surprise, there was a message from Derek in her inbox.

Bakugou noticed Kia serious expression as she sat down at her computer. “Something up?” he asked her.

“I got a message from Derek with the HTSA,” Kia replied. “They didn’t get much out of the traffickers we caught; looks like they were low level. He also sent me some missing person cases. The HTSA thinks it might be a trafficker behind it,” she continued.

Bakugou moved over behind her desk so he could read the report himself. “They want your help with the investigation?” he asked.

“Yeah, Derek wants me to look them over and see if I think it might be traffickers,” Kia said as she clicked to download the files. There were about a dozen files in all.

“There are quite a few case files,” Bakugou said.

“From what his email said, this isn’t all of them either. They have more from different countries around the world. All of them are similar,” Kia replied as she started reading one.

“Send some of them to me,” Bakugou said as he walked back to his own desk.

“You want to help?” Kia asked.

“We are partners, aren’t we?” he growled. Kia chuckled then picked half of the cases and sent them to Bakugou’s email address.

They had been reading for about an hour and Kia was almost finished reading her fourth case file. “B, what similarities have you found between the different cases?” she asked.

“All of these kids just seemed to disappear instantly. All the reports say one minute they were there and the next they weren’t. The kids are all around eight years old and they all have powerful and flashy quirks. There seems to be no evidence at all how they disappeared. It’s really starting to piss me off,” Bakugou replied.

“I know what you mean. These kids all just vanished in an instant… and that is what has me worried,” Kia said as she leaned back in her chair, thinking hard about the little information they had. Suddenly, she sat up straight in her chair, grabbed her phone, and dialed Derek’s number. “Hey, I need some more information,” she said when he answered.

“Can you send me my case file? The one from when I was kidnapped. Also, can you research whether or not these kids have appeared in the news prior to their kidnapping? I’m going to search as well, and I will send you any information I find. Yep, thanks,” Kia hung up her phone. “B, see if you can find out if any of these kids used their quirks in public,” she told Bakugou.

“You on to something?” he asked as he started searching.

“I hope I am,” Kia replied.

As they searched, they found news articles about each kid. The articles covered anything from sporting events and competitions to self-defense and emergency situations. Each article reported on the missing child’s quirk.

“All of these kids have made the news because of their quirks,” Bakugou said, realizing what Kia was looking for.

“Here, I just sent you another case file… its mine…” Kia said looking up at him.

Bakugou opened up the email and started reading. It was almost identical to the ones they had been reading earlier. Kia was eight years old, and she had disappeared in an instant. The file also included a news article that reported how Kia had stopped muggers from attacking her mother and her while visiting family in Chicago, Illinois. There was another attachment on the email. Opening it Bakugou realized it was an active villain profile.

“His name is Shade Walker. He’s about 5’ 10”, has brown hair, blue eyes, an Australian accent, and is probably in his fifties now. His quirk is teleport; he can transport himself as well as other people to any place he has been to before. There is only one case that has been confirmed as his doing: mine…” Kia said, folding her hands on top of her head.

“You think he is the one behind the disappearances?” Bakugou asked.

“Yes, but taking this many kids in one area is unlike him. He is a quality over quantity supplier and he has very wealthy clientele. It is almost like he has gotten sloppy; which is hard to believe because he is extremely intelligent and his quirk makes him hard to predict,” Kia replied, taking a deep breath. “Either he has been paid a lot to grab a certain number of kids, or he has an ulterior motive… I’m afraid it might be the latter.”

“This is the guy that kidnapped you?” Bakugou clarified.

“Yes,” Kia answered, rubbing her wrists.

“How much information do they have on him?” Bakugou asked.

“Only what I remember,” Kia replied.

They finished reading the case files Derek had sent and found more news articles about all of the missing kids. Kia sent Derek an email telling him what she thought about the missing kids and all the information they found on them. All they could do now was wait for Derek to send them more case files and information.

“Let’s go on patrol,” Bakugou said, getting up from his desk. Kia didn’t say anything as she stood up and followed him out of the office. She remained deep in thought as they left the building. Bakugou kept glancing over at Kia while they walked.

“Quit thinking about it so damn hard,” he growled at her.

“I really want to catch this guy,” she said.

“We’ll stop him. The heroes always win,” Bakugou declared.

“Your right,” Kia said, giving him a small smile.

“I’m always right, Sunshine,” Bakugou snorted.

“Sure you are. Now, let’s go find some bad guys,” she said with a smirk.

%%%%%

When they got back to the office that evening, Kia rushed over to see if Derek had messaged her back at all. Sure enough, there was a message in her inbox from him. Derek had sent her more case files and news reports as well as some new information the HTSA had found on Shade Walker. Kia glanced up at the clock and saw it was already 8:35pm.

“Anything new?” Bakugou asked as he removed his gauntlets.

“Yeah, but I think I am going to work on it at my apartment. If we are going to do a photoshoot tomorrow, I want to try and get some sleep. If I stay here, I will just work all night,” Kia replied. “Do you still want to work out before the photoshoot?” she asked.

“Yeah, I will come over and help you look over those case files,” Bakugou declared.

“Are you sure, B? I don’t want to have to put up with your grumpy ass in the morning,” Kia said.

“Says the one who isn’t getting enough sleep as it is, I will come over and help you with those damn things so you can get your ass to bed!” Bakugou snapped.

“You aren’t going to turn into a nagging mother hen now, are you?” Kia asked, raising a brow.

“Go to hell!” Bakugou growled.

“Yeah, yeah… I’m going to go get dressed and I will meet you at the front, alright?” Kia said before grabbing her bag and heading out of the office.

Bakugou headed down to the locker rooms after he shut down his computer and grabbed his gauntlets. Once he was dressed, he headed to the front of the building. When he got to the foyer, he could see Kia standing near the front door. Her long hair hung loose down her back as she and she was talking on her cellphone. His chest felt tight at the sight of her waiting for him. “Tch,” he said, shaking his head.

“That sounds good to me, so I will see you all tomorrow?” Kia spoke into her phone as Bakugou walked up. “Can’t wait!” she said before ending the call.

“Plans?” Bakugou asked.

“Yep, Mina and a couple of the other gals want to hang out tomorrow. I’m excited! They seem pretty fun,” Kia replied. Bakugou shrugged as they left the building and headed to their apartments.

When the elevator stopped on their floor, Kia jogged over to her own door. “Give me ten minutes before you come over, K?” she said as she unlocked her door. Bakugou nodded as he entered his own apartment.

Closing the door behind him, he slipped off his shoes and walked into the living room. He grabbed his laptop and shoved it into its bag along with the charger. He set it over by the balcony door before heading to his bedroom. He walked over to his dresser and pulled out a pair of sweats and a tank, what he usually slept in. He changed into the more comfortable clothes then grabbed his phone charger and headed to his kitchen to grab a couple drinks before going over to Kia’s.

Picking up his computer bag, he stepped out onto the balcony and walked over to Kia’s door. It was already open when he got there and he walked in. Kia was sitting cross legged on her couch with her computer open on the coffee table in front of her. She was wearing a pair of sweats and a long sleeved baggy shirt. Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun, and she was biting her bottom lip. A tight feeling spread through Bakugou’s chest again. He took a couple of deep breaths, letting them out slowly through his nose while rubbing his chest as he walked over to sit on the couch. Maybe I’m starting to get sick? he wondered as he set his computer on the coffee table.

“You want anything to eat?” Kia asked, gesturing a plate of fruit on the coffee table.

“No,” Bakugou replied as he sat the drinks he brought next to the plate.

Kia picked up her computer and sat it on her lap. “Here, I will send you what Derek sent me this afternoon,” she said.

They spent the next two hours going over the different cases. Researching more info and sharing what they found. It was 11:00pm when Kia got up and stretched. “I’ve got to make a couple of phone calls to the states. It should only take a few minutes,” she told Bakugou. He nodded in response and kept reading.

Kia picked up her phone and headed into her bedroom. She called her therapist to make an appointment like Doc had told her too. She answered a few questions then made an appointment for next week. Next, Kia called her mom to let her know how she was doing.

“Hello,” her mom Mia answered the phone.

“Hey mom, how are things at home?” Kia asked.

“Kia! It’s so good to hear from you. Things are going well here. How are you doing? Are you still having nightmares?” her mom asked.

“Yeah, that is one reason I was calling you. I had one last night and called Doc. He suggested making a couple of changes to my routine and I have an appointment with Dr. Martin next week,” Kia informed her mother.

“Oh, Angel, what did Doc tell you to do?” her mom asked. Kia filled her in on the diet changes the Doc had suggested. “I’ve been worried you haven’t been eating properly!” her mom scolded.

“Ma, I promise I’ve been eating regularly in all food groups,” Kia reassured her. “I just haven’t been eating as much red meat as I do back home. They don’t serve a lot of it over here,” she told her mom.

“Your father always gets grumpy if he doesn’t eat a lot of beef too,” her mom said. “I can look into having some sent to you?”

“No, mom, don’t worry about it really. That will be expensive. I promise I will find some, ok?” Kia sighed.

“Alright,” her mom huffed. “Isn’t it late over there? What are you doing up so late?” she asked.

“B and I are working on some case files from the HTSA,” Kia replied.

“You are still at work?” her mom asked.

“No, he is over at my place,” Kia replied.

“He is at your apartment?” her mom asked, surprised.

“Yes, he lives in the apartment next door,” Kia answered.

“He speaks English, right? Can I talk to him?” her mom asked.

“Yeah, he speaks English. I can ask him if he doesn’t mind talking to you,” Kia replied. “What exactly are you going to talk to him about?”

“Nothing in particular, I just want to get to know the man my daughter is partnered with,” her mom replied.

“Ok…” Kia said before walking back into the living room.

Bakugou was still working on his computer. “Hey, B, my mom wants to say hi,” Kia said, sitting down on the couch and holding her phone out to him.

Bakugou looked at the phone like she was holding a poisonous snake for him to grab. He gave her a questioning look and Kia just shrugged. Sitting up straight, he took the phone from her and turned on the speaker phone. “Hello?” he said.

“Hello, I’m Mia, Kia’s mother. It is nice to finally talk to you,” Mia said.

“I’m Katsuki Bakugou. It is nice to meet you,” Bakugou replied.

“You’re on speakerphone, Mom,” Kia added.

“I’ve heard a lot about you, Katsuki. Kia really seems to like working with you,” Mia said.

Bakugou glanced up at Kia. “She told you that?” he asked Mia.

“Well, you two seemed to have a rocky start but from what Kia says you seem like a good person,” Mia replied. “Kia, have you told your partner about your nightmares?” Mia asked her daughter.

“Yes,” Bakugou and Kia both replied.

”Good…I hope you told him about the changes Doc told you to make?” Mia asked.

“Yes,” Kia replied.

“Ok then, Katsuki, I’m expecting you to make sure Kia does what Doc told her too, Mia said.

“Yes, Mrs. Hales,” Bakugou replied, smirking at Kia who stuck her tongue out at him.

“Trust me, Mom, he is already nagging me,” Kia laughed.

“Good. Lord knows you are just as stubborn as your father,” her mom huffed. “Now, it is getting late and you both need to get some sleep. Katsuki, it was nice getting to talk to you. I hope we can talk again sometime,” Mia said.

“Yes, ma’am,” Bakugou replied.

“Kia, I love you Angel. Take care and get some rest, please,” Mia said to her daughter.

“Love you too Mom. Tell everyone I say hi and I miss them!” Kia said.

“Will do, Angel. Now you two get some rest and have a good night!” Mia said.

“Bye,” Kia said, ending the call.

“Your mom seems cool,” Bakugou said, handing Kia her phone.

“She really is,” Kia replied. “I can’t believe how nice you sound when you’re speaking English,” she chuckled.

“Go to hell!” Bakugou grabbed a throw pillow off the couch and chucked it at her. Kia laughed out loud as she caught the pillow.

“Well, we probably should get some sleep,” Kia said, standing up.

Bakugou started gathering his things and sticking them in his bag as Kia cleaned up bowls and drinks off the coffee table. He stood up and slung his bag over his shoulder.
“I will see you in the morning?” Kia asked walking up to him.

“Yeah, 5:30?” Bakugou asked.

“Yep,” Kia agreed. Bakugou turned and headed to the balcony. “Wait,” Kia said.

“What?” Bakugou replied turning around. He was surprised when Kia threw her arms him in a hug.

“Thanks for helping me with the missing person files… and for talking to my mom,” Kia said, letting go of him. “I’m glad I was partnered with you.”

“Yeah,” Bakugou replied before turning and leaving her apartment. He made his way over to his own apartment and set his computer bag on the table. He walked into the bathroom to brush his teeth then went into his bedroom and lay down on his bed. His heart felt like he had just got done racing Kia to the park. I’m just tired, he thought as he rolled over and tried to get some sleep.

Chapter Text

The next morning, Kia woke up at 5am and quickly got dressed. She grabbed a new set of workout clothes and shoved them into a small bag while she waited for her and Bakugou’s coffee to brew. Walking over to the coffee table, she gathered up her laptop and stuck it in the bag as well. Making her way into the kitchen, she pulled two mugs out of the cupboard and filled them with coffee. Picking up her bag, she then grabbed the two cups in one hand and stepped onto the balcony. When she got to Bakugou’s door, she knocked on the glass before walking in.

“Morning!” she called out as she sat the cups of coffee on the table and set her bag in a chair. “B, are you up yet?” she asked, walking over to the hallway. Bakugou’s apartment always looked so clean. Maybe it was because he was always working? Kia had only been in the kitchen and living room, but his apartment was set up just like hers, only in reverse with the bedrooms and bathroom sharing the same wall as hers. “B?” she called down the hallway. She could hear his alarm clock going off. Grabbing one of the cups of coffee, she made her way to his bedroom. She peaked around the doorframe to see if he was awake but all she could see was a tuft of blonde hair sticking out from underneath a dark green comforter.

She walked in, setting the cup on his nightstand before searching for the snooze button on his alarm clock. Once she had turned off the loud alarm, she looked down at her sleeping partner. He had a king sized bed and was sleeping on his stomach in the middle of it. His laptop was open on the bed next to him. Hypocrite… and here he was telling me to get some sleep, Kia thought. He must have stayed up working on the missing person cases. Bakugou rolled onto his side, still fast asleep. Without his scowl, his face looked softer and more at ease.

Kia sighed and quietly walked out of his room. Checking her phone, she saw it was now 5:25. With the photoshoot today, he was going to need to get some rest. She was tired as well, and couldn’t imagine Bakugou had been getting much more sleep than she was. Sitting down on his couch, she decided to let him sleep in and set the alarm on her phone for 6:00 and then curled up to take a nap.

%%%%%

Bakugou woke up to his alarm clock blaring. Rolling over he saw it was 6:05am. Shit! I overslept, he thought as he sat up on the edge of his bed. He reached over to turn off his alarm and noticed the coffee cup on his nightstand. Puzzled, he shut off his alarm only to hear another one coming from the living room.

Getting up, he walked out of his room and down the hall to see Kia curled up on his couch, asleep. Her cellphone was sitting on his coffee table with the alarm going off. He walked over and hit stop on the screen. With the alarm turned off, he noticed a soft rumbling sound coming from the woman on his couch. At first he thought she was snoring but then he realized the sound was coming from her chest. Is she purring? It’s cute...what the hell am I thinking, he thought as he rubbed a hand over his face.

“Hey…Sunshine, wake up,” Bakugou said. She didn’t even twitch. He hesitated before reaching out and lightly touching her shoulder. When she didn’t react he tried again. “Sunshine, wake up,” he said louder. Kneeling down on the floor in front of her, he placed his whole palm on her shoulder and shook her gently. “Oi, wake up!” he said again, even louder.

Kia’s eyes fluttered open and she was greeted with the site of Bakugou’s bare chest. Sitting up she rubbed her eyes. “Crap, looks like I’m the one that overslept this time,” Kia yawned. “What time is it?” she asked.

“Past six,” Bakugou answered, standing up. “We’re not going to have time to get in a workout,” he added as he stretched his arms over his head. Bringing them back down, he rolled his shoulders while heading back to his room to get dressed.

Kia got up and headed to the kitchen. Passing the table, she saw her cold cup of coffee sitting there. “Hey, B, if you bring out the cup of coffee I left on your nightstand, I will heat it up for you!” she hollered.

A couple minutes later, Bakugou walked out of his room wearing his usual baggy pants that sat low on his hips. He still wasn’t wearing a shirt. Kia could see his boxers as well as the line of his hips, not to mention the fine blond hair that peeked out over his waistband. Heat pooled low in her belly as he walked up to her and handed her the cup.

“Are you going to put a shirt on?” Kia asked. Her eyes roamed over his chest and down his abs.

“Coffee first,” he replied, fully aware of his partner’s wandering gaze.

Kia smiled at him as she started to heat up the cup with her hands. “Go get a shirt on and it will be hot by the time you’re done,” Kia said.

“Is it bothering you that I don’t have a shirt on?” Bakugou smirked.

Kia switched the coffee cup to one hand, still warming it, and took a step closer to Bakugou while holding his gaze. He didn’t say anything as she brought her other hand up to hover over his chest. Kia smiled up at him before placing her hand on his chest. Bakugou grunted when her freezing cold hand touched his skin. He grabbed her wrist, pulling her hand away. “Just go get a shirt on,” Kia scowled before turning to pick up her own coffee cup.

Rubbing the spot where she touched his chest, Bakugou went back to his room to grab a shirt. Oddly enough, the spot she touched tingled and he felt warmer despite her cold fingers.

%%%%%

It was 6:45am when they made it to the agency. Just as Nina had promised, there was a table filled with fruit and breakfast items as well as an expresso machine. Kia made a bee-line for the coffee only to be stopped by Bakugou. “No way, you already had a cup,” he warned.

“Now I wish I had waited,” Kia pouted. “You are taking what my mom said to heart, aren’t you?”

“We are going to find a way to deal with those damn nightmares of yours,” Bakugou scowled at her.

“Bakugou! Kia! I’m so glad you made it!” Nina said, walking over to them. “Let me introduce you to the staff and the other models!” She showed them over to where a group of people stood waiting. She started introducing them to the group when one of the men stepped forward and grabbed Kia’s hand.

“It is a pleasure to meet you again,” he said.

“Uhm… where have we met?” Kia asked. Bakugou snickered at the man’s offended expression.

“It’s me…Laos…we met in the break room a little while back,” he reminded her.

“Oh…yeah, sorry I forgot,” Kia forced a smile.

“I’m happy to finally be working with you,” Laos bowed, leaning down to kiss Kia’s hand.

“I remember you now,” Kia said, pulling her hand from his grasp and moving to the other side of Bakugou. Her partner’s shoulders shook as he contained his laughter. “You could have warned me he was the creepy guy from the break room,” Kia whispered at her partner.

“It was way funnier to just sit back and watch you hurt his pride,” Bakugou whispered back.

Nina had just finished introducing everyone when Jeanist walked into the room. Nina hurried to his side as he reached the group. “I want to thank you all for taking the time to come here today. Each of you will receive a list with the shoot schedule as well as what poses, clothes, and models you will be posing with. Every model will have an assistant to help them throughout the day,” Jeanist informed them while Nina passed out the lists to each person. “Assistants, you will find the name of the model you will be helping on your list and models vice-versa. Hopefully, we will be able to go through today without any problems,” he finished.

Kia and Bakugou were looking over their lists when two women walked up to them. “Excuse us,” one of them spoke up, getting their attention. “You are Katsuki Bakugou and Kia Hales, are you not?” she asked.

“Yes, you must be Chie and…” Kia started to ask, looking over at Bakugou.

“Hana,” Bakugou added.

“Yes, I’m Chie,” said the one who had spoken. She was on the shorter side and had black hair. “This is Hana,” Chie introduced the taller brown haired woman next to her.

“I guess we are in your care today!” Kia said bowing slightly.

The two women bowed back. “If you will follow us we will show you to your chairs,” Chie smiled. Hana turned to Bakugou and bowed, looking nervously at the hero.

“Don’t worry, his bite isn’t near as bad as his bark,” Kia told her, giving Bakugou a poke in the ribs.

“So you say, Sunshine,” Bakugou grumbled.

“You will have to excuse Hana. She is really shy and doesn’t say much,” Chie explained.

Looks like Jeanist paired us with assistants we might get along with, Bakugou thought.

They followed the two ladies to a pair of chairs and vanities. “Please, take a seat and we will go and grab your first set of outfits,” Chie said. Both assistants took off towards the racks of clothes lined up at the back of the room.

Kia started studying the list in her hand. It looked like they would be wearing everything from everyday wear and formal attire to pajamas. “Jeanist is really branching out, isn’t he?” Kia asked.

Bakugou looked over his own list. Jeanist was well known for his line of denim wear, but the list had more than just jeans on it. This might not be too bad… it’s just clothes, Bakugou thought to himself.

“You might as well just sit back and relax for now,” Kia told him. She started pulling her laptop and earbuds out of the bag she had brought with her. Following her lead Bakugou pulled out his own earbuds out of his pocket and plugged them into his phone to listen to music. The chairs they had given them were actually comfortable, so he leaned back and closed his eyes to wait.

Bakugou was woken up by someone nudging him in the knee. Opening one eye, he saw Hana standing there with an outfit in her arms. The brunette held the clothes out to him with a slight blush on her cheeks. He sat up to take the clothes from the assistant and saw Chie brushing Kia’s hair out of the corner of his eye. He really wasn’t paying attention until Chie swept her hands through Kia’s locks, turning her hair pitch black and making it shorter. Chie then placed her hands over Kia’s eyes, when she removed them the heroine’s eyes were a deep blue color. Kia smiled at her reflection and asked the assistant something. Realizing he still had his earbuds in, Bakugou removed them so he could hear what was going on.

“A really bright golden yellow color, make it really fluffy and a little bit curly,” Kia was telling Chie. The assistant ran her fingers through Kia’s hair, turning it a brilliant shade of yellow and making it shorter, until it was only a few inches long. Kia turned her head to look at her new hair style and noticed Bakugou was watching. “Now do the other one!” Kia said excitedly. Chie ran her hands through Kia’s hair, changing the golden yellow into ashy blonde spikes, an exact replica of Bakugou’s own hairstyle. Kia closed her eyes and Chie placed her hands over them for a moment. When Chie removed her hands Kia turned and scowled at Bakugou, her eyes now the same color of red as his own.

Kia and Chie burst out laughing at Bakugou’s bewildered expression. Even Hana giggled a little. “Cool, huh?” Kia asked, reaching up to run a hand through her hair. “It’s Chie’s quirk, she can change a person’s appearance.”

“Only their hair and eyes,” Chie added.

“Have you tried to change anything else? Like the color of their skin?” Kia asked.

“I don’t know, I’ve never tried,” Chie admitted.

“Why don’t you give it a try?” Kia asked, rolling up her sleeve.

“What now?” Chie said with surprise.

“Why not? You will never know until you try,” Kia replied. “You told me all I have to do to cancel the effects of your quirk is to want to change back, right?”

“Yeah,” Chie said. She looked unsure as she considered what Kia was suggesting.

“Are you sure? What if I turn you pink or something?” Chie asked.

“Hey, I can turn into a giant purple dragon. Being another color isn’t exactly new to me, but does it have to be pink? It’s not exactly my favorite color,” Kia laughed.

“Ok,” Chie giggled. “What color should I try?”

“Well, you’ve already started turning me into Bakugou… why not try and lighten my skin tone to match his?” Kia suggested.

“Alright!” Chie said, determined. She walked over between the two heroes. “Do you mind?” she asked Bakugou, pointing at his arm.

“You’re not going to turn me another color are you?” he growled.

“No, I just want to look and touch. I can create any color that I touch with the pads on my fingers and hands. If I’m going to do this I want to make sure I get the skin tone right,” Chie replied, holding up her hands. Sure enough they could see the slightly raised skin on her finger tips and palms. Bakugou nodded and Chie placed her hands on his forearm. She stood there focusing on his arm for a few seconds before letting go. “I think I’m ready!” Chie said as she turned back to Kia. She touched Kia’s arm and closed her eyes focusing on making the change. Bakugou and Kia watched in amazement as Kia’s tan skin started to turn a shade lighter.

“It feels like stepping into a pool,” Kia said. It took Chie a minute to complete the change, but Kia now sat in her chair looking even more like Bakugou. “Cool! I knew you could do it!” she said to Chie.

The assistant stood there panting. “That was a little harder than I thought it would be,” she said.

“Are you ok?” Kia asked.

“I’m just a little tired. My quirk uses my own energy to make the change,” Chie replied.

