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Something You Didn't Know You Needed

Chapter Text

It was lonely at the top. Not that Izuku didn’t have his friends, class Todoroki, Iida and Uraraka were, without a doubt, the most loyal and attentive friends he could ask for. It also wasn’t that they lacked understanding of his life, they were there too, reaping the glory and endless cricks in the necks of the hero job. In the light of day Izuku was almost never alone and never felt so. It was the nights. It was coming home to an empty apartment where the silence was too loud. Certainly Izuku found days where he wished with everything in him for one moment of silence, with no monologuing villains or shrieking fans, but there was something about coming home to nothing that sat heavy in his brain. There was something about the nothing that made letting his shoulders sag and eyes close feel almost as wrong as it would if he was on patrol.

As far as Izuku saw it, there were two options: find a roommate or find a roommate.

The first option was probably his least favorite of the two. Being a hero meant he needed to be ready for anything, which meant whatever roommate he got would have to be okay with him flopping down the hallway with his suit on backwards at all sorts of hours. This roommate would also need to be up to the sporadic lifestyle. Sometimes it was days before Izuku got a long enough break to shut his eyes for more than a few hours, and that meant the apartment took a backseat. Chore schedules? Never heard of her. Izuku got things done when the big superhero in the sky granted him the mercy of enough time to remove the three foot pile of recycling. Finding someone who was easygoing enough to let Izuku’s frantic lifestyle slide wouldn’t be easy. It made the most sense to find a fellow hero to live with. Izuku would have liked it to be one of his three friends, or even one of his old UA classmates, but he’d been slow to move out and they’d all settled into their own places and found their own roommates by the time he’d even thought about finding his own place. Not that he minded.

If izuku was honest, he didn’t really want to share an apartment. He could maybe admit to himself that he purposefully took extra hours at the office or extended his patroles so he maybe wouldn’t have to be in his apartment alone, while at the same time possibly clinging to his busy work life as his ultimate excuse for why a roommate wouldn’t be the solution. He didn’t quite know how to explain his malcontent. There was an emptiness to his home that he wanted to fill, but he just knew that somehow a person wasn’t the right thing to fill it.

It wasn’t that Izuku was an introvert. He loved his friends, he loved his fans, he loved his coworkers. He buzzed with the joy of what he did and who he was around, but sometimes at the end of the day he felt tired. Not necessarily tired of people, but just tired of being Deku. Maybe tired of drop kicking evil in the face, definitely tired of sliding up and down the rankings, just ever so slightly tired of trying to appear like everything was okay all the time. And Izuku felt, as untrue as it might be, that having another person around, someone to look at him and still see “pro-hero Deku” at the end of the day would mean he’d never get time to stop being quite so tired.

Luckily for Izuku, his own wonderful, worrying mother suggested the second option.

“ I don’t like you being all alone there,” she’d worried over her cup of tea. “I wish you’d get yourself a dog or something.”

The irony hadn’t been lost on Izuku. He’d hid his smile with his own cup of tea. Imagine the successor of All Might needing a guard dog.

“Don’t worry about me, mom. I’m okay, and I promise I’m safe. Besides, dogs are a big commitment. They need structure and consistency and those are two things being a hero doesn’t really allow for.”

Gosh, he loved his mom. He loved her for caring, for supporting him on his way to the being the number one hero, and most of all, for reminding him that cats existed, and at the very least it would mean he wouldn’t be alone.

It was lonely at the top, but Izuku was going to take care of that. Today he was going to get a nice, soft, fluffy roommate.

 

Chapter Text

Despite being only a few years outside of UA, Izuku and his friends had progressed fast in the world of heroism. For all the destruction and danger the League of villains had brought, they’d given 1-A a running start into the hero world, and now, Izuku was succeeding at breakneck speed. The benefits were many, promotions, a nice paycheck, plenty of fans, making a difference in the world, no questions asked when you pop up at a shelter with a hat and sunglasses and accidentally mumble a whole essay about why you need a cat.

Not to say that the receptionist wasn’t flustered, but after she got over the initial shock Izuku was promptly led to the “cat visitation” rooms. There were three, each holding a few cats which lounged around on their climbing castles, nibbled at their food. Every possible variation of cat was available, big or small, old or young, big or small. Izuku found himself overwhelmed with the options. Three rooms and in each, six or seven cats. That made for at least 18 cats. Maybe he should have done some research first. How was he supposed to find the right cat with at least 18 of them to choose from? There was so much to consider. How much attention it liked, what it could eat, if it needed any sort of medical attention or medications, if it liked to explore or just sit by a window all day. Maybe he’d been too hasty, it’d only been a few days since his mother had even suggested getting a cat. He definitely should have done more research. He hadn’t even thought to buy supplies before he got a cat. He wasn’t at all prepared…

He must’ve been there a while, just aggressively muttering at the cats, because the volunteer that interrupted him looked very nervous to be doing so.

“Um, sir...is everything alright?”

Izuku flushed. He may have grown out of his baby face  and flightiness, but the mumbling was one thing he couldn’t seem to shake, and getting caught doing it by a stranger was just a little embarrassing.

“Oh hello,” he rubbed the back of his head, awkwardly chuckling, “yeah, er, no. I came to look at adopting a cat, but I’m thinking maybe I jumped the gun a little.”

The volunteer, a young woman who might have been around Izuku’s own age, smiled and nodded her head in understanding.

“ It can be a big commitment. You want the right companion. Did you see anyone here you were interested in?”

Izuku sighed.

“Not really. I guess I just sort of assumed I’d know the one when I saw it,” he mused out loud.

The woman chucked, turning towards one of the rooms.

“I hear that sometimes. I find that the best way to move past that idea is to start meeting the cats. Once you get an idea for their personalities you may find yourself the perfect one!”


 

After an hour or so of scratching behind ears and getting plenty of nuzzles Izuku could say he was thoroughly charmed and nowhere near ready to make a decision.

“Did you find one?”

The volunteer was poking her head in the door, being careful not to let any furry fiends escape. Izuku moved from squatting near one adorable black kitten to straighten up and meet the volunteer at the door.

“I can’t decide. I don’t think adopting all of them would be realistic, but right now it’s looking like my best option.”

The volunteer laughed. Izuku blushed. Despite all of Ururaka’s help, he still found himself awkward around women.

“Well, if the whole shelter isn’t an option, maybe you should take some time away and see if any of them sticks in your mind.”

Sound advice. Izuku could see the wisdom in taking some more time to mull this whole operation over. A cat was more independent than a dog, and needed a lot less upkeep, but it still required dedication.

His thoughts were interrupted by the volunteer.

“You’ll want to wash your hands. Our sink in the cat section is broken right now, but just through that door,” she gestured to the end of the hallway, “is the dog kennels. There’s a sink right to your left when you walk in and the exit is just around the corner.”

Izuku thanked the woman and pulled the door open. He was immediately greeted by the cold echoing cacophony of barking. The room was much bigger and the ceilings taller in this room. The whole thing was cement and tile, not like the cute colours and decorations in the cats’ rooms. The room smelled...unpleasant to say the least.

From his position, a line of large cages stretched both left and right of him. The cages themselves were spacious if the one most directly in front of him was representative of the rest. It was empty, as were the few others he could see into.

Overwhelmed by a contrast he could only think to define as “cold”, Izuku turned to the sink, wanting to wash up and leave as soon as possible. After cleaning his hands he turned back. Had the volunteer said right or left? Gosh, he was too much of an nerd around girls. It had been left, he’s pretty sure, but he’s a little curious.

As uncomfortable as the sterile, cold nature of the room seems, Izuku can’t help but wonder about the dogs behind all the yaps, yelps, and growls that reverberate around the room. The cages spread out farther to his right, and he decides to take the long way around. The dogs he sees as he wanders down the isle seem to be in good health. Most are up and barking at him, although a few are curled up on suspended bed. They all have food and water and seem friendly enough, definitely needy by the way they wag their tails and bark at him, demanding attention. He loops around the final cage and makes his way back on the next side. Although the barking continues, drifting over from where he’s just walked by, this side is silent and the cages empty--no, Izuku has almost missed it. It, being the cutest dog he’s ever laid eyes on.

In the first cage after turning the corner is an adorably fluffy dog. It’s curled in on itself, facing towards the cage door, nose tucked under one paw. The dog is an ashy blond colour, it’s furn looking like the softest thing Izuku’s ever seen and sticking up in all directions. The pup has these adorable little ears poking out of the fluff on its head that flick lazily. The dog seems unbothered by the din going on around it and takes no notice of Izuku, who is leaned close to the cage door, where a little laminated tag is attached.

Name: Katsuki
Breed: Pomeranian Shiba Inu mix
Age: 1.5 years
Status: Available
Neutered/Spayed: yes
Adoption fee: ¥20,000

“He’s cute, isn’t he?”

Izuku jumped. He hadn’t heard anyone over the cacophony.

“Yeah.”

“He’s been here a while. I’m not supposed to tell anyone, but he’s supposed to be moved in a few days.”

Izuku turned to the worker, asking the question with his eyes. The worker, an older woman, leaned in conspiratorially.

“A lot of the time the animals in our shelters get moved around from place to place if they aren’t getting a lot of traffic in a shelter. Katsuki’s been moving around the circuit for a while now.” The woman lowered her voice, moving in even closer to Izuku. “We, personally, are a no kill shelter, but our partner in Kyoto aren’t. That’s his next stop.”

Izuku felt the little ball of lead forming in his stomach.

“Why?”

The woman pulled back a little, turning a pitying eye on the unmoving dog.

“He was originally brought into a shelter as a stray, so we don’t know much about him. But with his history of returns the most popular reason was his temperament. People see a cute dog and assume they’ll get to cuddle and coddle it all the want. Katsuki probably has some past trauma, he hasn’t done well with any of his foster homes or adoptions. You also have to take into account his breeding.”

“How so?” Izuku gave her a quizzical eye.

“Pomeranians are known for their ‘I’m a big dog and I’ll challenge anyone’ attitude. Katsuki isn’t allowed out with any groups for exercise anymore thanks to that. He thinks he can push around all the other dogs, even if they could use him as a chew toy. He’s a big bully to any of the smaller dogs, too.”

Izuku knew that was figuratively a problem, but he couldn’t help but find it funny. This fluffy little thing didn’t even reach his knees acting like head alpha.

The worker continued. “Not to mention how stubborn he is. Shiba Inus need lots of training. They’re intelligent and strong willed. He’s bossy, stubborn and well aware how naughty he’s being. Add to that a poor upbringing and you have one cute problem. From what we’ve done with Katsuki, he has minimal training. As you can see, he doesn’t even respond to his name.”

Turning back to Katsuki, Izuku realized that the dog hadn’t even bothered to glance at them at any point in their conversation. Despite hearing his name, he’d stayed how he was, uncaring of anything going on around him.

The worker sighed, moving closer to the cage.

“Shibas are also known for their loyalty. Both of his breeds can be really affectionate with family. Somewhere under everything is a good dog.” She put her hand on the cage door, looking fondly at little Kasuki inside. “He shouldn’t have to die before anyone can find out.”

Oh no. Izuku had heard this used by enough villains to know what this worker was doing. It was not going to work on him. He did not have the time or the resources for a grumpy dog. He was not letting his heart strings get tugged into buying this dog. Nope. Not going to happen.

“No, he shouldn’t”

Well Sh*t.

Chapter Text

Maybe Izuku should have been more suspicious of the lack of questions surrounding this adoption. Someone should have stopped him. He’d signed at least ten papers (at least 5 of them were ripped out of some notebook so clearly they all knew who he was). He’s done enough magazine interviews for everyone to know he’s never owned an animal in his life. Someone really should held him back and reminded them all he was severely under qualified to take care of a stubborn, grumpy, way too cute for its own good dog. But, here he was, sitting in a chair by the front desk, waiting for them to round up Katsuki and the few items he’d purchased along with him.

A few chairs away, a young couple where clutching each other and talking animatedly. When the door to the kennels opened the couple and Izuku both glanced up hurriedly. A friendly looking lab came wiggling out the door, wagging its tail furiously and trying to take everything in the office in. The couple must have visited the dog before, because when it caught sight of them rushing towards it, it did the same. It was a sweet sight. The dog was wiggling and flipping back and forth between kissing the woman and getting pats from the man. The couple were cooing and talking with it. The worker passed the leash over to them with a few words, and the couple turned to go.

Izuku wondered if Katsuki would be anything like that. As if in answer to that question, the door opened again and another worker stepped out. Unlike the previous time, the worker was forced to hold the door open with her foot, pulling the leash taught as she practically dragged the creature attached to it through the door. Yep. That was his.

Katsuki was sat almost all the way back on his haunches, head pulled as far back as possible, keeping the leash as taught as possible as he half slid, half hesitantly followed the pull of the leash. Now alert, Izuku could see that Katsuki had red eyes which seemed to be narrowed in displeasure, especially when he caught sight of Izuku walking up. Izuku moved to squat next to Katsuki, who immediately moved away. He tried reaching out his hand to let the dog smell him, but Katsuki took one sniff and moved as far away from Izuku as the leash would let him. The worker, the same one who Izuku had talked to in the kennels, smiled sheepishly, handing over the leash while instructing him again on basic care. He’d heard it all before when signing the papers. She then handed him the bag of supplies she’d been holding in her other hand.

“Good luck.” She said. And izuku assumed that was as close to a ‘thank you for saving his life’ she would come.

“Thanks,” he replied.

And with that, it was his turn to drag Katsuki out the door.

Expecting to to come back with a cat, Izuku hadn’t made plans for transporting a dog home. He’d figured he’d be able to bring a cat home on the train, but it didn’t seem like such a good idea to bring Katsuki into something so public yet. He didn’t know what the dog could handle yet.

Running through ideas of what to do while he leaned against the building, Katsuki still on the far end of his leash, glaring daggers at Izuku, he remembered that Shouto was also off today. He had a car. Not to mention he drove his own pup, Eiji, around all the time. Surely he wouldn’t mind if Izuku asked him to help him get Katsuki home. Plus, maybe Shouto would have some advice on how to handle the situation Izuku had gotten himself into.


 

Shouto seemed surprised when Izuku told him the story. Of course, Shouto always seemed unsurprised, but this time it was very unsurprised. It’d taken him around 20 minutes to get to the shelter and in that time Katsuki hadn’t budged even an inch. He did, however, shift is murder stare over to Shouto, once it became clear that the man was approaching him. Still a couple feet away, Shouto stopped, pulled out his phone, chucking. Katsuki pulled his lip up and his ears went down. Izuku looked at Shouto with concern, who was clearly snapping pictures, chuckling all the while.

“Cute.” He said, circumventing the angry pup who was simultaneously trying to scare Shouto away and keep as much distance from him as possible. “What’s its name?”

“This,” Izuku gestured to the furious looking dog, “Is Katsuki. As you can see he’s very happy to be here.”

“And they just let you have him?”

“The biggest mistake ever made,” Izuku said in way of agreement.

“Well. If what the worker said was true, I don’t suppose returning him is an option.” Shouto said it more as a statement than a question, and Izuku was inclined to agree. “What supplies do you have?”

Izuku gestured to the bag he’d placed against the building. “A pillow to use as a bed, a rope toy and a bag of treats. I guess I still need to get the essentials but I didn’t really think about needing them before I brought him home.”

Shouto nodded, grabbing the bag from by Izuku and turning back to the small parking lot. “There’s a place not too far from my place that lets you bring your pet in. I don’t think we should leave him alone in the car.”

Katsuki seemed less inclined to let himself be drug over concrete and asphalt, but still kept to the far end of his leash, behind Izuku.

Turning over his shoulder to keep talking, Shouto began listing all the things Izuku might need.

“You’ll want a crate. At least while he’s still new you don’t want him wandering around alone in the house. You’ll need food dishes and food, obviously. Tags would be good too. I assume they microchipped him so that won’t be an issue. Right now toys aren’t a big concern. If what you were told is true, he might get aggressive about his toys, so reducing the risk without removing all source of stimulation might be smart…”

At some point he turned to adjust the blanket in the back of his car, gesturing for Izuku to let Katsuki hop up. It was hard getting Katsuki to come near the car. They ended up maneuvering hims so being at the point farthest away from them put him right at the open back door. Still, Katsuki stubbornly refused to hop up. It was a bit of a jump for the smaller pup, but shouldn’t have been an issue. Shouto sighed, after Izuku tried for the hundredth time to encourage the stubborn pup into the back seat. Digging through the bag of supplies for the treats, shouto opened the door opposite to Katsuki, leaning in and shaking the bag. This got the small dog’s attention. His ears pricked forward and then back, but he didn’t look away.

Shouto spoke softly, with as much warmth as he could. He began shaking the bag, trying to coax Katsuki up onto the seat with the promise of a treat. The dog was unmoving. Shouto would say he almost seemed wary of the bag in his hand. He wasn’t terribly experienced with rescues, but he could imagine from his own experiences that little Katsuki was weighing the danger of moving closer to the bag. He stopped shaking it. Instead opening it as quietly as possible and pulling out a small stick of beef. Pulling it in half, he held out the stick to the skeptical dog, putting the treat bag away.

Although wary, Katsuki seemed to respond better to this. His ears perked up a little more and he tilted his head, sniffing the air. His glare never lessen, but he moved forward an inch or two to get a better smell.

Shouto let his voice lighten a little as he praised Katsuki.

“Good boy. Good up, Katsuki.”

Slowly but surely, inch by inch, they coaxed the little pup into the seat in this way. When Katsuki finally hopped onto the seat, Izuku placed the leash in with him and shouto backed out of the other side, quickly shutting the door before the pup could think about hopping out the other side. He’d left the treat on the seat, which Katsuki quickly settled down with. The ride was uneventful, with Shouto and Izuku discussing training and socialization and other aspects of Katsuki’s adoption, while the pup paid them no mind.

“I think he’s probably afraid of being hit.” Shouto eventually admitted.

“What?”

“It’s just a theory. I don’t know him well enough to say anything for certain, but it just seemed like he didn’t like me shaking things at him when we were trying to get him in the car. Maybe he was just nervous because it was all new, but it could also be the type of gesture I was making. If he’s been hit before it would make sense that he was wary of me waving something in front of him.”

Izuku’s face fell.

“I’d hate to think of what someone might have done to him. It’s not right.”

“No,” Shouto agreed. “You can’t undo it either, Midoriya. I know you. You want to be a hero and save him, but this isn’t going to be easy like saving someone from a fire-a once and done sort of thing. It takes years to overcome trauma. He may never really outgrow it.”

“Yeah.” Izuku stopped and thought for a moment. “But I owe it to him to help him try.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 4: Katsuki Knows Things.

There were three things Katsuki knew to be true:
1.When humans cared they were lying.
2. Humans took and they didn’t give back.
3. The humans that cared for you could also hit you.

From the moment he left his mother, those rules were ground into the very being of his life. Every swat of the newspaper on the face, every time he went without food for doings something wrong, every time the humans let bad things happen to him, he knew more and more certainly that those rules were true. And in every home he went to, they never changed. Those humans could say they loved him all they wanted, but when he was the one who got punished when he told the little human to stop sitting on his back or pulling on his tail they were lying. When the mean woman who wore bad smelling perfume took his bed and food for telling his big brother that they were his and he had to sleep on the floor and dig under the couch for bits of stray kibble he’d sworn he’d never let anyone touch them again. And when the big man grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and brought the rolled newspaper across his face so much he’d cried out for his mom like he hadn’t in months, he’d learned that humans could hurt you, and there was nothing you could do to stop them.

There were three three other rules Katsuki knew to live by because of those three rules.
Never trust the humans.
Make sure they can’t take it.
Never let them hit you.

Katsuki followed those rules to a T. Every new home, every new shelter, the same rules applied. No one touched his food or bed unless he let them. No one touched him unless he let them. And he was happy. Well, not happy, but safe. As long as he was in control no one hurt him and no one made him go hungry. That was all he needed, all he wanted. He didn’t care if the other dogs warned him that dogs that didn’t get adopted went away. He didn’t care if the humans killed him. Call him stubborn or stupid, but he wasn’t going to go back to being afraid. He hated feeling afraid. No, Katsuki was going to live out the last of his days in these cold rooms with lots of stupid dogs begging the workers and visitors for attention, until they took him away and he didn’t come back.

Until the dumbest looking human he’d ever seen messed it all up.

He’d heard the human before he’d seen him. Or rather, heard the other dogs barking at him.

“Green human!”

“Big green human!”

“Please pick me!”

“You smell good! I like you already!”

It was f*cking stupid. He didn’t care. He didn’t want anyone to take him again (that’s the same as not caring, dumb*sses). They’d just get tired of him and put him right back so what was the point? So he’d stayed curled up and refused to acknowledge the dumb green human, even when he’d stopped in front of his cage. Even when one of the other humans he was familiar with came up he refused to acknowledge them or listen to a single word they said because none of it mattered. They were talking about him, he knew, they kept saying the name everyone used for him now. He didn’t care what they called him, it didn’t matter.

When they’d finally left he’d been happy. The room had gotten quieter, the dogs no longer vying for someone’s attention, and he’d been able to sleep for a bit. It was a rude awakening when the dogs started up again.

“A leash!”

“A leash!!!!!”

“Oh pick me! I want to go!”

Another lucky contender on The Price is Right, then. Who would it be this time? Who cares? Katsuki put his head back down. F*cking nerds, all of them.

Of course, the human had to stop in front of his door. Of course the leash was for him. To say Katsuki was unhappy was an understatement. And while he knew better than to growl or bite at the employee clipping the leash to his collar (and maybe deep down inside there was a small bit of him that wanted this, wanted to know who wanted him, even if only for a day), he let her know how he felt by pinning his ears as far down as he could and puffing himself up as large as possible. He also refused to walk next to her like a good dog would’ve. He knew this whole fiasco. He’d spend maybe a week with the humans, get send back, get sent somewhere else. These humans were inconsequential to him, and he didn’t care to have anything more to do with them than absolutely possible.

Making the woman juggle the big bag of stuff and trying to drag Katsuki out the door was a guilty pleasure for Katsuki, and he enjoyed it with a smug smile. Once out the door, however, he let his curiosity take over. He hadn’t been outside of this shelter. The lobby was similar to the others he’d been led through, but the smells were different. It smelled like excitement and anticipation, and a bit like someone had gone on the floor a while back. Dumb loser animal must’ve peed himself out of ‘joy’.

There was only one human waiting in the little lobby, and he was walking towards Katsuki and the woman. Oh no. Oh no. This had to be the green man. He was tall, muscular but not in the same way the big man had been. His hair was curly and messy and definitely where the others had gotten the whole ‘green man’ thing, also maybe the big eyes of the same color. The freckles weren’t ugly, Katsuki decided, but by his standards the man wasn’t anything amazing to look at. Katsuki was not pleased.

Said man crouched down more towards Katsuki’s level. Rude. How’d he feel if a giant did that to him? It was patronizing and Katsuki was not going to indulge it. He moved away. The man held out his hand to him. Did he think he was going to shake it? Absolutely not. He gave it a disdained sniff before moving as far away as possible.

Katsuki could admit that whoever had said the green man smelled good had been right. He couldn’t put his paw on it, but the man smelled both fresh and energetic and homey and warm. A smell Katsuki would settle for calling stupid.

Green Man and the woman talked for a bit before she handed the leash over to him and Katsuki balked. He could practically feel the uncertainty thrumming through the leash. He did not like this. Humans with small children felt like this. Like they’d jump at him for the the slightest wrong movement. Like if he even looked at the little human wrong he’d be dragged from the room and screamed at for hours. He wasn’t going to be put through that again. He wasn’t going to willingly walk into the most stupidly stressful week of his life so he could end up back at this place with his tail between his legs. He fought the lead all the way out the door. He congratulated himself on a successful end a horrible journey when the green man leaned against the wall just to the side of the door and set down his bag. He was running his hand through his hair and Katsuki got the idea he was second guessing himself. Good. Take him back in. Tell them he was a mistake and he didn’t really want him. Tell them he was mean and stubborn and no good.But the green man just got on the phone. And when he was done they just sat there. Katsuki took every ounce of hatred in his body and poured it into his glare. He willed the man, with all his might, to take him back in. Instead, they sat there. For what must have been at least a good half hour, the man leaned against the building looking around and then back at his phone while Katsuki pulled back on the leash and gave him a death glare.

When another human came from the small parking lot towards them, Katsuki reluctantly turned his focus to him. He was smaller than the green man, not im height but in thickness, and he had a nasty scar on his eye. His hair was half red and half white which was weird, and he had this air about him that just screamed superiority complext. When the man stopped short, pulled out his phone, and began taking pictures (God, he hated that sound), Katsuki found a whole new ounce of hate he never knew he had. He bared his teeth and let his ears fall flat against his skull. Pictures were stupid. Pictures meant you held still while the little human pulled your fur or you let the woman with too much perfume hold you in a way that hurt your stomach and if you moved you got a flick on the nose. Dumb half and half human wasn’t going to make him sit there and pose.

Katsuki was just about to lung at the man, take that stupid phone and show that sketchy Japanese flag just what he thought of his pictures when the subject of his hatred finally put down the phone and walked around him and towards the Green Man.

“Cute,” Half ‘n Half said.

Cute? He was not cute. He was a menace. He was a demon in broad daylight and anyone who said he was cute was the next person he’d send to hell.

And when said future member of hell began walking back towards the parking lot with Greenie in tow. Katsuki made the split second decision to save his rump from asphalt burns and reluctantly followed. Of course, he still made sure they knew were he stood on the issue. They stopped just a little ways into the small lot, at a nice looking car.

Katsuki was not stupid. He knew his way around the block and he knew they wanted him in the backseat of the car. But he wasn’t going willingly. First, this was a waste of time. He’d be back in this parking lot in a week, maybe even less if he was good at what he did. Second, the car wreaked of dog (and what he assumed was that candy cane of a human being). Not that katsuki was afraid of other dogs. He was the mother effing king of dogs. He was alpha. No, he wasn’t afraid. But he’d been with other dogs before, Dogs who had no respect, who didn’t listen when he told them no. No way was he going to put up with another mutt up in his business, especially not when it’d been there first, been mommy or daddy’s precious little baby. Humans played favorite and he wasn’t about to let them use him as part of their game. If that dog so much as looked at him wrong he’d kill it.

The Green Man kept trying to encourage him in, voice high and upbeat as be practically begged Katsuki to get in the back seat. He liked that. Let him beg. He wasn’t going anywhere. Half n’ Half had gone to the other side of the car and was messing around in the big bag. Katsuki wouldn’t have cared, but after a few moments the human was leaning across the seats with a bag in hand, shaking it and asking him to come.

This was a tactic he knew...and he didn’t like it. Immediately he looked to the bag, or more importantly the hand that held it. He knew what come meant, he knew that at least half the time the reason to come was going to hurt and he knew that he would only fall for the bag of treats trick once. The moment he got close enough that bag of treats was coming down across his nose. He knew it. Dumb Half n’ Half was too quiet, of course he’d be the one to snap first. He had to admit, he was surprised the other foot had dropped so quickly, but with everything out in the open this early it made things easier on Katsuki. At least he didn’t have to wonder who would be doing the hitting and what would finally cause it.

It was starting to stress him out, waiting through this standoff of who would break first, but then the human slowly lowered the bag. Wait, was that pity in his eyes? The flash was too quick to tell for certain but Katsuki felt prideful indignation fill up his little chest. He didn’t need pity. But then, ohhhhh, that was a beef stick. It’d been so long since he’d had one. He just wanted a smell. It was so hard to get a whiff of this far away, he wasn’t getting in the car, just getting a better smell.

The bag of treats had disappeared somewhere and both of the humans hands were in sight, one holding him up on the seat, the other holding the beef stick out.

“Good boy. Good up, Katsuki.”

The dumb part of Katsuki’s brain was excitedly telling him how nice it was to be good and that that was his name and it was good to hear ‘good’ and ‘Katsuki’ in the same sentence. He killed that thought quicker than he could scarf down a whole beef stick. Still, somehow he was leaning up against the seat, back paws still on the ground where the two front ones ought to have been as well. Both of the dumb humans kept telling him how good he was being and he had to admit the beef stick was smelling better with each passing moment...so he caved. And good God that beef stick was the best thing he’d had in forever. He was so busy thanking the Great Beef s\Stick Maker in the Sky to care that the Green Man was getting awful close to him to put the leash on the seat by him, and before he could even think of escaping out the other way Red white and Missing Blue was shutting the door and climbing in front.

With beef stick in paw and a week of hell ahead, Katsuki settled down and began preparing himself for the worst.

Chapter Text

The worst turned out to be a pet store. Katsuki was intrigued enough with this turn of events to let himself be taken out of the car. But, as a respectable dog with a good sense of self, he leaned back and kept the leash as taught as possible.

“I feel bad dragging him around like this, especially in the store. I feel like a bad owner”

That’s because he was, stupid idiot.

“We can get him a harness so it pulls less around his neck. That’ll help with training him to walk with a lead.”

Katsuki resented that. He was fully capable of walking on a lead, thank you very much. He just didn’t want anything to do with a couple of idiots.

The store was rather empty, which Katsuki was grateful for. Dealing with these two was enough, he didn’t need a bunch of air headed mutts trying to ‘be friends’. There was less of a chance he’d get in trouble without some other dog making him look bad. Less chances of trouble meant less punishment. That was good.

