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SLAP!

Came the ugly sound of a large palm making contact with skin, more specifically - the boy’s face. His 5-year old body collapsed onto the ground from the harsh impact, like a rag doll that’s been thrown away. His cheek where he had been strike began to heated up. Tears filled the boy's eyes as hot burning pain radiated from where his father had hit him. The terrible part is, the boy knew he could have done a lot worse.

“Get up. You’re not done yet.”

The general's booming voice sent shivers of fear down the boy’s spine. He forced his shaky legs to stand up once more as he resumed his combat position: one foot forward, one foot back, both fists up, ready to right. He took a deep breath as another battle cry escaped his lips.

“HaaAH-!”

His hoarse voice filled the training room as a well trained side kick followed. Though his father didn’t seem at all pleased with the attack. A muscular hand reached out to catch his kick midway. The same hand then launched the boy backwards, sending him off-balance and back onto the ground.

“That was weak, Shouto. Try again!”

This time, the boy didn’t respond. He stayed on the ground, curled up on his side. His body was at it’s absolute limits from the exhaustion of the day-long training.

“Get up!”

Again, no response. He could hear his father’s footsteps coming closer, close enough that he could practically smell the leather combat boots the general wore on a daily basis.

“I said… GET UP!”

Pain. Fast, white, blinding pain erupted from his stomach. The boy let out an agonizing scream as the tip of his father’s boot made harsh contact with his stomach. His body folded on itself, it was too much.

“S-STOP! Stop it, please!”


“STOP! STOP IT! STOP! PLEASE!”

Momo’s voice begged.

One of the engineers pulled the switch. The roar of the machine died down as the program was halted. Shouto Todoroki threw off his helmet instantly, rushing over to his co-pilot’s side as he quickly helped Yaomomo out of her helmet. Tears were streaming down the girl's cheek. She was crying, shaking from the events she had just witnessed. Shouto wrapped her in a tight hug, one hand stroking her jet-black hair in a comforting manner.

“It’s ok… you’re ok…” He cooed in a gentle voice.

Momo only continued to cry and shake in his arms.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t… I’m so sorry, Todoroki-kun…” she sobbed.

She didn’t have to explain what she was apologizing for. Shouto knew very well what she had seen. After all, it was his memories that she had witnessed.

That was one of the down sides of these giant robots known as “Jaegers”. While powerful beyond human imagination, they require the brainpower of 2 pilots - each controlling one side of the mech’s body. In order for the pilots to move and fight as one, they are temporarily linked by memories, allowing them to think and feel together during combat.

Unfortunately, compatibility becomes an issue. As expected, those with similar or shared life experiences are more compatible with one another: brothers, sisters, twins, best friends often have high compatibility rates to be co-pilots. While those who carried traumatic experiences often had a hard time finding someone who’s able to drift alongside them.

Congratulations, old man. You spent so much time and energy trying to train the perfect pilot, just to have him be incompatible with everyone else.

Shouto chuckled bitterly about the irony of that. His father was no fool, he had originally trained not one, but two of his children to become mecha pilots. The general's brutal methods of training succeeding in turning both himself, and his eldest brother Touya into Japan’s top team, piloting the fire dragon Jaeger known as “Salamander”. But several successful missions later, Touya disappeared. Leaving without a trace. Having been marked as a defector to the Japanese military, even if his brother was to return someday, he would be serving a death sentence.

In the meantime, Japan’s top young pilot is without a partner. Yaoyorozu Momo was among the most promising of the candidates. Despite having no live combat experience, she graduated with top scores in the pilot exam and was considered one of the greatest successes of Japan’s military academies.

When Shouto first met her, he saw her as a sweet, happy girl - easy to get along with. On the weeks leading up to the compatibility test, she often invited Shouto out for lunch or dinner, asking about his life experiences and making notes. Shouto had been honest about all of it. But then again, it’s one thing to hear it from someone else, experiencing it firsthand from someone’s memories… well, that’s a whole different story.

It’s too bad. He wouldn’t have mind having her as a partner.

After several minutes of silence, Momo managed to collect herself. There was a strict privacy law forbidding pilots from discussing what they see during their drifts (with anyone besides their partner) in order to protect the pilots and the people around them. But nevertheless, Shouto couldn’t help but notice the flash of hatred that crossed her face when General Enji Todoroki stepped into the room.

“What do you want now, ‘sir'.” Shouto practically sneered, adding stress to the ridiculousness of having to formally address his father.

There was a flash of irritation that crossed the general's face, but even he knew better than to lay a hand on his rebellious son out in public eye.

“You’re being transferred to America.” Enji replied, “They have a pilot there with a high compatibility rate with you. Your flight leaves in 3 hours.”

And with that, the general left the room.

“Yes sir.” Shouto muttered with a roll of his eyes.

 


 

Some helpful definitions ^-^

Kaijus: Giant alien-like monsters that appeared from the bottom of the pacific ocean around a decade before the beginning of this story. No one knows where they come from or what they are after, all that is known is that they seem to target large coastal cities and bring destruction whenever they appear.

Jaegers: powerful giant mecha robots and the only weapon capable of fighting against Kaijus. They require the brain power of 2 pilots to operate: a single pilot can only control half the mecha’s body. Attempting to pilot both halves alone can lead to severe brain damage. In order for two pilots to fight in sync, their brains are temporality linked when they are connected to the jaeger. This allows them to move and fight together as one. Since their minds are linked, its often for the pilots to catch a glimpse of each other’s memories or thoughts during combat.

Drifting: is when two pilot’s brains are linked and their memories are shared. Pilots often have little control over what they see during their drifts and often reliving their partner’s memories can be a vivid (or even traumatizing) experience. Some have described drifting to be similar to having very vivid dreams.

Compatibility: Pilots that come from similar background (brothers, sisters, childhood friends, best friends etc.) are often more compatible because they already know and have experienced what their partners experienced in their past. Pilots that carry traumatic experiences often end up subjugating their partners to relive those dark memories and causing emotional outbursts during drifts.

Test Drift: Test drifts occur in a designated testing room rather than the cockpit of a jaeger (for safety reasons). Their main purpose is to test if two pilots are able to remain calm while reliving each other’s memories. During the test, both pilot’s vitals are closely monitored for any signs of distress. Things like an abnormal increase in heartbeat or hyperventilation during drifts will end the test immediately and declared a fail. If the both two pilots are able to remain calm while drifting for more than 20 minutes, it is considered a pass.

Pilot Protection law: An international privacy law shared by every country in the world with a Jaeger program. This law prevents pilots from discussing what they see during their drifts with anyone besides the originator of the memories. Just to clarify, this means pilots who get a new partner are forbidden from telling their new partner about their drifts with their former partner. They are ONLY allowed to discuss the memories they see with the person whom those memories belong to.

Sparring: also known as “free-form fighting” or “friendly match” is a form of training to mimic live combat, without actually bringing serious harm to your opponent. Pilots often train with one another this way because it allows them to familiarize themselves with their partner’s fight styles and patterns. They learn to read each other’s movements and predict how their partner will attack next – all of which translates to their ability to fight in sync when they pilot their jaegers. Minor injuries are common during sparring, major injuries are not.]

Chapter Text

Buzzz…. Buzzz….

