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As none of his injuries required he stay in the hospital, Katsuki was released about a week or so after originally waking up. His first reaction to that was relief. He hated hospitals. He wanted to go home. But then the fact hit that his home would be empty. He’d be the only one there. The old hag and the old man weren’t there, weren’t ever going to be there again.

His eyes stung a bit at the realization, but he scowled and tightened his grip on his crutches. Auntie Inko and Deku came to pick him up and he was not going to cry like a pussy in front of them. Or cry in general, period.

“Where are we even going?” he forced himself to ask as they came out of the hospital doors and towards the parking lot. At the sight of the Midoriya’s small car - wait, since when did they even have a car? - his stomach churned uncomfortably, but he ignored it. Beside him, Deku turned his head to look at him and blinked owlishly, as if Katsuki had asked a question he hadn’t expected. Stupid nerd.

“Uhm… home?” Deku offered uncertainly, tilting his head to the side. “Where else would we go?” he added and Katsuki snorted, pretending his eyes didn’t sting again at the ‘well duh!’ he could hear in the other’s words, even if it hadn’t been said.

“Which home?” he snapped, because really, it was a logical question to ask, wasn’t it? Sure, Katsuki knew he was going to move in with the Midoriyas, but it wasn’t like he had any of his stuff there. But clearly, the greenette hadn’t thought of it because his eyes grew wider and his expression became clearly flabbergasted as he spluttered and quickly shook his head.

“Which…?” he started, but couldn’t finish his sentence in his apparent confusion. Katsuki rolled his eyes at the reaction. Useless idiot.

“I thought it best if we went to your house first, Katsuki-kun. So you can pick up a few things,” auntie Inko cut in, opening the door to the driver’s seat. Deku opened one of the passenger doors for Katsuki, since the blonde’s hands were occupied by his crutches, then quickly scampered to the other side of the car. Katsuki glared at him. Crutches or not, he could open a damn door himself, thank you. He moved to get into the car, carefully maneuvering his braced leg so he didn’t bump into anything.

“For how long should I pack?” he asked once he was seated and carefully pulled the crutches in to situate next to him. He might have bumped Deku with one of them as he did so - completely on accident, of course - but the nerd didn’t make a sound so Katsuki couldn’t possibly be sure since he didn’t look at him. He slammed the door closed, his stomach flipping uncomfortably again. And yet again, he ignored it, twisting carefully in his seat to grab the security belt.

“What do you mean, Katsuki-kun?” the plump woman asked. She turned the key in the ignition and the car rumbled to life. Katsuki felt bile rise in his throat for some reason, but he swallowed it down.

“How long before we come by there again? Or should I just pack everything now?”  he asked quietly, unwilling to admit how uncomfortable the question made him. In all honesty, he didn’t want to move out of his room or his house. It was his home. It was his family’s home. But he didn’t have a family anymore, did he. He was an orphan. He was alone now. The thought made his eyes start prickling once more, but once again, Katsuki grit his teeth and willed himself not to let any tears form. He wasn’t that weak. He wasn’t !

The car started moving then. Auntie Inko backed out of their parking spot and turned, heading for the hospital’s parking lot’s exit. Katsuki swallowed again, feeling oddly nauseous. What the fuck was wrong with him? He’d never been so goddamn queasy in a car before.

“It’s not like you have to move all of your things today, Kacchan,” Deku cut in from beside him, eyes still wide as saucers. “The house is only a block or so away from our apartment. It’s not far. We can bring your stuff over little by little. I’ll help you with it.”

“I don’t need your fucking help. I can do it alone,” Katsuki spat at him. Although was it just him, or was his voice oddly strangled? He cleared his throat, only then realizing how dry his mouth was. And his stomach refused to settle. Goddamn, what was wrong with him?! “You’re not my fucking friend. Stop trying to act like we’re close, damn nerd,” he added in a low tone, needing something, anything, even a conversation as sickening as this to distract him from whatever the fuck was making him so damn queasy. He didn’t really mean that, though. Or at least not fully. Sure, Deku at him weren’t friends, but their relationship was better than before.

“We know that, Katsuki-kun,” auntie Inko said gently from her spot in the driver’s seat. “But we would like to help you anyway. You can do it alone, of course, but that doesn’t mean you have to, right?”

Katsuki bit his lip and swallowed again, fighting the bile that kept rising in his throat and threatening to make him throw up. He was really nauseous, but he had no idea why. He cleared his throat again, trying and failing to push the feeling down.

“I guess,” he acquiesced quietly and yeah, his voice was definitely croaky. He scowled at his lap. What the fuck? He’d been fine a mere hour ago! What the fuck was this? What was wrong with him?! Damn it, pull yourself together, asshole!