Green man and Minty seemed pretty set on what they needed, although Katsuki got the idea it was more Minty telling Green man what he needed than Green man, himself. They walked up and down the isles, grabbing things as they went. A Toothbrush, stupid. He wouldn’t let them near his mouth. A brush. Good luck with that, loser. More treats. Like he’d fall for anything stupid. He wasn’t controlled by his stomach. A harness? The colour was tacky and he hated it already.

By the time they made it up front, Katsuki was finding himself increasingly annoyed. He’d been around the block with enough families to know that the first shopping spree meant nothing and he was tired of wasting time. It was all going to some other dog once they decided he wasn’t worth it. He hated seeing the dog tags with Green Man’s name and address being attached to the new collar that was actually a really nice burnt orange. None of this was permanent (nevermind the fact that he was purposefully trying to make it so) and it rubbed him the wrong way to have everyone make believing it was.

“You’re Deku?!?”

The sudden squeal from behind the register put Katsuki on edge. Deku? Who was a Deku?

Green guy looked flustered. Half ‘n Half annoyed. It looked like every worker in the store was coming up to the register. Katsuki didn’t like this one bit. He began flailing his head and body back and forth, trying to slip out of the collar and put some distance between himself and the three workers who were standing around, frantically talking to Greenie and Minty.

“Yeah,” Greenie was shifting back and forth, clearly uncomfortable, but not even bothering to look at Katsuki. “I’m Deku.”

Wait what? Katsuki perked up, ending his wiggling abruptly.

“And you must be Shouto!”

“We’re such big fans! We watched the sports festivals all the time and always rooted for you two and you’re doing so well as heroes now! It’s so amazing we actually get to meet you!”

Deku? Green guy was calling himself….Deku? Oh this was too good. Katsuki heaped blessings and love upon whoever had already put Green haired guy in enough of his place that he was already calling himself Deku before Katsuki even came into the picture. This was golden. This was really golden. But what had they said? Heroes? These two idiots were heroes?

Katsuki didn’t really care much for the human world’s drama. Heroes and villains? Why should he care? Where were heros when he was in trouble. But still, the big angry man had always been watching TV and there were always heroes on there. And sometimes he would feel the reverberation through the earth when a fight was close enough.

Still, he felt a little ping of excitement. He was walking around with heroes. He was a hero’s dog. No. No he wasn’t. He didn’t belong to that Deku and after a few days he’d never see the loser again. And with shake of his head the got the biggest right of his life.

Somewhere in his revery, Katsuki had missed the little human toddling up behind him. It wasn’t until he felt the sharp tug on his tail that he was aware, and with a yelp he spun around, pulling the child over. Katsuki panicked, trying to move himself away from the now shrieking little human, managing to slip on the floor and land hard on Deku’s shoes. Before he could get himself up and as far away from the no doubt furious man’s feet, the leash went taught and he was kept standing at his side.

Chaos broke loose as the little human wailed, his mother tried simultaneously to comfort her daughter and speak to Deku and Half ‘n Half, while Deku was frantically trying to apologize and see if the little human was alright. Meanwhile the workers around the register were frantically speaking amongst each other, the two parties involved and freaking out over Katsuki.

It was too much and Katsuki wanted to get away from it. He began squirming, more frantically than before. If he could just get is himself out of this collar he could get away. Deku wouldn’t find him, couldn’t punish him. But, before he could quite get himself lose, Deku shifted to crouch behind him, and Katsuki felt a hand on his head.

If he hadn’t been in a panic before, he was now. Before Deku could even think of grabbing him by the scruff, or pulling an ear, he spun himself around and snapped at his hand. Deku pulled back in alarm. Nearly falling on his butt. Half ‘n Half grabbed his shoulder.

“Get him out.”

Chapter Text

Deku sulked. Sat on the bench outside the pet store, worrying the leash in his hand, he inwardly berated himself.

It had all been going so well. There was no one there, Katsuki was doing alright. And then, the whole getting recognized thing happened and he got distracted and then next thing he new his dog was pressed up against his leg with a crying child on the floor nearby. He almost had a heart attack right then and there. And then Katsuki had started panicking and hadn’t thought it through at all he just went to pet him and he snapped.

Izuku knew that it was his fault for overwhelming Katsuki. He should have calmly removed him from the situation and left him alone, but it was a knee-jerk reaction. And who knew what the mother would think, seeing her daughter crying on the ground while the dog she went to pet is snapping at its owner. What will the tabloids say? He can just see it: ‘Up and Coming Pro Hero Deku gets Rabid Dog, Attacks Child and Runs Away’. And then there’s Katsuki. What would happen if the mother pressed charges? Had he just doomed Katsuki while trying to save him?

Speaking of Katsuki, he was sat under the bench, pressed up against the far corner. Izuku had tried to coax him out, but had been met with a raised lip and a low growl. Maybe he’d permanently destroyed any chance he had with this dog. He’d at least broke whatever fragile trust he’d managed to create.

“It’s all taken care of,” Shouto appeared from inside the store, carrying the crate and few bags of supplies they had. They’d just parked on the street outside of the shop, so after getting everything packed away in the car he came back and stood in front of Izuku. “I talked to the mother and she saw what happened. She said her kid pulled his tail and he got startled.”

“He didn’t bite her?” Izuku had never felt so much relief in his life.

“No. He was just surprised. But did he get you?”

Izuku shook his head. “I was stupid. I knew better than to overwhelm him like that.”

“You were. But you meant well. We just have to train both of you.”

“Great. But Katsuki wont even let me near him. He growls every time I even lift a hand towards him.”

“I suppose we start training now, then.” Shouto went to the car again, pulling out the bag of treats from earlier. “Even Eijiro gets overwhelmed sometimes. He’s usually pretty regretful if he does something bad, and needs a reminder that I’m not mad with him.”

Coming up close again he handed a treat to Izuku.

“He might be afraid he’s in trouble. Especially if you’re reaching out to him. Start by crouching. Get on his level so you’re not looming over him so much.”

Izuku did so, holding out the beef stick a ways, watching as Katsuki shuffled and bared his teeth.

“Pull back your hand,” Shouto instructed. “He might think you’re going to grab him or invade his space. Good. Now don’t stare at him. Eye contact can be seen as a challenge or a threat for a nervous dog.”

Izuku complied. He turned his head, using his peripheral vision to watch Katsuki.

“Speak softly and calmly. Let him know your not mad. And just hold the treat loosely with your hands open and easy for him to see. Ask him to come. Anything that you think counts as obeying you can encourage. ”

It must have been at least five minutes of them sitting there, Izuku softly telling Katsuki he wasn’t mad, that he understood and was sorry he freaked him out, asking him to come.. Shouto had backed away to the car, claiming it might be overwhelming for Katsuki to have him there too, and Izuku agreed. The time was going by slowly, and Izuku was just starting to think it was hopeless and he’d doomed the poor little creature to a life under the bench when Katsuki shuffled forward a little. He was still eyeing Izuku, hackles still raised and body stiff, but he was at least curious. Izuku didn’t dare move, he may have even stopped breathing, barely managing words of praise in his delight. He definitely held his breath when Katsuki got close enough to carefully slip the treat out of his open hand. He even felt the slightest touch of wet nose against his palm. He sucked in a soft breath, murmuring with enough warmth and meaning he could possibly muster.

“Good boy, Katsuki. Very good boy.”

Chapter Text

It was slow going with Katsuki. Clearly subdued by the stress of everything, he trailed along with a lot less aggression, but the same level of reluctance as they finally managed to get him to, and then into the car.

“I explained to them all that katsuki was a rescue. They all thought it was very noble of you.”

“He’s not technically a rescue, Shouto, he was a stray.”

“ You said he was going to be put down, right? So you rescued him. Personally I think that Katsuki will make for great publicity as soon as he can stop growling at the camera. But then again, maybe that's his shtick.”

For someone so one-toned, Shouto had a wonderful way of making Izuku stop worrying.

“You think so? I'm thinking he'll be a good sidekick, even. We'd have to think of his hero name, though. I personally like Lord Explosion.”

Shouto smiled. “I actually like Lord Explosion Murder. I feel like it really encompasses his personality.”

“Right now his personality is glaring at us and pulling on his lead. It's not much to go on.”

Shouto glanced in his back mirror, catching katsuki sitting tall and glaring murder at the backs of the seats. “I don't think he's very happy with your description of his personality.”

Izuku turned to look. It should have been terrifying seeing a dog look that angry with him, but with a face like that, who could blame Izuku for finding it so adorable?


 

“Well at least he knows what stairs are.”

Shouto and Izuku waited patiently for Katsuki to catch up. Katsuki wasn't that small of a dog, maybe a foot all or so, but his refusal to move without the utmost pulling made the process longer and more difficult than it had to be. Shouto had eventually given up on waiting for Izuku and Katsuki to make it up the two flights of stairs, instead making the two trips necessary to bring the kennel and other supplies to the door.
door before swinging back around to keep Izuku company while he dragged the dog up the stairs.

“So, do you have to use that technique on Eiji a lot?”

“The calming thing? Yeah. Although it usually takes about five seconds, not five minutes.”

“Ah.”

It was at this point that Katsuki let out the second sound either had ever heard, and possibly the cutest thing either of them would ever witness in their lives. The sneezes shook Katsuki’s whole body, making his fluff poof out with every one. Once, twice, and then thrice, the little half pom nearly sent himself flying off the step with the force of his sneezes. Izuku was left agape. Shouto was grinning at his camera.

“Bless you, Katsuki.”

Katsuki took one look at the camera and flattened his ears against his skull, puffing himself up in displeasure.

“Uraraka is going to lose it when she sees him,” Izuku mused.


 

Getting everything set in the house felt like a huge milestone to Izuku. It felt like it’d been days since he’d began the journey to get Katsuki here. Something about finally seeing Katsuki in his apartment made it real. The pup was wandering the room, sniffing things out. Izuku still hadn’t taken him off the leash, instead opting to let Katsuki drag it being him.

“so….What now?”

Sat on the couch and watching the proceedings, Shouto pondered where to guide Izuku to next.

“I think you should get as much time off from work as possible. The more time you can spend with him in the beginning, the better.”

“Well I’ve got today and tomorrow off. I can call in and see if they can let me take more off short notice.”

“That’ll be good. The next best thing to work on is ground rules. Like for starters, his bed. HIs bed and crate should be his safe space. And he should have consistent feeding times. I don’t know much about it because I got Eiji from a breeder, but there’s this thing among rescue animals known as resource guarding. You should do some research into it and how to train around it. As for getting him used to you? That’s a little harder. I’d start by teaching him to be comfortable with you. Not knowing what exactly could set him off is hard, so you may just have to start the process and just see what works and doesn’t along the way.”

Izuku nodded along. He had a lot to consider, with this new dog. Even now he was wondering why anyone ever thought he was qualified enough to adopts a dog like Katsuki.

“I guess we should get close to him...or rather get him close to us?” He questioned Shouto, who nodded in agreement, finding the bag of treats for Izuku to use.

Katsuki had made his rounds through the house apparently, because he was currently resting close to the door. Upon the rustling sound of the treats he hopped back onto his feet and stood, legs spread, reading to bolt.

Remembering what he was told, Izuku slowly crouched down. He kept a solid distance from Katsuki, about 5 feet or so, and made sure not to make direct eye contact. Both hands were held open and low to the ground, the left one cradling a bit of beef stick.

“Come, Katsuki.” He said lightly.

Katsuki did not come.

“Come Katsuki.”

Katsuki put his ears down, but put a paw forward.

“Good come, Katsuki. Good come,” Izuku tried to say calmly, but his voice shook a little with excitement.

And slowly but surely Katsuki continued to move towards Izuku. He’s gaze never left his hands and his hackles remained slightly raised, but he came forward. When he eventually made it close enough to stick his neck out and grab the treat Izuku practically shook with the restraint it took not to reach out his other hand and caress the fluffy little head. He held strong, though. And when Katsuki took the treat and retreated back to his previous spot, Izuku let him.

“That was good,” Shouto encouraged. “You should keep doing that. Let him decide what he’s willing to do and reward behavior that’s good.”

Izuku let out a breathy sigh. “I didn’t think it’d be this hard.”

“You never let something difficult stop you from worming your way into places you weren’t wanted,” Shouto returned with a smile.

Izuku laughed. “No, I suppose I haven’t. “ Turning back to Katsuki he asked, “So I just keep doing this?”

“Until he’s comfortable with you, yeah. The best comments to know are things like ‘leave it’, ‘come’, ‘sit’ and ‘stay’. So if he starts listening to one, try moving on to the next. He just needs to learn that doing what you ask is going to mean good things, and bad things wont happen if he does something wrong.”
“Positive reinforcement. My mom used that on me, you know?” Izuku started. “My mom! I haven’t even told her!”

Shouto seemed to think it was a suitable time to leave Izuku and his new roommate to their own devices, offering a last few words of encouragement before giving Katsuki a wide berth and making his intentions of heading to the door as plain as possible. Katsuki, who had finished his snack, was quick to move away from Shouto, but still left plenty of space between himself and Izuku as he moved further into the apartment.

Izuku figured it was as good a time as any to make his calls.

Chapter Text

To say Katsuki was confused was an understatement. Snaps equaled slaps (not that he ever let that stop him). But still, Deku had yet to retaliate for something Katsuki knew was fundamentally wrong with his behavior. He’d thought that when the idiot kept going for him under the bench that he was sure to receive his beating, but no, His warning had been enough to keep the hand away. And then Deku had done that. The soft speaking, the non threatening behavior, the treat that hadn’t resulted in anything other than Katsuki having to go and get it from his hand. And then...those words. Katsuki had felt this thrill run down his spine. No human had ever talked to him like that. He’d wanted to melt right there, felt a sudden itch behind his ear that a human hand would have perfectly scratched. No. He’d squashed that fast. Rule number one stood. Whatever Deku was doing now was a lie. He was being patient, wearing him down, waiting for him to break down his walls before he hurt him. Well let Deku wait, Katsuki was not going to fall for it.

Of course He was also confused when the apartment the idiot Duo led him to smelled nothing like the car. He’d been stealing himself up for meeting whoever it was that left all that ugly red fur on the car seat and stunk up the place, but it just smelled like Deku. It took him a while to realize that the green idiot had dropped the leash and he could explore all he wanted. The place was fairly small, with a small living area with a kitchen in the corner, a short hallway with a bathroom and a bedroom that smelled heavily of the idiot. They’d put the crate in the bedroom and draped it with blankets. It looked cozy and safe. He poked his head in the open door, finding it...not horrible. Too bad he would never get to use it. Then he went back to the living area where the two dorks were putting things on shelves and in cupboards. They’d put a big pillow next to the couch and set a rope toy along with it. Whatever dog they chose next would probably find it nice. And with his exploration complete, Katsuki went to wait by the door. Only, they ignored him. Instead they went to the couch and talked. About what, Katsuki didn’t care. Maybe they were making plans on where to take him, maybe they were going to just throw him out of the car like the perfume lady did. Maybe he liked that better. Shelters had too much touching.

Eventually they did move. Katsuki was up and ready to go. Goodbye nice apartment, you’re owner was an idiot anyway. Only, instead Deku did that thing again. F*ck if that didn’t weird him out. What was with these weirdos? No one had ever had a problem making it known to him that they didn’t like him, both physically and otherwise. He’d snapped at Deku and hadn’t given the Half ‘n Half weirdo the time of day. Even the shelter people would get annoyed at this point.

Katsuki would be d*mned before he fell for that sh*t again. So he was d*mned because he did fall for that sh*t again. And the other eight hundred times the idiot did it again. Deku always let Katsuki have his space after he complied (and f*ck off, he wasn’t complying he just wanted the beef stick).

He’d wondered if maybe Deku just wouldn’t hit him in front of the Half ‘n Half, so once he’d left Katsuki had snuck off to hide in the crate. Deku could probably reach his hand far enough in to grab him if he wanted to, but not without Katsuki getting a solid bite in first. It seemed like his best bet. But Deku hadn’t come and Katsuki had ended up feeling annoyed he’d been tricked into spending so long on guard for something that didn’t seem like it was going to happen.

At some point Deku had called to him for dinner, something Katsuki always remembered as a desperate affair. From puppyhood to his last home, he’d had to be the first to the food, or suffer an empty belly. He didn’t want to go hungry, so, without a thought to who exactly would be taking his food in a house with just him and a human who probably didn’t find dog food all that appetizing he bolted for the door and out into the living area. Not taking into account the slippery wood flooring, he ended up almost scooting into his food and water dishes. In too much of a hurry to be embarrassed of his rather puppyish behavior, he instantly smashed his face into his bow of kibble.

“Whoa, slow down, Katsuki! You’ll get sick!”

If Katsuki hadn’t been busy making sure he got every last piece he might have told Deku to f*ck off and mind his own business. He had, however, noticed the idiot move closer. He’d made sure to let Deku know exactly what he thought of that.

“Hey, I’m not going to hurt you, buddy.”

Yeah sure, maybe not hurt, but Katsuki knew a food thief when he saw one.

Either way, he’d had his dinner, continued ignoring Deku, realized how freakin’ annoying it was that he still had his leash dragging behind him everywhere, and thought more about how weird and stupid this whole thing was.


 

It was possibly the gazillionth time he’d played this song and dance with Deku. The idiot would offer the beef stick to him and ask him to come and every time Katsuki so much as glanced at him he’d tell him how good and wonderful he was. He hated it (he kinda liked it). Still, hadn’t his first family started out this nice? And that had ended badly. Who was to say Deku wasn’t just faking it, or wouldn’t get tired of him. Eventually he’d want something Katsuki wasn’t willing to give and it’d all go to hell. Still, he crept forward, craning his neck a little less than last time, and went for the beef stick.

“Good boy.”

He liked that part.

“I’m just going to-”

F*ck he did not like this part.

With a mixture between a whimper and a growl and a flash of teeth Katsuki was flying back to the crate.

D*mmit! Katsuki had known it would go to hell. He was going for his neck, He was going to grab him and drag him through the house with a thrice d*mned newspaper. He knew it. He knew it. God, his heart was beating so fast he could feel it through his whole body, and every beat sounded like feet pounding closer and closer to the bedroom. Deku would come get him this time. No way would he get away with snapping at him a second time.

But again, Deku didn’t come.

The anxiety of it ate at Katsuki. He wasn’t a patient dog. Why was Deku drawing it out like this? F*ck, he couldn’t just sit here and wait for it. He was going to go out and face it head on. So, out of his crate (not his crate) he stomped. Somewhere between the door to the bedroom and the opening of the hallway into the living room the stomp because a hesitant shuffle. Poking his head out and scanning for signs of wrathful green men, Katsuki was greeted with a very cheerful but very calm “Hi buddy”.

Deku was sitting at the counter, although he’d turned around to face Katsuki. Katsuki did not like it. He planted his feet and glared.

“I know,” Deku said. “I’m sorry I scared you. I just wanted to take your leash off. Shouldn’t have tried it so soon, should I?”

Deku certainly looked and sounded regretful. And the leash. Was that what he had really been doing? Maybe if Katsuki had known that was what he was doing he would have let him. He’d let the humans at the shelters do his leash. He wasn’t untrained for heaven’s sake. He wasn’t some dumb dog who didn’t even know how to sit still for his owners...at least he wasn’t at some point. Katsuki felt a little sheepish. He wasn’t a bad judge of character, he was smart and knew how to sniff out a situation goshdangit. It was just that Deku went for his neck… and didn’t even tell him. That was it. If he’d known it was going to happen he would have been fine. And okay, so maybe he’d still been a little worried that Deku was just tricking him still, even if it was like the 800th time he’d not gotten a smack on the nose when Deku definitely could have. He was just looking out for himself. And he wasn’t f*cking scared, alright?!?!

Too caught up in his reverie, Katsuki didn’t hear what Deku said next, but he knew what was coming when the man slowly lowered himself off the counter stool and onto the floor, palms up and head turned away. How he managed to always just have a beef stick handy Katsuki would never know.

“Katsuki, come.”

The part of Katsuki that remembered everything he’d been through in his short life was still very, very angry with Deku. However, the stupid part of Katsuki that kept reminding him that nothing bad had happened yet and Deku had said he just wanted to take off the leash was sounding pretty reasonable...especially with the smell of beef stick wafting through the air. So, Katsuki puffed himself up, gave Deku his toughest glare, and made a great show of slowly walking himself forward. Deku’s eyebrows shot up and Katsuki felt smug knowing that he’d thrown the idiot for a loop. That’s right, he could have come this easily all along, Katsuki was just messing with him.

Upon reaching a reasonable distance from Deku’s crouched form, Katsuki planted his butt firmly on the ground and glared expectantly. Deku looked confused, glancing at the untouched beefstick and then back to Katsuki.

“...Good boy, Katsuki. Good come.”

Well, what was he waiting for? Deku was just sitting there like an idiot. Katsuki wanted the stupid leash off.

“Uhm. Good sit, Katsuki?”

The idiot hadn’t even told him to sit, it was not a ‘good sit’. Still, the compliment was nice, he was a great sitter.

Deku seemed to be growing more and more confused, glancing again at the beef stick and then back at Katsuki. “So, uh, what does this mean?”

It meant he wanted the d*mn leash off, that’s what it meant. Dumb idiot couldn’t just talk about taking the annoying thing off and then just not do it. Katsuki was growing frustrated.

Deku continued to not take the leash of. Katsuki was tired of waiting. He pawed at Deku, growling in frustration, trying to accurately convey the ginormous levels of inconvenience he was causing him. Deku’s eyebrows disappeared into his hairline, but still nothing was being done about the leash situation. Seeing no other option than to spell it out in stupid, Katsuki promptly grabbed the leash in his mouth and pulled the darn thing closer to Deku. With a great huff of annoyance, he promptly dropped the stupid thing in Deku’s upturned palm.

“Oh,” Deku softly gastped.

The sound of Deku’s voice made Katsuki suddenly realized just how close he’d positioned himself to Deku. He was practically standing on his feet,actually. F*ck. Sh*t. He didn’t think this through. Was it suddenly very cold? Because Katsuki was shivering. Not shaking! Just a little cold. He wasn’t trembling or shaking or any of that dumb sh*t . F*ck, he wasn’t scared! Like hell he was going to turn and run! So Katsuki stood there, as still as possible, feet planted and body braced for whatever move Deku made.

At first Deku made no move, but then slowly but surely he moved his hand up the leash. “Okay...Okay I guess you want me to take the leash off,” Deku said, his hand shaking as he moved it closer.

Why was he scared? Katsuki was the one with the leash on!

“I’m going to touch your collar, and, uh, unclip the leash...okay?”

Katsuki let out a derisive little snort. Did the idiot really think that Katsuki needed a play by play of the process of unclipping a leash? (yes please). And what kind of an idiot asked a dog for permission? Did he think Katsuki would just look him in they eye and say ‘sure Deku, sounds great. And while you’re at it, make sure to scratch under the collar, my fur gets matted under there’’ in perfect human? F*cking dum*ss. And yet, Katsuki could feel little tendrils of relief in hearing Deku tell him what he was doing. If Deku was telling the truth, he wasn’t going to hurt or grab him, just do something normal and everyone does with their dog. And if Deku was lying...well...Katsuki was finding that increasingly hard to imagine.

Chapter Text

Izuku was able to settle with another two days off and three days of at home paperwork, which in his line of work was a miracle. He imagined it wouldn’t have been half so likely if his friends didn’t work at the same agency and weren’t always so willing to cover for each other. So he had a total of six more days with Katsuki. He’d, unfortunately, been unable to reach his mom. She was probably out with her old friends. He hoped she was enjoying herself.

Anyway, he had work to get done. Specifically, getting his dog to not hate him. He decided the best thing to do was to repeat their little ritual as often as possible, in hopes of getting Katsuki used to it. He wasn’t sure where to go from there, but at least it was a start. So every time the two of them ended up in the same room Izuku offered the beef stick and asked him to come. It was slow, Katsuki seemed equally suspicious each time, but he also seemed to be less hesitant as the evening wore on.

When dinner hit, Izuku had the thought that he’d not taken any photos or videos of Katsuki, and once it eventually got around the agency pictures would be demanded. Plus his mom would want some at some point. With that in mind, Izuku pulled out his phone and hit record.

“Dinner Katsuki.”

He wondered if Katsuki understood what that meant. Judging by the scuffling and frantic clicking of claws on wood flooring, he not only understood, he was excited by it.

Excited might have been the wrong word, Izuku thought, as Katsuki practically flung himself at the bowls, nearly slamming into them as he skidded across the floor. Before he’d fully recovered, he’d dove into the bowl, already snapping up mouthfuls of kibble. Frantic was probably the correct word to use, Katsuki was barely stopping to chew. Still, watching Katsuki try and stop on the slippery flooring was pretty cute.

Katsuki seemed very intent on his food, never bringing his head up, body stiff and tail held high and still. The food was disappearing at an alarming rate as Katsuki quickly crunched through it. Izuku began to worry he would make himself sick eating that fast.

 

“Whoa, slow down, Katsuki! You’ll get sick,” Izuku chided, moving closer.

Katsuki did not like that. His hackles rose, ears pinned back and he growled menacingly. Izuku moved back. That was not good. Was that the resource guarding Shouto had mentioned?

As if on cue, Izuku’s phone pinged.

‘I thought you’d like your’s and Katsuki’s first picture together. Also found this article. Should be helpful’

Attached was the picture Shouto had taken earlier that day. Izuku couldn’t help but laugh. Katsuki was a small, off-coloured cotton ball glaring murderously at the camera and a little farther back Izuku was looking just past the camera with a concerned expression. It was comical and pretty cute. It certainly represented their relationship at the moment.

Moving to the article, Izuku went to click it, only to have it shift upwards as Shouto sent another message.

‘Also, got this. [video attached]’

The video started mid Katsuki sneeze. Shouto must have learned to be quick with his camera after Eiji, because he’d managed to catch part of the last sneeze, Katsuki’s recovery and the moment moment realized he’d been filmed. It was far too cute.

Grabbing a plate of leftovers, Izuku went back to the article on resource guarding, absentmindedly picking at his food.


 

The article had been helpful, just like Shouto said. It explained the various ways it might happen, how to treat it and even what might be causing it in the first place. Reading about the causes had been pretty hard. He hated to think what Katsuki might have gone through to be so protective of a bowl of kibble. Still, He’d never have to worry about it again, Izuku would see to it.

Adding a timed feeder to his list of items to pick up for his furry friend, he heard the telltale click clacking of Katsuki wandering back down the hall. Izuku was thinking he’d done well tonight, and maybe it was time to cash in all his good ‘comes’ with finally getting Katsuki’s leash off. Surely by this point the pup would know he wasn’t going to hurt him, plus the shelter workers had obviously been able to handle him with relative ease.

So, Izuku fished out another beef stick and worked Katsuki close to him, happily noting that he was already standing closer than usual.

“Good boy,” he said encouragingly. He slowly began to reach for the leash. He was just about to grasp the clip.

“I’m just going to-”

Katsuki freaked, letting out a mixture between a yip and a snarl. Ears pinned back, hackles raised and teeth snapping, Katsuki was out of there in an instant, leash flying behind him.


 

Mrs. Midoriya was perhaps the softest person known to man and her attentive affection was never unwelcome to anyone, least of all her son. He often spent hours talking with her, racking up quite the phone bill, and that was when Izuku still managed at least one dinner with her a week. Growing up just the two of them, they’d found their strength and foundation in one another, and were never apart for long.

It made for a good distraction for Izuku, who was repeatedly berating himself for blowing any chance he had with Katsuki, when his mother rang. It was like she could sense his distress from miles away, motherly senses honed and strong.

They talked for maybe an hour, Izuku relaying his tale while his mother listened attentively. She was clearly happy for him to be having company and said as much several times, but equally shared her son’s remorse for Katsuki’s situation. She offered bits of advice, promises of help and hello’s from her friends, whom she’d been enjoying an evening meal with. No sooner had Izuku said he’s fifth farewell and finally ended the call then the pitter-patter of little feet could be heard.

He turned to great Katsuki, who was standing in the hallway, looking intent. When he didn’t do any more, Izuku went back to the only successful thing between him and Katsuki.

It always took Katsuki a while to decide it was safe to move towards Izuku and he imagined it would take longer after this last mistake. But, to Izuku’s shock, Katsuki took not more than one glance from the treat in his hand and then up to Izuku and came forward, stopping short of the snack and sitting.

That was unexpected.... and was it just him or did Katsuki look smug?

““...Good boy, Katsuki. Good come.”

Well now he looked annoyed. Had Izuku said the wrong thing?

“Uhm. Good sit, Katsuki?”

Well now he looked even more annoyed. Was the treat bad? What was he not picking up here?

“So, uh, what does this mean?”

Izuku hadn’t really expected a response, but Katsuki let out a huff, pawing at the air and letting out a frustrated little yap. That was the first time Izuku could recall hearing him vocalize other than in fear. It was surprisingly cute, and the way he was waving his paw would have had Uraraka melting in an instant. Izuku was dumbfounded. Shouto never told him what this meant, and it definitely hadn’t been in the article.

Katsuki gave up on the pawing and let out another huff, instead bending down and grabbing the leash where it lay next to him, coming closer to Izuku with gruff determination and a glare that could stop a criminal in their tracks. Before Izuku could even think of getting out a ‘good come, Katsuki’, the pup dropped the leash onto his empty hand, which he’d been holding palm upwards in a placating gesture.

“Oh,” he breathed out. That was not what he was expecting. Katsuki was almost standing on his feet, his little paw was pressed against Izuku’s slippered foot. He was so small but so determined looking. It was adorable. His feet were planted and he was leaning back away from Izuku, raising his chest and neck ever so slightly.