“… K-Katsuki?” A static voice came from the intercom that connected to his room. 

“What the FUCK DO YOU WANT?” 

A light yelp could be heard from the other side of the line at the aggressive response that was received. Clearing his throat, private first class Denki Kaminari tried again:

“T-They’re calling for you in meeting room B.”

“Well tell them I’M FUCKING SLEEPING HERE!” The angry blonde shouted back, practically breaking the microphone with his voice. Mumbling a couple more curses, the shirtless blonde rolled back into his bed, burying his face in the pillow he hugged.

“… Your new co-pilot arrived…” Denki squeaked in response.

“I thought I told them I DON’T WANT A NEW CO-PILOT!” Bakugou growled, throwing the pillow against the intercom speakers. 

It wasn’t enough to damage them, but poor Kaminari on the other side cringed at the sting of pain his eardrums received. 

“If they want me back in a Jaeger then tell 4-eyes to make me one I can pilot alone!” the angry blonde snapped. 

There was a long beat of silence on the other side.

“…. Katsuki, we need you back out there. You’re one of the best pilots we’ve got.” Kaminari’s voice was soft with a hint of sadness as he continued, “What do you think he would say if he was still he—“

“Don’t you fucking go there, Sparky.” Bakugou’s tone was warningly low. 

Denki immediately understood.

“I’ll tell them you’re a few minutes late.” 

And with that, the call ended. Leaving the hot-headed pilot in peace. A couple seconds of silence went by as Bakugou remained laying on his bed. With a groan and a loud curse aimed towards the ceiling, the blonde finally sat up.

“FUCK!” 


Todoroki’s never been to America before. Despite being fluent in English, he had never traveled far enough through the pacific ocean in his missions to even hit Hawaii, let alone set foot on America’s golden coast. There was a slight culture shock that hit the red-and-white haired boy upon arrival. He seemed almost offended when he was offered a hamburger rather than a bowl of cold soba for sustenance.

Nevertheless, the Americans treated him well. General Yagi, the former pilot of the American Jaeger named “All Might”, was a much friendlier authority figure than his father. Unlike the environment he was used to, everyone seemed to respect the American general out of admiration, rather than requirement. 

After showing him to his quarters, Todoroki was escorted into one of the meeting rooms at headquarters. There he was presented with a small dossier profiling his soon-to-be co-pilot: a boy by the name of Bakugou Katsuki. Judging by the pictures, the angry looking boy didn’t seem to be able to smile.

He even looks like a handful.

How on earth was Todoroki going to survive working with him? A messenger comes in at some time, apologizing on Bakugou’s behalf for being late. Todoroki didn’t seem at all surprised.

This boy looked like a delinquent, of course he’d act like one too. 

How on earth was he considered one of America’s best? Todoroki would very much like to know. 

It seems like years have passed until the door opened for a second time. But rather than being opened by hand - it had been kicked open by a foot instead. At the doorway stood a very irritated looking Bakugou Katsuki. 

“Oi,” 

The boy’s crimson eyes scanned Todoroki from head to toe.

“What the fuck is up with your hair?”

Todoroki seemed initially confused at the question. Then he realized Bakugou was addressing the uniqueness of his red-and-white hair being perfectly split down the middle. Everyone in the military back home watched him grow up, so natrually, his appearance wasn’t much of a shock. He briefly wondered why Bakugou didn’t comment on his scar instead.

“What the fuck is up with your face?” Todoroki snapped back, wearing an annoying bored expression that made Bakugou want to break his nose right there on the spot.

Though, the blonde didn’t seem ready for that comeback. His mouth twisted into a snarl.

“Tch… Looks like Half-n-Half here's got quite a smart mouth.” Bakugou sneered.

He began walking lazy circles around Todoroki. His judgmental eyes trying to intimidate the newcomer. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work. Todoroki looked as impassive as ever, bored with the cliche “bad boy” attitude the other was displaying.

He eventually stood up, tired of the game Bakugou was trying to play.

“This has got to be a joke.” 

There was no way he was compatible with him. From what he could already tell, they can’t even stand being in the same room as each other. Todoroki began heading to the door. 

“Oi, where the fuck do you think you’re going?” 

“Home.” Todoroki answered flatly, “They must have made some sort of mistake.” 

Because there is no way in hell he’d take him was a partner.

“This whole trip was a waste of time.” Todoroki mumbled.

As he headed for the exit, someone else appeared at the doorway.

“There’s no mistake.” 

Both boys looked up to see a very tired looking major with long black hair and a gray scarf around his neck. 

“Aizawa.” Bakugou scoffed. 

Todoroki was almost in shock to hear Bakugou address a superior officer so causally. Although Aizawa didn’t seem at all bother by it.

“Are you going to explain what the fuck kind of joke this is?” the blonde snapped,

“I’d watch your language there, sarge.” Aizawa replied in a bored tone, “And like I said, there’s no mistake. According to our profiles, you two are a match in 9 of the 10 categories, including combat abilities.” 

9 out of 10 huh? The 10th better be personality because there is no way in hell I’m anything like him.

“HA!” Bakugou suddenly broke into loud obnoxious laughter, “Now I KNOW you’re joking, sensei. You want me to believe this foreign idiot matches me in combat ability?”

Aizawl looked dead serious.

“It’s true you have the highest combat score on record. But after Sergeant Todoroki’s profile was translated to our ratings, we learned that you two are exceptionally close. Almost a perfect match.”

“HAAH???"

Todoroki couldn’t hold back a small smirk as he watched Bakugou’s eye twitch in rage. 

Cocky bastard… 

“You both have a week to prepare before the first test drift. Do whatever you want during that time.” Aizawa called as he turned to walk away, leaving the boys to digest the information.

When Aizawa was fully out of sight, Bakugou’s face twisted once again into an irritated scowl.

“Oi, Fuckface.” 

A hand gripped Todoroki’s shoulder, forcing him to face the blonde. 

“I don’t give a shit what it says on paper. There’s no fucking way a loser like you would come close to my combat abilities.” he sneered, “Fight me. I’ll wipe that cocky smile off your face fair and square.”

Normally, Todoroki wasn’t the type to pick a fight. But the blonde was really getting on his nerves, and now he had the perfect excuse to punch him in the face. 

“Fine.” he answered, slapping the other’s hand off his shoulder. 

Chapter Text

The training room was located 7 floors down. Todoroki followed Bakugou in silence as he led the way. Although the base was quiet, the silent tension between the two young pilots was loud enough for by-passers to notice. Bakugou didn’t seem to care about the stares and Todoroki figures this was probably normal for him, given his explosive behavior.

When the elevator opened with a “DING!”, Todoroki felt like he could finally breathe. The aura of anger the other was admitting was suffocating enough and he gladly welcomed the familiar smell of cool air and leather of the training floor.

“This way.”

Bakugo’s voice was flat as he began walking towards the sparring area. His pace was just quick enough to make it difficult for Todoroki to follow without breaking into a light jog.

The sparring area was nothing more than a large open-space room. In the center laid 5 large, evenly spaced out mats, each allowing pairs to fight comfortably without interfering with their neighbors. Of the 5 mats, two of them were already occupied. Bakugou chooses the one in the center.

