It’s a cool evening. It’s dark out already, even though it’s not that late. Bakugou makes his way over to one of his favourite bars. The reason it’s his favourite isn’t because of the friends he has there, or the memories he’s collected during his life. It’s his favourite because he kind of works there. He’s earned more money there than at the other establishment, and this one is closer to his home.
From the outside, Old Glories looks like a fancy place to have a few drinks with your friends. It’s run by Kurogiri who welcomes you in politely and then offers you a variety of drinks.
Bakugou walks in, like every night, and nods to the bartender, who nods back at him. The blond walks up to the counter and orders a whisky. “Is the boss in?”
“He wants to talk to you.” Kurogiri answers back, placing a clean glass on the counter and throwing in some ice before turning around and grabbing the correct bottle.
“I heard.” Bakugou comments, looking around the regulars and winking at one of the women.
“He’s in a mood today.” The bartender mutters, pouring the whisky into the glass and sliding it over to the blond.
“It’s that bad, huh.” Bakugou chuckles, lifting the glass to his lips and taking a small sip of his drink. It’s strong but good; Kurogiri chose the most expensive whisky. Interesting.
The blond makes his way through the tables towards the private door next to the toilets. He gets his key out and enters the private rooms. To the regular customers and the odd newcomer, Old Glories is just a high-class bar. To the people that are in on the dark business that go on there, it’s a hideout for the League of Villains, of which Bakugou is a respectable member. He’s been a villain since he was fifteen.
The private rooms are no less fancy; with a huge lounge that’s always full of cigar smoke and the smell of expensive liquor and perfume, but the rooms above are even better. Bakugou’s got his own suite, which he seldom uses.
The blond sips on his beverage as he slips into the lounge. He sits on one of the leather sofas, spreading his legs wide and smirking at a few of the women that are hired to do a job he often solicits.
Two of the girls come over and sit next to him; the brunette wrapping her arms around his shoulders and pressing her chest against him.
Dabi smirks at him as when he enters the room. If the blond has learnt anything in all his years as a villain, it’s that that’s never good news. The semi-charred young man strolls leisurely towards the sofa where Bakugou is sitting, but the blond pretends he doesn’t notice when he leans down and chuckles lightly into his ear.
“Boss wants to talk to you now.” The uncharacteristically silky voice almost makes the younger man shudder. It’s either that or the long strands or dark hair tickling his neck. Nevertheless, Bakugou pushes the other man away, replying with a grunt. He gets up, clicking his tongue as his joints pop. Since he’s going to have to face his boss, he decides to get it over with. On his way to his room he passes many of his villain peers. Their dark, dead eyes don’t haunt him anymore; he’s used to it, but he remembers what it was when he was first introduced to the League of Villains. He hadn’t been born a villain. He was scouted back in middle school, because he’d gained a little bit of a reputation for being more than just a prankster.
His name was spoken in fear by both his teachers and classmates. Exaggerated rumours of his endeavours had reached Dabi’s ears and of course the older teen had had to come see what Bakugou could do. And the blond blew his socks off. Quite literally, too, since he showed him exactly what his field of expertise was.
He’d had a passion for blowing things up since he was little, and had worked all his life in perfectionating his signature move, a homemade bomb he liked to call “The Howitzer Impact”. He’d of course been recruited immediately and with him being a naïve teenager, he’d agreed to join a gang of criminals. He was slowly introduced into the low life of crime. It had been petty things at first: a bit of thieving here and there, a fight and maybe a little bit of arson. But that soon escalated into bigger crimes, and before he knew it, Bakugou had killed over a hundred people.
The blond should feel bad he has so much dirty blood on his hands, but he really doesn’t care. It’s not like people matter to him anyway.
On his way to Shigaraki’s private room he passes his apprentice, Himiko Toga. She’s what Dabi calls an evil genius. She had quite literally been born to become a villain. Being the bastard child of two of the higher ups, she’d lived all her life in the League, being treated like any normal villain.
Bakugou thinks she became disturbed when she accidentally witnessed a murder when she was three that had led to her doing some pretty creepy things. When she was four, she slit her first throat. Oh, how proud she made her mummy and daddy.
She’d grown up to believe everything there. When she was ten, she became fascinated with Bakugou. He’s not sure if she genuinely liked him or if she just liked his style, but he took her in as an apprentice, teaching her how to create his homemade explosions. It’s only been a few years but she’s already very close to being better than him. Maybe he should feel admiration, but it borders more on jealousy.
Bakugou arranges his clothes begore going in his boss’ impressive room. It’s far bigger than the others and arranged with much more taste and style. Well, if you don’t count Shigaraki’s weird fascination with hands. He’s got hundreds of hands arranged all over his room, placed as if they’re statues or decoration. Bakugou’s pretty creeped out by them. He thinks – like many others – that they’re real; that they belong to people his boss has killed and decided to stuff them like some sort of trophy.
There are three huge sofas in a semicircle, surrounding a fake fireplace; a huge screen TV over it. It’s currently off, and if Bakugou’s honest, he’s never seen it on. But then again, he’s hardly ever been inside Shigaraki’s room.
The blond patiently waits until his boss motions him to sit, and he seats himself next to him in on the comfortable sofas and waits for the other to tell him why he’s there.
Shigaraki tilts his head, strands of blueish white hair falling over the mask he’s wearing. It’s also shaped like a hand, made to look like it’s severed and rotting. It looks real, at least from a distance. Many have speculated about the idea of it being from the first person he killed. It covers most of his face; leaving only his eyes visible.
“Who’s our enemy, Bakugou?” He asks, his fingers drumming over his crossed legs. The blond already knows his boss’ habit of never being still. He’s got to touch something to feel safe.
“The police.” He answers, watching his boss’ uneven nails drag over the skin of his arms, clawing up and down over the marks he left by doing that over and over until they bled.
“No. The vigilantes.” Shigaraki’s voice’s telling him he will not accept being contradicted. Not this time. They’re silent again.
