Deku’s words kept repeating over and over in Katsuki’s head since the fucking nerd had uttered them. His parents were dead. Katsuki was the only one to have survived the crash. That’s what the idiot had said and considering the lack of news and visits from the old hag and old man, it… well, it didn’t ‘make sense’ but it seemed plausible. At the same time, though, Katsuki didn’t feel like it was real. It was like his brain refused to accept the reality of the situation. As if he was unable to compute the information that his parents have died.
He kept expecting someone to mention them. Or to hear the old hag yelling from somewhere down the corridor. Or to see one of them enter his room because they would definitely try to coddle him if they could, his father in particular.
None of that happened, of course. He knew nothing like that could happen, no matter what. His parents were dead. That was a fact. Deku might be an idiot sometimes, but he wouldn’t make that kind of shit up or lie about it. So it was fact. Truth. It was how things were and Katsuki needed to accept that.
He hated the way he still expected some sign to the opposite. He was stronger than that, damn it! He could deal with the issue, he didn’t need to run away from it, even if it was his brain doing the running without Katsuki’s conscious consent. It still pissed him off to no end. Because logically, he knew the truth. He accepted it, because he had no logical reason not to. But it still didn’t feel real and it was fucking infuriating.
Or at least, it didn’t feel real until he actually remembered for himself what happened. Then there was no more denial to be had.
He had gone to sleep that night knowing that in just a few days, he’d be discharged from the hospital. Auntie Inko had insisted that he move in with Izuku and her. Katsuki agreed, because it wasn’t like he had much of a choice. Auntie Inko was his next of kin according to his papers (the old man’s doing, no doubt) and while he did have other relatives, most of them were old enough to potentially be dead themselves or he’d never even met them to begin with. So it was either accept auntie Inko’s offer, or give himself up for the foster system for the year and a half remaining until he was eighteen. It was easy to guess from there which option would be better and easier for everyone, especially Katsuki himself. He would have to deal with cohabitating with Deku, but it would work out somehow. Probably. They were on better terms than they had been in middle school, after all, even if Katsuki still wouldn’t say they were friends or anything of the sort.
He had gone to sleep knowing that in only a few days time, he’d be free to go and he’d have to face life without his parents. Which didn’t seem daunting then, if mostly because it still hadn’t really sunk in or something. It still didn’t feel real. Katsuki didn’t expect the night to do anything to change that, either, annoying as that was. He expected it to just be another night at the hospital. And for the most part, it was. Except for the part where the memory of the crash finally came back to haunt him.
Katsuki was slumped in the back seat of the car, his arms crossed over his chest and one of his legs propped up against the back of the passenger seat his mother was sitting in. His father was driving. The blonde was sulking, glaring out the window. With the exception of the radio, the car was silent after the recent fighting between mother and son. The silence, of course, couldn’t last.
“I still don’t fucking get why you have to make me waste an entire weekend,” Katsuki grumbled towards the window. And it really did feel like a waste of time. It wasn’t that he had anything against spending time with his family or anything, though, it was just that the timing was absolutely shitty. He had finals coming up, damn it, and if he was to ace them, he needed to fucking study. His parents should know that, the damn hag had harpied at him about his grades since he was a little kid. At least until he understood that he had to have a perfect, spotless record to better his chances of getting into UA, at which point he made sure his grades were nothing short of perfect himself.
“It’s not a fucking waste you ungrateful brat! It’s spending goddamn quality time with your family!” his mother snapped back, not quite yelling, but close enough. She was clearly still irritated at him and very much willing for another round of arguing. Katsuki wasn’t going to disappoint her as he turned his head to glare at her.
“I know that, you damn hag!”
“Then why the fuck are you asking?!”
“Because the timing couldn’t be more shitty! I have fucking finals I have to study for, you damn hag, I don’t have the time to go on a goddamn trip to the middle of fucking nowhere with you!”
“The timing is the way it is because your father’s birthday was only a couple of days ago! You can spare one fucking weekend of your time for your father’s birthday, you brat, and I shouldn’t have to fucking remind you of it!”