“Oi! Bakubro!”

Bakugou growled at the nickname. He didn’t even have to turn around to know who had just entered.

“Fuck off, Shitty Hair.”

Todoroki raises an eyebrow as he watched the shirtless redhead casually sauntering towards the explosive blonde. He was almost impressed when Kirishima gave the hot-head a hearty shoulder-pat, invading the dangerous territory that was Bakugou’s personal space. Seeing how much the Bakugou was fuming, he half expected Kirishima to lose the arm seconds later.

“I see you finally left your room.” Kirishima continued, practically hugging Bakugou with the arm on his shoulder. “Glad to see you’re doing better. I missed you bro.”

Bro, huh?

A soft snicker appeared on Todoroki’s face. Bakugou definitely noticed as he quickly slapped Kirishima’s arm away.

“That sounds fucking weird!” He hissed,

Kirishima didn’t seem bothered by the slap. His grin widened when he saw Todoroki.

“Is this your new co-pilot?”

“No.” Bakugou snapped immediately.

Kirishima ignored him, he held a hand out for Todoroki to shake.

“I’m Kirishima Eijiro. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Todoroki Shouto.” He answered, accepting the handshake, "Likewise.”

“He’s not my fucking co-pilot!” Bakugo snapped again, “Once the General wakes up realizes we’re not fucking compatible, his candy-cane ass will be thrown back on a plane to Japan.”

“You’re from Japan?” Kirishima’s eyes practically lit up, “That’s so cool, bro! Japanese guys are manly as hell! I wanna go there one day!”

“Oi! Kiri, you’re missing the fucking point!” Bakugou growled again. With an irritated eye-roll, he began pulling off his shirt, revealing his muscular form underneath. Todoroki definitely noticed as a light blush crept up on his cheeks. Did Bakugou expect him to do the same?

What is with Americans and taking off their clothes?

He decided that he would split the difference and take off his jacket but not the tank top underneath.

“Whatever bro. I’m just waiting for my partner. But don’t let me keep you guys from doing your thing.” Kirishima threw Todoroki a light wink, “Try to go easy on him, he’s had a rough few weeks.”

“Tch...” Bakugou huffed.

As Kirishima cleared the space, Bakugou grabbed two wooden sticks from the side and tossed one towards Todoroki who caught it easily. His red eyes locked into his opponent’s bi-colored ones and his lips twisted into an snarl, like an animal taunting his prey.

“You better not fucking tap out until I’m done with you.” He hissed.

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

Todoroki’s eyes narrowed, his own determination mirroring Bakugou’s expression.

Both boys gripped their poles as they took their stance. For a second, neither one of them moved - waiting to see what the other would do. No one yelled “start”, but both boys moved at the same time: Bakugou aiming for the head while Todoroki, the stomach.

Just as Todoroki ducked to avoid the first blow, Bakugou rolled away to avoid the second. Bakugou has not expected Todoroki’s movements to be so swift, at the same time, Todoroki was shocked by Bakugou’s reaction time and ability to dodge his blows at the last second.

A minute passed and neither managed to land a solid hit on the other. It was clear they were both frustrated: Bakugou was outwardly vocalizing his emotions through lines of curses while Todoroki’s eyes sharpened from internalizing his own irritation. As the match went on, Todoroki noticed that Bakugou’s attacks were becoming more aggressive: with a focus on offence rather than defence.

It was because of that, Todoroki managed to land the first hit. A painful “crack” echoed the room as the side of Todoroki’s pole came in contact with Bakugou’s left bicep. Although it wasn’t his full strength, it was clear that Bakugou would feel it. Though the blonde didn’t vocalize it, his grit teeth was enough of an indicator that he was indeed in pain.

“One point for me.” Todoroki couldn’t hide the light snicker in his voice, and that absolutely infuriated Bakugou. Without warning, he attacked again. Todoroki barely had time to react as Bakugou’s pole came in contact with the side of his right thigh. Another sickening “crack” as sharp white pain flooded his right leg. He hissed.

This guy really doesn’t know how to fucking hold back.

“One to one.”

“That’s cheating.”

“Not my fault you left yourself wide open.” Bakugou snickered.

Fine, so that’s how you want to play.

The pain was already beginning to numb his leg, but Todoroki ignored it and took his fighting stance once again. This time, he waited, making it clear to Bakugou that he wasn’t going to attack first. Bakugou seemed more than happy to play along as he brought his stick up in the air. A near-sadistic grin was on his face as he swung the stick downwards - right on top of Todoroki’s head.

But Todoroki was prepared. He raised his stick with both hands to block. Then in one switch motion, he navigated both sticks safely away from himself, forcing an opening on Bakugou to elbow the blonde in the face. Bakugou immediately stumbled back.

That’s gotta hurt.

When Bakugou turned back to face him, there was blood dripping out of his nostril. Broken nose? Probably. But it didn’t seem like he gave a fuck. The blonde’s crimson eyes burned with more hatred and anger than before.

I’m going to fucking kill this half-n-half bastard...

“Two for on—“

Before Todoroki could finish speaking, Bakugou practically pranced on top of him, attacking so aggressively that Todoroki couldn’t even retaliate. It was only a matter of time before another “crack” was heard. This time his hip shot up in white pain. Something was definitely broken there, fractured at the very least. This time, he did cry out in pain. Frankly, it vocal release allowed him to bounce back quicker than before. He landed two more attacks on Bakugou torso. By this point, even the hot-headed pilot seemed to have trouble hiding the pain.

At some point, Bakugou’s stick snapped in half over Todoroki’s back. An horrible scream erupted as the red-and-white haired boy, fell on the mat, curling up in agony. In normal circumstances, an injury like this was enough to end the match. But Bakugou wasn’t about to show this bastard any form of mercy.

He grinned sadistically as he stood over his fallen opponent, his bruised and bloody arm reached down to grab one of the broken halves of his stick. He held the sharp end down, pointed at his co-pilot’s exposed stomach.

Oh yeah, he was gonna kill him.

“Oi-! Bakugou! Stop!” There was a seriousness in Kirishima’s voice that wasn’t there before. The redhead’s own match with his partner had halted like the rest of the trainees when Bakugou and Todoroki’s fight escalated.

But Bakugou didn’t seem like he was listening. His eyes gleamed with sadistic delight as he watched his opponent writhe in pain. And although there were tears in Todoroki’s eyes, he didn’t look at all frightened by the looming threat above him. His glare was as sharp as ever as he met Bakugou’s gaze.

Cocky bastard...

Bakugou snickered as he brought the pole down. Kirishima screamed.

“BAKUGOU NO!”

Just then, Todoroki swept his leg across the mat, taking out both of Bakugou’s feet from underneath him. Losing balance, Bakugou fell backward, his tailbone hitting the ground first, then the back of his head.

“Fuck....” the blonde groaned as a wave of dizziness and pain washed over him.

A concussion, great.

