Actions

Work Header

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

Chapter Text

“Mom?”

His mother turned around in the living room, startled. At the look on his face, she set down the All Might cartoon next to the TV.

Katsuki could feel Zuku fidgeting next to him.

“What is it, Katsuki?”

“Why…why do we live with Zuku? With Zuku and Auntie?”

His mother sighed. “Inko and I have been friends for a very long time, Katsuki. You know that.”

“It’s weird.” Zuku stepped closer to his side. He squeezed his friend’s hand. He didn’t think it was weird.

Another frown. “Why do you say that?”

“Everyone says that.” Bunch of jerks.

His mom was walking toward them and kneeling down, now. “And who is this everyone, brat? I don’t say that. Your Dad and Auntie don’t say that.”

“At the park.” Zuku’s quiet voice spoke up. “They laughed at us. But Kacchan yelled at them.”

“I see.” She stayed there, just watching them. Katsuki frowned. Why wouldn’t she answer? He was about to yell at her, but his mom started to stand up, “I suppose you two are almost four, and we can't keep hiding this from you forever. Let me go get Inko and your father, Katsuki. They should be here.”

Katsuki didn’t understand. Hiding what? And all the adults? Everyone was usually here for dinner and shit, but Auntie always had to leave right after. She had to go to work.

“Why wake up Mom? Mom needs sleep. We have to be quiet before dinner. Mom sleeps then. But Auntie said she was getting Mom. And getting your dad. But your Dad’s usually awake now. Why get both? This—”

“Oi.” Katsuki whacked Zuku on the back of his head. “Stop it. They’ll tell us soon. You wanted to know, too, right?”

Deku nodded.

“Tch.” Katsuki was about to scold him for looking so shitty and weak, but then his mom came back. This time with his dad and Auntie. Auntie looked really tired. He frowned.

Auntie sat down on the floor in front of them. “You know those two water heroes you boys like?”

“Yeah!” Zuku grinned, suddenly not worried. “The water hose duo!” He was bouncing up and down now. The nerd loved heroes. “They’re soulmates! So they work really well together! And they’re super strong!”

Auntie smiled. “Yes, they are very lucky. Not many people find their soulmates.”

“They’re awesome!”

Katsuki was confused. Why were they talking about the stupid water heroes?

Auntie just kept going, though. “How did they know they were soulmates?”

“The signs!” Zuku was still bouncing, happy to answer any question about a hero.

“Good job.” Auntie was smiling at them both. “And what are the signs of a soulmate?”

“Um….” Zuku frowned. “You have to be near them? At least at first. And…they’re perfect for you! And…” The frown deepened.

“There’s a mark.” Katsuki glared at the Midoriyas. He just wanted his question answered. He didn’t understand why they were talking about this. “And after the mark, you start feeling their crappy emotions and pain and shit.”

Auntie sighed at his language, but she didn’t say anything.

“Yes, Katsu-kun. When soulmates complete their bond, a mark that represents them appears on their chests. And then whenever a situation is bad, they can feel the other’s emotions and pain.”

“And Shield felt his soulmate’s location! And Ghost her soulmate’s thoughts! And—”

“Yes, Izu-kun,” She ruffled Zuku’s ridiculous hair. “It can be different for everyone.”

They sat in silence.

More silence.

Katsuki couldn’t take this anymore. “Why do we live together?!?!” He glared at the three adults. He just wanted an answer!

His mom glared back, “Katsuki, you and Izuku are soulmates.” She growled in annoyance, “I almost feel sorry for the boy, being stuck with a brat like you forever.”

What.

How?

But.

But…

“Only adults have soulmates.” He glared at them. “Lying is mean.”

He turned to Auntie, maybe she would tell him. But she still had that same smile. “It’s true that people don’t usually find their soulmate until they’re at least 16, if at all, but you and Izuku are very special, Katsuki.”

Special.

Of course he was special.

But Zuku?

He and Zuku were…

Zuku was just sitting there, but a huge smile was beginning to form. “Isn’t that great, Kacchan!” Suddenly Zuku was clinging to him, shaking him back and forth. “Kacchan, Kacchan, soulmate pairs are great heroes! We’re gonna be like that!”

“Tch.” Katsuki tried to pry Zuku off but couldn’t. Stupid nerd had glue fingers. “We’ll be the best, Zuku. Not great! I already said that!”

“But it’s like, for sure, now! Because soulmate hero duos are the best! Everyone knows that!”

Katsuki’s dad kneeled down in front of them, right next to Auntie. At that, Zuku quieted down. Katsuki’s dad didn’t talk to them too much, unless it was serious. “Katsuki, do you know why we live together, now?”

Why they…?

Oh.

OH.

“Zuku and I can’t be apart, can we?” He’d never… never actually thought about it. But he couldn’t remember EVER being more than a few feet away from Zuku. Sometimes they were in different rooms, but that was it. Zuku was just… always there.

And leaving him….

He winced. Crap, even the thought hurt. Ok, maybe his parents were right.

“No, son. You can’t. You two met when you were still babies, and when we tried to take you home that evening…” He sighed. “Both you and Izuku got high fevers before the night was over. When we took you to the doctors, no one could fix it. But thankfully they transported you both to the same hospital, and since you seemed to have gotten it at the same time, they put you in a room together…”

His dad sounded sad. Katsuki didn’t like that. “We got better. We got better together.” That’s what would happen if they were really soulmates.

“Yes.” Auntie was crying, hugging his mom. Shit. Had it been that bad? “When the same thing happened a second time, we put two and two together and took you to a specialist.” His dad ran a hand through his hair, then checked to make sure that he still had both of their attention. “The specialist is the only one outside of the family who knows, boys. And it needs to stay that way. Do you know why?”

Shit.

Shit, damn, crap, shit.

Katsuki didn’t like this. “Villains hurt soulmates. It’s easier than hurting the hero.”

“Exactly.” He patted their shoulders, “You two are going to be strong one day, and you can decide whether to tell people then, but until that time you need to keep this a secret. If people know now, and one of you becomes a hero, all a villain will have to do is find an old classmate or teacher and threaten them and suddenly they’ll know your soulmate.”

And now Zuku was crying. “I don’t wanna get hurt! I don’t wanna hurt Kacchan!”

Katsuki pulled the nerd into his lap, hugging him. No one would hurt him. Ever. “And you won’t. We won’t tell anyone. Everything will be ok.” Shit. He was still crying. “We’re going to be the best heroes, right?”

“Right!” Sniffles.

“So no one will hurt us.”

Slower sniffles. “You’re right, Kacchan. You always are.”

“Damn right, I am.”

Katsuki’s dad whacked his head. “Enough of that language, brat.”

Shit.

Chapter Text

“This is my All Might silver age figurine!” Zuku held it up high. His grin was huge.

Katsuki smirked. Silver age was the best. That costume looked good. Unlike the others.

Tch. Heroes had no damn fashion.

Well, his mom said they had no damn fashion. Which meant they didn’t, ‘cause that was her shitty job.

“Very good, Midoriya-kun.” The sensei turned to him, “What about you, Bakugou-kun? What did you bring to show us?”

He grinned. Zuku’s All Might was good, but his was better. His could punch. Zuku’s just stood there.

Everyone thought his figurine was awesome.

Because it was.

The sensei smiled at them. “You two sure like All Might, hmm?”

“Yes!” Zuku grinned and nodded a lot.

Katsuki smirked, “I’m gonna be the best! Just like him!”

“Of course.” The teacher just nodded, “I’m sure you’ll both have good, heroic quirks.”

Duh! There was no way they wouldn’t! He and Deku were soulmates! Not that she knew.

The teacher was already smiling at the girl next to Katsuki. “Suzuya-chan? What did you bring?”

Rabbit Teeth pulled out a picture book. Katsuki wrinkled his nose. He knew that book. It was all about---

“Soulmate Secrecy! It’s my favorite book. My mom reads it to me at night.”

“Oh? Do you want to have a soulmate one day?”

“Yes!!! It’s super romantic!”

Tch. Like Rabbit Teeth would ever deserve a soulmate.

“Well you’ll have to work really hard! After all, only very successful people have ever had destined soulmates. Like presidents and CEOs and—

“Heroes!” Zuku was bouncing in his chair again. “Heroes have soulmates!”

The sensei nodded, “Yes, Midoriya-kun, like heroes. But don’t interrupt, ok?”

“Ok.” Zuku fidgeted in his seat, upset. He always got upset when scolded.

Katsuki sighed. 3…2..1… sniffle. He rolled his eyes and shoved Zuku’s shoulder. The boy glared at him. Katsuki stuck out his tongue. Zuku pouted but wasn’t crying now. Katsuki grinned; he hated it when Zuku cried, and the stupid crybaby cried a lot.

“I want someone perfect for me!” Ugh. Rabbit teeth was still talking.

“I’m sure you’ll find someone like that, even if they aren’t your soulmate.”

“But I want one!”

Rabbit Teeth didn’t know shit. Soulmates never looked for their partner! They worked on awesome goals and met each other while doing shit. Changing the world and all that.

Just like him and Zuku were gonna do.

Chapter Text

Katsuki dug into his lunch, trying to ignore his classmates. Stupid Rabbit Teeth kept poking him though, and asking him what his parents did. Apparently the idiots had already answered her. Now she wanted to know about him and Zuku.

He glared at her. "My Dad and Mom both do fashion stuff. It's stupid." Katsuki bit off a chunk of onigiri and ignored the girls squealing. Stupid girls always loved clothes. It was weird.

"That's so cool! You always have cool clothes, Bakugou." Rabbit Teeth grinned at him. He glared back. He didn't like clothes. He also didn’t like her. She was nosey. Maybe he should call her nose girl instead. The girl frowned, then turned to Zuku. "So Midoriya, what do your Mom and Dad do?"

Katsuki's hands clenched around his chopsticks. How dare Rabbit Teeth ask Zuku that?? Dumbass girl couldn't figure shit out.

"Um..." Zuku was looking down, staring at the table. He poked his pork with a chopstick. "My Mom's a nurse."

"That's neat! She must help a lot of people." Rabbit Teeth was grinning. Damn idiot not noticing Zuku was upset. "What about your Dad?"

Zuku winced.

Katsuki's chair clattered to the ground. He glared at Rabbit Teeth. "Shut up! Don't ask him that!"

"Your hands!" Big Nose was staring at him, his hand shaking and pointing at Katsuki. "They're smoking!"

Katsuki stared at the thin smoke. He opened his fist. It was… coming from his palm?

His quirk had come?

"Kacchan!! That's amazing!" Zuku grabbed his hand, pulling it closer to him. He stared at the smoke. "You're so amazing, Kacchan!" Zuku's smile was back.

Katsuki smirked. "Of course I'm amazing."

Zuku's head was still nodding up and down. "When a quirk first shows up as smoke, that means it usually has fire. So you'll have fire in your hands, Kacchan! It's awesome! So cool!"

Fire? Hell yeah! Fire was the best! Of course he'd get fire! Maybe Zuku would have fire too? His idiot jerk of a father could breathe fire, so it would make sense. They'd be an awesome fire team!

Katsuki stared at his palm. The smoke was gone, now. But it had been there.

Just a little more waiting. Then he'd have his fire.

And then Zuku’d get his quirk.

It took a month. A whole long ass month. And then, when he was yelling at his mom, suddenly there was a small pop from his hands.

Then another.

Katsuki’s eyes widened. He stared at his hands, argument forgotten.

His quirk wasn’t fire.

It was explosions.

Katsuki grinned.

This was the best fucking day ever.

…..

“Kacchan?” Katsuki glanced over from the TV to where his soulmate was scribbling in that same shitty notebook.

“What, nerd?”

“I’ve… I’ve thought of some things for your quirk.” Zuku was scratching his head with a pencil.

“For my quirk?” What the hell? It had only been a week since the explosion. Had the idiot been thinking about nothing else?

“Yeah!” Zuku bit his lip, unsure, then took a deep breath. “Like, have you ever thought that maybe you could make explosions somewhere else? Not just your hands? Or like, maybe you could explode yourself and force the air down, you know, so it would push you up? It’d be really cool if you could fly like that! Or maybe you could like, store sweat somehow? It’s hard for you when you’re cold, right? Or you—”

“Zuku!” His soulmate froze, mouth still opened wide. “Is that what you’ve been writing about?” The nerd had been glued to the book all week. AND he’d refused to tell Katsuki anything about it. The damn brat.

Now, though, Zuku just nodded and scooted toward him before shoving the notebook into Katsuki’s hands. A rough drawing of Katsuki was on one side. The other one was a bunch of details about his quirk. And a lot of questions under those details. Huh. He reached his arm around Zuku’s neck, pulling him down so that he could rub his head with his fist playfully. Zuku flailed.

“Kacchan!! Mercy!”

“You shitty nerd. How’d you think of all this?”

“I just want to help, Kacchan!”

He released Zuku and the boy collapsed on his lap like a noodle. Katsuki shoved him off onto the ground. “Come on. Let’s go to the park and see if any of it works.”

“Yes, Kacchan!” Zuku hopped up, grinning from ear to ear. Katsuki headed toward the door. He raised his voice to call out, “Auntie, Old Hag, we’re going to the park!” He reached the front door and slipped on his shoes. His mouth twitched when he noticed Zuku’s hands were empty. “Don’t forget your scribbles, Zuku.”

“Right!” Zuku scrambled out of the room. Katsuki rolled his eyes. Sheesh, he really did have to do everything.

Even after the run to the park, Zuku was still bouncing up and down in excitement. Idiot. It was Katsuki’s quirk, not his.

“You sweating yet, Kacchan?”

He sighed and nodded. That was one thing he’d noticed already—he was sweating a lot easier than he used to. He supposed it was good, though.

“Awesome!” Zuku’s eyes were big and he grinned at him. “Can you make some of it explode? But not all?”

Katsuki frowned. He didn’t know, but he could try. Maybe if he tried just one side of his hand?

He flexed his hand, and all the sweat droplets blew up.

Katsuki groaned.

He turned to his other hand while he waited for sweat to gather on his right one again. He focused on the feeling he’d had when the sweat exploded, trying to make that happen just to the left side of his hand—

Was it just him, or was the explosion on the right side a bit weaker, that time?

Zuku was staring at his hands intensely but hadn’t said anything. Katsuki frowned. It must’ve been the same.

He wiped his forehead, gathering more sweat. And then he tried again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

After the gazillionth try, he was beginning to think it was impossible. “Zuku, maybe we should—"

“I really think you can do this, Kacchan!” He stared at Zuku’s determined eyes. What the fuck? How would he know? It wasn’t his quirk.

“It’s been getting weaker! Just keep going!”

“It’s been getting weaker because I’m fucking tired, Zuku.”

“Still! One more!”

Katsuki sighed, this time sticking his hand in his armpit. He felt a bit lightheaded.

One last try.

His palm lit up, but he stopped it quickly, exhausted.

He stared at the beads of sweat.

There were still beads of sweat.

He hadn’t exploded it all.

His wide eyes met Zuku’s.

It was timing! He had to control how long the explosion went, not what part of his hand he used!

He tackled Zuku, laughing. The two of them fell to the earth. “Nice going, nerd.” He took a deep breath. He felt like the world was spinning. “We can try the rest some other time.”

“Of course!” Zuku was sitting up, grinning at him. “Come on, Kacchan! Let’s go home!” He stood up and held out his hand.

Katsuki reached up to grab it but missed. The world spun again. His hand fell uselessly to the ground.

Zuku frowned, “Kacchan?”

He groaned. He really didn’t feel so good. Katsuki rolled to his side.

Then he threw up on the grass.

“Kacchan!”

Zuku’s hands were on his shoulders, sitting him up. “Kacchan, are you ok?!” Katsuki could hear the fucking tears. He slowly stood up, weaving slightly. “Kacchan, I’m so sorry! You said you were tired, we should have stopped, you must have pushed yourself too hard…. I know it’s dangerous to practice your quirk on your own, but I was here and you weren’t alone and I was just so excited and you were excited and—”

“Zuku.” Katsuki held onto his soulmate’s shoulder, trying to keep the world from swaying. “Home.”

“Right! Of course, Kacchan!”

The walk home was slow. Katsuki hated that he had to stop so much, but they made it.

Auntie took one look at him and was by his side, pushing her own son away. “Katsu-kun! Katsu-kun what happened?”

He closed his eyes, trying to ignore the dizziness and the headache. “Was practicing my quirk. And then I got… dizzy. Really dizzy. And I threw up. And my head hurts a whole fucking lot, Auntie.”

“Oh Katsu-kun.” Auntie’s arms wrapped around him. “Izuku, dear, go get some water for Katsuki, please.”

Zuku ran off, fast. Katsuki wanted to laugh at the nerd’s sudden speed, but he was confused. “Water?” What was wrong with him?

“You’re dehydrated, Katsu-kun. It means your body doesn’t have enough water. Where do you think all that sweat came from?” Aunty patted his shoulder, “It’s easy to fix, though, don’t worry. But you have to drink a whole lot whenever you use your quirk, alright?” She gave him a stern look. Well, a stern look for a Midoriya. “Or this will happen again.”

Zuku was back with the water, and Katsuki grabbed the cup. His hand was shaking. His hand was fucking shaking.

He took a big gulp of water. It tasted so good. He went for another, but Auntie’s hand stopped him. “Slowly, Katsuki, or you’ll throw up again.”

Shit, he didn’t want that.

Katsuki slowly sipped at the water, letting Aunty hold onto him until he finished the cup.

“Feeling better?” Katsuki nodded. Auntie passed the cup back to Zuku, who ran to the kitchen. Nerd was probably getting more. “Let’s get you to the couch, then. Drink some more water and take it easy for the day, you hear me young man? Your quirk doesn’t make you invincible.”

Katsuki frowned. Invincible?

Zuku was back, handing him the cup. “Invincible is like heroes! They can’t be beaten!”

“I knew that, shitty nerd.”

“Uh-huh. Sure, Kacchan.”

Katsuki glared at him but drank the water. His hand gripped the cup, hard. He wouldn’t do this again. Be this weak. He’d practice a lot. A whole damn fucking lot. And one day, he and Zuku would be invincible.

Chapter Text

Katsuki didn’t understand.

The doctor was pointing at an x-ray, pointing at Zuku’s foot, and saying things that didn’t make sense.

Zuku was his soulmate!

His damn soulmate!

That meant they were special. That they would do great things together. And they were going to be the best fucking heroes the world had ever seen.

So why.... why was the doctor saying Zuku was quirkless? That some damn bone in his foot was important?

"You're a fucking liar."

"Katsuki!!" His mom's hand whacked him on the head. "Apologize!"

"Why?!" He turned to his mom, "We’re special! Everyone says so! And I've got an awesome quirk! So Zuku should too! He’s just a late bloomer, that’s it! Why did we even come here?!” Why was everything blurry?? It was clear a second ago. So why... why did the room look so blurry? "He has to be fucking lying!"

Zuku was stiff as a board next to him. He wasn't even muttering.

Katsuki rubbed at his eyes until they cleared a bit, ignoring the wetness. He didn't cry. Zuku did.

But Zuku wasn't.

He grabbed his hand. "Come on Zuku, we're leaving. I'm not listening to this loser anymore." He jumped down off the exam table, pulling his soulmate with him.

Zuku still wasn't saying anything.

"Tch." He turned to their moms. "We'll be outside." He stomped out of the room, the door banging against its frame as he pulled Zuku behind him.

Stupid dumbass liar.

They would be fucking great.

They would.

Katsuki glared at the other people in the waiting room. Stupid shitty extras. No one needed them here.

They needed to be outside. To be alone. Katsuki slammed the door open, pulling Zuku outside and behind a column.

No one could see them, now.

They were finally alone.

But Zuku still wasn’t talking.

There wasn’t even a sniffle.

He was just staring at the bush.

“Tch.” Whatever. If the nerd didn’t want to talk, they didn’t have to fucking talk. Talking was shitty, anyway.

He glared at the wall. Every now and then he glanced back at Zuku.

Still nothing.

Katsuki wasn’t worried.

He wasn’t!

It just… wasn’t like the nerd.

“Wanna watch the All Might video again when we get home?”

That at least got Zuku to look at him. His soulmate nodded hesitantly. “I’ll get Auntie to set it up.”

Then the doors opened, and his mom was walking toward them. “Come on, Katsuki, Izuku. We’re going to the car. Your mom will join us shortly, Izuku, she’s just paying.”

Another slow nod.

Katsuki frowned. Shitty nerd should have some confidence. He was going to be great, no matter what this damn idiot doctor said.

The two of them piled into the backseat, and Katsuki grabbed Zuku’s hand again once they were buckled. Stupid soulmate wouldn’t block him out.

Katsuki refused.

Auntie was crying when she got in the car.

His mom was silent as she drove.

Katsuki frowned. The doctor had been an idiot.

Zuku couldn’t be quirkless.

They were soulmates.

They were special.

They were going to be a hero duo.

But… the doctor said Zuku was quirkless.

He looked over at Zuku.

Zuku who was staring at his mom.

Shit, Katsuki hated this.

They would be heroes!

They would!

Soulmates were supposed to change the world, right?

Then Katsuki and Izuku would!

Izuku would be a hero, quirkless or not. That would change the fucking world.

The second they got home, Zuku headed straight for the computer.

Katsuki smirked. “Auntie, Zuku wants to watch the All Might video.”

“Right now?” Auntie looked at him, still sniffling. “I suppose that’s fine…” her voice trailed off as she followed her son.

“Tch.” Auntie always did cry a lot. Just like Zuku.

His mom’s hand was suddenly pushing his hair around. “Take care of him, brat.”

“Of course!” He glared at her, shoving her hand away. “You take care of Auntie, you old hag!”

She whacked his head. He stuck his tongue out at her. “Watch your tone, you little brat. And of course I’ll talk to Inko.”

Katsuki stomped off down the hallway. Stupid moms. Always being so damn annoying.

The video was already up when Katsuki got there. Zuku was in the chair, his eyes on the screen.

Katsuki sighed.

Hopefully Zuku would talk soon. The nerd wasn’t supposed to be all quiet and shit.

But no, his soulmate just kept hitting replay.

Replay after replay after replay.

Katsuki’s eye was twitching. Dumbass should be talking. “Zuku! Just talk to me already!”

Zuku turned to him. His eyes were full of tears.

Of fucking course. “What’s going on in that head of yours, you shitty nerd? I can’t correct you if I don’t know.”

Zuku just stared at him. When he finally spoke, Katsuki was about to explode from the long wait. “Kacchan, I can still be a hero, right?" Zuku looked down at his lap. “We can still be heroes together, right? All Might.... All Might fights against all kinds of things, and he always keeps trying. He always wins. So I just have to keep trying, right Kacchan? Right?"

He could hear Auntie crying behind him. Hear his mom pulling her out of the room.

This whole thing was shitty.

All the crying was shitty.

"What the heck, Zuku?" He knocked his soulmate on the head. And he did it fucking lightly, so there was no reason for him to lurch forward like that. Stupid idiot always over-reacting. "We're going to be the best hero team, right? We're soulmates and shit. This doesn't change anything. You’ll just have to be the first quirkless hero, that’s all."

Zuku's grin was ridiculously huge. Katsuki rolled his eyes and punched Zuku's tiny arm. Lightly. "Gotta do something, though, or you'll just be freaking useless in fights."

"Kacchan!!!" Zuku laughed, a stupid hiccupy noise that was not cute. "I'm not useless! I'm good at thinking and stuff!"

"Uh-huh. So useless in fights."

"Kacchan!"

Katsuki grinned. The annoying tears were now sniffles. And he knew how to stop them for good. He threw himself at Zuku, knocking him on the ground. His hands were quickly on Zuku's sides and he began tickling him. A lot. And not lightly.

Zuku squealed. "Kacchan! Kacchan no!! Mercy, mercy Kacchan!"

Tch.

Like he would ever show fucking mercy.

Chapter Text

Katsuki lay flat on the ground, exhausted from their sparring session. They’d been practicing new stances the whole damn morning. They had to get them right before they saw shishou again! Zuku had taken fooreeveer, but Katsuki had gotten it really fast! No matter what Zuku said! Speaking of Zuku…

“Oi, Zuku.” Zuku made a vague grunt next to him, exhausted as well. “Why does Auntie write ‘Deku’ on all your clothes and shit?”

“Huh?” Izuku rolled onto his side to face him. “What do you mean, Kacchan?”

Katsuki sighed and sat up, then yanked Izuku’s towel out from under him, sending his soulmate sprawling. “Kacchan!!!”

Katsuki ignored Zuku’s glare. It was a shitty glare, anyway. He looked around the edges of the towel, then spotted it. “There!” He pointed at the two kanji.

“de, it’s the same as on some exit signs. And then I’ve seen the second one as ‘ku’!” Katsuki frowned at the letters. “But why would Auntie write useless on all your shit? I mean, yeah, you are useless, but Auntie doesn’t think that because she’s too damn nice.”

Izuku was staring at him. “What on earth, Kacchan! It’s my name, not deku!”

“Huh?!” He looked back at the letters. Nope. The double mountain thing was definitely a ‘de’ sound. “You’re a shitty liar, Zuku. Just tell me the truth.”

“But Kacchan, that is the truth!”

“Fucking isn’t.”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Is too!”

“Is not!”

“Kacchan!” Zuku groaned, throwing his hands into the air, “Ask my mom. She’ll tell you the same thing and then you’ll know I’m right.”

“Hell no! You’ll just get to her first and tell her to back you up or something. You Midoriyas always stick together.” Suddenly, Katsuki grinned.

Zuku paled. “Kacchan…. What are you thinking? Why are you doing the evil grin?”

“If you say this,” he pointed at the kanji, “Is your name, then fine, Deku.”

“Kacchan!”

“Deku, Deku, Deku!”

“Kacchan, my name isn’t Deku!”

Katsuki stuck his tongue out at his friend. “Is now.”

Deku groaned and lay back on the grass. “Fine, Kacchan. Have it your way.”

Katsuki grinned. That would teach the nerd to fucking lie to him.

Chapter Text

Katsuki blinked in confusion. Deku wasn’t behind him.

He looked around, annoyed. They were supposed to be doing stretches together after their run. Where did the nerd disappear to?

Shit.

Katsuki’s eyes widened when they finally caught sight of him.

Deku was by the slides, standing in front of a smaller boy and yelling at three older guys--maybe around 10? Definitely a few years older than both of them. And Deku was calling them bullies and yelling at them about being mean.

One of their arms cocked back, and the next thing Katsuki knew Deku was sprawled on the ground in front of the smaller kid.

Katsuki saw red.

“Deku!” He ran over, skidding to a halt beside him. He glared at the older jerks. “Oi! What do you bastards think you’re doing?”

The biggest one sneered, his arm extending as he shook his fist. “We were just telling this little brat that the slide was ours, now, when your little friend decided to play with us, too.”

“Bullshit!” Katsuki glared at the boys and released tiny explosions from his hands “Why’d you hit Deku?!”

The one on the right with a bunch of twigs for hair took a step back, eyeing Katsuki’s hands nervously. Katsuki grinned maliciously at the boy. Any quirk involving plants would be really weak against him.

“Kacchan!” Deku’s hand was on his shoulder. “I’m fine! I defended with my arm like sensei taught us, so I’m fine! Promise! He was just really strong, that’s all.”

Katsuki’s eyes never left the three boys as they were sizing him up. The third’s quirk was obvious from the wings on his back, and he could probably deal with that. Maybe. He still wasn’t the best at flying. “Shut up, Deku. Why’d you come over here, anyways?”

“They were pushing this boy around! Someone had to tell them to stop, and no one else was!”

“Tch.” Katsuki eyed the boys with disgust. The little boy was like, what? 5? That was some messed up shit. “What, you have to beat up a five-year-old to feel strong?”

Wings glared at him. “He’s just my quirkless brother, you loser. So what’s it matter to you?”

Quirkless.

He could hear Deku’s sharp breath behind him.

Fucking losers were going to die.

He sprang forward, palms open and exploding.

“Kacchan! No!” Katsuki ignored him, spinning on his heel after Wings dodged.

He used his quirk to propel him into the air, then kicked the guy in the ribs, sending him back to the ground. Fucker should stay there.

“Kacchan!” He knew Deku was mad at him for fighting, but there was no way he would let these bastards get away with hurting his soulmate.

“At least no quirks, Kacchan, that’s against the law!”

Shit. He didn’t want a mark on his record. “Fucking fine!” He could beat these dumbass losers without his quirk, anyway. Show them to laugh at someone who’s quirkless.

Katsuki closed his hand into a fist, then nailed Twigs’ chin, sending him sprawling. Fucker had gotten too confident the second Katsuki’s fire disappeared.

Twigs scampered back, wincing, “Guys, he’s really strong for his age! Maybe we should—”

HELL NO.

Big dude was heading toward Deku. Deku who was crouched in front of the little boy, holding a defensive stance.

Katsuki knew Deku wouldn’t move.

And Katsuki wouldn’t get there in time.

Shit.

The arm extended, Deku’s eyes widened; he hadn’t expected that change. The arm reached past Izuku’s own raised arms and the fist hit him square in the eye, sending him sprawling. AGAIN. The little boy behind him was crying.

Katsuki nailed the dude in the back of the legs like sensei had taught, then he hit his nose with his open palm, breaking it.

While the big idiot was blubbering in pain, Katsuki grabbed the little boy’s hand, pulling him away from the older boys and putting him behind his back.

Protecting the weak was supposed to be a hero’s priority, right? And he had banged them around a bit, at least.

He glared at them, daring them to approach. “I didn’t even hit any of you with my fucking quirk, you useless assholes. Think about that the next time you decide to pick on someone quirkless.”

Wings was helping up the big idiot, and Twigs was still cowering. He gave them one last glare before turning to help Deku up.

He frowned. Deku was already standing, ignoring his swelling eye, and asking the little boy where he lived. “It’s ok, we’re not going to leave you here with your brother after that fight.” Deku turned to him, eyes determined, “Right, Kacchan?”

Katsuki groaned. It was a hero’s job to get civilians to safety, but it was still fucking annoying. “Whatever.”

Deku grinned at him. It was a weird grin, though. He still looked upset.

Shyly, the little boy whispered an address. “Then let’s fucking go, already.” At least it wasn’t that far.

Katsuki walked in silence, ignoring the little boy’s babbles of thanks. Deku could deal with that shit.

The second after the boy’s front door closed, though, Deku turned to glare at him. “You didn’t have to fight them, Kacchan! We could have just taken the boy home.”

“They hit you!” Katsuki glared at his idiot soulmate. “They hit you, and you fell, and they deserved to be hit back!”

“Heroes fight to protect! Not for vengeance!”

“I was protecting you! I was making sure they wouldn’t ever do it again! Making sure that they realized you didn’t have to have a quirk to be strong!”

“Kacchan, they did hit me again!” Deku stomped his foot in annoyance and pointed at his eye. “If we’d just taken the boy home, he wouldn’t have hit my eye!”

Fuck. No, Katsuki couldn’t believe that. He couldn’t. “You don’t know that! They could have tried to hit you if we did that! It was easier to fight three on one if I attacked first!”

“But you should always try the peaceful way first! Even if it puts you at a disadvantage!”

“Fuck that! I’m not letting losers go around thinking they can keep beating up quirkless kids like you!”

“I can fight for myself, Kacchan! We didn’t need to fight, today!”

“But you weren’t! You were defending the kid and not yourself!”

“That’s what heroes do! They defend the weak!”

They glared at each other, the air thick with tension.

Finally, Deku looked off to the side. “You’re being ridiculous, Kacchan. I was fine. I am fine.”

“Your fucking eye isn’t, dumbass.” Katsuki gave him one last glare, then began to trudge toward home.

Deku followed in silence.

When they reached the house, Auntie immediately fussed over Deku because of his bruised eye and scrapes. With the tension between them, she assumed Katsuki had hit Deku and sent Katsuki to their room.

Deku didn’t contradict her.

Katsuki didn’t either.

He hadn’t been fast enough, hadn’t protected Deku, so he basically had done it, even if he hadn’t thrown the punch.

Auntie came in and tried to talk to him at one point, but he felt like shit and didn’t want to talk about it.

She left a plate of food behind.

Katsuki stared at it a long time. He ate a few bites, but he couldn’t taste it. Couldn’t focus on it.

He curled up in his bed, ignoring Deku’s side of the room. Dumbass was too nice. Those idiots were just going to keep hurting Deku, keep hurting that kid, until someone pounded a lesson into their lameass skulls.

Katsuki ignored the guilty feeling that maybe Deku had been right about the vengeance bit. It wasn’t like that! He just… they’d hurt Deku!

They’d hurt his soulmate!

Deku flying backwards like that…

Deku’s eyes wide as he couldn’t dodge the punch…

Katsuki hadn’t been fast enough.

Hadn’t been strong enough.

Hadn’t been good enough.

Alone, hidden under blankets, Katsuki gave in and cried.

Chapter Text

He hadn’t talked to Deku in a week.

Katsuki’s Mom kept cursing, Auntie kept looking between them with her fucking tears, and his Dad had asked him if he wanted to talk about it.

Fuck that.

And everything had become shitty at school, too.

Katsuki didn’t know how the whole damn school found out Deku was quirkless, but when he did, he was going to kick that bastard’s ass.

Every time Deku entered a room, whispers broke out. Whispers about him being quirkless.
And it wasn’t like the nerd could prove the rumors wrong, not when they were true.

And then, every time Deku left Katsuki’s sight, he came back with bruises.

Every. Fucking. Time.

Katsuki hated it. He hated it so fucking much.

He’d yelled at their classmates to stop, but they just laughed at him. Told him he was just as bad, since Katsuki called him Deku.

Dumbasses didn’t understand shit.

But whenever Katsuki made eye contact with Deku, whenever he almost opened his mouth to break their silence and ask him about it, Deku would just shake his head and look away.

The shitty nerd still didn’t want to talk, that much was fucking clear.

Katsuki knew that Deku hated hurting people. That he wanted to save everyone, probably including the fucking villains if he could.

But then who would save Deku?

The shitty nerd clearly wasn’t going to save himself. Katsuki knew that whatever bastard was picking on his soulmate, Deku was stronger.

He was just refusing to fight back. Again.

Katsuki frowned when Deku raised his hand to go to the restroom.

Fuck this.

He wasn’t going to keep playing ‘find the new bruise.’

A minute or so after Deku left, Katsuki stood up, his chair slamming into the desk behind his. The boy in it yelped, but Katsuki didn’t pay attention.

The teacher called after him, but Katsuki didn’t fucking care. He stormed out of the room and down the hallway toward the bathroom.

Nobody better have bothered—

Deku.

Deku was on the ground, cowering, arms covering his head.

“What the fuck is going on here?!” Explosions ripped forth from his palms. The windows shook. The five boys looked up in alarm.

“Kacchan!” Deku looked up.

He had a bruise around his eye.

Another fucking black eye. For fuck’s sake. The old one hadn’t even healed completely, yet. “Deku, you shitty dumbass nerd, why didn’t you defend yourself?!”

A sniffle. “I have!”

“Then why are you covered in fucking bruises, Deku?!”

“Heroes don’t hurt civilians, Kacchan!”

“Fuck that! They’re bullying you! That makes them as good as villains!”

Katsuki stormed forward, using his quirk to propel him through the air, and then he twisted, kicking the closest boy hard across the jaw and sending him to the ground.

“Kacchan!”

“What the heck, dude?!”

“Be grateful it was a kick and not an explosion, you spineless bastards!”

Dumbasses thought that they’d been smart cornering Deku in a dead end where he couldn’t run, but now they had nowhere to run.

Katsuki grinned at them. “If you’re man enough to bully Deku, you better be man enough to face me, you assholes.”

He threw himself at the next guy, ignoring Deku’s shout of disappointment. He didn’t care about Deku’s fucking issues. If anyone bullied his soulmate, they were a villain. He’d rather deal with the silence and the disappointment than with the bruises.

Katsuki knocked every last one of them to the ground with one punch each. He glared at them all as they scrambled away. “Fucking weaklings. You could’ve handled them easily, you shitty nerd.”

Deku sighed. “I still say you shouldn’t fight civilians.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “And I still say bullies are villains. Now come on, let’s go to the nurse’s office and have her look at your eye.” He grabbed Deku’s hand and pulled him to his feet, frowning when Deku began to limp.

“Screw this.” He sighed and bent down. “Come on, up you go.”

Deku stared at his back. “I really don’t like it when you fight people for no reason, Kacchan.”

“It’s not for no reason. They’re fucking bullies, can’t you see that?” He glared at Deku over his shoulder, “If you won’t protect yourself, then I will. Now get on my back.”

Deku stared at him indecisively, then sighed and climbed onto his back, and the two of them began the long journey down the hallway.

Katsuki glared at the ground as they walked. Deku’d gotten fucking hurt. Again.. He should’ve gotten there faster.

He was always too slow.

He should’ve followed the second after Deku left, regardless of what the nerd wanted.

“I really don’t like fighting with you.” Deku’s voice was quiet, mumbled against his back.

“Then fucking don’t.”

“You can’t solve everything with punches, though, Kacchan!”

“How’s that been working for you this week, you shitty nerd?”

Silence.

“I tried telling the teachers, but they said the kids were just playing. That they didn’t know how to be gentle with someone who was quirkless.”

Fuck. “I’ll kill them.”

“Kacchan! No!”

“I’ll fucking kill them.”

“Kacchan! You should only use your quirk against villains!”

“Bullies are villains!”

“Are not! They can still be saved!”

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Katsuki groaned, adjusting his grip on Deku’s legs. He did not want another week of silence because Deku was too nice for his own damn good.

Deku’s hands curled into the fabric of his shirt nervously, “How about I do things my way until someone else throws a punch? I mean, punching people is bad, and that should be stopped… I just don’t think you have to throw a punch BACK for that to happen, but maybe I still need to work on that, because it’s true that nothing I’ve done has worked this week, but---”

Katsuki cut off Deku’s rambles before his soulmate could change his mind, “So you do things your way until someone punches you, then I get to punch back.”

He could practically feel Deku pouting, even if he couldn’t see the nerd. He stopped outside the nurse’s door. “Well?”

“Fine.” Deku sighed, “Fine, Kacchan, we’ll do that. No using your quirk, though!”

“Fine, I won’t hit anyone with my fucking quirk.”

“Kacchan, I said no using it!”

Katsuki kicked open the nurse’s door, ignoring his soulmate’s complaints as he deposited him on a bed.

Soon the nurse was fussing over him, and Deku just gave him a wimpy glare that was more like a pout.

Katsuki smirked, content. His soulmate’s bruises were being treated with some pasty shit, and Deku would let him fight. Well, would let him fight if someone else started it, but Katsuki could live with that.

---

No one talked to the two of them after ‘the hallway incident.’

In one day, they were complete social outcasts. Not that they’d had any close friends to begin with, but people would at least talk to them.

Now, though, if Deku tried to approach someone, they would ignore him. If Katsuki tried, they would run away scared.

Katsuki was fine with it—he only needed Deku, but Deku took it hard. The idiot actually liked people, after all.

Katsuki was given a detention, but he didn’t serve it. Which led to another that he didn’t serve. And another. Not like Katsuki cared. He wasn’t going to go when it would mean Deku would have to stay in another room at the school and wait for him. Not when Deku could get fucking attacked again.

Finally the principle threatened suspension if he didn’t show, so his mom went and said who knows what to the dumbass principle and Katsuki did some community service cleaning up a shitty park.

Then other idiots tried to pick on Deku, and the cycle repeated itself.

It repeated over and over, all through elementary school.

Chapter Text

Deku was scribbling again. His soulmate was laying down on his bed, not paying any attention to the clock. Or to the fact that hours had passed and it was time for them to exercise.

Shitty nerd couldn’t do his stretches or anything without Katsuki telling him. “Oi!” Deku’s head jerked up. “We’re supposed to do our work out now, you idiot.”

“Sorry, Kacchan!” Deku scrambled up, but instead of running to change, the dumbass shoved his journal into Katsuki’s face.

“Cut it out you shithead, I can’t see it with it that fucking close!” He grabbed the journal from his soulmate, glaring at him. Deku could be such an idiot sometimes.

“Read it, Kacchan! Read it!” His soulmate was wearing a huge grin and practically vibrating.

“Tch.” They were supposed to be exercising, not this shit. He sighed and looked down at the page. “Huh?!” At the top, Ground Zero was written in big bold letters. “Ground Zero? What the heck is that?! I told you my name is going to be King Explodokill!”

Deku was fidgeting again. “Well… It’s just. I thought we could have paired names and such? And Ground zero is where like bombs go off and stuff and like the center of a disaster and so I thought it’d be good for you because you’ll always be in the center of action and everything, plus with the explosion aspect it just worked really well and—”

“Shut up, nerd.”

Deku let out an eep of distress, wide eyes staring at him.

Ground Zero.

He liked King Explodokill more, but it was true they hadn’t found a ‘king’ name that worked well for Deku, yet. He frowned. He liked ‘The Hero Kings’ for their duo name, though.

“What’s yours?”

“Eh?!”

Deku was giving him a lost look, now. Shit, did he have to explain everything? “You said this was for our duo names. So what’s your name?”

“Zero Hour. Like midnight, but also the point where everything starts. Because whenever a fight starts, I’ll always be there, ready to save everyone.”

Katsuki grinned and nodded. They both would be at the center of everything.

Though… “The Zero Duo?” Katsuki wrinkled his nose, tossing Deku’s notebook onto his bed. “That sounds like we’re worthless, Deku. The Hero Kings is much cooler.”

Deku shook his head, “Nope! We’ll be the ‘Zero to Heroes,’ Kacchan!”

Katsuki groaned, “What the heck? That sounds so stupid! Come up with something better, you shitty nerd.”

“But Kaaachaannn! I think it sounds cool! And you didn’t even look at the costume!”

“Whatever, I’ll do it another time, loser. Let’s just go work out.”

“Kacchan!”

“I’ll think about it, Deku.”

Chapter Text

Katsuki exhaled slowly as he bent over, legs outstretched in a broad v position, and touched his forearms to the exercise mat beneath him.

"Kacchan." Katsuki looked up. Deku's voice was doing the weird and strangled thing, so he must be really excited. "Kacchan, Kacchan, Kacchan!!!"

Stupid Deku wasn't turning around, but still staring at the screen, now pointing at something. Katsuki sighed and stood up. "Shitty nerd, stop hollering my name." He ruffled Deku's hair roughly when he reached the computer. "What lameass thing did you find that's got you so fucking excited?"

When he answered, Deku's voice was soft. Like this was some piece of fucking holy information he'd discovered. "I have a new favorite hero."

Katsuki's eyes widened. "What the actual fuck?!" He glanced at the screen. Some guy he'd never seen before was fighting, using some weird ass scarf to take down a villain. How was this guy better than All Might??

"He hasn't used his quirk once." Katsuki blinked. Oh. That... that made sense. For useless Deku, at least. "I've watched the clip over and over and he's definitely not using his quirk. I found another video where he does, though, so he's not quirkless. Not exactly like me. His name's Eraserhead and he can erase someone's quirk. But it doesn't seem to work on mutants. Like with this fight." He pointed at the Villain's horns and extra arms. "He can't erase a mutation quirk, so he basically fights quirkless against those!" The hero threw his scarf thing suddenly and it wrapped around the villain, trapping him and ending the fight. "And he wins. He wins, Kacchan!! He fights quirkless and he wins!!" Deku's smile was as bright as the fucking sun.

Katsuki groaned. "The guy have any lameass merch?" That was always the next step for Deku. Find a hero. Study the hero. Write about the hero (which a glance at the nerd's notebook next to the computer showed he'd already done). Buy all the hero's shit.

Deku was frowning, now. "No." He kicked his legs in the air, annoyed. "He's an underground hero."

Oh.

Underground heroes rarely had merch because they relied on secrecy and stealth and didn't want their names in every store. They sacrificed wealth and prestige and shit so that they could do infiltration missions and kick ass. It made sense with the guy's quirk, but Deku.... Katsuki sighed.

Dumbass didn't want to do that. He wanted to inspire people, and that wouldn't happen if he just did espionage shit. Sure, the shitty nerd would be better at researching and spying and shit, and then he could tell Katsuki what to blow up. But his soulmate would never be satisfied with that. They wanted to change history! Quirkless or not, they would need dumbass media attention to accomplish that shit.

Katsuki reached in front of Deku to close the internet and shut down the computer.

"Kaaaachaaan, whyyyyy?" He snorted at the nerd's whine.

"Come on, nerd. We haven't sparred in a while."

"EHH?!?!" Now Deku was staring at him in disbelief. "We sparred yesterday, Kacchan!"

Katsuki smirked, "But not today. We’re a soulmate duo that’s going to make history, right? And you’re going to be the first hero fighting quirkless who doesn't stay in the shadows, right?" He grabbed Deku's hands, "You don't have any damn time to just sit on your damn ass.” He shoved Deku through the doorframe and toward the front door.

“Kacchan, I wanted to analyze—”

“Analyze later. Spar now.”

“But Kacchan! Analysis is important for me! I have to make up for my lack of quirk somehow.”

Katsuki stopped at the doorway to pull on his shoes, then glared at Deku pointedly until he did the same. “So do that shit after dark. We can only spar when there’s daylight.” Shitty nerd had been on the computer all morning, probably replaying the three or so videos of this Eraserhead guy. “You haven’t even done any fucking stretches today.”

Deku sighed, glancing back at the computer with longing eyes. “Ok, Kacchan. I guess I can see if I can do any of Eraserhead’s moves.” He slipped on his shoes, “Race you to the park?”

“Die, you shitty nerd.”

Chapter Text

“Kacchan, Kacchan look!!”

Katsuki groaned, but let Deku drag him to yet another hero picture. Today was Deku’s tenth birthday, and their moms had taken them to the Hero Museum of Tokyo. The place was huge! The All Might room had been fucking awesome, but everything else was shitty. And they’d been here for seven damn hours and were now in the very very back in a room about lameass sidekicks.

Yet Deku was still excited.

“Kacchan!!” He sighed and looked where Deku was pointing. He raised an eyebrow. “I don’t know who the fuck that is, Deku.”

“Ingenium! He’s an up-and-coming hero, Kacchan! Everyone expects him to start his own agency soon!”

“Huh.” It would be pretty impressive to start your own agency when you were young. Katsuki and Deku would be doing that, though. So there was no reason Deku should be impressed by it. “He has a speed quirk and has engines on his elbows!”

“On his elbows?” Katsuki laughed, “That must’ve been fucking annoying to learn to use.”

“Mmhmm, it’s really cool!”

Deku bounced around the room, gazing at each and every plaque and picture. Katsuki groaned and turned to his mother, “This is the last shitty room, right?”

“Language! We’re in public, brat.” Katsuki ducked under the hag’s hand as she tried to slap the back of his head. He stuck his tongue out at her.

She pinched his nose. “Ugh!” He swatted at her hand, then glared at her. “Is it the last room or not, Old Hag?”

“Katsu-kun!” Shit. He’d made Auntie mad.

He looked down at the room, refusing to apologize. “Tch.”

Auntie Inko sighed. “It is the last one, and we really should be getting home for dinner, but…” Auntie looked over to where Deku was grinning next to a statue of some nameless dumbass. The nerd had been really down this week because of all the lameass extras teasing him at the park about not having enough friends for a birthday party. Whenever Katsuki found out how they knew when Deku’s birthday was, he’d kill them.

Katsuki rolled his eyes and stomped over to his soulmate, grabbing his wrist. “Come on, you shitty nerd. Auntie says we need to get home for dinner.”

“Oh!” Deku looked between the sidekick and his mom. “Of course! Sorry, Mom, I didn’t realize we’d been here so long! Of course we can go!”

She smiled at him. “It’s fine, Izu-kun. It was good to see you so excited!” She wiped at her eyes. “Did you see everything you wanted?”

“Uh-huh!! It was all really neat!!” He gave an awkward bow. “Thank you very much! It’s been the best birthday ever!”

The old hag started laughing, “I’m glad, brat. Let’s get you both something from the gift shop, then head home.”

“We can get something from the gift shop?!” Deku was vibrating again, eyes bright.

“Of course, Izu.” Auntie smiled at them both, “Come on, then. It’s just down this hallway.”

The two of them ran, despite Auntie’s protests and the old hag’s laughter.

There was All Might shit everywhere. Deku was in heaven. The merch really was mostly shit, though, and Katsuki wanted only the best merch.

They each had 2,000 yen to spend, and Deku was definitely going to spend it all on the All Might shit. There were a few museum-only items that might be ok because they were exclusive and all that…

A display in the back corner caught his eye. It was some old hero he didn’t know, but the guy wore all black and had long black hair. There was some dumbass yellow cape, boots, and belt but it almost looked like…

Katsuki glanced back toward the museum-only merch display. “Tch.” It was all probably lame, anyway. Shit like that usually was.

Katsuki stared at the display in front of him.

“Did you find anything, Katsu-kun?” Katsuki jumped.

“Auntie!” He looked down at the keychain and plushie in his hands. “These look kind of like the underground hero Deku likes. Can I… can I skip helping you with dinner? I want to fix them. I got Deku a present, but this would be better. And my present’s got to be the best one!”

Auntie’s eyes became watery. What the fuck? “That’s so sweet of you, Katsuki! Of course!” She quickly pushed him toward the cash register. “Let’s get them now before Izu-kun notices, alright? And…" she looked around and noticed a museum-only section. “Go pick out something under 1,500 yen from there, Katsuki-kun. You can get that, too. I’ll go get in line with these.” She took the two items from Katsuki and disappeared.

Huh. He guessed she wanted him to still have something for himself? It was Deku’s fucking birthday, though. Whatever. He trudged over to the museum stand. He’d been right that there wasn’t much, but they did have an All Might hat that had him punching some villain.

Katsuki grabbed it. It was cool enough for a lame museum hat.

Katsuki wore the hat the entire ride home. Deku’d ended up getting another All Might shirt, but when he’d seen Katsuki’s hat he’d squealed and switched to get a shirt with the same design.

The second they got home, Auntie told them to wash up for dinner, but that she wanted Deku to help her with dinner while Katsuki helped his mom with something else.

Katsuki grinned.

He’d never washed his hands so fast, and then he ran to his parents’ room.

This would be the best fucking present ever! His present would fucking kill everyone else’s lameass shit.

He slammed the door shut grabbed his items from his mom. “You have some grey fabric, right? And black markers?”

His mother rolled her eyes, “Yes, brat. You’re welcome.” She tossed him the marker. “How much fabric do you need?”

“Not too much! Oh! And some damn scissors!”

“Alright, alright.” She disappeared into their closet. Katsuki sat down at the foot of the bed and quickly set to work on the boots and belts. He frowned. The marker was fine for the keychain, but it didn’t work well on the plushie.

“You’ll need a fabric marker, Katsuki.” His mom knelt down next to him. “Here you go.”

He quickly took it from her, opening the cap and setting to work again. “Hell yes.” This worked so much better!

“I’m going to go help Inko, alright? I put a gift bag by the door.”

Katsuki nodded absently as he sat back and admired his work with a grin. No more hideous boots or belt. Now the fabric…

The scissors sat next to a piece of plain grey fabric right next to him. The old hag had even left a thing of glue, too. Perfect! For once, his mom’s job was convenient. Katsuki grabbed the scissors and cut off the cape, then got to work making long thin strips for the capture weapon.

That finished, he looked at the glue. One said fabric glue, so these must be like the fucking markers. He wound the weapon around each figure’s shoulders, then carefully put a little glue on the back of their necks. He pushed the fabric up against it. After a few seconds to let the glue dry, Katsuki let go.

He held the keychain and plushie up to the light.

Fucking perfect.

His presents were the best!

Deku better appreciate how awesome this was.

He set the two items in the bag, stuffed some tissue paper on top, and went to join their family.

He was so impatient, Katsuki barely noticed what happened the rest of the evening. When it was finally time for presents, he gave Deku a victorious smirk. The old present was in the stack, too, but that one didn’t matter.

Deku looked at him warily, “Kacchan, what did you do?”

“Mine’s fucking awesome. It’s the best, so save it for last, you shitty Deku.”

“If you say so, Kacchan…” Deku cautiously took one of the other presents.

Katsuki was right. The others were all lame. Katsuki’s first present had been an All Might journal, and while the nerd liked it, he’d like the new ones more. Their parents had gotten him the new All Might video game and some other All Might shit because Deku had to have everything All Might.

Finally, Deku reached for Katsuki’s second present. Carefully, he stuck his hand inside, then pulled out the tissue paper. He giggled, “Kacchan, that’s not how you wrap things.”

“I was in a fucking hurry, ok nerd?!” Katsuki glared at him. “Tch. Just look in the bottom already.”

Deku smiled, “Ok!”

He froze the second his eyes peered into the bag.

“Kacchan…” Katsuki grinned. The nerd was amazed by its awesomeness. Of fucking course. Katsuki knew this was the best idea.

Deku gently pulled out the keychain and plushie. He giggled. “Poor Salamander-san.” Salamander? Must be the black and yellow guy. Of course Deku knew who the lameass was. Despite what he said, Deku’s grin was bright as he looked up at Katsuki, “Thank you for making me Eraserhead merch, Kacchan!! Is that what you were doing before dinner?”

Katsuki shrugged, looking off to the side as he rubbed the back of his neck. He hadn't done much. The present was fucking awesome, but Deku didn't have to look at Katsuki like he'd poured hours of work into it. Whatever. “You deserve the best. You’re my soulmate.”

Deku hugged the plushie. “Thanks. I… I really like them Kacchan.”

“Duh!” Katsuki rolled his eyes, “I know how to give the best presents.”

“Mmhmm.” Deku hugged the plushie harder, as if that was fucking possible, then looked around at their parents. “Thank you for my presents! And for the museum today! It was lots of fun!”

The old hag ruffled Deku’s hair roughly, “You’re welcome, Izuku-kun. Why don’t you and Katsuki go play with your new things upstairs? We’ll clean up down here.”

“Ok!” Katsuki quickly helped Deku grab the presents, escaping upstairs before the adults could change their minds.

They set up the new video game and played for hours, the Eraserhead plushie sitting in Deku’s lap as the two of them ran across town as All Might and Sir Nighteye.

Eventually, though, Auntie came up to tell them it was time for bed. Katsuki scowled, hiding a yawn. He wasn’t tired. It had just been a really long day.

As they lay in their separate beds with the lights out, though, he heard sniffles.

“Kacchan?”

Katsuki sighed. He knew that tone of voice. The slight warble, the higher pitch to try to hide the warble… Deku was trying not to cry. “What is it, nerd?”

“Today was really awesome, Kacchan.”

“Of course it was, you shitty nerd. It was your birthday.”

Warbling laughter. “Kacchan… Is there something wrong with me?”

“What the fuck?” He rolled over on his side to look toward his soulmate. His soulmate that was currently rubbing his arm across his eyes. Shit. Definitely tears, then. “Why would you even think something lame like that, dumbass?”

“Yamato said—”

“I’ll kill him.” Small explosions crackled in his palms. He’d warned the bastard last month to leave Deku alone. Apparently that hadn’t been enough.

“Kacchan! He didn’t hit me or anything, I promise! He just… he just said that my Dad must’ve known there was something wrong with a quirkless loser like me and that’s why he left.”

Deku rubbed at his eyes. “It’s stupid. I know it is! It’s just… every year I think maybe he’ll come back, you know? Maybe he’ll come see me on my birthday… Maybe this year will be the year.” He sniffled, “I know Dad left before I was even born and that it’s impossible for him to know that I would be quirkless or anything like that! So I know it’s not my fault or anything… But… But… you’re just so awesome, Kacchan! But I’m quirkless! But we’re supposed to be equals or something and I just… I don’t know how. I feel like destiny got it wrong and I’m just defective or something.”

“Are you fucking done, yet?”

Sniffles. Katsuki could barely make out a nod in the dim light.

“Good, ‘cause you better listen up, you shitty nerd. You might be a lame dumbass, but you’re going to be the first quirkless hero this world has fucking seen, and you’re going to do it right by my side, you hear that? We willchange this fucking world, just like soulmates are supposed to! And we’ll do it together! And if that doesn’t make you awesome, then nothing can.” He paused, then added, “And your Dad’s a fucking idiot who hurt you and Auntie. I’ll kill him if he ever shows up.”

Katsuki waited for some response, but all he could hear was the dumbass crying even harder. “What the fuck?! I said there’s nothing wrong with you!”

“You’re just the best, Kacchan!” And suddenly Deku was flying across the room, tackling him in a hug, and squeezing him to death.

“Fuck! Deku! Deku, let me go!”

“Nope!”

“Deku! I mean it!”

“Never, Kacchan!”

“Deku, we’re supposed to be fucking sleeping!”

“Then I’ll just sleep here!”

Katsuki groaned. This was going to be a long night.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was panting, his T-shirt drenched, but his karate forms were still sharp. He could fight no matter how fucking tired he was!

He picked up his water bottle and emptied it completely. Wiping his mouth, he went over to the fountain and repeated the process before filling it a second time.

Deku was a few feet away, in the same sweaty state. His soulmate grinned at him.

Katsuki smirked back. They could both beat all the kids two years older than them in the dojo, and tomorrow sensei would let them fight some of the students that were three years older.

The two of them were unstoppable alone, much less when they were allowed to work together.

But quirks would put Deku at a disadvantage in a hero battle.

They had to overcome that, somehow. Eraserhead had a capture weapon to help him, but Deku couldn’t get something like that until after they got into UA. Katsuki frowned.

Katsuki’s quirk was awesome, though. For now, they would just have to make it work well enough for both of them. “Oi, Deku!”

His soulmate blinked and stood up, relaxing his stance. “What do you want, Kacchan?”

“Get on my back.”

“EH?!” Deku was staring at him as if he’d just said something ridiculous.

Katsuki glared at him. “You’re better at tactics and stuff, right? But sometimes…” Shit. How did he phrase this without making Deku fucking cry? He hated being careful with his damn words. “There will be some quirks you won’t be able to fight against. Everyone has a weakness, right? So I want to be able to move with you on my back. So that you can give me advice and shit while I fight the people that you can’t.”

At Deku’s uncertain nod, Katsuki grinned, “And once we get good at that, you can practice fighting and shit while on my back. That would let you fucking kill everyone.”

That got a smile. “Ok, Kacchan!”

Thank fuck--no tears. Katsuki knelt down. “Well, get on then, shitty nerd.”

Deku bounced over to him and jumped onto his back, almost sending Katsuki sprawling. Shit. When had the nerd gotten so heavy? Must be all the fucking muscles he’d gotten from karate. This might take more practice than Katsuki had thought.

Deku’s hands held onto his shoulders, and his legs wrapped around his torso. “You can’t hold me up, though, right? You’ll need your hands. I’ll have to hold onto you on my own.”

Katsuki frowned. That… would be difficult. He leaned forward a bit to let Deku have a bit more support. Could he really fight like this?

He’d have to have something in his hero costume that would help them. Maybe shoulder pads or something that could also work as handles?

Fuck it, they’d make do.

He slowly stood up, wincing from the shifts in Deku’s weight.

Shit.

This was going to be a lot harder than he’d thought, but it would be fucking worth it. And he would be able to carry civilians this way, too, once he got the hang of it.

“Let’s just… try walking for now.”

“Okay Kacchan!” Deku yelped when he slipped downwards as Katsuki took the first step.

Practice. Right.

They would get this.

Chapter Text

Katsuki frowned in thought as he poured the rice into the steamer. Deku was useless in the kitchen (shitty nerd was useless at a lot of things), so Katsuki was helping Auntie with dinner while Izuku was watching All Might videos in another room.

It was the perfect opportunity to ask Auntie about what had been bothering him recently. “Auntie?”

After all, it wasn’t like he could ask his mom…. Maybe his dad, but Auntie Inko would be better.

Auntie looked up from where she was chopping vegetables. “What is it?”

Katsuki glared at the rice in front of him. He hated this. If he was right… fuck it. “All the soulmates on TV…. They’re all like lovey-dovey and shit.”

“Oh, Katsu-kun.” She set the knife down and turned toward him. “We’d wondered how long it would take one of you to ask us.”

So he was right? Shit. He didn’t… He couldn’t… Fuck. “But I don’t feel that way about Deku! I don’t! He’s useless, and—”

“Katsuki.”

He winced. Auntie never liked it when he called Deku that. Or the nickname Deku, for that matter. She only let it slide because her dumbass son thought it was funny.

“Let’s sit down at the table, Katsu-kun. Dinner can wait a few minutes.” He frowned, but slowly washed of his hands and dried them off on a towel before sitting across from her at the table.

He glared at the table.

He knew… he knew he didn’t want to fucking kiss anyone or any gross shit like that right now, but that he probably would eventually. But the idea that it would have to be Deku, that it would only be Deku…. He didn’t like that.

“Katsu-kun, is my son important to you?”

Katsuki blinked, “Of course. He’s my hero partner.”

Auntie smiled. “Just because of that, Katsu-kun? He doesn’t have a quirk. You could pick someone with a strong quirk like yours.”

Katsuki frowned. That… that wouldn’t be right. It felt like he would be betraying Deku. Laughing at his hard work. The nerd was damn strong without a quirk. Not like those lazy fucking extras that never actually tried to get better.

“Why does it have to be my son?”

He hated conversations like these. Auntie probably wanted him to talk about his feelings or some shit like that. Ugh. Why had he even asked the fucking question? “He… he works hard.”

“A lot of people work hard, Katsu-kun.”

“No they fucking don’t! They say they have a dream and then they don’t do fucking anything to make it happen! They’re all a bunch of shitty losers that won’t go anywhere because of it!”

Inko sighed at his outburst. “What if you meet someone else who works hard, then? Would you leave my son? Tell him to stay at home and be safe?”

“No! I couldn’t fucking do that to Deku.”

“Why?”

“Because he’s worked hard!” He didn’t fucking understand. Why was Auntie asking these questions? What did she want him to realize?

Auntie was watching him closely, and Katsuki fidgeted under her gaze. What did she fucking want?

“Katsu-kun, Do you respect me?”

Katsuki blinked in confusion. Respect? “Yes.” He looked away from her. He…. He respected Auntie.

Maybe, just maybe, he also respected his dumbass parents. But he didn’t understand what this had to do with Deku.

“Relationships, no matter what kind they are, are all built upon respect. You and I respect each other, so we have a strong relationship. Right?”

He nodded slowly.

“Sometimes when you least expect it, especially if the person is around your age, that respect can lead you to feeling other things about a person, to noticing things that you hadn’t noticed before.” She paused and reached out to take his hand. “Katsu-kun, do you respect my son?”

Katsuki froze.

Respect?

Deku? Shitty Deku?

Deku who always tried his best, even when he should have stopped a long time ago? Who fought and fought to figure out how he could be a hero? Who wanted to save people from bullying, no matter what the cost to himself?

Deku who always did what he said he would do.

He wasn’t lazy.

He wasn’t just dreaming without trying to do anything to reach the dream. He set goals, and then he met them. He was the most determined and stubborn person Katsuki knew, so much so that it was damn annoying sometimes.

Shit.

“Maybe.”

Auntie patted his head. “Then that’s all you need to worry about for now, Katsu-kun. I’m not going to lie, I’ve never heard of a soulmate pair that didn’t like each other romantically, but…” she smiled at him, “I’ve also never heard of a soulmate pair bonded before they were a year old. Just keep an open mind about it, ok?”

“But in all the movies and…stuff, they always kiss to seal the bond, right? And Deku and my bond isn’t sealed, which is why we have to stay together all the time, right? But we can’t do that when we’re heroes. Not always. And…” Katsuki looked away from Auntie, unsure of what to say. He didn’t want to kiss Deku. That would be gross. But they really couldn’t stay like this forever.

“Kissing the other person in the bond while you both love each other is how the bond is sealed traditionally, yes.” Auntie shrugged, “But like I said, I’ve never seen a bond like yours, nor had the specialist.” Auntie smiled at him as he cautiously looked back up at her. “I’m sure you and Izuku will figure it out, Katsu-kun.”

“I…” Katsuki closed his mouth, unsure of what to say. So he might like Deku that way, some day? But he also might not? But he didn’t want… he didn’t want anyone to be a large part of Deku’s life other than him.

Deku had always been his.

Katsuki frowned. He didn’t like this feeling.

Auntie’s hand shifted to his shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “Come on, Katsu-kun. We should finish the dinner.”

Katsuki scowled. Stupid Midoriyas and their lameass nicknames.

Chapter Text

Katsuki slumped down in the shitty chair, his eyes looking at the floor to his left. NOT at the principal in front of him, and definitely NOT at Deku to his right. Useless nerd was driving him fucking insane with all the sweating and fidgeting.

Not to mention the blood on Deku’s face.

Katsuki’s stomach churned.

He’d failed.

He’d failed his soulmate again. He closed his eyes in annoyance, trying to take deep breaths and not let out explosions--

One day.

They couldn’t make it one fucking day in middle school before some losers got it into their heads to beat up on the quirkless kid.

And it wasn’t like Deku couldn’t have defended himself! Dumbass was still refusing to punch back and only fought in the dojo or when sparring with Katsuki.

The doors banged open.

“Katsuki!” Shit, the old hag was here. “Izuku!” Double shit, Auntie too.

He groaned.

“Brat, what’s this I hear about you and Izuku-kun getting into a fight? I know it wasn’t his fault.”

“It so is!” Katsuki glared at his mother. “Deku was being stubborn and refused to stay with me in gym! So of course the damn bullies cornered him and beat him up!”

The principal sighed. “According to the teacher, they were just playing dodgeball.”

Katsuki growled at the bastard, pointing at his soulmate, “Then why does he have so many fucking bruises! Only one damn hit is necessary to get someone out in that shitty game!”

“Katsuki! Language!”

“Izuku, baby, are you alright?”

“I’m fine Mom, really.” Deku gave her a wobbly smile, “It probably looks worse than it is.”

“O Izu-kun,” Auntie was hugging her son, ignoring the blood, snot, and tears. “You’re coming home with me right now, young man, and we’ll get you all patched up.”

Right now?! But they couldn’t separate! Shit, maybe she just meant the car, for now? Katsuki hoped she just meant the car.

“Ma’am, that’s really not necessary. We have a fully adequate medical staff—”

“Then why hasn’t my son seen them already?” Inko was glaring at the principal. “There is dried blood on his cheek, coming from his mouth. He’s holding a tooth for goodness sake! And you didn’t even let him wash up before dragging him here. I’m taking my son home right now, and the absences will be excused.” Katsuki’s eyebrows rose. He’d never seen Auntie this fucking ticked before.

Then again, Deku had never looked this bad before. Katsuki’d always gotten to the bullies faster.

He’d failed.

He’d failed worse than ever before.

Katsuki’s fists clenched at his sides.

“Now hold on, Midoriya-san, there’s the matter of his punishment—”

“Punishment?!”

Katsuki stared at their moms in horror. Holy shit, he’d never seen them have an identical look of anger before, and it was fucking nightmare material.

The dumbass just nodded, though, as if he wasn’t being glared at by demons. “Yes, he was involved in a fight, so there must be a punishment…”

“My son didn’t throw a single punch!” Auntie’s arm wrapped around Deku’s shoulders. Deku was sobbing, now. Shitty nerd was too much of a goody-two-shoes to stomach even the thought of detention or some shit like that.

Katsuki’s blood was boiling in anger, “Deku didn’t do anything!”

“Well, there’s no proof of that—”

“Fuck your proof! I’m an eye witness to the fight and I say Deku didn’t do anything!”

The bastard shook his head, “You are quite biased, my boy, and your teacher said Midoriya-kun was involved with the fight.”

“Of course he was fucking involved! They were beating him into a damn pulp!”

“Katsuki!” He froze at the tone in his mom’s voice. Katsuki looked down at his lap, tears rising in his frustration.

“Brat, let me handle this.” His mom’s hand ruffled his hair, then let her hand sit on his shoulder. She even gave it a reassuring squeeze. He looked up at her in disbelief. She was being…gentle? She fucking knew how to be gentle? She grinned at him, “You know you’re not supposed to fight, but good job making sure they didn’t do worse to Izu-kun.”

“Bakugou-san!” Katsuki laughed at the bastard’s outrage.

“You don’t want my kid to fight?” His mom smirked, “The answer is pretty simple. Don’t let other kids bully that one,” she pointed at Izuku, “for being quirkless. That’s the only reason Katsuki ever gets into fights. I know this is a new school, but I’m sure you’ll learn quick.”

“Bakugou-san, there is no proof that Midoriya-kun was being bullied. People get hit with multiple balls during dodgeball all the time. They were not supposed to aim for the head, but I’m sure a student just missed. It was an unfortunate accident.”

“An accident.” His mom laughed, and it sounded really cool and fucking harsh. “You should know, Izuku-kun is a blackbelt. Dodgeball is an easy game for him to win.” She glared at the bastard, one eyebrow raised. “Want to run that story by me again?”

The bastard swallowed. “The teacher had multiple games to supervise, so he did not see the whole incident, but he assured me that your son was the one that started the fight, not the other boys.”

“But not that my son wasn’t fighting to stop other kids from bullying Izuku.”

Now the bastard was starting to shake. Katsuki wasn’t sure if it was anger or fear. He hoped the second, but he thought it might be the first because he was a dumbass. “Bakugou-san, if your son keeps fighting, then I’m afraid we will have to expel him.”

There was a long pause, before his mom sighed, “It’s funny,” she looked around the room with fake interest, “You keep saying there was a fight, but I only see two boys in here, and Katsuki would never hurt Izuku. So where are the others, principal? Why are you interrogating my son and his friend and not those other kids, too?”

“Their teacher said—”

“I don’t give a fuck about what their teacher said.” His mom glared at the man. “Besides, you just said a second ago the teacher didn’t see everything. Which makes it your job to figure out the fucking truth. And on top of that, it’s the first day, so the teacher doesn’t know these kids. He hasn’t formed an opinion about them. So I’ll ask you again, where are the other fucking kids involved in this so-called fight, principal? Why are you trusting some other kids and interrogating my son? If you try to expel my son, I’ll go to every tabloid I know, and trust me, I know a lot, and I’ll tell them that my son was punished for being a hero and standing up to bullies all for the sake of his quirkless friend. A friend that you wanted to punish for being involved in the fight, when he wasn’t even defending himself, even though he could, because he didn’t want to hurt the other boys.” Her hand tightened on Katsuki’s shoulder. “In summary, you expel my son or Izuku, and I will drag your school’s reputation through the mud.”

Katsuki grinned. His mom was a fucking badass sometimes.

The principal was sweating, now. “I—I suppose there is no need to punish Midoriya-kun.”

Auntie breathed a sigh of relief, but his mom snorted in annoyance. “And?”

“And his absence for the remainder of the day will be excused. But, Bakugou-san,” he rushed to add, “I really must insist on some punishment for your son! The other boys are all in the infirmary! That’s why they aren’t here right now!”

“Tch.” His mom glared at the man. “So you let them go to the infirmary, but not Izuku-kun?” She released Katsuki’s shoulder and waved her hand nonchalantly, “Whatever, give my boy some community service or something. Don’t do detentions, he’ll never serve them because he won’t leave Izuku-kun alone at school.”

The principal let out an annoyed harrumph. “You really shouldn’t be dictating the terms of your son’s punishment.”

“We both know you lost all authority over me when you handled this so poorly, shitface. Be happy I’m fine with my boy doing some community service.”

The principal stared at the two of them for a minute, then smirked. “He looks like a strong young boy. Dagobah beach has been crowded with litter, lately. Since you are so interested in his punishment and don’t seem to trust my staff, why don’t you supervise him cleaning up the beach? I will require photo documentation of his work process and the finished product, of course.”

“Fucking fine.” His mom grabbed his wrist. “Come on, Katsuki, we’re leaving.”

Shit, “Kaa-san, that beach is really dirty!” Katsuki winced as he was pulled from the chair and toward the door. His wrist protested the harsh treatment. He didn’t think it was broken or some lame shit like that, but it was sore after pounding all those guys into the fucking gym floor. At least Auntie was being a lot gentler with Deku, one arm around his shoulders as they walked down the halls.

“I don’t care, Katsuki. It’ll do you some good to clean it, brat.”

“Kaa-san!”

Katsuki groaned. And now he remembered why he hated the old hag.

Chapter Text

Katsuki stared at the mountain of trash in despair. It was never ending. “How the hell am I supposed to clean up all this shit?”

His mom just laughed. “I dunno, brat. You’re the one with the explosion quirk.”

Katsuki’s eyes widened. He turned to face her in disbelief, “I can use my quirk?!”

“You have an adult supervising you, so why not? Your dumbass principal never specified how you had to clean it. And it’ll be damn good practice, right?”

Katsuki turned toward the heaps of shit, a huge grin on his face. His mom had never let him explode things before. Deku gulped beside him. “Umm… Kacchan? You look kinda evil right now.”

“This is gonna be fucking great!” He picked up a nearby water bottle, tossing it into the air and then exploding it the second it hit his hand.

“Ow!” He blinked and turned to Deku, who was glaring at him and rubbing his shoulder. “Kacchan! When you’re blowing stuff up you have to think about their trajectory!”

“I fucking know that, dumbass!” He glared at the trash, “Just getting used to it, that’s all.”

He frowned at the remnants of the water bottle strewn across the sand. And now he had multiple pieces of shit to pick up instead of just the one. “Tch.” So blowing up the small bits of crap wasn’t worth it, but blowing up the big shit would definitely help… but the larger parts flying everywhere would really fucking hurt if they hit someone.

He walked over to a microwave and set his palm against the door. “Back the fuck up, Deku, Old Hag.”

Trusting that the dumbasses did so, Katsuki ignited his palm.

All four sides burst apart, flying several feet backwards, as well as to his left and right. Katsuki scrambled back a few steps as the top came falling down from the sky. So maybe he should aim the explosion down, and not just away from him?

Katsuki frowned.

This was going to be harder than he thought.

“I’m going to pick up some of the smaller things, ok Kacchan? It’s only fair since you got in the fight to defend me… I’ll make sure to stay out of your way, though! Don’t worry! Or at least I’ll try?” Deku laughed nervously, “So please don’t hit me?”

“Whatever, nerd.” Katsuki glared at the microwave parts. He needed to figure this out.
He did a smaller explosion on a nearby dresser, watching where the wood splintered to gauge where it would break apart.

Katsuki eyed the beach around him with even greater appreciation.

Different strength explosions.

Different sized objects.

Different types of material.

This beach was the best fucking training ground he could ask for. Katsuki grinned. He wasn’t sure how much of the cleaning he was going to get done like this, but he would definitely get some damn good training out of it.

In hindsight, maybe Katsuki should’ve expected the task to take a whole fucking year, especially with school taking up most of their time and only being able to go when the old hag was free in the evenings.

And maybe Deku had done most of the actual cleaning, but Katsuki would never admit that shit out loud.

Chapter Text

“So you’re in your third year, now, which means you need to start thinking about your future seriously. I’m going to pass out some forms for you to fill out with your interests and top high school choices.”

Katsuki lounged in his chair, feet up on his desk and head resting on Deku’s desk behind him. Like anyone needed this shit. Every loser was going to try for the same fucking schools, and they already knew it. You either knew or you didn’t, and if you didn’t you were a dumbass and would probably have Their dumbass teacher knew the sheets were fucking worthless too--the man looked bored as hell. “Of course, I know everyone wants to be a hero, but try to be realistic about your choices in schools.”

The students cheered around them, all whispering excitedly. “Shitty extras.” He opened one eye to glare at them. “Don’t you all know you don’t have what it takes to be heroes?”

“Kacchan!” Deku tugged at his collar. “You shouldn’t call people extras! That’s mean!”

Katsuki snorted. Deku never liked it when he did that, but… “the sooner they realize their place in the world, the better.” He was doing them a service by helping them realize they weren’t cut out for it. “Deku and I are going to UA and we’re going to make it big as heroes, unlike the rest of you losers. You’ll be lucky to be sidekicks to some D-list heores. We’ll be unbeatable.”

“Deku?!” A bunch of giggles burst out across the classroom and Deku slumped in his seat. Log Head spoke up, “Your quirk is awesome, Bakugou, but Deku’s quirkless! He could never be a hero. If anyone doesn’t have what it takes, it’s him.”

“Huh?!” Katsuki stood up, his chair slamming to the floor as he stalked toward his classmate, small pops flashing from his hands. “You wanna say that again, you fucktard? Deku could beat any one of you in a fight, quirk or no quirk!”

“Kacchan!” Deku’s hand closed around his wrist. “I appreciate the support, really, but I’m not about to go fighting anyone for no reason…”

“Tch.” Katsuki looked back at his soulmate. Despite his clear muscles, with an attitude like his it was no surprise the dumbasses all thought he lied about his blackbelt. “Whatever. It’s not like you need to prove yourself to these lameass weaklings. You’ll get into UA, and that’ll speak for itself.” He walked back to the chair and slumped into his seat.

Fucking extras. He couldn’t wait to get out of this dump.

Of course, since Katsuki wanted the day to go by quickly, it was the damn slowest day ever. By the time school let out, Katsuki wanted to scream.

All day the shitty extras has been snickering about Deku and how he could never be a hero, and Katsuki hated the way Deku’s shoulders had started to get lower and lower.

“You know they’re fucking dumbasses, right? They don’t know shit.” He leaned against the locker while Deku put his shoes on to leave.

“I know, Kacchan. It’s just…” Deku sighed, stranding up and adjusting the strap of his backpack. “It’s hard not to listen, some days.”

“Tch.” Katsuki started walking, knowing that Deku would follow. “They don’t fucking matter. The only ones that matter are the ones that take the time to know you, and we all think you’re fucking awesome.”

“You’re right, Kacchan. You always are.”

“Hell yeah, I am. So stop moping, you shitty nerd.”

“I’ll try, Kacchan.”

“You fucking better.” Katsuki rolled his eyes at the nerd but was content to keep walking in silence as long as his soulmate wasn’t moping.

“Kacchan!”

Katsuki’s head whipped toward his soulmate’s voice. What the fuck?! Why was his voice scared? Deku was a few steps back, pointing at the ground where… sludge was wrapped around his foot? Deku was trying to yank it free, but the sludge kept clinging to him.

Katsuki charged forward and held an exploding palm against the sludge. The second it recoiled he threw Deku behind him, earning a shout of distress and annoyance from his soulmate.

Obviously, strength alone wouldn’t work against this…. Thing. This thing that was quickly forming into a towering figure, laughing at them. “What a strong quirk! You’ll be a great choice for my next invisible skin!”

What fucking kind of messed up shit was this guy on?!

Katsuki didn’t even have a second to think before he was surrounded in the sludge. His palms exploded immediately, but the thing wasn’t reacting. He kept it up, though, hoping that maybe a constant barrage would do something.

It was cold, so cold. And he couldn’t move. Couldn’t breathe.

He dimly heard Deku yelling his name, screaming.

Sludge was flying everywhere. Sludge on fire.

Deku was in front of him, clawing at the villain. Katsuki gasped as his mouth was freed, “Get back, Deku! The last thing we need is both of us captured!”

Deku was crying, shaking his head frantically. “I have to help you, Kacchan!”

Damn it! Stubborn dumbass! Couldn't he tell that strength alone wouldn't work against this guy! “Use your fucking head, idiot!”

Deku blinked, but actually scrambled backwards at that. Katsuki gagged as the villain once more forced itself down his throat. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t… his palms lit up.

“Kacchan, stop!” Stop? Stop what? He couldn’t… stop! He had to fight! But it wasn’t… it wasn’t doing anything. But he had to try! He clenched his eyes shut in frustration. “You’re setting the park on fire, Kacchan!”

Oh.

That… that wasn’t good. Shit. Tears formed at his eyes. The sludge was everywhere. It was inside him. He couldn’t…

Suddenly the sludge stopped.

Katsuki opened his eyes. Deku. Deku was throwing things. Throwing them at the villain’s eyes. The eyes weren’t sludge! If he could just get an arm free…his right arm could probably reach.

He struggled. He lit his palms on fire a few times, trying to startle the villain into releasing him. Hopefully the park would be ok. The occasional blasts were working a little bit better since the villain wasn’t constantly bracing against them.

Deku was there again, clawing at the sludge by his arm, fighting against it, digging into it.

Katsuki gagged, eyes bulging as the villain surged deeper into his throat. He could feel it attaching to his skin, to his face. It stung, it stung like a thousand needles poking into his skin.

Don’t focus on the pain.

Focus on his arm. On Deku. On his soulmate. On getting free.

Deku’s finger looped around his, a solid presence amidst the sludge, and his soulmate yanked. He yanked and yanked and Katsuki could swear his finger broke but he didn’t fucking care and---

Air.

He could feel air.

His hand was free.

Deku grabbed his wrist and yanked it upward, jerking it through the sludge and resistance. He pulled and pulled at Katsuki’s hand, but kept his own hand clear of Katsuki’s blasting range. Katsuki quickly let loose an explosion, using the force to propel his hand upward as Deku pulled.

The villain hissed, pushing more sludge down Katsuki’s throat. “Shit. He found me.”

What did the villain mean by found him? Who?

He couldn’t care.

Don’t focus on the pain.

Don’t focus on it.

“Now, Kacchan!”

“FEAR NOT, YOUNG CITIZENS, FOR—”

BOOM

Katsuki could feel his wrist break from the awkward angle and the force of the recoil.

But the villain was shrieking. Retreating.

He could feel the slime pulling out, shrinking as it began to run away.

Katsuki fell to his hands and knees, gasping.

Deku was right next to him, calling his name, his hand on his shoulder. Katsuki tried to focus on its warmth.

He needed to focus on Deku’s warmth, not the coldness from the sludge.

Katsuki heaved, trying to throw up. Trying, but failing. He could still feel the slime. Could still feel….

He heaved again.

Deku’s hand was tighter, now. His voice more urgent.

Katsuki wanted to answer it, wanted to calm the shitty nerd down, but he couldn’t—couldn’t speak. The sludge--

Katsuki collapsed on the ground. He tried to breathe deeply, tried, but it was like the sludge was still there.

He reached up, trying to claw at his throat, but warm hands pulled him back.

Katsuki thrashed against tightness around him, against the tightness in his throat.

The sludge, was it back?

He couldn’t move. Panic crawled across his skin.

He couldn’t breathe.

Couldn’t save himself.

Couldn’t save Deku.

Chapter Text

There was a voice. A voice calling his name.

Deku.

Deku was worried.

He was crying.

Shit.

“Don’t.” He coughed. His throat felt raw.

The sludge.

Katsuki felt like throwing up again.

He tried to sit up, but arms were quickly around him, stopping him. He struggled. The tightness. He couldn’t be trapped again! He had to move!

“Kacchan! Kacchan, stop! You’re hurt!”

Deku.

These were Deku’s arms.

He relaxed.

“You scared us for a second there, young man. How are you feeling?”

That voice.

He knew that voice.

But who…?

He opened his eyes, blinking at the sudden brightness.

Deku was on top of him, strong arms holding him down.

Katsuki had never been so glad to see his soulmate’s face. To see his relieved smile.

“Deku.”

“Kacchan, I’m so glad you woke up.” The shitty nerd leaned back and sat next to Katsuki’s side. “We were worried.” One warm, reassuring hand remained on Katsuki’s left arm.

The dumbass better not move it.

Then Katsuki froze, eyes wide as he noticed the figure behind Deku. “All—” he started coughing, his body jerking as he tried yet again to cough up nonexistent sludge. He cleared his throat carefully, then spoke again, “All Might?!”

The hero’s loud boisterous laugh rang across the park. “I am here!”

The park.

“The fires..!”

Katsuki tried to sit up again, but Deku’s hand shifted, pushing him back down. “All Might put them out, Kacchan. And he captured the villain. Everything’s ok now.”

“That’s good,” Katsuki glared at his soulmate. “But why won’t you fucking let me sit up and see it for myself?”

“My boy, that would be my fault. I’m worried that you’ve broken some bones. Can you tell me what hurts?”

What hurts?

Katsuki winced.

Suddenly he was aware of the pain. Intense, throbbing pain. “Wrist. Finger. Throat.” He paused, then added, “Shoulder.” It wasn’t as bad, but the recoil had done something. Everything else felt…sore, but not bad. Not broken.

“Not your ribs?”

He shook his head. The hero smiled, “Wonderful! It’s probably safe for you to sit up, then, but go slow.”

Katsuki nodded. Deku’s hand was warm against his uninjured shoulder, supporting him as he sat up.

Now upright and feeling a bit better, Katsuki stared at the hero.

All Might was here.

It felt weird to be in his presence. Like it wasn’t real.

He couldn’t believe he was finally meeting All Might, but it was happening while he was fucking injured and weak. “Tch.”

“You did well, young boys! You worked together to defeat the villain under pressure and it was quite admirable, I must admit! I’m sure you’d both make wonderful heroes one day!”

All Might was praising him.

They’d…done well? But Katsuki had been practically helpless the whole time! But with Deku… with his soulmate, they’d managed to beat the villain.

And they hadn’t even gone to UA, yet! A grin slowly formed across his face.

Katsuki was fucking awesome. His explosion had beaten the villain.

And Deku was fucking awesome. “His eye was the obvious weak point.” Katsuki smirked, “Deku could figure that much out from just a few minutes watching him.”

“I should’ve figured it out faster. Sorry, Kacchan.”

“You did fine, my boy!” All Might was patting Deku’s shoulder, now.

“You did good, you shitty nerd. You don’t need to fucking apologize.” All Might himself was praising them and patting Deku’s shoulder. What the fuck? Did Katsuki wake up in some damn alternate dimension?

All Might frowned at his language, but Deku spoke up before the hero could say anything to Katsuki.

“Ummm… All Might sir?” Deku’s voice was quiet, timid. Like he was scared. Katsuki frowned. Why was he scared? This was fucking All Might! Maybe the nerd was fanboying or something? “Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course, my boy! I really must be going soon, though. A concerned citizen posted a video online to attract heroes, but that also means the media will be here soon. And I have to get this villain to the police. Not to mention that your friend should really go to a doctor and get his arm checked.”

“Right.” Deku’s hand tightened around Katsuki’s good shoulder. “But….ummm….You said I’d be a good hero. Is that… Is that still true even if I don’t have a quirk?”

All Might froze where he was doing squats, preparing for a jump.

Katsuki’s eyes widened.

Shit.

Depending on the answer, this could go really well or really poorly. Fucking hero better answer the shitty question correctly.

“I’m sorry, my boy”--Fuck that pitying tone. Katsuki’d kill him, All Might or not--“but hero work is really quite dangerous. We’re always risking our lives, even with the advantage our quirks give us. Without one…. It would simply be too dangerous.” All Might sighed. “I’m sorry.”

“But…” Shit, Deku’s voice was doing the damn warble. The nerd was going to cry. Who did this fucking guy think he was, telling Deku that?! “But I’ve worked really hard. And I’m good at analysis! You said I did a good job! And I want to save people!”

“I’m sorry, my boy. You are good at analysis, so maybe you could do police work if you want to save people. They do good work, even if they have a bad reputation.”

What the fuck?! A fucking police officer?! “Listen here, you bastard--”

“Stand back now, I’m going to jump!”

“What do you fucking mean, ‘be a police officer!’ Just a minute ago you said he would make a good hero! How does that change just because you learned he doesn’t have a fucking quirk!” Katsuki surged to his feet, stomping toward the hero and ignoring the pain. Ignoring Deku who was kneeling on the ground in shock.

All Might glanced back at them. “I’m sorry, my boys, but I really don’t have the time. Send me a note on my webpage.”

All Might jumped.

“Shit.” Katsuki snarled, looking around them. A couple of people were standing at the edge of the park, phones out. They’d obviously been the ones recording the fight from afar. Fuck. He grabbed Deku’s hand with his good hand, then trudged toward the edge of the park. “Come on, we’re following him.”

