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

Chapter Text

Katsuki grinned as the words ‘cavalry battle’ flashed on the board above the stadium.

His grin widened when Midnight announced that the teams could consist of only two people.

All he needed was Deku.

He held out a hand by his waist, palm up, and Deku immediately slapped it with a high five as they listened to Midnight give the rest of the instructions. Like in every damn cavalry battle, the people on the ground were ‘horses’ and therefore only allowed to use their quirks to assist with movement; only the rider could grab other teams’ headbands.

Then Midnight announced how the points would be distributed, and Katsuki didn’t think his grin could get any damn wider.

It was the best opportunity he could ever ask for. Everyone would be coming for them, and he and Deku would still beat them.

When she finished, though, the nerd raised his hand. “Um… does the rider have to be the same person the whole time? Or could you switch roles in the middle of the event?”

Huh? Katsuki turned to stare at the nerd incredulously. Deku wanted him to be the rider at some point? He frowned. The nerd was faster on the ground than Katsuki, but they’d never practiced like that….

Midnight blinked and there was a long pause before she gave them a big grin and a wink. “A switch! I like it!” She added a thumbs up, “But the person wearing the headband will have to be the rider, and their feet cannot touch the ground while they are the rider. If you’re creative, though, you could make it work!”

Beside him, Deku nodded, rubbing his chin and already deep in thought. Katsuki raised one eyebrow; what the hell was the nerd thinking?

When no one else had a question, Midnight announced that they had fifteen minutes to find their teams, and Shitty Hair immediately turned to Katsuki, “You two need a shield?”

“Fuck off. Deku and I will take everyone on with just the two of us.”

Shitty Hair sighed, “Yeah, I figured.” He shrugged, then looked around the arena, “I’ll go find Mina and Kaminari, then, I guess.”

Shitty Hair wandered off, and Katsuki eyed the crowd around them with disdain as everyone avoided Deku like the plague.

Fucking cowards.

“Zu-Kun!” Deku’s head snapped up and he turned around to look at Round Face, who was smiling brightly. “You want to team up?”

“Oh! Ummm…” Deku looked back at Katsuki, who growled.

“I’m only teaming up with Deku. Adding another would just make it fucking complicated.”

“Oh…” She pushed two fingers against each other while she sighed. “I was just thinking we should team up with people that we know we work well with, which… I guess that makes sense for you two to just stick with each other, then.”

“No worries, Ochaco-chan.” Katsuki rolled his eyes as Brain Fucker sauntered up, his hands shoved into the gym uniform’s pockets as he gave them all a nonchalant shrug. “I’ll partner with you, if you’re ok with that.”

“Of course!” Round Face was all smiles again, “I’d love to work with you, Toshi-kun!”

“Fucking wonderful.” Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Now scram, assholes. Deku and I need to plan.”

As the two nodded, saying something about finding other teammates, Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. Shitface was over with Half and Half Bastard—he hadn’t even tried to approach Deku to be his teammate. Damn coward.

“Kacchan,” there was a tug on his sleeve and Katsuki looked down to see Deku kneeling and drawing something in the sand. “I got a close look at his purple balls when I helped Yaoyorozu-san,” Deku paused, sighing at Katsuki’s raised eyebrow, “The vice president. It may be impossible to remove it from something, but you can explode it, I’m certain. As long as you control the explosion’s trajectory, we can easily use his quirk against him.” The diagram was less detailed than the nerd typically made, but it certainly explained why the nerd wanted to switch. Only Katsuki could pull off that attack.

Katsuki grinned. “Hell yeah; I’m on board, nerd.”

Deku stood up, dusting his knees off before kicking sand over his drawing. “As for the rest, we’ll need to stay flexible because we don’t know what people will team up, though…” Green, determined eyes watched groups begin to form across the arena, “We need to watch out the most for Jiro—”

“Descriptions, nerd, not their damn names.”

Deku sighed. “From our classmates, the guy with large circular elbows can shoot tape over long distances, the girl with purple hair can extend her earlobes and command them very precisely, and Tokoyami-kun has Dark Shadow….” Deku paused, frowning, “I don’t think Tsu-chan’s tongue will reach you if we’re high up, but we should be careful when we’re on the ground. And I don’t know 1B’s quirks.”

So four people from their class with long range abilities to grab the headband from the air, and who knew how many from the other class.

“We should probably assume the girl from the support class will have a device that can help her with long range maneuvers.” Deku pointed over to a girl with pink hair that was digging through a trunk next to Brain Fucker and Round Face.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. “We don’t know what shit she’s giving Brain Fucker, so, except when we’re up high, don’t talk unless it’s absolutely damn necessary.”