The broken stick he had been holding fell harmlessly on his side. Todoroki was quick to kick it away before mounting over Bakugou’s stomach, pinning the blonde down with his own body weight. His usual calm expression was gone as anger burned through his bi-colored eyes. Bakugou could have sworn he saw flames lick the scar on the boy’s left’s eye just as as first punch hit his cheek. (Then again, it could be the result of the concussion)

He could tell Todoroki was getting tired as his punches seemed a lot weaker than before. He managed to push Todoroki off himself eventually. But honestly it wasn’t difficult at this point. They were both beat, tired, and in serious pain. As Todoroki collapsed on the side, Bakugou goes to mount him instead. Putting his opponent in the position he was previously in. But as he raised his fist to hit the bi-colored bastard’s face, a set of strong arms gripped both his wrists and held it above his head.

“OI! FUCKING LET ME GO!” Bakugou screamed at his captor, who, as it turned out, was a very concerned looking Kirishima.

“No! You need to stop! Calm the fuck down!”

“NOT UNTIL I KILL THIS CANDY CANE FOREIGN FUCKING BASTARD NOW FUCKING LET ME GO!”

The struggle was futile as Kirishima obviously had the upper hand thanks to Bakugou's weakened state. Beneath him, Todoroki groaned. The red-and-white haired boy tried to sit up, his eyes still burning with anger to continue the fight when a pair of steel-like hands gripped his shoulder and forced him back down on the mat.

“You need to stay down.” Tetsutetsu demanded in a stern voice, “Those injuries are only going to get worse if you keep fighting.”

“Fuck that...” Todoroki cussed. But as if his point was proven, the red-and-white haired boy suddenly coughed, turning his head as blood spilled from his lips.

“What the fuck is going on in here!” A booming voice filled the room. Bakugou knew it could only belong to the one and only Kan Sekijiro, or better known as “Vlad King” the head coach of the training department.

Well isn’t that just fucking great.

Both Bakugou and Todoroki couldn’t move as heavy footsteps approached them. Todoroki looked up at the intimidating man, noticing that his physic greatly resembled his father’s. Part of him wanted to scoff at the irony of it all. But the other part, the one he wanted to deny—....

His heart was beating fast despite the impassive expression he wore. Yes, he was scared. Scared of a man that looked like his father.

Isn’t that just pathetic...

“Get them both to the medical ward” he ordered, “You will both be facing disciplinary action once you’ve recovered.”

Vlad King's brow furrowed in concern as his eyes scanned both their injuries. He’s be damned if he lost both America’s best young pilot and the Japanese general’s son in his gym.

Chapter Text

The trip to the medical ward was a blur. Todoroki had slipped in an out of consciousness the entire way due to his exhaustion. When he finally woke up, he was in a hospital bed with an IV in his arm and several bandages wrapped around his torso. There was a brace of some kind supporting his back and along with several electrodes that seem to be monitoring his vitals.

Honestly, did they really have to go that far?

It wasn’t the first time he’s been that beat up. In fact, he could bitterly recall the handful of times his own father put him in a similar (or even worse) state. He guessed that they were probably taking extra precautions due to the fact that he was a foreigner. The Americans would have a lot more to answer for if they returned the Japanese prized pilot with permanent injuries.

All of a sudden, the door opened.

“Oh good. You’re up.”

He turned to see Aizawa entering his room. There was a shorter, older woman that accompanied him who, judging by her uniform, was probably the head doctor. Seeing that there was a superior officer in the room, Todoroki tried to sit up. But a sharp pain shot up his spine as soon he attempted to do so causing a loud wince to escape his throat.

“No need. You can stay down.” Aizawa reassured him.

The old woman crossed over to his bed and began changing his bandages. For a second he felt embarrassed being seen in such a pathetic state. But his insecure went unnoticed and Aizawa went straight to the point.

“In case you were wondering, Bakugou is recovering in the room furthest away from you. I don’t think I need to explain why.”

“No. You don’t.”

“Good.” Aizawa stood with his arms crossed, “From now on, you two are forbidden from sparring with one another unless there is a superior officer there to monitor the match. And until Doctor Shuzenji discharges you, you are forbidden from leaving this room or attempting to contact your co-pilot in anyway. Am I making myself clear, Sergeant Todoroki?”

“Yes, sir."

That won’t be a problem.

It wasn’t like he was dying to see Bakugou anytime soon. He assumed Bakugou felt the same way about him. 

“You know, I’m quite disappointed.” Aizawa sighed, as he headed back towards the door, “We truly thought this was the answer to ending the war once and for all. You are both exceptional pilots. I was really hoping the two of you would get along.”

With that, Aizawa left. The door behind him slammed a little too loudly and Todoroki could feel a lump of guilt form in his throat.

Yeah... if only..


4 days passed before his injuries were healed well enough to be released from the hospital. Thanks to Doctor Shuzenji (or better known as “Recovery Girl” as Todoroki had come to learn) there was no permanent damage. In fact, with their recent advancement in technology, most of his minor injuries were healed in less than 24 hours. All the bandages were off by his release day, but Recovery Girl did insist that he wore a light back brace for the rest of the week. The injury to his spine had been far more serious than the rest. Had Bakugou used any more force, Todoroki would have ended up paralyzed waist down.

After changing back into his uniform, Todoroki folded his hospital gowns and left them neatly on the corner of his bed. The young nurse that came in giggled softly when she saw, but didn’t comment any further as she lead him out of the medical ward. She stopped when she reached a set of doors that led out of the facility, gesturing for him to go on ahead. Out of habit, Todoroki thanked her for her help and even gave a light bow that sent more giggles out her lips. Perhaps it was strange behavior in America’s eyes, but it was the way he was raised. After the nurse left, Todoroki pushed open the double doors.

He froze at the first thing he saw on the other side.

Bakugou..

Blonde hair, red eyes and an all too familiar frown greeted him as he entered the hospital waiting room. It’s been 4 days and the hot-headed pilot didn’t look any less irritated than the day they met. He was sitting on one of the waiting room chairs. Since he wore a long sleeve jacket, Todoroki couldn’t see the extent of his injuries. But he look much better than before: most of the bruises and swelling in the face was gone. The only thing that remained was a fair sized bandage across his cheek - at the very spot Todoroki had previously elbowed him.

Bakugou red eyes flashed angrily towards Todoroki, who returned with an impassive stare. As both boys attempted to stare the other down, it was the receptionist’s voice that finally broke the tension.

“Katsuki?”

“Tch...” Bakugou scoffed as he stood up, his gaze finally breaking away from the other as he walked up to the front desk to grab his pills.

Throughout all of it, Todoroki had not moved. The air seemed colder as Bakugou walked past him. After shoving the orange pill bottle in his pocket, Bakugou proceeded to leave.

“The fuck you looking at?” The blonde muttered under his breath as he passed his co-pilot once again.

Todoroki bit back his response. He knew better than to pick another fight. So he clamped his mouth shut, watching in silence as Bakugou left the room.


Another two days passed in peace without the two pilots crossing paths. To be honest, Todoroki wasn’t surprised. Bakugou’s living quarters was one floor above the guest suite he was given. The rest of the building’s amenities were located on the lower floors so he had no reason to travel upwards anyway.

Besides, from what he’s been told, Bakugou rarely left his room anyway, not even for food. Being one of America’s heroes had its perks, one of which included having his meals sent directly to his room rather than eating at the cafeteria.