“So, what do you do?” Bakugou asked turning to Hana.

The quite assistant looked surprised that Bakugou was talking to her. Shyly, she sat the clothes she was holding on the vanity and brushed her hair behind her ear. Looking between Kia and Bakugou she pointed a finger at each of them, her fingertips glowing, than swiped them across, switching which hero she was pointing to.

Kia and Bakugou exchanged confused looks. “What the hell was-” Bakugou started to growl but stopped when it wasn’t his voice that came out of his mouth, but Kia’s.

“Holy shit!” Kia exclaimed in Bakugou’s rough timbre.

“Her quirk is called Voice-over,” Chie explained. “She can mimic another’s voice and swap people’s voices around, as you can see.”

“Cool! Who wants to find out whether or not B can sing?” Kia said, giving her partner a devilish grin.

“Don’t even think about it, Sunshine,” Bakugou warned. Kia took a deep breath but Bakugou reached out and clapped his hand over her mouth. “Damn it! I said don’t!” he hollered. Kia chuckled underneath Bakugou’s hand. It was hilarious to hear him chew her out using her own voice. She put her hands up in surrender and Bakugou removed his hand from her mouth.

“Alright then…how about I just giggle,” Kia said, only to have Bakugou cover her mouth again.

“You! Swap us back, NOW!” Bakugou ordered Hana.

The quiet assistant repeated the same motion and switched their voices back. Bakugou huffed, and sat back down in his chair. Kia was laughing so hard that tears were starting to form in the corners of her eyes. “You should have seen your face!” she snickered at Bakugou.

“Go to hell!” Bakugou snapped back at her. Chie was laughing along with Kia and even Hana was trying to hide her giggles. These fucking women are pissing me off! Bakugou thought to himself.

“Your quirks are amazing!” Kia exclaimed, turning back to the assistants. “You could easily help with undercover work or something.”

“You think so?” Chie asked.

“Definitely!” Kia assured her, while Bakugou nodded in agreement.

The atmosphere around the four of them was starting to relax and the two assistants were starting to realize they didn’t need to be so frightened of Bakugou. Hana picked up the clothes she had set down and handed them to him again. Taking the clothes he got up and walked into one of the dressing rooms behind them. Chie headed back over to wardrobe while Kia turned back into her normal self.

“He isn’t quite as bad as rumors have made him out to be,” Hana said quietly.

“B?” Kia asked, surprised to hear the woman speak. “He is pretty cool once you get past the scowling and the yelling. He just doesn’t make a very good first impression.”

“Well, he makes a good one until he opens his mouth,” Chie giggled, walking up with a set of clothes for Kia.

“What do you mean?” Kia asked confused.

“He is very handsome, even with the scowl,” Hana blushed.

“You should see him when he actually smiles,” Kia said fondly.

Hana and Chie exchanged looks. “Are you two…a couple?” Chie asked.

“What? No way, he is my friend, and my hero partner,” Kia replied, looking at the two like they had lost their minds. “Trust me, it took a while for him and I to get along,” she added.
Bakugou walked out of the changing room wearing a dark pair of jeans and a tight fitting pullover shirt. The outfit looked good on him. “It’s going to get hot wearing this kind of getup,” he growled, sitting back in his chair.

“Don’t worry, they are going to blast the air conditioner once we get started,” Chie assured him. No sooner had she said that, then Nina started calling for the first batch of models to get ready.

Kia took the clothes that Chie had just brought back and headed to the changing rooms while Bakugou made his way over to the breakfast table. Neither of them had eaten yet that morning and his stomach was about to start rumbling. Grabbing a plate, he started selecting things to eat. It looked like Jeanist did his homework on what the models liked because Bakugou found a few of his favorite foods on the table. He also grabbed a large muffin from one of the platers and a small bowl full of strawberries. Picking up two bottles of juice, he headed back to where Chie and Hana were busy pulling things out of the drawers of the vanities.

He sat the strawberries, muffin, and one of the juices on the vanity in front of Kia’s chair before sitting in his own. He didn’t notice the two assistants watching him curiously. Kia came out of the dressing room wearing a fuzzy looking long-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans. She was about to sit in the chair when she saw the food on the vanity. “Thanks, B,” she said, grabbing the muffin and taking a bite. Bakugou grunted in response while looking over the list Nina had given him. They started off modeling different styles of everyday ware. Kia ended up modeling clothes designed for women with wings and tails too.

After a couple of hours, they started moving into more business and dress clothes. Bakugou walked out of the dressing room in a dark green pinstriped business suit. Hana slicked his hair back, and he was putting on a tie when Kia came out of her dressing room. Pausing, she watched as her partner adjusted the length of the tie before he started to tie it.
“Here, let me give you a hand,” Kia said, walking over to him. Bakugou dropped his hands and let Kia take over. Reaching up she flipped his collar up all the way around and made sure the tie wasn’t twisted behind his neck. He stared down at her while she worked. She was wearing a business suit that was dark blue.

“Where did you learn to tie a tie?” he asked mockingly.

“If you must know…my mom taught me,” Kia answered. “She said a good woman should be able to help her husband with his tie.”

“Why?” Bakugou asked, aware of how close she was to him.

“She said it was a way to show affection for the man you love,” Kia replied, flipping his collar back down and smoothing his suit. She paused with her hands still on his chest and bit her bottom lip. “Sorry, I didn’t mean…I didn’t think before I spoke,” she said, patting him on the chest and stepping back with a blush on her cheeks.

“It’s alright,” Bakugou muttered.

Chie and Hana stood off a little ways with Nina, who was practically dancing in place. “Are they sure they aren’t a couple?” Chie whispered to Nina.

“Not yet,” Nina whispered back. Stepping forward she called out to the two heroes. “Bakugou, Hales! We are ready for you!”

“Hey, I will meet you over there. Chie still needs to put my hair up,” Kia said, walking back to her chair. Bakugou made his way to the set and Kia showed up soon after. Once they were done with the suits, they headed back to change into the next set of clothes. When they got to their chairs Hana and Chie met them with clothes in hand.

Bakugou grabbed his from Hana and went to the changing rooms. Taking the suit off, he grabbed the clothes to find out they were pajamas. He slipped the bottoms on and they fit him with no problem but the shirt was too tight across his chest and shoulders. “Tch, I’m gonna fucking rip this if I try and wear it,” Bakugou growled to himself. Picking up the clothes, he left the changing room and headed back to his chair. Hana and Chie had their backs to him when he walked up. “Hey, this is to damn small,” Bakugou barked. The two assistants turn around and instantly turned red. Hana squeaked, and covered her eyes with her hands but still peeked through her fingers. Chie, who was usually really chatty, stood there with her mouth agape and eyes wide.

“Uh…” Chie stuttered.

“B, where is your shirt?” Kia said, exasperated as she walked up to join them. She had on a set of silk pajamas with long sleeves.

“Don’t start nagging me again. The damn thing is too small,” he snapped.

“I’ll go get another one!” Hana yelled as she raced off towards wardrobe.

“Geeze, you really are thick aren’t you?” Kia scowled at her partner.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Bakugou asked. He crossed his arms over his chest, his muscles flexing at the action.

“I’m gonna go help Hana!” Chie said suddenly, fanning herself as she walked away.

Bakugou smirked at Kia, who gave him a look that said, “Really?” It was obvious she was purposely maintaining eye contact.

“What’s the matter, Sunshine?” he smiled.

Kia just bit her bottom lip and shook her head. Turning around, she grabbed a robe that was hanging on a hook next to the vanity and threw it at him. “Cover up, your scaring people,” she snipped before heading back toward the set. Grinning, Bakugou laid the robe on the back of his chair and followed after her. She stopped and stood off a little ways from where Jeanist and the photographer stood. Bakugou walked up behind her, tilting his head down so he could whisper in her ear.

“I don’t think I’m scaring anyone, except for maybe you,” he said, his voice deep and soft. Kia bit her bottom lip again and Bakugou was starting to notice she did that whenever she was thinking or nervous. He was standing so close to Kia that she could feel his body heat radiating off of him.

Kia turned around to face him. “You’re just trying to get a rise out of me, aren’t you?” she accused. Bakugou opened his mouth to answer her but was cut off by Jeanist.

“Bakugou,” the fiber hero called out walking over to where the two of them stood. “Is there something wrong with the shirt?” Jeanist asked him.

“It’s too small,” Bakugou replied. Kia took a step back, away from her partner.

“I see,” Jeanist said, looking the explosion hero up and down. Hana came walking up to them with a new shirt for Bakugou while staring at the floor. Bakugou took the shirt and started putting it on. When he started to button up the front Jeanist stopped him. “If you don’t mind, leave the front of it open,” he said.

“Huh?” Bakugou asked.

“You don’t strike me as someone who would wear this style with the shirt buttoned up,” Jeanist said.

“Your right there, this morning he wasn’t even wearing a shirt,” Kia said. Jeanist raised an eyebrow at her while Hana covered her mouth with her hands. “It’s not what you think!” Kia said hurriedly. She sighed at the unconvinced looks she was getting from the two of them. The rest of models made their way over and started taking photos one by one.
When Bakugou’s turn came, all the women in the room came to watch. Kia stood there with an uneasy feeling in her chest. She didn’t understand why, but seeing all those women staring at her partner made her want to shove a sweater over his head.

“He is really attractive,” Chie said walking up to stand next to her.

“Tch, everyone is staring at him like starving dogs eyeing a juicy steak,” Kia grumbled.

“Well, can you blame them?” Chie pointed out.

Kia looked up at her partner; he had his signature scowl on his face. Jeanist instructed him to hook his thumb in the waistband of the pants he wore while scratching the back of his head with his other hand, like he had just woken up. Kia’s mind went back to this morning when he was walking around his apartment without a shirt on, smirking at her with his lazy grin. “No, I guess I can’t,” Kia muttered before turning and walking back to the dressing rooms.

Entering her changing room she closed the door and leaned against it. She clenched her fist and took a deep breath trying get rid of the strange feeling raging inside of her. Whenever Bakugou teases her like that, her instincts go wild. She had promised herself years ago that she would never again have any kind of feelings for someone and she wasn’t about to go back on that promise. Taking another deep breath she pushed her emotions down, locking them away so she could forget them.

Chapter Text

When Bakugou got done modeling, a few of the other models stopped him to ask him questions about his workout routine and if he had any advice on gaining muscle definition. He answered a few of their questions before heading back to his chair. Before he got there, he looked up and saw Kia dressed in a Christmas outfit. Chie was currently turning her purple wings white. The flowing shirt and pants combined with her now white wings made her look like an angel. Hana started working on Kia’s makeup while Chie did her hair.
After they were done, Kia went to put on a fur coat before heading over to the set.

Bakugou watched her leave then headed to the dressing rooms to put on his last outfit. Finally, we’re about fucking done! he thought to himself. His last outfit included a regular shirt and jeans paired with a winter coat, hat, and scarf. Not wanting to roast to death, he put the latter over his arm and headed to the set. Kia had just finished taking photos with the fur coat, and was headed off to the changing rooms to put on her last outfit.

Bakugou was waiting his turn when Kia came walking up in an outfit similar to his own. Laos was standing in front of the camera and Jeanist had Kia go stand with him. Apparently, they were supposed to pose as a couple. Bakugou could see Kia tense up as Laos put an arm around her waist and pulled her close to him. Jeanist had them try a bunch of different poses but no matter which one they did Kia looked like she would rather be anywhere else.

“I’m sorry Jeanist, I’m just not comfortable with this guy,” Kia said, causing Laos’ pretty boy smile to falter.

“We have already done the other couple photos. We can’t have one of the models that have already posed with you, it will ruin the effect,” Jeanist said. Looking around, his eyes fell on Bakugou and Jeanist smiled. “Bakugou can you come pose with Kia?” he asked.

“Tch, anything to finally get this thing over with,” Bakugou replied, pulling on the coat. He shoved the beanie he was holding on his head and wrapped the scarf around his neck. He walked up to Kia and stood next to her with his hands in his pockets. “Now what?” Bakugou grumbled.

“Why don’t you try holding hands?” Nina said from her spot next to Jeanist.

Taking a hand out of his pocket, Bakugou offered it to Kia without looking at her. His heart gave a hard thud when he felt her fingers lace with his own. Kia moved a step closer and his heart thudded again. He turned to look at her and saw she had pulled her scarf down to smile at him. He had grabbed ahold of her hand many times before while fighting villains and sparing in the gym, but he never paid attention to what her hand felt like. It was softer and smaller compared to his.

“What next?” Kia asked, looking over at Jeanist.

“Look at each other all lovey-dovey!” Nina suggested, her eyes gleaming.

Both Kia and Bakugou gave her horrified looks. “Uhm… I’m pretty sure lovey-dovey isn’t in B’s vocabulary, let alone his emotional range,” Kia said.

“It’s not…” Bakugou agreed, letting go of Kia’s hand and shoving his back in his pockets.

“As for me, Spotlight always told me I had the romantic awareness of an eggplant,” Kia added and Jeanist started laughing.

“An eggplant?” Nina asked, confused.

“Yeah… he’s a little…different,” Kia said.

“I don’t get it, why and eggplant?” Nina asked.

“It’s because of the color of her hair,” Jeanist said, composing himself. “I agree with you, Miss Hales. I don’t think lovey-dovey suits either of your images.”

“Well then, what should we have them do?” Nina asked with a huff.

“They need to look natural,” Jeanist replied, thinking carefully. “What about you two? How do you think couples act when they are in love?” he asked Kia and Bakugou.

“Like idiots,” Bakugou replied.

Kia, however, was seriously thinking about what Jeanist had asked them. How do I think couples in love act? I’ve never been in love so how am I supposed to know? she thought. She racked her brain, thinking about the different movies she had seen and how couples acted in them. She kinda agreed with B, they did act like idiots. She didn’t think copying something in a movie would be believable. That kind of love wasn’t actually real. What does real love look like? she thought. Then it hit her, she knew exactly what real love looked like. “Hey, B,” she said, turning to face him.

“What?” Bakugou asked, giving her a suspicious look.

“Ya know, I’ve been paired with a lot of different people but none of them have ever been like you,” Kia continued.

“What are you getting at?” Bakugou growled.

Kia stepped forward so she was right in front of him. “You’re pretty smart and that quirk of yours really packs a punch. We’ve sparred a lot in the gym, but we’ve never used our quirks against each other. I’m curious as to who would win if we seriously fought,” she said, reaching up to hook her fingers over his scarf.

“Oh, yeah?” Bakugou smirked, his hands still in his pockets.

Using his scarf, Kia gently pulled his face down close to hers and tilted her head up. “You interested in finding out?” she asked, giving him a challenging smile.

A shocked expression crossed Bakugou’s face when she pulled him in close, but it vanished with her challenge. “You’re on, Sunshine,” Bakugou smiled. The click of a camera shutter brought his thoughts back to what they were doing. He pulled away and looked over to where Jeanist and the photographer stood.

“Perfect,” Jeanist applauded. “Miss Hales, what made you think to do that?”

“My parents, actually,” Kia replied, letting go of Bakugou’s scarf. “Mom is a lot shorter than Dad, so when she wants him to kiss her, she pulls him down like that. I thought if I could get B to smile while I did that, then it might work for the photo you wanted.”

“You challenged me to get me to smile?” Bakugou asked. “So what, it was all just for the stupid picture?”

“Oh, no, that challenge was real. I’ve been thinking about it for a little while now,” Kia replied. “I’ve noticed there is one thing that can get you to actually smile, and that’s fighting.”

“Tch,” Bakugou eyed his partner. “You better not try and get out of that challenge, Sunshine.”

“I don’t plan too. You’re not the only one who likes a good fight,” Kia grinned. They heard a camera shutter click again and the two heroes looked up in surprise. “Why did you take another one? We weren’t even posing,” Kia asked the photographer.

“You two look really good together,” the photographer replied. “I saw an opportunity and I took it.”

“Tch, are we done here?” Bakugou asked.

“Yes, you can go change back into your regular clothes if you want. We will finish up the last of the outfits. There should be food arriving for lunch any minute now,” Jeanist replied, looking at the time.

They both headed back to the dressing rooms. Bakugou was more than ready to get back into his own clothes. He left his dressing room and headed over to where cooks from the kitchens were setting food out for lunch. Picking up a plate he started picking out something to eat. He then made is way over to where a couple of long tables and chairs were set up for them to use. He sat by himself at the end of one of the tables. A few of the other male models sat at the other end and looked up when he sat down. One of them got up and slid his plate over to sit across from Bakugou.

“Hey,” the guy said.

Bakugou looked up at him with his signature scowl. He was about to tell the extra to get lost when another one slid his tray in front of the seat next to him.
“Did you just start modeling for Jeanist? I don’t think I’ve seen you on a shoot before,” the new guy asked.

“Yeah,” Bakugou grunted in response.

“You have some serious definition. Jun said you gave him some advice on workout routines, mind giving me a few pointers?” the first guy asked. “My name is Hotaka Oota, by the way.”

“I’m Jun Fukuda,” the second guy added.

“Katsuki Bakugou,” Bakugou replied. Then guys started asking him more questions, but he caught a glimpse of Kia out of the corner of his eye and turned his head to look at her. She was walking up to the food table with Chie and Hana. There were a couple of other women talking to them. Kia noticed Bakugou looking at her and smiled at him before turning back to the conversation.

“So…is she your girl?” Oota asked.

“Huh?” Bakugou replied, looking over at the model.

“You know…” Fukuda said, holding up a pinky.

“Why the fuck would you think that?” Bakugou snapped.

“Well, you two seem really close,” Fukuda replied.

“She is my hero partner,” Bakugou said.

“I thought you two might be heroes! She is Wildside and you are Ground Zero, right? You sure there is nothing going on between you two? She looked so pissed when all the girls where staring at you earlier,” Oota chuckled.

“You talk too damn much,” Bakugou said, turning back to his plate.

“If you aren’t after her, then does she have a boyfriend? I’d sure like to take her out for dinner,” Oota said, looking in Kia’s direction.

“Me too, she’s got a really nice ass,” Fukuda remarked.

“Tch, she’d eat you losers alive,” Bakugou smirked. “I’d be careful what you say, she’s got really good hearing.”

“You mean she can hear us from over there?” Oota asked.

“Oi, Sunshine, hurry it up already, we don’t have all damn day,” Bakugou growled, glancing over at his partner. Kia turned around from where she was on the other side of the room and flipped him off.

“Shit, she really can hear from that far away!” Fukuda exclaimed. “Hopefully she didn’t hear what I said,” he mumbled, looking away.

Kia finished grabbing something to eat then headed over to where Bakugou sat with the other ladies following her. She sat down on Fukuda’s other side. “Geeze, B, what’s the hurry? You haven’t even finished eating,” she said, looking over at her partner.

“You haven’t even started,” Bakugou scowled.

Kia ignored him and turned her attention to the two guys sitting with him. “Hi, I’m Kia Hales. What bet did you guys lose to have to sit with this grouch?” she asked them.

“We were talking to him about his workout routine,” Oota replied. “You heard him when he said something to you before you came over. Couldn’t you hear our conversation?” he asked, curiously.

“You mean the part where you said you wanted to take me out on a date or the part when he said I have a nice ass?” Kia replied, gesturing to Fukuda. The poor guy blushed crimson red as the entire table erupted in fits of laughter.

Kia and Bakugou finished their lunch while talking to the others at the table… or at least Kia talked to the others with a little bit of input from Bakugou. Waving goodbye, Kia followed Bakugou out of the studio.

“That wasn’t too bad,” Kia said.

“We need to get back to actual fucking hero work,” Bakugou scoffed.

“Alright then, B, let’s go be heroes!” Kia smiled at him. They made their way down to the locker rooms so they could change into their hero costumes. Once she was done changing, Kia waited for Bakugou at the end of the hallway. He came walking up a few minutes later, adjusting one of his gloves. “So, where do you want to go today?” she asked.

“How about we take the bike?” Bakugou asked.

“Hell yeah! This will be fun!” Kia cheered.

They headed to the garage and Kia grabbed an extra helmet. She found that Bakugou was already sitting on the bike, waiting for her. He started his bike and opened the garage door as Kia threw a leg over the seat behind him. She wrapped her arms around him, pressing their bodies together. Bakugou was now hyper aware of everywhere their bodies touched. He pealed out of the garage and turned onto the street, smiling when he heard Kia laughing behind him.

They drove all over, keeping an eye out for any trouble while having a little fun. Kia didn’t mind sitting behind Bakugou at all. They had been out for about a half an hour when Bakugou got a call. He answered using the Bluetooth device built into his helmet.

“Ground Zero,” he said.

“Bakugou, there are some villains rampaging downtown and the hero agencies in that area are calling for backup. I’m sending you the location now.” Jeanist’s voice said over the speaker. The location flashed on the interior screen of Bakugou’s helmet.

“On our way,” Bakugou replied as he gunned his bike and took the next turn. “Did you hear that?” he asked Kia through the radios they wore.

“Yeah, let’s go,” Kia replied, holding on tighter as they headed towards the incident.

As they got closer, they met people evacuating the area. Smoke arose from a point off to their right, but Kia could hear fighting coming from beyond that. “Pull over,” she said, tapping him on the chest. Getting off the bike, Kia took off her helmet and clipped it to the bar just beneath the seat.

Bakugou flipped up his visor. “What do you hear?” he asked her.

“They are evacuating people over there,” she replied, pointing towards the smoke. “There are a lot of fires that need to be put out. The fight seems to be a few blocks that way,” she continued pointing to the left a little. She turned to Bakugou. “It sounds like they need more heroes that can fight. I’m going to stay here and help with the evacuation. Why don’t you go help stop these villains?”

“You got any other details about the situation?” Bakugou asked.

“It sounds like a couple of gangs got into an argument and a fight broke out. Things have just escalated from there. Go kick some ass and I will be there as soon as I’m done here,” Kia said, reaching out and flipping Bakugou’s visor back down.

“Better hurry the hell up if you want in on the fighting,” Bakugou chided.

“Why, you think you will have them all beaten by the time I get there?” Kia said crossing her arms.

“I am the best, remember?” he smirked.

“Just get the hell out of here,” Kia rolled her eyes, giving him a small shove. Smiling, she watched as he left. For some reason, she always found his cockiness endearing. Turning around, she took off in the direction of the smoke. She could hear people and heroes calling for help. As she rounded the corner the destruction she saw was more than what she expected. There were multiple cars on fire and she could see craters in the street.

Quickly, Kia ran to the nearest flaming car. Double-checking that there was no one inside, she stuck both hands out in front of her, using her powers to cover the vehicle in ice. She continued down the street, putting out fires and helping other heroes rescue trapped civilians. It wasn’t long before everyone heard a resounding boom. B is in on the fight, Kia thought to herself, being more at ease now that she knew her partner was helping quell the villains.

She was pulling a vehicle out of the front window of a shop when she heard urgent calls for help. Turning around, she saw a crowd of people come running down the street. Behind them was a massive blob-like creature. It was red and black, pulsing with light as it followed the fleeing crowd. Kia watched as it came near a parked car. A hand formed as the blob reached out and grabbed the car, which immediately erupted in flames, and threw it. Kia’s wings sprouted from her back as she ran to intercept the thrown car. The vehicle hit the ground once before Kia met it. Claws stretched out in front of her; she buried them into the roof, catching the car and stopping it from rolling down the street. She exhaled, ice coating the vehicle and putting out the flames.

Vaulting over the now extinguished vehicle, Kia watched as the creature spewed a chunky, thick, molten substance at a couple of heroes that had come to face it. “A fucking LAVA monster? You’ve got to be kidding me!” Kia exclaimed out loud. She sprinted forward and the other heroes retreated from the extreme heat. “Get everyone out of here, now!” she yelled at the heroes.

“What about you?” one of them called out.

“I can handle it! If you can’t take the heat, get the hell out of here!” Kia hollered. Shit, exactly how hot can lava get? She thought to herself. Kia had fought all kinds of villains with fire quirks, and had even walked into burning buildings without feeling the heat, but she had never faced anything on par with a volcano. An average house fire can get up to around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit but lava gets upward of 2,000 degrees, right? she asked herself; unsure of whether or not she could actually take that kind of heat. “Well, only one way to find out!” Kia transformed as she approached the lava blob, trying to think of a way to contain or stop it.

The creature turned. Noticing Kia, it immediately started retching attacks at her. Kia dodged, taking to the air, but that only caused the blob’s attacks to cover the ground around it. The street started bubbling and melting wherever the lava puke landed.

