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Zero: The Birth of the World's Best Hero Duo

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The day of the festival was a fucking mess.

Auntie kept checking and rechecking the damn TV, convinced that she’d forgotten to set it to record the festival, despite the fact that his parents assured her they wanted to buy two copies of the festival’s recording from the school and were bringing their own camera and camcorder.

And then she had to make sure they’d packed the batteries for the fucking things, and bentos because food wouldn’t be cheap at the school, and tickets (and start crying her thanks for her own ticket, again, since that shit was damn expensive his parents had bought it for her).

Deku had been the fucking mirror image of his mom, running around, convinced that they were supposed to bring something, when all they had to do was show up with their damn gym uniform and some money for lunch. Well, and water bottles.

Thankfully, Katsuki had convinced the nerd not to wear the uniforms on the train, because there was no fucking way he was going to attract that much attention on the way to the damn festival. They’d change into the shitty gym clothes when they got there. Instead, Katsuki had stuffed his uniform and water bottles into Deku’s gym bag and was now wearing the new camouflage tank top, the black and camouflage mastermind hoodie, and the lame light blue jeans with all the damn tears. Deku, of course, was just wearing his dumb ’t-shirt’ shirt, along with tan shorts.

Damn nerd had no sense of fashion, but Katsuki had long ago given up on that, as long as his soulmate didn’t look too idiotic.

Katsuki groaned as his parents forced them to stand in front of the damn stairwell, taking yet another shitty picture of him and Deku to commemorate the day.

He was going to fucking explode some shit if they didn’t at least get out the front door within the next five minutes.

Thankfully, they managed. Deku still kept checking his bag for who-the-hell-knew-what, as they walked down the sidewalk, and Auntie kept fretting over useless shit, like whether or not they’d remembered to lock the door, but they were at least walking toward the damn school, now.

Katsuki thrust his hands into his pockets, eyebrows twitching in annoyance when his hands brushed against the instructions sheet for the shitty speech. Deku had thrust it at him this morning and insisted he bring them with him (along with the shitty speech the nerd had made him write).

He might as well have left both at home—it’s not like he was going to follow them.

The station was a fucking madhouse, with long lines for each train heading toward UA, and every train car already crowded when it arrived. Deku ended up squished against Katsuki, his head leaning on his shoulder to hide his bright red face as his arms hung loosely around Katsuki’s waist.

Shit. It was really nice to have this affect on Deku, now, like really damn nice, but it was also damn embarrassing with their parents snickering right next to them. Katsuki tilted his head upward, trying to ignore how nice Deku felt up against him, hugging him like this—fuck. He willed his face not to turn red and clenched his hand around the rubber strap above him, trying to keep explosions from coming out.

Just a few stops. He could manage this for just a few more stops.

And then more people came in, and Deku was pushed even closer, damn it, and Katsuki was beginning to think this train ride was his own personal hell.

But then finally, finally they arrived at the station for UA, and the huge tide of people poured out of the train and toward UA. Deku grabbed his gym bag from the overhead rack, and by the time they stepped off the train, they’d already lost sight of their parents.

Katsuki sighed, grabbing the nerd’s hand and pulling him against the tide of people. Whatever. They would have had to separate from their parents at this point, anyways, since students were supposed to use a different entrance than the general public for today.

When they reached campus and safely found some bathrooms where they could change, Katsuki finally let his shoulders sag a bit, tension easing from his frame. They changed quickly, and Katsuki could tell the nerd was nervous, his fingers trembling with the zipper, but Deku just grinned at him when they finished. “It’s almost time, huh, Kacchan?”

“Yeah.” He grinned back, “Come on, let’s go find the extras so we can fucking dominate them already.”

Deku sighed at Katsuki’s phrasing, but his answering nod was firm, so Katsuki didn’t care. Even if Deku was a shitty goody-two-shoes, when it came down to it, the nerd would always do his damn best to beat everyone else.

