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Inktober: The My Hero Academia version!

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Hi guys! I wanted to do a sort of take on Inktober (since it’s INK right… and we write with ink.)
So, here’s Inktober but written! I might not be able to update on the day, but I’ll always catch it up. This is a My Hero Academia version, and I write whatever first comes to mind.

I do take pairing requests, but only if I accept them. I might not if I have a specific idea for that day.

How to request:

Pairing (e.g BakuDeku) + Prompt Day (e.g 3: Bait)

Enjoy this monthly writing prompt thing to loosen the creative juices!

-Love, the Princess of Prose xx

Chapter Text

Katsuki hated losing.

He wasn’t normally one to act so brashly. He’d learnt to control himself since graduating U.A, since becoming a pro hero in his own right.

But seeing his ex-boyfriend Akihiro flaunting his new girlfriend around the annual Hero Banquet made Katsuki see red. Katsuki liked to win.

And sure, it’d been six months since their break-up (Boy, was he glad to be out of THAT toxic relationship), but despite all his therapy sessions and intense working out (hitting a punching bag with Akihiro’s face taped to it) he still couldn’t get rid of the feeling that he’d lost.

Which is why he’d accidentally let slip to a reporter that he was dating someone.

Despite keeping his personal relationships on the down low, it’d just slipped from his mind. Especially since she’d been trying to make a move on him, and he’d just wanted her to go away without ruining his reputation. Which, unfortunately, was vital to his hero career.

‘I have a boyfriend!’ He’d growled at the nosy woman, her hair too poofy for his liking. Her expression satisfied Katsuki to no end: at least until the shock wore off and a dangerous smirk crept onto her face. She began frantically scribbling on a notepad as Katsuki got right up in her personal face, tugging at the leash of his self-control.
‘Who would that be?’ She’d simpered, twirling a lock of bleach-blond hair around a perfectly manicured figure, resting her other hand on her hip.
‘None of your fucking business.’ He began to panic, red-hot fire swirling through his mind. Because, as you probably guessed, he was 100%, wholeheartedly single.
‘I’m sure it’s someone here. You wouldn’t go for anyone who couldn’t match you. Maybe Red Riot. Though, most of the people in here are terribly attractive. Especially that Deku.’ He could almost hear the cogs turning in her vile mind. He saw red.
‘I’m dating "that" Deku.’ Her mouth fell open, rapidly shutting again as she pulled that infuriating smirk.
‘Oh really, Ground Zero? I don’t believe you. You’ve been single since Akihiro Watanabe dumped you.’ The satisfaction in her eyes made him sick. His chest heaved, mind whirring as he completely lost control, blurting out the first thing that came to mind.
‘Tell that to the ring I have in my pocket.’
He slammed his chair back, stomping away, regret writhing in his chest as he flipped her off, making his way over to where he could see Deku standing. His tie flapped against his shoulder, his palms clenched into fists to stop them smoking. The green head bobbing in front of him neared, that tinkling laugh carrying as he shoved through a bunch of extras.

‘Deku.’ He leaned forward, dragging Izuku away from Todoroki and Ochako. Green eyes bored into him as he pulled him into a quiet, secluded corner, making sure to grab his hand.

He could feel that pushy, annoying journalist who was so, so good at her job staring at him.

‘I told that shitty excuse for a reporter we were dating.’ Immediately Izuku’s cheeks flushed, freckles fading out of view as his eyebrows raised.
‘What! Why would you do that!’ He squeaked, hands immediately rising to cover his face. Years and years worth of suppressed emotions bubbled uncomfortably in Katsuki’s chest as he twined their fingers together. He wanted to cry.

Instead, he leant forward and pressed their mouths together in a kiss. Izuku squeaked.

He frowned against the sharp, crisp taste of champagne, and pulled off.
‘I need to go find Momo.’ He didn’t apologise. He never apologised. But he would apologise for what he was about to do.

 

———

Katsuki got down on one knee. Brought out the scarlet stone set in a silver band. Spoke.
‘Izuku Midoriya, I love you more than I have ever loved anyone. I have known you since I was four, the greatest pleasure I will ever know. I want to keep knowing you for the rest of our lives, no matter how long it may be. So, Izuku Midoriya. Will you marry me?’

Izuku, of course, said yes.

It was broadcast to the entire world.

They kissed.

‘I’m sorry, Izuku.’

He hadn’t wanted it to be like that. He hadn’t wanted to tell Izuku how he felt like that.

He wanted to cry.

Because he was desperately, hopelessly in love with Izuku Midoriya and now his whole life was being broadcast to the internet.

He really hated losing.

And this felt like a loss.

Chapter Text

HUGE TRIGGER WARNING: CONTAINS SUICIDE AND SELF HARM. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

 

And

Izuku Midoriya unlocked the door to his apartment, his head pushed down. The door swung open without a sound and he silently walked forward, staring at the floor.

Thick red smears followed him.

He covered his face with his scarf, blocking out the cold winter air. One of his eyes was swollen shut, his bangs flopping into his face.

He walked into the kitchen, flicking the light on, illuminating the room in bright, harsh light.

There was a plate of katsudon piled up on the table, congealed in it’s sauce. It looked cold, rank.

Izuku didn’t even bother looking towards the table as he trudged over to the countertop, selecting a small cooking knife.

He sat down at the table.

Rolled up his sleeve.

Pressed the knife into the scarred flesh of his arm.

Sliced.

He didn’t feel any pain.

It didn’t relieve him like it usually did.

Like the weeping scabs marbling the skin told him.

So he kept trying, cut after cut, each fraying muscle fibers, scarlet pouring to stain the carpet.

His eyes were dead.

Broken.

From fractured, barely holding on, to shattered in the space of twenty minutes.

His brain didn’t even process the sound of his mother coming in. Didn’t register his mother screamed. As she flung down her briefcase and came rushing over, gingerly holding his scarred, scarred arm.

His mother was sobbing in the background, thick hot blood congealing around his broken nose, legs tidily tucked underneath him in a crossed position as he was wrapped in a warm hug.

He didn’t even blink.

Inko Midoriya began to cry, and cry, and cry, shrouding him in noise that he didn’t listen to, couldn’t hear over the ringing in his head and the tiny little voice whispering in his ear.

He didn’t register the agony shrieking through him from his ribs, the deep gash across his thigh as he rose, blankly staring at the wall.

He pictured the blonde boy. Katsuki.

He began to smile. A jagged, wicked thing, stretching unnaturally wide, dripping blood, displaying Izuku’s teeth, the gaping hole where a molar had been knocked out.

He ignored his mother’s protests and moved to his room.

He locked the door with horrid finality.

He couldn’t hear her screaming protests, muffled by the door as he moved over to the dresser covered in All Might memorabilia.

He swept it all onto the floor.

His favourite piece, an All Might Silver Edition mug shattered on impact.

He didn’t blink.

‘Izuku!’ His mum howled, the jiggling of the doorknob intensifying.

Izuku didn’t stop as he clambered onto the desk.

Didn’t stop as he opened the window of their 20th storey apartment.

Didn’t stop as he turned around, felt the cool air whisk his hair about his ears.

Didn’t stop as he let himself go.

And plummeted to the pavement.

Chapter Text

His breathing came hard, quick.

He huddled up, tight tight tight, crushing himself into the smallest possible space.

He hadn’t wanted to take this job. He’d had no choice.

He knew he was bait, and he hated feeling vulnerable.

But he knew the villain had a personal grudge against him. And he would do anything for the public to stop seeing him as a villain. He, who hunted down evildoers in the dead on night, when most heroes were asleep in their beds.

Gathered all the information on them, delivered it straight to their doorsteps with perfectly compiled reports.

And still, they had a price on his head. Still, he was seen as a menace to society.

This was his chance to change that. Quirkless or not.

The heroes, Shouto, Uravity and the others, only agreed to let him help because he had a specific connection to the villain in question, and wasn’t a civilian.

Izuku was scared to see his childhood friend again. Scared to see what monster Bakugou had become.

Terrified, even. But he knew the fine details of their plan, down the the escape routes from this abandoned skyscraper-

An explosion lit up the floors above, juddering the floor beneath him in a gut-wrenching quake.

Izuku shot to his feet, unholstering his gun and shoving out of the back room he was sequestered in.

His heart was thumping so hard it was almost painful as he bolted towards the emergency exit, the door crashing against the concrete wall.

He struggled for breath behind the black mask he wore, leaping up the stairs two at a time.

Only to be throw against the concrete as a blast shattered through the wall right in front of him. His back shrieked in agony, stars flying across his vision. A figure strode into his vague periphery, highlighted by a hole streaming moonlight, tiny fires blazing on either side.

Katsuki wore what Izuku knew was a more developed design of his childhood hero costume. A black jacket with an X motif, orange tie. Black trousers flowing elegantly to the floor, to the combat boots. A combination of who he was before, a fiery, arrogant brat to the cool, controlled, deadly man he was now.

Izuku hardly remembered the before.

Before he got told that his quirk was too dangerous, that it was too villain-like.

Before Izuku got diagnosed, like it was a disease, as quirkless.

Before Katsuki became Ground Zero.

Zero losses.

Zero failures.

Zero witnesses.

Izuku shook the stars from his eyes and leapt to his feet, hand grasping the handle of his shotgun as tightly as he could as he levelled it at Katsuki’s head.

‘I knew you would come.’ His voice shook, overflowing with emotion at being reunited. At seeing his old friend face-to-face.

And being there to kill him.

‘Your hero friends didn’t seem prepared, Deku.’ Katsuki’s voice was cold, dead. Void of life.
‘They were.’
‘Tell that to their bleeding corpses.’ Katsuki grinned, a hint of madness lighting the depths of his eyes.

Izuku swallowed a gasp and leveled the gun at Katsuki’s head.

He didn’t have time to react as an explosion roared in his face, throwing him backwards, only to have another toss him forwards like a ragdoll, striking his head, hurling him next to the gaping, deadly hole.

He came to slumped on a jagged mess of rubble, blood trickling across his face and a grinning figure crouching next to him.

Gentle fingers wiped across his cheek, smearing blood over baby-soft skin as a pink tongue licked at the red. Izuku couldn’t bring himself to care.