“Shut the fuck up! I didn’t forget!” He really hadn’t, although he still didn’t understand why they had to make a trip, of all things, for this particular birthday of his father’s. They haven’t celebrated much the years before and he saw no real reason why things were different this year. Couldn’t they at least have waited until after the fucking finals?! Sure, it would mean celebrating even later after the actual date, but at least then Katsuki wouldn’t have to stress over the exams and his lack of time to properly prepare for them. It wasn’t that he was worried he’d fail them, of course not, but just passing wasn’t good enough, either. He had to ace them. He had to be the best, or at least not fall further than the damn third best in class he seemed to be fucking stuck at.
“Now now, let’s all calm down,” his father interrupted, glancing at Katsuki briefly with the help of the rearview mirror. “It’s alright, champ. If I know you at all, you took some things for studying with you, right? We’ll make sure to give you some time for it. But you don’t need to think that much of it. I’m sure you’ll do fine regardless,” he tried to placate. Katsuki huffed, slumping a bit more in his seat, but he didn’t protest anymore. His mother was one thing, the two of them were constantly yelling at each other, but with his father, Katsuki just wasn’t capable of going off like that.
“Whatever,” he grumbled, still irritated and dissatisfied, but no longer fighting. He glared out the window again instead. He heard his father snort in mild amusement.
“Don’t be like that,” the man said softly. “This trip is supposed to be fun. So let’s just enjoy our time together as family, alright?”
“Fuck off and die,” Katsuki bit back, but the words lacked any actual heat behind them. It was more that he said it because he didn’t know what else to say than anything else. Neither of his parents replied to it and the car grew silent again. For all of two minutes before all Hell broke loose.
It happened so fast. One moment they were driving leisurely towards their destination and the next his father was flooring the brakes and swerving to the side to avoid the truck that was driving between its own lane and theirs on a goddamn serpentine trajectory instead of a straight line, the driver obviously more than a little intoxicated.
They managed to avoid a frontal collision, somehow, but their luck ran out right after as the back end of the truck hit the side of their car with enough force to dent the back doors, the metal being driven into Katsuki’s side and the force threatening to throw him against the door on the car’s other side. It was probably only the seat-belt that kept him in place, but he was still jarred and tossed around like a rag doll, especially as the hit threw their car onto its side.
If it had been just that, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. But gravity was a bitch and the car landed on its side just off the road, on uneven ground which continued further downhill into a ravine. Forced to obey the laws of physics, the car didn’t hold its precarious position and tumbled down the hillside, rolling and bouncing like a ball would until it came to a stop with the help of a tree, slamming into its bark roof first with enough force to dent it and crash the glass of the windows that had up until then somehow remained intact. The windshield wasn’t much better off and the motor was smoking ominously, though it didn’t catch fire.
The combination of the truck’s hit and the following tumble made Katsuki smack his head at one point or another, effectively knocking him out. By the time he woke up again, it was dark and cold and it had started to rain. He ached all over and he felt nauseous. His vision was blurry. The seatbelt had snapped, so he was lying on his side in the backseat, folded over uncomfortably over the back door behind the passenger seat. With a groan, he attempted to push himself up, but the movement sent waves of agony through his side and his right leg, in addition to making him feel even sicker. He groaned, but forced himself to try and sit up properly anyway, as much as he could considering the positioning of the car. Breathing hurt. He probably cracked a rib.
“Katsuki?” a quiet, raspy voice asked and the blonde turned his head in its direction immediately. That was a mistake, as his vision only spun again. He almost threw up as a result, but he managed to hold it down. “Katsuki, are you awake?” that was his mother’s voice. Though it was hard to recognize considering how quiet and raspy she was. Katsuki didn’t think he’d ever heard her talk this quietly in his life.
“Yeah,” he coracked back before clearing his throat and attempting again. “Yeah, I’m fine.” That was actually total bullshit, because he clearly wasn’t ‘fine’. But he was awake and aware, so it counted as ‘fine’ in his book considering the situation.
“Good. That’s good,” his mother replied with a small sigh. He thought she sounded odd. Almost like she was in pain and trying to hide it.