Todoroki, on the other hand, took the liberty of exploring the facility and familiarizing himself with the layout of the base. It was very different from the military base he grew up in. It was more... relaxed. Formalities were not always used and trainees seem to address their superiors much more casually than what would be allowed back home. America's General Yagi often greeted his soldiers with smiles and hugs, asking about their day and carrying a normal conversation rather than spew out orders. It was quite refreshing really.


 

But that night, Todoroki did end up unceremoniously bumping into Bakugou in the mens’ room. The blonde had been standing over one of the three available urinals - the middle one to be exact. Todoroki had recognized him immediately thanks to his spiky blonde hair. He had half the mind to leave and head for another washroom, but it seemed rather childish to purposefully avoid his co-pilot just to do his business.

So instead, Todoroki stayed silent and chose the urinal to Bakugou’s right side. He tried his best to ignore Bakugou, acting as if he didn’t notice the other’s presence. He even kept his eyes locked to the wall in front of him, praying that he could just do what he must and leave as fast as possible.

But if course, Bakugou couldn’t help but noticed the half-and-half male’s presence the moment the spot beside him was occupied. He was almost impressed that his co-pilot had the nerve whip out his dick and take a piss beside him like nothing happened. But having, too, been warned against causing any more trouble, Bakugou decided it was in his best interest to not pick a fight. Though he couldn’t help letting a soft “Tch...” escape his lips when he acknowledged the other’s presence.

Although soft, Bakugou’s voice managed to break the awkward silence for a moment. Out of instinct, Todoroki’s eyes left the wall and darted towards his left... then his lower left. It had only been a second, but Bakugou definitely noticed. He immediately grew defensive as his cheeks flustered red.

“The fu—!? What are you some kind of faggot?” He snapped, “The fuck you’re looking at!?”

“Nothing I haven’t already seen.” Todoroki replied flatly, his eyes snapped back to the wall.

“So you are a fucking faggot... Tch...” Bakugou scoffed.

“I take offence to that word.” Todoroki replied calmly, “And for the record I’m pretty sure I’ve slept with more women than you.”

“HAH!?”

Bakugou’s cheeks grew even more flustered. Though Todoroki did note how he didn’t exactly deny the statement.

“Was as it a woman that gave you that permanent black eye?” Bakugou sneered.

“It was.” Todoroki answered in the same flat tone, “my mother, actually.”

It’s quite rare for Bakugou to be at a loss for words. There was a momentary silence as the blonde tried to piece together his next insult.

“Oh yeah? And does she know you check out other people’s dicks in the bathroom like a faggot?”

“Well she’s dead so... probably not.” Todoroki snapped back, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Silence.

Once again, Bakugou was at a loss for words.

That definitely wasn’t in the dossier.

Part of him wanted to ask what happened. But the other part didn’t give a damn for whatever tragic backstory the foreign bastard had.

In the end, Bakugou didn’t get a chance to ask. Todoroki finished first and after washing his hands, he made a beeline to the washroom exit. Despite all the time that’s passed, he still couldn’t stand sharing the same room as the hot-headed blonde. Bakugou’s aura was suffocating him and the air outside felt much more breathable.

Chapter Text

“Kacchan!”

“....”

“KACCHAN!”

He could hear the sound of light footsteps coming his way. All of a sudden, a shadow loomed over him. A face full of fluffy green hair a freckles was blocking the sun in the sky.

“Kacchan, are you okay?”

Am I...? Oh... right... I fell.

The dull ache of his backside against the grass was a good indicator of what just happened, so was his minor headache.

All of a sudden, the green haired boy held out a hand to help him up.

He slapped the hand away.

“Go away, Deku!” The little blonde boy growled. He rejected the help completely by pulling himself back up on his feet.

“You fell pretty hard... did you hurt your head?”

“No, I’m fine. Just leave me alone!”

“But Kacchan—“

“I SAID GO AWAY, DEKU!”

Without thinking, he reached out to push the little green haired boy, causing the other to fall. Tears began leaking from the boy’s emerald green eyes, quickly cascading down his freckles cheeks.

Without another word, the freckled boy stood up and began running the other way, sobbing.

Wait, Deku!

The blonde said nothing to stop him.

I’m sorry, please come back!

Silence.

Please don’t leave me...


Bakugou’s crimson eyes shot open. For a second he was disoriented, not understanding why he didn’t wake up in his bedroom at home with his mother yelling in his ear. Then he remembered, he was living on the military base.

Right, we’re at war. We’ve been at war for almost 2 years.

The blonde pilot sat up rubbing his face, only to find his cheeks wet with tears.

Was I crying in my sleep?

“Whatever.” Bakugou mumbled out loud. He glanced at the clock, it was 9pm at night. He had taken a 4 hour nap. These days, it was pretty common for him to wake up at strange hours like this. Without a partner, he couldn’t ride his jaeger and complete missions like the rest. In his waking hours, he had no motivation to do anything besides eating and sleeping and recently, even his motivation to eat has also been fading. With nothing better to do with his time, Bakugou often chose to sleep - sometimes he could even sleep for a whole day. And when he can’t fall asleep, he would opt to take sleeping pills to knock himself out. He rarely remembers what he dreams about. All that he knows is that it sure felt better being asleep than being awake.

He pulled himself out of bed and grabbed an empty cup from his desk. He filled the cup with water from the bathroom sink before returning to his bedside table. He opened the top drawer. There were only 3 things lying inside: a gun, an envelope, and an orange bottle of pills. He reached for the pills: sleeping meds, cutesy of Recovery Girl. The prescription says to take one, but Bakugou pours out two. But before he could swallow the pills, there was a knock on the door.

“..... What?” Bakugou raised his voice loud enough for whoever’s outside to hear.

He expected Denki, or even Kirishima with some annoyingly cheerful reply, but instead, he received another set of knocks.

“Oh for fuck’s sake...” The blonde growled. He tossed the pills back on the table before stomping over to open the door. He both opened to curse at his guest but he froze when he saw who was standing outside.

“.....”

Half-red... half-white....

Bakugou was the first to speak.

“What the fuck do you want now?”

Todoroki was holding a small folder, which he held out for the blonde to take.

“This is for you... for tomorrow.”

Tomorrow? ... right, the test drift. Has it been a week already?

Bakugou made no attempt to take the folder.

“The fuck is this?”

“Just notes of what you might see tomorrow.”

“I already read your dossier, I don't give a fuck about whatever tragic backstory you have.” Bakugou snapped back,

“There are things left out of my dossier; details they pulled out for privacy reasons.” Todoroki explained, “This is more accurate.”

He pressed the folder against Bakugou’s chest, forcing him to take it.

“Believe me, if I had a choice, I wouldn’t want you of all people looking into my head. But since you’re going to see it tomorrow anyway, it felt appropriate to give you a warning beforehand.”

Todoroki turned to leave, but stopped himself partway. In a quieter voice, he added.

“After you read that, if you don’t want to drift with me, I understand.”

With nothing further to say, Todoroki walked off, leaving Bakugou with his thoughts.


When Bakugou returned to his room, he carelessly tossed the folder on top of his bedside table before reaching for the pills again. Knowing him, the meds would probably knock him out for a good 6-8 hours. His eyes wandered up to the clock hanging in his room.

Almost 10pm huh...

The test drift would was at 6am tomorrow

How perfect.