By the time they made it to the room where they were supposed to wait before the festival, most of the class was already there. Pinky was complaining about having to wear the shitty gym uniforms, which made Katsuki roll his eyes. Of course they wouldn’t let them use their damn hero outfits when the other departments would be competing, as well.

Before they could find a place to sit, though. Half and Half Bastard stood up, staring at them both. Katsuki frowned. What the fuck was his problem? They’d barely spoken to the guy since USJ. Sure Deku had tried to talk to the guy and be friends the first week, but he’d pulled back after he realized how pissed off it made both Half and Half and Katsuki.

“Bakugou, Midoriya.” He strode toward the two of them. “Looking at things objectively, I think I’m stronger than both of you.”

“What the fuck, bastard?!” Katsuki’s hands fired off small explosions. “Like hell you are!”

All of their classmates were staring at them, now, and Pikachu made some shitty comment about the best in the class declaring war. As if. Katsuki would never let this bastard have that title.

Half and Half just ignored him, though, frowning slightly like they were some kind of fucking puzzle. “I know I’m stronger, yet All Might has his eye on you, doesn’t he? Especially on you, Midoriya.” Katsuki tensed as the Bastard shrugged. Why the fuck did he have to bring that up?! And how had he noticed?! “I’m not trying to pry about that. But I am going to beat you both.”

Katsuki snarled, “Eat shit, Bastard. Deku and I are going to be #1 and #2 in this thing.”

Shitty Hair was suddenly between them all, his arms hardened, as he faced Half and Half. “Hey, now! Why are you picking a fight all of the sudden? Not now, man! We’re about to start!”

Half and Half Bastard turned away from them, heading back to his seat now that he’d said his fucking threat. “We’re not here to play at being friends. So what does it matter?”

Katsuki stepped forward to follow the bastard, but Deku’s arm shot out in front of him. “Todoroki-kun, I don’t know what you’re thinking when you say you’ll beat me, but of course you’re better than me.” The Bastard turned back around at that, and Katsuki snarled. How dare Deku think— “I’ve only had this quirk for around a year, and I think you’re more capable than most people. But…” Deku’s hand clenched, and he let his arm fall down. “You won’t beat Kacchan. And everyone at this school is aiming for the top with everything they’ve got. I can’t afford to be behind. I’ll be going for it with everything I have, too. And I will do my best to stand at Kacchan’s side, even if you’ve all had more time to practice with your quirks than I have.”

Todoroki stared at them both, then nodded his head and weaved through the chairs to go back to his seat by the vice prez. Katsuki turned toward his soulmate; how the fuck could he say that shit?! “You can fucking beat him too, Deku. Stand up for yourself, damn it.” Katsuki glared at his soulmate, but all the nerd did was laugh a little and shrug.

Before he could yell at him again, though, Mic-sensei’s voice came over the room’s speakers, telling them to head toward the stadium and enter through the stadium gate once it lifted up.

This was it.

“Tch.” Katsuki ruffled Deku’s hair roughly, then grabbed his hand and hauled him back toward the door. “Come on, then. Let’s show everyone who’s the damn best.”

“Of course!” Deku laughed behind him. Some of the extras were complaining about being discounted, but Katsuki ignored them. The only one that was a threat was Fucking Half and Half, and they would destroy him. They would.

With every step the roar of the crowd became louder, Mic’s voice became more understandable…. And then they were at the gate, and the gate was slowly rising. Katsuki could hear fireworks going off in the stadium as Mic-sensei’s voice talked about their class.

It took a second for his eyes to adjust to the bright sunlight, but once they did, Katsuki grinned at the huge crowd all yelling and applauding for them.

Deku’s hand tightened around Katsuki’s before letting go to rub at his own arm. “Th-there are so many people…”

“It’s fucking awesome.”

Deku laughed next to him, his voice high-pitched and far closer to a nervous laugh than the real laugh he’d given in the hallway.

“Jeez, man, aren’t you nervous?” Shitty Hair fell into step at Katsuki’s other side. “Mic-sensei’s really going overboard with the praise.”