“And do you know why?”
Bakugou moves his eyes from the blood now slowly oozing out of the new wounds he’s created on his dry skin. His gaze falls on the mask and his boss’ barely concealed eyes.
“No.” He does his best to not make it sound defiant.
“As villains, what we do is illegal. But, vigilantes… they’re illegal too. But they’re fighting the same war as the police, because they’re after us too.” He pauses and gets up, going around his room slowly. Bakugou watches as he paces around the place.
“As villains, we create crime, we create chaos. We want to see the world burn, want to make it burn. We want a shift in power. We want to rule the unrulable.” He continues, turning to look at the blond. He pauses again, as if he’s lost interest in their conversation. He finally focuses his attention back to his guest. “Do you know why I hate vigilantes so much?”
Bakugou just shakes his head.
“The vigilantes were created with the sole purpose of destroying us. I will not give them the satisfaction! We must destroy them first! Make them rue the day they decided to go against the League of Villains!” Shigaraki laughs, turning around and walking in the other direction. He stops in front of one of the hands he likes so much and picks it up, eyeing it carefully. He traces a finger over its knuckles, humming happily.
“There are so many vigilantes now. Like it’s a trend. We need to send a message. You know who we’re going to attack? The ones that started it all.” He weighs the hand statue in his palms before putting it back in its place. He walks back to the couch and lets his weight fall on it. “And do you know how we’re going to do this? We’re going to humiliate them. I want them to not expect us. I want them to think they can trust one of us, I want a villain to go undercover and I want them to gain their trust. They’re all about ideals and morals, so let’s trample all over them.”
He pauses again, tilting his head up slightly so that his gaze is fixed on Bakugou. The blond’s uncomfortable with the way the other is staring at him. Everything about what his boss has said is making him fidget.
“I’ve chosen you. You’re the perfect man for this job. I have full trust in you and your abilities. You’re quick, smart and resourceful, so if anything goes wrong, I know you’ll be able to get out of any tricky situation.”
Bakugou’s mouth flies open. His heart begins to race and he doesn’t know what to ask first. “Wha-what am I supposed to do?”
“Discover everything about them. Befriend them, make them trust you so they tell you their secrets. Let them tell you about every single little wannabe vigilante group out there, any solo vigilante that wants to cross us. We shall obliterate the whole lot of ‘em!” Shigaraki throws his head back and starts laughing maniacally.
Bakugou waits until his boss’ laughter has died down to ask more questions, but before he can open his mouth, the other man’s already spewing hateful and bitter comments about the vigilantes. “They think they’re so great. They think they can be on the other side of the law and still do what’s considered to be good? I piss on their ideals. They’re just as illegal as we are, but they’re seen as heroes. It’s sickening. I want to put them back in their place. I want to wreck them, ruin them. I want them to realise just what they are.”
“Who… just what… who do I have to befriend?”
“Those Riots. You know them? They’re all over the news. They wear colours and masks. I will bring them down. And you, Bakugou, you are my perfect pawn. You will bring them down. You will infiltrate the stupid vigilante group and you will gather as much information as you can. I want to know their names, their real names, where they live, what they do for a living. I need to know where their base is and what info they have on us.” There’s a maddening look in his eyes as he says all of this, and he’s increased the velocity at which he’s scratching at his bleeding wounds.
“You’ve got the wrong man for this job.” Bakugou snarls, trying to resist the urge to roll his eyes.
“On the contrary.” Shigaraki shakes his head, finally leaving his arms alone. “I’ve got other people I trust, but there not as good as you. Twice and Dabi aren’t as smart or as resourceful. I bet you’ll have them fooled in no time, but anyone could see past them. Only you can do this, Bakugou.”
It’s a joke.
It’s an inside joke.
Maybe Bakugou would find it funny if he wasn’t being forced to do something he hates.
Ground Zero, the vigilante.
You know, like ground zero, the point on the surface of Earth that’s closest to a detonation.
Bakugou’s pretty sure he’s being treated as a joke.
Like he hasn’t given the organization over eight years of completely controlled explosions.
Yet he has to prove his worth by infiltrating a vigilante group.
Actually, no, he doesn’t need to prove anything. He’s already proved enough since he’s been put on this stupid mission.
Bakugou bitterly thinks that maybe he should’ve never been that good at his job.
They’ve prepared an attack to a set of buildings to introduce him. Bakugou knows when all of it is going to happen, he just has to make sure he doesn’t get there too early and spoil the plan.
Dressed in the outfit they prepared for him and putting a mask to conceal his identity on, he sets off a little after eight at night, when he knows they’re going to start their usual chaos. He can see the smoke in the air as he approaches the area they attacked. He knows that’s Dabi’s work before he sees the blue flames artificially created by the chemistry genius he’s known for almost ten years.
He hears people screaming and he jumps in, ready to save everyone in need. It feels weird to be on the other side of the chaos, and it almost doesn’t sit well with him.
The blond picks a girl up in his arms and hoists her onto his back before screaming at her to stop yelling so incessantly. She’s terrified, screaming for her brother and the only way Bakugou has of calming her down is by promising he’d find him. Only then does she let up.
He takes her to an ambulance and is quickly looked over by the nurse.
“Another so-called hero, huh?” She mutters as she helps him get the injured girl onto a stretcher.
It’s funny just how wrong she is. Bakugou doesn’t answer. Instead, he runs back into the mess of fire and debris that’s eating the buildings alive. He’s searching for the little boy based on the description the girl gave him. He finds him, crushed under a lot of rubble, with bad burns and bleeding. He holds him tightly as he takes him back to his sister, watching as the life slowly seeps out of him. They don’t reach her in time, and he’s not sure if he’s grateful that the kid died in his arms so that she didn’t get to see him draw his last breath.
