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Blood in the Water

Chapter Text

Izuku was quite intimate with loneliness.

At the age of four he failed to show signs of a quirk. The family doctor informed his mother that it was unlikely he was quirkless as he had the proper toe joint and everything. They figured he had one of those unseen quirks. Or perhaps one that was only activated in specific circumstances.

He tried to explain this to Kacchan and the other kids in school but they all seemed to take it as him being as good as quirkless. And so his best friend suddenly turned against him with exploding fists and cruel words.

Within the next couple of years he lost most of his friends. A few more years had Kacchan scaring off the potential of gaining any new ones.

Izuku loved Kacchan. But to love Bakugou Katsuki was to love a storm. He was poetic destruction, everything before him trembling in terrified awe. He was the kind of tempest that left you reeling in its wake. The kind that left you stunned and shaking at the raw destructive beauty of it. But storms were not bound by things like love. To love a storm was to be lonely.

Kacchan was cruel. He hurt with burns and kicks, with words and sneers. He was so far above Izuku that it was as if they were different species. A force of nature and a broken boy.

When they were fourteen years old Kacchan told him to kill himself. It was a bullying scene they’d replayed on countless occasions with a nasty twist at the end.

“If you want a quirk so badly, throw yourself off the roof and hope you’ll be born with one in your next life.”

Aside from his mother Izuku had nobody but Kacchan. He loved him so much that his chest burned from the pain of it. He would do anything to make him happy. He’d pluck the stars from the sky. He’d bow his head beneath exploding fists. He’d fall to the cement like falling into bed.

Izuku swayed on the rooftop. Loneliness ate holes his ragged heart. His love for Kacchan burned like acid in his veins. He knew nothing but this pain.

He jumped.
__________________________________

Katsuki had always felt invincible. He was strong and proud and limitless in his ambition. He never just tried at something. He was immediately driven to be the very best at it. When he decided to be a hero he knew he’d be number one. He knew he’d surpass even All Might.

He picked on Deku because the small boy looked down on him despite being so far beneath him that it was downright laughable. He was as skittish as a frightened animal with wide green eyes and trembling lips. He reached for the sun but he was only a pebble. And when he looked at Katsuki with those soft eyes it felt like the worst kind of insult. Seeing someone so pathetic reach out their hand as if he needed help made him want to stomp on it until it broke.

Deku always seemed above Katsuki’s insults in a way. No matter how horrible they were he kept sticking around, kept spouting his nonsense about being a hero. As a response Katuski’s bullying steadily got worse. He got crueler with his taunts and threats. At first he just wanted Deku to give up but the worse he got, and the more his moral compass began to swing wildly into the realm of ‘this is cruel and wrong’, he reached the point where he wanted nothing more than to see the smaller boy fight back. He wanted him to get sick of Katsuki’s bullshit and be pissed as he should be. Izuku’s continued meekness just infuriated him more and more. How did he expect to stand up to villains when he couldn’t even stand up to Katsuki?

It didn’t seem like his words had much of an effect on the quirkless kid. Until they suddenly did.
__________________________________

Katsuki had adrenaline pumping through his heart all day. He was applying to UA. He was following his dream. He was finally making the first step to the rest of his life. Springboarding off his pathetic public middle school and his lame boring childhood, into the limelight of being a hero. And of course Deku had to ruin it by applying as well.

He caught the smaller boy at the end of class and felt his lips pull into a snarl, looking down at the scrawny weakling like he was gum stuck to his shoe. “We’re not done talking yet Deku.”

“Katsuki what’s that?” one of the blonde’s lackey’s asked. He plucked the notebook from Deku’s shaking hands. “Huh? Hero Analysis for the future? Seriously?”

“I-it’s fine isn’t it? Give it back,” the other boy pleaded.

Katsuki yanked the notebook into his own hands and flipped through it with a scowl. Pathetic. There wasn’t even anything about him in here. He was honestly surprised. There were times when it honestly felt like Deku was obsessed with him.

A little voice in his head whispered that maybe he was the one with the obsession considering he thought about Deku constantly. And that probably wasn’t normal. Katsuki firmly beat that thought down until it was buried so deep he hoped it would never see the light of day again.

He smashed his hands together on either side of the notebook, letting free an explosion that blew his hair back with the force of it along with a grunting growl. Deku watched helplessly from the sidelines.

“That’s mean,” he said quietly.

Katsuki ignored him and promptly tossed the burned notebook out the window with a scoff. The smaller boy cried out in surprise and horror, jerking forward as if he could catch it, but it was long gone.

“Most top first string heroes have stories about them from their school days. I want the shine of being called the only student to make it into U.A. from this mediocre city junior high school. I mean I’m a perfectionist,” Katsuki bragged.

He put a smoking hand on Deku’s shoulder. His face twisted into a smile that was anything but friendly. “Don’t apply to U.A. you nerd.”

If Deku pursued this stupid fantasy he had, his quirkless ass would end up splattered on a street somewhere. There were no quirkless heroes. It was fucking unheard of. This kid needed to put those kind of thoughts out of his head now. He would never be as good as Katsuki. Would never be within a hundred leagues of his level of power.

Katsuki’s minions scoffed when Deku didn’t say anything to defend himself. They left the classroom, mocking words echoing down the hallway as they went but Katsuki stopped in the doorway and looked over his shoulder at Deku.

Disgustingly huge green eyes stared at him, tears gathered in the corners, ready to fall. His blood boiled with anger. This piece of shit would never cut it as a hero. He cried just from a few words. Katsuki hadn’t even hit him this time. He was so fucking weak. The blonde’s hands clenched into fists, his tunnel vision focused on that baby animal looking face. His emotions bubbled up at the sight and he shoved them down as hard as he could, shaking in anger. Katsuki saw red and was hardly aware of the words coming out of his mouth.

“If you want a quirk so badly, throw yourself off the roof and hope you’ll be born with one in your next life.”

He watched Deku’s face fall. Watched his body go limp. Watched the light die from his eyes. For a moment he felt a pulse of deep regret. He brushed it aside, turning around and walking from the room. His stupid sidekicks were gone already. Probably fucked off to smoke in some alleyway like the dumbass wannabe delinquents they were.

He shoved through the front doors of the school and stopped. Even from a distance he could see Deku’s notebook was floating in a little pond, fish nibbling at the corners. It was probably ruined beyond repair. He’d seen how full it was. He’d just destroyed a lot of hard work. It was for the best though. That weak scrawny mess of anxiety needed to know his place. Needed to be realistic for once in his insignificant life and give up on this delusion he’d harbored since he was a toddler.

Loud sobs cut through the air, coming from above. Katsuki scowled. The worthless pebble had probably leaned out the window and seen his ruined notebook. He looked up but nobody was at the window despite the cries carrying clearly through the air. He felt sick. His eyes continued upwards and his heart froze in his chest.

Deku was standing on the edge of rooftop. The school was only a few stories high but if he landed the wrong way... Tears streamed down his face, his body heaving with the force of his sobs.

Katsuki inhaled sharply, choking on his own spit. “What the fuck Deku?!?!!”

His voice was loud enough that the suicidal boy noticed. He said something back but his voice was too quiet for Katsuki to hear. He could see Deku’s mouth moving but was too far to really look at the shapes they were making. Too far to read his lips.

The boy had stopped crying though. Had stopped shaking as well. In fact he looked unnaturally still as he stared down at the blonde boy below. There was a pause as they looked at each other.

Deku jumped.

Katsuki’s stomach dropped so fast that he felt like he was the one falling from the roof. His palms immediately burst with an explosion so big that his arms ached from the recoil. He was too far away though. Even the strength he knew could blast him to the top of the hero charts wasn’t enough to get him to Deku in time. He failed. He, Bakugou Katsuki, failed at the only thing that really mattered. The thing that every hero should be able to do. Saving a life. In fact he’s the one who ended it. His words had shoved Deku off that roof just as much as if he’d physically pushed him himself.

The sound Deku’s body made was sickening. No, not Deku. Not like this. Izuku. The sound Izuku’s body made had Katsuki immediately gagging on stomach acid.

He hit hard, skull cracking like an egg as it smashed into the brick around the pond where his notebook drowned, neck snapping instantly. His body thudded into the ground, probably breaking other bones. Probably rupturing organs. And blood was everywhere. He died instantly. At least he didn’t suffer as he died. Not physically at least.

Katsuki staggered towards him. He fell to his knees, his hands frantically hovering over him as if there was something he could do. As if he could shove his splattered brains back into his head. As if he could straighten the broken neck and hold together his broken body and everything would be fine.

His veins felt like ice. His lips grew numb and then his nose. The buzzing numbness spread across his cheeks and his entire face. Made his fingers feel like static. His chest hurt. It burned so much that it felt like he’d set a fire in his ribcage. He gagged on vomit until there was nothing left to come up. Nothing but the sting of stomach acid in his throat and painful clenching in his guts.

He didn’t cry. He should probably be crying. That would be the normal response right? But the world was spinning around him and breathing was hard, as if a mountain was sitting on his chest and every muscle was clenched so hard they felt like they would snap.

There was a cracking sound from Dek… Izuku’s body. Katsuki’s head jolted up. Ragged breath catching in his throat. As he watched bones seemed to snap back into place. Split skin sewing itself shut. The gore remained splattered on the ground but Izuku seemed to be regenerating it all anew. And before his very eyes Izuku’s body pulled itself together.

With a suddenly gasp the boy jolted upright, eyes wide, face quickly gaining color. Clothes still torn and soaked in blood.

It was only now that Katsuki started to cry.

Chapter Text

When Izuku opened his eyes the first thing he saw was Kacchan crying. What a strange thing to see in hell. That’s where he had expected to go at least. Though a faint memory lingered in his head of a curious presence and a press of shadows across his skin.

His body ached, but in a way that was strangely good. He felt strong. Powerful. His heart raced in his chest. The world was so bright and colorful and he’d never felt so alert, so alive.

He looked around, soaking in his surroundings. He was at the school still and he was sitting in a pool of blood and gore, feeling sticky where it soaked through his clothes and stained his skin.

What was going on? His mind was a jumble of absolute confusion. The ache in his body brought back the memory of wind in his hair and painful, heavy rush of darkness. There was something else though that he was forgetting. Something important. An ice cold whisper in his ear. He shivered.

He wasn’t sure what to do now. He felt strange. Different. And this situation was so bizarre it was like something out of a dream.

K-kacchan?” he tried.

The blonde was kneeling next to him. He’d raised one arm up to shield his face from view as he cried into his elbow. Izuku was in shock. He hadn’t seen Kacchan cry in at least eight or nine years. He had never have expected to be the one that his childhood friend would break down in front of. Why was he this upset anyways? There’s no way he would cry over Izuku.

“Kacchan. I think I have a quirk,” he whispered in shock as the realization set in.

Katsuki started to laugh hysterically through his sobs. He looked up, dropping his arm. His eyes were rimmed red, cheeks flushed, nose running, and face streaked with tears. Kacchan looked beautiful in almost every situation but he wasn’t a pretty crier. Izuku couldn’t help but find that endearing.

He wanted to hug Kacchan. Wanted to wipe away his tears and tell him not to cry over a stupid Deku like himself. He didn’t dare even ask the other boy what was wrong though. He knew he’d just get shoved away. Katsuki didn’t deal well with emotions.

“What the fuck,” Kacchan choked. “What the actual fuck just happened.”

Izuku’s hands fidgeted. He cleared his throat nervously. “I uh… I think that maybe I can’t die?”

Kacchan made a strange gurgling sound and choked out another wet laugh. “What the fuck.”

“Do you think…” Izuku trailed off wondering if he was being too ridiculously hopeful. “Do you think that we could be friends again now that I have a quirk?”

“Why would you…” Kacchan stopped himself, shaking his head. His hysterics had stopped at least.

He took a deep breath before starting again. “Why would you want to be friends with someone who made you kill yourself? Are you fucking stupid?”

“Kacchan.” Deku could feel his heart pounding in his chest.

He wanted to tell him. Wanted to confess his feelings. He beat death after all. Didn’t that mean he could beat anything? He was high on the thrill of it all. The sunlight lit up blond hair in a halo of silver and Izuku felt so much of something he couldn’t even put a name to. Love was the closest he could come to but it seemed more than that. Love seemed like too small a word to sum up these feelings that built up in his chest so much that it hurt. His ribcage ached and bent under the force of it.

“Kacchan I love you.”

They both froze when the words spilled from Izuku’s lips. Katsuki stared at him. Izuku stared back.

“Let me repeat myself. Are you fucking stupid?”

Izuku shrunk into himself. He really shouldn’t have expected anything else. Though this was, in fact, tamer than he thought Kacchan’s reaction would be. He’d expected an explosion in the face whenever he’d imagined this moment. Maybe some cruel names and public humiliation thrown in for good measure.

“Maybe,” the smaller boy said quietly. “But that doesn’t change anything.”

Kacchan’s sharp ruby eyes stayed fixed on his. He stood up abruptly, expression going blank.

“You need to change before you get home. Probably shower too. You’ll give your mom a fucking heart attack if she sees you like this. And lucky for you, tomorrow’s the weekend so nobody should be here. We’ll bring a couple of shovels and dig up this mess before anyone sees.”

Izuku blinked in shock. “You’re going to… help me?”

“Tch,” Katsuki clicked his tongue, looking away. “I’m only doing this because I fucking owe you. I’ll help you this one time. That’s it. So be grateful you dumbass.”

This insult felt a bit hollow, like he’d only just remembered to tack it on. Izuku felt warm. “Thank you Kacchan.”

The blonde looked away. He dug into his backpack and pulled out a hoodie. “Put this on so people don’t think you just fucking murdered someone. You’re covered in blood.”

Izuku looked down. Even the darkness of his uniform couldn’t hide that he was indeed covered in blood, especially the places where it was drying onto bare skin. He pulled on the jacket and immediately flipped up the hood to hide his red stained hair and face. It smelled like Kacchan. He inhaled deeply, feeling a bit giddy. It was almost like getting a hug from the blonde. Something he knew would never be more than a hopeless fantasy.

Kacchan sneered at him and turned abruptly on his heel. He started walking without a single glance back. Izuku scrambled after him. He froze though when he remembered his notebook.

“Wait!”

Kacchan stopped and turned, looking irritated. Izuku ran back to the pond. The water was red now, clouded with the evidence of his jump. He wrinkled his nose in disgust as he fished out his notebook. It was completely ruined. Not just soaked in water but in blood as well leaving the pages stained and the ink completely illegible. He signed and took it with him anyways, shoving it the ruined backpack he’d been wearing when he jumped.

Katsuki looked less impatient than Izuku thought he would. He wondered if he was in shock. It couldn’t have been pretty to watch someone die like that. Still, Izuku knew Kacchan wouldn’t let something like that stop him. Hell even if Izuku had stayed dead he was pretty sure it would only be a hiccup in Kacchan’s path to be the number one hero.

Izuku ran to catch up to Katsuki who had taken off again and was determinedly not looking at him. He wanted to talk, to babble about how grateful he was, about how excited he was about finally discovering a quirk. A quirk that could even be useful for a hero. But Kacchan was already doing so much for him and he didn’t want to ruin it by annoying him.

The walk wasn’t overly long. He felt odd though. Like shadows cast by the sun were trembling as he passed by. Like every dark alleyway beckoned, drawing his gaze. Something was there just out of reach, writhing just beneath his skin. Something had come with him when he’d awoken from the dead. He just wasn’t sure what it was or what to do about it.

When they reached the Bakugou home Katsuki let them in with his key, mumbling that his dad and the ‘old hag’ weren’t home right now, much to Izuku’s relief. He kicked off his dirty shoes at the door and found himself looking around curiously. He hadn’t been in this house since they were in primary school. Everything had seemed so much bigger back then.

Kacchan gestured for him to stay there and disappeared for a moment, reappearing with a wet washcloth.

“Wipe down your feet,” he ordered. “I don’t want you tracking shit all over the house.”

Izuku nodded, he kicked off his shoes to leave by the door and peeled off his disgusting socks. He cleaned his feet with the washcloth. Kacchan took the washcloth and socks from him and disappeared again.

“I threw them away,” he explained when he returned. “You’ll have to get rid of your uniform too. I’ll find you something else to wear home.”

It took everything Izuku had not to gape at the blonde in shock. He was being so… nice. Izuku wondered if he’d actually died and gone to heaven. He’d only ever fantasized about Kacchan being this friendly. And letting him borrow his clothes? Izuku bit back a smile, knowing it would only aggravate the other boy.

Kacchan led him upstairs to the bathroom. “Leave your shit here and I’ll grab them while you shower and get rid of them. I’ll see if there’s anything in your backpack we can save. Pretty sure it’s all fucking ruined but whatever. I’ll leave a towel and some clothes for you on the counter. You better scrub off every fleck of that fucking shit. I don’t want your blood on my clothes.”

He stared at the hoodie Izuku was wearing and heaved an irritated sigh, a pretty tame reaction from him. “On any more of my clothes at least.”

He turned and went, shutting the door behind him and leaving Izuku alone. The smaller boy pulled off Katsuki’s hoodie. The inside was filthy but the outside had stayed fairly clean. Before he could stop himself he buried his face in it and groaned. God it smelled so good. The caramel scent of burnt sugar filling his senses.

There was a sharp hook of arousal tugging behind his belly button and he groaned a little rubbing his face in the fabric. He wanted to keep this smell around him always. He’d like to keep the hoodie but would prefer even more to keep Kacchan. To have him there where Izuku could hold him whenever he wanted to. Could just bury his face in his neck and just breathe until there was nothing but Kacchan. Just like it should be.

With one last huff he carefully folded the jacket and set it on the counter. He should probably be in the shower before Kacchan got back or he’d be pissed. His clothes stuck to his skin and he had to peel them off. He felt bad letting them dirty the floor so he placed them in the sink where it would be easier to clean up after them. He stepped into the shower and pulled the curtain closed, fumbling with the handles to turn on the water.

The warm spray felt amazing on his sore, filthy body. He rinsed off as much of the blood and gore as he could before grabbing the soap and starting to scrub. He was amazed at how smooth his skin was. Old scars still remained but there was no evidence of the trauma his body had gone through that day. It was absolutely fascinating.

After a few minutes he heard the bathroom door open and the sound of Kacchan moving around, probably placing the towel and fresh clothes down and taking the filthy ones from the sink to discard of them. Izuku knew it was a bit stupid but he had a weird thrill at the idea of Katsuki being so near while he showered. Of course they showered in the same general area after P.E. at school but this felt different. They were alone, in Kacchan’s bathroom. It felt more intimate. He squirmed a little and tried not to focus on that. It was ridiculous. Kacchan might be helping him but it was only out of the obligation he felt over what he’d said earlier that day. He still hated Izuku and probably always would.

When the door clicked shut signaling that Kacchan had left Izuku let out a breath and went back to washing. When he looked picked up the shampoo he realized that all of the bath products seemed to be Katsuki’s. His parents probably had their own shower. He was glad for that. He’d probably feel weird about using his dad’s shampoo or something. Plus this meant Kastuki wouldn’t think anything strange about Izuku using his things to wash.

He rubbed the shampoo into his hair and smiled at the smell. It wasn’t as good as Kacchan’s natural scent that had seeped into his hoodie but it was still part of the blonde’s every day smell and Izuku reveled in it. He rubbed his thighs together and tried to calm down. If Kacchan ever found out that he’d touched himself like that in his shower he’d probably be pissed and disgusted.

Izuku tried his best to resist. He had just died. Just earlier that day Katsuki had told him to kill himself and he had done it. But the realization that Kacchan was helping him now. That he was standing where Kacchan showered naked. Where Kacchan might have even masturbated himself. He let out a little whimper. His body didn’t care that it had just died not even an hour earlier. In fact the adrenaline from it still pumped through him, amplifying it all.

When everything was clean, all the blood rinsed from his hair and scrubbed from his body he indulged himself and reached down between his legs.

One hand rested on the shower wall, head bent beneath the spray of water as hips thrusted into his hand. All he could think about was Kacchan’s flushed face crying over him of all people. Kacchan’s cute scowl as he led him into his house. His calloused hands handing over the washcloth for his feet. Kacchan standing in the bathroom while Izuku showered.

He panted, hand speeding up. He didn’t stop even as the door clicked open.

“Are you fucking done yet Izuku?” Kacchan growled.

It came out a little awkwardly, but it was the first time Kacchan had said his name since they were four. He came immediately, cum splattering the wall. He bit into his arm to keep from making a sound, teeth nearly breaking skin.

“Ya,” he replied weakly. “I’m getting out now.”

He heard Kacchan scoff and leave. Izuku quickly sprayed water onto the wall, cleaning it, and turned off the shower. Katsuki had left a fluffy dark green towel for him. He snatched it up and moved it over his body, patting himself dry and scrubbing it through his curly hair to squeeze out the excess water. He wrapped it around his waist when he was done and observed the clothes that had been set out.

There was a black t-shirt with a stick of dynamite design, a pair of grey sweatpants, and some black boxer briefs. Izuku pulled them on with care. Kacchan was taller than him and broader shouldered. His shirt was baggy on Izuku’s smaller frame. He hugged it around him, and fantasized that he was wearing his boyfriend’s shirt. He took a deep breath and pulled on the underwear with a shiver. Kacchan’s dick had been where his was right now. Oh god he was wearing Kacchan’s underwear! And he was going to be able to wear them home! He wondered if Kacchan would notice if he never got them back. He probably wouldn’t want them back anyways right? Now that Izuku had worn them.

He forced himself to calm down as he reached for the sweatpants. They were a bit long but there was a drawstring to keep them around his waist at least. He glanced in the mirror. His damp hair stuck to his face and his eyes were wide and excited. He smiled a little at the image he made in Kacchan’s clothes. He wished he had his phone on him to document this moment but it had been in his backpack and he wasn’t sure if it had survived the fall.

Izuku turned a little to make sure he was totally clean and was satisfied to see he’d gotten every bit of blood. He pushed the bathroom door open and padded out into the hallway. He headed down to the open door that he remembered being Kacchan’s room and poked his head inside. The blonde was sitting on his bed cross legged and scowling at his phone. He looked up when Izuku came in.

“I burned your clothes and hid them in the bottom of the trash can outside. Your backpack is a mess but most of the stuff inside is miraculously intact.”

Izuku nodded. “Thanks Kacchan. For everything.”

Katsuki looked awkward. “Whatever. Don’t think it means anything idiot.”

Izuku didn’t want things to go back to normal. He didn’t want to bear the weight of Kacchan’s hatred. Or even worse, have him ignore Izuku out of some sense of guilt.

“Did you want to help me learn about my quirk?” He blurted out.

Angry red eyes met his. “And how the fuck do you propose I do that? Are you saying you want me to watch you die? Or that you want me to kill you? How fucking selfish are you asshole?”

Izuku flinched in the face of his anger. “I just thought…”

“You thought what?” Kacchan snarled. “You think I’m a fucking villain just because I messed up and said something stupid? You think I don’t deserve to be a hero? You think I’m a fucking murderer?”

His voice grew more and more ragged as he spoke.

“Kacchan…” Izuku said softly. “Is that what you’re thinking of yourself right now?”

"Shut the fuck up. I don’t care what you say, I’m not going to kill you again. Think about your mom. What would she feel if she knew you were being murdered and committing suicide just to test out a stupid quirk? What if there’s a limit? What if it’s like a video game and you get five lives and then it’s game over? What if it was just a one time thing? This isn’t the kind of quirk you should experiment with. Just leave it alone. You’re acting like a fucking idiot,” the blond spat.

“Kacchan I have to find out how my quirk works. If you won’t help I’ll do it myself. It will just be slower and harder to keep track of how everything works. Please Kacchan I’ll do anything,” he begged pitifully.

Katsuki stared at him in disbelief. “You’re fucked up. There’s something seriously wrong with you. You really are a fucking freak.”

Izku clenched his hands into fists. “Are you going to help or not?”

The looked at each other in silence for a full minute before Kacchan sighed. Izuku knew he’d seen the unshakeable determination in his eyes.

The blond still looked pissed off but he conceded. “Whatever. Not like I can stop you anyways.”

Izuku cheered inside but outwardly he just smiled. “Thank you Kacchan!”

The blonde just sneered and looked away. “I’ve had enough of your bullshit today. We need to clean up your mess tomorrow anyways. My parents go to work at 9am. Come over at 9:30.”

“Thank you Kacchan!” Izuku repeated. “Thank you thank you thank you.”

“Shut up!” he snapped. “Get the fuck out of here.”

Izuku nodded frantically. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He left quickly before Kacchan could change his mind. He was actually going to spend time with Kacchan! And he was actually being nice to him! He was going to help! Izuku was even wearing his clothes! Was wearing his underwear. He was ready to burst with excitement. He was so glad he hadn’t actually died today. But he didn’t regret jumping. Because if he hadn’t jumped he would have never found out that he had a quirk. If he hadn’t jumped Kacchan wouldn’t be hanging out with him tomorrow.

He walked home with a skip in his step and a smile on his face. The shadows grew longer in the setting sun, following him home, thrumming with something unknown, drawing his eyes and tugging at something he was only barely aware of. He felt even stronger in the dimming reds and oranges of the sunset than he had earlier that day. That winter cool whisper was back. He felt drawn to it. The tips of his fingers tingled.

He was going to be a hero. The number one hero right at Kacchan’s side. An equal. He couldn’t wait.

Chapter Text

Katsuki wasn’t sure how to feel about Izuku coming over. He hadn’t really meant to invite him. He should have just had them meet up at the school but it had slipped out before he could think about it. It felt wrong to treat him the way he had before. Now that he knew how much damage his words could do the word ‘Deku’ tasted rotten on his tongue and the regular insults turned to ash in his mouth.

The idea of Izuku killing himself over and over sent him into a spiral of panic. It was utterly ridiculous that he felt this way but he didn’t know how to make it stop. He didn’t want to be there watching. There was something terrifying about the idea of it. The thought made his hand shake and his eyes burn. But the idea of that small body splayed out on the cement somewhere, all alone seemed worse somehow. He didn’t want Izuku to die alone.

The dumbass had no sense of self-preservation either. He’d probably end up doing something irreversible and permanently damage himself in some way. Katsuki wouldn’t put it past him.

Izuku tended to get obsessive about things. Katsuki had once watched him nearly get a face full of poisonous acid when he stepped too close to a villain fight, too excited to care about his own safety. When he found something he was interested in he would become completely hyper-fixated to the point that it was detrimental to his own well-being. The only way to save him from himself would be to chain him up and throw away the key.

He was expecting his parents to leave by 9 like they did every Saturday morning but come 9:15 his hag of a mother was still sitting in the kitchen screaming into her cell phone. He paced back and forth at the top of the stairs feeling nervous. He didn’t know how she’d react if she saw Izuku but he was sure it would be embarrassing and he didn’t want to deal with that.

He wished he had gotten the freckled boy’s number so he could text him a warning to come later or to meet him at the school. He hadn’t exactly been thinking about exchanging phone number yesterday though. Not when his mind was reeling from watching his childhood friend splatter on the ground.

He’d dreamed about it last night. Dreamed about that broken dead body reaching out splintered bloody fingers to grip his face, forcing him to looking into empty eye sockets. Skin had been rotting and peeling from his skull, his neck twisted at a sickening angle, and Izuku had sounded utterly betrayed as he whispered that stupid childhood nickname of his.

“Kacchan. Look what you’ve done to me.”

The blonde ground his teeth so hard it hurt. The sound of the doorbell had him jolting out of his thoughts. He frantically checked his phone. Fuck. It was 9:30. He flung himself down the stairs praying that his mother was gone or if she wasn’t, that he’d get to the door first. Unfortunately neither of those scenarios played out.

“Midoriya Izuku is that you?! I’d know that fluffy green hair anywhere! Look at you, growing up so fast. Are you here to see my brat of a son?”

Katsuki shoved past his mom with a snarl. “He doesn’t want to hear it old hag. Why are you even here? Go the fuck to work!”

“Shut up you brat!” she snapped back. “My first meeting got delayed this morning. If you push me again I swear I’ll beat your ass! Learn some god damn respect!”

Katsuki sneered and yanked Izuku into his house by his hand, slamming the door shut behind him. The smaller boy jumped at the sound but looked at the place their hands meant with a dopy expression. The blonde quickly pulled away. He turned and stomped up to his room expecting Izuku to follow him.

He slammed his bedroom door shut as soon as they were inside. Izuku jumped just as much as he’d done with the front door. Katsuki whirled around to face him and held out his phone.

“Give you phone number.”

Izuku blinked. “What?”

“Are you fucking deaf? I said to give me your god damn phone number you asshole!”

The other boy quickly took the phone and punched in his contact information with nervous fingers. He held it back out when he was done and Katsuki snatched it from his hands.

“God my mom’s annoying,” he mumbled as he shoved his phone into his pocket.

He noticed a huge duffle bag hanging off Izuku’s shoulder and a new notebook tucked under his arm.

“The fuck is in that?” He pointed at the bag.

“Oh um… it’s for my research.”

Katsuki wondered what research needed a duffle bag full of stuff. His imagination immediately jumped to swords and guns and poison, dynamite, and venomous snakes. He knew that it was completely impossible for the immortal nerd to get all of that dangerous shit in one night though. So his curiosity remained piqued.

There was an awkward moment where they stared at each other before Katsuki let out a groan of annoyance. “Fuck Dek… Izuku. Are you going to show me what’s inside there or not?”

“Oh!” The freckled boy blushed at the use of his name as he scrambled to unzip the bag, showing Katsuki its contents.

It was mostly empty save for some towels, some plastic sheets, and a large kitchen knife.

“I know it’s not much. I didn’t have a lot of time,” Izuku said, looking embarrassed at how anticlimactic the reveal was. “I want to try a lot of different things but I figured it’s good to start with simpler stuff. I’ll probably need your help with a lot of it. I feel like I could probably slit my wrists alright. But there are somethings that are pretty hard to do on my own. I brought towels so we could have you drown me. And I think I’d like you to choke me to death too. I’d like to try poison but I’m not sure how to get ahold of….”

“IZUKU!!!”

He froze mid mutter, eyes wide. Katsuki felt like he was going to puke. His hands were shaking. He tried to tell himself that it was caused by anger not this sick feeling of fear welling up inside of him. He didn’t want this. He didn’t want to see those lively eyes go dead and dull. He would rather blow his own face off than admit he was afraid for this reckless idiot though.

“You can’t do this.”

Izuku frowned. “You promised you’d help.”

“I didn’t promise shit you crazy bastard! Do you really think any of this sounds ok in any way, shape, or form? This is a whole new level of fucked up.” Katsuki was pacing back and forth frantically. “Do you really think you can be a hero like this? Every time you die you’ll be a hindrance to everyone around you. You’ll be traumatizing the people you’re trying to save. Do you think a kid’s going to be happy you’re there when they’ve got your guts splattered all over them? It’s better to learn how not to die. Your time would be better spent working on that instead of killing yourself a dozen times over!”

There was a ringing silence in the wake of Katsuki’s rant.

“Kacchan,” Izuku said quietly. “I have something to admit.”

He blinked, surprised at the sudden solemnity, and motioned for the freckled boy to continue.

“I want to die.”

The blond jerked back like he’d been slapped. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck this was his fault wasn’t it? He knew his reaction was probably a bit ridiculous. Just yesterday Izuku had flung himself off a fucking roof. But in the events after he’d been so excited. Smiling wide and rambling and happy. So why…

Izuku seemed to notice his panic and quickly waved his hands frantically. “No! Not the way you’re thinking. It’s hard to explain… It’s not because of you or because of my depression or anxiety or anything. It’s not like it was yesterday. It’s less sad then that. See I’ve met Death once. And I need to see her again.”

