Actions

Work Header

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

Chapter Text

They never even made it out of the stadium before All Might—in his fucking All Might form—accosted them in the stadium’s entry corridor. “Are you two ok?!”

“Huh?!” Katsuki mustered up his energy to glare at the bastard. “We didn’t get a fucking scratch on us, of course we’re fine!” And they’d made sure to walk out tall and straight and hide their damn exhaustion, too! Deku had even waved at the shitty crowd!

“Aizawa-kun texted me and said to bring these to you as fast as I could, he’s stuck in the booth with Yamada-kun at the moment.” He held out his hand, revealing some of Recovery Girl’s gummies.

“Tch.” Katsuki took four, immediately eating one of them, and Deku did the same. Of course Aizawa-sensei would realize how they were feeling.

Deku smiled at the hero, eager to reassure him. “Thank you, All Might! We’re just really tired, that’s all! It was really straining.”

“I see.” All Might’s brow furrowed. “Please take care not to push yourselves too hard; you’ve both done marvelously so far.” His hands came to rest on both of their shoulders and he grinned at them. “You’ve really told the world that you’re here, and your teamwork in the last event was superb.” His heavy hands patted their shoulders. “I couldn’t be prouder.”

“Tch.” Katsuki frowned, “I’ll make you eat those words, All Might. We’re going to keep getting better from here.”

“Right!” Deku nodded eagerly, one hand clenched and raised in a fist.

The hero threw his head back and laughed, clapping them on the shoulders again before letting his hands drop. “I know you both will. Well, I just wanted to check on you and congratulate you both. I’ll let you get to lunch, now.” He paused, reaching down into his pocket, “Oh!” He pulled out a water bottle, handing it to Katsuki with a wink. “Make sure you stay hydrated, Young Bakugou!”

Katsuki frowned, but took it. “I have some in the waiting room.”

“I’m sure you do! But I thought you could use it now, so I grabbed it on my way here.” He gave them another thumbs up. “Well, I’ll be off, then!”

And then the man was gone, running out into the arena and making the crowd go wild.

Katsuki stared at the water bottle in his hands. It was… weird, to have his teacher bring this. The gummies were because Aizawa-sensei and Recovery Girl were fucking merciless with them, but this… his hand tightened around the bottle.

Whatever. He unscrewed the lid, bringing it up to drink. It was just a shitty water bottle, and he was damn thirsty.

“Zu-kun!” Round Face bounced over to them as a bunch of their classmates entered the corridor. “What did All Might want? Is everything ok?”

“Huh? Oh, um, it’s all good! He just wanted to congratulate us on doing well.” Deku scratched the back of his head, laughing nervously. Dumbass, acting like he was lying about shit when he wasn’t—the hero had talked to them about that, after all.

“That’s cool! You two have done really well!” Round Face grinned at them. “I’m sure you’ll have lots of offers for internships!” Katsuki rolled his eyes as the nerd stuttered out a thank you. “A bunch of us are going to get lunch and then eat it in the waiting room together, do you two want to join?”

“Huh?!” Katsuki turned toward Round Face, startled. She was inviting him, too? If Deku went, he’d have to, of course, but she didn’t know that.

“Well you probably want to eat with each other, right? I know you don’t, usually, but today is special.” She shrugged, “And Kirishima-kun and the others will be there, too.”

“Tch.” Katsuki looked away, annoyed. Of course they would be. “Whatever.”

Deku nodded to his friend. “We’ll get lunch and be there right away!”

“Awesome!” Round Face bounced back toward their classmates, chatting excitedly with Shitface and Brain Fucker.

“Thanks, Kacchan.” Deku’s hand slipped into his, entangling their fingers and giving him a shy grin that made Katsuki’s heart skip a beat. “Lunch alone would have been nice, but… I really want to celebrate today with everyone.”

Katsuki sighed, pulling the nerd down the hallway. “Yeah, yeah, I know. Let’s go get the shitty food and then eat with the extras.”

Of course, nothing could be that simple. Even though they were avoiding the crowded food stands and just grabbing the food from the cafeteria with the other students, the line was still fucking long, and Lunch Rush could only go so fast, no matter how amazing the hero was.