“Where’s the fucking asshole who drove the damn truck?” he asked instead of pondering that, turning his head slowly this time to look outside through the broken window. The car door looked like he might be able to kick it off its hinges and climb out, so he tried to move closer to it to do just that. The movement caused his right leg to flare with agony to the point that his vision whited out, though, and he nearly passed out. He collapsed back against the back door with a grunt, panting and trying to blink his vision clear.
Considering how it felt, his leg was probably broken. And from what he could tell, it was wedged between the back of his mother’s seat and the back seat in such a way that even if it wasn’t, getting it out would be impossible. It was stuck. He was stuck.
“I’m fine,” he insisted, though his voice was hoarse. “Where is that other asshole? Did he at least have the decency to call the police or something?”
“I doubt he even noticed us there. He drove off,” his mother replied quietly before her voice turned firm. “Katsuki, I need you to use your phone and call for help. Your father’s and mine are broken, I wasn’t able to use them.” Her words made Katsuki freeze for an instant before he turned to look back at her. His gut churned. Something… something was terribly wrong here.
“My phone is in my bag. In the trunk,” he said slowly, carefully. He wouldn’t admit it out loud, but the picture he was starting to get of their current situation was starting to freak him out just a little bit. The other driver had continued on his road, possibly without having even noticed that he’d knocked them into the ravine. His parents’ phones were broken, meaning they had waited for him to wake up to use his phone to call for help, not knowing that Katsuki’s phone was currently out of his reach.
“Shit,” his mother responded. Despite himself, Katsuki gulped.
“How long have we been down here?” he finally asked as he looked outside again. It was pitch black, but it was hard to tell whether it was due to just the storm raging outside, or the storm and the late hour. It had still been bright out when he’d blacked out. Surely he couldn’t have been out for so long that night set in?
“I don’t know,” his mother replied and it was Katsuki’s turn to curse colorfully.
“How’s the old man?” he asked after a moment. His mother didn’t reply right away, but he wasn’t looking at her, so he assumed it was because she was checking on him. In the meantime, Katsuki tried to shift at least a little bit closer to the broken window somehow. He managed, though not without nearly passing out again, his vision filled with black spots.
“Out,” his mother said quietly at length before speaking up, her voice holding a worried (if not even scared) tone Katsuki never heard her use before and frankly never wanted to hear from her again. “Katsuki, what are you doing?”
“Trying to do something to get someone’s attention,” he grit out. His attempts to get closer to the window didn’t get him much in terms of results, but enough that he could at least reach out a hand past the broken glass. That was enough. It had to be.
The first sparks of his Quirk lighting up his immediate surroundings were only a test, to make sure himself that he wasn’t so out of it that even his Quirk would be beyond him. Explosion responded as it should and his hand sparked, though willing it to do so was far more mentally taxing than Katsuki was used to, his throbbing head pulsing with every attempt and his nausea threatening to make his stomach empty of its contents. Damn it. He’d have to be careful to not overexert himself, pathetic as that was.
“Shut up, old hag. It’ll work. I’ll get someone’s attention as they fucking drive past or something and we’ll get help from there.”
His mother didn’t reply, but a small, annoying part of him admitted that it might have been because she didn’t share his optimism. Not that that was really what it was. It was more that to Katsuki, there was no other option than this working. Because fuck him if he was going to be stuck here forever. This wasn’t where he’d meet his end. No way in fucking Hell.
However, as time passed and Katsuki failed to see any lights of any passing cars, doubt crept into him. It was still raining and from time to time, thunder clapped and lit up their empty surroundings. As much as the weather ensured the car wouldn’t end up going up in flames, it also lowered the temperature and the cold was starting to seep into Katsuki’s bones. That, and the destroyed windows and position of the car meant that nothing was stopping the rain from drenching the inside of the vehicle. So Katsuki was understandably soaked and freezing because of it. He was shivering, the minute, uncontrollable movement meant to help him keep at least a little warmth jarring his injuries.