“Sounds good.” Deku’s eyes were lit up with determination. “Move however you need to, Kacchan. I won’t fall.”

Tch. “Damn right you won’t.” Katsuki had more faith in his soulmate than to even suggest it.

A buzzer sounded over the arena, then, and Midnight asked one person to come up from each team to collect their headbands. Katsuki strode toward the podium, accepting the headband for 10,000,205 points with a grin. Overhead, Mic announced that the first and second place winners from the race were teaming up, and the crowd roared.

They were going to destroy everyone.

“I know you’re excited, but do you have to do the evil grin so much today, Kacchan?” Deku took the fabric from his hand, raising it up to wrap it around his head.

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Fuck off.” He stepped around his soulmate to tie the headband behind his head—tight enough that it would stay on, but loose enough that it would fit on Katsuki’s head, as well.

Deku laughed, grinning at him before jumping onto Katsuki’s back. “We’re going to win this, Kacchan. Just you and me.”

“Damn right we are. We’re going to win it all, Deku.” They’d show everyone that they were going to rise to the fucking top!

The rest of the teams were now getting into position, and Midnight began a ten second countdown. Katsuki held his arms out at his side, letting small pops fire off.

“Three!”

“Two!”

“One!”

Katsuki shot into the air, and Deku kicked off his back as Katsuki swerved to avoid the vines and tape that shot right where they’d been seconds before.

Katsuki grinned, catching Deku and blasting them both higher into the sky. The assholes had guessed that their first move would be to fly up and had targeted their attacks accordingly.

This would be fun.

The shadow bird twisted toward them, but Katsuki let off some explosions in its damn face, and it backed off from pursuing them higher into the air. That was interesting. Well, it was a shadowy thing, so Katsuki supposed it made sense that explosions and fire would work well against it.

When they reached a height where no one was attacking them anymore, Katsuki stopped ascending. They weren’t higher up than the arena itself, at this point, but they were close. The extras below were shouting in annoyance, but the crowd was cheering all around them. From this height, they could dodge any long distance attacks practically without thinking.

They could last thirty minutes like this, though it would be fucking boring and he’d hate it. Thankfully, that wasn’t the nerd’s plan. Katsuki’s eyes narrowed as Balls for Brain’s team grabbed a headband off of some extra. Like hell he’d let that asshole pass this test. He and Deku would keep their headband and destroy him.

Deku’s hands tightened around his shoulders. “Patience, Kacchan. Observe first, then take them down fast after they’ve forgotten about us.”

Katsuki growled in frustration. Judging from Half and Half’s glare, there was at least one group that definitely wasn’t going to forget about them.

That suited Katsuki just fine. He’d love to rip the headband off of the Bastard’s head.

After ten minutes of staying airborne, Katsuki couldn’t take it anymore. Most of the 1A teams had been fighting for the highest point total on the ground—Half and Half Bastard’s, while the 1B teams had been getting 1A’s headbands while they were distracted. Brain Fucker was retaliating against the 1B teams, but no one else seemed to have noticed.

Balls for Brains’ team was in fourth place, with Half and Half and Brain Fucker above him.

Katsuki growled.

There was someone on Balls for Brains’ team that could levitate objects and was moving the sticky balls around as a shield in between them and the other teams while Balls for Brains tripped up any teams within his shitty throwing range. There were now several fuckers running around completely barefoot, just like Deku.

Then Deku’s hands shifted, lightning flashing as his grip tightened, squeezing Katsuki’s shoulders twice.

Katsuki grinned. Fucking finally!

Trusting his soulmate to hold on, Katsuki tilted forward, ignoring everything but himself, Deku, and his target.

When they were about ten feet above them, Balls for Brains let out a squawk of surprise, waving his arms around in a panicked attempt to shield the fabric on his head.

The purple shield shifted upward, directly between the team and Katsuki. He laughed. Like that would fucking stop him. Deku shifted on his back into a crouch, his hands tightening around Katsuki’s shoulders, giving Katsuki an additional brace as he held out his hands in front of his chest, cutting off the explosions for a few seconds to free fall— one second, two, wait until they were right on top—

He unleashed a several large, targeted blasts, bursting every ball between him and the other team and sending the sticky spray raining down on the extras.

The second the explosions ended, Deku kicked off against Katsuki’s lower back, pulling him in the same direction as the backwards blast from the explosion and flipping them. As they flew backwards, Deku’s hands slid down from Katsuki’s shoulders, grabbing onto his feet, instead, and pulling them on top of his shoulders. With mere seconds between them and the ground, Katsuki bent down, yanking the headbands off with one hand and placing them on his head.