“What?!” Deku stumbled after him. “Kacchan, I don’t—”

“Shut up, nerd. He’s going to the police station, so we can easily find him.” Katsuki rounded the corner, then immediately knelt down, turning his back to his soulmate and holding his arms wide. “Get on.”

“What?! But Kacchan, you’re hurt!” Deku wasn’t moving. Fuck, they needed to be fast about this! Didn’t the dumbass understand that?!

“Who the fuck cares. You’re a hero! You’re the most selfless person I know, you dumbass, and if that doesn’t make you a fucking hero, then no one is! You need a better answer than that, so we’re going to get one. We’ll wait for him at the station door and you can ask him again when he’s fucking done.”

“But your injuries!”

“You think I can’t handle a simple broken bone? Huh?!”

Deku shook his head frantically, and the next thing Kacchan felt were Deku’s hands on his shoulders. A bit further up on one side than the other, avoiding the tender muscles. Shitty nerd must’ve figured out where the recoil usually hurt him.

Legs wrapped around his torso and Katsuki stood up.

He winced at the feeling of the explosion, but ignored the pain. The police station wasn’t too far, but they wouldn’t get there fast enough if they walked.

He forced them up, into the air.

One explosion.

Another.

And another.

He just focused on one at a time, ignoring the pain. Ignoring the distance left until they were close to the station.

“I can’t just fly us all the way there. Illegal quirk usage and all those shitty rules.” Katsuki collapsed in relief in the alley a street down from the station. Deku jumped off immediately.

“Kacchan, are you…?”

“Just run to the damn station, Deku. I won’t forgive you if you fucking miss him.”

“Right! Of course!” Deku ran off.

Kacchan slowly pulled himself up. He glanced down at his wrist and winced. Shit--that was definitely broken. And it looked worse than it had before. The Old Hag was going to kill him.

Katsuki staggered out of the alley and slowly made his way to the station, ignoring the curious looks he received. Dumbasses. Why the fuck do they care what he looked like. It was none of their damn business.

When he reached the station, he saw Deku pestering All Might again, arms waving frantically.

Katsuki frowned. Was the fucking hero still not answering the damn question the right way?

His eyes narrowed as All Might dodged around Deku to go into an alley by the station. Deku was scrambling after him, and Katsuki ran to meet him.

All Might wasn’t there.

Katsuki frowned. No exits. But there was always up.

“Get the fuck on my back, Deku.”

The nerd moved immediately, and then Katsuki was airborn. They landed on the roof, and, sure enough, there was All Might.

The man turned around, eyes wide in surprise. “Young boys—” he broke off, coughing blood. A cloud of steam suddenly surrounded him.

“EH?!?!” Deku was screaming.

“What the fuck?” Katsuki stared at the thin man that was left when the cloud cleared. The man still coughing blood.

His eyebrow twitched.

“Are you ok?!” Deku was waving his arms frantically, muttering about ambulances and illusion quirks and imposters and who knows what else.

“Why are you fucking like this, you shitty excuse for a hero? How can you keep being a hero and saving people when you’re a fucking piece of tinsel!” Katsuki glared at the man. How dare he lecture Deku on the impossibility of being a quirkless hero when he looked like shit!

All Might looked between the two of them, his eyes suddenly widening as if there was something he just now understood.

Katsuki glared at the man. He hoped whatever the fuck All Might had realized had something to do with how he was a damn hypocrite.

When All Might started to speak, Katsuki didn’t know what he expected to hear, but it wasn’t about some fight five years ago. And it wasn’t about All Might having a timer on his quirk now.

And…

His brain still couldn’t process the last part.

Deku was frozen beside him.

“You what?!”

“You boys… you really are amazing.” Fucking duh. Katsuki knew that. “Heroes need to want to save people. They need to be determined to risk their own lives to do so, and all the best heroes do so instinctually.” He paused, rubbing at the back of his head. “You two…when I told you my weakness, your reaction was immediately concern. Young Midoriya, your concern wasn’t for the top hero, but for me as a person. That much was obvious. You immediately started thinking through whether or not you could help.”

Katsuki frowned, ticked off. Of course the idiot was concerned about the stupid man! “And you, young Bakugou, your concern was for the country, correct? And for my position as its top hero? You immediately asked about how I could keep saving people.”

“Tch.” It was a fucking valid concern. The world needed All Might. He’d have to be stupid not to see that.

What he didn’t understand was the last bit All Might had said. The bit about making Deku his successor. Deku, but not him. What the fuck did that even mean? They were soulmates! They did everything together! How could only one of them be the successor? Why was it Deku and not him?

He grit his teeth in frustration. Couldn’t All Might see that he couldn’t make one of them his successor and not the other?

“And you are both very driven and good at tactics, especially for your age.”

Fuck yeah they were! But then both of them should be All Might’s successor!

All Might shifted to look directly at Deku. “My boy, my quirk is unique. There has been much speculation about it. The truth is, it’s a stockpile enhancer quirk that can be passed down.”

What. The. Fuck. “Those don’t fucking exist.”

“A stockpile AND an enhancer?? How does that even work?” Of course his trusting dumbass of a soulmate just assumed the hero spoke the truth

“It is one of a kind, as far as I know, young Bakugou. I am the eighth holder.” He turned to Deku, “And, to answer your question, my boy, the quirk enhances the user’s original strengths and becomes stronger with each user.”

“If this is true, and I do mean if,” he glared at the man. “Why the hell are you telling us all of this shit?”

All Might sighed and reached toward his injury once more. “With this injury, I cannot keep going much longer. You are right, Young Bakugou. I cannot save people like I used to. I am currently looking for a successor for my quirk and…” he was watching Deku closely, “Young Midoriya, I think I just found one. Would you accept my power and use it to become a hero?”

Fuck.

“Ehhhh?!?!” All Might broke Deku.

Katsuki couldn’t believe this. But the hero really didn’t look like this was a lie.

But if All Might was telling the truth…

Deku… could get All Might’s quirk? If that’s what All Might meant by successor…. Katsuki’s quirk was fucking awesome. He didn’t need another one. But Deku… Deku had always wanted a quirk, but he’d also fought hard to be a hero without one…

Katsuki evaluated his soulmate, who looked like he was still in shock. Deku was staring at the #1 hero, eyes wide and uncomprehending. “B-But I—I was going to be the first quirkless hero.”

“And you could still try to do that, my boy. I think if anyone could, it would be you. But…” All Might scratched at his chin. “In my state, I am perhaps more aware than I used to be about the dangers of being a hero. Even with a quirk, I almost lost my life in that battle. Without one, I would have died. And while a hero should always run headfirst to save people, they must also be strong, or they won’t be able to save anyone.”

Katsuki watched as his soulmate’s muttering began. Going from the truth behind what All Might said, to inspiring people as a quirkless hero, to the fact that fewer were being born quirkless, that they could still stand up against bullies just as well with quirks, to the fact that he wanted to help others like him, but how he really wanted to help everyone—

All Might suddenly laughed. Katsuki blinked. That was a new reaction to the muttering. “You certainly like to theorize, my boy! You can think about it as much as you want, but in the end, it sounds like it comes down to this: Do you want to try to become a representative and beacon of hope for quirkless people, or do you want to save as many people as you can, even though you might not be able to help quirkless people in the same way as before? The decision is completely up to you.”

Katsuki frowned. They’d always thought that since Deku was Katsuki’s equal, but also quirkless, that must mean Deku must become a quirkless hero. But what if… what if he was Katsuki’s equal because of something else? What if it didn’t have to do with him being quirkless? What if Deku wasn’t meant to be the first quirkless hero… but to get fucking All Might’s quirk?!

No. They couldn’t think like that. Auntie always said they couldn’t tell where this bond would take them… That they should just be themselves and not worry about it.

“Deku.”

Deku turned to him immediately, “Kacchan, Kacchan what should I do?” Fuck. He hated it when the shitty nerd was all lameass and indecisive. “Do whatever you want, Nerd. You’ll be my partner either way.” He paused, then added, “And we’ll also stand up for quirkless losers either way.” After all, Katsuki had been kicking ass without using his quirk for years now, and that seemed to knock since into dumbasses’ skulls. They could figure something out.

Deku burst into tears and suddenly Katsuki found his soulmate’s arms wrapped around him. “Deku, what the fuck?! Not this again!” He tried to wriggle free, but with his injured arm, it was impossible. He growled, “Let me go, you shitty nerd, and answer All Might.”

“If you need to think longer—”

“I’ll do it!” Deku finally released Katsuki, turning to face All Might. His eyes were determined once more. Katsuki grinned. “I accept, All Might! I want to save everyone! And I can save more people with a quirk!”

Chapter Text

Izuku mumbled the whole way home, rehearsing the spiel All Might had told them to tell their parents. It wasn’t like they could just hide everything from them. After all, the sludge villain had apparently been on the fucking TV. Katsuki smirked. At least the TV got to see him nail the bastard in the eyes, though the fact that they filmed him collapsing, too, was really shitty.

“Kacchan.” Deku’s voice was all lame and weak. What the heck. He stopped in front of their house, turning to face his soulmate. “We… we can do this, right? Our parents will need to know something, right? I mean, a villain attacked us! Mom’s going to be super protective and they wouldn’t let us out on our own or anything and they’ll want us to be super careful and all that. So we have to tell them something. And what All Might suggested makes sense, but it’s a lie. It’s a big lie. My quirk didn’t manifest in the fight. What if they ask me to use it? I know I’m supposed to say that All Might told me not to. That All Might saw it was an enhancement quirk and was concerned because it’s dangerous and I’m such a late bloomer. And—”

“Breathe, you useless nerd. I know you can’t lie worth shit. I’ll do the talking.”

“Thank you, Kacchan!” Jeez, why was his soulmate’s smile so freaking bright.

“Whatever.” Katsuki turned back toward the door and began walking up the sidewalk, Deku trailing behind him.

Not a second after Katsuki opened the door, he felt arms wrap around him, hugging him.

Shit.

Deep breaths. This was his mom. His mom, not the villain. Her arms were warm. He could breathe.

Izuku squeaked next to him, no doubt having been attacked by Auntie.

He struggled to get free. Well, struggled as much as he could with his arm banged up. “Let go of me, you old hag! Can’t you see my arm’s hurt!”

“Katsuki, don’t call your mother that.”

Shit. Dad was here, too. All the adults meant a family heart-to-heart. Fucking great.

“You brats did great, but please don’t ever scare us like that again.” Seconds later he was free, but his mom’s hands had moved to his shoulder as her eyes frantically looked over his arm. “And what’s this about your arm? The television clip didn’t show that your arm was hurt this badly! What happened to it? Why didn’t you come straight home, you damn idiot? Or answer your phones?”

“My damn arm’ll be fine, alright?! I just did what I needed to do. I don’t need to go to the fucking hospital.”

“Katsuki, your arm is clearly broken.” His Dad was giving him the disappointed look. Fuck this shit.

He was about to protest the hospital and explain more, but Auntie finally spoke up through her tears, “Izuku, you both had us so worried! We will go to the hospital right away. You aren’t hurt, are you?!” She released Deku, looking all over him for injuries. He gasped for air while shaking his head.

“We don’t need the fucking hospital!” Katsuki groaned, but the adults ignored him.

Deku fidgeted nervously under the adults’ eyes. This was not going as planned. “No, no, I’m fine, Mom. I’m not hurt. And I’m so sorry we didn’t call! We just didn’t think with everything that had happened! And… ummm…. We kinda talked with All Might for a while? And his assistant?”

Katsuki snorted. It was a stupid cover for All Might’s wimpy form, but whatever. It’s what the hero told them to use, so he’d fucking use it.

“What?!” All three parents were staring at them in shock. At least the hospital seemed temporarily forgotten.

Dad was the first to recover. “Well that was…nice of him.” He was still blinking in bewilderment. “Was there any reason he wanted to talk to you two?”

“You didn’t do anything bad, did you, brat?” Mom was glaring at him, though she muttered something about knowing that Deku hadn’t done anything.

He glared back. “I didn’t do a fucking thing, alright! The trauma or whatever made Deku manifest his shitty late-ass quirk.” He smirked at his soulmate. “Took him long enough.” Technically he still hadn’t, but now he would manifest one. All Might wouldn’t lie like that. He wouldn’t. He was All Might. Katsuki’s soulmate would have a quirk, and one worthy of the shitty nerd, too.

Deku shrugged sheepishly, but his smile was still ridiculously happy. Dumbass was obviously over the fucking moon with all this All Might nonsense.

“Oh Izuku!”

Auntie was hugging him again. And crying again. Which meant Deku started to cry. Katsuki groaned. Why did both Midoriyas have to be so fucking emotional. He hated their shitty tears. He turned to his parents for help, for anything to get them to stop crying, but froze. His mom was fucking crying, too.

“WHAT THE HECK! STOP CRYING!”

“Shut up, you little dirt bag.” Katsuki’s mom pushed his head down, rubbing his hair forcefully. He grunted and twisted out of the way, glaring at her. “We’re happy for your soulmate. You should be too.”

“I fucking am!” He crossed his arms, glaring at them all. This whole thing was a mess. “Whatever. All Might was all fucking concerned because Deku couldn’t be normal and got his quirk so fucking late. He said it looked like his quirk might be dangerous to him if he doesn’t use the shitty thing right.”

“What?!” Auntie stopped shaking her son to stare at Katsuki in shock. “Izuku, honey, is this true?”

Deku nodded, scratching his cheek sheepishly.

“Oh my Baby.” Auntie was burying her head in Deku’s hair, now. His own mom was kneeling next to him, a hand on Deku’s shoulder. “What is your quirk, Izuku-kun?”

“Strength enhancement.” Deku kicked at the carpet. “Like a really strong version. But All Might told me not to use it until I’d had training.” He shrugged, then mumbled something about having been lucky today.

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Shitty nerd almost ripped my arm off.” That part was true, even without the quirk. Deku was already plenty strong and he hadn’t held back. Not that Katsuki wished he had. “Broke my fucking finger, as it is.” Now Deku looked miserable. “Damn it, I don’t mind, Deku. I’d rather have a broken finger than be stuck in that thing.” He shuddered.

Katsuki’s mom whacked him upside the head. “Of course you would! You aren’t going to thank him?”

“Calm down, you old hag! We already talked!” He was not going to thank Deku for endangering himself! Stupid soulmate did enough of that without any encouragement!

“Katsuki, don’t yell at your mother.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake. “I fucking wasn’t!” He was just… frustrated. Really frustrated. They hadn’t even gotten to the shit about tomorrow, yet.

“Katsuki!” He froze. Auntie was frowning at him, her arms still wrapped around Deku. He never could yell at Auntie like he could his own parents. She was too fucking nice.

He glared at the ground.

Apparently Auntie thought he looked contrite or something, because her voice was soft again when she spoke, “I know it’s been a hard day, Katsuki, but you shouldn’t yell at your parents. Or curse at us.”

“Tch.” He kicked the floor, annoyed. Not like he ever could curse at Auntie. “Whatever.”

Auntie sighed, then turned to her son, smiling softly, “We’ll find some way to get you training, Izuku honey, I promise. You’ll be able to use your quirk soon enough.”

“You won’t fu—” Auntie frowned at him, and Katsuki groaned. Auntie’d always had a limit for his cussing, and apparently he’d fucking exceeded it. Fucking hated it when she got like this. “You won’t need to. All Might’s assistant said he’d be happy to help. He’s coming over tomorrow at 7, so he’ll have breakfast and talk with us before school starts. He also said he’d bring Recovery Girl. For my arm.” Well, really his wrist and finger and shoulder, but who fucking cared about the details. “That’s why I don’t need to go to the hospital. He said I needed to rest and restore some energy before she could heal me, or he’d bring her tonight.” Katsuki didn’t really understand it, but whatever. He could deal with the pain for one night.

“Oh my.” Auntie looked about ready to collapse. “All Might’s assistant. And a hero. Here. For breakfast tomorrow.”

Katsuki knew it was sudden, but Deku needed to start training for his new quirk fast. Didn’t they get that? UA’s exam was less than a year away! And everyone else had had most of their lives to work with their quirks!

“I’ll do the brats’ lunches, Inko. You just focus on the breakfast.”

Dad already had his phone out, typing furiously. “I just let my boss know I’ll be in late tomorrow. With everything the boys went through today, I’m sure she’ll understand. You should do the same, Mitsuki. Inko, you don’t have a shift tomorrow, right?”

Auntie still looked like she was in a daze. “Right. Yes. I have the day off.”

Izuku was watching his mother with concern, “Mom, All Might said Recovery Girl would have to leave quickly to get back to UA, so she probably won’t be able to eat breakfast with us. So it’ll just be one more person than usual.”

“It would be better to give her something she could snack on then…” Auntie began to mumble, lost in thought. “Thank you, Izuku dear. She’s taking time out of her schedule to come help Katsuki, so we really should thank her…oh! But you’ll need something to help with the pain tonight, Katsuki. I’ll just…” Inko slowly separated herself from her son, who didn’t seem to mind that he’d been fucking hugged by his mom for like fifteen minutes or some shit like that. She left the room, now muttering to herself about what dose would be best for him.

Katsuki sighed.

Damn Midoriyas and their muttering.

As Auntie helped him get in bed and checked his injuries that night, though, Katsuki couldn’t help but be thankful for both Midoriyas. Deku was running around grabbing things as his mom asked for them, and the way Auntie set up his arm actually felt kind of comfortable. He’d figured he wouldn’t get any sleep tonight, but… this worked.

Auntie turned off the lights, whispering goodnight to him and Deku. Katsuki snorted. Deku was already asleep and snoring, so it wasn’t like the ‘good night’ message mattered.

Katsuki closed his eyes and let the pain meds take over and send him into a deep sleep, regardless of Deku’s annoying snores.

Chapter Text

The morning was a fucking disaster.

Katsuki had to just sit there and not do a damn thing while everyone else frantically ran around the house.

He wasn’t some useless bag of crap! He could help cook with his good hand! But no, he had to sit and be fucking still while Auntie was freaking out about breakfast, and his mom burned his and Deku’s lunches, and his dad tried (and failed) to set the table, and Deku got all of their school stuff together.

If the shitty nerd forgot anything, he’d fucking kill him.

Oh yeah, and they’d not done ANY of their damn homework yesterday because of all the villain shit, so his dad had also written some lameass apology note explaining everything for their asshole teachers.

And it was only 6:50.

Way too early for this shit.

But just ten more minutes of this damn torture. Ten minutes until Recovery Girl got there.

He closed his eyes and tried to ignore the chaos around him and the pain spiking in his shoulder, wrist, and finger. Auntie’s painkillers were starting to lose their effectiveness, so his whole arm was fucking killing him.

Damn it.

Nothing he couldn’t take, but he could admit to himself that it hurt. It hurt a lot.

The doorbell rang, distracting him from the pain.

Auntie let out a surprised ‘eep,’ brushing her hands against her apron nervously. “Izuku, would you get the door, please?”

“Of course, Mom!” Stupid Deku, eager as always, jumped off his chair and ran to the front hall.
Sure enough, Katsuki could hear All-Might—no, Yagi-san’s voice—voice, along with what sounded like an old woman. Deku shut the door, leading them into the eating area where Katsuki was sitting.

Recovery girl was fucking short.

Even though he was sitting down, Katsuki was still taller than the retired hero. She walked up to him immediately, scolding Yagi-san the whole way. “I should have come last night! You didn’t tell me it was this bad, Toshinori!” Katsuki’s eyebrows rose as she whacked the thin man with her cane. “I know the boy needed sleep, but there are ways around that. I’m the doctor, not you!”

She ignored the adults in the room who’d come in to introduce themselves, instead heading straight for Katsuki. “How are you feeling, dearie?”

He eyed her warily, unsure of what to think of her. “Fucking fine, what do you think?”

“Katsuki!” His mother yelled, but he ignored the old hag, wincing when he felt a sharp whack of the grandma’s cane against his knee.

Apparently whacking patients where they were uninjured was fucking fine in the grandma’s opinion.

“I came here on All Might’s request, boy. Now, normally I’d demand that you come to my office so that I could get a proper x-ray done, but he asked that I come here instead because he wanted you to be here while Toshinori talked to your parents. So I’m here.” She picked up her can to wave it at him. “But you better answer all of my questions honestly and in detail or I’m going to haul you back to my office, regardless of what All Might wants.”

“Tch.” Fucking annoying. “Fine.” He looked at the ground, then grunted when she poked his shoulder. He could feel everyone’s eyes watching them. He looked up sharply, “Damn it, I’m not some animal on display! Stop watching, you dumbasses, and do something else!”

“Katsuki, language!” Auntie sighed, then turned to her own son. “Izuku dear, help me get the dishes to the table?”

Katsuki’s dad moved closer to him, making Katsuki’s eyebrow twitch in annoyance. “Mitsuki, why don’t you help. I’ll stay here with Katsuki.” His mom frowned, clearly annoyed at the suggestion, but she left the room, anyway. Yagi was still hovering in the doorway, clearly unsure of what to do.

It was too early for this shit.

“Just sit in a fucking chair, Yagi-san.” The man jumped, but quickly went to do so after Katsuki’s dad nodded in agreement.

Katsuki closed his eyes, trying to ignore Recovery Girl as she poked and prodded his entire arm. “Just bear with me, boy. I need to make sure there’s a low likelihood of splintered bone fragments, or my quirk will do more harm than good. All I do is speed up the healing process, it could still heal incorrectly, and then you would have to break it again to fix it.”

Katsuki winced. Yeah, he definitely didn’t want to do that.

She poked him for a few more minutes, then finally stood back a few steps. Katsuki sighed in relief. “Right, well, it seems like a clean break, so this should be fine.” She leaned forward, and Katsuki wrinkled his nose as she kissed first his hand, healing his wrist and finger, then his shoulder. Deku had told him how her quirk worked, but it was still creepy.

Katsuki slowly rolled his shoulder. His arm felt amazing, at least, even if he was now fucking exhausted.

Then he became aware that Recovery Girl was watching him with a frown.

Katsuki glared at her as she openly studied him. “Why the hell are you frowning, granny?” Was there one of those fucking splinter things? Everything felt fine, though.

She sighed. “I suppose I’ll be blunt, since you seem like the type to prefer that.” He scoffed. If she was going to be blunt, she should just get on with it. “I know you have an open soulbond.”

Shit.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.

Katsuki froze in place, not daring to move a muscle. No one was supposed to know. How the fuck did she know? What gave them away? No one was supposed to know!

He forced his breath to stay calm and even. Recovery Girl was a hero. She was a medical professional and they were bound to keep patient’s medical info a secret. It would be ok. And All Might was trustworthy, too. Besides, they knew All Might’s shitty secret, so Katsuki supposed it was fair that the hero know their secret, as well.

Before Katsuki could figure out how to respond, though, his father’s soft voice answered her. “He does.” His tone was cautious as he continued and asked, “How could you tell?”

Katsuki worked on calming his heartrate as Recovery Girl answered his father. It would all be fine. “Because I work with young heroes, I’ve seen more unsealed soulbonds than most people. They aren’t common, but UA sees soulbonds once every five years or so, and I’ve been at UA for a long time. Once you are familiar with them, it’s easy to spot an unsealed bond. However, not many people know the trick to it, even in the medical world, so you don’t need to worry about someone else figuring it out the way I did.”

Yagi-san cleared his throat, “If… If I may ask, is it with Young Midoriya?”

“Tch.” Katsuki glared at the man. They were fucking living in the same house! “Of course it’s fucking Deku. No one else is good enough to be my soulmate.” And it’s not like Katsuki even had other friends that could be options. Though he supposed the man didn’t know that. Fuck this whole situation to hell.

“I see.” Yagi-san looked perplexed.

Katsuki frowned, “This doesn’t change anything, does it, old man?!” He wouldn’t let anything, much less their shitty bond, stop All Might from giving Deku a quirk. The shitty nerd said he wanted to use it, and he deserved it, so All Might couldn’t go back on his promise.

But Yagi-san shook his head firmly, waving his arms around, “No, it changes nothing, my boy. If anything, it makes me more determined.”

Well good. Katsuki nodded. Glad they were clear about that.

Recovery Girl sighed next to Katsuki. “Can you bring the boy and your two mothers back in here? I know the general public doesn’t know much about soulmates because they are always influential people paranoid about revealing their weaknesses to anyone, but I know a bit more than most, so I really should inform you of some things that I do know. Unless someone’s already talked with you about their weaknesses?”

Weaknesses? What fucking weaknesses? Wasn’t it just that the weaker of the pair could be used against the stronger one? And then the location thing before the bond was sealed? There was some other shit?

“O-Of course!” Katsuki’s father turned to him, “Katsuki, would you go get them?”

“Tch.” He had a shit-ton of questions, but the faster he did this, the faster the old lady would fucking explain everything.

In the background, he could hear his father explaining to her about the specialist they’d been to when they were kids, but how the doctor’s specialty was diagnosing bonds and helping soulmate pairs adapt to their abilities once the bonds had formed. Since Katsuki and Izuku had been too young to seal the bond, there hadn’t been much the man could do for them.

“Katsu-kun?” Auntie stared at him in confusion as he burst into the kitchen, and her voice distracted him from eavesdropping further. “Is everything ok?”

“The old woman could tell about the bond. She says she needs to explain some things to us.”

“What?!” His mother dropped the plate she’d been holding. Katsuki winced. Thankfully it had only fallen a few inches and didn’t break. “What do you mean she could tell about the bond, brat?”

He groaned, “Some shit about being able to tell the state of my body when she healed me, I don’t know. She recognized the signs or something because she’s worked with so many unsealed bonds at UA.”

“A-and she wants to talk to us?”

Katsuki turned to his soulmate. Deku was practically vibrating from his nervous energy. “Right. It’ll be fine, idiot. Don’t get worked up over nothing.”

That earned him a nervous smile, “Of course, Kacchan. You’re right.”

“Fuck yeah, I am.” Katsuki grabbed Deku’s wrist, “Come on.” He pulled the nerd out of the room and toward the table. Behind them, Katsuki’s mom patted Auntie on the shoulder before the two women followed the boys, Auntie wringing her hands.

The second they entered the room, Recovery Girl turned to Deku and pointed at him with her cane. “Come here, young boy.” Deku turned to his mother nervously, but at her nod he stepped toward the retired hero.

“It’s r-really an honor to meet you, Recovery Girl.”

She huffed in amusement, “Well aren’t you just the opposite of your moronic soulmate.”

“Oi!” Katsuki glared at the woman. Who the fuck was she calling moronic?! And it was just like the shitty nerd to suck up like that.

She turned to their parents, completely ignoring Katsuki, which made him growl in annoyance. What did he do to make the damn grandma insult him like that?

“When I heal someone, I get a general feel for their state of being, and I can sense if something is still wrong when I’m done.” Katsuki blinked as the old woman pointed at him, rage momentarily forgotten as he focused on absorbing the information. The bond shit was important, and he knew that. “That boy has all the marks of an unsealed soulbond, and one that’s been active for quite some time, despite his age. His body is constantly straining, like it’s operating with too little oxygen, or like it’s running uphill instead of on a flat surface. It knows something is missing and is trying to fix what’s wrong, but it can’t because it doesn’t know what is wrong.”

So his whole damn body was hardwired to need this bond with the shitty nerd?

He’d known that. He had. He knew that he couldn’t be far from his soulmate. But now… even if they were next to each other, it was still affecting them…?

Damn it all! But the effects couldn’t be too fucking bad, if he wasn’t even feeling them.

“So…my body is like that, too?” Deku was fiddling with his fingers, now. Unconsciously copying his mother who was standing behind him.

“Most likely. But I’d like to double check if you don’t mind?”

Deku nodded. He looked fascinated when the old lady kissed his hand. Katsuki wrinkled his nose in disgust. Shitty nerd could overlook any weird thing if it was related to a quirk.

The old lady sat down with a sigh. “Yes. Your body is exactly like his.”

“What does this mean for our boys?” Auntie had stepped forward now, her arm wrapping around Izuku’s shoulders and tears threatening to fall from her eyes.

“How long have they had the bond?”

“Our whole fucking lives.”

“What?!” All Might let out a strangled gasp and his eyes were wide as he looked between the two of them.

“That is… unheard of. Not impossible, and I don’t doubt you as it certainly explains the state of your bodies, but it is unheard of.” Recovery Girl was tapping her cane in thought, “Completely understandable why the bond is unsealed, as well.”

“So our bodies are straining or some dumbass shit like that, but what the hell does that mean? How bad is it?”

She shrugged, “Check back with me every few months or so and I can confirm how it’s affecting your bodies, but I believe you have a little more than a year before it begins to affect you in more noticeable ways.”

One fucking year?! And then what? What did she mean by more noticeable ways? Deku inched closer to him, vibrating from his nerves once again. “W-what do you mean?”

“Small things at first. Headaches or you’ll tire more and more easily. Things like that. Right now it is not ideal, but not necessarily a problem… You just won’t ever reach your full potential like this. Once the bond is sealed, you will be able to move more freely in addition to whatever abilities the bond gives you. Your body will suddenly find all those daily tasks a lot easier and will expend less energy to accomplish them because it won’t be looking for something that’s missing while performing the tasks themselves.”

Katsuki nodded slowly. So basically Deku and he would be able to do things even better once they sealed the bond.

“And regarding the secrecy--it’s a good idea to tell as few people as possible, but if you get into UA, you’ll have to report it to your homeroom instructor. I’ll give you a week to do so on your own terms, but if you haven’t by that point I will do it myself.” She glared at them sternly, “Soulbonds must be handled carefully lest the bond be injured in some way, and UA has policies in place to prevent that, but those policies are useless if the instructors are ignorant.”

“Harming the bond?” Katsuki’s father wore a frown identical to his own. “I didn’t realize that was possible.”

“Of course it is!” Recovery Girl’s response was sharp, clearly frustrated. “This is why I dislike the scarcity of information on bonds. New soulmates are absolutely clueless until they find mentors, though if you go to UA the school will provide you with a soulmate mentor, so that will be one less thing to worry about, at least.” She rubbed at her forehead in frustration. “The bond is a physical representation of their relationship. If the relationship is harmed in a severe way, then the bond will reflect that damage. Petty squabbles won’t do anything more than intensify lethargy or slow down response times, but the worse the incident, the worse the physical result.”

Katsuki thought back to when he and Deku had argued. He’d fought just fine, but emotionally…. Had the bond messed with that? Made him slower to follow Deku and defend him? Or would he have taken longer to follow Deku without it?

He groaned. There was just no way to know.

Recovery Girl gave a firm nod, “For this reason, one of the UA policies is that soulmates are never allowed to fight one another.”

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki’s brow wrinkled in confusion. “Deku and I spar all the time.”

Deku gave a series of quick nods, “Should we stop? We’ve never noticed any ill effects…”

Recovery Girl sighed, “I assume you don’t use quirks.” They both nodded. It was true for the most part. When Katsuki did, he was always really fucking careful. “UA sparring is quite different. Even with adult supervision, things go wrong and students get hurt. Sometimes badly hurt. If a soulmate does this to their partner, it can severely damage their bond. Years ago we had two students go catatonic for a month because of this. We will never again allow it, no matter the circumstances.”

“Ca-cat-catonic?” Deku’s eyes were huge.

Shit, that really didn’t sound good.

Her stern eyes glared at them, “Tell your instructor, or I will. In fact, I’ll tell them if you’re at any hero institution, not just UA. I understand the point of secrecy and its value. You’re smart not to talk about it. But your safety is also important.” She gave him another firm nod, then glanced down at her watch. “That will have to be all for now, as I really must be going.” She turned to Yagi-san. “Don’t stay too long, All Might’s next appointment isn’t long from now.”

“Oh!” Katsuki’s dad stood up before the hero could respond, “You’ve done so much, and thank you for the advice. Izuku’s mom made some breakfast for you to take with you to work. Please do.”

Katsuki blinked.

His dad was bowing.

Bowing.

Was the soulmate thing such a big deal? Granted… that consequences shit really didn’t sound good. It sounded really fucking bad, to be honest.

He looked down at his finger while his dad stood up and escorted Recovery Girl to the kitchen, then out the door. When Deku had broken it… he hadn’t noticed anything, then, but he was already fucking suffocating from the damn villain. Maybe that was why? He’d have to ask Deku if the shitty nerd had felt anything.

Regardless, he wasn’t going to spar with his quirk anymore. Not with Deku. He clenched his fist. They’d grow strong some other way.

Katsuki frowned in thought as their parents gave Recovery Girl some food and saw the grandma out the door. He barely registered when his mom grabbed his head and forced him into a bow, or when they returned to the table, or when their parents brought the food to the table and everyone began to awkwardly eat and make small talk.

Beside him, Deku seemed to be equally in shock.

A year or so, and then the bond would get worse.

One fucking year.

But he didn’t like the nerd that way!

Damn it all to hell, he’d only just become kinda ok with the idea that one day he might like Deku like that.

And now he had one year, or else they wouldn’t be able to perform as well. And after the villain attack… Katsuki gulped, remembering the sludge crawling against his skin.

He had to be able perform at his best. Always.

Red eyes flickered over to his soulmate, who was staring down at his lap and biting his lip.

Fuck it.

They’d deal with it as it came, there was no use trying to force this shit. “Yagi-san, you wanted to talk to our parents about the training, right? So how are you going to train Deku?”

All Might swallowed, “Well, before I get into that, I really should ask your parents’ permission—”

“Oh!” Auntie shook her head, “We’re so grateful, really! I never imagined someone like All Might’s assistant would be willing to train our boy! I mean, he’s just a kid right now and—”

“He was amazing with the villain, really—”

“The villain! I just can’t believe that happened to them!” Auntie wiped a tear from her eye, “Thank you so much for helping with that!”

“I really didn’t do much, the boys were doing so well, but it’s my pleasure to help, really.” All Might gave an awkward bow.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched in annoyance. Why was All Might so damn timid?

“Oh, there’s no need for that! I’m so grateful that you’d be willing to! I can’t express how much, really.” She sniffled. “Izuku’s wanted a quirk for so long! To think that now that he has one, but it could hurt him to use it…”

“It’s a hero’s job to help children, so of course I’m willing to help! I could never just stand by! I just don’t want to go against your wishes…so if you would like another option, I could try to think of something…”

“Oh no, not at all! This would be wonderful, really and truly.”

“Well then, I’m glad to help.” The hero gave a nervous smile. “Though I must admit, I don’t have too much experience with teaching. But I will do my best to help young Midoriya!”

Katsuki groaned. What the hell was his life. The #1 hero was a fucking useless dork.

Auntie’s smile was doing the wobbling thing like she was on the verge of tears. “Well, I’m sure you have lots of experience with quirks since you’ve worked with All Might, and we really wouldn’t know who else to go to…and it’s nice to know that if something bad did happen to Izuku, you could take him to someone like Recovery Girl…” Aannnddd there were the tears.

“I just…” Auntie’s voice wavered through her tears, “I’m a nurse, so I see quirk accidents all the time, but usually they’re small because the quirks are so weak when children get them, but Izuku’s gotten his at such a late age, and if it’s already strong, then he could really damage himself, and I’m just so grateful there’s someone he can go to! I mean, he has his karate instructor, and I’m sure he’d be helpful, too, but that’s training as a class, and—”

“Mom!” Deku was waving his arms frantically, trying to stop his mother’s rambling. Katsuki grinned. Served Deku right to have to deal with the fucking ridiculous rambles from someone else. “We get it!”

Katsuki’s mom burst out laughing. “Well, that settles it then. Yagi-san, you’ll train Izuku-kun with his quirk, and we really appreciate that. Though, you probably realize this now, but the boys are somewhat of a package deal.”

Glad that at least something had been resolved and they would now be allowed to train with the man, thus giving Deku an easy way to become the man’s successor, Katsuki turned his attention toward shoveling breakfast into his mouth.

All Might was scratching the back of his neck sheepishly. “I’m glad to help both of them, really. Though I will be able to help young Midoriya more… My own quirk is strength enhancement as well, you see, I just can’t use it much because of an old injury. I will ask around for methods to help train those with emitter quirks, though.” He smiled, “And I can definitely work with them both on teamwork exercises, which will be necessary for them as a soulmate duo.”

His mom snorted, ruffling Katsuki’s hair roughly, “Trust me, buddy. That ain’t a problem with these two.”

The hero gave a small grin, “After yesterday, I was beginning to suspect that, yes. However, Young Midoriya’s new quirk will no doubt change how they work together.”

His mom shrugged, “I’m sure you know best. I’m fine leaving my brat in your hands for a while. Even if you’re a scrawny adult, any villain will probably be less likely to attack if there’s an adult around.” She turned to her husband, “Masaru?”

Katsuki’s dad nodded, “Please take care of our sons.”

Our sons.

Katsuki couldn’t help the small grin that formed on his face. He knew all three of their parents thought that way, but they didn’t often say it out loud, especially his dad.

Deku was staring at Katsuki’s dad with an awed expression.

If he ever saw Deku’s bastard of a father, Katsuki would kill the fucker for abandoning them.

Until then, though, Katsuki would focus on training. He wasn’t sure what this would look like, but training with All Might sure as hell wouldn’t be easy.

Katsuki’s grin widened.

Whatever challenge the hero gave them, they were going to conquer it. This was just another step toward becoming the best.

Chapter Text

School that day was a fucking mess. All the students were dumbass extras who kept pestering him with questions about the villain, then running away the second he glared at them or let his palms begin to crackle with an explosion.

Dumbasses.

And then the teachers were worse, giving him fucking pitying glances all day. They were confusing the hell out of Deku, too, because for once they were praising him for doing well in the fight.

Assholes.

Katsuki kicked a rock, sending it flying down the road.

“Today was… really weird.” Deku trudged along next to him, muttering to himself. “I hope people are back to normal tomorrow. I kinda miss being ignored, though I never thought I’d say that… It’s just so weird being the center of attention like this! And none of the students will talk to me, still, so it’s not like I can make friends even…”

Katsuki sighed. “You don’t need lameass extras as friends, Deku.”

Nervous laughter. “Right. Of course, Kacchan.” Katsuki rolled his eyes and pushed open their front door. He never would understand why the nerd wanted to be friends with people that treated him like shit.

“We’re home!” Katsuki called out into the empty house, toeing off his shoes at the door.

He froze.

Well, he’d spoken to what was supposed to have been an empty house.

There on the couch sat All Might in his twig form, drinking a cup of tea.

Katsuki blinked. He supposed they’d never actually said when they’d start training with the man. Maybe Auntie had let him in before she’d gone to get groceries for dinner?

Yagi-san looked up as they entered. “You’re home! Wonderful. Midoriya-san said you’d be home around now.”

Katsuki stared at the man. “Who the fuck let you in?” Deku peeked around his shoulder, one of the nerd’s shoes still half on his foot as he gaped at the #1 hero in his living room.

“Well Midoriya-san said everyone would be out this afternoon, but that it would be easiest for me to meet you boys here, so she gave me a key…”

“Y-you have a key to our house?!” Deku’s voice had gone all squeaky.

“Just for today, I did. After this we can better plan when and where we’re going to meet.” The hero smiled at them, then turned to a bunch of papers laid out on the coffee table in front of him. “Speaking of which, I have a plan outlined for your workout schedules, but I didn’t know how much time I would need to build in for your schoolwork. About how long does it take for you two to finish it each night?”

“Um… It depends, really…” Deku was fidgeting again, his nerd brain taking over, “I take longer with literature and any art project, but Kacchan takes longer with history, but we’re both pretty quick at math—"

“Just give us after sundown.” The hero didn’t need a list of their best subjects or some dumbass spiel like that. Katsuki shrugged, “If we can’t do the shit in that time, we’ll figure out a new schedule.” He grabbed Deku’s wrist, “Come on, dumbass, we need to go change out of these shitty uniforms.” It’s not like they could train in their school uniforms, and they needed to make every minute count.

Yagi-san nodded distractedly, “I can work with that. I will do what hero work I can during the day, then will help you two in the evenings. Though some days you may need to self-study so the villains don’t realize I have a schedule…” All Might tapped the paper with a pencil, lost in thought. He looked up briefly to wave them on, “Go ahead and change, I will finalize the schedule while you do so.”

Katsuki quickly ran upstairs, Deku yelping as he was pulled behind him. “Kacchan! I’m coming! You can let go!” Katsuki ignored him, only letting go as he reached their bedroom and slammed the door open.

They were about to train with All Might!

This was fucking awesome. He flung off his jacket and shirt, reaching for an old workout t-shirt. He quickly changed into some gym shorts, as well, eager to get their training started. When he turned around, though, he froze.

Deku was standing there, his shirt inside out, his shorts on backwards, and struggling to get a sock on.

“What the fuck are you doing, dumbass?” He grabbed the shoe and tossed it on the ground. “Fix your fucking shorts first.”

Deku blinked. “My shorts?” Deku looked down. He promptly turned bright red. “Right! My shorts!”

In a flurry of movement, he turned them around, and Katsuki yanked his shirt off the second he was done. He turned it so that it wasn’t inside out, then handed it back to the nerd. “You shitty nerd, can’t you even dress yourself?”

Deku’s response was muffle by the fabric slipping over his head. “Sorry, Kacchan. I’m just so nervous! It’s All Might, you know?! What if we mess up and he decides not to train us? What if--”

“Shut up, nerd.” Katsuki whacked Deku on the back of the head. “We’re a soulmate duo, right? None of that lameass shit will happen to us.”

Deku gave him a wobbly grin. “Of course, Kacchan.”

“Now put on your damn socks so we can get started.”

“Hai!” There was a scramble of limbs, then Deku was following him out the door and back down the stairs.

Yagi-san stood up when they entered the room, then handed them two packets. Katsuki’s eyes skimmed through them…it was pretty fucking detailed, with a long outline of each day, sometimes down to the half-hour.

His seemed to mostly consist of various exercises labelled “quirk training,” “arm strength,” and “stamina” for five months, but then the schedule ended. He frowned. “We have ten months until the shitty exams. Why does the schedule only have five?”

Yagi-san fidgeted, pushing his two pointer fingers together nervously. “I plan on giving young Midoriya my quirk at that time, but I will need to see how his body adjusts to it before I can make a schedule. Though that timing will depend on how well your bodies handle the training.”

Katsuki nodded. That made sense. He wished Deku could get the quirk sooner, though.

“Umm… why in five months?”

All Might patted Deku on the head. “You’re in very good shape, my boy, but this quirk is dangerous. With what Recovery Girl said about your bodies straining…” All Might scratched the back of his neck, “This quirk is hard on your body. I don’t want to risk anything, so I need to make sure you’re in top physical condition before you use it, or the repercussions will be severe.”

Deku yelped, “Re-re-repercussions?!”

“I meant it when I said the quirk was dangerous, my boy. It could rip off your limbs if you’re not ready.”

Deku paled, “It could what?!” He glanced back at his schedule, flipping through it, “And five months will make sure it won’t do that?”

Yagi-san gave him a thumbs up, “It should! We’ll re-evaluate then if you need more training, though.”

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. This idiot better not get his soulmate hurt. “What’s for today, then? Your fucking schedule just says there’s some damn ‘assessment.’”

“Right!” Yagi-san grinned at them. “Bakugou-san told me that you’re the ones that cleaned up Dagobah beach a few years ago. Well, a bunch of litter has come up on shore again, and a hero’s duty is first and foremost to serve the community! So we’re going to go to the beach and work on cleaning it once more!”

Katsuki groaned. His quirk really wasn’t good at ‘cleaning things up.’ He’d definitely learned that much from the first time.

“Before we go, though, young Bakugou, Midoriya-san wanted me to let you know she left water next to the fridge for you.”

Katsuki grinned. “Auntie’s the best.” He had his usual water bottle, but if they were going to be working with his quirk for a long period of time, he’d need more than that.

When he entered the kitchen, a full drum of water was sitting on the ground next to the fridge with a note on it to keep it and refill it from a public fountain for the next day.

Katsuki’s grin widened, thinking of all the explosions this would let him make. He quickly hoisted it up onto his shoulder and headed back toward the entryway.

Deku laughed when he saw the drum, but Yagi-san stared in shock. “Isn’t that a bit excessive?!”

Katsuki shook his head, “My sweat is nitroglycerin, that’s how I make the explosions. In addition, I sweat faster than most and get dehydrated pretty easily if I use my quirk a lot. If we’re going to be out working with my quirk for a long time, I probably need this much water.”

“I see…” Yagi-san rubbed his chin in thought, “We’ll have to avoid that, then. I assume you know the signs?”

“Of course.” Katsuki rolled his eyes. Auntie had drilled them into him a thousand times over the years, and he could still remember throwing up when he was little. He never wanted to do that again.

Yagi nodded. “Let me know if you need to stop, then.” He opened the door and the three of them stepped outside. “Why don’t we start with you two having a race to get there? I want to get a general idea for your speed.”

Katsuki frowned. He’d be at a disadvantage carrying the drum of water. Not that it he couldn’t win like that, though! Deku was definitely slower. But the water really would slow him down. He glared at the ground. Yagi laughed, “Not to worry, my boy! Just this once I will carry the water for you.”

Yagi’s arms suddenly gained muscle, and he bent down to grab the water drum before getting onto a scooter parked by the gate to their house. “Onward, boys! Show me everything you’ve got! Plus Ultra!”

Katsuki grinned. Deku would eat his fucking dust. He burst forward and past the gate, laughing at his soulmate’s annoyed cry at his head start.

He was going to win. He pushed harder off the cement, hurtling around the corner and barely avoiding the old lady.

Deku shouted apologies at her a few seconds later, so the nerd wasn’t too far behind him. Katsuki focused on the road ahead, ignoring his soulmate’s presence.

He won, but only by a little.

Katsuki collapsed in a heap on the sand, Deku following suit a few seconds later. “We need a rematch, Kacchan.”

He wanted to groan in disbelief at the mountains of trash that once again covered the sand. It wasn’t as bad as last time, no, but there was still a lot of trash.

This beach was apparently in the worst fucking spot ever when it came to waste deposits.

At least Katsuki wasn’t supposed to clean it, this time.

There was a thud as the water jug hit the sand next to Katsuki, and All Might laughed at the two of them. “That was a good race! In the hero world, though, keep in mind that you rarely get the luxury of someone saying ‘start,’ so you really should start moving as soon as any signal occurs.”

“Hell yeah.” Katsuki smirked as he reached for the water, unscrewing the lid. “There you have it, Deku. I won fair and square.”

Deku groaned next to him, his breath still heavy. “We’ll see if the same thing happens next time, then, Kacchan.” Slowly, his soulmate sat up. “What’s next, All—”

“Not here!” All Might waved his arms frantically, cutting off Deku. “I’m Yagi-sensei here. I don’t want to attract attention.”

“Oh. Right.” Deku smiled sheepishly, “Sorry, Yagi-sensei. Um.. what do you want us to do next?”

Katsuki nudged the jug to the side, eyes focused on All Might as he pulled out a clip board from his bag before responding, “Like I said earlier, today is an assessment of your skills. Why don’t you two give me 100 push-ups, next? I’ll time how fast you can do them, but make sure you aren’t sloppy about it!”

Katsuki rolled over immediately, pushing his torso up as Deku quickly got into position beside him. Just like before, though, Katsuki managed to get a head start.

Deku stuck out his tongue when Katsuki beat him again.

“Eh?!” Katsuki glared at his pouting soulmate. “You wanna fight, nerd?!”

All Might tapped his pencil on his clipboard, “Actually, I would like to see you two spar. Keep it quirkless, mind you!”

Katsuki grinned.

Fuck yes. He drank a little more water, rolling his eyes when Deku grabbed the jug to drink some for himself, as well.

He stood up to face Deku, but the next thing he knew he was spitting out sand as Deku sat on his back. He pushed up, causing the nerd to topple off. “What the fuck?!”

“No start signals, remember, Kacchan?” Deku grinned happily. “That means no formal bowing to start a match, either.”

“Die, nerd!” Katsuki lunged and the two of them went round and round in the sand until Deku managed to pull away and distance himself.

Katsuki stood up warily—Deku’d already proven he was willing to fight dirty in this match.

Not that Katsuki was above doing the same.

He kicked the sand toward his soulmate, reaching out and grabbing Deku’s arm as the nerd raised it to protect his eyes. He twisted hard, bringing it around behind the nerd’s back, but Deku used the movement against him, and Katsuki soon found himself on the ground again.

“You’re too used to fighting in the air, Kacchan.” Deku grinned from where he now sat on top of Katsuki’s stomach.

“Fuck off.” So maybe he was used to the extra mobility his explosions gave him. Just because he didn’t use explosions against Deku didn’t mean he’d never used them in other ways. Regardless, Katsuki could still win in an entirely quirkless match.

“Do you yield?”

Katsuki glared at him. “As if.” Deku yelped as Katsuki rolled his body to the side, forcing the nerd off of him once again. Dumbass needed to work on his holds, they were fucking weak.

Once Katsuki was lose, he sent a kick toward Deku’s ribs, then a punch toward the nerd’s shoulder. He managed to avoid the first, but the second one landed, sending him back a few paces.

After that, the two of them fell into their familiar stances, blocking each other’s kicks and punches until their breath was once again heavy.

Katsuki hated it when their matches went long. At this point, it would just be a test of endurance—who lasted longer before they slipped up.

There.

Katsuki lunged forward when Deku’s form became loose, seizing the opening.

Well, what he thought had been an opening.

Deku’s knee came flying up into his stomach, sending Katsuki sprawling. This time, the nerd grabbed both of his arms, pulling them behind Katsuki in a tight hold.

“Fuck.” Katsuki wiggled a bit, trying to test for a weakness, but the nerd’s grip only tightened. “Damn it, fine. I fucking yield.”

Immediately, the arms loosened and Katsuki staggered forward a few steps, rubbing his wrists. “Fucker, faking an opening that late in the fight.”

Deku grinned cheerily at him, “I learned from the best, Kacchan! Just returning the favor from last week!”

“Shitty nerd.” Katsuki chugged some of the water, then tossed the jug toward Deku, noting that it was already missing about a quarter of its contents.

“That was a good spar, young boys!”

All Might was clapping behind them. “You both made errors, but you both fought hard and did well to use your environment!”

Deku sighed, “My holds were sloppy and Kacchan took advantage of it.”

Katsuki frowned, “I let you catch me off guard a damn ridiculous amount, so I’d say fucking we’re even when it comes to stupidity in that shitty spar.”

Deku laughed, “You always say the nicest things, Kacchan.”

All Might cleared his throat, making the two of them turn toward him. “It’s good that you’re both trying to learn from your mistakes! As for what’s next, I’m interested in testing any physical attributes that might affect your quirk, so why don’t we look at balance, even if it’s a bit of a non-traditional thing to test? Why don’t you two see who can stand on one foot the longest?”

Katsuki grinned, he had this contest easy. The nerd was always tripping over himself, but Katsuki’d been working on his balance ever since he first realized it would be important for flying. It was a bit weird to be balancing with one foot on the ground instead of both in the air, but Deku only lasted 30 seconds, whereas All Might just sighed and told Katsuki to stop after three minutes had passed.

“I think you’ve proved that you definitely have good balance, young Bakugou.” All Might patted his head, and Katsuki shoved it away in annoyance. Nobody fucking touched his head. Unphased, All Might continued, “Let’s test how agile you are, next.” He paused to drag a couple of smaller pieces of trash into a zig-zagging pattern. “Run from one piece of trash to the next, then come back, alright? Young Midoriya, why don’t you go first.”

“Tch.” Katsuki glared at the course. His self-training had focused on being agile in the air, not on the ground, so Deku would have the advantage on this one.

Sure enough, Deku was able to switch directions between the sandy trash much faster than Katsuki, earning him a faster time by an entire second.

“Fuck off.” Katsuki glared at his grinning soulmate. “You’ve always been better at shit like that.”

All Might’s laughter was loud and obnoxious, even in his twig form. “It’s good that you each are aware of your strengths!” He gave them a thumbs up, “We’ll work on developing those further, as well as strengthening your weaknesses. For now, though, let’s continue the tests!”

And they did.

All Might took them through test after test after test. The asshole had so many that by the end, Katsuki felt like he was about to fucking collapse, and the drum of water was almost entirely empty.

Finally, All Might glanced upward at the darkening sky. “That will have to be enough for the day, as I should probably let you two go home. Young Bakugou, we’ll test your quirk tomorrow while young Midoriya is working on cleaning the beach.”

“Fucking whatever.” Katsuki went ahead and took another long drink from the jug. He wasn’t about to let his exhaustion show, though the dumbass had no such qualms and was sprawled out on the sand, ignoring them both.

“How soon can you two get here after school tomorrow?”

Katsuki shrugged, if they brought a change of clothes with them, it would be a lot faster… “3:30, probably.” It’s not like either of them was involved in a club or shit like that.

“Then we will meet here at 3:30!” All Might grinned at them, “For now, let’s get you two home!”

Katsuki glared at the man, “We can make it home by our damn selves.”

All Might shrugged, “I’m sure you can, but your mothers asked that I see you home if we stayed out late.”

Katsuki groaned but reached out a hand to pull Deku up from the ground so that they could be on their way.

At the entrance to the beach park, Katsuki dropped the jug on the ground, turning on the water spigot to fill it back up the brim. “Tch.” The fucking shit felt much heavier now than it had when he’d picked the full drum up earlier this afternoon. He really must be fucking exhausted.

Katsuki stayed silent as they walked, and thankfully All Might didn’t seem to mind. He and Deku rambled on about some other shitty hero, being their dorky selves.

When they finally reached the damn front gate, All Might left with a wave and a reminder that he would see them at 3:30 the next day.

Katsuki had never been so glad to smell food as he was when he opened their damn door.

“Dinner!” Deku suddenly gained energy, darting past him.

Katsuki rolled his eyes, dropping the fucking enormous jug by the door before slipping his shoes off and heading into the house.

Their parents were all sitting at the table, already eating, but there were at least lids over his and Deku’s food to keep it warm.

“Took you brats long enough.” The Old Hag wrinkled her nose. “Go shower before you eat, idiots. You two stink to high heaven.”

Katsuki groaned, “Fucking fine.” He headed toward the stairs, the sooner he got this shit off of him, the sooner he could eat. Deku, however, was protesting, waving arms around and going on about how hungry he was. Despite his best efforts, though, Katsuki heard the nerd’s footsteps on the stairs a few minutes later.

Dumbass should’ve just gone to shower.

When Katsuki finally made it back down to the table, still rubbing his hair dry with a towel, only Auntie was still eating. She smiled at him. “If you need to warm your food up, feel free. Katsu-kun. Can you and Izu-kun handle the rest of the dishes?”

“’course.” Katsuki answered her without really thinking about it took the lid off of a side dish.

He stared at it.

He wrinkled his nose.

This was not what the adults had been eating.

“Natto? Why the fuck is there natto?” They never ate natto! All of them thought it was disgusting!

“Oh!” Auntie stopped putting her empty dishes in a stack and turned to him, “Yagi-san left a meal schedule for you boys. He said it was important to follow it so that you got the proper vitamins and nutrients to complement your training. I’ve put it up on the fridge it you want to look at it.”

Deku chose that moment to enter the room. “Yagi-san did what?”

“He has us eating fucking natto.” Katsuki glared at the dish. He poked the mess with his chopstick, wrinkling his nose when it stretched out, clinging to the stick. One of the beans fell off the string with a plop.

Katsuki felt like he was going to fucking hurl.

Deku stared at the dish as if he’d been betrayed, “Natto? Why…?”

The Old Hag entered the room, then leaned on the doorframe and smirked at them. “Found the natto, huh? Yagi-san said that we should make sure you two eat every bit, and that you don’t try to do something stupid like deviate from his schedule and overwork yourselves, so we’ll be watching you two very carefully.”

Damn it.

Katsuki hated that gleam in the Old Hag’s eyes. It meant she was going to be an evil bitch somehow. “So we have to eat all of this shit?”

“Exactly, brat.”

Deku groaned and came over to sit beside him. The nerd gingerly opened his own dishes, still staring at the natto beside his fish in betrayal.

Katsuki glared at the bowl. Fuck this. He wouldn’t let shitty natto stop him. If All Might said natto would help make him a hero, he’d eat every fucking piece of it.

He dug his chopsticks into the mess, trying not to gag at the stench or the spoiled taste or the slimy feeling of each strand as it slid around in his mouth.

This was going to be a long meal.

And they still had their damn homework after that.

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Katsuki never thought he could hate school more than he had, but he’d hated every second of this day. All he wanted to do was get to the beach and train with fucking All Might. None of this shit mattered, he needed to prove to the hero what he could do. Prove that he wasn’t just a damn weakling that fucking passed out when he was attacked by an asshole villain.

Katsuki’s hands started sparking at the thought, making his classmates look at him warily. They were already confused by the water drum underneath his desk, but none of them had dared to ask about it.

Fucking weaklings.

Katsuki couldn’t wait for the school day to be over. He was so fucking done with this shit.

He heard Deku sigh behind him, then blinked when the butt of Deku’s pencil poked his shoulder and started pressing down, moving in circles right over one of the many places Katsuki had a perpetual knot from using his quirk.

Katsuki closed his eyes, focusing on the slight pressure as it worked at the knot. He took a deep breath and let the sparks in his hands die out. Shitty nerd always knew how to calm him the fuck down.

Somehow, Katsuki made it through the rest of the day without exploding, but it was fucking close. After the bell rang, the two of them practically ran to the locker rooms to change out of their school uniforms and into the spare exercise clothes they’d brought along for the afternoon.

Katsuki barely noticed the protest of his sore muscles and the weight of the shitty water drum as they raced to the beach. He finally would get to show off his quirk!

All Might was in twig form again, sitting on a grimy bench and flipping through a packet of papers. He looked up and smiled when they approached. “Young boys! How was school today?”

“A fucking nuisance. Let’s get this damn training started already, Yagi-sensei.”

“Kacchan!” Katsuki rolled his eyes at Deku’s whiny tone, “We did actually learn some neat things in hist—”

“Who the fuck cares.”

“Umm…” All Might scratched his cheek nervously, “Well, if you’re that energetic, why don’t we just get started with the training?”

“Fuck yeah!” Katsuki grinned. This was what he’d been waiting for all damn day! Next to him, Deku was practically vibrating, nodding his head in firm agreement.

“Alright then!” All Might gave them another thumbs up, then pointed out at the hills of trash. “Young Midoriya, from this day onward I want you to work on cleaning this beach!”

Deku looked around them nervously, staring at the absolute buttload of shit. Last time, it had taken them a whole year to get the cleaning done. “Why are you hesitating, you shitty nerd?” Katsuki stared at his soulmate, one eyebrow raised, “This shit won’t clean itself. And we’ll be here every damn day this time! It’ll be a fucking walk in the park.”

His soulmate gave him a firm nod, the nervousness melting away. “Right! I’ll get started then!” The nerd went over to one of the nearby piles, already looking for a box to hold smaller objects. Last time, they had quickly learned to remove smaller things first, or else they would just topple down or block larger objects. Well, Deku had discovered it.

“Young Bakugou,” with a start, Katsuki turned his attention back to All Might, “today we’re going to work on testing your quirk and then, in the weeks that follow, we’ll do different exercises to strengthen it further! First, what’s the weakest explosion you can make?”

The weakest? Why the fuck were they starting with that? Maybe the dumbass thought he needed to warm up or some shit? Katsuki was already sweaty from the run to get there, so that wasn’t necessary. Whatever. He held his hand up, concentrating on igniting the sweat as little as possible.

A few small explosions sparked around the middle of his palm, each about the size of a penny. “Tch.” Katsuki glared at his hand. He’d been trying to get just one of the damn things.

“Very good!” All Might noted something on his paper, then added, “What about your largest?”

Katsuki smirked. Now the hero was talking. He uncapped the drum of water and took a big swig, then went over to the shoreline, holding his hand straight out in front of him and toward the sea. He braced his wrist with his other hand, made sure his footing was firm, and let loose.

The blast flew from his hand, cutting through the air and dominating his vision until he could see nothing else. It stretched out over the empty water, fire spreading further and further before dissipating out over the waves.

Ears ringing, Katsuki dropped his arms, panting slightly. He grinned, satisfied with the result. He hadn’t let loose like that in a damn long time. He reached back for the water jug, taking another long drink.

Dimly, he heard Deku laughing from one of the trash piles, “That was amazing, Kacchan!!”

Katsuki shook his head, trying to clear the ringing from the explosion. Thankfully it started to fade quick enough, and he turned to see the hero’s reaction. All Might was gaping at the waves in disbelief. “Indeed. That was… incredible, young Bakugou.” The hero shook his head, “To be able to produce that much power at your age… it really is incredible.” The man gave him a big smile. “How many of those can you produce in a day?”

Katsuki frowned, thinking.… he shrugged, “Maybe five? I don’t know. I need time in between to build up sweat, but the real issue is the strain on my wrist and shoulder.”

All Might nodded, “So you’ll need a costume that gives you some good support there.”

“Fucking obviously.” Katsuki rolled his eyes.

“Well.” All Might tapped his chin, then nodded as if he’d satisfied something in his own mind, “I don’t want to push you to that max, today, though that is good information to know. For now, let me know if your wrist or shoulder reach their limit. We’ll focus your strength exercises on developing those muscles.”

Katsuki’d already fucking been doing that with his own exercises, but he supposed more could never hurt.

“Alright!” All Might looked back at his list, “Let’s keep going. How long of an interval do you need between small explosions?”

Katsuki shrugged, “None, really.” He held up his hand and ignited his palm, letting the blasts flicker on and off.

All Might nodded, “And how long can you hold it?”

Katsuki raised an eyebrow and held the blast steady. This was a bit harder, but he’d practiced some when he was working on flying, so he could hold it up for almost a minute.

After that, the tests just kept coming. Was one hand stronger than the other? What different strength explosions could he do? How high could he fly? How fast could he fly? How far could one blast propel him? How fast could he switch direction? Could he still attack with explosions while in the air?

The list just kept going on and on. Katsuki was pretty sure the shitty nerd had some, if not most, of these statistics in his damn journal, but it was kinda nice to be put through his paces and test his abilities like this.

At the end of the day, the drum of water was once again completely empty and Katsuki was still drenched in sweat.
He slept like a damn log that night.

The next day went they showed up to see All Might tossing a volleyball up and down in one hand, a whole bucket of them sitting next to him.

“What are the damn balls for?” Katsuki eyed it, confused, as Deku scampered off to work and continue cleaning the trash heaps.

“Yesterday I noticed that if you explode a lot of items in quick succession, you’re surrounded by a lot of smoke.”

“Really? Fuck, I hadn’t noticed.” Katsuki rolled his eyes.

All Might sighed, “Smoke can make you lose sight of villains, but they might have a quirk that allows them to see you easily. You cannot allow them to use your own quirk to their advantage.” Katsuki frowned. Like hell he’d let that happen! He’d just have to be fucking careful or find a way to clear the smoke or some shit like that! All Might kept talking, though. “In fights you will frequently be releasing large explosions that could lead to a lot of smoke, so you need to grow used to keeping track of where people and items are while you fight and also to observing the way smoke acts so that you can tell where people are coming from.”

“Tch.” Predicting movements in smoke? “This shit is dense, how is that even fucking possible?”

“I’ve fought in smoke many times, young Bakugou.” All Might grinned at him, “It’s not impossible, I assure you! You just need practice watching the smoke for changes in color or movement, or listening more to your surroundings.”

“Then let’s fucking do it.” He would never let someone use his own damn quirk against him!

All Might grinned, tossing the volleyball up again and catching it. “That’s the spirit! Fire off some explosions, my boy. Let’s see if you can predict where the balls are coming from and deflect them.”

Katsuki grinned, exploding some nearby cabinets and refrigerators and other big shit until a large cloud of smoke surrounded him.

Almost immediately, a ball thudded into his back. He whirled around, but there was nothing there. The ball had already disappeared again into the smoke.

He growled in annoyance, then winced as another one slammed into his side.

Shit.

All Might had said he needed to watch the smoke for signs, but what fucking signs? Smoke billowed around him, and he couldn’t tell any damn difference. Sure, some patches were darker, but there didn’t seem to be a fucking pattern! Katsuki stared in front of him, hoping to see some clue and ignoring the spark of pain as a ball hit the back of his leg.

Fuck, he was going to have so many bruises after this.

Focus.

There! The smoke darkened slightly and then there was a ball parting through it and aiming straight at his chest. Katsuki held up his arm, pushing it to the side harmlessly.

One down.

He just needed to keep watching his surroundings.

A ball thudded into the back of his head.

Fuck.

After a few minutes of being bombarded, the smoke was thinning and Katsuki could see a bit better. He was also even beginning to recognize a telltale whistle of the ball cutting through the air.

“Let’s have some more smoke, young Bakugou.” All Might’s voice boomed out from behind him.

“Tch.” Katsuki looked around and saw some tall, stationary shadows not too far off. He sent a blast that way, and immediately the smoke thickened again.

Day after day, the pattern continued. All Might beat the shit out of him with balls, then Katsuki went through weight training with some weights the old man brought each day. After his shoulders were fucking dead, they moved on to wrist exercises, then back to his aching shoulders, then again to the wrists.

Every. Fucking. Day.

The second day, All Might had held out a wash towel and told him to cover his mouth, apologizing for not bringing it the previous day. It was fucking annoying, but Katsuki knew wearing the shitty rag to protect his lungs was probably for the best. He might even have to include something like that in his costume. And maybe something with infrared vision? It would certainly help, though that shit could be expensive and could break easily.

No shortcuts.

Katsuki rolled to the side, dodging a ball as it whistled through the air.

Day after day the bruises accumulated as the beach cleared. After he became decent at finding the volleyballs, All Might moved to fucking tennis balls.

Katsuki would fucking kill all of them.

Smoke billowed around Katsuki. His breath was heavy as he strained to listen to the area around him. All Might could attack—

There!

Katsuki spun around, kicking the tennis ball to the ground.

It disappeared into the smoke once more.

Then another one was coming from the left.

The right.

Thwack!

Katsuki winced as a ball hit his shoulder.

Damn it! He would master this. He would never let his own fucking smoke be used against him.

In the end, it took two fucking weeks of being hit from all sides before he could reliably destroy at least 75% of the balls All Might threw.

Katsuki wanted to go until 100%, but All Might just shook his head and said no one could predict the movements of smoke perfectly and that he’d done very well.

Tch.

Katsuki didn’t want to do ‘very well.’ He wanted to fucking dominate.

Next, All Might had him working on endurance. Katsuki picked up the drum with his free hand and downed a few large gulps. During the last two weeks, Katsuki’d used his quirk so much that his skin had become irritated. Auntie had fixed it with some burn lotion, but All Might now wanted to determine how long Katsuki could use his explosions before his skin began to blister.

It was fucking boring.

Katsuki sat, bored out of his mind every fucking day, letting small explosions crackle in his palm nonstop as he watched Deku scramble around the beach like a fucking crab.

Apparently, it took four hours of constant low-powered use for his skin to blister.

Four fucking hours of sitting there, doing nothing but releasing small explosions.

And tomorrow they’d do it again, but with medium explosions.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched.

This week was hell.

He wasn’t even getting much weight training in! And the fucking Old Hag had taken away their damn weights, saying it was under Yagi-sensei’s orders because they shouldn’t overexert themselves as that would do more harm than good.

It was fucking ridiculous, and Katsuki wasn’t going to tolerate it. How the fuck could he over-exert himself when all he was doing was sitting every damn day? One evening when they didn’t have much homework, Katsuki rushed through it, urging Deku to rush as well.

“Kacchan! I don’t know why you’re in such a hurry.” Deku was whining, head down on his desk as his pencil lazily scrawled away at a math problem.

A problem Katsuki had finished fifteen fucking minutes ago.

“Come on! I want to get some extra training in.”

Green eyes turned toward him in disbelief, “Kacchan! Yagi-sensei said we shouldn’t!” He groaned, “I want to get better fast, too, but… we’ve got to trust him, right?”

“I haven’t done anything this week but test my fucking limits!” Katsuki growled. “I’m going for a fucking run, whether or not you’re coming.”

Deku’s head rocked back and forth on the desk for a few seconds before the shitty nerd sighed. “Fine. One run can’t hurt.”

“Hell yeah! We’ll just tell the Old Hag we’re going to the store, that shouldn’t be bad. We’ll even stop by the store when we’re done, so it won’t be a lie.” Katsuki grinned, the nerd would feel better if they did that.

Deku sat up and stretched, “I can finish this when we get back. We might as well go before it gets really late!”

“Fuck yes, now you’re talking, Deku!” Katsuki jumped up, hauling his soulmate up with him. They were both wearing comfortable t-shirts and shorts, so they’d be fine for a run.

He threw their bedroom door open, running down the stairs and hauling Deku behind him. “We’re going out to the convenience store!”

Katsuki turned the corner toward the front door and froze.

The old hag was sitting at the edge of the sitting room, facing the front door. She set down her book and stood up, one eyebrow raised. “Yagi-san told us you might be frustrated this week because the training wasn’t very active. You aren’t thinking about doing more training, are you brat?”

Katsuki glared at her, “It’s none of your fucking business, if we are.”

“Do you want to upset your Auntie by overworking yourself, brat?” She leaned down to return his glare, then turned to Deku and continued in a softer voice, “What about you, Izuku-kun? Aren’t you tired from today?”

Deku shifted nervously behind him. “It’s j-just t-to the store, Auntie.” He paused to swallow, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. “I’m tired, b-but I can manage that.” Fuck, Katsuki really needed to teach the nerd how to lie.

“Oh? What do you two need from the store? You can’t be getting a snack, as that wouldn’t be in your diet.”

Katsuki growled in annoyance. “The dumbasses at school were talking about some new hero manga in Jump. We thought it might be fun to read.”

“Mmhmm.” Katsuki’s mother picked up the housekeys from the table next to her chair. “Well, why don’t I just come with you, then?”

“You really don’t have to.” Katsuki glared at her.

Her grin sharpened, “I insist, brat.”

Katsuki groaned. “Fucking fine, you old hag.” He shouldered past her and out the door.

Shitty parents ruining everything. It wasn’t like he was tired.

“Be grateful Yagi-sensei is giving you an easier week, brat. You looked like shit the last few weeks.”

“Just fucking shut up about it, already!”

That earned him a rough shove from his mother. He glared at her. What was all the damn fuss about one additional run? He was going to go fucking insane before the week was up!

It was a fucking relief when All Might had him doing additional weight exercises the next day, and the weeks after that were entirely focused on improving his overall physical endurance.

He didn’t have energy left for any extra shit after those days of fucking torture. At that point, though, Katsuki didn’t care. He was getting stronger. He could tell. And he and Deku were going to fucking kill the UA entrance exams.

Chapter Text

Katsuki groaned, throwing his pillow over his head and trying to ignore the obnoxious All Might theme song coming from Deku’s nightstand.

When it never stopped, he blearily looked up and glared at the blissfully sleeping nerd.

Katsuki’s eye twitched. What. The. Fuck. It was Saturday morning! They’d been training with Yagi-sensei for five months now, and damn Deku had finished cleaning up the shit on the beach last night after All Might had left them, so they’d decided to sleep in for an hour this morning as a celebration.

But noooo, the shitty nerd had to forget to turn off his fucking alarm.

Damn it, if the dumbass was going to wake Katsuki up, then he’d see how Deku liked the same fucking treatment.

Katsuki rolled out of bed, stumbling in exhaustion over to Deku’s side of the room. Not even bothering to shake him awake, Katsuki held his hand next to Deku’s ear and let loose a series of explosions.

“GAH!!!!”

Deku jumped up, screaming, tripping over blankets and landing flat on his face.

“You should see your fucking face!” Katsuki burst out laughing.

The nerd groaned, rolling over to look up from the floor at his soulmate, his hair rumpled and sticking up in odd directions. He rubbed wearily at his eyes, “Kacchan, why are you so mean.”

“You’re the one who forgot to change his alarm, Deku.

“Eh?” Deku blinked a few times, then glanced over to where his alarm was still fucking singing on his nightstand. “Oh. Sorry, Kacchan.” He gave Katsuki one of his pitiful excuses for a glare, “I thought the sound was just ringing in my ears from your explosions.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes at the whiny bastard. “You’re fine. They weren’t even that strong.”

“Maybe not, but you made them loud on purpose!” Deku pushed himself up, trying to disentangle the blankets around him.

Katsuki grinned and answered with a shrug, “What of it? Your fucking alarm woke me up. Figured I could at least return the favor.” Finally free from the blanket tangle, Deku turned off the alarm, then plopped back onto his bed. “Fuck no.” Now that they were up, they would damn well make the most of it. Katsuki grabbed his soulmate’s foot pulling the squawking nerd off of his bed and toward their closet. “If we’re up, we might as well train. We’re going for a morning jog.”

“Kacchan!” Deku squirmed harder, “We can get a few more minutes of sleep, still!”

“The sun’s up, the alarm went off, and we’re awake.” Katsuki released Deku only to pull the nerd’s shirt off and thrust a new one over his head. “Get changed, nerd.”

As his soulmate’s muttering took on a defeated tone, Katsuki turned around to get changed, himself.

A few minutes later, Katsuki was making their bentos while Deku wrote a note for their parents that they were heading out to train at the beach. After he finished that, the nerd tried not to burn down the damn house while making toast for breakfast. Katsuki was frankly surprised the nerd managed his task, even if the toast was a bit burnt.

He was also fucking relieved that their parents had backed off recently on the damn annoying ‘prevent-all-extra-training’ shit, though that had happened mostly because he and Deku had been too fucking exhausted to do anything.

As they started down the street, Katsuki picked up the water drum from outside the doorway, its weight now so familiar that he barely even noticed it. For once, the two of them didn’t race, but jogged to the beach side by side, taking the long way and watching the sun break as they passed down each road.

The quiet companionship was… nice...and calming, not that Katsuki would ever admit that to the shitty nerd. Deku would take that as an invitation to invade his space all the time.

When they reached the beach, Katsuki slowed to a stop, but Deku kept running straight into the shallows. He turned around to look back at Katsuki, a huge smile across his face, “Doesn’t it look great like this, Kacchan?” The nerd turned to look at all of the clean sand and waves sparkling in the sunlight.

Katsuki swallowed. Deku looked… happy. Bright and happy. Seeing his soulmate like this…

Katsuki scowled.

The shitty nerd looked fucking ridiculous, laughing in the water this damn early in the morning.

“Young boys, I am here!” Katsuki looked up to see Yagi-sensei standing on the edge of the beach’s wall. The Twig was gaping at the sunrise, “This is incredible, young Midoriya!”

Deku’s grin was bright as the fucking sun. “I did it, Yagi-sensei!”

“Yes, you did, my boy! And right on time!” Their sensei looked out over the beach proudly. Slowly, the twig climbed down the steps, looking over Deku critically. “I do think your body should be able to handle my quirk now, even with the strain from your bond! But you must be careful! Just because your body will accept it, doesn’t mean that you can start using it at full power. That will likely still have terrible consequences! In fact, Recovery Girl is nervous about this due to the bond, so she requested I make you promise not to use it until she could be nearby.”

“Oh.” Deku’s smile faltered a little at that, but he soon recovered, “That’s ok! I’d definitely rather be safe about it!”

Yagi-sensei frowned, tapping his chin. “She could probably make it this afternoon… let me give her a call.”

While the Twig pulled out his phone, Deku plopped down next to Katsuki with a tired laugh. “I did it, Kacchan!” He let out a long breath of relief, “I really did it!”

“Fuck yeah you did, you’re my soulmate.”

The light danced in Deku’s eyes. “I really am, aren’t I?” He laughed, giddy. “After all these years, I’ll finally have a quirk to match yours!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “You’ve always been my fucking match, you dumbass. If it was your quirk that mattered, we wouldn’t’ve been soulmates before we had our quirks.”

Deku tackled him.

“What the fuck?!”

He was sprawled on the ground, Deku trying to squeeze the life out of him, “Deku!” Katsuki wheezed, “You useless shit, you’re soaking wet!”

“I don’t care!”

“But I do, you fucker!” Katsuki tried frantically to pry him off, but Deku’s skin was all slippery. “Fuck, get off!”

Deku laughed, finally rolling off of him. Katsuki glared at his soulmate. Now they were both wet and covered in sand, but the dumbass was just laughing his head off.

He looked so fucking carefree this morning. That face, that expression… Katsuki wanted Deku to look like this forever.

Damn it, what the fuck was wrong with him this morning? He was being all damn sappy and shit. Katsuki was happy the nerd accomplished his goal and exhausted because the dumbass’ alarm woke him up early. That was it.

“Young Midoriya!” The two of them both turned to where Yagi-sensei was standing. The Twig had a hand outstretched, holding… a piece of hair? “Recovery Girl can come this afternoon, so it is time, young Midoriya. Time for me to fulfill my promise, and time for you to become the ninth holder of One for All.”

The smile faded from Deku’s face, melting into a look of determination. “What do I do?”

“You must swallow my hair.”

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki stared at their teacher. Despite his serious expression, the man had clearly gone insane.

Deku looked like he was about to fucking throw up.

All Might chuckled sheepishly, “I know it sounds crazy, but it really is the easiest way! To receive the quirk, you have to ingest my DNA somehow.”

Ingest his DNA…? Katsuki paled. He did not want to think about the other options.

Deku’s hand shook as he reached out and took the strand of hair from Yagi-sensei, then tentatively put it into his mouth.

After a minute or so, he started coughing. Katsuki kicked the water drum toward him. Deku threw him a grateful grin before picking it up and drinking a few gulps.

It landed with a thud.

Yagi-san patted Deku on the shoulder. “It will take a few hours before you feel anything. Go home, take a shower and eat lunch, then meet me back here at 1:00 this afternoon. Young Bakugou, watch him and make sure he doesn’t try to use the quirk yet, alright? It will be dangerous until he gets the hang of it.”

“Of course.” Katsuki stood up, then grabbed the drum and hoisted it onto his shoulder. “I won’t let the shitty nerd hurt himself.”

“Kacchan! I’m not that bad!” Deku pouted.

“Uh-huh. Keep lying to yourself, nerd.”

“Kaachan!”

All Might’s laughter rang out across the beach. “Well, I will see you two at 1.” He smiled at them. “Have a good morning off! I’m going to try to get some hero work done in the meantime.” He waved goodbye as he headed back toward the stairs where his scooter was parked.

“Kacchan… can we just stay here?” Katsuki looked back at his soulmate, who was staring out at the waves. “I mean, our parents know where we are, and we have the bentos for lunch…” Deku turned to him with a small smile, “I don’t want to leave.”

Katsuki sighed, dropping the water drum back onto the ground and the sitting down, leaning back against it. “What the fuck do you want to do, then, dumbass?”

“Stay here with you!” The shitty nerd’s grin was bright. “We can spar if you want, or go for a run, but mostly I’d like to just play in the waves or build a sandcastle or collect shells like when we were little.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. He supposed he could deal with the nerd’s shitty whims for the morning. “My castle will fucking kill yours.”

“You’re on, Kacchan!”

The rest of the morning was a flurry of digging, hunting for shells, molding sand into perfection, and somehow managing the impossible task of getting salt water into the makeshift moat around his damn castle. They each snacked on their bentos throughout the day, grabbing a bite whenever they needed to think about the next step in their masterpiece.

“Oh? What have we here?” Katsuki looked over to the edge of the beach to see Yagi-sensei standing there, Recovery Girl at his side. The hero laughed, “I thought you two were going to head home?”

“We decided to relax here, instead!” Deku smiled at his hero. “We already had lunch with us, so it only made sense to enjoy the beach while we could!”

“Yagi-sensei!” Katsuki jumped up from where he’d just put the last shell on the eastern side of his castle. “Which castle beats the other one?”

The hero blinked, looking between the two castles. “You want me to be the judge?”

“Please! Recovery Girl, too!” Deku was nodding fiercely, now. “Kacchan and I will just think our own is best, so we need someone else to judge!”

“Ah…” Yagi-sensei scratched at his cheek. “Well, I don’t mind. Recovery Girl?”

“It’s always nice to enjoy some frivolous youth every now and then.” She hopped down the steps, then walked toward them, circling the castles critically. Yagi-sensei just shrugged and followed her lead.

“Well, I must say I prefer this castle more,” Yagi-sensei gestured toward Deku’s, making Katsuki grit his teeth in frustration, “it’s simply on a much grander scale.” Fuck that! So Deku’d gone with a more western style that had more towers and shit, it was fucking imprecise!

Recovery Girl shook her head, “But the detailed work on this version of the Imperial Palace is wonderful! He’s even used seaweed to replicate the pattern of the gilding.” Damn right he had, and it had taken fucking forever, too.

“So who fucking wins, then?”

Yagi-sensei laughed, “Well, they are both superb castles and each got one vote, so it’s a draw!”

“Huh?!” Katsuki’s eye twitched. He did not work all damn morning on this castle for the result to be a fucking draw.

“Kacchan! We should be thankful that they even judged it for us!”

“Fuck that.” He glared at his soulmate. Where was his shitty competitive spirit? Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. The nerd was biting his lip.

Was he fucking nervous?

It had to be about the quirk.

Katsuki groaned. Apparently the nerd was too damn nervous to care about who won. “Whatever. You feel any different or some shit like that?”

Bright green eyes looked up at him, startled. “What?”

“The quirk. Do you feel any different?” The shitty nerd better not ignore him, nervous or not.

“Um…” Deku looked down at his hands, making them into fists and then relaxing them. “No. No, not really.”

“That’s perfectly natural, my boy!” Yagi-sensei clapped Deku’s shoulder a few times. “You have to use it to get a feel for it!” His hand started to gently guide the nerd toward the water until they were standing in the shallows. “Now, I want you to punch the water.”

“Punch the water?” Deku stared at their teacher incredulously.

“Just a normal punch! You need to get a feel for the difference between using your quirk and not using it.”

Deku nodded, frowning in concentration. He pulled up his hand and then forced it downward, causing a weak splash.

“Now, try to use the quirk! Punch as hard as you can!” He looked toward where Recovery Girl was standing next to Katsuki. “The two of you may want to move back a bit, just in case.”

Move back? “Tch.” Whatever. It’s not like they were close to the water, but if that’s what Yagi-sensei wanted, he’d do it.

Once they were further away, Deku braced himself once more. His eyebrows were furrowed as he pulled back his fist, but when his it hit the water, the result was exactly the same. He looked up at their tension in confusion, “Yagi-sensei, how—”

“Using it is just a feeling you get used to, Young Midoriya! There is no instruction manual, just keep trying and you’ll get it!”

“But…” Deku stared at the water for a few seconds, then sighed, rolled his shoulders back, and tried again.

And again.

And again.

And fucking again.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. For a nerd, you’d think he would fucking realize the damn trick to it sooner. He’d analyzed bastards using quirks his whole damn life, after all.

When Deku looked up this time, doubt shone in his eyes. “Yagi-sensei, what if it didn’t transfer? If I’m not good enough to have it?”

Fuck this shit. “Dumbass!” Deku’s head jerked toward him, eyes wide in disbelief. “I thought you’d figure this out yourself since you’re such a shitty nerd, but I forgot you suck at knowing things about yourself.” Katsuki glared at his dumbass soulmate. “It’s easiest to use quirks when you have damn strong emotions. Mine appeared when I was fucking angry, right? So use your fucking emotions while hitting the damn water!”

“Oh.” Deku stared at him for a few seconds, then grinned, “You’re right! Thanks Kacchan!” He looked down at his fist, “I don’t know if anger will work for me, though? Or what would even make me angry…”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. Did he have to do fucking everything? “You always feel the strongest when you want to fucking protect someone, dumbass.”

“When I want to…” The shitty nerd stared at his hand for a second, lost in thought, but when he looked up, the grin on his face was fucking bright. “You’re, right! You’re always right!” He looked down at the water, his smile becoming more determined, “I’m going to do it for real this time, thank you Kacchan!”

As he pulled back his arm this time, Katsuki’s eyes widened at the red lightning that lit up the nerd’s arm.

Fucking finally. That had to be the quirk, right? It was a lot showier than when All Might used it, though.

The second the nerd’s fist hit the water, a huge wave blew up all around him and thundered outwards, crashing into Katsuki and making him stumble. Recovery Girl fell down next to him, but he grabbed her and helped her back up.

Deku, though… Deku went flying away from the water. Katsuki’s heart stopped as his soulmate soared through the air. His palms lit up, but he knew he’d be too slow to catch him. Suddenly, though, Yagi-sensei was in his All Might form, jumping after Deku and catching him right before the nerd landed far out in the ocean.

Deku was safe. He hadn’t hit the water—he was ok.

Katsuki grinned in relief. Hell yeah! With a quirk like that, as soon as Deku got the hang of it, they’d be fucking unstoppable!

Recovery Girl stood up next to him, huffing as she hurried over to the water. Katsuki frowned. Why was she…?

Katsuki’s brain froze when All Might landed with Deku still in his arms.

“Fuck!” Katsuki ran toward his soulmate. His soulmate who was panting, his arm mangled and burnt. “I thought you said his body could fucking handle it?!”

The nerd was trying to hold back tears, his smile wobbling, “I did it, Kacchan!”

“Fuck that!” Katsuki stared at his soulmate’s arm in horror. This couldn’t be the price of getting a quirk. Fuck, he was better off quirkless if this happened every time he used it!

Recovery Girl was there, though. She leaned forward, kissing Deku’s arm. Katsuki winced as the mangled shape shifted to normal.

Deku immediately looked exhausted, but he perked up a little when Recovery Girl passed him some gummies. “That will have drained you quite a bit, but these should help.”

All Might set Deku down on the sand, his body swaying slightly. Katsuki put one hand on the nerd’s shoulder, steadying him.

Shit, Katsuki really didn’t like this. He surveyed his soulmate critically while the nerd ate the gummies. The arm had been the only injury from using the quirk, but it had been hurt so fucking badly…

“You did well, my boy.”

“Well?!” Katsuki glared at the man, “How in hell was that a good thing! His arm was a fucking mess!”

Recovery Girl tutted under her breath, “I’ll let you three talk this one out for a bit.” She looked over at Yagi-sensei, “You know my thoughts on the matter, Toshi, but I won’t intrude. This should be between you and the boys.” She huffed, the turned away, walking over to sit on the stairs.

All Might sighed. “It will get better, over time, but his body cannot yet use my power at 100%, which I had feared would be the case. Nevertheless, he can use it! His arm was in bad shape, yes, but it was not destroyed!”

“Fuck that!” Katsuki’s palms began to spark. “Once he uses it he’ll be fucking useless! At this point he’s better off without the damn thing!”

“Kacchan!” Fuck, Deku was mad at him now. But he’d just said the damn truth! His soulmate was all he had and all he needed, he wasn’t going to let him go off and fucking kill himself to save someone else! He glared sullenly at the nerd.

The nerd that glared right back at him, “Don’t say that! I will use this quirk to save people!” Katsuki fucking knew that would be the nerd’s reasoning. His soulmate bit his lip, turning his head toward All Might, “Yagi-sensei said I can’t use it at 100%, yet, but… maybe I can use it at a smaller setting? I could use a little at a time and build myself up until I can use One For All at full power.”

Katsuki scowled. He really didn’t like it. The nerd was going to fucking hurt himself again, he just knew it. “Or you could train without the fucking quirk to get your shitty body in damn good shape.”

“Kacchan, I am in good shape, and you know it! And that would be so much slower, too! I have to catch up to you!” Deku groaned. “I have to be as good as you, Kacchan. You’re my soulmate!” Large, pleading eyes met his.

Katsuki growled in frustration, “And I always will be, you fucking dumbass!” He glared at him. Why was the shitty nerd so damn stupid sometimes?! “It doesn’t fucking matter how good you are with your fucking quirk!”

All Might looked nervously between them, “Boys—”

“We need to be equal partners, though, or villains could use me to hurt you!”