“Good. Then I’ll drive you to your house so you can pack. Izuku, you’ll help him, right?” auntie Inko asked gently, looking at them through the rearview mirror. Katsuki gulped and held on tighter to the door handle at the sight. Beside him, Deku nodded and muttered a quiet agreement, though his demeanor was more subdued now. “I’ll try to find a place to park not too far from there, but if I don’t find one, I’ll wait in the car so we don’t have to carry everything on foot this time. What do you boys say?” the nerd’s mother continued, still glancing into the rearview mirror every now and then to look at them. Katsuki’s stomach kept churning. He nodded sharply.

“Yeah. Sounds good,” he agreed before taking a deep breath, leaning back and closing his eyes. He didn’t say anything for the rest of the way to his house.

Sitting beside the blonde, Izuku watched him carefully throughout the drive. Kacchan didn’t let go of the door handle once he’d grabbed it. On the contrary, the longer they drove, the harder he seemed to hold on, until his knuckles turned white. He was deathly pale, too, and kept swallowing and clearing his throat. He seemed tense. On edge. Afraid, even. But that was ridiculous, right? Why would Kacchan be afraid? And of what? It wasn’t like there was anything in the car for him to be afraid of , right?

As they drove on, for a brief moment, Izuku entertained the idea that maybe the issue wasn’t something in the car, but the car itself. That maybe Kacchan was afraid of being in a car in light of what happened the last time he’s been in one. But the green-haired teen quickly discarded the ridiculous notion, because there was absolutely no way Kacchan would be scared of something like that. Or scared in general. He was Kacchan! He wasn’t scared of anything. He was amazing like that.

It didn’t mean Izuku didn’t think Kacchan had no weaknesses or didn’t make mistakes or anything of the sort. But at least as far as fear went, the young hero-in-training was pretty sure that was an emotion the blonde simply never experienced. Or at least extremely rarely and in truly dire and dangerous situations.

Just as she said she would, Izuku’s mom drove off in search of a nearby parking spot while the greenette and Kacchan walked into the house. The blonde didn’t hesitate as he walked in, didn’t look around. He headed straight upstairs, footsteps quick and assured and leaving Izuku to scramble behind him, despite the fact that the blonde was slowed down by his injured leg and his crutches. Sadly, though he offered to help, there was little he could actually do. He hadn’t been to Kacchan’s house in a long time, let alone his room, so he had no idea where anything was or what all Kacchan would want to take along. So despite wanting to help, Izuku found himself just standing in the doorway and watching as the blonde messily threw his things together into a large bag, trying to stay out of the way. As the minutes ticked by, however, he couldn’t help but comment.

“Kacchan, you know you don’t have to take everything right now, right?” he asked carefully as the blonde grabbed some workout equipment and haphazardly stuffed it into his already nearly full to bursting bag.

“Shut the fuck up, Deku,” he spat back, his voice seeped in the usual irritation and his eyes shooting daggers at everything around him. Which was standard Kacchan behavior. And yet Izuku couldn’t help but frown and feel like something was off.

Bakugou Katsuki had always been a quick-tempered firecracker of a person. He was angry most of the time, and the rare times he wasn’t he was volatile and prone to exploding into a rage at the drop of a hat anyway. Similarly, his behavior was usually aggressive and somewhat violent. Not in the sense that he lashed out and hit people, not anymore at least, but there was always this underlying tension and thinly-veiled threat in his every movement. And all of that was there right now, too. In spades, even. There was no denying that Kacchan was clearly angry about something and Izuku had several guesses as to the reason.

But at the same time, for all his short temper and volatility, Kacchan’s movements have always been controlled and precise. No matter how angry and irritated he was, Kacchan always had perfect control of himself. Whatever he did, he did it because he wanted to, not because he lost his cool and thus control or for any other reason. That was just how he was. Angry and prone to yelling, but at the core always in perfect control of himself. Even at his worst. Even when he lashed out.

(Actually, that was part of why Izuku had almost grown to resent Kacchan in the past for the bullying, because he was well aware that all that Katsuki did was because he wanted to. Including the Quirk usage and the physical blows. But that was beside the point.)

There was none of that control in his movements now, however. Kacchan’s movements were quick and erratic, volatile and violent in a way Izuku hadn’t ever seen from him before. His anger was undeniable, but it was more than that. What exactly it was, Izuku wasn’t sure. All he knew was that Kacchan wasn’t as ok as he tried to pretend to be. And not only physically. Of course, that was to be expected, but still… a small part of Izuku might have just thought Kacchan above such a reaction. He was an idiot. Kacchan might be amazing, but he was still human, after all.