But just then, his drifted back to the folder.

Only 8 hours left, huh?


It was 6:30am the next morning, and Bakugou still had yet arrive. At this point, Todoroki doubted he would show up at all and honestly, he wouldn’t blame him: between being paired up with a foreigner clearly despised, as well as what was written in the foldier... Bakugou had every reason to choose not to drift with him.

Todoroki pulled off his helmet. He had been waiting for his co-pilot for half-an-hour. It was clear that he wasn't going to show up.

But just as he was about to signal to the engineer, the door to the testing room slid open.

“Oi.”

Part of him was shocked to see Bakugou standing at the doorway in a black and orange plugsuit. The other part, for whatever reason, was relieved.

“So you did show up after all.” Todoroki greeted the blonde softly.

“Of course I fucking showed up.” Bakugou snapped back as he stomped over to the co-pilot seat, “Tch... let’s just get this over with. I want to go back to sleep.”

The corners of Todoroki’s lips tugged into a subtle smile as he watched his grouchy co-pilot situate himself in the seat beside him. He pulled his helmet back on and signaled to the engineers that he was ready. Bakugou did the same. The machine whirled to life and both pilots leaned back in their seats as a robotic voice began counting down:

“Initiating drift sequence in 3... 2... 1...”


When Todoroki opened his eyes, he was no longer in the testing room. He seemed to be outside, on a beach somewhere. the sky above him was a beautiful shade of blue and the breeze felt absolutely wonderful. He closed his eyes, breathing in the refreshing smell of the ocean while listening to the soft crash of the waves against the rocks. It’s been a long time since he had felt this calm.

“Kacchan?”

Todoroki’s eyes opened, he looked towards the direction of the voice. There, he saw a young green-haired boy with freckles painted cheeks and beautiful green eyes.

“What? Deku?” He heard Bakugou’s voice growl from his body.

The green-haired boy immediately shrank back.

“E-Eh! S-sorry! It’s just...” Deku stuttered, “Y-You we’re staring at me... F-For a long time...”

Bakugou immediately grew defensive.

“Yeah!? SO WHAT!?” The blonde boomed,

Deku shrank back even more, his freckles cheeks began to redden.

“N-Nothing! Kacchan! I just...”

The freckled boy sheepishly scratched the back of his neck.

“... I’ve never seen you smile at me like that.”

Deku’s blush grew even more prominent and Todoroki mentally chuckled at how adorable the green-haired beauty looked. But Bakugou, too, had begun to fluster as well.

“I don’t fucking smile!” The blonde growled, “You’re fucking imagining things, idiot!”

Bakugou stormed over to his friend, wrapping an arm around the smaller boy’s neck in headlock. His other hand curled into a fist as he noogied the top of Deku’s head.

“Ah- Ow! Kacchan! Stop that!” the green haired boy protested, trying to squirm out of Bakugou’s grip.

“Heh... don’t wanna.” Bakugo snickered, a mischievous grin formed on his face as he decided what to do with his victim next. His arm moved to hug Deku by the chest instead, his free hand went for the boy’s stomach.

“N-No! Please! Kacchan don’t— ahH HAHAHA—!“

Deku’s protests were silence by a burst of laughter as Bakugou mercilessly tickled him. Deku squirmed desperately trying to escape the other’s grip, but it was futile. When Bakugou was finally satisfied, he released him, letting the panting boy fall on the sand. Still catching his breath, Deku rolled over to his back. Bakugou loomed over him wearing a giant grin on his face.

“Had enough yet?” Bakugou smirked, but rather than seeing the boy beneath him beg for mercy, he noticed that Deku was also smirking.

“You’re a liar, Kacchan...”

“What?”

“You just said you don’t smile.... but you’re smiling now.”

His emerald green eyes turned into half crescents as Deku gave his friend a beaming smile. Todoroki wasn’t sure if it was Bakugou’s heart or his own heart that skipped a beat when he saw the green-haired boy’s smile; it was the kind of smile that could light up even the darkest rooms.

“Alright that’s it!” Bakugo growled again. He lowered himself in order to pin Deku down, “You fucking asked for this!”

“No-! P-Please! Wait— I'm so-ahahaHAHAHA!”

The green haired boy broke into another set of uncontrollable giggles as Bakugou tickled him once again.

“K-Kacchan— AHAHAHA! P-Please! Stop! I can’t— ahAHAHAHA!! KACCHAN— I can’t breathe— HAHA—!”

Todoroki couldn’t help chuckling at the scene before him either. He felt a heaviness lift from his chest as the scene before him faded.


When Todoroki woke up, he was back at the test drift room and the roar of the machine was slowly dying down, signaling the end of the test.

“Welcome back, pilots.”

The robotic voice greeted. The red light above him turned green, signaling that they can be disconnected.

Todoroki felt strangely relaxed - happy, as he slowly pulled off his helmet. He was quite surprised to learn that his agressive co-pilot had such calming memories.

Just then, a sharp stab of panic suddenly hit him; for if he saw Bakugou’s memories, it means Bakugou had also seen his.

Todoroki’s eyes darted towards the co-pilot seat, his eyes were full of concern as he watched Bakugou pull off his own helmet as well.

He didn’t quite know what he expected to see. Perhaps he thought Bakugou’s face would be tear-stricken - similar to how Yaoyorozu had reacted on their first drift. Or perhaps he expected Bakugou to yell at him, curse at him for having the audacity to look for a co-pilot, knowing that he would put someone else through the same trauma he underwent as a child.

But instead, Bakugou looked rather calm. His scarlet eyes stared straight ahead and he remained completely silent as the engineers worked to unplug him from the machine.

It definitely wasn’t a reaction Todoroki had expecting and the half-and-half boy couldn’t quite figure out what to say to his partner. He didn’t seem to be in need of consoling... nor did he seem interested in starting a conversation. He was quiet and Todoroki eventually decided that it was probably best to stay quiet as well.

Chapter Text

It’s been several days after the test drift and Todoroki and Bakugou still had yet to speak to one another.

For the most part, test drifts that can last a full 20 minutes are considered a success. But before they are officially registered as partners, it is mandatory that BOTH pilots pilots give written agreement. For Todoroki, it was an easy decision. Bakugou’s memories were quite tame compared to Touya’s. Although he still detested the angry blonde, he didn’t mind being in his head. There was even a small part of him that wanted to see the green-haired boy again. However, he doubted Bakugou felt the same way about him. Anyone with even a bit of sanity would know to avoid peeking into his head - especially during combat. Honestly, he wouldn’t blame Bakugou for rejecting him as a partner. He would probably do the same in that position.

A few more days passed until the announcement was finally made: Bakugou and Todoroki were now officially registered as the co-pilots of the Jaeger known as “Leviathan” - the sea monster.

Todoroki was quite shocked to learn that Bakugou had ultimately approved the pairing. But even more so when he learned that Bakugou had been one of the two original pilots of the Leviathan. However the name of the other pilot had been redacted for some reason. As for the green-haired boy, none of the files Todoroki had searched through contained any information about him. It eventually became clear that if he wanted to know about about the boy named “Deku”, he would have to ask the hot-headed pilot himself.