While they were in line, Mic-sensei’s voice had come over the loud speaker—apparently the stadium was now having some sort of fire works display? Whatever. After the line had moved up a few feet, though, Mic-sensei’s shouts became more interesting. Katsuki grinned as the hero described the afternoon’s events for the students. One-on-one sparring suited him just fine.

Deku tugged at his sleeve, practically bouncing his arm up and down as he used his other hand to point at the monitor on the nearby wall, and Katsuki’s grin widened when he saw their first match-ups.

Deku would have no problem with Brain Fucker, and Katsuki could defeat Round Face easily, though both dumbasses would probably have some trick up their sleeves—they were Deku’s shitty friends for a reason. More importantly, though, Deku was slated to fight Half and Half after he beat Brain Fucker. “Fuck, I’m jealous. Destroy that fucking Half and Half Bastard damn good for me, you got that?”

Deku laughed nervously, rubbing at the back of his head as they moved forward in the line. “I’ll definitely do my best, Kacchan, but he is a really strong fighter. I don’t know if I’ll win.”

“Fuck that. Of course you’ll win.”

“But… what’ll we do if we’re the final two?” Katsuki blinked he hadn’t thought of that, but… “We’ll just spar quirkless or some shit like that. The audience will have to deal with it.”

Deku sighed. “Somehow I doubt the audience will be very happy with that at all, Kacchan.”

“I don’t know! I’m sure the teachers have thought of something. It’s not like that possibility is unlikely to happen.”

“I guess.”

When they finally made it back to the 1A waiting room, Katsuki was damn relieved they were out of the crowds. Deku gave his hand a squeeze, then headed toward the open chair next to Round Face. The girl had left two chairs open next to her, but Shitface kept giving the second one uneasy looks, and Katsuki wasn’t going to deal with that asshole.

Instead, he turned toward Shitty Hair, who was waving at him enthusiastically. “Bakugou! Man, you two were awesome, earlier!”

“Tch” Katsuki rolled his eyes as he slumped into the empty chair. “Of course we fucking were. And we’re going to dominate in the afternoon’s matches, too.”

“If we both win our matches, we’ll be up against each other! I won’t go easy on you, man!”

Katsuki scoffed. “I beat you up every day we spar. Bring it on, dumbass.”

“I’ve been practicing a secret move with Togata-senpai when he’s come this past week, though! It’ll totally work!”

A secret move? Katsuki grinned, maybe the dumbass would be a fun match, then. “I’ll still beat your ass.”

“Togata-senpai?” Pikachu looked between them, confused. “Who’s that?”

“He’s a really manly third year that Bakugou knows! He’s been stopping by to help us train the past few weeks, along with his friend Amajiki-senpai. They’re both super strong, and I bet they’ll place number one and two in the third years!”

“Eh?? Really?” Pinky looked between them, pouting. “And they’ve been helping you guys? No fair!”

Katsuki frowned, “Pointy Ears hates attention and crowds. He’s strong, but he probably won’t place high in the competition—he’d rather lose early on and avoid the attention because he’s a damn loser like that.”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Pikachu waved his hands back and forth frantically, “Did Bakugou just admit that someone else was strong? These guys must really be incredible.”

“Tch.” Katsuki dug into his lunch, annoyed. They didn’t have to make it sound like such a big deal.

Shitty Hair was laughing, now. “Man, the first day they showed up they challenged the four of us to a spar and beat us all in like five seconds.”

“I held on longer than that, damn it!” Katsuki turned to glare at Shitty Hair, but the guy just shrugged.

“You were down in like, thirty seconds max.”

Katsuki grit his teeth. “It was one minute, at least.”

Pinky and Pikachu were snickering, now. “Dude, that’s still really fast for a fight.”

“Fuck off, assholes. Like you’d do better.” Katsuki narrowed his eyes. Actually, if Pikachu could fire off an attack while the Blonde Asshole was underground… but no. The Asshole phased even through air, so he’d probably phase through any electricity in the ground, too. He sighed, “I’d bet money the Blonde Asshole will take first, though.”