I need to keep its attacks more concentrated so it doesn’t destroy everything, Kia thought as she landed just outside the blob’s range. I’m going to have to find out just how hot this guy’s quirk is, she realized. “Hey, lava breath!” she yelled, getting its attention. “Why don’t we find out if you can melt a dragon?”

The blob bubbled and glowed brighter like it was angered at Kia’s challenge. Bracing herself, Kia wrapped her wings in front of her as the blob launch another attack. The lava hit her square on, her wings deflecting most of it. The molten sludge oozed around her boots and Kia gagged as the smell of sulfur overwhelmed her sensitive nose. It was hotter than anything she had ever encountered before but Kia realized that she could indeed take the heat.

The blob’s attack stopped and Kia shook the lava from her wings. “Dude, your breath reeks!” Kia said, rubbing her poor nose. “Let me give you a breath mint!” she mocked as she put both her hands to the ground, freezing the lava beneath her. The ice raced its way towards the blob, who tried backing away in a panic. Kia’s ice, however, didn’t make it to the villain. The water in the air was evaporating so fast the closer it was to the blob that she couldn’t utilize it with her quirk.

“Now what, hero?” the villain gurgled

“So you can talk? I thought I was facing a mindless blob for a second,” Kia said.

“You will never be able to get through my lava shell, even if you are fireproof,” the villain continued.

“So are you telling me there is actually someone under all of that?” Kia asked.

“Enough talking, I’m going to bury you in lava till you’re nothing but a pile of melted scales!” the villain howled.

“I’m going to take that as a yes then,” Kia said as she dodged the next volley. She racked her brain as she dodged the villain’s attacks, trying to think of a way to stop him. She landed on a piece of solid lava that she had cooled. That’s right! Lava almost instantly turns solid as soon as it touches something cooler than itself! she realized. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw a couple of heroes standing out of range of the lava blob’s attacks, waiting to back her up. Taking to the air, she headed for them.

“How can we help?” one of them asked as soon as she landed.

“I need water, and a lot of it,” Kia replied. “Do any of you have a water quirk? Or at least open the fire hydrants and shoot the water at the villain?” she asked.

“We’re on it!” another hero said before running off toward a fire hydrant.

“Wait for my signal,” Kia ordered before flying off toward the lava blob again. Thankfully, the villain couldn’t move very fast and hadn’t made it very far in the time she was gone.

The villain threw insults at Kia while spewing his lava at her. Kia dodged and froze his attacks while keeping an eye out for the other heroes. Once they were in place, Kia landed just in front of the villain. “Now!” she shouted as she lunged toward the villain. The water hit the villain as she sunk her hands into his molten body, unleashing the liquid nitrogen from her hands.

“NO!” the villain called out as his body started hardening. The water stopped and Kia found her arms buried in solid rock. Heating up her hands and arms, she flexed her claws, slicing through the rock and freeing herself. The solid body of the lava blob started to crumble and fall away, revealing a shivering and scrawny man standing in the center of the lava blob shell.

“Found you,” Kia sneered, reaching out and grabbing the man. One of the heroes that helped her came running up with a pair of cuffs made to suppress quirks. They cuffed the villain and two of the heroes started escorting him to where the police were waiting.

“Thanks for the assist!” Kia said, turning to the remaining heroes.

“I can’t believe you were able to take that heat!” one of them remarked.

“It was really hot, but not hot enough to hurt me,” Kia smiled.

“Uhm…I don’t think the same can be said for your costume,” another remarked, his face turning red.

Kia looked down to see that he wasn’t kidding. Her boots were gone and the legs of her costume were missing clear up past her knees. Her sleeves were also gone and there were holes burnt in the front. The neckline of her costume was burned away and now dipped very low between her breasts. All the important bits were covered and she was still transformed, so all they could really see was her purple scales. Looking over her shoulder, Kia was relieved to see that the back of her costume was, for the most part, intact. “It will be ok as long as I’m not flashing anybody,” Kia said, double checking that she wouldn’t be having any ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ if she moved.

“Everything on this side is pretty well under control now that the lava villain is captured. Maybe we should head over to help with the other villains?” the first hero said.

“Sounds like a good idea. A couple of you should stay here, just in case any villains head this way again,” Kia said, turning toward where she could hear the fighting. “I’m going to fly over there.” With a sweep of her wings, she was airborne, flying as fast as she could towards were she could hear Bakugou’s blasts.

%%%%%

Bakugou blasted another small fry that had run up to fight him. Honestly, he had taken down so many thugs already that there was a cleanup crew just following him around. All of the villains had been losers. Where in the hell are the stronger villains? Bakugou wondered as he watched some cops cuff the guy he had just knocked out. The swish of wings alerted him to Kia’s arrival.

Landing next to her partner, Kia followed his gaze to where policemen were gathering up one of the thugs. “Looks like you are having an easy time with things,” she said.
Bakugou turned to his partner, his eyes going wide when he saw the state of her costume. “What the hell happened to you!?” he sputtered.

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Kia replied.

“Hey, we need help over here!” someone called out, drawing their attention. Kia and Bakugou ran in the direction the call had come from. They made it to the end of the block and ran into another hero that had a serious wound on his shoulder. “One of the villains has a shooting quirk. He is firing off so many rounds that we can’t keep up, and they are strong too. There are only a couple of defensive heroes that are able to withstand his shots, but no one has been able to get in close enough to stop him,” the hero told them.

“We will head over there right now,” Kia said, following after Bakugou who had taken off the moment the wounded hero stopped talking.

Two blocks away, they found the villain the hero had warned them about. He was holed up in a store and firing through the front window at the heroes outside. Kia was surprised to see Razzle Dazzle acting as a shield for another hero who was trying to get a shot in. The two of them ran up and joined a couple of other heroes that where taking cover behind what looked like a bus mixed with some guard rails and part of a wall.

“Ground Zero! Wildside! Thank goodness you are here,” said one of the heroes. Kia recognized him as a hero they had worked with before. She recalled his name was Stickit and she remembered that his quirk allowed him to stick things together. He was probably the one who made the makeshift barrier they were standing behind.

“How are things looking?” Kia asked.

“Not good, Razzle Dazzle and Sureshot are holding their ground, but this villain can shoot multiple targets. Plus, the counter he is hiding behind is very tough. None of us have been able to put a dent in it,” Stickit informed them.

Kia looked to where the two heroes were facing off against the villain. Razzle was acting as a shield for Sureshot, who was firing what looked like a laser at the villain.

“Razzle’s quirk makes her skin hard as diamonds, right?” Kia asked nobody in particular.

“Yeah, why?” one of the other heroes asked.

“How long has she been taking these hits?” Kia asked, worried.

“The stand-off has been going on for a few minutes now. Why?” Stickit asked.

“Diamonds aren’t really the hardest material; they are just the hardest to scratch. I don’t know what her resistance is, but if she has been taking these hits consistently I’m worried she might crack,” Kia confessed.

“I never even thought about that!” Stickit said. Just then, Razzle cried out when one of the bullets hit her. A crack appeared along her forearm where the bullet had struck.

“I’ve got you now!” the villain hollered, unleashing a barrage of bullets at the weakening hero.

Kia and Bakugou immediately jumped out, coming to Razzle’s aid. Bakugou started blasting bullets with his AP shot while Kia dove in front of her. Bakugou was able to stop all but a couple of the bullets. Kia pushed the other two heroes out of the way, stopping two of the stray bullets with a blast of her own. The last one, however, buried itself into her left wing.

“Sunshine?” Bakugou called out, not taking his eyes off the villain’s hiding place.

“I’m fine,” Kia assured him. “We need to get Razzle out of here!” she said as she turned to examine the injured hero. Razzle’s arms were badly cracked and starting to bleed. She had taken a lot of hits to her legs and torso too. “Hold on, I will get you out of here,” Kia said, moving to pick up Razzle.

“What the hell are you doing?” Razzle asked, sneering at Kia.

“I’m getting your sparkly butt out of here,” Kia replied, picking her up princess style. Using her wings, she covered Razzle. “Cover Ground Zero and take care of any bullets he might miss,” Kia ordered, looking at Sureshot.

“Tch, like I--” Bakugou glared.

“Don’t start, B!” Kia warned as she turned towards Stickit’s barrier.

“You can count on me!” Sureshot replied, moving to stand next to Bakugou. The villain launched another round of shots as Kia took Razzle out of the line of fire. With Sureshot’s help, Bakugou was able to stop all of the villain’s attack.

Kia sat Razzle down behind the barricade and the other hero that was with Stickit, pulled out a first aid kit to start patching her up. “Someone needs to call for back up and we need to get an ambulance here for Razzle,” Kia said to Stickit.

“Why are you helping me?” Razzle asked, looking perplexed. “We don’t even get along,”

Kia sighed as she stood back up. “Look, I don’t like the way you treat my partner, but we are both heroes,” Kia replied. “So of course I’m going to help you. Our job is to save everyone we can.” Razzle’s expression turned to shock at Kia’s words. Kia turned away, looking around the barrier to where Sureshot and Bakugou were still fighting against the villain.

“You stupid heroes think that you can outmatch me?” the villain cried out. “How about I turn it up a notch?” The villain fired at the heroes again but this time something was different. There were fewer bullets and they seemed to be faster than before. Bakugou and Sureshot fired off a couple blasts but the bullets cut right through their attacks. Kia leapt forward, propelled by her wings, tackling Sureshot to the ground while Bakugou used a blast to dodge the oncoming projectiles

Kia and Sureshot rolled to their feet. “Unless you can dodge this villain’s attacks, get behind that barrier!” Kia ordered the laser hero. Sureshot turned to do just that, but the villain had already launched another attack. Kia dove forward, pushing the hero out of the way while trying to stop the bullets with one of her attacks. There was a thud as one of the bullets found its target. Kia rolled to her feet again and grabbed Sureshot, helping him get behind the barrier. As soon as he was safe, Kia turned and headed back to help Bakugou.

“Were you hit?” Stickit asked the laser hero as he made it behind the barrier.

“No, I’m fine,” Sureshot replied, patting himself down.

“But we heard a bullet hit,” Razzle said. The four heroes exchanged looks before realizing who had been hit by the bullet. They looked over to where Kia was still dodging and trying to help Bakugou get closer to the villain.

“She saved both of us and is still going,” Sureshot said in awe.

“Didn’t she get hit with a bullet? It sure sounded like it,” Stickit said, worried.

“Look there, across her hip,” the other hero said pointing. Sure enough they could see where the bullet had torn through her costume, leaving a long wound across her right hip which was bleeding heavily.

Kia spun out of the way of the oncoming bullets. Her hip protested slightly but not bad enough to slow her down. The villain stopped his barrage and Kia landed behind Bakugou as they started towards the store.

“This new ammunition spins faster than the stuff he used before,” Kia said as they ducked behind another barrier that Stickit had made.

“What do you mean?” Bakugou growled, peeking around the barrier.

“They are smaller and more compact with ridges that run in a spiral around the bullet. They spin faster and have better penetration, so be careful,” Kia cautioned.

“How do you know?” Bakugou asked, turning back to her.

“I wasn’t fast enough with my quirk and found out the hard way,” Kia said, scooting closer so she could see around him.

Bakugou’s eyes quickly found the wound on her hip. “What the fuck!” he yelled, grabbing ahold of her.

Kia growled at his sudden action and broke his hold on her. “Knock it off! It looks worse than it is. I’M FINE, B!” she shouted back, putting a hand against his chest.

“The hell you are! There is blood all over your fucking leg!” Bakugou raged, grabbing her wrist.

Kia was taken aback by his anger. “Bakugou, I’m going to be fine. The bleeding is already starting to stop,” Kia said, leaning in closer to get his attention, but he wasn’t listening.

“I’m going to blow this bastard to hell!” Bakugou declared, standing up from where they were taking cover.

“What the hell are you doing?” Kia asked as he stomped towards the store.

“Foolish hero!” the villains cackled, opening fire again.

Bakugou didn’t slow down as he charged towards the store. Using explosions, he dodged and deflected bullets until he was just a fiery ball, hurtling towards the store where the villain was hiding. Kia rushed after him, helping deflect bullets and putting out any fires that Bakugou started with his explosions. He blasted into the store and found the villain hiding behind the front counter. The villain raised his hand and Bakugou noticed that his forearm looked like a Gatling gun.

“Damn it!” Bakugou cursed as he tried to get out of the way in the confined space. The villain sneered as he took aim. Kia flew through the window, leaping over the counter and tackling the villain before he could fire. They tumbled across the floor and the villain tried to turn his gun on Kia. She let go of him to knock his arm away and the villain used that opportunity to kick Kia off of him. He rolled away from the hero, coming to his knees and taking aim at her once again.

Bakugou leapt over the counter, trying to get around to where he could blast the bullets before they could hit her. To his surprise, as soon as the villain fired, Kia opened her mouth and let loose a jet of flame that had him bringing his arms up to shield his face from the heat. The heat was intense and he flipped back over the counter to shield himself from it.

“Shit!” He heard Kia exclaim. Looking back over the counter, he could see the floor was blackened and the counter and the shelving around her had started to melt. Looking to where the villain had been, he saw that a door to the back of the store was ajar.

“He is escaping out the back!” Kia yelled, jumping up and heading to the door. Bakugou followed after her and they burst into the back room just in time to see the smoking villain exit into the back alley. They rushed after him, Bakugou making it through the back door ahead of Kia. As soon as he entered the alley, the villain opened fire again. Kia jumped in front of Bakugou, sweeping through the air with her wings to deflect the bullets while pushing her partner out of the way. “Calm down and focus! If you do something stupid and get yourself shot, I’m gonna kick your ass!” Kia snapped.

“You’re one to fucking talk!” Bakugou snapped back. He grabbed her, pulling her close and out of the way so he could blast the villain’s next attack.

“Will you just get behind him already?” she growled at him. Bakugou glared down at her before blasting himself into the air. Kia turned and shot flames at the villain to draw his fire. She used a combination of her wings and blasts of fire to stop the bullets. Meanwhile, Bakugou blasted his way behind the villain. The villain’s quirk was only on one arm, so he couldn’t fend off both heroes at the same time. While the villain held off Kia, Bakugou moved in. Grabbing the villain by the arm he spun him around slamming him into the ground and pinning him there. Kia ran over and grabbed a set of cuffs from Bakugou’s belt.

“Let’s get him to the police,” Kia said as she cuffed the villain. Bakugou pulled the villain up off the ground and started pushing him back to the store. Kia stepped through the door in front of them and Bakugou saw that her wound was still bleeding.

“Don’t you move or I will blow you to pieces, got it?” Bakugou said to the villain as he shoved him into a chair.

“What are you doing?” Kia asked, turning around and giving him a confused look.

“Let me see your wound,” Bakugou demanded, walking towards Kia.

“No, it can wait till we get back to the agency,” Kia replied.

Bakugou grabbed one of her arms and pulled her towards him. “Like hell it will! Turn around,” he ordered.

“Excuse me?” Kia asked, giving him a look.

“I said turn around,” Bakugou growled, reaching to grab her shoulder, but Kia’s tail wrapped around his wrist, stopping him from touching her.

“You think you can order me around?” Kia glared.

“Just let me fucking see it!” Bakugou yelled, pushing her back.

Kia stuck her hand out against his shoulder but he didn’t stop. “I told you not to worry about it!” Kia argued. She took a couple steps back until she bumped into a desk. The action made her wince slightly, which only seemed to piss off Bakugou more.

“It is still fucking bleeding! Let me see it!” he bellowed.

“You are seriously demanding to see my ass?” Kia yelled back. Bakugou blinked as he processed what she said.

“What the hell are you talking about? It’s on your damn hip,” he blustered.

“Low on my hip and part of my ass cheek, you idiot. Besides, I’m wearing a full body suit. I can’t exactly take it off without ending up almost butt naked in front of you,” Kia argued.

Bakugou looked at down at her costume. It was ripped and burned everywhere. The swell of her breasts were visible since the fabric was burned away on her chest. He could see that she would have to take it off for him to properly look at the wound on her hip. “Fine,” he said letting go of her. “Let’s get this loser to the police. Then we are heading back to the agency so we can take care that,” he pointed to the wound on her hip.

“Fine,” Kia scowled at him.

Bakugou went over to where the wide-eyed villain sat watching and grabbed him by the collar. “Dude, is she really going to let you look at her ass?” the villain asked.

“Shut the fuck up!” Bakugou snapped, shoving the villain forward.

Chapter Text

Bakugou pushed the villain through the ruined store and out to where the police were waiting. After turning him over, he started walking back down the street to where his bike was parked.

“Shouldn’t we stay and answer some questions?” Kia asked, following after him.

He glanced back and glared at her. “No, we need to get you patched up.” They made their way through the cleanup crews until they came to an alleyway where Bakugou had stashed his bike. He pulled the keys out of his belt and unclipped the helmets from their holder. He turned around and tossed the spare helmet to Kia before straddling the bike. “Hurry up and get on,” he ordered.

Kia sighed and rolled her eyes. “Hold on a second.” She walked forward and set her helmet in his lap, then took a couple steps back and stretched her left wing around in front of her. A few of her feathers were a little ruffled and one of her large primary feathers stuck out at a weird angle from the others. “I can’t transform back until I get this bullet out of my wing,” Kia said, reaching out and grabbing a hold of her wing.

“What?” Bakugou asked, getting off the bike and setting the helmets on the seat. He stepped close to her then reached out and grabbed her wing just in front of the wrist joint. Kia brushed back the coverts of her wing, and he was surprised to see scales underneath. A bullet was wedged where one of her larger feathers met her scales.

“It hasn’t penetrated my scales. It feels like it is just stuck,” Kia said. She grabbed the end of the bullet and pulled on it but it didn’t budge.

“Looks like it is wedged under the shaft of the feather,” Bakugou said.

Kia pulled harder on the bullet, using her claws this time, but couldn’t get a good grip. “I can’t get a good hold on it.”

Bakugou let go of her wing and started to take off his gauntlets. He removed his gloves and laid them down along with the gauntlets on his bike’s seat next to the helmets before turning back to Kia. He grabbed ahold of her wing again and took a closer look at the bullet. Her feathers felt so soft. He still couldn’t believe that something so soft could be so strong. With his other hand he tried to grab the end of the bullet but he couldn’t keep a hold of it either.

“I’m gonna have to pull the feather to get it out,” Kia groaned.

“Really? Is that alright?” Bakugou asked.

“It will grow back, but it is gonna hurt like hell,” Kia said, grabbing the shaft of the feather. She took a deep breath, preparing to pull it, but stopped. “I can’t do it… will you?” she asked Bakugou.

“Huh? You want me to pull the damn thing?”

“Please?”

“Is it gonna hurt?”

“Yeah, but only for a little bit, I can take it.” Kia gritted her teeth. The look on her face made Bakugou think that she might be trying to play down how much it was going to hurt.

Bakugou reached out and wrapped his hand around the shaft of the feather, still keeping his other hand on her wing. “Are you sure about this?” he asked.

“Yes… no… just give me a minute…” Kia groaned. She closed her eyes and shook her head. Taking another deep breath, she opened her eyes and looked directly at Bakugou. “You’re gonna have to pull as hard as you can, got it?” she asked.

“Yeah, are you ready?” he asked her, tightening his grip on the feather.

“Can I hold onto you?” she asked.

“W-what?” Bakugou blinked, thinking he hadn’t heard her right.

“Can I hold onto you?” Kia asked again.
“Uhm…sure,” Bakugou said, not exactly sure how she was going to hold onto him. She took a step closer and brought her hands over his shoulders and locked her fingers together behind his neck.

“Ok,” she said, looking him in the eyes. “I’m ready.”

“You sure?” Bakugou asked, holding her gaze.

“Yes…now will you just -- EEP!” Kia squeaked as he pulled out the feather.

“Did you just squeak?” Bakugou snorted.

“Shut up! That fucking hurt!” Kia said resting her head against his chest.

“Some dragon you are,” he sneered, laughter shaking his shoulders.

“Screw you, Explosion Boy,” Kia growled, looking up at him.

“What the hell did you call me?” Bakugou snapped.

“You heard me, Explosion Boy,” she snickered, letting go of him.

“Don’t you dare call me that!” he blustered.

“Aw, come on, B, I think it’s kinda cute!” she teased.

“Get your scaly butt on the bike before I leave you here,” Bakugou threatened.

“Wait, I still have to get the bullet out,” Kia laughed.

“It’s still stuck?” Bakugou asked, grabbing a hold of her wing again. Sure enough, the bullet was still stuck in her wing. They could just see it better now. Kia reached out with a claw and started to pull on it.

“It’s like having a bad sliver,” she said. With a hard tug it finally came out, and two of her scales fell to the ground. Kia stuck the bullet into one of the pockets of her belt while Bakugou bent down and picked up the fallen scales.

He held them in his palm and looked at them closely. They were small, just a little bigger than the tip of his finger. They were thin and smooth and weighed almost nothing. The edges weren’t sharp like he imagined they would be. In his other hand he still held her feather. It was almost as long as his arm and he held it out in front of him to get a better look at it. The light flashed over it, causing the pearlescent purple color to shimmer in hints of blue and green. Her scales shone with the same hue and he wondered what she looked like as a dragon.

“Here,” Kia said, and Bakugou tipped the scales into her outstretched hand, and then handed over her feather.

“What are you going to do with them?”

“Usually I destroy them, why?”

Bakugou shrugged as he walked over to his bike. He picked up his gloves and started putting them back on. Kia put her scales into her pocket and set the feather down. She then picked up one of his gauntlets and held it out for him. He stuck his hand into the accessory and locked it into place while Kia grabbed the other one. While he finished hooking up his other gauntlet, Kia put on her helmet and grabbed the feather. Bakugou grabbed his own helmet and put it on before getting on the bike. Kia placed a hand on his shoulder, wincing slightly as she put all her weight on her right leg and swung her left over the bike. Bakugou fired up the bike and took off towards the agency.

He pulled his bike into the agency garage and parked it in his designated spot. Kia got off and Bakugou saw that her hip was coated in fresh blood again. “Tch, not as bad as it looks, huh?” he growled as he got off the bike. He took off his helmet and set it on his bike before grabbing Kia by the wrist.

“Hey! What the hell, B?” she exclaimed as he started dragging her to the door.

“We are going to take care of that fucking bullet wound!” Bakugou glared back at her.

Kia stopped and jerked her wrist from his grip. “You need to take a freaking chill pill. I’m not bleeding out. Let me put away the damn helmet. And the first thing I’m gonna do is take a shower. I don’t know if you noticed, but I smell like sulfur.”

Bakugou continued to glare as he watched Kia walk over and put away the helmet. She had a slight limp when she walked and that just seemed to piss him off more.

“Come on,” Bakugou snapped as she made her way back to him.

“Quit ordering me around, Bakugou,” Kia warned with a growl.

They left the garage and headed to the locker rooms. The air between them was thick with irritation at one and other. When they reached the hallway leading to the women’s locker rooms, Bakugou kept stomping in the direction of the men’s. “Wait for me here when you are done and I will take you to the clinic,” he hollered.

Kia rolled her eyes before heading into the locker room. She grabbed her shower bag, towel and a change of clothes. Then stowed her feather and utility belt in the locker before heading to a shower stall. Taking off what was left of her costume, she dropped it into a heap on the floor and stepped into the water. She washed her hair and body, gently wiping the wound on her hip. She noticed it was a little deeper than she originally thought. She dried herself off then pulled on a t-shirt and a pair of loose sweats. Her wound was still bleeding a bit so she grabbed a clean hand towel, folded it, and stuck it in the waistband of her pants. When she left the locker room, she could see Bakugou brooding at the end of the hall.

Bakugou looked up when she reached him. “Let’s go.”

%%%%%

Nina walked into Jeanist’s office to hand him some paperwork he needed to fill out.

“Do you know if Ground Zero and Wildside have made it back yet?” Jeanist asked his assistant.

“I’m not sure, but I can go find out for you, sir,” Nina replied.

“Please do. Thank you, Nina,” Jeanist said.

Nina exited the office and pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. She dialed the front desk and waited for the receptionist to answer. “Hello! Thank you for calling Genius Agency. How may I direct your call?”

“Yes, this is Nina. I was wondering if Ground Zero and Wildside have checked back in yet.”

“Just a moment, please,” Nina could hear the click of a keyboard in the background. “Records show that they came back through the garage about 15 minutes ago,” the receptionist said.

“Thank you!” Nina said before hanging up her phone. She then made her way towards the hero offices to see if Bakugou and Kia were in theirs. To her disappointment she found their office empty. “Excuse me, have you seen Ground Zero and Wildside?” she asked a couple of heroes passing by in the hall.

“I just saw them down at the locker rooms. He said something about taking her to the clinic,” one of them replied.