“Kacchan…”

“Alright. Let’s go, shitty Deku,” Kacchan interrupted before Izuku could even figure out what he wanted to say, shouldering one of his bags and trying to shift to pick up another despite his crutches and the brace on his leg.

“I’ve got it, Kacchan,” he said and quickly stepped up to get the rest of the luggage. The blonde glowered at him, going so far as to bare his teeth before he looked away with an annoyed click of his tongue.

“Could have fucking gotten it myself,” he grumbled as he readjusted the other bag on his shoulder and then gripped his crutches, walking out of the room without a single backward glance.

“I know,” Izuku said indulgently, even though he knew that wasn’t actually the case, if only because of the crutches. “I just wanted to help.”

“Tch.”

The way back outside was as quick as the way to Kacchan’s room. The blonde made a beeline for the exit without sparing a glance at anything around. It almost seemed like he wanted to get out of the house as soon as possible, like he was avoiding looking around for whatever reason. Almost.

Thankfully, Izuku’s mom managed to park close to the house and they were quick to load everything into the trunk. Their apartment wasn’t that far, but having to carry several bags worth of Kacchan’s belongings would have likely still been tiring. As they got back into the car, Izuku couldn’t help but notice Kacchan’s scowl becoming even more fierce. The other boy seemed kind of slow to get back inside and close the door, too. Of course, it could have just been because of the brace on his leg and the crutches, but Izuku noticed Kacchan hadn’t had much problem with getting out of the car quickly at his own house. Or when they arrived at the Midoriya apartment.

Odd.

When they entered the house, they ran into Izuku’s dad as he came stumbling out of his son’s room. The man grinned welcomingly at them, though it wasn’t as bright a smile as Izuku knew his dad to be capable of. It was dimmed by grief, despite his attempts to hide it.

“Ah, there you are. Good to see you, Inko dear. And you, too, Izukkun. Man, you’ve grown a lot since I last saw you, or is that just me?” he asked jovially, but just like his smile, his voice wasn’t quite as happy and rambunctious as always. He was trying to act his normal, goofy self, though and Izuku honestly appreciated that.

“It’s just you, dad,” he said with a small smile of his own as he met the man’s eyes. Hisashi was a tall, thin, yet well-built man standing at a proud 6’7. He had curly hair like Izuku, but it was red-brown, rather than green. His eyes were molten gold and his pupils were more almond-shaped than round, tending to become slitted in bright light. He had horns jutting out of his head, the same color as his hair and curling in a spiral at the side of his head, the tips nearly reaching the side of his jaw. A couple knickknacks hung from them, likely things he’d hung on them ‘for easy reach’ or something and then promptly forgot about. A long reptilian tail covered in scales swished behind him slowly, betraying his somewhat subdued emotions because it usually tended to twitch madly this way and that like the tail of an excited cat. It was midnight-blue, though there were several patches, particularly the very tip, that looked more royal purple. His nails resembled claws more than nails, too, but other than that, he looked perfectly human.

“Oh, and Katsuki! It’s been so long! Do you recognize me? No, probably not, I haven’t seen you since you were a wee little kid! Man, how time flies!” he said enthusiastically as he came up to Kacchan and pulled the annoyed blonde into a hug. The blonde tensed for a moment and then one of his crutches clattered to the ground as he released it to push the man away aggressively.

“Let the fuck go of me!” he yelled angrily, hand sparking lightly as if to further prove just how annoyed he was. The older man, however, only laughed slightly.

“It’s good to see you again, Katsuki. And to see that you’re still alright,” the man replied with a grin before turning to his wife. “Inko, dear, you guys have perfect timing. I just finished up everything that you asked me to do in the boys’ room,” he said proudly, looking for all the world like a puppy waiting to be praised for a job well done. Inko rolled her eyes, but there was a small grin tugging at her lips.

“Did you now, Hisashi?” she asked with a raised eyebrow. “Everything I wrote on the list?”

“Yes, everything! Look, I even made checkmarks as I went,” Hisashi replied proudly as he reached into one of his pocket to provide the list as proof. When he came up empty, he checked his other pocket and then he started to look through all of them in the search of the required piece of paper. “Wait, where…? I was sure I put it in my pocket…”

“Is this what you’re looking for?” his wife asked with a little laugh and Hisashi looked up just in time to see her reach next to his head and pluck something from one of his horns. The short sound of paper ripping followed the movement and then Inko was holding the piece of paper with Hisashi’s to-do list, one of the corners torn from where it had been stuck on his horn.