Pinky whistled. “First place in the third years, huh? How’d you meet a guy like that?”

Katsuki shrugged. “Mic-sensei introduced him so that he could give Deku some advice.”

“Really?” Shitty Hair blinked. “I didn’t know that was why you guys were introduced. I guess they are both close combat fighters that struggle with difficult quirks…”

The dumbasses then started talking about why the Blonde Asshole’s quirk was difficult and making plans to watch later matches to find some upper years with similar quirks to their own to ask for advice. It wasn’t a bad idea, and he was glad the dumbasses were eager to improve. Katsuki would ditch them if they were lazy idiots.

The door snapped open, then, and Katsuki frowned as Half and Half Bastard entered the room, his eyes scanning over all of them before resting on Deku.

“Midoriya. Can we talk?”

“Eh?” Deku choked on his food for a second, then looked at Half and Half in shock. “Um, I… I guess.” The nerd stood up, giving Katsuki a frantic look before following Half and Half out of the room.

“Tch.” Katsuki swallowed the last few bites of his lunch in a hurry, took a swig of water, then stood up, growling in frustration. “Like hell I’m letting Half and Half corner him when they’ll be fighting later.”

“Rude.” Brain Fucker glared at Katsuki as he walked by Deku’s table. “You just assuming Zu-kun’s going to beat me, then?”

“Of fucking course.” Deku knew Brain Fucker’s trigger. His quirk would be easy for the nerd to avoid.

“Big talk from someone who’s afraid to fight me.”

Katsuki’s hand froze against the door.

“What the fuck did you just say?” He turned around slowly, “Like hell I’m fucking afraid.”

Shitty Hair stood up, his arms hardening as he walked over, “Now, guys, I know we’ll all be fighting soon, but—”

“I heard you, you know. Before Zu-kun asked me to join your sparring group, you insisted on no two-on-two spars.”

How dare he twist Katsuki’s words like that! “I won’t let you make me use my quirk against Deku!” Explosions burst across his palms. “That’s all it is, you fucker!”

Brain Fucker tilted his head to the side, a smug smirk on his face. “Won’t, or can’t?”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?!” Shit! Damn it, did Brain Fucker know— a wave of disorientation hit Katsuki, making him close his eyes briefly to center himself. Fuck. How far had the nerd gone already?! Katsuki had to find his soulmate, and fast. This shorter distance shit was fucking annoying. He turned on his heel, “Whatever, Brain Fucker. I’m going to go make sure Deku’s fine. Play your shitty mind games with someone else.”

Katsuki slammed the door behind him, frustrated as hell that he couldn’t yell more at Brain Fucker. Right now, though, he had to find Deku. Turning down the hallways to the left just made him dizzy, but the sensations got better when he went to the right.

Damn it; this shitty game of hot-and-cold was annoying.

Finally, though, he heard their voices ahead. Katsuki frowned. Should he stay here and listen in or—

“That’s not it, huh? That means there is a connection between you and All Might that you can’t talk about, right?”

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki rounded the corner, what the hell had the nerd said while he’d been gone?

“Kacchan!” Deku turned to him like he was some fucking savior, his eyes wide with panic and his chin wobbling. Damn it, he’d left the nerd alone for just a few minutes and Half and Half Bastard already had his soulmate near tears.

“And that’s another thing that’s been bothering me. You two are always together. You come to school together, leave school together, do every exercise you can together, did the cavalry battle together… I guess you don’t eat together, but…” Fuck. The Bastard couldn’t… he couldn’t think they were soulmates, could he? First Brain Fucker was saying shit, and now Half and Half?

They’d been careful, damn it! Katsuki knew they’d been careful! Everything they had done had a reasonable explanation. But if Half and Half was Endeavor’s son, then he had grown up around heroes, which meant his father might have introduced him to other soulmate pairs and he might know more signs to look for than the average person would….

Half and Half Bastard was still silent, his mismatched eyes evaluating both of them as Katsuki came to stand next to Deku, glaring at the Bastard. After a few tense seconds, he spoke up. “Are you two half-brothers?”

“EH?!”