“Boys—"

“As if I’d ever let them fucking touch you!” Kacchan grabbed Deku’s shirt, pulling him closer, “Do you think I’m weak enough that some asshole villains would get the best of me like that?”

“Boys!” All Might’s hands grabbed their shoulders, his arms flexing briefly to force them apart, “Boys, calm down, please.” The hero breathed a sigh of relief when both of them glared sullenly at him, but stopped yelling.

“Young Bakugou, I understand your concern, but now that Young Midoriya has used the quirk it should be much easier for him to use determine how to use less of it. And…” he glanced over to where the older hero sat on the stairs, “We do have Recovery Girl here for a reason, today. She won’t always be able to make room in her schedule, though, so it really would be best if Young Midoriya could become comfortable using only a small percentage of its power while she is here.”

“Tch.” Katsuki could see the value in that, even if he really didn’t like the idea.

“I’ll be careful, Kacchan.” Katsuki turned to his soulmate. Deku was biting his lip and fidgeting with his fingers. “It’s not like I liked hurting my arm like that, you know? I don’t want it to happen again either, I just… I have to get stronger. I know we’re soulmates no matter what, but I j-just…” the sniffed, running a hand over his eyes to brush away tears, “I w-want to be y-your equal! I-I have to be, or I’ll—” he swallowed roughly, “I’ll never be s-satisfied with myself.” He nodded with determination and wiped away his tears once again, “W-We’re going to be the b-best hero duo ever and s-save everyone, right? S-So I’ve got to figure this out. I’ve just got to!”

The nerd’s eyes were determined again, by the end of his little speech. Katsuki searched his soulmate’s face for any sign of wavering, any sign that the nerd wouldn’t give him the fucking silent treatment for a month if Katsuki pushed this further.

There was none.

“Damn it all.” He sighed, knocking the nerd gently upside the head with his fist, “Fine. You better be fucking careful, though. And I never want to see you use 100% again before you’re ready.”

“Of course, Kacchan!” Deku’s fucking smile was going to be the death of him.

Katsuki hissed in frustration, then turned around and walked to where he’d been standing earlier. Recovery Girl stood up and walked over to join him. She patted his arm, “It will be ok, you know.”

“Of course it will.” Katsuki frowned. “It’s fucking Deku. The shitty nerd won’t give up on anything once he’s decided to do it.” He sighed, shuddering as the red lights once again lit up Deku’s arm. “The bastard doesn’t fucking care how much he hurts himself in the process, though. Never has.”

Katsuki breathed a sigh of relief when the lights blinked out of existence right before the nerd’s arm hit the water.

Deku let out a frustrated yell, but he took a deep breath and his arm lit up a second later.

Five fucking hours later, seven broken bones, eleven sprained wrists, and one mangled mess, and Deku could finally activate his quirk and hit the water five times in a row without injury.

His soulmate’s grin at the end of the day was fucking ridiculous. Katsuki was happy for him, he really was, but he also knew that no matter what he’d said earlier, the shitty nerd would never stick to the measly 3% if using more meant he could save someone.

Shit.

Katsuki frowned, staring at his soulmate as the nerd beamed happily up at Yagi-sensei.

Well, until the nerd could go all out, Katsuki would just have to save everyone before his dumbass soulmate could get a chance to fucking hurt himself.

Chapter Text

The next day, Recovery Girl wasn’t there.

Deku stood next to Yagi-sensei, ready to practice with his new quirk, and the healer wasn’t nearby to help if things went to shit.

Katsuki really didn’t like this. What if the dumbass went and fucked himself up again? Sure, he’d gotten better yesterday, but it was obvious using the quirk didn’t come naturally to him, yet. That shit took time.

At least Yagi-sensei was forcing the nerd to go slow, though. Today the man had brought a punching bag and was having the nerd alternate punching it with each hand. After each punch, the bag would fly off a bit, and Deku would have to go drag it back, quirk still activated and lights still dancing around his arm. Then he’d switch.

Meanwhile, Katsuki was doing unsupervised training—mostly last week’s endurance exercises with just enough added to them that he wanted to kill the old man. Katsuki was fine with the repetitive torture, though, since it meant Yagi-sensei would be paying close attention to Deku. The shitty nerd needed the help.

Over time, Deku was getting faster and faster at the switch, and more confident with his punches. A few days later, and All Might even sparred with him for the day in his hero form. Katsuki’d been working on his flying that day and acted as a lookout, warning the duo whenever someone was approaching the beach.

That was the other thing—people were starting to realize that Dagobah Beach was clean again, and, slowly but surely, the area was becoming more crowded.

Katsuki hated that they were slowly losing what had been their training ground, but Deku looked thrilled whenever someone commented on how nice it was to have the beach back.

The shitty nerd liked helping people like that.

After a full week of punching practice, Katsuki was beginning to get annoyed by an obvious oversight. If he hadn’t noticed it yet, the nerd must be fucking exhausted.

Deku’s fighting style relied a lot on their karate forms and on using his environment around him—a trick he’d picked up from Eraserhead’s videos. On the beach, there wasn’t too much to use, so the nerd was sticking mainly to punches from karate. He did, however, throw in the occasional kick to keep his opponents off guard.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched as All Might took the kick as if he didn’t feel the shitty attack.

Fuck, he probably hadn’t, with how strong he was.

“Oi, dumbass, why are you just using your quirk in your hands?”

“Huh?” Deku halted in his steps, his eyes confused. “What do you mean, Kacchan?”

“All Might punches a lot, sure, but you aren’t even thinking about using the damn quirk in your legs!” Katsuki growled in frustration, “Fuck, one of the first things we fucking tested was if my quirk was centered in my hands or if I could activate it in other places. Why haven’t you done the same fucking thing?”

The nerd was relying too much on All Might’s shitty exercises and not thinking for himself! Dumbass.

Deku’s eyes widened in realization as All Might beamed at Katsuki. “A good suggestion, Young Bakugou! One For All does, after all, enhance the whole body. It’s how I can jump so high and run so quickly!”

“So…” Deku looked down at his legs, frowning. “I should be able to do those things, too?”

“Exactly! But be careful not to use too much of your power!”

“Right…” Deku shuddered, no doubt remembering his mangled arm.

“Tch.” Katsuki rolled his eyes and flew into the sky again, trying to use his explosions to build up enough momentum to make himself go into a spiral. It was tricky to get the timing right, but All Might had encouraged him to do any sort of practice with his quirk in order to build up endurance with it, and this was the only thing Katsuki could think of at the moment.

A few days later, and Katsuki finally had a spiral going, but it wasn’t tight enough or fast enough. He growled in frustration, about to jump up into the air once more.

“Young Bakugou!”

Katsuki froze, glancing over to where Yagi-sensei was standing next to a beaming Deku. Had the nerd finally mastered using his legs at the low percentage?

“How would you two like to have a race again, this time with your quirks?”

Bakugou grinned, oh, it was on. “Get ready to die, Deku.”

His soulmate swallowed nervously, “Kacchan, you’re doing the evil grin again.”

His grin just widened, “You got a problem with that, nerd?”

“Nope!” Deku shook his head vigorously, “None, just… um… a bit intimidating.” He paused, then grinned, his eyes taking on a determined gleam, “But I’m going to beat you, Kacchan! My quirk is better suited for speed.”

Oh, the little shit was so dead! “My quirk does just fine with speed, dumbass!”

“Now, now!” Yagi-sensei laughed nervously, “Why don’t you two start here,” he drew a line in the sand with his foot, “and race to the stairs? We’ll lengthen the distance each day as Young Midoriya gets more accustomed to his quirk.”

“You’re going to die!” Katsuki took a swig from the water drum, then ran over to stand behind the line.

Deku gave him that same fucking determined grin, “I’m going to win this time, Kacchan!”

“Go to hell, Deku.”

“Start!”

Katsuki jolted forward, palms igniting, by now used to the lack of a countdown. He could hear Deku just behind his shoulder, actually fucking keeping pace.

Shitrag.

Katsuki focused on his explosions, making sure that they were as strong as they could be while still allowing him to maintain his balance.

Behind him, Deku tripped and went sprawling in the sand.

Katsuki reached the steps a few seconds later and landed on his feet before turning around to look back at his soulmate.

He burst out laughing, “I thought you were going to fucking beat me, you damn nerd, not faceplant into the sand!”

Deku groaned before slowly standing up and dusting the sand off. He looked up at Katsuki, his determined grin from earlier still in place, his eyes shining bright with happiness. “Again. Let’s go again, Kacchan.”

Holy shit.

Katsuki swore he stopped breathing for a second.

Seeing the nerd all damn determined like this, determined to beat him, even….

Katsuki grinned back at the nerd, “I’ll fucking kill you however many times you want.”

“Wonderful enthusiasm, boys!” The two of them positioned themselves at the start line, waiting for All Might’s cue.

The second he gave it, they were off again, racing toward the stairs.

This time, Deku tripped after only a few steps.

Katsuki stopped mid-flight, turning back to glare at the nerd. “What the fuck?!” A victory didn’t mean shit if his opponent wasn’t even close to him.

“Sorry, Kacchan! It’s still hard to run with my quirk activated in both legs. But I’ll get the hang of it!”

“Tch.” Katsuki held out his hand, helping the nerd back on his feet. “Then you better fucking focus.”

“Of course!” Determined grin still in place, Deku positioned himself back behind the start line. “I’m going to beat you!”

“Die, nerd.”

“Start!”

This time, Deku made it halfway.

Then three fourths.

Then halfway again.

Then three fourths again.

After several hours, Katsuki’s hands were beginning to blister, and Deku was drenched with sweat, but he still looked up with that same smile in place. “I’ll get it this time, Kacchan. I know I will!”

Katsuki once again positioned himself behind the now disheveled start line, “I’ll believe it when I damn well see it, shitty nerd.” The nerd had been getting closer and closer.

“Just this one more, my boys. You do have to go home and do your work for school tomorrow.”

Deku nodded sharply, and then the signal was given.

Katsuki blinked. Deku was actually a little bit ahead of him? Shit. His hands were hurting, so his explosions probably weren’t as strong as earlier.

Fuck that.

He increased their power, passing the shitty nerd, but Deku stayed close behind him. He remained at Katsuki’s shoulder, even after all the points where the nerd usually tripped.

Katsuki grinned, eyeing the approaching steps. Finally. He would finally get a victory where the nerd didn’t eat sand.

He pushed himself a bit harder, wobbling slightly in the air, but keeping steady as he crossed the final few feet.

He let loose one last blast and reached forward, fingers stretching toward the stair railing.

Contact.

He laughed, feet landing on the stone stairs.

Deku skidded to a halt a second later, stumbling up a few steps and sitting down with a thump halfway up. His soulmate let out a shaky breath, eyes bright with happiness. “I did it, Kacchan!” He actually had to reach up and wipe a fucking tear away, the dumbass was so happy.

Katsuki’s hand tussled the sandy green locks, “I still fucking beat you, you damn crybaby.”

Deku laughed, “I’m just so happy! And you beat me for today, Kacchan. For today.”

Katsuki shoved the nerd’s head, making him wobble slightly on the stairs. “Fuck that, I’ll kill you any day, Deku.”

“Of course.” Deku pushed Katsuki’s hand aside and stood up, “Just don’t forget that I can beat you, too, Kacchan. When I want to.” His grin was wide and playful, and Katsuki wanted to murder him.

“Huh?!” Katsuki glared at his soulmate as he walked toward their sensei, “What’s that, you shitty nerd? Who has the more victories at the dojo?”

“You.” Deku looked over his shoulder and stuck out his tongue, “But that doesn’t mean I haven’t won some, Kacchan. Or that I can’t win again.”

Fuck no! “We’re racing again right now so I can kill you and remind you who’s the fucking best, here.”

“But Kacchan, Yagi-sensei said that was the last one for the day!”

“Then we’re racing home!”

“But you’ll be carrying the water drum, so you won’t have both hands to use your quirk!” Deku shrugged, taking a couple steps back towards the stairs. “Plus we won’t have adult supervision, so the quirk usage would be illegal.”

“Fuck! Fine! A quirkless race, then!”

“You’re on!” and with that, the shitrag sped off, yelling “Bye, Yagi-sensei!” over his shoulder.

“Fucker!” Katsuki grabbed the water drum, hefting it over his shoulder as he ran after his soulmate. It was damn hard to run with this shit, but he would still fucking win.

He lost.

Katsuki seethed for the rest of the night, while Deku wore a damn annoying grin.

The next morning, they raced to school and Katsuki beat him by a full minute, but Deku claimed that was because Katsuki had started before Deku realized they were racing.

Like the shitty nerd hadn’t done the same thing the night before.

For the next few weeks, though, that was their schedule—race after race after race, the distance slowly increasing as the days went by. Katsuki didn’t mind. The races helped him work on stamina and balance with his quirk. And he still did some weight training while Deku hit the punching bag at the beginning of each day.

Once Deku could reliably run without falling on his face, Yagi-Sensei started to spar with them, the two of them against his All Might form for one hour every day, though sometimes that had to be cut short if other people came to use the beach.

Fucking assholes ruining their practice.

It’s not like he and Deku could use their quirks to spar against each other because of the damn bond. That hour was really the only quirk sparring practice they were able to get, and the UA exams were just two and a half months away, by that point.

One day they went to meet Yagi-sensei on the beach, ready for another day of sparring, and caught him looking out at the water, lost in thought. “Oi! Old man!”

The hero gave a start then turned to face them. “Ah! My boys. I was just thinking about our sparring sessions…” he tapped his chin thoughtfully, then muttered, “Teaching works best when the students find the answer themselves.” Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched, was that from some fucking teaching textbook? Before he could call the twig out on it, the hero continued, “You two rarely land an unguarded hit on me when we fight, despite the fact that both of you are very fast. Do you know why?”

Katsuki frowned. “Because you’re the fucking #1 hero for a reason.” Deku nodded beside him.

Yagi-sensei laughed, “As flattering as that is, my boys, no, that’s not what I was thinking. You both can sync up attacks very well, and you can certainly surprise me for a second or two by throwing each other or something like that, but you don’t play to each other’s individual strengths very well.” Their individual strengths? What the fuck did he mean? Katsuki frowned, trying to figure it out. Both he and Deku had pretty well-rounded quirks that were good for attacking.

Yagi-sensei sighed, then slipped into his All Might form. “There’s no one here at the moment, so let’s start with sparring, today. I want you to pay attention to how and where each of you makes your strongest attacks.”

“Right!” Deku nodded firmly, falling into a fighting stance. Katsuki distanced himself a few paces, then did the same.

“Begin!” Deku darted forward, light dancing around his legs, then it switched to his arm as he tried to land a hit on All Might’s jaw. Katsuki flew toward All Might, readying himself to hit the man on his side. Before either hit landed, though, Deku was blasted backwards, and Katsuki had to quickly dodge his flying soulmate.

Thinking fast Katsuki reached backwards and grabbed Deku’s shirt, using his other hand to alter their momentum and send Deku flying back toward All Might. Then he dropped to the ground, landing in a steady stance for a large explosion.

The second All Might dodged or Deku was sent flying again—there!

Boom!

Heat rippled against his face, but he quickly stopped the explosion. Fuck All Might, the man still managed to jump out of the way. Shit. Katsuki had thought he’d created a good set-up to catch the old man off-guard, too.

Deku was already running toward the hero once again but the nerd stuck his tongue out at Katsuki as he passed, “Kacchan! A warning next time before you let loose a big one, please!”

“Fuck you!” Katsuki propelled himself up into the air, trying to watch for the best moment to attack. “Then he’d get the damn warning, too!”

Deku’s lightning was flashing everywhere as he dodged All Might. “I almost got fried!” He lifted his left arm for a punch, then brought his right arm, which lit up at the last second, around to hit All Might. The hero easily saw through the left bluff, though, and blocked the right swing. Damn it. The quirk lights made it really fucking hard for Deku to fake out his opponent or shit like that.

As Deku backed off from the attack, Katsuki flew in, his hand almost reaching All Might before he was shoved to the side and sent flying. Quickly, he let out a few blasts to reverse his momentum and head back in. Deku was coming in, too. “Like I’d hit you with an explosion! Trust my aim, dumbass!”

Katsuki flipped through the air, dodging All Might’s swing and landing a hit on his shoulder, not that the hero even appeared to notice the fucking explosion.

All Might grabbed both of them by the arms, halting their movements before throwing them into a heap a few meters away. “Please be careful, my boys. You really don’t want to hit each other and mess up the bond. If I suspect that you might, I’ll stop these spars immediately.”

“Ugh!!!” Katsuki screamed in annoyance, throwing himself upwards and then into a tight spin, gaining force for his next attack. “Fucking fine! Damn you!”

Not only did All Might dodge his damn attack, he sent Deku flying on top of him a second later.

Katsuki groaned at the impact. Damn it, the shitty nerd was heavy.

“Sorry, Kacchan!” Deku slid off of him, not even pausing before he adopted a fighting stance and once more charged toward All Might.

Katsuki pushed himself up. He would land a hit that would get a fucking reaction from the hero.

Despite his determination to do so, though, when the hour ended Katsuki had yet to land a single other hit.

“Damn it!” He grabbed the water drum, taking a swig of water before passing it over to Deku.

Yagi-sensei morphed back into his twig form, hands now resting on his hips. The old man wasn’t even fucking out of breath. “Well, did you notice anything?”

Deku immediately spoke up, “My best attacks are from the ground because I can shift my footing and move faster there, but Kacchan’s are from the air, like with his spinning attack, or when he abruptly changes momentum or something like that. His large explosions are easy to dodge because he’s standing still, so you know where they’re coming from.”

“Tch.” Yeah, he’d noticed the same shit. “Since I’m better in the air, and Deku’s better on the ground, we should each be trying to attack you that way.”

“Or take advantage of each other!” Katsuki blinked, turning to his soulmate. “Like, All Might’s focused on the ground when he’s fighting me, and the air with you, right? He can only pay attention to so much at one time! So he’s not paying attention to the other area when one of us attacks. We should be trying to use that to our advantage, or do something like force him to dodge in a way that will put him in the way of the other person’s attack!”

“Exactly!” Yagi-sensei was beaming at Deku.

“Tch.” They’d been fucking trying to do that last shit this whole damn time but hadn’t had too much luck. Maybe adding in this new information would help with it, though?

Whatever. There was something else that had been bugging him recently, and if Yagi-sensei wanted to talk about tactics, he might as well fucking mention it. “Deku’s quirk lights—can we do something about them? He’s gotten better at not using his quirk until the last second so that it doesn’t give away his moves and shit, but the lights mean any fake attack is damn obvious.” Katsuki ran a hand through his hair, frustrated. “Is there something he can do about that? You’re in bulky form all the time when you fight, right? So could Deku constantly use the quirk like that?”

Yagi-sensei and Deku stared at him. “C-c-constantly? How… that would be so freaking hard, Kacchan!”

“But it would keep enemies from knowing where you were attacking.” Katsuki rolled his eyes at his soulmate before turning back to Yagi-sensei. “Well? Could he do it? Hold 3% constantly?”

All Might nodded slowly. “He could. Young Midoriya has gotten good enough at keeping the percent steady in each limb when he uses it, so it shouldn’t be too hard for him to keep it steady throughout his whole body. It will be taxing, though.”

Katsuki raised an eyebrow at his soulmate. “There you have it, dumbass. You gonna work on it, or are you going to stay fucking weak? You wanted to get better at the damn quirk fast, right?”

“Of course I’ll work on it!” Deku glared at him, “It’s just going to take a while, that’s all.” The nerd began twiddling with his thumbs, “and I want to keep sparring, but this will probably keep us from doing that, since I’ll need to get my quirk under control, first—gah!”

Deku stumbled forward as Yagi-sensei clapped him on the back. “Not to worry, my boy! We can only spar for one hour, right? You keep using your quirk like you have been in spars, but then after that we’ll work on this new technique!”

“Ok!” Deku nodded firmly, grin back in place.

Deku may have been determined to conquer it, but the nerd took fucking forever. It was a week before Yagi-sensei let him use the full body quirk in spars, and Katsuki could tell that the nerd was moving a lot damn slower since he was still focusing so much on his body.

It was a fucking pain in the neck, and both of them were landing fewer hits on the hero because of it.

Slowly, though, day by day, that number increased again. Katsuki finally felt like they might actually get to the point that they did better than before when—

“I’m not going to train with you two over the next two weeks.”

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki stared at Yagi-sensei in disbelief, “These are the last two weeks before the entrance exam, you asshole!”

“Exactly!” The hero stared at the both of them. “I have no doubt that you two are ready for the practical exam! You both will do wonderfully!” Yagi-sensei smiled, “However, the last thing you need to do is hurt yourself before the exam or start working on some new move that you won’t have time to perfect. Right now, focus on studying for the written exam. Or did you two forget about that portion?”

Katsuki scowled, “We’re the fucking top students in the school, even with all this damn extra training. We don’t have to worry about the shitty written exams.”

Yagi sensei sighed, “Well, that’s good to hear, but I insist that you spend these two weeks relaxing your sore muscles and getting your brains in top shape.”

Katsuki glared at the man. “Auntie spoke to you, didn’t she.”

“Kacchan!” Deku yelped, “Mom worries about our grades, but we’ve kept them up! She wouldn’t—”

“I’m aware of Midoriya-san’s concerns, but I was planning on having you two take these two weeks off, regardless. You really should relax your bodies for a bit. You’ve put them through a lot, and the test will be trying. You need to be in as good of shape as possible.”

“Tch.” Katsuki scowled, “If we just need to rest our muscles, yhy wouldn’t one week be enough?”

Yagi-sensei sighed. “Like I said, Young Bakugou, you should also give yourselves time to study. The written test will not be easy.”

“Yeah, yeah. UA only accepts one out of every 300 students, I fucking know that. Deku and I will still be at the damn top.”

All Might smiled at him, “I’m sure you both will be. Well…” he scratched at the back of his neck. “besides the recommendation students, that is.”

“Recommendation students?” Deku turned to Katsuki in confusion, but he just shook his head. He hadn’t heard of them, either.

“Heroes above a certain rank can recommend students into UA and they will go through a different admissions process. I thought about recommending you two, but the test for the recommendation students was right before Young Midoriya received my quirk, and I thought Young Bakugou would care more about getting in on his own merit, than on my word.”

“Hell yes. No one’s going to pave the way for me, I’ll blast my own way to the damn top.” Fucking losers. Who relied on someone else’s word to get them into school?

“T-thank you for even considering it, Yagi-sensei!” Deku gave a quick bow, “It...it’s an honor that you even thought about it, really.” He looked down at the ground, fiddling with his hands sheepishly.

“Tch.” Katsuki rolled his eyes. “If you’re not training with us, then, are we at least free to train on our own?”

All Might shrugged, “As long as you don’t use your quirks unless convince one of your parents to supervise you, I don’t mind.”

“Fuck.” It was going to be damn difficult to convince one of their parents to watch them. Maybe in the few days right before the test, though? To make sure they hadn’t gotten rusty? But that was when they’d be the fussiest about damn injuries… he groaned. They’d think of something.

“There is one other matter.” Yagi-sensei paused, as if uncertain of what to say, before he continued, “I would like your permission to reveal your bond to someone.”

“What the fuck?!” Where was this fucking coming from?

“Umm…” Deku’s eyes were wide, and he looked like some damn deer caught in front of headlights. When he spoke, his voice came out like a squeak, “Why?”

“The practical exam is held in arenas the size of a small city. Applicants from the same schools are automatically separated so that they will not work together or sabotage one another. UA wants to see how well you work on your own in this exam.”

“So…” Deku played with his fingers nervously, “there would be a lot of distance between Kacchan and me.”

“Exactly.” Yagi-sensei had a worried furrow between his eyes.

“Fuck.”

The old man smiled tentatively, “Recovery Girl brought this to my attention, and suggested that I talk to Principal Nezu and ask for an exemption from that policy for the two of you, on the condition that you promise to work separately during the practical exam, despite being in the same city. We want you two to be tested fairly, and we don’t want to test you while putting you under strain from the bond.”

Katsuki ran a hand through his hair, the whole damn situation was a mess. Fuck. Why did so many assholes apply to UA that the school needed multiple examination areas? “Once we get into UA, we’ll have to tell the fucking principal anyway, right?”

“That is advisable, yes. Principal Nezu is trustworthy. He is… devious, but trustworthy. He knows my secret, if that helps in your decision.”

Devious? And All Might trusted him that much? Katsuki shrugged. He didn’t like it, but…

“I… I think we should let Yagi-sensei tell the principal. I don’t want to take the exam while the bond is making me sick or something.”

They’d never been apart since the first incidents, but based on those stories, being a ‘small’ city apart (whatever the fuck that meant) would be really fucking bad. Katsuki looked at his soulmate--despite the reluctance in his voice, Deku’s stance was firm and he seemed to want to do this.

Katsuki frowned, “Go ahead and talk to the principal, Yagi-sensei. You’ve got our damn permission.”

“Thank you, my boys. Principal Nezu will keep your secret, I promise, and this will make the exam much fairer for you two.” Yagi-sensei smiled at them, putting a hand on each of their shoulders. “You’ve come so far. I really am proud of you two boys.”

Katsuki rolled his shoulder, pushing the hand off as he grabbed the drum and headed toward the stairs. “Say that after we’ve fucking killed everyone at the exam, Yagi-sensei.”

Behind him, Deku ran forward to catch up to him while the old man laughed. “Of course, Young Bakugou. I will.”

Chapter Text

Katsuki groaned as his soulmate once again tried to put on his shirt backwards. “What the fuck, you shitty nerd?! Why do you have so much trouble with your damn clothes?!” He grabbed the hem, yanking it up before fixing it and thrusting it back over his soulmate’s head.

It was finally the day of the entrance exam, and Deku was a fucking mess. “You’ll be fine, dumbass. You’ve had All Might himself training you!”

“R-right.” Deku was wringing his fingers, now. “That’s kinda why I’m nervous, actually? Because now if I fail, it’ll look really really bad? And I’ll not only have failed on my dream, but I’ll have let down All Might! Which would be terrible, I mean he’s done—”

“Shut the fuck up.” Katsuki glared at his soulmate, whose mouth promptly shut tight as his eyes widened. “No one but me knows about the All Might shit, so it’s not going to look bad or whatever the hell else you’re worried about. And you’ll become a hero even if you don’t pass the fucking exam, right? So stop freaking out about this shit.” Katsuki whacked his soulmate on the head for good measure. “You’ll be fine, nerd. We’re a soulmate duo. We’re destined for this shit.”

“Right!” Deku nodded firmly, his eyes shining, “You’re right, Kacchan. You always are.”

“Fuck yeah.” Katsuki grabbed his backpack, swinging it over his shoulder. He was glad more than ever that he’d made Deku pack his own bag the night before. With the state his soulmate was in this morning, he’d probably forget his pencil case or some shit like that. Not that Katsuki didn’t always carry an extra for the dumbass. “Come on, Deku. We need to leave.”

“R-right!” Deku scrambled out the door. Katsuki sighed, grabbing the nerd’s bag and throwing it after him. Katsuki smirked as it hit his head and the nerd tumbled to the floor. Served him right for forgetting it. “Your bag, dumbass.”

Deku rubbed the back of his head as he stood up, sending Katsuki one of his pitiful glares. “Thanks, but did you have to throw it that hard, Kacchan?”

“It’s not like you have breakable shit in there, now come on.” Katsuki pushed past him and headed toward the stairs. “I’m not going to be fucking late because you don’t have your shit together.”

“What?!” Deku’s eyes widened in panic for the five seconds it took for him to check his watch. He groaned in relief. “We’re not going to be late, you meanie.”

“We will be if this shit keeps up.” He’d reached the front door by that point, so Katsuki stopped to put on his shoes, calling out, “See you later Old Hag! We’re leaving!” Thankfully Auntie wasn’t back from her night shift, yet, so she couldn’t make them late by crying for forever about how much they’d grown up or some shit like that.

“Brat! Can’t you be nice on the day of your exams!” The old hag’s head poked out from the kitchen. “See if we make you a good dinner tonight.”

He smirked, “Auntie’s too nice. Of course we’re getting our favorites for dinner.”

“Tch.” His mother glared at him, then turned to Deku. “Good luck, Izu-kun. I know you’ll do fine. Make sure my brat doesn’t kill anyone, alright?”

Deku grinned, “I’ll do my best!”

“That’s the spirit! Go beat that competition to a pulp, boys!”

“Fuck yeah!” Katsuki grinned at his mom, then bounded out the door, Deku trailing behind him. They were going to fucking dominate all these loser extras and show them who was the best.

Katsuki grinned as he walked down the sidewalk toward the station. He’d memorized the route to the school the night before, but it would be hard to forget a single step since the nerd was clutching a piece of paper and muttering the directions over and over the entire fucking trip.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. After they’d gotten on the train, two boys nearby hadn’t stopped staring at them both, probably bothered by the shitty nerd’s ramblings. Whatever. Katsuki didn’t care, they could go fuck themselves.

Then one leaned over to whisper to his friend, “Aren’t those the two from the sludge incident?”

Damn it.

Katsuki should’ve known this would happen. People at school had eventually gone back to normal, but it made sense that assholes who didn’t know them might fucking whisper about it.

Katsuki glared at them, and the two immediately looked elsewhere, pretending like they hadn’t said anything.

“Tch.” Dumbasses couldn’t even look him in the eye.

By the time they reached UA, Katsuki was ready to explode shit. He hadn’t been able to use his quirk in two damn weeks, and these fucking assholes on the train kept staring. His palms were practically itching to let loose again.

Katsuki took in a deep breath. Just a few more hours, and then he could explode things again.

He grinned.

“Umm… Kacchan? You’re doing the evil grin again and it’s scaring people.”

“Huh?!” He turned to Deku, but his soulmate just nervously nodded toward a group of kids skirting around them to get into the UA building.

“Fucking extras.” They couldn’t even walk by him normally? Like hell they would pass the exam.

“Kaaachaaan.” Deku groaned, putting his hand up to cover his face, “We’ve talked about this. It’s not—eep!”

Katsuki reached out, grabbing the nerd’s backpack as he tripped and fell forward.

A pink glove was reaching out, too, almost touching Deku, but it quickly retreated when Katsuki’s hand grabbed his backpack. Katsuki looked at the girl as he hoisted Deku back onto his own damn feet.

“Sorry!” The girl blushed. “I wasn’t sure if you’d catch him in time, so I reached out to help with my quirk. I figured falling would have been bad luck, and I could have stopped that with my quirk.” She pulled on her fingers nervously, “I can make things I touch have zero gravity…. Sorry, I know it’s rude to use my quirk on someone without their permission, I just—”

“Fuck off, Round Face.” Katsuki turned and headed toward the entrance, ignoring the girl behind him.

“Kacchan!” Deku’s voice was absolutely mortified. “I’m so sorry!” Katsuki rolled his eyes, knowing that the shitty nerd was probably doing a bunch of nervous bows to the girl before he ran to catch up with him.

“What did you fucking apologize for? The dumbass didn’t need to butt in like that.” He shoved open the doors, holding them longer than necessary so that Deku could slip in behind him.

“She was just trying to help, Kacchan!”

“Fuck her help. We don’t need anyone.”

“Kacchan…” Deku let out a long sigh, then suddenly froze as he realized a bunch of assholes were standing around in the atrium, watching the two of them. “Um…”

Katsuki was done with this shit. “Yes, we’re the fuckers that beat the sludge villain. No, we don’t want to be stared at. Now scram, assholes.”

Ignoring the chaos that followed his statement, Katsuki grabbed Deku’s hand and dragged him to the registration table. Thankfully, the guy that was in charge of it (some idiot with black hair who only mumbled and looked like he’d rather be anywhere else) didn’t fuss about who they were and just handed over their exam cards and told them where to go for the written exam.

Thankfully, they found their seats quickly. Katsuki threw his bag under the amphitheater seat and slumped down into his usual slouch.

“Kacchan! Kacchan!” Deku was pulling on his sleeve, whispering with nervous excitement. “That’s Ectoplasm! His quirk is clones! He can produce ectoplasm from his mouth and then mold it into clones!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. Of course the nerd was starting to ramble. “Deku.”

“The clones disappear after taking a certain amount of damage, but it’s always hard to quantify an exact amount with that kind of thing. Like it could probably take a few of your small explosions, but I don’t know—"

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. “Deku.” Why the fuck would he ever want to know this much about this Ectoplasm bastard?

“--about a big one. Uwaah, I knew UA teachers were all pro heroes, but I didn’t think I’d actually get to see one today! Kacchan, did you know his legs are prosthetics? He lost them in a fight a long time—”

He growled in annoyance, “Deku.” The shitty nerd was really nervous if he was fucking ignoring him like this.

“--ago, but his prosthetics are ridiculously strong, so he still excels at close range combat and uses lots of kicks. And he can combine his clones, Kacchan! They become like—”

“Deku!” Finally the nerd’s mouth snapped shut. Katsuki sighed. He really didn’t want to deal with the muttering shit right before the exam. He’d tolerated it on the train because the shitty nerd was nervous, but this was fucking ridiculous. “I don’t give a damn about this Ectoplasm hero. I’ll care if he ends up as our teacher or some shit, but right now I just want to focus on the exam.”

“Oh! Right!” As the gym began to fill, Deku fidgeted with his fingers, twitching every so often from the effort of not rambling.

Finally, Katsuki groaned. “Fine. What is it?”

Deku gave him a big smile, “Ectoplasm’s a really good choice for an exam proctor, don’t you think? He can be everywhere at once! So they only have to spare one faculty member, but they still have someone everywhere in this stadium, watching to make sure no one cheats. And there have been so many interesting mutation quirks that have walked by! Like—”

Suddenly, the lights on the stage lit up, revealing Ectoplasm (or one of his shitty clones?) up on the stage.

Deku went blissfully silent, his eyes wide in awe.

“Welcome, hero applicants. We will now begin the written portion of the exam. One of my clones will pass the exam booklet down your aisle. If you open it before I say begin, you will be asked to immediately leave. Once you receive the booklet, you are not allowed to talk until you turn in your booklet at the end of the test. If you do, again, you will be asked to immediately leave.”

That was straightforward enough. Deku used to mutter during tests, but he’d gotten in enough trouble over the years for giving away answers that now he was pretty good at stopping it in that situation. So at least Katsuki could expect silence during the actual test.

When the booklet stack came down their aisle, Deku nervously took his own, his hands shaking as he passed the stack to Katsuki.

Shitty nerd and his damn nerves.

Katsuki grabbed one and deposited the rest on the no-name’s desk next to him, then kicked Deku’s leg.

The nerd winced, turning to try and glare at him, but Katsuki just raised an eyebrow. Deku stuck out his tongue, clearly annoyed, but his hands weren’t shaking anymore, so Katsuki didn’t care.

He looked at the unassuming booklet in front of him. It was fucking thick, but that didn’t matter. He would destroy the damn thing no mater what.

After Ectoplasm said the word “begin” Katsuki focused on the packet alone, flipping page after page as he answered questions that spanned history, English, math, science, kanji memorization, reading comprehension, and other random shit like music and art.

What schools even taught some of this damn shit? Which of the following ukiyo-e artists did not live and work primarily in Kyoto? What the fuck? He didn’t need to know that shit to be the best damn hero.

When the buzzer rang, Katsuki had only managed to get through about 95% of the test. He closed the book sharply, frustrated. He had been going fast, too. Obviously they didn’t intend for people to finish the piece of shit.

Deku looked like he was about to fucking pass out, his head flat on his chair’s folding table.

Katsuki rolled his eyes and kicked the nerd’s leg again.

This time, Deku shifted his head to the side and gave him a nervous smile. Whatever. That was better than no reaction, he supposed. At least the shitty nerd wasn’t in tears.

After the clones collected the booklets and passed out a sheet of instructions about the practical exam (which took a damn long time, even with all of the clones), a different hero stood up on the stage.

Deku immediately bolted upright, post-exam nerves forgotten.

Figured.

“Kacchan! It’s the voice hero, Present Mic! He runs his own radio talk show, and his quirk lets him amplify his voice to the point that it can completely disable his enemies! And---”

“Hey, Listeners, are you ready?!!!”

Katsuki winced at the barrage of noise. Oh, he 100% believed that this dude had a damn voice quirk. He needed to tone that shit down, too. And what the fuck was he wearing?

“I can’t believe I’m seeing another pro hero in person! Hey Kacchan, did you know—”

Katsuki rolled his eyes and stopped listening to the nerd’s rambles and the dumbass announcer, instead reading the instructions from the sheet.

4 types of robots, each with a different number of points painted on the side. They had ten minutes to kill the robots and wrack up more points than everyone else.

Fucking easy.

“Excuse me! I have a question!” Katsuki looked up to see some square glasses extra start mouthing off about how there were four robots and UA was a disgrace and some other shit. Then he turned around “And you! You have been talking to your friend this entire time. It is very distracting. Please respect this testing environment and be quiet.”

Oh, hell no! No one got to tell Deku off for his shitty muttering except for him. “Oi, shitface, you—”

“Now, now! Let’s all be friendly, little listeners! And that was an excellent question!”

“Tch.” Katsuki slumped back into his seat, rolling his eyes as Deku tried to hide behind him. “Shitface is just an uptight bastard, don’t let it fucking bother you like this.”

“R-right, Kacchan.” Deku sat up a bit straighter, giving him a nervous smile.

Whatever.

Katsuki turned back to the host, just catching that the huge bot was worth 0 points. So it was just a fucking obstacle, then.

“And now, a present for you before you start: Napoleon Bonaparte once said: A true hero is someone who overcomes life’s misfortunes.” The blonde cockatoo smiled at them, “Go beyond, Plus Ultra!” That finally got a cheer from some of the audience, and Deku was hyperventilating next to Katsuki after hearing the UA motto. The announcer’s grin then took a sharp turn as he added, “Now everyone, good luck suffering!”

Katsuki grinned. Oh, he was going to make their fellow examinees suffer alright. He and Deku were going to destroy every fucking bot and not leave enough points for anyone else in their arena to pass.

He grabbed his bag, heading toward the locker rooms where they were supposed to get changed and store their shit while they fought. Despite the chilly air, Katsuki’d opted for a black tank top and some cargo pants, but Deku was wearing some shitty puke-green jumpsuit.

How he got stuck with a soulmate with such shitty tastes, Katsuki would never understand.

What he hadn’t anticipated, though, was that It took fucking forever for everyone to get changed. Weren’t there ways to make this shit go faster? He’d ended up standing in cold for around an hour, and now his hands were cold. Shit. Katsuki shook them loose, stretching his arms to try to keep his blood running and his body warm.

“Oh!” Deku pointed a ways off, “There’s that girl from earlier! I really should go thank her for trying to help.”

Katsuki snorted, “Don’t bother.”

Deku ignored him, though, taking a few steps toward the girl before a hand on his shoulder stopped him.

“It’s you two again!” Fucking perfect. Shitface was in their arena. “That girl is obviously trying to focus for the test! Why would you go disturb her? Are you trying to sabotage others’ performances? And how did you both manage to get in the same arena?! My research said that they always try to separate people from the same schools.”

Katsuki raised an eyebrow in disbelief. Was the dude a fucking robot. What was up with those arm movements? The nerd was stuttering nonsense, though, so he should probably talk. “There’s only so many fucking arenas, shitface. They can’t separate everyone. I guess we got lucky.”

“I see. It is incredibly rude to call me that, though! We are both examinees, here, so we should show each other mutual respect--”

Present Mic finally appeared and began talking about the test again.

Katsuki raised his middle finger to the robotic shitface.

Deku let out a strangled gasp and thrust his hand back down.

“Start!”

Explosions immediately lit up his palms and green lightning flashed next to him as they both took off and raced through the now open gates. After so many drills without countdowns from All Might, the reaction was practically ingrained into their bodies.

“You go left, I’ll go right. Avoid the center street so we don’t run into each other.”

“You got it, Kacchan!”

As he veered to the right, he could hear Present Mic laughing and the thunder of feet racing after them.

And then he saw the robots.

No one else was there yet, so Katsuki landed, gripped his wrist, and let loose as big an explosion as he could, killing at least a good 15 of the fuckers right off the bat.

Annoyed shouts rose behind him, and Katsuki burst out laughing as he shot into the air again, propelling himself toward the robots that were further back and had escaped his blast. A few people with speed quirks managed to get ahead of him, though, which meant that he couldn’t repeat a huge blast.

“Tch.” Annoying extras. Deku’d kill him if he accidentally hit someone with an explosion, though.

As it was, he shouldn’t have fucking worried about the cold—with his adrenalin going, sweat wasn’t an issue. Explosion after explosion filled his vision.

This exam was a fucking walk in the park. The weak points were different for every robot, but easy enough to pinpoint, and after that just one regular sized blast was good enough to take them down.

Katsuki didn’t know exactly how many points he had, since he hadn’t seen the numbers of the first wave he’d destroyed, but he’d guess somewhere in the upper 50s.

Deku better be damn happy, because Katsuki had even helped a pair of dumbasses that were in over their damn heads and had no way of fighting the fucking robots that were attacking them.

He blasted through a robot’s side, then stopped, panting as the robot fell to the ground beside him. Another three pointer. Katsuki looked around, grinning as the adrenalin rushed through him, his breath slightly heavy as explosions crackled across his palms.

He caught sight of a robot toward the center and propelled himself toward it. It was a bit close to where Deku’s side, but still on the right, so it shouldn’t be a problem, as long as Katsuki got to it before it ran away.

A huge crash suddenly reverberated across the arena.

Katsuki exploded the robot’s head, then flipped over it to put the hard body between himself and whatever had caused the huge crash.

His eyebrows rose.

So that was the fucking zero pointer. He’d wondered when the damn thing would show up. He grinned, man that would be a fucking blast to fight, but unfortunately that wasn’t the goal right now.

Instead, Katsuki sprung toward some of the robots that had been abandoned by the dumbasses running away from the huge robot.

Fucking idiots, leaving points like that. Everyone knew the bigger the enemy, the easier it was to see and avoid the attacks.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw green lightning.

Fuck.

Katsuki whirled around, just in time to see Deku’s body shift from green lightning, to red centered around his right arm.

Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Explosions flew from his palms as Katsuki shot toward the zero pointer. What was that fucking idiot even thinking!

Deku’s fist made impact. The robot went flying backwards, a huge crater in its upper chest.

Deku, however, began to freefall, his arm mangled horribly.

Fuck, faster! He had to be faster!

Katsuki poured more strength into his explosions, he was so damn close!

But Deku was still falling, falling from so fucking high—why the fuck did the damn shitty zero pointer have to be that fucking tall?!

Katsuki couldn’t be too late. He couldn’t. He couldn’t handle it if Deku---with what would happen if he was too slow this time.

“Deku!” He was so fucking close!! Just one more huge blast—

“Kacchan!” Katsuki wobbled in the air, almost tilting too far forward as he reached out to grab his soulmate’s unmangled hand.

There!

He clasped his hand, pulling him closer with his left arm while releasing an explosion with his right and twisting his body so that he flung his soulmate onto his back. “Hold on tight, you dumbass!”

Deku’s good arm circled around his neck, almost choking him. Katsuki ignored it—it’s not like the nerd had many options for a good hold right now since he’d gone and fucking destroyed his other arm.

Katsuki released more explosions, this time smaller, slowing down their rapid descent. He headed over to a flat lump of the robot wreckage, stumbling slightly as he landed next to it. “Not get the fuck off, you lying dumbass.”

Deku yelped as he landed on his butt, and Katsuki turned around to see him gently touching his legs with his good hand. Deku looked up at him, biting his lip and eyes wary. “Ummm…. Would it help if I said sorry?”

“Fuck no!” Katsuki whacked him upside the head. “You’re in no fucking shape to continue the damn test, you shitty dumbass, so you better have enough fucking points already!”

“Sorry, Kacchan! I just had to save her—”

“Her?!” Katsuki looked around and saw Round Face from earlier, leaning against some rubble and watching them warily, “How about thinking about your damn self for once you asshole—”

“She was under some rocks! You know I can’t just leave someone when they’re in trouble, that’s not very heroic—”

“You could have just lifted the damn rocks and carried her out! Fucking idiot, what the hell were you thinking?!”

A loud buzzer rang throughout the arena.

“Fuck it.” Katsuki grit his teeth in frustration. Deku was always going to pull this self-sacrificing shit. Katsuki had learned that long ago. “If your stupidity cost me the top spot, you’re going to fucking pay, you shitty nerd.”

“Eh?!” Deku gaped at him, “But you didn’t have to come help me, Kacchan! You even said we were supposed to stay separated!”

“Like I’m going to let you fucking plummet to your death, dumbass. We both know I’m damn unbeatable in the air.”

Deku had the fucking gall to roll his eyes. “How many points did you even get?”

Round Face was limping toward them, probably to thank Deku or some shit like that. She seemed the type.

Katsuki ignored the girl, focusing on answering Deku, who was now on his back, looking up at the sky. “Sixty something, I think?” Katsuki sighed and leaned against the wreckage, waiting for an announcement with their next instructions. “I don’t have an exact count because I killed a huge fucking group of them right at the start.”

“S-sixty?”

Deku and Round Face spoke in unison, staring at him in shock.

“Kacchan!!! I didn’t get near that many!” Deku began to tear up, “What if you get in and I don’t! That would just be the worst!”

“How many did you fucking get?”

“Like the upper thirties?” Deku wiped at his eyes with his good arm, “That’s just half of what you got! 3% just wasn’t enough to break through their metal, so I had to figure out a way around that…. Turns out their own metal can pierce them, though, so once I started using that—”

“What’s all this fuss about?”

He knew that voice! “Granny, over here!” Katsuki looked down at his soulmate, “You get to explain this shit to her.”

“Eh?!” Deku’s eyes became round, “But Kacchan—”

“What did you do, boy?” Recovery Girl made it over to them and stood next to Deku with a sigh. “We’ve told you not to use your full power until your body can handle it.”

“He did it to help me! Please don’t yell at him!” Round Face was nearer to them now, her eyes earnest.

Recovery Girl sighed, “Sit down, dearie. I’ll look at that leg of yours in a bit. For now here are some gummies to help you feel better.” She walked over to hand the girl some treats, then tossed a couple at Katsuki.

He caught them and raised one eyebrow incredulously, “I’m fucking fine, Granny.”

“Good to see you’re impolite as usual.” When she got closer, she whacked his leg lightly with her cane. “If you’re fine, lift me up so I can see your friend.”

He rolled his eyes, “You’re too damn short for your own good.” Despite the retort, though, he did as she asked. It wasn’t like moving Deku was a good option at the moment.

Recovery girl sighed as she stood next to Deku. “You’re very much like him, and not always in good ways, Midoriya-kun.” She leaned down to kiss Deku’s arm. Deku gasped as it straightened out, the unhealthy color fading away.

She frowned as she pulled back, “Your legs, too?” She shook her head, “At least they’re not as bad. Bakugou-kun, he’s going to be very tired after all this at once, even with the gummies, so make sure he goes straight to bed once he gets home, alright?”

“Damn right, I will.”

“You-you know Recovery Girl?” Round Face was staring at the three of them in shock. She’d sat down a little ways off, but apparently she’d still been able to hear them.

Well, it wasn’t like they’d been fucking quiet.

“Deku’s quirk’s fucking ridiculous when he uses it at full power. She had to come heal him the first time he used it.” Katsuki glared at his soulmate, “The shitty nerd said he wouldn’t use it again until he was strong enough, but obviously that was a fucking lie.”

“3% wasn’t enough, Kacchan…” Deku let out a big yawn, trying to push himself up after Granny finished his second leg. “I had to make sure I defeated it in one shot, too, or I would’ve had to hurt my legs more.”

“Help me down, Bakugou-kun. I need to see the girl.” He sighed and lifted the Granny down.

“What am I, your damn elevator?”

That got him a whack upside the head.

“Tch.”

Recovery Girl ignored him and made her way over to Round Face, bending down to heal her.

“I’m sorry…” Round Face apologized again, now looking down at her hands, “It’s my fault he got hurt. If I hadn’t gotten stuck…”

“Fuck that. Like I said, the shitty nerd could have just moved the rubble and carried you elsewhere. He’s damn fast enough.”

Deku slid off the wreckage, landing easily on his healed legs. “There could have been someone else I didn’t see!”

“And there could have been someone behind the fucking robot you bowled over, dumbass! Ever think of that?”

Deku’s eyes widened and he shook his head. “I-I didn’t—there wasn’t anyone, was there?”

“Fuck. I don’t know, probably not. It came up from inside a fucking building, right? And it was pretty damn close to you, so there probably wasn’t anyone,” Katsuki glared at Deku as he let out a relieved sigh, “But that’s not the fucking point! The point is you didn’t damn think! I keep telling you this, but once you’re fucking out of commission, you can’t save anyone. So don’t use your fucking full power and then you can keep saving people! Dumbass.”

Deku was rubbing his arm sheepishly, “I know, Kacchan, I know. I just… my legs moved on their own! I have to help people!”

“Then fucking think while you do it! If I hadn’t saved your ass, you’d be fucking dead, you dumbass! You think you can survive a fucking fall from that damn high? I can’t—I can’t--” Katsuki closed his eyes in pain. He couldn’t fucking deal with that.

Couldn’t handle a world without Deku.

Without his soulmate.

His chest hurt so damn much, even just thinking about it.

“Just… take care of yourself.”

“Boys.” Katsuki turned to look at Recovery Girl, who was watching them with a stern face. Round Face was walking away, now, so Katsuki supposed the hero had finished healing her while they’d been fighting.

Recovery Girl sighed, “The exam is over, now. I’ve seen you, so you have my approval to leave the testing area and head home. Go continue your conversation there, where you can talk freely.” She pointed to the left with her cane, “Just head that way and you’ll see exit signs. I need to go see if anyone else needs me, now.”

“Thank you, Recovery Girl!” Deku bowed to her, then stumbled as Katsuki grabbed his wrist and yanked him down the road, watching to see if Deku winced any more than usual.

Nothing other than annoyance. Good.

“Come on, Nerd. We don’t want to keep Auntie waiting.”

Deku froze.

“Umm…Kacchan?” His soulmate swallowed nervously, “Maybe we could uh… not tell my mom about this?”

Katsuki kept walking, ignoring his soulmate’s distress. “Hell no. You dug your own fucking grave, Deku. If you don’t fess up, I sure as hell will.”

“Kacchan!” Deku ran after him, “But she’ll be so upset!”

“And whose fucking fault is that, Deku?”

“But Kacchan!”

Katsuki grinned. At least the shitty nerd would face some consequence for hurting himself like that.

Chapter Text

Auntie and his parents had dinner ready when they got home, and were thrilled that they’d done well at the exams (and assured Deku that they were positive he’d done well enough to get in), but they had not been happy to hear about Deku’s injuries.

“I-Izu!” Auntie’d gotten up from the table and run around to hug her son, clutching him tightly. “Izuku! I… I’m glad you saved that girl, but please don’t hurt yourself like that again!” She squeezed him tighter (which Katsuki hadn’t thought was fucking possible), “It was just a test! They wouldn’t have let anything happen to her, I’m sure!”

“But Mom—”

“How would you feel if I hurt myself like that, Izu-kun?! Or Katsuki?”

Izuku’s voice was muffled through her shirt, but still audible even though he responded softly, “I’d hate it.”

“So please don’t do this to yourself! Please! Don’t use your full power until you can manage it, ok?” She held her son out at arm’s length, surveying his face as tears still streamed out of her eyes. “Please.”

“But what if I can save someone, Mom? A few broken bones can be healed. But someone’s life… If I can save someone with this quirk, then I have to.”

Fucking hell. “Then you think, dumbass. You think and think and think and find another way!” Katsuki whacked Izuku on the back of his head. “Just like there were other ways this time, there will be other ways the next damn time!”

Izuku rubbed the back of his head tenderly, his mom’s arms slipping down his sides as he turned to Katsuki. “But what if there’s not?”

“There will be.”

“Kacchan!”

“Izuku,” Deku winced at the sternness in his mother’s voice. “Yagi-sensei told you not to use your full power until you were ready, right?”

He nodded slowly.

“And Recovery Girl?”

Another nod.

“And all three of us?”

Again, he nodded, eyes wary.

“So you went against an order from five adults, and you’re….” Auntie sniffled slightly, “You’re saying you’d do it again?”

Deku looked down at his lap. “If… If I could save a life, yes.”

Auntie stared at her son. When she finally spoke, her voice was firm. “You’re grounded.”

“What?!” Katsuki and Deku stared at his mother in shock. Deku had barely ever been scolded, much less some big punishment like this! And what the hell?! Grounding Deku meant he was fucking grounded, as well!

Auntie seemed to realize this a second later, as she frowned and started muttering, “But that’s not really fair to Katsu-kun, who didn’t do anything wrong, and he even did everything right, this time… But how else should I punish Izuku? I don’t… Izuku’s never…”

“Easy.” The Old Hag grinned, “Izu-kun, you’re grounded from the internet for a week. You can only use it for homework, nothing else.”

The nerd’s eyes widened as he turned to the Old Hag in horror, “W-what?!” Beside her, Katsuki’s dad nodded in agreement. Deku turned to his mother, “Mom, please, that would mean no hero videos, no hero news…”

Auntie shook her head, “It’s a punishment, Izuku. I think Mitsuki’s idea is a good one.”

“Also, if we catch you on it for anything other than homework, it’ll be two weeks.” The Old Hag turned toward Katsuki with an evil grin, “You’ll help us watch him, won’t you, Katsuki?”

“Hell yes.” The nerd deserved some punishment for jumping in like that without considering his own safety. “It’s about time I’m the one ratting you out for skimping on a punishment.

“Kacchan!” Izuku groaned. “You deserved that! My clothes were stained with chocolate for days!”

“And this is a lot more than dumping you in a tub of chocolate. You broke a lot of damn bones, Deku!”

Deku looked between all of them, confused. “I get that, and it is a big deal, I just… she could have gotten hurt really badly. I couldn’t just sit there and watch.”

Auntie reached out and held his hand, “We’re not asking you to. But we are asking that you think a bit more before you jump in and sacrifice your health for someone else’s.”

“I…I’ll try.” Deku sighed, “I’m not very good at that, though.”

“That’s fucking obvious.” Katsuki snorted, “For a nerd whose brain’s always going, it’s weird that it turns off when you really fucking need it.”

“Izu-kun, we love you and we’re worried about you, sweetie. Instead of spending that time on the internet, why don’t you think about how you can make sure that you stop and think a bit more before jumping into another situation where you hurt yourself?”

“I promise I’ll think about it.” Deku sighed, his head dropping down into his hands. “I get that there were other options available this time, I just… I didn’t see them at the time, and I had to act fast! And… well, who’s to say that there will be options next time?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “You pulled the same shit with the sludge villain, but you did better after you took a step back and fucking thought for a second, right? That’s twice there have been other options than just jumping in. You have to fucking think and take your own safety into account, you shitty nerd.”

There was an awkward silence as Deku looked down at his lap, his shoulders shaking slightly. When he looked up, his eyes were all shitty and watery. “Um, can I be excused? I’ll do the dishes in a bit! I’m not trying to get out of my chores! I just… I need a minute.”

Auntie immediately gave her son another damn hug, “We love you so much, Izuku. We just… we just don’t want you to hurt yourself with your quirk again, alright?”

The shitty nerd sniffed, “I love you, too, Mom.” He wrapped his hands around her, burying his face in her shoulder, his own shoulders trembling.

Katsuki sighed and stood up from the table. The shitty nerd was a damn emotional wreck after everything that had happened today, and he wanted nothing to do with that cry fest.

Whatever. Deku was with Auntie, which meant he’d be fine. Katsuki asked his mom to be excused from the table, then dropped his dishes off in the kitchen.

He was surprised, however, when he turned around to see his father standing there in the doorway.

“I know… seeing Izuku like that couldn’t have been easy. And catching him while he was falling from so high up…” His father shook his head, then stepped forward and gave Katsuki an awkward hug. “You did good today, son. I’m proud of you. We’re proud of you.” His father ruffled his hair a bit, then left the room.

Katsuki stood there, frozen.

What the fuck had just happened.

His father was… proud? He’d given Katsuki a hug? His father never…

Shit.

Katsuki ran to their room, jumping onto his bed with a thud. He couldn’t believe his dad went and got all damn sentimental on him like that. Katsuki rubbed at his eyes.

Fuck this shit.

He reached for the remote, clicking on the TV. Maybe something was on that could distract him from whatever the hell that conversation had been. He groaned, and distract him from how much this week was going to suck. At least Katsuki wasn’t effectively grounded, but he was still going to have to deal with a moping Deku all week.

Hopefully, maybe, the nerd would get over it and be fine by the time he came back up.

As if Katsuki would be so lucky.

No, Deku was still a fucking mess the whole night. If it wasn’t about the fact that he’d been punished for really the first time, then it was about how he didn’t know how to make himself stop and think first, or about how he wasn’t sure if he’d even passed the exam.

The same fucking shit, over and over. And not just that one night! No, the nerd was at it all fucking week long.

Not to mention the longing looks the nerd sent toward the computer. Or the countless, “Kacchan, would you look up…” questions. Katsuki’d eventually given up doing anything on the internet, himself, because he couldn’t deal with the nerd’s fucking puppy dog eyes. He’d also confiscated the dumbass’s phone, as he’d seen him staring at its home screen way too fucking often.

It was easier if he just kept Deku away from all internet sources.

It didn’t help that they also hadn’t heard shit from All Might, which Katsuki knew was weighing on the nerd.

Katsuki wanted to scream. Or explode something.

After five days, his mom had even given him a knowing look and told him the trash was full and he had an hour to take it to the curb before she started questioning any loud noises.

That one hour had been glorious. He’d sat in the backyard, completely free from Deku’s muttering and exploded can after shitty can.

The next two days had been a bit better, after that. The seventh day, though, the two of them had been tweaking their hero costume designs when the Old Hag had pounded on their door frame and tossed an envelope into the room when they’d both looked up.

“It’s addressed to the both of you from UA. The principal knows your situation, right?”

Katsuki nodded, staring at the envelope numbly. They’d sent them both a letter together? That meant they’d both gotten the same result, right? He knew Deku’d gotten in!

He grabbed the envelope, then sat down on the edge of Deku’s bed next to the nerd. There was something heavy in it. A projection disc? There definitely didn’t seem to be paper that he could tell. He held out one side of the envelope to Deku as the Old Hag left the room. “Together?”

Deku nodded, taking the offered side. “Together.”

“One… two…” katsuki’s fingers pinched tighter around the paper, “Three!” he pulled, as did Deku, and there was a rip as the projection disc fell to the floor and rolled to a stop.

Immediately, an image flickered to life above the disc.

“I am here! As a projection!” The hologram of All Might let out a loud, boisterous laugh. “My boys, I am sorry for not contacting you earlier, but things have been busy here at UA! And I have news! Starting this fall, I will be one of the teachers here!”

Katsuki and Deku stared at the hologram in shock. All Might as All Might would be teaching at UA?!

“Why the fuck didn’t he say anything?!” It made damn good sense, though. All Might had probably planned on finding a successor among the students, and now he was planning on training his successor this way. Katsuki grinned. “Hell yes!” Now they might be able to spar with him without having to watch out for passerbys!

Suddenly a hand appeared on the hologram

“What? I need to wrap it up? But I need to talk to them about something.” All Might frowned as the hand made another motion for him to go faster. “I’m going to push everything back?” He sighed, “Oh, very well.”

“Young Midoriya! Out of those applying for the hero course, you placed third in the results for the written exam, answering 81% of the questions correctly! Truly an impressive feat!”

Deku was grinning like a loon, “Third? I placed third? Out of all those people?”

“And Young Bakugou, you placed fifth, answering 73%!”

“Tch.” Deku had been eight points higher than him? Eight? And three other assholes had beaten him?! Fuck that shit!

“That is, however, not the only factor UA takes into account when admitting students.” All Might took a deep breath and Deku shifted nervously in his chair, “So now for the results of the second exam. Young Bakugou received an astonishing 69 villain points! And Young Midoriya received 38!”

Shit. There really had been that big of a gap between their scores against the robots. Katsuki’s hand tightened on the nerd’s shoulder as his face grew pale.

All Might wasn’t finished talking, though. “But that’s not everything! Rankings for the practical exam had other factors that contributed!” Damn it, lead with that information, next time! “But first, I need to show you something, Young Midoriya!”

What the fuck?! Show him something? “Fuck that, did Deku get in or not?!” And did Katsuki manage to fucking kill everyone else’s results?

The hologram changed, this time showing fucking Round Face talking to the Cockatoo Hero. Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. He’d really hoped he never had to deal with the damn girl again.

“Um… excuse me? There was a boy at the exam… kinda plain looking with freckles and green curly hair? I don’t know if you know who I’m talking about… but, I was wondering if I could give him some of my points? It’s just, he saved me and I would feel terrible if he didn’t get in because of that. And his friend had so many points… I know he was worried that his friend would get in and he wouldn’t, all because he helped me, and I just couldn’t live with myself if that happened because of me!”

What… the hell?

Round Face had done that?

Shit, Deku had points! Not as many as Katsuki, sure, but she hadn’t needed to go and do some dumbass shit like that! Deku was damn good enough to get in on his own! And what was up with all these self-sacrificial dumbasses?!

Cockatoo moved to reassure her that it wasn’t necessary (fuck yes!), and then the hologram cut back to All Might.

“A hero course would never reject a student who spent time saving others instead of earning points merely for themselves! This job is all about risking your life for the benefit of others, and you put that into practice!” All Might gave a big thumbs up, “Both of you did!”

Both? Katsuki’s eyes widened. But he hadn’t—

“Our staff of pro heroes watch the tests and award students with rescue points, based on their performance! For your outstanding defeat of the zero-pointer along with the way you rescued several other examinees, Young Midoriya, you earned 46 rescue points! And Young Bakugou, for rescuing Young Midoriya and helping two others, you earned 22! Which means….”

Katsuki blinked. With everything that had happened, he’d completely forgotten about those two losers. He hadn’t even told Deku about helping them.

All Might paused as a scoreboard flashed onto the screen. “that in the practical exam overall, Young Bakugou ranked first with 92 points, and Young Midoriya, second with 84.” Bakugou grinned—the next closest asshole only had 74 points, and after that was some girl with 68.

They’d fucking dominated the practical exam.

“With these results from the written and practical exams, the two of you each have 165 points, making you tied for first place among the incoming heroics classes!”

All Might let out a booming laugh, “Congratulations, my boys!” Katsuki felt like he was frozen in shock. “Welcome to your hero academia!”

The hologram turned off, and the room was completely silent.

They’d done it.

They’d really done it! He grinned. They’d fucking beat everyone on the exams, just like he’d said!

“Fuck yes!!!!” Katsuki let out a whoop, wrapping his arm around Deku’s shoulders and rubbing his hair roughly.

“Kacchan!” Deku burst out laughing, pushing Katsuki off of him, then laughed harder as Katsuki fell onto the floor.

Oh, the nerd was dead. Katsuki tackled him, shoving him off the bed and sending them both sprawling onto the floor into a mess of tangled limbs. Katsuki found Deku’s ticklish spot on his sides above his hip bone and attacked it, sending the other into a laughing mess.

A sharp pain spiked through his gut where Deku kneed him, making Katsuki double over at the sudden pain.

Deku took advantage of the pause and shoved him off, rolling over on top of him, his hands forcing Katsuki’s shoulders down and his legs straddling him on either side. Deku’s green eyes were bright with laughter, and his grin as wide as his whole damn face.

The two of them stared at each other.

For some reason, Katsuki didn’t want to push Deku off. Deku’s hair was haloed by the light above them and Katsuki wanted to--

“Kacchan, we’re going to UA.” Deku’s voice was breathless, almost as if he couldn’t believe it, himself.

Katsuki swallowed, snapping himself out of whatever weird-ass trance he’d been in. “We’re not just going there, nerd. We’re starting off at the top of the fucking class.”

“Yeah.” Deku’s grin softened a bit, “Yeah we are.”

“And we’re going to fucking stay there.”

That brought Deku’s grin back to full force, a competitive glint entering his eyes, “Definitely.”

Damn.

Deku looked…

Katsuki wanted to…

Fuck.

Katsuki might have a problem.

Deku stood up, oblivious and grinning at him, “We should go tell our parents!”

Katsuki lay there, his brain refusing to reboot.

He didn’t… he couldn’t…

He couldn’t like Deku, could he?

“Kacchan?” He blinked as Deku waved a hand in front of his face. “You ok? I didn’t knee you that hard, did I?”

“Fuck no!” Katsuki glared at the nerd as he stood up. He couldn’t like this dumbass. He fucking didn’t.

And even… even if he did, and even if they were soulmates and Deku might eventually like him that way, Katsuki doubted the nerd liked him. At least, not right now. All the shitty nerd ever fucking thought about was heroes.

“Then let’s go tell them!” Deku gave him a bright grin, then bounded out the doorway

Katsuki sighed and followed after him. Whatever the fuck this was, now wasn’t the time to think about it.

They’d dominated the exams. He grinned.That was the important shit.

The Old Hag must have woken Auntie up early to hear about the envelope, because she was sitting in the living room next to his parents, wringing her hands as they watched the news.

The second they walked into the room, she fumbled for the remote, quickly hitting the power button. “W-well?” She looked back and forth between them. “You’re smiling. That’s…That’s good, right? You got in?”

Deku started laughing, “We both made it! We’re both going to UA!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes and ruffled his soulmate’s hair roughly, sending the nerd staggering forward a few steps toward their parents. “You forgot the best part, Deku.” He grinned at their parents, “We beat all those assholes and damn well tied for first place among the incoming heroics classes. I got first in the practical exam, and Deku got second.”

“And I got third in the written exam!” Deku suddenly smirked, eyes glinting with mischief as he stepped closer to their parents and whispered to them, “But Kacchan got fifth in that one.”

“Oi! Shut the fuck up, you shitty nerd!” Katsuki glared at his soulmate in annoyance. “We fucking dominated overall. That’s what matters.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Oh, you are so dead, Deku.”

“Save the wrestling for later.” The Old Hag rolled her eyes, but she was still smiling fondly at them. “We’re really proud of you two. What do you say we got out for dinner tonight and celebrate?”

Eating out? “Like…” Katsuki thought for a second, “at a barbecue place?”

His father laughed quietly, “Sure. Whatever you two want.”

“Barbecue!” Deku laughed, turning toward his mother, “Please, mom, please!”

“Of course, Izu-kun. That sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate.”

“Hell yes!” Katsuki grinned. They hadn’t been to a barbecue restaurant in forever!

The ride to the place took fucking forever, but the dinner was the damn best meat he’d ever eaten, and he ate a lot of it, as did Deku.

It was the best night ever.

The next morning, though, he and Deku went downstairs to see all three parents eating breakfast together.

Katsuki halted at the bottom of the stairs, eyeing the three adults suspiciously. They rarely ever ate breakfast together on weekends. And Auntie’d obviously just gotten back from her shift since she hand’t even bothered to change out of her nursing uniform.

Deku stepped cautiously toward the table, “Um.. Is everything ok?”

Auntie looked up at them, “Of course!” She smiled, but it was suspiciously wobbly.

“Fuck that.” Katsuki walked toward the table, sitting down with a thump and grabbing an apple from the bowl of fruit that had been set out. “What’s going on? We just got into UA and Deku’s shitty ‘grounded from the internet’ week is finally over, so why does Auntie look like she’s damn close to crying?”

The Old Hag sighed. “Watch your language, brat.”

“It’s…” Auntie wiped one eye, “Happy tears, really. I’m fine.”

Yeah, that was a shitty lie. He’d lived with the Midoriya tears his entire life, he knew the damn difference between when they were happy and sad.

“I’ll… um…” Deku took a few steps toward the kitchen, “I’ll just go grab Kacchan and me something to drink, real quick, then?”

Katsuki glared at his soulmate’s retreating back. Damn coward, not wanting to deal with whatever was making his mother cry.

The silence while they waited for Deku to get back made Katsuki want to bang his head on the fucking table.

The silence was even worse, though, while Deku slowly inched back into the damn room, putting their cups down awkwardly before hesitantly sitting next to his mother.

The Old Hag sighed, “It’s not some huge sad thing, I promise. It’s actually a good thing for you two!” She grinned at them, but it was strained. “We made a decision a long time ago, that when you two got into high school, it would be time to give you a certain reward.”

“A reward?” Deku looked incredibly confused.

Katsuki’s father cleared his throat, “Separate rooms.”

Katsuki’s eyes widened.

Separate rooms? But they’d always slept in the same room! Katsuki’d never even considered wanting his own. Which, now that he thought about it, might be the whole soulbond/not wanting to separate thing, but…

Oh.

Fuck.

They thought….

Their parents thought they might seal the bond soon, while they were in highschool. Shit. That was when people typically started doing that kind of shit. And with what Recovery Girl had said, before…. Damn it.

He could feel his face burning up. He didn’t think of Deku that way, though! He didn’t! Maybe, maybe he thought the shitty nerd looked good every now and then. And sure, he could admit to himself that maybe he respected the nerd. And maybe he liked it when Deku smiled and he couldn’t imagine Deku being with anyone other than him, but he didn’t… they weren’t….

“Why? I thought we needed the guest room for when…” Deku’s eyes cut over to his mother and he fell silent.

Oh hell, why did his soulmate have to be so fucking dense.

Katsuki’s dad sighed, “We want to reward you boys for getting into your top highschool. We know how hard you’ve worked.”

“But…” Deku turned to look at Katsuki, his eyes lost. Katsuki groaned internally. He knew exactly what the problem was, but he really didn’t want to deal with it while Auntie was still in the room. At least the shitty loser wasn’t doing the wobbly mouth thing that happened right before he cried.

“I’ll move my shit. I have less than Deku.”

His mom gave a sharp nod. “That’s decided then.” She slapped her hands on the table and stood up, “Well. Glad that that’s taken care of.”

“But—” Deku was looking around at all of them, uncertainty and fear written clear across his face as his hands tightened around his cup. “But we always kept the guest room empty in case Dad comes back!”

Shit.

An awkward silence filled the room.

“Izuku…” Auntie looked up, tears in her eyes. “It’s been fifteen years since any of us have even heard from…” Her smile wobbled. “We’ll keep Katsuki’s current bed in your room and if… If your f-father comes back, Katsuki can sleep in his old bed while we figure things out, ok?”

Deku nodded, but he still looked lost.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. Whatever. I’s not like the asshole was ever going to come, anyway. Auntie and Izuku just didn’t want to think about that. They never had. “When should I start moving my shit?”

“As soon as you want, brat. We’ve already moved most of the crap out of the guest room, if you want to get started today.”

Well. Looks like that would be his whole damn day. At least he got to keep the guest bed, though. It was so much better than his current one, even if it was old. “I’ll start after breakfast, then.” He bit into the apple.

His mother forced his head forward while she ruffled his hair. “Sounds good, brat.” She picked up her dishes and headed to the kitchen, Katsuki’s Dad following silently a few seconds later after patting Katsuki on the shoulder.

Auntie was hugging Deku, now. “It’ll be ok, Izuku. You’re growing up, and we’re just so proud of you, and grown boys should have their own space, right?” She pulled back, smiling at her son. “And you and Katsuki will probably be going through a lot over the next few years. It’ll be good for both of you to be able to have some privacy, I’m sure. And honestly…” she blushed a bit, “I’ve been a bit selfish keeping that room untouched all these years. And the three of us adults will feel better if you two have separate rooms, too. It’s about time.” She laughed softly, then stood up. “I’ll leave so you and Katsu-kun can talk about the details, alright?”

“Sure, Auntie.” She smiled at him, then carried her own dishes away toward the kitchen.

Deku still looked lost.

Katsuki sighed. “Relax, dumbass. We’ll just be across the hall. It’ll even be nice not to have to deal with your damn snoring.”

“Kacchan!” Deku pouted. Katsuki smirked at his soulmate, glad to have snapped him out of whatever daze he’d been in.

Deku still looked uncertain, though. “Kacchan, can we talk about this? I don’t want to be in a different room than you… it’ll feel weird. And if it’s a reward, then I’m sure—”

Katsuki groaned, cutting his soulmate off. “What the fuck, Deku. Use that brain of yours. We’re soulmates and we’re entering highschool. Of course they don’t want us to stay in the same room!” He glared at the dumbass. “Fucking hell, Auntie practically spelled it out for you at the end, there. Why else did you think she said ‘us adults would be happier if you two have separate rooms’?”

Deku turned bright red. “B-but w-we’re not…!”

Katsuki’s smirk gained a vicious edge, “We’re not soulmates, Deku?”

“We’re not like that!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, trying to ignore the uncomfortable feeling twisting in his gut. “Not now, that’s damn obvious. They’re just making us move in case it happens in the future.”

“In case?” Deku was fidgeting with his fingers, looking everywhere but at Katsuki.

“Your mom said something a few years ago about our bond being weird since we became bonded so young, so who knows if we’ll follow the normal pattern.” Though given Katsuki’s recent thoughts…

No.

He didn’t like the shitty nerd like that!

“Oh!” Deku beamed. “That’s a relief!” He turned bright red again. “It’s just, I… um…” Deku laughed nervously, “It’d be weird to have that decision just automatically made for us, right? I mean, even most soulmates have dated other people before they meet, so…” he shrugged, his voice trailing off.

“Whatever.” Katsuki stood up from the table, downing the rest of his drink while trying (and failing) to ignore the growing pain in his chest. It didn’t matter if Deku didn’t think of him that way. It wasn’t like Katsuki thought of the nerd like that, yet. Katsuki shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts as he headed toward the kitchen. He tossed away the apple core and put his cup in the sink, ignoring the sounds of Deku hurrying to finish his breakfast at the table.

Might as well head to the guest room and get started. Well, to his room.

That would definitely take some getting used to.

Katsuki pushed the door open, eyes sliding across the room. All the shitty knickknacks were gone, but there were still some pictures of Deku and him on the walls. He supposed they could stay. The bed sat against one wall, a small nightstand next to it and a window in between it and a bookshelf.

He’d have to move his desk and dresser in from his room with Deku. Katsuki frowned. It’d never bothered him before, but now that they were going to be in separate rooms he realized how cramped his room with Deku had become. Two beds, two desks, two dressers… just the one bookshelf, though.

Katsuki sighed. He’d deal with the furniture shit later. He could at least start by moving his All Might shit onto this bookshelf and put up his limited edition All Might poster.

Though… Katsuki frowned. Now that they were working with the man, it felt fucking weird to have so much of his merchandise. Maybe Katsuki wouldn’t put up the poster.

More importantly, though, which room would get their weights? Or their exercise mat?

“Tch.” Katsuki turned on his heel, heading back downstairs and toward the kitchen. When he got there, he knocked on the doorframe, causing Deku to look up, startled, from the plate he’d been washing. “Oi, nerd. I want the weights and mat.”

“Eh?!” In his shock, the dish nearly slipped out of Deku’s hands. “Kacchan! I use those too! You can’t just take them!”

“I need them more! You’ve got plenty of strength with your quirk what it is!”

Deku groaned. “I need them more because my quirk is strength based!”

They glared at each other for almost a full minute, both refusing to back down. Finally, Deku sighed. “Why don’t we just treat both rooms as ours and sleep separately? That should make our parents happy. You can leave your school stuff and desk in our current room, then take the exercise materials to the guest room. It’d be better to have more space to spread out while we exercise, anyway.”

Katsuki tilted his head, considering the idea. “Fine. At least I get the damn weights.” And it would be nice not to have to move the fucking desk.

Katsuki left the kitchen once again, this time to begin carrying the weights to their new home.

In the end, it took most of the day for Katsuki to move his clothes and shit and get everything settled in the new room. Deku had offered to help, but Katsuki knew the nerd really just wanted to check all the shitty hero news he’d missed, so Katsuki’d told him to fuck off and let him handle it.

Katsuki’d just flopped down on his bed when he heard a crash from their room. Their old room. Fuck, Deku’s room. Katsuki’d barely lifted his head when Deku skidded across the hallway, practically throwing himself through the doorway. “Yagi-sensei wants to meet us at the beach!”

“Now?” Katsuki sat up, annoyed. About damn time the man contacted them, but still.

“Yes, now!” Deku waved his phone around in the air, “Jeez, Kacchan, check your phone more often.”

“Fuck off.” He grabbed his phone off the nightstand and, sure enough, there was a text from the man. “He sent it like, one minute ago. Calm down.” He shoved the phone into his pocket. “Let’s go, then.”

“Yes!” Deku jumped up and thundered down the stairs. Katsuki sighed and followed the nerd. Damn it, but he was fucking tired after a day of moving all his shit around. He’d had to move the bed a shitload of times to figure out what would give them the most floor space for exercising, and that damn thing was deceptively heavy.

He still beat the nerd in their quirkless race to the beach, though.

Yagi-sensei was standing there, watching the waves, but he turned when he heard the commotion of their arrival. “Young boys! It is good to see you again. I really do apologize for not contacting you sooner. And congratulations on being accepted!” The man’s grin softened as he came forward and patted both of their shoulders. “I truly am proud of you both and of everything you accomplished.”

Katsuki grinned at the hero, “We fucking dominated.”

“Yes,” He laughed, some blood coming out of the corner of his mouth. “Yes, you boys truly did!” He wiped at his mouth, “Don’t worry, the only people who know of my connection to you both are Recovery Girl and the Nezu, and I wasn’t a judge.”

“Don’t worry?” Deku looked up at the man, confused.

“You both would think of that is cheating, correct? Nezu promised me that the judging was unbiased and you both earned each and every point yourselves.”

“Damn right, we did!” Katsuki glared at the hero, “There’s no way I’d want to use some weak ass shit like some connection to get into UA.”

Yagi-Sensei laughed again, “I thought as much.”

Deku was grinning, “And you’re going to be our teacher? That’s why you came here? I mean, everyone knows your agency is at Roppongi Hills, so I’d always wondered—”

“Now, now!” The twig held a hand over Deku’s mouth, “Sometimes I forget how much of a fan you can be!” He laughed and let his hand drop when Deku turned bright red.

Katsuki smirked. Served the shitty nerd right. “Were you going to pick a successor from among the students or some shit like that?”

“Originally, yes.” Yagi-sensei shrugged, “But I found Young Midoriya, first, and I’m happy with that decision!” He grinned at Deku, “Teaching is still a nice job for me right now, though, since I can’t maintain my form for as long as I used to be able to.”

Katsuki frowned. So the old man was planning on teaching for a while as a way to try to ease out of the public eye and retire. It would make sense, if he wasn’t fucking All Might. There was no way his retirement or any decrease in his work wouldn’t be noticed.

Fuck, what if people already had noticed? All Might hadn’t been able to work all day for over a year, now, and he’d spent so much time training them…

No.

No, Deku would have said something if there was anything online like that.

All Might was now responding to something Deku had asked, something about what to expect at UA? Whatever.

Yagi-sensei wanted to sit down, so the three of them went over to a bench, the twig sitting in the middle as he answered Deku’s damn near endless questions about what to expect at UA.

Katsuki let the chatter wash over him, curling one leg up and resting his chin on it as he stared at the ocean.

He’d honestly never thought shit would turn out like this, with Deku having a quirk and All Might of all people teaching them. But Katsuki’d always known that they would be the fucking best. And now they were one step closer.

One step closer to their destiny.

Chapter Text

Sleeping in separate rooms had definitely taken some getting used to. The first night, Katsuki had laid awake for hours. He’d thought the silence and lack of snoring would be nice, but apparently the noise had become like a fucking lullaby or something, and now he couldn’t get any damn sleep without it.

So the next day after school he’d dragged Deku with him to the store and gotten a white noise machine, while Deku had gotten *another* All Might blanket, complaining that the room was too cold without Katsuki.

As if Katsuki’s presence on the complete opposite side of the room affected the room’s temperature that much.

Over time, though, they’d both adjusted. They were still always together, really. They just slept and sometimes changed clothes in different rooms. That was all.

Still felt weird, though.

And now it was their first day at UA.

“Kacchan! Do you know where my pencil case is?” Deku skidded into Katsuki’s room, a new backpack slung over his shoulder with the old Eraserhead keychain already attached.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. Shitty nerd had been like this all morning. “What the fuck, Deku? Keep track of your damn shit. You left it by the computer last night.”

“Right!” Deku sped out of the room.

Katsuki rolled his eyes and made sure everything was in his own bag, then zipped it up. He’d just slung it over his shoulder when Deku stormed back in.

“I haven’t forgotten something have I? Kacchan, where’s the instruction letter they sent us? I just need to check—”

“Tch.” Katsuki stepped closer to Deku, grabbing his tie. The nerd stopped talking, eyes wide. “You got everything, alright? We sent the costume forms and shit to them two weeks ago, and you’ve fucking triple checked everything else. Now, learn to tie a damn tie, you dumbass.”

Katsuki straightened the knot and pulled it tight before tucking the end into Deku’s blazer. He looked up, only then realizing how close they were.

Shit.

He avoided eye contact with his soulmate and quickly turned toward the door. “Come on, you shitty nerd, we don’t want to be late.”

“Kacchan, you’re not even wearing your tie! You shouldn’t scold me about mine!”

“Who the fuck cares.” Katsuki shoved open the door to his bedroom, heading down the stairs, Deku following behind him.

“If you don’t care, why does mine have to be straight?”

“Because otherwise it just screams that you’re a useless dumbass that can’t do shit.”

“Kacchan! It wasn’t that bad.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes and grabbed his bento off the counter. “It fucking was.”

“Katsu-kun, must you go like that?” Auntie was standing by the door, wringing her fingers. “At least tuck your shirt in.”

Katsuki groaned, but did as she asked. For now. Apparently his parents had already had to leave for work, so it was just Auntie this morning.

She looked nervously between the two of them. “I’m so excited for both of you!” Katsuki yelped as she pulled them into a hug. Just as suddenly, she released them, one hand staying on each of their shoulders. “You’ve both grown up so much!”

Shit. Auntie was sniffling. Please let there not be any fucking tears.

A glance to the side showed Deku was tearing up, too.

Fucking Midoriyas and their damn excessive tears.

“Thanks, Auntie, but we really should get going.”

“Of course, of course!” she released them and began to wipe at her eyes while they knelt down to put on their shoes. “It’s just, you both look so cool, you know? I’m so proud of you both, getting into your dream highschool like this.”

Katsuki stood up, Deku straightening beside him. “We really made it, Mom.” Deku had a sheepish smile on as he scratched at his cheek.

Katsuki smirked, shoving his soulmate’s shoulder, “Of course we made it! We’re going to become the best damn heroes the world’s ever seen.”

Auntie smiled and shook her head. “I don’t doubt it.” She patted their shoulders once more, then stepped to the side and opened the door. “Go on then, you too. Don’t let me keep you.”

Katsuki grinned, stepping out the door, “We’ll do you proud, Auntie!”

“Bye Mom!”

“Have a good day, you two! I can’t wait to hear all about it! We’re having a family dinner tonight, remember!”

“We remember!” Deku walked backwards a few steps, waving goodbye.

Katsuki wrinkled his nose. The dinner he could fucking do without, but he was stuck with nosey assholes as parents.

“C’mon, Deku, we don’t want to miss our train.”

“Of course, Kacchan!”

Katsuki untucked his shirt once more and rolled his eyes as Deku immediately began his muttering, going through the list of supplies to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything, then speculating about who their homeroom teacher would be and what their classmates would be like and whether they would be able to actually make friends at this school. Katsuki let the nerd ramble—at least this way he didn’t have to act like he cared about it.

Whoever their classmates were, they’d crush them. It was as simple as that.

Once they arrived at UA, though, Katsuki couldn’t deny that he was excited. Deku was practically vibrating next to him, so he grabbed the nerd’s arm to make sure he didn’t wander off.

His wrist felt warm. Soothing. It was a nice reminder that he wasn’t alone, even if Katsuki knew that he could crush everyone even if he was on his own.

“Kacchan, we’re… we’re going to tell our homeroom teacher, right?”

Fuck. “Don’t talk about that shit out loud, Deku.” He took a left, following the signs in the hallway to reach their classroom.

“It’s just… Recovery Girl said… but we never actually agreed on what day or anything, but sooner would be better, right? Who knows what kinds of things they plan for the first few days. But we should probably wait until after the assembly right? Or until after we’ve introduced ourselves to the class? It would be weird if we told our teacher before we’d even done introductions—”

“We’ll do it at lunch, alright? Just shut the fuck up about it, already.”

“Ok, Kacchan!” Deku gave him a nervous grin, “Sorry.”

“Whatever, you nerd. Now come on, that’s our damn door.” He pointed down the hallway to where a huge door labeled 1A stood. They sure had made it fucking hard to miss.

“Eep.” Deku stared at the towering door in shock. “I wonder if it’s so big to accommodate different mutation quirks, maybe? Or—”

“Whatever.” Katsuki rolled his eyes and dragged his soulmate toward it. “Let’s just get this shit over with.” He took a deep breath, then released Deku’s wrist to push the door open.

A quick glance showed they were some of the first ones there.

A boy with hair that was half red and half white sat in the back right, a girl with a ponytail next to him. Then there was Shitface Robot with his square glasses from the exam, a guy with shitty hair, a guy with a tail, a frog girl, and a bird head.

Katsuki shrugged and went for an empty desk toward the front and next to a window, with Deku sliding into the desk behind his, like always.

He leaned back in his chair, propped his feet up on the desk and tilted his head backwards, “Oi, Deku. Don’t—”

“Excuse me!”

Katsuki glared at Shitface. Dumbass was making those weird as fuck hand gestures, too. Why was he such a fucking robot?

“What?!”

“You should remove your feet from the desk immediately. What you are doing is highly disrespectful to this institution and to all the students who have come before us!”

“What the fuck are you on, you dumbass?” He paused, scoffing at Shitface. “Then again, you obviously went to some shitty preppy school, so you probably know nothing about that kind of thing.”

Deku sighed behind him, muttering under his breath, “It’s not like you do, either.”

Katsuki decided not to respond to that.

“I went to Somei—”

“Fucking knew it.”

“Hey, guys.” Shitty Hair was walking toward them, waving his hands apologetically, “It’s the first day of school. Maybe we could take it easy and get to know each other before, you know, yelling at each other?”

“Fuck off, Shitty Hair.” Katsuki glared at Shitty Hair. Dumbass should mind his own business.

Then Deku started to whine, “Kacchan! Please don’t go making enemies on the first day again!” Katsuki knew the shitty nerd wanted friends, but he couldn’t believe his soulmate was actually whining.

“Again?!” Shitty Hair stared at them incredulously. Katsuki decided to ignore him.

“You wanna be friends with this Shitface, Deku?” Katsuki tilted his head back to stare at his soulmate incredulously, “He made fun of you at the fucking exams!”

Shitface bowed toward Deku, “I must admit, I misjudged you, Midoriya, and I apologize for that. Your actions in the practical exam were highly befitting of a hero.” He straightened. Deku started blushing like crazy. It wasn’t cute. It wasn’t. Shitface continued, “However, if you continue to associate with such a hooligan—”

“Huh?! You wanna say that again, you bastard?”

“Kacchan, please!”

“I’m not gonna let some preppy asshole just stand there and insult me!” Katsuki glared at Shitface, hands beginning to spark.

“Kacchan!”

“Woah, there!” Shitty Hair stepped between Katsuki and Shitface, his body… hardening?

That was annoying as fuck.

“Oh! That curly hair! You’re the boy that saved me during the exams!” A new girl came bounding toward them, completely ignoring the tension between the four boys. “Thank you so much! I’m so glad we’re in the same class!” She smiled brightly.

Deku fucking beamed.

Of course the shitty nerd would.

A girl seemed to want to be his lameass friend.

Katsuki glared at her.

He really didn’t like this.

Why the fuck did she think she could be all friendly with his soulmate?

“I’m glad we’re in the same class, too!” Nerd’s voice was all high-pitched like when he was nervous.