Katsuki stared. “What the fuck? Are you saying Death is a person?”

Izuku shook his head. “I didn’t really remember dying. I felt so disoriented when I woke up. The memory felt like a dream I couldn’t quite hold on to. But I went to sleep last night I saw her and I remembered.

I mean Death isn’t a person so it’s not really something gendered but it felt like a she to me? And she seemed to like it when I thought of her that way. She even made herself look like a woman when she gathered together a form to interact with me.

But she wasn’t a person. She was more like a force. An all-encompassing all powerful force. Like a goddess I guess. But not the way gods are described in religion. Much much more than that. She was.. everything.

She was so fascinated by me. She couldn’t touch me as hard as she tried. I had entered her domain but I wasn’t affected. She wanted me at once. As she’s never had to want anything before.”

Katsuki felt an irrational jealousy. A burst of anger that shocked him at its intensity. He didn’t like the awe in Izuku’s voice. Hated the admiration that saturated every word. It was utterly ridiculous though, that he would be jealous of the way this boy talked about Death.

“Human words can’t quite explain. She’s an inevitability. She’s ripped planets apart with a rain of fire. Has devoured galaxies with bursting stars. She’s intertwined with Time and Existence and all Reality. And yet there I stood. Nothing more than an ordinary boy. And she couldn’t touch me.”

Katsuki stared. Izuku sounded far too old for his age. Like he’d seen something Katsuki couldn’t even begin to imagine. And it had deeply changed him.

“She gave me a gift. An offer to tempt me back to her again. She gave the impression that there might be more if I were to visit her again. I could feel the power yesterday but I didn’t know what it was or how to use it. But when the dream jolted my memory I woke up and…. Watch.”

And suddenly the shadows under the bed and in the closet and lingering in the corners of the room seemed to come to life. They burst across every surface of the room in mere seconds, plunging them into absolute darkness. Only a pair of glowing unnaturally green eyes were visible in the void around them. And for a moment Katsuki felt like maybe Izuku wasn’t quite human anymore. Then, with a single blink, the darkness was gone leaving him reeling in its wake.

“Holy shit,” he said quietly.

“So you understand right? You’ll help me?” There was an edge of fanatical desperation in his voice.

“I-I guess so. What the fuck else am I supposed to do after all that shit you just spouted,” Kastuki mumbled.

He was shocked. Fucking Deku of all people had been harboring a quirk like this, lying dormant until he finally awakened it by dying. Wait, ‘not Deku’, he scolded himself. Izuku. He was anything but useless.

“We’ve got to head to the school first,” he pointed out, his voice deliberately calm as he tried to move the subject away from dying and the afterlife. “Leave your shit here. There are a few shovels in the garden shed we can take.”

Izuku nodded and followed him down the stairs. They stealthily slid past the living room where his mother still was and into the backyard. The yard was gorgeous and there was a neat little garden in the corner near a wooden shed painted sky blue. Katsuki yanked the doors open and after a moment of rustling about he appeared with two shovels.

“Let’s go.”

The walked down the street trying to be as casual as they could while carrying shovels. Izuku looked highly paranoid. Like a hero was about to leap from behind a tree and demand to know what they were doing. Katsuki rolled his eyes. The smaller boy worried too much about the wrong things. He was immortal and could bring shadows to life but here he was jumping at cats rustling bushes. It was a bit comforting though. Like a reminder that Izuku was still human, was still himself, even after all of this.

They reach the school unbothered. Luckily the spot was out of sight of the sidewalk. They moved around the trees to the small pond and blood soaked dirt. Katsuki swallowed hard. He could still see it. Could see Izuku’s head cracking against the brick. Could hear the snap of his neck. Could feel the horror and self-hatred that had burned right through his carefully constructed confidence like wildfire.

Without a word he started digging. It felt like he was trying to bury his sins. It made him uncomfortable. He hated it. Hated that it felt like he was getting away with murder.

It was tiring work but by the time they were done it no longer looked like a crime scene, churned up and buried under another layer of dirt from the surrounding area. There wasn’t much they could do about the pond so he threw some dirt in there as well in an attempt to mask the color of the water. The fish were already dead anyways.

He swung his shovel over his should and turned to leave. Izuku scrambled after him. He was oddly silent as well and looked even more nervous as they walked back to Katsuki’s house.

When they got back home Katsuki took the shovels to the back yard, directing Izuku to head inside and wait for him. They took off their shoes at the door and made their way back up to his bedroom. His mother was finally gone much to his relief.

Katsuki tugged off his dusty shirt and tossed it into his hamper. He noticed freckled cheeks flushing red and green eyes lingering on his chest and couldn’t help but preen a little at the attention. He made to leave the room but Izuku stopped him.

“There’s no need to shower if we’re just going to get messy again.”

“And what the hell is that supposed to mean?”

The spark of pride he’d just experienced was buried under irritation. Feeling suddenly awkward he snagged a clean shirt from his closet and pulled yanked it over his head, covering up his chest, putting a little pout of disappointment on Izuku’s face.

“You said you’d help.”

“I just want to know what you mean by messy. Do you think I’m going to grab that knife and start hacking away??” Katsuki snarled.

“No,” Izuku said in a small voice. “But there will be blood. If we do what I’d like to. We can start off with something less bloody, like strangulation. I know you’re upset but this isn’t going to end my life. No permanently. You worried that I had a limit to this power but I met Death and I got the strong feeling that my immortality is a pretty permanent thing.”

Kastuki was still unsure about this whole situation. Still felt nauseous at the thought of killing Izuku. Unsettled and terrified at the concept of having someone die directly by his hands. This boy especially. But the way that the smaller boy had talked about death made this feel less brutal somehow. Like he was sending him off to a friend rather than ending his life. At least that’s what he told himself.

Izuku noticed his discomfort. He gave a sad, sweet smile that gave the blond a strange aching feeling in his chest. “Sorry Kacchan. I know you don’t want to do this. I know it’s selfish of me to ask. But you’re the only person I can trust with this.”

“Whatever I already said I’d fucking do it.” He stared down at his hands, unable to keep looking at that pathetic expression and hating himself for giving in so easily. “So how are we going to start?”

“I’m uh, pretty weak against you physically but I figured we should probably still make sure I don’t hurt you when you strangle me.”

He handed over a length of rope from his duffle bag of death. Katsuki bit the inside of his cheek to hold back his misgivings. Izuku had already heard everything he had to say and wasn’t going to change his mind.

It was better that he helped him rather than leaving him to mess with this stuff alone. Or worse, go to someone else. The thought of some other fucker putting his hands on Izuku made him want to tear the rope in half in blind fury. He didn’t want to kill him but he definitely didn’t want someone else to do it.

“I’m going to lie down on your bed,” Izuku said. “Then you can tie my hands to the bedposts and sit on my legs so I don’t kick you. I don’t want to fight back but it’s probably going to happen as my body’s natural response.”

Izuku beamed at him as he flopped back on the bed and raised his hands above his head, looking at the blond with big eyes shining with trust. For what, he wasn’t sure. Trust that he would kill him properly? Katsuki scowled as he hesitantly went about tying the smaller boy up.

When he was finished he nervously crawled onto the bed and sat on Izuku’s thighs. It was quite an intimate position and it didn’t help when he noticed Izuku flushing and looking away, squirming a little. God this was so fucked up. If the bastard got off on this Katsuki was going to throw him out on his ass, guilt be damned.

He stared at Izuku’s neck, finding it hard to look him in the face. He leaned forward, loosely placing both hands on the pale skin. His thumbs rested on his throat. He took a deep breath. And then another. He was shaking, he realized. He didn’t know if he could do this. He didn’t want to do this. He had no idea what he was doing.

“Kacchan.”

He looked up into kind green eyes.

“Kacchan it’s ok. I’m sorry I’m making you do this. I know this is incredibly selfish. But please. I want this.” His face was soft and eager, leaving the blond helpless under his gaze. “You have my full consent. My gratitude even. So please.”

Katsuki swallowed hard and pushed. Izuku began choking immediately. Katsuki tensed and quickly pulled back but small hands grasped his and pressed them back into place, expression pleading. Gritting his teeth he braced himself and tried again. He couldn’t bear to watch. He closed his eyes and pressed as hard as he could. He felt the body beneath him jerk in protest. He he forced his hands even tighter, wanting to get this over with.

He wasn’t sure how much time had passed but he finally reached the point where Izuku was no longer moving and Katsuki couldn’t feel his pulse anymore. He let go and opened his eyes. Izuku was completely still. It wasn’t a gory brutal scene like yesterday but there was something about the stillness that was completely unsettling. Like it wasn’t Izuku anymore. Just a body.

He panicked. He’d done this. He’d strangled him to death with his own hands. He’d just murdered someone. God he really was a villain. He’d just fucking killed someone. It didn’t matter that Izuku had asked for it. He’d killed him. This was twice now. Twice he had Izuku’s blood on his hands.

He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t fucking breathe. It was like all of the air had been sucked from the room leaving him gasping like a fish out of water. There was a sharp agonizing pain in his chest and he clutched at desperately. He was dying. This was his punishment for becoming a blatant murderer. He deserved this. He deserved to die.

His vision was swimming, blurred by tears and dizziness from lack of air. Or maybe too much air. He couldn’t stop gasping over and over in a pathetic attempt to stop the terrifying suffocation. He needed to get himself together. He didn’t want Izuku to see him so weak again

Time became meaningless. He felt like he was going to be stuck like this for eternity. He tried to untie Izuku’s limp wrists but his fingers were so numb they felt thick and clumsy in their attempts.

He still hadn’t succeeded when the dead body jolted beneath him. He glanced down, trying to focus. The bruises around Izuku’s neck faded immediately and color rushed back into his face. He tried to sit up but his still tied wrists forced him down onto his back again.

He coughed a few times looking uncomfortable. “That hurt a lot more than I expected.”

It was then that he noticed the state Katsuki was in.

“Kacchan… I’m sorry. Please untie me.”

The blond leaned over him, fumbling with the ropes again. He was able to focus better knowing the other boy wasn’t really dead, trying to moderate his breathing as he finally got them untied.

The moment both hands were free Izuku flung his arms around his neck. Katsuki was still sitting on his thighs so when Izuku moved into an upright position he ended up sitting in the smaller boy’s lap. Before he could move to push him away Izuku wrapped his arms around his body and pulled him close, tucking Katsuki’s head against his neck and rubbing soothing circles on his back. His first instinct was to pull back and throw and explosive punch at the other boy for looking down on him like this. But he was drained emotionally and physically. And it didn’t feel like pity, more like an apology. There was something strangely soothing about Izuku’s presence.

“Shhh it’s ok. I’m sorry Kacchan. I’m so selfish. I’m so so selfish. But thank you. I saw her again. I needed that. I needed to see her. Thank you Kacchan. It’s ok. I’m alive. I’m still here, see?”

Izuku took Katsuki’s hand and pulled it between them, placing his palm right over his beating heart.

“Do you feel that Kacchan? I’m alive. It’s ok. I wanted it. I’m grateful. It’s ok.” He murmured soothing words on repeat until the blonde calmed down. “Just breathe with me ok. Breathe with my heartbeat. I’m fine. I’m right here.”

Katsuki let himself be held. He felt pathetic. Weak. He hated himself.

‘Hero’s have to see people die sometimes’, he tried to rationalize. ‘I should be able to keep composed in situations like this’.

‘But they aren’t usually the ones causing the deaths’ another part of him argued.

And here he was crying over nothing. Izuku was right. He was fine he was alive. Katsuki hadn’t really killed him. He wasn’t a villain. He wasn’t. He didn’t need to be coddled like a baby.

Katsuki shoved hard against Izuku’s chest and pulled himself away. The other boy looked surprised for a moment before his face fell into a small smile.

“I’m going to slit my wrists in the bathtub next. I wonder how long it takes to bleed out. I was too excited to do as much research as I should have last night. But before that.” He whipped out his notebook. “I have some questions.”

This wasn’t normal. He wanted to grab those scrawny shoulders and shake him until he realized how awful he sounded. Wanted chain him to a wall and handcuff his hands behind his back to keep him from hurting himself. To make sure he was safe. Was where Katsuki could see him. Where he couldn’t kill himself ever again or get anyone to do it for him.

He hated this so much that his nails dug bloody trails into his own arms to keep from hitting Izuku. He didn’t want to hurt him anymore. Especially not out of anger. He’d already hurt him so much.

Izuku seemed to take his silence as a sign to continue.

“Oh darn I forgot to set the timer,” he lamented. He sighed before pulling himself together. “Can you estimate how long it took me to come back?”

Katsuk couldn’t even look at him. “I don’t know.”

Izuku frowned. “Well I guess that was my fault for getting too excited to set up properly. How long was it the first time?”

“I don’t fucking know ok? You think I’m sitting there counting down the seconds over your dead body?"

Izuku started mumbling, ignoring him and scribbling away in his notebook. Katsuki’s heart clenched when he looked at him. He couldn’t even summon the proper amount of anger that he knew he should be feeling right now. God what the fuck was wrong with him? Why couldn’t he bring back the hatred that had burned in his veins before this all went to hell? Whenever he looked at him he saw his broken limp body and a surge of protectiveness and guilt threatened to choke Katsuki from the force of it.

And yet he’d sent him to visit Death again anyways. He hated himself for doing it and even more so for the twisted jealousy it caused. It was like Izuku’s feelings were rubbing off on him. Why else would he feel this way? Why else would he feel so much terror at the idea of losing this boy?

“What did she give you this time?” he found himself asking.

“Hm?” Izuku asked distracted, hand still flying across paper.

“Death,” he growled, relieved that he was able to feel a familiar surge of irritation this time. “What did she give your suicidal ass this time?”

“Oh!” the freckled boy perked up. “Watch!”

With a twist of his wrist he pulled up the shadow from beneath Katsuki’s bed, wrapped it around himself, and vanished. The blonde stared in disbelief.

“Boo.”

“FUCK!” explosions started to pop in his hands as Izuku threw back his head and laughed from where he’d appeared on Katsuki’s opposite side. It was more cheerful than mocking so he let it pass without snapping.

“I call it shadow warp,” Izuku chuckled as he sat back on the bed. “I just sort of wrap them around me and they take me where I want to go.”

“Do you remember what happened when you died this time?” He tried to distract himself from his feelings with the question.

Izuku nodded. “I think now that I know that she’s there it’s easier to keep the memories.”

“What did it look like?” Izuku had talked about Death before but he wondered if it was a city of bones or a sea of headstones or nothing but a void of darkness.

“Hmm. It was dark but oddly peaceful. There was black water as far as the eye could see and a dark sky with a red moon and no stars. It was cold and there were whispers all around, phantom fingers trying to touch me but failing.

This time I was floating on my back in the water. And the darkness in front of me took shape and the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen was leaning over me, smiling. I could feel that she wanted to hold me but she couldn’t. She couldn’t even try. I was completely untouchable.

Her curiosity was overwhelming. I could feel it in the water and in the air and in my chest. She held out her hand and there was a shapeless darkness. And though she couldn’t touch me I was able to touch the gift. And the moment I touched it absorbed into me and spread throughout my body becoming a part of me. And then I opened my eyes. And I saw you. And I felt so much love. And my heart was beating so hard that I knew I was alive again.”

Katsuki felt odd. He knew Izuku had said he was in love with him but he had done his best to forget. He didn’t want to deal with that. Didn’t want to acknowledge those feelings. That the awe shining in those eyes was more than just admiration. He looked away.

He knew this was only the beginning.

Chapter Text

Izuku knew that the things he was asking Katsuki to do weren’t fair. He could tell how much they upset the blonde. Could see how his hands never seemed to stop shaking whenever he helped with his research. And he always seemed to come back to life to the sounds of the blonde’s panic attacks.

If anyone ever seriously hurt Kacchan he’d probably kill them. But this was different. This was just Kacchan showing that he cared. Every time he cried or panicked or screamed about how much he wanted Izuku to stay alive it filled him with ecstasy. Because before it had always been the other boy hurting him. And now he was the one trying to keep Izuku from hurting himself. What a wonderful twist.

Kastuki was crying over him. Was crying because he hated seeing him hurt, so much different than things used to be. A total one-eighty to be honest. It was amazing.

He knew he was probably an awful person but aside from his feelings regarding Katsuki he had to know more about his immortality. Had to figure out why he was what he was. His ability seemed to surpass that of a quirk. It was a complete enigma. A tear in the fabric of reality. One he needed to study rigorously.

It had been seven months and he had several notebooks full of notes to show for it. There was a lot he’d gotten out of his research. So many pages and pages going into depth about every little thing but if he were to pick out the most major points they were probably these:

1.) Every wound received within 24 hours before his death would be healed as soon as he came back.
2.) Limbs grew back. He felt pretty certain his head would too but Katsuki downright refused to make that one happen no matter how much Izuku begged.
3.) Blood, brain, organs, bones, etc all grew back as well. Basically his body could recreate any part of itself that it needed to.
4.) He would come back anywhere from 1-5 minutes after dying depending on how much his body needed to put itself back together.
5.) Dying hurt. A lot. But Izuku was developing a very high pain tolerance.
6.) Death stopped giving him gifts with every meeting after the first couple of times. In fact he’d only received one more since then. This wasn’t because she wasn’t fond of him as she very much loved his visits, as short as they were. Rather he visited her so much she quickly realized that she didn’t need to give him reasons to come back when he was doing it on his own regardless.

He practiced with Death’s gifts even more than he practiced with his quirk, mostly at Kacchan’s insistence at first. But the more he used the abilities the more he realized that they would probably be more helpful in paving his way to be a hero. He had to acknowledge what Kacchan had said about him being a hindrance when he died. It was good to have that as a backup plan but it didn’t really help with his combat abilities. His gifts did.

Shadow manipulation had been his first and from it was born shadow warping. It was a couple of weeks before Death had given him another power, the ability to strike fear into everyone around him.

It wasn’t very powerful yet but testing it with Kacchan and in public he found that anyone within about three feet of him were overcome with a sudden wave of terror, leaving a bubble of personal space wherever he went. It was something he was still exploring. He got the sense he likely wouldn’t receive another for a while if ever so he focused on what he had.

Sometimes Death’s siren call was too much for him to focus on his gifts alone though. She would begin to invade his thoughts. He’d hear her cool breathe at his ear, speaking without words. He’d feel the ghost of her over his skin, unable to touch. He felt something pulse deep within him and he knew she was craving his presence. And he was too weak to resists. Especially since it gave him more data for his notebooks on himself and on her.

Kacchan wouldn’t experiment with him today though. While Izuku was overjoyed at how much Katsuki cared it occasionally become a hindrance when he would have these bursts of time where he refused to participate in Izuku’s deaths in any ways shape or form. During those times he gave up his research all together until Kacchan grew too anxious to stay away.

Their sort of arguments never lasted more than a couple of days. That was all Kacchan could stand before he was overwhelmed with the fear of leaving Izuku alone for too long. It was as if Kacchan thought he’d vanish off the face of the earth if he wasn’t there watching his every move. Izuku knew there were some people out there who might call this ‘clingy’ but he couldn’t be happier. It showed how much Kacchan loved him. The blond just didn’t understand what his feelings meant yet. Katsuki was bad at feelings in general after all.

Izuku had tried to convince himself that he didn’t need Kacchan for this today. Death’s pull was so alluring he had almost wanted to dive right off the roof again as soon as school was out. He ached for her cold comforting presence. For the absolute silence of the dark water and the peace of the starless sky and the lovely dark face of her human form.

He didn’t want to wait a couple of days for Kacchan to stop watching from a distance and get back to smothering him with worry. He loved when Kacchan smothered him in any way shape or form whether metaphorically or literally.

He wondered if he should make the step to try this on his own just once to see how it went though. But it already felt lonelier without him. There was a sort of comfort from having him there as he died. The moment their eyes met, his newly restarted heart racing in his chest, he knew that they had a connection that not even death could severe.

They usually did their experiments at the Bakugou house or out in the woods. Izuku loved his mother very much but she could be a little overbearing. And the only person he ever wanted being overbearing in his life was Kacchan.

The first time he’d brought the blonde boy over she’d been upset, hovering around them, not trusting that he wouldn’t start beating on Izuku the moment her back was turned. When he left she’d bombarded him in questions, asking if he was forcing Izuku into this, if he was hurting him, if she needed to talk to Mitsuki. Izuku had snapped a little, something he’d immediately felt terrible for. So they hadn’t tried his house again after that.

Izuku had been planning to hang himself today. It was one of the less extreme ways he’d tested so far but it was one he wanted to attempt. He was hoping Kacchan would be there but apparently he had to do it alone. Kacchan was always going on about how Izuku was going to ‘fuck something up’ during his experiments as an excuse for why he was there every time. He never thought Izuku would try this without him.

There was a part of him that wanted to mess something up on purpose. Make Kacchan see what would happen if he wasn’t there. Make him see that his fears were right and he should never leave Izuku’s side ever again.

Izuku had never died without Kacchan. This would be the first time he killed himself without him which might seem odd considering his obsession with his experiments, but the first time he’d died he’d come back to Katsuki crying over him. A memory that brought him such fanatical joy and satisfaction that he’d gotten off to it more times than he could count. He’d never wanted to come back without seeing those blood red eyes ever since. It felt off. Wrong. But he didn’t really have a choice today. He’d already made this plan and he was going to go through with it, alone or not.

With a sigh he made his way to their usual spot in the forest, away from the trails, and where people didn’t often pass. He wasn’t too worried about anyone coming across him. They hadn’t seen anyone anywhere near this place in the entire time they’d been doing this.

He chose one of the thicker, sturdier trees and began to climb, rope in hand. He found a branch far enough up that his feet would be about five feet from the ground when he dropped. His mind was on Kacchan as he wound the rope around it, tying it as securely as he could, and made a noose of the other end, slipping it around his neck. He wished the blond boy was here. Wished he would be watching him jump from high up just as he did the first time. Izuku looked down and then slid from the branch.

Death was as familiar to him as his own home now. He brushed his fingers through the water, watching the ripples that spread, amazed as always when his hand came up dry.

Death pulled her human-like form together to greet him. There were nothing but terrifying voids where her eyes should be but despite how scary she was he was nothing but awed as always. He reached out as if to touch her. She reached out as well. Their palms stopped just shy of each other. It was never in their fate to connect that way. He felt a note of sadness thrum through his heart and fade away.

Their time together felt too short as always. He pulled his hand back as did she. She watched him leave, pulled backwards and into the world of the living again. Usually he came back feeling energized and excited. Gazing into Kacchan’s eyes and basking in his visit with Death.

This time though, was different. When he came back to life he couldn’t breathe. Though his broken neck had healed that didn’t keep him from suffocating again. It was painful. God was it painful. Death was a welcome relief. But she could only surround him in a swirl of confusion before he was gone. And it happened again. And again. And again. It was never ending. It was utter hell.

Maybe he had subconsciously wanted this. He’d wanted to prove to Kacchan that Izuku couldn’t do this without him. Or maybe he was simply an absolute idiot and was quickly regretting it with every ounce of his being.

Death was distraught. He kept fading back in and out of her presence, scared and in agony, trying to grasp at the black water like he could anchor himself here but the liquid slipped through his hands and he was yanked back to the land of the living again only to be back moments later. She tried to hold him. To touch him. To keep him with her at least until he was found. But as always she couldn’t and he was too absorbed in his own terror to even try interacting with her.

He couldn’t tell if he was alive or dead. The sky switched from black to blue to black to blue. His surroundings were a blur of forest and shadow. Death’s presence surged and pulled back like an ocean tide. He wondered if he was going completely insane.

Kacchan found him three hours later.

There was an explosion and he fell to the ground with a thud. He wasn’t even able to feel grateful before he started losing consciousness again, the noose still tight enough that he couldn’t breathe even though he was no longer hanging.

Calloused hands scrambled for the rope at his throat. Hands he recognized immediately.

“You idiot!” Kacchan screamed. “I warned you didn’t I? I told you this was dangerous and you didn’t listen. You deserve this, you hear me?! This is what you get for not listening to me!”

Izuku could hear the words but they sounded distorted. He couldn’t focus. Couldn’t take in any details of what was going on around him. He was too caught in the horrifying realization that his quirk could be absolutely awful if he got into the wrong hands. He’d never considered this before but now it was all he could think about. What villain wouldn’t want a hero they could torture and kill again and again and again? Maybe there were some things worse than a permanent death.

_________________________________________

Katsuki had been against this whole dying thing from the beginning. He had figured it would become easier with time but it still made him sick to watch the life leave those big green eyes. Every time he died Katsuki felt a moment of terror. Of wondering if this was the time Izuku would run out of lives. If this would be the last time he’d see him breathing and Katsuki would have to explain that he murdered his childhood friend. Or that he watched him kill himself and did nothing to stop it. And that it wasn’t the first time. Far from it.

These thoughts kept him up at night and he hated it. Hated how weak it made him feel. Hated that he devoted any time at all towards worrying about Deku of all people. Izuku. Worrying about Izuku. He tried not to slip back into that cruel nickname but sometimes it found its way onto his tongue, tasting of regret and self-hatred.

Katsuki wasn’t sure how he felt anymore. He hesitated to call Izuku his friend. He didn’t do friendship. And that word didn’t sound quite right for what they were. He’d never known anyone like Izuku as long as he’d lived. He’d hated him. He’d bullied him. He’d killed him. But now he worried. And worried and worried. It’s all he could think about.

He’d been training more than usual lately and prompting Izuku to as well. Any time spent training his quirk and Izuku’s gifts was time where Izuku wasn’t trying to die. It was a good challenge too. He’d been outraged the first time he’d lost a spar but he’d learned from it. Learned how the other boy moved and thought. Could resist the wave of terror he gave off. Could see the moment he started to step back into the darkness to vanish. Could recognize the subtle twitch of his fingers when he was tugging at shadows. It turned out the bright blasts of his explosions worked really well against those shadows, though they continued to grow more resistant.

He’d trained alone today though. Izuku wanted to experiment again. Had been rambling about hanging himself. Katsuki didn’t feel like watching him die. They’d yelled. He’d stormed off and Izuku had cried. That’s how it always seemed to go when they argued.

He knew Izuku wouldn’t do anything about it though. He was smart enough to know that he shouldn’t die without Kastuki watching over him. It calmed him a bit to know that.

His hands fiddled with his phone as he took a break mid-training. He paused and realized he’d been starting to type a message asking Izuku where he was. It was habit to check up on him when they weren’t together which was rarely now days. But they were arguing. He shouldn’t. He’d seen him at school. He could wait until tomorrow.

Maybe he should install a tracker on Izuku’s phone. That wasn’t too weird right? People did that all the time. He knew of at least three kids in his class whose parents did that. It wasn’t weird. He didn’t even have to tell him. It would just be for his own peace of mind.

The thought of waiting for tomorrow made him distressed. He imagined the different scenarios that could be playing out while he wasn’t there. All the ways Izuku could fuck up. Could end up permanently dead. He did the breathing exercise Izuku had taught him, trying not to work himself into too much of a frenzy.

He wrapped up his work out for the day. Sore and tired but a bit less on edge. The quirk gym they used was only a ten minute walk from his house and he took it in silence. It was odd to not have the chattering freckled boy at his side rambling a thousand words a minute about the ways they could both improve and how amazing Katsuki was that day and how he couldn’t wait for the next time they sparred.

When he got home he kicked off his shoes at the door and walked straight to the kitchen to refuel after his rigorous workout. When he finished his meal he washed his dishes and went to head upstairs for a shower. His mom stopped him halfway there looking as irritable as always.

“Where you with Izuku today?”

He froze, immediately on edge. “What the fuck is it to you?”

She took a deep breath like she was trying very hard not to hit him. “Inko called. He hasn’t been home. He hasn’t called or texted. I’m sure Izuku is off being a normal teenager but you know how anxious that woman can be. Have you seen him or not?”

“I haven’t seen him since school,” he said. His mind was racing a mile a minute through every awful scenario he’d been imaging earlier.

“Well will you please go find him before his mother puts out a missing person alert.”

“I don’t see how that nerd is my problem,” he lied.

He was concerned, as much as he hated to admit it to himself. Izuku was experimenting on his own. Oh god he’d probably broken himself too much to come back. What if he had tried to decapitate himself? Katsuki wouldn’t do it for him. It could be what finally ended it. Or what if he’d seriously injured himself, but not enough to die, so he didn’t heal, just laid there in agony unable to move.

“Katsuki..” He could tell his mom was revving up for a screaming match and he honest to god didn’t want to deal with her bullshit right now.

“Fine! Fucking hell get off my back. I’ll go find the dumbass.”

He wheeled around and stomped back down the stairs. He slammed the door shut behind him and headed to the first place he thought Izuku might be. The forest. Damn that tracker he’d been thinking about would sure be great right now though, just to be sure he was going to the right place.

Their usual spot was pretty deep in. After a twenty minute walk he found the place they usually met up. He froze. He could hear choking. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then stepped out from behind the thick wall of bushed block the area from sight.

He stared in horror. Izuku’s dead body was swinging from a tree about five feet from the ground. It wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before but he still felt his hands start to shake. With a sudden jolt Izuku’s eyes flew open. But it was all wrong. He was choking again immediately. His eyes were full of an absolute terror that Kastuki had never seen from him before. And then it hit him. Izuku had been here for god knows how long dying repeatedly and unable to get himself out of it.

Shadows writhed around the edges of the tree as though Izuku was trying to summon them. It was obviously next to impossible for him to focus on something like that when he was choking to death though. They fell lax at the same time he did. The moment his struggling stopped Katsuki shook himself out of his frozen shock and ran as fast as he could.

Izuku was coming back again. He started to thrash making those god awful choking sounds. Explosions burst from Katsuki’s hands.

“Izuku!”

He thrust himself into the air with a blast of his quirk and thrust another explosion at the rope tied to the tree, severing it instantly. Izuku’s body thudded to the ground. He was still choking, the noose so tight around his neck that he still couldn’t inhale.

Katsuki scrambled to pull the rope away. It was knotted tightly though and wasn’t budging. He wondered if he should just try to blast it off. He knew Izuku could regenerate but he didn’t want to hurt him anymore. He was done with it. Done with these stupid experiments. He knew he’d said that a thousand times before but he really meant it this time. He was putting his foot down.

Katsuki’s eyes burned. His chest heaved with his frantic, panicked breaths.

“You idiot!” he screamed. “I warned you didn’t I? I told you this was dangerous and you didn’t listen. You deserve this, you hear me?! This is what you get for not listening to me!”

He felt like he was on the edge of a breakdown. Izuku was still wheezing. His throat was a sickly dark purple. He looked completely out of it. Body convulsing with each breath he tried to take. Katsuki finally managed to get the noose off. A moment later the gasps stopped and Izuku went limp, dead.

Katsuki dug his nails into the dirt and roared with fury. How dare this fucker get so cocky as to think he was invincible. How dare he make Katsuki feel this way. It wasn’t fair and he hated it. He hated it so much it was tearing him apart. He didn’t want to feel these things. Didn’t want this pain burning in his chest.

There was a gasp. A normal one this time. No wheezing or struggling, just big gulps of air flowing unimpeded through an undamaged throat.

“K-Kacchan?”

Izuku’s voice was frail and terrified. Then he started to cry. Big heaving loud sobs. Katsuki couldn’t help himself, he looked up.