He hands the body over to a paramedic, who tries to resuscitate him with no luck. Bakugou’s forced to tell the girl the bad news. When she starts crying, he doesn’t know what to do. For once in his life, his first instinct is to console her, so he pulls her in a tight hug and she just sobs on his shoulder until she pulls away. He tells her to let the paramedics take a look at her and walks off, feeling terrible.
He only manages to walk twenty paces before he empties his stomach. Trembling and with his heart beating erratically, he wipes his mouth with his sleeve and tries to run to one of the buildings still on fire. It’s when he sees them. The Riots. They’re all colour coded, and the blond thinks they look ridiculous, like they’re not even trying to be heroes but they’re posing as if they were, all high and mighty.
Bakugou shakes his feelings off and jumps inside a flaming building. He’s not a fireman, he’s not a policeman, he’s not anyone special, and he’s definitely never done this before. He’s well-built and strong, having been working out for years hoping to get a body he’d be proud of, but he’s never tested his endurance like right now. Before he knows it, he’s being aided by a tall man, dressed in a particularly strange outfit. Bakugou knows it’s one of the Riots and tries to stop himself from snarling whenever he looks at him.
The man next to him smiles brilliantly at him, and greets him with a gentle “need some help moving the rubble?”
“I think someone’s trapped underneath.” Bakugou mutters, trying his hardest to force himself to be somewhat nice since he’s got to gain his trust and infiltrate his group, and he can only do that by being nice.
The man in red is amazingly strong, lifting debris like it weighs nothing. Like Bakugou, he’s wearing a mask to conceal his features, but his is crimson, like the rest of his ridiculous outfit.
Grumbling slightly, the blond starts imitating him, both calling to see if there is actually someone underneath. A weak voice answers them, and the man next to him quickly soothes him and calms him down with expertly practiced words.
This vigilante knows what he’s doing. Bakugou should be impressed, but he isn’t; he knows most of what his group’s been doing has been foiled by this precise man, and that thought makes him snarl.
They manage to save the person that was trapped and they both help take them to the ambulance. They hear familiar sirens which indicate the arrival of the police. The paramedic taking care of the injured person they just brought politely thanks them for their hard work and looks at them with a sad look on her face before warning them that they should leave.
With everything going on the blond feels a little overwhelmed. He knows he should try to talk to the vigilante in red, but his energy is drained, and he doesn’t really want to have to waste what little of it he has left on introducing himself to his enemy. Luckily, the other man does all the work for him. Patting Bakugou’s back and with a smile on his face, the redhead meets him with a friendly tone. “Is this your first day?”
The blond shrugs his shoulders lightly, brushing him off. “Yeah.”
“You did well.”
He almost bites back at the comment. He’d held the dying body of a child and had then had to tell his sister about it. For the first time in his life he felt responsible for someone’s death, which was strange. He’s sure his explosions have caused many, many more, yet the thought of killing anyone has never made him feel like it does right now.
And he’d never before emptied his stomach at the idea.
The redhead must have noticed the change in his face.
“It gets better.” The other man says, trying, for some absurd reason, to lift Bakugou’s spirits. The blond doesn’t need that, he doesn’t need him.
He’s about to leave, just like that woman suggested, when the other pauses, a frown on his face. “Hey… that paramedic is right, we should get going. They don’t like us interfering with ‘their work’. Uhm… wanna… come to ours? Have some tea? Meet the rest of the crew?”
Bakugou just wants to bath and wash the soot away, maybe light a cigarette and let the filthy taste of nicotine take him away, but he knows he can’t pass up this opportunity.
Warily, he nods briefly, and the smile the redhead flashes back at him takes him aback completely. It’s so pure and natural. He’s so used to lips curling up in twisted glee, to voices full of sickening demands and commands; this man’s unadulterated selflessness and joy strike him as odd.
The redhead grips his hand – yes, his bloody, sweaty, cut hand – and guides him through the rubble, chatting amiably about this and the other. Bakugou is so confused he can hardly concentrate on all the jibber jabber. He frowns when the man in red waves at a distant figure all in yellow and hurriedly takes him to it.
“Look! It’s a new vigilante!”
“Sweet!” This new man grins, flashing another sunny smile at Bakugou. “What’s your name?”
The man in yellow frowns at him, but there’s still a trace of a loopy grin on his face as he does. His blond hair has a dash of black dyed to look like a lightning bolt and he’s wearing a choker and a mask just like his friend’s but in yellow. He’s small and light, so skinny it’s kind of weird. Bakugou’s first impression of him is that he looks stupid and acts like a petulant child.
“I think I’ve heard that term before…” He cocks his head to the side comically, trying to think hard it seems. “I’m Yellow Riot!”
“Oh yeah!” The other turns around to – again – smile effortlessly at Bakugou. “I’m Red Riot! I’m looking forward to working with you in the future.”
“Dude, he’s got to meet the rest of the Riots!”
So Bakugou is dragged along by the big redheaded man as the two Riots chat to each other, as if they hadn’t been spending a large portion of the night rescuing people from burning rubble.
The other people he meets are pretty much as weird as the first two are. They all have matching costumes and masks, but in different colours. A girl with curly, dyed pink hair greets him enthusiastically, almost throwing herself on him. She’s chirpy and energetic, and she seems to get along very well with Red Riot.
The other girl there has a bob haircut, dark with purple highlights. She has big gauges and seems to permanently have a pair of earphones with her. Her tongue is pierced, but he only noticed when she spoke to him. She’s extremely short, to the point that he finds it cute.
Black Riot seems unimpressed by him being there. He’s lanky and has short black hair. Bakugou can’t really think of any other way to describe him.
Red Riot looks amazing next to these extras. He’s big and bulky and very strong. He’s obviously dyed his hair red, but it suits him. It makes his already very bright smile shine brighter, forcing the blond to catch a glimpse of his insanely sharp teeth every time he shoots him a grin.