Fuck.

Deku wanted shitty friends.

“If you’re here to socialize, you’re in the wrong place.”

Katsuki blinked as a sleepingbag inched its way into the classroom.

His eyes widened as a man stood up and stepped out.

Black hair. Bloodshot eyes. Black clothes. A perpetually exhausted expression. And to top it all off, a grey capture weapon draped across his shoulders.

“Eraserhead.” Deku gasped the name in shock, while Katsuki stared at his soulmate’s favorite hero.

They’d both know him anywhere--after all, they’d watched the few existing videos thousands of times, trying to break down the man’s fighting style to find something to help Deku.

Eraserhead blinked at them. “Not many recognize me, but yes. I’m Aizawa Shouta, hero name, Eraserhead. I’ll be your homeroom teacher.”

Katsuki didn’t even have to look behind him to know Deku was vibrating with excitement and disbelief at that statement.

All those hours trying to learn from videos, and now the real deal was in front of them. It was like meeting All Might all over again. Even if Deku had a quirk, now, that wouldn’t change the fact that this man’s fighting style had given him hope for years and years.

Eraserhead slouched through the room, bending down behind the teacher’s desk to pick something up, and then dropping a stack of gym uniforms on top of it. “Go put these on and meet me on the baseball pitch behind the building. The lorckerrooms are down the hall.”

Then, just as abruptly as the man had appeared, he trudged out of the room.

The hero looked even more damn exhausted in person than in the videos.

The desk was a fucking mess by the time they reached it, but each uniform had a name pinned to it, so it was easy to figure out which ones were theirs. Katsuki tossed Deku’s at the nerd, and the two headed to the changing rooms.

Katsuki was glad that even though heroes in general sucked at fashion, whoever was in charge of the UA gym uniforms could actually do a passable job.

They were quick to change and head outside, beating many of the shitty extras. Thankfully the dumbasses didn’t take too long, and soon they were all assembled, waiting for Eraserhead to give them more instructions.

First, though, the hero started rambling about the educational system being shitty and how they couldn’t waste time if they were going to be heroes, so he was going to have them do some new kind of physical apprehension tests.

Katsuki frowned. He and Deku had always been top of the class with those. He was sure they’d manage it again, but it might be harder this time. They were at UA, now, after all.

“Bakugou.” Katsuki raised one eyebrow as the teacher turned to him, “You scored the top in the practice exam, correct?”

“Yeah.”

“What was your best record on a ball throw in middle school?”

“67 meters.” The best in the fucking school.

Eraserhead tossed him a ball. “Try doing it with your quirk.” Katsuki caught the ball with ease. It was some high-tech shit, but he couldn’t tell what was special about it. “Go stand in the circle and use your quirk to throw the ball as far as you possibly can.”

With his quirk? A slow smirk formed across his face.

Hell yeah!

Katsuki stalked to the circle, tossing the ball up and down to get a feel for how heavy it was. It would be fucking child’s play to use a blast and propel it.

He set his legs wide, cocked his arm back, and set off the biggest explosion he could that wouldn’t destroy the thing. “Die!!”

He ignored Deku’s groan behind him and grinned as the ball flew out of eyesight.

“Know your own maximum, first. That’s the way to set a strong foundation for being a hero.” Katsuki looked back at their teacher as a beep came from the device in his hands. “709.6 meters.”

Fuck yeah.

The extras were all abuzz, talking about how the tests were going to be fun.

Then Eraserhead grinned, and Katsuki was beginning to understand what Deku meant when he said Katsuki’s grins looked evil. “Fun, huh? Will you be able to keep that attitude for all three years here?” His grin widened and Katsuki pushed down the urge to shudder. He would not give their teacher that kind of reaction. “Alright, then. Let’s up the stakes. The person who scores last place overall will be judged to have no potential and be expelled immediately.”

Shit.

Katsuki would be fine, but Deku… Katsuki could already tell Deku was freaking out, looking down at his hands with utter despair written across his face. He sighed and trudged back over to his spot, then whacked his soulmate on the back of the head. “Calm the fuck down and just focus, you shitty nerd.” It wasn’t like he couldn’t control it at all. He just had to make sure he focused and only used 3%. As long as he did that, the nerd would be fine.

“Right!” Deku grinned at him sheepishly. “You’re right, Kacchan. As always.”

“Hell yes, I am. So stop fucking worrying.”

Deku nodded, determination now gleaming in his eyes. That was more like it. Shitty nerd, always losing confidence like that. He was Katsuki’s soulmate—his equal. There was no fucking way he would be expelled.

Eraserhead spoke again, silencing all the whispers around them. “UA is known for its unorthodox approaches to hero training. A lot of that comes from the fact that the teachers are given free reign to train our students however we see fit. That begins today.” He pushed his hair back, grinning at them with wide eyes. “Welcome to the UA hero course.”

Katsuki smirked back. He would fucking kill this test. Nothing could beat him. And now that Deku had a quirk, they would be even more unstoppable than before.

Round Face raised a big fuss about how the whole thing was unfair, but Eraserhead shut her down, talking about calamities and how the life of a hero was always dealing with unfair circumstances. Katsuki grinned. Dealing with those circumstances and then winning. Katsuki would overcome them, alright. And so would Deku. Just like they’d beaten that damn villain.

This school was the fucking best.

The first test was going to be a 50 meter dash, which should be a piece of cake for both of them. His explosions would increase his own speed, and Deku could increase his speed with his 3%.

Katsuki scowled as Square Glasses crossed the finish line. Fuck. He couldn’t beat that score. Fucking test was made for the shitty extra and his speed quirk.

He’d beat everyone else, though.

Katsuki lined up next to Deku, throwing the nerd a smirk. “Die, Deku.”

The nerd fucking smirked. “I’ve beaten you before, Kacchan.” Oh, the nerd was dead.

His palms crackled as the countdown sounded.

At the final beep, his palms exploded, sending him flying forward, but he could already tell Deku was slightly ahead.

Fuck that!

He poured more power into it, shooting across the line, but he lost his balance a bit, and was forced to tuck his head and roll to a stop. He jumped up immediately, glaring at Deku, who was laughing at him. “Shut up, you shitty nerd! I beat you, didn’t I?!”

“You did, Kacchan, by like .05 seconds. But I stayed on my feet.”

“I still beat you!”

“Uh-huh.”

“Would you both move so the next pair can go.” Their teacher’s voice sounded annoyed.

“O-Of course!” Deku immediately ran out of the way.

Katsuki trudged after him. “Whatever.” It’s not like any of the extras could get a higher score, anyway.

Katsuki stood to the side, letting Deku’s rambles about their classmates’ quirks wash over him.

Suddenly, the air got colder. Katsuki frowned, looking toward the starting line. It was that stupid Half and Half bastard.

The buzzer sounded, and ice immediately spread across the ground, the guy speed skating down the path.

Fuck.

3.9 seconds.

.1 second better than him and Deku.

He glared at the other boy. The boy that didn’t even have a speed quirk. “Tch.” He was so dead.

“Umm…” Deku was fidgeting uneasily next to him. “We’ll beat him in the next test, right, Kacchan? And the top one overall?”

“Fuck that shit. We’re going to be at the top in a way that will make sure no one can argue that we’re the best.”

“Right!” Deku’s voice was high and nervous again.

The next test was grip strength. Katsuki gave it everything he had, but Deku fucking beat him hands down. He glared at the nerd, who laughed nervously. “You should’ve been able to beat that fucking guy!” He pointed at the six-armed lameass.

Deku scratched at the back of his head, “But I haven’t practiced gripping things with my quirk! And I have to be careful not to do too much! Then I would fail the rest of the tests!”

“Tch.” Katsuki glared at the leader board for this test. Deku had come in third, with Arm Fucker and Sugar Asshole ahead of him, but there was at least a big gap between them and everyone else. Not that the damn gaps mattered in the overall leader board.

In the long jump, half and half fucking used some ice pillar shit to carry him across the pit. Katsuki beat him by flying with his explosions, but he got the impression that it was only because the bastard had stopped making the ice grow out of boredom. What the fuck?! Who just stopped like that??

He wanted to go give the bastard a piece of his mind, but Deku’s hand was firmly wrapped around his wrist, quirk activated. Katsuki growled in frustration. The shitty nerd had been in the middle of the pack, this time, again mumbling about not being sure how to do a long jump.

Fuck this test. He was going to have All Might running Deku through drills on all of this until he could do each one at 3%, then they’d see how the nerd reallyscored.

Fucking grape boy came out of nowhere to win the side-steps, but Deku got second on that one, used to jumping back and forth in the sand. Katsuki glared at the two lines on the ground. There had to be some way to use explosions to improve that score, but fuck it, he couldn’t think of anything. Plus the shitty nerd was being silent, so he hadn’t thought of anything yet, either.

When they got to the ball throw again, Katsuki was sure he would at least win this one, but fucking hell. Round Face had to go and throw the ball to fucking infinity. Damn it all to hell, but how was he supposed to fucking beat that?!

Katsuki ground his teeth in frustration.

The Half and Half bastard had used his ice to build up his own momentum before throwing the ball, sending it further than most, though nowhere near Katsuki’s throw.

Lameass.

Then Katsuki noticed that Deku was fidgeting. Fidgeting a lot. “What the hell, nerd? You’re doing well, why are you all antsy?”

“I know, Kacchan, but I… I’m nowhere near where you are. I won’t be last, right? I mean, most people have good scores in some events, but I haven’t gotten first in anything, and I only got second once, and I haven’t done well in some things… I shouldn’t do full power, I know that but maybe 50%—”

“Don’t you fucking dare, you shitty nerd.” Katsuki glared at him, “I’m not carrying you to the damn infirmary on the first day of school, again. You want Auntie to cry?”

“Kacchan! Mom wouldn’t have to know!”

“I’ll tell her, so she’ll know.”

“Kacchan! I just want to do my best!”

“Then don’t break your fucking arm, nerd! You’ll need to do well on the other tests! Stop worrying yourself to death and fucking throw the ball with what you can actually fucking manage!”

“Is there a problem?”

They both froze.

The entire class was staring at them both, including Eraserhead, whose scarf was floating lazily around him. Shit. Katsuki knew the threat that action held. That cloth was made of some fucking alloy that could bind them up faster than either one of them could move. One glance was all it took to know that Deku had shut down under the attention. Katsuki sighed, “No, we’re good.” He glanced pointedly at his soulmate, “Right, Deku?”

“Eep!” Deku jumped. “Right! Of course, Kacchan! You’re right.”

“Good, you shitty nerd.”

The scarf still hadn’t settled. Eraserhead was staring at his soulmate pensively. “I saw your performance at the entrance exams. You were doing well, but at the end, you destroyed your arms and legs in order to save a fellow examinee.” The hero cocked his head to the side, a dangerous glint in his eyes. “You wouldn’t have been thinking of doing that again, right?”

“N-no, s-sir.”

Katsuki groaned. Deku never could lie to save his life, so it was no surprise that he couldn’t lie to his fucking hero.

The dangerous grin was back. “Good. Because self-sacrificial moves like that just leave you as a burden to your fellow heroes or leave you dead on the battlefield if no one can rescue you in time. The last thing you need is to make yourself into another body that needs rescuing. Got that, kid?”

Deku nodded nervously, biting his lip.

Katsuki was torn. Part of him wanted to yell at the teacher for talking to Deku like that (who the FUCK did he think he was?) but part of him agreed with everything the man had said. Hell, he’d been trying to drill that lesson into Deku’s damn thick skull for years, but the nerd loved all that self-sacrificing shit.

Katsuki warily watched Deku take the ball to the circle and bounce it in his palm. He really didn’t like the look of determination Deku was wearing. Like he was out to prove someone wrong.

Shit.

The ball flew through the air.

Deku’s arm was fine.

But his finger wasn’t.

Shit, shit, shit.

“What the fuck, Deku?! I told you not to do that!” Katsuki charged forward, palms sparking, only to feel their teacher’s scarf wrap around him. He struggled against it, fighting to get closer to his soulmate and knock sense into his skull.

Deku grinned at both of them, his face tight from pain. He clenched his fist, ignoring the broken (but thankfully not fucking mangled) finger. “I’m still standing. I can still fight.”

“Fuck you, you shitty nerd!”

“Bakugou! Calm down, this instant!”

Shit. He froze, relieved when the weapon retreated after a few seconds.

Their teacher shook his head, “Good job finding a way around your quirk, but you still need better control of it. 357.2 meters.”

Katsuki glared at the ground as he returned to his spot, refusing to look at his soulmate when Deku nervously approached him. “I’m not taking you to the nurse’s office. You can explain this shit to Recovery Girl yourself.”

Deku paled. “But Kacchan, you always come with me!”

“No one’ll bully you here, though, Deku. Right?”

“But Recovery Girl’s going to be mad at me!”

“You should’ve fucking thought of that beforehand, you piece of shit.” Katsuki glared at him, then sighed. “I won’t tell Auntie, though. You didn’t use your full power, after all, and it was just your damn finger. But I’m not doing it for you! I just don’t want to see her cry, alright?”

Deku’s arms roped around him, “Thanks, Kacchan!”

“Get off, you shitty nerd!” Katsuki shoved him back with a glare. “And if you pull any shit like this again, I’m fucking telling her everything, you got that?!”

“Ok, Kacchan!” Deku was grinning again. Fucking loser had a ridiculously high pain tolerance.

Katsuki rolled his eyes as Round Face nervously asked if the nerd’s finger was ok and the dumbass stuttered out a reply.

The long distance run was next. Katsuki grinned as they all lined up on a track. He would kill the half and half bastard.

Except, he didn’t.

Katsuki’s palms sparked in frustration. This was fucking ridiculous! He glared at the other boy. Square Glasses had a fucking speed quirk that apparently got even better with distance, so Katsuki could understand losing to him. He hated it, but he could understand it. And it was just the fucking races, Katsuki had beaten him in everything else. He’d kept track. Half and Half, though…

He growled.

Deku’s uninjured hand wrapped around his wrist.

He was going to fucking kill that bastard, one way or another. Katsuki and Deku would be the best two in the class.

In the seated toe touch, though, the bastard was more flexible.

And then they tied—fucking tied!—with sit ups.

And then Eraserhead displayed the overall leader board.

“Kacchan, it’s ok, we’re here to become the best, right? If we already were the best, that would just mean that we came to the wrong school, right? We need something to challenge us?”

Fuck this shit.

Second. He’d come in fucking second to that bastard half and half!! Deku came in sixth, but the shitty nerd didn’t have full control of his quirk, yet, so that was fucking understandable.

Katsuki had been training this quirk his whole life, though! He should be better than fucking Half and Half! He stood there, fuming and glaring at the ground while Eraserhead rambled about the damn results.

“Kacchan?”

“What?!”

“We’re all going to change before lunch, Kacchan.” There was an awkward pause before Deku continued, “Mineta came in last. Sensei said he’d give him another chance, though. He’ll spar against a general studies student tomorrow morning, and if he wins he can stay, but if he loses he’ll switch classes with the general studies student.”

Katsuki didn’t know who the fuck that was. “I don’t fucking care about that. If he was last, and especially if he loses to some shitty gen ed student, then he damn well deserves it.” He looked around. Their classmates were already a few steps ahead of them, heading back toward the changing rooms.

“Right.” Deku rubbed his arm nervously. “Well, umm, we should maybe talk to sensei now? While the others are heading inside?”

Katsuki glanced over to where the hero was picking up gear. He sighed. He still didn’t know what to think about Eraserhead, but Recovery Girl would be mad enough at Deku for needing to be healed, they didn’t need to make things worse by not having told their teacher about the bond, yet.

“Fine. Let’s get this shit over with.”

“Um… Sensei?” Deku was fiddling with the hem of his sleeve, not even looking at their instructor. “Could we talk to you, um… privately?” Katsuki slouched next to him, letting his soulmate do the talking. He wanted nothing to do with this shit.

Eraserhead just turned around and raised an eyebrow.

Deku bit his lip. “Recovery Girl told us that we needed to tell you something, but we’d prefer to do that in private. If you don’t mind? I know it’s an inconvenience, but it really is important, and I don’t want to disappoint Recovery Girl, especially after she’s been so nice about the whole thing, but I know it’s lunch break and--”

“Midoriya. Stop.” Deku’s voice halted and he froze in one spot. Eraserhead’s eyes darted between the two of them, then he put down the cone he’d been holding and sighed. He nodded past them to where their classmates were already a good way off. “This private enough?”

Deku shrugged nervously.

“No one can fucking hear us, right?”

Eraserhead frowned at Katsuki, “Were you even paying attention to your classmates’ quirks?”

“Hell no.”

“Kacchan!” Deku looked at him, completely scandalized.

“Why would I? If something’s important enough, you’ll tell me.”

“You’ll need to learn to gather information without Midoriya.” Eraserhead’s eyes flickered back to their classmates. “Your classmates have some quirks that increase their hearing abilities, but they’re all inside, now, so you should be fine.” He shrugged, “If you’re worried, talk quietly and you’ll definitely be fine.”

Deku fidgeted, “What if they are trying to listen in or something??”

“We’re roughly 100 meters away from the door.” Eraserhead raised an eyebrow at the two of them. “Just tell me.”

“Um… It’s just… Well…” Eraserhead’s eyebrow began twitching in annoyance as Deku continued to trip over his words.

Katsuki sighed. Of course Deku couldn’t get the fucking words out. It felt weird to just tell someone after hiding it for so long. “Deku and I have a shitty unsealed soulbond. Have since we were fucking babies. Recovery Girl told us to tell you or she’d beat our damn asses.”

Eraserhead’s eyebrows rose. He sighed and closed his eyes in annoyance. “I knew you two would be problem children.”

“Eh?!” Deku squeaked in shock beside him.

Eraserhead just kept talking, ignoring the outburst. “Repeat that again. You’ve had a soulbond since you were how old?”

“Less than a year.” Katsuki shrugged, “I don’t know the fucking months.”

“Kacchan was 6 months old and I was 3 months old.” Of course the shitty nerd knew.

Eraserhead sighed. “That’s rare, and certainly a surprise.” He rubbed at his eyes, “Usually when we have soulmate pairs they meet each other here. You said Recovery Girl knows?”

Deku nodded. Katsuki just raised an eyebrow, refusing to respond when that was obviously what he’d fucking said.

“That’s good.” He sighed and tapped his cheek in thought. “At UA, all soulmate pairs are assigned a faculty advisor that has experience with soulbonds. Lucky for you two, I happen to be one of those advisors, which means you would automatically be assigned to me since I’m both of your homeroom instructor. That means only myself, Recovery Girl, and Principal Nezu will know about your status as soulmates. Whom else have you told?”

“You’ll be our advisor?!” Deku was practically bouncing up and down. Katsuki groaned. Of course the nerd was still fanboying over getting to know Eraserhead in person.

“Just our parents, Principal Nezu so we wouldn’t be split up in the entrance exam, and fucking All Might. And the shitty specialist our parents took us to when we first bonded. No one else knows a damn thing.”

“All Might?” Eraserhead was frowning. And apparently ignoring Deku’s fanboying. Katsuki smirked, clearly their teacher wasn’t used to fans. It made sense, given that he was an underground hero.

“Idiot got his fucking quirk late, and when the damn sludge villain attacked us, All Might could tell Deku couldn’t control his quirk worth shit and offered to teach him so he didn’t fucking hurt himself. He couldn’t teach him, though, without me hanging around. And well… it’s All Might. We trust him.”

“I see.” Eraserhead frowned. “That explains why All Might was asking around this summer about how to train someone with an emitter quirk, specifically.” He ran a hand through his hair, “Yours would have been difficult for him.” His eyes focused on Katsuki, then darted between them, evaluating.

“As your advisor, I’ll meet with you two once a week either before or after school or during lunch. I’ll also meet with each of you individually once a week, same time frame. We can do all the meetings at once or at different times, I don’t care. We’ll figure it out later.” He sighed. “This can count for this week’s meeting with both of you, as I’ll need some time to get paperwork and things together. What do you know about your soul bond?”

Deku began to ramble, “We can’t be that far apart or we’ll start feeling sick. Our bodies are under some sort of strain and will probably start to feel the affects of the unsealed bond umm… soon.” Deku shrugged, “Recovery Girl told us to come see her after school started and she’d check again. Um… the bond is usually sealed with a uh,” he blushed, “a k-kiss. And there will be a mark on our chests afterward that represents our bond. And we’ll gain some sort of ability with it, too. Heroes with soul bonds are usually able to locate each other some how, though…” Deku frowned, “Not always? I haven’t been able to find out.”

Eraserhead blinked. “Well. That’s more than most know, I suppose.” He shrugged, “Part of my responsibility will be to help you understand your bond more.”

Deku frowned, “But I thought… I thought only people with soul bonds know about them.” His eyes widened, “Do you have a soul bond?!”

Eraserhead frowned, “One, don’t ask people that. We’re a secretive bunch for a reason. And two, yes, or else I wouldn’t be one of the advisors.”

“With who?!”

That question earned a groan. “Again, don’t ask people that.” The man rubbed at his temples. “I’ve known you two for less than a day. Stick around for a few months without getting expelled and I may tell you.” He paused, raising one eyebrow, “Though you realize that would mean one more person would know about your bond?”

“Ok!” Deku was practically vibrating with excitement at meeting someone else with a soul bond. “That’s fine! I mean, they’ll keep the secret because they’re your soulmate and they know how important the bond is because they have one too!”

Katsuki wasn’t quite sure what to think. It was… weird. All their lives they’d been told that soulmates were special and unique. That they changed history. And Eraserhead…. Katsuki couldn’t deny that the man was impressive, but, well… he wasn’t All Might.

Maybe he just hadn’t lived up to the soulmate destiny thing, yet?

“We’ll get into more details about the bond next week. As for now….” The hero grimaced, “This is my least favorite part of the advisor role, but it has to be talked about.” He sighed. “Why is your bond unsealed?”

Fuuuck. Katsuki refused to talk about emotions with his teacher. He turned to go, but Deku’s hand grabbed his wrist, his quirk keeping him in place. Katsuki glared at the traitorous loser. “I am not doing this alone, Kacchan.”

He groaned. Shitty nerd. Dumbass soulmate. “Whatever.”

Deku apparently took that as an acquiescence, because he let go of Katsuki’s wrist. And then promptly lost whatever nerve he’d had because he started fidgeting again in front of their teacher. “We grew up together, ok? It’s weird.” He wrinkled his nose. “Kacchan is just Kacchan, I don’t know.”

Eraserhead’s expression gave nothing away as he turned to Katsuki.

“The fucking same.” Katsuki crossed his arms, trying to ignore the feeling like he was lying about something. He didn’t have feelings about the nerd! He didn’t. “He’s just my shitty partner. Probably will feel differently or some shit later on, given the damn bond, but I don’t think about any of that damn shit yet.”

“Well, you can’t seal the bond until you both have feelings for each other and you both want the bond, so we’ll save the how-to conversation for another day, then.”

How-to conversation? What the fuck? “Isn’t it just a damn kiss?”

A slow blink. “The basic act required, yes.” He paused, adding, “Certain other things, like privacy, are advisable. But we’ll talk about those later when we have more time.”

“Then…” Deku frowned, looking down at his feet, “It is a, um… romantic thing? I-It’s just, we’ve had it so long, and we haven’t heard of anyone else with a soul bond like ours, so my Mom said that maybe, maybe ours w-wasn’t—”

“Soulbonds are always romantic matches, the media has that much right. Each partner always falls in love with the other, even if it takes a while, and the two help each other succeed with goals that would seem impossible if done alone.” The man shrugged, “If yours is something different, I’d be surprised, even though you’ve had it for so long.”

“Oh.” Deku bit his lip, looking away from Katsuki.

“Tch.” Katsuki didn’t like it, but… it did make him feel a bit better to know that one day Deku would like him that way.

“Alright.” Eraserhead looked between them with narrowed eyes. “The bond isn’t something you can rush, but you must always be open with each other about how you feel. Talking about it and thinking about your emotions will help. Keep in mind that you’re weaker and more vulnerable with an unsealed bond than with a sealed one.”

Katsuki winced. He knew that, but Deku was fucking dense! How was he supposed to get through to the shitty nerd?

Eraserhead suddenly smiled, and Bakugou felt dread begin to pool in his stomach. “Might as well do a short individual meeting with one of you right now, as well. Bakugou, why don’t you stay?” The teacher brought up a hand to rest on his capture weapon. “Midoriya, go change and get your finger treated before lunch. We’ll walk that way, soon, and stay in a classroom nearby so you two aren’t ever too far from each other.” The man’s face was expressionless as he added, “And why don’t you eat lunch with Todoroki? He was looking lonely this morning.”

Oh, fuck no. Deku always felt bad about people sitting alone and tried to—

“He was?” Deku’s eyes widened. “But that’s... That’s not good. Thank you for telling me, sensei! I’ll do just that!” Before Katsuki could grab him, Deku was running toward the changing rooms.

“What. The. Fuck.”

He turned to glare at his teacher. His teacher that was smirking at him.

“Why the fuck did you tell him to go talk to half-and-half bastard?”

A shrug. “I will do whatever it takes to get through to your teenage brains, and you seem like the jealous type, Bakugou. And from your reaction, I’m right.”

“Like hell! I just don’t want him talking to that useless bastard!” It had nothing to do with—with whatever their teacher thought! And what the hell did he mean about getting through to him?!

“So Todoroki doesn’t intimidate you? Make you wonder if Midoriya would be better with someone else?”

“Fuck you!” He didn’t have Deku’s hero worship. There was no way he was staying for this crap. He turned to leave, only to find his teacher’s capture weapon circled around him, the rope pulled taunt.

Eraserhead stepped forward, head cocked to the side. “Listen, Bakugou. We’re going to walk toward the school, now, and you aren’t going to try to run away, or I will keep you tied up the whole time. We clear?”

Katsuki glared at the teacher. “Like I have a fucking choice, you bastard.”

His teacher shrugged, the ropes loosening from Katsuki and settling back down around Eraserhead’s shoulders. “Let’s walk, then.” He raised an eyebrow when Katsuki didn’t move.

Katsuki growled under his breath. Fucking teacher. How could they be stuck with this damn asshole? He started walking toward the school, though, and Eraserhead followed after him.

“There’s some classrooms in between the nurse’s office and the locker rooms that aren’t being used right now. We’ll talk in one of those.”

The walk was fucking painful. All Katsuki wanted to do was run from this situation. Fuck. Why the hell did he have to talk about the fucking bond with this damn teacher?! Fucking Recovery Girl, trapping them into this shit.

Finally, Eraserhead opened the door to some classroom, gesturing for Katsuki to go inside.

Katsuki refused to sit for this conversation, instead leaning against one of the desks and staring at the teacher.

Eraserhead sighed and hopped up to sit on top of the teacher’s desk. “As your advisor, that means I’m in the unenviable position of keeping you two alive with an unsealed bond. Step one in that process?” Eraserhead glared at him, “Sealing it. You want to protect your soulmate? You want to make sure that he stays your partner? Stop being an idiot and wake up to your own feelings. I’ll do whatever it takes to speed up that process.”

“I already told you! I don’t feel that way yet!”

Eraserhead shook his head, “See, that’s the thing. I believe that from Midoriya, but not from you.” Katsuki’s eyes widened. Shit. No. He didn’t— “Midoriya just looked confused when I mentioned it, but you became defensive.” The hero raised an eyebrow, “Why the difference, Bakugou? Why were you so angry when I sent him to talk to the one boy in the class that beat your scores this morning?”

The desk burned underneath Katsuki’s hands. “Because Deku’s fucking mine!”

Eraserhead glared at him. “Don’t lost your temper and deface school property, or I will expel you, soul bond or no.” Expel him? What the fuck? They couldn’t—“For this week, your homework is to think about what you just said. Think about it long and hard and what exactly it means that Midoriya is ‘yours.’ We’ll talk again next Monday.”

Fuck, he’d have to deal with this emotion shit again next week, too?!

Eraserhead stood up from the desk. “Now, I’m going to go eat my lunch, and I better not see either one of you until class starts. You still have thirty minutes to eat, so go chase down your partner. And don’t take too long changing or you’ll get light headed from the distance.”

With that, the man pushed open the door and left the room.

Katsuki stared at the closed door, anger rippling through him. What the fuck? How dare he barge into his relationship with Deku like this! And what in hell did he mean, think about what it meant that Deku was his? Deku had always been his! Always!

Fuck, the nerd was probably talking with that Half-and-Half Bastard right now! Katsuki jumped up, hurrying to the locker rooms and glaring at anyone he saw in the hallways.

He wasn’t fucking jealous of the bastard! He just… He just hated him. Hated the fact that the bastard had gotten first. Katsuki was supposed to be the best! Not some random Half and Half Bastard! He and Deku had said they would stay at the top, and already that position had been taken from him!

No, Katsuki wasn’t fucking jealous. Deku was his, and always would be. They were fucking soulmates, after all. He wasn’t jealous.

He just hated being fucking weak.

But Katsuki would beat him, the next chance he had. He would.

Katsuki slammed the cafteria doors open, ignoring the startled grumbles and complaints from the lameass extras that were sitting nearby.

Deku.

Deku was waving at him from the center of the cafeteria. Thankfully, Half-and-Half Bastard was nowhere in sight.

Instead, the shitty nerd was with Round Face and Shitface, Katsuki’s own bento in an empty seat on Deku’s right.

Katsuki grimaced. Looks like his soulmate wanted him to play nice with this dumbass extras. He trudged over to the spot, sitting down with soft thump.

Immediately the two extras went silent.

“Kacchan! You made it!”

“I wasn’t going to fucking miss lunch, you shitty nerd.” He looked around cautiously, there wasn’t an empty tray anywhere… “I thought you were going to talk to that Half and Half Bastard.”

Deku frowned, “I’ll have to try some other time. Apparently he never came to the cafeteria, but Iida-kun Uraraka-san invited me to sit with them.” Katsuki nodded absentmindedly, just happy that he didn’t have to deal with the bastard at the moment, though he would also prefer if these two dumbass extras were gone. Katsuki opened up his bento wrap, pulling off the top to reveal the curry inside. He grinned. Auntie had added the extra spices he liked.

“Huh?” He looked up to see Round Face glancing between his bento and Deku’s. “You two have the same bento!”

“Tch.” Katsuki glared at her, “Obviously, it’s not the fucking same. Deku can’t handle any damn spice.”

Shitface was frowning in thought. “It is unusual that they are so similar, though! It looks like the same dish.”

Deku was laughing nervously.

Katsuki rolled his eyes. It was clear the shitty nerd didn’t want people to know they were living together. Katsuki didn’t know why he bothered when people always found out, and eventually added it to the reasons to bully and/or ignore them.

Whatever. He’d lie for the dumbass, for now. “Our moms are friends and trade recipes and shit. They probably thought it would be fucking cute or some shit like that if we had the same meal.”

Deku sagged in relief as Round Face ‘awwed’ at that explanation. Girls were fucking weird. Shitface just nodded in understanding.

“So, Deku-kun—”

“What the fuck?” Katsuki turned to his soulmate, who let out an ‘eep’ of distress, his eyes darting between him and Round Face frantically. “Why’s she calling you Deku, you shitty nerd?”

“Umm…” Deku turned to him nervously, “I didn’t think it was a big deal? She said that it made her think of ‘dekiru,’ like ‘you can do it,’ and I really liked that idea, so I told her she could use it, but I didn’t realize you might not like that, so I’m sorry, Kacchan!”

Round Face blinked in confusion. “Is it like a personal name? I don’t have to use it!” She scratched the back of her head sheepishly. “Sorry if I was too forward.”

“N-n-n-o! That’s not it! Please don’t think that! I’m super happy that you want to be my friend!”

Fuck.

His friend.

Shitty nerd had always wanted friends. Katsuki hated everything about this damn scenario. “It’s not some sun-shiny shit like that! It’s ‘cause I have to do everything for this ass!”

“Kacchan!” The nerd was pouting. Actually pouting. Katsuki’s eye twitched. “Not everything! We’re partners, after all.” He said the last bit quietly, looking at Katsuki uncertainly.

Fuck this. “Of fucking course we are!” Katsuki poked Deku in the forehead with the back of his chopsticks, “but that doesn’t change the fact that you still can’t even remember to tie your damn shoes some mornings.”

“Kaaacchaaan!” Katsuki smirked at the nerd’s mortified face. Deku quickly hid his face in his hands, mumbling, “I just get distracted, that’s all!”

“Uh-huh. And that’s why you’re a fucking Deku.” He looked up to glare at Round Face. “Not because of some dekiru shit.” The last thing he wanted was this dumbass extra using his name for Deku. Then again, the nerd would probably sulk for weeks if he thought Katsuki had taken away some shitty sign of lameass friendship or anything like that. Katsuki sighed, “If you want some shitty friendship nickname just call him Izu-kun like his mom does or Zu-kun or some shit like that.”

“Aw!” Round Face perked up, her giggles stopping finally, “Zu-kun is so cute! Can I call you that, Midoriya?”

The nerd was practically beaming. “Of course!”

Round Face grinned at them, “Thanks for letting me call you that! It’s nice to have a nickname for a friend.” Her smile was too fucking bright. Just like Deku’s. Fuck, this was going to be miserable. Katsuki’d never actually chased possible friends away from Deku, but these two were making that idea tempting. Whatever. He’d just focus on his fucking meal.

“It’s… um, it’s nice to have a friend.” Deku was doing his damn shy smile.

“You’re so sweet, Zu-kun.”

“Eh?” The nerd turned bright red. “No one’s ever said that…. Except for Kacchan’s mom, I guess.”

“How come?!” Round Face actually fucking gasped at that.

Shitface was frowning, “I’ve only known you for a little while, but it’s obvious that you are very kind, Midoriya.”

Katsuki smirked as Deku turned a deeper shade of red and started trying to stutter out his thanks.

Round Face saved him by changing the subject. “I guess you and Bakugou must be really close, though, huh? If you know his mom that well.”

Deku just hummed noncommittally. “Our moms are best friends, so we’ve known each other since we were babies.”

Round Face clapped her hands together. “That explains it!” There was a pause as she scrutinized Katsuki. He glared back at her, one eyebrow raised. In the end she just shrugged, “Sorry, it’s just that you’re both so different.”

“What the fuck?!” She’d only known them for a day! She didn’t get to make statements like that.

Shitface nodded next to her, “There’s the cursing, for starters.”

“Um…” Deku was poking at his food as Katsuki glared at them both.

“There’s nothing wrong with fucking cursing, you dumbasses!”

Deku just shrugged next to him, “Kacchan’s always talked that way.” Suddenly he grinned, “Though my mom can get him to stop sometimes.”

“Deku! You damn traitor!” He circled his arm around Deku’s neck, pulling him into a headlock and rubbing at his head with his fist.

Deku squawked, arms flailing, “Kacchan! Kacchan noooo!” He pushed a little harder against Katsuki’s side, “I need to eat, Kacchan!”

“Tch.” He released the nerd, “Then eat your damn food and don’t talk about shit like that.”

Deku pouted. “Kacchan, it was just a joke.”

Katsuki glared at him, but went back to shoveling the curry down his throat, ignoring Round Face’s amused grin and Shitface’s alarmed expression.

Deku kept talking with the damn extras, but Katsuki ignored them for the rest of lunch, focusing instead on his meal. Even if he hated them, he’d figure out how to live with these two dumbasses somehow, if Deku wanted him to.

He would.

Though he really fucking wished he didn’t have to.

Chapter Text

When they got to school the next day, Round Face and Shitface came over and talked with Deku as all the seats gradually filled.

Well, all except one.

Katsuki could feel the awkward tension as all the dumbasses tried to avoid looking at the empty desk behind Deku. Round Face’s eyes awkwardly strayed to the desk every now and then, and Shitface had positioned his back to the desk so that he could avoid looking at it.

When the door banged open, though, all the extras scrambled to take their seats as Eraserhead strolled into the room, some new extra trailing behind him.

The man stopped behind his desk, giving them a bored look, “You should all be in your seats when I get here. Every second is valuable.” Eraserhead sighed, motioning vaguely to the extra standing beside him. “This is Shinsou Hitoshi. He was a General Studies student, but he beat Mineta this morning in a spar, so he will be your new classmate. Shinsou, take the empty desk.”

The class murmured a welcome, and the new extra made his way past Katsuki. The lameass looked like he could use some fucking sleep.

Whatever. Katsuki didn’t care who their classmates were. He and Deku would kill them all.

The rest of the morning was damn boring. English was with Cockatoo (who was outraged Eraserhead hadn’t made them introduce themselves the day before and promptly made them go through that shit), then Math with Clone dude and Literature with Cement Block.

Lunch was fucking torture as Deku sat with the two annoying extras again. At least Auntie had given them different bentos today, though, so no one commented on their food. Round Face tried to talk to Katsuki a few times, but thankfully she got the message pretty fast that, unlike Deku, Katsuki didn’t want be their shitty friend.

After lunch, though, things finally became more interesting. All Might burst into the room, banging the door open and shouting, “I am here! Coming through the door like a normal person!”

Dumbass. As if that entrance was normal.

Katsuki smirked. At least the hero was in his silver age costume—the best one. .

All Might was blathering on about his class, when suddenly he mentioned—“Combat?” Katsuki perked up in his seat, grinning.

Fuck yeah, it was about damn time!

“For that, you will need these!” All Might gestured to the wall and a bunch of compartments opened up, revealing suitcases with large numbers on them. “These costumes were made based on your quirk registrations and the information and requests you sent to the school! Keeping in mind, of course, our budget. So go grab your costume, get changed, and meet me in ground beta!”

“Hell yes!” He and Deku scrambled toward the suitcases, quickly grabbing the two with their student numbers.

They better have fucking made it with all the directions they’d sent in! His suitcase was large, so hopefully that was a good sign. Everyone practically ran to the changing rooms. Deku slipped into the last free individual stall, but there was no way Katsuki was waiting for some shit like that.

Katsuki set the suitcase on a bench near the wall and opened it up with an eager grin.

Perfect.

The grenade arm braces were on top—pristine, and exactly what he’d asked for. Well, appearance-wise. Hopefully they worked as well, too. There was a meter on the back with a light showing that they were full of nitroglycerin, though the smaller grenades were empty—a note left about budget restrictions, but that he should be able to fill them up himself easily.

The shoulder brace fit snug around his neck, providing it some support as well, and the ear pieces, mask, actual costume, and belt all fit snug, so the support department had used the proper measurements. The black bandana with green lightning bolts was fucking awesome, too. They’d even added a jagged orange lining to the thing. The bandana had been a last minute addition after All Might’s smoke training, but Katsuki was glad to have it. And the huge black and orange combat boots were fucking awesome! Sturdy as hell, too.

He hurried to put everything on, leaving the grenade arm-supports for last. After Katsuki pulled the second one on, fixing its clasps, he tested the weight and spread out his palms to let out a few sparks.

Fuck yes.

The explosions came through the gloves perfectly, just like the Old Hag had said they would.

“You look awesome, Kacchan!” Katsuki looked up to see Deku grinning at him, already changed into his full costume.

And fuck, but he looked good.

The nerd had initially wanted some puke-green rabbit jump suit, but thank god Katsuki had persuaded the dumbass against that shit.

This suit… Katsuki’s mouth was suddenly dry. This suit was black, with green lines on his shoulders and sides—the same green of Katsuki’s own grenades. Around his neck was a green bandana, just in case he ended up in Katsuki’s smoke. The green gloves and boots had black stripes and looked fucking sturdy, which was good, since they were supposed to help brace him when he used his quirk.

And the zero in the center… the zero for Deku’s hero name, the zero that marked him as Katsuki’s partner, was a bright orange—Katsuki’s favorite color and the same orange as the X across Katsuki’s chest.

Katsuki swallowed, “I thought your belt was going to be the only orange you had?”

Deku looked down self-consciously. “Does it look bad? I thought about it, and I figured it would be a lot of green, and your colors are more balanced, but you were sleeping, so I asked your mom and she said it would look fine, but if it looks bad I’m sure I could ask them to change—”

“No.” Katsuki shook his head firmly, “No. Keep it. It looks good.”

Fuck! It looked really good. To see Deku in something that he’d helped design… to have them both match.

He screwed his eyes shut in frustration.

Shit.

Fuck, Deku made him feel so…

“Kacchan?” The shitty nerd’s voice was worried and nervous, “Are you sure it looks good?”

Katsuki opened his eyes, pushing down his emotions. He smirked, “You look like you’re about ready to kill some shit. It’s fucking amazing.”

A bright grin lit up his soulmate’s face, making Katsuki’s stomach twist. “Thanks, Kacchan!”

“The grenades good?” Katsuki motioned to the two grenade-shaped containers on Deku’s belt, hanging next to some green pouches.

“Yup!” Deku nodded, “The instructions said that one is a flash bomb and the other one a smoke bomb, just like I asked for!”

“Fucking awesome.”

They’d added those to Deku’s costume design back when he was quirkless, but they still might be useful, so Deku’d decided to keep them around, even though he now had a quirk.

Katsuki quickly folded his uniform and set it in the suitcase, locking it and leaving it on the bench as the instructions by the door requested.

The other guys had mostly finished changing, and a few of them—like Shitty Hair and Pikachu—were wandering around and exclaiming how awesome everyone else looked. Katsuki rolled his eyes. Most of them looked like shit, that’s how they looked.

Katsuki shouldered past them all, heading outside and into Ground Beta, Deku following behind him at first, but then stepping out next to him once they got through the crowd.

Gen Studies guy was already out there, wearing the gym clothes Eraserhead had given them yesterday. Katsuki supposed that would change once the support department made the guy a costume.

If the extra even lasted that long.

Deku looked like he was about to go talk to the extra, but then Round Face showed up, clamoring about how cool Deku looked and asking him about the zero. Deku had barely stammered out an answer explaining his hero name before everyone else started arriving.

Katsuki zoned out as All Might started going on about costumes making the hero or some shit like that, but then Deku nudged his shoulder—oh. They were finally getting some instructions. It seemed pretty damn straightforward. They would be in groups of two, and the two heroes had fifteen minutes to capture the two villains with capture tape or touch the fake bomb that the villains would be guarding.

Fucking easy.

Roles and partners would be decided supposedly at random, though Katsuki highly doubted that, considering that he and Deku weren’t allowed to fight each other.

“And now I will announce the teams!” All Might made a show of drawing two pieces of paper out of a box. “Team A will be Todoroki and Kirishima!”

That was… Katsuki frowned. Half-and-Half Bastard and… he looked around, gauging people’s reactions. Shitty Hair?

“Team B will be Shinsou and Yaoyorozu!” Ponytail smiled politely at the Gen Studies extra, so that must be them.

“Team C will be Iida and Uraraka!” Shitface and Round Face got really happy.

“Team D will be Bakugou and Midoriya!”

Fuck yes! Katsuki grinned. All Might was letting them try out their costumes together! Deku let out a sigh of relief next to him. “I’m glad I’m with you, Kacchan.”

“The other team is going to fucking die.” There was no way he and Deku could lose, not when they were teamed up together.

“Of course!” Deku grinned at him, his eyes bright and determined.

Katsuki’s brain did not stutter to a halt.

And he definitely didn’t space out while All Might was announcing the rest of the teams.

“—and Team D will be the heroes!”

“Kacchan, that’s us! We’re first!” Deku grabbed his wrist, pulling him to the side as All Might told the villains to get in place and the rest of the class went to an observation room.

Katsuki shook himself out of his daze, “Who’re the fucking villains?”

“Todoroki and Kirishima.”

Katsuki growled, “Half-and-half Bastard.”

Deku rolled his eyes, “Yes, him and the boy with the red hair.”

Red ha... Katsuki caught sight of him. Shitty Hair.

“Tch.” Damn it, All Might! Those papers had definitely not been fucking random!

“Kacchan… I’m not going to lie, I really don’t like our chances with this match up.”

Katsuki turned to glare at Deku. “I don’t care who our damn opponent is, we’re going to fucking destroy them!”

“Of course!” Deku waved his hands around defensively. “It’s just… their quirks are a bad match for us. Especially, um… especially for you.”

“Half-and-Half Bastard has ice, right? And Shitty Hair can make himself hard?”

“You…you remember their quirks?!” Deku stared at him in shock.

“Tch.” Katsuki looked off to the side. “Like you said, they’re not a good match up for me. Of course I fucking remember who those bastards are. We’re still going to fucking destroy them, though. We can both break the bastard’s ice, and Shitty Hair will survive a fall, so all we have to do is toss him out a fucking window.”

“Kacchan! We’re supposed to be the heroes!”

“He’ll be fucking fine, and you know it.” Katsuki shrugged, “Plus he’s slow, so it’ll take him a damn long time to get back to wherever the fight is.”

Deku groaned. “I mean, you’re not wrong, but that’s not very nice, Kacchan.”

“Whatever, I’ll do it if you’re too much of a damn wuss.”

“Kacchan!”

“You could put the damn tape on him, but his arm looked fucking sharp when he hardened it yesterday, so he can probably cut it.”

“Kacchan, no, I mean look!” Deku pointed toward the building. The building that was beginning to turn to ice. They watched as it spread throughout the bottom floor, then slowly began to climb upwards.

“Shit.”

“Todoroki-kun must have practiced a lot with his emitter quirk, like you.”

“Fuck him!” Katsuki glared at the walls. “That’ll make it damn hard for me to sweat.”

Deku frowned, “Let me try to destroy the ice first. Save the nitroglycerin you’ve got stored up for later, we’ll probably need it.”

“Damn right.” Katsuki frowned as the ice grew throughout the building. “He’s going to make the place a fucking ice fortress,” Katsuki kicked the ground in frustration, “and we have to just stand here and let him.”

“We’re faster than Kirishima.” Katsuki rolled his shoulders, stretching his muscles loose as the nerd began his familiar muttering. “Between our better mobility and the tactic of using his defense against him, he shouldn’t be too much of an issue. That leaves Todoroki. I can most likely build up speed faster than Todoroki in an enclosed space. If we need to distance ourselves, we have my smoke bomb and flash bomb, as well as your smokescreen, if you can explode enough things. We can break whatever ice Todoroki makes, though that will eat up our time. We need to figure out where the bomb is as fast as possible so that we don’t waste extra time breaking ice. As long as we have a clear path to the bomb, we should be able to reach it with ease—”

“So that’s the fucking priority, then. Who do you think will be guarding it?”

“I don’t know, honestly. Kirishima’s better at defense, but Todoroki would be better at keeping both of us away at once.”

“Time! The heroes may enter the building!”

“Well, that’s our fucking cue. Let’s find the damn bomb and blow shit up.”

“If they went through all that effort to start the ice from the bottom floor and build it upward, I doubt the bomb is on the first floor. Let’s start in the middle, Kacchan.”

“Whatever.” Katsuki blasted upwards looking through a window to see if the coast was clear. “We’ve got a fucking problem!”

“What?”

Katsuki let himself do a controlled fall back to the ground. “The building’s walls aren’t just frozen. The bastard froze everything. The whole place is a solid fucking piece of ice.”

Deku frowned, cocking his head to the side as he looked upwards at the building. “Fly us to the roof, then. That was the last place he froze, so we may not have to break through as much.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, turning his back toward his soulmate. “Then get the fuck on.”

“Aw, it’s like old times, Kacchan.” Deku looped two glowing red fingers through the holes in Katsuki’s shoulder braces as he jumped up onto Katsuki’s back, steadying himself with a leg on either side. “A bit easier with my quirk, though.”

“I’m damn happy that it’s easier for you.” Katsuki’s palms lit up, sending them both into the sky, “You’ve gotten fucking heavy, you shitty nerd.”

“It’s all the muscle!”

“Yeah right.” Katsuki landed and almost immediately after Deku jumped off a shiver ran through Katsuki’s entire body. “Fuck! It’s fucking cold. How the hell is Shitty Hair handling this? His costume doesn’t even have a damn shirt.”

Deku smirked, walking toward a nearby corner as he called back to Katsuki, “Bet you he isn’t handling it well, at all.”

Damn it. Deku should not be allowed to smirk right now. It was damn distracting. Katsuki shook his head roughly, trying to get his mind back on track, “Where was the last damn place that froze solid?”

“Over here.” Deku pointed to where he was standing. “We need to figure out if we’ll be destroying the bomb or not before we break through, though!”

“Tch.” There was no way to do that from the roof. “I’ll look through some windows. Even if the room’s frozen solid, I should at least see a shadow or something if the bomb is near it.”

“Check all of them and let me know if you see any sign of Kirishima or Todoroki, too.”

Fuck, that would take a while. And a lot of his stored up sweat, too. He hated being this damn cautious, but he understood why Deku was insisting on it.

Katsuki leapt off the building. He’d just have to be as quick as possible. He could see his breath as he flew, and he fucking hated it.

And every. damn. window. was. solid. ice.

“Fuck him!” Katsuki landed back on the roof, stomping across the surface in annoyance, “They aren’t near the edge.”

Deku grinned at him, “Then let’s see what 3% can do to the edge of this roof. Be ready to catch me if I fall.”

“Of fucking course.”

Deku’s grin widened.

It did not make Katsuki feel things.

Deku went toward where the building had been frozen last, red lightning beginning to flash around his arm. He pulled back, then struck down hard.

The gutter collapsed on the side of the building, and there were a few large cracks running down it, but other than that, nothing happened.

“Fuck. That ice is damn solid.” Katsuki growled in frustration. “Bastard has to have a limit, though. Everyone does.” Katsuki marched over to where Deku was, shoving the nerd back. “Stay back. I’ll use the fucking gauntlet.”

Deku scrambled backwards as Katsuki held out his hand, grenade pointed downward, and pulled the pin. If they made this correctly and loaded a test shot in each as he’d asked, then this should be damn powerful.

BOOM

The resulting blast flung him backwards and into the air, but he caught himself just fine, landing next to a stunned Deku.

The corner of the building was completely gone.

The two of them approached the blast zone, looking down cautiously.

“Fuck yeah!”

“You… you probably shouldn’t aim those at people, Kacchan.” Deku stared at the destructive path, dazed. “And we really should have checked the windows lower down, first.” He shook his head, “I didn’t realize how—”

“Who the fuck cares. Bomb wasn’t there or the practice would’ve been called, so let’s keep on damn going.”

Katsuki jumped off the ledge, propelling himself through the air and looking at each level. The blast hadn’t leveled the entire side, but everything from the top two thirds or so of the corner was gone. Of course, they were still looking at a bunch of hallways filled with solid ice. “Tch.”

About halfway down, though, Katsuki smirked, “Oi dumbass! The ice is weaker on this level! I bet the bastard did the outside walls first and then holed himself up in the middle of the building so that we’d wear ourselves out trying to fucking find him.”

Deku jumped off the roof, and Katsuki grunted in annoyance as he the shitty nerd landed on his back. “Fucking warn me next time, dumbass.” He got closer to the weaker ice. “See if your punch can handle this.”

Deku pulled his arm back, green lightning flashing around it, and punched. Shards of ice flew everywhere.

“Fucking knew it.” The nerd had cleared a little over a foot of ice. Not a lot, but enough to clear a small ledge.

Deku vaulted over Katsuki’s back and onto the ledge, feet sliding slightly on the icy landing. “Damn it, I’m not your personal jungle gym, Deku!”

The nerd just laughed and delivered another two punches to the ice, this time clearing enough space for Katsuki to land next to him.

They’d still barely managed to clear maybe five feet. “Fuck, this is going to take the whole damn time.” He kicked the wall in frustration.

Katsuki glanced at the second gauntlet. It was early, but Katsuki would still have a few explosions, afterwards, and he could always spar hand to hand until he managed to sweat a bit more…

“I’m using the second gauntlet.”

“Eh?!” Deku stared at him. “But we’re inside the building! We don’t know what could happen if you use that, here, and we might need it later! Plus we don’t know where he put the bomb and you could hit that—”

“The whole building’s a fucking ice cube, it won’t collapse or any shit like that. And we’ll lose too much damn time if we keep going at this rate. And Half-and-half bastard’s not an idiot. The bomb will be in the center where it’s hardest for us to reach it. I’ll clear a whole damn lot more than your punch, but you saw the explosion earlier—it won’t be enough to reach the fucking center. This ice is weaker, but it’s more densely packed than the shit on the edge.”

Deku bit his lip, glancing at the few feet he’d managed to clear, “But—”

“I’m fucking doing it. Get behind me and reinforce our damn stance so we don’t fly off the shitty ledge and waste more of the nitroglycerin.”

Deku sighed, “Fine. You’re always so stubborn, Kacchan.”

Deku’s arms wrapped around his waist and Katsuki glanced down, happy to see the green lightning flickering around Deku’s legs like he’d asked. He held out his left hand toward the center of the building and pulled the pin out, “Die!”

An icy wind blew past them, Deku’s arms tightened around Katsuki’s torso.

Fuck, what was wrong with him?! Now was not the time for thoughts about that—

The smoke from the debris was clearing. He’d taken out a huge chunk of ice, along with part of a wall, so they were now several meters (maybe 10?) into the building.

“Tch.” His eyes landed on the hallway to the left, which had taken more damage than the other two, despite being further from his blast. “That ice is damn weak, so it’s probably what the Bastard did last.”

“Yeah.” Deku walked toward it, arm pulled back. “I’ll get us there, Kacchan. Save your blasts.”

“Damn right.” In the mean time, though, Katsuki was fucking useless. He didn’t have enough stored nitroglycerin to help with the shitty ice, and it was too damn cold in here to work up a good sweat with ease.

“Fuck it.” Katsuki straightened. “I’ll be lookout.” They still didn’t know what Shitty Hair was up to, but Katsuki doubted he was holed up with the Bastard. Dumbass would be frozen solid.

As if he’d been summoned, Katsuki heard the ice crunching outside. He went to the ledge, then started laughing as he looked down.

Shitty Hair had his arms hardened and was using them to dig into the ice and climb up the wall toward them.

He tapped their com, turning it on. “Deku, we’ve got a fucking visitor. I’ll handle him. You keep digging.”

“Got it!”

The nerd better make some good progress, “Just keep following the weak ice.”

“I know Kacchan!”

A spike of red hair became visible, and a second later Shitty Hair was standing on the icy ledge.

“Man, it’s freaking cold!” The guy was shivering, rubbing his hands together as he turned toward Katsuki.

Katsuki just smirked, falling into a fighting stance with his hands held out. “It’s your own partner’s fault. Though, it’d be a damn shame if you fucking fell after climbing all up all that shit.” A skirmish was just what Katsuki fucking needed to build up some sweat.

Shitty Hair grinned, “You too are like, super manly, figuring out our plan this fast and getting this far so quickly, but I’m gonna have to make you stop that. You know,” he shrugged, “because I’m the villain and all.”

“So you’re getting into the monologue thing, too?” Katsuki rolled his eyes, then propelled himself forward with a blast from his left hand, bringing up his right to deliver a punch.

A punch that hit a rock solid arm.

Fuck! That hurt. He twisted around, this time delivering an explosion to the guy’s chest.

Still rock hard and no response but a cheeky grin.

“Your whole body can do that?”

“Yup!” A cheeky grin, “My quirk’s hardening!”

“Good.” Katsuki grinned, and Shitty Hair took a step back warily. “Why do you—”

The path was too narrow, so he couldn’t fling Shitty Hair out like he’d planned, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t follow through with the same fucking idea. Katsuki charged forward, grabbing Shitty Hair’s wrist and flipping himself over the extra’s shoulder so that Katsuki was holding the dumbass’ wrist behind his back, making retaliation almost fucking impossible.

“What the hell, man?”

Step by step, Katsuki backed toward the ledge, pulling the extra with him. “Capture tape won’t fucking work with you, right? You’d just cut the damn shit.”

“Maybe, but what’re you—” the dumbass finally figured it out as they reached the edge of the ice, “Oh, hell no!” His free arm reached for the wall, but Katsuki jumped backward and gave his right arm a harsh twist, pulling him away from the wall and into the air.

As Katsuki let go of the extra’s wrist, though, Shitty Hair’s other hand latched onto his gauntlet and clung to it, weighing him down.

“Bro!! Not ok!” the guy grunted, not letting go despite the powerful explosions from Katsuki’s hands.

Fuck, this guy was heavier than Deku.

To the ground, then.

Katsuki smirked, raising his free hand and letting off a powerful blast that sent them both hurtling toward the earth. Right before they hit the ground, Katsuki flipped his feet up, using the force of the fall to ram them into the guy’s chest. The second Shitty Hair gasped in pain, releasing the gauntlet, Katsuki rolled away from the extra.

Katsuki staggered to his feet. Shit. He might have enough for one or two more good explosions, but that was it.

He really needed a damn spar.

“Man, you’re insane.” Shitty Hair groaned, slowly standing up, “Anyone else would’ve been a goner from an attack like that.”

The dumbass shook his head, probably trying to clear it, then straightened and charged toward Katsuki, both arms hardened again.

Fuck yes.

“Die!” Katsuki met his charge, ducking under his arm and twisting to land a kick to his ribs.

Not even a flinch, and Katsuki would definitely have a damn bruise there, now.

He spun out of Shitty Hair’s attack range. That was fine. If physical attacks didn’t work, he’d just have to work up some more sweat.

The air was thankfully warmer outside of the building, even if it was still damn cold.

A familiar bead of liquid trickled down his palm as Katsuki dodged another blow.

Katsuki grinned, rolling to the side to dodge another attack.

He could keep dodging this extra for a little bit longer. It’s not like he could help Deku up there, not until he had more sweat or the nerd reached the center room.

“Would you stay still, man? Jeez!” Another swing.

Swing after swing after swing, and Shitty Hair couldn’t fucking touch him—the extra’s speed had nothing on Deku or All Might. Katsuki smirked as he dodged away once again, this time jumping back a few feet, getting closer to the building.

Shitty Hair let out a shout of frustration, then charged forward again, still swinging. They continued the skirmish, Katsuki carefully inching toward the building’s wall.

Shitty Hair wiped the sweat off of his brow, his breath heavy. “Dude. What gives? We both know you could just fly back up there and ignore me.”

Katsuki grinned, “Like I’d fucking tell you.”

Shitty Hair shrugged, “Thanks for making it easier on me, then!” He charged forward again, arm raised.

This time, Katsuki just side-stepped, letting the guy bury his arm in the ice behind him before twisting around and releasing a barrage of explosions at his back.

The guy groaned, collapsing as a few burns finally appeared.

Katsuki stepped back, “Finally!” Katsuki laughed, “Found your fucking limit.” Now the guy shouldn’t be able to climb the ice again with his hardened limbs. “There’s plenty of shitty ice around here once you get your damn arm free.” With that, he flew up toward the ledge, speaking into the com, “Got more nitroglycerin and Shitty Hair won’t be coming back to fucking surprise us. Where the fuck are you?”

“Almost to the center, this place is like a maze.” He could fucking tell—it was clear Deku had taken a wrong turn once or twice, but Katsuki’s path was easy to follow. “We need to hurry, Kacchan. We’ve been here a while, and there can’t be much time left.“

“Good thing I restocked, then.” He turned the corner to where Deku stood, almost at the heart of the building. There was a door visible through the ice.

“Kacchan!” Deku spun around. “That is good, but we have to be careful, remember?”

“Yeah, yeah. I won’t let off one that’s too damn big. Now fucking step back.”

The shitty nerd fucking rolled his eyes at him. “Fine. As long as you’re careful.” Katsuki whacked the back of the nerd’s head. He’d pay for that later.

Now, though, he held up his hand and let loose. The door burst inward, exploding into pieces that flew throughout the room.

In the center, Half-and-Half Bastard stood, his body frosted over slightly and the bomb frozen behind him, a layer of ice about five feet thick completely covering it.

“Fuck.” Surely the bastard was almost out of fucking ice, though? “Deku, you work on the damn ice. I’ll take the Bastard.”

“Got it!”

Green lightning flashed and Deku darted forward, then slipped and went crashing into the wall.

Fuck.

The Bastard’s leg stretched toward Deku and a wall of ice darted toward the shitty nerd as he stood up, but Katsuki reached it first—an explosion splintering the ice before it could touch his soulmate.

“I’m your fucking opponent, bastard.” Katsuki smirked. The ice had definitely been slower to form than it had yesterday in the quirk tests.

The Bastard was near his limit.

Half-and-Half’s eyes darted between Katsuki and Deku, whose legs flashed green as he jumped and slid straight toward the bomb.

Icicles went flying toward Deku, but Katsuki let loose an explosion that blew across the center of the room. Ice shards flew everywhere, one cutting his cheek, another his upper arm.

Katsuki ignored the pain, flying to position himself in between Deku and Half-and-Half.

Out of the corner of his eye, Katsuki saw green lightning had switched to red, meaning that Deku was punching the bomb.

Now the Bastard was skating to Katsuki’s right, so he turned to focus on him, sending another explosion—

“TIME!!! Villain team wins! Please make your way out of the building and head towards the observation room for a debrief.”

“Fuck!” Katsuki’s palms exploded in rage. They’d been so fucking close!!! And for most of the time, this damn fucking ice bastard had just sat there, while they’d been forced to slowly chip away at his fucking ice cube!

Slowly, Katsuki turned to look at the bomb. Deku had gotten halfway through the ice layered around it—the nerd had just needed a few more seconds.

“Damn it all!” Katsuki kicked a chunk of ice at his feet.

“Sorry, Kacchan. I just didn’t—”

“Shut up, Deku.”

His soulmate winced.

Fuck.

“Just…” he let out a shout of frustration, then clenched his eyes shut, trying to contain how much he wanted to lash out in anger. If the nerd had just hit a bit harder, if Katsuki had spent less time stocking up—Fuck it all! “I know you had to be fucking careful. Whatever.”

Deku gave him a hesitant grin, but Katsuki just growled and turned on his heel, heading back outside.

They’d lost.

They’d fucking lost.

And all because of a time limit!

They’d have won the damn thing, if they’d just had a few more seconds! If Katsuki had spent less time fighting Shitty Hair…. But he hadn’t known how much damn nitroglycerin he would need!

Ignoring the steam rising around them as the Half-and-Half Bastard melted his ice, Katsuki stormed back through the hallways, explosions popping from his hands.

“Kacchan!” Deku grabbed his arm, and Katsuki automatically stopped the explosions. “Kacchan, we’ll win next time, ok? We’ll learn to be more aware of time and to be faster and we’ll win.”

“Tch.” Katsuki fought against the rage churning through him. “Damn right, we will.”

Deku grinned, clapping Katsuki on the shoulder before his legs lit up with green lightning and he jumped off the ledge, landing on the ground with ease.

“Damn it.” Their first hero exercise, and he’d fucking lost to that Half-and-Half Bastard again. Katsuki jumped off after Deku, annoyed at the slide of ice that formed behind him. He just barely resisted the urge to turn around and blow it up.

Shitty Hair was still down there, leaning his back against a block of ice. “Man, did you have to do the explosions at the end, there? I was already immobile because of my arm.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Stop whining about it. I had to make sure you couldn’t climb back up with your arms hardened again.”

Shitty Hair just groaned, slowly standing up as All Might called out to them through the loud speaker, giving them directions to the observation area.

Once they arrived, Raccoon Eyes was immediately in his face, “That was awesome!”

“What… the fuck? We lost.” Katsuki looked around in complete confusion at the extras, who were all… smiling? And telling him he’d done a good job? “It wasn’t a fucking good job! We lost! If that shit had been real, the bomb would’ve fucking detonated!”

“Dude, you two were up against a freaking iceberg and maze, all in one.” Pikachu shrugged, “I wouldn’t have been able to do a thing in that situation.”

Most of the class voiced their agreement.

“Tch.” Katsuki glared at the extras. So what if they wouldn’t have been able to do anything? He and Deku were different! Their team should have been able to win! “I don’t—”

Deku’s hand clamped down over Katsuki’s mouth.

“Thanks!” Deku’s voice sounded damn cheerful, but Katsuki could tell it was fucking fake. Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched as he pulled the nerd’s hand away and stalked over to a corner, watching Deku be all happy as the extras complemented him.

Well. Deku wasn’t faking the happiness at the compliments, even if Katsuki knew the nerd was annoyed by the loss, too.

All Might cleared his throat, and everyone quieted down and turned toward the teacher. “Not that you four have arrived, let’s start with the debrief. Young Bakugou, I’m aware of why you spent so long fighting Kirishima because I could hear your conversation, but your classmates were confused about that aspect of your strategy with Midoriya. Would you explain it to them?”

Bakugou shrugged. He didn’t particularly like revealing one of his weaknesses to these extras, but if All Might wanted him to… whatever. Not like it would matter if these fuckers knew. “My quirk is explosion.” He stretched his hand out in front of him, letting loose a few small pops. “I can create explosions in my palms because my sweat comes out as nitroglycerin. I have storage containers and such in my costume, so I already had some nitroglycerin when the fight started, but, in general, unless I sweat, I can’t explode a damn thing.”

Frog girl tilted her head to the side, ““So you were up against two quirks that put you at a disadvantage, and your group still almost won. That is impressive, Bakugou-kun.”

“Who the fuck cares?” Katsuki glared at the extras. “Eraserhead said it yesterday— a hero should be able to turn shitty odds in their damn favor. It doesn’t fucking matter if you get a shit match, you still have to win!”

Ponytail nodded. “But you were doing that, weren’t you?” She tapped her chin thoughtfully, “With Todoroki-san’s ice making the area so cold, it would be difficult for you to sweat. You were running out of ammunition, so you used your other enemy to fix the problem, instead of letting him become an additional obstacle, though he easily could have been one with his quirk.”

“Tch.” Katsuki looked off to the side, annoyed. “Still wasn’t fucking enough.”

“Wait, so you were just using me to get a workout? That’s so unmanly, dude!” Kirishima groaned, “I feel so weak right now.”

Katsuki shrugged, not in the mood to play nice and talk with the dumbasses.

He barely listened to the rest of the debrief—All Might thought they should have been more damn cautious in a few places, but their teamwork had been good (no shit) and their plans had been fine, they had just been a bit too slow.

Tch.

He already fucking knew all that.

The rest of the matches were shit. It was pretty damn obvious that most of the extras hadn’t been able to train with their quirks much before UA, for whatever reason.

Bird Head could become annoying, Ponytail’s quirk was interesting, but the Gen Studies guy… It was easy to see how the other extra had lost his spot in the class. Katsuki did not want to face that Brain Fucker as an enemy. Not with Deku at Katsuki’s side. Not until they knew enough about the quirk to work around it.

The potential that something could go wrong… Katsuki shuddered, remembering Recovery Girl’s warning.

After everyone had gone, All Might told them to change out of their costumes and see Recovery Girl for their minor injuries before they went home.

As if.

A few scrapes were nothing compared to some of the days they’d come home after training with the hero. Deku’s hand on his wrist, though, kept Katsuki from heading straight to the locker room. “Kacchan, can you wait a minute? I want to ask All Might if he has any training ideas. If I’d just been a bit stronger…” Deku frowned, looking off to the side. “I need to be stronger next time.”

“Damn right, we do.” Katsuki’s hands clenched into fists and he looked off to the side, frustrated.

“Kacchan…” Katsuki looked up to see Deku’s watery eyes.

Shit.

“I’m sorry. We would’ve won if I’d just been stronger and I know how much winning means to you and it’s my fault and—”

“Fuck, stop that shit.” Katsuki groaned. “We’ll get stronger and we’ll kill them next time, right?”

“Right!” Deku’s smile was wobbly, but the nerd had a determined glint in his eyes as he went over to talk with All Might.

“Oi! Bakugou!”

Damn it. Katsuki really didn’t want to deal with any of the fucking extras right now. “What the fuck do you want, Shitty Hair?” Bakugou turned around, glaring at him.

“Shitty Hair?” The guy shrugged and grinned nervously, “Whatever, dude. Anyway, even if you were just using me, that spar was really fun. Do you think we could do that again sometime?”

Katsuki stared at the dumbass. “You want me to pound your ass into the dirt again?"

“Well, it was into ice, technically, but yeah! I need to work on my endurance for my quirk, and you can use your explosions against me without worrying about me getting hurt, right?”

“No way in hell.” Katsuki turned to leave, ignoring the extra’s frown. He’d wait for Deku in the damn locker room or a restroom or some shitty place like that.

“Come on, man! We’re here to get better, right? And this would help both of us!”

Fuck him! Katsuki turned around to glare at the asshole, “Do you even fucking know the procedure to set something like that up?” Katsuki had been in enough school fights to know that shit wasn’t encouraged, and the excuse of ‘it was a friendly spar’ never worked. Since it was a hero school, UA probably had some way for students to spar, but Katsuki sure as hell wasn’t looking that shit up.

It wasn’t like he wanted to spar any of these extras. Not when he had Deku and could work on his quirk on his own.

Shitty Hair just waved his hand dismissively, “Nah, but I’ll find out! It’s UA, they’ve got to have a way to do something like that, right?” The guy’s grin was like Deku’s, bright and unwavering.

Damn him.

“I’m not looking for another damn sparring partner. I’ve already got Deku.”

“Well yeah, and he’s awesome and totally welcome to join us, but my quirk is practically made to take hits from yours without any problem. You’d have to worry about burning Midoriya, right?”

Katsuki glared at the extra.

“Eh?” Fuck, Deku was back. And the look in the nerd’s eyes spelled mischief. “Are you making a friend, Kacchan?”

“Fuck no!” The dumbass was way too excited by that shitty idea.

“I was just asking Bakugou if he wanted to spar with me every now and then for training.”

“Really?! I think that’s a great idea!” Deku began to vibrate with excitement, his earlier tears apparently forgotten. Normally Katsuki would be happy about that, but right now he was just annoyed.

“You would. Look, I don’t want to make shitty friends like you do, Deku.”

“He didn’t say friendship, he said sparring!”

“Yeah? Funny, because that’s sure as hell not why you’re all excited about it.”

“But Kaaacchaaan.” Deku flung himself at Katsuki’s arm, clinging to it and whinging, “You like sparring!”

Katsuki groaned, shoving his soulmate off of his arm and turning to walk down the hallway, “Shit, Deku—”

“Kacchan,” His voice was firmer, more determined. “We’ll use whatever we can to get better, right?”

Katsuki froze. How dare the nerd—he didn’t want to fucking deal with any other damn person— he only needed Deku, no one else—

Deku’s hand was on his shoulder, now. “I’ll do strength training while you and Kirishima-kun spar. We’ll get better together.”

“I can work on my damn quirk without anyone else.”

Deku circled around to stand in front of him, smiling softly, “You can, sure, but you’ll get better faster if you have an opponent, right?”

“Damn it.”

Deku tackled him, causing Katsuki to stagger slightly, “What the fuck, I haven’t said yes, yet, Deku!”

“You basically did!”

Shitty Hair was staring at them, confused. “‘Damn it’ means yes?”

Deku grinned at the extra, “It means he’s giving in!”

Katsuki shoved the nerd off of him, trying to ignore how nice the hug had felt, how much he’d wanted to wrap his arms around Deku, how much—

Fuck.

Katsuki ignored the two with their damn annoying smiles and turned to head toward the locker room. “I’m going to change out of this damn costume already. If you want to do this shit, figure out the details by yourselves.” He did not flee. It was… a strategic retreat.

A retreat to let him calm the fuck down and sort out what was going on in his damn head.

He’d… he’d always been willing to do whatever Deku asked, but now… the thought of Deku being annoyed with him for not doing this… it felt like an ice pick was stabbing his heart.

Katsuki slammed the door open to the locker room, shouldering past the few extras that were still there and grabbing his costume suitcase before entering one of the private changing stalls.

Katsuki wanted to get better, he had to get better! He would be number 1, with Deku right at his side! But dealing with someone else… being friendly with someone else… all he’d ever needed was Deku. He didn’t care about anyone else. Why should he need someone else, when he had his soulmate with him? Katsuki didn’t care about anyone else, because they were shit compared to Deku. So why… why did he suddenly think that sparring with this extra might be helpful? Deku was supposed to be all he needed, Deku was all he needed, so why…

Fuck!

Katsuki unbuckled the gauntlets, letting them fall to the ground with a thud.

Why had he lost with Deku at his side?

What had he done wrong?

He flung the mask into the suitcase.

Katsuki had to have done something wrong, but All Might had said they’d done well. That there had been no glaring flaws.

His stiff fingers jerked the laces off his boots.

They hadn’t made any big error, but they had still fucking lost. His boots landed in the suitcase with a thud.

He needed to get better, damn it. He had to be the best. And as much as he hated it, as much as he didn’t want to rely on anyone other than Deku… Shitty Hair would make a good punching bag.

Fuck! Even the thought of pointing one of those grenades toward Deku—

His chest tightened.

Brain Fucker’s face flashed across his mind and Katsuki’s heart skipped a beat.

He couldn’t.

He wouldn’t.

Katsuki closed his eyes, trying to calm down his breathing as he pulled the rest of his clothes off and changed back into his UA uniform.

Their journey to the top was just starting, and Katsuki would do whatever it took to make sure that he and Deku eventually held the #1 slot.

Chapter Text

Fuck this shit.

They were supposed to vote for a damn class representative when no one knew shit about everyone else? Katsuki groaned.

Whatever. He scribbled Deku’s name down on the paper (after all, it should be one of them, and Deku was the one that actually wanted to deal with the damn extras, anyway), then tossed it in the basket when it was brought by.

When the results were announced, Deku squeaked in surprise, and Katsuki laughed his head off. The nerd had gotten four votes, more than twice the amount of Ponytail, who was the only other person to have someone else vote for them.

“M-me?!” Katsuki tilted his head back and smirked as Deku looked around in shock. “B-but I didn’t even vote for myself!”

Round Face blinked in surprise, “Who did you vote for, then, Zu-kun?”

“Kacchan, of course.” Deku turned toward him, confused. “But he only has one vote, so… Kacchan?”

“I voted for you, dumbass. Like I’d want to deal with these shitty extras any more than I have to.”

“B-but I don’t… No one’s ever….” Deku looked around the room, his eyes confused and lost.

The bell rang.

Eraserhead sighed from his sleeping bag at the front of the room. “We’ll finalize things after lunch, go and eat.”

Ugh. This shit was taking fucking forever. Whatever. Before they left, Katsuki needed to set something straight. He grabbed his bento, turning to Deku, “I’m not eating with you and the damn extras again.”

“Eh?!” Deku looked at him, startled out of whatever state of confusion he’d entered, “But we always eat together! We’ve never—”

“You want to eat with your damn friends, right? I don’t like dealing with all that shit.”

“Oh. Um…” Deku looked down, fumbling with his bento wrap, “I could eat with just you, I don’t…”

“Don’t fucking say you don’t care, because that’s a damn lie and we both know it.” Katsuki glared at the nerd, then sighed, “Look, we’ll eat together every now and then or some shit like that, alright? I just don’t want to have to deal with them.”

“Ok, Kacchan!” Deku grinned at him, “Let me know whenever you want to eat together!”

“Whatever.”

Deku ran over to the two extras and the three of them left to head toward the cafeteria. Katsuki trudged down the hallway a few meters behind them. Even if he’d rather eat alone in the classroom, he would be too far from Deku that way, so Katsuki would just have to try and find some shitty out of the way corner.

There was a table by some plants that had a few empty chairs, so he took one of those, hoping that maybe people would take the hint and leave him—

“Oi, Bakugou!”

Damn it.

He turned to glare at Shitty Hair. “What the fuck do you want?”

“Just noticed you aren’t with Midoriya today. Mind if I join you?”

“Yes.”

The extra just laughed, setting his tray down next to Katsuki’s, “Come on, man, you can’t avoid everyone forever. Especially if you’re friends with Midoriya—he seems like the type to befriend the whole class.”

“Tch.” Katsuki ignored him and ate another bite of his bento.

“How’d you two get to be friends, anyway?” Shitty Hair shrugged, “Not that it’s any of my business, but you two are so different that everyone’s kinda confused.”

Why the fuck did it even matter? “We’ve been friends since before we could talk. Our moms are best friends.”

“Oh!” Shitty Hair grinned, “That’s really awesome, man! It must be cool to have a friend that knows you that well.”

Katsuki shrugged as Shitty Hair began to eat his pork. Did the guy not know anything about eating a balanced meal? There was practically nothing but meat on his tray!

“Hey, my dudes!”

Oh, hell no.

Pikachu’s tray dropped down across from Shitty Hair’s.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. Damn it, he’d wanted to escape the extras, not be cornered by different ones! And it’s not like he could just fucking leave the cafeteria, not when Deku was still eating.

Katsuki glared at the two.

“Dude, do you ever like, not glare?” Pikachu was leaning on his hand, grinning at Katsuki.

“What the fuck kind of question is that?!”

That just earned him a shrug, “An honest one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you not glaring at something.”

“That’s because you’re all fucking annoying.”

“Not true!” Now fucking Raccoon Eyes was sitting down next to Pikachu, “He doesn’t glare at Midoriya.”

“Oh yeah! What’s up with that?”

Shitty Hair gestured vaguely with his chopsticks, “Apparently they’ve been friends for their whole lives because their moms are friends.”

“Oooohh, so that’s why Midoriya gets a pass.”

Ignore them. Just ignore them. He could do this. Katsuki focused on his meal.

“So, are you two excited about next Monday?” Raccoon Eyes leaned across the table, whispering over dramatically, “I heard we get to go on a field trip!”

“A field trip? Awesome!” Katsuki wrinkled his nose in disgust as Pikachu spoke through a mouthful of food.

Shitty Hair at least swallowed before he asked where the supposed field trip would be.

Raccoon Eyes shrugged, “To some place to work on rescue drills.”

“Rescue drills?” Katsuki looked up. That wasn’t as interesting as combat, but it was a lot better than the shitty normal classes.

“Mmmhmm, apparently we get to work with Thirteen!”

Katsuki stared at the girl. Thirteen? Deku would probably know who the fuck that was.

Whatever. He turned back to his meal, intent on continuing to ignore them.

“Aww, no! Don’t be like that! We just got you to talk!”

He shoved another piece of celery into his mouth.

“UGH.” Raccoon Eyes pouted, then suddenly perked up. “I know! What’s up with your and Midoriya’s costumes? Are you two matching on purpose?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “No, we both just randomly chose black, green, and orange costumes.” He glared at her, “Of course we’re fucking matching on purpose.”

“Eh?” Pikachu cocked his head to the side, “But why?”

“Oh!” Shitty Hair grinned at him, “You two spar together, right? Are you two planning on being a hero duo or something? You worked together really well in the combat exercises!”

Katsuki sighed, but nodded. Maybe the extras would leave him alone if he gave them a little bit of information.

“Aw! That’s adorable!”

“What the fuck?” Katsuki stared at her. Adorable? Him? He hadn’t been called that since he was like five. Deku, sure, but not him. “Are you fucking messed up or something?”

“It’s awesome that you are such good bros!” Shitty Hair raised his fist up in the air, clenching it in some kind of weird ass pose. “You two pursuing your dream together like that is super manly!”

“…bros. Right.” Katsuki stared at the three.

“Yeah!” Pikachu was nodding along, giving him a thumbs up.

What the fuck. Since when did being in a hero duo mean that the members were bros? Sure there were plenty of pairs that were just friends, but still… why weren’t the assholes even considering the damn idea that he and Deku might at least be a couple? Not that they were dating or anything! Well, yet. Dumbasses. Shit, but Katsuki really didn’t want to even think about that right now. He rubbed his temples in frustration and ground out, “How the fuck did you three even pass the entrance test?”

“Hey!” Raccoon Eyes was pouting again, “Don’t be mean.”

“Jeez, man. What the heck?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes and returned his attention to his food. “You’re all damn idiots.” Shit. He was almost done with his bento, which would take away his excuse not to talk.

Suddenly, an alarm began blaring over the loudspeakers.

“What the fuck?” Katsuki immediately looked over to Deku. The nerd’s eyes met his from across the cafeteria as everyone around them began panicking. Forget this shit. Katsuki grabbed his bento, ignoring the shouts of surprise from the three dumbasses, and made his way over to his soulmate.

“Kacchan!” Deku’s hand gripped his sleeve and his eyes were wide, “Apparently someone’s on campus that’s not supposed to be here!”

“How the hell they’d manage that?” Katsuki frowned, glancing toward the upper years who all seemed intent on leaving the cafeteria as fast as possible. “We supposed to go somewhere or some shit?”

“Yes!” Deku nodded fervently, “The upperclassman sitting next to us said there’s a room in the basement or something? I don’t really know, but everyone’s heading there, so it should be obvious.”

Katsuki grabbed Deku’s hand, pulling him toward the door. “Well, come on, then.”

By the time they’d pushed through the crowd and reached the hallway, though, Shitface had somehow gotten up by the emergency exit sign and was yelling about it being one of the reporters.

“Jeez, all this damn fuss over that?” Katsuki glared at the people around them. “I’m not dealing with this shit. You’ve got your bento, right Deku?”

“Umm… yeah! Yeah, I do.” Deku held it up as people began to disperse around them.

“Let’s just go finish eating in the damn classroom.” Katsuki turned toward the stairwell, pulling his soulmate after him as Deku started muttering about some shit.

After they’d gotten away from the crowd, though, Deku’s muttering slowed to a halt and he cautiously squeezed Katsuki’s hand. “Kacchan?”

“Huh?” Ah, shit. He hadn’t even realized—Katsuki let go of the nerd’s hand like it was on fire, taking a step away from him. Damn it. Katsuki looked at the floor, embarrassed.

“I don’t want to be class representative.” What the hell? Katsuki’s head snapped up to survey the nerd’s expression. Shouldn’t Deku be happy about people liking him? “When the alarm sounded just now… all I could think about was getting to you. I didn’t care about figuring out what was wrong or helping people or fixing the situation or blaming them down, I just…” he rubbed his arm uneasily. “I only cared about finding you.”

“You want to give away a position of leadership.” Katsuki stared at his insane soulmate. “You realize that’s shit, right? Of course you wanted to find me! That’s how we fucking work. I only thought about finding you, too!”

“Kacchan!” Deku groaned. “I don’t want to have the extra responsibilities! Not when… not when I feel like I should be focusing on getting better and umm… on, on us. I don’t want to spend extra time on classroom duties. And… and I’m not really comfortable doing that sort of thing?? I’m more used to everyone just ignoring me or something like that…”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” If Deku wanted to focus on fighting and their bond, Katsuki wouldn’t complain about it. He turned and continued toward their classroom, “Just choose someone else, then, and tell the class you won’t do it.”

“O-ok!” Deku scrambled after him, quickly falling into step with him. Katsuki glanced over and shook his head at the nerd’s happy smile.

Deku had only thought of finding Katsuki, huh? That… that made him really happy. It was damn obvious that of course Deku would do that with their bond, but… even though Deku had been with the extras, he’d thought of Katsuki first.

Katsuki reached up and ruffled the nerd’s hair before opening the door to the classroom.

“Eh? Kacchan?” Deku blinked at him in confusion.

He shrugged, making his way through the classroom and setting his bento on Deku’s desk before plopping down backwards in his chair to face his soulmate. “Just felt like it, nerd.”

“Oh. Ok, then… I guess.” Deku gave him a tentative smile and then sat down, opening up his own lunch. The nerd looked at him curiously, “So..” He paused to swallow, “You were sitting with Kirishima, Kaminari, and Ashido?”

“Tch.” Katsuki glared at his food. “Fucking extras sat down and wouldn’t leave.”

Deku laughed, “I think it’s great that Kirishima wants to be friends with you.”

“I don’t need any shitty friends.”

“Mmhmm…” Deku was grinning again. Grinning mischievously and Katsuki’s stomach was twisting and he just wanted to lean forward and…

Shit.

Shit, shit, shit.

He wanted to kiss the nerd.

Katsuki choked on his lettuce.

“Kacchan?” Deku was leaning forward, now. His hand warm on Katsuki’s shoulder. “Kacchan, are you ok? Do you need more water?”

Bright red, Katsuki shook his head. He grabbed his water bottle and chugged it down, crinkling the empty plastic in frustration and tossing it under his desk with a groan.

He buried his head in his hands, trying not to look at the nerd. At… at his soulmate. Fuck. He couldn’t… Deku was…

Shit.

“Kacchan?”

“I’m fucking fine.” He growled, finally looking up to see Deku’s eyes wide with concern. “Just swallowed some shitty lettuce the wrong way.”

“You… you sure?” Deku paused briefly, as if debating whether or not to continue, but finally he added, “You’re really red, Kacchan.”

At that statement, Katsuki was pretty sure he turned even more damn red. “I’m fine.

“Ok!” Deku slowly took another bite. “I’ll take your word for it.”

“You should’ve fucking done that in the first place.”

Thankfully, the door swung open at that moment, sparing Katsuki from future embarrassment. He turned around to finish his food in silence, letting Deku go greet the extras and talk with them.

He…. He’d wanted to kiss Deku. To kiss his soulmate. That… that was normal, right? Nothing to be ashamed about! He’d just… gotten to that point faster than Deku. Which was damn typical, actually, so… fuck.

Katsuki closed his eyes in frustration. If he was honest with himself… he may have wanted to kiss Deku before this, too.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Fucking hell, their sensei had been right.

Katsuki couldn’t—

“Everyone get in your seats and be quiet.” Katsuki’s body went rigid as their sensei strolled into the room, heading over to his sleeping bag in the corner. “Midoriya and Yaoyorozu, come up here and make them pick class officers.”

The man disappeared into the yellow bag, and Deku shuffled to the front of the room, Ponytail following him calmly.

Katsuki looked out the window, ignoring Deku’s stuttered speech. He already knew the important parts of what the nerd was going to say.

If Sensei had been right about Katsuki liking Deku…and fuck it was still hard to wrap his mind around that, but--damn it Katsuki had wanted to just lean forward so badly, to be closer to him… His eyes flickered over to where Deku was running a hand through his soft hair as he fidgeted in place. Katsuki swallowed. He wanted to…

Fuck.

No. He couldn’t do anything. Not until he knew Deku was feeling the same way.

Katsuki took a deep breath, clenching his hands and then flexing them underneath the desk. Nothing yet.

But why had Eraserhead wanted Katsuki to think about how he’d called Midoriya ‘mine’?

Deku was his.

They were soulmates. They’d grown up together, lived together, were never apart, did everything together, would always be together… Of course Deku was his.

So why…?

He watched the nerd smile at Round Face as he headed back to his seat. The extra beamed back at him, giving the nerd a thumb’s up

Like Deku needed the approval of some damn extra—

Oh.

Damn it, Katsuki already knew the nerd wanted friends. The asshole teacher didn’t need to make a huge damn point out of that. Sure, Katsuki didn’t like that shit, and he didn’t really understand why, even, but he knew the nerd wanted them. It was like with all the damn journals and with the shitty nerd’s treasure trove of All Might merch. Deku always wanted to learn everything, to understand everything.

The nerd wouldn’t be happy until he’d tried out ‘friendship,’ or some shit like that, but he’d always come back to Katsuki. He’d always love Katsuki more. They were soulmates. Katsuki would just have to deal with the extras that Deku brought along every now and then.

The rest of the day was shit—just one boring class after another. Eraserhead came back at the end of the day to hand out permission forms for the trip on Monday, but just when Katsuki thought they were free, the teacher told Deku to stay after.

Fuck.

Katsuki groaned and laid his head on his desk. Now it would be even longer before they could get home! They were already going to have to stay after to talk to Recovery Girl about their bond.

As the rest of their classmates got their shit together, Deku nervously walked to the front, muttering about not wanting to miss Recovery Girl. After a short conversation with the man, the nerd walked back, grinning. “He says we can go talk to Recovery Girl first, Kacchan! So let’s go see her before she leaves for the day.”

“Fine.” Katsuki shrugged, shoving his shit into his bag and heading toward the classroom door. “What does Eraserhead want with you?”

“We um, haven’t talked yet? About the umm… yeah. So that.”