The boy looked even smaller than usual. A bit like he’d looked standing on the roof of their middle school. Small and broken and scared. He hadn’t looked scared like this in so long.

Kastuki clenched his teeth so hard his jaw ached as he watched tears streak the cute freckled face and rim big green eyes with red. Before he could stop himself he flung his arms around the smaller boy and hugged him so tight Izuku’s sobs stuttered with a squeak of surprise.

“Fuck you,” Katsuki snarled, gripping the back of his shirt in his fists. “You’re the stupidest person I’ve ever met. A real goddamn idiot.”

“Kacchan!” Izuku wailed.

He hugged back. The shadows writhed around them. The air was thick and heavy with emotion.

Katsuki had never felt anything like this before. No matter how tightly he held Izuku it wasn’t enough. He wanted to squeeze himself so closely that they melded into one. Wanted to thrust his hand into the other’s ribcage and clench his heart in his fist and never let go. Wanted to bite into him and tear him to pieces with his teeth. Wanted to chain him to his bedroom wall and never let him out of his sight. Wanted to bury them both deep beneath the ground where nothing existed but the two of them.

He didn’t know if it was attraction. Or infatuation. Or love. Or obsession. All he knew was that he was overcome with the strongest emotion he’d ever had. Something he’d never felt. Something he didn’t know how to name. And he would do anything to keep Izuku.

It was absolutely terrifying.

He wasn’t sure how long they hugged. Izuku had stopped crying somewhere along the way but they continued to cling to one another. It was finally the green haired boy that had to pull back out of Katuski’s grasp.

“Kacchan I’m tired. Let’s go. I don’t want to be here anymore.”

He nodded and they stood. He couldn’t let go of Izuku’s hand. He knew he probably looked stupid. He knew it was probably exposing more of himself than he should but he couldn’t let go. Couldn’t stop seeing Izuku choking and terrified. He squeezed so hard the other boy winced.

“Call your mom. Tell her you’re fine and that you’re staying at my place tonight.”

Izuku’s eyes lit up with joy. “Really Kacchan? A sleepover!”

“Tch. Don’t call it that idiot. Makes us sound like we’re four again.”

He nodded and pulled out his phone, smile never faltering. He went to pull away from Katsuki but overwhelming panic filled his chest and he gripped even tighter. Izuku seemed to get the message and pulled up his mother’s contact with one hand, placing it on speaker. The phone was picked up before the first ring even went through.

“Izuku! Baby where are you?” Inko was very obviously crying.

Her son’s face went soft in the face of her worry. His voice was gentle.

“I’m ok mom. I was just doing some research and lost track of time. I’m with Kacchan so don’t worry. Nothing bad could happen while I’m with him.”

He turned and looked at the blond with blind devotion in his eyes. Katsuki’s heart raced at the absolute confident in his skills. His panic was subsiding under that gaze. That’s right. So long as Katsuki was there everything would be fine. He loosened his painful grip on the other boy’s hand.

Inko sounded unsure, though more accepting than she’d been a few months ago. “Alright. I’m glad you’re not alone. When are you coming home?”

“Actually mom, I was going to go to Kacchan’s house tonight. He promised me we could watch the new All Might documentary that came out this morning.”

He smiled at Katsuki who shrugged and nodded. He’d been meaning to watch it anyways. They might as well watch it tonight.

“Alright… come home after school tomorrow though. I’ll make katsudon for dinner.” She paused. “You can invite Kastuki if you’d like.”

Izuku’s smile stretched even wider. Katsuki could tell how happy he was that his mother had become accepting of their friendship. Or whatever the hell this thing they had was.

“Thanks mom! I love you. Thanks for checking up on me. I’ll see you tomorrow!”

“Of course Izuku. I always worry about you. I love you too. Have fun with Katsuki.”

They hung up and Izuku slipped his phone back into his pocket and gave the blonde’s hand a squeeze. “Alright, let’s go.”

As they walked Kastuki’s irritation grew. Now that he knew Izuku was safe he was pissed at him for dying alone. That’s exactly what he was not supposed to do. By the time they got to his house he was fuming and he knew Izuku was aware by the nervous looks he kept shooting his way.

He slammed the door behind them and finally let go of the other boy’s hand as they kicked off their shoes. Like hell was he going to let his parents see him doing something pathetic like that.

“Kastsuki.” He looked up to see his dad standing in the entryway. “Good to see you back son. Please don’t slam the door, your mother’s going to pop a blood vessel at this rate.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. Like he gave a fuck what his mom thought. She was already constantly pissed at him no matter what he did. So if he gave her a reason to be she was probably grateful. It made her look like less of a bitch if she was mad for a legitimate reason rather than it just being who she was as a person.

“Hello Izuku,” his dad continued. “Have you had dinner?”

He shyly shook his head.

“Alright, well we were just sitting down to eat if you want to join us.”

They followed him into the dining room. His mother shot him a glare as soon as they walked in. Probably still pissed about the door slamming. Or maybe just pissed off at seeing his face. When she noticed Izuku she put on a smile though.

“Hello Izuku! Still hanging around my shitty son I see. Did you call your mother? She sounded pretty worried about you.”

“Yes thank you Mrs. Bakugou,” he said quietly.

Katsuki knew Izuku didn’t like his mother. He always silently fumed whenever she went off on Katsuki. It was probably hard to tell for most people. His mother certainly didn’t seem to notice. But Katsuki could tell by the way his smile didn’t reach his eyes and the curl of his hands into fists at his side.

They sat, his dad dishing up a plate to set in front of Izuku. Katsuki turned his down with a mumbled, “already ate earlier.”

His mother prattled off to his father about work and Katsuki silently watched the freckled boy eat. He noticed and gave the blond a small smile. Katsuki quickly looked away, embarrassed at being caught.

When Izuku was finished he thanked Katsuki’s parents for the meal and they headed up to Katsuki’s room. Since they hadn’t had time to stop by Izuku’s house he threw a shirt and sweats at him to wear as pajamas. He started to strip down to change into something comfortable as well.

Normally Izuku would at least pretend to give him a semblance of privacy but today his eyes lingered. Kastuki felt odd about that. Not flustered so much as confused by why he was comfortable with this. He turned to face away from him as he yanked sweats up his hips and slipped a baggy t-shirt over his head.

When he turned back around Izuku was pulling on the shirt he’d been given. He was still a bit scrawny but was becoming more toned due to their daily training. He looked good in Katsuki’s clothes. He felt a strange possessiveness rise up in him. He shut it down and sat on his bed, motioning for Izuku to join him.

He turned on his TV and brought up Netflix where the new All Might documentary had been released. He tucked a pillow behind him for comfort and threw one at Izuku as well. He caught it and moved a little closer as he leaned back onto the pillow. As the movie went on though he ended up leaning forward, vibrating with excitement with every sentence, completely enraptured by every scene.

By the time it finished they were both ready to sleep, exhausted by the events of the day. He turned off the TV and stood up.

“Come on, gonna brush my teeth. We have some spare tooth brushes you can use.”

Izuku nodded and they ended up in front of the bathroom sink, brushing their teeth side by side. It felt sort of domestic and gave Katsuki that funny feeling again. He didn’t know what it meant or whether he liked it.

When they returned to his room he gestured to his bed. Izuku looked at it and back at him in surprise, like he was making sure he wasn’t being tricked. Kastuki rolled his eyes.

“Just get in the damn bed.”

Izuku lit up with excitement and scrambled to get under the covers. Katsuki turned off the lights and slipped in next to him. He couldn’t explain it but he needed to be close to Izuku right now. Needed to make sure he was safe. That he wasn’t still hanging from a tree dying over and over again. Trapped in a hell of his own making.

Izuku rolled onto his side to face him. He could just make out the shape of him in the dark. They were close enough that he could feel his breath on his face but not enough that they were touching.

“Kacchan I’m sorry about today.”

“You should be,” he snarled back. “You know better than to die without me. I’ve told you this Izuku.”

“I know. I won’t do it again. I’ll only die with you there to watch over me. Promise.”

Kastuki felt himself relax a bit at those words. “Good.”

They stared at each other in silence. He was glad Izuku was alive. Breathing. Lying right next to him. He reached out and pulled him into his arms. The other boy froze a moment in surprise before winding his arms around him as well.

The longer they lay there holding each other the more he was overwhelmed with that feeling again from earlier. That desire to be as close as possible. To make sure Izuku was here. Was really here.

He squeezed Izuku tight enough that he must ache from the force of it. He didn’t complain though, letting himself be crushed against Katsuki’s body. The blonde’s breathing increased, desperation thrumming through him. He nuzzled against him roughly, feeling agitated, nose running over his jawbone. There was something inside of him screaming so loudly it drowned out every other thought. Without thinking he sunk his teeth into Izuku’s neck.

The other boy gave a cry of surprise but didn’t move to push him away. He lay still, letting Kastuki gnaw at his neck. He’d wanted this since he held him back in the forest. Wanted to sink his teeth in. To chew him up and swallow him and become one forever.

He bit again and again. His hands slid under the shirt Izuku wore, running them over the smooth skin of his back and then digging in, hard.

Izuku’s breathing picked up pace. He didn’t wince even as the blonde’s fingernails dug in and scraped down, leaving trails of red across his back.

He clawed and bit, crushing Izuku close. He felt frenzied. Frantic. It didn’t feel like enough. He wanted something. Wanted it desperately. But he didn’t know what it was. Didn’t know how to calm this sickening feeling in his chest, crushing his lungs, pulsing through his veins. He wanted and wanted and wanted something.

K-Kacchan,” Izuku stuttered breathlessly.

He snarled, animalistic, jaw jolting hard enough that his teeth finally broke skin. Izuku cried out, throwing his head back.

“Kacchan,” he panted. “Want you to tear my throat out with your teeth. Please. God. Tear me apart.”

Kastuki didn’t want to kill him though. He didn’t know what he wanted but he didn’t think it was that. He knew he was hurting him right now but Izuku didn’t seem to mind. So it wasn’t bad right? Wasn’t wrong? So why was it distressing him so much. What was this?

Izuku’s jolted his hips and Katsuki felt him, hard against his hipbone. He froze suddenly aware of his own body. He was hard too. Was that what this was? Was this what it meant to be aroused?

He’d only ever masturbated a couple of times before. It had been weird. He didn’t know what he was supposed to think about. He tried thinking about boobs or whatever but it just felt awkward more than anything. He’d tried thinking about boys too wondering if he swung that way but that had felt just as weird. He hadn’t really understood why people got so heated about those things.

Was this what they felt? Was this sexual desire? He didn’t know. He had no idea. He just knew that he wanted. Wanted more than he’d ever wanted anything before. Wanted to claw Izuku to pieces, to bite him bloody, and keep him in his bedroom forever. He didn’t know what he was supposed to do about it though. What he was supposed to do with this feeling.

He bit harder where his jaw was locked on and Izuku panted, his hips pushing against him again. And again. He turned until they slotted together, Izuku’s dick against his, and rutted forward. Katsuki gasped, teeth unlatching from Izuku’s neck.

He groaned deep in his chest. He nosed aside the neck of Izuku’s baggy shirt until he could see his bare freckled shoulder. He dragged his tongue over the skin and then bit down again onto the unblemished flesh. Izuku cried out, body arching and then collapsing back down onto the bed, going limp.

Katsuki didn’t stop though. And Izuku seemed to realize that he was still worked up in a frenzy. He licked his hand and shoved it between them and right down the front of the blond’s sweats.

His hand was oddly cold despite their writhing sweating bodies as he wrapped it around Katsuki’s dick. He’d never felt anything like it. His body chase the pleasure, humping wildly into Izuku’s pumping grip.

Kastuki grunted, pushing into the feeling as he bit up Izuku’s jaw, his cheek, his mouth. He was kissing him he realized. Or something like that. Sucking on his lower lip. Biting hard enough that Izuku moaned.

The feeling kept building inside him and he whined, bucking his hips harder, sucking on the other boy’s tongue, chewing on his lips. It reached a peak and he came. The tension in him snapped and he sank back into the bed, unhooking his fingers and withdrawing his mouth.

They panted together in the dark, still wrapped up in one another. Izuku pulled his hand from Katsuki’s pants, brought it up to his mouth and started licking. Katsuki swallowed hard at the sight of it. He rolled away, fumbling for the tissues on his bedside table. He cleaned them both up the best he could, then without saying a single thing he promptly rolled Izuku over onto his side facing away from him, and spooned up behind him, holding him close.

The frantic feeling inside of him had lessened. He was glad that he’d found an outlet. Whenever he got that way again they could just do this. Izuku didn’t seem to mind. Seemed to like it even.

He felt content with the other boy safe in his arms. In his room. In his bed. He was ok. He was alive. Everything was going to be fine.

Chapter Text

Izuku was on cloud nine. He honest to god couldn’t believe how much his life had changed.

Seven months ago he’d been constantly tormented by his classmates. Hated by his once best friend that he was madly in love with. Quirkless and miserable and suicidal. Now here he was the happiest he’d ever been.

People were too scared of Kacchan to be mean to Izuku at school anymore. And even if Kacchan wasn’t by his side (which very very rarely happened) Izku had an aura about him that he hadn’t before. More than just his fear ability. People seemed to have a hard time looking him in the eye and those seated closest to him in class seemed uncomfortable whenever they glanced at him. People treated him with a nervous politeness or did their best not to interact with him at all.

Izuku had an incredible quirk that had led him to his Death gifts, a culmination of powers that were perfect for heroics and had been added to his quirk registry as ‘shadow manipulation’. But better than all of that… Kacchan was his lover now. And he would have given all of the other things up just for Bakugou Kastuki to be his. He’d even give up Death who he loved ached for because he loved and ached more for Kacchan. Always had and always will.

They had done sex stuff last night and Kacchan had been the one to initiate it! Izuku knew he’d have that night burned into his memory forever. It was just as amazing as he thought it would be.

Kacchan was gorgeous. His blood red eyes had been fierce. His passion animalistic and almost terrifying in its intensity. Izuku loved it. He’d wanted that biting hungry mouth to dig into his throat and tear. Wanted those snapping teeth to eat him alive. He had the feeling that in a way Kacchan had wanted it too. But he knew how Kacchan felt about killing him.

He was pretty sure there was something very mentally wrong with him when he realized that he quite literally wanted to be fucked to death by his boyfriend. At least he assumed they were boyfriends now. Kacchan wasn’t the type to fuck just anyone. And had made it clear that Izuku was his.

He was lying next to him now. The rising sun sent beams of light across Kacchan’s sleeping face, lighting his pale blond hair up silver. His skin was so smooth and lovely that Izuku found his hand reaching out before he was fully aware of it, to brush his fingertips across that perfect cheekbone.

Without his angry scowl he looked positively angelic. Izuku reached forward to gently cradle that sweet face in his hands and felt like he was holding a star. Explosive and bright and so beautiful it hurt.

Blond eyelashes fluttered and he found himself staring straight into sleepy red eyes. Kacchan yawned, mouth stretching wide. Izuku stared as the sight of his pink tongue resting behind rows of perfect white teeth and was overcome with the desire to stick his fingers into the blonde’s mouth, to rub them over his tongue and have his slobbering and choking on them.

Kacchan swung an arm around his waist, interrupting his daydream and yanked him so close their noses almost touched.

“Izuku.”

A shiver of desire raced down his spine at the sound of that sleep-raspy voice. “Yes?”

“You aren’t going to have a fuck up like yesterday ever again, do you understand me?”

Izuku’s breath caught in his throat. “Y-yes Kacchan.”

“You’re so stupid you can’t even spend one day alone without it going to hell. So I guess I’m going to be babysitting your ass. I need to know where you are at all times. If I’m not with you I need to know you aren’t swinging from a tree branch somewhere like a dumbass.”

His grip was definitely going to bruise. Izuku felt heat rising in his cheeks, flushing them with absolute passion. Kacchan was everything he’d ever fantasized about him being. He wanted Izuku. He wanted Izuku so badly that he was openly and angrily demanding that they would never be apart.

“Anything you want Kacchan. I’m yours.”

The blond nodded, looking satisfied. They stared at each other for a moment in silence before he took a risk and leaned forward to press their lips together. There was a beat of stillness before the other boy returned the kiss. They were both clumsy in their attempts, lips rubbing awkwardly against each other’s. It was more like a kiss than what they’d done the night before though. He doubted most people’s first kiss consisted of swollen bloody lips and a tongue that ached from being viciously sucked on. Yet he was pretty sure that he preferred that painful passion. This kiss was nice too though. It was affection from Kacchan after all.

When they pulled apart Izuku felt like his heart was about to float right out of his chest. He could feel his entire face stretching it to a giant beaming smile. Kacchan didn’t look quite as blissful. His mouth fell back into his default scowl and he reached up to rub away Izuku’s spit before pushing away grumpily, and getting up out of bed. He stretched, his shirt riding up. Izuku felt himself fixating on the strip of skin that it uncovered. He wanted to touch, to lick, to suck on the other boy’s hipbones. Rather than calming his lust what they’d done had only added fire to the flames.

“Fuck.” Izuku looked up to Kacchan’s face, startled by the curse and found the blonde’s gaze focused on his neck. “I really did a number on you.”

Oh. His neck did ache and he could only imagine what it must look like. Hiding their activities from last night would be pretty much impossible now. Kacchan had bitten hard enough to make him bleed in a couple of places. And they were both supposed to have dinner with his mom tonight. Not to mention they’d have to make it past Kacchan’s parents to go to school.

He wondered if he should kill himself. It had been less than twenty-four hours so far so a reset would heal him. It would be nice to see Death too. She was probably worried.

Kacchan’s eyes snapped up to meet his and it felt like he knew exactly what Izuku was thinking. “No.”

“Kacchan we can’t let me mom see. She’s just recently warmed up to you. She’ll freak out once she sees this!”

“Then you’ll wear a goddamn scarf. And a face mask,” he added, staring at Izuku’s lips and jawline.

“It’s eighty degrees outside!”

“Then I guess you’ll just have to let people seem them.”

“Kacchan you know we can’t. And you know that killing me is the best option here. It solves everything! Just snap my neck or something.”

“I said no!!!”

“Katsuki shut the fuck up!”

They both jumped at the sound of Mrs. Bakugou yelling from downstairs. They froze for a moment, staring the direction that her voice was coming from. When it was obvious she wasn’t about to come check on them they looked back up at each other.

Kacchan leaned forward and pressed his fingers tips lightly against the bruised area on his throat. The gentleness left Izuku breathless, his heart racing at the look on the other’s face. His red eyes were burning with a hint of his intensity from the night before.

“We should get you a collar or something.”

Izuku realized that Kacchan liked how the bruises looked. It made sense. They were Kacchan’s marks. Anyone who saw them would know right away that Izuku had been blatantly and passionately claimed. And he knew they both wanted that so so badly.

But there were their parents to think about and Izuku’s mother at least would absolutely lose it if she saw that Kacchan had ‘hurt’ him like that. Even if she knew it was consensual she would be worried for Izuku’s mental health even more than she already was. Knowing her she might even force him to change schools until high school came. She was already so wary of Kacchan even though she was slowly becoming more accepting. This would ruin any progress they’d made with her.

“Kacchan we can talk about this more later but right now we don’t have time. Please just kill me or let me do it myself.”

“No.” He stepped further into Izuku’s space, eyes intense. “Those shitty kids and those weak-ass teachers at school, I want them to see. Want them to know. You’re mine.”

He dug his thumb harshly into the bruises this time and Izuku yelped involuntarily in surprise. He couldn’t say no to those intense red eyes. They left no room for complaint. Despite his misgivings he slowly nodded in agreement.

“Let’s go shower,” Kacchan commanded.

He turned and left and Izuku stumbled out of the room after him in the direction of the bathroom. He knew Katsuki liked the marks and he like them too. If he really had a choice he’d love to be covered in Kacchan’s bites and bruises always. Have them on display so that everyone could know that he belonged to Kacchan. That Kacchan was his.

But he was so scared of being taken away from Kacchan. He didn’t know what he’d do. He’d burn the entire world down to stay at Kacchan’s side. But their parents had control of them right now and he didn’t want to be angry at his mom. He knew though that if she kept him from Kacchan it could ruin their family. Because he would never be able to forgive her for that as much as it pained him. Kacchan always came first in everything.

He wasn’t sure how Mr. and Mrs. Bakugou would react. He doubted it would be favorably though. Mrs. Bakugou never reacted to anything favorable when it had to do with her son. It’s one of the reasons that Izuku sometimes fantasized about shoving a hot poker down her throat just to get her to shut the fuck up about the mean things she said to and about Kacchan.

When he shut the bathroom door behind him he immediately flashed back to the last time he’d been here. It felt like so long ago. Touching himself to the thought of Kacchan. Thinking that the blond hugging him would be nothing but a wild fantasy. Look at far he’d come with making his dreams come true.

Kacchan began stripping down and Izuku followed his lead. He openly stared at the hard slope of the blonde’s back and followed it down to his ass where his eyes lingered. The other boy seemed unaffected. He stepped into the shower without even glancing at Izuku, something that stung a little.

Izuku stood directly under the shower head as Kacchan started cleaning him with a detached disinterest. Like he was polishing a belonging. Or maybe like he was washing up a puppy. Izuku wanted to change that.

He placed his hands on Katsuki’s firm chest and slid them down past his stomach. Kacchan snatched up his hands before they could reach their goal though, his expression unreadable, and flipped Izuku around to face the wall before getting back to washing his hair.

“I don’t need that right now,” he grumbled.

Izuku was confused. Really confused. Was Kacchan not sexually interested in him? It definitely didn’t seem that way last night. And what did he mean when he said he didn’t need it?

He pouted at the wall, disappointed. Maybe Kacchan wasn’t feeling it unless he went into ‘overprotective mode’. Did that mean that Izuku had to pull a move like yesterday whenever he wanted sex? That would become irritating very quickly and he had the feeling it would piss Kacchan off a lot more than it would seduce him. He signed as they finished washing up and got out of the shower, changing into their uniforms.

Izuku stared at his reflection in the mirror as they dressed. Their uniform collar covered up a portion of their necks, but not enough. His neck was a mass of dark purpling bruises, and some very defined teeth marks trailing from his slightly swollen mouth down his jaw, throat, and disappearing under his collar, though Izuku knew that they continued all the way across his shoulders. He shivered with desire. How long would he have to wait to have that happen again?

They went downstairs and into the kitchen where Mr. Bakugou was frying up some eggs. Mrs. Bakugou was already at the table, tapping away at her phone as she ate. They both looked up when he and Kacchan entered the room.

Mr. Bakugou dropped his spatula. Mrs. Bakugou’s mouth hung open in shock. Izuku felt embarrassed by their staring and quickly stepped behind Kacchan who snarled at the two of them.

“Just give us some damn breakfast so we can go to school.”

“Son do you think you should go to school like that? Izuku might, uh, draw attention.” His dad’s voice sounded forcibly calm.

“What the fuck.” Mrs. Bakugou interrupted before anything more could be said. She let out a bark of laughter. “Were you trying to eat the poor kid alive?”

“None of your business!” Kacchan snapped.

“It is when it’s happening under my roof,” she shot back, voice rising.

“We don’t fucking need breakfast after all.”

Kacchan gripped Izuku’s arm tightly and steered them from the room. The blonde’s parents didn’t make a move to stop them. He was pretty sure they were too shocked. The two of them grabbed their things and left.

Izuku’s stomach growled loudly as they walked and Kacchan sighed. “Come on.”

He led them to the convenience store and bought them some muffins, much to Izuku’s relief. He watched Kacchan curiously, wondering what he was thinking.

“My parents are fucking idiots,” he grumbled. “So damn irritating. Don’t know why they can’t just stay out of my business. That’s what they usually do. Since when have they given a shit about what happens in my life?”

Izuku reached out to squeeze Kacchan’s hand and he let him. They had parents on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Kacchan’s parents didn’t care enough about his life. Izuku’s mom cared too much. If that’s how the Bakugou’s reacted then he wasn’t looking forward to what his own mom would say. But that was something to worry about later. Right now he was too busy basking in the fact that Kacchan was holding his hand in public.

They got to school earlier than usual and sat down in class together. Izuku got out one of his notebooks to pour over his writings. Kacchan pulled up a game on his phone and they sat in companionable silence.

When people began to pour into the classroom the two of them ignored them all and received the same treatment in return. He knew that they were too intimidating for anyone to say anything about his marks.

When the teacher strode in to start class his eyes lingered on Izuku’s neck before darting to Kacchan who was staring right back at him with defiance. Their teacher swallowed nervously and turned away, starting class as usual.

The day passed by fairly normally. At lunch Izuku went to save their usual seat as Kacchan grabbed their food. He was flipping through hero articles on his phone when two girls nervously sat down across from him.

He looked up in confusion. They were fairly cute. One had long rabbit ears nestled in her thick curly black hair. The other had luminescent silver eyes. They flushed when he looked at them.

“Um, are you ok Midoriya?” Rabbit ears asked.

“Yes?” he answered.

“It’s just, Bakugou isn’t forcing you is he?” Silver Eyes asked, worry in her voice.

“Forcing me?”

She gestured to his neck. “That looks painful.”

Oh. Ohh. They thought Kacchan was making him have sex against his will. He shook his head furiously.

“No!”

They both jumped at the fierceness of his denial.

“Kacchan loves me,” he said, a little angry at the accusation.

He tried to remain polite though. These girls were only trying to be kind. They didn’t know Kacchan like he did. They didn’t understand him.

“I wanted Kacchan to do this. He would never hurt me if I didn’t want him to.” He defended firmly.

“Oh.”

They both stared at him with wide eyes. Rabbit Ears was blushing so hard her entire face was red.

“What the hell are you doing in my seat.”

They jumped at the sound of Kacchan’s rough voice.

“S-sorry Bakugou.”

They both scrambled away quickly before he could say anything more. He scowled after them before turning his gaze back to Izuku.

“The fuck did they want?”

“They were just worried about you hurting me.”

Kacchan’s face twisted into fury.

“Don’t worry,” Iuku quickly placated. “I told them you didn’t do anything I didn’t want. If they knew you they wouldn’t think like that.”

“Can’t believe they had the fucking audacity..”

“Kacchan,” Izuku interrupted. “It’s alright. They won’t bother us again.”

Red eyes narrowed, burning straight into his soul. “Fine. But next time someone tries to get up in our business I won’t let it go. Can’t believe they waited until I was gone. Can’t leave you alone for two seconds.”

The rest of the day passed quickly. Izuku was nervous to go home with Kacchan. Maybe he should wear a scarf after all, regardless of the weather. He was jittery as he walked, Kacchan side-eying him the entire time with a scowl.

“Fucking chill. God you’ve died more times than I can count but you’re scared of your fucking mom?”

“I don’t want her to take me away from you,” he admitted quietly.

Kacchan gripped his hand so hard it hurt. “I would never let that happen.”

There was such absolute conviction in his words that Izuku relaxed a little. Kacchan could do anything. He believed him. Even if his mom tried to tear them apart neither of them would let it happen. They needed each other too much. He would kill for Kacchan if he had to. Anything to stay with him forever.

When they got to his house Izuku called out a greeting as he kicked off his shoes. Kacchan quietly slid off his as well. His mom was sitting on the couch in the living room with a book. She looked up with a smile to greet them and froze.

“Hey mom. We’re just going to hang out in my room for a bit. Let me know if you need help with dinner,” he laughed nervously.

“Izuku.” He couldn’t quite decipher the tone of her voice. “Come here for a second.”

He glanced at Kacchan. The blonde’s expression was unreadable. He turned and walked over to his mom. She stood up and caught his chin with her hand, tilting it up to inspect his neck. Tears welled up in her eyes.

“What did he do to you?!”

“Mom!” he pulled away from her grasp. “It’s ok. Kacchan didn’t hurt me.”

“Didn’t hurt you? Izuku those are awful. They aren’t just hickies. There are teeth marks.” She turned to Kacchan, her expression fierce despite her tears. “I trusted you Katsuki. I knew I shouldn’t have but I did anyways. And now look what you’ve done. Have you two… are you having… s-s-sex?”

Kacchan scoffed. “With all due respect Mrs. Midoriya I would never hurt Izuku without his consent. And our sex life or lack thereof is our business.”

Lack thereof? That hurt a little but it was true that one session of grinding and a handjob probably didn’t really count as a ‘sex life’ to Kacchan. Either way this was definitely something he did not want to talk to his mother about. As Kacchan had said it was their business to figure out and theirs alone.

“Mom please, let’s talk about this later. Why don’t we just have a nice dinner together and you and I can discuss this when you’ve calmed down a bit.”

“Calm down? Calm down Izuku?” She was practically bawling at this point, hands gripping his arms and shaking him a little. “I’m worried about you. You’ve been different ever since you started spending time with that boy again.”

“You mean happier mom? I’ve been different because for the first time in my life I’ve really found a bit of happiness.” He gently took her hands in his and pried them from his sleeves.

“Izuku I don’t think that what you’re feeling is really happiness. How can you if you’re ok with this... mutilation.” She gestured to his neck. “That’s not normal. You’re still so young, you don’t understand that this is abuse.”

“Mom he’s not abusing me. I love him and he would never hurt me if I didn’t want it.”

“If you didn’t want it? Words like that are what worry me. Is this some sort of self harm thing? Are you letting Katsuki hurt you because you think you deserve it? What has he done to you?”

“Mom!!!”

She froze, eyes wide.

“I was so unhappy before. Didn’t you see it? I was so unhappy that I tried to kill myself.”

She gasped, mouth trembling.

“Kacchan was there for me after that. He helped me. He’s still helping me. He makes me happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. Please please please don’t take that away from me mom. That would hurt me so much. Please don’t try to do that to me.”

The force of his feelings must have reached her because she nodded slowly.

“Izuku I don’t understand but I can see that this is causing you distress. That wasn’t my intention. I just love you and I want you to be happy and seeing this scares me.”

“Thank you mom. It’s ok though. I love Kacchan. And he…” Izuku hesitated over the word.

Kacchan had never said anything about love. While Izuku knew that was what Kacchan felt he was aware that the blonde wouldn’t readily admit it and it felt awkward describing the other boy’s affections for him in such a way in front of Kacchan himself.

“He cares about me,” he settled with saying. “He takes care of me. We’ll be ok. I want you to trust me when I say that I trust him. Because I do. I trust him with my entire soul.”

Her gaze darted between his eyes, trying to gauge his sincerity before she seemed to find what she was looking for.

“I don’t trust him but I do trust you.” She looked up at Kacchan. “Please take care of him.”

“I will always be by Izuku’s side,” he growled. “Nobody will touch him when I’m around. I’ll blast the limbs off of anyone who tries to take him from me.” The words seemed like they meant to comfort her but there was an undercurrent of threat in them too.

She looked a bit unsettled and like there was something more she wanted to say, but she seemed to swallow it down and dismiss them instead. “I’ll let you know when dinner is ready.”

And just like that the conversation was over. Izuku breathed a sigh of relief. That could have gone so much worse.

He knew that this wasn’t the last of it. She’d likely corner him once Kacchan was gone. But at least for now they were past tonight’s confrontation. He smiled at Kacchan and turned to lead him to his bedroom.

__________________________

Inko was pretty sure there had never really been a time where she wasn’t worried about Izuku. He had so much kindness and so much determination but everyone around him had been doing their best to beat those things out of him since he was a child.

She felt helpless. She’d yelled at Mitsuki. Yelled at teachers and principals. Even yelled at other kids. She yelled herself hoarse and nobody cared to listen.