“Thank you!” Nina nodded before heading to the elevator.

%%%%%

Bakugou and Kia made it to the clinic in silence. Kia had never been there before and she was surprised to see how big it was. Six beds lined one wall, while cabinets lined the other. There were two doors at the other end that she guessed led to an exam room of some kind.

Bakugou made his way over to the cabinets and started pulling supplies out. Kia moved over to stand by a large sink. Bakugou appeared at her side and started to wash his hands. When he was done, he dried them and pulled a pair of gloves from a container on the counter.

“Let me see,” he said as he grabbed a stool and sat down on it next to her. Kia leaned against the counter and pulled one side of the waistband of her pants down while Bakugou held onto the towel. “Hold you shirt up,” he said.

“Do you ever say please?” Kia asked as she grabbed her shirt. Bakugou looked up at her with a glare before turning back to the towel. He pulled it away from the wound to find blood still oozing from where the graze tore through the curve of her butt.

“Its deeper than I thought,” Kia said, looking over her shoulder at him. “Taking a shower kind of opened it back up again.”

“Tch,” Bakugou sounded before grabbing some gauze from the counter and pressing it on the wound. He tossed the towel into the sink. “You were reckless. What the hell do you think you were doing anyway?”

“What do you mean, what was I doing? I was saving someone who was in trouble! Or did you forget that I’m a hero?” she asked looking at him sternly.

Bakugou glared up at her. “You show up looking half barbequed, and then you get shot! How the hell is that not reckless?”

“First of all, the only thing barbequed was my costume, and second, I was dodging the bullets. That is why I only have a graze wound. I can take care of myself, B,” Kia replied.

“You should have just stayed behind the damn barrier after you got hurt!” Bakugou continued, raising his voice.

“And what, leave you alone to face that villain? Did you forget that it took both of us to take him down?” Kia snapped back.

“Damn it!” Bakugou yelled. Kia could see that he was fuming, but his hands remained gentle on her hip. “You’re my partner! You shouldn’t have gotten hurt! Why can’t you just trust me to handle it?” he asked.

“Yeah, I am your partner, B. It is my job to have your back, not just be protected by you!” Kia replied. “You could have just as easily gotten hurt.”

“You should have just trusted me and let me protect you!” Bakugou shouted. Needing more gauze to press against her wound he stood up while keeping his hand in place on her hip and reached in front of her to grab more.

Kia turned her head to look him in the eyes. “I am leaning against a counter while you have your hand on my ass. You really think I don’t trust you?” she asked.

Bakugou glanced down at her and immediately became aware of how close they were. Their faces were just a hair’s breadth apart and he could see every speck of green in her eyes. He was about to say something when the door opened.

“Hey, have you seen…? “ Nina started as she walked through the door and froze when she saw the two heroes together. Nina gasped and put her hand to her chest. Her face turned bright red before she promptly fainted.

Bakugou and Kia stared in shock at the unconscious assistant on the floor. “Holy shit! Nina! We need to see if she is ok!” Kia snapped out of her shock. Bakugou grabbed Kia’s hand and put it on her hip before taking off the gloves and walking over to Nina. He knelt down and checked her pulse. “Is she ok?” Kia asked.

“It doesn’t look like she hit her head and her breathing is fine,” Bakugou replied. He then carefully picked up Nina and moved her to one of the beds.

“Why is she mumbling about babies?” Kia asked confused.

“What?” Bakugou asked looking back at her.

“She keeps saying ‘babies’,” Kia said, pointing at the assistant. Bakugou leaned down to listen. Sure enough the assistant kept muttering the word babies over and over. He grabbed a small light from the counter and checked her pupils.

“Who knows? She seems perfectly fine, but we should probably call Jeanist,” Bakugou said as he walked back over to Kia. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and called their boss. After a quick explanation of what had happened Bakugou stuck his phone back in his pocket and sat back on the stool. “He said he will be right down,”

“You sure we should just leave her laying there?”

“I checked her out and everything seems fine. Except that she might have a screw loose.”

A giggle escaped Kia and she covered her mouth with one hand. “Not funny, B,” she said, bopping him in the forehead.

“You’re the one laughing,” he grinned.

“Hopefully she isn’t sick or anything,” Kia said.

“If she is, then rest is the best thing for her. Let’s see if you’re still bleeding,” Bakugou said as he started pulling the gauze off her wound. Kia watched as her surly partner gently cleaned the wound on her hip. The sour look on his face did not match the soft touch of his fingers.

Once it was clean, Bakugou could see the wound itself was a little over 12 cm long. It started out shallow at the hip, then got deeper and tore through some muscle at the end. “You’re gonna need stitches,” he said as he placed his hand next to the deepest part of the wound.

“I figured as much,” Kia sighed.

The door to the clinic opened again and Jeanist walked in, pausing when he saw the two heroes together. “Well that explains it,” the fiber hero said before closing the door and walking over. “What happened? Are you ok?” he asked Kia.

“Aren’t you worried about Nina?” Kia asked.

“Where is she?” Jeanist inquired.

“Over there,” Bakugou gestured over his shoulder.

Jeanist turned around and went over to check on his assistant. After checking her pulse and breathing, he straightened up with a sigh. “She will be ok,”

“Do you have any idea why she would be muttering about babies?” Kia asked.

“Babies?” Jeanist asked confused.

“Yeah, ever since she fainted, she has been muttering about babies,” Kia explained.

Jeanist looked back and forth between the two heroes and his assistant. He noticed where Bakugou’s hands were and put two and two together. “I wouldn’t worry about her. She will probably be in a really good mood when she comes to.”

“You sure?” Kia asked.

“I’m positive, now what happened to you?” Jeanist asked gesturing to Kia.

“She got shot,” Bakugou growled.

Kia rolled her eyes and glared down at her partner. “I’m fine, it is just a graze.”

“You fucking need stitches!” he growled back at her.

“Well then stitch it!” Kia said with a bite in her tone.

“Huh?” Bakugou looked at her, shocked

“Stitch it. You learned emergency first aid, didn’t you?” Kia asked.

“It looks like it could scar. Are you sure you don’t want to have a professional to take care of that?” Jeanist asked.

“It is kinda pointless for me to worry about scars,” Kia muttered, ignoring their concerned looks

“That may be, but there is no reason for you to have more,” Jeanist said. “Here, allow me to stitch it for you,” Jeanist said as he moved to wash his hands in the sink.

Bakugou got up from where he sat and let Jeanist take his seat. He could see Kia visibly tense as Jeanist put on a pair of gloves and examined her wound. She really doesn’t like to be touched. Why didn’t she tense when I touched her? Bakugou thought to himself.

Jeanist then sutured the wound closed while Kia leaned against the counter. Bakugou was impressed when the heroine didn’t even flinch as Jeanist started stitching. It didn’t take the pro hero long, and he had the wound pulled together in a tight stitch. Kia looked down at Jeanist work. “I shouldn’t be surprised that you are good at stitching. Thank you, sir.”

“You are welcome. In the future I do hope you can avoid any injuries,” Jeanist said, taking off his gloves.

“I will do my best, sir,” Kia replied bowing her head.

“Tch,” Bakugou rolled his eyes.

Kia glared at her partner and Jeanist sighed. “Bakugou, will you please finish bandaging Miss Hales’ hip for me? I’m going to check on Nina.”

“I can handle it myself, sir,” Kia interjected.

“Just shut up and stand there!” Bakugou yelled. A growl escaped Kia as she and Bakugou glared at each other. Jeanist sighed again as he walked over to the bed Nina occupied. He sat down on the chair and started checking her again while he listened to the two heroes bicker.

“I told you to stop ordering me around, B,” Kia growled.

“I told you to shut up,” Bakugou growled back.

“You know, you can really be a pain in the—OUCH!” Kia exclaimed. Bakugou had squeezed her hip before she could finish her sentence. “You jerk!” She retaliated by tugging on his hair.

“Just hold still and let me bandage this!” Bakugou snapped. The two fell silent as they both pouted. Bakugou finished bandaging Kia’s hip and stood up. Kia slipped the waist band of her pants back up into place and helped Bakugou pick up and clean the counter top. They didn’t say a word to each other as they worked. Once done, Bakugou left the clinic, slamming the door open as he went. Kia turned and nodded to Jeanist before leaving the clinic herself.

Nina’s eye snapped open once the door shut and she sat up in the bed. “That didn’t go how I was expecting it to,” she frowned.

“How long have you been awake?” Jeanist asked his assistant.

“Since you got here,” she replied. “You should have seen them! They were this close!” Nina said holding her hands close together.

“You got over excited, didn’t you?” Jeanist asked.

“I couldn’t help it! I thought they were going to kiss!” Nina threw her hands in the air. “Now they are fighting,” she pouted, crossing her arms.

Jeanist shook his head at her woes. “I wouldn’t be too worried. I think they will work it out.”

“What makes you so sure?” Nina asked.

“Right now their pride is in the way but I think Bakugou’s anger stems from his concern for his partner. Miss Hales is the type to want to settle an argument. They will come to terms,” Jeanist smiled.

“I hope you are right,” Nina sighed.

%%%%%

Kia stared at Bakugou’s back, trying to figure out why he was so mad at her. He had called her reckless and asked why she didn’t take cover after getting hurt. She didn’t think she had acted recklessly and she had never given up on a fight. Yeah, she had to get stitches, but her injury hadn’t hampered her abilities at all, and she certainly hadn’t slowed him down. She had done what she always had and focused on finding a way to take down the villain. It wasn’t her fault he didn’t listen and work with her. Kia couldn’t wrap her mind around it. His words were harsh and said with such anger.

Bakugou glanced over his shoulder at her, still glaring. She gave him a questioning look but he just clicked his tongue and walked faster. Kia sighed and followed after him, still pondering how she could clear the air with her partner.

When they got to the office, Bakugou walked over and angrily sat down in his chair. The tension between them was making Kia’s scales itch. She sat down at her own desk. I still don’t understand why he is so angry. It isn’t like he got hurt, she thought, and that was when it hit her. How would she feel if their situations were reversed?

“Hey… you were worried about me weren’t you?” Kia asked.

“What?” Bakugou glared at her.

“When I was at Spotlight’s agency I was always put in charge of a group. I always was the one taking charge of situations and leading the others. It was that way in high school and before that too. I’m not used to working closely with another alpha,” Kia said.

“What are you trying to say?” Bakugou growled.

“I’ve never had a partner that I viewed as my equal. They have always been heroes that are on a lower level then me, someone Spotlight wanted me to babysit,” Kia clarified. “You are different. You are my equal. I’m not used to having someone who is so capable of taking the lead. I’ve always been the leader. I guess I need to work on learning to follow.”

Bakugou stared at her, waiting for her to continue.

“I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m sorry I worried you. I’ll work on it,” she smiled.

“Tch, who said I was worried,” Bakugou muttered, turning back to his computer.

They spent the rest of the day working on paperwork. Since she had only fought two villains, Kia finished before Bakugou did. Bakugou had to fill out reports for each villain he had stopped. He ended up on the phone with one of the policemen that had been following him so he could account for each villain.

It was still pretty early in the day and Kia texted Mina to see if she was still up for hanging out. “Hey, B, do you want me to hang around and help you with your paperwork, or can I take off?” Kia asked.

Bakugou was still on the phone when she asked and he looked up at her and waved his hand to tell her to go ahead and leave. She waved goodbye before grabbing her bag and leaving the office. She texted Mina to let her know she had to stop by her apartment and change before she met up with her.

Kia got to her apartment and quickly got on some fresh clothes. She grabbed a shoulder bag from the back of her closet and put her phone and wallet inside it. What all do I need to get? she thought as she left her room. She walked into her kitchen and opened the cupboard. I could definitely use some more dishes. She left her apartment and took a bus to the mall where she was to meet the others. Mina had texted her and said Ochaco and Toru would be joining them.

Kia walked into the mall and saw the three waiting for her by the fountain in the center. “Thanks for inviting me!” she said as she made her way to them.

“Of course! I have wanted to hang out with you more!” Ochaco said.

“This will be so much fun!” Toru cheered. “Is there anywhere you all want to go?”

“I want to check out a few of the clothing stores,” Mina said.

“I need to find some more dishes for my apartment. I don’t have enough if I have company come over. I wouldn’t mind looking at some new clothes, too,” Kia added.

“Alright then, let’s go look at clothes first,” Mina said.

Kia chatted with Ochaco while they followed Mina and Toru to one of their favorite stores. They perused the shelves while getting to know one and other. Mina and Toru picked out a few items to buy and then they all left to look at a couple more stores. They were passing by one store when Toru stopped.

“Hey, guys! Look at this!” Toru exclaimed, running over to the front of one of the shops. There were a few racks of t-shirts sitting outside the shop doors. Toru reached one of the racks and grabbed a shirt off of it. She turned around to show them a pink Uravity t-shirt.

“Cool! Are there any others?” Ochaco asked.

They spent the next few minutes searching through all the racks. Kia was looking through one of the racks when she came across a black t-shirt with ‘Ground Zero’ across the front in blocky letters patterned to look like grenades with a fiery explosion behind them.

“Ooo, that one actually looks pretty cool. I bet Bakugou would like it,” Ochaco said.

“Actually, I think I’m going to get it for me,” Kia said.

“Really?” Mina asked.

“Yep, I usually buy my partner’s merchandise to help support them. I would like to get some of your stuff too!” Kia replied. They spent the next half hour looking through the racks. Kia ended up buying a couple different t-shirts and even found a Ground Zero hat she decided to buy.
After looking through a couple more stores they headed to a shop that sold household items. Kia was able to find a four piece set of dishes for her apartment. She was passing by a shelf full of bowls and cups when one caught her eye. The bowl was black on the outside and the inside was a deep red color. The whole bowl was covered in thin orange lines that made it look like it was cracking and it had a cup and chopsticks to match. Kia picked up the bowl and studied it closely. This looks really cool. I wonder if B would like it, Kia thought.

Kia made her way to the counter and purchased the set and stowed them in her bag before heading to where the other three were waiting for her.
“Did you get everything you needed?” Mina asked.

“Yep,” Kia replied holding up her bags.

“Kyoka just texted me and wanted to know if we wanted to have dinner with her and Momo?” Ochaco said, looking up from her phone.

“That sounds good! What do we want to eat?” Toru asked.

“How about we grab something to eat and go back to my place?” Kia suggested.

“Are you sure about that? We wouldn’t want to impose,” Ochaco said.

“I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t sure. Besides, I would prefer sitting down at my place and getting to know you all better,” Kia smiled.

“How about we get some pizza then?” Mina suggested.

“It has been a while since I’ve had pizza. Are there any good places to get some?” Kia asked.

“There sure is! Come on, let’s have Kyoka and Momo meet us there then we will head over to Kia’s!” Mina said, leading the way

%%%%%

Bakugou got tired of sitting at his desk, so he decided to finish up his paperwork at home. After sending the files to a flash drive, he picked up his stuff and headed home. When he got to his apartment, he quickly fixed himself something to eat for dinner then sat down on his couch and started his laptop to finish his paperwork. He was getting tired of filling out the same form over and over, so he decided to see what kind of villain Kia had faced that burnt her costume so bad. He started reading her report and couldn’t believe what he was reading. He picked up his laptop and headed to the balcony to see if Kia was back yet. When he crossed to her side he was glad to see her lights were on. He opened the door, not bothering to look up as he walked in.

“Hey, Sunshine, did you really fight a lava villain?” he asked, looking at his open computer. He glanced up and froze. Momo, Mina, Ochaco, Jiro and Toru were all sitting around Kia’s coffee table with a couple pizzas open on top of it. They all stared back at him in surprise. Bakugou immediately turned around and left Kia’s apartment.

“Can you excuse me for a minute?” Kia asked the others before getting up and disappearing onto her balcony.

“Wow, Bakugou really does live next door!” Ochaco said.

“He just came over through her balcony. He didn’t knock or anything,” Jiro pointed out.

“Yeah, and Kia just went right over to his apartment,” Toru added.

“Hey…do you all want to go check out his place?” Mina asked with a mischievous grin.

%%%%%

“B, why did you just run away like a scared little kitten?” Kia asked as she stepped into his apartment.

“I did not run away like a scared kitten!” he bristled as he sat back down on his couch.

“Sure you didn’t. What did you need?” she asked.

Bakugou gave her a dirty look before answering. “I was looking over your report. Did you seriously face off against a lava villain?”
Kia walked over to look at his computer over his shoulder. While they were discussing her report, the others peeked their heads around the corner of Bakugou’s balcony door.

“Wow, it’s so clean!” Ochaco commented as she stepped through the door.

“I’m a bit surprised in his taste. He never let us into his dorm room in high school,” Toru said following her in. The girls filed in one after another to check out Bakugou’s apartment.

“Who the hell said you could come over here?” Bakugou hollered, his temper rising.

“Well the door was open,” Kyoka replied.

“What are you guys looking at?” Momo asked

“Reports from work today,” Kia replied. She had just met the creation hero, but she already liked her.

Kia and Momo stood there discussing what was in Kia’s report while the other girls looked around Bakugou’s apartment. Bakugou sat on the couch barely containing his rage.

“This place is actually really nice,” Ochaco said.

“It’s set up is similar to Kia’s, right? Then your room is down here,” Mina asked Bakugou while pointing down the hall.

“THAT’S IT! GET THE HELL OUT!” Bakugou yelled. He slammed his computer shut and stomped over to where Mina stood. “I never invited you over
or told you that you could come in!” he pointed to the balcony. “BEAT IT!”

“Fine… jeez. We will wait over at your place, ok, Kia?” Mina said as she turned to leave. The others followed her, leaving Kia standing there with a livid Bakugou.

“Sorry about that, B. I didn’t tell them they could come over,” Kia apologized.

“Tch,” Bakugou sat back down on the couch.

“I can come back here after everyone has left, or do you want to come to my place?” Kia asked. Bakugou just grumbled and went back to work on his computer. “I bought you something today. I think you will like it, but it’s gonna stay at my place,” she baited.

Bakugou glanced over at her. “Just come back over when they leave,” he replied.

“Alright, see ya later, B,” Kia chuckled.

She exited through the balcony door and shut it behind her. She entered her apartment to see all the girls huddled around Kyoka, who had her earphone jack stuck in the wall.

“So you did buy something for him today?” Mina snickered.

“Are you really going to go over there after we leave?” Toru asked.

“Do you go over there a lot?” Momo asked.

“How often does he just come over here like that?” Ochaco asked.

The girls crowded around her asking question after question. “All of you need to take like three steps back. What is with all the questions, jeez?” Kia said, feeling cornered. “What does it matter how much time we spend together? He is my partner, it’s only natural.” Kia moved around them to go sit on her couch. She picked up a piece of pizza and took a big bite, ignoring the looks she was getting. The others took seats around the coffee table.

“So what did you buy him?” Mina asked with a teasing tone.

“I bought him a bowl to use when he comes over here to eat,” Kia replied.

“How often does he come over here?” Ochaco asked.

“A couple times a week, why?” Kia replied.

“And how often do you go to his place?” Mina asked.

“Every so often, what’s the big deal?” Kia asked confused.

“So, you guys are close?” Jiro asked.

“Yeah…” Kia gave her a funny look. “Why all the questions about B?”

We are just curious about what kind of relationship you two have,” Mina said.

“He is my partner. What is there to be curious about?”

“If we didn’t come over today, would you be over at his apartment?” Momo asked.

“Well, yeah, probably. He has questions for me about my report today,” Kia answered.

“How much of your time do you spend with Bakugou outside of work?” Toru asked.

“Well…most of it, I guess. Why the hell do you all keep asking me about Bakugou? You are the ones that went to school with him, didn’t you?” Kia asked.

“Yeah, but Bakugou was never very close with any of the girls. I’m mean, Mina and Jiro hung out with him and the other guys, but they never got very close with him,” Ochaco explained.

“Yeah, and even then he acted like we were more of a bother. The only person he ever was close to was Eijiro,” Mina added.

“Really?” Kia said. “I guess I’m not surprised.”

“How do you feel about Bakugou?” Toru asked.

Chapter Text

The next day Kia and Bakugou headed to the agency early to get in a good workout. Kia started out running on a treadmill and could see Bakugou lifting weights on one of the benches in front of her. She couldn’t help but think about the conversation she had with the others the night before.

*****
“How do you feel about Bakugou?” Toru asked.

“He’s a really good hero. I’ve never had a partner like him,” Kia answered.

“No, Sweetie, she means how does he make you feel?” Mina said.

“I’m not sure what you mean,” Kia replied confused.

“Well… do you find him attractive?” Ochaco asked.

Kia paused for a moment while she thought about the question. “I’m not blind,” she muttered before taking a drink from her cup.

“So what would you think about dating him?” Mina asked and the others leaned in towards Kia.

“I don’t think it is a good idea to date your partner,” Kia answered, scowling slightly.

“You’ve never even thought about it?” Kyoka inquired.

“I really want to focus on working as a hero while I’m here. Why do you want to know if I would date Bakugou?” Kia asked while she grabbed another slice of pizza and took a big bite.

“I’ve never seen him with anyone before. He seems to really like you,” Momo replied as she took a sip from her own cup.

“Yeah right, I’m pretty sure he mostly tolerates me,” Kia laughed.

“I don’t know about that,” Mina grinned, grabbing a slice of pizza.

“And why is that?” Kia asked, raising a brow at the pink hero.

“He didn’t kick you out of his apartment.”
*****

Kia watched as Bakugou hefted the bar off its holder. His biceps strained as he started to bench press the heavy weight and Kia realized she was staring. Flustered, she turned off the treadmill she was using and switched to one that faced the other direction. She grabbed her earbuds and hit shuffle on her favorite playlist, cranking the volume up loud so the music would drown out everything around her.

Bakugou finished his reps and sat up. He noticed that Kia had moved to a different treadmill. She was running at a fast pace and seemed to be completely zoned out. Bakugou kept lifting while stealing glances over at his partner every so often. He then moved towards the punching bags and wondered why Kia was still running. From where he stood he could see her clearly, and it seemed that something was definitely on her mind.

How long has she been running like that? He wondered checking the time. Kia’s shirt was soaked with sweat and she showed no sign of slowing down. He stopped what he was doing and made his way over to her.

“Hey, Sunshine,” he called out. As he got closer he could hear her music playing. She didn’t even notice as he walked up beside her. He walked around in front of the treadmill and even then it took a couple seconds for her to notice him. Kia blinked as her eyes met his and reached out to slow down the machine.

“What’s up?” she asked as she removed her earbuds.

“I was going to ask you that,”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re the moron literally running on autopilot,” he growled

Kia slowed down the machine some more. “I just have a lot on my mind is all,” she replied looking away from him.

“Tch, well that much is obvious,” He shook his head. He scowled at her, waiting for her to elaborate.

“I’ve just been thinking about those kidnapping cases,” Kia said. Which was true, she had been thinking about the kidnappings…among other things.

“Yeah, they’ve been on my mind too.” Bakugou relaxed and Kia was relieved that he took the bait.

“I’m still stuck on just a theory. With everything that has been going on I haven’t had time to put a lot of focus into them,” Kia sighed. She slowed down the treadmill so
that she could cool down at a walk.

“Hmm,” Bakugou agreed.

“I’m waiting for more info from Derek as well,” Kia continued. Her breathing started to slow down and she grabbed the front of her shirt and used it to wipe the sweat off her face.

Bakugou leaned up against the machine. “Come over tonight and we can work on them,” he suggested.

“Alright, do you want me to make something for dinner then?” Kia smiled.

“I’ll cook,” he said as he walked away.

Kia watched as he walked back over to the punching bags. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She couldn’t believe she was letting some stupid questions get to her like that. So what if she found Bakugou attractive? Most females would. Kia took a deep breath and Bakugou’s natural scent filled her nose. She cursed her heightened senses and animal instincts as her body reacted. The smell of his quirk alone made her mouth water. What the hell is wrong with me? She wondered as her skin tingled and she bit back a growl. Turning away she headed to the opposite side of the gym to finish her workout.

A while later, they met back at their office, showered and dressed in their hero costumes. Bakugou noticed the awkwardness hanging in the air between them and how Kia seemed to be keeping her distance from him. She had hardly even looked him in the eyes that morning and it was starting to irritate him for some reason.
He was just about to call her out on it when his phone rang. Picking it up, he answered. “Ground Zero,”

“It’s Jeanist, would you and Miss Hales meet me in my office, please?”

Bakugou hung up the phone and turned to Kia. “Oi, Sunshine, Jeanist wants to see us,” Kia nodded without looking up at him and headed towards the door. Bakugou beat her there and opened it. He stood in the doorway so she would have to squeeze by him to get out.