“What the actual fuck?!!!” Katsuki stared at the Bastard. Was he a damn idiot?! “We’re dating! No we’re not half brothers!”

“But that could just be a cover. I don’t believe it.”

“You don’t fucking believe it?!”

“Huh?” Deku was frozen in shock beside Katsuki, staring at their classmate as if he’d grown a second head. “That… that doesn’t make any sense! It’s the truth! Why would we lie about dating?”

“To cover up how close you are. My theory is that All Might pays attention to both of you because you’re both his illegitimate sons, but with different women. Midoriya inherited his quirk, so he pays more attention to him. This explains why you two are so close, why Bakugou is so protective of Midoriya even though Midoriya is strong, why Bakugou is always angry—yes, he has a good quirk, but it’s nothing compared to All Might’s—”

“I’m not his son!” Deku’s hands were waving around now, his voice frantic. “That doesn’t… that doesn’t make sense! I grew up with Kacchan and I have a similar quirk to All Might’s, that’s all!” Deku was looking between the two of them, confusion at least distracting him from his earlier state of near-tears.

Katsuki snarled, annoyed that this Bastard was riling up Deku so much. “And I’m protective of Deku because he’s a worthless shit who won’t ever protect himself! So back off, Half and Half!”

“Also, we aren’t brothers! That would be really weird because you know, we’re dating! And Kacchan’s this way because he takes after his mom!”

What the hell?! Since when did Deku think— “I fucking do not!” Katsuki whirled on Deku, gritting his teeth in frustration. “Take that back! I do not take after the damn Old Hag!”

Deku blinked at him, startled. “You so do, Kacchan.”

Katsuki growled, like hell—

“If you want to prove you’re dating, then kiss each other. Brothers wouldn’t do that.” Half and Half Bastard stared at them, his face bored, as if he hadn’t just uttered the most bizarre shit that Katsuki had ever fucking heard.

Katsuki stomped toward the Bastard, “What the fuck?!” He lifted Half and Half up by his shirt, “I don’t kiss on anyone’s demand, Bastard!” And it’s not like he fucking could even if Deku wanted him to! Not in front of someone else while the soul bond was still unsealed!

Mismatched eyes blinked lazily, ignoring Katsuki’s hand and his own current position. “People do crazy things to pass on their quirks. The theory makes sense.”

“It does not, you fucker!”

“Kacchan! Put him down!”

Growling in annoyance, Katsuki let go of the Bastard, not that he appeared phased. Half and Half just smoothed his shirt and continued like nothing had happened, “If people will get married and have whole families for the sake of passing on a good quirk, then why wouldn’t they have an illegitimate son or two?”

“Why… why are you bringing up quirk marriages?” Deku frowned, “Everyone knows those are illegal.”

Half and Half’s face darkened and he looked away from them both. “Not if you have fame and money. Endeavor persuaded my mother’s family it would be a good idea.”

Well, fuck.

That was… that was seriously messed up. Half and Half had no reason to lie about that shit, though. And if anyone would know about it, he would.

But the Bastard thought All Might was doing basically the same thing, just without legitimizing it? “All Might wouldn’t do that shit.”

Half and Half shrugged. “Most people would say Endeavor wouldn’t either, since he’s the number two hero and all, but the man is obsessed with surpassing All Might. Since he couldn’t do that himself, though, he decided to create a child with a better quirk that could. It’s so annoying…” His hands clenched at his sides as he looked down. “I won’t become the tool of scum like that.”

For once, Katsuki didn’t know what to say. This shit was damn fucked up. Beside Katsuki, Deku stared at Half and Half in horror.

“In my memories, my mother is always crying. She…” his hand reached up, tracing the edge of the scar around his eye. “She poured boiling water on me while screaming that my left side was unsightly.” Half and Half shook his head, dropping his hand and looking at them with a determined expression. “I picked a fight with you two to show my damn old man what I can do without using his quirk—I’ll reject him completely by winning first place without it.”

The whole fucking situation pissed Katsuki off. “Like hell you can beat us, Bastard. Even if you use your fire, we’d still fucking win. Your life may be damn shit, but that doesn’t mean we’ll go easy on you.”