“Hell no!” Bakugou raised his hand, letting a small explosion pop freely before he clenched his fist. “I’m just getting more into it.”

“Man, you have an evil-looking grin sometimes.”

That got another actual laugh out of Deku as the nerd nodded, turning toward Shitty Hair with a wide grin, “I know, right?!” Katsuki rolled his eyes. Damn losers.

Mic-sensei was still blathering on, but now he’d switched to hype up the other classes as each of them entered the stadium. Katsuki glanced toward the announcer’s box and was surprised to see Aizawa-sensei next to the enthusiastic hero, their homeroom teacher’s form still covered in bandages.

Katsuki frowned. It was way past when Mic-sensei had said he’d be able to keep taking the shitty soulbond pill, yet the blonde hero looked fucking fine, despite Aizawa-sensei’s bandages. Katsuki narrowed his eyes. And Mic-sensei had also said they healed faster than most. Katsuki would bet that Aizawa-sensei was fine underneath those bandages, now, and had worn them and placed himself in a highly visible position to try to throw any villain off their trail in thinking that he and Mic-sensei were soulmates, since so many hero pairs shared pain.

Katsuki smirked. Paranoid bastard. Hand Fucker had thought that someone at USJ had to have a soulmate, though, and the teachers were the obvious ones to turn to, first. After all, they were still first years, and bonds this young were rare.

Their class came to a stop in front of a large stage in the center where Midnight was parading around—apparently she was the overseer for the first years this year, and Pikachu was fucking thrilled about it. Dumbass. They should be focusing only on the competition right now.

Then Midnight was calling for him to give his speech. Katsuki shrugged, pulling away from Deku and threading through the crowd to climb the steps onto the stage.

He knew what they wanted.

They wanted some shit about playing fair and hard work and plus ultra.

Like hell he’d ever say anything like that.

Katsuki stopped in front of the mic, his eyes traveling over the damn extras and the large crowd—Auntie probably would be disappointed about this, but the Old Hag would fucking love it, at least.

He took a deep breath—no backing down, he’d make all these fucking extras hate him, make them fight him at their best so that no one could claim they could beat him if they’d just tried harder—

“I pledge that I’ll be number one.”

The crowd erupted. Katsuki stiffened as someone called him a sludge bastard—who the fucking hell said that shit, they’d better be damn well ready to suffer hell—

Then Shitface shouted at him for being disgraceful.

“Tch.” Katsuki’s eyes narrowed, glaring at the boy that called himself Deku’s friend. He held out his hand, his thumb pointing downward, “At least become a nice bouncy step for me to jump off of.”

Shitface thought he was so damn subtle with the fact that he didn’t like Katsuki, but Katsuki hadn’t forgotten that the extra had never apologized to Katsuki for yelling at them on the first day, or at the entrance exam—to Deku, sure, but not to Katsuki. Then when the rest of the class had supported Katsuki in front of the extras, Shitface had done the absolute bare minimum and waited a fucking long time to make the assholes leave. And unlike Round Face, he’d never congratulated them about the whole dating thing, which Katsuki knew Deku was upset about, even if his soulmate would never admit it.

So Katsuki hated the asshole.

As he passed back through the crowd, Katsuki didn’t bother to angle his shoulder out of the way as he passed Shitface, instead ramming his own straight into the extra’s before he walked a few steps further to stand on the other side of the nerd.

“Kaaaaachaaaaan.” Deku was groaning, now, his head hidden behind his hands. “That was not the speech you showed me earlier!”

Katsuki shrugged, “That speech was fucking sappy.”

“It was good, though! Now you’ve made everyone mad at us again! I know you want to make everyone angry so they’ll fight you at their best and all of that, but did you have to catch the rest of the class up in that, too?”

“Huh?!” Shitty Hair was looking between them, startled. “You mean he wants everyone mad? He wasn’t just being cocky?”

“It’s not cockiness if I can fucking deliver.”