“What are you waiting for?” Kia asked, standing back.

Bakugou scowled when she still didn’t look at him. He huffed and let the door close behind him as he started walking down the hall. Kia stayed behind him and said nothing as they headed to the elevator.

Bakugou was practically fuming when he reached the elevator. He stood glaring at the button and waited for Kia to push it. She pressed the button and stepped into the elevator. Bakugou got on and stood next to her but she moved to the other side as the doors closed. He gritted his teeth and moved to stand next to her. Again, Kia moved to the other side of the elevator. His temper was dangerously close to blowing. He was about to yell at her when he noticed she was holding her breath. That confused him enough to stifle his anger.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Bakugou asked. He knew she had a sensitive nose but she acted like he smelled bad. He had just taken a shower and his costume was clean. Plus he used the same shampoo and body wash that he always had and it never seemed to bother her before.

“I think I might just be hungry,” Kia answered.

“Hungry? Then why the hell are you holding your breath?” He looked at her funny.

“You just smell delicious and it’s making my mouth water,” Kia blatantly answered.

“Wait…what?” Bakugou asked as the elevator doors opened. He stood there in shock, wondering if he had heard her right.

“Your quirk, it smells really good and it’s making me hungry.”

“Then go fucking eat something!” Bakugou snapped as he stomped out of the elevator. He could feel his face heating up. For a second I thought… Bakugou mentally slapped himself as he barged into Jeanist’s office.

“Ah, Ground Zero, I’ve got a police report that I wanted you and Wildside to look over,” Jeanist started. He paused when he looked up and saw the two red faced heroes standing before him. He and Nina exchanged confused looks. “Is everything alright with you two?” he asked with concern.

“Yeah, Sunshine just needs someone to shove a cookie in her face,” Bakugou huffed, trying to hide his embarrassment.

“Sorry, I guess I just haven’t eaten enough,” Kia replied.

“Why does that have you two blushing?” Nina asked.

“I’m not blushing!” Bakugou snapped.

“I may have told him he smells delicious,” Kia admitted, biting her lip and blushing a little harder. She realized how it sounded after she said it.

Nina’s eyes lit up. “You think he smells delicious?”

“It’s his quirk,” Kia replied quickly. “It smells sweet… kinda like brown sugar.”

“I’ve heard that nitroglycerin has a sweet smell,” Jeanist said. “I’ve never really noticed it before, but I bet with your heightened senses you probably would pick up on that.”

Nina walked around the desk and up to Bakugou, who tensed up as she sniffed him. “You know I think he does have a slight sweet smell,” Nina said.

“Really?” Jeanist said walking around the desk to give Bakugou a sniff. “You’re right, he does smell a little like brown sugar,” the older hero said.

“Maybe a little like caramel!” Nina exclaimed.

“I know right?” Kia grinned.

“ENOUGH! I don’t remember telling any of you that you could fucking smell me!” Bakugou yelled and took a couple steps back.

“Aww come on B, maybe since you smell like candy little kids won’t be so afraid of you,” Kia teased.

“You can go to hell!” Bakugou yelled at his partner. “Did you call us up here to look at a police report or what?” he snapped at Jeanist.

“Yes, I did,” Jeanist cleared his throat. “This came across my desk this morning. The local hospitals and police have been coming across cases of a new drug that boosts one’s quirk. So far they have a dozen cases of people who have all presented the same symptoms. All the victims have exhibited increased aggression, a boost in quirk capabilities, heightened senses and an unawareness of what they are doing. As of now no one has gotten hurt and the damage has been minimal. The drug also only seems to last for about an hour and none of the victims remember taking anything. Another thing is the diversity of the victims… young, old, men, women, different kinds of quirks. All of the hero agencies have been asked to help out with these cases.”

“Sounds like someone is testing out this new drug to see how it affects different people,” Bakugou said as he took the file from Jeanist.

“Exactly, the main problem they are having is that there is hardly any trace of the drug in the victims’ systems so doctors haven’t been able to pinpoint what is causing the reactions,” Jeanist added.

“Blood tests haven’t revealed anything?” Kia asked, looking at the file in Bakugou’s hands.

“No toxins or anything odd has been found,” Jeanist answered.

“Have they tested different hormone levels?” Kia asked.

“The files don’t include the all the test results but I’m sure I could get them for you if you would like?” Jeanist sat down in his chair while Nina pulled out a paper for him to look at.

“If you wouldn’t mind. How long ago was the last victim afflicted?” Kia asked.

“Two days ago, and all the victims are being monitored for any irregularities.”

“Are the names of the victims being released?” Bakugou asked.

“Not yet,” Nina answered.

“That is all we know so far. The number of the officer in charge is in that file if you want to contact him with any more questions,” Jeanist said.

“Alright, we will take it back to our office and look it over,” Kia said as Bakugou closed the case file in his hands.

“Please keep me informed of your findings,” Jeanist said.

“Yes, sir,” Kia replied as she turned to follow Bakugou out of the office.

The door closed behind them and Nina turned to Jeanist with a big grin across her face. “So she thinks he smells delicious?”

“How did I know you were going to want to talk about that?” Jeanist sighed.

%%%%%

The two heroes got back to their office and Bakugou immediately took the file to his desk and sat down. Kia hesitated before grabbing her chair and moving it over to his desk. I’m being ridiculous, she thought.

She sat down across from him and glanced at his face. He was completely absorbed in reading the case file on his desk. His eyebrows were slightly furrowed in his usual scowl and his lips were set in a small frown. He must have felt her gaze on him because he looked up at her. His fierce gaze was still set in a scowl and Kia once again admired the color of his irises.

“So, you are gonna fucking look at me now?” he remarked.

The challenge in his eyes made Kia’s skin prickle and her chest tighten. She could feel her dragon side stir, excited for the thrill of a strong opponent. She smiled, “Well I guess if I have to, I can suffer through that scowl.”

Bakugou scoffed and rolled his eyes before turning back to the file. “It doesn’t look like the police have been able to find any connections between the victims. They have hardly any evidence at all!” he growled.

“What are the victim’s symptoms again?” Kia asked.

“Aggression, increased physical abilities, increased quirk abilities, out of control behavior, and the victims couldn’t recall anything after the drug left their system.”

“Sounds like a typical enhancer drug,” Kia said. “I’ve seen many different kinds back in the states. It can be hard to differentiate one from another which makes it even harder to find the source.”

“Ever seen one like this?” Bakugou asked.

“Yeah, but not one that doesn’t leave a trace in the user’s system. A lot of the ones I’ve seen have used some kind of toxin or hormone in large quantities and leaves a definite trace.” Kia folded her hands behind her head and leaned back in her chair as she thought. There where all kinds of enhancement drugs in the U.S. and her old agency dealt with users on a pretty regular basis. “We are going to have to wait for Jeanist to get a hold of the blood work report before we can brainstorm anymore,” she sighed.

“Tch, more damn waiting,” Bakugou growled.

“I know it is a pain, but we will have to do what we can until we can get more info. We will just keep a closer eye out for anything similar to these cases while we are out on patrol.”

“Tch, let’s just get out and patrol. It won’t do us any good sitting around here waiting.” Bakugou put the file in his desk drawer and stood up.

Kia smiled at him. She understood his frustration. It was driving her crazy not being able to get anywhere with the cases, they had been given. Derek was doing everything he could to get her more info on the kidnapping cases and the people behind it seemed to be hiding out since they busted one of their store houses… that or they were being even more careful. Kia had been checking to see if there were any reports of missing people but none had been reported. Now with so little information on the drug cases, she was starting to feel like they had reached a wall. It sucked waiting for something to happen.

Kia put her chair back behind her desk and followed Bakugou to the garage. “Hey, maybe we should split up today,” she said as they reached his bike.

“Huh?” Bakugou turned, giving her a look.

“We will cover more ground that way,” Kia offered.

Bakugou didn’t say anything as he glared at his motorcycle. “You’re right,” he grumbled. “I will patrol on my bike.”

“And I will take to the sky, we can plan our routes so we can easily get to each other,” Kia said.

They stood there and decided which routes they would take and where and when they would meet up during the day. Bakugou opened the garage door and started up his bike. Kia moved outside the door and transformed, stretching out her wings.

“Make sure your radio works before you take off,” Bakugou said as he pulled up next to her.

“Yes, sir,” Kia said sarcastically while he put on his helmet. “Can you hear me ok?” she asked, turning on her radio. Bakugou nodded before revving up his engine and taking off down the alley. Kia took off and with a couple strokes of her wings she rose high into the sky. She could see Bakugou making his way down the street as she turned in the opposite direction.

Kia moved through the air with ease, the muscles of her back and shoulders stretched in a pleasing way as her wings carried her through the sky. They planned on reaching certain places in the city before meeting up around noon.

Kia glided along her patrol route, sweeping low every now and then to get a closer look at something. She took extra care to check out known problem areas as well as keeping a close eye out for anything odd in other areas. The day was proving to be a regular day. Bakugou stopped a couple of purse snatchers and Kia was able to save a small boy who ran out into traffic. Nothing appeared out of the norm as they met up for lunch.

They were sitting outside a small restaurant eating when a few kids came running up to their table.

“Ground Zero and Wildside! So cool!” A young boy exclaimed. He looked to be about middle school age and with him were a younger girl and an even younger boy.

“I’m so sorry to bother you but they really wanted to meet you,” their mother apologized with a bow.

“It’s ok,” Kia smiled as she turned in her seat. “We always have time for fans!” The two younger kids crowded around her and started asking her a million questions.
Bakugou leaned back in his chair and watched as his partner entertained the youngsters. He glanced over at the older boy who stood a little straighter. “Hey, kid, you make sure to help your mom keep an eye on your siblings.”

“Yes, Ground Zero, sir!” the boy said standing even straighter.

A smile crossed his mom’s face. “Such a considerate hero, do you like kids?” she purred.

Kia snorted and Bakugou glared over at her. She had transformed and one of the younger kids had a hold of one of her curved horns while the other marveled at the scales on her arm. Kia had rolled up her sleeve and Bakugou could see the bracelet her father sent her, hiding the scars on her wrists.

They answered the kids’ questions while their mother made eyes at Bakugou. Once they left Kia was trying to smother a laugh as she turned to face her partner. “Do you like kids?” she giggled.

“Tch,” Bakugou huffed while looking away.

“Seriously, now I’m curious, do you like kids?” Kia asked honestly.

“Other people’s snot-nosed brats? Most of them are annoying and whine too damn much. You obviously like the little brats. Do you want kids?” Bakugou asked.

Kia looked at him in surprise. “You’re asking if I want to have kids?”

Bakugou blushed slightly when he realized that was indeed what he had asked her. “You don’t have to answer,” he growled.

“No, its ok, I’m just surprised. I didn’t think that was something you would ask,” Kia admitted. “I like kids, but I’m not sure if I can have kids.”

“What do you mean you can’t?”

“When I was younger… I got hurt… bad and the doctors don’t know exactly how much internal damage was done so…”

Kia stared off into the crowd but Bakugou could see the sadness in her eyes. “How did you get hurt?” he asked, and the look in Kia’s eye’s hardened into something else. Anger, maybe even fear, Bakugou wasn’t sure.

“I wasn’t doing what I was told, so I was punished,” Kia replied. Her whole body went rigid and she had a far-away look in her eyes, like she was caught in a memory.

“Anyway…It’s not a big deal.” She shook her head and smiled at him. “I’d have to find a mate first, and I’m too busy with work right now to even think about dating.”

Her answer wasn’t what Bakugou had expected. She was punished? Obviously it happened when she was captured by villains but as usual she didn’t give any specifics. What the hell happened to her? Bakugou thought. “You said you have scarring, did you mean internal?”

“Uh, yeah, everything seems to be working correctly and I don’t have any health issues in that regard. My doctor said it looked like I was really lucky. The external scar I have makes it look worse,” she said.

“External scar?” Bakugou asked, hoping she would share more.

“It’s an ugly one. It starts here and curves around my back.” She pointed to a spot below her belly button. “Anyway, this talk is making my lunch taste bad. How about we get back to work?” Kia changed the subject.

“Yeah,” Bakugou muttered.

Kia walked over to pay for their meal while Bakugou threw away their garbage. She then met him next to where he had parked his bike. “So, unless I run into any trouble, I will call you in a couple hours, kay?” Kia said as she transformed. People walking by stopped to admire the glitter of her feathers and scales.

“Yeah, yeah,” Bakugou muttered as he started his bike. Kia flew up into the air as he turned onto the street.

Bakugou watched as she flew out of sight. He weaved his way through traffic, keeping an eye out for anything but his thoughts kept going back to his partner. She was on his mind a lot lately and he found himself getting flustered over it. “Tch.” He sped up, trying to distract himself.

%%%%%

The afternoon dragged on as they spent the whole day patrolling the city. Bakugou was pulled over in a busy part of town checking in with Kia when he heard a familiar voice call out to him.

“Hey, Ground Zero!”

Bakugou turned around to see Kirishima and Kaminari walking towards him.

“What are you two idiots doing here?”

“Patrolling just like you are,” Kirishima said. “Did you guys get informed about the new enhancer drug on the street?”

“Yeah,” Bakugou replied.

“Hey, where is Kia?” Kaminari asked.

“We split up for today, figured we could cover more ground,” Bakugou said as he put the kickstand down on his bike.

“Aww, man, I was hoping we would get to see her,” Kaminari whined.

“You two get any leads on the enhancer drug?” Bakugou changed the subject.

“So far, no,” Kirishima frowned, crossing his arms. “We haven’t seen any evidence of it at all.”

“Maybe whoever was testing it out decided to give up,” Kaminari said enthusiastically.

“Not likely,” Kirishima frowned.

“I bet things are going to escalate from here,” Bakugou said looking across the crowded street.

“What do you mean?” Kaminari asked.

“Just think about it. If they dose someone with a dangerous quirk in a crowded area like this, people might get hurt, or worse,” Kirishima pointed out.

“That would be bad,” Kaminari frowned.

“No shit, Dunce Face,” Bakugou snapped. “We gotta keep on the lookout and catch this guy before he gets anymore ideas.”

A scream sounded from the crowd and the three of them spun around to see what had happened. A woman stood pointing and screaming at a man that was knelt on the ground.

“Someone, please, help my husband! He’s been shot!” she yelled.

Bakugou bolted from his bike and headed to the man, closely followed by Kirishima and Kaminari.

“Sunshine,” Bakugou called over his radio.

“What’s up?” Kia answered. Bakugou gave her his location and told her to head over. “I will be there as fast as I can,” she said. Bakugou made it to the man who was writhing on the ground.

“Sir, where have you been hit?” Kaminari asked as they approached him. As the electric hero reached out to touch the man, he lunged upward, flailing and hit Kaminari, knocking him across the street. Bakugou and Kirishima jumped away from the man.

“Chargebolt!” Kirishima called out to his partner.

“I’m ok,” Kaminari answered as he stood up from where he had fallen.

“Look alive you two,” Bakugou snapped as he focused on the man. The civilian was breathing hard as he got to his feet.

“Sweetheart?” the woman called out as she took a step towards her husband.

“Get back!” Kirishima called out and the woman stopped.

The man stood up and they could clearly see a small dart sticking out of his chest. The man grabbed it and flung it into the crowd before screaming at the top of his lungs and running straight towards the heroes.

Kirishima rushed forward to stop the civilian while Bakugou blasted over to his wife and got her to safety.

“Everyone clear the area!” Bakugou ordered to those who stood by watching the incident. Kaminari was doing the same thing on the other side of the street. As spectators turned to leave there was the sound of something whistling through the air and four more civilians hit the ground as darts struck them.

“Shit,” Bakugou said as he headed back to where Kirishima was fending off the first victim.

“We need to find out where the shots came from,” Bakugou called out.

The man Kirishima was trying to hold back began to swell in size, quickly growing much larger than the red hero. The man’s features began to change as his nose lengthened in to a trunk and tusks sprouted from his mouth and his skin turned gray and thick. The man used his trunk to pick Kirishima up and throw him across the street. Bakugou looked around at the other victims to see they were changing too. The man closest to him swelled as he turned into a blue blob that proceeded to ooze its why towards the crowd. Another dropped on all fours, his dog like features becoming more prominent as he howled angrily. Wind whipped around another like a tornado while the fourth sprouted thorn like protrusions from her fingers.

The elephant man trumpeted before charging towards Kirishima. Bakugou rushed towards him, firing off a blast to try and keep him from trampling his friend.
About that time the police showed up and surrounded the area. They were trying to figure out what to do with the blob while a couple armored policemen tried to corner the dog man. Kaminari was facing off against the thorn woman and was so far holding his own.

Kirishima stood up and dusted himself off before running to Bakugou’s side.

“Well, what now? Can we really attack them? They are civilians after all,” Kirishima said. The elephant man shook his massive head and turned toward the two heroes.

“Do you think you can stop him?” Bakugou asked.

“We’re about to find out,” Kirishima said as he hardened his body.

Chairs started flying at them from the right and Bakugou blasted them away. The wind user was advancing on them, using their power to throw anything at them that wasn’t fixed to the street.

“I’ll take this one and you handle the elephant,” Bakugou ordered.

“Sounds like a plan,” Kirishima agreed.

Bakugou turned to face the wind user whose eyes looked half crazed. Crap, how are we supposed to stop these guys? We can’t harm civilians even if they are out of control, he thought. The wind user cackled and shot bursts of wind at Bakugou, who used his AP shot to block them.

The elephant man bellowed and charged at Kirishima, who dodged. The elephant missed and crashed into the side of a building, causing bystanders to scream. The man unburied himself from the building and turned, clearly even angrier than before and he started to grow even larger.

“What the hell!” Kirishima exclaimed. He was now faced with a mad, raging elephant that was four times his size. The elephant man attacked and Kirishima dodged. “How are we supposed to stop these guys?” Kirishima called out, looking at the giant crater where he had just stood.

“Figure it out!” Bakugou yelled. He was having enough trouble with the wind user. Winds blew around him outwardly, making it hard for Bakugou to get close to him. If he wasn’t careful, his blasts would be blown away and could start fires or hurt those who hadn’t cleared the area.

He let loose a blast as the wind user shot a large gust at him. Where the hell is Sunshine? Just as he had that thought, a purple blur rocketed out of nowhere and punched its way through the winds before tackling the person at the center. Kia’s wings flared out wide behind her as she locked the wind user in a binding hold.

“B!” she yelled. Bakugou then realized she was using her wings to buffer the winds, creating a gap where he could get in close.

“Hell yeah!” He grinned as he blasted his way into the gap his partner made for him. Pulling a pair of quirk suppressing cuffs out of his belt, he cuffed the man, immediately cutting down the force of the winds so Kia could take him to the ground.

“Take him, I will help Red Riot,” Kia said as Bakugou knelt beside her. Bakugou grabbed hold of the wind user and watched as Kia flew to Kirishima’s side.

“Red!” Kia shouted.

Kirishima turned and saw her flying towards him. Nodding he got ready to take the elephant man’s attack. Kia landed beside him and braced herself while they each grabbed one of the man’s tusks. Barring down, they strained against his strength, trying to hold him in place. Unfortunately they underestimated his strength and with a flick of his head he sent them flying through a window. Kia emerged first, shaking the glass from her feathers.

“He is strong,” Kirishima said as he walked up next to her.

“Are you strong enough to stop him?” Kia asked.

“No, I can stand up against his charges without breaking, but I don’t think I will be able to actually stop him,” Kirishima answered, preparing for the next charge.

“Tch, I guess I don’t have a choice,” Kia said.

“You’re starting to sound like Bakugou,” Kirishima chuckled. “What do you have in mind?”

“Go help the police. I can stop this guy. Just make sure the area is clear,” Kia said fixing her eyes on the elephant man.

“Are you crazy?” Kirishima asked.

“Just go,” Kia snapped. The elephant man bellowed and headed towards her. Kia ran forward to meet him.

Bakugou was just turning the wind user over to the police when the elephant man bellowed. He turned to see his partner rushing the elephant. He immediately sank into position to blast his way to her but stopped. As she ran, Kia’s body changed. Her limbs lengthened and her claws grew longer and bigger. When she arrived she had only transformed enough to use her wings and tail to fly, but now, she was completely covered in scales, spikes stuck out along her spine and horns adorned her head. She had also gotten bigger and was half the size of the elephant man as she met him head on.

They collided and Kia grabbed the man’s tusks with her front claws. The claws on her feet dug into the pavement as she strained to hold the elephant man in place. The man bellowed a reached forward with his trunk to grab Kia but she used her tail to restrain it. The man bellowed again, sinking down to his hands to try and push Kia back but she held strong. The man strained harder, pushing into Kia with everything had, but she pushed back. Kia’s teeth were gritted with the effort and Bakugou could see they had lengthened into fangs. It was the most transformed he had ever seen her.

“Hey, we need some help over here!” a police man called out.

Bakugou looked over to see they were struggling with the blob and the dog man. Kirishima had gone over to help Kaminari with the thorn woman and they were now starting to overpower her.

“Tch,” Bakugou turned away from his partner, leaving her to fight alone.

The blob seemed to be unstoppable as it just moved over anything that was in its way. One of the policemen got too close and the blob reached out, pulling him into its body. The man struggled as he slowly moved through the gelatinous mass. The blob then pushed him out and he fell to the ground, alive, but it seemed that he was paralyzed.

I’ve got to figure out a way to immobilize this thing, Bakugou thought. He moved in as close as he dared and shot a blast at the blob. The blob stopped as part of its body was basted apart but as soon as the pieces hit the ground they moved right back to the main mass.

“Shit,” Katsuki cursed out loud. “Do we have anything we could use to contain it or suck it up?” he turned to the nearest policeman.

“No, sir, we have been trying everything but we haven’t been able to stop or contain it.”

Bakugou watched the blob as it moved slowly towards them. How can I immobilize it? He racked his brain to find out a way. Then it hit him, maybe they could freeze it. He glanced back to where his partner battled the elephant. She had her hands full keeping the elephant from destroying the whole area. Can I get it closer to her? “Everybody get back!” he yelled, motioning for the police to get out of the way. He ran to the other side of the blob so it was between him and Kia before blasting it with an explosion. It split apart, splattering all over the road between them. Slowly, the blob started pulling itself together. Kia and the elephant were still locked in a battle of strength.
Getting impatient, Bakugou started blasting the individual pieces towards each other and closer to Kia, trying to keep the blast low enough that it didn’t splatter the blob but still move it closer to her.

Kia and the elephant man broke apart, both of them panting with the effort of pushing against one another. The elephant man then went down on all fours, swinging his head and trumpeting before charging Kia once again. Kia also went to all fours and let loose a roar before meeting the elephant head on once again.

Bakugou gave the blob one last blast, moving it as close to Kia as he dared. The blob was slowly pulling itself back together and Bakugou turned to Kia. She wasn’t budging as she held the elephant man in place.

“Sunshine!” Bakugou yelled as he blasted over to her. Kia looked at him and their eyes met. He gestured at the blob behind him and Kia nodded. With a roar, she pushed with her back legs, lifting the front of her opponent off the ground. Surprised, the elephant man didn’t expect it when Kia lashed out with her tail, wrapping it around his back leg and pulling it out from under him, successfully flipping him onto his back. She then let go and headed to the blob while Bakugou landed to face the elephant man, who was getting to his feet.

Kia was still walking on all fours. Once she reached the blob she opened her mouth, drawing in a deep breath before unleashing a freezing attack at the blob. Slowly the blob stopped moving until it was completely covered in ice. She could still see it moving within its icy prison. She turned back to see Bakugou blasting through the air while aiming small blasts at the elephant man. He was able to keep him in one place by distracting him with small blasts and darting around the massive brute while the elephant tried to catch him.

Kia stood up and roared a challenge at the elephant man, tearing his attention away from her partner. Once again it charged and Kia stood her ground. This time instead of catching the elephant in a locking hold she crouched, using its momentum, she was able to flip him over and slam him into the pavement. There was an ear splitting crack as one of the elephant man’s tusk broke in half. The dust cleared to reveal that he was knocked out cold. Kia threw her head back and roared her triumph to the sky while Bakugou landed next to her and looked up at his partner.

Her eyes were wild as she stood there panting. “Hey, Sunshine,” Bakugou called out and her green eyes immediately found him. She closed her eyes and shook her head as though trying to rid herself of something, then sat down and began to take calming breaths. Bakugou watched as she began to shrink and her scales and other dragon features began to disappear. Soon his partner sat at his feet smiling up at him.

“Thanks for the assist,” she grinned.