The nerd’s feet hit the ground, but, rider or not, Katsuki didn’t give a fuck about balancing on his shoulders, instead shooting straight toward Balls for Brain’s team.

Deku laughed as he darted to the left, punching the shadow thing in the face and driving it away from Katsuki’s path. Trusting Deku to block the other teams, Katsuki focused on his target—the one person in the purple goo ahead of him that had managed to brush off all the shit.

It took seconds to grab the team’s bands, releasing small, hot explosions to burn away the sticky shit that was adhering the bands to the asshole’s head.

Deku was on the other side of the team, now, kicking away Purple Hair’s extend-o-shit, and Katsuki blasted tape away from the nerd as he landed on the nerd’s shoulders—standing precariously and ready to blast off at a moment’s notice.

Ice!

He blasted into the air, Deku kicking himself free from the ice on the ground and then jumping up a second after him, grabbing the headbands and putting them on his head as he landed on Katsuki’s shoulders once more.

“Kacchan!” Deku groaned, “Did you have to singe them so much?”

“He had them attached to some shitty balls on his head, I had to get them the fuck off somehow.” He snorted, “Don’t worry, I was careful and didn’t burn the asshole, even if he deserved it. He’ll have some singed hair, but that’s it.”

Another sigh as Deku shifted on top of him, no doubt adjusting Katsuki’s rushed knots so that they held a bit more firmly.

A piece of fabric dangled in front of him. “Singe this one, too. We need them to all look the same.”

“Just dangle it by my damn hands then, nerd! I can’t just singe shit while I’m trying to fly both of us, damn it!”

He fucking knew his shitty soulmate was rolling his eyes, but the nerd didn’t say anything, just shifted on top of him with practiced ease.

Below them, the other teams were avoiding the sticky mess like a plague. Katsuki grinned. There was no way Balls for Brains was going to be able to get anymore points. Sure, the asshole himself could move, but he was the rider. The second his feet touched the ground his whole team would be disqualified.

“Tch.” He fucking hated 1B’s strategy, the bunch of damn wimps. Katsuki could understand Brain Fucker avoiding Half and Half—the Bastard knew his quirk and would be wary of it, strategically it was better to go after the others. But all those 1B wusses weren’t even trying to tackle the other teams head on.

He growled in frustration.

“I’ll stay on, Kacchan. Go for it and I’ll grab everyone’s I can; just warn me if you want to switch.”

“No one else has headbands attached so firmly that you can’t grab them, so it shouldn’t be a fucking problem.”

Deku hummed in agreement, green lightning beginning to flash around his hands as he prepared for Katsuki’s dive. “Avoid the green haired girl, if possible. Those vines will be hard to dodge since she can control them so precisely.”

“Tch.” Katsuki frowned in annoyance. “Whatever. I’ll explode them if they get too close.”

Katsuki plummeted, coming up behind a girl with big hands, and all it took was seconds for Deku to grab the headbands before they were blasting away, twisting to avoid her reach. As the hand expanded, Deku vaulted into the air to dodge, laughing at Katsuki’s growl as he reversed his blasts to flip backwards and then push higher into the air and out of her reach and catch his wayward soulmate.

Immediately, a wall of ice came shooting towards them.

Katsuki grinned as Deku’s arm shot past Katsuki’s shoulder, punching the ice as it got too close and making it splinter and halt in its tracks.

Katsuki flew up over the giant wall, then dropped down on top of another team from 1B that didn’t stand a fucking chance. The girl’s horns were damn easy to dodge, and Deku had their headband with little effort at all.

“Oi! Bakugou!” Katsuki frowned, turning toward Shitty Hair’s voice and then narrowly dodging the fucking electric whip that snapped toward them.

He blasted upwards, glaring at Brain Fucker, who was smirking at them, a whip held loosely in one hand. The asshole had a support device around his neck—one that apparently made him sound like other people, because Shitty Hair was nowhere close to them. That shit was fucking annoying. Before Brain Fucker could use the support girl’s whip again, though, another wall of ice cut across Katsuki’s field of vision, separating them from Brain Fucker’s team.

Katsuki narrowed his eyes.

Half and Half Bastard was trying to isolate them from everyone else and create a one-on-one battle between their teams.

“Five minutes left!” Mic-sensei’s voice boomed out over the stadium. “Will the first rounds’ champions be able to keep hold of the 10,000,000 along with the several headbands they’ve acquired, or will Endeavor’s son chase them down before the time runs out?!”