His vision began to go black again as Kacchan, no, Katsuki, no, Ground Zero brought his mouth to Izuku’s ear, crusted with sweat and blood and whispered.

‘You’re mine now, Izuku.’

Izuku drifted off into oblivion.

Chapter Text

Todoroki was frozen.

Frozen, staring at the flame, he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t think and it was just too quick and then there was an explosion and he was forced into action. Everything seemed to slow down as he ran into carnage, dodging flying shrapnel, hiding from the flying forms. He helped civilians to safety, hauling their unconscious bodies on his back, feeling the strain of his quirk pushing the ice through his feet, propelling him to safety.

His head hurt and his heart hurt because his family was trapped under the rubble and he couldn’t dig quick enough, couldn’t move fast enough, hopping from building to collapsing building.

And then he saw it.

The broken, blood-matted figure of his mother impaled on a metal beam.

His stomach heaved but he refused to stop, putting down his latest load of civilians and rocketing back to the broken body doused in scarlet.

He couldn’t hear anything over the ringing in his ears.

Couldn’t hear anything as he began to scream and scream and scream, shaking her head, hoping, praying for her eyes to even open as her guts spilled out her chest and mouth and his world narrowed to just her, the last remaining member of his family as he truly, truly broke.

He brushed the hair from her eyes and backed away, pain ripping at his insides, turning his stomach to mush, bile forcing it’s way up his throat as he vomited and vomited and sobbed and he couldn’t move, pinned by the titanic, crushing grief that consumed him and he begged to whatever was up there to please make it stop, please please please please.

He barely had time to hear Izuku scream his name as a titanic piece of rubble crashed down onto him.

He welcome the silence.

Blood trickled out from cracked concrete.

Chapter Text

Izuku snuggled up to the warmth, staving off the winter chill and the dreaded prospect of having to wake up, ignoring the wan sunlight streaming through a crack in the curtains. It was a Sunday, and he was not going to get up early on his only day off in two weeks. He screwed his eyes tighter shut and yawned. He felt something brush back his hair, the roasting body pressed against his own shifting.
He mumbled protests, tightly hugging the arm.
‘Deku.’ The voice rumbled against his ear, teeth gently tugging at his earlobe, hot breath tickling his neck as someone sighed. Izuku snorted in annoyance, his eyes flicking open to stare at the slumber-softened Katsuki. Or, what he could see of Katsuki, with the sleep-mussed crown of blonde spikes blocking his vision as his boyfriend nuzzled his neck.
‘Izuku.’ Katsuki shoved a leg between Izuku’s own, pressing opened mouthed kisses onto Izuku’s skin and whispering incoherently. Izuku lifted a lazy hand to toy with the downy hair on Katsuki’s neck, gently pulling him in for a soft kiss. Katsuki grumbled against Izuku’s mouth, wrapping his arm’s around Izuku’s neck and pulling him in to stave off the morning chill, wiping the not-quite-dried drool off the freckled cheek. He pulled back, staring at the almost-glowing green mess of hair, the half-lidded eyes, the rosy cheeks and the kiss-pinked lips. Katsuki smiled, a gentle, vulnerable side of himself that he would never show in public. Only here, only now, only feeling Izuku’s muscles as he rolled over, dragging the blankets over his rumpled t-shirts (and stealing them from Katsuki: Izuku was a notorious blanket-hog) and letting out a little sigh.
Katsuki simply wrapped a leg around Izuku’s waist and pressed himself flush against his boyfriend, nuzzling the winter-paled neck, suckling little marks into the soft flesh. Izuku huffed, his eyes tightly shut as Katsuki moved to whisper in his ear.
‘Your breath tastes like shit.’
In an instant, Izuku’s eyes flew open, arms shoving him upright as he stared indignantly down at Katsuki. The latter simply grinned, displaying sharp teeth.
The grin vanished the second a pillow made contact with his face.

He shoved the pillow off the bed, grumpily snorting at Izuku who was trying to hide his laughter. Katsuki gave in the second he saw the merriment in the green eyes, and tossed his own pillow back, joining in with a deep chuckle. He moved forward to wrap and arm around Izuku and pull him into a kiss.

He wanted to spend the rest of his life with this man, and he was damn well going to do it.

They were going to build a family, a legacy.

Together

Chapter Text

Katsuki really didn’t like dogs.

He’d always been a cat person, but when Izuku had asked his oh-so-handsome, oh-so-kind-and-perfect and (Izuku really laid on the praise) strong boyfriend to watch the stray dog he found on the street until he could find a home for it, Katsuki couldn’t say no.

So that was how he ended up lumped with a dog for a day.

He stared into the eyes of the Labrador in front of him, tail wagging, sending a tornado of hair spiralling across the room. Katsuki scowled, getting up to make some coffee.

It was only nine o’clock.

What the fuck did one do with a dog?

‘Fuck.’ He muttered.

He glanced back at the dog. Barney, it was called.

Who was currently rubbing his hair-ridden back all over Katsuki’s white carpet.

Katsuki screamed at the thing, launching himself across the room to push the animal onto the tile floor. It panted at him, staring with it's tongue nearly brushing the floor. Bakugou near-growled at him.

 

Half an hour later, Katsuki was in the middle of a workout (it was his day off, and like hell he wasn't going to be productive) when he heard very persistent whining noises, followed by something that sounded a lot like scratching. After bearing five minutes of incessant howlimg, he finally stopped mid-circuit with a face like thunder, moving from his gym to the open plan living room. The dog was laying down by the door, whining at him with great sad eyes, drooling on Katsuki's pristine white tiles.
'What, fucker?' He barked at the animal, who's ears flattened against its head. It turned tail and began sniffing at the crack of the entry door, tail wagging hopefully.
'You need a pee or some shit? A walk?' It's ears perked up at the magic word, and it nosed at the lead. Katsuki scowled, snatching up the glorified rope in one hand while he yanked the door open with the other.
'Go on then you little fucker.'

 

Katsuki was in love. Maybe. He would deny it but the annoying fucker of a dog just grew on him, even despite it's annoying habits. So when Izuku walked in to find Katsuki with the dog curled up next to him, he was so surprised he nearly fell over. Katsuki snapped shut the laptop he was looking at as his boyfriend kissed his cheek, hero suit grimy. The emergency hadn't been easy.
'What are you doing?' Izuku asked, chortling when Barney nosed his thigh.
'...can we keep him.' Izuku cocked his head, eyes narrowing in confusion.
'What?'
'Can we keep the fucking dog!' Katsuki yelled back, folding his arms as he stood up. Izuku laughed.

 

Katsuki frowned, grinning smugly on the inside as Haiku nodded and wrapped an arm around his waist.
'Guess I'll cancel my arrangements, then.' Katsuki practi ally cheered, though his only reply was a grumpy short.

He really wanted another one.

Maybe a husky this time.

What could he say? He really, really liked dogs. And who could blame him.

Chapter Text

Izuku grinned at the screen he stared at, his mouse already clicking to move his avatar into a combo move as he and a partner battled to take down the titanic rock Ancestral. Izuku laughed into his headset when the other player swiped at the Ancestral, finally exploding into hunks of glowing, magma-infused boulders. Izuku cheered, raucous laughter filtering down the line as they were teleported back to the homeworld of Enchanted: A Saga.
‘Woo! Kacchan, we did it!’ Izuku beamed, his eyes lighting up as he stared at the screen.
‘Hell yeah we did. Knew we could beat that fucker.’ The cocky voice replied. Izuku could almost hear the smirk.
‘What’s next?’
‘So eager, Deku.’ Kacchan’s avatar moved towards the glowing violet portal, his username hovering above the great muscled warrior laden with furs and teeth. Izuku moved his own avatar to follow, checking a few things with his dashboard and stats.
‘What? I like this game, and I want to continue it!’
‘You’re lucky it isn’t too popular. Otherwise all the other players would kick your fucking ass.’ Izuku snorted.
‘I could kick your ass any day, Kacchan.’
‘I’d like to see you try, damned nerd.’
‘Says the one who’s username is Lord Explosion Murder.’
‘Shut the fuck up.’ He could hear the smile in Kacchan’s voice.
Izuku went quiet for a minute as they walked through the portal, passing into a dark underground cave that sparkled with the light of a million stalactites.
‘Kacchan?’
‘What, nerd?’
‘Do you think we’ll ever meet? In real life, I mean. Not just on a game.’
There was no reply as they took down a few obstacles, their avatars vaulting over stone vines.
Finally, Kacchan spoke.
‘I don’t know, Deku.’
‘I hope we do, Kacchan. I’m sure you’re as amazing in person as you are online.’
Izuku beamed at the screen. Even though Kacchan couldn’t see him.
‘I gotta sleep, nerd.’
‘Oh!’ Izuku blinked. His eyebrows furrowed. ‘Well, have a good night then, Kacchan! Sleep well!’
‘Fuck off, nerd.’ Izuku laughed as the notification that LordExplosionMurder had logged out popped up on his screen. He turned off his monitor with a sigh, and hopped into his bed. It was nine o’clock, after all, and he needed an early work out the next morning.
Izuku shut his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

 

Katsuki couldn’t help it. The second Deku mentioned something affectionate, he’d choked. Because he couldn’t help but be enchanted, enthralled by that voice, that alluring laugh behind the screen. So he pretended he needed sleep, even when every inch of him was thrumming with adrenaline and his knee was frantically jiggling.
So he lied.
And Katsuki was nothing if not good at pretending.

Chapter Text

Toshinori could feel it. He could feel his breathing weakening with each step, the wheezy inhale making him feel light headed. Blood spurted from his mouth and nostrils as he struggled to take a step forwards, ignoring the agony in his side, ignoring the feeling of trembling muscle, ruptured tisses. His hair trembled like the antennae of a flying bug.

He felt so frail. He felt every bit the old man he was, felt every one of his years crushing down on him, pressing against his shoulders as he struggled against his failing, frail body.

He collapsed to his knees. That dreadful laughter cut through the air.

Toshinori couldn’t move.

It hurt too much.

And he was trying so hard to fight, fight against his injury, eke out just one more minute before reverting to his true form.

To force himself to fight and continue.

For Nana.