“I should be saying that to you,” he said as he held out a hand to her. She accepted his hand and let him pull her to her feet.

“That guy is going to have a hell of a headache when he wakes up,” she said looking at the elephant man, who had already begun to shrink. “Did we get them all?” she asked, looking across the street.

Kirishima and Kaminari where handing over the thorn woman, who was in suppressor cuffs but still trying to fight. Down the street a little ways, some of the police officers had the dog man surrounded but held back as he barred his fangs at them. Suddenly the dog man lunged at one of the policemen, grabbing him by the arm and knocking him down before running down the street on all fours towards Kia and Bakugou.

“They seriously can’t take care of a dog?” Bakugou snapped as he blasted his way towards the man. He reached out to grab the dog man by the scruff and was surprised when it jumped up and licked him. There was a puff of yellow smoke as Bakugou and the dog man tumbled into a pile. The dog man jumped up and kept running right past Kia, who was staring at her partner, or, at least what had been her partner. Sitting in the street surrounded by Ground Zero’s costume and wearing his shirt and mask, was a large ashy blonde colored dog.

“B?” Kia asked as she met the canine’s familiar red eyes. The dog growled before letting out a loud bark and running off after the dog man. Kia looked at the bewildered policemen who had come over to help. “You, pick up Ground Zero’s costume. I’m going after them,” Kia ordered before heading after her partner.

For a second she was worried she might have lost them until she heard barking. She turned the corner to find Bakugou had the dog man cornered and was barking and growling at him. Kia stood there, not believing what she was seeing. Her partner had been turned into a dog and chased down and cornered the one that had changed him. A couple of policemen pulled up behind her in a patrol car and got out to stand beside her.

“Wildside, is that dog really Ground Zero?” one of them asked pointing to the dog that still had Ground Zero’s shirt on.

“I’m pretty sure,” Kia said as she approached the pissed off dog. “B?”The dog spun around, saw her and started barking at her while pacing back and forth. The policemen moved in and cuffed the dog man and took him away.

Kia crouched down so she was eye level with her dog/partner. “B,” she called out again but the dog kept barking and growling. “B!” she yelled and the dog stopped and looked at her. “B, I don’t speak dog,” Bakugou began growling. “Easy boy,” Kia said calmly has she held out her hand to him. Bakugou looked at her outstretched had with confusion. He had no idea why she was acting like she was.

“B, can you understand me?” Kia asked as she eased closer to her partner.

She can’t hear what I’m saying, Bakugou thought to himself as he looked at her. “Easy boy,” Kia said again as she got closer. “B, can you understand what I’m saying?”
Bakugou stared at her unsure of how to communicate.“B, come here boy,” Kia said sweetly. Bakugou walked forwards until he reached her outstretched hand. “Good boy!” she praised him and Bakugou growled. “Its ok, easy boy,” Kia said as she reached out and stroked the fur on top of his head. Bakugou froze. Kia was petting his head and scratching his ears and it felt so good. He found himself closing his eyes and leaning into her touch.

“Hey, B,” Kia said as she took his face between her hands and looked him in the eyes. “I need to know if you can understand me. How about bark for ‘yes’ and growl for ‘no’?” Bakugou rolled his eyes before barking once. “You can understand me! That will make this so much easier,” Kia sighed. Looking him over, she ran a hand over the fur on his back. “I don’t know how this happened but we will get you changed back, ok? Here, let me help you out.” She grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled it over his head so he could step out of it. Once Kia had removed it Bakugou stood up a shook himself. “Wait, you still have you mask on,” Kia said as she reached toward him.
Bakugou tilted his head and sure enough his mask was hanging around his neck. Kia started to remove it but stopped and looked at him thoughtfully. “What are the leash laws in Japan?” she asked one of the police officers.

“All dogs are supposed to have collars and ID tags,” the officer replied.

Kia then grabbed Bakugou’s mask and retied it around his neck. “Do you think that will do for now?” Kia asked.

“Uhm, sure,” the police officer replied.

“Well, come on, B, we better get back and figure out what to do next,” Kia said as she stood up and headed back with Bakugou following after her.

Chapter Text

Kia made her way back to the square where the incident happened. She kept looking over at her now canine partner who walked beside her. If she had to guess she would say that Bakugou looked determined. Hopefully they could get the dog man to turn him back, or maybe it was only temporary and he would change back after a while.

The police officers situated the dog man in the back of one of their squad cars while another brought over the rest of Bakugou’s costume.

“Where will you be taking him?” Kia motioned to the dog man.

“More than likely we will be taking him to the same hospital as the previous cases. I will send word to your agency as soon as I know for sure,” one of the officers replied.

“Thank you,” Kia said as she took her partner’s costume and turned to Bakugou. “Now how do we get you back? You can’t exactly ride your bike.” Bakugou growled in frustration.

“I can give him a ride in my squad car,” an officer offered, gesturing to one of the cars behind him.

“What do you think, B?” Kia asked her partner.

Bakugou snorted then walked up to the officer, who then opened the car door. Bakugou hopped inside and sat down on the seat while Kia put his costume in the back. “I wonder who should take your bike back?” she said with false wonder as she closed the door.

Bakugou stood up and began to growl as Kia sauntered over to the where he had parked his motorcycle. She grabbed his helmet and threw her leg over the seat as she smirked in his direction. After she put on his helmet she idled the bike next to the squad car where her partner was bristling with rage. “See you at the agency!” She waved as she took off down the street. Bakugou sat down in the seat and growled the whole way back to the agency.

The officer followed Kia to the agency’s garage and when they arrived he quickly opened the door so that Bakugou could jump out. Bakugou strutted straight towards Kia with his fur bristling and his teeth bared. He circled the motorcycle as though he was inspecting it while Kia removed the helmet and rolled her eyes at her partner. “Don’t worry I didn’t scratch it,” she said as she put away the helmet. The police officer walked in holding Bakugou’s costume in his arms and handed it to Kia. “Thank you,” she said as she took the clothes from him. The officer nodded and headed back to his car.

Bakugou’s phone started ringing in the pocket of his pants and Kia sat his boots and gauntlets down so she could dig it out. Finally finding the device, she answered it. “Ground Zero’s phone,”

“Is it true?” Kirishima’s asked.

“Depends on what you are talking about,” Kia couldn’t keep the smile out of her voice. Bakugou’s ears perked up; he could hear Kirishima on the phone.

“We were talking to some of the officers and they said Katsuki was turned into a dog,” Kirishima said.

Bakugou shook his head ‘no’ as he stared Kia down.

“Well…” she started.

“No way! Will you send me a picture?” Kirishima asked. Kia could hear Kaminari on the other end laughing hysterically.

“That might be a challenge,” Kia laughed as Bakugou’s fur stood on end as he started growling again. She held his phone out in front of her. “Say cheese!” she smiled as she attempted to take a picture. Bakugou lunged at her and tried to grab his phone with his teeth. Kia stretched her arms high above her head as she took a couple shots while he tried to reach his phone. Kia pushed Bakugou off of her and quickly selected one of the photos to send then put the phone on speaker while she waited for Kirishima to receive it.

Kirishima must have put his phone on speaker because it was Kaminari that replied first. “Look at him, he looks so fluffy!”

“He is a lot bigger than I thought he would be,” Kirishima snickered and Bakugou barked in a rage.

“Can he hear us?” Kaminari asked.

“Yep,” Kia laughed.

“Can he still like, talk and stuff?” Kaminari asked.

“No, but he can understand what you are saying,” Kia answered.

“Who’s a good boy?” Kaminari cooed and Bakugou lost it. He started barking and growling like mad.

“Can he still use his quirk?” Kirishima asked over the noise.

Kia gave Bakugou a questioning look but he just sat down looked away angrily. “I’m gonna say no.”

“Aww, that is too bad, just think of the little grenade gauntlets! Oh, what would his new hero name be? Boom Dog?” Kaminari said excitedly.

“Explodo Pup?” Kirishima suggested.

“Nitro Fluff,” Kia added. There was a silence on the other end of the phone before Kirishima and Kaminari burst out in fits of laughter.

Bakugou trembled in anger, which made him look fluffier as his fur stood on end. He couldn’t even tell them all to go to hell. Tired of being the butt of their jokes he walked over to the door that led into the agency and sat there glaring a hole in the door.

Kia looked at her partner’s sulking form and realized that they were getting a little out of hand. “Alright guys, you’ve had your fun. I’m gonna go, talk to you later,” she said before hanging up the phone and sticking it in her pocket. She grabbed the rest of Bakugou’s costume and walked over to where he sat. “B, I’m sorry, we got a little carried away,” she apologized but Bakugou wouldn’t even look at her. She sighed and crouched down next to him, nudging his shoulder to get his attention. “I promise that I’m gonna find a way to change you back, ok?” she smiled when he looked at her. Bakugou stared at her for a minute before shaking his head and standing up. He stood on his back paws and opened the lever like handle, pushing the door open walking into the agency with Kia following behind him.

“Let’s drop your costume off at the office before we check in with Jeanist,” Kia suggested as she adjusted the load in her arms. As they walked to their office they kept getting strange looks from everyone they passed. Word must not have spread to the agency about Katsuki yet, Kia thought.

Bakugou walked up to their office door and opened it the same way he had done the door in the garage. He pushed the door open and held it so Kia could walk in. She set his costume on his desk and put his gauntlets and boots next to it. “Let’s go see if Jeanist has gotten any news,” she said and she left with Bakugou at her heels.

They reached Jeanist’s office and Kia knocked on the door. “Come in,” Jeanist called from inside. Neither he nor Nina looked up as Kia opened the door. Bakugou walked in and jumped up on one of the chairs.

“I just got a report about the enhancer drug incident. Can you two elabor-…” Jeanist started to say but he looked up to see a fluffy angry dog glaring at him. “…elaborate on what happened?”

“Long story short, one of the victims turned B into a dog,” Kia gestured to her partner.

“He is so cute!” Nina squealed as she came around the desk to look at him. She reached a hand out to pet Bakugou but he growled. “How did it happen?” Nina asked him.

“He can’t speak but he can understand what we say,” Kia walked over and leaned on the back of the chair. “He is still Bakugou on the inside.”

“Do you know how exactly it happened?” Jeanist asked as they watched Nina continue to try and pet the unamused Bakugou.

“One of the victims of the enhancer drug has a dog quirk. B had gone to help the police detain the dog man when he licked him. There was a puff of smoke and B turned into a dog. Then he chased the victim down so police could catch him,” Kia explained with a chuckle.

“Any ideas on how to change him back?” Nina asked.

“No, we came back to see if you had received any word on where they took the victims. We are hoping we can talk to the dog man. Maybe he will know how to undo it,” Kia answered and gave her partner a worried look.

“I had just received the name and address of the hospital when you got here. I will message you the address and the name of the doctor in charge,” Jeanist said as he opened his phone. “Please let me know anything you find out.”

“Yes, sir,” Kia said as she headed for the door.

“You are so soft!” Nina gushed as she finally touched Bakugou’s fur. He jumped down from the chair and headed for the door.

“Let’s stop back by the office,” Kia said as she opened the door. Bakugou headed down the hall and Kia followed him. When they got back to the office Kia went over to her computer and checked to see if there were any new emails for her. Bakugou sat by the door huffing impatiently as he waited.

“Your huffing at me is not going to make this go any faster,” Kia said. Bakugou sat there and stared at her with his ears twitching. “Let’s grab your hero ID before we go,” Kia said as she closed her email and turned off her computer. She moved over to Bakugou’s desk and grabbed his pants. It didn’t take her long to find his wallet and she stuck it in her belt next to her own. “It might be good to have it, just in case we have to explain things.” Kia opened the door and they headed out. When they got in the elevator Kia pulled out her phone to check for the address Jeanist had sent her.

“It is gonna take us a little while to get to the hospital,” Kia said as she read the address. “I doubt they are going to let you on a train or anything.” She closed her phone and looked down at him with a smile. “You couldn’t have turned into something smaller? Then I could have just carried you around in a bag!” Kia teased as they left the elevator.
Bakugou growled at her and headed for the front doors. Kia continued to laugh as she pushed open the doors and they headed down the street. “Better stay close to me, B, just in case,” Kia suggested.

Bakugou padded alongside Kia and he couldn’t help but think how weird it felt, being a dog. Since he changed, all the noises and smells were overpowering. They assaulted his senses; it was starting to get overwhelming. He shook his head as a particularly bad smell hit his nose and he sneezed; there were all kinds of sounds that hurt his ears too.
Bakugou just focused on the sidewalk in front of him and did his best to follow Kia through the chaos that was his new perspective.

They had walked a couple blocks when someone blew a whistle. Bakugou jumped a little and bumped into Kia’s legs. She looked down at him with concern, she had noticed him shaking his head and sneezing.

“Hey, B, come here a second,” Kia said as she lead him towards a bench. She sat down and faced her canine partner. Looking closely at him she could see he was getting overwhelmed by his new senses. I should have realized sooner, she scolded herself.

“The smells and noises are getting to you aren’t they?” she asked. Bakugou’s ears flicked forward at her question and he nodded slightly.

“I’m sorry, B, I didn’t even give it a thought. I should have realized it sooner. Let me give you some pointers,” Kia smiled. Bakugou listened intently to her as she explained how she handed the sensory overload.

“I always try to focus on something specific to drown out any excess noise. For example when we are on patrol I focus on you; your breathing and heart rate, the sound of you footsteps, or your voice. It kinda grounds you when you give yourself something to zero in on. Any high pitched sounds can still hurt but you will get used to it soon enough.”
She focuses on me? Bakugou thought in surprise. It had never occurred to him that she might be going through something like this. And to think, her abilities increased when she used her dragon quirk. He would have to ask her more about it when he changed back. “I do pretty much the same thing when it comes to my sense of smell. In big places like this there are a lot of them so it is a lot of information to process. If you are like this for a while I can teach you how to track using scent if you want but for now let’s just focus on making it so you aren’t sneezing every couple minutes. Just pick a scent that you are comfortable with; try to pick one that is always present. Take a deep breath through your nose, there is going to be a lot of scents you aren’t familiar with but you should be able to pick up on something you can use,” Kia explained.

Pick a familiar scent that I’m comfortable with. Bakugou mulled over her advice. I wonder what scent she uses. How the hell am I supposed to ask questions like this?! He thought irritably. He looked up at Kia and stretched his nose out towards her, hoping he could get his question across.

“What’s the matter?” she asked and Bakugou pointed at her again with his nose but she still didn’t understand.

I can’t believe I’m doing this, he growled to himself before tilting his head slightly to one side. He could hear Kia’s heart rate increase as he watched the corners of her mouth twitch.

“That was really cute but I’m still not sure what you are trying to ask me,” Kia said. Bakugou rolled his eyes and pointed at her again, then she realized. “You want to know what scent I use.” Bakugou nodded.

Kia rubbed the back of her neck, hoping that the blush on her cheeks wasn’t too obvious. “Well, honestly… I use yours,” she admitted.

Bakugou’s ears shot up in surprise, he hadn’t been expecting that. Well it makes sense, we are always together, he thought as he looked away from his blushing partner.
“We better get going. People are starting to look at me funny,” Kia said as she stood up abruptly. Bakugou looked around a sure enough there were a few people staring.
They continued down the street while he thought about the advice she had given him. When they stopped at a cross walk, Bakugou took the opportunity to scent the air. It was strange, he could smell everything; different people, what they ate that day, one lady’s perfume made him want to sneeze while another person smelled like they had been crying. It was an information overload as his brain tried to catch up with his nose.

The lights changed and they began to cross the street; the scents started to move too. The smells got stronger or weaker as people caught up or passed by, but one scent stayed with him. He inhaled again trying to pinpoint just what the smell was. If he had to describe it he would say it smelled warm, like the heat from an open flame but there was no smoky aspect to it. Instead, there was a comforting scent he couldn’t describe. He inhaled again and focused on that scent alone. There was another scent mixed in. Again, he couldn’t figure out just what it was but he would say it smelled refreshing. He was completely focused as his new sensitive nose continued to pick the scent apart. The light scent of coffee, as well as something floral, and something else -something sweet maybe- he wasn’t completely sure.

“Doggy!”

Bakugou was brought out of his concentration by a pair of tiny arms wrapping around his neck. He froze as a small girl hugged him on the street.

“So fluffy!” the little girl laughed.

“No sweetie! You don’t know whose dog it is!” her mom scolded.

“It’s ok,” Kia smiled. “I promise he won’t bite or anything.”

“Are you sure?” the mother asked looking at Bakugou and her daughter with concern.

“Positive,” Kia smiled as Bakugou shot her a seething look.

“What’s his name?” the little girl asked.

“His name is Katsuki, but you can call him Kacchan!” Kia replied.

“Kacchan!” the little girl giggled as she began to scratch him behind the ears. “Your fur is so soft! You are such a good boy!” Bakugou was about to bare his teeth at Kia but when the little girl started rubbing his ears he couldn’t help but relax and turn his attention to her.

Kia watched as the little girl showered Bakugou with affection. Much as he tried to hide it, she could tell he enjoyed the attention, especially since his tail was wagging back and forth.

“Sweetie, it is time to say good bye. We are going to be late,” the mother urged.

“Bye, bye, Kacchan!” the little girl smiled and gave Bakugou one last hug.

Kia waved to the mother and daughter as they walked away. “Take care!” She glanced down at Bakugou, who was just sitting there waiting to continue on their way like nothing happened. She crouched down next to him and he looked at her. Ruffling his ears she gave him a big smile. “Such a good boy.” Bakugou growled and snapped at Kia but she only laughed and stood back up. “Come on, let’s get to the hospital.”

They hadn’t gotten very far when someone called out to Kia. “Excuse me, Wildside!” Kia turned around to see a policeman walking towards her. “I’m sorry, but even if you are a hero, all dogs must be on a leash.”

Bakugou visibly tensed; his fur stood on end and he started to growl but Kia reached down and placed her hand over his muzzle. “I’m so sorry, officer. This is going to be hard to explain but this is actually my partner, Ground Zero. I don’t know if you heard about the incident earlier today but he accidently got changed during the fight. We are on our way to the hospital to see about getting him changed back,” Kia explained.

The police officer stared at her in surprise. “I heard about the incident but I didn’t know something like that had happened,” he said looking down at Bakugou. “Do you have proof that he is Ground Zero?”

“I have his Hero ID with me, if that will help? He can understand what we are saying but he can’t talk himself,” Kia continued as she pulled Bakugou’s wallet out of her belt and handed his hero ID to the police officer.

Bakugou sat there glaring as he listened to Kia explain on his behalf. This is such a pain in the ass!

“Can I ask him some questions?” the officer asked.

“Sure, go ahead.” Kia stepped back.

The officer cleared his throat and knelt down next to Bakugou. “Sir, if you would answer some questions for me. Just bark once for yes and twice for no,” the officer said looking uncomfortable talking to a dog. His expression changed to one of surprise when Bakugou responded with a deep bark.

“Ok then, you are a part of Best Jeanist’s Genius Agency, is that correct?” the officer asked and Bakugou responded with a single bark. Kia watched as the officer asked Bakugou all kinds of questions.

“Huh, well, I believe that he is indeed who you say he is.” The officer stood up and handed Bakugou’s ID back to Kia. “I’m not sure what to make of this situation. The law says all dogs must be on a leash and by all appearances Ground Zero is in fact a dog, especially to those not aware of his situation.” The officer removed his hat and scratched his head in thought. “I’m sorry sir but I’m gonna have to ask you to be leashed.” He bowed to Bakugou in apology.

Are you kidding me!! Bakugou jumped to his feet with a growl and the police officer stepped back in alarm at Bakugou’s aggressive behavior.

“Easy, B, I know it sucks but he is right,” Kia reasoned with Bakugou as she grabbed a hold of his makeshift collar.

“A big dog like him could cause people to feel uneasy especially if he acts aggressive.”

Bakugou growled again and Kia wrapped her arms around him. “We understand completely. Right, B?” she said to him pointedly. Bakugou huffed and shrugged her off before sitting back down.

“Thank you,” the police officer nodded. “You said you were headed to a hospital? Do you have clearance for him to go inside?” the officer asked pointing to Bakugou.
“Honestly, I didn’t think about calling ahead of time. I was going to explain when we got there,” Kia answered.

“It might go faster if you have the police officer that is handling the case call the hospital and let them know the situation. That way they will be expecting you. It can be difficult to get authorization otherwise.”

“Good idea, thank you officer!” Kia said with a bow.

“Happy to be of help,” The officer bowed back before turning and continuing on his way.

“I was worried that might happen.” Kia smiled apologetically. “Not everyone knows you were turned into a dog, but I’m guessing that you probably prefer it that way, huh?” He huffed and Kia pulled out a coil of rope. “Good thing I have this!” She looked at him and he visibly stiffened. “It’s not what I had it for but I guess it will do as a makeshift leash.”
Bakugou backed away as Kia took a step towards him. “Come on, B, don’t make me tackle you,” Kia warned. He stopped backing away and stood there with his ears pinned back while Kia tied the rope around his neck. “I promise it will just be there for show,” Kia assured him as she stood up. “I’m gonna call the police officer handling the case and see if they can set things up with the hospital. We might as well keep heading there while I make the call.”

Kia pulled her phone out of her pocket and found the number for the station. Bakugou followed alongside her as they headed for the hospital. The sooner I’m back to normal the better, he thought as he curled his lip at the rope that stretched between them.

After a couple of minutes Kia hung up her phone and smiled at Bakugou. “Well they saideverything should be taken care of when we get there.” It took about another fifteen minutes before they got to the hospital. They headed straight to the ER entrance and walked up to the desk.

“Hi, I’m Wildside. My partner Ground Zero and I are here to see the victims of the drugging incident,” Kia informed the nurse. While the nurse made a call Kia reached down and untied Bakugou. He sat down in front of the desk. All the smells in the hospital made his head hurt. He moved closer to Kia; he realized the scent he had smelled before the little girl started petting him was Kia. Taking a deep breath he immediately felt relief and leaned against Kia’s leg. She glanced down at him a smiled softly, guessing what he was doing.
“Here are your visitor badges. Please, follow me,” the nurse said as she handed them to Kia and walked around the desk.

Kia took the badges and pinned one to Bakugou’s collar. They followed the nurse down the hallway and into the elevator. After that she brought them to a recovery ward where a doctor stood waiting for them.

“Wildside, I presume?” The doctor bowed his head to Kia.

“Yes, sir, and this is Ground Zero,” she nodded and gestured to Bakugou.

“I see. The victims of today’s incident are just now starting to come out of the drug’s effects. You are looking for the gentleman with the dog quirk? Let me take you to his room,” the doctor said as he picked up a chart and motioned for them to follow.

They moved down to a room at the end of the hall. As they stepped inside they saw a couple of nurses helping a man out of bed restraints. “Excuse us but there are a couple of heroes here to talk to you,” the doctor said as he walked in.

“Hello,” the man on the bed said. Since the enhancer drug had worn off, the man had turned back into his normal state. He looked like he was in his forties and his only dog-like feature was the ears on top of his head. “How can I help you?”

“I’m Wildside and this is my partner Ground Zero,” Kia introduced them. “We were two of the heroes that responded to the incident you were in.”

“Well I guess I should be thanking you,” the man bowed his head. “My name is Kiba Inugami.”

“You are welcome, Mr. Inugami. We were happy to do our jobs,” Kia replied. Bakugou had gotten sick of the formalities and put his front paws up on the man’s bed.

“You did this to me and you had better change me back!” Bakugou barked.

“Wait, I did what?” Mr. Inugami said, surprised.

“You can understand him?” Kia asked and she looked from her partner to the man on the bed.

“Of course, it is part of my quirk. What did he mean by I did this to him?” Mr. Inugami asked, confused.

“When you were under the influence of the enhancer drug, you licked him and he turned into a dog,” Kia answered.

“I did?!” Mr. Inugami said surprised.

“You mean that isn’t a normal part of your quirk?” the doctor asked.

“No, I can communicate with dogs and I have heightened senses but turning a person into a dog? I’ve never done something like that before!”

“Great, now what the hell am I gonna do? I don’t want to walk around looking like Sunshine’s pet all the damn time!” Bakugou growled and barked.

“I’m so sorry, I wish I could help you but I honestly have no idea how I did this,” Mr. Inugami bowed to Bakugou.

“Mr. Inugami licked Ground Zero to change him, right?” the doctor asked. Kia and Bakugou both nodded in agreement. “Well, logically, the first thing to try would be to lick him again.”

Everyone in the room stared at the doctor. “What do you think, B?” Kia looked at her partner. Bakugou huffed and looked at Mr. Inugami.