Katsuki snorted, standing up as he slung his bag over his shoulder. “Smooth.”

“Kacchan!” Deku pouted, “It’s not like I can just say it! And you asked! What was I supposed to say?”

Katsuki opened the door up, holding it a few seconds longer than necessary so that Deku could slip out behind him. “You could’ve just said something like, ‘about what we talked about on the first day.’”

The nerd groaned. “It’s not fair! Lying and coming up with excuses and such just comes so easily to you.”

“You’re just too much of a damn goody-two-shoes.”

“But Kacchan!” Deku was whining again, making Katsuki roll his eyes. “I like making people happy! I don’t want to disappoint them or anything.”

“Uh-huh. And that’s why you’re a goody-two-shoes.” Hands shoved into his pockets, Katsuki trudged down the hallway. “If you cared less, you’d probably be better at making excuses. You’re too damn focused on disappointing people to fucking think straight.”

Deku pouted. “Why can’t I do both?”

“Because your brain can only handle so much, you shitty nerd.” Katsuki reached out to shove his shoulder roughly. “Now let’s hurry so we don’t miss Granny.” He picked up his pace, almost running up the nearby staircase.

“Kacchan! We’re not supposed to run in the hallways!”

“You wanna be fucking late?”

“But Kacchan!” Despite his protests, Deku sped up, easily reaching Katsuki’s side once more. “How can we be late if we’re not supposed to be there at a specific time?”

“If she leaves before we get there, dumbass.” Katsuki eyed the door at the end of the hallway. The lights were on. That was a good sign.

“It’s not like she probably leaves the second classes let out, Kacchan.”

“Why the fuck wouldn’t she?”

“Because students could get injured in a heroics class at the end of the day?”

That… actually made sense. Whatever. Katsuki still wanted to get this shit over with.

He kicked open the door, “Oi, Granny! You said you wanted us to come see you the first week of school.”

Recovery Girl spun around in her chair. “You can never just say a polite hello, can you Bakugou-kun?”

“Tch.” Katsuki frowned as Deku stuttered out an apology for Katsuki’s ‘rudeness’ and added his own greeting.

The room was thankfully empty, which meant they could speak freely. Well, as freely as people ever could in a school where students could use their quirks at all times and were always snooping around for various reasons. Katsuki wasn’t about to relax his guard unless a teacher or someone with a stealth quirk told him everything was clear.

Recovery Girl sighed. “Come on, then. Up on the patient bed with both of you.”

He walked over to the nearest one, jumping up to sit by the pillow so that there was plenty of room for Deku to sit next to him.

Recovery Girl promptly grabbed his hand, then Deku’s, kissing both of them.

Katsuki wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Well, Granny? What’s the verdict?”

“Patience is a helpful trait for heroes.” She tutted, then pulled a machine over to the bed. “While I have you both here, I want to run some tests just to verify some things. Heart rate, blood levels and such.”

“Whatever.” Katsuki held out his arm and let her attach a band around his arm. It felt weird. They’d honestly not gone to many doctors as they’d grown up—Auntie had always handled it when they’d gotten sick.

After he and Deku had been poked and prodded until Katsuki almost couldn’t take it any more, Recovery Girl finally took the machines away, but she just sat there at her computer making the occasional noise of comprehension.

Katsuki growled in frustration.

Finally she turned her damn chair around.

“Have either of you felt more tired recently?”

“Huh?!” Katsuki stared at her. “No. I feel fucking fine. Deku?”

“Ummm…” The nerd cocked his head to the side. “I might be getting tired a little earlier at night?”

Katsuki frowned. “That’s just because we’re tired from school. We always stay up later over the damn break.”

“Not necessarily.” Recovery Girl sighed, “While it could be that, I would not be surprised if this situation was already affecting your endurance levels. It looks like you two will soon begin to get tired faster than you used to, if you haven’t already begun feeling those effects.”

Shit.

But… but it’s not like they could bond any faster! Katsuki’s fingers itched to let out an explosion. The bond could already be affecting them? He didn’t think he was getting tired any faster, though… but Deku might be?

Fuck! This didn’t even make any fucking sense! “Why the fuck does this shit happen?! How are we supposed to work on this damn thing, if we keep getting tired or some shit?”

Recovery Girl clicked her tongue, “I don’t know much in this area, but I do know you have to want it for the deed to be successful. Physical discomfort can be an incentive for that.”

“Tch.” Katsuki glared at the ground, “We don’t fucking need that.”

“What… what will happen next? We’ll get tired more easily, and then what?”

Recovery Girl patted Deku’s knee. “Still small things, dearie. Headaches. A dizzy spell every now and then. That sort of thing.”

Damn it. “A dizzy spell during heroics class would fucking suck.” He hated this so much.

“Please be as careful as you can be.” Recovery Girl sighed. “Other than the strain on your bodies, you both look to be in perfect health, though. So there’s that at least.”

Katsuki sighed, hopping off the table. “We done here then, Granny?”

“Yes, though come back the second you feel more symptoms. And if you’re ever tired before your heroics class, you must come get some gummies from me.”

“Thank you, Recovery Girl!” Deku bowed again to the woman, then turned and headed toward the door. “We will!” He slid the door open, quickly exiting into the hallway.

Katsuki followed after him with a sigh. “You really been feeling more tired, Deku?”

“Ummm… a little? It’s really not much, though, Kacchan. I didn’t even think about it until she said something, so it could just be exhaustion from school.”

Katsuki watched his soulmate carefully as they walked down the hallway. The nerd wasn’t lying, that was for sure, but he also rarely took his own health seriously. “Tell me if it gets worse, ok?”

“Of course!” Deku grinned at him. “And you’ll tell me if you start feeling anything, right?”

Katsuki shrugged, “Whatever.” They had reached the stairs, now, and Katsuki ran through the past week in his head while they climbed. Had he been abnormally tired at any point? He honestly didn’t think he had…

Fuck it. If he kept going like this, he’d just make himself damn tired from thinking about it.

“Sensei said the 1B classroom should be empty, so he told me to meet him there, and that you could wait in 1A.” Deku adjusted the strap of his bag. “I guess we probably should have just left our things in the classroom, but it felt weird to do that when I didn’t know if anyone would be there to watch it for us.”

Katsuki shrugged, “It’s not like carrying it with us was a big deal.”

“That’s true.” They’d reached the 1B doorway, and Deku stood there, fidgeting nervously in front of it.

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Just go in.” He walked a few steps further toward their classroom, calling back over his shoulder, “You know where to find me when you’re done.”

He opened the 1A door, then groaned. “Why the fuck are you still here?”

Shitty Hair looked up, “Oh! Um… I wanted to ask Aizawa-sensei about sparring, but he wouldn’t talk and said he had a meeting to go to and I should wait here for a bit and he’d come back with some form.” The extra shrugged, “He said it wouldn’t take long, though.”

“Does everything here need a fucking form?” Eraserhead had mentioned getting paperwork done on him and Deku as his advisees, too. Katsuki walked over to his desk and plopped down.

“Hero work has a lot of paperwork, too, right? To make sure that they have a clear record of how they’ve used their quirks and how much they’ve helped people and all that.”

“Tch.” Maybe Deku would do that part for him. Katsuki thought it sounded like fucking hell.

“So why are you still here?” Shitty Hair put his pencil down, turning to look at Katsuki. “I thought you and Midoriya left.”

“Fuck off.” Like he’d tell Shitty Hair they’d had soul bond shit to deal with.

The extra just grinned, though. “Come on! I figured you’d be the type to leave as fast as possible.”

Well he wasn’t wrong. Katsuki glared at him. Maybe if he gave Shitty Hair a little more information the extra would go back to his homework and leave Katsuki alone. “Deku’s mom’s a nurse and really paranoid about medical shit. Deku’s been getting tired this week, so she wanted us to check with Recovery Girl and make sure it was nothing.” Katsuki shrugged, “And then Eraserhead wanted to talk to him about some shit afterwards, so I’m stuck here waiting until the nerd’s done.”

“Really?” The extra was still grinning at him. “He’s ok though? You two must be really close if you’re waiting to walk him home.”

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched in annoyance. “Yeah, he’s fucking fine. And we live close to each other.” Like across the hallway close. “It’s just our shitty routine.”

“Your moms make you do it when you were little or something?”

Katsuki frowned. Well, he could use this… “Deku was bullied by assholes a lot.” He might as well spread around the story about Deku’s quirk here in case it ever came up that Deku didn’t have a quirk when he was little.

“Really?” Now Shitty Hair was frowning in confusion, “But he’s like, super nice! Why would someone want to bully him?”

“He was quirkless. His damn quirk was a fucking late bloomer and didn’t manifest until last year.”

“Oh. Man, that really sucks.” The extra looked down at his hands, but then his head suddenly snapped up, his eyes wide with realization. “Wait! Last year? Um.” He paused for a second, but then plowed ahead, “I’ve kinda been meaning to ask, but were you two the ones that that villain—”

“Fuck. Off.” Katsuki glared at the extra, practically growling the words as explosions popped from his hands

“Got it!” Shitty Hair’s face paled a bit, and he laughed nervously. “Touchy subject. Got it. Won’t mention it again, man.”

Katsuki turned to look out the window, dismissing the extra’s presence.

After a few minutes, though, Shitty Hair spoke again. “You know, I’m sorry for making you angry, but it’s kind of nice to know the difference between your usual grumpy-anger and when you’re like, actually angry.”

Katsuki turned to glare at the extra, “What the fuck is that even supposed to mean?”

“Like that!” Shitty Hair grinned at him. “That’s just you being generally grumpy. You’re not really angry any more.”

“Huh?!” Of course he was fucking angry! Katsuki just wanted to be left alone, damn it! “Just… fuck off, Shitty Hair.”

The guy frowned, “And that’s another thing! What’s up with the weird nickname, man? I mean, you’re entitled to your opinion and all, but my hair’s awesome! You ever hear of Crimson Riot? He was a super manly hero and his hair was always like this. He’s the best!”

“Tch.” The guy’s hair looked hard as a rock, nothing like Deku’s soft….

Damn it, he was not randomly comparing Deku’s hair to this guy’s. The nerd’s hair was a fucking mess.

“Never heard of the asshole.”

“You haven’t?!” Now Shitty Hair was laughing and rubbing the back of his head, “I mean, I guess he is super old. You should totally look him up, though!”

“He’s probably pretty damn lame if his hair is like yours.”

“Man, what’s with you and my hair?”

“It’s shitty.”

“So you’ve said.” The extra waved his arms around, “Repeatedly.”

The door swung open, and Deku bounded over to Katsuki. “Kacchan! Let’s go home!” The nerd was grinning, so obviously his meeting had gone better than Katsuki’s. “Oh!” Deku turned toward Shitty Hair, “And here’s the form! Sensei asked me to give it to you.”

“Awesome!” Kirishima took the form like it was some kind of holy document. “Thanks, man! I can’t wait until we can start sparring!”

“Yeah!” Deku was practically bouncing up and down, “We didn’t get to spar in the match, but I’d like to do that sometime, too! I know Kacchan will help you more with endurance and such, though.”

“That’d be great!” Shitty Hair grinned, “You learn more from practicing with more people, right?”

Katsuki groaned, standing up and grabbing his bag. “Come on, Deku. I want to get home, already.”

“Ok!” Deku walked toward the door, waving goodbye to Shitty Hair. Katsuki rolled his eyes and followed, ignoring the extra’s shout of goodbye.

Once they were out in the hallway, he turned to his soulmate. “Your meeting go well?”

“Mmhmm. We just talked about how you and I grew up, really. Sensei said he’d talk to us after school on Monday about the… um…” Deku frowned, “the how-to stuff he mentioned?”

Katsuki’s brain stuttered to a halt. How-to seal the bond. Kissing Deku. Fuck, he did not want to have that conversation with their teacher. He could feel his face heating up.

“Kacchan? You ok?”

“Yeah.” His voice came out rough, so Katsuki swallowed and tried again. “Yeah, it’ll just be weird to talk about that shit with our damn teacher.”

Deku laughed nervously, fidgeting with his hands. “Y-yeah. I… um. Yeah. I agree.”

“Whatever.” Katsuki shoved his hands into his pockets. “He’s got information that we need, so we’ll fucking deal with it. Let’s go home.”

Katsuki could at least avoid the damn topic until Monday. Well, hopefully. If his thoughts would let him.

Chapter Text

Katsuki slouched in his chair on the bus, adjusting the strap on his gauntlet. He’d only worn one today since, while he might need them, the bulky object made it difficult to carry people and this was, after all, a rescue drill.

Deku was in his full costume a few seats back, chatting away happily with the extras. Katsuki tensed when All Might’s quirk was brought up, but Shitty Hair thankfully diverted Frog Girl from that topic.

Then Frog Girl insulted his damn personality. “What the hell?!” He whirled around, “You wanna fight?” He’d be popular as a hero! His quirk was fucking awesome!

Deku, the traitor, looked like he was about to start giggling.

Pikachu shrugged, “We haven’t even known each other long, so it’s amazing that everyone already knows his personality is sewage crap.” He turned toward Deku, “You, sir, are a saint for dealing with him for so long.”

“Fucking dumbass! I’ll kill you!” Why the fuck did they think they had any right to make fun of him like this? To suggest that the nerd just put up with Katsuki?!

Laughter burst out of Deku, and Katsuki stared at his soulmate, startled. He looked really…shit. He looked fucking cute, doubled over in his chair, a huge smile on his face as he just kept damn laughing.

“Tch.” Katsuki let out a huff of annoyance. “What the hell, Deku?” Did his soulmate’s laughter have to be about him?

“Sorry, Kacchan. It’s just…” the grin turned toward him, “No one’s ever been willing to tease you before, except me. It’s nice.”

“Like hell! It’s damn annoying!”

Eraserhead’s voice called out from the front of the bus, cutting off any further conversation as he told them that they’d arrived.

Fucking finally.

Katsuki fled the forced social interaction of the bus and trudged across the gravel parking lot, kicking a few pieces with his boots.

Beside him, Deku was muttering away, narrating every little fact he knew about the location as they walked through the dome’s giant doors. Katsuki quickly tuned the nerd out, glancing over the facility as Space Suit started to give some shitty spiel. The place was divided into different disaster zones—building collapse, land slide, mountains (what disaster was there? Or in the forest around them?), a dome with fire pictured on it, a shipwreck (why the fuck was there a water slide?), and a dome with a storm pictured on it.

He could probably handle any of those, though the storm would be the worst; it was always harder to get his explosions right when rain was washing away his sweat. The gloves were meant to repel outside water, though, so he would get to test that feature if they went in there…

Katsuki blinked, startled. He stared at the central plaza. What… the fuck? Was that some kind of shitty warp gate? It hadn’t been there a second ago.

His eyes flickered toward Eraserhead, looking to see if the man would reveal anything. He was… pulling a knife out of his boot? Why? And why the fuck did he make a damn cut on the back of his hand and then put the shitty knife back?

The man did it all so smoothly and quickly, if Katsuki hadn’t been watching, he doubted he would have even noticed.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. Some soulmates shared pain. Was Eraserhead… was he contacting his soulmate that way? Because of the warp?

Shit.

While Katsuki had been looking away, people had started to climb out of the warp gate, and they didn’t look friendly.

If Katsuki was right and Eraserhead was contacting his soulmate… then this wasn’t part of the teacher’s plan.

Damn it all to hell, was Katsuki a fucking villain magnet or some shit like that? Why the hell was he in the middle of a damn villain attack again?

He would do better this time. He would. He would fight back and he wouldn’t get captured or any damn shit like that.

Eraserhead was calling back for Space Suit to protect the students, but fuck that. These were obviously fucking villains, and there was no way two people stood a damn chance against this many, even if they were pro heroes. The dumbasses needed some damn help, and Katsuki wasn’t going to be fucking protected when he could be helping.

Plus, Half-and-Half Bastard was spewing some shit about how they couldn’t rely on the school backing them up because they didn’t know if the villains were attacking the school or how far the villains had gone to cut off communications. And shit, if the school was under attack, Sensei’s soulmate probably wouldn’t be any damn help at all. At least, soulmates tended to stay close to each other even after they completed the bond, so Katsuki assumed Eraserhead’s soulmate was someone at UA.

Fucking hell.

He didn’t… fuck, he didn’t want to fucking evacuate and flee like a shitty extra, but… there was a shit ton of villains down there, and he’d barely held his own against one, before.

But he was damn better, now! He’d trained with All Might!

His eyes followed Eraserhead as he jumped, flying toward the villains and then taking out three with one twist of his capture weapon.

Shit.

He’d known the man was fucking awesome. He’d known that. But… but he’d never seen him fight like this.

The videos… they’d all been against a single opponent. This was a fucking mob.

But the hero was fast, his every movement counted, and the villains couldn’t touch him.

Katsuki shivered as he felt that cold feeling of the sludge curling down his throat.

“Bakugou! Midoriya! This is not the time to stand around and watch! We need to evacuate!”

Katsuki snapped out of his trance, grabbing Deku’s wrist as he turned to run toward the class. Fuck this shit. Eraserhead would be fine. Katsuki had obviously underestimated the man, or overestimated the villains.

The two of them soon caught up with the group, but were forced to skid to a halt as a villain appeared in front of them.

The warp gate.

The villain’s particle body meant that physical attacks like Deku’s wouldn’t work against him, just like with the sludge villain. Katsuki shifted in front of his soulmate.

There was no way in hell he’d let this villain hurt Deku.

Warp Fucker was monologuing about All Might, which was fucking ridiculous. Katsuki wouldn’t let him touch Deku, much less their sensei. He charged forward, barely registering that Shitty Hair was at this side—the dumbass, physical shit obviously wouldn’t work—and let loose a huge blast of explosions, hoping that the heat and air would do something.

When the smoke cleared, though, the villain looked exactly the same as before, except maybe more pissed.

“Well.” The villains eyes narrowed. “That was close. I suppose even though you are children, you are also UA students. We will just have to torture and kill you all before you become problems.”

Shit. What the should did he do now?

“Move away, you two!” Katsuki jumped back at Space Suit’s warning, but he could already see the purple mist beginning to expand.

Shit.

No.

Fuck, damn it!

He was too close.

His palm’s ignited, pushing him further away as the mist kept expanding, expanding—

“Kacchan!!!” Deku’s panicked cry was the last thing he heard before the mist surrounded him.

Everything was cold.

It was all around him. Everywhere. Holding him captive.

He couldn’t— couldn’t breathe.

Sludge was covering his every limb. No! Not sludge! Mist. The warp. But it was cold. It was surrounding him, suffocating him. He was tumbling, something was pulling, pulling— Deku on his arm—no! No, he wasn’t in the sludge villain—

He—He couldn’t breathe.

Sludge—no! Mist, it was just the fucking warp villain! But his chest—

His chest—

Damn it all, it felt like his heart was being ripped out!

His head was pounding, sharp spikes drilling through his skull.

Fuck, everything hurt so fucking much!

He couldn’t—

He couldn’t—

Katsuki gasped in pain, trying to reach out, trying to find—

To find—


Shouting.

Someone was shouting.

There was… a lot of noise. Fighting?

A clang of metal against metal.

“—gou!”

Pain stabbed at Katsuki’s skull as he tried to move.

Something was missing.

What?

What was gone?

“Bakugou!”

Who?

Not Deku.

Deku!

He needed Deku!

He forced his burning muscles to move, crouching as he pried his eyes open.

“Bakugou!”

Shitty Hair.

Shitty Hair was standing in front of him, arm raised up as he blocked the attack of some bastard with pointed teeth. The extra then darted to the left, pushing back another asshole--one with a horn and two arms.

Villains.

“Bakugou, man, I’m so glad you’re awake!” Shitty Hair panted, spinning to kick away a fucker with spikes all over his body. “You ok, man? You were unconscious when we came out of the portal—you reacted really badly to something about that quirk.”

Had he… had he been protecting him?

He remembered… Deku. Deku calling out and then… mist. The Warp Fucker had forced them apart. And… His chest had fucking hurt and... and Katsuki had fallen unconscious.

But now he was in a building. And his whole body ached and he was light-headed his head felt like someone was drilling an ice pick into his skull. And he was with Shitty Hair. Who… who apparently had been protecting his unconscious ass.

Damn it.

Fuck.

He’d…. Fuck.

Katsuki pushed himself up onto his feet, swaying slightly. “I’m fucking fine, what do you think?” He felt like shit, but that didn’t fucking matter.

Damn it! Where the hell had that shitty warp taken Deku??? The nerd obviously wasn’t anywhere damn close.

Katsuki was lightheaded, dizzy, he felt like he had a fucking fever, and his muscles were on fire, but he had to do this. He had to get back to Deku.

He held out his palm, clammy with sweat, and directed it toward the villains.

“Get the fuck behind me.”

“Huh?” Shitty Hair turned around, eyes widening when he saw Katsuki’s outstretched palm. “Right!” The red head scrambled toward him, and the second he was clear, Katsuki let loose.

Katsuki’s ears rang and heat blasted out in front of him—all he could see was a wall of fire as explosion after explosion ripped from his palm, pushing him backwards into Shitty Hair—

And then it stopped.

Katsuki collapsed onto his knees, panting, ears ringing from the powerful blasts.

“Holy shit, man.”

The floor creaked under him. Wearily, Katsuki opened his eyes. Smoke filled the room in front of them, but it was already beginning to clear, which meant he’d destroyed enough of the building that the smoke had access to open air.

He coughed, slowly pushing up his bandana. There was a crack and then a thud next to them, as some part of the building collapsed.

A beam landed in front of them with a crash.

“Shit!” Shitty Hair stepped closer to Katsuki, the extra’s arms still rock hard. “The building’s really falling down, now! Dude, can you stand?”

Katsuki tried, but his movements were slow, and he soon found his own arm roped around the other’s shoulders. “Come on, we’ve really got to get out of here!”

Shitty Hair was looking up, eyeing the ceiling warily. Katsuki urged his feet to move forward. It… it got a bit easier with each step. He could do this. He could ignore the burn.

By the time they reached an edge, the smoke had cleared enough to let them see through it. Half of the building was completely gone. Katsuki could see the USJ plaza in the distance, clouds of smoke rising around it.

So Warp Fucker had just sent them to the collapsed building in USJ that he’d seen earlier. But if they were still at USJ…. Everyone else should still be here, too, right? So where the fuck was Deku? The complete opposite side or some shit like that?

Wait.

That building had been damn tall—Katsuki looked down over the edge and let out a string of curses. They’d been sent to the fucking top floor, and where the next eight floors or so should have been, there was now a huge gaping hole. Then maybe another three floors or so before the ground.

Not to mention, now that the ringing had cleared from his ears… Katsuki swallowed. He could hear a couple people screaming somewhere below.

His stomach tightened.

He’d… he’d done that. Those fuckers had attacked him and he had just retaliated without thinking about how much sweat was on his hands—who was he kidding, he’d fucking known exactly how much sweat it was—and… and… Fuck. If the people below were screaming, what had happened to the fuckers that had been right in front of them? The smoke had been too thick to see them as he had walked past, but the assholes hadn’t even been screaming.

Unconscious.

They were probably just unconscious.

Katsuki’s hands clenched at his sides. And even if they were dead, he didn’t fucking care. They’d been trying to torture and kill him and Shitty Hair, so the fuckers deserved it.

“Holy shit. When you go all out, you really destroy everything, huh?”

And there were assholes like this all across USJ. “If those fuckers even touch Deku, I’m killing them.”

Katsuki made no attempt to hide the venom in his voice, practically spitting out the words as small explosions popped from his palms.

Shitty Hair glanced over his shoulder into what was left of the room behind him, laughing nervously. “Jeez man, remind me never to get on your bad side.” There was a pause before he added, “Or Midoriya’s, I guess.”

Another beam crashed to the floor right behind them, making Shitty Hair jump. “Right, this is no time to talk. Look, I can climb down, you ok to do your flying thing?”

Katsuki nodded, ignoring the burn in his muscles and removing his arm from the extra’s shoulders. His quirk was probably the only part of him that was fucking fine right now.

The floor a few feet away from them crumbled, crashing down and clanging as it hit one ledge, then the next. Well, fuck that plan. “Get on my damn back.”

“What?! But dude, You’re—”

Katsuki growled in annoyance, ignoring the lance-like pain that speared his skull. “The building is fucking falling apart, you may survive being crushed by a beam, but there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to get the damn thing off you afterwards. Get on my fucking back. You’re heavier than Deku, but I’ve got a shit-ton of sweat right now.”

“O-ok.” Katsuki felt hands grip his metal shoulder supports, then grunted as the extra jumped up. Shitty Hair’s knees were already slipping, so Katsuki’s arms shot down to grab them. Shit, moving them that quickly hurt.

“I need my fucking hands, dumbass. You have to wrap your knees around me or grip my torso tighter.”

“Right! Uh… yeah. Be quick? I’m honestly not sure how long I can hold that position.” Shitty Hair shifted, knees tightening on Katsuki’s sides. Once he figured the guy’s grip was tight enough, Katsuki let go and immediately jumped into the air, wincing at the high-pitched yelp next to his ear.

He fired from his palms, at first too much, sending them higher, but he toned the next one down, doing just enough to pause their descent.

Fucking dumbass was going to squeeze him to death or some shit like that—Shitty Hair’s legs were hard and it hurt like hell.

Only a few more floors, and they would reach the building’s lower section…

Katsuki landed on the top of floor three (or whatever the hell it actually was) with a thud, his knees giving out under him.

Shitty Hair jumped off, grabbing Katsuki to keep him from collapsing. “Dude! You ok? Shit.”

Whoever was screaming was closer, now, and Shitty Hair was looking behind them with a horrified expression. “Man, come on, we need to get away from here. I don’t… I don’t know if any villains, umm… are still able to attack us, but you’re in no shape to fight.”

Katsuki winced as pain raced through his brain like lightning, then ebbed off once more. “I’m in no shape to control my fucking attacks, is what you mean.”

“Right. That.” The other guy’s shoulders were under his arm again, helping him up.

“Come on, man. Let’s get to the ledge. If we need fire power I’ll point your hand and tell you to shoot.”

Katsuki snorted. “Your reflexes are damn slow. We’ll be hit before you have a chance.” He pushed one leg in front of the next, slowly adjusting to the burn and moving faster, bit by bit.

“Well, I make a pretty good shield, then.”

“Tch.” Katsuki couldn’t fucking argue with that.

Thankfully, they made it to the damn ledge without any other asshole jumping out to attack them. If any villains had fucking survived his attack, then they were either smart enough or scared enough to stay the fuck away.

Shitty Hair sighed in relief, “Just four floors, this time, and the walls are in a lot better shape, so I’ll climb down, ok?” He slowly pulled away from under Katsuki’s arm. “No offense, but the, uh… flying on your back thing isn’t really, um.. It’s not my thing.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, walking over to the ledge. The burn was still present, but he was… well, he could move through it, and that was enough. “Whatever, dumbass. See you on the ground.” He jumped off, managing to keep steady with the first shot, but a sharp spike of pain drilling into his skull made him release too much sweat on the second.

Katsuki grimaced, gritting his teeth and focusing on limiting the sweat he used.

His shoulders sagged when his feet touched the ground, and he turned to see Shitty Hair in between the second and third floors.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. Shitty Hair…. The other student had fucking protected him. Protected him. Katsuki shouldn’t need anyone’s damn protection! But the bond… being pulled from Deku like that had fucking hurt like hell.

And… and Shitty Hair had protected him when he couldn’t fight.

“Tch.” Maybe… maybe having the dumbass around wouldn’t be so bad.

Katsuki snorted as the other student jumped the last few meters, landing with a thud before looking toward Katsuki with a bright grin.

The guy was still a fucking dumbass.

“Come on! Let’s get you away from here and toward the entrance or something.” Shitty Hair reached out to support him again, but Katsuki pushed his hand away.

“I’m starting to feel better.” Well, not now--his muscles still fucking hurt, his head was throbbing and he knew would probably keep having the sharp pain, and he definitely still felt light-headed and a little feverish, but all of that would stop when he reached Deku.

“You sure?” Shitty Hair was eyeing him skeptically. “‘Cause no offense, man, but you look like shit. However that guy’s warp quirk affected you, it hit you hard.”

“Fuck off.” Katsuki strode forward, making sure that his walk looked as normal as possible. “We need to head toward the plaza.”

“What?!” The dumbass’ hand was on his shoulder, halting him. “Dude! That is not a good idea! Even if you’re feeling better, that way is where the biggest fight is!”

“Exactly.” Katsuki pushed the dumbass’ hand off. “Warp Fucker will head there at some point, and I know how to take him down, now.”

“Huh?”

“When we attacked him, he said ‘that was close.’ That means we can hurt him. His body has a core. And I’d bet anything that his fucking core is where he has that damn metal brace. Why would someone who is completely bodiless need a shitty protective brace like that?”

“Damn.” Shitty Hair shook his head, “Ok, yeah, you’re right, but you’re still not exactly in any shape to fight this guy, man.”

“Fuck off. Whatever the hell that was, I’m feeling better. I’m sure I’ll be fine by the time we reach the damn plaza.” Because if he knew Deku, his soulmate was heading straight there, as well. The nerd would do anything to help save his hero, and that’s exactly what Katsuki was worried about.

“Fine. But if you’re not feeling any better at all when we’re halfway there, we’re finding some place safe to hide, or we’re going to the entrance.”

“Like hell.” Katsuki turned around to glare at the extra, but then his eyes narrowed.

Shit.

His hand shot up, an explosion blasting out and nailing some chameleon shitstain right in the face as the fucker pounced toward Shitty Hair.

The villain collapsed, unconscious and with burns scorching his body.

Shitty Hair stood there, eyes wide and frozen in shock.

“Don’t let your fucking guard down, dumbass.”

“R-right.” Shitty Hair cautiously looked at the villain sprawled on the ground. “Um.. Thanks for that. You’re uh… you’re really freaking manly, you know that right? Like, you’re injured! And you just—” he let out some sort of strangled noise. “I didn’t even hear that guy or anything!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “You’re welcome.” He sighed, turning back toward the plaza. “Now let’s fucking go.”

Hopefully Deku had seen his explosion. If he had, he would not only know Katsuki’s location, he would also know that he was ok. And if Katsuki was right and Deku was on the opposite side, they’d meet in the damn plaza as Deku headed toward both the blast area and Eraserhead.

Shitty Hair walked next to him in silence for a while, obviously on edge and tense, his arms staying hardened. After they passed by what look like a collapsed entry gate, though, Shitty Hair spoke again. “Do… do you think our classmates are ok?”

Katsuki snorted. “You kept how many of those fuckers at bay while guarding my unconscious ass? The villains in that building were damn grunts. Everyone will be fucking fine.”

They had to be. Deku had to be.

“So… you’re saying we should trust in their strength?” Shitty Hair let out a small laugh, “That’s pretty manly, bro.”

Bro?

Katsuki glanced sideways at Shitty Hair. The idiot had some kind of… fond expression? What the fuck? The guy… he hadn’t sounded like he meant that in a ‘I call everyone bros’ way, but in a ‘I like you as a friend’ way, and…

Damn it, Katsuki’s brain must really be fucking messed up if he actually cared that Shitty Hair liked him as a friend and wasn’t just trying to use him for sparring or some damn shit like that.

Katsuki blinked, suddenly realizing that the sharp pain in his head hadn’t come back in a while.

He grinned. He must be getting closer to Deku! The pain in his muscles wasn’t as bad anymore, either.

Katsuki had been right. They were going in the right direction.

He quickened his pace, ignoring the dumbass’ look of surprise at the increased speed.

He had to get to Deku. He had to! And he felt like every step he took made his muscles ache less, made his head clearer, made his fever lighter.

“You really must be feeling better, huh?” Shitty Hair’s voice sounded bewildered. “I guess however the quirk messed with you, it was just temporary.”

Katsuki quickened his pace again, needing to reach Deku. “Like that shit could keep me down for long.”

The dust clouds by the plaza were taking shape, now, a huge black mass in the middle and Warp Fucker off to one side with some hand-covered asshole.

“Bakugou… you sure about this?” Shitty Hair was whispering, now, and watching the plaza with fear in his eyes. “That thing… that thing is… it’s huge, man! It’s nothing like the villains in the building.”

Katsuki ducked behind a bush, and the red head quickly followed suit. Hunched over, they crept closer to the plaza. He didn’t know where Deku was, but the nerd had to be close. All the affects of the forced distance had faded, and Katsuki felt almost normal.

He poked his head out from behind the bush, trying to get a better look—why the fuck was there nothing to use as cover between here and the damn fountain?—but all he saw was the black monster shift its weight.

His eyes widened at the figure underneath the monster. He could barely make out the outline, but it was enough. He’d know that black hair, that outfit, that capture weapon anywhere.

Even if they were covered in blood.

“Aizawa-Sensei.”

Chapter Text

He couldn’t—

He couldn’t breathe.

Izuku’s eyes shot open.

Water.

He was in water.

He activated his quirk, green lightning flashing as he kicked upward.

His lungs were burning, screaming for air.

His limbs felt weak and on fire.

He couldn’t—it hurt so much—but he had to!

Just a bit more—

A few more kicks—

Air!

He gasped as he broke through the surface of the water, filling his lungs with air.

His muscles still felt like they were burning, though. He deactivated his quirk and focused on treading water, but every movement hurt! His muscles hurt so much—And his head—a sharp pain flashed through his temple. His head really hurt. Like really really hurt.

He just wanted to curl into a ball, do nothing , and retreat from the pain, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t, he had to keep moving he needed—

His head hurt so much. His chest felt like someone had taken a hammer and pounded against it for hours.

He needed….

He choked back a sob, “Kacchan!” Where was Kacchan?! Ignoring the pain, Izuku looked around wildly, eyes wide in panic.

He remembered mist. Mist and Kacchan—

“Midoriya-san!”

Huh? Izuku turned toward the voice, seeing Asui swimming toward him, but also some… shark looking guy? And he did not look friendly.

Green light flashed across his legs and he kicked toward the villain as he came close, but Izuku miscalculated how the drag of the water would affect his speed, and the villain ducked under his leg, then swam around to come at Izuku again from a different angle.

Before Izuku could adjust and attack again, though, something wrapped around his waist and flung him through the air—

And he landed with a thud on something solid.

Not water.

Wooden.

Izuku groaned, pain hitting him hard now that he was out of immediate danger. His muscles were on fire and his chest still hurt. Where was he? Where was Kacchan?

He rolled to the side, his head foggy. A ship?

“Midoriya, you ok?”

Another voice. Who…

Purple hair.

Shinsou. Shinsou was standing over him, looking down with… concern? Izuku should probably tell him that he was alright.

He opened his mouth to say something, but another spike of pain drilled into his skull and all that came out was a whimper.

Shinsou cocked his head to the side, muttering, “I can work with that.” He raised his voice, commanding, “Midoriya-kun, tell me what hurts and how it hurts.”

The fog in Izuku’s brain shifted. It felt… different. More controlled. “My muscles are on fire. My chest feels like I got rammed with a baseball hat. I’m light-headed, my head feels really foggy, and there’s a sudden pain that has spiked a couple times. I think I might have a fever.”

A frown. “Do you think you broke any bones?”

“No.”

The fog shifted, directionless once more. Izuku blinked. He hadn’t meant to… oh. Shinsou’s quirk. His classmate sighed, leaning backwards.

Izuku’s eyes widened and he raised a hand to cover his mouth, wincing as his muscles protested. That had been close. What if Shinsou had asked why he was hurt and not how? Or any other question that might have revealed the bond? Even just a ‘what happened’ could have been dangerous!

“Shit.” Shinsou ran a hand through his hair. “Look, I’m sorry for doing that without permission, but I tried to be as precise with my questions as possible. I needed to know if you’d been injured internally when you fell or if a villain had hurt you before Tsuyu-san arrived, but you weren’t answering, so…” he shrugged, “My quirk will take control from a person and force them to respond, so if someone is having trouble focusing on answer, it will make them focus.”

That was…. That was really interesting. And Izuku could appreciate that Shinsou had used it to try and help him. “’Sfine.” His words came out slurred. Izuku frowned. Focus! He fought through the fog, concentrating more as he added, “So… the command overrides discomfort? Can it override actual physical ability? Like with someone who’s screaming or too focused on the pain to do anything?”

Shinsou snorted, “At that point, they wouldn’t even be able to respond to me.” At Izuku’s blank stare, Shinsou elaborated, “That’s my trigger. You have to respond to me verbally before I can use my quirk on you.” Oh. Well, that made sense. The purple-haired student suddenly glared at Midoriya, “More to the point, why the heck did you come to school if you were sick? We knew today was going to be strenuous, even if we didn’t know it would be this bad.”

“Ribbit, Midoriya is sick?” Asui suddenly came into his field of vision, bending down next to them both. Izuku gingerly stretched his burning muscles as Shinsou narrated what Midoriya had told him a minute ago.

Shinsou thought… he thought the fever was from Izuku actually being sick. Izuku wanted to laugh with relief at the excuse. “It wasn’t this bad this morning.” He groaned as he pushed himself into a sitting position, his muscles protesting. “But what… what happened? I remember is Kacchan disappearing but then I was under water and I couldn’t breathe and felt…” Izuku shuddered. He needed Kacchan. “I felt a lot worse. I think… I think I must have blacked out.”

Asui frowned. “The warp villain sent us all to various places in USJ where villains were waiting to ambush us. Since your body was already weak from being sick, it must have affected you worse.”

Izuku frowned, looked down at his hands. Well, he knew why it had really affected him worse… but it wasn’t like he could tell them. Even if he felt bad for making them worry. Maybe, though… maybe he could allay their worries somewhat? If, if he could let them know he’d get better somehow…. Maybe… “If I’m worse because of his quirk, maybe I’ll start feeling better in a bit?”

That was met with two shrugs. Shinsou looked over Izuku’s shoulder toward the water, “Maybe. We can’t count on that, though. And right now we’re on a boat in the middle of a villain-infested lake. We’re just lucky they seem content to wait us out.”

“They must have quirks that are stronger in the water or something.” Izuku rubbed at his head as pain drilled into his skull once again.

Shinsou growled in frustration, “So they’re just going to wait us out? See if we try and do something and then attack us the second we touch the water?”

Asui frowned. “But then we could just stay in this boat until help arrives. The warp villain…ribbit… he said they were going to, um, hurt us.” Her voice faltered on the last words, but she swallowed and looked out at the water before adding, “I’m sure they will attack eventually.”

“So…” Izuku bit his lip, trying to focus. “So they’re being cautious. But why? We’re just students, even if we do go to UA.” UA! His mind flashed backwards, remembering the break-in last week. “They knew to warp villains with water quirks to the flood zone. That guy earlier looked like a shark. So they were behind the break-in! They have intel!”

Shinsou raised an eyebrow, “So? That doesn’t exactly help us right now.”

“If they have intel, why would the send Asui-san to the flood zone?” Izuku’s mind raced, fighting against the fog, “They’re being cautious because they don’t know our quirks!”

A slow grin spread across Shinsou’s face. “They don’t know ours, but we at least know theirs are water related.”

“Exactly!”

Tsuyu nodded. “Then we should make a plan that makes the best use of our quirks.” She titled her head to the side. “I can do pretty much everything a frog can—jump high, stick to walls, and stick my tongue out up to 20 meters. I can also spit out my stomach and wash it, and secrete toxic mucus that actually just stings a little.” She shrugged, “The last two are probably useless so you can forget about them. Also, please call me Tsu-chan.”

Izuku stared at his classmate. She… she… what?! His voice came out as a squeak, “Tsu-chan?” He’d never… No one had ever asked him to call them by anything less formal than their last name, before! And that was as informal as what he called Kacchan!

She nodded. “At your own pace is fine.”

“R-right.” He swallowed. “Well, I kinda already knew this after the tests on the first day, but you’re really awesome, um, Tsu-san!” Izuku winced as pain raced through his head once more. It was easy to forget about the pain when talking about quirks, but he really needed to find Kacchan, and fast.

“I’ve already told you most of the things about my quirk, but I should add that if I try to control more than one person for over a few minutes, it’s likely I’ll lose consciousness. And,” he paused to grimace in frustration, “a bump will jar someone out of my control.”

Izuku blinked. That was a huge limitation. “Just a bump?”

“Yeah,” Shinsou shrugged. “It’s hard to control people, ok? They’re usually fighting me for power over their own consciousness. Which… yeah. I get that. A bump is enough to anchor their consciousness in their surroundings and let them win against me.” He looked out toward the water. “I don’t think water splashing them will be enough, but if they run into another villain, I’ll lose control. So I can only count on controlling one person for a few seconds, and it will take me a while to get a new person.the more people I control, the more they’re likely to figure out what my trigger is, too.”

Izuku frowned, struggling to focus on his classmate’s quirk. That was… a lot of limitations.

He looked up to see the two staring at him expectantly. “Oh. Right. Sorry.” He really wasn’t used to the whole, ‘tell others about your quirk’ routine. And his brain was still foggy. “I…umm… have enhanced strength. I guess. I was a, um, a late-bloomer, and it-it just manifested a year ago, so I don’t really know all the details and I can only use a little of its power or I get really hurt. Like, break bones or worse kind of hurt. And, um… I mean, if we need me to in order to survive this, I can use full power, which is really really strong, but I’ll be useless afterwards. And Kacchan will kill me if I do that. And my mom. And Kacchan’s mom. And All Might. And Recovery Girl… And—oh! Enhanced muscles might be more accurate, I guess. It affects my speed, too.” He looked down, his fingers fidgeting. “Oh! And I have a flash bomb and a smoke bomb with my costume, but I have absolutely no clue if those are water proof or not.” He sighed.

The two blinked at him. Izuku scratched at his cheek nervously, “Sorry. I ramble. A lot. And Kacchan’s not here to stop me and my brain’s all foggy so I can’t focus and—”

“You only got your quirk a year ago and you still made it into UA’s hero course?” Shinsou was staring at him, one eyebrow raised.

“Uh… yeah. I grew up quirkless. I was the best at my dojo, though! I even beat Kacchan a lot, not that he’d ever admit it.”

“Quirkless.” Shinsou’s eyebrows scrunched together.

BOOOM!

Izuku’s head whipped to the side, “Kacchan!!” All the way across USJ, a huge explosion was destroying a building.

“Shit, that’s huge.”

“Ribbit. Bakugou-kun really was being careful in the building during practice the other day, wasn’t he?”

Izuku nodded distractedly. He’d never seen Kacchan make one that big. Izuku shivered. If Kacchan was feeling feverish, too… his hands tightened. Fever sweat would give his soulmate a lot of ammo, at least.

Izuku’s heart ached. He needed to go there. Now. Kacchan was there. He ignored his muscles protest as he pushed himself up and walked slowly toward the rim of the boat.

Kacchan was ok.

Izuku hadn’t dared to think about the alternative, but… But Kacchan was ok.

Now he just had to get to him.

Izuku glared at the water, frowning. Frog-like abilities, enhanced muscles, and limited brainwashing. What could they…?

If he used 100%, even just with one finger, they could—

No!

Think! He had to think.

Izuku’s eyes widened and he clung to the railing as a hand of water rose and shot toward the boat, slamming down onto the deck and cutting their safe-haven in half.

“Shit!” Shinsou was leaning against the cabin’s walls, while Tsuyu had her hands spread, sticking to the ground next to him. “Guess they got impatient.”

Izuku needed to think!

“Whose quirk was that?”

Huh? Oh. Right. Brainwashing. Izuku looked out toward the villains, “He has a grey head, no hair, and, um…blue eyes!”

Shinsou shakily walked towards Izuku as the boat slowly began to sink beneath them. “He’s impatient and probably acts without thinking about any of the others, so he should be easy for me to rile up and make respond. His quirk is powerful, so if I can at least control him and get him to attack the others, that will give us a good distraction.”

Right. That… that made sense.

But a distraction so that they could do what?

Think!

Izuku clutched at his head as pain bit into his skull.

“Tsu-san, you’re strong, right? And you can jump far? Could you get yourself and Shinsou across the lake?”

She tilted her head to the side and let out a short, “ribbit,” then nodded. “I’ll need to jump a couple of times, but if the villains are distracted I can probably jump on top of them. If not, I can still swim faster than most even with someone on my back.”

“Ok.” Izuku nodded, determined. “You get Shinsou to the shoreline as soon as the villains start fighting. I’ll….” A shiver wracked through his frame, and he slowly stood up. “I’ll use my quirk to swim to shore.”

“Midoriya-kun…” Tsuyu tilted her head, concern filling her eyes. “You are sick and having trouble moving. Will you be ok?”

Izuku… wasn’t used to this. To other people being concerned for him. Kacchan just trusted him or told him he was being an idiot and stopped him. But they were… actually worried about him? And still letting him decide if he could do it or not?

Green lightning flickered over his whole body and Deku looked down at his arms nervously. “My quirk should help with that. It enhances my muscles, so I’ll be able to swim fast, even if I’m in pain.” At least, he hoped it would work that way. He’d never used it while in pain before. But… “I was able to use it after I landed in the water. It just…” he laughed uneasily, “Well, it took a lot out of me.”

Shinsou and Tsuyu traded a concerned look. Tsuyu frowned, “Once I get Shinsou safe on the shore, I’ll come back to help you.”

“Umm…Ok. I guess.” It would be stupid to turn down someone offering to help, right? Izuku called on his quirk, wincing at the strain on his muscles. He could do this. He just had to get to Kacchan, and then the pain would go away.

“I won’t be able to hold them long while they’re fighting, so I’ll get as many as I can.” Shinsou pulled himself up, standing on the side of the ship. He took a deep breath, then belted out, “Hey assholes! Which one of you thinks you can beat me?!”

Isuku blinked in surprise as there was an uproar from the water below.

He supposed acting like Kacchan was one way to get a lot of people to respond.

His classmate smirked, surveying the assembled villains as Tsuyu hopped up onto the ledge next to him and wrapped one arm behind him. “As fast as possible, knock out as many of the villains close to you as you can while not getting hit yourself.”

Immediately, Shinsou winced as the order took place, and Tsuyu lifted him over her shoulder and jumped.

Izuku stared out at the chaos in the water, trying to find the best path—no. He didn’t have time!

He jumped.

His muscles hurt, but he pushed them as hard as he could. He’d never swum with three percent before… why had he never swum with three percent?!?! He had trained on a beach!

Just focus on three percent. Only three percent. Keep it steady.

He winced as his legs began to throb, sharp pain sprouting all across his muscles.

His strokes faltered as he felt like something snapped in his arm.

The strain from the bond…. His quirk wasn’t overcoming it! He couldn’t—couldn’t keep this up! Couldn’t even use three percent!

Izuku wanted to cry from frustration.

Two percent! Even just that much—

His breath left him as something rammed into his side, sending him deeper into the water. He opened his eyes, ignoring the stinging salt water, and looked around.

There!

A villain was not too far away, but he looked unconscious. He must have been attacked and thrown into Izuku,

He could use this, though!

Deku grabbed the unconscious villain, kicking them both toward the surface. He winced as a muscle in his leg stretched painfully tight, a sharp pain limiting his movement even further. Izuku broke the surface and gasped for air, carefully keeping his head hidden behind the villain’s floating body and pushing both of them slowly toward the shore and away from the chaos a few meters away.

From the sound of things, the villains were definitely still fighting. Hopefully they were fighting each other and not Shinsou and Tsuyu.

Izuku started to count under his breath, trying to distract himself from the pain in his legs and arms and his burning muscles. He’d deactivated his quirk, worried that it would do more damage—Izuku winced as pain spiked like someone had rammed an ice pick into the back of his skull.

He had to get to Kacchan.

He had to.

He was almost three quarters of the way across the lake, now. Just a little further… he couldn’t see Shinsou and Tsu-san anywhere, though…

What if they were back with the villains? What if they needed his help?

Hesitantly, Izuku pulled himself up to peek over the villain’s back.

Chaos. Blood stained the water as villains were fighting each other. Over half of them were unconscious or screaming in pain, and those that could still fight were yelling at each other as they attacked, though Izuku couldn’t hear what about. Were any of them even still under the influence of Shinsou’s quirk?

Something grabbed his shoulder, and Izuku yelped, but a hand covered his mouth, muffling the sound.

A gloved hand.

A tan glove.

“It’s me, ribbit.”

Tsuyu!

Izuku sighed in relief as the hand over his mouth disappeared. “Thanks for coming, Tsu-san.”

“I’ll take us to shore, ribbit. Hold your breath and tap my shoulder if you need to come up for air, ok? It’s safer if we go underwater.”

“Ok.” Izuku took a deep breath, barely closing his mouth before he was being dragged through the water at a speed much faster than what he’d managed before. Tsu-san was really fast like this! How fast would she be if she didn’t have to drag—

Izuku hissed in pain as he was pushed up onto the shore.

Hands grabbed him underneath his shoulders, pulling him behind the leaves, and then he was pulled up, leaning back against someone’s—Shinsou’s, he assumed—shoulder. Moments later, Tsu-san appeared once again.

“We should be safe here, ribbit. We’re away from the fighting on the lake, but also nowhere near the villains that sensei is fighting.” She paused, looking at Izuku, first, and then behind him. “You both pushed yourselves too hard.”

There was a grunt behind Izuku. “Ten of them answered.” Izuku’s eyes widened at the sound of his classmate’s strained and exhausted voice. “That many attacking each other at once would drastically increase our odds. I had to try.”

She sighed. “Where are you hurt, Midoriya-kun?”

Izuku looked at her, startled. “It’s nothing bad! I just… I miscalculated. Instead of helping me fight through the pain, the pain meant I couldn’t use as much of my quirk and…” Izuku winced. “I just pulled a few muscles, that’s all.”

Shinsou snorted. “I guess, given the circumstances, a few pulled muscles and a migraine headache aren’t really ‘bad.’”

Izuku blinked, suddenly realizing something. “I think my fever is gone!”

“Really?” Shinsou’s hand was suddenly on top of his forehead. “Huh. You… your temperature feels normal.” There was a heavy sigh as the hand fell away. “One good thing, at least.”

They were closer to Kacchan. He had to keep going! But Tsu-san seemed to want to stay here… and Shinsou was in a lot of pain… Izuku bit his lip. “Isn’t a hiding spot away like this a bit obvious?” He paused, trying to think of a way to get himself closer to Kacchan while keeping his classmates safe. “Won’t they look first at the places that are relatively close, but away from the fighting?”

Tsuyu tilted her hand to the side, tapping her chin in thought. “Are you saying we should move, ribbit?”

“At least, umm… we should at least think about it?” Izuku forced himself to sit up straight. “The last place they’d look…” where would be the last place? If their instinct was to run away from the fighting, then… “the last place they’ll look is where there’s obviously fighting taking place. So by the plaza.” Which would be toward where Kacchan was. And it would let them make sure that Aizawa-sensei was still ok, too.

If he wasn’t… Izuku frowned. If he wasn’t, Izuku would just have to think of some way to help him. He’d be feeling better, then, even if he still had to deal with the pulled muscles.

“Whatever.” Shinsou’s voice still sounded tight. “Just don’t expect me to control anyone.”

Izuku slowly scooted away from Shinsou, then turned to look at him. His classmate was curled into a ball, head tucked under his arms.

Izuku frowned. “Maybe you two should stay here while I look around…?”

“That’s stupid.” Tired eyes peeked up. “I may not be in good shape, but neither are you. Neither one of us should be without Tsu-chan right now, since she’s the only un-injured one.”

Tsuyu nodded. “But you’re right, Midoriya. This place may not be safe for long. If I leave to look around and someone finds you while I’m gone, you might not be able to fight them off.”

“I can fight!” Deku clenched his fists. “It’s just a pulled muscle or something in my left arm and right leg. I can still fight.”

Tsuyu sighed. “I would still feel better if we stuck together. I can carry you on my back, Midoriya-kun.”

“But—”

“Stop arguing, already.” Shinsou shifted beside Izuku, nudging him toward Tsuyu. “If we’re going to go, let’s go.”

“O-ok.” Izuku bit his lip, uncertain. Working with people besides Kacchan was… weird. “Shinsou-kun are you sure you don’t want her to carry you? You look like you’re in a lot of pain.”

“My legs work fine, yours don’t.” Shinsou glared at him, “You get carried this time.”

Izuku nodded slowly, then crawled to the edge of the bush and pulled some leaves aside so that he could see the lake. “They’re still fighting, but it looks like most of the villains are unconscious, or…” his eyes flickered toward one villain who… Izuku swallowed nervously, “or worse.”

He turned around to see Tsuyu looking through the other side of the bush. “This way is clear, ribbit.”

“Right.” Izuku nodded, determined. He had to reach Kacchan. He had to know that Kacchan was still ok. He had to be able to fight at full strength.

Tsuyu turned her back toward him, holding her arms out to the side so that he could climb on easier. Right. She would help hold him up; it wasn’t like with Kacchan, who had to still be able to use his hands.

He’d… he’d never been carried like that. Well… a couple times with Kacchan, but…

Uncertain, Izuku inched forward and slowly, awkwardly, got onto Tsuyu’s back. Her hands wrapped under his legs, and Izuku winced as her hands grabbed a tender muscle. “Is this ok, ribbit?”

“Sh-shift your r-right hand a bit, um, please.” Her hand slipped a bit down toward his knee, and Izuku breathed a sigh of relief. “Yes. That’s, uh, that’s good now. Thanks.” He blushed looking off to the side.

Shinsou was staring at him, one eyebrow raised, “You seemed fine on Bakugou’s back. Why’re you so uneasy?”

“’Sdifferent.” Izuku looked down, trying to relax his tense muscles, “That’s Kacchan.”

“Quiet.” Tsuyu pulled branches aside, slipping carefully out of the bushes, and Shinsou followed after them.

They crept along the edge of the bushes, inching towards the central plaza and wincing at any loud noise from the battle behind them. Across the fountain, clouds of dust rose and they occasionally saw a figure go flying curtesy of Eraserhead’s capture weapon.

“He’s still fighting.” Shinsou’s expression was relieved, and Izuku grinned in relief, as well.

Then the dust stopped.

Shinsou looked… he looked torn between fear and murderous anger. Izuku swallowed his own fear. “I’m sure Aizawa-sensei is fine.” He was Eraserhead! Even if he was fighting against multiple opponents, he was an amazing hero and had lots of experience!

“All it takes is one of those bastards to hit him in a good spot while he blinks.” Shinsou’s hands were clenched tight.

They’d made it to the wall of the fountain, but as much as Izuku felt nervous being this out in the open, the only villains nearby were on the complete opposite side. The ache in his muscles was finally gone, as was the pain and fog in his head.

Kacchan was near.

Izuku smiled to himself, thrilled that he’d managed to get close to his soulmate once again. He would be able to use three percent, now!

Then he noticed Shinsou, who was slowly inching to the right, heading toward a pillar. He stopped, took a deep breath, and then peeked around its edge. His entire body froze, and he stood like that for a good minute, just staring around the pillar.

“What… what’s going on?” Izuku’s fingers twitched nervously, “Is sensei ok?”

When Shinsou looked back at them, his face was pale and his entire frame was tense. “It’s… it’s really bad.” He grimaced, rubbing at his right temple, “I can’t do this. Sorry. I can’t just sit here, hiding, while they kill the first person who believed in me.”

“Kill?!” Izuku’s shocked whisper had a shrill edge.

“Wait!” Tsuyu’s hand reached out to stop him, but she was too slow. Shinsou had already stepped out from behind the pillar, and was in plain sight.

“Oi! Hand Fucker!”

Izuku scrambled to Shinsou’s side—he had to give him support! If things got bad… well, Tsuyu and Kacchan could cover them, somehow.

Izuku’s thoughts stuttered to a halt and his eyes widened in horror as he saw Aizawa-sensei on the ground, his head smashed into the pavement, and a pool of blood surrounding him.

Sensei.

Eraserhead!

The villain covered in hands slowly turned toward them, scratching at his neck. Izuku shivered. These guys were way different from the ones they had faced at the shipwreck. The hand-covered villain glared at them, “Wh—”

“Tell it to let Eraserhead go.”

The villain’s posture loosened, his voice automatically stating, “Nomu. Let Eraserhead go.”

Their teacher’s body collapsed onto the ground as the monster released his head and arm.

“Shigaraki?!” The warp portal turned toward the hand-covered villain, but before he could do anything, explosions came blasting out of the closest bushes, heading straight toward them.

“Kacchan!”

Chapter Text

Katsuki stared at Eraserhead’s limp form.

Fuck.

But he’d been… sensei had been…

He’d been fucking dominating all of them! So what the hell had happened?! That… that damn monster had…

His eyes caught movement from a pillar near the beast, “Shit.”

What was Brain Fucker doing here?

The extra was soaking wet, which meant he must have been sent to either the flood zone or the dome painted with a storm.

Damn it.

Now Deku was standing next to him, the two dumbasses facing the three villains.

“Fuck this.”

Katsuki’s hands exploded and he shot forward, targeting Warp Fucker as the villain began to stretch toward Deku and Brain Fucker.

“DIE!!!”

Katsuki pushed himself harder, faster, blasting straight toward the brace— there!

He tackled the thing to the ground, keeping his palms tight on the metal and letting out some warning explosions when the mist swirled. “Stay still, you Fucker, or I’ll blast this brace and whatever is under it straight to hell.”

“Kacchan!”

Katsuki barely registered Shitty Hair’s arrival behind him as he watched Warp Fucker while cautiously turning toward his soulmate.

His limping soulmate.

“What the fuck?! Why are you limping, you shitty nerd?!” If any of the damn assholes had so much as touched Deku, he’d fucking blast over there and kill the fuckers!

“Seriously, you ok there, Midoriya?”

Deku froze, halfway between Katsuki and Brain Fucker. “Umm… well… I, I promise I didn’t try to do the thing that um, you made me promise not to do!” Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched in annoyance. Could the nerd have said that in any more complicated way? “I, well, I accidentally overdid it. That’s all.”

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. So the shitty nerd had once again hurt himself, even if he’d avoided using 100%. “You’re explaining that later.” And explaining why he was holding his left arm weird, too.

Warp Fucker shifted slightly, and Katsuki let out a warning explosion. “Stay fucking still, damn it.”

Deku twisted his fingers a bit, his smile nervous as he nodded and responded to Katsuki’s demand. “Right. Ok.”

Deku’s head whipped around as Brain Fucker suddenly winced, groaning and clutching his head, and Deku ran back over to him. “Shinsou-kun! Are you ok?!”

Kun? Fuck. Deku had picked up another shitty friend.

Katsuki eyed the hand-covered villain warily, only vaguely listening to his soulmate and their purple haired classmate. Brain Fucker obviously had him under control for now, and the monster thing wasn’t moving… Brain Fucker had gotten it to release their sensei, so either he had both of them under control, or Handshit controlled the monster.

But Brain Fucker was saying he was at his limit after earlier (Katsuki supposed he’d controlled villains before to let them escape), and was likely to fall unconscious soon.

That shit really wasn’t good.

The second Brain Fucker lost control, they’d have two damn strong villains after their blood, along with an unconscious classmate and sensei to protect. And Katsuki was stuck in place, making sure they didn’t have three fucking villains to deal with instead of just the two.

Fuck.

Brain Fucker took a deep breath, then looked straight at the hand villain. “Tell Nomu not to attack any students or heroes.”

His command was repeated in a bland voice, but Katsuki knew the order would only buy them a few seconds of warning as the villain reversed the command.

Shitty Hair was kneeling next to their sensei, now, skin hardened and eyes glued on the monster as he slowly picked up Aizawa-sensei and began to carry him away from danger.

Then, several things happened at once.

Brain Fucker grunted, and Deku hastily caught him as he slumped over, unconscious.

“Damn it!”

Handshit didn’t even bother with commanding the monster, turning instead to run straight toward Katsuki.

Damn it, damn it, damn it! Katsuki was at his best when he could move freely! But right now, he was basically pinned down, one hand useless. Katsuki had no clue what Handshit’s quirk was, but the way he held his own hands outstretched meant it was likely one that needed close combat. “Back off, fucker!”

Katsuki twisted his body to the right to dodge the guy’s hand, at the same time lighting up an explosion that definitely hit the villain. All it earned him, though, was a manic laugh as the villain’s hand shot through the explosion toward Katsuki’s stationary arm.

Katsuki twisted, using an explosion to spin himself quickly and knee the villain in his stomach. The villain jumped back, idly rubbing his stomach with three fingers.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed, did the guy need five fingers to activate his quirk, then?

Handshit charged again, ducking under Katsuki’s explosion while bringing his right hand up, this time going straight for Katsuki’s chest.

Shit!

There was no way he could dodge and keep pinning the warp villain!

He pulled his gauntlet back, barely managing to block the enemy’s hand with his weapon, but Katsuki’s eyes widened as the gauntlet began to disintegrate.

Fuck! Just a few more inches and—

Katsuki was tackled, green lightning filling his vision.

Deku.

BOOOM!!!!

Katsuki hit the ground hard, Deku hissing and clutching his shoulder—damn it, Deku’s arm! Katsuki rolled to the side.

Shit. Deku’s left shoulder was definitely dislocated.

Katsuki helped his soulmate back onto his feet, only pausing at Deku’s whispered, “All Might.”

Katsuki’s head jerked around to look where Deku was staring.

The number one hero stood there, wearing his hideous teaching suit and glaring at the villains. “Kacchan…” Deku’s voice was strained with worry, “he… he did a lot of hero work this morning. Like, umm… a lot.”

“Fuck.” If Deku was mentioning it, that meant the hero was likely close to his time limit.

Katsuki hurriedly took in their surroundings—Frog Girl had somehow appeared and had Brain Fucker off to the side, Shitty Hair next to her with Aizawa Sensei behind him. The black monster still hadn’t moved, and Handshit and Warp Fucker were both staring toward the entrance, Handshit laughing hysterically.

The next thing Katsuki knew, there was a rush of wind, and the only thing keeping him from being blown backwards was Deku’s flashing arm clenching around Katsuki’s waist.

When the dust cleared, Katsuki’s eyes widened in shock.

The black beast was standing in front of Handshit with All Might’s fist positioned square against the middle of its stomach. The hero had obviously just hit it, but… but the monster was just… just standing there, completely unfazed.

“Shit.”

How the fucking hell could the monster be unaffected by that hit?! No wonder it had been able to take Aizawa-sensei down!

“Nomu, Kurogiri. Kill him. I’ll deal with the children.” Handshit grinned, “Let’s clear this level and go home.”

Oh, hell no! Like Katsuki would let him touch Deku!

The villain ran first toward Frog Girl and Shitty Hair, but explosions burst from Katsuki’s hands as he darted to intercept him.

Shitty Hair’s defenses wouldn’t work against this, nor would Frog Girl’s weird mutation quirk. Deku needed close combat, so Katsuki had the first quirk to use against this fucker.

“DIE, YOU BASTARD!”

Anothergust of wind threw him of course, forcing Katsuki to redirect his blasts to land between Handshit and his classmates.

“Everyone, go to the entrance!” All Might shouted above the gale, “I’ll handle these villains!”

“Fuck!” Katsuki glanced at Handshit, who was now focused on remaining still in the gale from All Might’s hits, and was laughing as he watched the fight.

Well, at least the bastard wasn’t likely to attack in the next few seconds.

Katsuki kept his eyes on Handshit, though, watching as the villain taunted All Might, “That won’t accomplish anything! Nomu’s quirk is shock absorption! He was built to withstand 100% of your power.”

“Really?” All Might landed blow after blow, not even stopping as he yelled back to Handshit, “Thanks for telling me!”

He stepped in close, wrapping his arms around the monster and then bending backwards, debris and dirt making a huge cloud around him as he slammed the villain backwards in a suplex.

When the dust cleared, Katsuki’s eyes widened in shock. All Might was still bent over backward, but the warp villain had made a gate, and now All Might was being held in place by the monster as the gate slowly closed around them both. The monster’s hands were digging into All Might’s wound, blood already beginning to stain his shirt.

Fuck!

Katsuki stepped forward, ready to go help his hero, but a tan glove closed around his wrist. “All Might told us to get Shinsou-kun and Aizawa-sensei to the entrance.”

“But Tsu-san!” Deku pulled at Frog Girl’s other hand, which was latched around Deku’s wrist. “He needs help!”

Shitty Hair groaned, still holding Aizawa-sensei protectively in hardened arms. “I know it looks bad, man, but its All Might! He’ll get out of this any second now! We’ve got to do what he asked us to.”

Small explosions popped in Katsuki’s palms as he glared at Shitty Hair. “It only takes two to get those two to get to the entrance. You two go. Deku and I will provide All Might with back-up if he needs it.”

Shitty Hair groaned, “Come on, man!”

Frog Girl pointed toward the other side of the plaza where villains were beginning to stir, “Two of us can carry them, ribbit, but we also need someone to fight off attackers.”

Fuck.

The two were right. But….

Ice sprang out from behind them, carving a path that separated them from All Might as it sped toward the black monster, quickly climbing him and encasing all of his limbs, while leaving All Might untouched.

Half-and-Half.

Katsuki turned to glare at the bastard, but the guy just shook his head, exhaling with a frosty breath. “Go. Midoriya’s quirk won’t do anything against this monster, plus he looks injured. And my quirk is better suited to keeping a distance than yours is.”

“You saying you’re better than me, bastard!?” Katsuki clenched his hands, anger welling up inside him. How dare—

“YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!”

Katsuki hissed, hands clamping down over his ears. What the fuck?!

There, at the entrance, stood Cockatoo, who looked furious. Every villain between him and the plaza was on the ground, unconscious.

Slowly, other UA instructors began to file into the room beside him, each scanning the area for threats.

All Might jumped backwards, “Thank you, Young Todoroki, for the assist.” The number one hero coughed, and Katsuki’s eyes narrowed at the blood on his fist when he moved his hand away. “Please back up, now, and help get Aizawa-kun and Young Shinsou to safety.”

Todoroki nodded, walking toward Brain Fucker and offering Frog Girl help.

Katsuki ignored the extras’ movements, focusing on the heroes as they descended. Cockatoo was the first to move, jumping down and heading straight toward them, and afterwards each teacher broke off from the group, heading toward different disaster areas.

With the monster on the ground behind him, All Might now was stomping toward the two villains left, but he halted when the beast began to crawl after him, muscles pouring out from its arms and forming into new limbs.

“I thought it’s quirk was shock absorption?!” All Might jumped back as the monster charged, then turning to slam a blow into its back.

Handshit laughed, scratching at his neck, “I never said that was his only quirk! Nomu was built to defeat you! It will win!”

All Might grunted, arms flexing as he began to match the Nomu monster blow for blow, pounding at it with incredible speed that Katsuki couldn’t even follow.

“Shigaraki Tomura!” Warp Fucker’s voice was raised, now, to be heard over the wind from All Might’s attacks. “Nomu may be able to win its battle, but we will not be able to do anything about that if we are immediately captured! We must retreat!”

“This has to be some kind of cheat!” Handshit ignored Warp Fucker, scratching at his neck frantically as All Might stretched his arms, breaking the monster’s frozen limbs. “How did all of this help arrive at once, right when we had him?! How?!”

The scratching suddenly froze.

The villain's eyes narrowed. “A soulmate.”

Fuck.

Handshit turned toward the Warp Fucker, hissing, “You said our intel stated that UA doesn’t have any soulmate hero duos currently on staff! But how else could help have gotten here so fast?! There’s no way that kid that escaped could have gotten them here this quickly, even if he had a speed quirk!”

“I do not know, Shigaraki-san, but we must retreat. We will not be able to overcome this many heroes!”

A warp gate suddenly formed by the monster’s feet. Katsuki’s hands began to spark as he prepared to launch himself at the Warp Fucker again—like hell he’d let these assholes escape!

“I know that!” Handshit snarled, “Why do—”

“YEAAAAHHHHHH!!”

Warp Fucker’s eyes widened as Cockatoo’s shout blew away the warp mist underneath the damn monster.

“Or how about you three just stay put, yeah?” Cockatoo strutted into the plaza, his grin sharp. “If you kids see a safe path out of here, take it. Otherwise, stay back!”

Handshit snarled, running toward Cockatoo, but another shout forced him to retreat, slamming the palms of his hands against his ears.

Cockatoo reached up, twisting a knob or some shit on his neck before he let out another shout, this one aimed at the earth, apparently, as suddenly the ground underneath them was reverberating and Katsuki struggled to stay standing.

When he looked back up, Cockatoo was midair, aiming a kick straight at Handshit’s head. A warp gate appeared in the air between them, but Cockatoo let out another shout, dispelling the mist in front of him and landing his kick—but on the villain’s arm, not his head. The split second distraction had let the fucker move slightly backwards and out of the hero’s direct path.

Cockatoo vaulted backwards as Handshit stumbled a few feet, glaring at the hero. “How did you get here so fast?! Who has the soulmate? Is it one of the those two heroes, or one of the students?!”

Cockatoo just released a booming laugh, forcing the villain to retreat further, blood beginning to drip out of his ears.

“WHOOO SAAAYYSSS THEERREEE’SS AAAA SSOOUUULLMMMAAAAATTEEE???!!!!”

Handshit was on his knees, now, but suddenly there was a loud bang as All Might shouted, “PLUS ULTRA!” And then the black monster was flying across the USJ, crashing into the ceiling and then hurtling out, flying to who knows where.

Katsuki gaped in shock, but that quickly turned into a wince when Cockatoo started screaming again.

While they’d been distracted by the flying monster, Warp Fucker had encircled Handshit, who was now almost entirely through the gate.

Cockatoo’s scream was biting away at the mist, but there was no way it would be fast enough!

Damn it!

The warp gate disappeared.

Cockatoo let out a disgruntled noise, glancing around quickly to make sure there were no nearby villains. Then he reached up to turn a knob again on his speaker and when he shouted Eraserhead's name, his voice was back to its normal loudness.

Cockatoo ran toward them, skidding to a stop beside Shitty Hair, who was still holding their sensei awkwardly. The hero held out his arms, and Shitty Hair quickly shifted to deliver their sensei to the hero.

"Shit, Eraser... you really overdid it, huh?" Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. With the amount of concern in this guy's voice… but if sensei shared pain with his soulmate, then surely his soulmate wouldn’t be here, but would be unconscious somewhere at UA, right?

Cockatoo’s green eyes glanced up over the rim of his glasses, flicking over each student before settling on Shinsou’s unconscious form, supported by the bastard and Frog Girl. “Come on, come on," he turned on his heel, motioning toward the entrance, "Recovery Girl is outside with a medical van. We need to get all you students checked out. What happened to Shinsou-kun?”

“He overused his quirk, ribbit.”

Cockatoo sighed, but began to walk toward the doors, “That’s not good, but I guess it could have been a lot worse.” The hero’s steps paused as he realized that none of them had moved. “Come on, little listeners! The sooner these two see medical attention, the better!”

“I, um....” Deku looked back and forth between Cockatoo and where All Might was still standing, completely still. “I need to ask All Might something! Can Kacchan and I come to the entrance with him?”

Cockatoo groaned in frustration, glancing between Deku and Aizawa-sensei in his arms. “Fine, sure. You should be fine as long as you’re with him.” He turned around and set a quick pace toward the entrance, the others hurrying after him as best they could.

Deku ran to All Might.

“What the fuck, Deku?” His soulmate needed to get to Recovery Girl, damn it! Katsuki turned, then groaned in annoyance at the smoke plumes rising from the hero’s form.

Shit.

Of course the hero was at his damn limit.

“All Might!” Deku stopped in front of the hero, his eyes frantically scanning his form, “Are you ok? Your limit! You passed it a while ago, and—”

All Might started to cough, his form slowly slipping.

Shit.

Katsuki reached for Deku’s belt, grabbing the smoke bomb and pulling the pin.

Immediately smoke burst up around the three of them, hiding the hero’s form.

“Kacchan!”

He pulled up his bandana, rolling his eyes at the nerd’s annoyance. “What? He needed to hide.”

“Those were soaked earlier! I didn’t know if they’d still work or if they would malfunction in some way, so I hadn’t been using them! What if—”

“Well now we know the shit’s waterproof.”

“Kacchan!”

A chuckle came from beside them in the thick smoke. “This smoke would certainly be effective at allowing you to move unseen. Thank you, Young Bakugou.”

“Whatever. Just get out of here, you shitty twig.”

“Twig?” There was a cough and Katsuki frowned, untying his bandana and thrusting it at where he knew the old man was standing. It thumped against the man’s chest, and then was gently tugged from his hands. “Thank you, again. I’ll get this back to you later, but for now, I must go before others see me in this form. Stay safe and don’t seek out any of the minor villains! Just go straight to the entrance and let the teachers handle the rest!”

“Yeah, yeah.” Katsuki reached out and grabbed Deku’s hair, pulling him toward where the smoke was thinnest. “We know all that shit.”

“Kacchan! I’m coming!” A hand pushed against his; “Stop pulling my hair!”

Katsuki grabbed his soulmate’s wrist, “Well I couldn’t grab your fucking arm since you went and fucked one of them up. How was I to know I was grabbing the good one?”

Deku groaned behind him.

When they finally reached a point where the smoke was thin enough to see figures, Katsuki caught sight of R-rated standing there, one hand on her hip. “What happened with the smoke, you two? Where’s All Might?

Deku’s form stiffened beside him, and Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Deku’s smoke bomb malfunctioned, some water probably got into it from earlier. All Might went the other way, he said he had something he had to take care of.”

R-rated sighed. “That’s fine, then. You two ok to head to the entrance on your own?” She looked over Deku’s form, “You need medical attention, kid.”

“”Um, of, of course! We’ll go straight there!”

She patted Deku on the head. “There’s a good kid. Bakugou, make sure he goes to see Recovery Girl, alright?”

“Oh, believe me, he’s getting that shit taken care of.”

R-rated laughed, “Good. Don’t dawdle, boys!” She walked off, hips swaying like always.

Katsuki didn’t move, relishing in the fact that his hand still held Deku’s wrist.

That his soulmate was at his side once more.

Katsuki closed his eyes, taking s slow, deep breath.

“Kacchan?”

He felt Deku’s wrist shift, and when he opened his eyes the nerd was standing in front of him, looking at him with concern. “You didn’t get hurt, right, Kacchan? You don’t look hurt, but I never asked, and that villain got so close to you and I was so scared and—”

“I’m fine, Deku.” He let Deku’s wrist slip free, raising his arms. “Not a scratch.” He shrugged, “Well, a little dehydrated after the shitty fever and that damn big blast, but I left some extra water bottles on the bus, so as long as that’s still outside I’ll be good.”

“That’s… that’s good. Though,” Deku gave him a shy smile, “I’d say your gauntlet getting destroyed counts as more than a scratch.”

Katsuki growled, gently shoving his hand through his soulmate’s hair. “Shut up, you shitty nerd. You don’t get to talk.” Katsuki’s eyes traced over Deku’s shoulder and arm, over his leg. “Fuck, when I realized you were limping, I—”

“I’m ok, Kacchan. It’s nothing Recovery Girl can’t fix.”

“Right.” His hands clenched at his sides. “Deku, I—”

Shit, when he’d thought Deku had been hurt badly, when he thought those fuckers might have done something to him—

They couldn’t stay like this.

Aizawa-sensei was right. They were weak with this shitty bond unsealed, and then there were all the damn complications that Recovery Girl had mentioned….

Katsuki growled in frustration.

The thin smoke swirled around them, obscuring them well enough from anyone that might look over in their direction. Katsuki took a step closer to Deku.

“Kacchan? I’m ok, Kacchan. We found each other before anything bad really happened. And the shoulder was fine until I rescued you, so—”

“Deku.”

The nerd stopped babbling, looking at him with bright, questioning eyes. “I can’t do this again, Deku. I can’t be separated from you and not know if you’re still alive. Not know if you’re hurt. Shit, I could barely even fight to make my way back to you! I can’t—”

Katsuki clenched his eyes in frustration, his hands balled tight into fists.

Deku’s hand settled on his shoulder, warm and comforting like always.

But only one hand.

Shit.

Fuck sensei’s how-to speech, Katsuki couldn’t take this anymore! He reached up, tugging Deku’s bandanna down and ignoring the nerd’s inquiring look.

All he had to do was shift forward, and—and then his eyes were closed and his lips were against Deku’s, slightly slanted as Katsuki grasped Deku’s shoulder, about to pull the nerd closer—

Katsuki froze.

Deku wasn’t moving.

His soulmate’s lips remained motionless against Katsuki’s.

Slowly, Katsuki opened his eyes. His hand fell from Deku’s shirt and he stumbled a few steps back.

Nothing.

No reaction, no spark, no weird feelings or new abilities.

Just… nothing.

What… what had he done wrong? There should have been something! They were soulmates! Everything… everything said the bond was sealed with a kiss! Even sensei had said that! That the act was a kiss, and…

And they had to like each other romantically and both want the bond.

Which meant…

Which meant Deku really didn’t like him back. Deku didn’t feel anything for him.

Katsuki had…Shit. He had suspected that it was like this. That Deku was too focused on heroes to even notice Katsuki, notice his fucking soulmate that way…

And then there was what Aizawa-sensei had said the first day--that he believed Deku, that Deku hadn’t seemed to have any feelings toward his soulmate... but to have proof of that staring right back at Katsuki…

His chest hurt.

It really fucking hurt.

It wasn’t the same as the pain from the warp gate, but… this, this damn turmoil almost hurt worse.

“Kacchan…” Deku was still standing there, biting his lower lip, eyes wide in surprise and his voice weak.

“Fuck this shit.” Katsuki’s own voice sounded weird, tired. “Let’s just get you to the medical center.” He approached Deku from the nerd’s right side, grabbing him and tossing him over his shoulder.

“Kacchan! I can walk! And we, um… we really should, uh, talk about that? Please?!”

“No way in hell, Deku!” He trudged up the path, ignoring his squirming soulmate and said soulmate’s insistence on talking about…

About…

Fuck.

He couldn't fucking deal with this shit.

Deku eventually quieted down as they passed by a few of the teachers rounding up some of the villains in the plaza, and thankfully remained blissfully silent as Katsuki hauled his ass up the stairs.

His soulmate didn’t like him.

Katsuki wanted to laugh. So much for fate and all that damn shit! The fucking bond made their lives fucking miserable, and then wouldn’t even form when he damn well wanted it to!

All because Deku didn’t….

Fuck!

Katsuki dropped Deku on the medical trolley near Recovery Girl. “Get your shit taken care of. I’ll be on the bus—it looks like that’s where all the extras are.”

“Kacchan!” Deku’s hand closed around his wrist, green lightning flashing.

Katsuki growled in frustration, “Let. Me. Go.” He glared at his soulmate. “It’s not like we can fucking talk here anyway, Deku.”

The hand fell away. “But Kacchan, I…”

“Just leave it alone.” Katsuki turned away, ignoring Deku’s imploring eyes, and ignoring the Granny’s shout for him to get back there.

It’s not like he’d gotten hurt. Some water and he would be fine. He didn’t want to deal with her shitty lectures. With her disappointment when she realized he didn’t want to be around his soulmate at the moment.

She didn’t get to be disappointed.

Not when…

His brain went blank.

Why the fuck did he have to feel this way?! Why was he the first one?

Damn it! Katsuki hated this!

Wait.

Auntie’s words from so long ago, words that had comforted him at the time, now circled around his head. Was he the first one, or would he be the only one?

Would Deku… would Deku ever like him? Or was… was their bond something else, something new? Were they just some damn anomaly and only meant to be friends forever?

Fuck!

That shitty nerd was just so, so— fuck!

Katsuki loved him.

Damn him to hell, but there was no way Katsuki could ever live without this nerd, could ever let himself be a weakness for the nerd, could ever endanger him…

Fuck!

“Jeez, man… um, you ok?”

Katsuki’s eyes cracked open. At some point he’d apparently gotten on the bus, and now Shitty Hair was looking at him, fucking concerned or some damn shit like that.

It took Katsuki a second to realize that his classmate’s arms were hard, and that Katsuki’s own hands were setting off small explosions.

Katsuki clenched his hands tight, then relaxed the muscles slowly before reaching under his seat to grab one of his water bottles.

“Fuck off,” Katsuki growled at his classmate. The last thing he wanted to deal with was some sympathy shit. Katsuki tilted his head back, closing his eyes as he drank the liquid. It was warm from being outside, but at this point Katsuki didn’t care.

“Umm… right. I mean, I can do that, but, uhh…” Shitty Hair scratched his cheek nervously, “Is Midoriya ok, man? It’s just… you kinda seem worse now than you were when we left you two, so…”

His chest tightened in pain, but Katsuki tried to ignore it, chugging the rest of the water before he hissed, “I said fuck off, Shitty Hair!”

The red head looked off to the side, his expression puzzled. “You’re not getting all protective of Midoriya or anything, so I guess he’s ok, at least…”

Katsuki growled, the water bottle exploding in his palm and the cap flying off to fuck knows where.

“Got it!” Shitty Hair raised his arms defensively. “Message received. I’ll drop it.”

“Fucking finally.”

“Uh… just taking a wild guess here, but I’m assuming you don’t want Midoriya to sit here? Because he’s almost to the bus, now.”

Fuck. The nerd probably would want to sit with him, all damn concerned about… Shit. “Hell no.” The last thing Katsuki fucking wanted was to sit next to the shitty nerd the whole damn ride back to school, unable to talk and feeling shitty about…

Damn it.

Katsuki glared out the window. He didn’t fucking care what Deku wanted.

“Kacchan!”

He clenched his hands, refusing to turn toward Deku’s voice.

“Woah, there!” Shitty Hair stood up, standing between him and Deku. “Look, Midoriya, I know you probably mean well, but he really doesn’t want to talk to you right now. Like, he’s about to burst with explosions, that’s how much he doesn’t want to. So, uh… maybe give him some space before you try to talk to him?”

“But—”

“Back the fuck off, Deku,” Katsuki snarled. Or he tried to snarl. His voice sounded fucking weak.

“Right.” No movement. “I just… I’m sorry.”

Katsuki’s head snapped around to glare at the nerd. “You’re fucking sorry?!” He stood up, hands sparking. “There’s nothing you can do about this shit, Deku! I don’t want a damn apology!”

Shitty Hair’s hand was against Katsuki’s chest, now, pushing him back with his arm hardened. Katsuki ignored the red head, glaring at his dumbass nerd, “You either do or don’t, you can’t fucking control that, so you don’t get to be fucking sorry about it!”

“But Kacchan, I want to! I don’t want to hurt—”

Katsuki snarled, trying to lunge forward, but Shitty Hair’s hardened arms wrapped around him. “Space! Midoriya, I really don’t know what this is about, but please stop provoking him and just give him space!”

“Provoking…?” Deku took a step back, his eyes lost. “I don’t…” Round Face was there now, tugging on Deku’s shoulder. “Right. Space.” He swallowed nervously, his chin beginning to wobble. “Thanks, Kirishima-kun.”

Deku fled, sitting down somewhere at the back of the bus.

Katsuki knew the shitty nerd was probably crying, but he couldn’t bring himself to go comfort his soulmate, even if part of him was yelling at himself for being a shitty soulmate because he cared more about his own feelings than comforting him, but… but he couldn’t deal with Deku’s shit right now! Not when…

Damn it.

Not when Katsuki felt like a fucking shitstorm had erupted inside his damn chest.

“So… um… “ Katsuki growled at Shitty Hair’s voice, but the dumbass just kept going, “Space! I get it! But if you wanna talk, man, I just wanted to say I’m here for you. We’re friends, right? After going through something like that together…” He sighed in frustration, “Look, I’m not good at this stuff, but I’m here for you if you need to talk! Whatever this is about, you can trust me, and I won’t tell anyone anything because that’s not manly at all, ok?”

“We’re not fucking friends. I don’t have any.” Katsuki turned to look at the window, ignoring Shitty Hair and the rest of his dumbass classmates who were no doubt eavesdropping.

“None?” Shitty Hair’s voice sounded surprised. “You don’t even count Midoriya?”

“Deku’s…” shit. He wasn’t just some lameass friend. Deku was special. Always had been.

The pain roared in his chest.

Apparently Katsuki just wasn’t as special to Deku.

Yet!

Damn it.

Maybe.

Katsuki groaned, leaning his head against the seat in front of him. “Fuck off.”

Thankfully, Shitty Hair finally got a damn clue and sat there, silent, even as the bus started up and began to head back toward campus.

Toward UA, where their parents would be waiting to pick them up.

Fuck.

Chapter Text

“Katsu-kun?”

Katsuki woke with a gasp, he could still see the image of Deku’s back as his soulmate turned from him, as he laughed about Katsuki with his friends. As Deku deserted him.

Katsuki closed his eyes in frustration. It wasn’t like that! It had just been a fucking dream. Deku wouldn’t—

“Katsu-kun, please answer me.”

He groaned at Auntie’s voice. Katsuki had barely escaped her clutches last night; the woman had been fucking clingy, even more so than when the sludge villain happened. He’d said he was tired, though, and fled to his room, leaving Deku to deal with her by himself.

Thankfully, the evening had been blissfully silent after that.

But now… Auntie had mentioned on the ride home that all the adults were taking off work because of the incident, so today would be a full fucking house. Katsuki doubted he’d be able to stay alone today; everyone would be fucking encouraging the shitty nerd to talk to him.

“Katsu-kun, I know you want to be alone right now, but you need to come down for breakfast.”

Ugh.

Maybe she would leave if she thought he was still asleep?

“I know you’re awake, Katsu-kun. You never sleep in.”

Damn Midoriyas.

Katsuki rolled off the bed, his feet hitting the floor with a soft thump. He didn’t bother with changing out of the t-shirt and gym shorts he’d worn to bed, simply trudging over to the door and flinging it open.

Auntie stood there, her smile nervous as her fingers fidgeted. “Thank you for opening the door, Katsu-kun. It’s time for breakfast.”

“I fucking heard.” Katsuki slipped past her, heading toward the stairs.

“Katsu-kun, please, will either of you at least tell us what’s wrong? This can’t be good for you two.”

Katsuki ignored her question, instead plodding down the staircase. He heard her sigh at his non-responsiveness, then slowly follow him.

Deku was already at the table, and his soulmate’s head shot up when he entered the room. “Kacchan! Kacchan, can we please talk after breakfast?”

Katsuki glared at the nerd. “I told you, Deku. I don’t want to fucking talk about it.”

“But everyone says communication is important! Please, Kacchan!”

“Tch.” Katsuki sat down on the complete opposite side of the table from Deku, grabbing an apple and biting into it. He ignored the adults’ inquisitive eyes and Deku’s pleading ones, instead picking up the morning paper that his Dad had discarded.

A large picture of USJ was printed across the front.

Katsuki took another bite of the apple as his eyes skimmed over the article, trying to figure out what the public would know.

70 villains captured, 10 villains dead, two heroes critically injured (though Katsuki was glad to see that it said both were expected to recover), one student severely injured (due to overusing his own quirk in self-defense), and none of the students suffered any lasting harm. None of their names had been mentioned, though, unlike with the sludge villain. That was good, at least.

He tossed the paper back down, grabbing a banana from the bowl and starting to peel it, still ignoring his family’s stares.

His Dad sighed. “We’re glad you boys are safe, even if something happened with your bond that has apparently made things tense between you two.”

Katsuki snorted. So that’s what Deku had told them last night. Well, it wasn’t a lie. And Katsuki was grateful that his parents didn’t know about all this shit. It was too personal.

He still felt… raw.

“Katsu-kun…” Auntie was fidgeting again. “Katsu-kun, the villains that died… they were in your area and Izuku’s…” her voice trailed off.

Ah, shit.

The screams replayed in his mind.

Whatever. He clenched his left hand. The bastards deserved it. They’d been trying to kill him! Trying to torture him and kill him, and to do the same to Deku. He’d had every right to defend himself, however the fuck he’d needed to!

“We know it was in self defense, brat. We just wanted to make sure you were ok.”

With what had happened afterward, he’d honestly not even thought about it.