That night, Todoroki had woken up in cold sweat. A scream was what jolted him awake but it didn’t take long for him to realize he had been the one screaming in his sleep. When he sat up, his heart was pounding in his chest. He felt like he couldn’t breath, as if giant hands had closed around his throat, squeezing the air out of him. He was shaking uncontrollable too. But it wasn’t the first time it has happened.

The young pilot did what he always do; curling himself into a fetal position on his bed, lying down sideways as he took in slow, deep breaths, silently counting up to 10 with each one until his heartbeat returned to normal.

The funniest part was that he couldn’t remember what exactly he dreamed about, though he did have a pretty good idea where the fear originated from - his father. Over the years, he managed to harden himself against the abuse. He put up a cold front, even going as far as rebelling against his bastard father in broad daylight. But at night, his demons come out. It was beyond his control because planted deep within him was a seed of fear for his old man, and the seed had long ago taken root.

It was 3am in the morning but Todoroki had no intention of going back to sleep after that. His body felt fragile as he carefully pulled himself out of bed. He could see his own hand shaking when he changed out of his sleepwear.

“Pathetic.” He mumbled softly to himself.

There weren’t many options for what to do at this hour. He ultimately decided he might as well grab a snack from the cafeteria kitchen and squeeze in a little bit of training before dawn.


The base was very quiet at night. Aside from the guards on night duty, everyone else was asleep. No one bothered him as he made his way towards the empty cafeteria. He made a beeline towards the vending machines before realizing he didn’t have so much as a dime on him to actually purchase anything. He had half the mind to just head towards the training rooms but his stomach growled in protest. He sighed. Perhaps they had a fridge of leftovers something in the back.

He hopped over the counter slipped through the doors into the industrial sized kitchen in the back. His eyes were still tired and weary from lack of sleep as he stumbled towards the large fridge, grabbing ahold of the handle.

“.... the fuck...?”

The voice was quiet that he didn’t recognize it it belonged to Bakugou until he turned his head.

“... Bakugou? What are you doing here?”

The blonde stared back at him in utter confusion. Though Todoroki noted that his eyebrows seemed to be permanently pointed downwards regardless (a resting bitch face in other words). His eyes drifted down to his co-pilot’s hands, one of which them was holding a plate of raw chicken wings.

“Are you... cooking?”

“I don’t know, does it look like i’m cooking?” Bakugou snapped back, his voice absolutely dripping in sarcasm.

“....yes..”

Todoroki answered with such a blank expression that it made Bakugou wanted to slap him. But he resisted the urge to do so as he crossed over to the fridge, opening the door with his free hand.

“Tch... idiot.” He grumbled, “The fuck are you doing here anyway?”

He grabbed a carton of eggs before letting the fridge door slam shut.

“I couldn’t sleep.” Todoroki answered simply as he watched the grumpy blonde pilot with curiosity.

“I meant what the fuck are you doing in my kitchen.”

“... your kitchen?”

It was a harmless question coming from Todoroki, but Bakugou released a low growl of discontent at his property being questioned. This time, Todoroki caught on. He held both hands up in surrender.

“... Sorry... I was just hungry.” he mumbled.

Bakugou’s eyes narrowed as he scanned him up and down. Finally, the blonde responded.

“Oi. You eat spicy?”

“A little bit.”

“Tch....”

There was a long hesitation from Bakugou’s side before he spoke again.

“10 minutes. Go sit outside. I hate fucking pests in my kitchen.”

Todoroki had a lot of questions but Bakugou has already turned his back. He decided it was probably best for him to just shut up and obey. Without another word, Todoroki left the kitchen and took a seat at one of the cafeteria tables outside.

Was Bakugou really going to cook for him?


15 minutes passed and Todoroki was starting to doubt whether or not Bakugou was serious about making food for him. Just then, the kitchen doors opened and the delicious smell of fried chicken hit his nose before he even looked up. Bakugou emerged, holding a large bowl piled high in chicken wings and two smaller serving plates.

“Did you starve to death yet, Halfie?”

“Almost...” Todoroki answered, “It smells delicious.”

“Yeah well it taste fucking better.”

He placed the bowl of hot chicken in the middle of the table. Then he passed one of the two empty plates towards his co-pilot before taking a seat across the table. Todoroki eyed the food hungrily and took a piece for himself.

“I’m not going to die eating this, right?” It was meant to be a joke but Bakugou’s response made him freeze.

“Not my fault if you can’t handle it.” the blonde smirked. 

Todoroki hesitated, now he was seriously considering what the chances were that Bakugou actually poisoned the dish. After all, the blonde hadn’t reached for a piece of chicken for himself yet. No, he was too busy giving his full attention to Todoroki, waiting for him to take a bite. His crimson eyes had locked on the half-and-half boy like a wolf targeting his prey. His lips were curled in a devilish grin as he watched Todoroki carefully.

Todoroki wanted to gulp, but he refused to show fear in front of Bakugou of all people. Slowly, he brought the chicken to his lips and took a small bite. He half expected some sort of bitter chemical taste to indicate that he was poisoned. But instead, flavor exploded in his mouth from the perfectly fried, perfectly seasoned chicken. It was deliciously hot and it took him a second to realize the heat didn’t come from the temperature. Whatever seasoning Bakugou has used was unbelievably spicy, but also unbelievably delicious.

“So?” Bakugou tapped his fingers impatiently, waiting for Todoroki’s feedback on his food.

“It’s... good...” Todoroki replied, taking another big bite. There was still a good chance Bakugou poisoned him, but seeing that it was the best fried chicken he has ever eaten, he really didn’t mind dying this way. Who knew his hot-headed co-pilot was such a talented cook?

“HAH!? Just ‘GOOD’?” Bakugou boomed, looking disappointed that he didn’t get a better response, “Tch...”

The blonde scoffed, finally grabbing a piece for himself. He took a big bite and Todoroki noticeably relaxed - finally letting go of the thought of being poisoned.

But as he continued to eat, he did notice changes in his body. His heart race was increasing, he was sweating, he felt hot, and most of all, his tongue was on fire.

“Oi... are you okay?” Bakugou sounded rather concerned.

“What?”

“Your face is really red...”

Todoroki reached up for his cheek, it was burning and so was he. There was also a burning in his chest, perhaps he did eat too much too fast.

Bakugou quickly got up from his seat and walked to the kitchen again, he returned seconds later with a glass of milk.

“Drink this.”

Todoroki didn’t ask, he just began drinking as Bakugou continued to eye him in concern.

“Oi... don’t tell me this is the first time you’ve eaten spicy food...”

Todoroki put down his glass before answering. The burning had faded almost instantly and he felt a lot better.

“I’ve eaten wasabi before...”

“HAH? Wasabi? That doesn’t even count as spicy food!”

Bakugou scoffed and cocked his eyebrow as he watched Todoroki reached for yet another piece of chicken.

“You know, as much I enjoy watching your face turn into a tomato, you don’t have to keep eating if it’s too much for you.”
His voice was strangely sincere. Todoroki shook his head.

“No, I want to eat more. It tastes really good. You’re a good cook, Bakugou.”

A compliment? Bakugou’s eyebrow raised even higher at that. But his ego was being hella stroked at the moment.