He doesn’t doubt that the others are strong, but they’re nothing compared to this man. Bakugou doesn’t want to admit it, but his heart does something weird every time he glances at him. He’s just so attractive he finds it hard to look away from him. That and the fact that he seems so positive, so happy. It’s like he’s drawn to him, but he doesn’t want to fight it.
“Us vigilantes need to stick together.” Red Riot says, patting his back strongly before walking forward, leading the way.
“Yeah!” The pink-haired girl screams in agreement.
As they walk to what Bakugou hopes is the vigilantes’ base, the redhead maintains a conversation with him. “The police aren’t doing enough, and the villains’ schemes are escalating. People are dying while the police just turn a blind eye. It’s disgusting.”
“We need all the help we can get.” Pink Riot nods enthusiastically. “I’m happy to see someone else is trying to make the world a better place!”
Their ‘base’ as they called it looks like an abandoned warehouse. It’s big, with walls made out of concrete and sloppily painted over in white. It must have been an old job, since the colour has faded and is mostly grey – it’s that dirty.
Inside the place it’s pretty cold, yet somehow strangely cosy. There are two fake leather couches facing each other in the ample main room, both a boring dark brown. Between the two sofas there’s a glass coffee table, stacked full of a mixture of mugs, games, books and empty wrappers. Bakugou scrunches his nose at the sight but is forced to sit down on one of the settees; Red Riot seating himself next to him.
Purple Riot offers him some coffee and he agrees as politely as he can. He’s a bit spooked out by how friendly they all seem. In his experience, that isn’t a good sign. But he guesses they aren’t like any of the people he’s ever met, and he knows he shouldn’t have his guard up, but he can’t help it.
Pink Riot is trying especially hard to get him to talk, but Red Riot somehow notices how off he looks and asks her to calm down, to give him some space.
“It’s your first time saving someone, isn’t it?” Purple Riot passes him a mug full of coffee and Bakugou nods, tired. She raises an eyebrow as she asks if he smokes.
She grabs the packet of cigarettes from the coffee table and offers it to him but moves it away from his reach when his hand gets close enough to it.
“We can’t smoke inside. Come to the back door with me and I’ll treat you to one.”
Groaning, he lifts himself from the couch and follows her as she leads him to the backdoor. Outside she gestures to the vast open field in front of them and asks him if he finds it nice. He grunts noncommittally and she laughs, putting a fag in her mouth.
“Why’d you try your luck at being a vigilante?” She asks as she hands him the cigarette pack. He grabs one and wraps his lips around it, revelling in the taste of tobacco. It’s been some time, he’ll admit it, but he needs it now more than ever. He doesn’t think he’s ever had a worse day.
“I was… tired of my old life.” Well, it’s not a lie. It’s just not the complete truth, but she doesn’t need to know that.
“Tired of being a nobody?” Purple Riot asks, inhaling a long puff from her cigarette.
Bakugou wants to scoff at those words. He’s the best at exploding things, but it’s not like he can say it aloud. “I’m not a nobody.” He ends up telling her instead, a smug smirk on his face. “I’m a great fucking cook.”
“Oh.” She raises an eyebrow again, lowering her cigarette as she speaks. “You a professional chef or something? Should I have seen you on TV?”
He laughs, he genuinely does. She’s an interesting character. It looks like he’ll like more than just her hairstyle and punk rock vibe.
“Those fuckers wish. But no, I ain’t famous. Not really my style.”
“What is your style then? You certainly look like a flashy person.”
“It’ll be annoying to be famous.” He blows smoke out of his mouth, purposely avoiding her face as he does.
“So what do you want out of life?”
“Have you never been tired of your life? Before this, I did the same thing every day. I needed something different, a change. I needed some excitement. Not knowing if I’m going to die or not. Maybe that’s what gets me so pumped up.”
“You’re a strange one.” She smiles, and it seems sincere. Not like she has any reason to doubt him.
“So, what about you? Why are you risking your life?” He finishes his cigarette and throws the butt away.
“I try to forget that last bit.” She says, shaking her head. She inhales again, closing her eyes as she does. “It’s… complicated, but my reasons are more altruistic than yours.”
“You calling me selfish?”
“There’s nothing wrong with your reasoning. In fact, I understand where you come from. You’re young, you’re reckless, I get it. I just don’t think that way.”
“You’d rather kill yourself slowly.” He agrees, smirking. He leans in, looking into her defiant eyes as he steals another cigarette from her. “I kind of get that too.”
“You’re kind of arrogant.” She notes, grabbing another one for herself before finally putting the packet in her pocket. “I don’t dislike it, though.”
They’re silent for a while, and he tries to get rid of this strange new sensation that has developed since he started this conversation with her. He hums as he slowly drinks his coffee and smokes.
“How was your first day?” She asks, turning to look at him again.
“I threw up.”
“Whatcha mean ‘huh’?”
“Nothing. Just found it funny.”
“Found what funny?”
“So did Yellow Riot. And Red Riot, but he’s got a weak stomach, so he doesn’t really count.”
“Someone died in my arms. I would think that’s a normal response.”
“The same happened with Red Riot on his first day.”
“And… Yellow Riot? God these names are stupid. Am I supposed to talk about you like this?”
“For now, yes. It’s only until we’re comfortable having you around.”
“So, it’s a sort of test.”
“I guess it is.”
“Anyway! Yellow Riot. Why’d he vomit?”
“He saw a lot of blood. He’s not good with blood.”
“Why’s he a vigilante then?”
“To impress the ladies. His words, not mine.”
“Oh.” Bakugou finishes his cigarette and smirks, catching something in her eyes. “You like him.”
“He’s a close friend of mine.”
“You like him as more than a friend.”
She raises both her eyebrows this time, but there’s a playful smirk on her face as she shakes her head.
“Does he know?” Bakugou asks, strangely interested in these people he barely knows. Maybe it’s because of that.
Before she can answer – and he was sure it was going to get interesting – Yellow Riot opens the back door and walks towards them.