Katsuki snorted. He’d not even thought about the fact that he’d killed people.

And they wanted to know if he was ok?

The screams echoed in his head. He could see the horror in Shitty Hair’s eyes as he looked back into the building.

But Katsuki had never looked. He’d been too focused on Deku.

He snorted. Well. That was telling, he supposed.

He didn’t fucking care about some villain trash! Shit, the fuckers had it coming.

All he cared about was his soulmate’s feelings, but now everyone was fucking staring at him and expecting him to say something and—

His mom sighed, “What happened, kiddo? Izuku told us about his area, but he had no clue about yours. Just that you blew up half of a huge building at some point.”

Katsuki stood up, annoyed. “That’s what happened. I had a fucking fever, so I just let out the biggest explosion I could at the damn assholes.” His steps sharp and agitated, he walked away from the table and entered the kitchen, tossing the banana peel into the trash.

When he turned around, Deku was in the doorway, blocking Katsuki’s escape.

Katsuki frowned. “Move, Deku.”

Part of him wanted to shoulder past the nerd and force his way out of this situation. He sure as hell didn’t want to talk about any shit right now.

He just wanted to be alone.

But at the same time… His eyes trailed over Deku’s form, needing to make sure that yesterday’s injuries were really gone. To make sure that his soulmate really was alright. That he was still standing there, a few feet away, wanting to be near him.

“Kacchan…” Deku’s fingers were fidgeting again. “It doesn’t matter to me, you know? That explosion…” Deku grinned, his chin wobbly, “It let me know you were ok. It let me know what to direction to go in. I was trapped on this ship and villains were all around us, but then I saw your explosion and I… I knew you were ok. That you’d make it out, and we would too. So, umm…. You don’t need to feel sorry about it, ok? You did your best and it, um, well, it helped me, too.”

Fuck. Of course Deku fucking cared about the villains’ deaths—this was Deku, after all. The shitty nerd always believed in the good in people, even if they were villains, even if the assholes had been attacking them. Katsuki wanted to laugh. Here Deku was, trying to reassure Katsuki about the fucking explosion, but all it was doing was making him more anxious.

He would never be good enough for Deku.

Katsuki leaned back on the counter, refusing to make eye contact with his soulmate. If he wanted to be alone, silence wouldn’t work right now, nor would just forcing his way past Deku. To get the nerd to drop this shit, he’d have to distract him. Whatever. Deku was usually pretty easy to distract. “It was Brain Fucker in your group, right?”

Katsuki hoped this worked. He really didn’t want to be around people right now. His skin itched and his mind was practically screaming at him to leave.

“Huh? How… how do you figure?” Katsuki rolled his eyes.

“Frog Girl’s powers aren’t lethal, and neither are yours at 3%. That means Brain Fucker did it. Probably not on purpose, though. He’s in the damn hero course, after all.”

“Shinsou-kun… he, um… he taunted the villains and a group of them responded. He told them to knock each other out quickly and they… they got mad at each other. They didn’t realize that the villains were now attacking them because of Shinsou-kun’s order, I guess? Apparently people don’t usually remember what happened while they were under his control, so… so when the villains were jolted out of his control, all they knew was that their…um…companions, were attacking them, and it got… it got really vicious.”

“So the fuckers killed each other, then.”

“Yeah.”

Which meant Katsuki was the only one in the course that had directly killed a villain. Everyone else had managed to stay safe while still being heroic and not killing their attackers.

He’d been the only one to fail at that.

Katsuki pushed himself away from the counter.

Fuck this shitty discussion. Katsuki was done.

Was it any wonder why Deku didn’t like him?

Katsuki wasn’t good enough.

He’d never been.

Katsuki walked over to the door, this time following through with the urge to shove Deku aside.

Deku’s hand shot out to grab his wrist, but Katsuki pulled it away quickly, warning pops exploding from his hand. “Fuck off.”

Katsuki tried to ignore the betrayed look in Deku’s eyes.

He needed to be alone.

Damn Deku and his fucking eyes, making Katsuki feel like he’d kicked a puppy or some shit like that.

Katsuki pounded up the stairs, slamming the door shut behind him and pushing 100 lbs. of weights in front of it to make sure no one came in.

“Kacchan!!” Deku’s voice was muffled on the other side of the door. Katsuki growled under his breath. The dumbass couldn’t just leave shit be. Katsuki reached into his backpack, grabbed his headphones, and plugged them into his phone to blast music as he leaned back against his bed’s headrest.

He had maybe five minutes of peace before the door burst open, the weights skidding across the floor.

Deku stepped in, shutting the door behind him and sighing at the weights that were now scattered across the room. He said something, but Katsuki couldn’t hear him over the music, and he was happy to ignore the nerd’s presence.

Then his soulmate stomped over to Katsuki, yanking off the headphones.

Red eyes immediately narrowed as he hissed, “What the fuck do you want?!”

“I want to talk! Like we were earlier, before you just decided to leave!” Deku jumped onto the bed next to him. “You can’t just hide in your room all day, Kacchan.”

“Oh yeah? Watch me.” He grabbed the headphones back, annoyed. “I thought the weights would make you get the hint that I damn well want to be left alone, but you always have been dense as fuck.”

“Well you’re… you’re… a big meanie!” Deku’s cheeks puffed out in anger and it was not cute. “You’re not supposed to kiss someone and then walk away and refuse to talk about it, Kacchan!”

Katsuki raised one eyebrow, “Since when have I cared about shitty social rules?”

Deku huffed. “I mean, I think… I’m pretty sure you didn’t do it just because we’d been in danger, like just because you wanted to be stronger, but that’s what the timing suggests, you know? Because we’d just been in a really bad situation that was made a lot worse by the bond, but… but… But you got so upset… you wouldn’t be that upset, I don’t think, if it was just to help us be safer. I mean, you’d be upset, sure, but you looked… Kacchan, you looked at me as if I had upset you, not the bond itself and I just, I never want to hurt you! But that… that made me think that probably you like me? But you’ve—”

“Would just shut the fuck up already!” Katsuki shoved his hand on top of Deku’s mouth. “Damn you.” The nerd’s eyes were wide, but he nodded, so Katsuki dropped his hand.

“You want to hear it, then?!” Katsuki glared at him, clenching his fists to keep himself from setting off small explosions. “You can’t just fucking leave this alone, can you? No, you have to be fucking sure. Make sure that you’ve identified everything and have all your damn facts straight. You can’t just leave me be!”

Deku bit his lip, his chin wobbling for the second time that morning. Shit. “Kacchan…”

“FUCK!” Katsuki screamed in frustration. Why did he have to have such a damn fucking annoying soulmate who couldn’t just leave shit alone?! “Fine. I fucking like you, you shitty nerd! Like romantically and all that shit. You happy now?”

Deku was staring at him with wide, confused eyes.

Silence.

Katsuki glared at the dumbass. “Well? You fucking made me say it. Don’t you have anything to say now?”

“I…” Deku fidgeted, looking down at his hands. “I didn’t actually… I mean, I figured, but I didn’t think…” he pulled his knees up to his chest, peeking over them at Katsuki and mumbling, “Sorry, Kacchan.”

“What the fuck are you damn sorry for? For making me say that shit? You should sure as hell be sorry for that, but if you’re fucking sorry for anything else I swear I’ll k—” Katsuki froze, swallowing hard. “I’ll make you fucking regret it.”

“I hurt you, though! I never want to hurt you!” Deku’s eyes were bright, pleading.

“Tch.” Katsuki pulled the headphones over his ears once more. “I’m not talking about this shit any more, Deku.”

He would never want Deku to like him because the nerd fucking pitied him.

Katsuki hit play and closed his eyes, ignoring the nerd.

Or he tried to.

He’d honestly expected Deku to try and rip off the headphones again, or hit pause or some shit like that, so this lack of movement from the other half of the bed was unnerving.

After a few minutes, he felt the bed shift slightly, and then—

A head landed in his lap.

Deku’s head.

In his lap.

All his muscles were tense as Katsuki took a deep breath, slipped the headphones onto his neck, opened his eyes, and looked down. “What the fuck are you doing?”

Deku tilted his head, his soft hair brushing against Katsuki’s calf, and— “Why do you keep shutting me out, Kacchan?”

Deep breaths. Deep breaths and not thoughts about—Deep. Breaths. “Get off.”

Didn’t… didn’t the nerd realize what this shit did to him?

“Eh?” Deku blinked, honest confusion filling his eyes. “But it’s never bothered you before when I did this. In fact, you usually calmed down. I always thought you liked it.”

Fuuuck.

His hand twitched. He wanted to—

“Get. The Fuck. Off.”

“Alright, alright!” Deku sat back up, hands raised defensively, “No need to get all grumpy.”

“You broke into my damn room and accosted me with shitty questions, Deku.”

“You’re the one that made me do it!”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, how does that logic even work?”

“You wouldn’t talk to me!”

Katsuki glared at his soulmate. “I still won’t. Not about that.”

His chest felt too fucking raw. And if Deku wasn’t meant to like him, if Deku was just meant to stay his friend… Katsuki really didn’t want to think about that.

“Kacchan!” Deku glared back at him. “We need to talk. If… if you won’t, then… then I’ll bring it up when we meet with Aizawa-sensei next time! I know you don’t want to talk about emotions or anything like that with him watching us.”

Katsuki shrugged. Their sensei would probably be in the hospital for a while, so it’s not like that threat mattered any.

“I will!” Deku pout-glared. “Don’t think I won’t, Kacchan!”

“You gonna drag me to the hospital to visit him?” Katsuki scoffed, “That threat’s pretty empty, Deku.”

“You’re so frustrating sometimes!” Deku turned, pouncing suddenly and pinning Katsuki’s shoulders to the headboard.

“What the fuck, Deku?! Get off!” He pushed at his soulmate’s chest, but Deku wouldn’t move.

“Not until you promise to talk to me about this!”

“I don’t want to talk about this shit, you asshole!” Katsuki pushed harder, but the nerd just lit up his arms. Katsuki glared, giving up on the now useless fight. “Oh that’s fair, I can’t use my fucking quirk on you, but you get to use yours to keep me still whenever you damn want.”

“Recovery Girl just said we shouldn’t spar with them! And how else am I supposed to get you to stay put, huh?! You always run away whenever emotions are involved!”

“For a damn good reason!” Katsuki hissed. “Shit, Deku. I knew damn well you didn’t like me. I knew that! But I still…” he closed his eyes in frustration. “I shouldn’t have done that.”

“Kacchan…”

When he opened his eyes, the green lights were gone.

Katsuki shoved Deku to the side. Deku groaned, but he just sat next to Katsuki, silent yet practically radiating nervous energy.

Katsuki sighed, how did he get the shitty nerd off his damn case? It was clear the asshole wasn’t going to leave his damn room any time soon. Maybe if he tried to reason with the nerd? “Look, you can’t control this shit, alright? That’s why talking about it is fucking useless.”

“But…” Deku frowned. “I don’t know what it means to like someone.”

“Then go ask your damn mom, not me. You’re not getting a list of shitty reasons I like you or any shit like that.”

Deku turned bright red, his arms floundering as he protested, “I don’t—I don’t mean anything like that! I, I just…How do I know when I like you as more than my best friend?”

Katsuki’s heart clenched.

Fuck.

Deku… fuck, he had to jump straight there, didn’t he? The nerd had to say when not if. But what if… Katsuki groaned in frustration, shaking his head to try to get the idea out of his mind.

Oblivious to Katsuki’s turmoil, Deku kept going, “Uraraka sometimes mentions physical details she likes about the guys. Is it that kind of thing?”

Katsuki stared at his soulmate. His truly dense as fuck soulmate.

There was no way Katsuki was telling Deku he liked his fucking hair and his damn eyes. Or… no. No. Fucking. Way. But maybe…maybe if he embarrassed Deku, the nerd would leave? Katsuki smirked, “Is there a physical detail you like about me, Deku?”

“EH?!?!” Deku yelped, shooting upright, bright red. “I—you—you can’t just—Kacchan!!”

Katsuki shoved the nerd’s shoulder, “Then don’t fucking ask me that, asshole!” Tch. Turnabout was fair play, dumbass.

Deku groaned. “I just want to figure out what things I should watch out for! So that I can know immediately when I start to feel like you do! And then we can seal the bond!”

Katsuki frowned. Deku kept saying when. “It doesn’t bug you? That fate or some shit has set this all out and says I was destined to like you, and you’ll inevitably like me? Do… do you ever think we might be different than everyone else?”

“Oh.” Deku bit his lip. “I mean, the whole destined romance thing used to bug me? Like, how was there this whole big destiny thing when we couldn’t even talk yet?” He waved his arms around for emphasis, but after a moment’s pause he sighed and began fidgeting with his fingers, “But honestly… now that I know you like me… I want to like you. I don’t want you to be hurt. Yesterday, you looked so—”

Katsuki hissed. “Fuck that!”

Deku looked up at him, startled. “Huh?”

Of course he would have to spell it out for the shitty nerd. “I don’t want your fucking pity, Deku.”

“I know!” Deku groaned, “I know that, Kacchan. You… you’re too strong to deserve anything but the best.” He sighed, muttering under his breath, “and it’s not like I’m the best.” Katsuki’s eyes narrowed, but he’d yell at the nerd for that comment, later.

In a louder voice, Deku continued, “It’s hard to explain, I guess. But no. The whole destined soulmates thing doesn’t… it doesn’t bother me anymore. It just,” he hummed under his breath for a bit, then continued, “It feels natural. Right.” He shrugged. “No one else could match me like you do. And Aizawa-sensei said the whole friendship bond thing didn’t exist, and he knows a lot more about this than we do, right?” Deku’s head tilted to the side, “So I guess… I guess it’s only a matter of time, for me.” He wrinkled his nose, “Although that’s still weird to think about, honestly. And I know you can’t force feelings or anything, but I want to try!”

No one else would match him? Katsuki supposed that made sense. And… well, Aizawa-sensei definitely knew more about bonds than Auntie. But Katsuki really hated the idea of Deku being forced into a relationship with him.

He didn’t deserve the nerd. Not when…

Shit.

Not when Katsuki still wasn’t the best.

Not when Deku had to protect him from Handshit, and he’d failed at keeping the Warp Fucker in place.

Fuck. Focus on Deku. He would train the second he could to make up for his own fucking failures, starting tomorrow when they were back at UA. Now he would focus on Deku and his damn stupidity.

“You… you want to try to force yourself to like me.” Katsuki stared at the dumbass. “Why the fuck would you do that, dumbass! I told you! I don’t want your pity affection, and I don’t want forced affection or any shit like that, either!”

“It’s not like that!” Deku glared at him, “It’s going to happen anyway, right? So I’m just going to pay close attention to how I’m feeling and… and… try to help it along. We need this bond, right? We need to be stronger.” Determination shown in Deku’s eyes, “So I’ll do everything I can.” Katsuki stared at him. Usually Deku’s face when he was this determined was fucking amazing, but right now…

“You’re such a dumbass.” He groaned, dropping his head into his hands. “Who the fuck gets all fired up about making themselves like someone?”

“I’m not making myself! I do like you, Kacchan, you’re my best friend and my partner. I just.. I just need to figure out this new thing, now. That’s all.”

“It’s not a damn school subject, Deku.” Katsuki looked up, “You ca—” His eyes widened at how close Deku was. The nerd was inches from his face. Deku must have scooted closer with his declaration while Katsuki wasn’t looking and—

Shit.

He shoved Deku backwards. “Personal space, dumbass!”

“Awwww.” Deku sighed. “Is that going to be a thing, now? And is it why you got grumpy earlier? You never used to care.”

Katsuki turned bright red, looking off to the side and refusing to speak.

Deku huffed. “Fine, I guess. If that’ll help you, I’ll try to remember.”

Katsuki looked back, and—Fuck. Deku was pouting and he looked fucking adorable and Katsuki just wanted to put him in a headlock and mess up his damn hair.

Deku scratched at his cheek, “I… umm…. I want to figure this out. And, well… I’ve obviously never liked someone before? So…” he groaned, dropping his head into his hands. “I don’t know what I’m doing, Kacchan! I need to know things! What if… what if I already like you that way and just don’t know it?”

“Dumbass.” Katsuki rolled his eyes. “The bond wouldn’t have worked then.”

“Right. That would be too easy. But that’s kind of what I mean?” Deku fucking whimpered. “I just don’t know what I should be watching for!” His arms flapped around, “Like, if it’s not physical traits or something like that, then what is it? I already like you as a person! You’re my best friend! What’s the difference?!”

Katsuki groaned, fingering the headphones on his neck. He just wanted to be left alone and not have to deal with this shit. Like hell he wanted to sit on his damn bed and have a heart to heart with fucking Deku about why and how Katsuki liked him.

He stared at Deku, thinking. “If I answer one of your shitty questions, will you leave me the fuck alone for the rest of the day?”

“Three!” Deku grinned at him, holding up three damn fingers. Katsuki ground his teeth. It wasn’t fucking cute!

“One, dumbass. Don’t get greedy.”

Deku pouted. “One and another question about what happened at USJ.”

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. Why the fuck did the nerd still want to talk about that shit? “Fine.” Katsuki sighed. He hated this, but at least it would make Deku leave.

Deku tapped his chin, muttering under his breath for what felt like forever, before he finally looked back up at Katsuki, eyes firm with determination. “Are you really ok with what happened in the collapsed building at USJ?”

Katsuki grunted, looking away from the nerd. Was he ok with it? “I’m fucking pissed at myself. I didn’t… I can control my damn shit a lot better than that, but all I fucking thought about was getting to you as fast as possible. I didn’t even think about the fact that I was fucking hitting those assholes dead-on with a damn huge blast. Those fuckers deserved retaliation and all that shit, and they deserved to be beat to a damn pulp, but they also fucking deserved to be thrown into damn jail, and we might have gotten some good intel from them or shit like that…” he frowned, annoyed that Deku was making him talk about that shit.

“Oh.” Deku looked down, fidgeting with his hands again. “I honestly hadn’t thought about all that. I mean, it makes sense! It’s just… well, I thought you might be upset just about having, ummm… well, having killed someone.”

Katsuki sighed, “I knew you’d fucking think that way.” He shrugged, “The fuckers were trying to kill me, though. Trying to kill us. I did what I had to to stop that. Could’ve done a damn better job, though.”

“It’s just… sometimes when you mess up, you blame yourself and you get this huge black cloud following you around for months!” Deku glared at him, “You’re not allowed to do that this time, ok?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes—the dumbass was being way too overdramatic. “I defended myself, and I don’t regret doing that, but I’m the only one that fucking killed the assholes. Everyone else got out alive and without blood on their hands.” Small pops came from his hands, and Katsuki looked down, annoyed to see more singe marks on the sheets. “Tch.” He crossed his arms. “I have to get better and fucking control this shit so I don’t make these damn mistakes.”

.“But Kacchan,” Deku frowned, “Everyone else wasn’t dealing with an unsealed soul bond, so you can’t compare yourself to them. And since when do you compare yourself to others, Kacchan?! You’re always better than them! Always!” Deku hit Katsuki’s shoulder for emphasis. “You’re better than them, because we’re going to be the best heroes and the best hero duo, right? So of course your actions have a bigger affect than theirs do!”

Katsuki’s eyes widened. “Shit, Deku.”

Deku let out a huff. “You’re the best, Kacchan. And being the best just means you have to be careful. But we’re still learning. And that’s ok.” He glared at Katsuki, “Right?”

Katsuki sighed, ruffling Deku’s hair. “Sure, nerd.”

Katsuki’s gut twisted, though, even as he spoke. They may still be learning, but how could Katsuki be the best if his own classmates were ahead of him? Like that fucking half and half bastard. To distract Deku, he asked, “What’s the damn second question? Pick carefully, because I’m never doing this shit again.”

“Right!” Deku frowned, “I get that the physical thing maybe wasn’t the best idea, but umm… I really do want to figure out things I should be aware of. Like…” he groaned, “maybe…” Deku’s face screwed up in concentration before he finally asked, “When did you first notice a difference? Between liking me as a friend or, or… some… other way.” Deku blushed. “That… that might help me.”

Katsuki groaned. Why couldn’t the nerd pick easy shit. He wracked his brain, trying to figure it out. “Looking back… probably the day you got One for All. That morning you were just so fucking happy and proud that you’d finished cleaning the beach and I just…” He could feel himself turning red, but plowed on, “I wanted you to look like that forever.” He grimaced. “With me, that is.”

Deku’s eyes were wide.

Katsuki rapidly turned an brighter shade of red, “Fuck! I knew this wouldn’t help any!”

“That long?” The nerd’s voice was quiet, almost reverent. “Before… before I got the quirk?”

“Yeah.” Katsuki frowned at his soulmate. “What’s got you freaking out, nerd? If I have to spill all this shit, you don’t get to hold back your shit.”

“I… umm…” Deku looked off to the side. “It’s just a long time, and… well…” his chin began to wobble. “Before the quirk, Kacchan? Right before the quirk?” He let out a hiccuping laugh. “Thank you.”

“What the fuck?” Katsuki stared at the dumbass. “Why the hell are you thanking me?”

“You said you wanted me to stay proud and happy forever, even when I didn’t have a quirk! Now that I have one, so many doors have opened and I have actual friends and it’s wonderful, but I always wonder if they would treat me the same if I was still quirkless, you know? I don’t think they’d bully me, but… they’d probably pity me. At least at first. But you… I’ve always been the same to you, either way.”

“Tch.” Katsuki looked away. “Of course. You’re Deku.”

Katsuki’s breath was knocked out of him as Deku once again tackled him, this time squeezing him tightly. “F-Fuck. C-can’t breathe, Deku!” The arms loosened, and Katsuki promptly shoved his soulmate onto the floor.

“Now get the fuck out.”

“Eh?!” Deku looked up, startled. “But we talked! So you don’t need to keep avoiding me, right?”

Katsuki glared at him. “You fucking promised, Deku. Get out.”

“Ok, ok!” Deku scrambled up, slowly stepping around their weights. “I’m leaving, jeez.”

Katsuki closed his eyes after the door clicked shut.

Fucking finally.

He’d never admit to the nerd that he did feel better, now, but he still didn’t want to deal with people. Especially not when he’d have to deal with all their damn classmates tomorrow.

Katsuki groaned, his head tilting back and banging against the wood behind him. “Damn it.” The extras were going to be damn annoying. And he was so fucking frustrated that they’d done better than him in that one area.

Katsuki had to get better.

He had to be the best.

For Deku.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was going insane.

Why was his soulmate always like this? Katsuki took a deep breath. He liked that Deku always threw his all into everything he did.

But….

All throughout dinner last night, and all morning long, the nerd had been staring at him. Staring at him and writing in a new notebook. And not just any notebook. No, Deku was using the All Might notebook Katsuki had gotten him for the nerd’s tenth birthday—the one he had said he was saving for something special.

What the fuck was the nerd up to? Though, given their conversation yesterday, Katsuki wasn’t sure he wanted to know.

Katsuki drummed his fingers against the desk, looking out the window and trying not to pay attention to Deku’s eyes boring into the back of his skull.

All of the extras were talking about the news report on USJ, only a couple of them glancing toward Katsuki nervously when the deaths came up.

Fuckers could think whatever they wanted. Katsuki would be the best hero ever, with Deku right at his side.

Tired of dealing with this shit, Katsuki pulled out his headphones, slipping them over his head and falling into the music.

He managed to get through several songs and ignore everything around him until Deku’s pencil jabbed between his shoulder blades. Katsuki pulled the headphones down, annoyed, but then he noticed fucking Eraserhead walking into the room.

What the fuck was their sensei doing in school already?! The man looked like a damn mummy!

He was in the middle of talking… something about a fight not being over?

Oh.

A slow smirk spread across Katsuki’s face as the rest of the class cheered.

The sports festival.

Here was his chance to prove that he really was number one! Katsuki would fucking dominate. He had to. Katsuki would win, Deku would get second, and they would get internships with one of the top hero agencies and take their first step to becoming the best heroes.

This was their chance to prove that they really were the best. That they’d gotten in as the top two students for a damn good reason.

Aizawa-sensei left quickly after announcing that the sports festival, and Katsuki hoped that the interesting morning meant that the rest of the day would be good, but no. The morning was boring as shit.

And Deku wouldn’t. stop. staring.

Katsuki had hoped that the nerd would at least stop while he was at lunch eating with the shitty extras, but no. Even though Brain Fucker had joined them, Deku was still staring at Katsuki.

Katsuki wanted to bang his head against the damn table.

Did the shitty nerd have to stare at him so damn much? Katsuki could feel his damn eyes watching him all across the fucking cafeteria!

Katsuki growled, shoving food into his mouth.

“Uh… man, is there, umm…” Shitty Hair glanced between Katsuki and Deku. “You two seem better than you were on Monday, but is there a reason Midoriya’s been staring at you so much today?”

“You noticed it, too?” Raccoon Eyes waved her hands around, “I thought it was just me!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “You’d have to be a fucking idiot not to notice it.”

“Eh?!” Pikachu looked between the three of them, obviously confused. “Midoriya’s been staring at Bakugou?” He glanced over to where Deku was still staring, though he was tapping his pencil on his cheek, now, and not scribbling furiously. Whatever the hell that meant.

“So…” Raccoon Eyes leaned in, grinning at Bakugou. “Why’s he staring? Oh! Does he like you or something?”

“Fuck no!” Katsuki glared at the girl. He fucking wished.

“Awww…” Raccoon Eyes actually fucking pouted. What the hell?

Shitty Hair laughed, scratching the back of his head, “I mean, there have to be other reasons why you’d stare at someone, right?”

The three of them stared blankly at him.

“Eh?” He looked between them, “You can’t think of any?”

“Maybe if you’re mad at someone?” Raccoon Eyes twirled her hair. “But Midoriya-kun doesn’t seem mad.”

“Oh! Maybe he’s drawing Bakugou!” Pikachu grinned, “You stare at people as you draw them, right?”

“Hey, you’re right!” Raccoon Eyes grinned, “He’s been working on something in that journal all day, too!”

“Deku can’t draw worth shit, dumbasses.”

The girl immediately pouted, hesitantly asking, “He could be trying to learn?”

Katsuki just ignored her, shoving more of the bento into his mouth.

Shitty Hair groaned. “Come on, man. You obviously have a better idea than we do. Could you at least give us a hint or something? It’s kinda weird.”

“Fuck off.” Katsuki glared at the red head. “And I don’t damn know, ok? Last time he was like this we were fucking four and he was analyzing my quirk.”

“Awwww!” Raccoon Eyes grinned, leaning forward over the table. “That’s adorable! I can totally picture that!”

Katsuki stared at her, confused. She could picture it? But she didn’t even know what they looked like when they were that damn young.

“Dude, I still think it’s really awesome that you two have been together that long.” Pikachu shrugged, “I moved around too much growing up to have a friend like that. But your moms are so tight, you two even went home together on Monday! Like, jeez, dude. You weren’t kidding when you said your moms are close.”

Katsuki glared at the guy, “Why in hell would I joke about that?”

Shitty Hair laughed, but it was hollow sounding, “I don’t know, man, but you two had me really worried Monday, and the car thing just made me more so. I mean, I get that you probably wouldn’t fight with your moms there, but…” Shitty Hair rubbed the back of his neck uneasily, “You looked like you were about to blow up the car, man.”

Fuck, that car ride had been miserable. Of course Deku wouldn’t start any shit with Auntie there, though, just like Katsuki wouldn’t dare yell at him, then. Especially with Auntie already upset. Katsuki shrugged, then tried to divert attention away from the fact that they’d gone home in the same car. “We live close by each other, so it saves gas if we carpool. And it’s not like Auntie could drive, with how much she was crying.”

Raccoon Eyes was nodding, “It was really sweet of your mom to drive, then!”

Sweet. His mom. Right.

“I’m just saying, man, you were really mad at Midoriya on Monday.” Shitty Hair grinned at him, “I’m glad you two worked it out.”

“Tch.” Katsuki moved around the asparagus, searching for the last piece of meat. “It was hard not to after the shitty nerd broke into my damn room despite all the weights I put behind my fucking door.”

“You did what?” Shitty Hair stared at him, incredulous.

Raccoon Eyes shook her head, “More importantly, he did what?!”

“What the heck, dude?” Pikachu dropped his chopsticks. “What kind of lives do you two live where that’s apparently normal?”

Katsuki raised an eyebrow. He really wasn’t sure why this was such a big deal. “Normal ones? He has a strength enhancing quirk. A door alone wouldn’t stop him.”

Raccoon Eyes waved her hands around, “Or how about you just don’t use your quirks on each other? Like, you know, most people? I mean, I used my acid some when I was little, but I’d get grounded for like, a month, if I used it now to break into my younger siblings’ rooms.”

Katsuki growled, “We don’t use our damn quirks on each other.” He paused, annoyed. “Except for Deku sometimes when I want to escape a shitty situation and he won’t fucking let me.”

Shitty Hair whistled. “Right. Ok. So… I take it that happened a bit this weekend after he broke into your room, then.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Fucking genius detective work right there.”

Pikachu stared at him, his mouth wide in shock. “And you still didn’t hit him with an explosion?”

“Fuck no.” Katsuki looked off to the side, annoyed. “It’s Deku.”

“Ooooh… I get it.” Katsuki frowned, why was Raccoon Eyes grinning? “Midoriya might not like you, but you like Midoriya, don’t you?”

“What the fuck?!” He could feel his face heating up, betraying him, even as small pops escaped his palms, singing his metal chopsticks.

“You do!” Pikachu was grinning, now. “Dude, did Midoriya figure it out or something? Is that why you two are being weird?”

“I don’t—” Katsuki gritted his teeth in frustration. It’s not like he could just deny liking Deku, not when he wanted to date the nerd, preferably as soon as possible… “Fuck.”

Shitty Hair laughed, “So that’s why you said Midoriya wasn’t your friend when we were on the bus! Man, I was so confused.”

Katsuki dropped his chopsticks into the bento box, then snapped the lid shut and grabbed the bento and its wrap before standing up.

Like hell he was dealing with this shit and Deku’s staring. “Fuck. Off.” He ignored the dumbasses shouts to come back and their promises not to tell anyone, storming over to Deku’s table.

Since the nerd was still fucking staring the whole time, he had his shit packed up by the time Katsuki reached him. “Need to go cool off somewhere before class, Kacchan?”

“Shut up.” Deku’s extras stared at them in confusion. “I need you to stop staring at me, you dumbass.”

“Eh?” Deku frowned, “I haven’t been…” his head tilted to the side. “I mean, I’ve been thinking a lot today… about, um… stuff.”

Round Face rubbed the back of her neck, “You kinda have been, Zu-kun. I was going to ask you about it, but I wasn’t really sure how to go about it.”

“Oh.” Deku looked down. “Umm… Sorry, Kacchan. I just, umm… well, I guess I’ve been looking at you while thinking about the, uh… the stuff.” Deku looked down, running his finger along the table sheepishly.

Brain Fucker was looking between them, one eyebrow raised. “Because that explanation isn’t weird.”

“I…um…” Deku began to fidget, playing with his fingers. “I… well I can’t really talk about it, Toshi-kun. Sorry.”

Toshi-kun? Katsuki’s eyes narrowed.

Brain Fucker shrugged, “That’s fine, then. I won’t push.”

“Tch.” Katsuki really didn’t like the way those purple eyes were evaluating them.

“You were sick, too, right? Like Zu-kun was on Monday.” Brain Fucker twirled his chopsticks lazily, gesturing toward them both. “Glad you two seem to be better.”

Zu-kun.

Damn it. Katsuki knew Deku was going to befriend this guy! Did he have to fucking pick someone that was obviously damn observant?!

“How’d you even know I was sick?” Well, sick was the best way to put it, Katsuki supposed.

“After you put your headphones on and the class realized Zu-kun was zoning out, they started talking about how you’d killed some of the villains. Kirishima-kun went off about how you’d defended him even though the portal had messed you up, and how manly you’d been, and that it wasn’t your fault. I connected the dots. It’s not uncommon for close friends to be sick at the same time.”

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched in annoyance. He was going to make that dumbass pay for blabbing like that. Having people realize that Deku and he had become sick simultaneously like that was fucking dangerous. If anyone ‘connected the dots’ further…

“Whatever.” He turned toward Deku, dismissing Brain Fucker. “I’m heading back toward the classroom, dumbass. And I can handle myself. I just came over to tell you to stop with the staring shit.”

“Right.” Deku smiled sheepishly. “Sorry, Kacchan. I’ll try to be more more aware about it.” He bit his lip, “You, umm… you sure you don’t need me to come with you?”

“Yeah.” The last thing they needed was to raise Brain Fucker’s suspicions even more. Katsuki would just finish his lunch in a hallway somewhere. Then, at least, it would look like they could be in different places. “Finish your lunch with the extras, Deku.”

Katsuki walked off, waving one hand over his shoulder.

There was a hallway not too far off, so he turned right and jumped up onto the ledge, half-sitting on it with one leg dangling off as he opened up his bento.

Katsuki winced at the singed chopsticks. Damn it. Auntie was going to yell at him again tonight.

Whatever. He dug into the bento, trying to finish it before the bell rang. He didn’t have much longer.

Thankfully, he managed. After the bell rang, Katsuki chugged down a water bottle, watching the hallway for Deku to pass. Once he saw the nerd, he wrapped his bento up and headed back toward the classroom, making sure to stay a good distance away from the nerd and slip into a nearby restroom to take a dump before going back to class, making sure that his arrival would be that much later than Deku’s.

And then the misery of the afternoon classes began. Why couldn’t this be a day where they did their damn hero class? Katsuki was going insane with the nerd staring at the back of his head the whole damn afternoon.

His body sagged in relief when the final bell rang.

“Bakugou, Midoriya, stay after.”

Fuck. Katsuki glared at Eraserhead. Why the hell did Aizawa-sensei want to talk to them? He was going to scream if the hero wanted to do the ‘how-to’ talk now of all fucking times.

As the rest of the class filed out, Katsuki slowly packed his shit up, trying to occupy the time with something other than the ever-present scratch of Deku’s pencil behind him.

After the last student left the classroom, Aizawa sensei looked down the hallway for a second, then shut the door with a snap.

Bleary eyes peered at them between bandages. “You two were forced apart at USJ. What happened after that?”

Oh. Katsuki shuddered. He guessed it made sense with the damn advisor shit that the hero would want a report about that.

Deku started, his voice shaky. “The, umm… the warp villain… I think his name was Kurogiri?” Aizawa-sensei sighed and nodded, leaning against the front desk. “When he separated us, I blacked out. One second I was yelling Kacchan’s name and the next I was in the lake and I needed air so bad and…” Deku paused, taking a deep breath, “I was in a lot of pain. All of my muscles felt like they were on fire. And I was light-headed and it felt like I had a fever and there was this occasional sharp stabbing pain in my head and…” another pause. “Well, the added strain on my muscles meant I could barely use my quirk at all, the overall strain was just too much…” Katsuki twisted his head back in time to see Deku shudder. “I never want to feel that way again, Sensei. Ever.”

There was a long sigh. “Forced separation can make the effects worse. I didn’t go through it myself, but I’ve heard stories. You felt the same, Bakugou?”

“Yeah. I mean, but if anything it made my quirk more fucking powerful.” Katsuki shrugged, looking down as he added, “Fever sweat.”

“Ah.” Their sensei nodded, “Thus the powerful explosion.”

Katsuki shrugged. “Wasn’t really thinking about holding back. Just getting Shitty Hair out of the way and hitting the fuckers attacking us with everything I had so that I could get back to Deku.”

“That’s understandable. The outcome was hardly ideal, but your actions weren’t wrong, given the circumstances. UA will help train you so that, when you face villains as a hero, you will have more options than just using your most powerful blast, and those options will be so ingrained in you that you’ll be able to use them even if you’re sick. You’re just a first year, and you were in a terrible situation, and I apologize for that.” Aizawa-sensei sighed. “You did good.”

Katsuki nodded slowly. He… he was supposed to be the best of his age group, though. He should have done better than ‘good.’ But…. But that was the only speech he was going to get? They weren’t going to fucking scold him or give him a detention or community service or some shit like that?

Aizawa-sensei sighed again. “You defended yourself. You survived. You saved not only yourself, but your classmate, as well, and you got back to your soulmate without getting injured while in an extreme circumstance. You did very well, Bakugou. If anyone says otherwise, they will have to deal with myself and several other members of the faculty.”

Fuck.

That….

Fuck.

He knew he’d messed up, but they…

“If you need a therapist—”

“Fuck no.” Katsuki shook his head. There was no way he’d go see some shrink. He needed to focus on getting stronger, damn it, not all this talking shit!

Their sensei shrugged. “The offer is always open. I should actually probably mention that to the class… we usually do a spiel about that when internships start, but you all might need to talk to someone sooner….” There was a long sigh. “I’ll do that tomorrow. Now, though, we’ve gotten off track. Has the bond given you any problems since you two reunited?”

Katsuki’s brain froze, remembering Deku’s face when he kissed him, remembering the exhaustion Monday night, their argument the next day…

Eraserhead groaned. “What?”

Katsuki looked away from the sensei. Damn it. He did not want to talk about this shit.

He could hear the nerd fidgeting behind him, no doubt bright red.

“Does this have anything to do with why you two have been so odd today?”

“W-well, umm… Recovery Girl looked at me afterwards, and she said we’d probably experience the strain of the bond a lot more, now. I… I was tired a lot this weekend.”

Shit.

Deku hadn’t told him that. Katsuki closed his eyes in frustration. Why hadn’t Deku told him that shit?! Fuck, he knew he’d kicked Deku out, but this shit was important! Katsuki had hoped he’d just been tired because of their argument, but apparently that had been fucking naive.

“While that’s hardly ideal, we can work with it. Eat some gummies before every heroics class, though, alright? Better safe than sorry. The same before any sparring practice. I approved the forms and Nezu should drop them by with the final ok tomorrow, but if either of you gets hurt, I’m yanking that approval until the bond is sealed. And let me know if it gets any worse. We’ll think of something that will let you train while keeping you safe.”

“Ok.” Deku nodded.

Aizawa turned to him, obviously expecting a verbal agreement or some shit like that. “Fucking fine.”

Katsuki really didn’t like this development. He was already feeling tired today, and they hadn’t even had heroics class, but damn it, he needed to get better!

“Good.” Aizawa-sensei paused and his mummified head looked between them. “Now will you please explain why you two have been having oddly today? Or why Midoriya turned bright red a second ago and Bakugou closed up.”

Before either of them could answer, the door banged open.

“ERASER!!” Cockatoo stormed in. “Why are you still here?! I only let you come because you said you would go home right after school! Or if it became too much for you, but we both know you’d never admit—”

“This conversation needs to happen, Mic. I’ll leave afterwards.”

Cockatoo blinked, turning to look at Deku and Katsuki. “Did those two do something? Or is it just because they were so weird today?” The hero tilted his head to the side, his finger tapping against his leg as he thought. “But why would that—” green eyes suddenly widened, “OH.”

Mic let out a booming laugh, “I’ll handle it, then!” He walked toward Eraserhead, pushing the man off the desk and toward the door. “You go home, ok?” He opened the door, shoved their teacher out of it, and shut it with a click.

Then he locked it, preventing Aizawa-sensei from coming back inside.

What…just happened. Katsuki stared in shock at the door.

“SO.” Cockatoo turned toward the two of them with a grin. “You two are Shouta’s new advisees. Didn’t expect that, but, looking back, I probably should have figured that out sooner.” He shrugged, strolling toward them and slumping down into Purple Chick’s seat across from Katsuki. “Now, fights when you have a soul bond are really shitty, especially at the unsealed stage, so fess up. What’s going on? Let’s clear the air and all that.” Cockatoo waved a hand nonchalantly, but his eyes peered over his glasses, clearly expecting them to respond.

Shit. Now another person had figured it out. The man was a hero, and one of their teachers, but still. And the asshole wanted them to open up to him? It was bad enough with Aizawa-sensei, but now he was expected to talk about this shit with the Cockatoo? Katsuki glanced back toward the door.

Damn it.

“—how did he know we have a soul bond? Aizawa-sensei didn’t tell him. That’s obvious. He just knew sensei had new advisees. But not who. But he figured it out just by knowing that sensei wanted to talk to us and that we were behaving differently. But that couldn’t normally be addressed by just any teacher, I think, so why would he send Aizawa-sensei away if he knew it was related to our bond? Unless he’s another soulmate advisor? But UA probably doesn’t have too many people with soulmates, so…” Deku let out a small squeak of surprise, “You’re Aizawa-sensei’s soulmate??”

“BINGO!” The spread his hands wide, “Yeah, I know, not many people expect that since we’re so different, but the same could be said about you two!” He wagged his finger at them, “And you normally work together well. So… What’s up?”

“I…um… K-kacchan…” Deku groaned behind him and Katsuki heard his head thump against the desk.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. “You can’t be Aizawa-sensei’s soulmate. They share pain.”

Cockatoo grinned. “Well aren’t you observant.” Slowly, he pulled of his glove, revealing a light, V-shaped cut on the back of his hand. “I take it you saw Shouta do this?”

Katsuki nodded, his eyes glued to the cut. If the cut itself was visible, then the two must share injuries completely—it’s not like Aizawa-sensei’s cut had been deep. But then how—

Cockatoo reached into his pocket, pulling out a case of pills and setting it on Deku’s desk. “Shouta and I share 100% of our pain and injuries—hardly ideal for hero work, much less being a team—but we’ve figure out how to cheat the system. If one of us makes a V cut on our hand, that means ‘I’m in deep shit, take the meds and bring help.’” He pointed at the pills. “These, my little listeners, are a hero’s best friend if they have a soulbond.”

“What… what do they do?” Deku’s hands were shaking as he picked up the bottle in front of him.

“They’re a medicine that nullifies the abilities of soulmate bonds. Pain is shared by a lot of soulmates, you know,” the hero began counting off on his fingers, “and that means any hospital procedure would be felt by both, the guy would feel the girl’s pain as she gave birth, heroes would get injured simultaneously and villains could take us both out with one hit… the list goes on.” Cockatoo threw his hands up into the air, but brought them back down and leaned in close, “Of course, the drug’s existence is known only by soulmates and the doctors that we trust.”

Shit, that was fucking dangerous. He could see the positives, Mic-sensei being able to fight and defend Aizawa-sensei at USJ was definitely one of them, but… “How the fuck can you keep this shit secret?”

The hero grinned, “We’re a secretive bunch, right? And doctors will see our chests and figure everything out pretty quick. So we all have preferred doctors and only let that doctor see us. Most heroes do that, eventually, so it’s not even that abnormal. You’re welcome to use ours if you don’t already have someone you trust. If you don’t use ours, tell whoever you use to come see our doctor and he can tell them about the drug. Nothing’s ever written down, and no pharmacist knows about it—the doctor does everything. It’s all just information passed down from mentor to mentee, just like everything else about the bond.”

Katsuki swallowed, cautiously taking the pill bottle when Deku anded it to him. A drug that… that basically got rid of the bond. The instructions looked so fucking innocent, too. Nitripheme. One pill every four hours. That was it.

The hero held his hand out, and Katsuki dropped the pills back into it, watching the scarred hand as he pocketed the pills once more.

Katsuki didn’t want to believe it, but the proof was right damn in front of him.

The Cockatoo clearly had the same injury as the first one Aizawa-sensei had gotten, but he didn’t have any of the others. And the way he’d fought, and the way sensei had left and trusted the other teacher to talk to them…

“It’s not pleasant, you know.”

“Huh?”

Katsuki blinked, trying to focus on the present. He felt like his world had tilted with this new information. “The medicine. Nullifying the abilities. It feels like you’re missing half of yourself. Take it too long, and you’ll go insane.”

“But…” Deku was fidgeting again. “Aizawa-sensei… his injuries are going to take a while to heal, right?”

“Mm, yeah, I can take them for a week and then I’ll have to stop and I’ll get hit with whatever injuries Shouta still has at that point.” He shrugged, “Our bond also lets us heal faster than normal, though. So when you add that to Recovery Girl’s abilities, I should be fine. Shouta doesn’t like to flaunt our ability, though, so he’ll probably wear the bandages longer than he has to.” Cockatoo began pulling his glove back on, “And this cut would’ve healed faster if our bond wasn’t spending all of its energy healing Shouta.”

With his glove back on, the guy’s grin sharpened and he peered over his glasses once more. “Now. Don’t think I’ve forgotten about you two.” Damn it. The hero leaned back, crossing his arms across his chest as he looked between them. “Well, little listeners?”

Katsuki groaned. Fuck. They really weren’t going to be able to get out of this. He eyed the hero… the man was loud and obnoxious, but he was a damn good fighter, holding off those two villains on his own like he had. And he was Aizawa-sensei’s soulmate.

“Tch.” Katsuki looked away. He supposed it could be worse. “I—

“K-kiss!” Deku shouted out behind him. “Kacchan kissed me and I don’t know what to do! I don’t… don’t feel anything like that! He’s my most important person and I hurt him and it hurts because I know he hurts and I just want to feel this feeling already if I’m supposed to feel this way but I don’t know what the feeling even is, but I’ve been trying, and—”

“Fucking stop it with the fucking pity already!” Katsuki’s chair banged to the ground as he whirled on his soulmate, palms sparking. “And I told you to stop it with the staring and shit, too, but you’ve been doing that all fucking afternoon and scribbling in your damn notebook!”

“Woah! Woah, there, little listeners.” Katsuki turned to glare at the Cockatoo.

The hero sighed. “Look, I get it. Having an unsealed bond is tough, and I’m sure the villains made you two even more eager to seal the deal.”

“Tch.” Katsuki looked off to the side. “Aizawa-sensei said on the first day that the best way to stay alive was to seal the bond. After USJ…” Katsuki frowned, “Well, he’s obviously right.”

“Shooouutaaaaa.” Cockatoo groaned, his head falling forward into his hands. “And he calls me dramatic.” He sighed, then looked back up at them. “A sealed bond has its downsides, too, you know. Those are just easier to work around, like with the pills.” Mic-sensei tilted his head back with a long (and loud) sigh. “How should I do this… Shouta and I are both pretty blunt people…” He twisted his nose, letting out another loud disgruntled sigh. “Well. Let’s try, this, alright little listeners?” The hero leaned forward, acting like he was whispering to them. “Here’s a fact. It took Shouta and I five tries to seal our bond.”

“What the fuck?” Katsuki stared at the sensei. Were they fucking idiots? It was just a damn kiss, right?!

“F-five?” Deku’s voice came out in a shocked whisper.

Cockatoo shrugged, “I kissed him within like, two days of the bond, and obviously that didn’t work. We didn’t even know each other, yet. And then when we liked each other, there were still some reasons why he didn’t want the bond itself, and you need both, but Shouta wouldn’t talk to me about those…” The hero shook his head in fond exasperation, “talking is important, you two. Anyway, point being, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t bond with your first kiss. That’s really common, actually.” He winked, “The media doesn’t know anything about what soul bonds are actually like, and as much as I love the media and all my listeners, I’d rather keep it that way.”

“But…” Deku’s voice was quiet, “But how do I change?”

“First off: stop thinking ‘I have to change.’ You can’t rush feelings.” Cockatoo shrugged, “Spend time together, give yourself chances to see new sides of each other—”

Katsuki snorted, “We’ve known each other since before we could fucking talk. ‘New sides’ aren’t damn likely.”

“Since when?!” The hero’s mouth dropped open in shock, his sunglasses sliding down his nose.

“I was three months old and Kacchan was six months old.”

“Jeez, and I thought my two were bad.” Cockatoo shook his head, then froze before suddenly shooting up. “That’s it!” He put his hands on his hips, grinning. “Alright, little listeners. I know Shouta really stresses the whole secrecy thing, and it is important, but sometimes meeting others is just as important, if not more important….”

The hero suddenly headed toward the door. “Leave your stuff here and come with me! We need to hurry if you two are going to meet them before they leave.”

“Meet who?”

“My advisees.” Mic winked at them as he pushed open the door, “Although it’s rare for this to happen, you two aren’t the only pair at UA right now.”

“Really?!” Deku was grinning broadly, “Who?”

“You’ll find out, you’ll find out! They don’t mind meeting other soulmates.” The hero laughed. “Unless you don’t want to tell them about yourselves, that is. Then we’ll stay right here and talk with just the three of us. I think they could really help you two, though. Their situation was similar.”

Katsuki frowned. He didn’t like the idea that more people would know, especially people that were students, and not teachers, but Deku was so fucking excited about meeting others like them…

“Whatever.” He would trust this teacher. The man had helped to save them at USJ.

He walked toward their teacher, Deku immediately shooting up to join him.

“That would be great!” The shitty nerd was practically vibrating next to Katsuki at the prospect of meeting others and making more fucking friends.

Friends that were like them.

Honestly, it was fucking weird to think about meeting someone their age with a bond. It had been weird enough meeting adults with a bond. Though… Katsuki shrugged to himself. They were now in the world of heroes, and not only that, they were at UA. They were in the world of society’s elite. They were bound to run across others like them eventually.

To distract himself, Katsuki looked around at the new hallways—he and Deku had never been in this part of UA before. Though judging from the classroom numbers, Mic-sensei’s advisees were third years?

The hero stopped outside a classroom, then banged the door open, shouting, “Yo!”

Katsuki blinked. Most of the third years were still there, all talking with each other. Why hadn’t the dumbasses gone home? Did they work together after school or some shit like that?

“Sorry to disturb the study sessions, little listeners! I need to borrow Togata and Amajiki for a bit.”

A blonde with a dumbass face looked up with a bright smile—fuck, another Deku-type. Why were there so damn many of them at UA?!— and a guy with slouched shoulders and black hair gave a long sigh.

Both stood up, though the black hair guy was reluctantly trailing behind the blonde. Blondie strutted towards them, slipping out the door at Mic’s gesture. “Mic-sensei! Pleasure to see you as always!”

These were the third years that Mic thought would be helpful?

Mic laughed, “Good to see you two, as well! We should probably meet again sometime soon, it’s been a few weeks.” He grinned, “You know of a classroom that would be empty?”

Huh? It was after school! Shouldn’t most of them be empty?

Blondie frowned, tapping his chin. “Nejire took some of the girls to the gym to spar a few minutes ago, so their usual study spot should be empty…” He headed down the hallway, waving his hand after them, “Follow me!”

Katsuki studied the two, trying to figure out if there was an obvious sign that the third years were soulmates, but there wasn’t. They honestly didn’t even seem like close friends, with the way Pointy Ears just trailed after the other one without saying anything.

A few doors down, Blondie stuck his head… through the door? Katsuki blinked. That was… a weird quirk.

“No one’s inside!” Blondie smiled at them as if he hadn’t just done something fucking weird, then opened the door and walked inside. Hesitantly, Katsuki followed.

Mic shut the door behind them. “Alright, so introduction time!” He grinned. “Little first years,” Katsuki glared at the man, “This is Togata Mirio and Amajiki Tamaki, two of the top members of UA’s current graduating class, and soulmates since they were eleven years old.”

Blondie’s grin got fucking brighter at that introduction, “Oh! Is that why you pulled us? UA got another pair of soulmates? That’s awesome!”

“Since they were eleven?” Deku reached over, clutching Katsuki’s arm, “Kacchan! Kacchan, they’re like us!”

“Like you?” Pointy Ears spoke for the first time, but his eyes were still downcast, and he was fidgeting in his spot.

“Our moms are best friends, so we met before we were a year old.”

“Really?” Blondie laughed, “Wow, you two have been together way longer than we have! That’s awesome!” He gave another bright fucking grin, along with a thumbs up, “I can see why Mic-sensei wanted to introduce us, though. It’s really rare for soulmate pairs to meet each other when they’re young like we did.” His grin was too fucking bright. “So you’re Kacchan, then?”

Oh, fuck no! “It’s Bakugou.” He growled, “Bakugou Katsuki. Only Deku can call me that shit.”

“But we’re your senpai!” Blondie pointed toward himself, “So we need cute nicknames for our new favorite underclassmen. Right, Tamaki?”

Pointy Ears inched away from his soulmate. “Leave me out of this.”

Blondie just laughed and clapped the other boy on the back before turning back toward them, “And your name is Deku?”

“Hell no!”

“Ummm… Midoriya Izuku…” Deku looked hesitantly toward Katsuki, “Kacchan really doesn’t like it when other people call me Deku…”

“Fuck off, asshole!” Katsuki’s hands began to pop with explosions as he stepped toward the third year, growling in annoyance.

“Woah!” Blondie held up his hands, “Reflexive quirk activation, huh? So you reallydon’t like that.” Blondie rubbed at the back of his neck. “Sorry, then.” He tapped his chin, “I guess I’ll just call you Blasty-chan!”

What the fuck?!

Katsuki growled as Blondie turned toward Deku, “And you’ll be Greenie-chan!” He nodded, resting his hands on his hips. “That’ll work! And if you don’t like it, then beat me in a spar and I won’t call you that any more, my little kouhai!”

Fuck. No.

“Spar.” Katsuki glared at the blonde. “Now.”

“Wait a second, wait a second!” Mic waved his hands around frantically, “As great as it is to see you four hitting it off, I brought them here for a reason!”

“Tch.” Katsuki looked away, already regretting every second of this meeting.

“Oh? How can we help?” There was that damn grin again.

“Midoriya?” Mic looked toward Deku, “Why don’t you explain?”

“Um…” Deku immediately began to fidget, “W-we, we just tried to seal the bond and it didn’t go so well and…” Deku bit his lip, then looked up at Blondie, “How do I change my feelings when we’ve known each other for this long?”

Blondie’s grin fell. “That’s… that’s a hard one.” He scratched at his cheek, “I was the second one to develop feelings, too. You feel terrible for making them feel terrible and you want to rush things, right?”

Deku nodded frantically, “I’ve been trying to think about all the reasons why I like Kacchan, and there are so many, but—”

“Is that why you’ve been fucking staring at me all day, you shitty nerd?!”

Fucking hell, he’d thought it might be something like that, knowing Deku, but still…

Deku shrugged, “Yeah. I, umm… I thought if I thought about it enough, maybe I’d, like… um… think of something that made me feel, well… more?” Blondie laughed, and Deku his behind his hands, his face red.

Katsuki glared at the third year.

Blondie fucking patted Deku’s head, “It’s a good idea, but keep in mind that you can’t force the feelings to exist, ok?” He shrugged, “If you want my story, I first started liking Tamaki when I saw how hard he was working to do something, even though it scared him, and I just… really love that about him. And it was like suddenly, everything clicked and I just knew. Not everyone has a moment like that, though. Some people have it creep up over time, some spend a while denying it…”

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. Like hell he’d admit to that.

“I’ve always loved Mirio.” Pointy Ears’ voice was quiet and mumbled, and Katsuki barely heard the damn guy, but Blondie stopped talking immediately, automatically turning toward his soulmate as Pointy Ears continued, “It started innocent and shallow when we were young, and it grew deeper as we got older.” He rubbed at his elbow, curling in on himself and hunching his shoulders even more, “Mirio’s always just shined so bright… like he was my sun.”

Beside Katsuki, Deku nodded, his eyes distant as he muttered, “Like he is everything you could ever hope to achieve.”

Fuck.

Katsuki felt like he’d been punched in the gut. To… to hear Deku say something like that… to hear him say it about Katsuki. Deku was the damn best! He was so… so…. Katsuki swallowed, staring at his soulmate. How the hell could Deku think that Katsuki was someone he wanted to be like? Fuck! He’d messed up so much shit recently, but… Deku… Deku still… he really thought that?

“Yeah.” Pointy Ears was looking up, now, smiling slightly.

Blondie reached out to pat Deku on the head. “Sounds like you’re almost there, Greenie-chan.”

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched at the nickname, anger flooding back through him. This asshole didn’t get to call his soulmate -chan. Or that ridiculous nickname. “Where the fuck is the nearest gym so I can beat your ass?!”

Blondie laughed, lifting his hands up in a defensive gesture, “I actually have to study this afternoon and then I have my internship, so I don’t have time to spar today… how about this: hit me one time before I reach the classroom and I’ll stop.”

“You’re on, bastard.” Katsuki lunged forward, hands popping with explosions, but the bastard just… fell through the floor? “What the fuck?”

Katsuki looked around for the third year, but there was no sign of him.

“Mirio’s quirk is permeation.” Pointy Ears mumbled, bending down to pick up—what the fuck, were those Blondie’s clothes?—“He can make himself impermeable and slip through walls and floors. He’s probably already back in the classroom.”

“Damn it! If he can fucking teleport, how was I supposed to hit the damn asshole?”

Pointy Ears shrugged, turning toward the door. “It’s not like Mirio said it would be a fair chance for you.”

Katsuki seethed in place as Pointy Ears asked to be excused, then bowed politely on his way out.

Damn it!

Katsuki wasn’t going to let some blonde asshole exhibitionist get away with calling him ‘Blasty-chan.’ It was fucking on.

Chapter Text

Katsuki yawned as Deku pushed open the classroom door. They’d fucking gone to bed early last night, and they were both still damn tired.

He hated that Recovery Girl was right.

“Bakugou! Midoriya-kun!”

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. Since when was he on good enough terms with Shitty Hair for him to drop the damn suffix?

Deku fucking giggled as Katsuki growled.

Shitty Hair ran up to them, waving a form in their faces. “I went by the teacher’s offices this morning and Aizawa-sensei gave me the form! He said on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons we can have access to the weight room in Gym Beta that also has some sparring mats. We just have to swipe our IDs and they’ll let is in, now. If we want access to anything else we’ll have to ask, though. Oh! And he said we could add one more person, if we wanted, but groups over four people need someone with a hero license to watch them.”

“Awesome!! So we can start tomorrow, then?” Deku (apparently wide awake now) reached out, taking the form from Shitty Hair and skimming it.

“I’m down!” Shitty Hair nodded, “You guys want to add someone else? Do you have anyone in mind?”

Katsuki shrugged, “As long as they’re fucking good, I don’t give a damn.”

“What about Toshi-kun?” Deku tilted his head to the side. “He can’t really practice his quirk on his own, right?”

“Toshi-kun?” Shitty Hair looked between the two of them, confused.

Katsuki growled, “He means Brain Fucker.”

“Brain…Oh!” Shitty Hair scratched the back of his head, “Man, why can’t you two just use people’s actual names.” He shook his head, then grinned at Deku, “Sure! I never thought of that, but it makes sense with his quirk.”

Shit. Katsuki had hoped Shitty Hair would refuse. “Wait, Deku!” Katsuki grabbed Deku’s arm before he could wave to Brain Fucker.

“Eh? What, Kacchan?”

“Just…” ugh! Why didn’t his soulmate realize how dangerous Brain Fucker’s quirk was for them? Katsuki grit his teeth in frustration. “No two-on-twos. I’m not putting myself in a position where Brain Fucker could turn us against each other.”

“Oh.” Deku blanched. “Yeah, um. No two-on-twos.” Katsuki released the nerd’s arm, and his soulmate grinned at him before immediately bouncing over to Brain Fucker’s desk, waving the form around.

“No two-on-twos, huh?” Shitty Hair gave him a knowing look. Ah, fuck. The guy probably assumed Katsuki just didn’t want to hurt Deku or some shit like that. Katsuki punched his arm.

And hurt his fucking knuckles.

Damn that quirk.

Shitty Hair’s grin widened, “Man, you’ve got it bad. I don’t know how I missed it, earlier.”

“Shut the fuck up.” Katsuki shouldered past Shitty Hair, ignoring the asshole’s laughter as he headed to his desk. It’s not like he could fucking explain the real reason he refused to use his quirk against the nerd.

Aizawa-sensei thankfully showed up a few minutes later, sparing Katsuki any further teasing, but all their homeroom teacher did was pass out forms about the shrink that had directions to her office. Well, that and blather about how there was no shame talking to her, and that every hero needed to have someone they could talk to. Whatever. Katsuki had Deku for that shit.

When Aizawa-sensei handed Katsuki his form, Katsuki frowned at the note attached to the top. Sensei wanted to meet them after school next Tuesday—something about Mic-sensei insisting Aizawa-sensei needed rest this week, so their individual weekly meetings would have to be cancelled. The note also underlined a sentence in all caps commanding them not to try to seal the bond again until after they talked.

Tch.

It’s not like Deku’s feelings could change that damn fast.

Katsuki nodded and the teacher moved on, pausing for a second at Deku’s desk, as well—most likely waiting for the nerd to confirm that he understood the note, too.

Shit. This would probably be the fucking how-to meeting. Katsuki groaned, slumping over on his desk and not moving until Deku’s pencil poked him, signaling that their next teacher was there.

Katsuki sighed, pushing himself back up. He knew the information was important, but he really wasn’t looking forward to that shit.

By the time lunch came around, it was getting harder and harder to resist falling asleep.

Katsuki absentmindedly rubbed at his eyes as he walked toward the cafeteria, wondering how many dummies Granny could give them per day…

“Gah!!” Katsuki stumbled, startled, as All Might pulled him to the side and into a different hallway.

Katsuki glared at the hero. “What the fuck do you want?” The dumbass hero had a limited time like this, why was he wasting it by pulling Katsuki aside?

“I need to talk to you and Young Midoriya for a bit.” All Might shifted nervously, “Would you wait here while I get him?”

Katsuki sighed and nodded. Whatever. At least this would help him avoid the extras. He leaned against the wall after All Might left, but it wasn’t much longer before the hero returned and led them into a room Katsuki had never been in before. Maybe the teacher’s lounge?

After the hero shut the door, there was the usual puff of smoke and then the twig stood in front of them. Yagi-sensei motioned toward the couch and chairs in the middle of the room. “I don’t want to keep you two from lunch. Please go ahead and eat.”

Katsuki nodded, absentmindedly sitting down and opening up his bento as he stifled a yawn.

Yagi-sensei frowned. “You both look tired. Is everything alright?”

“Just bond shit.” Katsuki shrugged.

Deku elaborated, “The warp portal sent us away from each other at USJ. It umm.. Put a strain on our bond, I guess. We’ve both been getting more and more tired.”

Yagi-sensei’s frown deepened. “That’s not good at all.”

“Aizawa-sensei told us to get some gummies every day before heroics class, so hopefully that will help.”

“I see…” The hero sighed. “This is a difficult time for you both, then. If you can’t handle something in heroics class, I insist that you let me know immediately, alright?”

“Aizawa-sensei said the same fucking thing. We won’t push ourselves.” Katsuki rolled his eyes. They should be fine, with the gummies. Hopefully. “Why’d you want to talk to us? It wasn’t because we look tired.”

“No…” Yagi-sensei shook his head. “Though it seems USJ has weakened all of us. I am now down to roughly one and a half hours per day.”

Fuck.

Beside him, Deku gasped. “I’m so sorry! If we had just been able to help more… If I had more control--”

“No!” Yagi-sensei coughed out blood, shaking his head firmly and then wiping his mouth off. “Man, we really are alike, you and me. You have nothing to apologize for, Young Midoriya. You and Young Bakugou both did wonderfully, Aizawa-kun told me how you two and Young Shinsou helped him. You were all very brave.” He shook his head, “Foolishly so, but it all turned out ok.”

Deku winced, probably remembering the moment Brain Fucker fell unconscious.

Yagi-sensei stood up, pacing. “I called you both here because I don’t have much time left as the symbol of peace, and some of those with villainous intent are beginning to realize this.” He sighed, turning to face Deku. “Young Midoriya, I granted you my power because I want you to succeed me.”

“And I’ll do my best, All Might! I want to save as many people as possible! I want to give everyone the same hope you gave me!”

Yagi-sensei gave him a thumbs up, grinning. “Then the time has come for you to show that passion! The UA sports festival is something pro heroes, no something the whole country, is watching closely! A big event! That is what I brought you here to talk about. I know you only have control of three percent of your powers, Young Midoriya, and this is selfish of me to request it, but….You two want to be the next All Might, a hero duo that is a fledgeling symbol of peace. So at the sports festival in two weeks, I want you both to tell the world, I am here!”

“We will!” Katsuki grinned as his soulmate’s voice echoed his, the two of them responding to their hero as one.

“That’s good to hear.” He smiled, “I know it may be difficult for you especially, Young Midoriya, since you don’t have full control of your quirk, but you must try your best! There are those who are always aiming for the top, and those that aren’t. That slight difference in attitudes will have a big impact once you go out into society.” All Might nodded, then shifted and scratched the back of his head awkwardly. “Well, that’s really all I wanted to say. Don’t forget to get some gummies before my class, though!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes as he wrapped his bento back up. “We won’t, old man.” He stood up, turning toward Deku, “You want to stop by her office on the way to the cafeteria, or afterwards?”

“Umm, well, it’s on the way, so I guess before would make sense.”

“Whatever.”

The two of them left the room, exhaustion settling back into their bones now that they knew the hero hadn’t needed anything urgent. There wasn’t even any reason for All Might to have fucking pulled them aside to say all that shit. Katsuki would aim for the top no matter what, and so would Deku.

When they reached Granny’s office she took one look at them before tutting and forcing them onto one of her patient beds.

Katsuki groaned. “We’re just tired, Granny. It’s not anything else.”

“I’ll be the judge of that!” She bent over, kissing Katsuki’s hand. He hated that he was getting used to that, now.

After doing the same to Deku, she stood there, arms crossed as she stared at them.

“Well? Some other shit gone wrong?”

“No…” Granny sighed. “No, it’s the same thing, it’s just getting worse, as I feared.”

They fucking knew that already.

“I have half a mind to forbid you two to enter that foolish festival.”

“Hell no!” Katsuki growled, clenching his hands to prevent small explosions from busting forth.

“Please, no, Recovery Girl! We’ll follow whatever advice you give us, but please not that!”

“I know, I know.” She bustled over to the counter, “I said I had half a mind to, not that it was what I was going to do. But I better see you two every day around lunchtime! And after school if you two feel extra tired!” She turned around, returning to them with a handful of gummies. “And stay extra close to each other in the meantime, alright? No sense risking making it worse.”

Katsuki frowned, thankful for once that the table he’d picked in the cafeteria wasn’t too far from Deku’s. “Alright, Granny. We’ll be careful and all that shit.”

“You both better be.” She clicked her tongue against her teeth, “And don’t train too much! You’ll only drain yourselves and you won’t get any better. Conserve your energy.”

“Is… um… we’d been planning on sparring with some classmates after school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Is that ok?” Deku was fidgeting with his fingers as he looked at Recovery Girl.

She sighed. “See me before and afterwards. I’m here most days until five, so don’t stay later than that.”

Damn it. That barely gave them an hour and a half. “Fucking fine.” At least she wasn’t demanding they cancel.

With one last frown, Recovery Girl pushed four gummies into each of their hands, then shooed them off of her table and toward the door. “And eat healthily! None of this junk food, now!”

“Of course!” Deku grinned at her, “Always!”

“Good!” One final shove, and they were back in the hallway.

Katsuki sighed as the door shut behind them. “Well, that shit could have gone better.” He started off down the hallway, popping one of the gummies into his mouth.

“It could have gone worse, too.” Deku shuddered next to him. “I can’t believe she wanted us to stay out of the sports festival. I mean, I know the bond is getting worse, but… after everything All Might said, I just can’t…”

“Yeah.” Katsuki tore off a chunk of a second gummy, annoyed. “Even if he hadn’t said that shit, I still would’ve hated it. This is our chance to start making a name for ourselves.”

Deku grinned at him as they reached the cafeteria doors. “We’re gonna do great, Kacchan!”

“Hell yeah.” Katsuki grinned back, then nodded his head toward Deku’s usual table. “Go spend time with the damn extras, Deku. See you after lunch.”

“Ok!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes as the nerd bounded off toward his extras. Then he caught sight of Raccoon Eyes waving at him.

Katsuki groaned, shoving the last two gummies into his mouth before he began to trudge in that direction. Fucking extras.

“You’re here! Finally!” Raccoon Eyes was grinning, leaning forward with her elbows on the damn table. “We’ve been talking, trying to figure out a way to help you win Midoriya-kun’s heart. Do you have any kind of plan?”

What the fuck? Katsuki glared at the nosey assholes as he dropped his bento onto the table and sat down. “There’s no fucking plan, you dumbasses.”

“Eh? Why not?” Raccoon Eyes pouted. “Did he reject you?”

“Tch.” Katsuki opened up his bento, resigning himself to dealing with the nosey assholes. “As if.” He frowned, trying to think of a way to explain their situation in a normal way…. “He said he needed to fucking think about it or some shit like that.”

“Then come on, dude!” Pikachu was holding his chopsticks up, acting like he was doling out the best fucking advice ever, “You have to fight for your man!”

“Totally!” Shitty Hair was nodding, “You’ve got to show him how manly you are!”

Katsuki snorted, “We train together all the damn time. That’s not the fucking issue.”

“Then you just need to show him a new side of you!”

Katsuki grimaced. He was sick and tired of hearing that shit. “We’ve known each other our whole lives. I don’t exactly have a ‘new side’ to show the shitty nerd.”

“Of course you do!” Raccoon Eyes still had that bright fucking grin. “You’re hot, right?” Katsuki almost choked on his tempura—who the fuck just said shit like that?!—but the girl just continued, “I bet Midoriya hasn’t noticed it, though, since you two have been around each other so long.” She winked at him, “Am I right?”

“Deku doesn’t think about shit like that.”

“So you make him think about it.” Raccoon Eyes leaned forward, poking Katsuki in the chest. He growled, shoving the arm away. The girl just shrugged and continued, her eyes determined. “Get some new clothes. Clothes like he’s never seen you in. Clothes that make you look like the hot stuff you are.”

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki stared at the three in disbelief as Pikachu and Shitty Hair nodded in agreement with the girl. “Clothes? That’s your damn answer?”

“Of course, dude!” Pikachu spread his arms out in a ‘what can you do’ kind of gesture. “The right clothes can really turn heads.”

Shitty Hair swallowed his food and voiced his agreement, “It makes sense. You need Midoriya-kun to look at you differently, right? So go for a new look. What do you usually wear?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Tank tops and shorts. Work out clothes, basically.” It’s not like he ever really needed outfits for anything else. The Old Hag always hated it, too, which was a definite plus.

“We talking tight work out clothes?” Pikachu waggled his eyebrows, “Something that shows off your muscles?”

“Fuck no. I just grab whatever.”

Pikachu sighed, looking at Katsuki like he was some fucking lost cause.

“I know! Let’s go on a shopping trip!” Raccoon Eyes was practically bouncing up and down. “This Saturday! We can help Bakugou-kun get the perfect outfit! One that’ll make Midoriya-kun drool!”

“Hell no!” Katsuki glared at them. “Fuck off, Raccoon Eyes. If I get new clothes, I’ll go with my mom or some shit like that!” He was not going to deal with the extras and have to explain why Deku had to come with them, even though the outfit was supposed to be a damn surprise for the nerd or some shit like that.

Raccoon Eyes glared right back at him, “Ok, first off, that is not going to be your nickname for me. It’s way too uncool and I will not answer to that for my entire highschool career. Pick something else. And second, your mom? Really? You don’t seem like a mommy’s boy, and mom’s usually aren’t the best at picking out hot clothes.”

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. He really didn’t want to give in on the name, he’d never done that shit. But… she was trying to help him with Deku. And her idea actually made some damn good sense, the more he thought about it. And… and he’d fucking hated the nickname Blonde Asshole had given him yesterday. “Fine. Pinky.”

“Ugh.” She groaned melodramatically, dropping her head into her hands. “You’re so unoriginal.” She let out a long sigh, “I suppose that’s fine, though. It’s better than the other one.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Deal with it, then. And I could care less about my Old Hag’s opinion, usually, but she works in the damn fashion business, so she’s good at that shit.”

“Really?!” Pinky shot up in her seat, forgetting her melodramatics from seconds before, “What company does she work for?!”

Shit. Bakugou sighed. Maybe they wouldn’t overreact? Whatever. It was probably better to get this shit over with. “She’s a designer for Mastermind Japan. My Dad works for Head Porter.”

“EH?!?!?!” Pinky slammed her hands down on the table, standing up and then leaning over to shake Katsuki’s shoulders, “INTRODUCE ME!!! PLEASE!!!!”

“Damn it!” Katsuki shoved her arms back, jumping off the bench and stepping back a few paces, “Fuck off!”

“Those are like, huge companies! And their stuff is so cool!!! Especially Mastermind! Please! I’ll do anything!”

“Ugh!” Katsuki threw his head back with a groan, “this is why I never fucking say anything. People always act crazy about shitty clothes, especially now that both of them are with damn big name designers.” He glared at Pinky. “The Old Hag’s not a director or chief designer or anything like that, she’s only been with Mastermind for like three years.”

“It’s still a huge deal!” She was bouncing up and down in place, now. “Please! I have to meet her! She’s practically my hero, working at a punk fashion place like that!”

“You don’t even look like you wear their shit!” If anyone in the class did, it was Purple Hair and Bird Head. Maybe Brain Fucker. But Pinky’s hero costume was a fucking mess and nothing like Mastermind’s skull and crossbones aesthetic.

“I have like, one shirt! But it’s expensive! And I also like bright colors!”

Pikachu had been laughing his head off, but he’d finally calmed down a bit, and was now wiping the tears from his eyes, “Ok, dude, you have to admit, Mastermind’s stuff is awesome.”

“Well, yeah, but they’re just fucking clothes.”

Pinky groaned, this time collapsing in a fake faint against Shitty Hair. “How can you, the son of two such brilliant fashion designers, refer to clothes like that?”

“Because they’re just shitty clothes!” Katsuki glared at her and sat back down, relatively certain that he wouldn’t be tackled again.

“That’s pretty cool, though, man!” Shitty Hair was grinning at him while awkwardly patting Pinky’s back. “Your mom could probably pick out something great!”

Katsuki frowned. Could clothes really help? He glanced over toward Deku, groaning when he realized the nerd and his posse were all staring at them.

Fucking great. Now those assholes would want to know, too.

“Can we come with you on the shopping trip?”

“Huh?!” Katsuki turned back to glare at Pinky again, “Fuck no! I’m not dealing with the Old Hag and you losers at the same time!”

“Pictures, then!” Pinky nodded firmly, “Pictures, or… or we’ll pester Midoriya until he tells us when and where you go!”

“Why the hell would you do that?!” And fuck, it would probably work, too. Even if he didn’t tell Deku shit, the Old Hag would definitely tell Auntie. And Deku would want Katsuki to make friends, so he’d gladly get them the damn info. Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. “How would I even get you the fucking pictures?”

“Send us some texts, obviously!” She held out her hand, grinning. “Give me your phone and I’ll put in my number.”

“Like hell I’d give you my phone.” She’d probably do some other shit to it than just put in her damn number. Katsuki reluctantly pulled his phone out of his pocket. “If I send you pictures, you won’t bug Deku and crash the shopping trip?”

“Yup!”

“Me too!” Pikachu was grinning, too, now, his own phone out in his hand.

“I want your number, too, man!”

Fuck.

Jaw clenched, Katsuki ground out his phone number. His eyebrow twitched as he received three texts, each confirming that the three assholes had saved his number.

Katsuki shoved his phone back into his pocket.

If he didn’t think the dumbasses were onto something…

Damn it.

Katsuki focused on the food in front of him, ignoring their bright chatter. He had to finish lunch—he would need every fucking piece of energy it could give him—and he didn’t have much time left.

Thankfully, the extras seemed to fucking understand that he’d reached his limits with all the damn talking about Deku, and were now content to talk among themselves about shitty clothes.

By the time they’d all gotten changed for heroics class, the energy from the gummies had kicked in and Katsuki no longer felt like yawning. Katsuki grinned, stretching his arms out as he waited for the rest of the extras to show up in the gym. Hopefully this energy lasted all afternoon.

His mood quickly soured as All Might announced what the class would start off doing.

Shitty endurance drills.

The hero’s eyes were following both him and Deku with worry as they went to the start line. They’d be running fucking laps around the city, using their quirks, for fifteen minute stretches, with five minute breaks. For the next fucking hour.

Damn it.

They could do this shit, though. They had energy right now.

Once the all the laps were finally fucking done, Katsuki forced himself to keep moving, heading over to the water fountain (and ignoring everyone’s grumbles behind him as he drank his fill). Then he collapsed on the cement next to it, Deku following suit.

Katsuki closed his eyes.

Fuck.

They still had another two hours of heroics, and all he wanted to do was sleep.

After what felt like mere seconds, All Might’s voice boomed out, calling them all to gather around and receive instructions for the next exercise. With a sigh, Katsuki hoisted himself back up, Deku groaning next to him.

Apparently they’d be doing another rescue drill. Stuffed kittens (of all the shit to pick, seriously) had been hidden in the city ruins, and were crying for help. They would be graded on how many brought back to the rescue zone (where All Might was standing) within an hour and a half, and on how well they managed to keep the kittens in their current uninjured state. They could also work with one partner, but would have to switch partners every thirty minutes. Some shit about your team in rescue missions often being whoever happened to be closer to the disaster site.

Whatever.

Katsuki would rescue the fucking stuffed kittens.

All Might blathered on about proper procedures and building integrity and sound in city sometimes being deceiving because of shitty echoes, then gave them all the signal to start.

Immediately, Katsuki shot toward the city, Deku right beside him. As if his first partner would be anyone else.

The fucking kittens were pretty damn easy to find. A couple of times Katsuki swore Deku was hearing shit and making up that he could hear one, but there was always a kitten where he claimed he’d heard the cry. Damn piece of shit and his good hearing.

After that, Katsuki ended up partnered with Round Face, which wasn’t too bad, and then Pinky, which was terrible. The alien girl kept melting the building too much or accidentally hitting the kitten. The extra needed to learn some better control with her damn quirk, and Katsuki told her that, repeatedly.

Because of her, Deku ended up getting a better grade than him, which pleased the shitty nerd to no end.

Damn it.

Then All Might lectured them on where they’d done well and where they could use improvement. Katsuki had maintained the damn building structure and all of his damn kittens had been uninjured. A little singed fur here and there didn’t count. The explosions had barely touched them.

After getting more water and changing out of his hero costume (and trudging all the way back to Granny’s office for more gummies) he and Deku slowly made their way home.

Katsuki sighed, adjusting the strap of his bag on his shoulder as he took a seat on the train.

“Kacchan, I’ve been wanting to ask, but…” Deku turned in his seat to face him, “What was all that about at lunch?”

“Tch.” Katsuki groaned, tilting his head back until it hit the window. “I mentioned where the Old Hag works. Apparently Pinky’s a fucking fan.”

Deku laughed. “I guess you never know who will like them.” The nerd’s grin was bright, “I’m glad you’re getting along with them, Kacchan.”

“Am not. Pinky cost me a lot of points today. She can go fuck herself.”

A snort. “All Might said we should always try to make up for our partner’s weaknesses.”

“Fuck that.”

Deku hummed noncommittally, then frowned. “Are we going to do our usual run and weight exercises and such tonight? After heroics today…”

“Tch. We’ve run enough for the damn day.” Katsuki stretched his arms out, then cracked his neck. “I’m doing the weights, though. We can’t get lazy with the festival coming up.”

“I know! But…” Deku bit his lip, looking off to the side as he began to mutter about balancing how tired they’d been with their need to prepare and the fact that they had to take care of their bodies, but All Might had asked them to win, but—

Katsuki knocked the nerd on the back of the head, cutting off the stream of mutters. “We’ll do what we can each day, alright nerd? No sense in planning in advance when we have no clue what the fuck this shit is doing.”

Deku gave a cautious nod, then their stop was announced.

As they walked home, Deku recounted all the shit he had talked about with the extras at lunch, and how much fun it had been to have people to talk to, now (besides Katsuki, at least), and how he really liked them all, and how they’d each talked about why they wanted to be a hero, and how Round Face and Shitface seemed to have good families but Deku was worried about Brain Fucker, because he wouldn’t say anything about his foster parents—

And then they were home and Deku was calling dibs on first shower and running upstairs.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched in annoyance. Whatever. He could use this.

Taking a deep breath, he walked down the hallway and knocked on his parents’ door.

“Come in!” His mom’s voice didn’t sound annoyed—mostly just confused. He pushed it open.

The Old Hag was sitting on the bed, one eyebrow raised. Katsuki swallowed. “Where’s dad?”

“Outside in the garden.”

Right. That made sense. Katsuki shifted nervously before entering the room and shutting the door behind him. Katsuki rubbed his sweaty palms off against his shorts.

“Well? What’s this about? You never seek me out, brat.”

“I...” Shit. Katsuki grit his teeth. How the fuck did people do this shit? “I need your damn help.”

Now the Old Hag had both eyebrows raised. She set aside her fucking fashion magazine. “This is rare. With what?”

“I want Deku to look at me.” Shit. Katsuki could feel his face turning red.

“He looks at you all the damn time, brat.” The Old Hag was smirking now, fuck her. “You’ll have to be more specific.”

“Damn it!” Katsuki growled, “Everyone keeps fucking saying that the only way to get the shitty nerd to think about feelings and shit is to get him to see me in a damn new light or some fucking shit like that! But we’ve grown up together, so how the fuck do I do that?! Hell, the nerd knows every damn thing about me! But then one of the extras mentioned clothes, so I thought maybe—”

“Let me get this straight.” The Old Hag slipped off the bed, stalking forward and standing in front of him, hands on her hips. “You want Izu-kun to like you. Romantically.”

Shit.

Katsuki looked away, his face burning.

He gave a jerky nod.

The Old Hag burst out laughing, “And how long has this been going on, brat?”

“Couple months.” Like hell he’d tell her what he’d told Deku.

“And you’ve told little Izu?”

Another nod.

She sighed, “That kid’s never really had romance on his mind, huh? Well. We can change that.” Katsuki looked back to see his mother grinning.

He usually hated that grin.

But this time, she winked at him. “Don’t worry kid. Leave some time free on Saturday and we’ll go shopping. I’ll make it so that Izu-kun can’t look away from you.”

“Just clothes!” Katsuki gave the Old Hag a wary look, “No other shit.” There was no way he’d wear any of that damn shit she put models into.

“Uh-huh. Demanding as always. You’re lucky you got my genes and are so damn handsome.”

Katsuki glared at the woman.

“Also….” He huffed, rubbing at his arm uneasily. “Granny said that after USJ messing with our bond and shit, Deku and I have to stay even closer to each other, so he probably shouldn’t even be in a different store from us, if it's a big department store or some shit like that.”

That made her frown. “You’re ok now, though, right?”

“Just get damn tired easily.” He shrugged. “But we can’t…. we can’t keep fucking going on like this.”

Katsuki winced as the Old Hag pulled him into a tight hug, crushing him. “We’ll get you through this, kiddo. You and Izu-kun have a great future ahead of you. This is just a speed bump, that’s all.”

Katsuki snorted. “It’s a fucking annoying one, and its timing is shit.”

She laughed, loud and right in his damn ear, then shoved him toward the door. “Teenagers. It’s always the end of the damn world. You’ll get your new look on Saturday, brat. Get out of here and go bug that soulmate of yours.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

The Old Hag pushed him out of the room, “And don’t wear your shirt when you two do your weight exercises!”

The door shut in his face before he could retort.

Tch.

He doubted it would work, since Deku had seen him shirtless plenty of times while they exercised, but it would mean one less shirt to wash, so whatever.

Chapter Text

Sparring after a full day of classes, especially with heroics class on Wednesday, had been tough, but they’d made it through. Today, however, they hadn’t had heroics, so he and Deku had some energy to spare.

In other words, Katsuki was going to fucking dominate in this spar.

Shitty Hair sent him a grin from across the sparring mat. “Man you’re super happy today. This because of the looks Midoriya-kun’s been sending you?”

Katsuki smirked. They didn’t happen often, but Deku was definitely reacting to Katsuki when he was shirtless.

Like right now.

Well, not exactly right now. The nerd was currently lifting weights with a glazed over expression, completely controlled by Brain Fucker who was leaning against a pillar next to him, trying to stretch the limit of how long he could hold one person under his control.

Still, though. Whenever Katsuki had taken his shirt off before as they changed out of his uniform, or sometimes when he thought Katsuki wasn’t looking, Deku would stare at him occasionally, not quite flustered, but definitely like Katsuki distracted him.

“That shit doesn’t hurt.”

Shitty Hair laughed, then charged forward, arms hardened into sharp points.

Katsuki darted to the side, then used a blast to flip up and around Shitty Hair, aiming his hand directly at his back. His palm lit up to fire--

“Blasty-chan!! Greenie-chan!!”

“Damn it!” Katsuki twisted in the air, landing a few feet away from Shitty Hair, his feet skidding against the sparring mat. He turned toward the doors, and, sure enough, the third year soulmates were standing at the entrance. “I told you not to call us that, you Blonde Asshole!”

“Blasty-chan?” Shitty Hair snickered, his arms now back to a normal state.

“Don’t you fucking dare, Shitty Hair.”

Brain Fucker must have released Deku, as the nerd was now running over to the third years like a hyper puppy, crying out “Senpai!”

“Tch.” So much for his sparring session. Katsuki strode toward the two intruders, annoyed. “What the fuck are you assholes doing here?”

“We were talking with Mic-sensei and he mentioned you were down here, so I thought we could come and help our favorite first years train for the sports festival!” the Blonde Asshole grinned, “And your friends, I suppose. Mic-sensei actually seemed grateful when we asked if we could come help you practice.” He tilted his head back and laughed, “Causing trouble already, you two?”

Pointy Ears stayed hidden behind his soulmate, mumbling a brief apology for their intrusion.

“We are not!” Katsuki glared at them. “Damn it. We’re just sparring.” All the teachers didn’t have to be so fucking concerned.

“That’s awesome!” Shitty Hair turned to Katsuki, “I didn’t know you knew some of the third years, man! Though… don’t we need someone with a hero license if our group gets bigger?”

Blonde Asshole grinned and gave him a thumbs up. “Good job thinking about the rules! Mic-sensei said our provisional licenses would do fine for helping you guys.”

“And why would you want to help us instead of training for your own festival?” Brain Fucker was staring at the third years skeptically. Katsuki had to agree with the damn guy.

“Because working with new quirks is fun and a great way for us to train! Plus my classmate won’t spar with me any more and Tamaki doesn’t like the festival, anyway.”

What the fuck? Why the hell wouldn’t his classmates spar with him?!

Pointy Ears was just nodding, still slightly hidden behind his soulmate.

Brain Fucker raised one eyebrow, “And how do you know our classmates?”

“We’re, um…” Deku looked between the assembled group nervously. “We’re really only acquaintances. Mic-sensei introduced us, that’s all.”

“Aw, don’t be shy, Greenie-chan!” Blonde Asshole fucking rubbed Deku’s hair. “You’re our favorite first years!”

Katsuki saw red.

“That’s it, you Blonde Asshole. Spar. Now. I’m beating your ass and you’re not going to call us those damn nicknames any more!” Katsuki flexed his hands, letting small explosions roll across his palms.

“Ah, ah, ah.” Blonde Asshole wagged his finger. “Introduce me to your friends, first! Then we can have a match with you four against us two! That way we can figure out who we can help the most.” The guy shrugged, “If you four beat us, I’ll still stop with the nicknames, sound good?”

Katsuki growled under his breath, but nodded. He’d be an idiot to turn down the offer, since it just made the odds better for him. Fucker was overconfident.

“I’m Kirishima Eijiro! Nice to meet you! My quirk—”

“You can stop there!” Blonde Asshole held up his hand, still wearing that damn annoying grin. “First piece of advice: You often don’t know someone’s quirk before you fight them in the real world, and you won’t know anyone’s besides your classmates’ at the festival. Best to get in the habit of figuring that information out while you fight.”

“Right!” Shitty Hair nodded, clearly fucking thrilled to get advice from third years. “Figuring it out as we go is super manly!”

The Blonde Asshole gave another laugh before turning to Brain Fucker, who looked smug as he told the third years nothing but his name.

Wait.

Shit!