“Okay...Okay I guess you want me to take the leash off,” Deku said. His hand shook with the effort of keeping it slow and steady. He was so used to throwing punches at lightning speed, this was infinitely harder at the moment.

 

Katsuki had started shaking at some point and Izuku bit his lip. Oh please don’t let him mess this up. Izuku was so afraid of scaring him off. He remembered Aizawa teaching class A about rescue tactics one year. He’d told them about different ways to calm a rescue victim, talking about yourself, asking them questions, explaining to them what you were doing. Without even realizing it, Izuku found himself doing that.

“I’m going to touch your collar, and, uh, unclip the leash...okay?”

He could have sworn a flash of annoyance passed over Katsuki’s little face. He was so expressive. Or maybe it was the white markings over his eyes that looked like frowning eyebrows that made seem so emotive. He’d not been up this close to Katsuki yet. The fur on his face looked so soft and Izuku felt the overwhelming urge to place a little peck on that cute little nose of his. The seriousness of the current situation overrode that desire.

The world didn’t quite stand still when Izuku removed the leash. It was, all things considered, a rather menial thing in the world of pet owners. Still, he felt a little swell of excitement,. He couldn’t keep it from seeping into his words.

“Good boy, Katsuki!”

Katsuki shot him a glare that seemed to say ‘I know” before turning and walking away, like it was all perfectly normal for him to let Izuku take his leash off.

Izuku couldn't help but notice that as he went back towards the bedroom, Katsuki’s curly little tail moving ever so slightly.

Chapter Text

Izuku was on his last day of working from home. Tomorrow he would leave Katsuki and go back to his job and he… didn’t know what to think. Things had gone relatively well with Katsuki. They had a system… of sorts. Lots of Katsuki demanding things and being very annoying he had to, or at least that was the sentiment Izuku interpreted. There was also lots of Izuku apologizing. Apparently Katsuki would make the decisions on what was acceptable and what wasn’t. Which...was kind of what Shouto had been coaching them towards, what with the whole ‘let him decide how much he wants you in his space’ thing. How bad could it be if it went just a bit farther? And the resource guarding was going well too. There’d certainly been a lot of frustration on Katsuki’s part. He didn’t seem to like having to share with Izuku, but he seemed to be picking up on the fact that letting Izuku have his toy or come near his bed and crate didn’t mean they would be disappearing. The food was a bit more difficult, but Katsuki was slowly starting to pick up on it on his own. The article Shouto had found said that as long as the guarding wasn’t excessive or putting anyone in danger that the behavior could just be worked around. Izuku had started letting Katsuki watch him handle his food before he served him, rewarded Katsuki for letting him get close while he was eating, and just made sure that he always gave him enough food and at the same time everyday. As Katsuki began to realise he wasn’t going to go hungry, he got more and more relaxed about his food.

He and Katsuki had developed a schedule, of sorts, too. Every morning he would announce he was going for a run and grab the leash. If Katsuki felt like joining him, he’d let Izuku put the leash on. If he didn’t, well, he simply refused to let Izuku anywhere near him. They’d jog until Katsuki got tired and walk back to the apartment. Katsuki always refused to have anything to do with people and other dogs, going out of his way to avoid them at any cost. Izuku began modifying his route to accommodate. Katsuki still kept a large distance from Izuku when on lead, but after the first few walks he had begun leaving a bit of slack, although he always stayed behind Izuku, or at the very least to his side When they’d get back, Izuku would settle down for work and Katsuki would either settle himself on his pillow bed and look out the window, or he’d go take a nap in his crate. When Izuku ate lunch, Katsuki might sit in the kitchen with him, always keeping his distance, or enjoy some crate time. He never begged, something Izuku appreciated. When evening rolled around Izuku would make his meal, Katsuki would get his second feeding and they’d let their food settle for a bit before another walk. Again, Katsuki decided if he felt like going, although he had tet to turn down an evening walk; Katsuki got antsy quickly.

Izuku tried to use the evening walk to get Katsuki desensitized to people. He’d walk him until he got out his anxious energy and then try a park or busier street. The first few nights had been difficult for Katsuki and Izuku had needed to find a quick exit so he could get Katsuki calmed down before something bad happened, but now Katsuki could navigate a small crowd without too much trouble.

Izuku continued to narrate things to Katsuki. At first he’d thought it was a coincidence, but the two days Izuku hadn’t told Katsuki he was going to attach his leash, Katsuki had been unwilling to let Izuku near him. He knew Katsuki had been in and out of a few homes from the records the shelter had given him, and no doubt Katsuki had been adopted from a breeder originally, so it made sense for him to have training. He wondered if Katsuki’s positive response to Izuku telling him what he was doing was residual from his training. Maybe they’d taught him to respond to leash, or collar or something else Izuku would say before interacting with the pup. For not the first time, Izuku wished he could have spared Katsuki whatever trauma made him afraid to be touched unless made expressly aware it wasn’t going to hurt. He wished he could sit next to his dog without him shaking and watching him for any sign of a threat.

Izuku could see other aspects of previous ownership in Katsuki, specifically some positives. Whenever Izuku finally went to bed, Katsuki would either go to his crate or already be there. He also never went in the house, always doing his business out on their walks. He also rarely made noise. Every once in a while he would get rough with his rope toy and get a little loud, or he’d make little frustrated yips at Izuku if he was really annoyed, but he didn’t bark. Overall, Katsuki was rather independent and respectful of the house. Izuku wondered how much of it had been produced out of fear of punishment, and how much was actually the little pup.

All things considered, for a dog with a lot of trauma and a bad history with adoption, things weren't all that bad. But Things weren’t always perfect either. Katsuki had off days where he was almost as bad as when Izuku had first gotten him. He still wouldn’t let Izuku touch him other than for clipping his leash or replacing his old collar with the new. (That had been exciting for Izuku. It was something he’d wanted to do since the first day, but felt might not go over so well. Izuku could swear that Katsuki would preen whenever he caught sight of himself in bedroom mirror.) And of course, Katsuki refused to listen to any commands. He did what he wanted when he wanted and Izuku could ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ and ‘leave it’ all day if he wanted to, but it did absolutely nothing. But, it was progress, and Katsuki was proving a fast learner.

 

All things considered, It had been a rewarding six days for Izuku. He had a project to work on, someone do come home to and he’d finished up all the paperwork he’d been putting off for the month. Shouto had stopped by a few times, even bringing Uraraka once. Katsuki had been less than thrilled. He did, however, put up with Ururaka’s fussing enough to let her get out a hello before evacuating the room. He hoped Katsuki would warm up to them at some point.

He imagined at some point he’d have to be. No doubt they’d end up babysitting him at some point. Being All Might’s successor was hard work.

Speaking of work, it was around time Izuku to start considering that. He’d only ever left after he’d tired Katsuki out and the pup had gone for a nap. All he really needed were groceries, and the market was close enough that it never took more than an hour. He had yet to leave Katsuki alone when he was awake. Part of him was afraid of what KAtsuki would do if the dog realized he was alone. He didn’t think Katsuki was spiteful exactly, but he wondered if he was capable of revenge.


 

That night Izuku broke out the timed feeder for Katsuki. He knew that consistent feeding was important to Katsuki feeling safe, so he figured it would be good to have it available just in case something ever happened. He’d also arranged with His mom, Uraraka and Shouto that if he ever needed them to take care of Katsuki they’d know where he hid the spare key.

Izuku felt like a new parent, and a little silly for it all. He was just so worried. He didn’t want Katsuki to feel abandoned. He didn’t know exactly what Katsuki had gone through, but he knew that Katsuki’s shelter records showed he’d been picked up off the streets more than once. He hoped Katsuki knew he’d be back soon. He’d taken some precautions, getting a puppy toy he could put food and peanut butter in to keep Katsuki entertained. He regretted not practicing being left alone with Katsuki, leaving him alone for a whole day cold turkey was decidedly not his smartest of plans. He wondered which would disappoint Aizawa more, breaking both his arms or setting himself up for failure with a traumatized cotton ball?

Chapter Text

The day started normally for Katsuki. Well, what was the normal in his decidedly abnormal living situation. Apparently Deku was a crappy hero because he never left. They got up in the morning, went for a jog and then sat around until their evening walk and then sat around even more until bedtime. It was boring. It was nice.

Most of the humans Katsuki could remember had been gone a lot, left him alone without food or water and nothing to do until they came back for him. Sometimes he’d gone days without being taken outside for a proper walk. At least the nerd was consistent. That was really nice. Sure there was probably an angle to it, but at least he always got his food and a chance to take a sh*t. He’d miss it all once he got the boot. And that could only be a short time away.

Still, things were incredibly odd in the Deku household until then. The green freak would always talk to him, and not in some babying, high pitched voice, nor in angry shouting. Most of the time it was useless stuff like ‘I’m going to the kitchen, Katsuki, don’t think I’ve run off or anything’ which was stupid, Katsuki didn’t care where he went. But it did help. He didn’t feel so on edge about what the nerd was doing when he just broadcasted it. He was also weird about the leash thing, too. Ever since that first night he just expected Katsuki to do all the work. He’d just say ‘I’m going on a walk’ and just look at Katsuki like an nerd. Okay so maybe he never let Deku approach him, so what (he wasn’t scared about humans touching him okay!?! )? That still meant Katsuki had to do all the hard work of deciding if he was going to let Deku, and then there was the exhausting job of letting him get the dang thing on. And probably the most annoying thing of all was when he’d mess with his toy or touch his bed. Katsuki hated that. It was his. Deku wasn’t going to take it. So he would tell him, try to scare him off, make him stop treating him like they were his. But deku always won out and put his grubby hands all over them and made them his and then he’d give them back. Every. D*mn. Time. And the whole time he’d talk about how he was just trying to get him to ‘share the toy’ or some crap. After the second day Katsuki just stopped caring. Let him take it. The pillow bed was lumpy and the toy tasted funny. But of course the dumb nerd didn’t. The stuff never disappeared. Well, fine then. So Katsuki played with his toy again and sat around on the bed while Deku shuffled papers or used his laptop. Sometimes Katsuki would watch TV, or look out the window and watch the city, and if Deku came up and said he was going to play with his toy or touch his bed he just let him, albeit with a suspicious eye.

The evening walks were nice. Katsuki always got antsy and the walk helped him get out the jitters of sitting around all day. Sometimes he’d leave a bit of food in his bowl so he’d have a snack when he’d get back. He’d never been able to do that in his other homes, it was something he’d picked up in the shelters from an older dog. Out on the walks, Deku would take him around to new places. Katsuki didn’t necessarily like the parts where there’d be people and other dogs, but Deku always dragged him through and he figured he just had to make the sacrifice in order for his evening piss. And if Katsuki was honest, Deku was almost bearable during those times. He even took them away early when Katsuki started feeling really uncomfortable. If he wasn’t smart he’d almost thing Deku actually cared.

He’d still let him put the collar on him though. The burnt orange colour went so great with his fur. Sometimes he’d stop and look at it in the mirror that went all the way to the floor, the one in the bedroom. Katsuki always thought he looked funny without a collar or with a thin one like the shelter had given him. Katsuki had cursedly fluffy hair and without the collar his head just kind of went into his body, it was like he didn’t have a neck. It was embarrassing. The collar Deku had bought that first day was thick and sat just right on his fur to give him some definition. He looked good in it. It kind of stung when he thought of what dog would wear it next. Deku had said something funny when he’d put it on Katsuki, still careful to not to touch him more than to slip the shelter’s band off and replace it with the new one, Deku had attached the tags he’d bought and it jingled (katsuki had never worn one that jingled). He’d said something like ‘it’s got both of us on here so when we get lost they can return us’. It was stupid, Katsuki didn’t get lost, and why would anyone return a human to a dog? But he liked it. He hated it. He liked it and he hated that Deku would get sick of him and the only returning he’d get would be to the cold hard kennel he’d come from. But those were things he didn’t feel like thinking about.

Oh, and then there were his friends. Half ‘n Half showing up was annoying. The round face human with a voice that could break glass was f*ckin’ annoying. Like hell he was letting that near him.

But anyway, it had been almost a week since this whole thing had started and Deku was making noise which meant it was going to be time for a jog. He needed to take a piss.

Deku was thrumming with energy. Katsuki could hear it in his voice when he talked about the walk and when he clipped his leash. The jog was more of outright run, like Deku was rushing through it. F*uc him for that, by the way. Katsuki couldn’t help it if his legs were short, he should be punished for it. Still, the run was refreshing and left Katsuki feeling a good kind of exhausted. Almost too exhausted to eat...almost.

Deku never really ate breakfast with Katsuki (not that he cared), he would shower and mess around on his phone, so Katsuki was relieved when the nerd didn’t stick around when they got back. He didn’t like that nervous energy. It was anticipatory and it just made feel restless. This must be it. Deku was planning to take him back then. Katsuki couldn’t understand why he didn’t feel so triumphant as he normally did. He liked being right. He’d wanted the nerd to give up since the first day. So why did winning not feel as good? Was it because he was tired? That must be it. Katsuki was just too tired to care that he was right and the nerd was wrong and he won against the humans again. They didn’t care, they just took and hit and yelled and when they didn’t get their way they tossed you to the side. F*ck Deku and f*ck the dog that came after him would just let himself be used until he wasn’t good enough, just like Katsuki.

When Deku came back Katsuki ignored him. Deku turned on the TV, turning the volume low. He was looking around at everything, checking his phone and then pacing the living room. Katsuki didn’t like the way he was dragging it out. He’d just wait it out in the crate. Maybe he’d make Deku come get him and bite his hand as a nice thank you for wasting his time.


 

“Katsuki!”


Katsuki staunchly ignored him.

“Katsuki! I have to go. Be good okay? I’ll be back tonight. Goodbye!”

Oh so now he was trying to lure him out? Katsuki had spent a week with him. He spent all day at home. He wasn’t gullible, opening and closing the door was a nice trick, though. He was going to make this as difficult on the nerd as possible. He wasn’t leaving the crate until Deku had to show his true colours and drag him out.

But Izuku never came. Katsuki waited forever, but Deku’s footsteps were non existent. He couldn’t even hear the nerd stomping around the kitchen. He must have been on the couch, the TV was still on. That made sense. Katsuki rolled over and waited some more. Still no Izuku. A sick sort of feeling started welling up in Katsuki. What if he really was gone? Katsuki had to look, just to make sure he was there.

He wasn’t. Katsuki rushed to the living area to look and Deku wasn’t.

He felt sick. Somewhere along the way the idea of Deku hitting him had filtered away into nothing, but leaving him? Leaving him to starve all alone in the house? Abandoning him? What if he wasn’t coming back?

Suddenly he was back with the lady who wore too much perfume, no food, no water, just a messy empty house that stunk of sh*t and piss. He could hear the other dogs talking, saying how he was the smallest and the newest and she wouldn’t care so much if he disappeared. And could feel their jaws catching his collar and ripping the flimsy little thing as he dove for a door that hadn’t been opened in days.

He couldn't-no he wouldn’t do it again. He wouldn’t wait for Deku until to come back and then do it all over again. He needed out, needed food, needed to calm down, needed Deku to come back. D*mmit , d*mmit, d*mmit, he hated Deku. He hated, hated, hated him.

Somewhere along the line Katsuki had wandered from the kitchen area back to the living room, knocking something rubbery with his foot. It rattled. What was that? He sniffed it. It smelled like food. Katsuki was on it in an instant. Whatever the thing was, it was chewy and tasted vaguely like something amazing. He couldn’t stop licking it, wanting more of that taste. Eventually he rolled it over and under it was a piece of kibble. Whatever nonsense this was, Katsuki was unbelievably desperate to make it happen faster. He was desperate, he needed food, needed this stupid thing to stop tasting so good and just have actual kibble and feed him. He wrestled with it for at least an hour, getting all the pieces out and snapping them up quickly, then he lay down with the rubbery ball and proceeded to get every last hint of that delicious flavour off of it.

The distraction had been nice, almost soothing, but as soon as it was done Katsuki was aware once more that he was alone. All the anxiety came flooding back, harder and faster and more extreme with each passing moment. He was desperate, desperate for food, for safety, or Deku to be back. Deku. Deku who did this. He HATED deku. He hated him for making him feel safe, for making him break his rules, for making him think he was safe. He hated him. He HATED him.

In a fit of rage Katsuki grabbed the closest thing that smelled like deku, a blanket draped over the couch. Dragging it onto the floor he tore into it, snarling and biting at it, giving it all the hate he had for the stupid nerd. Somewhere along the line he heart a rip but he didn’t care. He felt strong and in control and not so scared anymore. He wanted to do it again, find something else to hurt. He went for the bedroom. He couldn’t reach the bed, but he found a shirt laying on the floor. That would do. That would do wonderfully. With Deku’s safe, homely scent fresh in his nose Katsuki ripped the thing to shreds. It was satisfying. He was satisfied.

Katsuki continued to terrorize anything he could think of. The toilet paper met a grisly doom, the dish cloth saw its last day and when he started feeling hungry again the trash was dumped over and picked through. By the time evening rolled around the apartment was thoroughly abused, and Katsuki had retreated back to the crate to sleep off the exhaustion of his rampage.

Chapter Text

Izuku pulled his cap down low as he made his way down street. He usually tried to hide his hair, since it had become so emblematic of his heroics. It was weird being so much in the public eye, there were whole articles dedicated just to his hair, or his biceps or whatever else someone decided was important. The were like vultures, picking him apart and devouring every aspect of him they could get their hands on. He imagined they’d find out about Katsuki soon. Actually, it was a miracle they hadn't already. Izuku owed a lot to the locals who were familiar enough to let him slide with just a nod and a smile. They seemed to understand just how human he was, and let him get his groceries in peace. And when he was on the job? Well, then it could be kind of fun sometimes.

Izku had to admit that being back at work had been nice. He enjoyed catching up on paperwork for the week, but being out in the suit, meeting fans, and mentoring young future heroes always made him feel proud and gave him the energy to handle long patrols and boring paperwork--not that he’d gotten much paperwork done. All day Izuku had been constantly pulling out his phone and show everyone the videos; word got around fast. Everyone would coo and squeal and beg to be allowed to meet Katsuki in person. The little guy was the new hit in the agency. The interns had practically gotten on their knees to beg Izuku to bring him in to the agency for a day. By the end of it all Izuku couldn’t wait to get home and have some time to himself. Not that he didn’t feel like a proud parent, it was just such a shift to go from just him and Katsuki back to the entirety of Musutafu.

Izuku practically ran up the stairs, having to put effort into not full cowling to the door. The few minutes it would save him weren’t all that important, but constantly having to talk about Katsuki at work kept him keenly aware that the pup was waiting for him. He fumbled with the keys, wondering if Katsuki would be there to great him, or something much worse.

“Katsuki I’m ho-”

It was something much worse. To his right, garbage was strewn all over the kitchen and across into the living room. Walking further in, Deku could see his All Might blanket on the floor of the living area. It looked worse for wear, roughed up and with All Might almost beheaded. Izuku felt his frustration rise. Of course Katsuki would rip up the one thing he liked. It couldn’t be the ugly throw pillows Yaoyorozu had given him, it had to be the gift from Toshinori.

“Katsuki?”

Obviously this had been his doing. Izuku had prepared himself to find out Katsuki hadn’t done well being home alone, but apparently not enough, because he felt his shoulders falling under the heaviness of an anything but relaxing night. And, if he was honest, he was disappointed. Katsuki had everything he would need, taken what steps he could have to see that Katsuki would do alright. He wanted to be successful, wanted a positive reaction from Katsuki.

Izuku headed for the hallway, catching sight of the shredded toilet paper trailing from the bathroom out into the hallway. What more had the little brat gotten into? Izuku popped his head in, searching through the sea of toilet paper.

“Katsuki? You in here bud?”

Apparently not. Izuku went for the bedroom. Straight across the room was the shirt he’d worn for his jog that morning, or what was left of it. The thing looked a lot worse than All Might. And there, cowering in the corner of his crate was the culprit.

Izuku didn’t exactly know what to do in the given situation. He was frustrated, of course. Definitely not happy with what Katsuki had done, but also very aware of his instructions. He was supposed to reward good behavior, not punish the bad. But this seemed like the sort of thing he should at least tell Katsuki was not good? But with the way Katsuki was hiding from him it kind of seemed like he already knew.

“Hi Katsuki,” Izuku turned away from the dog, just sitting on his bed and keeping the crate in his peripheral vision. Talking to Katsuki had always worked before, and by now it was becoming secondhand to Izuku. If he couldn’t do anything about the behavior he could at least get a free therapy session...from his dog.

“Did you get bored today?” Izuku paused. He knew it was stupid to expect Katsuki to answer, but he felt like he should.

“Were you scared I left?”

When Izuku heard the shifting of something against the crate and the soft jingle of the dog tags bouncing against each other in a way that sounded pathetically indignant.

Apparently Izuku was turning into one of those weird dog parents because he was having conversations with his dog and thought his dog was trying to pretend he wasn’t scared when he was left alone. It was absurd and entirely coming from Izuku, which left brain was very aware of, but the only thing right brain could come up with was ‘puppy sad you left. Feel bad for puppy’.

“It’s okay to be scared, Katsuki,” Izuku slid off the bed, sitting cross legged and leaning against it. There was a sad sort of shuffle from the crate that sounded, to Izuku, an awful lot like reluctant acknowledgement.

Izuku pondered for a moment, with the symptoms of food insecurity and the stories his documentation told, it would make sense for Katsuki to have some abandonment issues--Right brain was taking that real hard. But, and Izuku felt bad for feeling a little bit delighted at the thought, it meant that Katsuki at least wanted him around more than he wanted to be left alone. All things considered, that was pretty flattering for Izuku.

“I’m sorry I left you. I didn’t think you’d be so worried. Did your other owners leave you?”

No response.

“But I have to go to work. I don’t know how to make you feel safe while I’m gone, but we have to think of something.”

So Izuku started brainstorming. It beat cleaning up trash, and he felt like he needed to make it up to Katsuki for scaring him into the temper tantrum in the first place. So, with hand rubbing chin, phone already pulling up articles and a reluctant pup hiding a few feet away, he started doing what he did best....muttering.

Most articles suggested to do what he’d already done, leave the TV on and have some toys available to distract with. Additionally, some suggested leaving clothing with his scent for Katsuki. He supposed he’d kind of done that, although he didn’t like the idea of getting his clothing shredded everyday. Something else that seemed helpful was the advice to find a word or cue for Katsuki that would let him know that Izuku would return. He’d have to think of how he’d communicate that to Katsuki, but it seemed like a good idea. Perhaps Katsuki already knew a word like that, maybe like he responded so well to Izuku telling him where or how he was going to touch him, using words like collar or leash. There was a chance that he just needed to find the word Katsuki would associate with him going and coming back.

So caught up in his muttering as he was, Izuku almost failed to notice Katsuki, who had adjusted to lay his head on the floor outside the crate and was watching him intently. Katsuki’s movement had disturbed some of the blankets in the crate and one was laying partially outside the crate. Well, it wasn’t really a blanket, more like the rest of his massacred shirt.

Izuku’s heart went all fluttery inside as he regarded the forlorn looking pup. Big puppy eyes watched him intently, the permanent frown Katsuki wore looking far less severe. The dog that not even a week ago would have nothing to do with him had missed him so much he’d been cuddling with a piece of his shirt. The dirty house and ruined blanket suddenly weren’t half as bad. Deku could clean up the messes and his mom would help him sew the blanket. The shirt wasn’t that important anyway, let Katsuki keep it. Izuku just wanted to scoop up the little pup and cuddle him for hours. He knew he’d never get away with it so he settled for a promise to himself that if Katsuki ever let him someday, he’d do it.

“I promise I will never leave you. Wherever I go I’ll come back, okay?”

Izuku knew it was probably stupid, but while speaking he slowly moved his hand closer, letting it sit palm open with fingers slightly bent a few inches away from Katsuki. He’d figured Katsuki would tell him to stop or at least get upset, but the pup just eyed him warily if not a little tiredly. Then, as delicately as could be, he shuffled forward, extended his neck out, and gave the tiniest of licks to Izuku’s fingers before retreating all the way back into the crate.

Chapter Text

Izuku almost couldn’t believe what had happened. Katsuki, shy, moody Katsuki had given him a kiss. It was like being blessed by an angel. Izuku was walking on air. Whatever change had come over Katsuki, Izuku was here for it. And honestly? Clean up didn’t take that long anyway, the dish towel he found buried in his takeout boxes was ugly anyway. He didn’t even really care for that shirt, better that Katsuki got rid of it for him. His mom needed a good excuse to see him, and if she came over she could meet Katsuki.

He just needed to get Katsuki comfortable with him leaving. They’d try again tomorrow. In the meantime, Izuku wanted food. Katsuki’s timed feeder had gone off with no sign of the pup so Izuku set to digging through old leftover containers, calling for Katsuki as he did.

It took a nit for the sound of little feet to be heard, but eventually Katsuki sheepishly made his way over. He gave a curious tilt to his head, eyeing the contraption that was not his usual bowl.

“Go on,” Izuku coaxed.

Katsuki looked like he needed more convincing.

“It’s a timed feeder, Kat. It’s so you’ll always have food if I’m ever stuck on a job or have to do an overnighter.”

Katsuki turned his skeptical eyes on Izuku, asking a question Izuku couldn’t quite make out.

“Go ahead,” He said, hoping that Katsuki just wanted more encouragement.

He didn’t seem particularly thrilled with Izuku’s response, but he dug in anyway. And with their nightly ritual back on schedule, Izuku dug into his meal and thought about where he would take Katsuki tonight.


 

They ended up cutting the walk short when Katsuki was nearly bowled over by an over excited poodle in the park. Luckily the bounding creature was too excited to stay put, or Katsuki may have murdered it on the spot. Either way, the little guy was worked up and clearly in need of some winding down time, so Izuku turned them around and they headed back.

Izuku spend the return journey musing over Katsuki’s social life. He’d been pretty isolated in the shelter and as far as he could tell he was pretty touchy around other dogs. He wondered if he’d ever get Katsuki calm enough where he could introduce him to Eijiro.

Eiji was a large, red husky. Over affectionate and incredibly energetic, he was an interesting match with his stoic owner, but Shouto loved him dearly. Izuku could easily imagine Eiji bowling Katsuki over like the poodle in the park. Katsuki was so ill-tempered when it came to other dogs, but maybe Eiji, being the obliviously happy dog he was, wouldn’t mind if Katsuki was so touchy. Maybe the good natured husky would have a positive effect on Katsuki. He’d have to talk to Shouto about a future puppy date.

Back at the apartment complex, they ascended the stairs and Izuku fumbled with the keys and they shuffled inside. Katsuki no longer had to be dragged inside like the first day or two, which Izuku appreciated. Not being brave enough to try the harness yet, Izuku had continued with the leash. He felt awful dragging Katsuki around by the neck. The barely visible slack Katsuki now left in the leash and his willingness to get close enough for Izuku to remove it were small victories that eased his guilt. He just didn’t think Katsuki was ready to be manhandled into the harness, but he didn’t want to strangle his dog either.

Back in the apartment, Izuku settled on the couch and called his mother to ask about the blanket. Katsuki plopped down on the pillow bed with a sigh.

They sat like that until bedtime, Izuku chatting with his mother and Katsuki watching the road, ears turned back to listen attentively to Izuku’s conversation. His mom was happy to hear that things had progressed so much with Katsuki, and he didn’t quite have the heart to rat out his new roommate to his mom.

“I just got caught in it and fell. It ended up tearing pretty badly,” He lied.

“It’s an easy fix, darling. Don’t worry. It’s the perfect excuse for me to come see my furry grandchild,” She teased.

“Mom! It’s so weird when you call him that. He’s more like a roommate...that I have to take care of...like a child.”

His mother laughed, humoring him.

“I’ll be over soon to help with the blanket and meet your new roommate.”

Chapter Text

Katsuki didn’t know why he did it. He never ‘gave kisses’ once he’d grown out of that stupid, excitable puppy stage. The lady who wore too much perfume used to stick her face close to his and demand he ‘gave mommy kisses’; But he never obliged. Giving Deku a kiss certainly hadn’t been part of the plan when he’d been abandoned for who knows how long. But he’d just been so worn out. Once he’d woken up from that nap and not felt half so angry he’d felt so bad about it all and hadn’t been able to rest. His anxiety had bubbled up in a much less angry way and suddenly he’d just wanted Deku. He’d wanted him back and wanted Deku to hurry up and be mad at him so he could stop feeling so bad about it all, so he’d grabbed the stupid shirt and tried to sleep and felt himself grow sicker and sicker with dread. In the end Deku hadn’t sounded so mad. In the end Deku apologized. Katsuki didn’t know what to do with that. Katsuki just felt so much that day and been so overcome with a whirlwind of emotions that when Deku said those things...it just...felt right.

Deku had promised. No one ever promised him anything. He was a pet. He was disposable. He was going to be disposed and then the green nerd showed up and now Katsuki had been promised he would never be left alone again, and the weight of the collar around his neck and the tags on his chest felt like a binding to that promise. Maybe tomorrow he’d hate Deku again, maybe it would all be a lie, but right now the promise felt good. Sitting on his pillow bed, watching the city and listening to Izuku talk about stupid nothings with his mom felt good.

Katsuki slept well that night.