“I don’t expect you to, but I will win.” Half and Half shrugged, “I also don’t care if you can’t tell me how you’re connected to All Might. No matter what you are to the number one hero, I will rise above you both with just my right side.” He turned on his heel, heading toward the corridor’s exit. “Sorry for wasting your time.”

“Wait!” Katsuki turned to Deku in surprise as his soulmate took a step toward the Bastard. “I… I have been always supported by others. Kacchan, our parents, All Might, Aizawa-sensei, Recovery Girl… I am here because of all the people who support me.” Deku’s hands clenched at his side, and his voice was hard and firm. “I want to be a hero like All Might and give people hope! In order to do that, I have to be strong enough to become number one. My motivation might seem trivial compared to yours, but I can’t lose, either. I have to live up to the hopes of those who supported me. You can try your best, but Kacchan and I will win!”

Katsuki grinned. Damn, he loved it when Deku got riled up. “Prepare that left side of yours, Half and Half. You’re going to need it to beat either one of us. No way we’re going to let you get away with half-assing this shit.”

The Bastard didn’t turn around and acknowledge them, but his shoulders were rigid as hell as he walked away.

“Come on, Deku. Let’s go get some seats.”

“Right…” Deku was frowning, staring at the hallway where Half and Half had left. “Kacchan…” Katsuki turned toward his soulmate, raising an eyebrow in confusion. “I’m really glad I have you, Kacchan” Deku grinned, but it didn’t reach his eyes. The nerd reached for Katsuki’s hand, and he let himself be tugged closer, tensing as Deku’s arms wrapped around his side. “Thanks for always being there for me.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, counting to five before pushing the sentimental nerd off of him and ruffling his hair. “As if I would’ve done anything else, idiot.”

Deku pouted. “Kaaachaaan. Just let me thank you, ok? Hearing Todoroki’s story just made me really happy that we’ll always have each other. He must be really lonely.”

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched as he began to walk back down the hallway toward the waiting room. “You’re going to try and be his friend, aren’t you.” He should have seen this coming. Honestly, he was surprised it hadn’t happened sooner, what with Aizawa-sensei’s comment on the first day.

“He seems like he needs one, so why not? I just wish I’d been able to figure out where he eats lunch so that I could invite him to eat with us.”

And then Deku began rambling again, theorizing about where Half and Half was eating and how he could befriend him and other shit like that. Katsuki sighed. Why did his soulmate have terrible taste in friends. At least Brain Fucker and Round Face were passable. Shitface and Half and Half were damn annoying.

“There you are!” Katsuki blinked as they rounded a corner and came face to face with All Might, once again. “The intermission is almost over, and they just announced the order of fights for the first round. You will be up first, Young Bakugou! Are you ready?” The hero looked over him with concern, “Do you need Recove—”

“I’m fucking fine.” The last thing he needed was the old hag sticking her nose into his business again. He’d eaten a gummy and the bond was normal since he and Deku were close to each other again. He was fine.

All Might peered at him closely, then sighed. “Well, that’s good, I suppose. She is very busy today. Young Midoriya, to help you two stay close by, you can watch the match at the stadium entrance. It’s a bit closer than staying in the stands.”

“O-ok. Won’t people wonder where I am, though?” Deku was pushing his fingers together nervously.

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Just tell them you couldn’t stand watching me blow up your fucking friend.”

“Kaacchaaan, don’t remind me.” Deku covered his head with his hands, then peeked out, “Don’t hurt her too bad?”

Katsuki scoffed, “I’ll do whatever I have to do to win, you shitty nerd. She’s friends with you, so she’s probably going to have some shit up her sleeve.”

Deku groaned, closing his eyes in frustration, but then blinked and straightened up suddenly, “Oh yeah! All Might, what are we going to do if both Kacchan and I make the final round?”

All Might laughed, “Thinking ahead, hmm? If that happens, you both will fight me, and the first person to land a hit against me will win.” He winked at them, “But I wouldn’t discount your classmates! All of them are very determined.”

“Of course!” Deku nodded firmly. “That would be really fun, though! I’m even more determined to win, now!”