“Gimme a smoke.” He says, spreading his hand out. She rolls her eyes but places the packet in his palm. “Thanks. So, what’re talkin’ ‘bout?”
“About how he’s a daredevil.” She responds casually, a smirk on her face as she eyes Bakugou, awaiting his reaction. “And how I like that about him.”
He knows she’s playing a game, and that he’s being used as a pawn, but he finds it interesting.
“What?” Yellow Riot sounds unimpressed, obviously unaware of their plan. “So that’s why you’re into this vigilante thing? You get off on the idea of dying or something?”
“Sort of.” Bakugou mutters, playing along.
“Wow. And I thought I was into some kinky shit.”
“You are into some kinky shit.” She sighs, rolling her eyes.
“And you don’t know the half of it!” He beams.
They’re silent again, and by the look of things, Purple Riot doesn’t like that it’s turned out like this. She goes back to openly eyeing him up and down, smirking as she does.
“You’re really handsome. Anyone ever tell you that?” She says. It takes Bakugou a lot to not spit the coffee straight into her face when he hears her words, but instead he calmly answers her, grinning arrogantly.
“I get it a lot.” He leans forwards a bit and makes sure not to break eye contact, no matter how interested he is in watching how Yellow Riot reacts.
“Oh, cocky, too. I like that.” She comes closer to him, and they’re barely inches apart. He licks his lower lip slowly, putting on as much of a show as he can.
Yellow Riot clears his throat awkwardly and puts the cigarette out. “I… I gotta go. See you.” He turns and heads for the door, unaware that he’s being watched.
Once the door’s closed behind him, she sighs, dejected. “He still won’t do anything!” She groans, leaning away from him.
“You do something about it then.” Bakugou snorts, rolling his eyes and finishing his coffee. “Or what, you want to be wooed by him or something?”
“No, I just… I’m not convinced he likes me. But you were a great help. And that was a lot of fun, too.” She leans in again and whispers a word in his ear. “Jirou.”
She smiles at him as she leans back and turns around, skipping happily towards the door.
“My name!” She yells at him, opening the backdoor and entering the building again.
Bakugou sighs, and his smile finally wears off. He remembers who he is and what his mission is. But he can’t deny he had fun playing around with them.
It’s weird, he’s never experienced anything like that before. All his interactions had been with cokeheads or people drunk on crime and money. It feels weird to actually be talking to normal humans.
He shakes his head, trying to get rid of how strange it is. He’s about to head back when he hears the door open again, but this time Red Riot comes out.
The redhead walks over to where he is and smiles at him.
Bakugou blames the adrenaline. He blames how that day has made him weak, because the ample grin on the man makes his heart stop for like a second. And that can’t be real.
There’s no way.
“How’re you doing?” The man asks him.
“I don’t know.” And he’s not lying. It’s a lot of information to take in, a lot of new people and things.
“My first day was really rough.” Red Riot says, looking off into the distance, his expression unreadable. “Someone died in my arms. A man, about forty years old. He asked me to find his wife and tell her he loved her.”
Bakugou’s silent as he watches the other, his gaze on the stars in the sky.
“I’ll never forget that moment. I’ll never forget anything about everyone I wasn’t able to save. But… I’ll never stop doing this. I like giving people a second chance at life. I’m sad when I can’t give them that.”
“What… what happened with that man? Did you tell his wife?”
Red Riot turns around to look at him, and there’s a deep sadness in his eyes.
“I tried. I went to the police when I could. I tried asking for his name, even explained why I needed to know. No luck. I personally never got to inform the wife. I just hope someone I’d told got to tell her.”
“I’m sorry.” Bakugou mumbles, his gaze turning to the floor.
“Yeah, I’m sorry too. I wish I’d done more.”
“There’s nothing you could’ve done. You did your best.”
“My best wasn’t enough. Thanks, anyway. I just wanted to tell you that… first days are rough, but I hope it doesn’t discourage you. It’s worth it.”
“Someone died in my arms today, too.”
Red Riot does something he wasn’t expecting him to do, and he feels warm hands bring him into a tight hug.
“I’m sorry you had to go through that.” The man whispers, cuddling him.
Bakugou doesn’t pull back. He can’t. It feels nice to be embraced, especially after the day he’s had. Plus, who knows how long it’s been since he was last hugged. He feels tears threaten to burst out of him, but he stops them with his will. There’s no way he’s going to cry in front of this complete stranger.
“It’s okay, it’s okay. Let it out if you need.” Red Riot cradles him, rubbing his back soothingly.
The only thing the blond can think is how the fuck are they in that situation and why doesn’t he will his body to move away from the other man.
I'm so sorry this was so late 😭 I noticed a big mistake and I had to rewrite this chapter (and I'll have to rewrite most of the story) but hopefully I can get the next chapter up in two weeks!
Thank you for being patient for me! I hope you enjoy it ☺
Bakugou wakes up to his phone ringing. Annoyed, he picks up and grumbles into the device.
“I was bored.” Dabi says as a way of wishing him a good morning.
“Is that all you wanted to tell me? You just had to wake me up for that?”
“You do sound like you just woke up! Must be my lucky day.”
“What do you want, Dabi?”
“Just checking in on my best friend. Wanted to know how it went last night with those vigilante cunts. I’m hoping they didn’t turn you into one of them, but by the sound of it you’re your usual unbearable self.”
“Everything went smoothly.” He answers coolly. There’s no way he’s going to tell him that he threw up, or the conversation he had with Red Riot that sent shivers down his spine, or how it took him forever to go to sleep.
“Care to elaborate?” The man on the other line sounds more bored than interested but Bakugou sighs and goes for it.
“I met them, I chatted with them a little, and they took me to their base. Not much else happened.”
“Wooow. You know where their base is.”
“Yeah. And it’s pretty ugly.”
Dabi barely manages to stifle a snort.
“So anyway, what about you lot? Did you do anything fun last night?” The blond asks, stretching as he repositions himself on the bed.