For Inko.

For Izuku.

For all those who looked up to him, for those who’s lives he had saved, for those his every action inspired to be better, greater, to be kinder.

For the world he had bettered.

Resolve of steel hardened in Toshinori’s gut.

He flung himself upwards, rocketing into the sky. Barely evading the blade that had been swung at his neck.

He swore he could feel hands upon his shoulder, and feel one warm, callused palm wrapped around his own.

He fought with renewed vigor.

No matter how frail he was, he wouldn’t let them down.

For he was the Symbol of Peace, mentor to Midoriya Izuku, the Peacekeeper of Japan, the hero of the masses. Admired. Loved.

He was All Might.

And he would not go down without a fight.

Chapter Text

Izuku was astounded. Stunned. Astonished, even, that a man could cut through ice with such ease, such grace. Bakugou Katsuki, captain of the ice hockey team, the most ferocious, arrogant player out there with looks and an attitude to match his superiority complex. Izuku was completely in awe of the guy. Which is why he was the perfect art study.

Izuku was muttering away, pen scratching at his paper, observing at the man skating across the ring like he on fire, his stick clattering as he evaded imaginary tackles, skidding to a stop as he flung the puck into the air, slamming it into the goal. He smirked, visible even from a distance, and skated back down to the other end, catching up the puck in one smooth swing. Izuku went back to his sketchbook, letting his pencil slowly stroke upwards to form the curve of the captain’s back, tracing the line of his jaw, capturing the fierceness of his eyes. Katsuki’s solo hockey training, early in the morning was one of his favourite times of day, his best sketching opportunity. It was his greatest practice opportunity to quickly sketch animated positions, without any obstructions, and his art class grades had been skyrocketing since he started. Just him, the pencil and the paper. And the expletive-prone high-school student currently screaming curses at the top of his lungs, having missed a goal.

Izuku really didn’t appreciate that.

———

Finally, Katsuki stopped, rolling up his grey shirt sleeves to expose his forearms. He rubbed at a msucle, and Izuku took it as his cure to leave. He shoved his pen in his back pocket, his hands shaking from the cold, blowing his hot breath into his scarf in a hope of heating up his frozen nose. He wrung his hands to get the blood circulating again, his fingerless gloves doing little to ward against the cold as he collected up his sketchbook and pencils, stuffing them in his yellow backpack and making his way towards the exit. Wintry sun blasted his face as he checked his watch, pushing up his shirt cuff. He shivered as the air bit as his exposed skin, burying deeper in his navy puffer jacket, hurrying along to his classes. He’d been accustomed to early wake-ups for quite some time, even as he stifled a yawn. At least, that’s what he told himself.

He never let Katsuki see him, hiding at the very back of the spectating area, huddled into his coat as he sketched and sketched until his hand hurt, rocketing out the second Katsuki moved to leave. He was determined to get into his art college of choice, and if he needed to sacrifice more than five hours of sleep and risk his neck just to get a live-action model, (who might blow up at any moment, it should be said) then he was going to even if it killed him.

Izuku yawned again, pushing into his art class, sitting down in the first chair he saw as he yawned a third time.

He hadn’t realised there was someone sitting in it. His eyes jolted open, flying off the person’s lap he sat on, spinning on his heel to reveal the very person he’d been trying to outpace.
‘What the fuck are you doing, shitty nerd?’ Katsuki growled, scowling at Izuku, standing up. He towered over Izuku, getting right up in the latter’s face.
‘K-Kacchan! I’m so sorry, please forgive me! It was an accident!’ Izuku bowed, hiding his flushed neck and cheeks, preparing for the inevitable outburst of swearing and shouts.
‘Whatever, Deku. Don’t do it again.’ Izuku blinked in surprise, staring at the floor as Katsuki’s feet moved away from him.

He hadn’t exploded.

At all.

Izuku moved to the back, his mind reeling as more students began to filter in, his best friend Ochako plopping herself down into the seat next to him. She beamed at him, gave a sunny greeting and began chattering on about her date last night as Izuku struggled to process the earlier interaction, his face a bright crimson. She slowed down her tirade of information, halting at Izuku’s frown and fiddling with the hem of his jumper.
‘Izuku? Are you okay?’ Izuku jumped, running a hand through his hair as he hoisted his bag onto the table with a thump.
‘I’m fine!’ He blurted, turning to flash her a harrassed smile as he tugged his sketchbook out of his bag, the class finally starting as the teacher sucked on his juice box.
‘What happened?’
‘I’ll tell you after class-’
‘Midoriya!’ Aizawa’s voice rang out in the silence, his glare aimed at the flustered student. ‘No talking in class. If I hear you one more time, I’ll-’ He trailed off, seemingly lost. ‘I actually realised I don’t care. Draw something while I take a nap.’ With that, the teacher collapsed onto his desk, beginning to snore, and Ochako turned back to quizzing Izuku.

———

Izuku strolled down the crowded hallway, books cradled in his arms and mouth muttering at a million miles an hour. His latest Technology and Coding class had left him rather dissatisfied, and he was churning off words a million miles a minute. He ignored all the strange looks, the few sniggers, continuing to gesture and emphasise his ideas with one hand, deep in thought. His head was down, staring at his red-sneakered feet when a hand slammed into the locker next to his head, startling him. Katsuki Bakugou stared down at him, lips twitched into a smirk, one eyebrow cocked as he moved right into Izuku’s personal space, enough that Izuku had to tilt his head to look him in the eyes. He was faintly aware of the self-dubbed Bakusquad cheering in the background, the odd looks he got, but he couldn’t move, pinned to the spot by Katsuki’s penetrating stare. Katsuki’s letterman jacket draped elegantly around his muscles, pointy teeth closer than they had ever been as Katsuki curved over the top of him. Izuku could only gulp.
‘K-Kacchan, what are you-’
‘I know you come to my solo hockey practice, Deku. Do you really think I’m so fucking stupid that I don’t see your shitty green hair in the corner?’ There was an almost smug, almost playful lilt to Katsuki’s voice, so at odds with the deep scowl on his face, the crude, livid tone. Izuku dissolved into a mess of stutters and blushing, stammering out explanations and apologies.
‘I-I’m sorry K-Kacchan, I just needed a model to practice on and you were there and I don’t know you just are a good model and- Wait that’s not what I mean! I’m not saying you’re a model: though you could be but I mean-’ Izuku stuttered to a stop, staring right into Katsuki’s eyes and gulping, his entire face in flames.
‘Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, shitty nerd. I’m not fucking stupid.’ He leant even closer, an evil smirk gracing his lips, making his eyes flash bright.
‘You fucking looking down on me?’ Izuku saw it too late.

Katsuki wasn’t just mad.

He was furious.

‘I-I’m sorry Kacchan I’ll do anything I can to make it up to you! I wasn’t looking down on you at all, I was actually admiring you and I’m-’ Izuku cut off again with a short squeak. Katsuki had stepped even closer. Izuku felt panic rise in his chest.
‘You better be fucking sure, and you better be fucking admire me, because I’m the fucking best. Right, Deku?’
‘Y-Yes, of course! I can pay you back for what you would have made Kacchan, I don’t mean to steal from you!’ Izuku’s voice climbed an octave, wavering nervously.
‘Good. So, as payment for my fucking “modelling services”, you free later?’ Katsuki scowled at Izuku, his arrogance and crudeness shining through.
But something else was there as well.
Izuku just stared, an undignified noise warbling from his throat as he practically passed out from shock. Katsuki just stared, utterly serious. All mischief vanished, along with the usual anger.

Izuku nodded mutely, trying to get past the triumphant roaring in his chest. He could hear the Bakusquad screaming, could feel the heat off Katsuki’s lean body.

How, in the name of All Might had that happened?

Katsuki, the captain of the hockey team, most promising player, with model-like good looks had asked him, Izuku Midoriya, out on a date?

‘I-’
‘Here. Take my jacket, nerd. It’s cold outside.’ Katsuki leaned in, brushing his lips along Izuku’s cheek as Izuku stiffened, heat rushing upwards. ‘Besides. It’ll show everyone that you’re mine.’
The books fell from Izuku’s arms as Katsuki shrugged off his blue letterman jacket, placing it around Izuku’s shoulders with uncharacteristic care. Izuku could barely breathe, so focused on that vermilion gaze, that strong body that flexed and moved.
‘Tonight, eight o’clock at my place, nerd. You know where it is.’ Katsuki sauntered off down the corridor, sending a smirk back over his shoulder as his friends catcalled. He shoved a few freshmen out of his way and pushed through his friends, screaming offense at them.
Izuku hid his face in his hands and smiled.

Chapter Text

The clouds floated across the night sky, the edges holding the remnants of the sunset as Katsuki stared, hidden constellations like winking diamonds scattered across inky cloth. His eyes flickered in the candlelight, gazing moodily into the gloom of the outdoor restaurant he was sat in. His face screamed emotions he couldn’t voice.

His fists bunched into his suit fabric, ears perking up as footsteps sounded from behind him, the pace familiar.
‘Kacchan? Are you okay?’ Green eyes peered out at him from a mop of verdant curls, eyebrows furrowed as Izuku sat down opposite him, white shirt stark against the murk of the full balcony. Hearing his name on Izuku’s tongue sent shivers racing down his spine, muted chatters of the other diners fading away at Izuku’s melodic voice.
‘Yeah.’ He gave a weak, oh-so-rare smile, his voice husky and deeper than normal. He cleared his throat into his fist, hunched over his hand. Izuku beamed back, dimples creasing his freckled cheeks.
‘Good.’ He picked up the menu, tiny flames reflected back in his eyes as he perused the laminated sheets of paper. ‘Ooh, the chocolate fondant sounds lovely! Or the mochi! You love mochi, right Kacchan? Remember, on our first date when you dragged me to that mochi shop, then ended up having an allergic reaction to the first one you tried.’ Izuku chuckled at the memory, deepening Katsuki’s scowl.
He remembered that instance a little too well for his liking.