Brain Fucker might not be going against him and Deku, but he would be fighting another soulmate pair, and even if Katsuki hated the Blonde Asshole…

Fuck.

Well, they were third years. Maybe Brain Fucker wouldn’t get an opening. If he did…. Damn it, Katsuki would figure that shit out later. Blonde Asshole had clearly said he didn’t want advance notice, so Katsuki couldn’t say anything now, and it would be weird if he told Brain Fucker not to set them against each other—that was obviously the best tactic to use here.

“Alrighty!” Blonde Asshole jumped up and down, leading the way back toward the sparring mats that covered the front half of the gym. “Let’s keep this simple. If you fall on the ground, kneel on the ground, or anything like that, you’re out, ok? No one needs to get hurt too bad.”

“And if we win, you call us by our actual names, you Blonde Asshole.”

“Of course!” The older guy shrugged. “I’ll start the count down!” Katsuki tensed, his palms beginning to pop—“Three!” “Two!” The third year fucking winked at them. “One!”

The Blonde Asshole disappeared, clothes dropping to the floor again, and Katsuki immediately shot upwards. He looked around for any sign of the third year, but—shit!

Katsuki dodged an octopus tentacle shooting toward him, setting off an explosion that burned the limb and made it retreat. “What the fuck?!”

Pointy Ears had fucking tentacles coming from his fingers?!

Shit, and Brain Fucker and Shitty Hair were already down, groaning on the floor. Deku was dancing around on the ground, dodging Blonde Asshole’s attacks.

Damn it!

Katsuki blasted toward Pointy Ears, dodging the tentacles and aiming a small explosion at the guy’s chest—keep it fucking steady, not too strong—what the fuck?!

Katsuki vaulted backwards, away from the guy’s fucking clam hands only to have a fist slam into his back.

He crumpled to the ground.

Shit.

That had hurt more than Deku’s 3%. He hissed in pain, climbing to his feet and turning around. The Blonde Asshole was grinning, his hands on his hips as he stood buck naked in the middle of them all. Behind him, Deku was pouting on the ground next to Brain Fucker.

Katsuki growled. Fuck this shit. How had they lost so fucking fast?!

“Nice trick, going airborne!” Blonde Asshole gave him a thumbs up. “It would’ve been hard to get you if Tamaki hadn’t been around to distract you like that!”

“How the fuck did you get them down so quickly?! And put your damn clothes back on!”

“Oh!” Blonde Asshole looked down, then rubbed the back of his head awkwardly. “Sorry. Forgot you guys aren’t used to me losing my clothes like that. Umm…” He looked around, then gave his soulmate a bright grin when a tentacle stretched out toward him, holding his clothes. “Thanks, Tamaki!”

Thankfully, the dumbass put his underwear on quickly. “Alright, so you wanted to know how I got everyone? It’s all about predictions!” The Blonde Asshole paused in pulling on his pants to point toward Brain Fucker. “Shinsou-kun, right?”

Brain Fucker nodded.

“Well, you were really smug about not revealing your quirk, so it’s probably something nasty, and you do better when people don’t know what’s coming. So that’s why I took you out first with a punch to the gut.” He grinned, now once again in his full gym uniform. “Am I right? What’s your quirk, firstie?”

Brain Fucker glared at him. “Brainwash.”

“Oooo.” Blonde Asshole grinned. “I was right! That’d be pretty nasty to get hit with, especially in a team battle.” He tapped his chin, seemingly unfazed by how close he’d come to being forced to attack his soulmate. “Bet there are conditions, though.” Another shitty eager grin. “What are they?”

“I’m not telling you.” Brain Fucker crossed his arms, clearly still bitter about the punch. “Figure it out yourself.”

Blonde Asshole laughed, loud and fucking annoying like Mic-sensei. “I like you!” He turned toward Pointy Ears, “Tamaki, Tamaki! Let’s adopt this one!”

Pointy Ears let out a long sigh. Katsuki was beginning to suspect that Pointy Ears sighed a lot. The guy mumbled something about not being able to adopt first years, but the Blonde Asshole just laughed again before turning to Shitty Hair, completely ignoring the stunned expression on Brain Fucker’s face.

“As for Kirishima-kun over here, at first glance I’d say he and Greenie-chan both have quirks that have something to do with strength. I mean, they both obviously work out a lot, like me, so they’re close combat fighters. Buuuut, knowing you, Blasty-chan, I don’t think you’d willingly spar with someone with just a plain strength enhancement quirk. As proven by Greenie-chan’s speed over there—that was a surprise, Mr. Green Lightning.” Blonde Asshole shot Deku a grin, then turned back to Shitty Hair. “So? What surprise do you have with your quirk, Red?”

Shitty Hair held out his arm, letting it harden over, his finger tips sharpening. “Hardening.” He shrugged sheepishly, “It kinda speaks for itself.”

Blonde Asshole was now bouncing up and down. “That’s a nice one, though! No wonder you were sparring with Blasty-chan when we walked in! You could probably block my punches pretty well, too, if you can harden fast enough!” He turned to his soulmate, “I’m taking these two, Tamaki! Have fun with Blasty-chan and Greenie-chan!”

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki glared at the blonde’s retreating back. “How am I supposed to beat you in a spar if you lump me off on Pointy Ears?”

Blonde Asshole just laughed, throwing a grin over his shoulder as he responded, “You’re not good enough to beat me yet, Blasty-chan. Train with Tamaki some and maybe that will change.”

That fucker! Katsuki charged forward, only to be forced back by a damn tentacle darting out in front of him.

He turned to glare at Pointy Ears.

The quiet third year shrugged, “You’re too slow to dodge him right now. I’ll help you get faster.”

Katsuki ground his teeth in annoyance. Whatever. At least Pointy Ears was less annoying, and Katsuki did want to figure out how to get past his fucking quirk.

“Ummm….” Deku was looking between the two third years, confused. “But if I’m a close combat fighter like Togata-senpai, shouldn’t I be working with him?”

Pointy Ears tugged at his bangs, pulling them down in front of his face as he mumbled, “Both of them need close combat training, too. His brainwash has to be limited somehow, so he’ll need a back up plan. And Mirio likes people that plot and think ahead in a fight, despite the fact that he looks impulsive, so he’ll be more helpful for Shinsou-kun when it comes to thinking about how to hide his limits and such.” Pointy Ears shrugged, “And I can help hone both of your speed and reflexes better than Mirio can.”

“Tch.” Those tentacles had been damn fast, at least.

“Um, Amajiki-senpai?” Deku was frowning, his eyes lost in thought. “I… um…”

“Tamaki-senpai is fine. Same with Mirio.” The third year was still looking at the ground, playing with the side of his gym uniform.

“Oh! Umm, ok.” Deku bit his lip. “Well, Aizawa-sensei would probably tell me not to ask this, but, well, you seem more open than he is? A bit? But you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to!”

A sigh. “Just ask the question. If I don’t want to answer, I won’t. I won’t be offended or anything.” Dark purple eyes peeked at Deku from under his bangs.

“Right. Well.” Deku glanced toward where the Blonde Asshole was currently correcting Shitty Hair’s stance. He’d at least put his shitty gym uniform back on since the damn spar, thankfully.

“You two have sealed the bond, but when Mirio-senpai, umm… lost his clothes… earlier, I didn’t see his mark.”

“Oh.” Pointy Ears blinked. “I guess Eraser-sensei hasn’t had a chance to tell you, yet, with everything that’s happened.” He shrugged, “We wear bands to hide the marks. Mirio’s is made of the same material as his costume, so when he phases, it stays on him.”

“That’s really cool!” Deku’s eyes were shining. “What’s it made of? And you have one too? Is yours adjusted for your quirk like his is? How thick is it? Why can’t we see it? Aizawa-sensei and Mic-sensei probably have them too, right? I wonder what theirs would be like, or if they had to make any quirk adjustments. Probably not? Or—”

“Oi. Deku.” Katsuki knocked his soulmate on the back of the head. “One at a time, you shitty nerd.” The damn third year had shifted away from them at the barrage of questions, and now he’d turned his fucking back toward them.

“Oh! Sorry!” Deku fiddled with his fingers. “I really am! I just get so excited.”

Slowly, the third year turned back around, but he kept his distance as he replied, “Mine’s the same as most hero’s, I think. Really durable. Cut resistant. Fire proof. Things like that. You can see them if you look closely while standing next to the person, but they’re not meant to be noticed, so…” Pointy Ears shrugged, then looked away. “Can we just spar, now?”

“Sounds fucking great to me.” Katsuki grinned. It had been nice to get some more information about how heroes dealt with the bond, but what he really needed right now was a fight. Despite being tired, he’d been looking forward to sparring all fucking day. “How do you want to do this shit?”

A shrug. “Just come at me, I guess. Do whatever you want. If anyone says mercy, everyone stops automatically. And don’t be stubborn and keep fighting if you get hurt. It’s just training. It’s stupid to do that right now.”

Katsuki frowned, “What about when I hit your arm with an explosion? That definitely left a burn.”

“Octopi rejuvenate tissue and limbs.” He held up his hands, flipping them over to show that both sides were burn-free. “I’m fine.”

Katsuki slowly grinned. Another person he could go all out against, then. Between the clam shell thing and the octopi limbs, this guy could damn well defend against his explosions. Pointy Ears gave him a wary look, then shrugged. “Start whenever, I guess.”

Katsuki and Deku flew forward simultaneously, causing Pointy Ears eyes to widen and a small grin to form on his face.

Tentacles darted out from his fingertips, but they both dodged, Katsuki shooting up as Deku went low, both of them weaving through the ten arms.

This.... This was damn fun; like playing jump rope with ten ropes at once, all of which could move on their own and wrap around you, trapping you if you weren’t careful. And then any time Katsuki managed to get within range of blasting the upperclassman, either the clam shield would appear or suddenly the tentacles would shift, forcing Katsuki to flip backwards.

He landed on the ground, skidding back a few steps as he looked for an opening.

Then suddenly Pointy Ears sprouted wings, flying up into the damn air, three tentacles swinging toward Katsuki from the higher vantage point. Fuck this! The air was his domain.

Katsuki blasted himself upwards and threw himself into a spin, aiming the explosive hurricane right at the upperclassman. He’d like to see the fucker avoid this.

Below them, Deku was jumping around at three percent, grabbing the upper part of the tentacles to swing keep Pointy Ears in between Deku and the wall—pinning him at just the right moment for Katsuki’s big attack.

Katsuki let loose, whirling straight toward the upperclassman. He saw Deku vault backwards, clearing the attack zone, and then Katsuki flipped his hands forward, using the tunnel of air to fuel a massive explosion right in front of the third year.

Immediately, Katsuki felt talons wrap around him. “What the fuck?!” The smoke cleared as Katsuki strained against the talons, but they had quickly shifted away from his hands, while still managing to keep a tight grip on his arms.

Katsuki glared up at the third year.

Pointy Ears swooped toward the ground, dropping him on top of Deku and sending them both sprawling. Katsuki rolled off his soulmate, crouching to make another attack, but when Pointy Ears landed, all his extra appendages were gone, and he looked normal again.

“Your mutation quirk is amazing!” Deku practically bounced toward the third year. “How can you be so many different things?!”

Pointy Ears shrugged, rubbing his arm self-consciously. “I can mutate into anything that I’ve eaten recently—it has to still be in my digestive system, and the more recent, the more powerful the manifestation. I… um.. I’m pretty much always eating clams and takoyaki… but I also had chicken for lunch today, soo…”

What. The. Fuck.

Anything?! Any damn animal he’d eaten?! Fuck, no wonder the guy’s mutations seemed endless. Annoyed, Katsuki stomped over to the wall where he’d left his water bottle, leaving the third year to fend off Deku’s never-ending questions on his own.

By the time he got back, Pointy Ears was hunched over, kneeling on the ground and tracing pictures in the sand as he mumbled responses.

Katsuki whacked Deku’s head again, causing the nerd to stop mid-question about what some random ass food would do when combined with Pointy Ears’ quirk.

At the sudden silence, the third year looked up. Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. He wasn’t getting away from questions that easily. “How’d you get around my damn attack? My aim was fucking perfect.”

The third year looked off to the side, rubbing the back of his neck uneasily. “It hit. But octopus arms and clams are both good shields. A bit painful to sacrifice the arms, but…” he shrugged, “It worked. It was a good tag team. I can tell you two have done 2-on-1 battles before.” His arms curled around his legs and he looked up at them, then looked away again.

Where the fuck had all that confidence gone from during their spar?

“I… not that, it’s… um… any of my business, but… well,” Pointy Ears’ eyes shifted toward them, his whole torso still curled inward like a damn ball. “Are you two planning on being a duo?”

“Hell yeah.” As if they’d do any other shit.

“Oh.”

“Why do you ask, Tamaki-senpai?”

The guy blinked. “Just thinking. People do different things. Mic-sensei and Eraser-sensei aren’t because Eraserhead works underground, and I was thinking about doing that, too…” He sighed. “Mirio’s too bright.”

Katsuki could kinda understand that shit. Deku was too bright for underground shit, too. But…. “So you’re just going to leave your damn partner like that?”

Pointy Ears looked up, annoyance flashing through his eyes. “No. Mirio brought it up first. We’re telepathic and empathic. We know everything about each other. He knows I can’t stand being in public like he can.”

“EH?!!!” Deku clamped his hands over his mouth after the loud outburst, then whispered frantically, “But that’s really awesome! Those would be great abilities for a hero duo! And you two don’t share pain?! I thought most hero duos shared pain in some way? There was a theory about how it’s supposed to warn soulmates that their partner is in trouble so that they can seek out help, and since hero duos face a lot of danger, that ability showed up in most hero soulmate—”

“We share emotional pain.” Pointy Ears shifted, refusing to look at either of them. “And when you’re telepathic the warning signal thing doesn’t do much.”

“I guess that’s true…” Deku turned toward Katsuki, his eyes bright, “Kacchan, Kacchan, what if we become telepathic! That would be so awesome!”

“You kidding me?” Katsuki scoffed. “I don’t want to listen to your mile-an-hour thoughts all the damn time.” Even if it would be fucking helpful for missions.

“Awwww….” Deku fucking pouted, but then the spark of curiosity came back to his eyes as he turned toward Pointy Ears again, “Why did you want to know if we plan on being a duo, though, Tamaki-senpai?”

“Your movements.” Pointy Ears shrugged. “You two fight in sync and automatically shift to counter each other. It’s good, but…” his shoulders hunched in more, if that was fucking possible, “I could use what one of you was doing to predict what the other was doing. So I didn’t have to watch both of you. Just by watching one I knew where the other would be.”

Katsuki blinked. What… the fuck? “So we mirror each other too much?”

“Kinda?” A shrug. “It’s predictable. One goes left, the other right. One goes up, the other down. One kicks low, the other sends a high punch. It’s good, but if you face anyone who’s used to multiple opponents, they’ll figure you out pretty quickly. That’s just, umm… just what I think.”

Katsuki growled in frustration. First All Might told them to play to their opposite strengths in order to create openings, and now this guy was saying they were too fucking predictable! They both made sense, though, damn it!

Deku was tapping his chin. “So we should vary it? Only do the opposite thing when we know we can put the opponent in a tough spot?”

A nod.

“Ok! Let’s practice!” Deku turned to Katsuki with a grin.

“I thought we were going to work on our fucking speed?!” Damn it, they didn’t have unlimited time! They needed to prioritize shit right now!

Deku gave him the pouty glare, “We can do both! We’ll still be dodging while we work on new attack patterns, after all!”

Pointy Ears slowly standing back up. “We can do whatever you want. The Sports Festival usually has an event that encourages teamwork, though.”

So this shit might help, too? Fuck it. “Fine. Let’s go, Deku.”

In the end, 5:00 came before they’d managed to land an unguarded hit on the third year. And apparently Mic-sensei must have somehow known about Recovery Girl’s fucking time limit, because the second it hit 5:00 both of the third years immediately declared that they’d done enough for the day and shouldn’t overwork themselves.

Damn assholes.

They even promised to come back next Wednesday to do the same, and to make sure they didn’t practice on Friday. All to make sure they didn’t overwork themselves. Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. Fucking annoying.

“Uh…Kacchan?”

Katsuki turned toward Deku with a growl. “What?!”

“We’re, umm… we’re home? And you’ve been stomping the whole way and didn’t even say anything to Recovery Girl when she checked on us after practice, so… maybe calm down a bit before we go inside? I mean, it’s really nice of the third years to help us! Even if I wish we could practice a bit more, we probably should be careful like the adults want…” Deku’s voice cut off as he yawned, and the nerd’s smile afterwards looked damn exhausted. “You’re tired too, right?”

“Tch.” Katsuki scowled. “Doesn’t matter. We still need to train.”

Deku hummed his agreement, stretching his arms out before taking the last few steps toward the door and opening it. “We will, Kacchan. We just need to pace ourselves.”

Fuck that shit.

They wouldn’t even be able to do sparring or any shit tomorrow, because the Old Hag was probably going to keep them in the mall all fucking day, not that Deku knew about that.

Katsuki groaned.

It would be worth it. It would.

He still complained when the Old Hag brought up the shopping trip at dinner, though. And yelled at her when she fussed at him for being in a shitty mood. So what if he was in a shitty mood? Everything except for Deku was shitty right now! If he couldn’t even land a damn hit on the third years, what was he supposed to do against fucking villains?!

Damn it! They had to get better! They didn’t have time to be dragged down by this shitty bond!

Katsuki sighed, excusing himself from the table and heading upstairs. He was fucking exhausted, anyway.

He really shouldn’t have been surprised when he slept for twelve hours that night. And he definitely wasn’t surprised when the next day was just as fucking miserable as he’d predicted.

Katsuki was going to kill those damn extras for suggesting this.

The Old Hag had shoved him in changing room after changing room, complaining that each shitty skintight shirt just “didn’t work” and they’d have to go to another damn store to find one that worked best for his frame.

Katsuki looked longingly at the loose t-shirts in each store they visited.

Deku was confused as fuck; his soulmate kept whispering to him, asking him why he was letting his mom do this, when Katsuki usually strongly refused. Katsuki never responded.

Instead, he began to count in his head, focusing on not exploding any of the shirts the Old Hag tossed at him. She’d taken his ‘I need help making Deku look at me’ to mean ‘I need a whole new wardrobe,’ and it was fucking annoying, but the woman insisted on all or nothing.

So Katsuki was stuck playing model.

Fuck, the things he did for this nerd.

This nerd that would conveniently disappear into ‘the store next door’ after five minutes in each place. For fuck’s sake, one time he’d gone into a damn candle store with Auntie, just to avoid the Old Hag’s rampage.

When the woman finally found some shitty t-shirts and tank tops that met her standards, she bought damn near twenty in all kinds of colors—red, black, dark blue, forest green, orange, grey, white, and camouflage.

Then she’d tossed the bag at Katsuki, told him to carry them, and grabbed his arm to drag him toward the jeans.

The damn skinny jeans.

“Hell no.” He stared at the rack in front of him with disgust.

“Hell yes.” The Old Hag turned toward him, one hand on her hip. “You have a great figure, brat. Hiding it in baggy gym shorts does you no good.”

He groaned.

This was a fucking nightmare.

She flipped through the rack, pulling out several pairs of jeans and thrusting them into his arms. “Now go try these on. And wear one of the new shirts! We need to look at how they work together.”

“Tch.” Katsuki trudged toward the changing rooms, flipping the Old Hag off over his shoulder. Why the fuck did some of these have so many rips and tears in them? The ones with chains at least looked kinda cool…

Katsuki sighed, pulling on a red tank top and the first pair of jeans (a black pair with chains hanging down around the right pocket and two lines of metal studs above each kneecap), then walking out to show the woman, as per her demand.

His eyes widened when he turned the corner and almost ran into Deku.

“K-Ka-Kacchan!” The nerd’s hands tightened around the t-shirt he was holding, his eyes traveling up and down to take in Katsuki’s outfit.

Katsuki raised an eyebrow at the nerd’s stutters. “I thought you ran away to help Auntie find a purse.”

“I…umm…” Deku looked away. “Mom wanted me to at least get one button up shirt, so…” he shrugged.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. Deku was being weird. He took a step closer, but the nerd hedged backwards.

Well… wasn’t that interesting. Katsuki smirked. “Something wrong, Deku?”

“Eh??” The nerd looked up, cheeks slightly red. “I… um… you just… startled me. That’s all.”

“Uh-huh.” Red eyes followed Deku as the nerd scampered down the hallway into one of the empty changing rooms.

“Still going to question me, brat?” Katsuki turned to see the Old Hag smirking at him.

His own smirk widened. “Think you can get him to go full beet-red?”

She laughed, “Consider it done.”

He grinned, ignoring the Old Hag as she walked around him to look at each side of the pants. He still hated this shit, but seeing Deku’s face like that… Katsuki would never get tired of flustering his soulmate.

“Those will do. Izu-kun certainly liked them, so that goal was accomplished. Let me know the cut and manufacturer of those when you come back out, ok, brat?”

“Yeah, whatever.” Katsuki raised one eyebrow, “How many of these are you going to make me fucking get?”

“Four. You sweat through shit like crazy, so I want to make sure you have a couple of options if one of those doesn’t handle being washed well.”

“Tch.” Katsuki frowned. It was damn annoying, but now he’d had at least some sign that this shit might actually work.

He trudged back into the changing room, tugging the pants off and putting the next pair on (this time one of the ones with the dumb rips). Absentmindedly, Katsuki took a picture of the jeans on the bench and sent it to the extras with the caption that he’d found some pants that satisfied the Old Hag.

Immediately, his phone vibrated.

Pikachu: Dude! That’s today?! Those look super cool!

Pinky: You’re supposed to send pictures with you WEARING the clothes! 😝

Shitty Hair: Those look super manly! 💪The metal studs are awesome!

Katsuki snorted. Crazy assholes. He shut his phone off, then kicked the door open to once again play model for the Old Hag.

Deku wasn’t around this time, but the Old Hag seemed satisfied with these, too. They were the same cut and manufacturer as the other pair, so maybe that was why, because the next two pairs he tried both earned immediate frowns from the woman.

After they bought the clothes, Katsuki turned to head toward the shoe section where Deku was with Auntie, but the Old Hag shoved him back into the changing room. “Brat, go put on that outfit Izu-kun saw. Might as well go ahead and get some mileage out of these clothes.”

Grumbling, Katsuki did as the Old Hag fucking demanded, taking a picture of him in the jeans this time so that the extras would be fucking satisfied.

Katsuki: I’m wearing them. Happy?

Pinky: Very.

Pikachu: Dude. Like, those arms. What the hell is your workout routine?!

Shitty Hair: Yeah, man! You should show me some weight exercises on Monday! I need to add in some more!

Pinky: You boys are totally missing the point here. 🙃

Pikachu: 😏

Pinky: 😩💦

Katsuki: Fuck off

Katsuki shoved the phone into his pocket, heading toward the purse section where Auntie and Deku were and ignoring the continued vibrations as the extras said who knows what.

“Oi. Deku. We’re leaving.” The nerd sighed with relief, setting down a bag and turned toward Katsuki, letting out a startled squeak when he saw him.

“Y-you’re still, umm, wearing that, huh? You decided to get them?”

“Yeah.” Katsuki shrugged. “The Old Hag liked them.” Katsuki smirked, “And you seemed to like them, so…” his voice trailed off as the nerd turned a brighter red and began to fidget with his fingers.

“They, well, um…. That is…” Deku bit his lip, his voice rising a few octaves, “They look nice.”

Katsuki’s smirk widened. “Damn right, they do.”

As they walked to the next shitty store, though, Deku refused to look at Katsuki, his cheeks tinged red the entire time. The Old Hag and Auntie were practically fucking giggling as they walked behind them.

Katsuki narrowed his eyes in annoyance. The clothes were to get the nerd to watch him, not to avoid him. He growled, “Deku.”

The shitty nerd’s head shot up, his eyes staying focused on Katsuki’s face. “You’re being weird. Why aren’t you even muttering or some shit like that?”

“I’m fine!” The nerd’s high-pitched voice had Katsuki’s smirk returning. Deku laughed, scratching at the back of his head. “I, umm… It’s just… you don’t usually let your mom dress you like this. I’m not… I’m not used to it. To you, um…, well, to you looking like this.”

Katsuki hummed, eyes boring into Deku’s as his voice turned mischievous. “Let’s just say I felt like trying something new.”

Deku squeaked.

Katsuki laughed, reaching up to ruffle the nerd’s hair as they turned into the next store.

Deku’s excuse to flee came much faster than usual, this time, and he practically ran into the board game store next door.

Auntie gave him a small pat on the shoulder as she passed. “You look very cool, Katsu-kun. It suits you.”

He blinked, barely remembering to thank her before she was out of earshot.

Then an armband hit him in the face.

Katsuki caught it before it fell to the ground, then turned to glare at the Old Hag. “It’s not easy to catch shit when I’m carrying these damn bags, you know.”

The woman shrugged. “Pick out some of these. They’re fashionable and work out material, so that’s a bonus, right?”

Katsuki frowned. “I said only clothes.”

“Do you trust me or not, brat?” She put one hand on her hip, raising an eyebrow to stare him down. “Pick some out.”

“Tch.” Reluctantly, Katsuki walked forward to look through the armbands. A couple of them weren’t corny—one pair in UA colors, another with a skull and crossbones (which he might as well get, since he knew he’d have the pattern on other shit once the Old Hag finally dragged him to her store), one that was just black, and another that was black with an orange stripe down the middle.

When the Old Hag returned with yet another stack of jeans, Katsuki sighed and traded her before heading into what felt like the twentieth changing room of the day.

This time the Old Hag liked a light blue pair that had more ripped fabric along the front than actual fabric that was intact, then one pair that was white and had a bunch of zippers on it that had no fucking purpose. She’d grabbed that one in dark blue, too.

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. “I thought you said four.”

“We found five that work. Deal with it.”

“Whatever.” He sighed. At least she hadn’t made him try on the dark blue ones, since they were the same as the white ones.

As they paid, Katsuki sent the extras pictures of the jeans. When they immediately complained that he wasn’t wearing the jeans again, Katsuki quickly responded with the middle finger emoji. Damn greedy assholes.

When they turned to leave, though, his mom reached into the bag and shoved the black pair of armbands into his hands. “Put those on.”

“Huh?” Weren’t these for workouts?

“They work with your outfit, so put them on. They’ll draw attention to your arms, dumbass, and you’ve got nice arms. So wear them even if you’re not working out.”

“Tch.” He slid the bands onto his arms, letting them stop a little bit above his wrists. “I feel like some shitty dress-up doll.”

The Old Hag just laughed, dragging him into the board game store where Deku was currently staring at an All Might game.

Fucking typical.

Katsuki rolled his eyes, stuffing his hands into his pockets and strolling over until he stood next to him. Deku still didn’t look up from the game’s back. Katsuki reached up and poked his forehead. “Oi, nerd. You ready to go?”

“Eep!” Deku jumped, letting out a startled squeak as his face turned red. “Ka-Kacchan!”

“We fucking finished and I think the Old Hag’s finally ready to go to Mastermind. You done here?”

Deku looked longingly at the game, but put it back and nodded. “Yeah. It’s not like I’d have time to play the game, anyway. Not with training.”

Katsuki shrugged and nodded. “We’re going to be the real deal, now. We don’t need games to imagine that shit any more.”

Deku grinned at him. “Yeah!”

As Katsuki had predicted, when they left the game store the Old Hag made a beeline toward the ritzier section of the mall.

He always felt so fucking out of place here.

The second they entered the store, one of the attendants came up, and after the Old Hag flashed her designer’s ID card the guy started bending to her every damn whim. Suddenly Katsuki had a damn changing room where the guy put all their shit, and he must have done something on a computer when Katsuki wasn’t looking, because the door’s sign even had their damn name displayed.

Despite the nerd’s protests, he was tossed into the room right next to Katsuki’s after the Old Hag told the attendant that she’d buy whatever they persuaded the nerd to get. Not that that was too much of a damn big deal—the Old Hag’s designer discount was fucking ridiculous, and Deku wasn’t likely to want any of this shit, anyway.

Katsuki couldn’t spend too much energy worrying about Deku, though, because the Old Hag had dragged him deep into the store, past the section with quirk modifications for wings and other shit, and now he was being buried under a pile of shirts and jackets. Not to mention whatever the hell else he knew the Old Hag was slipping every now and then, too.

What she’d slipped in, he began to discover in the changing room. Like when he bent over to put on the damn shoes, and suddenly she was fastening a shitty red leather choker around his neck.

“What the fuck, Old Hag?”

“Shut it, brat. It looks good.”

Katsuki glared at the woman as he stood up, eyeing his reflection in the mirror.

Damn it.

Did she always have to be fucking right with this shit?

He hated the tightness of the leather chord against his neck, and that he could feel the three fangs in the center bob against his throat every time that he fucking swallowed, but Katsuki did have to admit that he looked damn good.

The Old Hag popped the collar on the dark-grey button-up shirt, then nodded while she patted him on the back, smoothing out some wrinkle in the blood red skull and crossbones logo that was prominently displayed between his shoulder blades. “Keep this shirt. It looks good and the red pocket lining on the front matches the undershirt you got earlier today.”

Katsuki nodded, shrugging the shirt off and setting it aside before reaching for the hoodie that was next in the never-ending pile of clothes.

The hoodie got an immediate no (apparently it was too busy or some shit like that), so then it was a loose long-sleeve shirt. And then a sports jacket. And then another hoodie. And then another button-up.

Fuck, this shit was exhausting, even without the bond wearing him down. How did people like doing this? Putting on one shitty piece of clothing after another, then having to decide between all the damn shit that at least looked decent…

Katsuki wanted to scream in frustration and just grab the first shit that worked, but no. The damn Old Hag insisted they find the jackets and shit that worked the best.

Katsuki grit his teeth, picturing the nerd’s earlier flustered expression.

He wanted… he wanted to have the the same affect on the nerd that Deku had on him. If everyone said he was so damn hot, how come the nerd hadn’t noticed? He’d fucking show him! He’d make the thick dumbass realize it.

Fuck, it’s not like they had time to wait around for Deku to take his sweet time. Not any more.

The Old Hag handed him another shirt. “Second to last piece, brat. Almost done.”

Fucking finally. If this had gone on much longer, Katsuki might have actually blown some of this shit up, no matter how cute Deku looked when flustered. For fuck’s sake, he’d been trying on one damn piece after another since 9 o’clock in the damn morning,

Katsuki pulled on the long sleeve camo shirt, grateful for something that was a little loose.

The Old Hag sighed. “Fine. I know you like it.”

He grinned, glad to add another shirt that he could actually fucking breathe in. The jackets and shit had been nice, but the Old Hag had vetoed most of the loose shirts.

The last item was a black bomber jacket with white sleeves that had the skull and crossbones on both sides of the chest, white lining on the pockets, and white and black stripes along the bottom, sleeves, and collar.

The Old Hag nodded. “That’s the best jacket, I think. Better than the other one, so go ahead and toss that one out of the maybe stack. Then pick your two favorite hoodies and we’ll get all the shirts that worked.”

“And then we’ll be fucking done?”

“Yes, brat. Then we’ll be done.” She reached over and rubbed his hair around.

Katsuki brushed her hand away with one arm, reaching down with the other to pull out the black hoodie that had camo sleeves and the crossbones across his collarbones with the skull split across each side of the hoodie. After a little more digging, he found the other black hoodie that had the red anarchy symbol on one side, along with red lettering that claimed anarchy was the best or some shit like that. “These two.”

His mother rolled her eyes, muttering about him being damn typical. She took the hoodies, though, along with the seven or so shirts that had met her approval and the bomber jacket. “Alright, kiddo. Go see how the Midoriyas are both holding up, ok? I’m going to head to the cashier.”

He nodded, quickly fleeing from the dressing room.

Deku was just around the corner, sitting with his mom in some damn snazzy chairs next to wall length mirrors. Katsuki rolled his eyes at the shirt in Deku’s lap—a large white t-shirt with the Mastermind logo in a black circle that said ‘love and peace’ underneath it, and even had a shitty heart and peace sign next to the words.

“Fucking typical.”

Auntie stood up with a smile, taking the shirt from Deku. “You’re finished, then?” Katsuki nodded. “I’ll go join your mother at the cashier. Don’t spend too much time looking around!”

“Tch.” As if he wanted to spend one more damn second in here than he had to. Katsuki turned toward the nerd, annoyed to see that he was actually pouting.

Deku pouted. “They don’t have any hero merch, here! So it’s not like I really wanted anything…”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Yet. They don’t do hero merch, yet. They’ll do ours, I bet.”

At that, Deku wrinkled his nose. “I guess, since your mom works here. As long as we have stuff that’s cheaper, too. I want everyone to be able to get our merch if they want it!”

“Whatever, nerd.” As long as it was good quality, Katsuki didn’t really care. But Mastermind’s aesthetic did work well with his hero costume, especially.

The two of them quickly weaved back through the various aisles of clothes, though Katsuki had to pull Deku away from the section with quirk adjustments—the damn nerd always wanted to geek out about what quirks needed what adjustments, and Deku’d let the Old Hag lecture about it for hours if Katsuki didn’t stop them.

When they finally reached the cashier, the Old Hag was already shoving clothes onto the counter, with Deku’s shirt on top of the stack, despite the fact that Auntie had clearly protested this, given her current trademark Midoriya pout.

Katsuki rolled his eyes. Too bad for the Midoriyas that they had long ago become immune to that particular facial expression.

Then his eyebrow twitched as the Old Hag grabbed something off of the cashier’s jewelry stand and tossed it onto the stack, as well.

“Damn it! I said no jewelry!”

“It’s just a bracelet that matches the choker, brat.” His mom rolled her eyes at him. “You’re getting it.”

Katsuki growled in frustration as Deku looked between Katsuki and the stack in confusion. “Choker? But you hate things around your neck.”

“Fucking tell her that.”

The Old Hag ignored them, passing over her credit card and her designer’s ID for the discount and giving the cashier a sharp grin. “Do you mind if my son changes into some of these and wears them out? He has a date right after this that he wants to impress.”

“What the fuck?!” Who had said any shit about a damn date?!

“D-da-date?!” Beside him, Deku turned bright red.

“Of course! Anything!” The girl scrambled to hand back the Old Hag’s ID, then proceeded to act like each piece of clothing was some fucking holy grail as she bagged them up.

The Old Hag asked her to set aside a few things as the girl went, and the next thing Katsuki knew, an outfit was being shoved into his hands. “There. Go change, brat. If anyone gives you a problem, send them to me, ok?”

“Yeah, whatever.” Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched as he noticed the choker and bracelet on top of the dark grey button-up.

Deep breaths.

Don’t explode the damn clothes.

Katsuki shut the door to the changing room, dropping the clothes on the bench with a groan. He’d thought he was fucking done with all this damn changing.

This shit better damn work.

Once he’d gotten the new outfit on, though, he had to admit that the Old Hag really did know her shit. The dark red leather in the choker really did match the damn red shirt he’d been forced to wear all day.

He bent down to slip the new sneakers on, tucking in the new black jeans and trying not to think about all the stupid tears that crossed through the fabric.

And then his phone fucking buzzed. Annoyed, Katsuki pulled it out of his old jeans’ pocket.

“Tch.” The extras again; this time it was Pikachu asking if he was ever going to send them another picture of him actually wearing more clothes.

Katsuki frowned. Whatever. He held the phone up the mirror, taking a quick picture and typing ‘about to go see Deku’ before hitting send.

Immediately his phone began to vibrate.

Pinky: You look so hot!!! 😍Gosh, I’m actually jealous of Midoriya-kun right now.

Shitty Hair: Seriously, man! You’ve so got this! That outfit’s super manly!

Pikachu: Holy shit 🍆 💦

Katsuki: What the fuck, Pikachu?!

Pikachu: 10/10 would bang, dude.

Pinky: yaass! Daddy be serving! 💦

Katsuki hit the power button and shoved his phone into his pocket as he left the changing room.

Assholes.

Like hell he’d ever send them a fucking picture again.

The Old Hag gave him a sharp grin as he approached. “Well, what do you know. You look like one of our damn models, brat. Maybe the next time one of those dumbasses calls in sick, I’ll just drag you with me to work.”

“Hell no!” Katsuki glared at the woman. “Fuck off, Old Hag.”

She just laughed, holding out the bags to him, “Use those damn muscles of yours, brat, and carry your own clothes. I told Inko and Izu-kun to get a head start toward the food court and find a table. We won’t be that far behind them.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Whatever.” He took the bags, tossing in the old outfit. “Let’s just hurry. I’m fucking starving.”

“Brat. You could be more thankful.” The Old Hag turned, though, and finally headed out of the damn store.

Katsuki breathed a sigh of relief. Finally this shit was over with. “I’ll be fucking thankful if this shit works.”

He’d never walked so quickly through the damn mall, eager to see Deku’s reaction, and pretty soon he caught sight of his soulmate at a table over by the burger stand.

“Oi! Deku!” Katsuki hurried toward the mop of green hair.

Green eyes widened, staring at Katsuki as he reached the nerd’s table and set down the bags. Katsuki smirked when he stood back up and saw Deku’s throat bob.

“Ka-kacchan. You.. Um…” Deku’s eyes trailed up and down his frame, taking in the new look. “…uh…you…the clothes…they look good. Really good.”

Katsuki’s smirk widened.

“Those clothes look lovely on you, Katsu-kun!” Reluctantly, he tore his eyes from Deku’s and turned toward their mothers.

Auntie was beaming as he thanked her, but the Old Hag was fucking smirking. Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. What was she—

“Why don’t we leave these two alone for a little date, hm, Inko?”

“Huh?!” Katsuki gaped at his mother. The Old Hag had been fucking serious about that shit? Beside him, Deku was spluttering rushed denials.

Auntie, however, gasped and nodded. “Oh! Of course!” The woman began to get damn tears in her eyes, “Mitsuuukiii!! They’re just growing up too fast!”

The Old Hag barked out a laugh, “Not fast enough, more like.” She reached out, shoving Katsuki’s hair around until he swatted her hand away. “Have fun, kiddo! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, and we’ll meet back here in two hours!” She laughed again, dragging Auntie away and patting her on the back.

Shit.

Katsuki turned toward Deku, wary of how the nerd was going to take this development.

Katsuki blinked. He was… blushing? And looking down at his lap? Katsuki’s smirk slowly returned. He could work with this. But first, he was damn hungry after all that shit the Old Hag put him through. “I’m going to get something to eat, ok, nerd? You want anything?”

“Ok!” Deku’s voice came out as a squeak and his head shot up. He scratched his cheek, “You must be pretty hungry, huh, Kacchan? You haven’t eaten anything and it’s almost two. I’m good, though. Mom and I grabbed some snacks and stuff.”

“Tch. Of course you did.” It was damn unfair, the snack places were one of the best parts of this shitty mall. Whatever. Katsuki was just glad it was fucking over with. “Yeah, I’m starving. Fucking exhausted, too. I’m never letting the Old Hag put me through that shit again.” Katsuki sighed, bending over to reach into the bag to grab his wallet out of his old jeans. It’s not like either one of them probably had the energy to do anything but sit and talk for this so-called date, so the Old Hag really shouldn’t have bothered.

When he straightened up, Deku quickly looked away with a blush. Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. “Were you just checking out my ass?”

“N-no!” Deku’s blush deepened. “I…umm…. I was just, well… look-looking to see what else you got! That’s all!”

“Uh-huh.” Like hell he was. Maybe tight clothes did serve a purpose. Katsuki grinned, “My ass is yours, Deku. Look all you damn want.”

Deku squeaked, burying his head in his hands, bright red and muttering gibberish about how that wasn’t necessary.

Katsuki hummed in mock agreement, tussling Deku’s green locks as he passed by. “Whatever, nerd. I’ll be right back, so watch my shit.”

“O-ok.” Deku’s reply was weak and breathy, and Katsuki could feel the nerd’s eyes on his back.

Finally.

Finally his soulmate was looking at him as someone other than his best friend and hero partner.

Chapter Text

“Oi! Nerd!” Katsuki kicked open his soulmate’s door, annoyed that Deku wasn’t already ready to go to UA. First he pulled that ‘I need to be alone and think’ all fucking day yesterday, even though he’d seemed to be fine with everything on Saturday, and now he was fucking sleeping in?

Katsuki snorted at the sight that greeted him. Dumbass couldn’t do shit without him.

Deku was tangled up in his shirt, apparently having tried to pull it over his head while some of the buttons were still fastened. “What the fuck, nerd?”

“K-Kacchan! Knock!”

“Uh-huh.” He walked over, undoing the buttons so the nerd could straighten everything out. “And since when do we do that?” When Deku’s head finally emerged, it was bright red.

“It’s different now, isn’t it?” Deku was steadfastly avoiding eye contact, his fingers fumbling over each button.

“Tch.” Katsuki rolled his eyes, “Like hell. I mean, yeah, we’re developing the bond further and all that shit, but it’s still just us. It’s nothing I haven’t seen.”

Deku bit his lip, finally looking up.

Katsuki immediately frowned. Why were the nerd’s eyes so tired? It was still the morning! “Damn it, Deku, did you not fucking sleep?”

“I just… couldn’t stop thinking. That’s all.” Deku turned away, grabbing his UA jacket off the desk chair and shrugging it on.

“About?”

“Us, I guess.”

Katsuki sighed. He knew it. He shouldn’t have left him alone yesterday. “Don’t fucking overthink it, dumbass. It’s just us.” He bent over to pick up Deku’s backpack, then handed it to the nerd. “Come on. We’re going to be late.”

“R-right!”

They walked in silence as they left the house and headed down the sidewalk, and Katsuki looked over, evaluating the nerd. He was fidgeting with his fingers, his shoulders were a bit lower, his head looking down at the sidewalk… “I told you to stop fucking overthinking shit, Deku.”

Deku looked off to the side, but didn’t say anything.

Katsuki groaned. “What the fuck, you shitty nerd? Don’t you dare close up on me. What about ‘us’ has you so damn worked up, huh?”

Deku stopped.

His soulmate stood there in the middle of the sidewalk in front of the train station, pushing his fingers together nervously, before finally looking up at Katsuki. “We went on a date, right? I mean, I know our moms, well, your mom, really, organized it and so you never asked me out or anything but I know you like me and I… well…” Deku made a strangled gargling noise.

Katsuki raised an eyebrow, “All this is about that shitty lunch in the food court? You barely talked! You just turned red at everything I fucking did the whole time.”

Aaannndd he was red again.

The nerd’s eyes were all screwed tight and he looked like he was about to run away, but instead he screamed out, “I like you!”

Katsuki’s eyes widened. He’d… he’d thought maybe… with all Deku’s blushing, after all, but…Shit, hearing it was nice.

“I mean, I really think I do? You’re really amazing, Kacchan and you’re, um…. Well you’re handsome and I never want to leave you and—”

“As much as I really like hearing that,” and, fuck, was it nice to hear, “why are you freaking out about it so damn much? First you’re freaking out about not liking me, and now you’re freaking out because you do? What the hell, Deku?”

“I just…” Deku looked off to the side, rubbing the back of his head. “Are we dating, Kacchan? We don’t exactly have a normal relationship.”

What the hell? That was why the shitty nerd couldn’t sleep? Why he spent all of yesterday holed up in his room? A damn label? “We’re whatever the hell you want us to be, Deku. I know you’re mine, so I don’t fucking care. If you want to tell the shitty extras that we’re dating, go for it. If you don’t, don’t.”

“And… and if I want to hold your hand?”

Katsuki blinked. He wanted to… Fuck. But…“Whatever. If you want to risk having your hands blown up, go for it.” Katsuki turned around, picking up his pace as he headed into the station. He left his hand outside of his pocket, though, and when Deku’s hand slipped through his... Well, Katsuki wasn’t complaining.

Still, though… Katsuki frowned. “You sure?” It’s not like he was known for fucking controlling his damn quirk.

Deku just grinned at him. “Kacchan would never hurt me.”

Shit. Katsuki turned away, looking out the train window and trying to hide the red tint to his cheeks. Why did the nerd have to be so fucking adorable? Why did he have to trust him so much?

Ugh. If the nerd wanted to do this shitty romance thing, then… “Let’s have lunch together today in the classroom. We haven’t done that shit in a while.”

“Oh, um, ok.” Deku’s hand squeezed around his. “I… I’d like that.”

They were silent the rest of the train-ride and walk to campus, their hands still clasped together.

Katsuki wasn’t sure why this felt so different from when they’d held hands before, why it felt so…awkward, but nice. Why it felt like it meant something. Before, they’d held hands whenever one of them was excited to drag the other somewhere and show them something, or when their moms told them to for some reason, but this…

This was just for companionship.

Shit.

Deku was turning him into a fucking sap.

At least they managed to make it to class on time, if barely.

Katsuki shoved the door open, only to hiss in annoyance at the extras’ loud squealing. “What the fuck?!”

“You’re holding hands!” Pinky ran up to them, grinning. “Bakugou-kun, you’re supposed to tell people when things like this happen!” She turned toward Deku, getting all up in his damn face, “Midori-kun, he looked really handsome on Saturday, right?! I knew clothes would help!”

Katsuki pulled his hand out of Deku’s, shoving Pinky away from his bright red soulmate and stepping in front of him. “Fuck off, damn it! Like hell I have to tell you anything!”

Deku was fucking stammering nonsense again—just after he’d gotten the nerd out of that damn distracted state, too.

Assholes.

He dragged the nerd toward their desks, ignoring Shitface’s confused shout of ‘you’re dating?!’ and Shitty Hair’s declaration that ‘getting his man was super manly.’

Katsuki slouched in his seat, annoyed.

Thankfully, Aizawa-sensei showed up at that point and everyone went silent. The teacher’s eyes narrowed suspiciously, but finally he just sighed and trudged toward the front desk, muttering about sometimes it being best not to know things.

All morning long, Deku’s pencil tapped a nervous rhythm against the desk, and Katsuki wanted to turn around and snap it in two. Why the hell had Deku wanted to hold hands and shit if this was going to make him so damn nervous?!

Finally, lunch came, and Katsuki pulled the bento out from his bag and turned around in his chair, setting it on the nerd’s desk.

Deku opened his mouth to speak, but before he could say anything Round Face bounced toward them. “So you two are dating, now?”

“Umm…” Deku glanced at Katsuki before slowly nodding. “Yeah. It’s… it’s new.” He rubbed at the back of his head. “It’s nice, though.”

“Congrats!” Round Face beamed at them. “Are you two—”

“What business do you have with Class 1A?”

Huh? What the fuck was Shitface on about? Katsuki looked toward the door, where a huge crowd was gathered outside. Dumbass extras.

“What’s going on?” Round Face had turned toward the door, now, and so had Deku.

“Tch. They’re scouting out the enemy, obviously.” Katsuki opened up the top layer of his bento and picked up his chopsticks. “We’re the one who made it out of the villain’s attack, so they want to check us out before the sports festival this weekend. Not like there’s any point to that. Dumbasses.”

“Kachaaan.” Deku pouted. “There could be people like Toshi-kun who want to move up to the hero course. It might be a good idea to go see who came.”

There was a snort from behind Deku. “No one besides me even dared to try to face that hero course guy in a spar. Except for maybe that kid, no one from general studies is going to try for a position.”

Katsuki frowned. “Like I care about that fucking extra.”

“Bakugou-kun!” Ah, damn it. Shitface had turned around now, and the extras outside were all yelling. “Stop calling people extras just because you do not know them!”

Katsuki sighed, setting down his chopsticks before he singed them again. All he’d wanted was a lunch with just Deku, but no. These extras had to fucking blockade the classroom.

Katsuki stood up, ignoring Deku’s worried ‘Kacchan?’ and the nerd’s scrambling to follow him as Katsuki stalked to the entrance.

“Listen up, bastards. I want to have lunch with my damn boyfriend, and you extras are ruining that, so fuck off.”

“Kacchan!” Deku’s hands wrapped around his arm tugging him backwards, but Katsuki didn’t budge, and no green lightning appeared to make him move.

“You!” Katsuki looked down to see some small purple kid pointing his finger at him. “You think you’re so awesome because you came in first place in the practical exam, huh?! Well I’m not stupid! The papers said that some of the villains that died were killed by a large explosion and a building collapsing on them! That’s your quirk! They may have just been villains, but you’re a murderer! I can’t believe UA hasn’t kicked you out of the hero course, yet!”

“What the fuck did you just say, you bastard?!” Katsuki tried to charge forward, but Deku’s arms switched to wrap around his whole torso, green lightning flashing and preventing Katsuki from breaking free. He snarled in frustration.

“Kacchan! You know it’s not true!”

“Hey Balls for Brains.” Brain Fucker walked up, smirking as the small asshole’s eyes widened in fear and he stumbled backwards a few steps. “What? Not going to respond?” Brain Fucker scoffed, “Coward. You lost your spot fair and square, even after you got a second chance. Don’t take that shit out on someone else, you’ve only got yourself to blame.”

Katsuki relaxed a bit at the extra’s fear. Damn right he should be afraid. Deku’s arms loosened around him, though he kept one arm around Katsuki’s waist. It was… comforting… in a weird way, to have Deku anchoring him like that. To know that his soulmate supported him, despite…

Fuck.

Despite all the shit he’d already done.

“Shinsou-san, please don’t antagonize him.” The damn vice prez came up, one hand on her hip as she turned to face the crowd. “Such accusations are not welcome here. You were not at USJ. You do not know what it was like to fight for your lives. So do not yell at us about what was done, or not done.”

“How can you defend him?!” Balls for Brains was practically frothing at the mouth. “He killed people!”

“The darkness can overpower anyone.” Huh? Katsuki turned to see Bird Head sitting on a desk not too far off, his shadow demon thing towering over him. “It is difficult to restrain one’s quirk while fighting for one’s life.”

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed.

The whole fucking class was standing around them, now, and all of them were glaring at the students outside, especially at Balls for Brains.

But why… why were these dumbasses supporting him? They knew what had happened. What he’d done. He’d assumed… assumed they would be more freaked out by it.

“I don’t know what you guys have heard about USJ, but Bakugou saved my life that day, and I was with him the whole time, and he’s a damn good hero!” Katsuki blinked, startled, and stared at Shitty Hair as the guy stepped forward and stood by his side. What the fuck was the guy talking about? If anything, Shitty Hair had saved him, defending his unconscious body and all that shit! Fucking dumbass. But the guy just kept going with that damn grin of his, “I don’t know why you guys all came, but it’s not manly to insult us. So whatever you want to say, let’s have it out at the festival, like real men, ok?”

“Yeah!” Pinky was leaning over Shitty Hair’s shoulder. “Because it’s lunchtime right now and I’m super hungry and I want to tease Bakugou about calling Midori-kun his boyfriend, but I can’t do that if you’re here!” She pouted, then winked at them all, “So could you like, please leave?”

Some of the boys shifted, but no one left.

Katsuki glared at the extras. “That means scram, assholes.”

“Kaaaacchaaaan.” Deku groaned, his forehead hitting against Katsuki’s shoulder. “Do you have to ruin the moment by being rude?”

“What fucking moment? I don’t need you bastards defending me!”

“Uh-huh.” Deku sighed, turning toward their classmates, “Well I appreciate it.” He grinned at them, “It’s nice to have friends for once.”

Shitface stepped forward then, fucking finally, and began forcefully ushering everyone down the hallway.

“Tch.” Katsuki stomped back toward his desk, “Damn extras. It’s not like seeing us did them any fucking good.”

Shitty Hair sighed, “I get that, man, but do you have to be so up in their faces? You did insult them first, and you’re making enemies for the whole class, you know.”

Katsuki shrugged, plopping back down in his desk. “It doesn’t matter. And it’s not like I asked you to fucking defend me or any shit like that.”

“Of course it matters!” Shitty Hair stared at him, confused. “And I’m not going to let him insult you like that! But they’d also hate us whether or not we’d stood up for you.”

Dumbass. “It doesn’t matter as long as you rise to the top.”

Now Shitty Hair looked like he was about to fucking cry, “That’s so simple and manly! I love it!”

The rest of the damn class then began clamoring about whether they fucking agreed with him or not, as if Katsuki even cared. He frowned, glaring at the bento in front of him.

Today was supposed to just be a quiet lunch with Deku.

Not dealing with all this shit.

He growled in frustration, clenching his hands to keep explosions from springing out.

Then fingers rolled over the muscles in his shoulders, rubbing out knots. Katsuki relaxed a bit, closing his eyes and leaning back into Deku’s hands.

“Midoriya-kun! Please do not sit on the desks! That is disrespectful!” The fingers froze, making Katsuki open his eyes again, annoyed.

“Awwww, let him stay!” It was Pinky’s voice, this time. “It’s cute! Like he’s taming a wild beast!”

Katsuki’s eyebrow twitched. What the fuck?! The fingers began to move again, but a bit slower. Katsuki sighed. Whatever. Just ignore the noise. Ignore what those assholes had said. Ignore their classmates. Focus only on Deku.

After what felt like hours, the fingers slipped away.

Katsuki opened his eyes to see Deku settling back into his own chair. “We’re alone, now. You doing better?”

“Yeah.” Katsuki slowly picked up his chopsticks. “Thanks.” He could feel the daily exhaustion starting to claw at his body, and the USJ shit had come up out of nowhere… Fuck, he just wanted to go blow up some shit.

“You know what he said was wrong, right? You did amazing, Kacchan. Aizawa-sensei even said so.”

Katsuki snorted. “He didn’t say ‘amazing.’ I killed people, Deku. They were fucking villains, but that’s still not a damn heroic action.”

“But it was in self-defense and he did say you’d done well! They were adults trying to kill us! And you heard Kirishima-kun! He’s thankful that you saved him, and he’s the only one that actually saw what happened!”

“He’s a fucking dumbass, then.” Katsuki frowned, shoving food in his mouth and chewing slowly.

Deku was giving him his shitty attempt at a glare. “Kacchan… I hate it when you talk like that about yourself.”

“I didn’t say anything!” Not about himself, at least.

“You should always be confident! That’s who you are.”

Katsuki stared at Deku. “And what if I fucking mess up, huh?”

Deku grinned at him, “Then trust that I’ll tell you! I’ve always done that, right?”

“Tch.” That was for sure. The damn idiot could be fucking stubborn when he wanted to be, even if it ended up hurting himself. Katsuki sighed. “Whatever.”

“So you’ll stop beating yourself up about USJ?”

“I’ll keep focusing on getting better, at least.” Katsuki smirked, “And I’m going to pulverize Balls for Brains at the festival.”

Deku’s returning grin was sharp, determination filling his gaze. “Of course! We’ll be the top two.”

Fuck, Katsuki wanted Deku to always look like this. Like he was going to take on the world and do whatever it took to come out on top.

Katsuki wanted so badly just to lean in… fuck!

He clenched his hand. He needed to distract himself. To get Deku talking about something other than beating people up. “The extras didn’t fucking bother you about the dating thing, did they?”

Deku shook his head, “No, they were, um, kinda sweet about it, actually. I didn’t know they’d been the one to give you the idea about getting new clothes.”

Fuck, Deku’s smirk should be illegal. This topic wasn’t helping. “I would have thought of it eventually.”

Deku hummed, “Don’t worry, I thanked them, so you don’t have to.”

Katsuki choked. “Why would you fucking—”

“Because you look really nice in them, Kacchan.” The nerd gave him one of those damn blinding smiles, but then he looked off to the side a bit, cheeks slightly red. “Like… really nice.”

Deku looked back up at him, peering through his damn mop of hair, and Katsuki just wanted to disappear. When the fuck did Deku get so free with complements about how Katsuki looked? Why the fuck did it make him feel so weird?

He glared at the bento.

“Whatever, nerd. It took you long enough.”

Deku laughed. “Yeah, I guess that’s true.”

There was an awkward pause while the nerd pushed his food around. “I think…. I think it would work now, if we tried. Not that I think we should right now! Aizawa-sensei was pretty clear that he didn’t want us to do that until he talked with us. It’s just…” Deku bit his lip. “I think it would work, is all.”

“Because you shouted to the whole train station that you liked me?”

“Kacchan!” Deku groaned, sulking as he took a bite of Auntie’s food. “I wasn’t that loud.”

“You totally were, nerd.” Katsuki smirked, “All that thinking got you damn worked up about it.”

Deku sunk lower in his chair.

Katsuki rolled his eyes and decided to take pity on the nerd, switching the topic to what Cementoss had been discussing before lunch. Immediately his soulmate perked up, starting to ramble about the shitty story they’d been reading and whether or not it provided a fair representation of the hero community.

Katsuki nodded along, but mostly just watched the nerd’s eyes dance as he talked, passionate about the hero protagonist’s sidekick and how he performed a critique of the sidekick industry or some shit like that.

All too soon, the dumbasses were filing back in. Katsuki sighed as Shitface got into a fucking debate with Deku about the sidekick, going on about how his brother was a sidekick for a while or some shit like that.

Whatever. He should probably review his notes before the next class, anyway. He closed up the bento and turned around, resigning himself to the dullness of classes once more.

When classes finally ended, Katsuki was grateful to grab some gummies from Recovery Girl and head to the gym for sparring. The third years had some internship shit or something and wouldn’t be there, thank fuck, and pounding on Shitty Hair would be good stress relief. 5:00 definitely came too soon, even if he was tired and shit.

“Tch.” Katsuki stomped over to the changing room, wiping off the sweat and pulling on a black t-shirt. He frowned, looking between the uniform and the other clothes he’d shoved into his gym bag this morning. If Deku liked the other outfit so much…

Katsuki pulled out the white jeans, along with the white & black bomber jacket from Mastermind, and started to put them on.

“Bro! Those look awesome!”

“Ka-Kacchan?!” Katsuki smirked, ignoring Shitty Hair in favor of watching his soulmate turn bright red. “You… you brought a change of clothes? Other than your umm, your uniform, I mean.”

There was a scoff from the other side of the room. “Of course he did, if you’re going to turn red like that, Zu-kun.” Brain Fucker rolled his eyes. “I’m heading out. Have fun flirting, losers.”

“I’ll go with you, Shinsou-kun!” Shitty Hair bounded after Brain Fucker, the two of them quickly exiting the training room.

Katsuki sighed as Deku fidgeted with his uniform’s buttons, the morning’s unease obviously returning for the nerd now that the two of them were alone.

“If the clothes make you that fucking uncomfortable, I won’t wear them.”

“No!” Deku’s head shot up, then slowly turned bright red as he realized how fast he’d spoken. “I-I mean, it’s just… um, well…”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, then walked toward the door. Shitty nerd couldn’t make up his mind. “Come on, then. We still have to check in with Recovery Girl before we head home.” When Deku didn’t move, Katsuki looked back over his shoulder.

The nerd was frozen, staring at him. “You coming, dumbass?”

“Uh, yeah!” The nerd’s head nodded up and down, but his feet still didn’t move, his eyes glued on Katsuki’s figure.

Katsuki groaned, retracing his steps and grabbing the nerd’s hand to haul him toward the door. “You can fucking look all you want, but you still have to move, dumbass.”

“R-right!” His soulmate was bright red, but his hand clung to Katsuki’s own. “Sorry! I just, umm… got distracted.”

“Uh-huh.” Katsuki snorted. “Distracted by what, dumbass?”

Deku looked off to the side, muttering something that sounded suspiciously like a long list of body parts. Katsuki smirked.

Thankfully, though, Deku seemed to manage semi-normalcy while they visited Recovery Girl, and then again once they were home. Of course, it helped that the Old Hag was distracted during dinner—some intern had apparently fucked up and made her day miserable—so they managed to get through the rest of the day without too much teasing from their mothers, even if Deku often turned into a blushing mess while they were studying in his room.

The next day was more of the fucking same, except instead of being able to relieve stress by sparring after school, he had to deal with the shitty meeting with Aizawa-sensei.

The rest of their classmates had been quick to leave for the day—Brain Fucker had been the last one in the room, and Aizawa-sensei had told him to leave and go bother Mic-sensei for a bit, whatever that was about.

Damn Katsuki wished he could skip over the next few minutes. Instead, though, he reluctantly moved up to sit with Deku in the front two desks.

“First off, Bakugou, read over this before the festival.” The teacher flicked a piece of paper toward Katsuki and he raised his hand to catch it.

A brief glance had him frowning. “Another damn form?”

“An information sheet with guidelines for your speech. Follow them.” At Katsuki’s blank look, the teacher sighed. “You came in first in the practical exam, so you have to give the speech at the opening of the festival. You didn’t know?”

“Tch. Right.” He’d forgotten, but there always was some shit at the beginning, now that he thought about it. Katsuki shoved the sheet into his bag. He’d deal with the damn speech later.

“Now.” The teacher sighed, leaning back against the desk. “I know I’m probably the last person you probably want to discuss this with, but since you two are now dating, we really need to have this conversation.”

Katsuki frowned. It was like the man was gearing up to give them a damn sex talk or some shit like that. Katsuki didn’t fucking want to talk about kissing Deku with his teacher, but it was just a damn kiss.

“The basics are that the bond requires a kiss, that you both like each other romantically, and that you both want to seal the bond. Once sealed, a mark will appear on your chests and you will gain one or two abilities. For heroes, those abilities usually include some sort of shared pain.”

Katsuki frowned. They’d already fucking been over this shit. Why couldn’t their sensei just get on with it already, damn it?

Aizawa-sensei sighed, scratching at his cheek. “When you got your quirks… what was it like?”

“What the hell?” What did that have to do with the damn soulmate bond?

“Thinking about the bond like an additional quirk can be helpful.” The teacher shrugged. “Now, neither of you have mutation quirks, so you probably had an experience like mine. Well, Midoriya’s might be a bit different since his came so late. But overall you just had to learn how to use the quirk correctly, and there wouldn’t be any pain. Your body adjusts slowly to the presence of the new ability.”

Katsuki nodded. Shit was different for Deku, but that had definitely been because of how he’d gained his quirk. As long as Katsuki didn’t push himself too far, too fast, he’d been fine.

Aizawa-sensei tilted his head back toward the ceiling, pausing a second before continuing, “Unlike most quirks, but like Midoriya’s, bond abilities spring into existence within your bodies all at once, already fully formed.” The hero turned to focus on Deku. “I’m betting the first time Midoriya used his quirk was really unpleasant for him, given that he wouldn’t have known to hold back.”

Deku swallowed nervously beside him, nodding as Katsuki snorted. “That’s putting it fucking mildly.”

The teacher sighed. “I’m glad All Might was there, then.” He rubbed a hand across his forehead, “When the bond forms, you two will essentially get one or two fully formed quirks shoved into your body, and usually those quirks are the kind that are always active, not something that can be turned on and off like Midoriya’s quirk.”

Fuck.

Katsuki had never… he’d never thought about that before.

Deku’s hand reached out, brushing against Katsuki’s. “It… It’s going to hurt a lot, isn’t it, Sensei?” Katsuki squeezed it as the fingers slipped through his. He could still remember Deku flying through the air, his arm completely floppy, all the bones destroyed—

Fuck.

“It won’t kill you, but…” Their sensei’s eyes suddenly hardened. “I won’t lie. You’ll probably feel like it will while it happens. The bond rewrites your biology. Fills in those gaps or spaces or whatever it is that Recovery Girl says are what’s making you both so tired right now. Yes, you’ll be stronger afterward, and you’ll have abilities that will help you be better heroes, but the actual moment when those gaps are filled is incredibly painful.”

“I don’t care!” Deku’s hand was around his own, squeezing it so hard Katsuki could have sworn the nerd had his quirk activated. “I mean, thank you for telling us, Sensei, but I… I want to be with Kacchan forever! I don’t care about the pain, if this will bring us closer together, if this will help us be stronger together as heroes, then I’ll do it! I’d do it one hundred times if I had to!”

Fuuuuuck.

Deku couldn’t just…. He couldn’t just say shit like that! “Deku…” Katsuki wanted to kiss the nerd so fucking bad right now! But their sensei was right next to them, damn it, and apparently their first kiss where both of them actually had damn feelings for each other was going to be accompanied by almost unendurable pain and wasn’t that just fucking peachy—

Their teacher’s sigh cut through Katsuki’s thoughts. “Honestly, you wouldn’t be soulmates if you didn’t think that way.” The hero shrugged. “But there are precautions you should take, when the time comes. For example, don’t kiss each other for the first time when anyone else is around you.”

Shit. Yeah, Katsuki could see why that would be bad. Knowing this information… he winced. USJ probably hadn’t been the best idea. At least they’d mostly been covered by the damn smoke, but still.

“Your home or UA would be the best options. Your home because it’s as private as you can get, UA because it’s close to Recovery Girl and she can check on you right afterwards and make sure you both are ok.”

Those both seemed reasonable, though Katsuki was having a hard time wrapping his brain around the idea that his teacher was basically sitting there and telling him where he and Deku should have their fucking first kiss.

Aizawa-sensei reached into his pocket, then, pulling out a cell phone. Why the hell—? “When you bond, you’ll be unguarded and in a lot of pain, but more importantly, you’ll need someone there right afterwards to help you through whatever disorientation happens as you adjust to your abilities. So it is highly important that you tell me when and where you try to seal the bond. I know telling your teacher that you’re about to kiss each other is not ideal, but trust me. You do not want to come out of that pain alone. It’s disorienting, and it is very helpful to have someone there who has experienced the same thing and can help you figure out what is different with your bodies”

Katsuki swallowed. Shit. He slowly nodded. He sure as fucking hell didn’t like this, but… but he could understand it. After Deku had used his quirk, if All Might and Recovery Girl hadn’t been there…

Fuck.

Fine.

He’d tell the man whatever he wanted.

“Give me your numbers, and I’ll text you mine. Text me when and where you try, and if nothing happens, text me again within three minutes, or I will show up at that location and I will be very annoyed if you two are still unbonded. We clear?” At their nods, he continued. “If I can’t come for whatever reason, Mic will come since he knows about you. If for some reason both of us are busy, I’ll send Togata and Amajiki, but will get there as soon as I can.”

Annoyed, Katsuki ground out his number. Before high school, only Deku, Auntie, and his parents had known his phone number. Having more people able to contact him was damn weird, especially when one of them was his shitty teacher.

“Contact me for anything that isn’t bond related or a life and death emergency and I will make you regret it. Got that?”

Katsuki nodded, glaring at the teacher. Like he’d want to text the man for anything, anyways.

“And also, think about when you do it, please. You’re basically getting new quirks. It will take you time to adjust to those and, until you do, you won’t be able to fight as well.” He stood up, giving their joint hands a pointed look. “I should hope I wouldn’t need to spell this out further, but this close to the sports festival is not ideal.”

Damn it.

Katsuki hated that the hero was right.

“But… but won’t it help us be less tired? That’s going to be hard during the festival, right?”

Aizawa-sensei sighed. “To be honest, it’s a gamble. It’s almost impossible to practice adjusting to sharing pain, and a healing factor is easy to deal with, so Mic and I bounced back pretty quickly, but struggled when we entered internships and activities where injuries became more common. Togata and Amajiki, though, took months to adjust after the bond. They had to deal with suddenly hearing each other’s every thought and feeling. At first it was too overwhelming for them to think clearly, but once they had it down, they had no difficulties with it during their internships and difficult fights.”

Ah, fuck.

Being tired during the festival and taking gummies was definitely a safer bet than dealing with any shit like that.

But that meant… that meant they’d at least have to wait another week before they even tried.

But… it was just a week. Even one week ago, he never would have imagined that Deku might want to try again so soon, but after the past few days…

Maybe… maybe it would work, the next time they tried.

But first, he had to get through his individual ‘session’ with the teacher, along with the rest of the week and the sports festival.

Katsuki smirked. He and Deku would show the world that they were the fucking best, then they'd deal with this bond shit.

Chapter Text

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.

Shit.

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?”

“Mineta-san.”

“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.

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.

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.

Chapter Text

Izuku eased shut the door to the waiting room, trying to forget Ochaco-chan’s look of anguish when he’d first walked in. She’d tried to hide it, but….

“Oi. Nerd.” Kacchan’s hand shoved his shoulder lightly. “Did you get my shit?”

“Oh, um, yeah.” Right. Kacchan’s things. The reason he’d gone to the waiting room in the first place. Izuku held up the water bottle and one of the gummies. “Here.”

Kacchan grabbed them, quickly eating the gummy and drinking almost the whole bottle. Izuku rolled his eyes. He should have grabbed two, but he supposed they could refill it on the way to the stands.

Kacchan started moving down the hallway, so Izuku hurried after him, grabbing his soulmate’s free hand. He really liked that Kacchan would hold hands with him like this, and that he never protested. It was nice. Really nice. Even if Kacchan’s hand was usually a little sweaty, he trusted Kacchan, and the sweat was really just a reminder of how strong Kacchan was and that Kacchan would always have his back. And, well… it was a small way Izuku could tell the world that Kacchan was his. He liked that. A lot. Probably too much.

Izuku hummed, content to walk down the hallway by his awesome soulmate’s side. His own match with Shinsou wasn’t until the end of the first round, so they should be able to sit and watch a few of their classmates together, at least.

First, though, they headed outside the stadium to the obstacle course, hunting around for where Izuku had lost his shoes. He hadn’t brought a spare pair, so he really needed to find them… in the end, though, Kacchan was the one who saw them, and then it took a minute for Kacchan to burn off the purple balls attached to each one.

“Thanks, Kacchan!” Izuku slipped the first on, happy to have a shoe on once again. They really should have done this during the lunch break, but it had taken so long to get their food and then Todoroki had wanted to talk and—

“Oi, Nerd.” Kacchan’s hand was waving in front of his face. Izuku blinked, startled. “Stop spacing out and let’s go watch the shitty matches already.”

“Right!” Izuku crammed the other shoe onto his foot and followed Kacchan toward the stands, shaking his head at the small singe-marks that now marked the bottom of each shoe. Oh well. Izuku had long ago gotten used to their things having burnt holes and singe marks—Kacchan’s control with his quirk was amazing, but definitely spotty when emotions were involved.

By the time they reached the stands, Izuku was sad to discover that several of the matches had already taken place. Kaminari-kun, Iida-kun, Tokoyami-kun and Yaoyorozu-san had all already gone, and Kirishima-kun was already walking out into the stadium.

“Midoriya-kun! Bakugou-kun!” Sero-kun waved at them. “That must have been a tough match, huh? Playing the bad guy like that.”

“Playing the bad guy?” Izuku blinked, frowning. Why would they think something like that? The crowd had been against Kacchan, but these were their classmates, surely they realized—

Tsu-chan, of all people, nodded. “Even if it was because of the match up, you played an amazing villain, Bakugou-chan.”

“Yeah dude!” Kaminari-kun leaned back, shrugging as he released a long sigh. “I can’t believe you were able to aim such a large attack at a fragile girl. I couldn’t help but hold back.”

Izuku stood there, stunned, as the class all rolled their eyes and snickered while Tsu-chan made a comment about the girl from 1B being able to beat Kaminari-kun with ease.

Beside Izuku, Katsuki’s anger finally burst, “Shut the fuck up! What part of her was frail, you dumbasses?!”

For once, Izuku was just as mad as his soulmate. “How could you guys say that?! Did you not see what Kacchan was doing? He never once hit Ochaco-chan with an explosion itself! He always exploded her surroundings, even though that gave her ammo, because he didn’t want to hurt her more than he had to! Do you even know how much control he has to have to manage that?! It would’ve been way easier to just blast her directly, but then she would’ve been hurt much worse! And then, instead of letting Ochaco-chan hurt herself from fighting when she was past exhaustion, he ended it swiftly with as little pain as possible! How could you say he was acting like a bad guy?!” Tears stung at Izuku’s eyes as the rest of the class stared at him in shock.

“Deku…” He could feel Kacchan’s eyes staring at him, startled. He’d never defended Kacchan like that. But usually when people yelled at Kacchan or were angry with him, Kacchan had lost his temper over something stupid! This situation was completely different; Kacchan hadn’t done anything wrong this time! And he knew Kacchan was still sensitive about USJ, even if he would never tell anyone that, and—

“We know he’s not a bad guy, Midoriya-kun.” Yaoyorozu-san’s voice was soft and reassuring as she offered him an apologetic smile. “They were just trying to tease him about the crowd’s reaction.”

Izuku blinked. Had he heard that right? “…Tease him?”

The class nodded.

Kacchan growled behind him, annoyed, “Fuck off, then.” Kacchan raised his middle finger at their classmates, then stomped over to the corner and sat down, ignoring them all.

“Oh.” Izuku looked over at his soulmate. Kacchan… seemed to have calmed down a little? He was still mad, but… it wasn’t like, really mad, just grumpy. “Well, just… don’t tease him about being a villain or anything, please. He’s still—”

“Shut the fuck up, Deku!”

Izuku’s mouth snapped shut and he rubbed the back of his neck, giving his classmates a sheepish smile. “Sorry for yelling at you all.” His bow was hasty before he retreated to Kacchan’s side, trying to hide the fact that he was blushing because of the whole situation.

“Shitty Hair’s starting.”

Oh! Izuku turned toward the arena. Kirishima-kun was up against a student from 1B who seemed to have a quirk that was really similar to Kirishima-kun’s. Both of them had hardening and could throw good punches, but neither one seemed phased by the other’s attacks because their defensive abilities were so strong.

Wait. Izuku’s eyes widened. Kirishima-kun wasn’t just exchanging blows like the other guy was, though! He was moving, slowly but surely backing toward the edge. Mic-sensei was narrating about steel being harder than rock, but Izuku was pretty sure that something else was happening. Kirishima-kun didn’t seem to be upset enough that he was losing ground, not to mention that his hardening was still completely solid and didn’t have a single crack in it.

But then… was Kirishima-kun letting his opponent push him back? Why do that? Was he planning on dodging, maybe? Kirishima-kun never bothered dodging when he spared with Katsuki, though, but now he was super close to the edge and—

Kirishima-kun ducked.

He ducked! His right arm under the other guy’s arm on one side and his free hand over 1B’s other shoulder and then he was shoving upwards, working with 1B’s forward motion from his attack and arching backwards to send 1B airborne over his head and then slamming him against the ground hard.

Izuku grinned. 1B’s torso and legs were completely over the line! He was out of bounds! Kirishima-kun had won the match!

“Hell yeah!!” Kacchan’s shout was loud and right next to his ear, but Izuku didn’t care. The whole class cheered as Kirishima-kun turned to give a fist pump in their direction and Mic-sensei announced his victory.

Izuku turned to Kacchan, grinning. “Isn’t that great, Kacchan? You’ll be fighting Kirishima-kun, next!”

Kacchan just rolled his eyes, slouching back in his seat and pretending like he hadn’t just been excited for his friend. “I knew I’d be fighting against him, dumbass. Shitty Hair wouldn’t lose before he fought me.”

Izuku laughed. “Of course.”

Kacchan glared at him, but Izuku ducked before his soulmate could put him in a headlock. He stuck out his tongue. “Meanie, Kacchan.”

“Aaaannnndddd, nnooww!! The next match!” At Present Mic’s shout, Izuku turned toward the arena again, biting his lip when he saw Todoroki-kun enter the arena.

He looked so angry. Izuku squeezed his eyes shut, clenching his hands in his lap. There was nothing he could do about Todoroki-kun’s problems right now. First was this match, and then Ashido-san against someone from 1B and then…

And then it would be his turn.

Izuku could feel Toshi-kun’s eyes watching him from a few rows back. His friend had been silent since Izuku had walked up, but Izuku hadn’t exactly reached out to him, either.

He really didn’t want to fight Toshi-kun. He didn’t want to use five percent and hurt him like Kacchan had hurt Ochaco-chan, but he knew Toshi-kun wouldn’t give up easily and…

Izuku needed something to distract him.

Now.

He reached for Kacchan’s hand, his thumb gently kneading the muscles in his soulmate’s palm. Kacchan’s hand had been shaky after the match and he usually liked this after he went all out and maybe he should rub his wrist next—

“Deku.” Red eyes peered down at him as Izuku hesitantly looked up. “Not that I don’t appreciate that, but what the fuck are you freaking out about? You’ll wipe the floor with Brain Fucker.”

Izuku groaned, frowning down at his lap. Kacchan was always so confident but anything could happen in a fight and—

A blast of cold air rushed through the arena and when Izuku looked back at the arena, he was staring at a glacier.

He whimpered.

Sero-kun was trapped at the base of the glacier, completely frozen in place, while Todoroki-kun stood a few steps away, his expression fierce.

When Izuku turned back to his soulmate, Kacchan was grinning.

Of course he was. Izuku sighed, rubbing at his now cold arms. How could he find a way around an attack that large? But the area right around Todoroki wasn’t frozen, and it got larger as it was further away… so he needed space to make that attack? Then he just needed to avoid giving him space. But there were the walls that Todoroki-kun had used in the cavalry battle and he could keep his distance with those, but those could be broken with a punch, so really it would just buy his opponent a few seconds but that might be all—

“Deku, you’re mumbling, you shitty nerd.”

Izuku froze. Right. Eep. He really didn’t want to argue with Kacchan about why he wasn’t confident about sparring against Todoroki-kun. “I’m after this next match, so I should probably head down.”

Kacchan watched him for a second, then sighed and stood up, apparently willing to ignore Izuku’s nervous mumbling, for now. “I wanted to sit longer, but no, you had to go and lose your fucking shoes.”

Izuku rubbed the back of his head, offering his soulmate a sheepish smile. “Sorry, Kacchan. Thanks for the help.”

“Whatever.” They walked toward the hallway, and Izuku waved awkwardly at Toshi-kun as his friend fell into step beside them.

“Ready to be beaten, Zu-kun?” His friend’s voice was teasing, but Kacchan still growled at the challenge.

Deku laughed, hating that it sounded nervous. “I plan on winning, Toshi-kun.”

“Funny. So do I.”

Izuku groaned.

“Deku’s going to destroy you, Brain Fucker, and then he’s going to destroy Half and Half.”

“Uh-huh.” Toshi-kun hummed under his breath. “Right.”

“What the fuck’s that supposed to mean, huh?!”

Toshi-kun just laughed, taking a turn toward the left. “This is where I part ways. See you in the stadium, Zu-kun!”

“Y-yeah!”

“Tch.” Kacchan stomped ahead of him. “You better fucking destroy his ass, Deku. Don’t show pity because he’s your lameass friend or any shit like that.”

“Of course not!” Izuku would never do that! “Toshi-kun deserves for me to give him my best shot.”

“Hell yeah.”

They were nearing the entrance now, though. Deku nervously looked out at the arena—there was still a fight of some sort happening, but from Ashido-san’s shouts of frustration, it didn’t seem to be going well for her.

Seconds later, the match was called in favor of the student from 1B.

Izuku’s turn would be next.

Kacchan’s hand was suddenly pushing Izuku’s head around, his fingers ruffling his hair. “Focus, nerd. It’s just a spar, got it?”

“A spar with thousands of people watching! And one that will determine what internship offers I get and I need good offers so that I can be a better hero and we need to announce that we’re here and—”

“We’ve already done all that, you shitty nerd. Focus on each spar as it happens and you’ll definitely win. Just don’t get distracted by all this extra shit.”

Oh. Izuku nodded. Right. Kacchan was right. He’d gotten first in both the other events. He’d done really well. He could do this, too.

“GAAAAHHH!”

Izuku blinked as Ashido-san stomped out of the arena and straight toward them. She was covered in… cement? And a glance behind her showed Cementoss was fixing the stadium. But there hadn’t seemed to be any large scale attacks going on?

“What the fuck happened to you?”

Ashido-san groaned. “The guy’s quirk made the ground like quicksand and he pulled me under it, but I had one hand free, right? So I was throwing acid at him, but then he just buried me up to my neck and I couldn’t even move and it was so frustrating!!!”

“Oh.” Izuku frowned. “That sounds really hard to fight against. I’m sorry, Ashido-san.”

She sighed, waving a hand nonchalantly. “At least I made it this far. And just call me Mina-chan or something like that Midori, I don’t mind.” She offered him a grin and a thumbs up. “Good luck in your match! I’m rooting for you!”

Ashido—no, Mina-chan bounded off, and Izuku fumbled to call after her, “Th-thanks!”

“ARE YOU READY???!!!!” Mic-sensei’s shout reverberated across the arena. Izuku swallowed nervously, reaching out to give Kacchan’s hand one last squeeze before he turned and headed toward the arena. “For our last match of round one, we have two students that are regular sparring partners! On one side, we have Midoriya Izuku! He’s won first place in both the obstacle race and cavalry battle, but will someone familiar with his fighting style be able to stop his winning streak?!”

The crowd roared. Izuku tried not to think about all of the people watching him. Deep breaths. He could do this. He didn’t exactly spar with Toshi-kun like Mic-sensei meant, but they did practice with their quirks together a lot, and his friend’s presence always made him comfortable. Deku bit his lip nervously, staring at Toshi-kun from across the arena.

Toshi-kun’s current smirk really wasn’t making him feel that comfortable, though. It was a lot like Kacchan’s ‘I know something you don’t know’ smirk, actually, though Izuku doubted either one of them would appreciate that comparison.

“On the other side, we have Shinsou Hitoshi! His moves aren’t flashy, but he kept his team in the top three of the cavalry battle until the very end! How will he fare one-on-one against Midoriya’s powerful attacks?!”

Toshi-kun was still smirking at him, one hand tucked into his pocket as he stood there, completely at ease.

Deep breaths.

Izuku could do this.

Just… don’t respond. No matter what he says, don’t respond.

It should be easy, right? Toshi-kun had improved some at close combat, but he still wasn’t better than Izuku. He would win this.

“Start!” Cementoss’ hand raised into the air and the hero backed away from the stage.

Toshi-kun just stood there, still smirking.

Izuku frowned. What was his friend up to? Well, whatever it was, he wouldn’t let him have the time to actually put it into action.

Izuku darted forward, green lightning flashing around his legs and his right arm. Toshi-kun didn’t even try to dodge his punch, though, gasping in pain as he doubled over, his hands now clutching tightly onto Izuku’s arm. “I know who Bakugou is to you.”

Izuku yanked his arm free, backing up several steps. What? Bakugou was everything to him! What did Toshi-kun mean?! Izuku wanted to ask his friend, but any noise could count as a response. Uggghhhh, this was so frustrating!!!!

After. He’d ask after.

Izuku charged forward again, but this time Toshi-kun dodged his punch, though barely, and taunted him as he jumped to the left. “You going to make me say it? Really?”

Izuku twisted around, kicking Toshi-kun’s side and sending his friend flying to the left and landing on the ground with a heavy grunt.

Purple eyes evaluated him. “No, you really just haven’t figured out what I mean, have you?” Toshi-kun stood up, brushing off his legs as Izuku watched him, trying to think of what the heck his friend was talking about. He and Kacchan were dating. But everyone knew that. Did Toshi-kun know that their families lived together? Did he know about the hero partnership? He couldn’t know—

Toshi-kun darted forward, this time, but when Izuku ran to meet him, throwing another punch, his friend ducked under it, wrapping one arm underneath Izuku’s, then putting another on his shoulder, and suddenly Izuku was airborne, and then his whole body rammed into the ground behind Toshi-kun, leaving them both in a tangle of limbs, Toshi-kun’s head right next to his.

Izuku’s mind was scrambling. That was the same throw that—

His friend’s whisper interrupted his thoughts.

“I know you and Bakugou are soulmates.”

“EH??!!!”

Izuku’s entire body froze.

Shoot.

This was not good. Really not good.

Honestly, though, Izuku wasn’t sure if he was frozen from Toshi-kun’s quirk or just from the shock of what his friend had said. How—? But they’d always been so careful!! How did Toshi-kun know?!

Izuku’s brain was reeling as Toshi-kun slowly pulled his arms away and stood up, careful not to jostle Izuku’s body. Toshi-kun leaned over his sprawled form with an apologetic grimace. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.” He shrugged, “I’m going to win this now, though.” Toshi-kun’s eyes became harder. Shoot, shoot, shoot, not good, not good, not good at all—“Stand up and walk out of the arena. The sooner you cross that line, the sooner you can ask all the questions I know are buzzing around your head right now.”

Damn it! Izuku fought against Toshi-kun’s control, trying to do something, anything, to keep his body from standing and moving toward the line.

This was bad.

Really bad.

Kacchan was going to kill him.

No! He had to think. He’d been under Shinsou’s quirk so many times, surely there was a way out of it?! Ugh. Why hadn’t he ever thought to analyze that before, he’d always just been content to help his friend, he’d never actively tried to break free, gosh he was so stupid and now he was getting closer to the edge but he couldn’t let this end here, he just couldn’t, no matter how much he liked Toshi-kun he had to win this, darn it! If he could even flick a finger, that would disrupt his balance enough that—

Izuku’s mind went blank.

What…? Who…? Kacchan… Kacchan should be the only person at the stadium entrance, but instead of Kacchan, there were eight shadowy figures, all of whom were staring at him, watching him, willing him to find a way around this, and one of them had eyes that looked a lot like All Might’s—

Izuku’s finger twitched against his thumb, sending out a blast of air toward the ground and causing him to stagger and wince at the pain from his broken fingers.

He hadn’t…. He hadn’t done that.

Izuku stared at his hand in shock. He… It was like he hadn’t even been in control of his body, like someone else had taken over and moved his hand for him, since he couldn’t. But Toshi-kun hadn’t given him that order, so it hadn’t been him, so why—

“What the heck, Zu-kun?!” Izuku turned around to see Toshi-kun staring at him, his eyes wide and frantic. “Since when did you figure out a way around my quirk?! You were just letting me fight without knowing an important weakness like that?”

No, no, no, no, no… he would never!! His friend should know his weaknesses, but… it made perfect sense that Toshi-kun thought that. It was far more logical than some other being taking over Izuku’s body and moving it for him. Izuku wasn’t sure if he wanted to scream in frustration or frantically reassure his friend, but he bit his lip instead, trying to keep every noise inside.

No more sound. Not until after he won.

Izuku charged forward, lightning flashing as he raced toward Toshi-kun, making a feint to kick his friend’s legs out from under him, but then twisting and grabbing Toshi-kun’s waist, throwing him on top of his shoulder. Lightning flashed around his arms, keeping Toshi-kun in place despite his struggling as Izuku walked over to the edge. “Come on, tell me! How did you get around my quirk?! How could you not mention it to me, huh?! How long have you known that I have a weakness?!”

His voice sounded really ticked. Izuku hated this. Deep breaths. Toshi-kun was probably angry, yes, but he had to be playing it up, right? He had to be. Surely his friend wasn’t really this angry with him? He hadn’t meant to break free! Well, ok, he totally had, but not like that—well, he’d meant to move his finger, but he didn’t even know how to explain this—

“Come on, Zu-kun, what about the Bakugou thing? Don’t you want to know how I figured it out?” His friend’s voice had shifted and now sounded like he was trying to be mischievous. Hah! Toshi-kun wasn’t mad. Or, if he was, he was hiding it. And gosh, Izuku really did want to know how Toshi-kun had figured it out. But no. He had to ignore his curiosity.

Toshi-kun’s arms pushed against Izuku’s neck, trying to free himself. His friend spoke again, his voice strained, “Hey, those third years are like you and Bakugou, right?”

Izuku bit his lip, a whine of surprise and frustration almost leaving him. How—???? Kacchan and he were one thing, but the third years hadn’t even been around Toshi-kun that much!

Stay silent! He was almost there!

“I’m sorry you’re stuck with such a basta—ack!” Toshi-kun wheezed as Izuku’s arm tightened around his waist. He wheezed, his voice a thin gasp, “Sorry!” Izuku loosened his grip a little, and Toshi-kun gasped for air.

He better be sorry. No one could call Kacchan that, or imply that…. Izuku scowled. He was lucky to have Kacchan. Lucky. Kacchan was amazing.

Izuku was near enough to the line now, though, and he tossed Toshi-kun onto the ground on the other side, maybe a little harder than he’d been planning on before his friend had made that last comment.