“Yes, that. As you can see, I definitely checkmarked everything to prove I got everything done and didn’t forget,” he replied with a grin and Inko sighed, shaking her head at him. But she indulged him and reached out again, this time to scratch at the base of his horn affectionately.

“Thank you, dear.”

The tender moment was interrupted when Katsuki cleared his throat before giving the two mushy adults a flat stare.

“Where should I put my things?” he asked without even a note of apology to his tone. Deku jolted beside him.

“Oh, right. You and I will be sharing my room, Kacchan,” the greenette said as he stepped past his parents with more than half of Katsuki’s luggage in his arms or slung around his shoulders and motioned for the blonde to follow. Katsuki rolled his eyes and clicked his tongue.

“Fan-fucking-tastic,” he muttered in a low tone. Just what he needed, sharing a room with the shitty nerd in what was probably a goddamn All Might shrine.

When he entered the room, however, he was surprised to note that the walls were mostly bare. He expected them to be covered in All Might shit, but while there were two or three posters here and there, it wasn’t nearly the All Might shrine Katsuki had expected. There were two desks, too, as well as a bunk bed. The room had clearly been repurposed and refurbished to house two people instead of one, because Katsuki was pretty sure the nerd’s room looked nothing like this before.

It really hit him then. This was happening. It wasn’t a dream. He was really moving in with the Midoriyas, being taken in by them because his own family was dead, his house empty. This was now his room, the apartment was supposed to be his home. Not his house. Not the room he’d grown up in, that he’d always had to himself. This room here, which he had to share with Deku.

His shoulders dropped and he bit back a sigh. His gaze fell to the ground as the earlier anger and agitation all but bled out of him and an odd sort of resignation set in instead. Like it or not, this was going to be his life now. Here, in the Midoriya home, in Deku’s room. Not in his family’s house. Because his family was dead. And that house wasn’t supposed to be home anymore.

As if from underwater, Katsuki heard Deku’s voice. The nerd was saying something, speaking at him, but Katsuki couldn’t really make out the words. Nor did he care to. Deku’s voice went in one ear and out the other without really registering.

He looked around the room again, feeling distinctly like he was in a place where he didn’t belong. It certainly wasn’t his room. His room was on the second floor of his house. His room was next to his parents’ room, and he always raged when he could hear his mother yelling and cursing through the wall while he was busy.

He would never hear her yelling again, though.

And then after he raged, his father would come knocking on his door, poke his head in with a sheepish smile and ask if everything was alright, if he needed anything. And Katsuki… Katsuki would scoff derisively and tell him to piss off and leave him alone, that he was fine and only wanted the old hag to be fucking quiet, because that was what he’d always done and said, wasn’t it.

None of that would ever happen again, either.

He was never going to get into shouting matches with the old hag again. He was never going to bristle and yell when she hit him over the head again. He was never going to scoff at his father when he tried to smooth the fight over again. He was never going to glower when either of them stroked his head as a silent means of making up again. In fact, he wouldn’t even get to experience that head patting that he secretly enjoyed but would never admit to another time. Not again. Not ever.

Because his parents were dead. Gone. And they weren’t coming back.

Coldness seeped into Katsuki’s bones at the thought. He mechanically moved towards the bunk bed, ignoring Deku entirely as he dropped his duffle bag and his crutches, grabbing hold of the bed frame and hoisting himself up into the upper bunk (with some difficulty because of his injured leg), claiming it as his own. Deku’s voice faded in the background, the nerd shutting up and giving up on whatever it was he’d been trying to get Katsuki to hear. The blonde laid down on his good side on the mattress and just stared numbly at the wall before carefully reaching into one of his pockets and taking out the one photo he’d snagged from home while packing to stare at instead.

His parents were gone.

He’d watched them die.

He’d failed to save them. He was a hero-in-training with a provisional licence and he’d failed . He hadn’t been strong enough. He hadn’t been good enough. He hadn’t been fast enough.

And because of that, just like Endeavor had said during his last internship, his parents paid the price with their lives. They were gone. He was never going to see them again. Not unless one counted the funeral, which would take place in a couple of days, but Katsuki hardly thought that counted.

He grew more and more numb as the thoughts circled in his mind again and again.

His parents were gone.

He was never going to see them again.

His house was empty.

It was no longer his home.

Home… home was supposed to be here now. In this apartment that belonged to the Midoriya family. This room, which belonged to Deku, was supposed to be his, too.

This place was supposed to be his home from now on.

Katsuki had a feeling it would be a long time before he ever considered this place his home, though. Or this room as his, for that matter.