Katsuki nodded, snatching up his own copy of the menu. He fixiated on the prices, numbers and words blurring beneath his gaze as his heart thrummed in his chest. His fists clenched against the plastic.
‘Kacchan?’ Katsuki looked up, starting when he realised there was a waiter standing expectantly next to him.
‘What would you like for dessert, sir?’ The waiter asked, pen poised above his notebook.
‘An expresso, two shots.’ Izuku gave him a quizzical glance, his fingers snaking down to toy with the tiny, velveteen box in his pocket.
‘The mochi for me please! Also, can I have an extra?’ Izuku asked. Katsuki stood up, jolting the table. Izuku gave him another stare.
‘Kacchan?’
‘I need to discuss an allergen with you.’ Katsuki barked at the waiter, walking away. The waiter trailed meekly behind, until Katsuki stopped right by the door to the interior.
‘I need you to do something for me. I can pay you for it.’

———

Izuku practically bounced in his seat when he saw the dessert approching, Katsuki stifling a smile at the childish excitement he had come to know and love. He readied himself to move, his hand resting upon the box.
‘Kacchan! Look how pretty it is! Wait-’ He cut himself off, frowning quizically as he read the words. ‘There’s something written on here. Izuku Midoriya, will you-’ He stopped.

Katsuki got down on one knee and opened the box he was holding, displaying an emerald as bright as Izuku’s eyes embedded in a gold band. He swallowed nervously, staring up at Izuku. 'Izuku. There are so many things I want to say. That I can say. But what I will say is this.' He inhaled sharply, scenting the sweet musk of Izuku himself. 'I love you, more than I ever have anyone. We have been through fucking hard times, but we pulled through. What I'm trying to say is that I love everything about you, and please. Will you marry me?' He finally risked a glance upwards, staring at year filled emerald eyes as Izuku nodded, hands pressed to his face. 'Yes!' Katsuki's heart almost exploded as the restaurant around them burst into claps, Izuku throwing himself into Katsuki's arms. He slipped the ring onto Izuku's finger, burying his face in green curls as Izuku sobbed into his shirt. 'Don't cry, nerd.' Izuku stared up at him with eyes like gems dipped in dew. 'I'm not crying.' 'What're those then, fucker?' Katsuki worked. 'Tears of laughter. You're the only person I have ever know who swore in a proposal.' Izuku sniggered. Katsuki shut him up with a kiss. The lion in his chest roared triumphantly as he kissed Izuku, short and sweet. He beat the pattern. He changed the narrative. And he was damn lucky to spend the rest of his life with the man he loved.

Chapter Text

Izuku leapt over the roof, wooden staff clutched in his hand. A jet of ice shot from his bare feet when they hit the tarmac, breath pluming in front of him. He laughed, wild and free at the feel of bitter cold assaulting his senses. His ice-encrusted hoodie billowed behind him, as he reveled in the pure exhilaration of the feeling of flying through the air. He always loved winter mornings, the times he felt the strongest. His peak seasons, the times when he felt truly alive.

Well, as alive as a long-dead ice spirit could feel, completely invisible to all the world.

His white hair streamed behind him, curls flying in his eyes as his laughter lit up the street, his body swerving the cars, a sheen of ice spreading from where he touched. A wicked wind whipped up behind him, tossing him in the air as snow began to fall, his body curving in a graceful flip as frost spread across the street below, passerbys slipping on the paths. His smile was nothing short of mischevious, splaying out a hand to rush snowflakes by. His green eyes glittered with mirth.

Suddenly, he saw a bright light over the horizon, radiant as the sun, golden as Izuku’s heart. Their signal. He chuckled aloud, letting his body plummet to the floor. Seconds before impact, he screamed a war cry, arching his back.
‘Winter wind, take me home!’ The ice spirit was flung into the sky at a million miles an hour, letting out a whoop as he flew over rooftop after rooftop.

———

‘You’re late.’ Katsuki growled, narrowing his eyes at Izuku. His spiked blond hair rippled in a warm breeze, unheard of this far north, his knee-length tunic the colour of the sun falling around his thighs. Izuku simply grinned at the other spirit, reaching out to ruffle their hair, his feet touching down on the ground.

The made it habit to meet whenever one of them gave a signal, which happened pretty frequently. After all, they didn’t have much to do in between the monthly Council, aside from regulating the weather, which was easy as breathing (which, ironically, they didn’t need to do any more). So they found company in each other, occasionally the others such as the volcanic Dragon spirit, Kirishima, or the spring spirits Ochako and Iida.
‘There was just the right conditions for a snowstorm over Quebec. The humans would get suspicious otherwise.’
Katsuki grunted, turning away to stare at the pale winter light. A polar bear loped across the ice-hills in the distance, tiny cubs trailing behind. In a flash, Izuku was there, ushering the youngest cub along, petting it’s head.
‘Why do you always do that, shitty nerd?’
‘Do what?’
‘That. That-‘ Katsuki gestured, red eyes flashing as he tried to convey his meaning through gestures.
‘Kindness?’ Izuku cocked an eyebrow.
‘I don’t know. Fucking sure.’
‘Language, Kacchan. Were you always this potty mouthed when you were alive?’
‘I don’t know.’ Katsuki shrugged.

The sad truth was, neither of them remembered much about their previous lives. They’d discussed it many times, trying to work out what they looked like, what their personalities were like. All Izuku could remember was a blurry-featured face framed by black curls, then burningly icy water. Then nothing, and then he was awake under a full moon in which he swore he could see the silhouette of a frail old man in.

———

‘So. Kacchan.’ Izuku stared at Katsuki’s burning crown of dandelion fluff, resisting the urge to pet it. They were sat on a huge cliff of ice hundreds of meters above glacial water. ‘Tag?’
‘Only if I’m it, shitty nerd.’ Izuku laughed, letting his retort be whipped away by the wind, thrown to the ice above as he crashed towards the water. At the last second, he turned the uncontrolled fall into a dive, letting his head break the surface. With a simple gesture, he commanded the water to pull him away, the ice shelf receding from sight. Suddenly, a burning light broke the surface, shooting towards him as fast as he was being whisked away. He could feel the bubbling warmth from his position. Izuku snorted, bubbles floating to the surface above. He looked over his shoulder. Only to crash into a stray iceberg.

Shaking his head, he turned to the open water again, gaze fixing on Katsuki, a salacious smirk painted across his face. He pinned him against the ice with both arms, heat bubbling off of him, Izuku snuggling into the sensation.
‘I win.’
‘Only because I let you.’ Izuku rolled his eyes, fixiating on anywhere but the flame spirit as he felt the blood flood his face, highlighting the freckles against his starkly pale skin.
‘Round two?’ Katsuki cocked an eyebrow, hand coming to cradle Izuku’s jaw.
‘In a minute.’ He leant forward and kissed Katsuki, his open mouth colliding with Katsuki’s own. He felt the heat intensify, opening his eyes for a second to see Katsuki glowing. He shut them again.

Silver and gold light poured off them both, mixing, throwing the beams through the water as they kissed, bubbles floating to the surface. Katsuki’s tunic floated about in the current.

You see, the reason they met up so frequently is because they were hopelessly, hopelessly in love with each other.

Chapter Text

It was that time again.
The Council.
That time of month where all kinds of spirits got together to make sure everything was in order and that nothing catastrophic would ruin humanity as they knew it. Such as the Dark Ones.
They did not speak of the dark ones.
The council meetings was annoying, inconvenient and very, very painful.
Just like a period.

Izuku screamed towards their scared meeting place, plummeting towards the lush jungle gardens with a wicked wind biting at his heels. He skidded to a halt, whipping the luxuriant flowers of the garden, drawing the attention of the talking group of spirits as a fireball became visible over the horizon, crashing to a stop next to him. A wave of smoke plumed out from the collision, and Katsuki emerged from it, a wicked scowl on his face. His hair seemed to glow in the flames wreathing his shoulders, sun emblem on his tunic glinting scarlet. Until he was taken down by an overly eager humanoid, spiky red hair flying at him. Katsuki tumbled backwards, spitting curses as Izuku was ensnared in a hug by Ochako and Iida, the spring spirits.

‘Midoriya!’ Ochako grinned, pulling back from the hug to stare at him. The other spirits in the massive group had gone back to their coversations, some coming over to greet the new arrivals. A scented breeze flowed around them, ruffling Izuku’s hair as he began to talk.
‘Ochako! It’s so nice to see you! It gets so lonely up in the north.’
‘Not as lonely as one might think, hey Midoriya?’ Kaminari had sidled up to Izuku’s side, disregarding the fuming summer spirit behind him to elbow Izuku in the stomach.
‘Shut up you electric fucker!’ Katsuki snarled from behind him, advancing on Kaminari, who backed away. Mina, the spirit of mischief, came up to Katsuki’s shoulder, smiling at him with a cheeky grin.
‘He’s only playing, Bakugou. You know he’d never hurt your boyfriend-’ Katsuki lunged for her, just as she darted backwards, laughing manically. Katsuki launched a fireball in her direction, his face set in a manic snarl. Izuku just shook his head. The ground was rumbling as Iida stepped in, a poppy-scented breeze separating the two troublemakers, even as Katsuki growled and threatened.
‘Stop it, now! This is our Council, not some kind of brawl!’ He punctuated his words with gestures, chopping at the air in a slicing motion.
‘It is very irresponsible of you both. You should be ashamed. Besides, the Council is starting.’
‘Shut the fuck up, Four Eyes.’ Katsuki snarled, launching himself backwards and into a tree limb where he crouched, scowling. The remaining spirits began to cluster beneath the tree, their sacred Life Source. Glowing moss hung from thick boughs, wisps of the stuff drifting from the leaves. Iida clapped his hands, and the incessant murmuring began to pipe down.
‘Welcome to our monthly meeting, Spirits! Now, as your representative it is my duty to inform you about some odd behaviours occurring over the past few weeks.’

Izuku felt a chill trickle down his spine.
Something wasn’t right.
Katsuki must’ve felt it too as he shot to his feet, hands smoking.
‘We believe the Dark Ones are on the p-’

He never finished his sentence.
A huge, titanic dragon rose up from behind him, spewing crystal fire.
Incinerating Iida in one blast.

The Dark Ones were here.

Chapter Text

Ashes.
They always reminded Izuku of Katsuki. The way they smelt, the way they felt. Soft, forged by something fiery hot to become this cast-off, this stunning flake of red-hot drifting on a night-kissed breeze.