 

Izuku probably hadn’t expected for Katsuki to go from destroying his house every time he left to waiting by the door when he arrived at the end of the day, so Katsuki didn’t. He didn’t rip up anything else out of the goodness of his heart and he maybe perked up a little whenever he heard someone near the door, but he figured that was all he was obligated to do. It wasn’t like the fear just went away, Katsuki still felt little trills of panic whenever he remembered Deku was gone. He’d started taking Deku’s workout clothes around the house with him whenever it started getting bad. It helped him remember what Deku promised. Besides, if Deku didn’t care about him at least he cared about the stupid all might stuff (yeah, the nerd had some stupid obsession with the guy. It was creepy. There was a shrine in the bedroom and everything). Deku had gotten him some more of those toys with the kibble and the good tasting stuff, which also helped distract him as well. It also relieved his fear when Deku explained the odd food bowl to him. Maybe that was the the thing that made him believe Deku the most. Deku wouldn’t not care and still made sure he got fed. And that was kind of a lot for Katsuki to handle. Rule number one was being thrown in his face, rules number 2 and 3 ripped from his paws and tossed aside. Katsuki couldn’t justify both his rules and his experiences with Deku, one would have to go and right now Deku was putting up a fight. The whole thing was very overwhelming and Katsuki preferred to just bottle it up and stuff it away in favor of enjoying his toys or the smell of Deku’s All Might gym shorts.


 

Katsuki considered himself very aware and very on top of things, but when another two weeks of living with Deku flew by and he hardly noticed he found himself surprised. Somewhere in the span of two weeks Katsuki’s world had been flipped on its head and honestly it was pretty okay. Deku was still an nerd, Katsuki was still not going to indulge him in his ‘happy friendly dog baby’ fantasy, he still got nervous about being left alone and he still didn’t fully believe it was all real, but it was starting to feel like home.

Katsuki found himself quite attached to his and Deku’s small rituals. He liked the consistency. He liked feeling like things were in control. He wasn’t attached to Deku and he didn’t like being told to sit. Oh yes. Deku wasn’t satisfied with getting the honor and privilege of clipping his leash, he needed to get Katsuki to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ too. Katsuki wasn’t f*cking dumb. He’d gone to puppy school. He knew those commands...he just wasn’t going to take them from the green nerd (dumb wishy washy push over couldn’t even see his mom for two minutes without crying. Like hell Katsuki was going to listen to him).

Oh, and there was his mother.

When Deku’s mother first came over it was clear to see where Deku got his stupid eyes and stupid hair and stupid babyface from, but luckily the stupidity seemed to be a paternal trait. She was a squat woman, laugh lines showed a life spent in merriment. She was soft spoken and wandered about the apartment with hardly a sound. When Deku introduced her to him she gave him a little bow, remarking that she was happy to meet her new grandson. Both Katsuki and Deku had balked at that, Deku frantically explaining that Katsuki was not at all like his kid and more like his roommate, while Katsuki’d snarled out all the reasons the nerd would never be his ‘dad’. Inko had seemed to find it amusing and just nodded. She’d agreed to go by Auntie Inko after a bit of flustered begging by Deku.

It took Katsuki a while to forgive her for the ‘grandma’ thing (that was weird and he hated it) but she gave him lots of treats and never tried to pet him so he figured she could be worse.

Now she came over frequently. At first Katsuki found it off putting. He and Deku had a schedule and she was not part of it. Still, he supposed the nerd would starve if it wasn’t for his mother constantly bringing over pre-made meals, and Katsuki usually got some extra treats out of the deal. If she was stopping by for dinner then she would join Katsuki and Deku on their walk. The pace was usually leisurely and Katsuki would find himself sticking close to Auntie Inko, just in case something were to happen and she need him. Deku seemed to think it was funny, which was insulting. Auntie was old and the walk might exhaust her. Who knew what could happen, plus Deku was useless, so the task obviously fell to him. When she found out he spent his days alone, she made it a point to stop by and visit him whenever she was close to that side of the city. Katsuki liked those times. It was a comfort to have someone so motherly yet unoppressive around to begin with, and with his unease in the empty apartment he came to appreciate her in his own emotionally stunted way.


 

With the majority of Katsuki’s exposure to Deku’s friends and family being from Inko, Katsuki was ill prepared for the evening when Round face appeared at the apartment door. Apparently Deku was too, because upon opening the door he immediately dropped forty IQ points.

“Ah! Uraraka! What are you doing here? I mean, uh, what brings you here?”

Gosh, the nerd was useless.

“Hi Deku! Mind if I come in?”

Having met Round face once before, Katsuki could easily say he liked Deku’s mother better. Auntie Inko was quiet and peaceful, while Deku’s bubbly friend was...bubbly.

“Oh! Sure. Me and Katsuki were just sitting around.”

Plus it was exhausting enough dealing with Deku’s stupidity without his stupid crush. Deku practically had hearts in his eyes when he even so much as talked about her...which he did…a lot. The nerd was smitten, and going by the nervous energy radiating off of her, Katsuki assumed Round Face felt the same. Therefore, this whole fiasco that was ruining his night and was not his Auntie coming to sneak him food when Deku wasn’t looking was annoying as hell.

“Alright,” Round face was saying with an unnecessary amount of determination.

Whatever was about to happen to deku would be good. She suddenly spun around to face Katsuki

“So you’re the one who's been stealing all of Deku’s time!”

What the f*ck? F*ck off. Deku was his human! She was the one stealing Deku-and-Katsuki time!

“Which means you’re going to behave tonight, because we’re going out. “

“Uh, Uraraka,” Deku nervously butted in, “I don’t think that’s such a good idea, you see-”

“Nonsense!” Ururaka grabbed the harness off the wall where Izuku had left it hanging. “Let’s go. Katsuki is getting some social training and you’re getting out of your apartment. Come Katsuki.”

Like hell he was listening to her, she could f*ck off back to wherever she came from.

“Uhm Uraraka He doesn’t use that and I don’t think he would--”

“I said come Katsuki.”

D*mmit. Fine.

Deku’s mouth was agape, so Katsuki felt slightly more happy with giving in.

“Good boy. Now sit.”

Nuh-uh. He came. He wasn’t doing anything el--

Sit, Katsuki.”

Round Face had balls, he could give her that.

“Good boy, Katsuki. Harness time!”

If even a pinky lingered longer than necessary to get that d*mn thing on he would take her whole hand.

“Alright, grab your stuff and let's go,” Uraraka said, straightening up and turning back to Deku.

While Katsuki was not thrilled with this turn of events, Deku’s eyebrows were missing somewhere in his hairline and his jaw was helping him catch flies, and it was delightfully funny to Katsuki.

It was much harder to act like you didn’t like nor care for going anywhere when you couldn’t just sit back on your haunches and make the humans drag you along by your lead, Katsuki decided. The harness made it so his lead clipped between his shoulder blades, which meant whenever he tried to pull back Uraraka could just tug him over and he’d have to go with it in order to keep himself from being pulled off his feet. He did not like this. If he tried keeping the leash taught while he walked the lead would sit on his head, rubbing around his ears annoyingly. In the end he was forced to keep pace with the two oblivious nerds, leaving enough slack so he could walk without any interference from the leash. Round Face would pay for this.

They ended up at a bar of sorts. The place was small, but mostly free of patrons. There was just a large table near the back where a group of people were sitting. They waved and cheered when Deku and Round Face walked in. F*ck.

Half ‘n Half was there. Next to him was clearly an nerd, a human with bright blond hair and a lightning bolt dyed onto one side. Sat close to his side was the most subdued of the noisy nerds, her hair was purple with a squiggly white line in her hair too. Oddly enough, she had weird things dangling from her ears. There was a guy with a birdhead and one with crazy purple hair that was wearing a big scarf indoors (weirdo). Next to them was a large man with glasses who was sitting like someone had shoved a stick up his *ss, and judging by the overly formal greetings he was practically shouting (turn it down a notch, glasses, we can all hear you) he might’ve actually had one up there. There was also a girl with green hair and big eyes, but not like Deku’s. They were much odder, kind of animal like, but not something Katsuki could put his paw on.

Round Face and Deku were walking over, which meant Katsuki had no choice but to get closer too. Oh god he was going to have to be near these nerds. What if they tried to pet him or, god forbid, pick him up? They looked stupid enough to try. And if their hands didn’t get him they’d at least make him go deaf with how loudly they were chatting. Katsuki hated it. He and Deku had been in crowds a lot, at the park, on the streets and even at a market or two so Katsuki was used to having people all around and a lot of the noise, but these people were focused on him and Deku and he didn’t like all the attention. He could feel their eyes on him and Round Face pulled both him and Deku over to the empty chairs where she handed the leash back to Deku.

“Be nice to Katsuki, okay guys?” She looked around the table. “He doesn’t like petting and stuff so leave him be.”

What the hell? He didn’t need Round face standing up for him! (maybe she wasn’t so bad).

“Aww. Are you sure?” Dumb blond was leaning down, hand outstretched.
Aw hell no. Katsuki let him know what he thought of that. Dumb Blond pulled his hand back and Katsuki relaxed. Dumb Blond moved his hand out again and Katsuki told him what he thought of that again. Once more, Dumb Blond moved his hand back and Katskui relaxed. Then he did it again and Katsuki seethed. This was not cute, it was not a game. He would wipe that stupid grin off of that idiot looser’s face. Before he got the chance Long Ears was pulling the idiot back.

“Stop messing with him,” She scolded.

He liked her.

Eventually Katsuki settled himself under Deku’s chair, avoiding swinging feet and eager stares from Deku’s nerd brigade as he went. Apparently they were old classmates or some sh*t. They kept going on about ‘UA’, whatever that was. Judging by their discussions, they were all heroes like Deku. They talked about boring stuff for forever, Katsuki was bored out of his mind. He couldn’t even get in a nap with all the noise. He was relieved when Deku finally made some excuse about needing to get to bed early and started moving his chair back. Katsuki quickly darted out from underneath it, eager to take his leave of the stupid place. Goodbyes were exchanged, several tossed Katsuki’s way, and Deku and Round Face made their exit, Katsuki trotting behind them.

The walk back was slow and full of Deku and Round Face being being mushy and oblivious. Katsuki tried to get them to pick up the pace but they were hopeless. God, he hated young love.

When they made it back, Deku undid the leash and carefully explained he was going to undo the harness. Katsuki just rolled his eyes and let him do his thing. What did it matter? Round Face had already manhandled the d*mn thing on, might as well let the nerd get it off. Once he was free he took a moment to shake, ridding himself of the feeling of the hardness flattening his fur, and wandered into the apartment.

“What a good boy, Katsuki,” Round Face cooed.

Of f*cking course he was. Katsuki was the best boy. Still, he indulged in the compliment just a little.

“Ohhhh, did your tail just wiggle a little, buddy? Are you happy you’re such a good boy?” She teased.

Like hell! He never wagged his tail. He’d just felt something weird and twitched it a little to brush it away!

“In your dreams, Pink Cheeks!” He barked back.

“Awwww. Is that so?” She leaned down, putting her hands on her knees.
“Yeah it is so!” He shouted, moving into her space and getting right up in her face.

“You like me, don’t you?”

“Do not!”

“Awww, you’re just too cute.”

“AM NOT!”

“Uraraka! You’re winding him up,” Izuku chided.

Round Face laughed, straightening back up. “He’s so cute. I think he likes me.”

Like hell he liked her. Dumb bossy Pink-Cheeked flirt. He tolerated her.

“Well, he does listen to you. I don’t think he’s ever sat for me before, unless he knew he’d get a treat out of it. He also almost never wags his tail or barks when I talk to him so maybe he really does like you. Perhaps it’s just your character since you are a natural leader and confident in instructing others or maybe he has an affinity towards females due to some past traumatic experiences. Still, his positive reactions towards you show that he responds well to what you’re doing with him which is mostly-”

“Deku, you’re mumbling again.”

Good lord, it was so domestic Katsuki could barf.

Chapter Text

Apparently on the walk back last night someone had gotten a photo of Izuku and Uraraka with Katsuki. It was all over the news that the two secret lovers were raising a furry child together. Izuku was humiliated. Not because it was Uraraka. Honestly he wouldn’t mind if the story was true, he’d been smitten with her since UA, it was just that something so blown up and in the news could ruin anything they might have ever had going for them and he was worried she’d pull away. He shouldn’t be, honestly. Uraraka was the strongest of them all. She had a good head on her shoulders and could see through the lies and manipulation of the press from a mile away. She had a confidence about her that hadn't been present in their younger years, too. She had grown into a natural leader, showing grace and kindness to all but always standing her ground. She was beautiful too. Izuku had always admired her in UA and it felt like since then she’d only become more of the things he admired her for. And the way she’d handled his impossible little dog was kind of amazing and hot and cute and oh gosh.

Honestly he should invite her over to help him get Katsuki’s teeth brushed. The pup was still adamantly against being touched more than absolutely necessary, but he seemed just fine with Uraraka manandling him, if not a bit shocked she’d even tried. He could see if she’d stay for dinner and maybe some TV. Definitely not a date, just two friends hanging out. It would all be for Katsuki’s sake, most definitely.

When he asked her she seemed thrilled. She squealed and bounced up and down and spent the whole of their patrol discussing what they could do with Katsuki.

I’ve been thinking,” She rambled, “Katsuki moved us pretty far up the popularity polls. You should make him an instagram. He’d be famous! The fans would love it!”

“That’s a good idea. I think I know what to call it too.”

All the teasing he was getting aside, Izuku’s popularity was skyrocketing, and with Uraraka so unfazed by it all, the whole thing was working in his favor. Spending so much time with KAtsuki had reduced Deku’s hero work quite a bit over the past month. He could use the boost in popularity while he continued to get Katsuki fully acclimated to his new life.


 

“Good boy, Katsuki, Good boy,” Uraraka kept saying in a light, singsongy voice.

She was holding Katski still between her legs where she sat on the ground, using both her hands to keep his head in place while Izuku pried his mouth open and ran the toothbrush over his teeth. He was growling and jerking his head back and forth, but his hackles weren’t raised and he didn’t appear to be afraid.

Izuku was still amazed at the speed with which Katsuki gave in to Uraraka. She was incredibly patient with him, not petting or coddling him, just holding him still and leaving him be once the whole thing was done. Katsuki seemed rather frazzled after the whole procedure, looking at Izuku with betrayal in his eyes as he continually licked his teeth, trying to remove the odd taste from his mouth.

“You’re amazing,” Izuku muzed.

“What was that?” Uraraka turned to face him.

Izuku flushed. He hadn’t meant to say that outloud.

“Oh! It’s just that you handle him so well. He just does whatever you say.”

Uraraka laughed, a beautiful sound.

“It’s because I say it like I mean it, Deku. I don’t mean to be rude, but you’re too soft on him. He needs someone to be a leader for him. Especially with all the trauma he went though, he needs an alpha. It’ll help him feel safe.”

Izuku was impressed.

“Where did you learn that?”

Now it was Uraraka’s turn to blush. “I was just doing some research. You and Shouto talk about Katsuki all the time during breaks so I figured it’d be good to know how to help.”

Be still his beating heart. She was amazing.


Uraraka ended up leaving shortly after the teeth brushing fiasco, getting a call for a rescue mission that needed heavy lifting. Izuku decided to come as well, even though he hadn’t received a call. The two suited up and Izuku got out the emergency ‘distract Katsuki’ toys he kept for cases like this. They both said their farewells to the pup and headed for the action.

A building on the other side of Mustafu had collapsed during construction, a beam meant to hold the building upright giving out. Luckily no one was inside the building, but it had struck the apartment complex next door. Jirou was already on scene, listening for sounds of trapped citizens. Uraraka went to join her. Izuku looked around for anywhere else that might have suffered damage. It looked to be fairly centralized to the apartment building. Good. Law enforcement was already making a perimeter around the area and several heros were helping people out of the damaged building, towards medics and healing heroes. Izuku got to work clearing rubble and lifting the elderly, young and injured to safety. Overhead Uraraka was floating larger bits of rubble off to the side, careful not to disturb anything that could cause more damage.

In no time, the crisis was over. Uraraka and a team were working to stabilize the two buildings enough for repairs to be made and heroes were clearing the last of the rubble away. Deku stopped to check in with a few tenants, making sure they knew where they could go for shelter and food until their homes could be repaired and the area safe for living again. A few asked for pictures or autographs and Deku gave them gladly. A little girl even asked him about his puppy. He told her Katsuki was well and had just learned to get his teeth brushed. She seemed to find that funny.

Leaving a statement with the police, he swung by the agency to grab the necessary paperwork for the evening. Shouto popped his head into the office.

“I thought you were off.”

“Incident on the east edge of Mustafu. Nothing big, no casualties.”

“Ah. It was good to see you out the other night. The press liked it too.”

“Oh yeah. As you can see, me and my secret lover are very fulfilled in our furry lovechild’s upbringing.”

Shouto snorted. “Any chance your furry lovechild and mine could meet up soon?”

“Yeah, I think Katsuki might be ready for that. What did you have in mind?”

“A public space neither of them are too familiar with would probably be good. How about the small park a few blocks down from here? There’s a new Soba place close by. I think they allow pets.”

“Sure thing. When works for you?”

“Probably around seven tomorrow if you’re okay with last minute?”

“Sounds good to me. I’d better get back to Katsuki.”

Shouto smiled and waved goodbye. Izuku was out the door, papers in hand.


 

While Katsuki still refused to greet Izuku at the door, he was in the living room when Izuku came in and perked up upon seeing him.

“Hi Kat. Sorry about that.”

Katsuki huffed and went back to wrestling with the Kong toy.

Izuku let him have it for the rest of the night. The fuzzball earned it.


 

Katsuki didn’t seem to care too much when Izuku told him he was using the harness, just huffed and stood there. Izuku wrestled him in one paw at a time and clipped the leash. They were running a bit late to meet with with Shouto and Ejiro. A common criminal had turned into quite the fiasco earlier in the day, and both Shouto and Izuku had to spend hours dealing with the mess. It was close to eight now and Izuku had only just made it back to pick up Katsuki.

They ended up taking a cab, apparently Kastuki was above the weight limit for dogs on the train--something Deku hadn’t even thought to consider. Katsuki hadn’t been in a car since their first day, although he did rather well. He sat patiently, watching the city through the window. When they finally made it to the park Katsuki plopped down next to Izuku’s feet, using the shade he provided to cool down in the warm spring air. A car pulled up a bit aways and Izuku stood. Shouto was crowding the back door to his car, messing with something inside. He finally pulled back, leash in hand, and out bounded Ejiro.

The big red husky’s tongue lolled out of his mouth as he caught sight of Izuku and bounded over. SHouto was leaning heavily against the leash, trying to to keep Ejiro from running into Izuku.

“Hi buddy!” Izuku called.

Ejiro was overjoyed. He let out a soft, playful bark and hopped up to lay his paws on Izuku’s shoulders, offering plenty of kisses.

“Ejiro! Down!” Shouto scolded.

Ejiji didn’t seem to mind being told off. He removed himself, and spotting Katsuki, threw himself down in front of him like an overgrown puppy. Katsuki snarled, backing himself up as far as the leash would let him. Ejiro seemed to think this was some sort of play and made to follow. Shouto pulled hard on his leash, keeping Ejiro from doing so.

“Sit, Eji.”

Ejiro sat, but didn’t take his eyes off of the smaller dog, tail waving furiously. Izuku went to stand by Katsuki, giving him a slack leash once more.

“Go on, Kat. He’s just being friendly.”

Katsuki did not look convinced, but he went over and and gave the big husky a wary sniff. The dog was overjoyed, immediately standing and crowding into Katsuki’s space. Katsuki snarled, snapping at him. Before Izuku could scold him or pull him back, Shouto reassured him.

“It’s okay. He’s just setting his boundaries.”

Izuku nodded, watching as Ejiro readjusted his posture, no longer practically on top of the smaller dog. Katsuki moved to Ejiro’s flank, sniffing his rear in way of greeting, or so everyone said dogs did. Ejiro leaned around to do the same to Katsuki. After a bit Katsuki turned and snapped at the husky, clearly telling him it was enough. Ejiro didn’t seem off put by the behavior, tongue lolling out and tail still going furiously. It was pretty adorable, big easy going Ejiro and his new tiny, grumpy friend. Shouto seemed to think so too, because the sound of a shutter click could be heard and Katsuki glared at him.

“Let’s take them on a quick walk,” Shouto suggested as he put his phone back in his pocket.


 

For most of the short walk Ejiro would get excited, crowd Katsuki, get told off, and move away. He never quite seemed to get Katsuki’s warnings, always repeating the same thing and getting the same threatening snaps or growls, which he accepted with good natured ease.

Katsuki and Ejiro took the lead, both attentive to each other and their humans behind them. Shouto and Izuku chatted idly about the days events and Katsuki’s Instagram, which had blown up overnight. The only thing on it was a picture of Uraraka taking a selfie with Katsuki glaring into the camera beside her, but ‘Lord Explosion Murder” was already sitting pretty at 600k followers.

“I told you he’d be great for publicity,” Shouto joked.

“He’s a regular charmer,” Izuku agreed.

At that moment Ejiro got too close to Katsuki, how snarled and clacked his teeth at the other dog.

Chapter Text

“I said back off, Fur for Brains!”

“Oh sorry! But anyway that’s how Shouto became my human! Pretty great huh?”

“I don’t care how you and Half ‘n Half met, back the f*ck up. Your breath f*cking stinks.”

The the overgrown doofus really could not take a hint. He stunk like the car had on the first day, which keyed Bakugou in on who he’d thought his competition was. He was made he’d ever been concerned about that because the dog before him was an absolute idiot. He couldn’t sit still for a minute, had no sense of personal space, and had absolutely no intelligence whatsoever. He’d practically ran Katsuki over when they’d first met and then flopped down like an overexcited puppy.

“Hi I’m Ejiro but you can call me Eji I’m so excited to meet you do you want to play?”

The big oaf was overwhelming. It was like he forgot to breath so he had to just spit everything out at once. Then he just assumed Katsuki was his friend. Did the guy not understand things like space, or time or thinking? When they got ended up at a restaurant, Half ‘n Half was at the counter, talking to a worker when the idiot popped himself up there too, barking at the worker. Katsuki was scandalized. The idiot would most certainly be murdered for that. If Half n” Half didn’t do it Katsuki would be happy to oblige. Only, the worker just laughed and scratched behind his ear. Why the hell were they encouraging the idiot?? They ended up at a booth, where Ejiro quickly shuffled himself under the table, laying on Half n’ Half’s feet. He encouraged Katsuki to follow.

"Come on! It’s nice down here and if you’re good they’ll give you a treat!”

Seeing nowhere else to go that didn’t involve interacting with the waiter on sitting on Deku’s lap, Katuski followed. He ended up settling down next to Izuku’s feet--hardly better than his lap--but still far enough away from the big idiot to avoid catching any contagious stupidity. The meal was rather short, which Katsuki was fine with. Ejiro was excitable and talkative, and while Katsuki mostly just let him yak on and on about whatever he thought was so amazing.

“...and I don’ t know, I just think my red fur looks really nice. He’s probably just jealous that he doesn’t get to go to a groomers. What do you think?”

“Listen, Sh*tty Fur, who cares who goes where to get their coats brushed. Your fur is fine and who cares what that f*cker thinks anyway? Don’t be so self conscious.”

And of course the idiot just took whatever he said like it was gospel.

“You’re definitely right! That’s super Alpha of you to say! And you’d know, you’re coat is amazing!”

The compliments didn’t hurt though. All things considered, it was nice to have the option of a companion. That first night that Round face had dragged them out had reminded Katsuki how lonely it was without another dog around. Even if he did get his ear talked off, Ejiro was easygoing and just took whatever Katsuki threw at him. Plus, he was right about the treat. At the end of the meal a waiter came over with two small dog biscuits. Ejiro nearly smacked his head on the table and completely trampled Half n’ Half’s feet in his attempts to get to the treat as fast as he possibly could. He ate the thing t in one go. Katsuki was much more put together, hopping over Deku’s feet and poking his head out. He wasn’t sure about approaching strangers, but if someone wouldn’t hurt Fur for Brains that probably meant he would be alright. He gently took the biscuit from the hand and retreated to his previous spot.

“I told you we’d get a treat right?!? Isn’t it awesome?!?”

“F*ck off! I’m busy. And I’m not sharing with you, Sh*tty Fur. Don’t eat your sh*t so fast, you’ll choke.”

“I can’t help it” Ejiro gave him his biggest puppy dog eyes. “They’re just so good.”

Shortly after Katsuki finished his biscuit they parted ways, Shouto taking Ejiro back to the car and Katsuki turning to follow Deku. He could hear Sh*tty Fur shouting goodbyes all the way to the car.

“By Katsuki! It was great to meet you! I’ll see you soon!!”

“Yeah, whatever.”

It was more of a threat than a goodbye. Like Katsuki would want to suffer the company of that idiot.

“What do you think, Katsuki? He good enough to be a friend?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. No, no he wasn’t. But judging by how delighted the two nerds had been he’d be seeing a lot more of the big blockhead. And stupid company was sometimes better than one.

The way back was easygoing, the train almost completely empty and the walk back quiet. They went at a slow pace and Katsuki took the time to enjoy the peaceful evening. He had imagined a life like this for so long, and it had always seemed so far away. He didn’t quite know what to think of it coming now, after so many dead ends. He hadn’t wanted Deku, actively tried to end their relationship, but now it was already getting hard to imagine life without him. Katsuki was...happy? Yes, maybe it was happiness. The fear and hurt from a hard life weren’t gone, and maybe Deku and him were still working out what it meant to live with each other, but Katsuki could call this happiness, so he did.

Chapter Text

Of course there would come a time for Katsuki when he would have to be left alone for a long period of time, Izuku knew that, but it didn’t make doing this any easier. For the last year Toshinori had been in America, helping with the fractured hero system. He’d just requested Izuku’s help, offering to fly him out for a few days time. Izuku loved the man dearly, owed him everything, so it was impossible to say no. Still, there was Katsuki to think about. Of course his mom had jumped at the chance to care for Katsuki, offering to bring him home with her, but after some discussion they’d decided Katsuki might be better off staying at the apartment, so Inko offered to stay there with him instead.

Apparently Katsuki quite enjoyed his mother, because the updates Izuku was getting were consistently positive. Katsuki listened to all the commands Auntie Inko gave him, never barked or sassed back and even let her put the harness on (Izuku had made sure to tell her over and over that she needed to tell Katsuki why she was going to touch him and what she was doing). She indulged all of his rules and reminders, probably remembering when she’d behaved the same towards various babysitters in the past. He couldn’t help feeling like a worried parent. What if Katsuki was scared Izuku wasn’t coming back? What was it doing to his dog that he was just gone for four days straight? What if Katsuki didn’t even miss him? He didn’t want to even think about that. It eased his heart a little when His mom informed him that Katsuki always slept one of his shirts.

The trip to America was great. Seeing Toshinori was even better. The four days flew by despite Izuku’s worry for his pup. Still, when the time came to be headed back, Izuku was ecstatic. Of course he hated saying goodbye to his mentor once more, but Toshinori left him with the promise of returning soon, and Izuku couldn’t wait to introduce him to his roommate.


 

“Are you sure he’s okay with it?”

“Yes. He said he’d be right over first thing in the morning. Katsuki will be fine, dear.”

“Alright mom. Thank you so much, and I’m so sorry. I’ll take you out to dinner when I get back.”

“Don’t worry, Izuku. We’ll all be just fine without you here for another day. Katsuki included. Goodbye, sweetie.”

“By mom.” I

zuku sighed, setting down his phone and throwing himself over the bed. He could leap buildings in a single bound, knock a villain out with one punch, save a hundred people all by himself, but he couldn’t change the weather. Apparently the upper west of America had these sorts of things, freak snow storms in the middle of April. It sucked. Izuku was stranded until tomorrow, stuck in an airport hotel with nothing but crappy American movies that spoke too fast for him to make complete sense of.

He’d had to call and let his agency know he’d be late and to see if his mom could stay another night. She couldn’t, having plans to visit Tokyo with a childhood friend for the next two days (Izuku had completely forgotten and he felt bad). After calling both Uraraka and Shouto and not being able to find someone to stay with Katsuki (although many apologies were offered) he’d gotten a call from his mother, who’d informed him that she’d arranged with Iida Tenya to come take care of Katsuki. Izuku was both surprised and relieved to hear the news. It was very wonderful of his mother to find someone to replace her for him, and Iida was a good friend and responsible person. No doubt he’d come home to find a clean apartment with a fully stocked kitchen (his mom’s doing) and a very well behaved Katsuki (Most likely Iida’s). Actually, if what Uraraka had said about Katsuki needing a confident authority figure were true, Iida was perfect.


 

Apparently Iida was not perfect, because Izuku finally arrived home to chaos.  Iida looked incredibly flustered when he opened the door for Izuku.

“Ah! Midoriya. Welcome home.”

Izuku greeted him in return and stepped through the door. There was dog food scattered over the kitchen floor, Katsuki’s leash and Harness were discarded in the entryway and Katsuki was standing on the coffee table in the living room. Iida turned sharply, waving his arm at Katsuki.

“Katsuki! Please remove yourself from the coffee table!”

Katsuki just barked at him, standing his ground and glaring challengingly.

“I said off! Katsuki.”

He barked again.

Izuku had not slept more than a few hours before the plane and 13 hours of sitting in a tiny seat with little leg room had done nothing to help him rest.

“Katsuki,” He said tiredly, “Off.”

Katsuki immediately hopped off the table, heading to his spilled kibble and started calmly eating.