“It’s worth a try, I guess,” the man shrugged. Bakugou moved closer to him and Mr. Inugami leaned over and licked him on top of the head. Everyone in the room held their breath waiting for something to happen but Bakugou remained four legged and furry.

“What if Ground Zero licks you instead?” the doctor suggested. Mr. Inugami held his arm out and Bakugou gave it a quick lick. Still, nothing happened.

“I was really hoping that wound work,” Kia sighed.

“How long has Ground Zero been changed?” the doctor asked.

“It’s been a couple of hours,” Kia said.

“Maybe it will wear off after a certain amount of time?” Mr. Inugami said. Bakugou moved off the bed; the hair on his shoulders and back were standing straight up and his ears were pinned back as he growled at the floor.

“Maybe, we will have to wait and see,” Kia said as she knelt down and put a hand on her partner’s back. “Don’t worry, B, we will figure something out.” She smoothed out her partner’s fur. She stood up and turned to Mr. Inugami. “Thanks for your time,” she said with a bow.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t any help. If I think of anything how can I get ahold of you?” Mr. Inugami asked. Kia handed him a business card before saying goodbye and leaving the room. The doctor followed them as she and Bakugou made their way to the front desk.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t be more helpful,” the doctor said to Kia.

“It’s alright, we will think of something,” Kia said as she looked sadly at Bakugou. He had kept his nose to the floor the whole way down the hall and was currently staring at the front desk. “While I’m here, have you gotten the tox-screens back on any of the victims yet?” she asked.

“Nothing yet, it will take the lab a little while to run all the tests,” the doctor replied.

“Ok, can you make sure copies get sent to my agency?”

“Of course, Wildside.” The doctor smiled.

“Thank you, I really appreciate it.”

“Well if there is anything more I can do, don’t hesitate to give me a call,” the doctor said as he handed Kia his business card. “Even if you just need someone to talk to, it can be hard losing your partner.”

That brought Bakugou out of his funk and he got up and moved in between the doctor and Kia. “I’m right here dumbass,” he growled at the man.

“Thanks, but I haven’t lost him yet,” Kia smiled as she crouched down and patted Bakugou on the head. If dogs could smirk then that was the look Bakugou was giving the doctor right now.

“Right, well if you need anything you have my card,” the doctor said before turning and heading off down the hall. Kia stood up and watched the doctor leave. She was surprised when all the sudden Bakugou grabbed the business card from her hand and walked over and dropped it in the nearest trash can.

“B! What was that for?” Kia asked as she pulled the card out of the garbage. “What if he can help us change you back? I also want it so I can talk to him about the lab reports. It never hurts to have contacts in the hospital.”

Bakugou snorted and shook his head before leaving the recovery wing. Kia followed close behind him, completely perplexed by the way he was acting.

They exited the hospital and Kia tied the rope back around Bakugou’s neck. The walk back to the agency went a lot quicker this time around.
As they reached the agency, Kia took off Bakugou’s leash. “Let’s go tell Jeanist what we found out before we go to our office,” she suggested and they headed into the agency and up to Jeanist’s office. By now the word that Bakugou had been turned into a dog had spread throughout the agency. As they passed by, some people were able to hide their curiosity better than others. When they got off the elevator on the floor with Jeanist’s office, they ran into Laos, the model that had wanted to partner with Kia.
“The rumor mill says that you are going to be looking for a new partner soon,” Laos purred as he tried to put and arm around Kia.

“Oh, it does, does it? What makes everyone think I need a new partner?” Kia asked as she dodged him.

“Well now that Ground Zero is Hound Zero he can’t really do hero work now, can he?” the man smirked. Bakugou bared his teeth and started growling at the flamboyant hero. Laos eyed him with fear and moved away. “How about teaming up with me?” he asked as he turned back to Kia.

“I hate to disappoint you but I’m not looking for a new partner. I have one already and he is a better hero than most of the people in this place, even as a dog!” Kia stated irritably. Bakugou glanced up at Kia, his tail wagging wildly.

“But…” Laos started but Kia interrupted him.

“Besides, if I was looking for another partner, it wouldn’t be you. Now if you will excuse me,” Kia said as she pushed by Laos. The hero gawked after her before turning and disappearing down the stairwell.

“Can you believe that guy?” Kia snorted and rolled her eyes. She looked down to see Bakugou strutting next to her, his tail still wagging. “I’m glad you enjoyed that,” she laughed at her furry partner.

Kia knocked on Jeanist’s door and he called for them to enter. “I see you had no luck getting Bakugou turned back?” Jeanist said as he pointed to Bakugou.

“No, the victim had no idea how to turn B back to normal,” Kia sighed and sat down in the chair. “For now we will just have to wait and see if it wears off.”

“Were you able to get any more info while you were at the hospital?” Jeanist asked.

“No, the lab work isn’t done yet. The doctor in charge said he would send over a copy as soon as they come back.” Kia ran a hand over her hair.

“Good, the officer in charge of questioning said he would send me a report as soon as he was done talking to all the victims. I will send one to you as soon as I have it.”

“Sounds good,” Kia said and sat up in her seat. “I ran in Laos in the hall. Apparently there is a rumor going around that I’m getting a new partner?” She raised an eyebrow at her boss.

“Really? I never said anything like that. Knowing Ground Zero, I imagine he isn’t going to let four paws stop him from doing his job. In fact, if he is still a dog in the morning why don’t you two go down to the costume department? I’ll have something waiting for you there,” Jeanist smiled.

“What is it?” Kia asked

“You will have to see,” Jeanist replied. Bakugou growled and huffed at Jeanist. “Why don’t the two of you call it a day for now? I trust that you will be taking care of Bakugou while he is in this state?” Jeanist asked.

“Yes, sir, I will make sure he has everything he needs,” Kia replied and Bakugou snorted.

With that they said goodbye and headed back to their office. Kia grabbed a couple things from her desk then found Bakugou’s keys.

They made it back to their apartment building without any troubles and took the private elevator to their floor. Kia went to Bakugou’s apartment and opened the door. He slipped in past her legs and headed inside. Kia shut the door and took off her shoes. When she found Bakugou he was pacing in his living room.

“There isn’t much we can do now, B,” Kia said as she walked up to him. He ignored her and continued pacing. Kia sighed and sat down on his couch and watched him. “How about I make us something to eat?” Kia got up and headed to the kitchen. “It is almost time for dinner, you must be hungry.” Bakugou didn’t stop but his ears twitched in her direction at the mention of food.

Kia searched through his fridge and found a few ingredients to make them something to eat. It wasn’t long till she had it done and walked over to the table and set the bowls down. She dug into her bowl while she checked her phone for any new emails. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Bakugou pause his pacing. After a moment he walked over and jumped up on the chair and stared at his food. Kia stopped what she was doing and looked curiously at her partner. “What’s the matter?” she asked him.

Bakugou glanced up at her then back down at the bowl. What is his deal? Kia thought to herself. Bakugou smelled the bowl and glanced up at Kia. His ears flicked back and forth like he was unsure. Smiling Kia put down the chopsticks and picked up the bowl and tipped the contents into her mouth. She then looked back at her phone and pretended not to pay any attention to him.

Out of the corner of her eye she watched as he nosed the bowl and took a small bite. Kia had cut the chunks of food into bite size pieces for him so he wouldn’t have problems but she never thought once about him having to learn how to eat like a dog. Bakugou’s hunger must have won out because it wasn’t long before he was standing with his front paws on the table wolfing down the bowl’s contents.

Kia suppressed a laugh as Bakugou licked his muzzle clean. “Can I get you some more?” she asked. He dipped his head in response and Kia stood up and grabbed his bowl. She refilled it a brought it back to him and this time he didn’t hesitate to eat.

After they were done Kia wiped the table then washed and put away all the dishes. Bakugou had retreated to the couch after eating. He lay there listening to Kia sing as she worked. He never imagined that he would end up in a situation like this but he was sure glad that Kia was there with him. He started to relax as he listened. She really has a nice voice, Bakugou thought. Kia finished what she was doing and came over and sat beside him on the couch.

“I set a bowl of water on the table for you in case you are thirsty and all the rooms are open. Is there anything else I can do for you? I could turn on the TV or something if you want?” Kia asked. Bakugou shook his head no. “I’m gonna head over to my place and work on some stuff. I will leave the doors open so you can come over if you need anything.”
With that she headed to the front door and grabbed her shoes. As she was putting them on she paused and looked up at Bakugou. “Do you…need walked or anything?” she asked. Bakugou scowled at her and growled. “Ok, just figured I better ask,” Kia said as she turned towards the door. “I will keep your keys and stuff. See you later!” She left and Bakugou heard the door lock behind her.

Now what do I do? he thought as he padded back to the living room. Kia had left all the doors open in his apartment so he could go where ever he wanted. He knocked the remote off the coffee table and after a few minutes of fumbling with it he finally got the TV turned on. Thankfully it was on one of his favorite channels. He curled up back on the couch but no matter what he did he couldn’t sit still. Eventually, he got up and headed over to Kia’s apartment.

When he walked through the door he saw Kia sitting on her ottoman with her laptop. What surprised him was that she was partially transformed. Her long tail swung off to the side, while her wings were folded against her back; the longest feathers lay along the floor. Purple scales decorated her skin while her horns stuck out of her hair which flowed loose down her back and shoulders. One of her clawed fingers she held between her fangs. The only time he saw her like this was when they were out fighting villains.

“Hey, B!” She turned to look at him. “Are you bored already?” Bakugou padded over to her and she moved her tail, curling it around the ottoman. He sat down near her to look at what she was working on and Kia turned her computer so he could see. She had the first reports on the enhancement drug attacks open.

“I’ve been reading through these older reports and trying to find any similarities between them. So far I’ve found nothing and I still haven’t received any more reports from today.” Kia sighed.

Bakugou turned and looked up at her. He had never had the chance to really look at her in her dragon form, she never stayed transformed for long in the field nor did she usually transform this much. He couldn’t help but stare. Kia noticed his gaze and her tail and wings twitched nervously. Then she closed her eyes and began to change back into her human form. Why did she change back? Bakugou wondered.

Kia opened her eyes and gave Bakugou an uneasy smile. “Sorry if that was bothering you. When I’m home I like to stretch my wings. I don’t stay transformed much in public it can make people nervous when they see me like that,” she explained.

Bakugou pinned his ears back and growled. That is stupid. Who the hell cares what you look like? It was driving him nuts not being able to talk to Kia. God dammit! She can look however she wants to when she is around me, he thought as he looked at her. I can’t even tell her that because I’m a dog!

Kia got up and moved over to her couch. “Here, you can sit next to me and read the reports. I know you can’t discuss it with me but at least you will know what’s up,” she said as she patted the cushion next to her. Bakugou hoped up on the couch and sat next to her. Kia moved the computer so they could both see and relaxed where she sat. “Let me know if I’m moving through things too fast or something.”

They had sat there looking over reports for about 30 minutes when Bakugou started to feel an ache in his shoulders. He stood up and moved around a bit before lying back down next to Kia. He was so big he had to lay his front paws on Kia’s leg so he could comfortably see the computer. Kia, who hadn’t stopped reading, lifted her hand and placed it on top of his head and gently started rubbing his ears. Bakugou was surprised but leaned into her touch when she reached a certain spot. He let out a deep sigh and Kia blinked and looked over at him. “Sorry!” she said as she quickly removed her hand. “I wasn’t paying attention.” Bakugou shook his head but did nothing else.

They sat there and read through the rest of the reports and Kia closed her computer and sat it on the coffee table then stood up and stretched. She chuckled when Bakugou jumped down and shook himself before stretching. “I don’t know about you but I’m tired,” she said as she checked the time. As if on cue Bakugou yawned. “I’m going to get ready for bed. I can wake you up in the morning if you want and we can go for a run?” Kia asked.

Bakugou nodded then headed to the balcony door. “Good night, B!” Kia called out as he left. He trotted into his apartment and headed to the bedroom. Jumping up on the bed he found a comfortable spot and curled up for the night. I’m gonna get dog hair all over my own bed, he thought before drifting off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Bakugou’s ears twitched as he woke up in the middle of the night. He yawned and shook his head before getting up and stretching. Still a damn dog, he thought to himself as he jumped off the bed and left his room. He headed to the table and jumped up on the chair to get a drink from the bowl Kia had left for him. The moment he jumped down he heard the noise again. Kia? he thought as he headed to the open balcony door. As soon as he stepped out onto the balcony he could hear his partner yell and he bounded over to her side of the balcony and into her apartment. He rushed to her room to find her sitting up with her head in her hands, breathing heavily.

Kia looked up and saw Bakugou standing in the door of her bedroom and groaned. “I’m so sorry, B. I didn’t mean to wake you up.” She turned and grabbed a hoodie and slipped it over her head before standing up and walking over to him. Bakugou sat down and stared up at her, not letting her pass by him. “I just need a drink of water,” she said as she pointed down the hall.

He followed her as she made her way to the kitchen and turned on the lights. She grabbed a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water. Bakugou sat on the floor staring her down. Kia leaned against her counter and took a drink of water. “I know what you are thinking,” she said as she set the glass down on the counter. “You don’t have to worry; it was just one of the normal nightmares. I have them all the time.”
Bakugou snorted and didn’t look convinced.

“Look, B, I have nightmares and then I have bad nightmares, this one really isn’t something to worry about, I promise.” She sighed as she sat down on the floor. Bakugou’s ears twitched and he looked away with a huff. Kia took that as a sign he believed her and smiled. “I’m sorry if I woke you up.” Bakugou growled then moved over next to sit next to her. Kia leaned her head against the cabinets and turned her head towards him. “Are you sleeping ok?” she asked. Bakugou glanced at her before letting out a quick bark. “Good,” Kia yawned as she reached out a hand and patted Bakugou on the head. He growled but didn’t move away. She began to scratch one of his ears before stroking his fur from his head to his back. Bakugou closed his eyes and sighed. Kia stopped and he opened his eyes in time to watch as she wrapped both arms around him in a hug. Unsure of what to do, Bakugou just sat there and didn’t move. Kia moved closer; her arms tightened around him as she buried her face in his neck. Unable to hug her back Bakugou laid his head on her shoulder.

After a few moments Kia let go. “Thanks, B, sometimes all it takes is a hug.” She smiled softly at him. Bakugou’s tail wagged softly back and forth and Kia’s smiled turned into a grin. “You know, you make a very sweet dog. Maybe you should stay like this?”

Bakugou growled and snapped at her before standing up and shaking himself. He held himself proudly as he snorted in annoyance. Kia laughed at his actions and stood up. “Do you need anything?” she asked him.

Bakugou growled and walked over to the hallway. Kia grabbed her glass and drank the rest of the water before setting the glass in the sink. She headed back to her room and looked back to see Bakugou jumping up on her couch. “What are you doing? Are you sleeping here?” Bakugou ignored her and lay down. Kia turned around and walked back to the couch. “B, I’m fine, I swear, you can go back to your apartment,” she assured him but Bakugou just closed his eyes. “Fine,” Kia rolled her eyes and headed to bed. She lay down and covered herself up with blankets; a smile adorned her face as she drifted back to sleep.

%%%%%

The next morning Bakugou was woken up by the smell of Kia cooking breakfast. He yawned and stretched before jumping off the couch and walking into the kitchen. Kia stood at the stove, sipping coffee and listening to music while she cooked. “Morning!” she said when he walked up to her. “I hope you are hungry. Can I get you anything?” Bakugou growled softly and gestured to what she was cooking with his nose. “Breakfast? It will be done soon, why?” Bakugou turned around and headed to the balcony and to his apartment. Kia watched him leave. I wonder what he is doing, she thought before turning back to the stove.

She had just put plates on the table when Bakugou came trotting back into her apartment. He hopped up into a chair as Kia sat down in hers. “Jeanist said to go to the costume department this morning if you were still a dog. I wonder what he has dreamed up for you now?” she said as she took a bite of her breakfast. Bakugou ignored her and just continued to eat. Kia finished her bowl and set it in the sink then went back to her room and got dressed in her workout gear. It was still plenty early enough for them to go on a run and Bakugou was itching to burn off some energy.

They left the building and Kia tied the rope around Bakugou’s neck before starting a slow jog. They followed their normal route through the park and stopped at the fountain for a short break. Kia took a drink from her water bottle as she walked around. Bakugou has sat down by the water fountain when another dog came walking up to him. He leaned away as the dog began to sniff him and growled. The dog jumped back with its tail wagging as it barked at Bakugou, who just turned and ignored the animal. The dog walked forwards and started sniffing Bakugou who just moved away. The dog followed after the disgruntled hero as they made a circle around the fountain. Bakugou, unable to get rid of the dog, figured it would be bad to actually start a fight with the animal, ran over to Kia and growled from behind her legs. Kia laughed as the dog still tried to get Bakugou to play with it.

Bakugou bared his teeth at the dog that didn’t seem at all turned off by his aggressive behavior. A shrill whistle sounded and the dog bounded off to its owner that was sitting on the other side of the fountain. Bakugou sat down with a huff while Kia chuckled. “Come on, B, let’s head to the agency,” Kia said as she put her water bottle back in her bag and shouldered it.

When they got to the agency Kia headed to the locker rooms to shower and change before they headed to the wardrobe office. Bakugou sat at the end of the hall, waiting for her. When they arrived they were surprised to see Jeanist there.

“Best Jeanist, I didn’t think you would be here!” Kia said as she held the door open for Bakugou.

“I had some business down here this morning. I see Bakugou is still a canine,” Jeanist said nodding in the four legged hero’s direction.

“Yeah, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out ways to turn him back but I haven’t had any luck,” Kia sighed in frustration.

“Yes, it has been plaguing my mind as well,” Jeanist said as he walked over to one of the costume designers. “The design I sent to you yesterday, were you able to complete it?” he asked the designer.

“Yes, Best Jeanist, sir!” the designer smiled before walking over to a cabinet and opening the doors. “I was able to put the finishing touches on it first thing this morning!” They pulled out a case and sat it on the table.

“Here, Ground Zero, I think this might come in handy for you until you turn back.” Jeanist gestured for him to come over. Bakugou put his front paws on the table and looked as the designer opened the case. Inside was a costume, the mask resembled his own and there was a wide grenade style collar as well as a canine vest that looked just like his hero costume.

He can’t think that I’m actually gonna wear this, Bakugou thought as he stared at the case.

“I sent out notices to other agencies and police stations letting them know about your situation. You should be able to walk around freely now as long as you wear this as identification. There is a spot in the collar that you can put your hero ID and it is also equipped with a tracking device.” Jeanist pulled out a small receiver and handed it to Kia. “You will be able to locate him by using this.”

“I wondered what you were planning,” Kia said as she took the receiver from him. “This won’t be too bad, huh, B?”

Bakugou’s fur was bristling as he began to growl. You mean he told EVERYONE that I was like this?

Kia noticed her partner’s anger and placed a hand on his back. “If you want to keep working with me as a hero we have to do something. It would be a pain to have you on a leash all the time.”

“You have had to put him on a leash?” Jeanist asked barely able to contain his amusement.

“Yeah, a police officer stopped us yesterday. B wasn’t too thrilled about it.” Kia patted Bakugou’s head. He growled and moved his paws back down to the floor. Kia bent down and took off his makeshift collar and tucked it into her belt. Jeanist handed her the new collar and she buckled it around his neck. Next she slipped the mask in place and adjusted it so it fit comfortably. She grabbed the vest and helped him put it on; fixing the straps at his belly so it wouldn’t fall off. She step back and they all looked over Bakugou in his new costume. “Is it too tight or loose anywhere?” Kia asked. Bakugou walked around before answering with a growl.

“What does that mean?” Jeanist asked.

“Oh, we worked out a system, bark for yes and growl for no,” Kia replied as she took out Bakugou’s hero ID and put it in his collar.
“Good to know,” Jeanist nodded. “That reminds me. I received those police reports you have been waiting for early this morning and emailed them to you.”

“Thanks, I will be sure to look them over as soon as possible. Any word on the tox reports from the hospital?” she asked.

“Not yet, but I will call you as soon as I do,” Jeanist promised.

“Alright, B, let’s head to the office. B?” Kia turned around to find Bakugou looking in a mirror at his new costume. Kia walked over and stood next to him.

“You ready to get to work?” she asked. Bakugou snorted and headed to the door. Kia turned and waved to Jeanist. “Thanks, I will report in as soon as I have new information,” she said. Jeanist nodded and waved back as she disappeared out the door.

Kia and Bakugou hurried to their office. Kia opened the door and Bakugou made his way over to her computer. He looked over at her and impatiently growled as she walked over. “Cool it, B,” Kia said as she sat down. She started her computer and opened the reports Jeanist had sent her. Bakugou put his front paws on her desk as they read the reports together.

“It seems the attacks were just as random as the others,” Kia muttered as she scrolled down. “So far it looks the same as all the others.” She continued reading and when she got to the end of the report she leaned forward excitedly. “They recovered one of the darts used to drug the victims!” Immediately she pulled out her phone and called the agency that had filed the report. Bakugou continued reading while Kia asked for the officer involved.

Finally some evidence, Bakugou thought. Kia got off the phone and turned to her partner.
“They have the shell, but there isn’t enough residue to run any tests on. I want to go to the police station and take a look at it myself. Maybe I will be able to pick up something from it,” Kia said as she turned off her computer. She exited their office with Bakugou right on her heels.
They made it to the police station and the officer in charge of the case met them at the front desk.

“Ground Zero, Wildside, thank you for coming,” he greeted them.

“No problem, can we take a look at the shell right away?” Kia asked.

“Of course. Please, follow me,” the officer said as he led them into the precinct. They followed him down the hall and through a pair of swinging doors to what looked like a lab. There was another officer and lab technician standing at a table that was covered with evidence. After a quick introduction the lab technician picked a bag off the table and handed it to Kia.

“This was the only thing we could recover from the scene,” the first officer told them.

“It seems that the cartridge itself is equipped with a second chamber the releases a substance to destroy the evidence. This one seems to have malfunctioned. We are just running tests on the substance from the secondary chamber. However, I think it is a corrosive liquid that reacts with the compound once it is released,” the lab technician said.

Kia grabbed a glove from a box on the table and put it on before opening the bag and taking out the evidence. It was a small cylindrical casing equipped with an inch long needle. The casing was separated into two parts.

“The smaller back part was where we found the secondary substance,” the lab technician said.

“Have you pulled apart the needle yet?” Kia asked as she turned it over in her hands.

“Yes, we put it back together after we examined it.”

“Do you have a pair of pliers?”
The lab technician handed Kia a small pair of pliers and she proceeded to unscrew the needle from its casing. She gently set it down and reached for a swab and used it to wipe the inside. Scales peppered Kia’s cheeks as she carefully smelled the swap. Her eyes went wide and she gripped the edge of the table hard. More scales appeared on her face and her claws extended from her fingers as she handed the swab over to the technician and took a couple of deep breaths. Bakugou had been watching the whole thing. Kia’s reaction had him pacing back and forth.

“I’m alright,” Kia said when Bakugou bumped her leg.

“What did you find out?” one of the officers asked.

Kia took a deep breath and her scales disappeared as she looked at the three men. “I’ve come across this before. It smells exactly like a berserker serum that is commonly used in underground fight rings. It is a much smaller and less concentrated dose but I could swear it is the same drug.”

“Berserker serum?” the technician said. “I think I have seen reports about that during the last conference I attended.”

Kia and the technician discussed the chemical makeup of the drug. Bakugou sat next to his partner listening to everything they said. After a half an hour Kia and Bakugou left the police station. The lab technician was going try and run more tests on the swab Kia had taken. He promised to send them the results as soon as he had them. Bakugou and Kia hurried back to the agency. They stopped and told Jeanist about what they had found. He quickly began to inform the other agencies that were involved in the case.

“I’m going to call my contact at the HTSA and have them send over the information they have on the drug,” Kia said as she headed towards the door.

“Sounds good, send me copies of the information you get so I can share them with the others,” Jeanist asked as he dialed another number.

“Yes, sir,” Kia replied before exiting his office and heading towards her own.

Bakugou’s fur was practically bristling as he walked beside his partner. It was driving him nuts that all he could do was sit there and listen. He was a hero and he felt like he should be doing more! The moment they got to their office, Kia was on the phone. She started her computer while she waited for Derek to answer.

“Derek, it’s me, I’ve been helping with a drugging case. They finally found a dart cartridge and I was able to get a scent off of it.” Kia stopped and listened intently. “Yeah, I swear it is the Berserker serum used in the ring… trust me I wouldn’t forget what that stuff smells like. Can you send me the info that the HTSA has on it? Maybe it can help.” Bakugou paced in front of her desk as he listened to one side of her conversation. “Thanks, Derek that would be great!” Kia said before she hung up her phone.