Izuku’s eyes were half lidded as he stared at the ashes floating around him on a warm wind, pine needles tinkling. The warm presence wrapped around his back shifted as Izuku stared at the dying embers of their campfire, the open flap of their tent a window to the outside. Silhouettes of trees stretched up to kiss the sky, bright, unobscured stars twinkling in the galaxies so high. Izuku kept staring at the scenery, the lake in the distance nestled between two snow-capped mountain peaks, clouds nestling around their middles like belts. He smiled sleepily. He really loved nature.

Warm breath nuzzled as his neck as Katsuki shifted in his sleep, wrapping toasty arms tighter around Izuku’s middle, exhales tickling the back of Izuku’s neck and stirring up his curls. Izuku grinned in content, pressing a single kiss to the palm tucked underneath his head. Their joint sleeping bag pressed them close, ashes dancing through the air, a flurry of beautiful dust, gracefully twirling. Izuku slowly shut his eyes again, the gentle flicker flame burned into his retinas, the presence at his back cradling him, soothing him as he fell into a deep slumber filled with scarlet eyes and smoky scent.

Chapter Text

HELLA ANGST AKA GORE

BE WARNED IT'S QUITE GRAPHIC.

-----

Izuku coughed.
He didn’t like the feeling of the tickle in his throat, of the burn in his lungs. He coughed again, muffling it in his sleeve. His eyes watered with the force of the contractions wracking his body as his eyes squeezed tight shut, his hand shooting in the air.
‘Yes?’ Aizawa drawled from his slumped position in his chair, hair brushing his forehead.
‘Please may I go-’ Izuku coughed again, and he felt something begin to move in his esophagus. ‘Go to the bathroom?’ Aizawa simply gestured, and Izuku bolted from the class, careening towards the nearest bathroom, trying to ignore the vibrations in his body, the contractions forcing something up, up, up.

He crashed the door open, slumping over the sink as something slimy and wet splattered out of his mouth, plopping into the sink with a soggy noise. He coughed again, with more force, more things spewing out of him, working their way up their insides, scraping against his soft flesh. The pain was unimaginable, and he clenched his teeth against the spiky substance, coughing and coughing the life out of him as copper flooded his mouth and they just kept coming. Izuku fought the urge to vomit, panting weakly through clenched teeth as something scraped at his insides, clawing it’s way up and out until it sprayed out of him. His back arched at the mind-numbing agony, the pressure and the writhing inside him as he coughed one last time, leaving his mouth a sore, shredded mess, eyes tight shut as he finally looked up.
His head felt so heavy, the very movement making his head spin and swirl as he slowly, painfully looked up.

Izuku’s eyes were ringed in dark circles, dead, blood absolutely drained from his face.
But splattered everywhere else along him, cheeks and ears and hair crusted with the stuff, teven the mirror flecked with crusted scarlet. It was like a scene from a horro movie, and Izuku desperately tried to ignore the fact that there was something that looked like skin intermingled along the glint of his reflection. He battled his gag reflex as he slowly, slowly looked down.

Red. There was so much red, coating lumps of his insides, marring the white porcelain he leant on so heavily.
It wasn’t just blood.

Something spiky stuck out of the mass of flesh.

With a shaking hand, he reached out, prodded with his eyes squeezed tightly shut. Something pricked his fingertip, and he pinched it, drawing it upwards, tremors running down his muscles.
He opened his eyes.

And stared blankly at the single thistle head in his hand, doused in crimson.

He let out an ear-splitting scream.

------

 

Izuku smiled at the overgrown mass of lush vines that coated the exit to his tower, one of the only windows, staring out at the setting sun. He always loved twilight. He loved the way the colours stained the sky vibrant, left streaks behind long afterwards. It was like a painting, and he always tried to replicate it with a skillfull hand and careful brush.

Though, recently, he’d found that he’d been depicting a certain person more than he ever had before.

You see, he’d been loving sunset for more than one reason, recently.

It was the time when Katsuki came to visit. His only contact with the outside world

Dabi and Shigaraki, his parents, had no idea. They often left him alone while attending to their business, outside the tower. They trusted him enough to remain there alone, to do his chores with pin-neat precision. They trusted him to take care of his himself. He was proud of that fact, but the more rebellious part of him revelled in the fact that he had one tiny part of his life that they didn’t know about.

After what seemed like an age, a crown of ash-blond hair broke through the entrance to his sanctuary, closing the distance with precise hurry. Izuku began letting his hair down the side of the tower, bracing for the inevitable tug. His scalp complained a little at the added weight, but he dutifully pulled, yanking Katsuki up with an eagerness he felt every evening.

Finally, the blond hair crested the sill, black boots stepping over the sill as Katsuki’s face devolved into a shit-eating grin.

Izuku smiled, bright as the sun, as he flung himself at the newcomer and yanked his mouth to his.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s hair twined around him, draping down the side of the tower in a verdant tumble, staring out yet from his windowsill perch.

His fingers twitched with excitement, tapping his thigh impatiently.

Dabi and Shigaraki had gone out, this time for a few days, their goodbyes short and sweet. Izuku had been itching for this opportunity.
The chance to see the world beyond the tower was too good to let up, even if he risked his parent’s trust and disappointment. He had to see it once. He had to let Katsuki take him out to experience, to feel the grass, maybe even meet people. People who he had no connection to, who were so wonderfully free.

He loved his parents, but he never told them about the beast inside him that clawed to get out, to breathe air that wasn’t perfumed with dust and oak, to feel green beneath his feet and no roof and no roof and no roof-

He shut his eyes tight as a wave of panic swept over him, clutching onto the cracked windowsill, the wood creaking under his grip. He counted to ten, breathing in, out, focusing on the feeling of the evening wind against his bare skin and not the heavy, cloying feeling the walls gave him. He released a shaky sigh, forcing himself to calm down.

Izuku’s eyes flicked open as the familiar tug on his hair pulled at his scalp and he leapt backwards, hooking the green mass over the iron claw sticking out from the wall. His arms strained as he pulled and pulled and then Katsuki was there and his excitement crested. He kissed Katsuki hard, throwing his arms around the man. He could feel Katsuki’s smile against his mouth as he pulled back, grinning unabashedly.
‘Ready, nerd?’
Izuku nodded eagerly. Katsuki smirked, taking hold of Izuku’s hair still wrapped around the hook.
‘Then jump.’ Katsuki leapt backwards out the window, swinging out wildly as Izuku clutched the hair by his waist, holding on tight, then hurling himself out into the open air. He knew Katsuki, knew that he would hold the end.

Izuku halted right above the fresh green grass kissed in sunlight, his stomach writhing with nerves. He tentatively reached out a bare foot, letting his toes brush the tips of the floor.

He let go.

He sank down onto his haunches as pure joy filtered through him, tears trickling down his cheeks, as he sobbed at the pure sensation, the exhilaration of freedom and finally no roof and he could leave and he didn’t have to climb out of his bedroom skylight just to catch a glimpse of the stars anymore. A warm palm rubbed against his back as he turned to look at the scarlet eyes.
‘It’s beautiful.’

———

Izuku darted through the market, bursting at the seams from excitement and anticipation because there were people, and people, and he could hardly breathe from joy. He darted to and fro, muttering frantically, tailed by a silently amused Katsuki, the giant plait as his back brushing the ground. A trail of flowers floated to the ground behind him, knocked to the ground by errant elbows, pale yellow, scarlet, blue. Katsuki hid his grin very, very deep inside himself, cloak draping over his face as Izuku began animatedly exclaiming over the paintings of the Warrior-King, Yagi Toshinori, admiring the lighting, the skillful rendering, the vibrant colours.

His grin fell right off his mental face as Izuku began staring at a board plastered with wanted posters. The legendary Black Bandits.

Izuku froze. A familiar face was staring back at him from the yellowed posters he was gaping at, the sneering eyes caught in black ink, spiked hair a fan around the sharp jawline.
‘Don’t look at those.’ A rough hand grabbed his wrist, sharp tone cutting through the buzz in Izuku’s head as he was pulled into a side alley, Katsuki’s hood thrown off his head, revealing his livid expression.
‘What was that?’ Izuku asked, staring intently at Katsuki, analysing the tense posture, furious stare.
‘None of your fucking concern, Izuku.’ Izuku bristled at the intonation, drawing himself up to his full height.
‘Then why was your face plastered over those posters, staring back at me? I wouldn’t call that nothing, would I?’
‘Shut the fuck up. You don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Katsuki growled. Involuntary tears welled, clouding Izuku’s vision as he pushed a curl back from his eyes, glaring right into Katsuki’s eyes.
‘Why are you on those posters, Katsuki? Or should I say, Ground Zero?’
‘Shut up, Izuku! I’m fucking warning you!’ Katsuki shouted, advancing on Izuku. He held his ground.
‘I refuse to be lied to, Katsuki! Just because I spent my life in a tower doesn’t mean I’m so naive that I don’t know what you’re hiding!’
‘And what the fuck do you think I’m hiding, if you’re so fucking smart Deku?’ Katsuki positively screamed at Izuku, prodding a finger against Izuku’s chest as tears began to drip down his cheeks, silent, silent.
‘I want to hear you say it.’
‘Fuck it, Izuku! I’m a fucking thief! What the fuck more do you want?!’ The blood positively drained from Izuku’s face.
‘You- You’re a thief. You- I-’
‘Did I fucking stutter!’
‘That’s not what I was expecting.’ Izuku’s voice was quiet. Devastated. Tears silently staining the collar of his shirt a dusky purple as he turned to go.
‘This was a mistake. I should have never trusted you. Dabi was right. I should have never left.’ Izuku turned to go, disappearing into the thronging crowd. Katsuki lunged for him, something painful and horrible shattering through him as he crashed into the bustling street, searching for the familiar head of long green curls.
He didn’t realise his hood wasn’t up until he heard someone scream.
‘Ground Zero!’ Instantly, he was on high alert, shoving past the people turning to look, to stare and cluster. He looked over his shoulder in a last-ditch attempt to spot the dark curls.

Only to rocket into the iron-plated chest of a palace guard.