Toshi-kun hit the ground with a groan, rolling over onto his back and grimacing as the result of the match was announced overhead.

Izuku had won.

But now Toshi-kun was standing up again, and he was glaring at him.

Shoot.

“Seriously, Zu-kun, I’m sorry for insulting Bakugou there but how the hell did you escape my quirk, damn it?!”

Izuku laughed nervously, backing toward the stadium entrance where Kacchan was waiting. He had no clue what to say. At all. He didn’t even know what had happened! And Toshi-kun apparently knew about the bond and waaaayyy too much had just happened and he couldn’t think and there were those strange figures and he hadn’t been in control of his body but how did he explain this oh gosh there was no way he couldn’t explain this, though, of course Toshi-kun would want to know if his quirk had a weakness and—

Izuku ran.

“Zu-kun?!!” Izuku could hear Toshi-kun shout at him, hear his steps behind him, but he had to get to the entrance because Kacchan could lie and Izuku couldn’t and—

“What the fuck happened out there?!”

Kacchan’s hand was reaching out, his movements forceful as he grabbed Izuku’s wrist and yanked up his injured hand so he could look at his fingers.

Aaaaahhhh, shoot. Izuku had forgotten that Kacchan would probably be mad about the fact that he’d responded to Toshi-kun. And that he’d used his full power. He hadn’t meant to, though! And technically he hadn’t even done it! Uuggghhh, but there was no time to explain all of that! Toshi-kun would be here any second! “Kacchan! Kacchan I need a good lie!”

“Huh?! What the fuck, nerd?!”

“Oh, you are not getting away with him lying for you, Zu-kun.”

Eep.

Izuku’s eyes darted between the two boys that were staring at him, both clearly ticked off. He pulled his hand away from Kacchan, backing up a few steps nervously.

“Tch.” Kacchan rolled his eyes at Izuku, turning toward Toshi-kun, instead. “What the hell did you say to get Deku to respond to you, Brain Fucker?”

“Oh.” Toshi-kun blinked, frowning. He glanced at Izuku, “You will tell me how you did that, but maybe getting this out of the way will help you calm down.” He sighed, running a hand through his hair and making it stick out even more. “First off: I won’t tell anyone, ok? So no explosions in my face or any crap like that. Also, Aizawa-sensei and Mic-sensei already know that I know.”

Kacchan’s eyes narrowed at the names. Izuku swallowed. That was… that was good to know, he supposed. He still felt really uneasy, though.

“Fucking get on with it, asshole.”

Toshi-kun shrugged, lowering his voice as he whispered again, “I know you two are soulmates.”

Immediately, Kacchan’s hand was in Toshi-kun’s shirt, lifting up the taller boy and forcing him to stand on his tip-toes, “What the fuck do you mean by that, huh?!”

“Kacchan! Kacchan, put him down!”

Kacchan ignored him, glaring at Toshi-kun. “What shitty reasoning made you come to that conclusion?!”

“You mean besides the way you two react any time I so much as hint at it?”

Kacchan growled again, lifting his arm further and forcing Toshi-kun to strain to touch the ground.

“Kacchan!” Izuku darted forward tugging on his soulmate’s arm.

“Not until he fucking explains.”

“Fine! Jeez!” Toshi-kun pushed in vain at Kacchan’s arm. “Aizawa-san and Yamada-san adopted me!”

“Huh?!” Kacchan dropped Toshi-kun, shocked. “How the hell does that relate to this shit?!” Izuku stared at him in disbelief.

Toshi-kun took a few steps back from Kacchan, eyeing him warily. “They’re soulmates, too. I know you know that. They didn’t tell me anything about you two, but…” Toshi-kun straightened his collar, glaring at Kacchan. “They did explain a lot about soul bonds. Like how I should never use my quirk to make soulmates fight.”

Oh. That definitely made sense. And if Toshi-kun had realized they were worried about that…

“Even without those details, though, you two act a lot like those two do. You react to each other without even thinking about it—Bakugou, do you know you always stand either slightly angled toward Zu-kun or a bit in front of him? I mean it, always.” He waved a hand at them, “Right now you’re even doing both.”

Kacchan growled, but all he did was shift closer to Izuku. Toshi-kun smirked at that, then turned to Izuku, adding, “And Zu-kun, you always know where Bakugou is. It’s kind of creepy, actually. The second he gets up at the cafeteria for a drink or something, your eyes immediately follow him. He sits behind you! It’s not normal to be that aware of his movements.”

Izuku blinked. He… he watched Kacchan like that? He’d never… he’d never noticed.

“And then there’s the obvious things.” He held up one finger. “Like you both reacting to the warp quirk by ‘having your sickness get worse’ and then getting better when you got close to each other again. Looking back, that was a major clue, I just didn’t know it at the time.” Another finger joined the first. “And you two are literally never far from each other, and everyone knows soulmates can’t be far from each other before they seal the bond.” A third finger. “Plus, the only teachers Bakugou calls ‘sensei’ besides All Might are Aizawa and Yamada, two teachers I know are soulmates. Why else do you respect them more, Bakugou?” Kacchan grit his teeth as Toshi-kun added a fourth finger, “and then there’s all the random meetings you two have with Aizawa-san.” A fifth. “Add that to Bakugou’s fear of me making you two use your quirks against each other…” he shrugged. “When I put everything together, it was easy to figure out, really.”

“All of that can be explained in other ways, Brain Fucker. To start off, we’ve known each other our whole damn lives.” Kacchan’s voice was strained, and Izuku just wanted to run away from the whole situation.

“Uh-huh.” Toshi-kun smirked at them. “Then kiss each other. You’re dating, right? So a little kiss shouldn’t be a problem. But I’m pretty sure you two haven’t done the whole soul bond thing, or else you, Bakugou, would be in the stands, not standing right here, staying as close to the fighting arena as you can get without being seen.”

Katsuki growled, “What the fuck is it with people demanding that I kiss Deku today?!! Fuck! I’ll kiss him when I want to, damn it! No one else gets a say!”

Toshi-kun just shrugged, “Then I remain convinced that you two are unbonded soulmates.”

“Fuck you!” Kacchan whirled around, kicking the wall behind them.

Toshi-kun rolled his eyes and sighed, turning to Izuku, who still felt frozen in place from shock. “Like I said, I’ll keep your secret. I know how serious this is. In return, though, don’t tell anyone about the senseis adopting me.”

Izuku blinked, still trying to process everything Toshi-kun had said. Had they… had they really been that obvious??

Toshi-kun cleared his throat. Right. He wanted something. Adoption. He wanted them to keep the adoption secret. “But… but isn’t that good news? Why don’t you want to tell anyone?”

His friend looked off to the side, rubbing at the back of his neck. “I… I like being with them. I do. I would tell people, but…” he shrugged. “I can be used against them. I’m just a hero in training, and they’re both professional heroes. If villains knew they had a kid…” Toshi-kun frowned. “I won’t be used against them, just like you two don’t want to be used against each other. I only told you two because I figured it was fair, since I know your secret, and it would help explain how I figured it out.”

Izuku nodded slowly.

Kacchan was still cursing and kicking the wall.

Izuku looked between his friend and his soulmate cautiously. “I…. Um… I think it’s great that you’ve got them as parents, now. You, well… you didn’t seem happy with your home situation when school started.” Izuku blinked. “Wait… how long have you been adopted?”

“They adopted me a few days after USJ.” Toshi-kun shrugged. “They saw how my foster-sister treated me when she came to pick me up and they didn’t like it and…” He paused, his mouth twisted in a kind of small smile, “The next thing I knew I was living with them permanently. Apparently if you’re two pro heroes the government will expedite the process.”

Izuku grinned at his friend, “That’s great, Toshi-kun!”

“Yeah.” Purple eyes narrowed at him. “Don’t think you’re off the hook, though, Zu-kun. Now that you’ve calmed down a bit, how the hell did you break free from my quirk?”

Izuku laughed nervously, backing up toward Kacchan. “I… well…”

“Come on, Zu-kun. I was completely honest with you, and I need to know if I have any weaknesses.”

“You don’t!”

“Then how did you break free?!”

“Well, I guess… I mean, you don’t have a weakness besides the whole external forces thing? Like if the person’s body can be moved by someone else? But you already knew that, so this is really just an extension of what you know—”

“Deku….” Kacchan froze behind him. Izuku winced. Great. That was Kacchan’s really pissed off growl. Kacchan never did like not knowing things, and that comment had probably really confused him.

Toshi-kun, however, just tilted his head to one side, “No one else was there, though… so like possession or some shit? That… makes sense, but… as far as I know, you have no such ability. Nor are you running off and telling a teacher about someone possessing you, so you don’t think whatever happened is a threat.”

“I… guh… hnnng….” Izuku wrung his uninjured fingers helplessly. He didn’t know what happened, himself, much less know how to explain it to Toshi-kun! Or if he even could! He trusted his friend, but one of those figures had looked like All Might, which meant it was probably related to One for All, which meant he probably shouldn’t talk about it any more than he already had…. Izuku turned to Kacchan, trying to plead for help with his eyes.

“So this is why you wanted him to lie for you?” Toshi-kun sighed. “Whatever. If it’s that big of a deal, I won’t push. Don’t bother lying to me.” He shoved his hands into his pockets. “Thanks for letting me know about the loophole, at least.”

“You three going to be ok, then?”

Izuku’s head shot toward the new voice. “Aizawa-sensei!” The hero was suddenly just… there, where Izuku could have sworn no one had been, seconds before. Izuku swallowed. He supposed the man was an underground hero for a reason.

Toshi-kun looked frozen. “Y-yeah.” He looked away, his shoulders now tense. “Sorry for running out of the arena like that and causing a scene. We’re good.”

Aizawa-sensei sighed. “I figured you two were just arguing about all this, and I was right. But in the future, be more careful where you discuss sensitive information. I had to send away a few people who were coming too close and might have heard you three.”

“Right. Sorry.” Toshi-kun was still refusing to look at any of them.

“Thank you, Sensei. We promise to be more careful!” Izuku bowed briefly to Aizawa-sensei, but his eyes stayed focused on Toshi-kun, concerned. Why did his friend’s voice sound so dejected? It had been stupid, and it sucked to be scolded, but Toshi-kun looked…

“I’ll just go wait in the stands.”

As he walked past, his friend looked like he was about to cry.

“Toshi-kun—” he took a step after him, but Aizawa-sensei’s arm shot out, blocking his path.

“Leave him alone for a bit, Midoriya.”

“But…” Izuku bit his lip. Surely…

“Dumbass.” Kacchan was at his side again, his fingers brushing against Izuku’s shoulder, then resting lightly on top of it. “Remember how I said Round Face wouldn’t want to see me after the match? It’s the same shit.”

“Oh.” Izuku swallowed. That made sense, but he really didn’t like it. “Right.” He leaned into Kacchan’s touch; it felt… nice. Comforting.

Aizawa-sensei cleared his throat and Izuku looked away, blushing, as Kacchan’s hand fell back to his side. A glance at his soulmate showed him glaring defiantly at the teacher. Of course.

“I trust you will keep it secret from your classmates that we adopted Hitoshi.”

“Of course!” Izuku nodded several times. “We understand how important a secret like that can be! We won’t tell anyone!” Beside him, Kacchan nodded sullenly.

“Good.” Aizawa-sensei paused, sighing. “He’s… having a tough time adjusting, so if you could be there for him I’d appreciate it.”

Izuku blinked. Huh? “A tough time adjusting?”

“It’s not my place to say more.” The teacher shrugged. “But we’d told him he could tell his close friends, and since he’s told you two, now, he might feel comfortable talking about it. That’s all, really.” There was a pause before the teacher’s eyes narrowed and he added, “Are you two feeling ok?”

“Just tired!” Izuku offered a grin. “With the gummies we’re fine, promise!”

The hero’s eyes drifted down to Izuku’s hand. “You broke two fingers.”

“Uhh….” Izuku looked down. He’d honestly forgotten about those? They definitely hurt, though, now that he was reminded of them. “I’ll see Recovery Girl about it.”

“I already told her to come. She’s in the waiting room.” The teacher paused for a second, evaluating Izuku, then continued, “You also said you felt like your body got taken over.”

Izuku had no clue how to respond to that. He laughed nervously. This really probably had to do with One for All, so he shouldn’t say anything, but sensei probably wouldn’t just let this go, but it didn’t have to do with the bond, so he couldn’t just tell Aizawa-sensei, but the hero wasn’t moving and… ugh!!! “I’ll tell Recovery Girl about it!”

The teacher’s eyes narrowed. “But not me.”

Meekly, Izuku nodded. “It’s not that I don’t trust you or anything! It’s just, ummmm—”

“He’s working on some shit with All Might and he ordered us to keep it secret, but Recovery Girl knows about it, too.”

There was a long pause and Izuku felt like he was drenched in sweat as he nervously waited for Aizawa-sensei to respond.

“And you think it’s related to that?”

Izuku nodded frantically.

“Fine. But if it affects my role as your advisor, I’ll need to know, even if it’s just vague details. Do you think it’s likely to happen again?”

Izuku bit his lip. “I don’t… I don’t think so? Maybe?” He rubbed his hands through his hair in frustration. “I don’t know! I think it was just Toshi-kun’s quirk, but I don’t know!”

“Tch.” Izuku winced. The hero was clearly annoyed, “I don’t like this. Tell Recovery Girl, then, and I will confirm with her that you asked her about it, so you better be telling the truth.” He sighed. “And go get a gummy before the next match, you’ll be up first for the second matches.”

“Eh?!” Izuku’s eyes widened. He’d… he’d be facing Todoroki-kun that quickly?!

“If you want to rearrange things, bother Midnight. She thought it would be more exciting this way.” He shrugged, “If that’s all, I need to go make sure Mic doesn’t do anything too ridiculous. And don’t make a habit of having private conversations in public hallways. I won’t always be here to make sure they stay private.”

Kacchan let out a string of curses and promised they wouldn’t. Izuku blushed and nodded meekly. That really had been stupid of them, now that he’d had more time to calm down and think about the whole situation.

“Good.” The teacher spun on his heel, heading back down the hallway. A bandaged arm waved over his shoulder, “Thanks for the break from Mic’s booth, I suppose. He was giving me a headache.”

“Tch.” Izuku turned to see that Kacchan had shoved his hands in his pockets and was glaring sullenly at their teacher’s back. “Whatever. Come on, Deku. Let’s head to the waiting room and get your damn fingers healed. And a gummy.”

Izuku grinned at his soulmate. Kacchan was always trying to look out for him. “Ok!”

“I guess I can’t get mad at your damn ass for breaking them this time, given everything. Though… that shit you’ve hinted at, you’re ok, really?”

“Yup!” Izuku hugged Kacchan’s arm, staying close by his side. “It was weird, but not scary or anything. They only wanted to help.”

“They?”

Izuku shrugged. “All Might.”

“Huh?!”

“I can’t really explain here, Kacchan. You know what Aizawa-sensei said.”

“Tch.” Kacchan’s footsteps became more like stomps as they made their way down the hallway. “Whatever. You will tell me when we get to the waiting room, though. I’m not waiting outside or any shit like that.”

“Of course!”

Izuku shook his head as Kacchan’s shoulders eased a bit at that reassurance. Like he’d ever keep something like this from his soulmate.

As they wound through the hallways, though, Izuku couldn’t help but worry. He had absolutely no clue how he was going to explain this. There had been eight people, though, and one had looked like All Might, so maybe, maybe they were the previous holders of One for All? All Might had said one time that Izuku was the ninth holder. And they had seemed friendly. But how had they moved his arm???? It made no sense. Izuku really needed to talk to All Might.

“Oi, Granny!” Kacchan kicked the door open to the waiting room, causing Recovery Girl to look up and frown at them both.

“That is not my name.”

“Tch. Details.”

Izuku laughed nervously. “Sorry, Recovery Girl. Umm… well, Aizawa-sensei said you were here to see my hand?”

“Yes.” She patted the chair next to her. “Come on then, hurry up. You students keep me busy today.”

“Right!” Izuku scrambled over to the chair, sitting down and showing her his hand. “It’s really not that bad—” He moaned as a wave of exhaustion hit him the second her lips touched his hand.

Kacchan’s hands immediately grabbed his shoulders, keeping him from sagging and falling on top of the table.

Recovery Girl sighed, passing him a gummy. “Unfortunately, that’s an understandable reaction in your situation. How many gummies have you each had today?”

Izuku swallowed the gummy while Kacchan answered, then added, “That was my second one.”

She looked between them with a worried frown. “Well, just be careful, I suppose. No more than four!! And go to sleep the second you get home, you hear me?”

Izuku nodded, grateful for the energy once more filling his body. “Um, before you go, Recovery Girl. Something weird happened in the match, and Aizawa-sensei noticed it and asked me about it, but I couldn’t tell him because it was related to One for All, but I told him I’d tell you.”

“Oh? You really should be talking to Toshinori about this, but I suppose he is busy with the third years. Is there any immediate harm to it?”

Izuku shook his head. “I don’t think so? It was like one of the previous holders of One for All possessed me for a few seconds so that I could escape Toshi-kun’s quirk. Has All Might ever talked about something like that?”

“No.” She was frowning, “Not at all. It’s true that it doesn’t sound like anything harmful to you, though, so I’ll let you keep fighting…”

Izuku swallowed, “Thank you!” He hadn’t even realized that might happen!! That would have been horrible!

“Let me or Toshinori know immediately if something else happens, though, alright? And talk to him about what you told me as soon as you can.”

“Of course!”

She sighed, then stood up with a long stretch. “I must be going, then. You children hurt yourselves far too much at this festival!”

Izuku laughed nervously, thanking her again, and then she was gone.

“That’s what you meant by All Might and ‘them’ wanting to help?” Kacchan’s voice was gruff, his hands slowly easing off from their death grip on Izuku’s shoulders before he sat down in the chair next to Izuku.

Izuku sighed, nodding as his finger traced a pattern in the wood. “I couldn’t tell Toshi-kun or Aizawa-sensei that, though.”

“Fuck no. Those bastards already know enough shit.”

Izuku sighed again. It was… weird, knowing that one of his friends knew about his soul bond with Kacchan. Really weird. Izuku didn’t quite know what to think of it.

But he had other things to worry about at the moment.

Like Todoroki-kun.

It made Izuku so mad that he treated his quirk like that. Like it wasn’t even his. If Todoroki thought a quirk that he’d been born with was his father’s, then what did that say about Izuku and One for All? No, this quirk was Izuku’s, now. And Todoroki’s quirk was Todoroki’s. He could use it however he wanted to use it, not Endeavor.

He was glad that it was just Kacchan and him in the room. He didn’t want to deal with other people right now. “Kacchan, I’m going to make Todoroki-kun use his left side.”

“Of fucking course.” His soulmate thrust a water bottle in front of him.

“No, I mean…” Izuku groaned in frustration, taking a sip of the water when Kacchan glared pointedly at the bottle. When Kacchan was finally satisfied, Izuku continued, “Even if it means I won’t win, I’m going to make Todoroki-kun use his full quirk.”

“Huh?” Kacchan was staring at him. “Just find a way to do both, you shitty nerd. Strategize.”

Izuku let out a small whine, banging his head against the table. Why couldn’t Kacchan understand what he was trying to say? It was like he was being purposefully dense or something! “I just… I care more about making Todoroki-kun realize that his quirk is his own than I do about winning the match.”

“What the fuck, Deku?!” Kacchan’s voice was angry. Really angry.

Izuku bit his lip, tilting his head to the side to see Kacchan glaring at him. His brain froze at the harsh glare, and he quickly backtracked. “Sorry. I’ll try to do both, I promise!”

“You fucking better, damn it!” Kacchan’s hands were clenched, his jaw was tight, his eyebrows were doing the scrunchy thing, his shoulders were practically straight as a board… Izuku hid his head again, whimpering. Kacchan was really mad. Like really, really mad. “How are we supposed to win this shit if you fucking let that Half and Half Bastard beat you?!”

“I’m not… I don’t…” Izuku groaned again. “Some things are more important than winning, Kacchan. Todoroki-kun looked so miserable and angry and I can’t just—”

“Fucking hell.” Izuku winced as the chair next to him thudded against the floor. “Make him use his fire, Deku. Make him use it because he’s a damn wuss, because he’s underestimating us, because a win against someone who’s just half-assing it is fucking shit. Fuck, make him use it because you want to help him, even, hell if I care. But you better damn win. You and me are going to be at the top, remember?”

“Right.” Izuku’s voice was weak.

Over the loudspeaker, Mic-sensei announced that the second rounds would begin soon and asked the first contestants to make their way toward the stadium entrances.

Right.

That meant him.

Izuku swallowed. His mind felt numb.

He could do this. He would do both. He had to. He really wanted to help Todoroki-kun.

For once, though, as he walked down the hallway with Kacchan at his side, his soulmate’s presence wasn’t a comfort, but instead an uncomfortable reminder of how angry his soulmate would be if he failed.

Kacchan… Kacchan was really, really mad. Winning meant so much to him, and Izuku knew that, but…. Uggghhh.

Why couldn’t Kacchan be the one fighting Todoroki-kun? Kacchan would be able to beat him, even after Todoroki-kun used his fire. Izuku had no doubt about that. But he wasn’t sure if he could do the same. He could dodge the fire, but it’s not like Izuku could just burst through a wall of flames, and he didn’t know how Todoroki would use the fire to attack—or would he mainly defend with it, since he was so adamant against using it in battle? That would be troublesome, too, though, Izuku was just in his gym outfit, he couldn’t just kick something that was on fire, he’d set his own clothes on fire, but—

His foot hit the edge of the steps up to the arena.

Izuku blinked.

When had he…? He looked back to see Kacchan leaning against the wall in the shadows of the arena, watching him. He searched those eyes for any kind of reassurance, but all that met him was anger and frustration.

Izuku bit his lip, he really hated leaving things like this with Kacchan. He hadn’t meant to. He didn’t want to. But he was already at the arena. He couldn’t just walk back and… and what? Yell at each other more? There was no way Kacchan would change his mind. No way he would understand what Izuku meant.

Taking a deep breath, Izuku turned around and began to climb the stairs. His feet felt heavy. He hated this. But Izuku was going to make Todoroki-kun use his flames, no matter what. Going to make him realize that his quirk was his own. And… well, Izuku would have to win, somehow. For Kacchan. And for All Might.

Todoroki-kun was already at the other end of the arena, and Mic-sensei was yelling something, hyping up the crowd. Izuku ignored the roar, rolling his shoulders to loosen up his muscles, then bending down into a crouch.

Focus.

He needed to be able to move fast and close the distance between him and Todoroki-kun.

Deep breaths.

“Go!” Midnight backed off from the stage quickly, and Izuku dashed forward, green lightning flashing around his feet.

Despite his speed, ice was already racing toward him, but Izuku lashed out with a punch, breaking it and jumping over the ice that had tried to block him off from Todoroki-kun.

More ice came his way, but this time Izuku jumped to the left. Then he was dodging another wall by jumping to the right. Only seconds into the fight, and all Izuku could do was fall into a pattern of dodging and breaking his opponent’s ice—it was like he was in an obstacle race all over again as he tried to reach Todoroki-kun and engage him in close combat.

He had to reach him! If he couldn’t get within range, then he’d never be able to land an attack! Izuku grit his teeth in frustration. He needed to change tactics. The arena was slowly being covered in a maze of ice walls, but moving around was keeping him warm, so it wasn’t too cold, but—

Izuku’s eyes widened.

The two-on-two match from the start of school! Todoroki-kun had a limit to his ice. Izuku just needed to wait for the ice to get weaker, and then it would be easier to attack and get closer to him. Eventually, Todoroki-kun would start to freeze himself and become weaker.

Izuku ducked behind a wall of ice, letting it hide him from Todoroki-kun’s view.

If this was going to be a match of endurance, Izuku needed to be careful. He had limits, too, especially right now. Despite the adrenalin rushing through his veins and the gummy he’d just eaten, Izuku could still feel exhaustion creeping up on him. Even just a few seconds where he wasn’t moving—

Shoot!

Izuku darted to the side, green lights flashing around his legs again as he narrowly avoided the huge wall of ice that roared past him, forming almost as big of a glacier as Todoroki had sent at Sero-kun.

So hiding and waiting him out wasn’t going to be an option. Well, Izuku would just have to outlast him, then. He could do this! He could! Surely when Todoroki-kun realized that not using his fire was this debilitating and he would lose without it, then—

Izuku darted up the glacier, once again avoiding a barrage of ice. Now, though, Todoroki had stopped using the walls as much and was throwing icicles at him that were much harder to dodge and too numerous to stop with a single punch.

Izuku hissed as he dodged another volley of icicles, one nipping at his arm and drawing blood as it whizzed by him. What the heck?! That was sharp! If those things hit any vital point, Izuku would not be in good shape.

He ran low to the ground, skidding to a stop behind one wall of ice, then darting behind a different one as he heard what was now the very familiar sound of ice flying through the air.

“Come out and fight, Midoriya! When are you going to stop defending and running away?”

His legs felt like weights, and each breath felt shallower, but every glance at Todoroki-kun showed that he was covered by more and more ice.

Something had to give, and fast, or else they were both going to collapse without ever landing any good hits against each other.

“Todoroki-kun!” Izuku stepped out from behind the ice, then quickly ducked as icicles went whizzing overhead.

“You’re trembling, Todoroki-kun! Did you think I wouldn’t notice?! Quirks are physical abilities, too. There’s a limit to how much cold your body can take, isn’t there? ”

“Yeah? Well you’re slowing down, so that goes for both of us, Midoriya! But I do have to thank you. Thanks to you, that guy’s face is clouded over!”

Izuku rolled underneath another volley of ice, then quickly darted to the left to avoid the wall crashing toward him. “But you could fix yours! All you have to do is use your fire! Everyone’s fighting with everything they’ve got to win and get closer to their dream, to become number one, but you want to win with just half your strength?! You’ve only put one scratch on me, Todoroki-kun! You can’t win this way! Come at me with everything you’ve got!”

Todoroki-kun moved.

He was running toward Izuku, but at a far slower pace than when he’d been running in the obstacle race.

Green lightning flashed, and Izuku was next to him, punching Todoroki’s side and sending him crashing into his own ice.

When the debris cleared, Todoroki was panting at the edge of the arena, a huge block of ice behind him and preventing him from crossing the line.

Izuku frowned in annoyance. To get Todoroki-kun out of bounds, he’d have to send him flying off the ground and it would have to be fast, so fast his opponent wouldn’t be able to form more ice.

“What are you planning, Midoriya?! Everything I’ve got? Did my old man buy you off or something?!”

Izuku jumped backwards, leaping around icicles. His eyes narrowed. Todoroki-kun wasn’t forming as many icicles, now, and the walls of ice were coming slower.

“Stop focusing on Endeavor! This isn’t about him! This is about me, and about you! That’s it! I want to live up to everyone’s expectations, to stand by Kacchan’s side, be a cool hero and save everyone with a smile! That’s why I fight! Stop screwing around and not giving this your all! I don’t care about your father—why do you want to be a hero, Todoroki-kun?! Who do you want to be a hero for?!”

“Shut up!”

Ah, dang it!! Izuku ran behind a wall, ducking more of the darn icicles and rolling backwards as the wall that had been his shelter suddenly collapsed under the weight of Todoroki’s attack.

“I will reject my old man’s power!”

Izuku glared at his classmate, whose body was now almost entirely covered in a layer of frost. “It’s your power, isn’t it?! Yours! It doesn’t matter that you got it from him, it matters what you do with it!”

There was a long pause, and then flames began to flicker against Todoroki's skin.

Fire.

Fire!

Izuku scrambled backwards, quickly putting distance between them as fire roared to life around Todoroki-kun, melting away the ice that covered his skin.

Izuku grinned, entranced.

So this was Todoroki-kun’s full power.

It was amazing.

Todoroki-kun looked across the arena, his eyes steady as they met Izuku’s. “Even though you want to win, you’re helping your enemy… which one of us is screwing around now? Why are you smiling?” Todoroki-kun shook his head, “I know you’re exhausted from all of that dodging. You’re crazy.” He looked back up, his stance shifting as he held both of his arms out. “Don’t blame me for what happens next.”

Izuku’s grin widened.

Finally.

Green lightning flashed around his legs as he raced forward. Dodge the fire. Dodge the ice. Push Todoroki back.

Win.

Ice shot toward him, forcing Izuku to jump toward the right, toward the side with fire, fire that was now stretching toward him.

Izuku’s eyes widened.

Shit!

A huge blast of wind flung him backwards, and he barely managed to grab a chunk of ice and use the brief anchor to ram his legs into the ground, creating a crater that gave him a shelter against the blast. The earth shook around him as he knelt down, the air whistling above his hole.

Debris were everywhere, thickening the air and making it impossible to see anything. Dimly, he heard Present Mic announcing that the difference between the two air temperatures colliding had caused the blast.

That… was really impressive.

Izuku coughed, swaying.

He was pretty sure he’d broken both legs when he’d made that crater.

Kacchan was not going to be happy.

But Izuku had to win.

For Kacchan. He had to.

But how could he win with two broken legs?

He grabbed the edge of the crater, hauling himself out of it—shit!

Pain spiked through his legs and Izuku collapsed next to the crater.

Yup. Definitely broken.

And the mist of debris was beginning to clear, now.

Izuku hissed in frustration.

Damn it.

He had to win!

Slowly, he eased himself upward, forcing himself to stand on his legs. By the time the debris completely cleared, he was standing tall.

But so was Todoroki.

The audience roared around them. Present Mic was yelling about how they’d both somehow survived the blast and its recoil.

It was all he could do to stand.

He couldn’t move.

But Todoroki was way over there.

How could he attack?

Black spots were at the edge of his vision. Debris? No. Izuku shook his head, fighting the exhaustion.

He had to win.

Kacchan wanted him to win.

A wall of ice was rushing toward him. Hissing, Izuku jumped up, then slid down the wall, using it as a slope to reach Todoroki-kun. His classmate’s eyes widened and he moved to the side, but he was slow, too slow.

Izuku’s arm lit up, and he grabbed the ice, adjusting his path and flinging his body toward Todoroki-kun, nailing his opponent’s cheek with his knee.

Izuku’s vision tunneled at the moment of impact, and he let out a loud shout at the pain.

Todoroki-kun went flying, but Izuku collapsed on the ground.

Nausea filled him as he tried to push himself up once more.

Todoroki-kun was saying something, but Izuku couldn’t make it out. His ears were ringing.

He had to win.

Izuku’s hand pushed against the ground; he set one foot flat, wincing at the pain.

His vision blurred.

He felt so tired.

But he had to win.

For Kacchan.

He had to make Kacchan happy again.

Izuku pushed on his foot, straining, trying to stand up, to ignore the pain, ignore the exhaustion.

Pain sprouted in his chest, and the world went black.

Chapter Text

Katsuki couldn’t breathe.

Deku was just… limp. The Bastard had used Katsuki’s own fucking move on Deku and now his soulmate’s body was hanging in Half and Half’s arms and one of his legs was twisted at a weird angle and…

Fuck.

Katsuki stepped forward, his body felt numb, but he had to get there, had to be by Deku’s side, had to—

A hand clamped down on his shoulder. “They’ll bring him here, Young Bakugou. Wait a minute.”

Katsuki growled. “Like hell!” He strained against the hand, but damn it! All Might was using One for All and Katsuki was going to scream, he couldn’t push forward, but he needed Deku and he needed Deku now, how dare this man keep him from his soulmate—

“Young Bakugou!” A second hand clamped down on his other shoulder. “You two can’t attract untoward attention! If you run out there, people will wonder why we let you watch from here, instead of up in the stands where students are supposed to watch. Do you want people to be asking questions like that?!”

Katsuki felt lost. No! He never wanted questions that might endanger Deku, but… but… He wanted Deku safe, he needed… His soulmate was on a stretcher, now, just lying there, and it was coming toward them, but slowly, too slowly, and fuck, the nerd had broken his other leg, too, but when?

That blast! They definitely hadn’t been broken before then, so Deku must have overused his quirk trying to brace himself or some shit like that, and then he’d kept fighting on broken legs like the fucking self-sacrificial idiot he was and—

And Deku was here and Katsuki was pushing some dumbass aside and wrapping his arms around Deku and fuck the nerd had to stop doing this shit, damn it! Katsuki pulled back, staring at his soulmate, at his bruises, at the bags under his eyes; he grabbing his hand, feeling its warmth… Deku looked fucking exhausted. Weren’t people supposed to look peaceful or some shit like that when they were unconscious?!

Damn it all! Deku had promised he wouldn’t hurt himself anymore! Even if the nerd hadn’t meant to use his full power, this was the second damn time today he’d been hurt from overusing it and Katsuki fucking hated it.

In the background, All Might was excusing the guys that had been pushing the stretcher, saying he’d take care of it or some shit like that. As they walked off, though, the hero turned toward him. “Bakugou-kun, with injuries like this, we need to take him to the nurse’s office where Recovery Girl has the tools to make sure he’s ok.”

“Right.” Katsuki couldn’t tear his eyes away from Deku. He felt frozen in place, clinging to his soulmate’s hand. Broken legs wouldn’t have made Deku fall unconscious. His soulmate’s pain tolerance was fucking ridiculous. Which meant… Katsuki swallowed. It meant something else was wrong.

There was a puff of smoke behind him, and then All Might was back in his twig form, nudging the stretcher forward.

Katsuki clung to Deku’s hand, slowly walking beside the stretcher. It… it wasn’t that bad, right? His skin was bruised, but his legs weren’t twisted or mangled or anything like that. Deku hadn’t used his full power, just a bit too much. But the right leg…

The right leg definitely looked worse. Maybe dislocated? But that still didn’t explain why Deku had been on the verge of collapsing before Half and Half knocked him unconscious!

Why?

Why was Deku—

Fuck.

It… it was his fault. It had to be.

Damn it! Katsuki had… he’d fucking argued with Deku! He’d argued with his soulmate and sent him off into a dangerous spar, knowing that Half and Half was strong, that Deku was tired, that the nerd wasn’t confident… fuck!

It was all his fault.

Deku had… With them fighting, their already strained bond would have been even harder to deal with, but Deku had known that Katsuki wanted him to win so even after he’d gotten Half and Half to use his fire, even after he’d gotten both his legs fucking broken, he’d still…

Katsuki barely held in a whimper.

Damn it, Deku! Even if he’d won, it’s not like he could have fought in the next round like this! Recovery Girl could heal shit, but only if their bodies had energy, and they had none of that to spare right now.

Fuck.

Katsuki grit his teeth, his hand tightening around Deku’s.

After what felt like fucking forever, they reached Recovery Girl’s office, and she was already there waiting for him. All Might lifted Deku’s unconscious body, laying it out on one of the beds, and then Recovery Girl was hopping up on a stool and kissing the cut on Deku’s arm.

Katsuki really didn’t like her frown as she leaned back. “He doesn’t have the energy for a complete healing. The boy pushed himself far too hard—he’s got practically no energy left at all.”

Katsuki winced.

Fuck.

His guess had been right.

It was his fault.

Fuck! Fuck this bond, fuck this exhaustion, fuck—his eyes screwed shut. Shit, he’d wanted Deku to win, but not if he fucking knocked himself out like this! Damn it! He hated this shit!

He’d always told Deku never to use full power, but apparently the shitty nerd hadn’t fucking realized that Katsuki meant don’t fucking hurt yourself, regardless of amount of power he used.

“The legs both have hairline fractures, so he likely hurt himself overusing his quirk—” Of fucking course he had, Katsuki had already figured that shit out— “But then he injured his right leg even more when he kicked Todoroki-kun.” She sighed, “I can heal the bruising on his chest and the hairline fracture in his left leg, but the right will have to be put into a cast and wait until tomorrow at the earliest.”

Shit.

Bakugou watched as she worked, watched as Deku didn’t even twitch as the bruising in his leg slowly disappeared, as steady hands cut off his right pant leg, then poked and prodded against the dislocation. As Granny adjusted the leg, twisting the limb, his soulmate winced, but didn’t wake up, and Katsuki just wanted to puke because why had Deku hurt himself like this and it was his fault and—

Watch.

He had to watch this.

It was his fault.

No matter how much he wanted to turn away, to bury his head in his hands, to stare at Deku’s face, he had to watch.

Finally, the leg wasn’t twisted any more, and Granny seemed satisfied. She beckoned to All Might, “Toshinori, come here and help me with this.” All Might circled around Katsuki, gingerly holding up Deku’s leg as Recovery Girl left and then returned with a cart covered in shit.

Katsuki swallowed nervously, threading his fingers through Deku’s as she pulled some long thin sock over his leg, and then began wrapping a piece of fabric all the way up to Deku’s fucking thigh. Then she was putting thicker fabric in a bowl of water and wrapping that around the leg, fussing at All Might to hold it steady, her hands gentle and precise as they smoothed the fabric over Deku’s slightly bent kneecap.

Katsuki squeezed Deku’s hand. Fuck. He couldn’t— tears were stinging at his eyes. Fucking tears.

Damn it! Damn it all! It was just a damn cast! Damn it. Granny knew this shit. Deku would be fine. It was just a broken knee. Well, a leg broken in several places, the worst of which was the knee. But Deku would be fine.

But it was Katsuki’s fault.

His next breath came out as a long hiss. Shit. Deep breaths. Deku was fine.

After only a few more minutes, the wet plaster shit completely covered Deku’s leg and ankle, only his toes visible. “He can have a gummy when he wakes up, but that’s all I can do for him today.” Granny grabbed some towels from the bottom of her cart, propped up Deku’s leg, and then hopped down, peeling gloves off her hands and tossing them into the trash. “Toshinori, there’s some crutches in the supply closet for him to use when he wakes up.”

All Might nodded. “I’ll be happy to get them; I know you’re busy.”

Granny frowned, glancing down at some old-timey pager on her belt. She sighed. “Now a third year needs me. Togata-kun needs to learn to hold back more.” A frown twisted across her face. “Well, the cast will be settled in about five minutes, and then he can move, but he probably won’t wake up until after that, so it shouldn’t be an issue.”

With that, Granny scuttled out of the room, muttering under her breath about needless injuries and the stupidity of the whole festival.

Katsuki took a deep breath, staring at the cast as All Might shuffled around, then returned, leaning two crutches next to the wall by Deku’s head.

Deku would be fine.

He had to focus on that. No matter how shitty his soulmate looked at the moment, he’d be fine. He looked terrible because of the exhaustion, that was it. There wasn’t any terrible injury, he hadn’t overextended his quirk to the point that he’d destroyed his legs like Katsuki knew could have easily happened…

Katsuki swallowed. Deku would have crutches for a few days, but that’s it. Then he’d have enough energy and he could be healed and…

Fuck.

Who was Katsuki kidding, Deku wasn’t likely to be bounding with energy any time soon. Not with the bond like this. They were both struggling to make it through the day, now. The only way to get energy was a gummy, or…

Damn it.

Could they really seal the bond when Deku was already injured?

All Might sighed next to Katsuki, dabbing at his forehead with a handkerchief. “Not to worry, Young Bakugou. You have a while before your match, so you both can stay here for a bit. Aizawa-kun will text me when we need to head back to the stadium, plus Cementoss will have to recreate the arena after that last match, and Yamada-kun is delaying events as much as he can.”

Katsuki frowned. The last thing he wanted to do right now was spar with some other fucker. But Deku had lost even though he’d fought so damn hard to win, so Katsuki couldn’t just stop. He had to win! For both of them.

But he couldn’t leave Deku, and Deku wasn’t going to be moved easily until he woke up… Katsuki bit his lip.

Fuck, he hated this bond shit sometimes.

“I’ll be by his side the whole time, Young Bakugou.” Katsuki growled in frustration. Damn it! He hated this shit so much.

“Fucking hell.” Katsuki ran one hand through his hair, staring at Deku’s still figure.

Hopefully Deku would wake up soon.

But one minute stretched into the next, and Deku still wasn’t moving.

Katsuki’s eyes searched his soulmate’s face.

Deku, please. Damn it, please! He never asked for shit, but he needed… He needed his soulmate to wake up! To tell him he was ok. Katsuki couldn’t… he couldn’t concentrate on sparring if Deku was still fucking unconscious. He couldn’t yell at him for pushing himself, he couldn’t—Shit.

The door banged open, and their parents burst into the room. Katsuki blinked, trying to clear the blurriness from his vision. He ran his free hand across his eyes, refusing to let go of Deku with his other.

“Izu!” Auntie was already running toward Deku’s other side, grabbing the nerd’s other hand. Katsuki cleared his throat. “He was collapsing because of this shitty exhaustion, Auntie. He’s ok.” He swallowed, his voice sounded shitty and the words sounded false in his own ears, but he pushed on, “Deku just pushed himself too fucking hard. Recovery Girl could only heal one of his legs, though, because of the exhaustion shit.”

“Thank goodness!!” Tears were pouring out of Auntie’s eyes as she clutched Deku’s hand frantically. The Old Hag sat down next to her, rubbing Auntie’s back while the Old Man stood next to the door.

All Might was stiff as a rod next to Katsuki, thankfully still in the twig form that the family had already met. Auntie looked up with teary eyes. “Yagi-san, thank you for being here! It’s nice to know you were there with him while she healed him. It took us forever to find someone who could tell us where he would be!”

All Might nodded stiffly. “Of course I would come. Young Midoriya has always been a wonderful student, and I was happy to help.”

The Old Hag sighed, watching Auntie as she reached out, her fingers brushing through Deku’s sweaty hair. “This boy never knows when to quit.”

Katsuki winced.

That was true, sure, but… fuck it, what had Katsuki been thinking?! Of course Deku would pull this shit if he thought his soulmate wanted him to win at all costs!

Fuck!

“It was my fault.” Katsuki’s voice was weak. He fucking hated the sound. Hated the situation. Hated… he clenched Deku’s hand. Fuck.

“Oh, Katsu-kun, I’m sure—”

“It is, Auntie!” He looked up to glare at her. “We had a damn fight right before his shitty match. A fight! Us!” He swallowed hard, trying to ignore her lost expression. “Arguments can make the bond weird, especially now that it’s strained or some shit, but I wasn’t thinking and I yelled at him and probably exhausted him more before the fight and…”

“Young Bakugou…” He felt Yagi-sensei’s hand on his shoulder and pushed it off before rubbing his own arm across his eyes. He was notcrying, damn it!

“I pushed him too hard. He was just fucking acting like he couldn’t win and like something else was more important than the fact that we’re supposed to always win together, damn it, and I was so fucking mad because how could some other shit be more important than us?” Katsuki’s voice broke as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on the edge of the bed. He pulled Deku’s hand up to his forehead, needing to feel it, needing his soulmate to be close to him. “Nothing… nothing’s ever more important than us.

“Katsu-kun…” Katsuki flinched at Auntie’s voice. Surely she’d be mad at him. Fuck. How could he have fought with Deku like that?! “Katsu-kun, I’m sure whatever Izu wanted to do, he wasn’t thinking about it like that. You’re always the most important person for him. Always.”

Katsuki swallowed. “I know that!” Fuck, the nerd had made that damn obvious with the fight. “He… he went so overboard with this shit, I just…. He accomplished what he wanted, but then he didn’t stop, even though he should have. He shouldn’t have tried to attack the Bastard when both his damn legs were broken, but I’d yelled at him to find some way to win and…” Katsuki’s throat felt thick. “I put too much pressure on him to win.”

The door banged open, and Brain Fucker waltzed into the room, Round Face and Frog Girl behind him.

Katsuki looked away, trying to hide the fact that he’d been fucking crying like some weakass shit. Deku would be fine! There was no fucking reason to cry.

“Is Zu-kun alright?!” Round Face ran to the foot of the bed, staring at Deku’s prone figure. Beside Katsuki, All Might was tense as fuck, even more so than before. Right. They didn’t know his twig form.

“Ribbit.” Frog Girl hopped up beside Round Face, looking between the four adults. “You must be Midori-chan and Bakugou-chan’s parents.” Chan? What the fuck? “Nice to meet you. I’m Asui Tsuyu, and this is Uraraka Ochaco and Shinsou Hitoshi.”

“Tch.” Katsuki jerked a thumb toward All Might, glaring at them as he looked up, daring them to mention the red around his eyes. “This is Yagi-sensei, not Deku’s dad. He works for All Might and trained us for a bit before UA.”

The girls nodded in understanding, muttering out variations of ‘nice to meet you,’ but Brain Fucker’s eyes had narrowed at the ‘sensei’ title. In the end, though, he shrugged and didn’t say anything. All Might’s shoulders sagged in relief.

Katsuki returned his attention to Deku, tracing his thumb across the back of his soulmate’s hand and trying to ignore both the tightness in his stomach and the dumbasses at the foot of the bed. He half-listened as Yagi-sensei made up some story about Izuku pushing himself too hard in training and being extra exhausted before today, and collapsing because of the exhaustion and overusing his quirk.

It wasn’t that far from the truth, at least.

Katsuki’s eyes drifted to Deku’s right leg.

Fuck.

He sat there, nervous and frustrated as hell, as Deku’s friends made small talk with their parents, exchanging stories about school and shit like that. At some point Shitface came in, apparently he’d had to wait for his match before he could check on Deku.

Katsuki didn’t care.

He just wanted Deku to wake up.

It had at least been a fucking hour or something, right? His eyes drifted toward the clock. Two hours.

Shit.

Surely his match would be soon? They couldn’t stall that fucking much.

As if right on cue, All Might’s phone buzzed.

Katsuki tensed as the hero turned to him. “It’s time, Young Bakugou.”

He grit his teeth in frustration.

Deku didn’t need to be moved right now, damn it! Sure, the cast was stable, but he was still fucking unconscious!

Brain Fucker seemed to realize that their classmates couldn’t stay and that Deku would need to move, because he was soon maneuvering the other dumbasses out the door, making some excuse about needing to return and support the other students.

Well, that was one less thing to worry about, but like hell he’d ever be grateful to Brain Fucker for it. Katsuki stood up, slipping his hands under Deku’s knees and shoulders and lifting the nerd up. “Let’s get this shit over with.”

Auntie fluttered around the group nervously, “He’ll be fine being moved, right?”

“Of course!” Yagi-sensei gave her a reassuring smile. “As Young Bakugou said earlier, Young Midoriya is suffering mainly from exhaustion at the moment. The cast will keep his leg still so that he can heal.”

The hero picked up the crutches. “I’ll bring these in case he wakes up.” Carefully, Katsuki stepped back, allowing All Might to walk toward the door. “Follow me. I can take us down some staff corridors so that we aren’t bothered by anyone.”

Staff corridors? It made sense that those existed, but Katsuki had never heard of them. As All Might led them out of the hospital wing and through what Katsuki had thought was the door to a classroom, he had to re-evaluate what he knew about the structure of the whole school. “It should go without saying, Young Bakugou, that a student in these hallways without a teacher escorting them will be severely punished. These are not meant for daily use.”

“Right.” What were they meant for, then? Moving around unseen for whatever reason? Thinking back to USJ, it was probably good that the school had shit like this.

Katsuki looked down at Deku; his soulmate’s head was leaning against Katsuki’s chest as he carried him in his arms, but fuck he hated carrying him like this. Deku should be on Katsuki’s back, holding onto him with his own strength, not collapsed in Katsuki’s arms all unresponsive and shit.

Before Katsuki had even figured out where they were, All Might opened a door and ushered them into a hallway that Katsuki recognized as being near the stadium’s floor level entrance.

Shit.

“Head toward the A entrance, Young Bakugou. I’ll walk ahead a bit and stay nearby so that I can turn away any students that may be down here.” Katsuki nodded, his shoulders tense as he took a deep breath and began walking once more, their parents still crowded behind him, unwilling to leave Deku’s side while he was unconscious.

The crowd was roaring about some shit, and then Katsuki realized that Mic-sensei was saying that his match was about to begin.

Shit.

They must have already finished the previous match, and Mic-sensei had been stalling.

Katsuki froze. He couldn’t. He couldn’t just… let go of Deku. He couldn’t leave him.

His breath started to come quicker as he stared down at his soulmate, his fingers clutching at Deku. He couldn’t just—

A hand on his shoulder.

His father.

“I’ve got him, son. Give Izuku to me and go do us all proud, alright?” His father shifted, his hand now sliding underneath Deku’s legs, right beside Katsuki’s, and the other under Deku’s shoulders.

Katsuki slowly withdrew his arms—he felt like he was fucking ripping off a scab or some shit, each inch of distance was painful.

And then he wasn’t holding Deku anymore.

Katsuki swallowed.

He had to fight. He had to win. He had to stand on top, for both their sakes. Deku… Deku had pushed himself for Katsuki’s sake. Katsuki had to win for him. After one last look at Deku’s unconscious form, Katsuki turned on his heel, marching into the stadium.

Katsuki wracked his brain, trying to remember what he knew of the bracket. Who the hell was he even fighting against?

He climbed up the stairs to the arena—Oh. Shitty Hair.

Well, that was good. Katsuki could blow off some steam, win this shit, and be back at Deku’s side in no time.

“Is Midoriya-kun ok?” Shitty Hair looked genuinely concerned, but Katsuki still wanted to rip him apart for mentioning Deku right now.

“What the fuck do you think, asshole?!”

Shitty Hair took a nervous step backwards. “Umm… ok. I’m gonna assume not ok. Shit, man, I’m sorry. Uh…” Shitty Hair rubbed the back of his head, “You… you’re really not in a good mood right now, huh.”

Katsuki grinned at the dumbass, explosions bursting forth from his hands. “This is the last fucking place I want to be, so let’s end this quick, Shitty Hair.”

“Right! That’s… that’s totally cool. But, well, you’re doing the evil grin thing, and it’s kind of making me nervous, man…”

Katsuki ignored him, crouching down and preparing to blast toward Shitty Hair as Midnight raised her rope shit into the air, then swung it downwards, shouting “Go!” as she jumped backwards and out of the arena.

Katsuki’s hands exploded. He was taking out Shitty Hair, and fast. If hitting him with explosions wouldn’t work, then he’d find another damn way to use them.

Katsuki twisted, acting like he was going to aim a punch straight at his classmate’s chest, but at the last minute he grabbed his shirt instead, and then blasted upward, hauling them into the air with a powerful one-handed explosion, it was off kilter, and made even more so by Shitty Hair’s struggling, but Katsuki was counting on that.

In seconds, the two of them were in a tight spiral, and instead of trying to pull away from Katsuki’s right arm, Shitty Hair was clinging to it. “Shit man, not again! For the record, I do not appreciate being dropped from the sky, even if I can take it!”

“Fucking deal with it!” Katsuki let loose an explosion from his right hand, forcing Shitty Hair to let go and sending him whirling across the arena and over the line.

Shitty Hair rolled over, groaning as he released his quirk.

Whatever. He was fine.

By the time Mic-sensei’s voice rang out over the stadium, calling the match, Katsuki’s feet were already moving toward the exit.

His heart felt like it stopped in his chest as he frantically scanned the shadowy arch.

No one was visible.

Fuck.

Katsuki broke into a run.

As he got closer, though, he could tell that their parents were still there, but they were distracted, their backs to him, and the Old Man’s hands were at his waist, so he wasn’t holding Deku…

Katsuki barged into the hallway, barely skidding to a stop as he saw his soulmate standing there, leaning on both crutches with Auntie wrapped around his shoulders.

“Deku.”

Tired green eyes turned toward him. “Kacchan.”

He didn’t… He didn’t know what to do. Fuck, if this situation was reversed Deku would come running toward him and hug the shit out of him, but… Katsuki slowly walked toward his soulmate, barely registering that Auntie had let go of Deku and was now clinging to the Old Hag.

He stopped right in front of Deku, and the nerd leaned forward, his eyes closed as he rested his forehead against Katsuki’s. Deku’s chin was wobbling, and Katsuki hated it, but he didn’t know what to do and how to say sorry and—“Sorry, Kacchan. I lost.”

Katsuki closed his eyes, gritting his teeth in frustration. Deku should never sound that fucking defeated. Katsuki wrapped one arm around Deku’s shoulders as his other hand reached up to rest in Deku’s hair, tugging his head down to rest against his shoulder. “Damn it, I’m the one that should say that shit, Deku! I don’t care, nerd. I don’t fucking care. Damn it, I’ll just win for both of us.”

Deku laughed softly, his hands moving from the crutches to clutch at the sides of Katsuki’s gym uniform. “That’s not what you said before the fight.”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t expect you to go out there and fuck your body up. I told you to strategize, not beat yourself up! What the hell was that about, huh? You know we hate it when you hurt yourself.”

There was a long pause, and Deku’s voice was muffled by Katsuki’s shirt when he answered, “You wanted me to win.”

Fuck. “Not like that, dumbass! Never like that!” His hand clenched tightly in Deku’s hair.

“But… if someday I can save people—”

“How the hell are you going to save people with broken legs, huh? You could barely move! If you injure yourself that badly you’re just another body for a different hero to try to come and save. Remember what Aizawa-sensei said?”

Deku groaned. “I didn’t mean to break my legs. I was just tired and I needed to dig my legs into the ground for traction against that blast, but I pushed too hard and—” Deku hiccuped, and Katsuki was beginning to feel tears through his shirt. “I didn’t mean to break my promise, Kacchan! Either one of them!”

He closed his eyes. Deep breaths. Deku would be fine. Deku was in his arms. “I know. Deku, I know.”

Katsuki didn’t know how long he stood like that, his arms around his sobbing soulmate, their parents standing off to the side, but eventually someone cleared their throat ahead of them.

Katsuki looked up, and his eyes immediately narrowed. Shitface. “I apologize for interrupting, but the matches in the third round are starting and I need to get through and…” he paused. “It is good to see you standing, Midoriya-kun.”

Deku shifted against Katsuki’s chest, trying to turn around, but Katsuki tightened his arms, resting his head against Deku’s and forcing the nerd to stay still. “Then walk around us, Shitface.”

“Katsuki! Don’t call people that!”

“Kacchan, it’s ok, I can walk with the crutches, promise…”

Katsuki ignored both Midoriyas, staring at Shitface for any reaction as he kept his grip tight around his soulmate.

Shitface swallowed, then nodded. “Very well. Bakugou…kun, I…” He paused, then sighed. “Your semifinals match is against Tokoyami-kun. I looked at the schedule and you’ll be using this entrance, so you two can just wait here for my match to finish, I suppose.”

Katsuki blinked as Deku thanked his friend and Shitface walked around them, his movements stiff as always. What the fuck? Was this Shitface’s attempt to extend some kind of fucking olive branch?

Whatever. Katsuki didn’t accept it.

“Alright, brat. You mind releasing Izu-kun so we can give him a hug before we head back to the stands? We’re technically not supposed to be down here, after all.”

Katsuki tilted his head to the side, glaring at the Old Hag for a few seconds before he reluctantly stepped back from Deku. “Fine.”

He looked away as their parents fawned over Deku, Auntie needing to reassure herself a thousand times that yes her son was alright and yes he was fine with Katsuki and no he didn’t need them to stay and yes he wanted them to go watch the rest of the matches and enjoy the festival.

Katsuki snorted. The Old Hag was probably going to have her hands full keeping Auntie from becoming an anxious mess the whole time. Eventually, though, the three of them left, and the second they disappeared Deku let out a loud yawn. “Kacchan, can I have a gummy? Did Recovery Girl say that was ok?”

“Yeah, come on. We still have our stash in the waiting room.” Katsuki frowned as Deku took a cautious hop forward on the crutches. “You want me to carry you?”

The nerd shook his head. “No, I need to get used to them. It’s fine.”

Katsuki shrugged, but kept his pace slow. No matter how fast Half and Half destroyed Shitface, they’d have to melt the Bastard’s ice before Katsuki’s match could begin. The two of them could take their time. But… guilt churned in his stomach. If he hadn’t pushed Deku so hard, he wouldn’t need to deal with this shit at all.

Damn it.

“Kacchan…” Deku sighed, peeking at Katsuki as he hobbled along. “I’m ok, so please stop beating yourself up about it. Mom said Recovery Girl would heal the leg in a few days, right? I just need to rest and regain some energy, first.”

“Right.” Katsuki kicked the waiting room door open, then held it aside as Deku hobbled through. “Because we’re in great fucking shape to get energy right now. We just wake up with a fuck ton of it to spare.”

Katsuki kicked a chair, sending it sprawling across the room. “Tch.” He grabbed one of the water bottles and two gummies from the bag, and walked back to Deku, thrusting one into the nerd’s hands before biting down on the other one.

The nerd stared at him, his eyes unhappy as he swallowed the gummy. “So maybe I’ll have to sleep for a day or something after she heals me. It’ll still be ok.”

Katsuki scoffed. “Like hell. You can’t miss a full day of classes, Deku.” He headed back toward the door. “Come on, I’ve got a shithead to pummel.”

Deku sighed. “Kacchan…please don’t call our classmates that.”

“Fine. An asshole.” He held open the door again, ignoring Deku as his soulmate rolled his eyes.

“You’re being ridiculous. Though, speaking of the match, do you have a strategy to use against Tokoyami-kun? His quirk is really strong and versatile and…” Katsuki zoned out as Deku began to rant about Bird Boy. He could take this asshole out in his sleep, that much had been proven during the cavalry battle.

“There you are! Your match is about to begin, Bakugou-kun! It was very irresponsible of you to wander off like that when your turn is next—”

“Deku needed one of Granny’s fucking gummies. I’m back, so shut up.” Katsuki glared at Shitface, shouldering past him and into the arena.

“Aaaannddd, our second competitor appears! He’s fashionably late, but ready to deliver on what’s sure to be an amazing spar, it’s Bakugou Katsuki!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes as he climbed up the stairs. There’s no way he was that late. Shitface would’ve been using his quirk and running around to find him if that was the case.

He eyed his opponent. Well, the asshole at least hadn’t lied about who Katsuki would be facing. “You and I both know my quirk is a bad match for you. You wanna go through with this or just forfeit?”

Bird Boy’s stance shifted to a more defensive posture and the shadow branched out further. “I must at least try.”

Katsuki shrugged, he could respect that, but this was still going to be over quick. He crouched down as Midnight called for their match to start. The second she was outside the arena, Katsuki blasted forward and upward to close the distance between him and Bird Boy, giving himself a height advantage.

The shadow rushed toward him, but Katsuki had been counting on that. He pulled his hands in front of him letting himself free fall for three, two, one… Katsuki let loose, hammering the shadow with explosions and forcing it to retreat.

Katsuki landed lightly on the ground, the shadow now cowering behind Bird Boy. “Your shadow’s a fucking coward, give up already, damn it!” Katsuki wanted to be back with Deku!

“No!” Bird Boy shook his head, and the shadow reluctantly moved between them again. “You have not even touched me. This match isn’t over.” Tch. Well, if that’s what it would take…

Katsuki ran forward, hands letting out small explosions as warnings for the shadow to back off, then dodged past it, slipping underneath the guy’s arm and punching him in the chest. Bird boy skid backwards a few feet, wheezing, but Katsuki wasn’t going to give him a break. He set off an explosion in his left hand, giving himself more momentum as he spun on one foot and then rammed his heel into Bird Boy’s side.

His opponent staggered, and the shadow once again darted in between them, but Katsuki blasted it again, swatting it to the side before kicking Bird Boy’s legs out from underneath him and pinning him to the ground, one hand still aloft and letting out small explosions, threatening the shadow should it try to come closer. “Now will you fucking yield?”

Bird Boy sighed, closing his eyes in defeat. “I give up.”

“About damn time.” Katsuki rolled his eyes, then stood up and walked out of the arena as the match was once again called in his favor. Of all the matches so far, damn Round Face had been the hardest, but Katsuki could acknowledge that Bird Boy was at least strong—his weakness was just easy for Katsuki to capitalize on.

Deku was grinning at him as Katsuki walked toward the exit, but the sight of his soulmate’s crutches and cast caused guilt to begin churning in Katsuki’s stomach once again.

“You did great, Kacchan!” Deku was beaming and Katsuki wished that he could ignore the exhaustion still present in his soulmate’s voice, he wished he could focus on just the brightness in Deku’s eyes, the happiness in his smile, but…

Katsuki sighed, reaching out to ruffle the nerd’s hair, though he was careful not to be too rough.

Deku pouted. “Kacchan, I’m not going to break.”

“Oh? Then if I pushed too hard you wouldn’t fall over?”

“I have the crutches! I’m fine.”

“Uh-huh.” Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Whatever, nerd.” His eyes drifted down to Deku’s cast. Next, Katsuki would be facing Half and Half—The Bastard that had hurt his soulmate. Even if Katsuki had pushed Deku too hard, Half and Half was the one who had broken his legs. Had knocked Deku unconscious. Had carried him to the stretcher.

Katsuki was going to destroy him.

“I wish they’d give you a break and not do the final match right away like this.” Deku frowned, “I understand that it’s getting late in the day and such, but…” he sighed, then looked up at Katsuki, his eyes determined. “I know you’ll win, Kacchan. Be careful when he first uses his fire, though. That blast from the temperature clash is really powerful. But you’ll be fine!” He felt Deku’s hand against his, latching on despite the awkward angle. “You’re unbeatable in the air, after all.”

Katsuki squeezed Deku’s hand as Mic-sensei announced that the final match was about to begin. “I’ll win this shit.”

“I know.”

Katsuki sent his soulmate a smirk, then released his hand and strode back into the arena.

One more match.

One more match, and he could stay at Deku’s side until the nerd was strong enough to heal.

One more match, and Half and Half Bastard would be on the ground, in second place and regretting every ounce of hurt he’d given Deku.

One more match, and Katsuki could prove that their soulmate duo could beat everything thrown at them, one way or another.

Pops crackled in his palms as he stared across the arena at Half and Half.

Cementoss was standing at the very edge, and Half and Half was already crouched down, his right arm touching the ground. Katsuki raised his left arm, bracing it with his right hand. He’d been primarily making large blasts with his right hand, today, and his arm was damn sore because of it. He probably had one large blast left with it before he hurt himself. His left arm, however, was doing a lot better.

Katsuki had plenty of fire power left, and he’d prove to Half and Half that he would have to pull out more than his damn glacier to beat him.

The second Cementoss gave the signal, ice raced toward him, but Katsuki held his ground and waited. His attack wouldn’t be too large, since he hadn’t worked up a big sweat, yet, but it damn well would be large enough.

Now!

Katsuki let loose. A huge explosion ripped out of his palm, wind stung at his face, his feet slid backwards, and—Katsuki grinned—the glacier was completely obliterated. The dust and debris cleared, revealing all that was left of what had been a massive structure were small pieces of ice scattered over the arena, lying useless on the ground.

“How about you try something else that might actually be a damn challenge?!” Katsuki blasted forward. “The stronger the quirk, the more imprecise the attacks! That shit won’t work against me, so up your game, Bastard!”

When Katsuki was almost on top of him, Half and Half raised his arm upward, but Katsuki let out a blast with his left hand, dodging the Bastard’s arm and then grabbing his opponent’s hair and shoulder, flipping Half and Half over his head and hurling the Bastard toward the edge.

A slide of ice appeared, though, catching Half and Half and keeping him in bounds as he slid toward Katsuki’s left.

Katsuki smirked. That was more like it. Keep him on the run. Destroy his options. Make him use his fire.

Katsuki blasted toward the Bastard again, cutting off his path, then using a blast from his right hand to twist past Half and Half’s second attempt to grab him, flipping to kick— Katsuki’s eyes widened.

Half and Half’s left hand was holding Katsuki’s arm.

His left.

But all the Bastard did was toss him.

Katsuki landed on the ground, his mind whirling.

What. The. Fuck.

That had been the perfect opportunity for the fire, damn it! “What the hell! Am I not good enough for you, Bastard?! You’ll use your left with Deku, but not with me?!”

Katsuki was Deku’s equal! Fuck this shit!

Mismatched eyes stared back at him. He said nothing.

Katsuki snarled. Sweat was beading down his back, his muscles burning from the day’s activity.

The Bastard was going to fucking pay.

He’d drain him of all his ice and fucking force the damn fire out. He may be tired, but he had enough energy to destroy this fucking shitrag.

Katsuki stomped toward Half and Half, not even bothering to use his explosions for speed and instead just blasting apart any attacks the Bastard tried to throw at him.

Half and Half was smarter than this. He was stronger than this. He was better than this. So why the fuck wasn’t he taking Katsuki seriously?! Katsuki growled, glaring at the Bastard in front of him. “I’ll show you what happens when you make a fool out of me! I want an indisputable first place. If you’re just going to fucking underestimate me, I’ll make you damn well regret it!”

He exploded the last wall of ice between them, then lifted his right arm and punched the Bastard in the face, sending him stumbling backwards. Ice rose between them again, but Katsuki just blasted it aside and kicked the guy’s left side, using an explosion to add to his own momentum and send Half and Half flying from the force of the kick.

“Use your left, already, damn it!”

Half and Half stood up again, eyes blank as he stared at Katsuki.

It was fucking infuriating.

“If you have no intention of winning, then why’d you fight Deku so hard?! If you aren’t going to fight me just as much, then get lost! Why the fuck are you even here if you won’t give this your all?!” Katsuki blasted forward, then upward, dropping down and nailing the guy’s shoulder, sending him to his knees and then flipping backwards before Half and Half could grab Katsuki’s leg.

The Bastard was fast, but Pointy Ears had been faster. Katsuki was used to Half and Half’s movements, now, and there was no way he’d get another chance to grab him with either hand.

Damn bastard should have used his left when he’d had the chance.

Katsuki was beginning to feel the strain of all the day’s fights, and he fucking hated the exhaustion weighing him down. “I don’t give a damn about your issues, you got that?!” He had to get the Bastard to use his fire, and fast. “Just fight me with everything you’ve got, or you’re not even worthy to be on this fucking stage, much less be a damn hero!”

Finally, finally, that caused something to flicker in the Bastard’s eyes.

“I know I’m not worthy to be a hero. Not as I am now.”

“Then fucking get better! But how can you even try to do that if you don’t give everything all you’ve damn got!” Katsuki charged forward, “Fight me! Fight me like you fought Deku!”

He couldn’t get revenge against the bastard unless he destroyed him when he was fighting at his best, damn it! Every hit, every kick that he’d landed, they all felt so damn empty, all because this Bastard wasn’t even trying!

Shitty Hair and Bird Boy may have been easy wins, but at least they’d fucking tried!

Katsuki struck low, knocking the Bastard’s feet out from under him and pinning him down as he once again raised a hand high, preparing a solid blast. “Fight like I know you can! You better fucking defend against this shit, Bastard!”

Mismatched eyes widened and ice formed around them both, protecting the Bastard’s chest and encasing Katsuki’s legs, preventing him from escaping his own blast. Like hell that would stop him. Katsuki rammed his hand against the bastard’s icy shield, letting loose a powerful explosion; the backlash sending him flying backwards as ice splintered all around him.

Katsuki hit the ground with a thud, quickly pulling himself up to a crouch as he stared at where the debris clouded his opponent’s form.

Half and Half coughed, the air clearing to reveal him as he slowly stood up, his shirt in tatters and scorch marks and scratches from the ice all across his chest. “You’re insane.”

Katsuki grinned, ignoring the remaining ice that clung to his legs. “You ready to fucking fight, Bastard?”

Flames began to flicker around Half and Half’s left side, and Katsuki’s grin widened.

Fucking finally.

Finally he’d get his revenge.

He’d show everyone that this Bastard wasn’t the best.

If Half and Half was about to unleash the move he’d used against Deku, Katsuki would pull out a big move, too. He’d pour everything he had left into it, and they’d finish this with one shot.

Katsuki blasted straight up into the air, then used off-tempo explosions to set himself into a spin. Keep focused. Watch your angle. Watch the wind speed. Create a vacuum for the flames.

Aim.

Air whipped around him as he shot straight toward Half and Half, who was holding both arms out, ice cracking around him on his right while flames rippled out from his left.

Almost there.

Katsuki cocked his arm back, readying a blast as Half and Half held his left hand forward.

Now!

He punched against the Bastard’s hand, palm out and letting loose the biggest blast he could manage.

The air pressure blew him backwards as everything around him exploded, and he had to release smaller blasts to fight the wind, panting as he landed barely within the line on the other side of the arena.

Katsuki frowned.

It shouldn’t… it shouldn’t have been that easy. It was like he’d just been fighting the recoil from his own blast, not the force of the Bastard’s, too.

As the debris cleared, Katsuki’s eyes widened.

Half and Half hadn’t used the move.

There was no way.

If the Bastard had created any air pressure from his own attack to defend against Katsuki’s blast, then the force… the force would have sent him backwards, sure, but it wouldn’t….

It wouldn’t have knocked him unconscious. The Bastard could have blocked his path with ice, not been blown out of the ring…

He wouldn’t be slumped against the back wall of the stadium.

Images of villains strewn on the floor of the collapsed building flickered before Katsuki’s eyes. Their screams echoed in his ears. His breath came quicker.

No.

No!

Not again!

Half and Half was supposed to be able to defend against that attack, damn it! He was strong enough! He’d been using his fire!

Katsuki ran forward, not even caring as he crossed the line in the arena, he didn’t care, he had to--

Something smelled sweet.

His exhaustion hit him like a fucking truck; Katsuki stumbled, struggling to move forward. He had to make sure—

He collapsed.

____

“Kacchan?” Katsuki groaned. Like hell he was waking up.

Deku’s hand poked at his shoulder. He could feel the nerd sitting next to him, his legs stretched out. “Kacchan, I know you need to sleep, but the awards ceremony is about to start.”

Awards ceremony? Katsuki rolled over, wrapping an arm around Deku and pulling the nerd closer. “Don’t wanna move.”

“Kaaachaaan.” Deku was half groaning and half whining, now. Why was the nerd whining? Katsuki cracked open an eye, wincing at the bright light.

Then he saw the cast, and everything came flooding back. “Fuck.”

Deku snorted. “Good morning, sleepyhead.”

Katsuki sat up straight, ignoring his protesting muscles. “Half and Half—”

“He’s fine, Kacchan. He used ice to shield himself at the last minute. He still had some pretty bad cuts from his ice exploding, but Recovery Girl healed him, and he’s fine.”

“Right. Shit, I thought….” Katsuki closed his eyes. Half and half was fine. He hadn’t killed his classmate. A wave of relief washed over him. That was definitely one less thing to worry about, but… “Damn it!” The Bastard hadn’t even gone all out. Who the fuck just took that kind of hit when they could fucking fight back?!

Katsuki had won, but it didn’t fucking count for anything! Not when that Bastard… “Our fight isn’t over, damn it!” He swung his legs off the table. Fuck this shit! He’d rested. He had enough energy now to find Half and Half, make him use his fire again, and kick his ass. Katsuki had to prove that he and Deku were the best, and it had to be indisputable!

“Kacchan!” Deku’s hand was grabbing his, pulling him back. “Kacchan, you won.”

“No I fucking didn’t! He didn’t use his fire against me! That’s not winning, Deku! There’s no damn point in winning like that!”

“Yes there is! You’re first place! I know it’s not what you want, Kacchan, but I told them I’d calm you down and if I can’t do that… if you’re this angry when you leave the room, then they’re going to restrain you during the ceremony! You know our parents would hate that! And it wouldn’t look good for agencies, either!”

“I don’t want any fucking award! I didn’t earn it!”

“Then…” Deku bit his lip, his hand tightening around Katsuki’s wrist, “then accept it for us!”

“What the fuck?!” Katsuki stared at his soulmate, who had clearly gone insane. “I didn’t beat him at his best! You lost when he was at his best! How does accepting this award ‘for us’ make any fucking sense?”

“Because we won the cavalry battle! When it comes to teamwork, we beat him. Even if you don’t include the 10,000,000, we still beat him. Accept it for that, if you won’t accept it for the one-on-one matches.”

Katsuki stared at his soulmate. “That’s not why they’re giving it to me.”

Deku’s determined expression didn’t waver. “It’s part of it.”

Katsuki sighed, exhaustion beginning to weigh on him now that he wasn’t focused on his anger. He punched the wall in frustration.

“For me, Kacchan? I… I’d be really happy to see you on the podium, wearing the first place medal. Other people should know how awesome you are.”

Fuck.

Deku was giving him those pleading eyes and his chin was beginning to wobble and he was sitting there with his leg in a cast, reminding Katsuki just how badly he’d messed up today and…

Damn it. Shitty soulmate playing dirty like this. “Fine.”

Deku’s grin was too fucking bright. His soulmate squeezed his hand, then shifted so that his legs hung off the bed and he reached for his crutches, slowly standing up. “Let’s go, then!”

Katsuki sighed. He hated this. He hated it so fucking much. But now Deku was waiting for him at the door, and looking back with a determined smile and…

“Tch.” Katsuki strode forward, pushing the door open for his soulmate and holding it there as Deku hobbled through the entryway. Midnight was on the other side, and she smiled at them both.

“Oh, good! I was worried we were going to have to knock you out again when I heard yelling. You were really determined to reach Todoroki-kun at the end of the match.”

Katsuki looked away, scowling. “Let’s just get this shit over with.”

Midnight chattered the entire walk, teasing Deku, but Katsuki didn’t pay any attention to them. He was too tired for this shit.

He ignored the roar of the crowd when they reached the stadium, ignored the other dumbasses congratulating him, ignored Mic-sensei’s voice yelling out information.

The only thing he paid attention to was Deku’s nudge toward the podium.

Begrudgingly, he walked up the steps and stood in the first place spot, refusing to show any exhaustion in his steps, and refusing to even look at Half and Half.

Fucking Bastard.

This win wasn’t worth shit.

Katsuki glared at All Might when the man stepped in front of him, loosely holding the gold medal. “Young Bakugou! Good job doing what you said you would during the pledge!”

Katsuki scowled. “You and I both know there’s no damn point in getting first place like this. Even if the world recognizes it, if I don’t recognize it, then it’s trash!” Katsuki refused to back down. His whole body was tense, he wanted nothing more to explode that fucking medal into a million pieces, but…. Fuck.

Deku was watching.

Deku wanted him to take it.

Katsuki growled in frustration.

All Might sighed. “In this world where people are constantly being compared publicly, there are not many who can keep aiming for the top of an unchanging scale.” As the hero held up the medal, Katsuki refused to bend his head, forcing All Might to raise it higher in order to slip it around Katsuki’s neck. “Take it. Think of it as a wound so you never forget, and always strive to be worthy of it, in your own mind!”

It felt like a brand around his neck, proving his inadequacy.

Katsuki’s eyes finally shifted to look at Half and Half. The bastard looked fucking calm, now. None of those shitty blank stares like Katsuki had received during the match. “Next time we fight, use you full power, damn it.” Katsuki was tired. So tired of dealing with all this shit. He wanted to explode.

Mismatched eyes turned to stare at him. Finally, the Bastard spoke. “I have to do something before I can be worthy of being a hero.” Katsuki blinked. What the fuck? “You said that, during the match. That if I couldn’t fight with my all, I wasn’t worthy of being a hero. But there’s something I need to do first. Then I’ll fight you.”

Katsuki growled. “You fought Deku—”

“I was unsure of myself. He… he acted recklessly and was determined to destroy my problems.” Half and Half frowned. “Is he always like that?”

Katsuki snorted, turning to look at his soulmate, who was beaming at him from the crowd. Typical. “Unfortunately, damn him.”

Whatever. He would destroy Half and Half Bastard the next time they fought. He’d fucking make sure of it. If the Bastard was too much of a wuss to fight at full strength, yet, then Katsuki would just make sure that he was there to fucking destroy him the second the Bastard used his fire.

For right now, though… he glared out at the crowd. Now he had to resist the exhaustion and stand straight as the world watched. Then he’d make up for his stubbornness to Deku. And after that… well, he definitely wanted to explode that fucking cast to pieces the second it came off the nerd’s leg.

Chapter Text

Katsuki pulled the black and camouflage Mastermind hoodie over his tank top, then unlocked the stall door before throwing Deku’s gym bag over his shoulder. He shoved his hands into the pockets of the shitty ripped up jeans and kicked the door open, annoyed that they still had more shit to do before they could go home and sleep.

Deku’s head snapped up as he walked out, his eyes wandering over Katsuki’s outfit. Katsuki grinned; damn, that would never get old. “You ready?”

“I just put on my other T-shirt since I couldn’t really change pants. We’ll probably have to cut them off when we get home.” Deku shrugged, “I’ll need a new gym uniform anyway, after Recovery Girl cut most of the right leg off.”

“Tch.” Katsuki stared at the cast. Whatever. They had other shit to do right now; he couldn’t just wallow in his own damn guilt. “We should head to the class meeting for the festival debrief or whatever the hell Aizawa-sensei wants us for.”

“Umm…. About that.” Deku’s fingers tapped nervously against the bar of his crutches. “I… uh…. I talked with Aizawa-sensei and Recovery Girl while you were um… out of it.”

“Huh?” Katsuki raised one eyebrow. “What about?”

Deku made a strangled noise at the back of his throat, “Can… can we go to Recovery Girl’s office, first?”

Katsuki shrugged, confused. “Does she need to check your leg again or some shit?”

“No… it’s just. I…” The nerd looked down. “I’ll tell you there. Aizawa-sensei said we should avoid talking about things in public spaces, right?” He looked back up, his eyes nervous.

Katsuki frowned. Deku wanted to talk about the bond? Maybe because of their argument? Or… no. Surely he didn’t want to seal the bond? They were both fucking exhausted. “Whatever, nerd.”

Deku gave him a shy grin, and Katsuki felt his heart flip.

Shit.

After everything they’d been through today, he’d do whatever the hell the nerd wanted.

Katsuki grabbed Deku’s old shirt off the counter, tossing it into the bag and then adjusting the straps on his shoulder before heading toward the door and holding it open.

Deku was silent as they walked toward Granny’s office. Completely silent. The only sound around them was the clatter of the crutches against the floor and the thump of Deku’s shoe.

It was damn unnerving.

When they finally reached the room, Granny was nowhere to be seen. Katsuki frowned as Deku went over to the large patient bed they’d been on earlier, then sat on one side. His soulmate hunched in on himself, fiddling with the hem of his shirt and frowning, his gaze far away

Katsuki sighed, dropped the gym bag onto the ground and walked toward the bed. Whatever the hell Deku wanted, he was damn nervous about it. Katsuki stopped in front of his soulmate, “Well, nerd? What’s this about?”

Deku frowned, looking up at Katsuki before quickly looking back down at his hands, pushing his fingers together nervously. “You’re really amazing, Kacchan. You know that, right? Like, so amazing that sometimes it’s hard for me to believe we’re soulmates. That you… that you really are my perfect match, or whatever this is.” Deku laughed nervously, his hands clenching together. “Today… watching you fight… I know you weren’t happy with the results, Kacchan, but you really were amazing. Everyone in the whole stadium was in awe of you and all I could think about was ‘that’s my soulmate’ and you just looked…” Deku swallowed, his hand cautiously coming up to rest on Katsuki’s waist. “I…” The nerd squeezed his eyes shut, then blurted out, “Iwantosealthebond.”

Fuck. Katsuki’s heart skipped a beat. He’d thought that maybe, but the nerd had just broken his leg, so—

Deku’s eyes widened and he waved his hands around frantically. “I know it’s only been two weeks, Kacchan, but… I really do think it will work, now! Togata-senpai said that some people fall fast, right? And, well… it’s really not that fast if you think about the fact that we’ve known each other our whole lives. It’s actually quite slow. And I want to be closer to you and have our abilities and be stronger and—” He cut himself off, taking a deep breath as Katsuki stood there, frozen. “Kacchan, you… you’re everything to me! Everything. And, and… you’re so ridiculously good at everything, too, you know that right? And gosh, you’re so handsome and—”

Katsuki tilted Deku’s chin up and the nerd’s eyes immediately widened, his voice vanishing as he stared at Katsuki. “You want to try this shit, Deku? Right now?”

“I, umm… Yes!”

The nerd’s voice was barely a squeak, and Katsuki wanted so badly just to lean down and—no. Katsuki’s whole body felt warm. Deku looked fucking adorable and he wanted to—He forced his body to stay still. “We can’t. Your leg is broken.” Katsuki’s hand slid upwards, though, cupping Deku’s cheek in his palm, cherishing the warmth of his skin…

Deku had said he’d spoken to Granny. Deku had brought them here, which meant…

His soulmate swallowed, a dazed look in his eyes as he brought a hand up to cover Katsuki’s, holding it in place. “She said it would be ok. She wasn’t happy, but, well, after it’s sealed the strain on our bodies will stop, right? Even the strain that we never really felt. So we’ll have more energy, and we’ll be able to recover from everything better and…”

“You’re already hurt. You want to go through all that pain with your damn leg already broken?!”

“I’d do anything for you, Kacchan.”

Fuuuck.

Katsuki searched Deku’s face, his heart beating fast. Could they really…? Fuck, but… This had to be a dream. He’d hurt Deku and now his soulmate was here, telling him he wanted to seal the bond, despite all of the shit today and… fuck.

At Katsuki’s pause, Deku frowned, his eyes becoming more determined and his hand tightening around Katsuki’s. “Sensei knows, too. He really wasn’t happy, but he caved when Recovery Girl said it would help with healing, once we got through it. He said we could do it now and that he’d come here after the class meeting to check on us.”

“He’s excusing us from the shitty class meeting?” That sure as hell didn’t sound like Aizawa-sensei. If he had to suffer through something, he’d make sure everyone else did, too.

Deku shrugged, “No one will be walking around in the halls or anything right now. And Recovery Girl is here if anything, ummm… goes wrong. I guess. We, um… we still have two gummies, right? Since we each only used three. We should probably each eat one first. Recovery Girl said the burst of energy would help during the… um, changes.”

Katsuki’s body felt numb. His hand slipped from under Deku’s fingers, falling back down to his side. “How long was I fucking out of it, for you to plan all this shit?”

Deku laughed. “I’d been thinking about it for a while, Kacchan. You were only unconscious for an hour tops, I just… well, I really want this. Want you.”

Of all the damn days… “I hurt you. I didn’t even win.”

Deku pouted. “You did win! And I’ve hurt you, too. Every time I get injured, whenever I couldn’t return your feelings, yet—”

“None of that shit matters.” Katsuki looked away, wincing at the small bits of plaster that had fallen onto the floor from earlier. “You didn’t hurt me on purpose.”

“And neither did you.” Deku’s sigh was annoyed, this time. “Do you not want to seal our bond?”

Katsuki’s head snapped back and he stared at his soulmate in disbelief. “Of fucking course I do!” How could Deku ever think—?

“Then stop arguing about it! I want to seal it now. To really be together. I don’t care about the pain! I want this exhaustion to stop. I want to be closer to you, however the bond will accomplish that.” Deku frowned, his glare pitiful. “Go get the gummies and then kiss me, Kacchan.”

Fuck. “Right.” He paused. “You sure you’ll be ok?”

“Kacchan!” Deku’s cheeks were puffing out with annoyance, now, and it was cute as hell, but—

“Damn it, I…” Katsuki looked away, hating that his own cheeks were now tinted red. Fuck, he didn’t want the nerd to think that he didn’t want the bond, he was just worried about him; he’d already hurt him and he couldn’t do that again, but if the nerd was sure this would be ok…. Katsuki shoved a hand through his hair, annoyed with the whole shitty situation. He couldn’t let Deku think that this wasn’t something Katsuki wanted, though, damn it. “I want to be with you, too, nerd. Forever and all that shit. You’re, well… you’re the only partner for me. Ever. No matter the circumstance. Got it?”

Deku laughed, nodding, his smile bright and watery as Katsuki turned around. “I know, Kacchan. But thank you for saying it.”

Katsuki still felt numb as he went to the bag, fingers fumbling as he searched for the gummies. This… this was really happening. It wasn’t a dream. They were going to seal the bond. And it would work, this time. It would. He grabbed the gummies, immediately eating one and then staring at the other for a few seconds before he stood up. His body was thrumming with anticipation as he walked back and slid onto the patient bed next to Deku, passing him the other.

After he’d swallowed, Deku nervously pulled out his phone, texting a brief message and then hitting send. “Aizawa-sensei still wanted to know exactly when we were doing it. Umm…” He set his phone on the table next to Katsuki, then turned toward him, his face bright red.

Katsuki wanted to memorize this look forever. Deku’s eyes were bright, hopeful and nervous, and Katsuki couldn’t help but trace the freckles on top of the nerd’s quickly deepening blush.

Katsuki smirked. “When did you get so fucking adorable?”

“Kaaacchaaan!” Deku whined, his hands slipping beneath Katsuki’s hoodie as he hugged him close, now hiding his head in Katsuki’s shoulder. Katsuki rolled his eyes, slipping one hand around to rest at the back of Deku’s head, fingers tangling in Deku’s hair as Katsuki’s other hand reached up to cup Deku’s chin, forcing it back upwards.

Deku’s eyes were wide, his pupils dilated, and he looked damn amazing. His soulmate licked his lips nervously, his eyes flickering down to Katsuki’s own lips. “Kacchan, I… I want this. I wasn’t ready last time, but I am now. Please, let’s seal the bond, properly this time.” He gave Katsuki a shy grin, but his eyes were determined, and Katsuki felt like his brain was broken. “Kacchan, kiss me.”

“Fucking hell.” When had Deku become so damn seductive? Katsuki was not prepared for this shit. For his soulmate to look so fucking amazing, for him to say shit that made his stomach catapult, for Deku to reach around, pulling Katsuki’s head toward his own, the nerd’s eyes closing—

This was actually happening. It was actually fucking happening.

Katsuki closed his own eyes, turning his head slightly and gently brushing his lips against Deku’s.

This time was different. This time, there was a response. This time, Deku wanted it.

There was pressure against his own lips as Deku’s moved, as Deku hummed against him and Katsuki pulled him closer. Deku’s mouth was warm, his lips soft, and Katsuki was quickly becoming addicted.

He was finally, finally, kissing his soulmate.

And then all he knew was pain.

Katsuki’s body jerked backwards, slamming his back against the wall before slumping down, convulsing. Everything was buzzing—like he’d just been dumped in freezing cold water and he needed to get out that second, or he’d freeze—but his chest was on fire—the skin burning and burning and burning—and his eyes were throbbing and his tongue hurt like hell, thousands of tiny stabs happening every second, and his fucking nose and ears of all damn things, and his fingers ached like they were about to fall off and he couldn’t—

He couldn’t escape.

He just laid there, everything hurting, everything on fire….

And then, just as suddenly as the pain had started, it stopped.

Katsuki gasped, frantic for breath, covered in sweat, his vision swimming—

Shit.

His leg…. His right leg still hurt. Ah, fuck.

Shared pain.

Damn it.

He turned to look at Deku, then hissed, almost throwing up as the world spun around him.

What the fuck?

“Kacchan, whatever you just did, don’t.” Deku was groaning.

“I just fucking tried to turn onto my side, what the hell.” Katsuki closed his eyes. Shit. What… what was going on, damn it? His eyes were closed! His eyes were closed but he could still fucking see. He could see Deku’s hands, covered in sweat, as his soulmate put them back in his lap.

He… he shouldn’t be able to see that.

He shouldn’t.

His eyes were closed, how could he see Deku’s hands, how, how could he—

“Bakugou, breathe!”

Hands were on his shoulders, shaking him. Breathing. Right. That… That was important. But there were beads of sweat on Deku’s hands and he could fucking see them but his eyes were closed and—“Bakugou! I’m going to take some deep breaths. Match my inhale and exhale, alright?”

He nodded. Take a deep breath. He could do this.

“Midoriya, close your eyes and focus on breathing, as well. You two may need to be in sync to calm down.”

Deep breaths. In. Out. The sweat—

“Midoriya!” Katsuki winced, almost whimpering at the sudden shout. Present Mic’s voice. That was Mic-sensei’s voice and it was so loud and he could see Mic-sensei now, but his eyes were still closed and—

Darkness.

Katsuki’s shoulders slum