Bakugou listened to the clicking of her mouse before finally getting fed up and jumping up on her desk. Kia turned towards him and he growled his impatience. “Sorry, B,” Kia said. “Derek said he would send over everything they have on the drug. I’m pulling up all the reports and going over them again to see if I can find any hidden info about the drug or the darts.” Kia turned her computer screen before opening one of the files and uploading crime scene photos. Bakugou laid down on her desk and look over the pictures with her. They had gotten through all of the first report when an email notification popped up on the scene. Kia quickly opened it to see an email from Derek. She forwarded the information on to Jeanist and then moved over to Bakugou’s computer. She opened the reports from Derek on his computer and left Bakugou to read through them while she continued to look through the photos on her computer.

After a couple minutes Bakugou barked to get Kia’s attention. She moved over next to him a glanced at the computer. “Find anything?” she asked. Bakugou growled and pawed at the desk while nodding his head down. Kia scrolled down to the next page and then went back to her computer. Not long after Bakugou barked again. “Found something?” Kia asked and Bakugou barked. “Which paragraph?” she said as she pointed to the first one, Bakugou growled as she pointed until she got to the fourth one then he barked.

Kia began to read through the paragraph while Bakugou waited. While she was reading the phone on Bakugou’s desk rang and she picked it up. “Wildside,” she answered.

“Wildside, I just got a call. Whoever is drugging people just struck again. I’m messaging you the location now. Do you think you and Ground Zero can get there?” Jeanist asked.

Kia glanced at Bakugou who nodded. “Yes, sir, we are on it!” Kia said before she hung up. Bakugou headed to the door. Kia opened it and he bolted out and down the hall. Kia followed after him and realized he was headed to the garage. He stopped at the door and waited for Kia to open it. The moment she did he jumped down the stairs and ran over to his motorcycle. Kia grabbed his helmet and hurried over to it. She put the helmet on and fired up the bike. “How are you going to keep up?” she asked. Bakugou jumped onto the back of the bike and sat down behind her. He placed his front paws over her shoulders and barked. “Alright, hold on!” Kia said as she hit the garage door open and revved the bike up. She made her way onto the street and headed quickly to where the address Jeanist had given her. They weaved in and out of traffic as raced down the street.

About a block away they ran into a crowd of people evacuating the area. Kia pulled the bike over and turned it off as Bakugou jumped down. Kia spread her wings and grabbed Bakugou around the middle. With a swish of her wings she jumped and carried them both over the crowd and closer to where some heroes were facing the latest victim.

“Oh god! It smells awful,” Kia said as she covered her nose. After landing she let go of Bakugou and they hurried towards the commotion. Bakugou’s nose began to sting and his eyes began to water as they got closer. They caught up with the victim and the smell was over powering. Kia had both hands over her nose and Bakugou began to sneeze.

They spotted a man walking down the street. He seemed to be in a daze and was surrounded by a thick gray-blue cloud. It swirled around him lazily as he walked. Kia and Bakugou moved closer to get a better look when another hero jumped out to intercept the man. Immediately the cloud, which had barely been moving, rushed forward and surrounded the hero. Immediately the hero burst out of the cloud and ran in the opposite direction. As soon as he was clear the hero bent over and vomited onto the street.

“How are we gonna get close?” Kia wondered as they watched the victim.

We need to see if that cloud will attack multiple targets at once, Bakugou thought. He brushed up against Kia and pointed his nose to the sky when she looked at him.

“You want me to fly up and get his attention?” she asked and Bakugou barked. “Alright,” Kia spread her wings and took to the air while Bakugou creeped around a parked car. She flew directly in front of the victim and waited for him to notice her. Kia hovered about fifteen feet off the ground as the man continued to walk closer and closer. The cloud that surrounded him just lazily swirled around him. He was getting pretty close to Kia when another hero yelled out suddenly. Like a flash the cloud moved forward directly at Kia. She turned to fly up and away but only got about ten feet when the cloud caught up to her. It engulfed her and soon she was falling. Bakugou rushed to where she landed. Kia was on all fours gagging and coughing as she tried to breathe. Bakugou grabbed her by the braid and began to lead her away from the victim. Once he got her out of the path of the victim she sat down and began shaking her head and taking deep breaths through her mouth.

“Whatever that is it didn’t show any signs of attacking me until someone made noise, it doesn’t seem like the man is conscious of his actions or anything else,” Kia coughed. “This one isn’t going to be easy to take down. The smell is so over powering that I get dizzy and can’t fly. I wonder what the range of that cloud is.”

We need to find out, Bakugou thought and he ran off towards the victim. Sunshine was about six meters away when that thing attacked. Bakugou moved a little further away and turned toward the victim who continued to walk along with the cloud swirling about him. Bakugou bared his teeth and let out a loud bark. He only had a split second before the clouds rushed towards him. Turning around he ran as hard and fast as he could away from the cloud. The cloud engulfed his body and he held his breath. Suddenly he burst from the cloud. Turning around he saw that the cloud had stopped another five or six meters from where he had been standing. Twelve meters seems like it is the max distance it can get away from its host, he thought.

Kia came running over to his side. “You ok?” she asked. Bakugou nodded and they moved away from the menacing cloud. “Looks like you found out what it’s range is. It seems to only react to sound. If we can get the jump on him we might be able to knock him out.” Bakugou huffed in agreement and they moved to a position where they could see better. “I can draw it’s attention if you want to try and sneak up behind it,” Kia suggested. Bakugou nodded and turned to get into position behind the victim. Kia spread her wings and took to the air. Once again she hovered in front of the victim and called out to it. “Hey!” she yelled. The cloud moved but this time she was ready and quickly moved just out of its range. She continued to swoop and dive at the victim. Bakugou quietly made his way behind him. So far it seemed like their plan was working.

Now I just have to figure out how I’m gonna knock this guy out, Bakugou growled to himself. Tch, this is such a pain in the ass! If I had my quirk I could just blast the loser and be done with it! He watched as the victim continued to walk forward while his quirk attacked Kia. The man was walking past a line of cars when Bakugou got an idea. Carefully he jumped up on the nearest car and jumped to the next one. Running over the top of the vehicles he made his way towards the victim. Once he got close he launched himself at the man, aiming for his head and chest. He collided with him and knocked him to the ground hard. He grabbed the man by the back of his shirt and held him down. Immediately the cloud of gas engulfed Bakugou, his nose and eyes burning from the rancid smell, but he refused to let go.

“B!” Kia exclaimed as she dived towards him. She landed hard, the force of her landing and the flap of her wings cleared the cloud enough for her to find Bakugou and the victim. She struck the victim on the neck and he slumped, unconscious. The cloud immediately began to dissipate and Bakugou let go of the man’s shirt. He sneezed and pawed at his nose, trying to rid himself of the horrid smell.

“Hold on, B,” Kia said as she dug through her belt. She pulled out a small piece of cloth and gently cupped Bakugou’s muzzle. His eyes were watering so much that he couldn’t see and Kia began to wipe them for him. He sneezed as she wiped his face. Once he could see, he pulled away and Kia grabbed her suppression cuffs and handcuffed the victim. The police showed up and Kia picked up the man and took him to a waiting ambulance. Thankfully there was little damage and only a few people had to get treated from their contact with the man’s quirk. Bakugou and Kia were sitting on the back of another ambulance while a medic rinsed their eyes. They were both given oxygen to help clear their lungs from the gas, and Kia held Bakugou’s for him while he took a couple deep breaths. An overexposure to the man’s cloud of gas had left them dizzy and lethargic.

While they sat there Kia’s phone rang. “Wildside,” she answered as she handed the oxygen mask to the medic.

“Good job in stopping the victim. I’ve already called the hospital and they are rushing the tests for the victim’s blood. We should have results for everything by the end of the day. Have you had a chance to search the area for evidence?” Jeanist asked.

“No,” Kia coughed. “This victim’s quirk has my senses incapacitated for the moment. I still am waiting to find out exactly where the attack happened.”

“Ok, call me as soon as you find anything. How is Ground Zero?” Jeanist asked.

“He is fine, regretting his new sense of smell about now, I imagine,” Kia chuckled as Bakugou sneezed again.

“I will see you back at the agency when you are done.” Kia could hear the smile in Jeanist’s voice.

“Yes, sir,” Kia said before hanging up.

She put her phone back in her belt and stood up. Bakugou jumped out of the back of the ambulance and followed Kia as she made her way to the police officer in charge. “Have you been able to find where the incident happened?” she asked.

“Yes, witnesses said the victim was attacked a few blocks from here. My men are just headed to the scene to check it out,” the officer replied.

“We will head there as well.” Kia turned to Bakugou and they headed to where they had left his bike. Grabbing the helmet, Kia put it on and sat down, Bakugou jumped on behind her and they took off in the direction the officer had told them. It didn’t take them long to find the group of officers that were searching the area. Kia turned off the bike and took off the helmet while Bakugou jumped down. One of the officers headed her way.

“Wildside, glad you made it. We have been searching the area but so far we have found nothing. From what we gathered the man was standing in front of that shop when he started reacting to the drug.” The officer pointed to a shop on the other side of the street.

“Thanks, we will take a look,” Kia said as she followed Bakugou over to the shop.

Bakugou put his nose to the ground and started sniffing. He immediately recognized the familiar scents he smelled while walking down the street. “You will want to be looking for a sweet smell. When you smell it your heart will beat faster and your hair will stand on end,” Kia explained as she moved in the opposite direction. They both looked around, scouting the area to find any trace of the dart. Bakugou was passing by a bench when a strange smell hit his nose. It wasn’t like the other scents but it wasn’t like what Kia had described either. He turned and barked at his partner who hurried over to where he stood.

“Did you find something?” Kia asked as she made it to him. He walked over next to the bench and sniffed on the ground next to it. Kia knelt down to see what he had found. There was a small mark on the ground next to the bench. Kia leaned closer and inhaled deeply. She reached to her belt and brought out a small evidence container with a swab. “Officer!” Kia called out and the policeman they had talked to earlier came running over along with another officer who was holding a camera. “I think we may have found something,” she pointed to the spot.
“That could be anything,” the officer with the camera said as he snapped a couple pictures.

“We think that the darts are being destroyed somehow after they dart the victims,” Kia explained as she swabbed the spot and put it in the container. “The smell coming from this spot is familiar to the container they have in evidence. I think it might be the melted container.” She handed over the evidence and the lead officer instructed another to get it to the hospital immediately for testing.

Bakugou and Kia stayed and continued to look for any evidence but they found nothing. Meeting back up with her partner, Kia sighed. “We might as well head back and report to Jeanist.”

Bakugou walked back to the bike and they headed back to the agency. Once they got there they immediately went to Jeanist’s office to give him the report.

“Good job, both of you. I hope that spot you found will turn out to be something we can use,” Jeanist said.

“Me too,” Kia agreed.

Nina stood next to Jeanist’s desk with a sour look on her face. “That is great but can you two leave now?” she asked as she covered her nose with her hand. “You both stink!”

“Sorry, the victim’s quirk smelled awful,” Kia cringed. “Maybe we should head home and get cleaned up? We can fill out our reports after we take a shower.”

“Sounds good, I will send you all the reports as soon as I get them,” Jeanist said. With that, Kia and Bakugou left his office.

“How about we head down to the locker rooms so we can drop our costumes off for cleaning?” Kia suggested as she stepped into the elevator. Bakugou followed her and she hit the button for the floor the locker rooms were on. They got out and headed towards the locker rooms. Bakugou stopped at the end of the hall to the women’s locker room and sat down. “I will go change and be right back,” Kia said as she started taking of Bakugou’s costume. She gathered it up and took it with her. Bakugou didn’t have to wait long before Kia came jogging back down the hallway in street clothes. “Let’s get home,” she said as they made their way out of the agency.

Once they got home Bakugou followed Kia into her apartment. She began taking her things out of her pockets and setting them on the counter. “The sooner we clean up, the better. You really reek,” Kia made a face at Bakugou who growled back at her. She headed to the bathroom and Bakugou followed her. She grabbed a couple towels and a large bottle before turning on the shower head. She stood back and unbuttoned her pants and took them off. When she turned around she saw Bakugou staring at her wide eyed. When he noticed her looking at him he turned away. “Don’t worry, B, this is as far as I’m going,” Kia said as she put her pants next to the bathroom door. “Alright, let’s get you cleaned up,” she said as she pulled a stool over and gestured for him to come over. Bakugou’s ears went back as he sat down and refused to come closer. “Seriously, how did you think you were going to take a shower?” Kia gave him a look. Stubbornly, Bakugou remained where he sat so Kia stood up and came over to him. Wrapping her arms around his middle she carried him over to the water and sat him back down. Bakugou growled but didn’t move.

Kia grabbed the shower head and began to wet Bakugou’s fur. He stood there with his ears laid back as Kia ran her hands over his body. She had just finished completely soaking him when he heard her giggle. His head snapped in her direction and he saw she was biting her lip. When he looked at her Kia couldn’t hold it back any more and burst out laughing. Bakugou’s ears perked forward and he growled while Kia tried not to fall of the stool. “I’m sorry, B, you just l-look so pitiful,” Kia laughed.

Bakugou growled his annoyance as he watched her laugh. The water running through his fur began to itch and he got an idea. Bracing himself he shook and sent water flying all over the place, completely drenching Kia. “B!” Kia laughed as she tried to block her face. Bakugou chuckled to himself as he watched Kia wipe the water from her eyes. “Alright, I deserved that,” she smiled as she picked up the shower head again. “But now I have to get you wet again.”

Bakugou stood still while Kia rewetted his fur. Once she was done she grabbed a large bottle and poured some shampoo into her hand. “You are so fluffy. This might take a while,” Kia said as she began to rub the shampoo into his fur. She started at his neck and moved her way down his back, sides and legs. Bakugou tensed as she started washing his tail. “I promise I’m not going to hurt you, B. I’ve given Chloe plenty of baths.”

It wasn’t that he thought she was going to hurt him but the whole thing seemed a little more personal as Kia ran her hands all over his body. He knew he was a dog but she was still touching him everywhere. His ears lay back as Kia began to wash the fur on his belly. “Are you hurt anywhere?” Kia asked noticing the change in his attitude. Bakugou growled but didn’t move. She finished lathering him up and grabbed the shower head again. Carefully she started rinsing his head and neck, running her fingers through his fur and scratching behind his ears. Bakugou was enjoying the feeling so much that he wasn’t able to stop the whine that came from him. Kia paused and looked at Bakugou in surprise. He froze and refused to look at her. “It always feels good when someone else washes my hair or cleans my feathers. If I’m making you uncomfortable just let me know,” she said as she continued to wash the shampoo out of his fur.

Kia was a little more careful about watching Bakugou for changes in attitude after that. He may be a dog but he was still a human on the inside. She didn’t really think about personal space when she started washing him, she was just focused on getting him clean so he didn’t stink anymore. Once she had completely rinsed his fur she grabbed the conditioner and put just a drop of it in her hand and rubbed them together before running her hands through his fur again. “I little bit of conditioner always made it easier to brush Chloe’s fur,” she explained. Bakugou just stood there while Kia conditioned a rinsed his fur. When she was done she stood up and looked at him. “Alright, shake boy!” she teased and Bakugou shook the water from his fur. Kia laughed and walked over and grabbed one of the towels. She returned to Bakugou and began rubbing his fur dry. His fur was so thick it that the towel was soaked by the time Kia was done. “Do you mind if I dry you the rest of the way?” Kia asked as she held up her hands. Bakugou sat down in front of her and she began running her fingers through his fur drying him like she did her own hair.

Once he was dry, Bakugou stood up and shook himself for good measure. He felt so much better now that he was clean. “Ok, now you need to get out,” Kia said as stood back up. Bakugou looked at her and realized she was soaked. He dark long sleeve shirt, which had the sleeves rolled up, clung to her body and some of her hair was plastered to her cheek. She went and opened the door. “Come on, it’s my turn,” she said as she gestured out the door. Bakugou stepped out and looked back at Kia. “Don’t worry, I won’t be long. I’m just going to wash and then clean up the bathroom.” Then she closed the door. Bakugou walked down the hall and into the living room. He jumped up on the couch to wait for Kia.

Twenty minutes later he heard to bathroom door open. Kia walked out wrapped in a towel with her wet hair hanging around her shoulders and walked into her bedroom and shut the door. She emerged a few minutes later dressed in a pair of leggings and a Ground Zero t-shirt. Bakugou’s ear shot up when he saw her wearing his merchandise.

“What do you think?” Kia gestured to the shirt. Bakugou growled and turned away with a huff. A smile split Kia’s face as she watched him. “Growl all you want, B, but your tail betrays you.” He turned and looked at his tail which was slowly wagging back and forth. He narrowed his eyes and held the offending appendage down with his paw while Kia laughed. She walked over and grabbed her computer then sat it on the coffee table before sitting on the floor in front of it. Bakugou jumped off the couch and came to sit next to her while she opened the files they had been working on.

Kia got up and grabbed a notebook and pencil to take notes. They sat there for a couple hours poring over all the police reports and other information they had. Unfortunately, until they had blood tests that they could compare to the records the HTSA had on the Berserker serum, they would be able to create something to counteract the effects.

Bakugou noticed that Kia got even more serious when it came to cases that could be linked to what the HTSA worked on. He had been able to learn more about the Berserker serum from the information he read from Derek but he hadn’t been able to ask Kia about any of it. I need to remember to ask her when I change back, Bakugou thought. Kia was absentmindedly petting him again. This time Bakugou didn’t react and honestly he didn’t mind it, although it was a bit distracting while he tried to read. Her hands were so gentle and comforting that he felt himself relax. Bakugou sighed and yawned breaking Kia’s concentration. She glanced at the clock and stretched her arms over her head.
“Are you getting hungry?” she asked. Bakugou stood up and stretched before nodding in response. “I will make something then.” Kia got up and headed to her kitchen.

Bakugou walked over and sat next to the fridge while Kia rummaged through it. She pulled out a few ingredients and set them on the counter while she started preparing a meal. As she worked she began humming and dancing like she always did. Bakugou couldn’t help but sit there and watch, his tail began to beat against the floor and a light feeling fluttered through his chest.

“You must be really hungry.” Kia held out a piece of tofu out to him. Bakugou stared at the piece and back at her. Was she really hand feeding him? At that moment he wished he wasn’t a dog. He leaned forward and gently took the food from her fingers. “How is it?” she asked. Bakugou licked his lips. “I will take that as good,” Kia smiled and went back to cooking and singing.

It wasn’t long before Kia was carrying two bowls to the table. They ate in silence, one because Bakugou couldn’t talk and two because they both had the cases on their minds. When they were done Kia picked up and cleaned the bowls while Bakugou waited. He walked back out to the living room and curled up on the floor. How the hell am I gonna get back to normal! He growled. The whole dog thing was just making him angry. He couldn’t do a thing for himself or Kia.

When she was done, Kia walked out to see her partner sulking on her carpet. She guessed what was bothering him as she sat down next to him. “Hey, B, don’t give up hope just yet. I know we haven’t had a lot of time to figure out how to turn you back but I promise we won’t give up. If you haven’t turned back to normal by tomorrow, we will go back and talk to Mr. Inugami again.”

Bakugou turned his head to look at her, he expected to see a look of pity on her face but instead she looked determined, there was no pity on her face at all. He sat up and looked her straight in the eyes and nodded in agreement. Kia patted his shoulder and turned back to her computer; they continued going over all the information until late.

Kia yawned and stretched her back, twisting as she straightened her legs. “It is getting late, I think I’m going to head to bed and get up early again tomorrow,” Kia said as she stood up. “Are you staying here tonight or will you go to your apartment?” Bakugou responded by jumping up on the couch and making himself comfortable. He hadn’t forgotten her nightmare from the night before. “Ok then, I will see you in the morning,” Kia stifled another yawn before heading to her room. Bakugou watched her disappear down the hall before curling up and falling asleep.

Bakugou woke up again in the middle of the night. He headed to the kitchen to get a drink of water when he heard Kia call out. Alarmed he hurried to her room where he found her still asleep. Kia was muttering something in another language as she rolled over. Her breathing was labored and her voice strained.

Bakugou let out a small bark to try and get her to wake up but it didn’t work. He moved closer to the bed, cautious about startling Kia. What the fuck do I do to wake her up? He wondered. Kia rolled over and faced the middle of the bed, her voice getting more urgent as her body twitched. Jumping up on the bed Bakugou inched his way towards Kia. Her brows were bunched together with worry and her lips formed a frown. “No…” she muttered. Her hand lay out in front of her clenched in a fist. Bakugou inched closer and nudged her fingers with his nose. Kia twitched but didn’t wake up so he nudged her hand again. When she still didn’t wake up, he gave a sharp bark and licked her hand.
Kia’s eyes flew open and she sat up straight with a cry, “NO!” Bakugou jumped back, wary of her lashing out, but she didn’t. Her eyes came back into focus as she took in her surroundings. “B?” she whispered as she looked at the canine standing on her bed. Bakugou stepped towards her when she called him. He could smell the salt of her tears as she put her face in her hands. He moved closer and nudged her arm with his nose.

Kia looked up and let out a shuddering breath. “Thanks, B,” she said as she reached out and stroked his ears. She could see the question in his eyes. “I’m ok,” she answered. Bakugou snorted and sat down next to her and she knew she wasn’t fooling him. “Alright, I’m not completely ok. Reading through all those files has brought up some bad memories,” she admitted.

Bakugou sat there wondering what he could do when he remembered something. He leaned forward and bumped his forehead against hers. For a moment Kia was caught off guard by his sudden action, but when she realized what he was doing she wrapped her arms around him in a hug. The telltale thwap of his tail against the comforter made her smile. Letting go, she gave him a small smile. “I think I’m ok now.”
Bakugou rolled his eyes before lying down on the bed. Realizing that he wasn’t going anywhere Kia lay back down next to him. “You know you don’t have to do this,” she told him but Bakugou just sighed laid his head on his paws. Kia felt a tingle in her chest as she reached out to stroke the fur on his shoulders. “Thank you,” she said as she moved closer and wrapped her arm over his back and buried her face in his fur.

Bakugou raised his head and looked at his partner who rolled back and propped herself up on one arm. “You really are something else,” Kia said as she ran a hand along his cheek. Bakugou snorted making Kia laugh. “Try and play the cold jerk all you want. It’s too late I know just how big your heart really is,” she said as she held his muzzle in her hand. Leaning forward she place a kiss on his nose. There was a puff of smoke and Kia found herself face to face with Bakugou.

Both of their eyes went wide as they realized he had just changed back. “B!” Kia exclaimed her hand still cupping his jaw. Letting go she leaned back and she looked him over.

Bakugou stared down at his hands, elated that he was finally back to normal. “It’s about damn time,” he grinned as he flexed his fingers. He looked up to see a red face Kia smiling back at him.

“Uhm, B, your human again,” Kia said.

“What was your first clue?” he replied.

“… you’re naked,” Kia bit her bottom lip as she maintained eye contact.

“And?”

“You’re in my bed…” Kia’s eyes glinted as she looked at him through her lashes. “I can see your ass.”

Bakugou gave her a wicked grin before rolling onto his side to face her. “And?”

Kia looked up at the ceiling still biting her lips as she shook her head. She met his eyes and grinned back at him. “Just go get some clothes on.”

Bakugou sat up and moved to the edge of the bed and stood up. Looking over his shoulder he saw Kia staring. He rolled his shoulders and flexed before taking a step towards the door.

“Wait!” Kia said as she got up and walked towards him. She grabbed an extra blanket and unfolded it, handing it to him as he turned towards her. “So you don’t scare the neighbors while you walk back to your apartment,” she said. Bakugou took the blanket and wrapped it around his waist and gave her a confident grin. “See you in the morning?” she asked.

Bakugou looked at her standing there in his shirt. She was standing so close that he could feel her body heat on his bare skin. “You sure you’re not going to have any more damn nightmares?”

“I’m sure,” Kia nodded.

Bakugou turned to leave her room and stopped at the door. He looked back at Kia to see her getting back into bed. “Hey, Sunshine,”

Kia sat down on her bed and looked up at her half naked partner standing in her doorway. “Yeah?”

“Thanks.” With that he made his way down the hall and back to his own apartment.

Kia flopped back onto her bed and covered her face with her hands. She took a deep breath but could still feel the heat in her cheeks. “What an ass,” she muttered as she pulled the covers up. She was going to have trouble sleeping tonight and it wasn’t because of nightmares.