All Might let out another booming laugh. “I’m glad you’re excited.” He turned toward Katsuki. “Well, Young Bakugou, are you ready to go to the stadium entrance now?”

“Sounds perfect.” Katsuki grinned, letting small explosions pop in his hands, “Let’s get this shit started.”

As they walked down the hallway, Katsuki pointedly ignored Deku’s mumbling about what Round Face might do against him and vice versa. Deku might know a lot more about the girl’s quirk than he did, but Katsuki didn’t need to cheat by getting extra info from Deku in order to beat this chick.

The closer they were to the entrance, the louder Mic-sensei’s voice became, until it was practically impossible to ignore the man as he hyped up the crowd about the various afternoon matches.

“Kacchan.” Deku’s voice was quiet, and if it had been anyone but Deku, Katsuki probably wouldn’t have even heard it. He turned toward the nerd. “I know Ochaco-chan really wants to win this, but…” his soulmate shrugged hopelessly. “You’re my soulmate. I’ll always be rooting for you.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Go ahead and root for the girl, you shitty nerd.” He smirked, “I’ll win either way, and she could use the fucking support.”

“And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for!!!” Mic-sensei’s voice interrupted them, loud and clear as it cut across the stadium. “It’s time for the first match!”

All Might’s hand was at his back, shoving him forward, and Katsuki blinked as his eyes adjusted to the bright light of the stadium before resolutely striding toward the arena in the center.

“Here’s the afternoon’s first contender! He had his moment of fame in middle school as the boy that defeated the sludge villain, he declared in his speech that he would win the whole competition, he won second place in the obstacle course and first place in the cavalry battle, it’s Bakugou Katsuki!”

The crowd roared around him as he hopped up the steps. Across the stadium, he could see Round Face enter the sunlight. Mic was going on about rooting for the underdog, making Katsuki scowl. What the hell? Weren’t announcers supposed to be fucking impartial or some shit like that?

“Oi, Round Face.” The girl looked up, pointing at herself as she stepped into the arena. Katsuki nodded. “You’re the one that floats things, right? If you’re going to withdraw, do it now. You won’t get off with just an ‘ouch.’” There. He’d warned Deku’s friend to back out and the nerd couldn’t be mad at him for anything that happened after this.

Predictably, the girl refused.

Of fucking course. She was Deku’s friend, so he’d expected no less from her.

The second Cementoss gave them the signal to start, the girl darted forward, hands outstretched and her body low to the ground.

She wanted to make him float? That would hardly do anything to him, since he could maneuver in the air, but who knew what she had up her sleeve, and it would be annoying to adjust the strength of his explosions to account for being weightless, so he probably should avoid her touch.

Katsuki let loose a series of explosions, blowing up the ground in front of the girl and sending her flying backwards.

And then she charged again.

Katsuki grit his teeth in annoyance. Fucking repetitive tactics.

Soon they were both surrounded by smoke from his explosions, but it’s not like that would help the girl any.

There was movement to the side, but the smoke was only shifting above the ground, so it couldn’t be her, but she could make things float... Something to attack him with? Katsuki sent a blast off in that direction, frowning when pieces of fabric twisted in the wind.

Her jacket?

Behind him!

Katsuki twisted around, setting off explosions between them and forcing Round Face to catapult backwards through the air.

His eyes narrowed. Had she expected him to think the jacket was her, and to attack him while he was distracted with that? It was a decent plan, but now her jacket was shredded, so she wouldn’t be able to attempt that again.

He eyed the rubble at his feet. She had plenty of other weapons to work with now, though.

Not that rocks would ever hurt him.

“Tch.” He growled in annoyance when the girl darted forward again, repeating the same attacks as before. “Would you fucking vary it up, at least!” She’d gotten her damn rocks, why wasn’t she fucking using them?! What was he missing?!

He could hear the audience booing, whining about how he was being too hard on the girl and should just end it, but Katsuki only dimly registered the dumbasses’ complaints.

The girl had to have a plan. She wouldn’t be doing this repetitive attack for no reason.

“It’s about time, I think.” The girl had stopped in an area clear from smoke, and she wiped sweat from her chin before giving him a grin. “Thanks, Bakugou-kun, for not letting your guard down!”