He managed to get a look at his father a couple times, when he managed to shift just enough to see him and a clap of thunder illuminated the inside of the car. The man was out cold as Katsuki’s mother had said, limp in his seat and with blood dripping from his mouth and nose, as well as a head injury Katsuki couldn’t locate. The blonde had tried to reach out to him, try and wake him up at one point when his mother wasn’t looking, but not only did the man not wake, the coldness of his skin told Katsuki all he would have normally needed to know. His mind shut the idea (the knowledge) out, however, because there was just no way his father had… no, he was just out cold, like the old hag had said.
At one point, much to his own disgust and the old hag’s worry, he gave in to his nausea and threw up, though there wasn’t anything but bile for his stomach to expel. It didn’t really make him feel better. All it did was make his throat burn, adding another ache to his already beat-up body.
The most frustrating, however, were when the rare car light did pass by and Katsuki used his Quirk to get their attention, only to get ignored. It happened at least three times, each and every one making him just a bit angrier and more desperate. Goddamn it, it might only be just sparks, but his Quirk wasn’t that fucking easy to miss! What, were those fuckers blind ?! How could they not see them?!
“I guess you were right, Katsuki. We shouldn’t have gone on this trip. We should have listened to you,” his mother said at one point, her voice quieter than before, a bit airy even. Katsuki froze, unsettled at the sound, even as he refused to acknowledge why she could sound like that.
“Yeah, well, you’ll know to fucking listen to me next time,” he grouched without turning away from the window, willing another car to pass by and for the driver to finally pay some goddamn attention so he or she would notice them.
The old hag only hummed, and if she attempted to say anything afterwards, Katsuki didn’t hear it because the rain and his Quirk drowned it out as his hand sparked again. Once more, it looked like the car would just pass them by without noticing, however. But Katsuki wasn’t going to stand for it.
“Stop fucking ignoring me, damn it!” he screamed (as much as his abused throat allowed, anyway) and pushed his Quirk to do more than just spark. The explosion he created was small, but bright and loud. The only downside was that the exertion of creating it made his head feel like it was being split open, his nausea getting worse again. Katsuki grunted and collapsed just a little against the seat, retching again. Although since his stomach was now truly empty, it was more dry heaving than anything else.
“I’m fine! Ugh… fucking fine, shut up, damn hag,” he wheezed, hating the mild panic in his mother’s voice. He looked up towards the window again and his eyes widened. Up on the road, the lights were still there, standing still. The car had stopped. Gasping, Katsuki willed his vision to clear, for the black spots he was seeing to recede and made his hand spark again. “Come on, damn it, you have to be seeing this…” he grunted to himself, waiting to see any sort of movement up there, for someone to come down or at least get out of the car to get a better look. Thunder clapped overhead again, illuminating the ditch Katsuki and his parents were stuck in, and although Katsuki flinched a bit at it, he was thankful. Because now, there was no way the driver of the other car hadn’t seen them, hadn’t understood that the flickering light they were seeing was an attempt to call for help, there was no way they wouldn’t-
The car drove away.
“No!” Katsuki couldn’t help but cry out. “Get back here you damn shithead! Don’t just fucking ignore me!” his voice cracked and Katsuki gasped, closing his eyes as they burned, tears of utter frustration and anger forming in the corners. God fucking damn it! “Asshole…”
“Katsuki, it’s alright. You’ll be alright,” his mother soothed. Katsuki wanted to tell her to shut up, to stop treating him like a fool, but she continued talking before he could. “They stopped. They must have seen us. It’s just likely that they didn’t want to risk anything. But they must have called at least the police just in case before driving off. You… you’ll be alright now.” Her voice was getting quieter. Katsuki didn’t like that. Not at all.
“We’ll be alright, you mean,” he muttered stubbornly as he pulled his arm back inside and rubbed at his eyes. The old hag only hummed again.
“You know, for all the times I smacked you… and yelled at you… I never once wanted you to be any different. You are a brat. But you’re my brat. And I love you. I always will. Don’t… don’t forget that, alright?” she whispered and Katsuki shuddered.
“Yeah, whatever. Quit the damn sappy act, it doesn’t suit you,” he muttered, but tried to shift again to be closer to her and reach his good arm towards her. He didn’t quite reach, he only just managed to make himself move enough to reach her backrest because the agony of moving further threatened to make him pass out again, but his hand still came in contact with hers, lying on top of it.