Izuku eventually tried to hide his misery form her. Tried to cover the bruises. To brush away the questions about ‘Kacchan’.

Bakugou Katsuki had been Izuku’s personal hell for ten years when suddenly everything changed.

At first Inko had no idea why. She’d been utterly shocked when he’d shown up at her front door with her son, looking surly and deliberately avoiding her gaze. Izuku had been bouncing around, smiling like they were the best of friends. And most bizarre was the way that the other boy let him.

And then Izuku had told her that he’d discovered his quirk, shadow manipulation. He was a late bloomer. And it should have been a wonderful moment, one she’d only dreamed of for him. But instead she just felt… unsettled.

Izuku was smiling more but there was something a little unhinged in him. Something in the twist of his smile and the manic gleam of his eyes. Something in the feverish fanatical energy he ranted about Katsuki with. Something in the way he was rarely home anymore and even when he was he was still texting Katsuki or speaking to him on the phone. They were utterly inseparable. And there was something about it that gave her a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach.

She was trying to be accepting though. Her son hadn’t had a friend for so long and she didn’t want to ruin this for him. Not on a hunch.

She greeted Katsuki politely when he came by to pick up Izuku (they almost never stuck around their apartment). She refrained from making comments about her mistrust to her son. She did her best to be as welcoming as she could. And it seemed to work. Izuku was ecstatic about her ‘acceptance’.

And now here she was inviting Katsuki to dinner. An olive branch. It had been seven months and he didn’t seem to have hurt Izuku yet.

She spent most of the day on errands and chores. She cleaned the apartment top to bottom, went grocery shopping, watched a few episodes of a drama, and eventually settled down with a book. It would be a good distraction while waiting for the two boys to arrive.

At the sound of the front door opening she perked up. Izuku called out a greeting. Katsuki didn’t say anything but she could hear the sound of two people taking off their shoes. She prepared a smile and looked up as they rounded the corner.

She froze mid-smile.

“Hey mom. We’re just going to hang out in my room for a bit. Let me know if you need help with dinner.”

Izuku was nervous, words stumbling over one another. But Inko could barely understand them. It felt like she was underwater. This was so surreal. So unbelievable that her son would be standing before her covered in bruises and bite marks with his abuser right next to him.

“Izuku. Come here for a second.”

To her frustration he looked at Katsuki first, like he needed his permission to walk over to his own mother. Katsuki didn’t say anything. Just looked right back at him. After a brief moment Izuku dropped their gaze and approached her.

Inko jolted to her feet and stood up and out to grab his chin and tilt it up. God it was even worse up close. There were sickening shades of red and splotching deep purple all up his neck and jaw. And there were at least two very distinct bite marks on the visible skin alone.. Raised swollen flesh in oval shapes with defined teeth marks along them. She could only imagine what might be under the rest of his shirt and it made her heart hurt. These two weren’t just ‘fooling around’. Izuku had been mauled.

“What did he do to you?!” She could feel her eyes start to burn, a choking feeling welling up in her throat.

“Mom!” he pulled away from her grasp. “It’s ok. Kacchan didn’t hurt me.”

“Didn’t hurt you? Izuku those are awful. They aren’t just hickies. There are teeth marks.”

She was baffled at his determined defense of Katsuki. He was lying straight to her face. How could he pretend that the other boy hadn’t hurt him when there was blatant proof right in front of her?

“I trusted you Katsuki. I knew I shouldn’t have but I did anyways. And now look what you’ve done. Have you two… are you having… s-s-sex?”

The idea made her absolutely nauseous. She wanted to rip them apart. To banish the Bakugou boy from her son’s life. To teach him how to make normal friends who would treat him kindly.

A part of her felt like maybe that was a pipe dream though. After all hadn’t that been what she’s been trying to do since he found out he was quirkless? A decade of trying to help him make friends and nothing until this foul angry boy came along. The same boy that had left burn marks and scars across Izuku’s body, now leaving different kinds of bruises and marks. It was sickening.

Kacchan scoffed. “With all due respect Mrs. Midoriya I would never hurt Izuku without his consent. And our sex life or lack thereof is our business.”

“Mom please, let’s talk about this later. Why don’t we just have a nice dinner together and you and I can discuss this when you’ve calmed down a bit.”

“Calmed down? Calmed down Izuku?” She felt overwhelmed.

This was not what she had been expecting when she’d invited them to all have dinner together. She thought that there might be a bit of awkwardness but not this. Tears of frustration and fear welled up in her eyes and poured down her cheeks.

“I’m worried about you. You’ve been different ever since you started spending time with that boy again.”

“You mean happier mom? I’ve been different because for the first time in my life I’ve really found a bit of happiness.” He gently took her hands in his and pried them from his sleeves.

“Izuku I don’t think that what you’re feeling is really happiness. How can you if you’re ok with this... mutilation.” She gestured to his neck. “That’s not normal. You’re still so young, you don’t understand that this is abuse.”

“Mom he’s not abusing me. I love him and he would never hurt me if I didn’t want it.”

Those words struck a bad chord with her. He didn’t say that Katsuki wouldn’t hurt him. He said that he wouldn’t if Izuku didn’t want it. She tried to keep from losing her shit but she was teetering on the edge.

“If you didn’t want it? Words like that are what worry me. Is this some sort of self harm thing? Are you letting Katsuki hurt you because you think you deserve it? What has he done to you?”

“Mom!!! I was so unhappy before. Didn’t you see it? I was so unhappy that I tried to kill myself.”

Her heart stopped in her chest. What? When? It couldn’t be. Sometimes quirks manifested from trauma. What if that had been the day everything had changed. And she hadn’t been there for him. And talked to him like normal. Had pestered him about his homework and argued about Katsuki and he never said a word. Never mentioned that he almost erased himself from her life completely. She swallowed down a sob.

“Kacchan was there for me after that. He helped me. He’s still helping me. He makes me happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. Please please please don’t take that away from me mom. That would hurt me so much. Please don’t try to do that to me.”

The fervor that he pleaded with was disconcerting. If he was in a delicate enough place that he’d been suicidal though… she was scared. Terrified that saying the wrong thing could push him away forever. But also worried that if she said nothing he’d sink down into something horrific with Bakugou Katsuki. There was already something twisted in their relationship even if she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

“Izuku I don’t understand but I can see that this is causing you distress. That wasn’t my intention. I just love you and I want you to be happy and seeing this scares me.”

“Thank you mom. It’s ok though. I love Kacchan. And he… he cares about me. He takes care of me. We’ll be ok. I want you to trust me when I say that I trust him. Because I do. I trust him with my entire soul.”

She stared at him intensely. She could tell he wasn’t totally wrong. Katsuki did care about him in some way. She wasn’t totally sure how. She hadn’t seen their dynamic enough to know. But his eyes were fierce and ravenous, never leaving Iuzku’s face throughout this entire discussion. It made her uncomfortable.

“I don’t trust him but I do trust you.” She looked at Katsuki, his face twisted into a scowl. “Please take care of him.”

“I will always be by Izuku’s side,” he growled. “Nobody will touch him when I’m around. I’ll blast the limbs off of anyone who tries to take him from me.”

Something about the unhinged look in his eye scared her. She wasn’t sure what to do. She didn’t want to lose her son. And she felt that if she tried to pull them apart something terrible would happen. There was an underlying energy to their interactions, to their entire relationship. It was disconcerting.

“I’ll let you know when dinner is ready.”

She didn’t know what else to say. Any protests were swallowed up in the wake of her realization that there was nothing more that could be done at this moment. This had to be handled carefully or it could be disastrous. She had to call Mitsuki and Masaru. Something had to be done.

______________________

Katsuki didn’t really want to go home. He didn’t know if his parents would still be weird about this morning. He hoped that they’d just forget about it, as unlikely as that was. Worst case scenario he’d be yelled at. Nothing out of the usual. His mom screamed at him on a daily basis anyways.

More than that, he really didn’t want to leave Izuku. Dinner had been an awkward and quiet affair. Mrs. Midoriya seemed really on edge and all he could think about was waking up the next morning to find that she’d packed up and took Izuku to another city, another country even. He worried that they would be separated.

And then what? What would Izuku do? We he continue his ‘research’? We he go back to killing himself without Katsuki there to supervise? Would Izuku find someone new to replace him?

The image came to mind of some doe eyed girl with a sweet smile straddling Izuku, hands on his throat. He was immediately filled with rage. He wanted to destroy this hypothetical girl. Wanted to destroy anyone who tried to touch Izuku. He was Katsuki’s. If he let some other fucker put their hands all over him he’d murder them both. So that Izuku would come back to Katsuki and Katsuki alone.

“Kacchan?”

He looked over at the green-haired boy next to him. He’d been scribbling away in his journal, muttering to himself while Katsuki had been fantasizing about murdering some non-existent bitch.

He reached over, squeezed Izuku’s hand as hard as he could, and pulled his close. The scenario was fake but the anger that lingered was real.

He shoved Izuku onto his back, knocking the notebook from his hands. Izuku stared up at him, limp and obedient beneath him. He tilted his head back a little, like he was showing off his bruises, reminding Kastuki of what had helped calm the overwhelming feelings that had built up last night.

This wasn’t as bad as that though. His heart didn’t feel like it was tearing out of his chest. There was none of that frantic frenzy. He just wanted to know that Izuku was here. That he was his.

He let his arms go lax and collapsed his body on top of the smaller boy’s. He could feel both of their heartbeats in his chest. Was aware of every breath Izuku took.

He pushed himself down, forcing the other’s body harder into the mattress. Izuku slowly brought up his arms to wrap around Katsuki’s body. They lay in silence for a couple of minutes before Izuku squirmed, and Katsuki felt him hard against his hip.

God was Izuku just perpetually horny? Katsuki’s anger had already calmed from the feeling of the other boy helpless beneath him. He rolled off of Izuku and stared at the ceiling for a moment before sitting up.

“I know I have to go home. So there’s something I need to do.”

“What is it?” Izuku asked a little petulantly as he too sat up, a little frown on his face.

Katsuki held out his hand. “Give me your phone.”

Izuku looked confused but immediately handed it over without question. The instant trust he had gave Katsuki a heady rush of pleasure. He quickly opened the app store and started downloading the one he’d researched earlier. When it was done he handed the phone back and Izuku looked down at the newly installed tracker, linked to Katsuki’s phone.

“So things like yesterday don’t happen again,” he explained.

Izuku smiled. “That’s a good idea Kacchan. So you’ll always know where I am!” His eyes lit up. “Oh! We should both download face time too. Then it won’t be as hard to be apart for the whole night. We can see each other and it’ll be like we’re sleeping together!”

Katsuki could feel a smile crawling across his face. He was pleased that Izuku understood. He knew that the tracker thing wasn’t weird or anything. But he had worried a little that Izuku might think it was. It was the reason he’d contemplated just installing it without the other knowing. But he had seemed to show some of the same worry of separation as Katsuki did so he felt like Izuku would understand his reasoning and it looked like he was right.

“Good idea,” he agreed.

The both downloaded the app and tested it out. It was perfect. Even when they were apart it was like they weren’t really apart.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said. “No school so I’ll come by to pick you up at 8 and we’ll go to the gym for some training.”

Izuku nodded enthusiastically. “Can’t wait!”

Katsuki stood up to leave but the other boy grabbed his arm. He turned in confusion to find Izuku’s face close enough to his that their noses bump. Before he could say anything lips were on his.

He didn’t fully understand Izuku’s obsession with kissing but he indulged him. Izuku’s hand came up to touch his face, the other sliding in to his hair. After a minute he pulled back, giving the other boy a little push to get him to let go.

Izukus brow furrowed and his mouth opened like he wanted to say something, but snapped closed after a couple of seconds. He hunched into himself a little with a small frown.

“See you tomorrow Kacchan,” he mumbled, like he’d just been rejected.

“Hey.”

Izuku looked up just as s Kastuki grabbed his shoulders and slammed him into the wall hard enough that it knocked the breath out of him. He pressed their foreheads together, staring into Izuku’s eyes, wide with shock.

“I want to stay here. I don’t want to leave. Ever. I hate that I have to leave you and your idiotic self-destructive ass alone. But I don’t want to push your mom any more than we already have. Do you understand?”

Izuku nodded furiously. Katsuki slammed their mouths together so hard that he felt his teeth cut Izuku’s lip. He tasted blood on his tongue as he dug his fingers into the other’s arms hard enough to bruise and kissed him like he was devouring him.

He pulled back with a gasp. Izuku looked dazed, eyes completely glazed over and mouth slack, smeared with blood.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

With one last squeeze to Izuku’s arm Katsuki turned and left.

Chapter Text

Katsuki curled his body around Izuku’s. The smaller boy tucked against him perfectly. Like they were puzzle pieces carved to fit into place just like this. Katsuki’s body ran hotter than most and Izuku’s was as cold as death. They balanced each other out. Two halves of a whole.

He rubbed his cheek against the top of the mess of green curls and gave him a tight squeeze. Izuku shifted a little beneath him but his breathing stayed steady, still fast asleep. Perfectly safe and sound in Katsuki’s arms. It was a position that made the blond feel content. Quieted the rage and the anxiety and all of the emotions that burned through him on a daily basis.

Their parents seemed to have bonded together in their determination to keep the two of them apart. Izuku’s mom tried to be subtle about it but his mother straight up screamed in his face that their relationship was ‘fucked up’ and that they needed some ‘space’ from one another.

Katsuki had actually snorted out loud at that. A reaction that brought about another round of yelling from the old hag. He’d stared at the wall dully, ignoring her pathetic attempts to ‘ground him’.

He was pretty sure he’d never taken either of his parents seriously in his entire life. His mother could yell all she wanted but it was all posturing. Deep down they didn’t give two fucks what he did.

His dad had watched the whole thing from the couch. He looked tired. He’d rubbed his temple with two fingers and looked like he wanted this to be over almost as much as Katsuki did.

He nodded like he’d actually listened to everything his mother had said and went back up to his room where he called Izuku and asked him to sneak out once his mom went to bed. Katsuki might have went to Izuku’s house instead if they didn’t live in an apartment complex several stories up which made it extremely difficult to just climb through a window. Here Izuku only had to use his shadow warp to slip into his bedroom.

Izuku’s mom usually went to bed at 9:00 on the dot. Izuku slid through the shadows at the edge of his room by 9:15. They did this almost every night. Neither of their parents seemed to notice, which was surprising to Katsuki. He’d thought that Inko would be the type of parent to check on her son several times in the night. But according to Izuku she had trouble sleeping so she took sleep meds that knocked her out until morning, which was very convenient for them.

Tonight was the night before the UA entrance exam. Izuku had been out as soon as he’d crawled into bed but Katsuki was restless with anticipation. He buried his face in the smaller boy’s hair and breathed deeply. Calmed by Izuku’s scent he slowly relaxed and drifted off to sleep.

He woke up to the beeping of his alarm clock as Izuku blindly slapped at the bedside table trying to quiet it. With a groan Katsuki sat up and turned it off.

He stretched and yawned before looking back at the boy in his bed. He peeked up out of the blankets sleepily. With a smirk he leaned over to bite a freckled cheek, causing Izuku to squirm, pushing him away and laughing. He released his teeth and sat back.

“Time to go ‘zuku.”

Izuku groaned. “I know, I know.”

He sighed and stood up. Katsuki grabbed his wrist and flipped it soft side up where he pressed a kiss to the blue outline of his veins without thinking. It felt dangerously sweet and as soon as he realized what he’d done he froze.

He looked up to see Izuku watching him, cheeks flushed red. Neither of them moved for a moment until Katsuki snapped out of their awkward stare down and gave Izuku a shove towards the shadows. The other boy gave him a smile as they twisted around him and he vanished. The image of his glowing green eyes lingered for a split second before the bright color was nothing but the darkness left behind.

He went through his morning routine quickly. Showered, got dressed, scarfed down a healthy breakfast and then headed for the front door, eager to see Izuku again.

His mom actually gave him a little smile and before he stepped outside she slapped him on the back and told him to ‘knock them dead’.

He met with Izuku midway between their homes and they set off for UA together. Katsuki had full faith that they would both get in. He didn’t even want to consider what would happen if one of them didn’t make it. Because it wasn’t possible.

“Kacchan!” Izuku was vibrating with excitement. His eyes shone with awe as he stared up at the huge entrance. “We’re here! We’re really here!”

“That’s right. Get ready to kick some ass.”

Katsuki didn’t always feel comfortable holding hands in public so he gripped Izuku around the wrist and pulled him along after him. He strode forward confidently. People around them parted instantly, intimidated by his ‘fuck off’ vibe and Izuku’s obsessive muttering as he word vomited everything he knew about the building and the history of the school and all that bullshit.

He rolled his eyes whenever he someone avoided his gaze. This lot was trying to be heroes? How pathetic. Seemed like a bunch of cowards to him.

They were almost to the door when Izuku tripped, too distracted by his own outpouring of information to pay attention to his surroundings. There was a moment when he looked like he was about to face plant before Katsuki yanked him back upright by his wrist. He stumbled into the blond a little, blinking furiously and shaking his head a little like he was trying to reorient himself.

There was a small “oh” of surprise and he and Izuku both looked up to see a girl next to them. She had a round face with pink cheeks, framed by soft brown hair. Her hand was reached out like she’d meant to stop Izuku from falling. She let her arm drop when she noticed their gazes, looking a little embarrassed.

She’d tried to grab Izuku. Katsuki felt a spike of anger at the thought of her touching Izuku. The smaller boy had him protecting him. The thought that someone saw him with Izuku’s wrist in his hand but thought he was still incompetent enough to let the other boy kiss concrete pissed him off. He could feel his lips lifting into a snarl.

The girl took a nervous step backwards. Izuku smiled brightly at her like the sight of it could make up for Katsuki’s angry expression. And maybe it did because she relaxed a bit.

“Sorry about that! I just thought it would be bad luck for you to trip before the exam,” she explained, chewing at her lip and rubbing the back of her head with a small shrug.

“Thank you!“ Izuku chirped. He patted Kastuki’s arm. “Luckily I have Kacchan watching over me.”

“Ya he’s obviously fine so fuck off,” Katsuki cut in.

Izuku gave him a small smile and turned back to the girl whose eyes had gone wide in shock. “Thanks again! And good luck to you too!”

This time he was the one tugging Katsuki along before the blond could say anything else. He seethed as he ripped his arm away threw it over Izuku’s shoulders. Fuck what anyone else thought. Obviously people thought they could place their grubby little hands all over Izuku if he didn’t stake his claim.

Izuku didn’t say anything. He just snuggled in close to Kastuki as they walked and looked up at him with hearts in his eyes. Katsuki’s scowl eased up into a more neutral expression as they took their seats in the giant auditorium.

It didn’t take long for Present Mic to stride onto the stage and welcome them. He was loud and flashy and his attempts to treat the examinees like his usual audience went over awkwardly.

“As it said in the application requirements you listeners will be conducting ten-minute mock urban battles after this!” Present Mic said enthusiastically.

Izuku whispered fact after fact about the hero as he spoke. He leaned into Katsuki’s space, their shoulders pressed together, knees knocking against one another. During the times he couldn’t have his eyes on Izuku the muttering helped soothe his anxiety. It was a habit that had annoyed him in the past but lately it was an almost comforting reminder that he was safe. Safe enough to be vomiting up every bit of his insanely detailed knowledge of Present Mic.

“You can bring whatever you want with you. After the presentation you’ll head to the specified battle center.”

Katsuki looked at his card ‘Test Location: Battle Center A’. He glanced over at Izuku’s. ‘Test Location: Battle Center B’. Fuck. They were different. He should have known they’d try to keep people from working with their friends.

His hands tightened into fists. He had to trust in Izuku. He’d suspected that something like this might happen. Letting them work together to pass this exam would make it too easy.

Izuku’s hand moved under the table to grip his thigh, the chill of his skin felt even through the material of Katsuki’s pants. The other boy turned his face up so that it was close to his. The stream of words that had been pouring from his mouth quieted and big green eyes shone up at him, pleading for him to stay calm.

“It’ll be alright Kacchan. The second the exam is over I’ll come to you. You know I will,” he whispered.

Katsuki took a deep breath and nodded silently. He wasn’t going to let something as stupid as his anxieties keep them from this. They would have to separate sometimes if there were going to be pro heroes. Even if they became a hero duo they were going to have to be apart at times. Telling himself these things didn’t stop the panic threatening to creep its way through his lungs though.

Izuku’s hand slid a little higher on his thigh, like he thought that would be a distraction for the blond from his worry. He rolled his eyes a little but let it happen. Whatever made Izuku feel like he was helping.

He forced himself to look back up to the front and focus. This was important. They were going to ace this test. Izuku was strong enough now that he could get through this without dying. Everything was going to be fine.

Present Mic started to explain how the exam would work and Katsuki was pleased that it was robots they’d be fighting. That meant he and Izuku could get as violent as they wanted. Could completely decimate their enemies without holding back. This exam was going to be a piece of cake. He’d rip apart every robot in the arena and return to Izuku victorious.

“May I ask a question?” A shout from a student a few rows ahead of them drew everyone’s attention.

Present Mic pointed at him. “Ok!”

A spot light seemed to appear out of nowhere, revealing a tall boy with broad shoulders, sharp eyebrows, and glasses.

“On the printout there are four kinds of villains. If that is a misprint then UA, the most prominent school in Japan, should be ashamed of that foolish mistake!”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. God he already hated this pretentious fucker.

“We examinees are here in this place because we wish to be molded into exemplary heroes. In addition, you over there with the curly hair!” He turned to point straight at Izuku who suddenly sat up straight in surprise, his cold presence pulling away from Katsuki’s side. “You’ve been muttering this whole time. It’s distracting! If you’re here on a pleasure trip you should leave immediately!”

Kastuki was on his feet before he even consciously made the decision to do so. “You wanna say that again motherfucker? Let’s see how much shit you can spout when I have my fist shoved down your throat!”

The boy’s eyes went wide. “Are you really trying to be a hero? You sound more like a villain to me!”

Katsuki’s vision went red. With a snarl he moved to throw himself over the table, ready to get his hands around that thick neck and blast his throat out. Izuku wound his arm through Katsuki’s and quickly yanked him back.

“Kacchan don’t they’ll kick you out!”

Izuku was probably right. He ground his teeth together in frustration but plopped his ass back in seat. He hoped that asshole was in his battle arena so he could destroy him. He flipped the boy off with a sneer. He looked so offended that it was almost comical.

“Alright, alright settle down,” Present Mic ordered. “Examinee 7111, thanks for bringing me to the last villain on your list. This fourth type of villain is actually worth zero points. That guy’s an obstacle so to speak. There’s one in every battle center. An obstacle that will go crazy in narrow spaces. It’s not impossible to defeat but there’s no reason to defeat it either. I recommend that you listeners try to avoid it!”

“Thank you very much,” the loud mouth that now had a large target on his back in Katsuki’s eyes gave a 90 degree bow. “Please excuse the interruption!” He gave another sharp glance back at Katsuki before sitting down promptly.

Katsuki was barely listening as Present Mic wrapped everything up with a giant Plus Ultra. He was gripping Izuku’s arm hard enough to bruise. The green haired boy leaned back into him again, trying to comfort him with his presence.

“Come on Kacchan, time to go. Take out all your anger on those robots. We’re going to beat out everyone in this exam right?”

He took a moment to practice his breathing exercise while Izuku waited patiently. When his heart rate started to decrease he nodded and stood.

“Let’s do this.”

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

Izuku stared at the big gate of the battle arena impatiently. Around him other examinees were trying to calm their nerves but he already had adrenaline pumping through him, ready to bolt as soon as those gates opened up.

He fidgeted with his sleeves and wished there was more to his clothes. They were suitable for running and jumping and climbing all of that jazz but to be honest he had been so focused on training he hadn’t thought about putting together a kickass outfit for the exam. Nobody else seemed to be wearing anything crazy though so he didn’t feel too bad.

Costume making wasn’t his strong suit. He could sketch out designs all day long but when it came to actually making them he was hopeless. He planned to get close to someone in the support department and build a trusting confidential relationship that would bring about a hero costume perfectly designed for him. Not just his shadow abilities but a costume that could work with his quirk to cause instant suicide. If he could use it that easily it would basically be the same as having a healing quirk right?

He hadn’t told Kacchan about his plans for a suit that could kill him. He knew he should. He wanted to. It’s just… he knew Kacchan might stop him. And this wasn’t something he wanted to let go of.

He was going to use his quirk. It was part of who he was. Kacchan knew that. He was starting to accept it but it was a work in progress. Even with how much he had the blond boy wrapped around his finger his overprotectiveness, which Izuku usually absolutely loved, could occasionally be a hindrance when it came to him doing dangerous things and using his quirk.

He looked around observed his competition a little more closely. He spotted the girl who’d tried to help him earlier a few people away from him. Her fingertips were all pressed together as she took steadying breaths. A part of him wanted to tap her on the shoulder and give her some encouraging words, but she looked like she was pretty focused on the exam right now and Kacchan’s snarling face flickered through his mind.

She hadn’t even touched him or said more than a sentence to him before the blond had gotten possessive. He felt warm at the memory of Kacchan’s calloused palm gripping his wrist tightly while the jealousy was painted all over that beautiful face like a neon sign. God if only he’d bent Izuku over right there and showed everyone just how much Izuku was his.

The gates slowly opened, drawing Izuku out of his fantasy, and he took off like a bullet. It took a moment to realize that he was the only one. For a second he faltered, wondering if he had jumped the gun. Hoping he wouldn’t be penalized for it.

“Okay start!” Present Mic yelled.

Everyone looked around at each other in confusion but Izuku took that as a sign that he’d had the right idea. He took off again, feet pounding against the pavement as he rounded a corner and came across his first robot.

“What’s wrong? There are no countdowns in real fight! Run! Run! The die has been cast you know?”

Were the others still standing around outside? Kacchan was right. This exam was going to be a piece of cake.

The tall buildings were perfect for his quirk, casting long shadows everywhere he looked. He felt them creeping at the edge of his consciousness. They were a part of him and they responded to him as easy as breathing. He’d come so far in his training. And shadow manipulation had been his very first gift.

He let his senses spread. He couldn’t quite cover the whole arena but he still had a fairly large range. There were hunks of metal touching shadow all around him. He could feel them. They would be so easy to follow. He felt a thrill of excitement run down his spine. He felt like the perfect hunter. Immediately honing in on all of this prey.

His connection and observation all happened in a matter of seconds. Just enough time for the robot to spot him and start forward. With a deep breath he let the darkness seeped into the cracks in the machine, letting him get a feel for its weak spots before he solidified the shadows and tore it apart with a shriek of metal and the glitchy groan of its mechanical voicebox.

He could hear the other examinees approaching but he already had this in the bag. He knew exactly where to hit to take down the robots now. All that was left was to find them.

He pulled the shadows around him and slipped out several streets away where a flock of three pointers lay in wait. With a vicious grin he started to fight.

The amount of shadows he amassed grew larger and larger, gaining enough strength to follow him into the sunlight, trailing after him and around him like a billowy black cloak. It made his shadow warping impossibly easy, letting him move around the arena at incredible speed.

The other test takers quickly grew annoyed with him. By the time they’d reach a target he’d already be there, bursting it apart with a flick of his wrist and an explosion of shadow. His fear aura left a bubble wherever he went and no matter how irritated the others were they stayed away from him.

He felt free. To be able to let his abilities loose in a city like this. It was incredible. So much different than hidden away in a forest or a gym where he had to be wary about causing too much damage. He gave a wild grin as he reached up to wipe away sweat from his forehead where it was causing his hair to stick to his skin.

Without warning the ground began to tremble beneath his feet. Clouds of smoke and debris burst into life as a gigantic robot rose from the ground. The others were like insects in the wake of this monster. The shattering of glass followed it down the street, unable to hold up under the stress of its vibrations.

It bent to peer down at them all from where it stood taller than any structure around them. It gripped a building with one metal handle and the cement broke into rubble almost instantly.

As if it had observed them long enough it leaned back and swung down a huge fist into the middle of the road. The force of it sent out a blast of wind that ripped at hair and clothes and clouded the air with dust. The examinees turned and ran at the same time. A stampede of screaming faces.

Iuku gave it a look-over before turning to leave as well. There was no point sticking around when it didn’t count towards the exam in any way. He didn’t scream and panic, like some of the other examinees. He tried to keep his heartbeat steady as he jogged away.

“Less than two minutes left!” Present Mic’s voice rang across the arena.

They sure were bringing down pressure right there at the end. There weren’t a whole lot of robots left. Most of them were in pieces already. He froze for a moment to let his mind flicker through the shadows in the surrounding area but couldn’t seem to find anything still intact.

“Ah!” A cry of pain rang out from behind him.

He turned to find the cute girl with the pink cheeks lying among the rubble. Her legs were pinned under some of the cement chunks that the giant zero-pointer had sent flying.

Holy shit that robot really could have killed someone.

She was trying to reach back as if to touch the cement but she was shaking, probably with exhaustion and quirk overuse. Her body was twisted just wrong enough that her fingers fell short several inches.

The gigantic robot feet were close to bulldozing right over her. As much as he wanted to believe that UA wouldn’t be stupid enough to let people die nothing seemed to happening to stop this and panic was starting to well up inside of him. He couldn’t just stand there.

His feet were moving before he’d fully decided to run. He was tired but the sudden fear sent a burst of energy through him. He didn’t know what the hell he was going to do to stop this thing but he had to do something.

He stopped next to the girl and shoved at the cement pinning her down but there was too much of it. No matter how strong he was now he couldn’t lift something so heavy. She stared up at him in despair.

The robot left a huge shadow and they were completely blanketed by it. It would be ok. He could work with this.

He ran away from her, towards the robot, holding out his arms to help him focus and pulled as hard as he could. The shadows thickened up in front of them. But while he’d been anticipating the danger rolling right towards them he hadn’t warded against it from above.

The robot’s hand came out of nowhere. He didn’t even have time to scream.

He stared up at the moon. Its red glow echoed on the black surface of the lake. Cool water lapped at his feet. He breathed deeply, taking in the place as familiar as his own home.

Shadows pressed together before him, creating a woman with dark skin and misty hair trailing behind her. Those bottomless eyes like voids in her beautiful face drew him in. He stepped closer, filled with longing. Her skeletal hands lifted as if to cup his cheeks but stopped, hovered inches away.

There was a tugging feeling in his chest. It was quicker than usual. Was his reviving getting faster? Death smiled sadly. She knew their time together was shortening. Her sorrow made his heart ache.

He fell backward into the water, letting it drag him under. The next time he opened his eyes he was surrounded by dust and lying in dented asphalt, surrounded by broken bits of building.

“Hello? Please tell me you’re ok!” He could hear the pink cheeked girl’s voice from beyond the wall of ruble. She sounded terrified.

He grasped the shadow he was sitting in and twisted it over himself like a blanket. He slid into being in the robot’s shadow, right next to the girl. She jumped with a little shriek when she noticed him.

“You’re ok!”

“Ya I’m alright.”

No thanks to UA. If it was anybody but him they’d have a dead kid on their hands. These exams were all sorts of fucked up and he had a hundred different reasons already to want them abolished.

“Look out!”

That damn robot was too quick for something of its size. Its hand was coming down again and fast. There was no time to think. He tried to grasp the shadows around him to form a barrier. The shadows hadn’t had time to solidify enough to stop such tremendous force but they did slow it a bit as they tugged at the metal. It wasn’t enough though. This thing was too strong and he was still a bit disoriented from dying.