“My apologies Midorya. I don’t think he was very happy when it turned out to be me, and not you, who arrived to replace your mother.”

Izuku gave him a tired smile.

“It’s alright Iida. I can’t think you enough for watching over him for me.”

“Gladly. But you look tired and it is important that you rest. It would be close enough to nighttime for you to sleep now without ruining your sleep schedule.”

“Even if it wasn’t, I don’t know if I could stay awake long enough to fight off the jet lag,” Izuku admitted.

Iida frowned, then nodded. “Well then, I will leave you to resting.”

With a formal bow, Iida turned to leave. Izuku returned the farewell, shutting the door behind him softly. Turning to look at Katsuki, he asked, voice heavy with exhaustion, “What was that about, Katsuki?”

Katsuki paid him no mid, moving from piece to piece of the spilled food. Izuku sighed and picked up the leash and harness. He then shuffled to the bedroom, threw down his duffle and crawled into bed. A short time later Katski patterned into the bedroom, stopping close to Izuku’s prone form.

Bark.

Izuku groaned, rolling over and opening an eye to stare at Katsuki. Bark. “What do you want?” He asked groggily.

Bark, bark bark.

“Katsuki, I’m so tired. Please not right now.”

Bark, Bark.

“Katsuki what do you want?” Izuku sat up in bed, glaring down at the small dog.

Katsuki spun around, still barking. Hopping up he put his front paws on the bed. Izuku rubbed his face in exhaustion.

“Katsuki I don’t understand what you want.”

The little dog huffed frustratedly, barking louder, continuing to lean up against the bed and hopping on his back legs. Did he want his walk? Was he trying to play? Did he want on the bed? Izuku was too tired for this. Without even thinking he grabbed Katsuki under his armpits and hoisted him onto the bed. Katsuki let out a little bark of surprise, but otherwise didn’t fight it. Setting Katsuki down on the other side of the queen sized bed, Izuku promptly rolled over and pulled the covers back on. He could hear Katsuki snuffling and felt Katsuki explore the bed, until he eventually settled down. Izuku fell asleep shortly afterwards.

Chapter Text

Glasses had a stick up his *ss and Katsuki was going to have fun with it.

Deku had been gone for three whole days and while Auntie Inko was nice, Katsuki wanted Deku back and Glasses was going to be the victim of his misery.

Izuku had told him that he was going away for four days and that Auntie Inko was going to stay with him until he came back. Well, it was day five and there was no sign of Deku and Katsuki was pissed. He’d gotten so gosh dang happy when he’d heard the door open and he’d actually run to greet the dumb nerd and of course, Glasses had the gall to walk through the door instead. No one was telling him why it was five days and Deku wasn’t here like he promised and Auntie Inko just left and he was fed up. He refused to go on his walk that night, not wanting anything to do with glasses. He hardly slept that night because the shirt he’d been sleeping with didn’t smell like Deku anymore and it wasn’t Deku in the bedroom or even Auntie Inko, it was Glasses, who he barely knew and barely tolerated. And that morning, when he’d finally let him put on the harness and go for a run, Glasses had gone too fast and ruined the whole thing. Katsuki had been too exhausted to keep watch at the door for Deku. But even after the nap Deku still hadn’t come, and he waited and waited and the bowl spit out his food and still Deku didn't come and Glasses was still being annoying.

So, Katsuki decided he was tired of just sitting and waiting. Glasses was too loud and too exacting, so Katsuki decided to get out his frustration by making Glasses frustrated instead. It was great. He started by going over and whining, begging for a walk. Once the idiot finally realized what Katsuki was after he went for the harness. Katsuki let him get almost close enough to get the gear on before dashing away. Glasses was taken aback, shouting something about ‘refusing something he’d asked for’. Katsuki did that at least twice more before snatching the leash from Glasses and running around the house with it in his mouth. Glasses chased after him. Katsuki accidently knocked over the food dish on one of his passes around the kitchen and much to Glasses’ dismay, kibble went everywhere. Katsuki was delighted. Arms waved frantically as Glasses scolded him. Dumb f*ck didn’t seem to know what an inside voice was. Katsuki ignored him, running to the coffee table and hopping up on it.

Katsuki’s first family had been adamant he not be on any furniture, so he knew what he was doing was taboo. It was hilarious watching Glasses fume, arms flailing wildly as he tried to talk Katsuki off the table. Katsuki was enjoying this game. He was just thinking of other things to work up Glasses when there was fumbling at the door. Katsuki stood at attention, eagerly waiting while Glasses went to the door.

Kastuki couldn’t even begin to describe his relief when it was Deku at the door. He shamelessly wagged his tail, but only for like a second. He had a pretence to keep up. When Deku’s eyes finished taking in the spilled kibble and harness, he finally looked at Katsuki. D*mn. They could hold a week's worth of beef sticks in the bags under those eyes. Suddenly Glasses turned on him, gesturing madly again and making more demands.

“Katsuki! Please remove yourself from the coffee table!”

“Make me!” Katsuki challenged

“I said off! Katsuki.”


“F*ck you!”

Katsuki liked challenging Glasses, this was fun.

“Katsuki,” Izuku said, sounding offly tired to Katsuki. “Off.”

Katsuki removed himself from the coffee table, making sure to look directly at Glasses as he did so. It looked like Glasses got the memo if the defeated glare he got in return said anything. Katsuki went over to his unfinished dinner and chased it around the kitchen floor.

Now that his worry was satiated, Katsuki realized just how hungry he was. He’d been eating less, somehow feeling the need to conserve food until Deku got back (It made sense in his head, okay?). He’d liked having Auntie Inko around, and Glasses was better than no one, but he really missed Deku and he only felt a little stupid for acknowledging it. And why shouldn’t he miss Deku? He liked his walks at a certain speed; Auntie Inko was too slow and Glasses was too fast. He liked going to bed at a certain time, and both Auntie and Glasses were always too early or too late. Plus Deku was always the one who handled his food. If he wasn’t there to feed him or fill the timed feeder than who would do that? Clearly it was just for utilitarian reasons that he liked having Deku around, he just liked things a certain way.

He was unapologetic when Izuku asked him about his little adventure with Glasses. If he didn’t want him messing with the nerd he should have brought Round face or Half N’ Half and Fur for Brains.

When Deku left and didn’t come back out Katsuki sulked for a while. He hadn’t got his evening walk and he hadn’t seen Deku in days. Why didn’t he get a ‘hello’, or a ‘nice to see you’? He was the one who had to wait around until Deku came back. He deserved some attention. Where was his Deku time? So, Katsuki made his way into the bedroom, walking right up to the big bed and planting himself as close to Deku’s head as possible. He wanted his attention.

“Hey!”

Izuku groaned and rolled over to face him. He cracked open an eye, but didn’t say anything. F*cking rude, if you asked Katsuki.

“Where’s my apology?”

“What do you want?” came the sleepy reply.

“The f*ck kind of response is that?”

“Katsuki, I’m so tired. Please not right now.”

“Well then wake the f*ck up!”


“Katsuki what do you want?” Izuku looked frustrated. He was running his hands over his face and had sat up. This was good. Izuku was paying attention, he liked that. He tried to get Izuku to get up so they could go on their walk, leaning up against the bed and telling Izuku to hurry up. The nerd didn’t seem to get the picture.

Katsuki I don’t understand what you want.”

Godd*mmit what part of pay attention to me was so hard. Katsuki wanted a walk! He wanted Deku to talk to him! He wanted attention. He tried once more to explain it to Izuku, using his body to emphasize his words. Surely Deku wasn’t that stupid that he wouldn’t understand. With hardly any warning Deku leaned down, scooped him up and set him on the bed beside him. Then, he promptly rolled over and went back to bed.

Kastuki was flabbergasted. He’d just been grabbed like a tiny human and deposited on the bed. Deku was just right over there, sleeping. There were two very wrong things happening here. First of all, Katsuki had just been picked up. Nobody picked him up (well not anymore). Second of all he was on a bed. He was on the bed. He’d never been allowed on one before. It was kind of like a couch, soft and springy, with pillows too. He liked it. It smelled overwhelmingly like deku, although the small hints of Auntie Inko and Glasses were there. He’d have to see to it they were removed. But for now, he wanted to just feel what it was like to be on the bed. Next to him was the human, the very human who should be yelling at him and chasing him off, scolding him for being on here, but if said human was the one who put him here then it had to be okay. So then, was he allowed on here all the time? Would Deku always pick him up to put him on the bed? There were a lot of things to work out with this whole bed thing, but right now Deku was snoring softly and it was warming up from his body heat and the rise and fall of his body as he slept was very soothing to watch. Maybe bedtime could be a little early tonight. Katsuki searched for the most comfortable place to curl up for the night, curling up and stuffing his nose deep in the blanket. He couldn’t believe he’d wasted a while night trying to sleep with a shirt that didn’t even smell like Deku when he had a whole bed that did. This was excellent.

------------------

Being rolled was a rude awakening and Katsuki returned the favor with a small nip.

“What the-?!?”

Good morning Deku, fancy trying to flatten your dog again? Katsuki glared heavily at the tousled human next to him.

“Oh, sorry Katsuki. G’morning,” Izuku mumbled as he rolled himself off the bed.
Good morning indeed. Deku should try letting a giant land on top of him to wake him up and see how good the morning was.

Deku took his sweet time getting ready for their morning jog, which annoyed Katsuki to no end. He hadn’t had a walk since like, forever and he’d been holding it for what felt like days. The dog needed a good p*ss, so hurry up please and f*ck you.

Deku was obviously in no condition for a run this morning, if his constant yawning and overly slow pace told Katsuki anything, so as soon as he’d found a suitable place to relieve himself he turned around and started heading back for the apartment.

“Hey. Katsuki, where do you think you’re going?”

Was it not obvious? The nerd needed more rest. Did he really expect to be off saving Japan with a yawn and a granola bar? The leash went taught, Deku trying to stop Katsuki.

“Katsuki, don’t you want your walk?”

F*cking idiot couldn’t even tell when Katsuki was giving him a gift. Katsuki leaned hard against the harness, throwing all his weight into the opposite direction of where Deku was wanting to go. Deku took at least five f*cking years to process this, and Katsuki was thinking of just leaving the dumb human to pass out in the street when he finally conceded at followed Katsuki back to the apartment.

Katsuki remembered hearing some of the older dogs in the shelters talking about how much work it was caring for a human, they were f*cking right. Of course he’d end up with the dumbest of the bunch. Deku took practically forever to get up the stairs and unlock the door. Katsuki pulled him inside quickly, sitting impatiently for the removal of his harness and quickly darting into the kitchen.

“Get over here and eat something real, Nerd,” he demanded.

“Coming, Katsuki,” Deku said pacifyingly.

The idiot took his sweet time wandering over, searching the kitchen for something he wasn’t finding before looking at Katsuki vacantly.

“What do you want?”

What did he f*cking think Katsuki wanted?

“For you to f*cking feed yourself you thick-skulled idiot!”

“You just ate, Katsuki. You don’t need anymore food.”

“I don’t f*cking want food, nerd. I want you to take care of yourself so I don’t end up having to break down the door and come drag you to safety when you pass out today!”

Katsuki emphasized this by leaning up against the fridge, glaring meaningfully at Deku. THe nerd was clueless, and just stared. Katsuki went to the side of the fridge, nosing it and trying to get Deku’s attention.

“Ummmm, you want something from the fridge?” Izuku opened the fridge door, looking to Katsuki questioningly.

Good. Katsuki turned away, trotting over to his pillow bed and plopping down satisfactorily. Deku was just staring at him in confusion. Did he really have to do everything?

“You eat  the things in it, genius.”

Deku raised an eyebrow, turning towards the open fridge.

“Were you trying to tell me that mom left me food?”

Close enough.

“Yeah, so f*cking eat something!”

The nerd chuckled to himself, which Katsuki resented, but he did grab a container and put it in the microwave which was the original goal. The old dogs used to say that caring for a human was gratifying, but often thankless, which Katsuki was coming to agree with. Let the dweeb think he was so special for figuring it out, just so long as he didn’t pass out at work.

Chapter Text

The interns at the agency loved Katsuki's Instagram. They thought the video of Eijiro trying to play with a very irritated looking bakugou was the best thing they'd ever seen. The selfies with Uraraka we're adorable, and all of the ones Izuku took on their walks we're so sweet. They demanded he bring Katsuki to the office for a day. Izuku was nothing if not accommodating. Most of the interns we're UA students, living in the dorms and away from any family pets they had. It made sense they'd want Katsuki around, although it was hard to get them to understand that Katsuki definitely wouldn't want pets or attention. Still, they seem satisfied with the promise of a visit from the Moody beast.

Izuku figured he'd need to bring the pillow bed and some toys to distract Katsuki while I was doing paperwork or out on patrol. He'd also need to run things by his bosses to make sure they'd be alright with him bringing his dog in the first place. Eijiro came in every once in a while when Shouto was working a half day or had a vets appointment during break, so Izuku was fairly certain Katsuki wouldn't be an issue.

He explained everything to Katsuki when he got home that night.

"You'll have to stay in my office, but the interns will come see you often enough and Uraraka will be around. If you're extra good we can go on a walk during break."

Katsuki ignored him, but Izuku didn't take offence. Katsuki liked to pretend like he didn't care what Izuku said, but the twitch of an ear or little wag of his tail was a tell that Katsuki was secretly listening.

“Alright then. Tomorrow you start your first day on the job.”

-----------------

Izuku arrived at work early, that morning. Katsuki was in tow, along with all the supplies Izuku could possibly need to keep him comfortable for the day. He’d hoped to avoid the awkward rush period where night shift heroes swapped with dayshifters, keeping Katsuki’s people time to a minimum until the half pom was more comfortable, but Izuku could see through the glass door that a few interns had already arrived. When they caught sight of him and Katsuki, they quickly came outside.

Deku himself didn’t take interns, but he was intentional about spending time with them all the same. The three coming outside were some of the most capable, promising heroes in the making. He could remember taking them out for lunch when they were still new, discussing hero techniques and stats and asking after different teachers from UA. The three of them were bright girls, eager to help him add to his notebook of stats when he’d told them about it. He probably liked them best of the current interns, although it was hard to dislike any of them.
“Oh my gosh he’s so cute,” One squealed.

“Katsuki! Aren’t you just the cutest young man!”

“Can we take a picture for his Instagram?”

True to their promises yesterday, they weren’t crowding Katsuki, who was looking very perturbed at his sudden fan base.

“Sure,” Izuku agreed. “Lets see if we can get him to pose in front of the building with you three.”

The three girls animatedly maneuvered themselves in front of the building. Izuku brought Katsuki over to them, handing off the leash to the closest one and telling Katsuki to sit. At first Izuku thought Katsuki was going to fight him, but after a quick stare down and Izuku’s much firmer repeat of the command, Katuski sat with the girls. They squatted around him, hovering as close as they dared and grinned. Izuku backed into the empty streat, holding the phone close to his chest to try and get the girls and the sign above the door.

“Three, two one, Cheese!”

“Cheese!” The girls cheered in unison. Katsuki put his ears down in annoyance.

“Alright it’s your turn!” One of the interns shouted, running to trade places with him. The other interns agreeing adamantly as they went to join her.

With all three interns focused on the camera, Izuku went over by Katsuki, who was still sitting and watching the proceedings with annoyance.

“Alright boy, what should we do?”

Katsuki had no reply. He just shuffled a bit away from Izuku.

“Oh come on, Katsuki. Don’t be like that,” Izuku teased, moving to close the distance.

Izuku crossed his legs, leaning back and looking fondly at Katsuki, who was refusing to make eye contact, no doubt betrayed by the sudden photo shoot. Thinking it would be funny, Izuku went to put up bunny ears behind Katsuki just as the girls shouted cheese. He hadn’t managed to be sneaky enough because Katsuki whipped around and lunged, landing on Izuku’s chest and sending him flat on his back onto the pavement. The girls broke into a cacophony of giggles. Katsuki turning around on top of Izuku to probably give the girls a dirty look.

The girls were running over, shouting at Izuku that he ‘just had to see the cutest pictures ever’. Katsuki hopped off him, moving over to sit daintily to the side as though he hadn’t just tackled his owner a moment earlier.

“Look! You HAVE to put this on instagram.”

Izuku was holding himself up on his arms and the interns crowded around in front of him, holding out his phone, swiping through. There were three pictures in the sequence and the Interns were right, they were pretty adorable. The first picture was Izuku sitting next to Katsuki, flashing the bunny ears and grinning stupidly while Katsuki glared at the camera. The second was a true action shot, Katsuki was mid lunge with teeth bared and ears back, Izuku’s face looking mildly concerned with his bunny ears lowered. The last picture was of Izuku flat on his back, arms out to his sides with Katsuki’s angry face poking up over his bend knees.

People would love these.


 

People really did love the photos. All day people were poking their heads in to tell Izuku they’d seen the instagram photos and to meet the little star. Izuku hardly got any work done with people stopping by every five minutes. Katsuki seemed unfazed by his stardom, lounging on his pillow bed and wrestling with his toy.

“How’s the little celebrity?” Uraraka poked her head into ask.

“Unappreciative of all the attention.”

“I can see that. I bet the whole agency has stopped by.”

“It sure feels like that,” Izuku conceded. “I hardly put a dent in my paperwork with all the visitors.”

“What if I take him for a while?” Uraraka offered.

“That would actually be really nice. Thanks for offering, Uraraka!”

“Oh it’s nothing, Deku.”

Uraraka grabbed the leash, Izuku not having taken it off when they’d arrived, shaking it just a little to let Katsuki know she was asking him to move.

“Come on, Katsuki. Lets go do some exploring,” She coaxed.

Katsuki went willingly enough, trotting after her and leaving Izuku with the promise of peace enough to finish the boring part of his job. Uraraka was a saint.


 

Patrols were uneventful and Katsuki was happy to hide in the office after his jaunt around the office, so overall Izuku had a rather normal day. When the end of his shift rolled around he took Katsuki to the locker room, quickly wrestling off his hero uniform and redressing in his civies, pulling his cap down low on his head. He nodded and waved to a hero acquaintance who was just entering and he and Katsuki headed home.

The price of a taxi went down drastically if Izuku was willing to walk a mile or so to avoid traffic jams, so he decided to shake things up for him and Katsuki and get their walk in a bit early. Katsuki didn’t mind, no doubt happy to get his exercise in. Izuku hadn’t been able to take him for a walk during his break due to some last minute agency meetings, so Katsuki had just sat in his bed or wandered around with Uraraka and the interns for a while.

About part way through their walk back Izuku spotted a sweet little kiosk store, decorated with homemade posters and hero drawings. He recalled being almost out of laundry soap and decided to step in. There was a no dogs allowed sign, so Izuku secured Katsuki to the light pole outside. He hadn’t done this with Katsuki yet, for fear the grumpy dog would take out his frustration on over friendly passerbys. Izuku didn’t plan on being in the shop for more than a few minutes, so this would be a good time to start practicing, he thought.

The store was small and felt like stepping back in time by ten years. He liked it. It was a shame it wasn’t on his normal route, or he’d make a habit of frequenting it. The cashier was friendly and he wasn’t gone for longer than three or four minutes. When he came outside it was to the peculiar sight of Katsuki lounging on his side, head following the little hand that was attempting to rest itself on top of his head. The boy was young, maybe five or six, and he didn’t seem at all perturbed that Katsuki was glaring daggers. And Katsuki, well, he wasn’t growling or anything, just keeping a very intense eye on the hand. It was kind of comical, actually. A bit like watching someone trying to pet a cat that’s laying on its side. Every time the boy tried to pet Katsuki’s head, the dog leaned back, following the hand with his nose and preventing the boy from reaching his head. Both were intent in their movements, taking what they were doing very seriously.

“Hey there,” Izuku approached him and kneeled on the other side of Katsuki.

“This is your dog?” The kid asked.

“Yes he is. His name is Katsuki,” Izuku said, adjusting his cap a little.

The kid’s eyes went big as saucers as he realized who he was talking to, and Izuku smiled knowingly.

“You’re Deku!”


“That’s me!”

Gosh this was the best part of the gig. The kid hopped up, pointing furiously at Izuku.

“You were at my store!”

“Your store?”

The kid pointed to the little shop.

“That’s my store! My parents started it! And that’s where we live!” The kid said animatedly, pointing to the little apartment above the shop.

“It’s very nice. You should be proud of your parents,” Izuku encouraged.

“And I’m going to tell everyone you came to my store!”

“You’ll have to tell them me and Katsuki really enjoyed it, okay?”

The boy looked back down at Katsuki.

“He doesn’t like being touched. Why doesn’t he like it?”

Izuku wasn’t quite certain how to explain abuse and trauma to a kindergartner.

“Well...Someone hurt him a long time ago, so now he likes it better when people don’t touch him. It helps him feel safer.” Jeez, he hoped that was a good enough explanation.

The kid nodded solemnly. “So you saved him?”

Izuku paused. It sounded kind of funny when the kid said it like that, but he supposed it was the truth, in its strange way.

“Yeah,” He said, “I guess I saved him.”

“I’m going to save someone too! I’ll be a hero like you!”

Gosh Izuku loved his job. He could see his own determined little self in those eyes.

“I’m sure you will. Katsuki and I will be excited to see it.”

Suddenly Izuku felt that telltale tingle at the back of his neck, Katsuki was scrambling up on his feet beside him, sensing it too. Izuku shot up and turned just in time to see an explosion just two blocks away on a busier street.

Oh f*ck.

Chapter Text


Izuku snapped into hero mode, spinning around and tugging free Katsuki’s leash. Kneeling in front of the shocked kid, he shook his shoulder, bringing the kid’s attention back to him. Both urgent and deadly calm he handed the leash over, folding the kid's hand around it.

“I need to go do my job, okay? I need to you to look after Katsuki for me. Take him, find your parents and get yourselves somewhere safe. Do you understand?”

The kid nodded, eyes still huge, and Izuku spun around, activating one for all and bounding towards the explosion. He could hear people screaming, saw them running in every direction as the buildings near the blast radius collapsed or began burning. He had to adjust is trajectory, most of the area being unstable and liable to more damage from his landing impact. He dove for ground zero of the explosion, hoping to stop whatever or whoever had caused the pandemonium as quickly as possible.

Centered in the chaos was a man with large metal devices protruding from his arms. He was large, larger than Izuku. From out of the devices in his arms he was shooting small missiles that exploded on impact. He spun around to face Izuku when the hero landed, the impact creating a large crater and sending more dust rising into the air.

“Stop!” Izuku shouted. “What do you think you’re doing?”

The big man sneered, aiming an arm at him and letting fly a missile. Izuku dodged with ease, although the force of the explosion behind him sent him staggering a little. Crap, he’d need to try and avoid getting hit while keeping damage to a minimum. His best bet was to restrain the man before he could release anymore of those missiles. With that in mind, Izuku engaged full cowl and lunged for the man.

The man was slower than Izuku, weighed down by his heavy arms, but he was apparently able to produce missiles at a greater speed than Izuku had accounted for, and rapidly shot them at the advancing hero. Izuku dodged one, praying it didn’t hit anything important, ducked under another and was about to prepare for the final blow when the man launched a missile into the ground in from of Izuku, the blast sending him flying back into the remains of a building nearby. It was a dumb mistake for Izuku to leave his guard so low and crowd him so slowly and he was about to pay for it with a missile to the head when a sheet of ice stopped the device in its tracks, detonating it on the spot. The shards of glass that went flying were quickly melted, sending drops of water sprinkling to the grown.

“What are we working with?” Shouto asked as Izuku recovered and dusted off his jeans. Unlike Izuku, Shouto was in full suit, far more prepared for this than Izuku.

“One guy for now, shoots missiles out of his arm. The devices detonate on impact. His wait time between shooting is about five seconds, I’m unaware of the energy or resources needed to keep that up, but it’s possible he will eventually run out of steam. What about the perimeter?

“Law enforcement is working on a perimeter, we’ve got fire and rescue teams on site. We’re cleared to focus on him,” Shouto responded, nodding towards the advancing villain.

-----------------------

The fight was short with Shouto there. He quickly froze up the man’s arms, stalling the mechanisms that allowed him to quickly produce the missles. With a few minutes of Shouto refreezing his arms and a final knockout punch from Izuku, the issue was resolved. Well, the root of the issue.

The whole area was a mess of smoke and dust from collapsed buildings. People were screaming, law enforcement was trying to instruct people over the din, calling for them to stay back and seek immediate medical attention for any injuries. Rescue teams were already swarming buildings that weren’t in flames, searching for any survivors.

It was bad.

If only Izuku had been a bit faster, a fought smarter, kept the man from shooting off so many missiles….

“Stop,” Shouto interrupted. “You shouldn’t blame yourself.”

“I was mumbling again?” Izuku slumped dejectedly. The adrenaline was wearing off.

“You’re in your civilian clothes,” Shouto asked questioningly. “Were you on your way home from work?”

“Oh yea. Me at Kat-”


Izuku straightened up in horror.

“Katsuki!”

Before Shouto could say anything Izuku activated full cowl and dove for the side street he’d originally come from. He didn’t even bother to keep his landing light, he could see the damage done, so far from the original fight and where he’d left Katsuki and that boy. He landed full force, creating a solid crater in the middle of the already mangled street. It looked like one of the missiles had flown down this way, the street and buildings were a mess. He looked over by the little shop, now blocked by a small pile of rubble, praying he'd see two little faces poking through a window. It was relatively unharmed, the windows shattered and the lights flickering madly. He ran over, hoping to see the boy and his dog inside, but there didn't seem to be anyone. He felt his heart twist and his breath quicken.

“Katsuki!” He ran back into the street, yelling and turning this way and that, frantically looking for the two he’d left, praying they were alright.

“Katsuki!!!”

It was so loud. People were screaming and crying, yelling for loved ones. The sounds of fires roaring and the accompanying heat were unbearable. The air was a sickening mixture of smoke and dust and the sounds of first responders were reaching the street. The constant ringing in his ears from the explosions made it all sound slightly muddy and incredibly disorientating.

“Katsuki where are you!!!”

Izuku was hyperventilating. He couldn't breath, he felt so sick he was going to puke. His vision was blurry with tears. His already damaged hearing was even worse as the blood pounded through his head. He staggered back towards the little store, hoping he’d missed something, praying he wouldn’t find it beneath the piles of rubble surrounding it. That’s where he heard it. It was muffled and faint, but it was Katsuki.

“Katsuki! Katsuki keep barking! I’m coming!”

And then he heard a second cry, just as muddled, desperate and broken with sobs.

“Please! Please help my son!”

The image of the sweet cashier ran through his head with the words of the young boy: ‘That’s my store. My parents started it.”

No. No, no, no, no. Not the kid. He had to find out where the sound was coming from. He turned, scanning the area through teary eyes, adrenaline pumping once more. The barking and the woman’s cries were coming from his right, he thought. He rushed in that direction, noticing an alleyway on the other side of the shop. It had to be from down there. The dust and smoke were too much to see clearly, but Izuku was certain. He dove in, shouting encouragement.

“I’m coming. I’m almost there!”

Suddenly he couldn’t just be Izuku who was worried about his dog anymore. He needed to be Deku, successor of All Might and soon to be Number One Hero. He had to pull himself together.

It wasn’t more than a few steps into the little alleyway that Izuku was able to see the little group. They were pressed up against one wall, the boy laying half in his mother’s arms and half under a pile of rubble. Katsuki was on top of the boy’s legs, barking furiously.

The mother sobbed with relief as Izuku came to crouch next to her, taking in the situation.

“Please, you have to help my son!”

“I will, ma’am. I promise,” Izuku tried to comfort.

The boy was pinned by his arm beneath the rubble, Katsuki’s leash mostly under the mess as well. The dog had just enough room to stand on top of the boys legs. The boy was unconscious, a gash on his forehead bleeding down his face. Izuku knew only enough about first aid to get him by, but this seemed bad. Glancing over at the boy’s mother, Izuku was relieved to see that she seemed relatively unharmed, just a few minor cuts and clearly shaken by the whole ordeal.

“It’s going to be okay,” He said, trying to calm her. “I’m going to remove the rubble so first aide can get him out, okay? They’re on their way over. I need to you stay calm. Can you do that?”

She nodded shakily.

“Okay. Talk to me. Tell me about yourself,” he prompted.

“I-I own the shop here, a-and this is my son.”

Good. That was a start.

“What are your names?” He promoted, carefully removing the pieces of rubble while trying not to disturb the boy, or pull on Katsuki’s lead.

“My name is Ko-Koharu and my son is named Sota.”

“It’s nice to meet you. My name is Izuku, but I go by Deku.”

She looked like her son when she realized, her eyes going big. The kid had his mother's eyes most definitely.

“I-I thought he was making it up when he said that the pro hero Deku asked him to take care of his dog for him.”

Izuku didn’t know what to say. He felt a strange sense of guilt for it, and he was about to apologize when the woman leaned over and grabbed his arm. Her eyes were full of tears again and when she spoke it was heavy with them as well.

“Your dog saved my boy.”

Izuku stared back in surprise.

“I-I thought it was safest for us to hide in here, so if the shop was damaged we wouldn’t be crushed I sent Sota father back when a blast went off in the street,” She began choking on her tears, almost unable to finish her story. “The building behind us collapsed a-and he would have been crushed but your dog-your dog grabbed him and dragged him away. He saved my son. He saved my son!"

The last sentence seemed to be too much for her, and she broke down in full sobs, clutching her son to her as much as possible. Izuku felt his heart swell a little with pride, but the kid needed medical attention and it was urgent that they get him to an ambulance as soon as possible. 