“I guess it doesn’t… but I mean it, brat. I do love you,” she said and Katsuki looked up in her direction then, just as another clap of thunder lit up his surroundings. The old hag was bruised black and blue (or, well, mostly black in the current lighting) and there was blood in her hair. Some flowed from her nose, too. She didn’t seem to be stuck like Katsuki was, but despite that, she wasn’t trying to move much. Katsuki didn’t try to ponder why that was. He didn’t have the mind to right then.
“I know,” he croaked, then swallowed and tried to squeeze his fingers over hers. His mother gave him a small smile and then leaned more against her seat, her eyes slipping closed as she lost consciousness. Because that was all it was. She was just unconscious, nothing else.
Katsuki was shaking in earnest by that point. Probably from the cold. They’ve been in the goddamn ravine for hours by now, he was sure, and now that he knew (hoped) help was probably on the way, his own body demanded he rest. He tried to fight it, tried to fight the way his eyes slipped shut and the way his vision blacked out. Still, from one blink of an eye to the next, red and blue lights appeared seemingly out of nowhere and the next time he looked up, there were police cars and even an ambulance on the road above. He could even see people carefully climbing down the slope with the help of flashlights. Fucking finally.
“They’re here…” he choked before turning his head to look at his mother. Her hand was still under his. It was limp and cold. Colder than his own. Katsuki swallowed. “Oi, old hag. Wake up. The paramedics are here,” he hissed, squeezing her hand in an attempt to rouse her. When that didn’t work, he carefully stretched his arm to reach further, grabbing her limp arm and trying to shake her. “Old hag!”
She didn’t stir or make a sound. Katsuki swallowed and his eyes burned, his vision blurring. Thunder clapped overhead again and, with his new position, he got a better look at the old hag and the old man. He gasped at the sight of his father, for the man had a broken tree branch sticking out of his chest and passing through the windshield. He must have been impaled - which was probably also the only reason he was still in his seat, because he was pinned there - when the car was tumbling down or something and likely died on impact because no human could survive such a wound, let alone for the hours, it felt, that they’ve been stuck here.
The old hag wasn’t much better off. Her legs were most likely crushed with the way the front of the car was dented and one of her arms was wedged between her seat and the broken door held closed by the ground. There were several cuts, some deeper than others, all over her body from the glass of the broken windshield, but none seemed life threatening. She was still bruised all over, however, and although there was no telling what had beat her up so bad, it was likely that she’d been bleeding internally for a long time.
Katsuki didn’t even try to wake his father. He knew it was useless. But he tried to shake his mother again as the flashlight drew closer.
“Old hag!” he called again, voice cracking as he tried to shake her, to wake her up. Again, she didn’t so much as stir. Katsuki blinked to clear his blurry vision, feeling something hot roll down his face and stinging one of his cheeks, but he ignored it. “Old hag! Come on, wake up!” he tried again, voice unnaturally desperate and even fearful, though he’d deny it to his dying breath. As he would deny that a sob tore out of his throat at that moment. “Old hag!” he struggled to call one more time, breath coming in short, sharp gasps and his vision blurring again, worse than before. He blinked it clear, but it didn’t help. His eyes stung. He couldn’t breathe right.
The old hag’s eyes did not open. Katsuki felt like something in him broke. Thunder clapped, drowning out his last, desperate yell.
He woke up on his hospital bed in the middle of the night, gasping for breath and tears stinging his eyes. One of his hands rose to his mouth, covering it as he sobbed just a little, the images from the dream (memory) refusing to leave him alone. He squeezed his eyes shut, the vision of that last, proper look he’d gotten at his parents thanks to the light of the thunder flashing across his mind’s eye. He sniffled as it finally hit him. The old man and old hag were gone. They had died in the car. He’d seen them die with his own eyes.
He curled up on the bed then, as well as his injuries allowed, anyway. He hated his own reaction, hated how weak he was being, but he couldn’t stop the damn tears or the soft, broken, choked words that left him. A final, futile attempt to call for someone who couldn’t answer anymore.