———

Izuku jogged away from the marketplace, frantically wiping his eyes as he tried to muffle his sniffles. He knew he looked a mess but he couldn’t care less.

Katsuki was a thief. He stole from the people for his own personal gain. He’d lied to Izuku, kept the truth from him for their entire relationship.
He’d probably stolen the ring Izuku wore on his middle finger. Izuku ripped it off, ruby winking at him as he tossed it into the fountain, grunting in anger. He felt listless.

He only looked up from his stupor when a mob passed by. Izuku was curious, even with the intense ache in his chest. He ventured closer, searching for the opportunity to advance as the riot moved towards the palace gates.
For one blessed moment, his vision was clear, giving him a clear view of the middle
A blonde head of spiked hair stuck up from the center, arms held behind his back by a pair of iron-clad men, hauling him snarling and clawing towards the rising portcullis. A bruise bloomed on his cheek, clothes ripped to shreds.
Izuku screamed, the ache in his chest sharpening into ice-cold fear as he launched himself forward, screaming.
‘Katsuki!’ He shoved through the crowd, delving deeper, pushing and yanking with reckless abandon as he clawed his way closer and closer.
He was so close, so close.
Katsuki twisted in the guard’s arms, craning his head back at the boy reaching for him.
‘Izuku!’
Izuku thrust his hand out, extending his hand as far as he could, racing forward at the front of the crowd as Katsuki was hauled through the gates.
A final shout of ‘Katsuki!’ echoed between them as Katsuki craned his neck one last time.
Red eyes met green the portcullis clanged down between them.
The gates swang shut with horrid finality as Izuku sank to his knees.
He stayed there for an indeterminable amount of time.

Chapter Text

The bottom of Izuku’s garden was wild.
Overflowing with brambles, blackberries hanging by the clump in the sweet summer air, slender leaves dripping with cool dew. Izuku had loved spending time there since he was a child. It was his sanctuary. His place to analyse, to sit in the damp grass and lean against the brick wall, his place to breathe and calm down when he was on the verge of an anxiety attack (which happened a little too often to be healthy), his place to just be.

It was also the place where he could talk to the mysterious Kacchan on the other side of the be-thorned brick wall. He didn’t know who the boy was. Izuku knew more about him than his closest friends, and Kacchan knew more about Izuku than he cared to admit. They’d lived opposite each other since they were children, but Izuku still hadn’t managed to figure out which house the other lived in. It was like he didn’t exist beyond the borders of their jungle world,

Today, it was raining. Izuku always loved the summer rain, the gentle patter dusting his freckled face in a cool mist, a brief respite from the heat. He tilted his head back, waiting until the familiar scratch and slide of a clothed back shifted down the wall behind him, letting his eyes flicker shut.
‘Deku.’ The deep voice rasped from the other side of the wall. Izuku smiled.
‘Hi, Kacchan. How was your day?’
‘None of your business, fucker.’ The growled response came, lilted with amusement, and Izuku chuckled. It had become their running joke.
‘Well, my day was… not the best. This boy in my class. You might know him. He threw my analysis notebook out the classroom window, after setting on fire with a bunsen burner.’ Izuku’s voice tightened towards the end, the rain sliding down his face feeling oddly like tears.
‘What a fucker.’
‘Yeah.’ They lapsed into comfortable silence, and Izuku imagined Kacchan’s head titled back, resting against the wall, arms loosely folded in his lap. Something warm burned in his chest, setting his heart aflame. He loved this time of day. Just quiet conversation, laughter, getting out all the negativity in his chest. It felt good to finally have someone understand.
No matter how hard he tried, though, he couldn’t imagine Kacchan’s face. He couldn’t assign a face to that perfect, familiar voice.
‘Kacchan?’
‘Yeah, Deku?’
‘What do you look like?’ Izuku tilted his head to one side, brow furrowing as if he really was facing Katsuki.
‘Deku. We fucking talked about this. I don’t want to say.’ Izuku could almost hear the scowl in Kacchan’s voice. Hear the growled menace.
‘I know. But, you’re one of my only friends. It’d be nice if I could recognise you in the hallway. Maybe meet you face to face one day.’ Izuku mused.
‘You’d rather not.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Did I fucking stutter?’
‘Sorry, Kacchan.’ Silence ensued yet again, and Izuku itched to break it. ‘I have green curly hair, green eyes, freckles, a kind of round face, I guess. I’m five foot seven, and I have a yellow backpack.’ The air immediately became thick with tension. Izuku heard fabric rustle as thunder crashed overhead, the rain beginning to downpour in earnest.
‘Deku, what the fuck?’
‘I-’
‘Shut the fuck up! I told you not to!’
‘I’m sorry! I don’t know why!’ Izuku felt the damp, colder than he had been before as he shivered, eyes and voice brimming with emotion.
‘Stay the fuck away from me, fucking Deku. I asked you to fucking respect my fucking privacy.’
He hear foosteps storming away.
Surrounded by blackberry bushes, he sat down and cried.

On the other side of the wall, Katsuki slumped to the grass, damp sleeping through his jeans. Deku was Izuku. The same nerd he'd been an asshole to for years, come to know better than anyone else. To love that dorky voice. Katsuki stayed slumped on his knees for a very long time as the rain poured down and all he could hear was the quiet sobbing over the brick wall

Chapter Text

Izuku finally could relax. Crouched on a rooftop under the bright light of the moon, passing over midnight, head resting on Katsuki’s shoulder. Even though it was deep into the night, the stars vibrant under a cloudless sky, the city was still ablaze with light, chatter and a golden glow filling every corner.
It’d transformed in the hours since Katsuki’s escape from the hands of the palace guards. It was thanks to Izuku’s touch that he hadn’t bled out.
It was miraculous.
But still, he and Katsuki had a lot to talk about. But it could wait.
Besides, they’d just escaped death. They could while away a few hours under the moonlight.

‘Katsuki?’ Izuku asked, staring down at the lit streets of Musutafu, smiling as children laughed, the moon cresting high above. The bell tower began to ring, twelve strokes chiming out over the city.
‘Happy birthday, Izuku.’ Katsuki turned to him, taking hold of his hand and rubbing his thumb over the knuckles, kissing his way along the joints before finally capturing Izuku’s lips with his own.
It was chaste, sweet.
‘I love you, Katsuki.’
‘You too, Deku.’

Izuku didn’t know if it was his actual birthday. But it was his Found Day, the day Shigaraki and Dabi had discovered him abandoned in some dark, shady woodland, taken him to a tower and raised him as their own. Had taught him good morals, kindness, gentle. And to always be afraid of what was outside.
He was grateful for it. All of their teachings.
But he was glad he hadn’t listened to the one they deemed most importatn.

Izuku was practically asleep on Katsuki’s shoulder, curled up on the stone tower floor, the torn cloak draped over him staving off the little chill there was. He was content.
‘Izuku.’ A calloused hand on his shoulder shook his exhausted mind awake, sending him jolting up blearily.
‘Hm?’ He nuzzled back into Katsuki’s warmth, shutting his eyes against the increasing glow.
‘Look.’
There was no secrets, no tension between them as Izuku opened his eyes with a little grunt, stared up at the sky.
And gasped.

A million and one lanterns were floating up from the streets of the city, ablaze with light and joy and Izuku could hardly bear their beauty, illuminating the night sky. Even from the palace there came a horde of the glowing specks, ornaments against the backdrop of the sky.
‘I always wanted to see this.’ Izuku breathed. He couldn’t feel the tear slipping down his face, wetting his collar. Katsuki nuzzled his neck.
‘This the festival to celebrate the lost prince. And you, Izuku, are my prince. Happy birthday, Izuku.’ He repeated.
Izuku responded by leaning over and pressing his lips against his.

Chapter Text

Izuku was laughing at a deadpan comment Todoroki had made, practically snorting, when he felt Ochako elbow him the the side, her arm digging painfully into his ribs. He glared at her indignantly, rubbing at the sore spot because boy, were her elbows sharp.
‘Hey!’
‘Deku, look.’ She pointed over his shoulder, her smirk drunken and rather mischievous as he turned and saw a pair of scarlet eyes watching him through a throng of dancers, flashing in the strobe lights. His own eyes went wide and he blushed a pleasant rosy, colour, fumbling with his drink as he set it back down on the table. He was suddenly all too aware of the stare aimed at him as it wandered up and down his form, trailing over his legs, right down to his favourite cherry-red trainers and back up again. They locked gazes again, and Izuku was lost for words as the owner of those breathtaking eyes smirked at him, running a hand through their hair, shamelessly checking Izuku out. He could feel the blood rushing to his face.
‘I told you he was checking you out!’ Ochako crowed next to him, and suddenly all his friends were craning to see the mystery guy, who had the audacity to wink at Izuku. He buried his face in his hands. The guy looked like he didn't belong at the club, a misfit with his ripped jeans and captivating smirk.

After five long minutes, and a lot of goading laughter, Izuku was standing up, pink in the face, and shuffling nervously over to the spiky haired guy, who got even more attractive as Izuku neared. He skirted around a couple of dancers grinding on each other, nearly tripping over his own feet in his nerves as he moved. He nearly tripped a second time when the man whistled at him, finally stumbling over to lean on the bar next to him. He felt the man’s gaze drift down his body, sending tingles down his spine.
‘Um. Hi.’ Izuku muttered, staring at the granite countertop he was leaning on. Up close, the guy was striking, red tank top and black eyeliner serving to highlight his piercing eyes. Izuku took a deep breath and finally blurted out an introductory line. ‘Would you like… I mean, can I… would it be alright if I bought you… fuck! Can I buy you a drink?’ He finally stuttered out, feeling his face blaze with heat.