The work was slow, Izuku not wanting to harm the boy or accidentally disturb the rubble and cause it to crush the boy completely. Katsuki was restless, shifting from laying to standing on the boys skinny legs, often hacking up a lung or sneezing violently. He was continually attentive, turning at any sound and barking every so often.

Izuku kept the mother talking, trying to distract her and maybe himself while he worked at the pile of broken building. It seemed like ages before he made any real progress. At one point Katsuki had perked up, barking continually, straining against the taught leash, laser focused at the opening of the alleyway.

Izuku could hear rescue workers calling out to each other.

“Hey! There’s a dog down there!”

A man in full firefighting gear, mask and all, broke through the cloud of dust and ash still hanging in the air.

“Is everybody alright?”

“I’m pro hero Deku, I’ve got an injured boy here. He’s trapped under this pile. His arm is damaged and there’s possibly head or back injuries. We need medical attention for him fast.”
The man nodded, relaying the information to his team before joining Deku in removing rubble. It took a while, the fear of sending more down upon the boy and possibly crushing his mother and Katsuki in the process making the ordeal slow. Still, it was hardly more than twenty minutes since Izuku had found them that the boy was being carried away on a stretcher, his mother behind him.

Suddenly Izuku was very tired, stumbling onto the sidewalk and sitting on the curb. His had was missing, he was covered in dirt and ash, his shoulder was bruised and he was so emotionally drained he could barely think. Katsuki did not seem to fare much better, his coat filthy and a small scratch on his forehead. He limped slightly as he settled himself next to Izuku, surveying the damage.

Looking at Katsuki, Izuku was suddenly overcome with relief. Without even thinking he scooped the small dog into his lap, holding him close to his chest and nuzzling his head.

“I thought I lost you, buddy.”

Katsuki wiggled a little but then fell still, letting out an exhausted little huff.

“You were so, so brave,” Izuku felt the tears running down his face and onto Katsuki’s fur.

They sat like that for a while, Izuku crying and telling Katsuki how brave and smart and strong he was, and Katsuki just letting him hold him.

 

 

Chapter Text

It was all instinct. Katsuki had just felt the wrongness. He just felt that the little human was his to protect once Deku left. He didn’t understand and the adrenaline made it so he didn’t need to. Maybe later, when everything was calm he’d hate Deku for leaving him in the hands of a little human and just disappearing. He’d probably give him the silent treatment. Either way, the detergent and Deku’s other bag were laying discarded on the ground, it was just him and the little human, and everyone was screaming.

The explosions were shaking the ground and already buildings were going up in flames. The air was growing heavy with smoke and the sounds of distress. Katsuki knew he needed to get the little human away from here, but just didn’t know where or how. The kid was just standing there, watching explosions and green flashes go back and forth.

“Sota! Sota what are you doing out here?!”
There was a woman shouting, grabbing the little human.

“Deku told me to take care of his dog! He’s fighting the villains!”

“Sota this isn’t the time for stories. Come on.”

The woman was tugging the little human away, Katsuki was forced to follow, chasing them down the alleyway next to the shop Deku had left them at. There was an earth shaking boom as they barely made it into the alleyway before an explosion went off. That had been close, Katsuki could feel the reverberations through his skull. His ears were throbbing from the sound. Dust was flying everywhere, getting into his eyes and stinging his lungs. What the hell was going on? Where was Deku?

Katsuki was being pulled further down the alleyway. He didn’t like this. It was too closed off, this was bad. The little human was running, his mother pushing him on, sending them ahead of her while she stopped to glance back at the street. Katsuki followed despite the lead ball forming in his stomach, trying to keep close to the little human. He had to keep him safe. He f*cking had to. He started pulling the little human forward, trying to get him away from the alleyway as fast as possible. Katsuki wanted nothing more than to curl up and hide but he just knew somehow that they weren’t safe here, that they needed to get away from the buildings. They were nearing the end of the alleyway when Katsuki heard a horrible groaning sound. Oh no. Oh f*ck no.

Katsuki stopped in his tracks, planting his feet and keeping the human from going any further. There were more explosions in the distance, more rattling and reverberation, more screams, more shouting, more heat, more booms and bangs and dust and ash. The building just ahead of them was bowing terribly. Katsuki pulled against his lead frantically, trying to get himself and the kid away. The building was coming down and it would land right on top of them if they didn’t move. The lady was screaming, sobbing and frantically telling the little human to run. He wasn’t running. The human just stood there, eyes wide and body frozen. Katsuki had to move fast. He wasn’t going to die here and he sure as hell wasn’t letting this little one die either.

Katsuki wasn’t supposed to bite, but rules be d*mned. He grabbed the little human’s wrist and pulled hard. The human cried out in pain but yielded, letting himself be dragged along.

D*mmit.

Neither Katsuki nor the little human were very capable of quick movement, both small and trying to dodge the bits of rubble falling from above. Katsuki was nearly struck by a chunk of cement, jumping out of the way just in time and nearly knocking the little one over. At some point the little man had dropped Katsuki’s leash and it kept snagging, jerking Katsuki off balance and pulling the boy down with him. It felt like the whole thing took hours, but it was only a matter of seconds before the building behind them plummeted into the ground, making the earth around them quake and bits of debris fly everywhere. He Without a second thought Katsuki pounced on the little one, trying to cover as much as him as he could as the cloud of dust and rubble consumed them. He heard the shriek of the human just a little ways ahead and the pained cries of the little one underneath him. He couldn’t see, his lungs were so full of dust he couldn’t breath, everything was too loud and he was afraid. So very afraid. At some point he was struck from the side, whatever it was knocking him off the little human, striking his head painfully. He might have cried or yelped but he couldn’t hear anything through the ringing in his ears. There was a sudden weight around his chest as the collar and harness were pulled tight, constricting his already weak breathing. This was it, this was how he would die. Would anyone care? Would Deku? Gosh, Deku. He hated the nerd but he’d gotten so used to him. What would he think when he found his crushed body along with the silly little human and his mother? Maybe Deku would be disappointed, or maybe he’d be relieved. Looking back on life, Katsuki hadn’t exactly been the greatest dog. He bit, snarled, disobeyed, whined...all things considered he’d been pretty awful. Maybe this was what he deserved, to be crushed to death under a pile of rubble, abandoned and with strangers. And if the little human was dead or even injured… He couldn’t even keep him safe. He was going to die and this little one would die with him because he couldn’t keep anyone safe and he was a horrible dog and a hero like Deku didn’t deserve him.


 

The dust never really settled, it hung in the air, clinging to the smoke. Katsuki could barely breathe, it was so thick and the smell was unbearable. Everything looked and felt like it was happening in another dimension. The lady, the little one’s mother, was running towards them, screaming, tear tracks down her dirty cheeks and blood smeared across her face and arms. At least, he thought she was screaming, and it appeared as though she was running. It felt like she was going in slow motion, her words muddy and far away. Katsuki blinked, trying to get rid of the sluggishness he felt. Next to him the boy was laying partially covered in the pile of rubble. He was pale, unmoving and covered in small cuts and already forming bruises. Katsuki tried to move towards his head, to make sure he was okay and maybe clean off some of the dirt from his face, but he was stopped short. What the f*ck? Katsuki turned to around, or sort of managed to. His leash was buried under the rubble, keeping him stuck where he was near the little human’s legs. He pulled, trying desperately to get free. He needed to help the little one! He needed to see if he was okay! He needed to know that he wasn’t dead. The bigger human was by their sides now, carefully shifting as much of the little one into her lap as possible. Katsuki strained at his harness, wanting desperately to see that he was okay. The human was sobbing, clutching him close. Katsuki was starting to panic, nearly suffocating himself trying to pull free and just see. He couldn’t be dead. He could be.

“Hey! Little human! Come on! Can’t you see you’re scaring her? Wake up!” he demanded, then pleaded, then whined.

“Sota, my baby. My boy,” the lady human kept murmuring, clutching his body close.

Katsuki continued to let out little barks and whines, trying to wake him up. Every moment the knot in his stomach was growing, clutching his heart and squeezing it hard. Not the little human, not the f*cking little human, please. Why couldn’t it have been him? The anguish festered in Katsuki as he sat there, welling up into a much uglier feeling as the minutes ticked by and the boy stayed unresponsive. Why had Deku left him? He’d promised never to abandon Katsuki. This was his fault. He’d left them, left Katsuki with the little one. None of this would have happened if Deku hadn’t done that. The kid would be like this, Katsuki wouldn’t be blaming himself for it all, the lady human wouldn’t be wailing for her little one. F*cking deku. This was all his fault. He hated him. He f*cking hated him. Hated him for leaving him, hated him for not keeping them safe, hated him for not coming back for him, for leaving them like this. He hated him!

It felt like hours they were there, the lady human calling out for short periods of time before falling silent. Katsuki began to follow her example, calling for anyone to help, until the dust was too much and he had to stop and hack up what he could. It was an eternity of emptiness, just the distant sounds of panic and the little alleyway that trapped them.

Katsuki’s mind started playing tricks on him at some point. He began hearing another boom, the ground shook again. He swore he heard someone out on the street, but no one was there. He imagined he could hear Deku’s voice, desperate and panicky.

“Katsuki!”

He hated that no matter how much he hated Deku he found comfort in that voice, even if it was just his imagination.

“Katsuki!!!”

It sounded so real, like Deku was choking back sobs. Katsuki could just imagine it: Deku would come, get the little human to safety and then take Katsuki home. He’d give that nerd the cold shoulder for weeks. Deku would get so desperate he’d shower him in treats and new toys. They’d go on so many walks. The nerd would do anything just for Katsuki to spare him a glance. Eventually he’d relent, show the nerd some mercy. Deku would cry or some sh*t. It would be great.

“Katsuki where are you!!!”

It sounded too real. Katsuki couldn’t help it. He hoped on a hope of a hope that it was real, that Deku really was out there looking for him. He couldn’t sit here any longer, he needed this to be Deku. Struggling to his feet and straining against the harness he yelled back.

“Deku? Deku you F*cking nerd! You better be real!”


“Katsuki! Katsuki keep barking! I’m coming!”

Katsuki nearly broke down. He was so relieved. It was Deku. Deku was there looking for him. Deku was coming. Deku could would save the little human. Deku would take care of them.

“Please! Please help my son!” The woman cried out, hearing Deku as well.

Katsuki kept up a tirade of barks, using every cuss word and insult he could think of to let Deku know just how much he appreciated being put in the situation.

“I’m coming! I’m almost there!”

Katsuki could hear the shakiness in Deku’s voice. When the nerd burst through the clouds of smoke and dust he looked about how his voice would suggest. His hat was missing, his hair was a mess, he had dirt all over and his shirt and pants were torn. In short, he looked awful. Still, he was exactly who Katsuki wanted to see.

He went to the lady human and the little one, speaking softly and moving to clear the rubble. Katsuki alternated between standing and laying on the boy’s legs. The positions were uncomfortable, but his mobility was close to none, so he had to make do. He kept a lookout, listening for any sounds of rescuers. Deku continued to talk to the lady human, his voice soothing and confident, but laced with an urgency that only Katsuki was picking up on.

The progress was slow, achingly so. It felt like an eternity before he heard anything from the street. When he did, though, he began calling out to whoever it was.

Hey F*ckterds, we’re in here! Hurry up!”


 

It was all sort of a blur after the other humans showed up. They got the little human free and took him away, the lady human going with them. Deku was busy with the other humans, discussing something in hushed tones. Katsuki stopped to take stock of his surroundings, finally away from the cramped alley.

The area was decimated. It hardly looked anything like when they’d first started their walk home. Whole buildings were down, taking bits and pieces of their neighbors with them. Smoke was heavy in the air where fires were being doused, the skeletal remains of burnt out buildings a monument to the destruction. All over the place were bits of debris and rubble. People walked listlessly among them, searching for rescues, tending to those in immediate need of help and covering the bodies of the least fortunate. The air was heavy with grief and shock. It sat on Katsuki’s shoulders like a rock, settling deep in his heart.
Deku had finished his discussion and was stumbling over to the edge of the sidewalk. He plopped down heavily, observing the destruction. Deciding that the cold shoulder treatment could wait, Katsuki made to join him. His front right paw stung when he put weight on it. The adrenaline must have made it unnoticeable before. He hobbled over, trying to put as little weight on it as possible, sitting close to Deku. He was covered in dirt and certain he smelled like smoke. He felt disgusting.

Without any warning Deku snatched him up, hugging him close to his chest and burying his head in Katsuki’s fur. What the hell?

“I thought I lost you, buddy.”

Katsuki wiggled , trying to get the d*mn nerd off him, searching for his crotch with his back foot.

“You were so, so brave,” Deku said, sounding awfully choked up.

Aw f*ck no. Katsuki was not dealing with the waterworks. But...he was suddenly so tired. So tired and relieved it was all over and safe in Deku’s arms, so he relaxed, letting the idiot nerd hold him, choked sobs wracking his body.

“Hey, f*ck you. I’m the one who almost got crushed.”

 

Chapter Text


Izuku ended up needing to stick around to give reports to the officers leading the investigation, and afterwards he was surrounded by reporters, each yelling at him for his story of what exactly had happened. He offered no comment, only smiled tiredly and walked followed where the press control workers of his agency directed him-into a waiting car.

He’d held Katsuki the entire time he’d stuck around after finding him. The pup just resting limp in his arms, no doubt as exhausted as Izuku felt. Izuku used all his willpower to keep from passing out, stroking Katsuki’s soft head and looking out the window as the destruction faded and his familiar neighborhood appeared.
It took almost everything out of Izuku to make it up the stairs. He wanted to just collapse on the floor, but was so sweaty and covered in dust that he knew he’d hate himself if he didn’t shower first. He still hadn’t put Katsuki down yet, and Katsuki still wasn’t complaining. He needed a bath too, his fur was matted with dust and blood and he smelled like smoke. Both he and Izuku would need checkups, Izuku for his shoulder and Katsuki for the cut on his forehead and his limp.

Izuku gracelessly plopped Katski down in the bathtub, not even bothering to remove his clothes before he turned on the water. It was cold, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. Katsuki seemed to feel the same, laying on the bottom of the tub and just letting the water being washing away the grime. Eventually the water did heat up and Izuku let out a tired groan. It felt so.Good. He worked the shampoo into his hard, watching as the suds turned an ugly shade of brown before sliding down the drain. He did the same to Katsuki, making sure to leave his face and avoid the cut. Katsuki seemed too sleepy to deny Izuku, and just laid there while he worked the shampoo into his fur. He hadn’t actually given Katsuki a bath yet, so he probably should have made sure it was alright for him to use his shampoo on the dog, but he was too tired to care, and he used all natural stuff so it had to be fine...right?

Eventually Katsuki got tired of the bath and hopped out of the tub, rather clumsily due to his exhaustion and injured paw, but without much issue. Izuku stripped out of his ruined civies, cleaning himself and indulging in the soothing water on his sore shoulder. There was already a nasty bruise forming.

When he finally dried himself off and stumbled to bed, Katsuki was passed out in his crate. Izuku threw on a pair of All Might Boxers and threw himself into bed, never happier to be home than right now.


 

The agency ended up giving Izuku the next few days off for recovery and to get Katsuki to the vet. Other than filing his report and complying with investigators, Izuku had the next few days to relax and recover from the event.

His shoulder was in pretty rough shape, although a far cry from the broken arms and legs he’d been sporting at UA. He contacted Recover Girl, seeing if she would mind if he stopped by for a visit. The agency had plenty of healing heroes on record, but she was a favorite of Izuku’s and he liked to find excuses to visit her and the school. She, of course, agreed. He brought Katsuki along, not wanting to leave him alone so soon after such a traumatic event. Recovery girl thought he was adorable. She was regretful about her inability to heal him, her quirk not being suited to animals, but made quick work of Izuku’s shoulder.

The vet was very positive about Katsuki’s condition, assuring Izuku that for the situation Katsuki was in amazing health.

“Most of these events end in tragedy. We don’t see a lot of pets that make it out unscathed on these large-scale attacks. Katsuki is very lucky.”

Izuku was relieved to hear that. He’d been sitting with the guilt for days. He’d left Katsuki and that kid in danger. And Katsuki, the wonderful, intelligent, and brave boy that he was had saved that little boy.

In the end, Katsuki’s cut was too old be be stitched up, but the vet dressed it and gave Izuku instructions to see to its cleaning. His paw was declared to be a sprain, nothing some time and care wouldn’t fix. The vet did notice that the pads of Katsuki’s feet were a bit torn up, and he instructed Izuku to keep them covered until they could heal up properly. Izuku complied, purchasing the booties recommended by the vet and seeing to it that Katsuki’s walks were kept to a minimum until the paw was healed. He also cleaned Katsuki’s head wound every day. Katsuki was not thrilled with the attention, but he didn’t put up much of a fight, for which Izuku was grateful for.

And there was plenty to be grateful for. Pictures of the aftermath were circling, among the most famous were a few of Izuku and Katsuki, the half pom carefully cradled in Izuku’s arms as he spoke with authorities and tried to avoid the press.They both looked tired, covered in dust and a little shell shocked. The pictures were circulating all the way in America and Izuku received countless messages from friends and acquaintances asking after the two and congratulating him on such an advancement in the rankings. In between all the coverage of the tragedy, the pictures were used as a symbol of hope, people referring to it as heartwarming, and a sweet story in such a horrible event. Katsuki’s instagram was now certified and was gaining followers on the daily, as was Izuku. The investigation with the villain was turning up nothing to suggest repeated attacks or more danger in the future. And most importantly, Izuku had received contact from the mother of the young boy. She’d managed to get ahold of his agency, convincing them to send the message through to him. The boy was expected to live. He had a concussion and his hand had been severely damaged, but he’d pull through. Izuku had nearly cried at the news, so relieved and so proud that his Katsuki was the reason for it. He managed to make contact with the mother, finding out where her son was and requesting to be informed when he’d wake.

In the meantime, he wanted to see his mom.

It was sort of a tradition, after a serious fight, for Izuku to seek out his mother. In his younger years he’d been rather careless of her emotions, not fully understanding what it was for her to watch him throw himself into danger, acting as a shield for so many others. With maturity came the understanding that his mother was sacrificing her peace of mind and motherly instincts to let him achieve his dreams and he now tried to make up for so many careless years by easing her worries as much as possible. He was quick to contact his mother, who was in tears, obviously, and demanded to see him as soon as possible.

In the end, she stopped by to see him every night of those three days. The first night she held him and sobbed, and then held Katsuki and sobbed. Katsuki had looked quite uncomfortable, Izuku had tried not to laugh given the situation, but he couldn’t help just a small chuckle. His mother always brought food and made tea and they just sat and talked, never about the event, but about the old days and what they missed and what Katsuki was up to. It was calming for both parties involved.

And Katsuki? Well, he seemed alright. Whatever trauma he’d experienced was unknown to Izuku, and he was healing well. The video he’d gotten of Katsuki trying to walk in the booties was hilarious, Instagram went wild for it. Overall he seemed fine, if not a little restless with the lack of exercise. Still, Izuku wondered if he needed closure. He wasn’t sure if Katsuki understood what had happened entirely, but it seemed to him that the dog might want to know what happened to the boy he saved. So, when he got the call on the third day that the boy had woken up, be called Shouto.


 

Having to leave Katsuki with Shouto was a lot more difficult than Izuku imagined. It was hard to let the little guy out of his sight after the last time had gone so badly. Still, hospitals didn’t allow strange dogs in recovery rooms, and Izuku couldn’t risk introducing something dangerous to the boy in his weakened state, even if he wanted the boy to see Katsuki again. So the next best option was a friend, preferably one who could handle any nerves or attitude Katsuki might have. Shouto was happy to oblige and had assured Izuku that he’d be in good hands.

They’d had to pick up some supplies beforehand. Izuku was still out of laundry soap and Katsuki’s pillow bed and toys had also been lost in the attack. They’d gotten the supplies for his short stay with Shouto and Eijiro and then traveled the short distance to his apartment.

Eijiro nearly bust down the door in his excitement when Izuku knocked, and he almost regretted deciding to leave Katsuki with such an over-excited companion.

“Eiji, down! Sit!”

The noise subdued and Shouto opened the door.

“Sorry about that. Come on in.”

The apartment was much nicer than Izuku’s, the effects of family money, no doubt. Eijiro was wiggling in place a short ways away from the entryway, eyeing Katsuki like he was the bes thing he’d ever seen. Katsuki, on the other hand, was looking at Eijiro with quite the opposite expression. Izuku quickly explained his plan to shouto, giving him a rough estimate of when he’d be back to pick up Katsuki. Shouto nodded, assured him that Katsuki would be fine and went to put Katsuki’s bed on the couch, away from Eijiro’s.
“Eiji isn’t supposed to be on the couch so I figure it can be Katsuki’s place for the day. Oh, I was talking to Uraraka and Iida and they wanted to come visit and see Eiji and Katsuki. Is it alright if they’re around?”

“Definitely! I really can’t thank you enough, Shouto.”

“I’m glad I can help. You should go though, visiting hours will be over soon.”

Izuku kneeled down in front of Katsuki, unclipping his leash. “I promise I’ll be back soon. Don’t worry buddy. Enjoy Eiji for a while.”

Hearing his name, Eijiro thumped his tail madly.

Straightening up, Izuku headed for the door, saying his farewells and heading back to the taxi.


 

The walk to boy’s room was short, although Izuku hung outside for a bit. The boy’s mother and a man he assumed was his father were speaking softly with with the boy, who was propped up in bed. Overall the kid looked fairly good, all bandaged up and clean after his fiasco, but Izuku could see the bandaged and splinted hand at his side. He steeled himself for his entry. Bedside visits were part of the job, but they were never easy. Izuku leaned against the doorframe, knocking lightly.

“It’s you!! Mom, Dad, It’s Deku!”

Izuku smiled with relief. That was good, the kid was sounding good.

“Hey there. How are you doing?”

The kid’s parents moved forward to greet Izuku, both offering their deepest gratitude for his help. He flushed, aware that he’d done very little in the grand scheme of things. Still, they were so kind and warm that he was put at ease as they invited him over to sit with their son.

“It’s Sato, right?” Izuku questioned.

The kid sat up a little straighter, smiling like he’d been told he’d won a million dollars. “That’s right!”

“I think I owe you a big thank you,” Izuku put his hand on the kid’s shoulder, “You kept my dog safe. You’re a real hero to me.”

The kid’s smile was as bright as the sun. He beamed at Izuku with such pride.
“I was just doing what you would do! I’m going to save everybody someday!”

“Everybody is a tall order,” Izuku chuckled, “but it seems like you’re getting a head start.”

Eventually Sato’s parents settled down on the opposite side and the talked together the two adults continuing to thank him. Izuku took their gratitude graciously, blushing furiously all the while. He would never get used to all the positive attention this job brought. He asked after their store and home, which received minimal damage. Eventually it turned to discussions of Sato’s wellbeing, the extent of his injuries and the doctor’s conclusions. While Sato would make a recovery, the news on his hand and lower arm were grim. There would be permanent damage, according to the doctors. Izuku felt incredibly pity for the boy, who seemed to grow somber under the subject. Izuku could recall feeling similar when he’d had his own injuries. He offered words of encouragement, showing Sota his own damaged arms, talking about how he’d had to overcome the obstacles of his injured hand to become a hero. Sota’s eyes widened in amazement, hope spreading across his face and filling his eyes. Izuku smiled back, happy to see bring back a hopeful future for such a bright, young kind.

“Well Sota, if you’re not too busy, I think i know someone who’d like to hear from you,” Izuku said after a few more minutes of chatting.

Sota brightened. “Is it Katsuki?”

“He’s not allowed in the hospital, but I thought he’d want to see you again,” Izuku explained as he brought up Shouto’s contact.

There was a bit of ringing and then Shouto picked up. Sota’s eyes went as big as saucers as the the hot and cold hero’s face appeared on the screen.

“Hello Sota, Izuku,” Shouto greeted. “He’s just on the couch, hold on.”

There was a bit of rustling and lots of barking in the background as Shouto turned the camera off portrait mode and began walking to the couch. Eijiro was hopping around madly, and the back of Uraraka’s head was visible. Shouto came around the couch, aiming the camera at Uraraka and the pillow bed where Katsuki sat.

“Say hello,” Shouto instructed.

Uraraka waved, shouting a greeting over Eijiro’s barking. The big husky kept jumping in and out of the shot, bouncing between trying to get Shouto’s attention and sticking his face into Katsuki’s space. Katsuki was snapping at him, sending back frustrated barks.

“Whoa this is so cool!” Sota shouted.

Honestly, if Izuku had been Sota he would have passed out by now.

“Eiji, back off!” Uraraka chidded as the red husky nearly head butted Katsuki. “Here! Give me the phone!”

Shouto handed uraraka the phone and she flipped it back to selfie mode. Leaning over Katsuki, she held the phone so that both she and the angry dog were in frame.

“Hi Katsuki!!” Sota was practically bouncing in his bed.

Katsuki, who had been very focused on Eijiro, perked up, eyeing the camera quizzically.

“It’s me!! It’s Sota. Do you remember me?”

Katsuki got up off his bed, approaching the camera, head tilted in confusion. He let out a bark that turned into a whine, sniffing at the camera and then trying to bite it.

Sato laughed and Izuku joined him. It was pretty cute watching Katsuki be all confused.

“He wanted to make sure you were okay,” Izuku told Sota.

The kid smiled even wider. “It’s okay, Katsuki! I’m alright!”

Katsuki barked again, jumping at the camera. Uraraka was laughing. Eijiro poked his head in frame and Katsuki barked sharply.

“Eiji, stop, this isn’t about you,” Shouto said from off screen.

Altogether it was a happy sort of chaos, and by Satos exclamation, the best day ever.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was f*cking sore. He was f*cking tired too. Too tired for the bullsh*t he was going through right now. He hated Deku for doing this to him. Eijiro was bouncing off the walls and talking incessantly and Round Face kept fawning over him on the couching.

“I can’t believe you made it through a villain attack! You even got a cool scar, how alpha is that? Oh! Sorry did I jostle you are you okay? How’s your paw?”

“Get the f*ck away! Godd*mmit do you understand the meaning of space?”

“Aww Katsuki, Eiji’s trying to say hello. Don’t be mean.”

“F*ck off Pink Cheeks!”

“Eiji, leave him alone. He’s stressed out enough as it is.”

God, the overdressed apartment was too loud, too open, too full of idiots who were too close. There was a whole couch, Pink Cheeks, use it! And where was Deku? What was so d*mn important that he had to go off and leave him with the band of idiots? Was the first time not enough? Honestly, Katsuki was welcoming the idea of a brick to the head if it meant relief from these three.

“ Do you want my bone? I think that would help you. I’m going to go get my bone!”

“Oh my gosh, Shouto, Eiji keeps bringing Katsuki his toys and stuff. It’s so adorable!! Does he have an Instagram? This should be on their Instagram.”

“No he doesn’t. I guess if Katsuki has one he might as well get one too.”

“What’s something cute to call it. Something with alliteration. Happy Husky? No that’s too basic. Red…”

“Red Rascal?”

“I don’t like that. Red...Riot?”

“I like that one.”

“Alright give me your phone. I’m making the account.”

“Whah ah theh dohin?” Eijiro asked around the blanket he’d dragged from somewhere else.

“The f*ck if I know. Don’t bring that thing any closer, it smells rank.”

“Whah? Thihth?” Eijiro Dropped the blanket, “I think it smells great. I sleep with it all the time!”

“Done! His first picture is him with his blanket. Isn’t it cute?”

“Yeah. He takes that thing everywhere. It’s his baby blanket.”

“He wants Katsuki to use it, I think. He’s such a sweetheart.”

“Yeah I like him. Eh, looks like Izuku is calling, get ready.”

Pink Cheeks turned to Katsuki animatedly. What the f*ck did she want now?

“Get ready Katsuki! Someone special is calling!”

Nobody called a dog. Whatever she was on about was f*cking stupid. But Half ‘n Half was coming closer, phone held awkwardly. Eijiro started jumping around.

“What is it? What’s the special thing??”

“The f*ck if I know. Get your big nose out of my face!”

Eventually Pink Cheeks took the phone, leaning down next to Katsuki, holding the phone in front of him. The little human was in the phone. Katsuki could see him, he could hear him, but he couldn’t smell him, or touch him.Suddenly the boy was tilting weirdly and then Deku was there too, and he was talking to Katsuki, but he couldn’t touch or smell him either. It was weird. Katsuki didn’t like it. Why couldn’t he smell them? Where were they? Eijiro kept jumping up on the couch and shouting hello’s and Round Face was up in his space and Half n’ Half was just smiling idiotically.

“What the f*ck is going on?”

They were laughing and talking and it sounded weird and off.

“It’s okay, Katsuki! I’m alright!”

“I didn’t f*cking as that, dumb little human. Where are you? Where’s Deku?”

“Little human? There’s a little human? Is it in the phone? Can I see??”

“Eiji, stop, this isn’t about you,” Half ‘n Half scolded. Of course Eijiro was not deterred.

“I’m sorry Shouto I just want to see the little human!”

“I know Eiji, you’re just excited,” Half ‘n Half said, scratching the idiot behind the ear. The idiot went all dopey in the eyes.

“Oi! Pink Cheeks, what’s this?”

“Awwww. He’s so confused. Get well soon Sota and then we can all come visit you, okay?”

