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When Katsuki woke up, he wasn’t exactly sure where he was at first. What he did know was that it wasn’t his dorm room, which was odd, that he couldn’t move his body easily, which was both weird and concerning, and that he felt short of breath despite lying flat on his back and barely moving at all, which was definitely worrying. Even more intriguing, he wasn’t alone. Deku’s mother, auntie Inko, was by his bedside and Deku himself was pacing nervously, but on surprisingly quiet feet, at the foot of the bed.

They told him he was in the hospital. That he’d been in a car crash and gotten hurt. Which explained a lot of things and made sense, but only made it more odd why they were there instead of someone else. Like his parents, for instance. Because sure, Katsuki would be the first to rage and complain angrily when the old hag and old man started to fuss about him, but that didn’t mean some part of him didn’t acknowledge that it was simply because they cared and didn’t somewhat like knowing that.

He didn’t ask about his parents’ absence at first, though, because there was another confusing part of the story given to him that, in that particular moment, seemed way more important.

“The midterms are coming up. So why the wasn’t I in the dorms, studying like I da… like I should?” he cut off mid-curse and quickly censored himself, glancing at auntie Inko out of the corner of his eye. The plump woman would never reprimand him for his language, she certainly hadn’t before, but she would give him this odd, not-quite-disappointed look and he didn’t really feel like dealing with it right then. The green-haired woman bit her lip and looked away, hands fidgeting nervously in her lap. She didn’t answer him. Deku did, finally ceasing his annoying pacing.

“You were out with your parents, Kacchan,” he said softly, shoulders hunched and pointer fingers idly tapping against each other in front of his chest. His head was bowed a bit, but he met Katsuki’s stare with a look of his own. His expression was oddly blank. “It… don’t you remember? They wanted to go for a weekend outing because it was uncle’s birthday…”

Katsuki frowned at the news, his gaze falling to his lap. That made sense. He’d seen the calendar, he knew his father’s birthday hadn’t been that long ago. Just a couple of days, in fact, in the middle of the previous week. A birthday gift in the form of a family outing on the nearest weekend made perfect sense, especially since his father was the kind of sentimental idiot who would say he didn’t care what birthday gift he got so long as he got to spend some time with his family. Katsuki knew that was the case because he remembered him saying just that when Katsuki had, for once, called him on the day itself and his mother had barged into the conversation to forcefully make plans for the weekend to celebrate. The blonde had tried to tell them both off. He had midterms coming up, he had to study so he could keep up his good grades, damn it, he didn’t have time to take a break on the weekend! But of course, once his mother made her mind up, there was no fighting against her, so like it or not, Katsuki had been forced to ask for a weekend leave (under threat that his mother would do it for him if he didn’t do it himself) and from there to actually leave the dorms for home once he’d gotten it.

He remembered that part, now that he thought about it. It was the actual weekend, the outing they were supposed to go on and the car crash they’ve apparently gotten into that was a curious blank, parts of the time leading up to it a mere blurr in his mind that he couldn’t really make sense of. But from what little he knew or remembered, he figured that they’d all gotten hurt in the accident, which would of course explain why his parents didn’t visit him. They were probably as bedridden as he was.

He didn’t think much about it in the next couple of days, more focused on himself and his own body than anything else. The headache and occasional dizziness he felt that first day he’d been awake receded soon enough and he wasn’t in much pain thanks to painkillers, but he still tired easily and was often a bit short of breath. It was because one of his ribs punctured a lung, so he was effectively breathing to only half-capacity, the doctors told him, but it was apparently nothing to worry about and would heal on its own just fine. So he didn’t worry about it and, knowing his body would recover, turned his attention to other, more important things. Namely the upcoming midterms, because he still intended to take and ace them, thank you very much. He would definitely be recovered by then, after all. He had to be.

A small mercy came in the fact that Shitty Hair, Dunce Face, Raccoon Eyes and Flat Face also came by. They only managed to get leave for one afternoon, so it wasn’t much, but Shitty Hair in particular had the sense to bring Katsuki the stuff he’d need to prepare for the exams. Of course, that was only because the fuckers chose to use the fact that Katsuki couldn’t kick them out and all but forced him into tutoring them the entire afternoon. Which considering how slow they were on the uptake on a good day basically meant that Katsuki wasted nearly an entire afternoon he could have spent studying efficiently. Assholes.