The guy just laughed, running a hand through his hair- his spiky, blonde hair that really brought out those goddam eyes- and looked Izuku up and down once more.
‘You’re cute.’
Izuku’s breathing hitched, blinking rapidly as he swore his heart seemed to stop in his chest. He couldn’t work up the nerve to meet the guy’s stare, even as he stood next to him.
‘Sure. I could go for a beer.’ Izuku almost imperceptibly exhaled, thanking whatever guardian angel was watching over him as he slid into the seat next to the guy and order two beers.
‘Huh. So you do drink.’ The guy chuckled, leaning onto the bar. His biceps flexed and oh god Izuku might have just ascended. He tried to play it off, shrugging his shoulders as nonchalantly as possible.
‘Uh, yeah, sometimes?’
‘Especially if there’s a hot guy involved.’ The guy raised an eyebrow, smirking, and Izuku chuckled nervously, his shoulders tightening. He couldn’t think of anything to say, so he clutched his beer glass, taking a long sip after thanking the bartender. He needed the alcohol if he was going to do this.
‘So,’ The guy started, a hand casually wrapped around the beer. ‘You and your friends here for any particular reason? I’m not crashing a birthday party, am I?’
‘Oh, no,’ Izuku denied, shaking his head vigourously. In a sudden burst of courage, he raised his head to look the guy in the eye, smiling weakly. ‘We just needed a break from work, you know? We all have office jobs. Mostly boring ones, too. So they go out the first Friday of every month, and, well, drag me along about half the time.’
‘Huh.’ The guy replied, and Izuku’s brain immediately went into panic mode because aw shit he sounded pretty pathetic.
‘Hey, don’t worry about it. I’m sure half the people here would say the same thing.’ Izuku jolted, not realising he’d been speaking when a large, calloused hand wrapped around the back of his neck, thumb stroking a gentle path up his rigid tendons. His mind went into a spin, so he blurted the first thing he thought of.
‘So… why’d you pick me?’ He felt his face regain some of the heat that had slowly been fading as the guy smirked, and in it was such a dangerous promise it sent a thrill down his back.
“You looked like you could use some company.’ The guy replied, letting his eyes trail up Izuku’s body for what seemed like the fiftieth time.
Izuku sure wasn’t sick of it.
‘And you’re just my type.’
Izuku inhaled sharply, burning inside, his body beginning to tremble as he stared right into the guy’s scarlet eyes, and then they were getting closer, and closer and suddenly they were kissing and the heat of the man’s lips against his was enough to make Izuku hum intently, especially when a slip of tongue brushed against his own, and oh god he was in heaven. It felt deadly and charged and intoxicating and Izuku could barely stop himself from chasing the warm lips when they pulled away. His eyes fluttered open and he couldn’t help the breathless little exclamation of ‘Oh, wow.’ when he caught the guy’s stare again.
He looked hungry, and Izuku didn’t resist when he was pulled to the mass of writhing bodies on the dance floor.

Chapter Text

Katsuki scowled at the sling his legs were in, flat on his back in a hospital bed with everything from his knees downwards encased in thick white plaster. His shins itched awkwardly, his behind barely covered by the flimsy hospital gown with his legs suspended in the air.
Stupid fucking villain with his fucking unpredictable third arm.
Seriously, who has a fucking third arm?

He stared up at the ceiling, the iron shackles his arms were chained to clinking with his every movement. They’d had to restrain him after he argued he was fine and tried to storm out the fucking room they were keeping him in. It made him furious. He should be out there, helping the others clear up the fucking mess that shitty villain had made, not stuck on a fucking lumpy hospital bed with his ass bared to the world, legs hoisted above his head. And even worse, he had a splitting headache from landing on a pile of rubble.

He was so fucking done with life.

His musing were interrupted as the door was flung open, a battered and bloody Izuku rushing in with a face filled with concern.
‘It’s fucking fine, Deku. It’s only a couple of breaks.’ Katsuki grunted, glaring at the green curls.
‘A couple!?’ Izuku shrieked as a way of greeting, scowling his rare frown at Katsuki. ‘That guy broke your legs in ten different places! You’ve had fucking surgery!’ Izuku swore, storming next to him and slumping down in a chair.
‘It’s nothing I can’t handle.’
‘You had me fucking worried, Katsuki!’ Izuku practically screamed, and Katsuki cursed whatever gods that had decided to humiliate him like this. ‘One minute you’re by my side, and the next you’ve vanished off into a fire claiming you’d seen a silhouette?! What bullshit!’ Izuku roared, his face turning scarlet with anger, his hands clenching and unclenching with pure, unfiltered rage. Something similar to guilt needled at Katsuki’s chest, who denied it and remained grumpily silent. He was motherfucking Ground Zero of all people, joint number 1, and he didn’t ever fucking apologise.
‘I did what I had to do.’
‘“You did what you had to do.”’ Izuku mocked, pulling a face at Katsuki. He’d never seen the man in such a rage. It tugged at something inside him.
No, he was not going to get a fucking boner from Deku raging at him. No fucking way.

‘What about me?!’ Izuku continued on his rant, face contorted in such epiphanies of anger that Katsuki was stunned. ‘How do you think I would have felt if- If something had happened to you, you selfish fucking ASSHOLE!’ Izuku slumped down in the chair next to Katsuki, swiping a scar-riddled hand over his face. Katsuki watched him wordlessly, jaw set and body thrumming with guilt and something a little more fiery.
‘You can’t just DO that! You can’t leave me to worry! We are partners! We need to communicate!’ He jolted upright once more in a final burst of furious energy, then buried his face in his hands, a small, weak noise coming out of him. Guilt ripped and tore at Katsuki’s chest.
‘I don’t know what I would do if you got hurt. I can’t think about it. If you weren’t there anymore.’ His shoulders shook, tired sobs the only sound besides Katsuki’s heart monitor. ‘I need you.’ Izuku’s crying evolved into full on bawling, his entire body trembling as he curled up on himself, Katsuki cursing his own legs for not being able to stand up and comfort Izuku.
Katsuki reached for him, his hand cupping Izuku’s cheek.
‘I’m sorry. I didn’t know.’
‘You should’ve.’ Izuku mumbled, spent and exhausted.
‘I love you. I’ll be more careful, Izuku.’
‘I love you too, you fucking jerk.’ Izuku sat up, pressing his lips to Katsuki’s with a desperation and need Katsuki hated to feel on his husband, Izuku’s tears wetting his own face.
They stayed pressed together for quite some time before Izuku sat up, scrubbing his face.
‘I need a drink.’
‘Me too.’ Izuku glared him, rolling his eyes.
‘No drinks for you, dickhead. I’m still angry, you know.’ A quick glance at Katsuki’s crotch had Izuku’s scowl morphing into a smirk. ‘Did you really get a fucking boner from me freaking out on you? Perv.’ Katsuki neither confirmed nor denied as Izuku stalked towards the door.
‘Maybe you should get het up more often.’ He called after Izuku’s retreating form, smirking evilly.
‘You wish.’ Izuku called back. Katsuki chuckled.
He was so fucking lucky for Izuku.

Chapter Text

Izuku trod lightly, delicately, weaving his way through the throngs of people, chatter overwhelming the noise of the band. His eyes glittered in the blazing candlelight as he made his way through a throng of people towards the center of the ballroom, his identity hidden behind the golden mask he wore. The annual Winter Ball in honour of Prince Todoroki’s birthday was a huge affair, the entire city cramming into the palace gates in their best dress. Izuku had brushed up as best as he could, trading out his flour-splattered apron for one of his father’s discarded suits, buying a special new ribbon with his savings to fashion at his neck. He’d even tried to tame his wild mop of hair, with little luck.

His mask topped it all off, he knew, the whole thing made of shimmering embroidery that set off the glints of green in his eyes. Izuku knew it was a night to forget himself, to pretend that he wasn’t just some baker’s son, that he was worth more than the price of his bread. The snow falling from above truly set off the mystical feeling of the night, the cool, crisp air flying from his lungs as Izuku dodged yet another pair of twirling dancers, making for the titanic buffet table across the hall, his meeting point with Ochako and Iida. Of course, he didn’t expect to spend much time with them as they were happily engaged, but they were still the only people he properly knew there.

Izuku finally squeezed through a loud man chattering with an elegant black-haired woman, nearly stumbling into the table itself. He looked around nervously, reaching out to snatch up a plate. He eyed the savoury dishes with distaste, immediately moving on to the sweets. Towering piles of profiteroles drizzled in chocolate, a trifle larger than his entire torso, a heaping mound of strawberries. His mouth watered as he reached out to select a few strawberries, looking up for some tongs when a pair of eyes across the table caught his gaze. He stared right at the owner, half of their face hidden behind a striking bronze mask, scarlet eyes boring into his own, a smear of chocolate on his cheek. A shock of blond hair crowned his head as the man smirked. Izuku simpled blinked, flushing wildly.
‘Hi.’ He spoke, blurting out words, realising all too late. His hands rose to cover his mouth in a reflex like action, the plate slipping from his grip, shattering on the floor with an ear-splitting crash. Izuku flushed, the violins of the orchestra dying mid-note as everyone turned to stare at him. He felt heat crawl up his neck as he crouched down to start picking up the fragments of china, muttering frantically and trying to ignore the whispers of the surrounding people. Suddenly, there was a person next to him, warm fingers wrapping around his wrist, blood speckling the pristine white gloves. With a shock, he realised it was the red-eyed man from earlier, and the blood was his own. He let himself be lead away, head spinning as he was pulled to a quiet corner.
‘Fucking nerd, drawing attention to us like that. Jesus. You better be alright. You fucking alright, nerd?’ The man spoke, his eyes piercing into Izuku’s own as he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket, wrapping it around the bloody cuts on his fingers.
‘Fine. Just clumsy.’ Izuku smiled weakly, tilting his chin upwards to look the man in the face. He was a bit taken aback by the unecessary use of expletives, but considering the situation he kind of understood it. ‘I’m Izuku.’
‘Well, Deku. After that fucking disaster, you owe me a dance.’ Izuku squeaked in indignation, drawing his hand back from where it was still clutched in the other’s palm.
‘What?’
‘You fucking heard me.’
‘Why? I- I don’t get how I owe you?’
‘That’s my handkerchief you’re using, isn’t it?’ His grin turned snarky, and Izuku opened his mouth to respond, only to find he had nothing left to say. He dutifully nodded, letting the man lead him onto the dance floor. The band had just struck up a waltz, the ethereal music filling him with a sense of dreaming, of his body floating. The press of the red-eyed man against him, the thrum of his heart against his chest.
‘My name’s Izuku, not Deku.’
‘What, fuckmunch?’
‘You said my name wrong.’ The man laughed, glaring down at Izuku mischeviously.
‘I got it perfectly right, nerd. You are a Deku.’ Izuku gaped, glaring right back, when the man’s hand tightened on his back and a bolt of electricity shot up his spine.
‘I’m Katsuki.’
‘Good to know.’ Izuku mumbled, and Katsuki roared with laughter again, sending thrills over his skin.
‘You know, I think I like you, Deku.’
‘Delusion.’
‘And that is exactly why.’ He pressed a little closer, and Izuku’s heart rate practically doubled, teeth skimming his lower lip as Katsuki leant down to whisper in his ear.
‘I’d like to see you again, after this. Meet me in the Midoriya bakery, tomorrow noon. You know it, right? The one with the damn good macarons?’ Izuku had to stifle a snicker. The irony was too funny.
‘Yes, I know it.’
‘See you there, nerd.’
Katsuki abruptly let go of his hand, walking off with a little wave, and Izuku laughed into his hands.
It was too freaking funny.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s eyes sprung wide open at the crack of dawn to his mother bustling around downstairs, preparing the fresh rolls for their morning customers. He practically leapt out of bed, head buzzing with nervous excitement as he undressed and flew down the stairs, scraping his hair back with a scrap of fabric and chucking on his apron.
Katsuki was going to be there at noon.
His whole body was alight with energy.
He was going to see the mysterious man again.
His hands were twitching with the need to do as he came downstairs and rolled up his sleeves.
He had a lot of work to do.