“Hey! Don’t ignore me! Put the d*mn phone down. Why are they in the phone?”

Pink Cheeks just walked over to Half ‘n Half and Eijiro, kneeling down next to him and angling the phone oddly.

“Okay everybody! Say goodbye to Sota!”

By Sota! By! I’m so happy to see you!”

“Goodbye.”

“What the f*ck is going on?!?!”

“By Sota! Thanks for being a hero!”

And with cries of goodbye from Deku and Sota, they disappeared from the phone.

“Okay what the f*ck was that?!?!”

-----------------------------------

For the most part, things went back to normal. Sure, Katsuki found work days a bit harder to be left alone on, but he was fine. And maybe the first time Katsuki had come back and let the door shut a little hard behind him Katsuki had startled, but it was f*cking loud and the d*mbass was sneaking around. Yeah things were normal. They ate their meals, went on their walks, tolerated the dumb f*cks, so on and so forth. It was chill, life was good.

You know what was really good? The f*cking booties were gone. F*cking pieces of sh*t were hell to walk in and he hated everyone who laughed, cooed, filmed or breathed. Whenever Deku wasn’t looking he’d ripped them off and hide them. The nerd would spend hours digging around to find them, which was always amusing to Katsuki. His cut had healed nicely and hopefully the fur would grow back and cover the scar soon, although scars were sick. And his paw was just fine, although sitting around and waiting for it to become fine was boring enough to kill.

So yeah, he was good….

“That’s my f*cking bed so don’t you f*cking touch it. You keep your drool off my toys and you sure as hell don’t touch my food or water, got that?”

“Okay! I’m just so happy to be here! Thanks for letting be come!!”

“I didn’t let you come, Idiot. You think I get a say in guests? If i did you’re sh*tty fur wouldn’t be getting all over my carpet.”

“Oh sorry! I can’t help it it’s just so hot and it’s just what happens you know but if it’s a pain I can go somewhere else so I don’t get fur on your bed or near your food or-”

“It’s fine. Just stop talking.”

God, nothing he said could ever make that idiot leave him alone. It was bad enough when he had to spend the afternoon with Sh*tty Fur at his place, now the f*cker was invading his home, breathing his air and infecting his evening with Deku. Apparently debts had to be payed and if Katsuki was forced to stay with Eijiro then he could expect Eijiro to be thrust upon him. The d*mb f*ck was just so...unaffected. Katsuki took every moment possible to remind the husky just how much he didn’t like him but the idiot just wagged his tail and smiled that stupidly vacant smile. It drove him insane! Even when he’d been feeling awful after the whole fiasco and spent his whole time with Half n’ Half and the others snapping at Eijiro for even the smallest of things the dopey idiot had just ignored it, going on about how amazing it was that Katsuki had saved someone and made it out with a cool scar. The idiot was unflappable, just pure idiotic optimism. And he was in Katsuki’s apartment.

“If it’s okay with you I’ll just sit by the tv that’s where I usually sit when I’m at home and I don’t want to get in your way.”

“Why would I care where you sit?”

Katsuki turned his back on the great big idiot and went to Deku, who was in the kitchen.

“Hi Katsuki. Are you and Eijiro having fun?”

No. No they weren’t having fun. Katsuki wanted his afternoon back and he wanted to stop smelling idiot whenever he got near the living room.

“Go on, Katsuki, I’ve gotta take this call,” Deku turned away.

Katsuki wandered back. Eijiro was laying on his stupid blanket, dozing by the tv, which was lowly playing the news. Deku had been fidgeting with the TV ever since Half n’ Half had brought the idiot by, flipping through channels and going through his stupid notebooks, muttering like a madman. It was obnoxious and his behavior was rubbing off on Katsuki. He felt on edge, over affected by everything Eijiro or Deku did. Hell, even their breathing was irritating as f*ck.

The walk that night felt rushed. Maybe because Eijiro had longer legs and he could actually pull Deku wherever he wanted to go. Even with the big idiot stopping every few feet to explore some new scent, the walk was fast paced and over far too quickly for Katsuki’s liking.

“Normally Shouto and I stop at a park and play but that’s okay, I don’t mind if we don’t…”

Katsuki tuned Sh*tty Fur out. He’d been talking to Deku for the past few minutes while said human scratched and petting him from the couch. Katsuki was annoyed. His whole day was interrupted by the big idiot and of course he was the center of attention for all of it. Deku never pet him or scratched under his collar, not that he’d let him, he’d f*ck him up if he tried that, but it was still annoying that another dog was in his house getting attention from his owner. Katsuki was pissed. He did the only respectable thing, he went to his crate to sulk.

Not too long afterwards Deku came in, rushing for his closet and pulling out his hero suit (which looked stupid by the way), juggling it and his phone as he scrambled out of his clothing and into the ugly thing. Katsuki watched in interest.

“Yeah, Yeah I’m coming. I’ll be right out the door… Is he all right? Good...Good…Okay I’ll be there in a few...Yeah...bye.”

Deku sounded tense and he pulled at the suit aggressively. Katsuki could feel the anxiety coming off him in waves. What was going on? Why was Deku so upset?

“Alright Katsuki, I have to go in and help, okay? I need you to behave. I promise I’ll be back but I need you to be a good boy and take care of Eijiro, alright?”

His voice was just confirming Katsuki’s fears. Going? Where was he going? Why did he need to go? He hadn’t left like this since that last time and that had ended up horribly. He didn’t want Deku talking to him like he was scared and he didn’t want him leaving, he didn’t want to be alone but he also didn’t want to be trapped alone with Sh*tty Fur for the foreseeable future. Why couldn’t Deku stay?

He must have vocalized that, because Deku keeled down in front of him.

“I know. I know Katsuki, I don’t have a great track record with this sort of thing so far, but Shouto needs help. It’s going to be okay.”

And then he was walking out of the bedroom and pulling out the snack toys and walking out the door. And Katsuki was alone. Well, alone with Sh*tty Fur.

Katsuki would never admit that he felt that ugly ball of anxiety back in his stomach. He wouldn’t let Fur for Brains see him scared or weak. So, with that in mind, he stomped over to his pillow bed and tried to take a nap. Eijiro, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have the same qualms about appearing weak, he grabbed his blanket, dragging it over to the front door and lay, head resting on paws, whining softly. Katsuki tried to ignore it, but it was just pitiful.

Oi. Sh*tty Fur. What’s your problem?”

Eijiro kept his eyes trained on the door as he spoke. “I heard him say he’s going to help Shouto. He had his hero suit on. That means that something happened.”

“How the hell do you know that?”

“I can feel it,” Eijiro said softly.

So maybe Fur for Brains wasn’t always as stupid as he seemed. Katsuki didn’t feel bad for the looser and he certainly wasn’t feeling worry, but he did find himself wandering over to the idiot.

“Move over. I’m not laying on the floor.”

Eijiro shuffled over, giving Katsuki plenty of room on the ratty old blanket. They both just lay there, watching the door.

“I met Shouto’s dad once…” Eijiro said softly. “He was big and scary, had fire all over his face. He scowled all the time, especially at Shouto. I didn’t like him, and I could feel that Shouto didn’t either. One time he came by and started yelling at Shouto and it made me so angry I tried to bite him. He hit me. He hit me really hard and it hurt, but Shouto yelled at him and made him leave. He told me that I shouldn’t do that, that I was making things worse, but it felt good. I’m happy I bit him. Shouto’s father is a bad man.”

Katsuki had never heard Eijiro speak so softly or about such a serious topic. It felt weird--way too vulnerable. So Katsuki did what he always did when others got all mushy and weird on him.

“The f*ck that’s got to do with anything?”

“ I don’t know,” Eijiro glanced over at him before turning back to watch the door. “I think Shouto fights a lot of humans who are bad...and sometimes he doesn’t come home when he says he will, or he has to go away suddenly...and it makes me feel like it did with his dad."

Katsuki wasn’t following but at least the idiot was talking and that was better than him just sitting and whining.

“It’s like, I want to bite them. I want to stop them from hurting him but I can’t. I just wait until he comes back...and I hate it.”

Okay, yeah, Katsuki understood that part. He sympathised, even if sympathy was sh*t. Well, he wasn’t here to share his feelings, just to be a decent host and make sure the idiot stopped f*cking whining.

Eijiro seemed to be done talking and Katsuki sure wasn’t going to encourage anything more, so they fell into a long silence. They both lay there, watching the door and listening for anything. Eijiro’s melancholy and anxiety permeated the air and Katsuki hated the way it fed into him and made him more and more aware of how worried he was. Somewhere along the line a neighbor slammed their door and Katsuki jumped. Eijiro lifted his head.

“Are you okay, Katsuki?”

“Fan-f*cking-tastic,” He gritted out in response.

The silence fell again, time slowing to a crawl as they waited. Katsuki’s worry itching his brain, invading more and more of him until he felt ready to burst.

“Deku left the same way when the villain attack happened.”

F*ck. He didn’t know why he said it, it just came out.

“Hmm?” Eijiro turned to eye him curiously.

God f*cking d*mmit why couldn’t he keep his mouth shut?

“When the villain attack happened he got all panicky and told me he had to go, and he promised me he’d be back and then he ran off. He...I don’t f*cking know, he just sounded like that tonight and I don’t like it.”

Suddenly it was like he couldn’t stop. All the words and anxieties were just coming out and he didn’t want Eijiro to know but apparently the f*cker was gonna because now that he’d started it was all coming out.

“And for a while I thought he wasn’t coming back, that I was going to die in there and it sucked and I felt so sick and so...so angry. But, It wasn’t just at Deku, I was so angry at everything and even right now I’m so angry that he’s gone again and he was shaking like he did last time because last time hurt and was scary and I don’t want this time to be like that too.”

Eijiro leaned in a little closer, softly humming. “It’s okay to be scared-”

“I’m not f*cking scared!”

“I am.”

The conversation died down, both sitting and pondering. Katsuki was kicking himself for having said anything, cursing out Eijiro for just assuming he was scared, and listening hopefully for any sounds of Deku. He wasn’t scared. He wasn’t at all scared because it was like last time and last time had been horrible. No, he wasn’t.

“I don’t think being scared is bad,” Eijiro interjected into his thoughts. “I think it means you care.”

Katsuki refused to acknowledge that, to affirm Eijiro in any way. He wasn’t scared and he didn’t care. F*ck Eijiro and his precious Half ‘n Half and honestly? F*ck Deku too. He didn’t care about any of them. Caring was a waste, it only ended badly and Katsuki didn’t have time to waste on bad decisions. Still, the night was taking forever and Eijiro’s steady breathing was kind of soothing, so Katsuki let himself doze a little... and then a lot.

 

Chapter Text

It was maybe around 3 am, Izuku sitting outside the medical office while Shouto got his post-mission physical, when it suddenly dawned on him that Katsuki was going to kill Eijiro. The most grumpy, territorial dog to walk the earth was alone in a house with the friendliest dog ever and Izuku had just thrown the toys on the ground and run. Katsuki would murder Eijiro if he even looked at him, he’d rip him to pieces if he touched the toys. God, Izuku was an idiot!

“I’m ready,” Shouto walked through the door.

Izuku started up, anxiety back in full force. They had to get back, and fast.

“Thanks for the help,” Shouto said tiredly. “It probably would have gone worse if you didn’t come in.”
“Oh yeah, no problem,” Izuku said anxiously, “But I had to leave the dogs alone and It’s probably not going to be pretty.”

Shouto was obviously exhausted, because only grunted, picking up the pace slightly and fumbling in his pocket for his keys.

Shouto had been on a sting operation, pretending to be a dirty hero and working with a few other agencies to bring down a small local gang. It had been going smoothly up until tonight, when the operation reached its peak and they attempted an arrest. The gang had unknown alliances and Shouto’s part in the operation had gotten risky. They’d ended up calling in the big guns when multiple secondary gangs were found closing in on the area, leaving the small band arranged to conduct the sting operation desperately outnumbered and surrounded. Izuku and a few other hero’s arriving just in time to get Shouto and his group the backup they needed to make the arrests, even bagging a few contemporary gangs. Still, the operation was nowhere near as quiet as they’d hoped, meaning any further operations of the sort were at risk. So all in all the night was not as successful as anyone had desired.

Normally Izuku would love to spend a car ride after such an outing in discussion and analysis of the events, but Shouto’s exhaustion was contagious, and between the late night and impending problem at home Izuku found himself lost in his own thoughts, absentmindedly picking at his shirt. Shouto made no attempts to break the silence, no doubt berating himself for his own part in tonight’s mediocre outcome. In the end the fairly short drive from the agency to Izuku’s apartment felt long and frustrating, both of the hero’s eager to vacate the car when they arrived.

It was odd being both tired enough to want to take an extra year or three hundred to get up the stairs, and so overwhelmingly worried about what was going on at the top that you couldn’t stand to wait another moment. Izuku seemed to be closer to the latter, because he was quick up the flights of stairs while Shouto trailed behind. When they finally made it to his door Izuku held his breath, unlocking the door and swinging it inwards.

It looked like the dogs were staging some sort of intervention.

Taking it all in, Izuku breathed a sigh of relief, Shouto physically relaxing where he leaned over his shoulder. The living area looked how he’d left it, no chunks of EIji spread across the floor or Katsuki’s fluff scattered across the room. In fact, said dogs were laying just out of range of the swinging door, turned slightly inwards to each other, looking up at the two of them. Eijiro’s tail was going like mad, and even Katsuki’s curly fluff was moving slightly. The husky had his baby blanket draped across the floor beneath the two of them and Katsuki was sprawled on Izuku’s work out shirt from this morning. The two dogs weren’t quite touching, although close enough to bump noses. Eijiro barked happily, hopping to his feet when Izuku moved to let Shouto through.

“Hi buddy,” Shouto greeted as the big husky stood on his hind legs, paws on his shoulders as he licked the hero’s face.
Katsuki gave no such greeting, but his tail wagged a tiny bit more when Izuku spoke.

“Hi, Katsuki. Looks like you were a good boy while I was gone.”

Katsuki yaped in agreement, standing up and dragging the shirt back down the hallway.

“You can stay the night if you’d like,” Izuku offered.

Shouto accepted, taking the couch for the night. They quickly pulled out extra blankets and got him settled, Eijiro plopping down on top of the tired hero shortly after.

“Let me know if you need anything,” Izuku said, turning out the living room lights. “G’night you two.”

“Thank you, and goodnight.”


 

The next morning Izuku enlisted Shouto’s help in the kitchen, making a meal worthy of such a long night and minimal sleep. Katsuki wandered around the room, sniffing every nook and cranny while Eijiro got under foot begging for food and attention. Katsuki had to be fed in the bedroom, still not entirely comfortable with another dog around his food and was especially edgy after last night. Izuku felt bad about it. They’d made good progress and he’d started to think most of Katsuki’s trauma was in the past. Eiji stayed with them in the kitchen while they ate, finishing the extra bit of dog good Shouto had brought for last night and then begging Izuku for scraps. Izuku was a sucker for it and the overgrown puppy knew it. He caved eventually, making sure Shouto was looking at his phone while he slid a piece of meat off of his plate and over the edge of the counter. It didn’t even hit the ground. Shouto looked up from his phone, giving Izuku a disapproving look.

“It fell,” Izuku offered unconvincingly.

With everybody fed, the two heroes herded the dogs outside for a walk. They stopped at a park where Shouto spent a good few minutes throwing snowballs for Eijiro to catch. Katsuki stuck by Izuku, too hot to do much and probably smart enough to know the excitable husky would just run him over. They sat and watched, Izuku providing Katsuki some shade while Eijiro got his zoomies out.

They chatted about the dogs on the way back, Shouto discussing the instagram Uraraka had made for Eijiro while Izuku recounted the insane following Katsuki was getting. They joked about how much easier the dogs were making it to move up popularity polls, sharing similar experiences of seeing a spike in their popularity after their pets’ instagrams took off.

“I get the feeling we’re the start of a trend,” Shouto teasingly lamented.

“It’s not the worse trend you could start,” Izuku said slyly, “I mean, have you seen your hair?”

Chapter Text

Things were amazing. Three whole months with Katsuki had just flown by and Izuku was happy as a clam. While the stubborn dog still had his ups and downs, he was starting to really grow accustomed to Izuku. He obeyed Izuku maybe 3/4s of the time, let him brush his teeth or give him a bath and even groom him on occasion. He still wasn’t a cuddler, didn’t let Izuku pet him or dote on him, but Katsuki hadn’t planned on that anway; he’d wanted a companion, not a baby, he could live with an independent dog as long as he got the friendship. Katsuki still had his little things, he still carried around Izuku’s shirts when he went to work, got overwhelmed around large groups of people and didn’t like other dogs besides Eijiro, but overall he’d outgrown many of the issues he’d originally had. He’d given up guarding his food around Izuku to the point where he could play with his food mid-meal without much more than a suspicious side eye. Although Katsuki didn’t usually play with others with his toys, he also allowed Izuku to ‘play’ with them, even letting Eijiro play tug of war with him once, although that had ended with the husky dragging the much smaller pup around the room by accident. Katsuki was still very wary of strangers, only really tolerating Uraraka and Izuku’s mom beyond Izuku himself, although tolerated Shouto and he was warming up quickly to Toshinori.

Toshinori had returned home and immediately gone back to being ever present in Izuku’s life, which he loved. It was, of course, very important that Katsuki get along with his mentor because the dog would be seeing him often, so of course Izuku turned a molehill into a mountain. It had been quite nerve wracking for Izuku to introduce his furry friend to the retired hero, still caught up years later in the fanboy freak outs and absolutely terrified Toshinori wouldn’t like Katsuki. And oh gosh he’d be humiliated if his own dog didn’t even like the retired number one hero. But of course Katsuki had flipped Izuku’s expectations on his head, even going as far as to allow a single pat on the head from the withered man and then proceeding to follow him everywhere he wandered in the small apartment. Toshinori found it amusing, especially when tried to follow him to the bathroom.

Overall the summer had been low on crime and Izuku had found himself filling his time with Katsuki. The little pup had garnered quite the fanbase. Brand deals and sponsorship offers were flooding in and Izuku had plenty of requests for Katsuki-related interviews. At one point he was offered a photoshoot with Katsuki for a high end magazine. It was impressive, but Izuku ended up turning it down. Katsuki could barely stand friends and family taking photos, being primped and posed with demanding photographers and the works didn’t seem like the sort of thing Katsuki was ready for. In the end, the photoshoot went to Shouto and Eijiro, which left half of the female population unable to function for at least a week. Eijiro had also gained some traction on the internet, his instagram only slightly behind Katsuki’s. Izuku didn’t know it was possible for people to ship pets, but according to Kaminari, he and Sero had deep dove and found the fanfiction. The pups weren’t the only ones getting attention though, the new tumblr theory was that Izuku and Shouto were gay lovers and their gay lover dogs had brought them together. It was odd, both Shouto and Izuku agreed, but even with the few crazies out there that insisted they had mind blowing sex every night they had a hundred more fans who didn’t send them weird fanfiction or strangely edited photos. And as far as love lives went, Katsuki was the wing man Izuku had never known he’d needed. Uraraka loved the little dog and Izuku maybe kinda sorta loved her so they were having plenty of not officially dates but also kind of dates. The media was wild for it, slyly snapping pictures of them at the grocery store or on a walk with Katsuki. Gossip channels went crazy for the domestic bliss, Izuku was flooded with even more requests for interviews, his and Uraraka’s popularity shot up even more, although neither of them could have cared any less about that part.

“It’s ridiculous,” Uraraka had groused once, “I save hundreds of lives and almost nothing happens, then I get one picture with a boy and my ratings are through the roof.”

Izuku had to agree, it was insulting to have your love life put before your work, especially when your work was something so monumental. Uraraka was an independent and capable woman and he was glad for everyone who knew it and supported her even when there weren’t paparazzi pictures of the two of them to feed the media, he just wished everyone was. Still, Uraraka never quite spending time with him and Katsuki, which Izuku was grateful for. Uraraka was always there, it seemed. Whenever Izuku had a hiccup in his schedule or a long mission Uraraka was there to take care of Katsuki, and whenever Izuku discovered some sort of problem she had the solution. When Katsuki’s fandom got so widespread they couldn’t walk down the street without the poor pup being swarmed, Uraraka had instantly used her day off to help Deku film a PSA for Katsuki’s channel.

‘My name is Katsuki and I belong to Pro Hero Deku. While most of you know that, what you may not know is that I’m an adopted dog. Deku found me and gave me a home, and while I am very happy to be there sometimes I struggle. I’m still learning not to be afraid of loud noises and grabbing hands. I’m still nervous about strangers, especially when they try to touch me, so if you see me out with Deku then please remember to give me some space. I’m still learning and I hope you can all be patient with me. I love all my fans very much, thank you all for cheering me on! Plus Ultra!’

And of course all of Uraraka’s work and coaching paid off because Katsuki could walk freely down the street once more and now everyone was cooing over ‘Daddy Deku’ taking care of his little ‘Baby Floof’ and everyone loved him. Maybe they loved him too much because he was being overwhelmed by the number of toys and treats coming in for Katsuki and the overwhelming support for his work with rescues was flooding his apartment. No dog needed that many chew toys. The dog treat section of the cupboard had turned into the dog treat shelf and was about to become the dog treat cupboard. More offers of interviews were coming in and he had at least three different shelters asking him to be the face of their advertising. He was the unofficial face of the animal adoption world. He got a few nasty letters, people accusing him of using Katsuki to gain popularity, but overall the reception was good. He even ended up agreeing to a nighttime talk show for an interview about Katuski and his new work with the adoption movements around Japan.

-------------------

Izuku tugged at his collar, adjusting the tie a little and rolling his shoulders. He carded a hand through his hair, bouncing on his heels a little. He let Uraraka talk him into a new haircut, cutting the sides short and leaving the curls on top a bit longer. She told him it made him look cooler, he thought he looked stupid.

“Introducing everyone's favorite rising hero, Deku!” Came the muffled cry.

“That’s your cue,” the stage manager said, gesturing for Izuku to move.

Izuku walked out onto the brightly lit stage, waving and grinning, praying he was reading as confident,, or at least not like the bumbling idiot he felt like right now. The host was standing, leaning over to shake his hand and offering a greeting which Izuku returned, still aware of the cheering audience as he took a seat across from the show host.

“Welcome! Welcome, Deku. It’s good to see you! I’m liking the new haircut. What prompted this?” The host was all warmth and casual ease.

“You as well,” Deku returned. “The haircut was a friend’s idea.”

“Well I think they had the right idea. It looks good.”

“Thank you.”

“Well I suppose you’ll be wanting to say hello to your mom. Get on with it.”

The audience chuckled as Izuku turned to the camera, waving. “Hi, mom!”

This was a running gag between him and the host. Izuku had only been on the show once or twice, but after the host found out his mother watched the show he made it a ritual to have the hero great his mother. Izuku appreciated it. It helped ground him, make him calm some of the butterflies in his stomach. The host was warm and genuine, good at saving a nervous guest from making a fool of themselves. He always went for this specific talk show, turning down all others much to his management’s chagrin. He said it was the stress and anxiety of doing so many different shows but mostly it was his mother. This was the only talkshow she ever watched, deeming the host as the only respectable interviewer on TV, not sleezy or manipulative like the others. Of course Izuku was a momma’s boy so he listened to her.

“Alright. It seems we’ve got much to talk about but let's start with the formalities. How are you doing?”

Izuku gave some generic reply, hoping it was enough to satisfy.

“Good to hear, good to hear. Now, the thing we all really want to know. Why don’t you tell us about your friend?”

Izuku had been in contact with the show since the request for an interview, working through what he would and wouldn’t talk about and of course the main one that he’d been begged to discuss was Katsuki. Izuku certainly didn’t mind and was happy to gush over him. He’d been planning what he’d say for days, but on the spot like this he found himself just spouting the first thing that came to mind. He hoped he didn’t sound too stupid/

“Well, he’s my new dog. Well, not really new, he’s been with me for a few months. He’s a half pom, half Shiba Inu and a whole lot of trouble.”

“I imagine,” The host interjected. “I’ve seen his instagram. Quite incredible.”

Behind them the a screen displayed Katsuki’s profile pic, one of him glaring at the camera menacingly.

“Yeah,” Izuku nodded, “He’s definitely a handful, but I love him”

Cue lots of ‘awwwws’ from the audience.

“And do you manage his instagram?”

“Yeah. I have some help from friends and family who send me pictures or captions, but it’s mostly me at this point.”

The host nodded. “And there’s one post that garnered a lot of attention. You made a bit of a PSA about Katsuki, didn’t you?”

There it was. Izuku shuffled nervously, not wanting to say the wrong thing. People were so sensitive about him discussing Katsuki’s rescue and trauma.

“Yeah. So Katsuki was from a shelter and he’s had a bit of a rough past, probably some abuse.”

The audience murmured in sympathy.

“So we have a lot to work though,” Izuku continued, fidgeting with his cuff. “ He’s still pretty uncomfortable with lots of people and being touched. He doesn’t really like strangers, so sometimes the fans make him a bit scared when they run up and try to pet him or take pictures. The video was sort of a friendly way to let people know that.”

“It’s quite wonderful, actually. You’re quite the father.”

The audience buzzed a little, some cheers and laughter as Izuku blushed, scratching at the back of his head.

“Speaking of videos,” the host leaned forward suggestively. “ Katsuki seems to have a buddy?”

Oh, Izuku knew where this was going.

“Yeah. He’s got a friend named Eijiro. He’s a big husky who belongs to Shouto.”

The audience buzzed in excitement.

“I see. And you saw the video Shouto posted recently.”

“That I did,” Izuku nodded, grinning in anticipation.

“Well, for those of you who haven’t, this is what Katsuki’s buddy thinks of him.”

Izuku turned in his seat to observe the video screen behind them. It was a video off of Eijiro’s Instagram. Shouto was filming Eijiro, watching as the husky stared at him from the living room, head tilted.

‘Eji, guess who we’re seeing today?”

Eji cocked his head, wiggling slightly in anticipation.

“We’re going to go see Katsuki.”

The way Shouto said it was so monotone but still, Eijiro hopped into a playing position, tail going crazy and tongue lolling out.

‘I said we’re going to see Katsuki.”

Again Ejiro jumped up and then back into his playing position, eyes wide and mouth spread in a big doggy grin.

The audience chuckled and cooed, lapping up Eiji’s excitable behavior and clear love for his little friend. Izuku shifted back to face the host.

“That’s awfully sweet, don’t you think?”

Izuku agreed.

“And you did the same thing in response, is that right?”

The host was barely hiding his amusement as Izuku chuckled bashfully, confirming his question.

“And here’s what Katsuki thought of it,”he said, directing the audience back to the screen.

This time it was Izuku behind the camera, Katuski chewing on a small rawhide.

“Katsuki, guess who we’re going to see.”

Katuski didn’t even look up, just gnawed on the treat.

“Katsuki,” Izuku’s voice sounded loud from behind the camera, “Guess who we’re going to see?”

This time Katsuki looked up,

“We’re going to go see Eiji!”

Katsuki showed no signs of joy, just glared. There was a scattered chuckle from the audience.

“Katsuki, we’re going to see Eiji! Aren’t you excited?”

Just as Izuku was asking Kastuki if he was excited the dog began coughing, his whole body shaking. He stood, leaning his head down and letting out another nasty wet cough before regurgitated dog food hit the floor.

“Oh.”

The audience erupted into laughter and applause as the camera went back to Izuku and the host. Izuku laughed, still nervous but remembering just how funny the video was.

“So he does that everytime you tell him he’s visiting his ‘friend’?”

“No,” Izuku chuckled, “thank goodness.”

“You know, he doesn’t seem to like his friend very much,” The host chided.

“I’m not sure he likes anyone very much. He more or less just tolerates.”

Izuku hoped that was funny or charming or just not a stupid thing to say. The audience seemed to find it amusing at least.

“So we can see. You know, I find it quite amusing,” the host gestured to the screen again, pulling up a smiling picture of Izuku, “that you were voted the most approachable hero and this is your dog.”

Izuku shifted in his seat to look at the screen again. Pulled up next to his picture was an instagram photo of Uraraka practically crying with laughter as she held a carrot out in front of Katsuki. Katsuki was all puffed up, lip pulled back and ears pinned, looking like he was about to murder the carrot. The audience hooted with laughter, Izuku joining in politely. He could see the irony of it all.

“He really doesn’t like carrots,” He clarified, not wanting anyone to think too badly of him as an owner for the picture.
“Well I can see that,” The host teased. “I’m just wondering how we go from this,” he gestured at Izuku, “to this,” he then gestured at the picture of Katsuki.

“Izuku thought for a moment, trying to find the perfect thing to say but falling short in his anxious desire to not look like an idiot on live television.

“Opposites attract, I guess,” he settled for.

“Indeed they do,” the host agreed, reaching out for Izuku’s hand. “Deku, it’s been so nice to have you with us and congrats on your dog. Hopefully you can find a vegitable he likes.”

Izuku took the hand, saying his goodbyes and thanking the host before leaving the stage, waving as he left. His posture sunk the moment he was out of site and he let out a breath he hadn’t known he was holding. God, these night shows were intimidating.


 

With Katsuki’s fame Izuku should have expected people to crop up, but it still came as a surprise when he received the message. A private DM over instagram with several pictures of a puppy looking very much like Katsuki.