Behind them, Pikachu groaned. “It totally is, dude.”

“It’s really manly, though!” Shitty Hair was now grinning, raising up his fist, “I can really get behind wanting everyone to fight you all out like that!”

Pinky sighed, “But what about the rest of us? Now they’ll be fighting all out and we can’t catch them by surprise or anything!”

“Like hell you were going to do that, anyway.” Katsuki snorted. “We’re the class that was attacked by villains. Their expectations are already high.”

Pikachu and Pinky both groaned, but Deku just sighed beside him.

“Now let’s get started!” Katsuki looked up to see Midnight raising her whip-thing toward a large screen that said, ‘first game,’ but then started spinning before landing on the words ‘obstacle race.’

So they just had to beat some obstacles before everyone else? Should be a damn piece of cake. And they were free to use their quirks however they wanted. Katsuki grinned as they headed toward the starting point, ignoring Shitty Hair’s sigh next to him and the muttered ‘there’s the evil grin again.’

“Hey, Kacchan.”

Katsuki turned toward Deku, one eyebrow raised. What did his soulmate want? It wasn’t like him to start a conversation right before something big started.

His soulmate’s eyes were steely, and his smile firm. “For this race…let’s do it on our own. No helping each other, even though that’s not against the rules.”

Katsuki smirked. So the shitty nerd wanted to test their skills separately. Katsuki would never complain about that, especially when he looked so damn determined. He nodded. “You’re on, nerd.”

The second the blast sounded, Katsuki exploded into the air, and Deku jumped up next to him, green light flashing around him as his soulmate bounded from one side of the tunnel to the next, crossing above everyone else’s heads while also avoiding Katsuki’s path as he blasted straight through.

Seconds later, the temperature in the tunnel dropped.


Fucking Half and Half was going to freeze everyone.

Katsuki poured more fire power behind his blasts, shooting out of the tunnel with Deku fast on his heels, both of them escaping right before the tunnel froze behind them.

The three of them were neck and neck, now, the Bastard skating on his ice to Katsuki’s left while Deku’s lightning flashed on his right.

“What the fuck, Deku?!” The nerd was actually pulling slightly ahead of them. “When did you get faster?”

Deku laughed, shooting Katsuki a mischievous grin. “Between the weights and the sparring, I’m at 5%, now!”

Damn it! Katsuki had gotten faster, too, but he didn’t know if he could match Deku in speed, with that increase. Shitty nerd.

Katsuki wouldn’t just give his soulmate first place because he was faster, though. He pushed more into his blasts, focusing on keeping himself steady in the air despite the increase. The two of them pulled ahead of the bastard a bit, but then skidded to a stop as the next obstacle became clear.

Those fucking robots.

Deku’s punch would beat them at 100%, but the nerd couldn’t use that, not right now.

Whatever, he’d said not to help, so Katsuki wouldn’t even take one of the fuckers down for him. He blasted skyward as Half and Half swept his arm in an arc, ice flying toward one of the zero-pointers.

Bastard. Katsuki couldn’t help but grin. Half and Half had purposefully timed that for when the robot’s leg was lifted, meaning it would topple seconds after the bastard went past, and no one could use the frozen robot as a place to slip through—they’d have to climb the ice to manage that.

Katsuki may hate him, but he could appreciate that move.

He was still going to beat Half and Half Bastard’s ass, though. Katsuki could already see the next obstacle ahead, and it would be a fucking walk in the park for him. For Deku, too—once he reached it the nerd would have no problem jumping between those pillars.

Unfortunately, fucking Half and Half Bastard apparently had no problem, either, as he was now skating on the ropes a little bit behind Katsuki.

But where the fuck was Deku? He hadn’t seen the nerd since the robots… shit. Focus. The nerd would be fine. He’d been the one to declare that he didn’t want any help. Katsuki grit his teeth in annoyance as he finally cleared the pit. Whatever. The nerd was fast. He’d make up for whatever shit had delayed him.