———
‘Izuku! Where are those cakes?’ Inko called from where Izuku had been focusing on icing the wedding order due today. It was a huge cake, worth a lot of money, and Izuku had wanted to make it as perfect as he could, letting the modelling chocolate vines wreathing the cake sit naturally.
It’d taken him hours, but it was so worth it. And now, he finally got to admire his handiwork, stepping back and admiring the forest-theme green and white creation that practically dwarfed him. He wiped his chocolate-covered hands on the apron, stepping back to the industrial metal island where trays upon trays of beautifully iced treasure-themed cupcakes rested, ready to be taken to the front of the small bakery. His mother’s assistant, Ochako grinned at him when she spotted the finished cake, flashing him a thumbs up from her mixer as he scooped up two of the trays and pushed through into the interior of the bakery. The cozy front room was filled with quietly chattering patrons and a line of customers waiting to collect their baked goods. The smell of vanilla and cinnamon warmed the air, and Izuku sighed happily. He loved this bakery more than anything in the world.
‘Midoriya! Inko needs someone to man the tables.’ Iida called from his position by the coffee machine, whipping up yet another batch of their specialty brew. Izuku turned to look at his mother to confirm, who was serving another customer behind the counter, and she flashed him a harrassed-looking smile over her shoulder. Izuku knew he had to do the dreaded pastry round, offering baked goods to those who were already seated. He sighed, rolling his eyes as he deposited his trays onto the counter, unloading the cupcakes as fast as humanly possible to get the blasted round done as quick as he could. The second he finished, he selected a few of each specialty pastry, loading them onto the just-vacated tray, tucking his pen and notebook into his apron pocket. Izuku opened up the counter divider, slipping underneath the hunk of wood with practiced balance and weaving towards the right side of the doorway, when he stepped through the revolving doors, brushing snow off his black beanie.

Izuku went flying over his own feet and crashed to the ground yet again.

The silence was nothing compared to the ringing in Izuku’s ears as he looked up from his position amongst the spilled pastries, buttercream smeared in his hair, down his arms, only to stare right into that familiar face.

Katsuki was beautiful. Even more so without a mask. It was all Izuku could think, staring at the crown of blond hair over a bulky jacket, the sharp jawline and those goddam scarlet eyes that made his knees weak. The beating of his heart took over the ringing in his chest, drowning out a rush of worried whispers as a gloved hand was proffered in his face.
‘And the world fucking repeats itself.’ Katsuki snorted, tugging Izuku to his feet with a smirk and rolled eyes.
‘I- I am so sorry-’ Izuku stuttered, his face flushing bright red as he shot back downwards, trying to frantically clean up the mess on the cafe floor. A pair of hands stopped him.
‘Well, nerd. I guess you owe me.’
‘How does that make sense?’ Izuku burst out, pushing forwards right into Katsuki’s personal space, staring right up into that cocky smirk.
‘You’re just fucking stupid. Deku.’ Katsuki rolled his eyes, reaching down in a squat for a shattered plate, collecting it into a palm. After a couple of second he looked back up at Izuku, his scowl enough to turn Izuku’s legs to jelly.
‘Well? What are you standing there for, fuckmunch? Go get a mop!’ Izuku gave a little squeak and dashed back behind the counter to their cleaning supplies, Inko sparing him a concerned glance from her position at the register. He flung open the kitchen doors, snatching up a bucket and some floor cleaner and filling it with warm water as quickly as he could, swiping icing from his eyes and ignoring Ochako’s cries of ‘Zuku?’ as she took in his harrassed appearance.
‘Quick. You that desperate, nerd?’
‘I- It’s my job! And does everything you say have to be an insult!’ Izuku retaliated, dipping the mop in the bucket and swiping indignantly at the floor. Katsuki didn’t reply.

The chatter of the cafe resumed as they continued clearing up the floor in silence, the squish of the mop barely audible.
Yes. So, nerd. When are you free?’ Izuku’s mouth practically gaped as it opened and shut like a goldfish.
‘Uh- soon?’
‘Now’s a good time.’ Katsuki stood up, dropping his cleaning materials and yanking Izuku in all his sticky glory out into the cold winter air. He squeaked in surprise, a hand darting to his pocket as something shifted.
‘Katsuki!’
‘What, nerd?’ He scowled down at Izuku, glaring with a wrinkled nose. Izuku pressed the handkerchief, still spotted with last night’s blood, into Katsuki’s palm.
‘Thanks, Katsuki.’ Izuku could have sworn a hint of pink bloomed on Katsuki’s cheeks as he buried the handkerchief in his pocket.
‘Whatever, Deku.’ And once again, Izuku Midoriya found himself being dragged down the street, covered in sticky icing and spluttering protests, one question prominent in his mind.
How the heck did he get here?

Chapter Text

Katsuki didn’t know how it happened, but suddenly, his feet were on the ground.

More importantly, he had feet.

Feet!

He was laying flat of his back against a dumpster, his head smarting and ears ringing. His mouth was filled with something metallic, wet as he spat on the ground, marvelling down at his hands.

Last thing he could remember was that he was swooping up through the clouds, then nothing.

Katsuki leapt to his feet, staring and staring at his body because oh god he had a BODY!

He scrambled over to a rank puddle lying underneath the dumpster, pushing and shoving with all his might until it wheeled over just a little bit and he was staring down at his own face. His face!

He hadn’t seen his reflection in- actually, when was the last time he saw his reflection? Before he became a ghost, probably, and that had been decades. He had spiky blonde hair, red eyes and he was fucking handsome, if he did say so himself. The familiar face was a shock to his body. Like smelling your mother’s brownies years after she’d gone, like finding an old book that was thought to be destroyed.

It wrecked him, in the best way possible.

Because he was alive and he could FEEL a heart pounding against his chest, smell the rotting trash and oh god could people see him now-

Katsuki dragged at his pockets, leaping to his feet and rummaging through the contents of the grey jacket, finally closing on some kind of I.D card. He yanked it out as hard as he could, squinting in an effort to read the text through the downpour.

Katsuki Bakugou, it read.

He was Katsuki Bakugou.

Katsuki grinned, a rare occurence that left his cheeks feeling oddly strained as he spotted a navy rucksack lying in a pool of rainwater across the alley from him.

He pounced on it, tearing open the zipper and digging through, hoping to find some clue as to where the hell he was.

The emblem of the front of what seemed to be a notebook (it was weird and shiny and he didn’t know why) was emblazoned with green and grey, proudly spelling out the initials of a high school.

U. A High.

Suddenly, Katsuki knew exactly where he was going.

———

Katsuki rubbed his sore nose as he stepped into U.A, attracting more than a few strange looks at his strange, shambling walk and the blood-soaked tissue pressed against his nostrils.

He kept forgetting he couldn’t exactly walk through walls anymore, and walking was harder than he anticipated.

He looked up and stopped dead in his tracks.

It was Izuku.

That green-haired, freckled nerd who’s been his best friend for decades stumbling down the corridor, his own forehead bruised and his gait staggering

The pull, the pure attraction pouring off of him as those starstruck emerald eyes turned to him, those freckles so much more endearing when they weren’t half obscured by the wall behind him. And those goddamn eyes filled with tears as Izuku took a loping step towards him, mouthing his name in a silent whisper.

‘Kacchan.’

Katsuki fucking lost it, throwing himself towards Izuku as fast as he could, tripping over his own feet as Izuku did the same, undiluted emotion filling his eyes with liquid silver as he crawled.

‘Kacchan!’ Izuku cried, shoving himself forward and cradling Katsuki’s face in his hands, shutting his eyes and half-laughing half crying as they embraced and it was so full of emotion, of feeling that tears poured down Katsuki’s face.

He’d never thought this moment would come.

To feel the pulse of Izuku’s living, beating heart under his hands, to taste his mouth, to feel how alive and healthy he was.

They collided in a messy kiss, both of them overcome with raw emotion, sobbing into each other as they hugged.

———

Years earlier.

‘Kacchan?’ Deku coughed in the bed next to Katsuki, his white knuckles clutching onto Katsuki’s hand so hard it hurt as he coughed up blood onto his chest. The sickly perfume was enough to make Katsuki sick.
‘I don’t want to die, Kacchan.’
‘Shh. It’s okay. I’ll see you soon, Deku.’ Katsuki let out a weak cough, pulling Izuku closer to his chest as their bodies weakened. Katsuki stroked Izuku’s back with the last of his strength, stilling, that void in him sucking everything in when Izuku just.
Stopped.
His breath sucked in a wheezy rasp as he began screaming at the limp body in his arms and he couldn’t take it and no, that wasn’t right, Izuku was there and smiling and alive and then he felt his heart stutter and lungs burn and he arched, spraying blood over Izuku’s face as his vision went black at the edges.

And then he was gone.