“Huh?” Of fucking course he’d never do that shit! But was she finally going to show him her damn plan, now?

“I’m gonna win!” She touched her hands together.

“Like hell!” Katsuki looked up as he heard something begin to whistle through the air above him. He grinned at the thousands of rocks that were beginning to freefall toward the earth.

Hell yes.

He stretched his right arm toward the sky, bracing his wrist with his other hand. One rock would never hit him, so she was throwing hundreds.

It was a damn good strategy, but it wouldn’t work.

He was dimly aware of the girl rushing toward him, trying to reach him and make some attack, but it didn’t matter. She wouldn’t get to him in time.

Katsuki let loose.

His wrist ached at the explosion’s force as his vision filled with nothing but fire and was forced to shift his stance to keep from collapsing at the blast’s recoil.

When he stopped, only small pebbles were left to drift toward the ground, and Round Face had been flung backwards, almost to the edge of the arena.

Katsuki flexed his shaking hand, grinning at her. “That was close.” The attack had been good, but Katsuki still had a lot more where that came from. “All right, let’s get serious, then, Uraraka!”

He could tell the girl was barely standing, but she nodded back, then stepped forward.

Katsuki rushed forward, palms bursting with explosions, but his eyes widened when instead of taking another solid step toward him, the girl stumbled, beginning to tilt headfirst toward the ground.

Shit.

Katsuki poured more power into his blasts, barely catching her before she hit the ground. He quickly switched his grip, grasping her arms firmly as she weakly struggled against him, trying to free her hands and touch him.

Katsuki sighed. The girl’s movements were weak, but he doubted she would stop fighting unless he made her.

He pulled his knee up, ramming it into her sternum and causing her to crumple in his arms, unconscious.

“Tch.” Katsuki scowled as the match was called and the crowd booed at him. He’d been as damn gentle as possible, assholes. Her sternum was only fucking bruised, and he’d always exploded their surroundings, never nailed her with an explosion itself, despite multiple chances to do so. But noooo the fucktards didn’t pay attention to any of those details.

They’d already wheeled a stretcher over to the edge of the arena, so Katsuki quickly deposited the girl and made his escape.

The second he entered the shadows, arms wrapped around his torso, and Katsuki relaxed at the embrace. At least Deku wasn’t mad at him.

“Thanks for holding back, Kacchan.”

“She didn’t make it fucking easy.” Katsuki sighed, resting one hand on top of the nerd’s head as his soulmate sniffled. All Might had disappeared at some point during the fight, and it was just the two of them.

A soft laugh was muffled in his shirt, “I know." Deku paused, then added, “She’s ok, though, right?”

“She’s fucking fine. She has several burns, scrapes, and bruises, and a bruised sternum, but mostly she overused her damn quirk for that attack. Recovery Girl will have her fixed in no time.”

Deku’s hands tightened around him. “Good. That’s… that’s good.”

Katsuki sighed. “Come on, I need to get some water and some gummies, that blast really took it out of me and I’m damn exhausted already.”

“Eh?” Green eyes turned toward him, still bright from tears. “Already, Kacchan? But it’s only been one fight.”

“Yeah, well, the exhaustion’s been shitty recently, and it’s not like we had a fucking light morning. You know that. And there’s still three gummies left. As long as we stick to one between each match we’ll be fine.”

“Right.” Deku was frowning, now, but at least he wasn’t crying. His soulmate’s hands loosened from Katsuki’s shirt and he took a step back. “Maybe I’ll be able to catch Ochaco-chan before my fight. She probably needs someone to cheer her up.”

Katsuki shrugged and began to walk down the hallway, his soulmate at his side. “Sounds good, nerd, though I’m probably the last person she wants to see right now.”

Deku laughed, scratching at his cheek with one hand as his other slipped into Katsuki’s. “Right. There is that.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Don’t worry, if we run into Round Face I’ll stand around the corner or some shit like that.”

That earned him a grin. “Thanks, Kacchan!”

Whatever. It’s not like he had anything better to do than stand around until Deku’s fight happened. Though he supposed it would be interesting to see how the lunch assholes did.