Endeavor’s son?

Whatever. That just made Katsuki want to destroy the Bastard even more.

But first, there were some other damn cowards he had to make pay. He blasted through the wall of ice, almost landing on top of the green haired girl and having to spin away at the last second.

Shit.

Deku jumped off his back as vines whipped toward them, and Katsuki set up a wall of explosions between their two groups before then blasting upwards to catch his airborne soulmate, who was in the middle of punching Bird Head’s shadow away from their headbands.

Another few blasts took care of that bastard, though Deku grunted as Katsuki grabbed his foot and flung him quickly onto his back before spinning to blast a band of tape into smithereens.

And then there was another fucking wall of ice.

Fuck him!

All these damn walls were fucking annoying to deal with! Katsuki wanted to destroy the shitty 1B cowards first, but apparently Half and Half Bastard wasn’t going to let that happen.

Katsuki turned around, landing with a frustrated growl. They weren’t pinned by any means, but none of the other teams would be able to get to them without first destroying the ice. Well, at least with Brain Fucker on the other side of the ice Katsuki could talk freely with Deku.

Shitface was at the front of Half and Half’s team, with Pikachu on one side and the Vice Prez on the other. “What’s Vice Prez’s quirk?”

“Creation. She can create anything out of her own fat cells as long as she knows the object’s chemical composition, but she’s really smart, so that limitation isn’t saying much.”

And she’d probably eaten a lot today, too.

Damn it. Flexible quirks like that were damn annoying.

Whatever. They weren’t going to let Half and Half take the 10,000,000, and they’d take his fucking headband while they were at it.

“Midoriya-kun! I dislike being on an opposing team, but I will fight you with everything I have!”

Tch. “Fuck off, Shitface!” Katsuki blasted toward them.

“Retreat!” Half and Half Bastard stuck his left arm out, and Shitface started pulling the team in that direction. “We fight on our terms, not theirs!”

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. Like hell they would. If the Bastard’s right arm was ice, and he wouldn’t use his left, then…

“Kacchan! The left!”

“I’m on it!”

He blasted to the left, staying at an angle that would force the Bastard to freeze Shitface if he attacked with his right arm.

He growled in annoyance—all this move resulted in was a fucking merry go round, and Katsuki wanted none of that boring shit.

“Yaoyorozu, prepare a defense, Kaminari-kun, get ready!”

What the fuck? Katsuki’s eyes widened as Vice Prez made a fucking lightning rod and some shitty blanket that Katsuki supposed blocked electricity.

Shit.

Katsuki shot upwards into the air, Deku leaping off his shoulders to get even higher, away from the electricity coursing through the ground underneath them and shooting around in the air all around them.

Fuck!

Katsuki gasped as shocks hit his legs, coursing through his body—he hadn’t been fast enough… but it would be worse if he landed, he had to stay aloft, he’d avoided most of it…

Katsuki grunted as Deku landed on his back, explosions only popping up sporadically, and barely keeping them aloft.

Fuck, everything wasn’t responding right!

“Kacchan!” the headbands were forced onto his head, green lightning flashed around him, “I’ve got you!”

He let go.

They plummeted to the earth, landing with a thud that Katsuki was pretty sure left a crater, but Deku was still standing upright.

“Fuck, Pikachu’s shitty electricity messed with my quirk somehow—I can’t feel my fingers or my damn feet.”

“Electric shocks can numb muscles and nerves if they’re strong enough. You were just grazed, though, so it should ease off. Let me know when you’re good to go.” Deku was running, now, green lightning flashing as he raced along the ground, dodging constant ice attacks and even a fucking bomb or whatever the hell Vice Prez had thrown at them.

Fuck, Katsuki was hanging over Deku’s shoulders like a damn suck of potatoes and he fucking hated this shit.

He flexed his hands, letting out experimental pops. He could feel shit again, but his explosion had been stronger in his right hand when it should have been equal—

A gust of wind blew past them, and suddenly Half and Half and his fucking team were standing behind them, the Bastard holding two headbands.

Katsuki touched his head, releasing a frustrated growl when the stack of headbands was thinner than it should have been.

One of the headbands in the Bastard’s hands had singed ends, but from the annoyed look on Half and Half’s face, it wasn’t the 10,000,000.

“Deku!”

“On it!” Deku pushed off, darting toward the opposing team.

“One minute left!”

Fuck it. Katsuki wasn’t going to end this shitty match being fucking carried like a wuss.