“Apart from the attack, nothing much happened. Himiko is just as insane as always. If anything, she’s even more wild than normal. She’s feral, I swear. You better watch out: I think she’s after your job.”
“I’m so scared.” Bakugou says sarcastically, the corners of his mouth twisting into a little grin.
“You should be. She’s scary. Anyway, anything else you’d like to report?”
“Not really. I barely got to meet them last night.”
Dabi pauses slightly, his voice lower when he speaks again. “Any hot chicks?”
Bakugou’s mind already goes to the redhead he found so attractive last night. He also thinks of Jirou, and how amazing she is. “Maybe.”
“That’s definitely a yes!” Dabi snickers, before pausing. “So, what are you supposed to do when you’re a vigilante?”
“I don’t know.”
“I’m so fucking lucky it’s you that got that stupid job. And you have to like… befriend them or something? Gain their trust?”
“And you know I’m not good at that.”
“I’m well aware of your lack of social skills.”
“Got any pointers?”
“Don’t be an ass.”
“Fuck Dabi, that’s amazing, I hadn’t thought of that before.”
“Being a sarcastic cunt won’t do anything to help you out.”
“Got anything that will actually be useful?”
“Fuck all the girls and get them to tell you everything.”
Bakugou inhales deeply, trying to suppress the need to pinch the bridge of his nose in irritation. “Why’d you call me?”
“I told you already. I was bored.” Dabi mutters, sounding exactly like he’d described he is. His voice suddenly changes, like he’s remembered something. “Oh, oh yeah! We’re setting off a bunch of explosions in a bank today. We can’t have them think our mastermind bomber is on holiday, now, can we? Anyway, it’ll be at about four thirty this afternoon. You better impress those chumps.”
“Okay, will do.”
“Don’t get yourself killed.”
“Thanks for the advice.”
“Wow, you? Thanking someone? It must be my birthday.”
“It was sarcasm, you ass wipe.”
Dabi snorts into the phone, humming an odd tune afterwards. “It really isn’t the same without you.”
“Don’t get sappy with me. Oh, and stop calling me. Bye.”
“As always, it’s a pleasure to talk to you!” The other screams sarcastically so that Bakugou can hear him as he pulls the phone away from his ear to end the call.
Slumping against the wall, he drops the device onto his lap over the sheets and sinks his face into his hands, sighing.
“I’m so fucked.” He says out loud, feeling a bit sorry for himself.
A small bomb sound makes him look back down to his mobile again and he clicks on the displayed text from Dabi: ‘I take it back, I dont miss u one bit’
Snorting but feeling a little better about himself and the morning, the blond gets up and starts getting ready for the day.
Bakugou’s ready for the explosion. He sits on a bench in his civilian clothes, listening to some music, waiting for the magic to happen. His heart is beating in his chest, and he’s excited. He doesn’t even know why he is; the previous night he was horrified, and kind of scared. Now he wants to go back out there, wants to save people and wants to see them. Okay, not them, maybe only just him.
Blushing, the blond kicks a random pebble. He does not want to think that. It’s stupid and it’s ridiculous. This isn’t who he really is; this job has fucked with him. Maybe he should call his boss and tell him he doesn’t want to do it. But he knows he’d be punished for deserting a task, and… to be honest, he’s grown to like it.
What an idiot he is, he thinks. It’s only been a day and he’s already expecting to be with them every day or something? He’s looking forward to meeting them. He’s stupid for thinking all of this.
He was better off as a villain.
He was better off not having met them.
Clenching his teeth, tears threaten to fall down his cheeks, so he turns the volume up and tries to concentrate on the music.
A loud boom in the distance and the earth shaking under his feet snap him back into attention.
He’s got a mission to fulfil.
He runs to the bank where he knows they attacked. He takes his clothes off since he’s got his costume on underneath. He’s been painfully aware of it ever since he put it on due to the perspiration sticking it to his skin.
Bakugou’s happy to see they’re there before him. He spots Black Riot running, so the blond looks around to see if he can find the others. His heart does a little leap when his eyes fall on the redhead.
He’s huge. Fuck, he’s buff. He’s got a wide back and big shoulders and Bakugou thinks he looks hot even from behind. He gawks at him for a few seconds, watching how stern he seems as he’s saving people and helping the injured. He still smiles at them, but the blond can tell he’s worried and working hard to keep himself composed for them.
“Hey.” A female voice from behind him forces him to turn his attention away from him. Jirou’s looking at him with a knowing grin on her face, her eyebrows raised. “You come here to save people or what?”
“Shut up!” He snarls, turning away from her and running off.
“It’s good to see you here though!” She calls back. He shrugs his shoulders at her but he’s not sure she saw.
Bakugou tries to stay away from The Riots as he runs around saving people. Pink Riot does hug him when she spots him, but he pulls back, annoyed. She laughs and tells him to work hard.
The blond especially avoids Red Riot. He’s not sure why but looking at the man makes his chest feel funny. He needs to keep himself composed so he can think, and for some reason it’s hard for him to do it when the other’s around.
“I’m so happy to see you again!” Red Riot nearly screams, pulling Bakugou into a tight hug he thoroughly enjoys.
“Get off of me!” He mutters, pulling back but not using all of his strength to do so.
The redhead chuckles warmly but lets him go, taking a step back to admire him.
“I didn’t get to see your outfit last night, with it being so dark and all. I like it. Is it meant to mean something?”
“Fuck if I know.” Bakugou mutters, turning his gaze downwards.
Another laugh erupts from Red Riot and the blond blushes uncontrollably. When he looks up he finds Pink Riot staring at him quizzically, a small smile on her face.
“Anyway, let’s get going!” The redhead smiles warmly at them. “The police will be here any moment now and you know they don’t like us very much.”