Katsuki grinned when he saw the last obstacle. A fucking minefield was never going to stop him. He kept his arms steady, blasting forward and ignoring the steady stream of chill air behind him that meant Half and Half wasn’t far off.

He’d almost cleared the damn minefield when there was a damn huge explosion back from the start of the obstacle. Katsuki spared a brief look over his shoulder, confused. How the fuck had someone set off that damn many…?

Then his eyes widened.

“Little shit!” His soulmate had somehow set off a huge amount of the mines, and was hurtling toward them at break-neck speeds, riding a sled of metal that looked like it was from one of those damn robots.

Ignoring Half and Half, now, he put everything he could into his blasts and staying steady, trying to outpace his soulmate that was now flying towards him and Half and Half Bastard. At that speed, Deku would probably pass them, but the nerd wouldn’t know how to land, afterwards, and if Katsuki could pass him, then—

The robot panel slammed into the ground between Katsuki and Half and Half, sending Katsuki careening to the side from the force of the explosion it set off.

Fuck that!

He quickly corrected his trajectory, rushing after Deku, with Half and Half right on his heels (where the Bastard would fucking stay, damn it).

Damn it, there was no way he’d pass Deku at 5%! Not like this! And he was pouring out as much as he could, already wobbling a little and fighting to keep his balance and not topple over in one direction, but then—

Deku crossed the finish line.

Katsuki pushed out one last large blast, pushing too much and rolling across the finish line, but he’d beaten fucking Half and Half, who skidded to a stop a second behind them both, face clouded with anger.

The Bastard stalked off, not even saying anything to either of them. Asshole. Not like Katsuki cared. He pulled himself up, grinning at his soulmate.

“You little fucker.” Katsuki pulled Deku’s head under his arm, rubbing his hair roughly.

“Kacchan!” Deku flailed, “They probably have this on the big screen!” Katsuki laughed, a brief glance showing that yes, they were on the big screen over the stadium at the moment. Rolling his eyes, he released the nerd, sparing him further embarrassment.

Deku stumbled a few steps, then turned to grin at him. “All of those years of watching you train with explosions finally came in handy.”

“Tch.” Katsuki crossed his arms, “At least you got the trajectory right. Why the fuck were you so far behind us, anyway?” He glanced down, frowning, “And where are your damn shoes?”


“Huh? Who?”

Deku rolled his eyes, “The kid that got kicked out on the first day. Apparently he’s still mad about the whole thing and decided to take it out on me for some reason. I got some metal off of a three pointer so I could take down one of the zeros, but Mineta-san hit my shoes with his purple balls and stuck me to the ground. I had to take my shoes off to get free, but while I was doing that he attached himself to Yaoyorozu-san’s back. I didn’t want to leave her to deal with him, so I helped her before heading after you two.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “You damn hero.” He looked around, his eyes narrowing when he saw Balls for Brains cross the line on the back of some girl from 1B. “Looks like he just found another target, though.”

“Huh?” Deku turned, then actually fucking glared at the bastard. “We’re taking him down. I don’t care what the next event is, he’s not getting past it.”

Katsuki stared, entranced at his soulmate’s rage. “You want him gone, then he’s gone, nerd.” Fuck, his voice sounded breathy, but shit that look did things to him.

“He called you a murderer again and asked me if I was going to be your next victim, then he groped Yaoyorozu-san. Repeatedly.”

“What the fuck?!” Explosions burst from his hands. “That’s it, I’m going to fucking destroy him!” He stepped forward to take care of the bastard right then, but Deku’s arm shot out, grabbing his wrist. “Wait, Kacchan. Don’t give him an opportunity to act like a victim.” Deku’s grin was sharp, “We’ll get him where it really hurts. Destroy him fair and square in a school sanctioned competition where thousands are watching, and leave it so that he has absolutely no chance to re-enter the hero course.”

“Tch.” Katsuki yanked his arm free. “Fine.”

Balls for Brains was going to regret ever messing with them.