There was no time to think. He rolled and braced himself over the girl, his hands on either side of her head, knees on either side of her hips, as the robot slammed into him. He bit back a scream as his arms snapped like twigs. Something in his shoulder gave a sickening crunch. His legs bent in places they shouldn’t bend. The shadows had slowed the hand down enough that it didn’t kill him this time. But god did he wish it had.

He went limp, his body collapsing onto the girl he’d been trying to protect. Luckily that hand was pulling back again, keeping his body from breaking any further.

The girl was sobbing. She didn’t let that stop her though. High off the sudden shot of adrenaline she managed to roll Izuku off of her and with a giant heave and an unpleasant sound from her pinned legs, she managed to brush the cement with the pads of her fingers. It slowly floated off over her, hovering in the air.

She dragged herself out of the way and shakily pressed her fingertips together. “Release.”

The cement crashed back to the ground. The girl turned her head and vomited. He wrinkled his nose a little at the smell but wasn’t too overly bothered. He’d dealt with a lot of nasty things over the course of his many deaths. Puking had happened during several of them.

He sighed as he closed his eyes. God this hurt so much he just wanted to die right now and make it all go away.

The girl seemed to panic over his sudden stillness. “Are you alive??!”

“Unfortunately,” he mumbled.

There wasn’t a reply and when he opened his eyes again she was trying to crawl towards him. Her legs looked broken but she persevered.

“Times up!!!”

A loud siren announcing the end of the exam wailed out across the buildings. The girl looked relieved.

“I’m Uraraka Ochako,” she said. “Thank you for saving me.”

He tried to smile but he was sure it came out as more of a grimace. “I’m Midoriya Izuku.”

He craved death. Even with his high pain tolerance this was absolute misery.

There were footsteps as several of the other examinees approached, looking worried. Probably wondering if they had been killed by that gigantic monstrosity. The answer was yes. Yes he had been killed. But no, he wasn’t dead. Not anymore. And luckily Uraraka wasn’t dead either.

He might have been able to do some damage to the stupid robot if he’d stayed calm and focused on ripping it apart the way he did the smaller ones. That hand had been coming down quickly though. And he admitted that he’d panicked. Kacchan was going to be so disappointed in him when he heard.

“Good work, good work,” a frail voice said.

He turned his head as best he could from where he was splayed out on the pavement like a crushed bug. A little old lady was making her way through the test takers. She handed out gummies as she went until she stopped in front of Izuku.

“Recovery Girl!” he exclaimed.

He recognized her immediately. He could feel all of the information about her locked in his brain start to push their way to his mouth in a frantic mumble but her puckered mouth distracted him. With an uncomfortable press of lips to his temple his body started to heal in a haze of green light.

It was a strange experience. His body always healed while he was dead. He never experienced the actual process since it was completed by the time his heart started beating again.

He could feel split skin mended itself back together seamlessly. He gritted his teeth when broken and fractured bones began grinding back into place. He stared down at his body in awe. Was this what Kacchan saw the times his body had to pull itself back together?

As soon as he was healed a wave of exhaustion slammed into him like a ton of bricks. Every bit of energy sapped from his body. His last thought was that he needed to get to Kacchan as soon as possible. Then everything went black.

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

Katsuki knew Izuku wouldn’t just blow him off. Especially not after the entrance exam. Especially not after he’d promised. So something must have gone really wrong.

His phone tracker wasn’t working. There was some sort of fucking error blaring across the screen. Shit, something was wrong. He stormed through the school grounds but he didn’t see those green curls anywhere. Something was wrong.

He started frantically demanding every kid he passed to tell him if they’d seen Izuku. Nobody knew who he was talking about. Something was wrong.

After half an hour of losing his god damn mind Present Mic approached him. Apparently he’d been causing a ruckus. But didn’t they see? Something was wrong!

Luckily the hero had the answers he’d been looking for. He directed Katsuki to the infirmary. That meant Izuku had gotten hurt. Something was very wrong.

He practically ran there, throwing open the doors to find several students passed out or half-conscious in the beds. None of them were Izuku. A little old lady that he recognized as Recovery Girl was currently hunched over a clipboard.

“Where’s Midoriya Izuku?!!!”

She looked up at him with a disapproving frown. “Calm down, you’re disrupting my patients.”

Izuku wasn’t here. Izuku wasn’t anywhere. He couldn’t see him. He couldn’t hear him. He couldn’t feel him. He couldn’t smell him. He couldn’t taste him. He couldn’t find him. This was wrong.

Katsuki felt like there were fire ants crawling in his skin. He couldn’t calm down. It wasn’t possible. Izuku wasn’t here. Izuku wasn’t anywhere. What if his quirk had finally caught up with him? What if he just ceased to exist?

Something was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong WroNg WRoNg WRoNG WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!

Warnings were blaring in his mind. He was going to die. Izuku was gone. He wasn’t anywhere.

He realized he was sitting on one of the beds and he had no idea how he’d gotten there. His chest was heaving with every breath. His hands were sweating and he shakily wiped them off on his pants.

“You need to count with me as you breathe. We don’t want you to hyperventilate.”

He looked down in surprise to see Recovery Girl at his elbow. Her initial irritation with him was gone, replaced with serious concern.

“I know how,” he mumbled. “ ‘Zuku taught me.”

He was light headed and he his arms ached where his fingernails had dug into them hard enough to bleed. He took Recovery Girls advice and started to count his breaths in and out. Breathe in. Hold. Breathe out. Breath in. Hold. Breathe out.

It took a couple of minutes for the room to stop spinning. His face burned red with shame. He’d never had this happen in front of anyone but Izuku. It was humiliating that everyone in this room had watched his pathetic meltdown.

“There we go,” Recovery Girl said kindly. “Now who were you looking for?”

“Midoriya Izuku,” he muttered, avoiding her eyes.

She nodded at once. “Yes he was hard to miss. Poor thing. He broke a lot of bones. I healed him but there was so much damage it sucked out all of his energy. He’s perfectly fine now, don’t worry. Just tired. His mother had to come pick him up.”

Katsuki closed his eyes and started counting his breaths again, trying to stay calm. Of course Inko hadn’t let him know. She and his parents were still on their pointless mission to keep him away from Izuku. It had been irritating at first but now it was really starting to piss him off.

He stood up and left without another glance at Recovery Girl. He needed to get to the Midoriya’s as soon as possible. He needed to see Izuku with his own two eyes.

He was vibrating with impatience as he rode the train. It felt incredibly slow. He was irritated that he’d wasted so much time looking for Izuku around the school when he’d been at home the whole time.

When he got to the Midoriya’s apartment he was half tempted to just barge right in but managed to keep himself together enough to pound on the door. There were footsteps and then the door opened.

Inko looked at him with a small frown. “Izuku is sleeping. You’ll just have to wait until you see him at school.”

With that she promptly slammed the door in his face. He gaped in shock. He’d never thought that woman would have the balls to stand up to him like that. Not that it mattered.

He pounded on the door again, harder and harder until she finally opened it up once more. Her expression was fierce this time.

“Bakugou Katsuki, go home right now. You aren’t welcome here. I’ve already called your mother.”

He rolled his eyes. Like he gave a fuck.

She tried to slam the door again but he stuck his foot out stopped it. She looked up at him with wide frightened eyes as he shoved the door back open and pushed past her. She tried to grab his arm but he shook her off and stormed down the hall towards Izuku’s bedroom.

“Leave him alone! If you don’t leave right now I’ll call the police!”

The words she was shrieking at him barely registered. He was almost to Izuku. So close. Finally.

He blew the bedroom door open with smoking fists, leaving it singed. Izuku was sprawled out on his bed, still in the track suit he’d worn to the exam. It was filthy and torn.

He opened his eyes slowly. There was a flash of green beneath half lidded eyes as he took in his surroundings and looked up at Katsuki in confusion.

“Kacchan?”

That absolute fucker. Katsuki had been looking everywhere for him! Had assumed the worst! Had been absolutely terrified in a way that was honestly extremely unsettling. And Izuku was fucking napping.

Small explosions popped to life in his sweaty palms. His vision was dark at the edges, his chest heaving with every labored breath.

Izuku hadn’t tried to call him when he left the exam or when he got home. Izuku had forgotten about him.

“We’re leaving. NOW!”

He couldn’t do this here. Izuku’s mom really would call the cops. He was angry and sad and hurting and he didn’t know what was wrong with him. Why was he like this? Why was the idea of not seeing Izuku so awful that he wanted to claw his skin off at the mere thought of it?

Izuku staggered as Katsuki pulled him out of bed and marched him out of his room and down the hall. The green haired boy was barely conscious and utterly confused.

“Stop!” Inko stood in front of the door.

She was trembling, her face streaked with tears as she blocked the exit with her body. She looked desperate.

“Please leave him alone. Izuku is tired. He’s been through a lot today. Stop being so selfish and let him rest!”

“You don’t understand!” he yelled. “You don’t get it!”

“What?” she shrieked back. “What don’t I get? Why are you doing this to him? Why can’t you just leave my son alone?”

“I…I don’t… I don’t know.”

She looked startled. He could feel Izuku’s gaze on him. He and Izuku had never really discussed this thing between them. Never put labels on their relationship. Maybe because he didn’t even fully understand it himself.

“I don’t….” he stuttered.

What was wrong with him?

“I don’t know. I don’t understand either.”

He was suddenly exhausted straight down to his bones. He’d been so worried. He’d been so panicked. His chest burned.

“Kacchan.”

Izuku looked just as tired as Katsuki felt as he took the blond boy’s face in his hands. His thumbs swiped across Katsuki’s cheek to wipe away tears and he was suddenly aware that he was crying.

“It’s ok Kacchan. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you where I was. I’m ok. I’m safe. Here, feel.” He took Katsuki’s hand and placed it on his chest, over his heartbeat, the way he always did when the blonde needed a reminder that Izuku was alive and safe.

His shoulders started to shake and a sob ripped its way out of his throat. His knees gave out and Izuku slid to the ground with him. He tucked Katsuki’s face against his neck and held him as he wept. All of the frustration and the anxiety and the worry and the exhaustion were so overwhelming that all he could do was cry. Izuku made soft shooshing sounds as he ran one hand through his hair and the other over his back.

He wasn’t sure how long they sat like that. A knock on the door brought him out of his bubble. He had almost forgotten that Inko was there. She wasn’t doing anything. Just standing there staring at them like she couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening in front of her.

There was another knock and she straightened up and turned to open the door. Kastuki’s mother was standing there there, eyes full of fire and teeth gritted like they were holding back angry screams. She stormed in like she was ready to fight but froze at the scene before her.

Kastuki closed his eyes and turned his face back into Izuku’s neck. Well fuck. If there was one person he never wanted to see him this weak it was her. He always worried that if she sensed his weakness it would be like lifting his head to show her his throat. And he felt like she’d rip right into it.

The door closed. It was quiet for a moment. There were footsteps approaching. A hand joined Izuku’s on his back. He flinched, ready for her anger, but she didn’t do anything more. Just a solid hand pressed there.

After a moment he opened his eyes. Izuku looked mad as hell. But his mom didn’t notice. Because she was staring intensely into his red eyes.

“Come on kiddo. We’ve let this escalate for way too long. It’s about time all of us sat down and talk about this fucking mess.”

Chapter Text

Izuku was exhausted. He barely remembered waking up after the entrance exam. He faintly remembered someone helping his mom get him into a car. And he sort of remembered her acting as a crutch for him as he stumbled to the apartment door. But after that. Nothing. He blacked out as soon as he’d walked into his bedroom.

But he had sure woken up when Kacchan had dragged him out of bed and yelled at his mom and broken down crying and… god it hurt to watch. While he normally had this twisted love of seeing Kacchan cry over him this wasn’t the same. It left a bitter taste in his mouth and an ache in his chest.

Now here they were. The two of them and their mothers awkwardly sitting in their living room staring at one another.

Honestly he’d expected yelling and tears right from the start. The yelling obviously from Kacchan’s mother and the crying from his own mom. So the quiet had him on edge.

Kacchan was curled up against his side. His face was buried in Izuku’s neck, as if to hide from the world. One warm hand clenched the back of his shirt. The other was held tightly in Izuku’s own hand.

Kacchan got like this with Izuku a lot. Curled up against him like he never wanted to let go. Like the two of them fit together in every way. But he’d never seen him do it in front of other people. Especially not their parents. Hell he was uncomfortable holding his hand half the time. It was a huge sign that he was in a really bad headspace right now.

Izuku wanted to whisper comforts and sweetness and love. He wanted to press kisses all over Kacchan’s face. Wanted to pet his blonde hair and squeeze him until he couldn’t breathe. Wanted to absorb his distress right into himself to relieve this boy of all this anguish. But he couldn’t really do that with their moms staring at them intently.

Izuku had never seen Mitsuki show such open emotion. It infuriated him. Because why did she suddenly decide to show that she cared now of all times?

Kacchan liked to pretend that he was perfect and untouchable. He’d grown up never showing weakness. And anger was always the easiest emotion to hide behind.

Mitsuki had never tried to help him with any of it from what Izuku had seen. Hadn’t wanted to touch that emotional train wreck with a ten foot pole. She held him at arm’s length.

Izuku didn’t know the in-depth details of Kacchan’s feelings towards his relationship with his mother. He didn’t know what might have happened behind closed doors in the past, as much as it frustrated him not to have that insight.

He could tell it hurt Kacchan though. Could see how he flippantly spoke of her ‘not giving a flying fuck’ about him like it was fact. And what kind of mother let their child believe that?

It didn’t help that whenever he heard her speak it was never anything good about Katsuki. In fact sometimes it was just straight up insults.
Izuku hated her for it.

Looking at her now was almost like looking at a stranger. Her eyes had gone all soft, brow pinched with concern. The corners of her mouth dipped down slightly with worry, none of the usual harshness to her frown.

She was the first one to speak. “Kastuki.”

He didn’t move but Izuku could feel his hands clench a little tighter. She heaved a sigh after a moment of being ignored.

“Are we in trouble?” Izuku asked.

His mom’s head shot up. “No of course not!”

“We’re worried,” Mitsuki added. “We’ve been worried for a while now but we weren’t sure what to do about it.

Kacchan’s mother was a loud woman. No matter if she was angry or pleased she had a naturally shout to her voice. So he felt a bit uncomfortable at how softly she was speaking.

Izuku turned his eyes to his own mother. “I thought we talked about this already? You were worried about my bruises back then. But you haven’t seen any since right? The first time was a mistake. We didn’t really understand what we were doing and we haven’t done it since.”

“Well you aren’t wrong…” his mother fidgeted with her hands, staring down at them.

“You said that you felt like we were too close and that it was ‘weird’. So we stopped hanging out as much. I only go to the Bakugou’s maybe once or twice a week. We haven’t had any sleepovers. We’ve kept our distance haven’t we?”

His eyes drilled into his mother’s face until she looked up and jumped a little in surprise. She glanced at Mitsuki, looking unsure of herself.

The blond woman drummed her fingernails across her knee, staring at Kacchan. Her eyes darted to Izuku in a contemplative manor.

“I’ve never seen Katsuki like this,” she eventually said, gesturing at him. “He’s obviously upset. Inko said that he stormed over here half out of his mind looking for you. I don’t like seeing him so distressed over you. What changed? What did you do to him?”

“Now hold on,” Inko interrupted, sitting up straight. “Izuku hasn’t done anything wrong. He’s never done anything but care about your boy no matter how terribly he treats him. He isn’t at fault here. What’s wrong is that after years of pushing my son down, destroying his belongings, burning him with his quirk, and stepping all over him he’s finally moved on to hurting him in other ways. You saw the bruises Mitsuki. You SAW WHAT HE DID!”

She was starting to get hysterical, her voice rising. Despite her anger she was obviously trembling with nerves. It was easy to see that the other woman intimidated her. But her concern for her son outweighed her desire to avoid conflict with Mitsuki.

Mitsuki clenched her teeth. “We aren’t here to argue Inko. We’re here to discuss this situation with our children and make sure that we figure all of this shit out.”

“You’re the one who started throwing around accusations,” Inko squeaked, looking half indignant and half terrified.

“Oh my god,” Mitsuki growled. “Stop acting like Katsuki’s abusing him. He’s been fucking obsessed with my son since they were toddlers. It was kind of cute back then but now he’s giving off some weird-ass vibes and obviously he’s fucking up Katsuki somehow. I mean look at him! I’ve never seen him be such an emotional wreck!”

“Have you ever wondered why that is,” Izuku interrupted sharply.

Mitsuki stared at him in confusion. “Excuse me?”

“Have you ever wondered why you’ve never seen Katsuki like this? He’s human. He gets upset. And not just angry. You act like he’s this ball of rage and seeing him have a panic attack is this complete 180 from who he is as a person but it’s not. All you do is yell at him and make him feel unloved. Of course he’d never feel comfortable showing actual emotion around you. He feels comfortable enough around me that he can show when he’s happy or sad or worried. Just because you’ve never seen it doesn’t mean it’s abnormal. Maybe you should ask yourself why you’ve never seen him like this. Why he has never felt like he could be vulnerable around you or go to you for comfort. I don’t know why you’re pointing fingers at our perfectly healthy relationship when you barely know who he really is.”

She looked completely stunned. “What the hell? You don’t know anything about how my relationship with my son is. This is not normal behavior. Why would he act like you were fucking dying just because he didn’t see you as soon as the exam ended?”

“Oh.” Izuku watched his mom’s face fall at that choice of words, like something terrible had just dawned on her. “Oh no Izuku I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have gotten so upset at him. I shouldn’t have barred him from our home. Oh god I wasn’t even thinking…”

She put her hand over her mouth, tears welling up in her eyes. “Katsuki. I’m so sorry.”

Kacchan stirred at Izuku’s side. His breathing had evened out by this point but when he pulled away and sat up his eyes were distant like he was still recovering from the overwhelming panic he’d experienced earlier and his face was lined with exhaustion.

“It’s whatever,” he mumbled.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Mitsuki snapped impatiently.

Izuku’s mom looked at him as if asking permission to divulge what had happened. He shrugged. He didn’t see his suicide as a painful event. It was one of his best memories now. The memory of discovering his quirk. The turning point in his life.

But aside from that, he immediately latched onto this point in the conversation as the perfect opportunity to turn it in their favor. It was the perfect way to excuse Kacchan’s panic attack and the reasoning they got so close so quickly. Maybe it was enough to get Mitsuki to back off at least a little.

“Izuku tried to kill himself,” his mother said quietly.

Mitsuki’s mouth clicked shut. She looked extremely awkward. Like she wasn’t quite sure how she was supposed to respond.

“Kacchan saw,” Izuku explained. “That’s why he gets so worried about me sometimes.”

Kacchan scoffed a little but didn’t say anything. He seemed really uncomfortable with this entire conversation. Izuku knew he was deeply regretting that both of these women were witness to his melt down. He was too mentally drained to lash out right now but Izuku felt certain that if Mitsuki ever tried to approach Kacchan about this in the future he’d probably shove her away with all of his might. He had to hate the fact that she was seeing him this way.

“Izuku said we’d meet up after the exam,” he rasped, voice scratchy from crying. “When he wasn’t there I went looking for him and Recovery Girl told me he broken his fucking body to pieces.”

He stopped there but Izuku snatched up the line of reasoning. “Can you really blame him for panicking at that? After seeing me try to die once before? And now hearing that I had been hurt so badly that I hadn’t even been able to call him?”

Mitsuki looked like she was rethinking everything she knew. Izuku’s mother was distraught. He could tell that she wanted very much to hug him but wasn’t sure if it was ok.

“I’m sorry kid, I didn’t know,” the blond woman finally muttered uncomfortably.

“Please, don’t you see that forcing us to stop being friends will only make things worse for us?” Izuku reasoned.

“I guess.” Mitsuki was starting to shutter up the way Kacchan used to do whenever he found himself in the kind of serious and emotional situations that had to be handled with delicacy.

Izuku’s mom glanced at the other woman and then back to him. She was wringing her hands and looking torn with guilt and unease. She opened her mouth to speak and let it hang there for a couple of seconds before closing it again and fidgeting in distress. Mitsuki was giving her no back up now, the blond woman’s face was neutral, her body language tense.

“You’re probably right,” she finally said. “There isn’t a real reason to keep you apart. But I want you to start seeing a therapist Izuku. I think Kastuki should too but of course I can’t control that. It’s between him and his mother.”

The two Bakugou’s scoffed in harmony. Mitsuki gave a little grin at her son and got a vicious glare in return.

Izuku sighed internally. He believed that therapy was very useful. That it helped some people a great deal. But he honestly felt like it would be a waste of his time. There was nothing wrong with him or Kacchan. There was nothing to be talked out and worked on. No diagnosis to give except perhaps ‘madly in love’. If that was what it took to put his mom at ease though…

“Sure mom,” he said with a half-smile at her.

Some of the tension left her shoulders and she nodded, looking satisfied with that. She looked at Mitsuki who was avoiding looking at anyone straight on and seemed eager to leave at this point.

“Alright kids, guess that’s it.”

She looked a little lost. Like she’d just let something important slip away from her but was too far away now to go back for it. The look she gave Kacchan was strange. Izuku couldn’t place the emotions it carried. He didn’t know her well enough to read what it might have meant.

“Would you two like to stay for dinner? We should celebrate the entrance exam,” Inko suggested, a little nervously.

Mitsuki stood up and cracked her neck. “I’m heading home. The brat can stay if he wants though. As long as he’s back by curfew.”

“What curfew,” Kacchan snorted, sounding a little more like himself.

“The one I’m giving you right now,” Mitsuki snapped, but it was lighter than usual. “Be home by 8:30 or I’m hunting you down and whooping your ass.”

Both of them seemed to find comfort slipping back into their usual routine of insults and threats. It felt a bit like they’d been on the edge of something. The edge of something soft and loving. But Mitsuki had shied away last minute and tucked herself back into the place in Kacchan’s life that she’d fit in before.

Izuku was probably a terrible person for being pleased about it. But honestly, Kacchan didn’t need her. Why would he need his mother when he had Izuku?

When Mitsuki shut the door behind her Kacchan heaved a heavy sigh and threw his head back against the couch. Izuku watched him, caught up for a moment in his beauty. His soft fluffy hair, smooth clear skin, delicate blond eyelashes and gorgeous fierce eyes. His eyes slid down the column of his throat to his collarbone, imaging his mouth there.

He flushed and looked up when he felt his mother’s gaze on him. She looked embarrassed and uncomfortable as she stood up and stepped back.

“I don’t want you to feel unwelcome here,” she said quietly to Izuku. “I know I seriously overacted earlier. I wasn’t even thinking about Katsuki’s distress, just my own. I pushed him too far and I’m sorry. I want you to be happy.”

Izuku nodded and smiled. “Thank you mom, you have no idea how much it means to me to hear you say that. I love you so much.”

All of the tension in her body seemed to drain away at that. “I love you too.”

Izuku shot another look at Kacchan. He looked completely out of it, still staring at the ceiling with dead eyes. Izuku’s heart hurt at the sight. He wanted to be alone with him. To make sure he was going to be ok.

“Mom is it ok if Kacchan and I go for a little walk? I think we could both use a bit of fresh air.”

“I don’t see why not. Just be back in an hour for dinner alright?” her voice was a little strained. He could tell she was doing her best to give them her trust.

“Of course!”

Izuku got to his feet and tugged at Kacchan’s hand. The blond boy heaved a sigh and stood up. He looked like he needed a good night’s sleep. Izuku was sure he looked that way too. This day had felt like an eternity.

Kacchan let go of his hand as soon as they stepped outside. Izuku hooked their pinkies together instead, more subtly. The other boy didn’t contest it.

“That was fucking awful,” the blond mumbled.

“I know Kacchan. I’m sorry. Was my tracker not working?”

He shook his head, shoving his free hand in his pocket and kicking at some rocks as they walked. “There was some sort of fucking error. I didn’t really have the time to figure out exactly what it was.”

“I wonder…”

Izuku reached into his pocket. Just like he thought. He pulled out a handful of wires and metal. He’d been a total idiot and brought his cell phone into the exam. The exam where he’d been completely crushed under a giant robot.

“Sorry Kacchan.”

The blond stared at the mess for a moment. “We need something more durable. And something you couldn’t’ ever leave behind.”

“Maybe a bracelet? Or you suggested a collar before?”

There was no response to that. Izuku turned and watched as Kacchan yawned and rubbed at his eyes with the knuckles of his free hand. Sleepy Kacchan was adorable. Izuku wanted to cuddle up close and rub his nose along his collarbone and breathe in the burnt caramel smell. He wanted to have Kacchan bury his face in his curly green hair and hold him hard enough that his ribs ached. But he knew better than to try any sort of public affection though. It would have to wait.

“Ya we’re definitely going to get you a collar tomorrow.” Izuku shivered at the huskiness in Kacchan’s voice.

They walked in silence for a while before stopping at the little park near the entrance to the forest. They didn’t have time to walk all the way to their usual spot so they plopped down on the swings, side by side. Kacchan turned his piercing gaze to Izuku.

“Now. Tell me exactly what the hell happened to you.”

“Tonight,” Izuku promised. “I don’t want to be rushed for time.”

He could tell that Kacchan was frustrated by that but he just scowled and drew shapes in the dirt with the tip of his shoe.

When the hour was nearly up Izuku stood up and offered his hand to Kacchan who looked like he very much didn’t feel like standing up and walking all the way back to the Midoriya’s apartment. He rolled his eyes, ignoring Izuku’s helpful hand and stood up easily.

Izuku let his hand drop. He was suddenly pulled back to a memory. The moment that had twisted their friendship when he’d reached out to his friend with concern and been met with disgust. Present Kacchan didn’t look angry though, just irritated. He was growing used to letting Izuku see the parts of him that he considered weak.

The two of them walked back to Izuku’s home, just as quiet as they’d been since they’d left.

____________________

Katsuki lay in bed, impatiently waiting for the moment when Izuku would slip through the shadows and climb in next to him.

The more time that passed after his earlier panic attack the more his frustration built. Izuku had broken himself at the entrance exam and Katsuki hadn’t been there to help. They’d been forced apart during such an important moment in their lives. And of course something had gone wrong.

Something always went wrong when Katsuki wasn’t there to watch that reckless wreck of a boy. An image of Izuku swinging from a tree branch flashed behind his eyelids, making him tense. He didn’t think he’d ever be able to scrub that awful moment from his mind.

He still hadn’t quite figured out his feelings. He was a giant knot of hopelessly tangled emotions and he wondered if they would never be able to be separated and examined. If he’d ever even want to do that.

Izuku always seemed to understand and easily admit everything about himself. He’d frequently and openly told Katsuki that he love him. And Katsuki didn’t respond because he didn’t know if he felt the same.

He didn’t even know what love was. Was it what he was feeling? Was love this furious fire burning him from the inside, choking his lungs up with smoke? This emotion that was strangling him? Was it this crawling sensation across his entire body that made him claw himself bloody?

Was it love the way he wanted rip open Izuku’s ribcage and eat his heart straight from his chest? Was it what ached in his gums when he tried to chew the other boy into pieces, licking up the bloody bite marks he left because it was the only way he could think of to make them one? The closest he could get to absorbing Izuku into himself.

Because he had no idea if that was love. He had no reference for it. No idea if this was normal or completely mad. Izuku seemed to like it all. Accepted it with open arms and flushed pleasure and blindingly bright smile.

Was the fact that it was totally and enthusiastically consensual make it ok? If nobody was being hurt, if nobody was being forced then was this all right? Why was even a small echo of their true relationship being seen enough to freak their moms out so much?

Katsuki needed it more than he needed air. Izuku loved it. And Death had bonded them like this. Perhaps he should be more open and accepting of Izuku’s desire for her for that. She was the one that had tied them together with these cold iron shackles around his heart and mind.

“Kacchan.”

He jumped at the sight of terrifying glowing green eyes set into a pale freckled face, peering at him through the darkness. He hadn’t even noticed Izuku arriving. He moved as silently as the shadows he controlled. As if he was starting to become a shadow himself.

The boy crawled into his bed and slipped under the covers. He curled his cold body against Katsuki’s and immediately pressed an open mouthed kiss to his lips. Katsuki responded for a moment, mapping out Izuku’s face with his hands. Letting him feel that he was really here in front of him. Then with a push to his shoulder he separated them.

“Tell me,” he demanded. “Tell me what happened.”

Izuku sighed. “Alright.”

And he told him. Told him about his victories. About sliding through shadows and ripping apart robots with a twist of his wrist. He told Kastuki about the pink cheeked girl that had made him pause and go back. Jealousy grew like thorns in his chest at that.

Izuku described how he had died, nervously looking away from Katsuki’s face as he did so.

“Wasn’t your fucking fault,” the blond mumbled.

Honestly he was pissed. But not at Izuku.

“If you’d permanently died I’d be blowing the principal’s fucking head of his psychopathic shoulders.”

“It was pretty irresponsible,” Izuku agreed. “I want to fight to have the exam redone. I think that combat should be a part of it for sure. But it should also include real people. I loved being able to let loose and destroy the robots but those with mental quirks who could be amazing heroes would have a lot harder of a time with this exam. It’s really not a good indicator of who should really be in the hero course in my opinion.”

Once upon a time Katsuki would have mocked Izuku into the ground for that. Helped along with explosions and fists. He would have considered the notion of abolishing a test that catered so perfectly to him, to be a show of absolute cowardliness on Izuku’s part. But now, with the thought of Izuku splattered across the asphalt he found himself saying nothing.

They lay in silence for a bit. Katsuki’s mind jumped from the exam to their earlier conversation with their mothers.

A part of him wished he would have contributed more. But honestly he was glad he hadn’t. He had a way of letting his rage take over when he felt cornered. Especially with how humiliated he’d been feeling. Izuku was better at influencing people with his soft crybaby eyes, chubby cheeks, innocent voice, and logical reasoning. He knew what to say to make things work for him. He’d had full faith Izuku would get them out of the situation safely. And he had.

Katsuki unwound his arms from around Izuku’s body and cupped his face in his hands. He stared at him intently. Eyes sliding over the freckles decorating his nose and cheeks. He observed his dark eyelashes and big vibrant eyes that always seemed to draw Katsuki’s gaze. He rubbed his thumb over plush lips.

Did he find Izuku attractive? He’d never really asked himself that question. He’d been aroused by him before. There had been three times where they’d been sexual and Katsuki had orgasmed each time. Did that mean he was attracted to Izuku?

It seemed like a silly question. But at the same time… He knew how Izuku looked at him. His eyes were hungry. He got hard every time their bodies pressed together. He’d try to touch Katsuki a lot. Put his hands on his thighs or rub them up over his torso. Sometimes even tried to subtly rub against his dick. Or less subtly try to shove his hand down Kastuki’s pants. Izuku seemed to think about sex a lot. Kastuki… didn’t.

It’s not like he didn’t enjoy what they did. Orgasms felt amazing. But he didn’t really think about it a lot. Getting a boner was more of an annoyance than anything most of the time.

When he saw Izuku naked his first thoughts were about marking that bare skin as his. About leaving bruises in the shape of his hands and biting into every bit of exposed flesh. It didn’t really extend beyond that point.

It didn’t make much sense when he tried to explain it to himself. He knew how he felt and it only got really confusing when he tried to put it into words. Which is why he’d never discussed it with Izuku.

Izuku flushed at the attention and lay still within his hold. After a moment of observation that didn’t really answer any of his questions Katsuki leaned forward and kissed him. Izuku melted under him immediately, eyes fluttering shut with a moan.