Bakugou mutters something under his breath, frowning. He turns and starts walking away when Red Riot calls for him. “Hey, Ground Zero!” He’s smiling when the blond looks up at him. “Wanna come back to our base again? It must be lonely being all by yourself.”
He closes his eyes and inhales, slowly readying himself. “I ain’t fucking lonely.” He snarls in a hushed voice, only raising it so they can hear the rest of his sentence. “But fine, yeah, I’ll go with you or whatever.”
“Great!” The redhead beams at him, shooting another one of those pain-inducing smiles of his.
Why does his heart feel like this whenever he looks at him?
“Hey, wait a minute.” Yellow Riot mutters, his eyes narrowing. “Can we talk, please?” He turns to give Bakugou a quick dissatisfied glance before gesturing for the others to huddle together. He stresses this last word as he eyes the other blond. “Privately.”
Red Riot looks at his friend with a worried expression on his face before addressing him, looking apologetic. “Would you excuse us for a moment, please?” He asks Bakugou, who shrugs his shoulders and walks away so they can have their little meeting.
He hears a few raised voices, but he can’t understand what they’re saying. They look at him from time to time, and the blond does his best to not frown at them. His tummy is twisting and turning, and he feels strange. After a few minutes, the redhead turns around and smiles at him.
“We’d love for you to accompany us to our base. It’s like our home to us, so we hope you feel comfortable too.”
“Sure.” Is all he can say.
“Let’s get going, then.” Black Riot mutters, eyeing Bakugou suspiciously. “C’mon, this way.”
He hears a tongue click but he decides to ignore it as he follows the redhead.
They hurry into a street and start walking in a line. They don’t speak as they hurry down empty side roads. They always make sure they’re deserted or mostly so.
Once they’re so far away that the distant sounds of the ambulances and sirens can barely be heard, they go back into walking in pairs of threes. Pink Riot approaches Bakugou, a cocky smile on her face. She greets him and tells him he did a good job. He agrees, frowning.
“You know, I’ve got you figured out.” She then says, smug. Bakugou’s heart starts beating hard and his tummy twists and knots.
“Yeah?” He grunts, trying to sound bored instead of terrified and alert. If she really is onto him, he’ll have no choice but to kill them, right there and then. He’s not sure he can fight one on one against all of them. He can easily beat Yellow Riot and maybe even Jirou, but he’s not sure about the other three. If they team up against him he doesn’t stand a chance. This could be it. He gulps, waiting for her to expose him.
“You’re like me.”
Bakugou pauses, feeling all his nerves dissipate. He breathes in and scoffs at her, but it turns into an actual laugh halfway through. There’s no way this chirpy pink haired ball of energy is a villain like he is.
“Well, maybe only in this sense.” She says, smiling with him. “You’re doing it for someone.”
“I am now, huh?”
“So, who’re you doing it for?”
He’s almost tempted to tell her that wouldn’t she wanna know but he stops himself.
“Who’re you doing it for?” He asks, turning his intense gaze to her.
“Red Riot of course. We’re childhood friends. He thought of this years ago, and when he gets an idea into his head he won’t let go until he either succeeds or it kills him. And I long ago decided that I’d do everything for him, sooooo… Here we are.”
Bakugou scoffs at her. “That’s a stupid thing to do. Why’d you decide to do everything for him?”
“Because we’re friends. And because he’s amazing. Plus, he does the same for me. So, who’re you doing it for? A giiiirl?” She says the last part with a smug grin on her face, intoning that last question.
“Oh, a boy, huh.”
“I ain’t doing it for anyone, fuck off!”
“Rude!” She screams, but her tone doesn’t match her expression. She looks amused, her lip twisting upwards just slightly. “Do you always talk like that?”
“Like you’ve got a stick up your arse.”
Bakugou almost does a double take. He pauses to stare into her wide, cheeky grin, her head slightly cocked to the side. “Do you have a death wish?” He asks her, his brow furrowing.
“I can almost smell the bravado.” She remarks, his smile growing wider. “I mean, it’s kinda cute. Y’know, the tough guy act you put on.”
“It’s not an act!” He snarls, his teeth clenching menacingly. Hopefully she’ll get the message.
Pink Riot doesn’t seem at all fazed by his intimidation and instead wiggles her fingers to wave him goodbye before skipping ahead. She goes back to Red Riot’s side, slinging her arm around his shoulders and leaning in to whisper something in his ear. He helps by crouching slightly to hear her better. He then laughs, quickly looking back at the flustered blond, who is trying his hardest not to seethe.
The rest of the walk goes by in silence. Pink Riot doesn’t leave Red Riot’s side, but they seem to have stopped talking about him.
It doesn’t take them long to reach their base. Bakugou’s almost sure he has the route memorised by now. With a few more days of coming and going, he’s positive he could determine where it is on a map for the other villains.
The redhead gestures at Bakugou to follow him inside, and he takes him to what he thought was a bathroom. It turns out to be more of a changing room. The man gives him a small tour by gesturing at the locker rooms and showers.
“You can use these if you want.” He smiles at him.
“I don’t have my clothes on me.” Bakugou responds automatically, his eyes wandering to the lockers and benches. It’s surprisingly like a gym. It smells clean, though. That’s the only difference, probably.
“I’ve got some spare clothes. Do you want those? You’ve got to be careful, you can’t wear that suit out or they might arrest you. Since yesterday was your first day… we weren’t sure you’d come back.”
“Fucking of course I’d come back.” Bakugou mutters, his gaze on the floor as he thinks of the possibility of wearing Red Riot’s clothes. They’d look a bit big on him, maybe a tiny bit ridiculous, but the idea of them sharing a fabric that’s been on that man’s skin doesn’t repulse him. If anything, it makes his heart beat faster. For some absurd reason. He blushes as he nods his head and whispers. “Yeah, I’d appreciate it if you could lend me some clothes.”
Chuckling warmly, Red Riot walks over to what Bakugou supposes is his locker and opens it with a simple combination. He gets out a few pieces of clothing, smells a shirt and hands it over to the blond. He does the same with a pair of trousers and smiles at him. “I hope they fit.”