He launched himself off Deku’s shoulder, thankful when his blasts came evenly once more, and then closed in on the team’s right side. Half and Half flung ice in his direction, but Katsuki easily swung around it, laughing at the Bastard’s lame attempt. It seemed the closer you got to him, the weaker the ice—like it hadn’t had time to build up any strength, yet.

He reached for the headbands, explosions popping in his palms to break through the shield of ice—

Then the air began to crackle again, and the blanket was flung between him and the headbands.

Fuck.

Katsuki blasted upwards, Deku jumping past him and landing on the tip of the ice wall before springing up even higher.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed.

Deku had something in his hands.

And this time, they both cleared the electric blast, and now Pikachu was a worthless lump of shit.

Katsuki darted to the side, catching Deku and swinging him onto his back with practiced ease.

“I couldn’t get ours, but he wasn’t guarding the one on his head as carefully, so I got Todoroki-kun’s.”

Katsuki grinned. “Hell yeah.” That was one victory, at least.

He felt Deku’s fingers brush through Katsuki’s hair, pulling off the headbands to place them on his own head once again.

Now they just had to get the headbands the Bastard had stolen—

“TIME!!”

Fuck!

Katsuki yelled in frustration, “Damn it!”

He decreased the explosions, letting them drift toward the ground, then dropping the last few feet and punching the ice next to them in frustration.

Deku laughed nervously, jumping off his back, then holding out a piece of fabric, its numbers facing upwards.

10,000,205.

“We kept it, Kacchan. We met our goal and came in first.”

Katsuki growled, “But we didn’t fucking destroy Half and Half! We stole one from him, but he stole two from us!”

Deku sighed, then pointed toward the large monitor, where their point total was now displayed—10,001,660. “Even without the 10 million, we definitely placed first, though. It was an undisputed win when it comes to points.”

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. That was one way to fucking think about it, sure, but he was still so fucking ticked--

Fuck.

Katsuki swayed, sinking slowly to the ground…it felt like he’d just had all of his strength zapped from his body. Beside him, Deku collapsed onto his knees.

Shit, he’d known today would likely take a toll on them, but he hadn’t been expecting it to hit them all at once like this. He’d felt fucking fine…

“Adrenalin rush.” Deku’s breathing was heavy. “We didn’t realize how tired we were becoming because we were running on adrenalin, but once our bodies realized the fight was over—”

“Fuck this shit.”

A breathy laugh answered him. “Yeah. There’s a break now, though.”

“I don’t know if I can fucking move.”

“We have to, Kacchan.” There was a long pause, then a groan, and then, “Well, in a second. We can wait until they’ve announced all five teams that will go on to the final event.”

Katsuki’s eyes flickered toward the large screen over the stadium where three teams were already listed.

1st: Bakugou Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku with 10,001,660 points
2nd: Todoroki Shouto, Yaoyorozu Momo, Kaminari Denki, and Iida Tenya with 855 points
3rd: Sero Hanta, Ashido Mina, Kirishima Eijiro, and Tokoyami Fumikage with 715 points

Huh. The bastards had managed to make it through without him. Katsuki grinned. Good. He wouldn’t hang around anyone who was a fucking weakling. And they’d beaten Deku’s misfits, too, since those two bastards were listed right underneath them, along with the annoying Support Girl.

4th: Shinsou Hitoshi, Uraraka Ochaco, and Hatsume Mei with 550 points.

The screen flashed for a second as there was a dramatic pause, then the final team appeared on the screen.

5th: Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu, Shiozaki Ibara, and Honenuki Juuzou with 435 points

Tch. 1B bastards. Midnight was talking again, though, and Katsuki grinned with glee when she said no other team had managed to hold onto any points besides these five. At least they’d destroyed the rest of that damn class.

“Looks like the only 1B team to make it through was the girl with green hair. Not that surprising, I guess. They had good teamwork.”

Like hell Katsuki knew what Deku meant by that, but at least it was the bastards that had actually tried to attack them for the 10,000,000.

Katsuki groaned, slowly pulling himself up to a sitting position. Ah, fuck. They’d have to get passed all this ice to exit—oh, the Bastard was melting a damn hole for people to go through.

Fuck that.

Katsuki took Deku’s hand, letting the nerd pull him to his feet. He staggered over toward the nearest ice. “Come on, I’ll blast through.”

“But—”

“I’m not going to use his fucking path.”

Deku sighed behind him. “Alright, Kacchan. Let’s just go check-in with Recovery Girl and then get some food. I’m starving.”

Katsuki grunted, holding his hand up in front of the ice. Food sounded really damn good right now. And water.