Katsuki pulled back and rested his forehead against Izuku’s. “You’re mine.”

It was the closest he could come to explaining his feelings. The simplest way to sum up the shit load of complication that lay within his thought regarding their relationship.

“I’m yours,” Izuku agreed.

And to be honest that’s all he needed. For Izuku to belong to him.

He put his arms back around the smaller boy and pulled him close. He rubbed his thumb over Izuku’s wrist, comforted by the pulse there. Knowing Izuku was safe, that he was alive and well in Katsuki’s arms, was a relief. He let himself be lulled to sleep by the other boy’s quiet breathing and the throbbing of his blood rushing beneath Katsuki’s fingertips.

The next day they went online to buy Izuku a collar. He got one that was about an inch tall, all black with a small GPS tracker that could be slid around to hide beneath Izuku’s hair and uniform collar so that it wouldn’t look as suspicious.

Katsuki paid for next day shipping. Izuku went and got a new phone that day so he installed the tracker he’d had before on it as well. Two trackers were better than one after all. It would be nice to have a backup just in case something went wrong with one of them.

He wondered if he was going overboard. But Izuku had no argument. In fact he was downright enthusiastic about it. It gave him peace of mind to know that he wasn’t crossing any lines. Worrying about Izuku like this was perfectly normal after everything they’d been through.

The moment the collar arrived in the mail Katsuki called and demanded Izuku to shadow warp straight into his bedroom so he could get it on him as soon as possible.

“Kacchan? Is it here?” Izuku crossed his room in a second, pressing up against Katsuki where he sat on the bed.

The blond nodded and motioned to the package he held. “This is it.”

He fumbled with some scissors, slitting the box open, and pulled out the collar, wrapped in bubble wrap. It looked perfect. The idea of it around Izuku’s neck made his heart race. He had wanted his name carved into the leather but had satisfied himself with his initials on the inside of the collar. Nobody could see it but Izuku, but it’s how it had to be. He didn’t want their moms jumping down their throats again.

He turned and trailed his fingers down Izuku’s neck. He was eager to see it decorated with his collar. The moment it clicked around Izuku’s throat Katsuki felt like the weight of a mountain had been lifted from his shoulders. He flicked his phone open just to stare at the signals showing Izuku’s location and went dizzy with the relief it gave him to see it work. It showed Izuku right beside him where he should be. And this one could be accessed on the computer as well so that if anything happened to his phone he’d still be able to find Izuku.

“Now Kacchan can always find me,” Izuku said as if reading his thoughts, leaning forward to rest his head against Katsuki’s shoulder.

Katsuki pulled away though and used his finger to lift the other boy’s chin, staring intently at the collar. His. All his. Izuku belonged to him now. Where ever he went Katsuki would follow, fuck the consequences.

“Kacchan,” Izuku whispered.

His freckled cheeks were a little flushed and his eyes grew hazy and sultry. Katsuki leaned forward and pressed his lips over the place where the leather met Izuku’s throat.

The smaller boy’s breath hitched and when Katsuki pulled back to look at him he was drawn in by the intensity of those big green eyes.

“You’re mine,” he said. An echo of his declaration the night of the entrance exam.

“I’m yours,” Izuku agreed just as he had before.

Katsuki was overcome with the desire to sink his teeth into the pale skin between Izuku’s jawline and the collar. He wanted more than anything to bruise that smooth neck up with his marks. Instead he reached down to shove Izuku’s shirt up over his head and pushed the smaller boy onto his back, fluffy greenish black hair splayed out over his pillow.

There was something strangely fragile about him for a moment. Logically Katsuki knew Izuku was strong. He was kickass with his shadow abilities and was literally immortal. But still.

For a moment when he looked at the smaller boy laying beneath him he saw a much younger version, bleeding and crying and cowering under Katsuki’s exploding hands. He saw Izuku’s broken body on their school ground. Felt himself drawn into that moment when he’d been leaning over the mess of broken bones and mangled skin and realized how utterly helpless he was.

His eyes burned and he found himself struggling to swallow around the lump in his throat. He felt a hand touch his face as Izuku propped himself up to reach him. Izuku was looking at him with concern.

He had another flashback. Little Izuku holding his hand out to a soaking wet blond boy.

Katsuki had always been sure that Izuku had been looking down on him. He’d felt like someone so weak reaching out to him like he needed help was an unforgivable insult.

But Izuku had never actually looked down on him. In fact it was the very opposite. He could see it now.

“Kacchan are you ok?” Izuku asked quietly.

“I’m fucking fine,” he muttered.

He wove his hands into curly green hair and yanked the other boy into a kiss. He went to pull back after a moment but Izuku followed, licking into his mouth, grasping at the blonde’s shirtfront.

Katsuki finally escaped Izuku’s hungry lips and shoved him onto his back again. He dropped his body closer and sunk his teeth into Izuku’s chest. He reached up to slam a hand over the other boy’s mouth before he could make a sound. He could already feel Izuku getting hard against his stomach.

He released Izuku’s mouth to rake both hands down his side, nails digging in and leaving trails of red in their wake. He moved down further to suck bruises across Izuku’s belly. He bit at the hipbones there and Izuku moaned loud enough that they both immediately froze.

The sound of footsteps moving from his parents’ room had him panicked. He sat straight up, Izuku following suit. They stared at each other for a moment before Izuku threw himself off the bed and straight at the wall. He slid through the shadows before he could hit it, just as Katsuki’s bedroom door opened.

His mom looked around the room suspiciously. “I thought I heard something.”

“Like what?”

She didn’t say anything. Things had been weird between them for the last couple of days since their ‘talk’ with the Midoriya’s. Her insults had lost their enthusiasm and honestly Katsuki had no idea how he was supposed to feel or react to that.

She poked around his closet and even dropped to look under his bed. He rolled his eyes. He knew she’d be calling Inko next who would easily confirm that Izuku was currently sitting in his own bedroom right now. Sure enough she was putting her phone up to her ear as she left.

Katsuki reached up to touch his lips as soon as the door closed. He could still taste Izuku on them. He pulled up his GPS tracker and stared at the signal showing Izuku at his apartment. The possessiveness that rose up in him scorched him with its intensity.

Mine

Chapter Text

Katsuki stared at the thick envelope in his hands. So much of his future depended on what was inside. He wanted to rip it open, the anticipation was killing him, but he had made a promise to Izuku that they would read their letters together.

His phone lit up with a message from Izuku in all caps followed by a dozen exclamation points. He’d received his results too.

Katsuki had not a single doubt in his mind that both of them had gotten in. He knew that they’d place at the top too. The thing he was most worried about was which exact spot he’d landed in. If it was anything but number one…

He pulled up Izuku’s tracker impatiently. He was only about a minute away. Their parents knew that they were meeting up for this so he was taking the long way and actually walking over. They’d never told anyone about his shadow warping abilities. It was much more useful to them as a secret for now.

“Katsuki your boyfriend is here!”

His mother had seemed to realize how much that term made him uncomfortable and decided to use it more than Izuku’s actual name. Izuku never said anything to confirm or dissuade it. Katsuki didn’t either. He wasn’t sure what he was supposed to say to dispute it without getting into a shit ton of emotions that he would rather die than speak to his mom about.

Izuku burst through his door like a cannonball and knocked Katsuki flat on his bed. He was barking out an overexcited stream of words like a frantic puppy and the blond couldn’t help but weave his hand into that fluffy green hair and yanking.

Izuku groaned, his words petering off into sudden heavy breathing. Katsuki had been pleased when he’d discovered this particular quiet button. It was quick and easy and Izuku seemed to like it.

“Calm down idiot,” he grumbled, releasing his hold on that soft green hair. “You’ve got your letter right?”

The other boy nodded frantically and whipped out his own envelope. Kastuki sat up so that they were side by side, holding their results in their hands.

“You go first,” Izuku said earnestly.

The blonde didn’t argue it, just ripped open the seal. It wasn’t the written letter he’d expected. Instead a thick disk fell out onto the bed. The two of them stared at for a moment in surprise.

In a burst of light a projection lit up from the disk with a close up of All Might’s face. Unexpected but not unwelcome.

“I am here as a projection! I am All Might and I have come to this town to teach the budding young heroes-to-be at UA!”

Izuku’s jaw dropped. “Did you hear that Kacchan? We’re going to be taught by the number one hero himself!”

“I heard,” he said distractedly, attention entirely focused on the hologram.

“Young Bakugou Katsuki you placed first in the written exam!”

“Kacchan!!!”

“And in the practical, well take a look at this video!”

An image showed up on screen of Katsuki mid-fight. His eyes were wild. His hands burst with explosions, smoking in the aftermath of each boom. His grin was ferocious and absolutely victorious as he burst apart robots like a storm of fire and rage.

He glanced over at the boy next to him. Izuku had stars in his eyes, expression one of raw, stunned amazement. He turned to Katsuki with so much open awe that it struck like a match, a now familiar heat tugging a grin to the blonde’s face.

“You were the top villain points in the exam!” Katsuki felt his heart leap. “And second overall!”

He froze, stunned as he felt his heart drop, disappointment like a bowling ball in his chest.

“Young Bakugou, this is your hero academia!”

The image froze on All Might’s grinning face before flashing to the scores of everyone who made it in. Izuku sat just above him in first place.

Izuku looked excited. There was a bit of nervousness around the edges of it though. He knew Katsuki well enough that he could see the frustration. The disappointment he was biting back, unable to speak it out loud because he knew Izuku deserved it.

Katsuki needed to work harder. It wasn’t just All Might he needed to surpass. It was his best friend too. They were supposed to stand side by side together. Katsuki would work himself to death to make sure he stayed in first place for the rest of his career. He would never fall behind Izuku. He simply wouldn’t allow it.

“Well what are you waiting for,” Katsui finally ground out. “Let’s hear All Might himself tell you that you were the best of the best.”

Once upon a time Izuku might have apologized. Might have groveled at his feet in fear of his rage. But the Izuku of today only nodded. He gave Katsuki a small, comforting smile and broke the seal on his letter. A disk, identical to Katsuki’s, fell out. Another projection of All Might burst into view.

“I am here as a projection! I am All Might and I have come to this town to teach the budding young heroes-to-be at UA!”

It was immediately obvious that these lines were rehearsed. Izuku looked a bit disappointed at that but it didn’t wipe away his excitement. He was tense as he watched the clip play out.

“Young Midoriya Izuku, you placed second in the written exam! As for the practical, take a look at this clip!”

Just like with Katsuki a video of the exam popped up. He watched curiously. Izuku had described his version of the exam but it was different seeing it in person.

It started with a girl lying pinned to the ground by a giant hunk of cement. He recognized her immediately as the one who had tried to ‘help’ Izuku earlier that day. She was staring in absolute horror at a mountain of rubble.

After a moment Izuku climbed over the broken bits of road and building and Kastuki could feel the relief of the girl through the screen. Izuku was filthy, his face covered in dirt accompanied by smudges of smoke and oil from broken machines. His red jumpsuit looked damp and spotty, much of it in tatters. There were smears of crimson on his face and hands.

Katsuki’s palms stung from where his fingernails broke skin. He was watching the aftermath of Izuku’s death. Nobody else would have realized what had just happened. Nobody else knew that this boy had just been killed beneath several tons of metal, crushing bones and bursting organs and tearing through skin like paper.

Izuku approached the girl only to have the robot swing at them again. Katsuki watched in horror as he rolled and braced himself over the girl, his hands on either side of her head, knees on either side of her hips, as the robot slammed into him.

Katsuki knew that this was purely instinct. That Izuku hadn’t had time to come up with a better plan. But watching his straddle this girl, watching him protect her with his very life as his arms snapped like twigs and his body fell against hers, chest to chest, anger was bitter in his mouth. The image of them pressed together, the image of Izuku breaking himself to saver her… he wanted to turn and tear into Izuku with his hands. Wanted him to realize that only Katsuki should be close to him in that way.

He had an intense desire to find that girl. To shove his fist down her throat and set off his quirk. Wanted to watch her blood splatter the walls. Wanted to see the light die from her eyes. Wanted to make it so that she was never there to put Izuku in danger again.

“There were more than just villain points in this test!” All Might’s voice interrupted his sick fantasy as the projection continued. “You earned 60 rescue points putting you as number one in the entire exam!”

They both knew this already but hearing it from the number one hero’s mouth Izuku burst into tears.

“Young Midoriya, this is your hero academia!”

The video ended. Izuku was rubbing furiously at his face as he sobbed with joy. Katsuki wanted to hate him for this but he couldn’t. It was frustrating but he didn’t think he could ever truly hate this idiotic cry baby.

Katsuki was all sorts of mixed up inside. He was pleased that they’d made the top. Disappointed that he hadn’t beat out Izuku in the practical. So jealous that it was eating through him like acid.

“Did you like it?” The words forced their way out without his permission.

The other boy’s face pinched in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“Did you like being around her? Did you like when your bodies pressed together?”

He couldn’t get what he’d seen out of his head. Izuku’s chest against hers. The girl all soft and cute beneath him. In a way that Katsuki could never be. In a way he’d never want to be.

“Kacchan my bones were broken. I was in too much pain to be thinking about much of anything…”

Izuku trailed off and slowly reached out to touch him, like he was trying to calm a rabid animal.

“I promise it was only to save her life. I’ve never wanted anyone but you. You’re the only one for me. There will never be anyone else. I love you Kacchan. With my entire existence. You can do anything you want to me and I’ll love you through it all.”

“You died for her,” Katsuki said quietly.

Izuku’s voice was becoming frantic. “No! No Kacchan I wasn’t trying to die. It was a complete accident. It wasn’t for her I promise. I wasn’t trying to!”

Katsuki looked up and their eyes met. He reached forward and touched Izuku’s collar with his thumb. He splayed the rest of his fingers out over the other boy’s neck. They were both quiet, their heavy breathing the only thing permeating the silence.

Izuku had never died for anyone else before. It was only supposed to be him. He’d promised not to die without Katsuki there to watch over him.

He remembered his nightmare fantasy from before. A girl straddling Izuku with a sweet smile has she squeezed the life out of him. Someone else watching him die. Helping him die. Someone giving Izuku things that Katsuki couldn’t. Taking him away.

He pressed down. Hard. Izuku didn’t fight. In fact he leaned into the harsh calloused hand cutting off his air supply. This was what he needed.

Katsuki pushed until Izuku was flat on his back, his body collapsing onto the smaller boy’s. It was an echo of Izuku and that girl but without the broken bones. He wanted to erase that moment and rewrite it. He wondered if Izuku was thinking of her, remembering being in Kastsuki’s place with that girl in his. For a moment the image was so real that he couldn’t breathe.

His hand tightened. Green eyes became unfocused. Izuku started to choke and jolt with each attempt to suck in air. He still didn’t try to fight it though. Just laid there and welcomed death with no complaint.

When Katsuki could no longer feel a pulse beneath his fingers he let go.

The moment he realized what he’d done he felt sick to his stomach. This was the first time he’d killed Izuku both purposefully and unprompted. The first time he’d actually wanted to do it. It didn’t make him feel better though. It didn’t change what had happened with that girl.

Izuku’s body was cold beneath him. He pressed his forehead against Izuku’s, his breathing harsh. Something must be wrong with him. Really, seriously wrong in a way that terrified him.

There was something deep down inside him. Something in his very soul that just hurt and hurt and hurt. Even when he wasn’t thinking about it, it was there. Lurking in the edges of his being. He was made up of this darkness. Death had kissed him with Izuku’s mouth and it had changed him irrevocably.

He wasn’t sure if it was good or bad. Maybe neither. Maybe it just was. Was this cold hard thing between them. This unspeakable thing that Katsuki locked deep inside. That Izuku let shine through his eyes but Katsuki buried under mountains of repression and fear.

What Death touches it changes. And both of them had been changed the moment Izuku leapt off the rooftop and his quirk had spread its wings as his heart stopped beating.

Even if Katsuki hadn’t seen that first death he would probably have ended up in this same exact place. It was fate, or something equally fucked up. He and Izuku had been together since they were infants. Neither of them had any memory of existing without the other. Their lives, their souls were completely intertwined. It was inescapable.

Izuku had always been his. Maybe even before they were born. In the time before they were Katsuki and Izuku. In the time before thought and emotion. In a time that reached so far back it was beyond human conception.

Izuku gasped to life. His heart started to pump so hard that he could feel it where their chests pressed together with every heaving breath. He wanted to touch it. Wanted to press his lips to it, wanted to sink his teeth in, with this bizarre feverous desire. Wanted to taste Izuku’s life against his tongue.

Cool limbs twisted their way around his body. They were so tangled up in one another that he felt like they would melt right into each other.

“Kacchan.”

His name was whispered like a prayer before he found himself being kissed with a passion only Izuku could possess. He kissed back, hard, angry, and brutal. Izuku was his and the first day at UA he was going to make sure all those fuckers there knew it.

That night he fell asleep, satisfied by that knowledge. Confident in his own staked claim.

When Katsuki jolted awake it was dark outside. Dark in the room. The clock on his bedside table flashed 2:37am and his chest was heaving with every breath.

He looked down at Izuku, sleeping peacefully next to him. He was facing away, towards the wall, but their legs were tangled together under the covers. He could see the slop of his back, just starting to muscle up under their rigorous training. Could see the thick waves of his green-black hair.

He had killed him. He’d put his hands around Izuku’s neck and choked the life out of him in anger. Had watched him die with a hint of satisfaction.

It was the one thing he didn’t want. He ached to keep Izuku alive. Ached so much that the thought of his lifeless eyes terrified him. That the thought of Izuku not coming back, of his final death, haunted him every day.

He felt nameless terror every time Izuku was away for too long. Every time he went for hours without seeing confirmation that this boy was still breathing, still smiling and mumbling and breathing. He worried himself sick about Izuku’s safety.

Yet he’d done the one thing he most hated. The thing he’d promised himself he wouldn’t do again. He’d killed Izuku. He was a fucking monster.

Katsuki rolled out of bed and bolted through his door, into the hallway, into the bathroom one door over. He hunched over the toilet and retched, shame and horror causing his body to revolt against him.

Sweat beaded against his hairline, dampening his forehead. The smell of blood was drowning him and his hands were stained red. He could see Izuku’s body splayed on the cement outside their middle school. And Katuki frantically trying to put his parts back together, to arrange his bones and his organs where they should be.

His body jolted again in horror, rejecting the image before him. Rejecting what Katsuki had done. What he’d done over and over again to Izuku. To the boy he cared about somehow for some reason.

And that moment had been when this started hadn’t it? Had been the very second that this frantic painful thing in his chest had been birthed. Had started to eat away at his sanity.

He choked out a sob as his body tried to expel what was no longer there. His stomach clenched painfully around empty spasms as he dry heaved. He wanted it to hurt more. Wanted penance for these sins that were boiling him alive.

His hands were felt sticky with blood. But when he looked down they were clean. Tacky only with nitroglycerin sweat that he so often trailed over everything around him. Izuku was probably streaked with it. Drenched with it. Had absorbed into his skin repeatedly.

He shivered. He was freezing cold but when he pressed his face against the toilet seat it felt cool to the touch and he realized that he was actually burning up. Burning up in his own personal hell. Just like he deserved.

“Kacchan?”

He looked up and in his feverish weak state his first thought was that it was an angel standing in the doorway, face barely visible in the dark of the room. His eyes glowed eerily. Katsuki wasn’t sure if it really was part of Izuku’s quirk or if he was just delusional, his mind creating that impression. He was so caught up on Izuku’s eyes after all.

Izuku knelt next to him on the hard tile floor. His hand was like ice as it rubbed over Katsuki’s back, up into his hair where it petted soothingly.

“Are you sick?”

Oh he was sick alright. Sick in the head. Sick in the soul.

He stood shakily and Izuku followed him up off the floor. He staggered to the sink and turned on the faucet, cupped his hands beneath the stream and brought it to his lips. He swished in around in his mouth and spit. And did it again and again. He could still taste the acidic burn of his shame even when his spit came up clean.

Izuku’s smooth hands reached past him to turn off the water. His touch on Katsuki’s arm was gentle as he steered him back into the hallway and down into his bedroom. The door was closed quietly and they moved back to the bed.

“Come here,” Izuku murmured sweetly as he curled up under the covers.

Katsuki didn’t deserve this. Didn’t deserve the kindness and the love that poured from this boy in waves. But he craved it so much that he felt starved. And he was selfish. So, so selfish.

He pushed himself into the heat of Izuku’s embrace. Let himself be held as he clutched back, all grasping fists and pounding heart and half sob breaths.

Izuku made soothing sounds and held him so tight it hurt in the best sort of way. It wasn’t enough. It was never enough. This thing inside of him would never be soothed and that was what he deserved.

Somehow he felt sleep creeping up on him despite his distress. His eyelids were heavy with it. His hold loosening as he drifted off, half soothed by the feeling of Izuku safe in his arms.

_____________________________

Izuku woke up so suddenly and fully alert that it felt like Christmas morning only times one hundred. He stared at Kacchan’s face for a moment, only inches away from his. He was breathing deeply, chest rising and falling, so beautiful and serene. He looked so much more attainable like this. If Bakugou Katsuki was a force of nature this was him at the eye of the storm. Like time frozen, knowing that in a short while he’d be caught right back up in that thunder and lightning the moment he awoke.

Last night he’d dreamed again about the day they’d received the results of the entrance exam. Kacchan had strangled him to death countless times but there’d always been a tremble in his hands and agony in his eyes. This time there’d only been scorching jealousy. White hot possessiveness that Izuku wanted to bathe himself in until he was burnt to the bone from the force of it.

Izuku was fairly certain Kacchan had some sort of acceptance of his feelings that day. Had really realized that they could never go back. That they could only sink deeper into one another. Until everything else disappeared.

Izuku smiled to himself before he leaned forward to press frantic little kisses across the arch of Kacchan’s cheekbones, the delicate skin of his eyelids, the furrow of his brow, the pout of his lips. The blond opened his eyes with a scowl and sluggishly shoved Izuku away from him.

“The fuck?”

“Wake up Kacchan, it’s the first day at UA!!!”

The blond grumbled as he reached over him to grab his phone and check the time.

“For fucks sake Izuku we don’t have to wake up for another hour at least.”

“But Kacchan,” he whispered. “How can you sleep when today we’re starting school at UA high school???”

“Ug get off of me. Fine, I’m up.” Katsuki sat up, rubbing at his eyes.

“I’m proud of us Kacchan,” Izuku said seriously. “This day is going to be amazing, I can already tell.”

“Ya, ya I’m sure it will. The fuckers there haven’t ever seen anything like us. We’re going to pile their bodies into a staircase straight to the top. You and me ‘Zuku. We’re going to stand over all of them. They won’t even know what hit them.”

Izuku sighed dreamily. God Kacchan was all ambition and victory. He was so so lucky that he got to stand by his side.

“Go get ready,” Kacchan mumbled. “The sooner you get out your front door the sooner we can be together again.”

Izuku agreed. He pressed a soft kiss to Kacchan’s mouth and slid back into the shadows of his bedroom. This was what he’d always dreamed about. His dream of becoming a hero, second only to his dream of being with Kacchan. Now they were both being achieved. He was forever in Death’s debt for giving him everything he could have ever wanted from life.

Pulling on the UA uniform made him giddy with anticipation. His shirt covered the large bruises blooming across his shoulders and chest. It hid the red welts across his back. His pants concealed the teeth marks on his thighs, the purple fingerprints on his hips. Kacchan’s love painted across his body like art.

When it came time for him to leave his mom fluttered around him tugging at his mangled knot of a tie and brushing his thick hair out of his face. She looked stressed. She was thinning in an unhealthy looking way. There were dark bags under her eyes. Her lips were pressed together in a tight line like she was struggling to keep from saying something. Probably something she knew would chase him away.

She avoided his collar entirely, pretending that it didn’t exist. They’d had a long awful fight about it where Izuku insisted it was a fashion statement and she screamed at him that she wasn’t an idiot. The fight didn’t lead anywhere. He was still wearing the collar. He was pleased to realize that he was starting to wear her out when it came to her attempts to pull apart his relationship with Kacchan.

“I’ll be ok mom,” he promised.

He was happy that she wasn’t putting up a fight about him going to UA despite how anxious it made her. He would have gone anyways but having her accept it made his life so much easier. He gripped one of her jittery hands warmly between both of his with a bright smile.

“I love you mom, I’ll see you after school.”

She nodded, teary eyed, and stood in the doorway as he left. He could feel her continuing to watch from the apartment as he met up with Kacchan on the road in front of their building. The two of them set off for the train station, walking close enough for their shoulders to brush.

The gates of UA looming in front of them were just as exciting to see as the first time he’d stood here. He reached over and gripped Kacchan’s hand tightly, pleased when the blond boy accepted it with only minor grumbling.

He felt almost dissociative from how surreal this all was. From how ridiculously perfect his life had become. It felt like Kacchan’s large warm hand in his was the only thing keeping him tethered to reality.

He was a little disoriented when they entered the building, wandering through the labyrinth of high ceilings and glass outer walls. Kacchan seemed to know where he was going though so Izuku simply let himself be pulled along.

They stopped in front of a huge door with a giant 1-A painted on it that was impossible to miss. It was at least three or four times their height. Izuku felt a sudden small zip of nerves but Kacchan let go of his hand and reached forward without any hesitation to slam the door open. They were pretty early and there were only three students inside so far. They all looked up, startled at the sound.

He first noticed the boy with the engine legs who’d yelled at him in the auditorium. It was hard to miss those sharp eyebrows and no-nonsense expression. He approached them with three large strides.

Kacchan was immediately on the defensive. He stood up straight, eyes hard, jaw set.

“Hello! My name is Iida Tenya from Somei Private Academy!”

“You motherfucker,” Kacchan snarled, fists starting to smoke.

“You’re the two that received the highest exam scores!” The boy bent at a perfect 90 degree angle. “Please forgive my rudeness at the exam! I underestimated you severely!”

“Damn right you did you elite douchebag. Don’t know how you walk around with that stick shoved so far up your ass.”

“Kacchan,” Izuku sighed.

He eyed Iida warily. He definitely wasn’t a fan of this guy but it probably wasn’t good to go around making enemies on the first day.

“I’m Midoriya Izuku and this is Bakugou Katsuki,” Izuku said. “Though if you know our scores you were probably already aware of our names.”

Iida nodded. “Yes of course. I researched everyone that made it into the hero course this year.”

Izuku glanced away from him at the other occupants of the room. There was a girl with long black hair pulled up into a large spiraling ponytail behind her sitting in the backrow. She sat straight and proper though there were some signs of nerves in the fidgeting of her hands.

In the desk next to her was a devastatingly handsome boy who had a color scheme spit straight in half. One side of his hair was dark red. The eye on that side was a startling, almost icy shade of turquoise. The other half of his hair was snow white. The eye on that side was a dark smoky grey. His left side had a scar around his eye that looked like it came from a serious burn. Izuku wondered if he’d accidently done it with his own quirk.

Izuku was immediately curious about this boy. He looked like he had walls that were miles high and Izuku wanted to pick him apart piece by piece. And he was staring straight back at him, completely expressionless.

Izuku winced as Kacchan snatched up his wrist in a painfully tight grip. He tore his gaze from heterochromia to red. Kacchan looked even more than just angry. It was something more painful than that. Like manic fear of abandonment brought to the surface by this one lingering gaze with a handsome stranger.

Izuku lifted his head a little, baring his throat. Kacchan’s eyes locked there. On the black band around his neck. A physical symbol of just how chained to him Izuku was.

“Kacchan,” he said quietly.

The blond looked away but his grip loosened. They both ignored Iida who had continued shouting and chopping his hands about something without noticing that his audience was paying absolutely no attention.

Kacchan led him to their seats, Izuku’s just behind his. Iida was frowning but didn’t follow them. He seemed pretty miffed about how rude they were being but was distracted by a few more students walking through the door.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Izuku murmured. “And you should stop. I have only ever wanted you. There never has been and never will be anyone else. I can’t exist without you. You are everything to me.”

Kacchan only grunted in acknowledgement. Izuku knew what that meant though. He knew everything about Kacchan. Even the things that Kacchan didn’t know about himself.

In the next ten minutes the rest of the class started to trickle in. Izuku knew it was only a matter of time before Uraraka showed up and he wasn’t eager to see how Kacchan reacted to her. He’d killed Izuku just from watching the entrance exam. Seeing her in person was bound to be an unpleasant experience for everyone. But it was inevitable. They were going to be in the same class after all.

“Midoriya!”

And there it was.

Uraraka made her way over to him, smiling brightly. “I knew you’d get in. You saved my life after all.”

Izuku glanced nervously at Kacchan. His jaw was set, teeth clenched in fury. He was deliberately looking away, trying not to embarrass Izuku by making a scene.

Before he could get into a conversation that would probably implode in seconds when Kacchan’s self-restraint gave away, he was saved by the giant yellow sleeping back that rolled through the classroom door.

The chatter quickly died off. Everyone stared at the man lying on the floor. He stared back at them. Izuku could almost see the giant question mark hanging over all of their heads.

In one swift motion the yellow monstrosity was unzipped and a tired looking man stepped out, clutching what looked like some sort of juice pouch in one hand he sucked it dry before speaking.

“It took you eight seconds to quiet down. As a hero you can’t take a single second lightly. Eight seconds is enough to get you and everyone around you killed.”

There was a moment of solemn silence as what he said sank in. Already within the first minute of class the man he assumed was their teacher was imparting the seriousness of the career they were all pursuing. And Izuku couldn’t help but remember what Kacchan had said about him becoming useless if he died in a fight. Sure he’d come back but as their teacher had just said, so much could happen in such a short time. He could gasp back to life only to find everyone around him dead.

“I’m your homeroom teacher, Shota Aizawa,” the man said, confirming Izuku’s assumption.

That meant he was a pro hero too. Izuku was surprised he didn’t recognize him. His hero obsessive studying meant that he could identify most heroes upon appearance but nothing about this man was familiar.

Aizawa yanked what appeared to be a gym uniform out of his sleeping back and held it up for the class to see. “Put these on and meet me down on the field.”

The students all filed out of the classroom, shooting each other nervous glances. Izuku clutched the hem of Kacchan’s sleeve, keeping close to him as they entered the boy’s locker room. They quickly claimed two lockers next to each other in the corner.

They dressed quickly and when Izuku turned back around nobody seemed to have noticed his marked up body. There was that awkwardness of the first day of school, changing in front of a roomful of mostly strangers. Most people avoided looking at anyone else for too long, not wanting to start off the year on awkward footing with their classmates.

Katsuki stared though. His eyes were dark and ravenous as they dragged over Izuku’s torso down to his bitten up thighs. Izuku dressed quickly. He was afraid he’d do something like kiss the blond boy if they lingered here too long with that heated gaze settled over his skin.

Once dressed they all shuffled out on the field with the rest of their classmates. Izuku honestly had no idea what to expect. He would have thought they would have been at the entrance ceremony at this point but it made sense that UA would jump right into the learning.

Aizawa was waiting for them. Somehow dressed in fully covering all black clothing in the heat of the sun without breaking a sweat. His eyes were exhausted but there was a sharp edge of calculation in them as he observed his new students that had Izuku tensing with anticipation.

When everyone was standing around him silently he spoke. “We’re starting with a quirk assessment test.”

“But what about the entrance ceremony? The orientation?” Uraraka blurted out, looking disappointed.

Izuku could tell from the moment the words left her lips that they were the wrong ones to say. He knew that protestations like that weren’t something that this teacher would handle patiently.