Auntie Inko still visited him every day. Deku came by as well, but he often left the room for long periods of time, probably to visit Katsuki’s parents instead. Which was perfectly fine, it wasn’t like Katsuki wanted him there, but it was odd that he kept going off alone, that auntie Inko didn’t go with him. She was close to his father, after all, so he would have expected her to stay with her friend more than her friend’s son. But he didn’t question it. He didn’t really have a reason to.

He got taken into another surgery not long after he woke up, for his broken leg. They put some metal screws and a plate inside to brace it and keep the bones in place so the injury would heal. He still couldn’t move the limb much afterwards, as was to be expected, but at least he didn’t have a metal contraption that was more an annoyance than anything else sticking out of his knee anymore. And, as he’d been told, he was not only allowed but even expected to try and walk only a few days after the surgery, if with help, to ensure the limb wouldn’t get stiff and healed properly and the muscles remembered what their task was.

It was a few days later that he finally asked about his parents. He could understand them not coming to meet him if they were hurt as well, but a few days without hearing a word from or about them was starting to get odd. Even auntie Inko didn’t mention them. Which just wasn’t right. He would have thought she’d be the first to assure him that they were alright, or at least that they would be. In fact, the more he thought about it, the odder it was that the woman didn’t say a word about them. So eventually, he had no choice but to ask himself.

“What about the old man and old hag?” he asked, maybe a bit out of the blue but straight to the point. Deku’s head snapped up to look at him from where he was sitting in a corner, a book in his lap as he studied. Auntie Inko just blinked, her expression soft and just a little sad.

“What about them, Katsuki-kun?” she asked, her tone quiet and gentle. Katsuki had to force himself to not roll his eyes at the woman in exasperation. He would have thought it was obvious.

“How are they?” he asked impatiently, irritated that he even had to voice the question. He wanted to know, yes, but that didn’t mean he was comfortable openly admitting it. Auntie Inko had watched him grow up (if from afar), had known him since he was a little kid, she should know that. “I’ve been here for nearly a week already and no one mentioned them once. They were in the car with me, weren’t they? So they’ve got to be here, too, stuck in a bed like me or else the old hag would have already come storming here to yell. So how bad is it?” He just wanted the information to be handed to him straight, not pranced around as if he were a little kid. He was a hero in training, he could handle the news no matter how bad they were.

Auntie Inko didn’t seem to be aware of that fact, though.

“Oh, Katsuki-kun,” was all she said, eyes watering. Katsuki clicked his tongue and quickly looked away, scowling angrily and fists clenched. He had always known Deku got his crybaby tendencies from his mother, but that didn’t change the fact that he still disliked seeing the woman cry. “It’s… I mean, they…” the plump woman stuttered a bit, biting her lip, as if unsure what to say. If it were anyone else, Katsuki would have already snapped at her to just spit it the fuck out, damn it. But it wasn’t anyone else and auntie Inko was pretty much the only person the blonde rarely dared to yell and snap at. So he bit his tongue and waited, fighting his growing irritation when he didn’t get an actual answer. Finally, he sighed impatiently.

“Just give it to me straight, auntie. Whatever it is, I can handle it. So how bad is it?” he asked again, tone a bit rougher than he intended. The green-haired woman bit her lip, eyes falling to her lap and shoulders trembling as she wiped at her eyes. She still didn’t answer. She tried, it was obvious that she did, but for whatever reason, the words seemed to escape her. Like she didn’t know how to phrase it. Katsuki bit back a curse, irritation rising.

“Kacchan,” Deku’s voice rang in the room, quiet but firm, and the blonde turned his head to glare at the nerd. He was met with a firm gaze of green eyes, the nerd’s lips pursed into a firm line of determination as he came closer and stopped at the foot of the bed, hands grabbing the metal bar as he braced himself. Katsuki opened his mouth to snap at him, but the other hero-in-training spoke up before he could do so. “They’re dead.”

“Izuku!” auntie Inko found her voice and raised it at her son, her tone nothing short of scandalized. Deku straightened and turned to look at her, expression crumpling and tears forming in the corners of his eyes.

“It’s not like there’s a nice way to break it to him!” he defended himself, fists clenching at his sides as she shook his head. “And he deserves to know! He more than anyone else!” he added determinedly. Auntie Inko paused, looking between them uncertainly. Katsuki just stared at Deku, unmoving, unsure of how to react. The nerd huffed and then rubbed quickly at his eyes before turning back to Katsuki, facing him head on and not looking away as he elaborated.

“Auntie and uncle died, Kacchan. You are the only one who got out of that crash.”