‘Hello, My name is Sato me and my wife believe that you are the current owner of our puppy. I assure you we do not wish any trouble to you or Katsuki, we were very delighted to see him so happy with you. We just thought you might enjoy some baby photos. We got Katsuki from a breeder when he was still a puppy, we called him Aki . He was a great little one, although stubborn and requiring lots of attention. We always loved him dearly, but once my son was born it became clear that Katsuki was not ready for a baby and we decided it was best to give him up for adoption. It broke our hearts to let him go, and we were both incredibly saddened to hear that his life was so hard after we gave him up. We’re so happy to know he has a safe and happy home with you. Our best wishes to you and your dog.’

The message left Izuku feeling unsettled, unsure what to think. He’d come to imagine Katsuki’s previous owners as monstrosities, how else could Katsuki be the way he was when he’d found him? But here were his first owners, probably where all the foundations of good behavior stemmed from, talking about loving him, sending pictures of a happy and healthy little Katuski. It was something Izuku just couldn’t seem to marry in his head. Still, he appreciated them reaching out, he guessed. He sent back a thank you and well wishes for the young family, studying the pictures of his little Katski, so much littler than now.

After the first message Izuku braced himself for more. If these people knew about Katsuki surely other previous owners would come out of the woodwork. And Izuku was right. Not much later a post circulated the internet with a woman claiming Katsuki was hers, unfairly stolen from her, demanding that the internet rally behind her to retrieve her dog. Izuku was immediately frightened, the woman’s post was almost manic, coming off unstable, and her profiles didn’t help. The woman was gaudy and rude, the pictures she posted of selfies with who she claimed was Katsuki were heavily filtered and overdone. If the dog was Katsuki, which it appeared to be, then Katsuki was clearly unhappy, looking rather small and dull eyed, although that could have been all the editing to the photos. Izuku would have had to worry, the records from shelters proved that the dog had not been taken from her by them and since no collection was made on him and there was no documentation by either the shelter or the woman there was nothing she could do legally to take Katsuki back. Besides, the internet was definitely not on this woman’s side. Izuku watched in relief and appreciation as the woman was verbally torn apart, people going through her facebook, twitter and instagram photos, analyzing and pointing out all the ways she was unfit to own a dog. It was quite saddening to see people pointing out how unhealthy Katsuki looked, or how the placement of her hands while she held him for a picture were putting painful pressure on his little body. He was getting a small picture of just what Katsuki had endured the worst was a photo where someone had zoomed in to the background of a selfie, pointing out that the mirror was reflecting a clear dog fight between a much bigger dog and what was most likely Katsuki. It was blurry but it looked like Katsuki was pinned under the larger dog. Izuku burned with rage when he saw it. The world was right along with him. Support for him and Katuski poured in.

Izuku never heard from any of Katsuki’s other owners, and he was relieved. It was enough to know those two pieces of Katsuki’s life and to see the outcome, both good and bad. Katsuki was his now and although that history was heavy on his little dog’s heart, he was going to be there to ease the burden.

 

Chapter Text

Looking back on everything, Katsuki knew that he would never have asked for this. All he’d come to hope for was a place to lay down and die, maybe some food and a dry blanket before he went. He’d never have asked for Deku, never asked for Sh*tty Fur or Round Face, definitely not Auntie Inko or the withered man with the funny hair. He didn’t ask but he got, and why he’d never know. His mother used to promise him happiness, a home and a human to love and he’d believed her then. He’d believed her when he’d first come to his new home with two happy humans. Somewhere along the road he’d given that up, come to realize it was a promise she couldn’t keep and humans had no intent on holding up. He knew disappointment and heartbreak, he knew a heavy hand and a harsh word, and now he knew Deku didn’t have those. He was coming to know new things, seeing the renewal of old promises he thought broken and he loathed the fact that they were coming from a green haired idiot who couldn’t even confess his crush. It made him so angry that he couldn’t help it if his tail waggled a little when Deku came home after Katsuki had just gotten worried he wouldn’t, or that he found so much strength in the smelly shirts Deku left hanging half out of his laundry basket. He hated that he’d gotten use to the nerds continual commentary on life.

God he’d gone soft. He’d gone so f*cking soft for the nerd.

So Katsuki determined tonight he would not wag his tail one bit, wouldn’t even come to the door when Deku got back. He had a reputation to uphold and he’d let it slip too far.

Katsuki kept himself busy with his many toys, destroying the older ones and enjoy the new ones. There was always a constant stream of toys, which delighted Katsuki. He loved pulling them apart, getting all the weird stuffing out and mangling them to bits, and everytime he did so there seemed to be a new one to replace it. So he occupied himself with destruction, eventually growing tired and going to get one of Deku’s shirts for a nap.

Katsuki was awoken to the whirring of the automatic feeder. It was weird, usually the f*cking nerd was home by now. He almost never missed dinner. He waited, listening to any sounds of the nerd coming home late, probably flustered and muttering apologies that Katsuki didn’t care about. The apartment was eerily quiet. He could faintly hear neighbors coming home from work, fumbling with their doors and greeting families. Still no Deku.

So Katuski was totally over the whole abandonment thing so it was COMPLETELY FINE. This happened sometimes. Any moment Round Face or Half ‘n Half or Auntie Inko would come through the door to check on him. They’d put Deku in the phone again and he’d get those stupid promises about being home soon and it would sound weird and tinny but the Deku in the phone never lied. So Katsuki waited more. The sun was going down and the clock had the symbols for Deku’s bedtime but no one came still. Katsuki wasn’t just annoyed anymore.

He doesn’t remember falling asleep, just trying to lay so that the sick feeling clinging to his insides felt lessened. He doesn’t think he ever found a way to make it stop or not twist his insides so much, so he must have just exhausted himself. It’s morning and the feeder is whirring again and no one came to wake Katsuki up. It’s terrifying waking up alone. When he thinks about it, he hasn’t had to do that since the big man. Katsuki wants to feel made that Deku has made him feel like he’s back with that man, back to being left alone, but Deku’s made all these promises and whenever he broke them he made up for them and Katsuki just can’t seem to imagine that this is the time Deku really does break his promise. He just wants someone to come, wants Auntie Inko, Round Cheeks, hell, even Half ‘n Half would do. Still, no one comes and it’s been maybe most of the day and he can’t eat and he needs to piss but he knows he can’t do that on the floor and his ripped up all the toys out of frustration and not fear and oh god there’s finally someone at the door.

It doesn’t sound like Deku but Katuski doesn’t care. As long as it’s someone it’ll be Deku eventually. He bounds up to the door, narrowly missing being struck by the swinging door. It’s Auntie Inko, oh thank god. Only, as she shuffles into the apartment he’s so very aware that she’s upset, wringing her hands and moving jerkily. She looks like she’s been crying, her cheeks are wet and she’s sniffling as she puts down her bag, kneeling in front of him. Katsuki is scared.

“Oi, what’s wrong? What’s going on?”

He inspects her now outreached hand, trying to catch a scent of what would make her so upset. She makes things strangled sob sound and is suddenly holding him way to tight. He tries to tell her, tries to get her to let go so they can deal with the f*cking problem but she’s pressing her face into his neck and he can feel the sobs as they wrack her body.

“Please.You gotta tell me what’s wrong Auntie. Stop. You gotta stop. You gotta stop f*cking crying okay?”

She’s pulling back and loosening her grip and he can’t f*cking stand it when the nerd and his mom cry so he tries to get her to stop. He cleans away the tears on her cheeks, trying to stop fresh ones from falling. She’s just shaking as she holds him and he’s so incredibly aware that something is very wrong. Her hand rests against his head, cupping his face gently and while normally this would scare him all to hell right now it feels like its more for her than for him so he lets her, leans into it a little to tell her it’s alright and he’s here to help.

“Oh Katsuki. I’m so sorry.”

What the f*ck is she sorry for?

“They...They just found him and we didn’t know. We didn’t know.”

Oh gosh the tears are back and Katsuki doesn’t know what to f*cking do.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to him!”

Auntie Inko is wailing, holding him tight again and Katsuki feels like he’s going to explode. What is going on? WHAT IS GOING ON? Can someone stop crying for just five minutes and tell him what’s going on? Where’s Deku? Who is the him? Is it Deku? Did something happen to Deku?

He keeps asking her, keeps trying to get her to understand that he doesn’t know what’s going on and he needs to know what’s going on but she’s just crying and squeezing him too tight and he’s so stressed but he cannot bring himself to stop this poor woman from continuing. He just lets the fear build up in him and swirl and swirl until he’s so sick he’s numb to everything. It’s just him and Auntie inko on the floor, grieving and for exactly what he doesn’t f*cking know. Somewhere along the line someone f*cking else has invaded the apartment but he’s so wrapped up in Auntie Inko (literally) that he doesn’t fully realiZe it until Round Face is kneeling next to them, talking softly with Auntie Inko.

“I’ve just gotten the word from Shouto. He says they’ll let you come see him. The surgery was successful but they don’t know how long it’ll take for him to wake. Shouto thinks they’ll be able to use a recovery quirk very soon, but the doctor can tell you everything.”

Auntie Inko is still crying, still holding Katsuki, but she’s slowly loosening her grip on him.

“He-he’ll want to see Katsuki.”

Why the f*ck does anyone want to see him?

“He’s always worried sick whenever he has to leave Katsuki,” She continues, “He’ll want to know he’s alright.”

“I don’t think they’ll let him in. It’s risky to let a dog in so early postoperative,” Round Face is countering, but she doesn’t sound like she’s very invested in the argument.

F*ck that. They’re talking like it’s Deku and like hell Katsuki is going to go another moment without seeing the f*cking nerd. He has a f*cking bone to pick. He’ll piss all over the green idiot for leaving him like this.

“I- I need him there too,” Inko says, tightening her hold on Katsuki again. “Please, let me bring him with. You know Izuku would want him there.”

That apparently does the trick because suddenly pink cheeks is in bossy mode.

“Alright. First we should let him outside. He’ll need to use the bathroom since he’s been locked up so long.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Getting outside and finally getting to piss is sweet relief to Katsuki. God, no dog should have to hold their bladder that f*cking long. Wherever Deku is, Katsuki is going to murder him when he gets there.

“We have to get him through without anyone seeing him,” Pink Cheeks is muttering, staring at him far too f*cking intently for his liking. “I’ve got it.”

Auntie Inko is messing around in the bedroom so he follows Pink Cheeks in as well, where she goes digging around in Deku’s closets. Rude.

While Auntie shoves things into a small duffel bag, Round Face is laying out a sheet on the bed, messing with it and tugging it around.

“This is how we’ll sneak him in,” She says, turning to Auntie Inko.

Katsuki nearly escapes, but Round Face is surprisingly fast. The next thing he knows he’s being forced on his back in the middle of the bed, Pink Cheeks wrestling his paws down as she wraps him up tightly in the blanket. He can’t f*cking move. His legs are pressed tight to his body and he’s all squished up and he’s f*cking mad about it. She’s picking him up and holding him like a little human, cradled in her arms close to her chest and he’s going to rip her face off. He tries, But he can’t f*cking move. She’s f*cking giggling. He hates her. He’s going to kill her just as soon as he’s free, just watch.

Auntie Inko is grabbing bags of treats and toys and bowls and shoving them into the duffel as they exit the house, still furiously swaddled and in Round Cheek’s arms. All this fluff feels scrunched up around his face and bits of his fur tickle his nose. He keeps sneezing and the dumb b*tch just laughs. He’s not happy, doesn’t like this one f*cking bit.

Still, the walk is short and soon their entering this building and they’re stopping, talking to someone at this big desk and Round Face has covered him up so he can barely see but soon their walking down this big hall. It smells sterile, nasty. It’s like the vet and he’s wondering if this is all one big ploy to get him there. He tries to struggle again, break free from the stupid f*cking blanket but Pink Cheeks is strong. They stop again and Katsuki can hear Auntie talking. When Pink Cheeks speaks up its almost soothing to feel the rumble of her chest against his body. He calms just a little.


 

Uraraka holds Katsuki tightly as he wiggles against her chest. The receptionist at the special cases ward looks flabbergasted. Honestly it’s pretty funny when she thinks about it. Deku is only allowed family visitors at the moment, so here’s his mother and Uraraka and She’s holding a bundle that looks like a baby and there’s been all these speculative articles and the photos and the receptionist isn’t even questioning it, just getting a nurse to lead them to his room.

Uraraka is obligated to argue for the rules, it’s her job as a hero, but she’s so glad Katsuki is here. She’s selfishly taking him upon herself, using his warm little body as an anchor to ground and comfort her as she follows Deku’s mother down the hall. This was part of the job, it wasn’t like she hadn’t seen Deku in this sort of condition before. The kid used to break his arms every week for heaven’s sake. But it was different now. Now...well...She didn’t know what they were but it was different than the fluttery crush she’d harbored all of their time at UA. Now it was something deeper, more grown up and much more encompassing. Something that made knowing Deku’s currently situation all the worse.

They’d thought it would be so simple, so easy to just break up the operation and make the arrests. Of course it wasn’t. Deku was the dumbest, most self sacrificing hero she’d ever known, so of course he’d pursued even when it would’ve put him at risk, jumping in after a hostage when some guy with a teleportation quirk made a quick exit. They almost wouldn’t have found him but for one of the interns. She had a tracking quirk, could use a piece of DNA to find someone’s vague location. When they’d finally gotten her something of his to use and she’d been able to sift through everything and given them an approximate location it’d been nearly too late. Deku was strong, but even he had his limits and Uraraka knew he was probably sacrificing his win for the safety of the hostage. But of course, when they’d finally scoured the nature reserve and located his whereabouts the hostage was dead and Deku was nearly there himself.

Uraraka hadn’t actually been part of the search team. While she wanted more than anything to look for the man she’d come to love so dearly, she knew her skills were better used handling the mess left behind in Mustafu. She now wished she’d been there, if not to help Izuku then at least to leave the villains with a nice thank you for their efforts.

Katsuki squirming in her arms was her anchor, reminding her that she was here now, here to comfort his mother, help him recover, and smuggling his dog into a hospital.


 

Katsuki felt like he spent forever wrapped up in the f*cking blanket. He was tired of laying on his back and his legs were starting to cramp by the time Round Face uncovered his face. He craned his neck to look around the room. It was very ugly, very white and full of weird machines that beeped and whirred. There was a window with ugly curtains that glowed yellow with the sun shining through. It was just him and round Face and Auntie Inko and Auntie was leaning over the bed clutching at a green-haired figure.

Deku looked awfully pale, laying on his back with all these strange wires and tubes hanging off him. He was sleeping, but it was different from when he slept at home, Katuski decided. Katsuki didn’t exactly know how he knew but he just knew, the human, his human was sick. Sick or injured or maybe dying and it was his human. His dumb nerdy human with ugly green hair was sick or injured or maybe dying and he needed Katsuki.

Katuski shifted, trying to get himself out of the blanket and Round Face’s arms. It was no use, though. Eventually she seemed to realize he wanted out and actually complied, unwrapping the blanket clumsily and gently setting Katsuki on the bed. The blanket felt scratchy to Katsuki, definitely not good enough for his human. Deku seemed so much smaller laying there, so pale that the bandages on his arms and face almost matched his skin. Well, the skin that wasn’t a mottled mixture of purples and greens.

Katsuki was suddenly very aware of how delicate Deku really was. He had to be careful. He couldn’t let his human hurt anymore. So, he cautiously worked his way up to Deku’s side, trying to catch any signs of distress from his human. The blanket was pulled up to his chest, his arms outstretched slightly. Katsuki stopped to sniff at his hand, trying to make sense of the steril scents he picked up that weren’t at all like his Deku. He felt a pang of distress at this. Deku didn’t smell right, didn’t smell like him. He worked his way up between his arm and his side, careful not to step on him, lest he hit a bruise or wake him. He strained toward his face, nosing at his chin, trying to catch the scent he’d come to love the most. He caught a whiff of it under the other strange smells, just an undercurrent of home in this strange place that stunk of chemicals and sickness. That was enough. He just needed to know it was still his Deku, pale and injured but still his. Katsuki did his best not to shift Deku’s arm as he settled down next to his side.

You really f*cking did yourself a number this time, nerd,” He whined softly, gently resting his head on his stupid human’s chest. “You’re lucky I’m here to take care of you, or who knows what would happen.”

 

Chapter Text

Izuku felt...gross. Like, his mouth was so dry and his tongue felt thick and cumbersome. Speaking of cumbersome...what were his arms doing? And his legs? Oh god they felt so...weird. Everything sort of ached, especially his head. His head felt sooooooo heavy. It was like he was in a fish bowl, everything sounded far away and muddy...was someone talking to him? He couldn’t tell. His torso felt nicely warm, like someone took a hot brick and just set it on there...not too hot and not too heavy, but really, really nice. Oh God he felt like he’d gotten punched to a pulp and drugged up to high heaven.People were definitely talking, like fish people far away in the ocean but he could hear them kinda…

“Take...not allowed....remove…”

Someone was itching his chest but they were too rough. They were making a whole lot of noises too, sharper noises that kinda throbbed in his head...was there a bear in the room? Everything was starting to get clearer in his foggy brain, the voices sounding a lot less far off and his body was feeling a lot less great than it had a minute ago. Was that his mom? Oh gosh his mom was here? Where’d the hot brick go? He liked it before it started scratching.

Izuku finally cracked open an eye, wincing at the stark lighting. Everything was kinda....blurry. Someone he didn’t recognize was leaning over him with big glasses and a white coat, a doctor, he assumed. Maybe he still wasn’t totally lucid because it looked like the doctor was holding a really big cotton ball...slightly dirty and wiggling like crazy...and it was...snarling? Oh. That was his, wasn’t it?

“Ka-,” His tongue felt so thick and his voice cracked terribly, “Kah-chan?”

The cotton ball was wiggling furiously, Izuku tried to laugh but it came out more like a wheeze. Suddenly his mom was right there and she was pulling his cotton ball out of the doctor’s hands...hell yeah mom you...take that cotton ball.

“Right here, Izuku, sweetie.”

So it was Katsuki. Huh, he looked awful cute stomping up close and pressing his face in to Izuku’s. His tail was going so fast Izuku didn’t understand how he could even keep upright, it was dizzying trying to track the fluffy thing. Izuku went cross eyed trying to look him in the eye.

“Hu-hi Kacchan,” Izuku slurred, trying to lift a really really heavy hand to give his good dog a nice pet. Katsuki looked absolutely scandalized...or was that the drugs? He was stopping on his chest...it felt funny… and talking to him. Was Katsuki swearing? Could dogs swear?

“Kacchan watch your language.”

He wasn’t watching his language and the doctor kept protesting, saying something to Izuku and his mom but he was too focused on trying to pet his Kacchan without accidentally smacking him in the face. Kacchan kept moving and stomping and swearing in his funny little dog language. Izuku was amused and very, very intent on patting his dog on the head.

It took him awhile to realize his mom was talking to him and he painstakingly turned his head to try and focus on her. Katsuki was being an attention whore though because he just stuck his face back in Izuku’s when he turned it.

“Kacchan...you gotta share.”

He was slurring his words less and things weren’t so muddy anymore. He now recognized his mom was crying, and looking around Katsuki he could see and feel why. He was pretty beat up.

“It’s okay, mom. I’m alright.”

His mother sunk to her knees at his bedside, much to his chagrin, tears streaming down her face as she let out a waterfall of scoldings and concerns and relief that he was still way to drugged up to totally follow. Katsuki was butting at his chin, being pushy. Izuku raised his hand, a bit more in control this time and went to pat him. Katsuki practically jumped into the hand and Izuku giggled.

“Mom he’s being cuddly,” He mused, still a little drugged up.

“He missed you, honey. We all did,” She replied wetly. “Your friends are outside waiting to see you.”

Friends? Izuku tried to peer around Katsuki and see outside the door, but the pom refused to let Izuku let him out of his line of sight.

“Mom...can I sit up?”

His mom dug around his bedside for the remote, raising the bed until he was propped at an angle, Katsuki forced by gravity to settle down into his lap and shove himself up into Izuku’s face and arms. The room was about what he’d come to expect from his hospital visits, although the live plush toy was new. Izuku assessed his injuries as best he could, trying to feel out where the worst of the pain was radiating. Katsuki’s shuffling on his chest and now on his lap had offered little pain, so Izuku assumed it was mostly bruising there, but his legs and his arms felt sore and achy and he still felt pretty rotten through and through. The doctor was sat a distance away, looking very put out. When Izuku made eye contact he rolled his seat over, clearing his throat and starting the fun part of Izuku’s many hospital visits. Judging my all the notes he held this time was a doozy.

------------------------

By the time the doctor had concluded and left, insisting Katsuki be removed, the little dog had settled quite a bit. He lay lazily in Izuku’s lap, switching between chewing and licking the few unbandaged fingers Izuku absentmindedly flitted in front of him. Apparently it had been bad this time, much worse than now thanks to surprise visit from Recover Girl. He’d have to stop by and properly thank her once he was released. Overall he was lucky, like he was so many other times. He’d saved his damaged arms, managing to annihilate his torso and legs, apparently suffering enough breaks and cracks to warrant a whole skeletal transplant. The lack of pain involved with Katsuki’s furious tirades whenever he used the name “Kacchan”, Recovery Girl had done her job well. His mom had stopped crying after she’d managed to Izuku shed a few tears as well, just proving to everyone that he was, in fact, the worst momma’s boy. So now he just waited patiently for whichever friends his mother had alluded to.

It didn’t take long for Uraraka, Shouto and Iida to find their way in, a sweet little fruit basket nestled in Iida’s overzealous hands. They greeted him animatedly, each offering their well wishes and admonishments to Izuku for his “reckless abandonment of sense” as Iida so eloquently put it.

They sat with him and his mother for a while, filling him in on all that had happened for the few days he was out.

“Katsuki wouldn’t let anyone touch you, the Doctors were furious,” Shouto recounted. “He wouldn’t eat or drink unless your mother or Uraraka brought him something, he wouldn’t leave the bed. He bit a doctor at one point and they had to ask your mother to come restrain him when they wanted to change bandages or anything. After the major surgeries It wasn’t until Recovery Girl got here that anything really happened, Katsuki would only let her near you and she could only do as much as you had the energy for.”

Shouto brandished his phone for Izuku to see, swiping between a picture of Katsuki nestled up at his side, snarling menacingly at the camera, and then one of him eyeing Recovery Girl warily as she planted a kiss to Izuku’s forehead. Izuku laughed, Katsuki was being so overprotective.

“I’m surprised they even let him in here in the first place, much less let him stay!”

“That’s where Mrs. Midoriya and I came in,” Uraraka chimed in. “We smuggled Katsuki in by pretending he was our baby! No one questioned it and after he was in Mrs. Midoriya refused to let him be removed.”

Izuku felt his face get incredibly hot. Their...baby? Oh gosh and she said that in front of Shouto and Iida! And his mom! Izuku thought he might die.

“I just knew you’d want to know he was okay,” His mom said, determination in her eyes. “You care about him so much and he was so worried about you.”

Izuku felt a pang of guilt. Looking back at the timeline of events Katsuki must have been alone for at least a few days. Oh gosh he’d promised. He looked down at the little dog nestled in his lap.

“I’m sorry, Kacchan. I promise I didn’t mean to abandon you.”

Kacchan glared and crunched down sharply his fingers. Izuku accepted his punishment. He deserved this.

“Your mom was with him when I made it to your apartment, He wasn’t alone for too long. He also did really well pretending to be a baby, but you should have seen him when he first got to you. He really loves you,” Uraraka said, eyes and voice growing warm and soft at the last statement.

“Yeah,” Izuku agreed, holding Katsuki a little tighter and giving him a fond glance.

----------------------------------

Eventually everyone filtered out and his mother left to grab food only after he spent a good ten minutes persuading her. It was just him and Katsuki, and then Toshinori.

Of course Toshinori was worried and ready to scold Izuku for his recklessness, but Izuku could hear the pride in his voice.

“It’s the best heroes who would give it all for one person. You have a good heart, kid,” He finally admitted.

Izuku preened under the reluctant praise.

“And...it’s the best heroes who have the best support. Katsuki’s been doing a pretty good job,” He chuckled, scratching the pup behind an ear. Katsuki leaned in to the touch.

“Mom said he hasn’t left since they brought him. He’s so tough on the outside but he’s got such a good heart,” He mused.

They conversed about things for a bit longer, until his mom returned and Toshinori excused himself, wishing Izuku the best and demanding they meet for dinner later.

“We’ve got strategies to discuss,” Toshinori said, mysteriously.

------------------------------

There was a lot to process, coming out of the hospital. Izuku had a hostage to grieve for, reports to complete, post-injury physicals to pass and therapy attend, besides that there was a mother to console and a very demanding dog to pacify.

Katsuki had made his feelings on the matter very clear. From the moment they left the hospital Izuku didn’t get a single moment to himself. Katsuki even demanded to take shows with him. Whenever he tried to reason with Katsuki the little dog would just glare at him like “If you can’t take care of yourself someone else is going to have to do it, nerd”. He never relented and for the week of recovery the agency gave him off Katsuki demanded 100% of it. Maybe Izuku originally had a cat but now he didn't know what to do that he apparently had one, because Katsuki was now very particular about touching, but in the “now you are allowed to touch me but after five pats I will be forced to bite your hand off” sort of way. He’d just be typing up reports for work and Katsuki would jump on his computer or bark at him until he got his attention, and then leave not more than a few seconds later.

Izuku ended up taking him to the office, too. Katsuki was almost a permanent staple of office life for the agency by now and when he and Eijiro were there together, which was becoming more and more common, there was always some sort of hell being raised. The interns loved it and the staff was learning to tolerate it. Toshinori, who often came to consult with Izuku on furthering success, found a great joy in babysitting the two troublemakers whenever he stopped by. He’d taken quite the shine to Eijiro, and treated Katsuki like his stubborn, furry son. He and Uraraka were officially the favorite non-owners.

Perhaps all things considered referring himself as Katsuki owner wasn’t quite right anymore. Katsuki seemed to have to decided he was the one owning someone in their relationship. Katsuki was a total mom friend, always demanding he eat and sleep and go out for walks with him, even at the office. Izuku felt like maybe it had been a gradual process, maybe in the little things like letting him put on the harness or the first time he’d harassed Izuku into looking into the fridge, but the hospital made it official, Katsuki had decided Izuku was his. Maybe with how helpless Izuku had found Katsuki, he’d found him as equally helpless in the hospital bed and...adopted him.

All things considered, being adopted was pretty nice.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text


“Kacchan! Kacchan NO!”

Izuku jumped for the little dog, flailing his arms in a haphazard attempt to grab the escaping fiend. He missed, of course, and now Katsuki was tearing across the park, precious cargo in hand and leash flying behind him.

“Katsuki get back here!”

Katsuki was not listening.

This was not good. This was the end of everything. He’d been holding that ring in his pocket for weeks, trying to find the perfect time and it just happened yet so he’d decided it had to be today, he couldn’t wait anymore. But of course Katsuki was running away with the ring. Of course his best wingman was turning on him and destroying his proposal. It was like the little jerk just knew there was an extra special Izuku-plan to mess up. Wait, was that? Oh NO.

“Katsuki, Katsuki come here!” He shouted, scrabbling up off the grass and tearing after his dog.

Uraraka was on the phone on the other end of the small park, just getting off the phone or some sort. Katsuki was headed right for her. Oh god Katsuki, NO.

Katsuki was sitting, box in mouth, in front of Uraraka, who was bending down to check what he had.

He maybe used a little bit of One for All to try and tackle Katsuki, but of course he didn’t make it in time, almost face planting in front of Uraraka, who was holding the box, her face unreadable. The box was open...

“Uh, Hi!”

Oh gosh he didn’t know what to do or what to say this was not good this was not what he’d planned oh gosh oh gosh does he get on one knee or try and take it back what does he say? Maybe he can pass it off as a casual gift or just say Katsuki stole it from someone else or..

“Izuku, you’re mumbling,” Uraraka says, laughing lightly and so, so beautifully.

“Oh, uh, sorry. Uh, um Iguessyouheardallthatohmygoshi’msosorry-”

“It’s okay, Deku. Just...go on.”

She was speaking so warmly. Oh gosh she was an angel, her hair was highlighted with golden sun and her eyes could save a drowning man. That smile, oh that smile. Izuku didn't even register he’d gotten down on one knee, Katsuki sitting just in front of him.

“Uh...Uraraka, I-you-we-uh, Will you marry me?”

She was laughing and crying and clutching the open ring box to her chest as she pulled him up, he went willingly, if not a little shakily. He rocked back as she flung herself on him, nearly taking out Katsuki in the process. Was that a yes?

“Yes! Yes that’s a yes!”

Oh, he said that outloud? Wow, oh wow, he just proposed...he was engaged. He’d have to tell his mom he finally did it. Toshinori would be so proud. Oh God he was engaged. He pulled back just a little, really looking at Uraraka, at his girlfriend, his fiance. She was...his? And oh gosh he was hers now. He was so happy. So. Happy. Katsuki was so. Unhappy. Little barks and growls could be heard from underfoot as Katuski demanded his attention. Uraraka finally let go, crouching down.

“What do you think, Katsuki? Is it good enough?” She was holding the ring, which Izuku couldn’t remember slipping on her finger, out in front of the pup.

Katsuki was sniffing it intently, taking his time before declaring it worthy and shoving his head under the outstretched hand, taking his pets if they weren’t coming willingly. Uraraka squealed.

“Aww, Kacchan. Is it official then?”

Katsuki had given up on denying the nickname, just wiggling his tail and letting the deft fingers scritch under his chin.

Ah yes, Katsuki approved.


 

 

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