“If you’re going to become a hero you don’t have time for such leisurely events. UA’s selling point is how unrestricted its school traditions are. That’s also how the teachers run their classes.”

Bloodshot eyes watched their reactions closely. Izuku could see Kacchan nodded approvingly from next to him. Uraraka deflated with a small frown. Izuku honestly wasn’t surprised. UA certainly wasn’t a normal school. He hadn’t know exactly what to expect but he’d known it would be a rigorous year of hard work.

“You kids have been doing these since junior high too right? Physical fitness tests where you weren’t allowed to use your quirks.” He scoffed like the idea of such tests were pointless. “The country still uses averages taken from results from students not using their quirks. It’s not rational. The Ministry of Eduation is procrastinating.”

Izuku stood up straighter as his eyes landed on him before flickering to Kacchan next to him. “Baukugo you had the top villain points in the exam, and Midoriya you had the top overall. Would one of you step forward for a demonstration?”

Izuku knew that Kacchan needed this moment. His jaw tightened at the reminder that he’d been a step behind Izuku. He needed this chance to assert his dominance. He gave a nod when red eyes shot towards him for a brief moment.

Kacchan stepped forward. “I’ll do it.”

Izuku had the feeling their teacher was analyzing their response and filing it away in his mind. He had the impression that this man wasn’t missing a thing as he observed his students.

“In junior high what was your best result for the softball throw?”

Kacchan answered without of beat of hesitation. “67 meters.”

“Let’s see what it is if you try with your quirk.” Aizawa held out the softball.

Kacchan didn’t smile, his face hardly changed at all, but Izuku had been watching so carefully for so long that he could see the slightest shift around his eyes that spoke of his excitement. He moved forward to snatch the ball from their teachers hands and strolled confidently into the white circle he motioned towards.

“You can do whatever you want as long as you stay in the circle. Throw it and give it all you’ve got.”

Katsuki looked back at him, his face in his neutral frown as he gave his arms a quick stretch. Izuku felt a tickle of warmth as he watched the shifting of his muscles with the movement.

“Alright,” he said casually.

He planted his foot hard in the dirt and stretched his arms up above his head. Then he moved so suddenly the motion was a blur, his face twisted from his neutral expression into a vicious snarl so quickly that it was jarring.

“Die!!!” he screamed.

The explosion he let forth was so powerful that a whirlwind of fire and smoke swirled around him, bursting several yards into the sky as it followed the charred ball. He stepped back into a victorious stance, his chin lifting and eyes bright with pride, satisfied that even this single throw was enough to shown his classmates exactly why he’d destroyed more robots than any of them.

“Die?” whispered Uraraka looking a little terrified.

“So manly,” a voice behind them whispered in awe.

Izuku couldn’t help but turn to look. There was a boy with shark like teeth and tall spiked red hair looking at Kacchan with such open awe and admiration that it twisted something ugly in Izuku’s chest. He clenched his fists and turned back facing forward. He knew this would happen. Knew that Kacchan burned so bright that it would be impossible for others not to notice.

“Know your own maximums first,” Aizawa said as he watched the ball come sailing back down in the distance. “That is the most rational way to form the foundation of a hero.”

He held up his cell phone. There were digital numbers blinking across the screen in blue. Seven hundred and five point two. Izuku felt pride for his Kacchan bring a smile to his face as their classmates murmured in surprise.

“This looks fun!” a cute pink skinned girl with all black eyes and small horns clapped her hands together with a grin.

“We can use our quirks as much as we want!” exclaimed another boy. “As expected from the UA hero course.”

Aizawa’s expression was deadly severe. “It looks fun?”

Everyone froze at the sudden shift in atmosphere.

“You have three years to become a hero. Will you have a carefree attitude like that the whole time? I don’t think you understand the weight of this path you are on. One mistake could be deadly. This isn’t for fun.” He paused for a moment before a grin spread across his face that sent shivers down everyone’s spines. “All right let’s up the stakes. Whoever comes in last place in these eight tests will be judged to have no potential and immediately expelled.”

Kacchan’s violent smile hadn’t died down. If anything this declaration made it even more wild as his eyes locked with Izuku’s over their teacher’s shoulder. Izuku couldn’t help but mirror it. Despite the seriousness of the situation he agreed with the pink girl. This was going to be fun.

The others didn’t seem to feel the same. There as a cry of shock that rose up from most of the group. Aizawa seemed to bask in the astonishment and fear.

“Welcom to UA’s hero course!” His grin because downright brutal.

The class seemed to get over their surprise pretty quickly and began to protest.

“This isn’t fair!” “It’s only the first day!”

Aizawa shook his head in disappointment at their response. “Natural disasters, big accidents, and selfish villains. Calamities whose time or place can’t be predicted. Would you call any of that fair? Japan is covered with unfairness. It’s part of life. Part of heroics. And heroes are the ones mean to reverse those situations. To bring hope to them.”

The class quieted again. This man had such an authoritative presence that couldn’t help but watch him silently as he spoke.

“If you wanted to talk it up with friends and kick back and relax as soon as class is over then that’s just too bad. You shouldn’t have joined the hero course. For the next three years UA is going to do all it can to give you one hardship after another. Because that’s what you’ll face as soon as you step into the real world of heroes. While you’re here you’re going to have to go beyond. Plus ultra. Overcome it with all you’ve got.”

The words seem to liven everyone up. They nodded and started stretching, preparing to do their very best at these tests. Preparing to make sure they didn’t lose.

“Alright, demonstration is over,” Aiziwa announced. “The real thing starts now.”

The tests started with a fifty meter dash. Izuku observed his classmate’s quirks with open curiosity. He memorized every aspect of them that he could from these tests alone. He knew they’d both teammates and competition at the same time. And knowing their strengths and weaknesses would be crucial. But even more than that, he still had a burning passion for learning about quirks.

Izuku’s turn for the first test was against Kacchan. They stood side by side at the starting line. Izuku couldn’t keep himself from brushing his hand briefly against the others. They gave each other brief competitive grins.

When the start signal went off Kacchan swung his arms back behind him and let loose a powerful blast as pushed off with his legs, propelling himself forward. Izuku gave a little laugh as he dragged the shadow from the building beside them and wrapped it around him like a cloak. He was comforted by the darkness for only a moment before stepping out of it and back into the sunlight at the finish line. The bright light of the sun glaring down from a nearly cloudless sky was a big handicap for him. In the darkness he’d reached the point that he could teleport so fast he was practically invisible in his movements. But in such bright light it took a full two seconds, a big delay for him.

Still, it was enough to leave Kacchan behind. Had the other boy been against anyone else he probably would have left them in his dust. But against Izuku, despite his fast time his disappointment was evident in the angry clench of his smoking fists. Izuku couldn’t help but brush the tips of his fingers briefly against the skin stretched tight over Kacchan’s knuckles as they walked back to stand with the group and the next pair started their turn. The blond didn’t react but Izuku knew his brief touch gave a tiny bit of comfort.

The second test was grip strength. He built up the shadows in his palm to hardness and shoved them against the contraption as hard as he could. It burst apart in his fist, cutting into his skin. He blinked down at in surprise. Ok, that was probably not one of his smartest ideas. Kacchan rolled his eyes from next to him.

“Midoriya,” Aiziwa called. “Do you need to go the nurse?”

Izuku quickly shook his head. “I’m fine sir. I can go once class is finished.”

The other man looked at him speculatively before nodding. “Alright, wrap it up at least.”

He tossed him a roll of bandages. Luckily the shadow had protected the palm of his hand. His fingers had been cut up enough to bleed but not too seriously. He wrapped the gauze around each individual finger before giving the bandages back to his teacher.

The third test was the standing long jump followed by repeated side steps. He didn’t come first in those. He felt like teleportation was cheating in a way. Like it wasn’t actually doing what the test was requiring. But using his shadow manipulation got him through them.

The fifth test was the ball throw. Uraraka blew them all out of the park with her zero gravity. It was kind of impossible to beat that but Izuku was still determined to at least get second place in that test. He knew that the last three were long-distance run, sit-ups, and seated toe-touch. Teleportation would once again make the run effortless but he’d probably try sit-ups with his own physical ability for the most part. Perhaps have the shadows push at his back when he started to tire. Same with the toe-touch.

When it was his turn for the ball throw he stood in the white circle, tossing the ball back and forth between his hands before winding up. He called the small pool of his own shadow around his feet to race up his arm and push at the ball. But just before he could let go of it something shifted. He could feel the exact millisecond that his quirk left his body.

Despite all of his experiments and tests and time spent studying his quirk he still didn’t know what exactly it was. Quirks were physical abilities but his seemed to extend beyond that to his very soul. He didn’t know how much of that was a quirk and how much was something different all together. Something inhuman that was a part of him.

There was a tugging feeling in his chest. Like something important was viciously ripped out of him in the blink of an eye. And suddenly all he felt was pain.

Izuku was distantly aware that his face had somehow ended up against the ground. There were sounds swimming in and out but he couldn’t make out anything over the sound of his own screams.

He felt as though his skin was burning and dripping from his body. Like his nerves had been hooked up to an electric fence. He was choking on dirt and his own blood. His throat was slit open and his wrists dripped red all the way up his to his elbow. He was drowning, suffocating. His bones were shattering, his organs rupturing. Stomach acid burned on his tongue.

He wasn’t sure how long the agony went on. It could have been seconds or it could have been days. Pain like that had no concept of time. No awareness of his surroundings.

And suddenly it stopped and he was staring straight into the eyes of Death. She was excited, thrumming with something he’d never felt from her before. Hope. Hope so deep and so all-encompassing to the point that it was almost suffocating. And there wasn’t anything else. No water. No moon. There was only the empty nothingness of her eyes and her hands were reaching for him, longing for him. Pining for him.

They stopped mere centimeters from his skin as they always did. There was a pulse of disappointment as she pressed. Pressed as hard as she could. She had thought that maybe. Maybe with his quirk gone this was her chance. But deep down she’d know that this wasn’t about a quirk. Just as deep down Izuku had known the same.

Her grief was so deep that Izuku felt tears streaming down his cheeks. And suddenly he was being pulled from her again. She reached out desperately attempting to grab his hand. To stop him from leaving. To keep him with her always. But neither of them could stop the pull that yanked him straight back into his body.

As soon as his heart started beating he gasped, sobbing so hard that he vomited. He was in someone’s arms. Probably Kacchan’s so he weakly attempted to turn his head in an pathetic attempt to not throw up all over him. Izuku wondered if he’d somehow slipped from Death’s peaceful space and into hell. It felt like it. He felt heavy. Too heavy to move or speak or breathe. Someone who wasn’t Kacchan tried to touch him, to take him from his love’s arms, and he couldn’t even flinch. It didn’t feel quite real. He felt as though this was no longer his body. Just an empty broken shell that he’d been forced back into. That he’d hidden himself in a dark corner of his mind and didn’t know how to get back out.

And he pushed himself into unconsciousness.

__________________________________________________

Shota had seen his quirk throw people off before. Seen them panic at the loss of a part of themselves. He’d witness those that cried, that begged, that seemed to dissociate immediately. But never before had he seen a reaction like this.

To be fair, assuming that Midoriya’s quirk registry was correct, this shouldn’t have caused him any pain. Maybe some discomfort and some confusion. That should have been all.

As it was his student was screaming and convulsing on the ground, vomiting blood and writhing in agony from the mere four seconds Shota had his quirk activated. Four seconds too many. Shota felt like a monster.

He’d only wanted to see how Midoriya would have reacted. He was the top score in the entrance exam. And Shot wanted to know what his response would be to have his powerful quirk taken away without warning. How this hero-to-be would handle sudden powerlessness. Something that could potentially happen out in the field. He had not expected this. He was absolutely horrified.

He knew that this meant there was an aspect of Midoriya’s quirk that wasn’t in his registry. Perhaps something bizarre like the inside of his body that couldn’t see daylight needing stability from his quirk or some such thing. He’d heard of stranger things than that. But right now he didn’t have time to ponder those things. Right now his student needed immediate medical help.

Bakugou was at the smaller boy’s side so quickly that it was startling. His panic was unexpected. He seemed so collected. So prideful and unwilling to show the slightest hint of weakness. The kind of boy who would rather die than break down in public.

But the raw terror in his voice when he screamed out Midoriya’s name was absolutely gut wrenching. He fell to his knees as the smaller boy suddenly became unnaturally still. Even his chest stopped moving. As if he wasn’t breathing at all.

Bakugou heaved Midoriya off the ground and halfway into his arms, chanting his name over and over again as he buried his face in tangled green hair.

“’Zuku, ‘Zuku, ‘Zuku please. Come back to me please. I don’t understand what’s happening. Please.”

The blond boy’s breaths were growing more frantic, nearing hyperventilation. Shota could recognize it as a panic attack immediately. He dropped to his knees next to the two boys.

“Bakugou,” he said sharply.

The boy paid him no mind, rocking back and forth has he struggled to breathe too quickly, still wheezing out Midoriya’s name with such upmost grief that for a moment Shota feared that the boy was dead.

Midoriya gasped suddenly. Jolting as his chest started to heave with immediate sobs that turned into puking. He weakly turned his head like he sensed Bakugou holding him and was trying to keep from vomiting all over him. It was in vain. The other boy was holding him so tightly that there was no way for him to escape it. He didn’t seem to care though. The moment Midoriya was breathing again his shoulders relaxed and he was quietly crying, trying to bury his face into Midoriya’s neck like it could keep the people around him from seeing.

“We need to get him to the nurse,” he said, reaching out to take Midoriya from him.

The blond boy shook his head without lifting it and pulled back violently.

“He needs medical assistance right now. If you care about your friend at all you will stand up and let me get him to Recovery Girl immediately.”

He paused for a moment and then lifted his face. His eyes were rimmed pink from crying and his expression was so scared that it reached through the brick walls Shota had built up inside himself to tug at his heart.

“Come on kid.”

He made to take Midoriya from him again but the blond snarled like a rabid animal. He stood himself, slowly, staggering a little under the weight of his friend but still able to lift him nonetheless. Shota let him. He led the way past the rest of the class who all stood still in silent shock.

“Stay here until I return,” he ordered. “Iida you’re in charge.”

Iida Tenya seemed like the kind of kid that could keep order well enough.

He walked towards the nurse’s office quickly wondering what the hell had happened and just what kind of damage he had just done. No apology could take back the trauma he’d just caused.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s body dropped like a puppet with its strings cut. When the screaming started it was the living soundtrack of Katsuki’s worst nightmares. His limbs locked up in terror and he could do nothing but stare before his body kicked into gear, scrambling to reach Izuku so quickly that he tripped over himself, landing on his knees with a thud.

Izuku’s mouth was stained with blood. His face was ghost pale, freckles standing out starkly against the white. He looked sick. Extremely sick. The way he only ever looked when he was reaching for Death’s hand.

The way he was writhing and screaming, the way his body contorted and his eyes rolled back, it seemed like he was re-experiencing all of his deaths over. Like perhaps this was the giant finale. Like this might be the last death he’d ever experience. The one to end it all. And god was that the most awful thing Katsuki could imagine.

When Izuku went limp the fear became outright terror. He recognized the blankness of his eyes. The stillness of his chest. He really had died. He was gone. That was it. That was the fucking end. Izuku, for no reason at all, had died an agonizing death.

It was over. It was over. It was over over over over over overoveroveroverover…

He tugged on Izuku’s arm, pulling his limp body towards him and holding him close, whispering his name on repeat like Izuku might hear it from the other side and follow it back to him the way he always did. Izuku always came back for him. Always. And the fear that he might not this time felt like a sledgehammer to his sternum.

He trembled uncontrollably as he buried his face in thick dark hair and begged for him to come back. Pleaded to the faceless Death he knew that Izuku both longed for and rejected. Pleaded for this misery to end. He would give anything. Would give everything.

Izuku’s body jolted in his arms like Lazarus rising. Katsuki had seen this a thousand times before but this time, like the first time, it felt like an actual miracle. His chest began to heave with frantic breaths. Katsuki felt his heart restart alongside Izuku’s. Like their lives were inexplicable linked. He clutched the other boy as close as he could, even when he began to squirm, trying to turn his head as he puked.

He didn’t feel as relieved as he should have. There was an ever building fear. A fear that this could happen again at any time. The old fear of Izuku reaching his last life resurfaced. He pressed his face against Izuku’s neck, breathing deeply.

Aiziwa’s mouth was moving. Katsuki knew the man was speaking but it like he was sitting at the bottom of a swimming pool. Sound was distorted and incomprehensible. He felt weightless and unreal. There was a dream-like film over everything.

When their teacher reached for Izuku, Katsuki pulled back like the touch would burn Izuku alive. Nobody could touch him. Nobody could even try. He didn’t trust anyone else with Izuku’s life. It was his to hold, to protect, to possess, to give or take away as he and Izuku decided.

Izuku’s life shouldn’t be left to the decision of outside forces. Shouldn’t be taken without rhyme or reason. It was Kastuki’s to control. Katsuki’s to own and keep and bend to his will. Izuku was his and it terrified him that something else had intervened here. Something he couldn’t see or fight or hate because he had no idea what it was.

When he stood he staggered a little under the weight of Izuku’s body but refused to let go. Only he could hold Izuku like this. He’d rip off the arm of anyone who tried to take this boy from him.

He had no idea where he was. The world was spinning so fast that it felt like he would be flung right off of the surface. He stared at their teacher’s back. He was walking and somehow Katsuki knew that he should follow, for Izuku’s sake. He focused on following Aizawa. Tried not to think any harder about Izuku’s shallow breathing and dead weight in his arms.

Recovery Girl was on her feet as soon as they walked in the door.

She said something to Aizawa, a frown on her face. Katsuki stared at her tiny, fragile little body, and judged her to be safe. This woman wasn’t a threat. He could pick her up and throw her if he had to. Could hold her entire head in his hand and blow it wide open if it came down to it. No, she wasn’t a threat at all.

Their teacher mumbled something to her quietly. The world spun, the edges of his vision blurring. He stared down at Izuku’s slack face like the power of his gaze could pry those green eyes open.

“Pl*** *im ** **e be*”

Katsuki simply stared at her uncomprehendingly. Her mouth was moving. He heard the sound of it but didn’t know what it meant. It probably didn’t matter. He’d failed Izuku. He’d let Izuku suffer. Let him die all alone. Again.

“You have to let him go,” Recovery Girl said, her voice finally permeating the fog around him.

She placed a fragile little hand on his arm and led it down to one of the beds. He realized what she was asking and bent to set Izuku down. He couldn’t let go of him though. Not fully. His grasp was welded onto Izuku’s wrist as he stood back upright.

Recovery Girl fluttered around poking and prodding, working around Katsuki without asking him to leave. Perhaps she could sense that it would have been a useless endeavor. He was kept sane only by the beat of Izuku’s pulse against his thumb. He watched her with narrow eyes. Told himself she was harmless. Told himself she was helping.

“I can’t find anything physically wrong with him,” she finally said. “I think whatever happened has simply exhausted him. All he needs at this point is some rest.”

The relief of her words slammed into Katsuki’s shoulders so hard his knees buckled. Aizawa seemed to sense that and pulled a chair up for him quickly. He collapsed into it, grip still tight on Izuku’s wrist.

The strange filter over the world seemed to pop like a bubble. Colors and sounds and coherence burst into being again. He took a deep, much needed, breath.

“You and Midoriya are excused for the rest of the day.” Aizawa sounded utterly exhausted, voice raspy like he hadn’t slept for days. “I’ll call your parents and inform them of the situation.”

“Don’t.”

Katsuki realized that he sounded just as rough. Throat scratchy from the crying he hadn’t even realized he was doing. He could imagine Inko standing in the room, screaming and sobbing and acting as if she was the only one in the world that cared about Izuku. Looking at this school the same way she looked at Katsuki. Like it was dangerous. Like she knew Izuku wouldn’t let go of it and it hurt her.

“His mom is so overprotective it’s ridiculous. She might not let him come back. Please.”

There was that realization again. That she could just pick up and take Izuku somewhere far away. Take him across the ocean, across the world. Somewhere he couldn’t reach him, couldn’t watch him, wouldn’t have any way of knowing if Izuku was dying or living or any proof that the boy existed at all. He would go crazy. Lose his fucking mind. He couldn’t handle the idea.

Aizawa looked pained but shook his head. “I’m sorry but we are obligated to inform student’s guardians when serious injuries occur.”

“He’s fine! Recovery Girl just said so!” He felt some of his energy returning. Some of his familiar anger starting to stir, starting to burn beneath the weight this entire situation had piled upon him. It was a welcome relief.

Aizawa was quiet for a moment. His mouth was heavy at the corners. There were long sleepless nights painted under his eyes. This situation had highlighted this man’s utter exhaustion and brought it to Katsuki’s attention. Their already worn out teacher had been hit with this situation with the force of a train and it had visibly drained every lingering bit of energy from him.

“I’m sorry,” he said finally. “This isn’t something we can keep from his mother. She has to be informed about what happened.”

He turned and left before Katsuki could argue his point any further. He was angry but it was muted. He didn’t have the energy to chase down their teacher. He dropped his head to press it against the Izuku’s side, searching for comfort.

He rubbed his thumb over the pulse point on Izuku’s wrist. He tried to count his breaths using the heartbeat as a metronome. Breathe in, hold, breathe out, pause. Repeat and repeat and repeat.

“Kacchan?”

Katsuki bolted upright, his grip tightening. Izuku’s eyes were open. He looked confused but he smiled a little at Katsuki’s show of concern.

“What happened?”

Katsuki wished he had answers to give Izuku. Wished he had the answers for himself. It hurt that it didn’t. It drove him utterly mad.

“I don’t know. Nobody does. What do you remember?”

“It felt like something happened to my quirk. Like it was taken away from me.”

Katsuki froze. The idea that Izuku would suffer so much without his quirk to hold him together was awful.

Izuku looked like he was contemplating something. “Eraserhead.”

“What?”

“I just realized which pro hero Aizawa is. Eraserhead can erase quirks so long as he is looking at the person.”

“Fuck.” Katsuki’s jaw clenched. “I’ll kill him.”

And he meant it to. He’d rip Aizawa’s magic eyeballs out of his face and shove them down the man’s throat. He wouldn’t be able to look at Izuku without eyes.

“No Kacchan you can’t. They’ll kick you out of UA. Besides, it was…. Informative.”

“Fuck you and your research Izuku. You didn’t see what happened. I thought you could handle any kind of pain now but you were screaming. You were in agony. He killed you.” His hands were shaking, nails digging into the soft skin of Izuku’s wrist, trying to drive home the seriousness of Aizawa’s sin.

“It’s ok Kacchan. I’m ok now. Come here.”

He sat up and opened his arms. A perfect space for Katsuki to fit. He struggled with his pride for a brief second before climbing onto the bed with Izuku. He nestled himself against Izuku so that they were lying side by side, noses almost touching.

He cupped Katsuki’s cheek with his free hand and pressed a gentle kiss to his mouth before pulling back. “I love you Kacchan. Thank you for caring for me. But I’m ok. And you know that you don’t want to be kicked out of UA. It’s important that we’re both here. Important that we graduate from this school. You can be angry but you can’t go after our teacher, you understand that right?”

Katsuki felt his lips curling into a snarl. Izuku was speaking to him as if he were a child. He seemed to realize that almost at once and quickly backtracked.

“Sorry I didn’t mean it that way. I know you’re aware of all of these things yourself. I juts worry about you is all.”

It didn’t really soften the sting to his pride but Izuku had some sort of strange spell over him. It softened his fury to a simmer. He bit Izuku’s cheek, probably harder than necessary, and felt some satisfaction at the little yelp the boy gave.

They lay together for a moment before Izuku spoke again. “Should we get back to class?”

“We’re excused for the day. And Izuku… they’re calling your mom.”

He groaned. “Great, just what I needed today.”

As if she were waiting for the right moment Inko burst through the infirmary doors. Her face was streaked with tears and her entire body trembled as she darted straight for her son. Izuku sat up and Katsuki quickly followed.

“Izuku. My baby. Are you ok? They told me what happened. That you collapsed. I knew this school would be too much. I can’t handle this anymore. Your poor mother’s heart can’t handle this.”

Izuku pushed away her fluttering hands with a frown. “I’m fine mom.”

Her face was tight with worry but she pulled back, her mouth thinning and she kept it tightly shut. She looked sick. Even more so than the last time Katsuki had seen her. And had she lost more weight? Her dress was loose, hanging straight on her frame when it had once kissed curves. The shadows under her eyes could rival Aizawa’s.

He felt strangely unembarrassed to have been caught in this position by Inko. She barely seemed to notice Katsuki anyways. Her eyes drilling into her son’s. She looked like she was one more problem away from a complete mental breakdown.

“Izuku please.” She sounded so so tired. “I can’t do this anymore. Please.”

“Mom I’m perfectly ok. Recovery Girl said so. Calm down.” Izuku’s brow was pinched in annoyance.

She didn’t say anything more. Just wrung her hands and cried soundlessly. She looked utterly pathetic. It must be painful to have her love brushed so easily aside. Katsuki couldn’t even imagine how much that must hurt. He felt a pang of pity for her.

“Let’s go home,” Izuku finally said.

He was looking at Katsuki though, rather than his mother. Katsuki nodded and Izuku climbed out of the bed, taking his hand and pulling him to his feet.

Looking defeated Inko walked them back to her car. She didn’t protest Katsuki climbing in and when she stopped in front of his house she was silent as Izuku climbed out with him. He turned back and watched her press her forehead against the steering wheel, shoulder shaking, before he and Izuku entered his empty house. For some reason the image bothered him but he shoved that feeling deep down where it was easily ignored and forgotten.

“I’m disappointed Aizawa didn’t let us go back to class,” Izuku said as they kicked off their shoes. “Hopefully we aren’t missing out on anything important.”

Katsuki shrugged. He didn’t really care about any of that right now. Just cared that Izuku was still alive. That he hadn’t died his final death. That he was breathing and walking and talking and standing here beside Katsuki, cool skin and bright eyes and an unhappy twist to his lips.

Katsuki took Izuku’s hand. He led him up the stairs. Through his bedroom door. Onto his bed. They didn’t talk anymore. Izuku must have felt that Katsuki was in no mood to chat. He tried to kiss Katsuki but he wasn't in the mood for that and shoved his face away, tucking Izuku's head beneath his chin instead. Izuku didn't say anything about the rejection, just gripped Katsuki's shirt in his fists and burrowed against him as close as he could possibly go.

Katsuki squeezed him back so hard their bodies moved together with each breath, with each beat of their heart. Held him so tightly that he could imagine absorbing Izuku right into him, becoming one being. He burned at the thought, at the idea of them never separating again, always together as a single entity.

He wondered if that's how it was supposed to be. If they were one person that had accidentally been split into two. If that was why he felt this way so strongly that it was as if he was going completely mad with his desperation. Perhaps he wasn't crazy after all. Perhaps he was meant to someday tear Izuku to pieces and devour him. Would Izuku come back from that? Reform inside Katsuki as part of him, as he should be?

They laid together in silence, listening to each other breathe as Katsuki contemplated these things.

Izuku went home went nightfall came with promises of being back within a couple of hours. He said that didn’t want to push his luck anymore than it had already been pushed for the day. Katsuki wondered how far would be too far for Inko. She seemed like she was on the verge of breaking already.

Izuku had promised to go the therapy but had stormed out of his first appointment calling the therapist all sorts of nasty names and had refused any of the therapists she tried to set up an appointment with since. His mother was too fragile to be able to force him.

“Katsuki!”

He jumped at his mom’s shout from downstairs. She must have just gotten home. He sighed deeply. He was so sick of dealing with parents. He wished he and Izuku could just move out now. Get a place together. No longer having to deal with their nagging mothers or Katsuki’s apathetic father.

“What the fuck do you want?!” he screamed back.

“Get your ass down here!”

With another heavy sigh he stormed from his bedroom, kicking the door shut behind him with a bang. His mom was standing in the living room, her face pinched into a scowl. There was something nasty in her expression that he hadn't seen for quite a while now.

“The principal called.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Ok.”

“They told me about Izuku.”

He stared at her.

“Apparently he was fine. You were fine. Nobody was harmed in any lasting way. So do you want to tell me why the hell you thought it was ok to stay home from school today? It’s your first day Katsuki. Your father and I pushed you so hard your entire life to work at getting into this school and you’re already fucking it up on day one. What have you been doing all day huh? Sitting on your god damn ass? Fucking your little boyfriend? Being a god damn pussy for no reason? I didn’t raise you to be such a disappointment.”

His lips pulled back in a snarl. He felt like he’d been dragged through hell today. Maybe he’d had a moment of weakness. Maybe he should have pushed harder for them to go back to class. Maybe he was falling behind already. He clenched his teeth. But like hell would he give her the satisfaction of knowing her words affected him in the slightest. He didn't know what had happened to her today that had brought back this pointless, vicious anger in her but he wasn't going to take it lying down.

“It’s none of your business what I did today! Go die in a ditch old hag. I’m sick of dealing with your bullshit. You’re just a sad piece of shit that married a man as bland as a piece of soggy bread and you’re mad at your own pathetic life so you take it out on me.”

He turned to walk away and missed the fist flying towards his face. His mom’s punch felt like a baseball bat to the jaw. It fucking hurt.

She hadn’t hit him since that weird breakdown conversation they’d had at the Midoriya’s. He’d taken advantage of that. He’d been shaking her like a soda without consequence and that stupid little comment was snap of the tab breaking through the top of the can. It was such a small insult, paling in comparison to things they had screamed at each other in the past. But the shaken soda had been opened and there was no stopping the explosion that followed.

“You ungrateful brat. I’m so sick of you fucking attitude. I’ve been giving you slack for way too long. You think I’m going soft? You think I’m going to let you shove me around like you do Inko? Think I’m going to cry and let you do what you want every time you feed me some half-assed excuse? The slack I’ve been giving you ends now. Apologize to me. I deserve your god damn respect. I’ve been feeding your filthy mouth every day for over fifteen years. I’ve been putting the clothes on your back, the roof over your head. Show me some fucking gratitude!”

His clenched fists shook, nails digging into his palms as he snarled like a rabid animal. “Fuck. You. Old. Hag.”

He dodged her next punch but her other hand reached out for his face, long fingernails clawing down his cheek before he managed to stumble back. His movements were stiff. If this was anyone else he would have blasted them all the way to the moon. But this was his mom.

He hated her. Hated hated hated her. But he couldn’t get his fists to swing at her. Couldn’t get his quirk to blast in her direction. He could fight her verbally with every ounce of venom he could spare but he just couldn’t make himself hit back physically.

There was a line. He didn’t know why it existed or how to erase it. But there was a line that he couldn’t seem to step over and it was a line his mother didn’t have. It was what was going to lose him this fight and he despised his own weakness for not being able to hit her when she had no problem making her hatred for him physically hurt. He slammed into the wall hard as she hit him again and again, leaving him no space to dodge or escape.

“Spoiled. Punk-ass. Bitch.”

Her fists collided with every word. Her knee drove into his stomach leaving him gasping in pain. Her long painted fingernails had become vicious claws.

He forced his limbs to move. It took a ridiculous amount of effort to dodge her swinging fists but he used his superior height and broader shoulders to push past her and bolted for the door. Something hard and sharp hit him in the back. He stumbled a little but didn’t stop. His mother’s screams followed him all the way outside but she didn’t pursue him down the street. Probably didn’t care enough to.