“You know there are better words to use than ‘good’ right?” He scoffed,

“Something wrong with the word ‘good’?” Todoroki asked curiously.

“Well usually ‘good’ only means ‘ok’. If it’s really good you use ‘great’ or ‘amazing’.”

“Oh... I didn’t know that.” Todoroki mumbled softly, “Sorry, English is my second language.”

Right, the guy’s a fucking foreigner. How could he forget? All of a sudden, Bakugou felt guilty for flaring up at Todoroki’s initial response. Meanwhile Todoroki was still happily munching on the last few pieces. His face had turned red once again. Bakugou sighed.

“Take it easy on the spicy chicken. I’ll make you a milder version next time.”

“... you’d cook for me again?” Todoroki looked surprised.

Bakugou’s eyes darted off to the side.


“... yeah... sure I guess... but you better fucking eat it or I’ll kill you.”

With that, the blonde stomped back into his kitchen to clean up, leaving Todoroki to finish the last of his dish in piece. Todoroki smiled softly, maybe his co-pilot wasn’t so bad after all...


“Bakugou?”

“What?”

Todoroki could hear the sound of running water as he entered the kitchen once again. Bakugo was standing by the sink, doing the dishes. Todoroki walked over with the empty bowl.

“Thank you for the meal.”

“Yeah whatever idiot.” The blonde grumbled as he aggressively scrubbed the plates.

For a moment, neither of them said anything. The running water and clang of the glass were the only sounds that filled the kitchen. Bakugou’s eyes flickered towards the half-and-half bastard, wondering why he hasn’t left his kitchen yet.

“Oi, you got your food. Aren’t you going back to bed or something? It’s 4am.”

Todoroki shook his head.

“No. I told you, I can’t sleep.” He leaned against a nearby counter, crossing his arms, “What about you? Are you going back to bed after this?”

“Tch... I’ve slept for 18 hours straight yesterday, I’m good.” Bakugou scoffed.

After a beat of silence, Bakugou asked,

“Is it because of him?”

His voice was so quiet that Todoroki almost didn’t catch it. Even though he did, he wasn’t sure too if he had heard it right.

“What?”

“The big guy. Tall, red-haired, so muscular that he looks like an Asian hulk?”

Oh... him...

“So you did see him after all...” Todoroki mumbled softly, “I was starting to wonder...”

“Of course I fucking saw him.” Bakugou snapped back, but his voice lacked the usual bite, “It’s not like there’s anything else you have in that tiny brain of yours.”

Todoroki smiled softly. So he did read the notes after all.

“If you know that, why did you agree to be my co-pilot?”

There was a beat before Bakugou answered.

“Because if I didn’t, I doubt you’d be able to find able to find anyone else.” He mumbled. It was almost sympathetic until he added, “No one in their right mind wants to peek inside that fucked up head of yours.”

Todoroki wasn’t too sure how to react to that. Was Bakugou... pitying him? Was it even the same guy he couldn't even stand being in the same room with?

Another silence.

“What about you?” Todoroki suddenly asked, “Can you... handle it?”

“Of course I can fucking handle it.” Bakugo snapped back immediately.

His attention turned back to the sink as he shut the water off. Now the air was completely silent.

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Halfie. We all have our own demons. I just happen to be scarier than yours."

Chapter Text

“Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Halfie. We all have our own demons. I just happen to be scarier than yours.

A moment of silence passed in which Todoroki didn’t know how to reply. But just as he opened his mouth to speak, a loud siren pierced the silent air.

BRRRINGGGGG! BRRRRINGGGGG!

“Emergency alarm….?” Bakugou muttered under his breath. Judging from Todoroki’s face, he recognized it too. For the unique sound of the alarm could only mean one thing: Kaijus were attacking.


It was just past 5am in the morning when the whole base was woken up by the emergency sirens. Officers scrambled to their designated positions with half-dressed uniforms and messy bedheads. Looks were the least of their concern: the Kaijus were attacking. Since the alarms have been triggered, it means they are already too close for comfort. 

On the west end of the base, facing the Pacific Ocean was where the launch site was located. There stood five large Jaegers: 50-feet tall weaponized mechs. When Todoroki and Bakugou finally arrived, the other four pairs of pilots are already standing in front of their Jaegers. The colors of their plug suits matched each pair with their corresponding mecha and the unique design made the pilots stand out among the gray-uniformed ground crew running final checks. 

“Yo, Bakubro!” Kirishima’s voice called as he waved excitedly towards the blonde. He was wearing a red and silver plug suit that matched Tetsutetsu’s. “It’s about time you got back out into the field."

The red-haired pilot’s eyes wandered to the person following behind Bakugou. His grin widened.

“Oi, Todoroki! It’s good to see you again!” he greeted, “So you guys did end up as partners after all, huh?”

“Shut it, shitty hair.” Bakugou growled, but didn’t deny the statement this time. His scowl remained as he took his position in front of the large orange and green mech. His own plug suit matched the mech’s vivid colors.

“Technically we’re not supposed to be deployed yet. The first test drive was supposed to be at the end of the week…” Todoroki answered. He looked down at his blue and red plug suit - the one he had brought with him from Japan. “I don’t even have the proper suit yet...”

“Oh stop complaining, half-n-half” Bakugou snapped back rather sharply. Though his voice softened as he muttered, “I asked you if you were ready to do this.”

“I am.”

The resolve in Todoroki’s voice washed away any guilt he had harboured from before. The determination in his eyes matched Bakugou’s own feelings on the matter: this was the reason they were here - to save the world.

To be heroes…

Bakugou’s heart skipped a beat, hearing those words echo in his head.

"Let’s both be heroes, Kacchan…"

He grit his teeth. 

Now was not the time for this. He had to focus, for Todoroki’s sake… for BOTH their sake.

“Pilots, you are clear to board.” a voice announced from the speakers.

On cue, all the pilots began making their way up to the cockpit of their Jaegers. Bakugou took the left side while Todoroki sat on his right. It’s been six months since he’s flown this mech, and yet when his fingers curled around the controls, it felt so familiar. As if nothing had changed. As if the past 6 months were nothing but a dream. 

He looked over to his co-pilot’s seat and for a second, he thought he saw Deku smiling behind the glass of his green helmet, his fist pumping excitedly into the air.

“Let’s do this, Kacchan! PLUS ULTRA!” 

The image of Deku faded as Todoroki’s form took it’s place. He was busy adjusting the controls to his liking. Bakugou turned his attention away with a sigh.

“Plus ultra huh…” he muttered under his breath.

“Huh? Did you say something, Bakugou?”

Todoroki’s voice came through the comms and Bakugou mentally cursed himself for forgetting how sensitive the microphone inside their helmets were. 

“Nothing just…” He trailed off, “Plus Ultra is the motto General Yagi always uses. It means to go ‘further beyond’, past your own limits to achieve greatness.” 

He didn’t know why he felt the need to explain. Perhaps he was hoping Todoroki would say it back. 

“Plus Ultra…” Todoroki repeated softly,

Bakugou’s eyes widened at his silent wish being granted.

“I like that…” Todoroki threw him a soft smile. It wasn’t much compared to the wide ear-to-ear grin he was used to seeing on Deku’s face. But it was a start. 

“Alright, let’s do this, Halfie.”