Katsuki didn’t know where he was running. Just that it was away. He couldn’t stand the burden of his mother’s hatred for him. So he ran from it. Ran and ran until suddenly he was at the Midoriya’s apartment door.

He knew Inko wouldn’t want to see him right now. She never did, and today had been particularly taxing on her. He remembered her shaking shoulders and he hollow eyes and the pain spilling from her like an open wound. But he also knew that the sight of him would tug at her heart strings. She was far too kind for her own good. It was going to be her downfall.

He pounded on the door. It was Inko who answered. She stared at him for a moment before sighing deeply. He stared back.

“Who is it mom?” Izuku’s voice called from somewhere inside the apartment.

Inko’s tensed shoulders dropped in defeat. She’d already played this entire scenario out in her mind and knew exactly how it would end. She stepped back and let him through the door. He muttered a thank you as entered the apartment. Izuku poked his head out of his bedroom and froze when he noticed Katsuki. He was on him in a second, hands cupping his face and turning it this way and that, inspecting his bruises and cuts. Katsuki pushed his hands away but let himself be led to the couch.

“Mitsuki?” Inko asked wearily as she set the first aid kit on the coffee table.

Katsuki didn’t say anything. He knew that his lack of reply was answer enough. He looked down at this hands feeling angry at himself for his weakness. They were snatched up by Izuku who squeezed so hard it hurt. His face was twisted in a terrifying mask of fury.

The room dimmed. The temperature dropped. Something dark and cold and terrifying filled the air.

“I hate her.”

There was a trembling moment where Katsuki thought Izuku would leave. Would pull the shadows around him and find his mother and kill her. It shouldn’t hurt him, the thought of her dying, but it did. He was fucking pathetic.

The moment passed and shrunk down to a simmer. It seemed more human now and less immortal powerful being out for blood. Despite his anger, Izuku was gentle as he wiped away blood and bandaged his wounds. Inko handed him an ice-pack as well which he pressed against the biggest of the bruises on Katsuki’s face. He took the help quietly.

Kastuki didn’t feel like he belonged anywhere. He didn’t want to go back to his home where his vicious mother and uncaring father were. He didn’t want to stay here with Inko’s sad gaze haunted his every step. He just wanted to be with Izuku somewhere else away from all of this. Sadly that wasn’t an option and he’d likely find himself back at his parent’s house tomorrow.

“I’m tired,” he said quietly.

“Mom can he stay here tonight?” Izuku asked.

She closed her eyes like she was praying for relief from her endless suffering. When she opened them both boys were watching her in anticipation. She nodded. There was something fractured in her expression.

Izuku didn’t seem to notice. Or maybe he just didn’t care. He took Katsuki’s hand and led him down the hallway to his bedroom.

It was strange being here, surrounded by so much All Might merchandise that it made the room feel smaller than it was. He’d gotten so used to having Izuku at his place.

Izuku put his uniform in the laundry for him so it would be fresh to wear in the morning. He handed Katsuki a sleep shirts and sweatpants. He recognized them from the night Izuku first died. They were the same shirt and sweats he’d let Izuku wear home. In the midst of everything that had happened after that night he’d never given a second thought to them. It was good Izuku had them though. Katsuki wouldn’t have fit very well into the other boy’s clothing.

Once dressed he joined Izuku in brushing his teeth and washing his face. He climbed into the bed and watched as Izuku flicked off the light before joining him.

He immediately pulled the other boy into his arms, tucking his curly green hair beneath his chin and squeezing him so hard it must hurt. Part of him wanted to bite and tear and mark. But he was too exhausted. Too mentally and emotionally drained to do anything but close his eyes and drift to sleep.

_______________________________________________________________________

Izuku was furious at Bakugou Mitsuki. He’d always hated her. Had seen her smack her son around and spit insult after insult while Izuku fumed in the background. But the injuries from last night weren’t just a couple of slaps. She’d outright assaulted Kacchan. And Izuku wanted her head on a spike for it.

When Kacchan slipped out of his clothes to change into his uniform Izuku bit his cheek to keep from saying anything. There were a few bruises on his stomach and chest but his arms had it the worst. He'd likely brought them up in front of himself in defense and they'd taken most of the damage. His face had a large bruise blossoming across his jawline and three vicious red claw marks down his cheek. They were the only visible wounds once his uniform was pulled on.

Izuku's hands shook with fury as he pulled on his own uniform. He'd kill Mitsuki. He'd rip out her organs one by one and laugh at her agony. She deserved to suffer for this. To burn for this. Izuku wanted to murder her. But something inside him told him that her death wasn't something Kacchan would want. And so he'd have to come up with a way besides murder to get his revenge.

He contemplated his options as he ate breakfast side by side with Kacchan. It was nice. They did the waking up next to each other thing every day but they never got to do this part of the morning. The getting dressed and eating breakfast with each other part. He relished in the domesticity of it.

His mother sent them off to school with a wispy attempt at a smile. Izuku thought that perhaps in the past the sight of her so dull and fragile would have hurt him immensely. But he found himself strangely unbothered. He didn’t have room in his heart for anyone but Kacchan now.

Kacchan seemed to prefer gripping Izuku’s wrist rather than holding his hand. And Izuku was starting to realize that he’d have his thumb pressed against his pulse. That this was his way of calming his anxiety. It made Izuku incredibly happy that his heartbeat could be so soothing to him.

When they stepped into the classroom over half the class was already there. The room went silent immediately and Izuku squirmed a little under a dozen pairs of eyes. He could feel Katsuki’s back straighten out of his usual slouch, his eyes hard and determined.

“The fuck are you extras looking at?”

He stomped over to his desk, dragging Izuku along behind him like a dog on a leash. The gazes followed them as they took their seats. There was a beat before they all hesitantly began picking their conversations back up.

Uraraka approached him, weaving through the desks. Her brown hair bobbed a little with each step. She stopped in front of him, leaning against his desk as she spoke.

“Are you ok Midoriya?”

Izuku couldn’t help but be impressed by the guts she had to approach him under the weight of Kacchan’s heavy glare and Izuku’s own intimidating aura. She seemed mostly immune, though she deliberately avoided looking at the angry blonde boy. Her face was pinched with worry that honestly shocked Izuku. They were mostly still strangers after all. Maybe she wanted something from him in return for this show of concern.

“I’m fine.” He gave her his best friendly smile. “Just needed a bit of rest. Aiziwa’s quirk didn’t match well with mine.”

“Aizawa’s quirk?”

“I’m pretty sure he’s Eraserhead. He erases quirks. I need mine to function so having it taken away was sort of disastrous.”

“Dude,” a blonde boy with a black lightning bolt in his hair eagerly stepped next to Uraraka when he saw that she wasn’t being murdered by Izuku’s guard dog. “You were, like screaming and puking blood and stuff. We were all taking bets about if you’d come back to class after all that. I thought for sure your parents would pull you out. Tokoyami totally bet on you dying.”

He gestured to a boy with a bird head who nodded solemnly. “We all have to die someday. I thought that perhaps Death had called you to her yesterday.”

Izuku froze. It could mean absolutely nothing at all but hearing to death referred to in that way in that tone stirred his curiosity. Was it all just this guy trying to sound fake deep or did he honestly know some truths regarding the actual Death? He made a mental note to talk to Tokoyami alone eventually to probe him about it.

Kacchan was reaching his limit. He had begun to growl like a dog giving warning before an attack. Izuku caught his angry red gaze. God was he lovely in his fierceness. Izuku hated to anger him but his jealousy was thrilling to behold.

“My mother understands that yesterday was an accident,” Izuku lied smoothly. “It was nothing more than misplaced good intentions on Aizawa’s part. He wanted to teach a lesson and it just didn’t quite turn out how he meant it to. Besides, I wouldn’t let something as small as almost dying keep me from becoming a hero.”

“So manly.” The redhead boy that Izuku had heard compliment Kacchan with those same words the day before was shining with admiration. “I’m Kirishima Eijirou by the way.”

“Nice to meet you,” Izuku said with plastic politeness.

Kirisham turned to Kacchan. "You ok dude?" He gestured to the large bruise blooming across Kacchan's pretty jawline and the red welts on his cheek.

Kacchan snarled, hands so hot they were smoking. "You think I can't handle a fucking bruise Shitty Hair? You calling me weak?"

Kirishima looked startled shaking his head furiously. "No way man! Sorry, it just looks like it hurts."

Their conversation came to a halt, saving the red head from Kacchan's wrath, when Aizawa walked into the classroom looking tired. Of course he’d looked the same way the day before so maybe tired was just his default state. He stared out at the class for a moment before heaving a sigh.

“As heroes we must learn to own up to our mistakes. Yesterday I used my quirk to erase Midoriya’s. Doing so caused him an immense amount of pain. I was at fault and greatly regret my actions. Midoriya, I give you my sincere apology.”

He bent into a ninety degree bow, shocking the class, Izuku included. A pro hero, their teacher, was apologizing to him.

“N-no it’s ok sir. I don’t blame you. Mistakes happen. You, uh. You didn’t know,” he stuttered out.

“I apologize nonetheless for my error in judgement,” Aizawa said. “Now.” He turned back to the class. “It’s time to go over the schedule for the day.”

Izuku zoned out a little as their teacher spoke, his gaze roaming Kacchan’s tense back. He was surprised to receive such an apology from their teacher, but pleased as well. Already this school was such a radical difference to his old middle school.

When homeroom was over Present Mic showed up to kick off the day’s classes with English. He was unusually enthusiastic for a teacher, dramatic and loud as he was. Though going through a regular class after the excitement of yesterday felt a bit odd Present Mic managed to make it a bit more interesting.

Lunch took place in the large cafeteria and after that was the class they’d all been looking forward. Hero Basic Training.

Even Kacchan looked a little less grumpy at the prospect of actual hands on training. He ignored Kirishima who was trying to talk to him despite his hostile vibes. It made something dark twist in Izuku’s gut. He knew it was hypocritical that Izuku pushed past Kacchan’s anger and spoke to his classmates yet seethed in silent anger when they tried to speak to Kacchan.

Still, something about the red head’s admiration seemed a bit too much. It might have been the blatant appreciation for the blonde’s looks. Izuku had noticed the way his eye lingered on Kacchan’s arms and chest. Had snagged on the angles of his model-pretty face. It brought out his murderous urges.

“I am….” A deep yell had the class quieting down and sitting up straight. “… coming through the door like a normal person!”

Izuku squealed like a child at the sight of his favorite hero bursting into the classroom, cape flapping around him. Everyone murmured to each other in excitement. Even Kacchan perked up.

“Wow he really is a teacher,” Kirishima said in awe.

'We were blatantly told that in our acceptance holograms you idiot', Izuku couldn’t help but think meanly, despite having almost said the exact same thing.

“That’s a costume from the silver age isn’t it?” croaked the girl next to him with the long dark green hair.

All Might marched deliberately slow up to the front of the room. He looked exactly like he did on TV, his grin set in place, his signature large yellow-blond hair spikes pointing towards the ceiling.

“I teach Hero Basic Training. It’s a subject where you train in different ways to learn the basics of being a hero. You’ll take the most units of this subject! Let’s get right into it! This is what we’ll do today…”

The hero dramatically held out a white card with the word ‘Battle’ in bright red all cap letters. “Combat training!”

Kacchan’s face split into a terrifying grin. Izuku couldn’t help but beam as well, as much from excitement for the exercise as it was joy at seeing Kacchan’s eagerness. The blond boy looked ready to smash some skulls. Even bloodthirsty looked beautiful on his face.

“And to go with that are these!”

All Might turned and gestured towards the classroom wall from which several racks slid out, lined with numbered packages.

“Costumes made based on your Quirk registrations,” All Might explained. “And requests you sent in before school started.”

The class went nuts at this information. Izuku couldn’t help but grip Kacchan’s arm from behind, prompting the other boy to turn towards him.

“Kacchan!!!”

“I know ‘Zuku. We’re finally going to look like real fucking heroes.” He smashed a smoking fist against his other palm. “Let’s go kick some ass.”

“After you change, gather in Ground Beta!” All Might instructed.

Izuku and Kacchan joined in with the class wide shout of “Yes, sir!”

Izuku was excited to see his costume. He had sent a lot of data to the support department in preparation for this. He was eager to see Kacchan’s too. He had helped Kacchan a little with tweaking a few things here and there. They were going to look so badass together.

The boys all crowed into the locker room, bumping shoulders and nearly tripping over each other in their haste. Katsuki and Izuku took their places at the same lockers as last time as they laid costumes and began to dress.

“Holy shit!”

He froze at the sound of one of his classmate’s exclamation. When he lifted his head it was to see the blond with the lightning bolt hair gaping at Kacchan in shock. His eyes flickered over to the bruises and claw marks on his arms, stomach, and face. It looked like Kacchan had the shit beaten out of him. Which was exactly what had happened.

The boy next to him, Izuku was pretty sure he was the one with a tape quirk, opened his mouth like he was going to say something but faltered under Kacchan’s glower. He turned back around. The other guys shifted and muttered to each other but nobody else said anything, too scared of the blond's explosive wrath.

Izuku wondered if they were judging Kacchan. If they thought he was being abused. If they thought he'd gotten in a fight. If they thought something different all-together. The fact that they were probably judging Kacchan at all pissed him off. He tried to focus on his costume instead of letting himself get too angry. When it came to their classmates Kacchan could fight his own battles. He probably wouldn't appreciate Izuku stepping in as much as he might want to.

Izuku’s costume was all black and layered. The layer against his skin was very absorbent. The outer layer was liquid proof on the inside. He’d planned this carefully so that the inner layer could soak up any blood from his deaths without staining the outside.

For parts where his costume ripped he had several square patches of material that could easily snap into place over any holes, soaking up the blood and hiding the tears and wounds from view.

The support department had no doubt found this all very odd but Izuku was doing his god damn best to make sure that his immortality was kept a secret. Even if it meant an overly complicated costume like this.

There were cuffs around his wrists hiding blades that he could flick out both to fight with and to easily kill himself with. There was a hood to hide his face from view if needed and a small cape to help create shadows for him to use. His boots were sturdy but comfortable. There were folds of material hiding his neck and meant to be pulled over his nose and mouth if he needed to filter out gas, and a small pair of goggles hanging so that they rested on the material, ready to be slipped on to protect his eyes.

He didn’t feel the need to add any type of weapon. His abilities were enough. He felt fairly confident in his hero suit and couldn’t help but turn side to side admiring himself.

When he looked up at Kacchan his breath caught in his throat. His boyfriend was beautiful. Dressed like an explosion and looking absolutely delicious while doing so. Izuku’s eyes slid over the big orange X across the front that drew attention to his firm chest.

Kacchan had originally designed big clunky grenades for his arms but Izuku had vetoed that idea due to the fact that it would slow him down. Rather than changing the design they simply cut down the unnecessary bits for a smaller sized grenade. Less intimidating but more effective as they left his arms free for more movement. He had arm bracers as well, meant to help with the recoil of his explosions.

He’d originally had huge black and orange explosion pieces around his head but Izuku had told him to shrink them down a bit to keep from hindering his head movements. His mask was black and sharp, following the line of his perfect cheekbones and accentuating his ferocious red eyes.

All of this along with his slightly baggy pants, metal knee-pads, and thick boots made him look ready to kick some ass. Izuku wanted to fuck him in the costume. Wanted to get on his knees right then and there and worship him. But alas they were in a crowded locker room full of other boys who were already giving him weary looks.

When they were both ready Kacchan nudged him with his elbow and the two of them walked out together. When they entered Ground Beta most of their classmates were already there waiting. They joined the group.

He spotted Uraraka and when she noticed him she perked up and gave a little wave. She bounded over to them immediately. Kacchan tensed up, jaw clenched.

“Midoriya you look so cool!”

Izuku could literally hear how hard Kacchan was grinding his teeth.

“Thanks you look great too!”

And she did. Her suit looked form fitting but comfortable. Her big pink boots were somehow absolutely adorable. She was cute in the way that a puppy was. Unfortunately attempting a friendship with her would probably cause Kacchan to blow a blood vessel.

In fact, that simple two sentence exchange was all it took for Kacchan’s self-control to slip. He reached out and grabbed Izuku’s arm with a yank that sent him stumbling back into Kacchan’s chest. Izuku looked up at him in surprise but he was staring straight at Uraraka who’s eyes were wide, mouth open in surprise.

The awkward atmosphere was broken by All Might as the last of their classmates arrived.

“They say clothes make the man, boys and girls!” he said, hands on his hips and smile plastered onto his face. “Be fully aware, from now on you are heroes!”

Aizawa had thrown the seriousness of being a hero at them like a brick to the face. It honestly made All Might’s boisterous declarations feel almost cheesy. He almost seemed like a cartoon hero rather than a real person. Izuku was ashamed of himself for thinking so. This was the country’s number one hero after all. The person he’d looked up to since before he could even talk.

“That’s great everyone. You all look so cool! Now should we begin? It’s time for…” There was a dramatic pause. “Combat training!”

“Sir!”

Izuku looked over to see who had spoken. He recognized the voice as Iida’s. He was decked out in white and black full body armor that immediately reminded Izuku of Ingenium. The name Iida immediately clicked into place in his mind. This was Ingenium's younger brother. It made sense that their costumes were similar seeing as their quirks were similar and Iida likely planned to join his brother’s agency once he went pro.

“This is the battle center from the entrance exam, so will we be conducting urban battles again?”

“No! We’re going to move ahead two steps! Most of the time, fighting villains takes place outside, but if you look at the total number, atrocious villains appear indoors at a higher rate.”

It made sense. The outside battles were often most heavily covered by the media because they were in an open space that was easy for reporters to approach and capture on film. It was also visible to a larger number of people out and about on the streets.

“Imprisonment, house arrests, backroom deals, in this society filled with heroes truly intelligent villains hide in the shadows.”

Izuku could feel a grin stretch across his face. After all, the shadows were his turf. He controlled them and everything they touched.

“For this class you’ll be split into villains and heroes and fight 2-on-2 indoor battles.”

“Without training?” the girl with long green hair and huge eyes croaked, tilting her head to the side. Her face was fairly expressionless but he could hear the concern in her voice.

“This is a real battle to understand those basics!”

Well. Maybe All might wasn’t coddling them after all. He trusted that they were strong and smart enough to begin mock battles right off the bat. Izuku was pleased that they didn’t have to drag through boring lectures first. After all, he and Kacchan had been sparing together ever since he developed his quirk.

“How will the winner be decided?” Asked the pony tail girl he remembered being one of the students that had already been in the classroom this morning when he and Kacchan had arrived.

“Will the punishment for losing be expulsion?” Uraraka fidgeted nervously, clearly thinking of the quirk exam that had ended in disaster the day before. They never did find out if someone would have seriously been expelled and the thought of the threat being pulled out again obviously worried her and a few of the other classmates judging by the way they shifted uncomfortably.

“How much can we maim them?” That was Kacchan, his eyes trained on Uraraka as he asked.

“How will we be split up?” Iida barked out.

“Isn’t this cape fabulous?” A boy so shiny it almost to hurt to look at him spun, his sparkly purple cape flaring out behind him.

All Might seemed a bit overwhelmed though his trademark grin stayed on his face so firmly that it was like it was painted on.

“Alright!” He interrupted before any more questions could be spit his way. “Listen up kids. This scenario will be that the villains have hidden a nuclear weapon somewhere in their hideout. The heroes are trying to dispose of that. The heroes need to either catch the villains or get the nuclear weapon into their possession before the allotted time runs out. The villains’ goal is to protect the weapon for the whole time and evade capture, or capture the heroes.”

He proceeded to pull out a box and announced that lots would be drawn to set up teams and opponents. The first team drawn was Izuku and Uraraka up against Kacchan and Iida. Kacchan looked partially pleased that he was against Uraraka and practically given permission to beat the shit out of her, but mostly pissed off that she was teamed up with Izuku.

“Wow it must be fate! I’m counting on you!” Uraraka chirped.

Izuku couldn’t help but think that she was downright fearless still treating him like her best friend despite the way that Kacchan was practically snarling at her, eyes like daggers and he obviously murdered her repeatedly in his head.

As the rest of their classmates left for the monitor room Izuku couldn’t resist pressing a kiss to Kacchan’s fist. The look he got in return was so hungry that Izuku gave a full body shiver of desire. He gave Kacchan’s knuckle a nip, teeth catching on skin, before he pulled away.

They approached their team mates and All Might who were talking by the building entrance. Uraraka smiled at him from where she was leaning against the fence in front of the building. She handed over a copy of the building map that she’d been analyzing. He gave it a glance over, memorizing it.

All Might handed them earpieces and with some final instructions he left them with five minutes to prepare before the battle. Kacchan gave Izuku one last heated look before he followed Iida into the building. Izuku wanted to kiss him so badly that it hurt. He forced himself to look away and towards Uraraka.

“We should probably go over our quirks with each other so we can come up with a plan,” he said.

“That’s smart! My quirk is zero gravity. If I touch things with the pads on my fingertips I can make them weightless. If I go above three tons or try to float myself I get really nauseous though.”

“That’s an amazing quirk! I can manipulate shadows. If I focus I can get a feel for things that are touching the shadow within a certain range around me. I can use shadows to teleport as well as solidify them to fight or use them to darken a room. I can also make a bubble of space around me that causes intense fear in people who step into it. Unfortunately it also affects allies. I haven’t figured out how to direct it only at specific people.”

Uraraka’s jaw dropped a little. “W-wow. No wonder you got first place in the entrance exam!”

Izuku beamed at the praise. “Ok, so a plan… I know Kacchan. He’s smart and fast and strong. He’ll be tough to go up against. I’ve been sparing with him a long time though and I know a lot of his moves. If you leave him to me I feel like I’ll have a higher chance of keeping him distracted longer. Do you think you can handle Iida?”

She nodded a little hesitantly. “I think so. If we can figure out which floor they’re on I can float myself up to it from the outside. It’ll make me sick but I think that it would be the best way to take him by surprise.”

Izuku nodded. “Good plan! As soon as we run into Kacchan I’ll engage and and you run on ahead to figure out where the bomb is stationed.”

“Got it!”

They turned toward the building entrance and waited until All Might called the battle to a start. As soon as they got the ok they sneaked into the building as quietly as they could. Izuku went first, extending himself through the shadows, looking for the familiar feel of his Kacchan.

“There.” Izuku stopped walking so abruptly that Uraraka ran right into him with a little ‘oof’. “Kacchan is heading towards us. He’s one floor up. Iida’s on the fifth floor. Do you think you can float that far up before you get too sick?”

She nodded determinedly. “Yes I got this! Good luck!”

“You too.”

She turned and headed back outside. Izuku faced the dark hallway before him with a smirk. He knew that if he had let Kacchan go up against Uraraka his jealousy would have driven him to tear her to pieces. He didn’t know her well yet but he was pretty sure she wouldn’t stand a chance against Kacchan. So instead it was his job. And one he was eager for. Sparing with Kacchan was a favorite pastime of his after all.

He leaned against the wall and melted right into the shadows there. He slipped back out just behind Kacchan. Sensing him at once the blond spun around, hands bursting with bright explosions that sent shadows skittering away, up against the walls and writhing on the floor.

“Can’t sneak up on me ‘Zuku. I know your tricks.”

“And I know yours.”

Izuku dodge the explosion aimed for his face and managed a kick in the back of Kacchan’s knee. His leg went out under him and Izuku took the momentary distraction to aim another kick for his stomach. It was a dirty move, he already knew there was a bruise there and as soon as he'd done it he felt a bit sick about it. It sent Kacchan stumbling into the wall where the darkness immediately came to life, sucking the boy in. The shadows crooned and whispered as they started to swallow Kacchan whole. Humming with Izuku’s love for him.

Kacchan activated his quirk and kicked off of the wall to send him straight into Izuku. They fell to the floor in a tangle, fists flying. There was a crunch, a sharp pain, and a gush of blood as Izuku’s nose broke. He mustered up enough strength to kick Kacchan off of him and started to run.

Rather than teleporting at once he began to gather shadows behind him as he ran, snatching the darkest ones he passed by, winding them tighter and tighter around him.

"Midoriya." Uraraka's voice came through his communication device as he ran. "I found the bomb! It's on the fifth floor. Iida's guarding it. He found me though and he's removed everything from inside the room so there's nothing for me to touch... I'm sorry!"

"That's not true," Izuku murmured back. "Iida's in there. Get your fingers on him and float him all the way up to the ceiling. It'd give you enough time to get to the bomb."

There was a pause. "Right! I've got this!"

"Good luck."

As he ended his conversation with Uraraka he skidded to the stop in the middle of one of the hallways. Kacchan, who'd been right on his tail the whole time, rounded the corner only a second later. Hands up, throwing an explosion down the hall.

Izuku twisted away, dodging the attack, and took a deep breath. As he exhaled the shadows burst away from him, filling the hallway with darkness so thick that even Kacchan’s explosions couldn’t make a dent in them. He stumbled and swore until he was only a few feet away from Izuku. He waited eagerly to see if Kacchan would try to fight blind, he had before and wasn't half bad, but instead he felt him stop struggling. There was a brief pause and then…

“I’ve been waiting for the right moment to test this out.”

It took Izuku a second too long to figure out what he was talking about. A burst of light blew the hallway apart. Izuku’s shadows didn’t stand a chance and neither did he.

When he opened his eyes he was in his fleeting place of peace. Death’s presence was cool and melancholy. She didn’t take form but he could feel her around him. He dragged his fingers over the surface of the water. It froze, ice spiraling out from the place his hand touched.

I miss you. Please. Don’t go.

He opened his eyes to Kacchan’s worried face. The familiarity gave him a sense of peace. He reached up to cup one cheek.

“Fuck,” Kacchan said. “Fuck fuck fuck. I’m sorry ‘Zuku. I didn’t think… that was stronger than I thought it would be. I thought you’d be able to dodge. I didn’t know you were so close to me, I couldn’t see. I…”

He looked distraught but there was also a sort of relief in his eyes. Izuku figured it was because of how quickly he’d come back. That he’d proven to Kacchan that his immortality wasn’t broken after yesterday’s events. And that Kacchan had made the next death by his hands. Had taken back control in a way.

Kacchan pulled Izuku’s hand from his face and gripped it tight, using it to yank Izuku to his feet. He fell right into Kacchan’s chest and couldn’t help but wind his arms around him.

Kacchan didn’t hug him back. Probably too embarrassed to do it at school during a class where they were probably being recorded. Still, he didn’t push Izuku away either.

The hallway they were in was scorched to hell. The walls were half caved in. The ceiling was entirely gone, opening up into the floor above, and there was a large dent punched into the wall that led to the outside of the building, the wall Izuku had been flung against.

Izuku realized that his previously broken nose had probably left a red stain down his mouth and chin. He let go of Kacchan who kept hold of Izuku’s wrist once his arms were no longer wrapped around him, and used the half mask around his neck to quickly scrub his face clean.

“iya .. – oriya.. ...did it!“ Izuku’s earpiece was fucked, sputtering out short warped clips of Uraraka’s voice.

The was a short pause and then All Might’s voice echoed down the hallways. “Heroes win! Good job Midoriya and Uraraka!”

Izuku beamed at Kacchan who clicked his tongue and looked away. His face was nonchalant but his grip around Izuku’s wrist was tight, belaying his concern.

They met up with Uraraka and Iida outside the building entrance. Uraraka immediately rushed up to him.

“Are you ok? There was that explosion and you didn’t respond to me when I tried to use our coms. I was worried you were hurt..” her eyes darted over to Kacchan.

The blond boy’s skin was smudged with ash. His arm braces hadn’t been able to handle just how powerful his last explosion had been and were cracked in a few places. He was bleeding where some of the demolished rubble had flown back and hit him. He was downright gorgeous and Izuku stared long enough that he seemed to make Uraraka uncomfortable.

“Midoriya?”

He blinked and turned back to her. “I’m alright. See?” He spun around showing his lack of injuries.

She reached out as if to touch his shoulder but Kacchan’s hand snatched up her wrist before she could make contact.

“Fuck off.”

She took a step back, yanking her wrist away. “Excuse me?”

“Fuck. Off.”

Izuku shivered at the murder in Kacchan’s eyes. Uraraka shivered for an entirely different reason. There was a brief moment of primal terror on her face before she schooled in back into an indignant expression. Before she could speak, All Might’s voice echoed around them.

“Children, please come to the monitoring room so we can review your performance!”

Shooting Kacchan one last glare that couldn’t hold a candle to the one he brandished like a weapon, Uraraka turned and joined Iida who had been watching from a distance. He didn’t seem to know how to interact with them.

They all made there way to the monitoring room where the rest of their class waited. All Might gave them a large smile and motioned to the giant wall of screens behind him. A few clips of their fight flashed across them.

Kacchan and Izuku trading blows. Uraraka floating herself up the side of the building. Iida valiantly standing guard in front of the bomb. Darkness filling an entire hallway only to be blasted away by an explosion so large it fuzzed out the screen. The camera didn’t come back on. Izuku was lucky. They hadn’t been able to catch his death on video.

The winning moment had been taking place a few floors up. The explosion and burst the floor apart and Uraraka had used the rubble to her advantage. It ended with her touching the bomb and Iida looking very much put out by his loss.

“Now! Children, who do you think was the MVP of this round?”

The pony tail girl raised her hand at once. All Might motioned for her to speak.

“Iida,” she said promptly. “He was the most focused on his goal and adapted most to the context of the training. Iida prepared for his opponent's arrival. He didn’t divert from his objective or break character once. He fought to protect the bomb until the very end. Bakugou seemed to have little care for the goal of the exercise and didn't seem to think about the bomb even once. And if this had not been a training the hero team would not have won seeing as Uraraka broke character and gave her self away right at the beginning and Midoriya could have teleported to the fifth floor at any time and easily helped capture the bomb but was too wrapped up in his personal feelings to end his one-on-one fight with Bakugou.”

All Might nodded. “Great job Yaoyorozu! I would agree. MVP of this round goes to Iida!”

Iida stammered and bowed, looking please. Izuku couldn’t help but agree. He had been too sidetracked by his fight with Kacchan to even think about the objective anymore. It was the same for Kacchan. The two of them had been too distracted by one another.

As the next group left to start their round the boy with spiked red hair that had introduced himself before as Kirishima bounded up to them. He smiled with sharp teeth and bright eyes.

“That was so impressive! You were so cool out there man. That explosion was insane!”

He seemed to have all of his focus on Kacchan. The blond didn’t react much aside from an eye roll but Izuku felt anger seeping through him anyways. He’d know right from the start that he wouldn’t like this boy. That he despised the way Kirishma looked at Kacchan like he was his idol already. It made Izuku want slit his throat. Nobody was supposed to look at Kacchan like that except him.

Izuku let his terror inducing ability flow from him in waves. Kirishma froze and turned toward him slowly. Izuku smiled sickly-sweet and imagined ripping out the boy’s tongue and crushing it under foot. It seemed to have the desired effect because the red head hastily stepped back and spluttered out an excuse to bolt away from them.

Kacchan gave him a look. The ability didn’t affect him much anymore. He’d experienced it enough times and grown too used to Izuku’s chilling presence to be scared away by some fake forced emotion of fear. Izuku smiled back innocently. With a sigh Kacchan stepped closer to him, letting their arms touch. Izuku leaned into it and basked in the other boy’s presence.

His eyes met Kirishima’s wary ones across the room. He felt a wicked satisfaction at the fear there. He had made his position clear. Kacchan was his and nobody else’s.

He let his fingers brush the soft skin of Kacchan’s wrist and one word pounded through his veins on repeat. Mine.