“Yeah.” Is all Bakugou can answer. He had something witty to retort, but when he was given the soft clothes he kind of forgot how to speak.
‘What is wrong with me!?’ He screams at himself inside of his head, fidgeting. He’s about to ask where the toilets are when he notices Red Riot’s taking his shirt off.
Bakugou makes a noise similar to a screech as his eyes fall on defined pecs and abs.
“Oh.” The redhead says, looking at him with surprise. “I wouldn’t have pegged you as a prude. I’m sorry for-”
But he gets cut off by Bakugou’s quick scoff. “I’m not a prude. You just surprised me, is all. Are all you fuckers like this? Like, do you change together?”
“Uhm… yeah?” Red Riot answers, his eyebrows high. “Is it weird?”
“Even the girls?”
“And they’re okay with it?” Bakugou asks, perplexed.
“We’ve known each other for ages. We’re super comfortable with each other. I trust them with my life, of course they can see me naked. Not that they do anyway, we all just keep to ourselves when changing.”
“Are… are they gonna come in now?”
Red Riot shakes his head. “Nah, they’re going to let you change first.” He turns back to his locker and takes his trousers off, peeling the horrible red suit off of his skin. He quickly puts a tracksuit on and looks at Bakugou, chuckling. “Oh, you’re going to see me without my mask!”
The blond’s heart does not start thumping enthusiastically.
The redhead offers him a smile before he takes the mask off, and Bakugou finally gets to see this man’s perfect face. His eyebrows are pretty, his nose is small and cute, and every part of him is outstandingly beautiful. Even the scar over his right eye is lovely.
“I kind of want to look at you now.” Red Riot whispers, taking a step closer. Bakugou’s heart’s already beating as fast as it can; if the redhead gets any closer he might actually die.
With trembling fingers, the blond removes his mask, closing his eyes gently as the material goes over them. When he opens them again, he sees Red Riot looking at him with a soft smile on his face.
“You’re pretty.” He mutters, making the blond’s cheeks heat up.
“What the fuck!? No, I’m not!”
“Ha, ha, yes you are dude! But there’s nothing wrong with that! If anything, that’s a good thing.”
Bakugou wants to mutter under his breath and ask why on Earth is that a good thing but instead he turns his head to the side and decides to let it pass. He takes his costume off and puts Red Riot’s shirt on to hide his embarrassment. It’s a bit too big, but it’s soft and smells good. His eyes flutter closed as the fabric drags against his face, his heart doing that thing again. He tries not to think about the other man staring at him as he pulls his trousers on.
When they’re finished, they both exit the bathroom and Red Riot takes him around the other places he hadn’t visited yet, finishing their tour in the kitchen, where he starts brewing some coffee for them.
“Was today better?” He asks, his voice quiet. He seems dejected despite the normally positive aura that engulfs him.
“Yeah. Kind of.” He returns, shrugging his shoulders.
The redhead takes a step forward and looks into his eyes. Bakugou’s taken aback, but doesn’t turn his gaze away, staring into Red Riot’s pretty orbs. He can notice his heart beating fast inside his chest and his hands feel clammy, but he’s not going to back away and show him how defenceless he feels.
“You look better than yesterday.” The other ends up saying, shooting him another one of his signature smiles that makes Bakugou’s chest vibrate in a funny way.
“Thanks?” He answers, trying to sound indifferent, but his voice is thick and hoarse.
Red Riot chuckles. “No deaths today?”
“No deaths today.”
“No deaths day are the best.” He mutters, humming lightly as he pours milk into his mug. He looks at Bakugou again, quirking his eyebrow. “Want some? How do you take your coffee?”
“Black. One sugar.” The blond whispers, dropping his gaze onto the polka dot mug that he supposes is going to be his. It seems as if he’s correct since Red Riot passes it to him just seconds later.
“The sugar’s to your right. Could you pass it to me when you finish?”
He sips on his beverage as he gives him the sugar pot.
“Was your day any better?” He ends up asking the redhead, who turns to look at him with curious eyes.
“It was, thanks for asking!” He smiles warmly at him. “It’s mostly because I got to see you again. Yellow Riot said you weren’t gonna come back.”
“Fuck, did you bet on me coming back or something?” Bakugou half-smiles, his lips turning on one side of his mouth. “You better have fucking won then.”
Red Riot bursts into a fit of laughter.
“It wasn’t quite like that.” The redhead chuckles, picking his mug up and gesturing at the other to follow him into their living room. “He just had doubts on your motives behind why you want to be a vigilante.”
Bakugou snorts. “The titchy one told me he’s one to get fucking laid. Why’s he being all shitty about my motives?”
Red Riot looks at him with mild surprise on his face before taking a seat on one of the couches. “Oh, titchy? Is that what you’re calling Purple Riot? Do you have nicknames for all of us?”
Bakugou sits next to him, trying his hard to not be as close as he wants to be because he knows it would make him uncomfortable. “Maybe.”
“What’s mine, then?” He puts the mug on the coffee table and rests his chin on his elbow, directing all his attention to Bakugou, who immediately feels his heart thump noisily in his chest.
“Shitty Hair.” He manages to mutter despite feeling like he’s tongue-tied.
“Hey! I am deeply offended by that!” Red Riot pretends to pout, but the wide smile threatening to spread over his face ruins it.
“Not my fault you have terrible taste in hairstyles!”
“Like yours is any better? Do you even know what a brush is?”
“It’s called ‘messy’ and I know for a fact that you like it.”
“Oh, I like it, huh? And how are you so sure?”
Bakugou shrugs his shoulders, smirking as he turns his head to the side. “I just know. Maybe the fact that I’m in here helps.”
“I trust you. And Pink Riot trusts you too. She thinks your motives are pure, and so do I.”
The blond has to fight himself to not snort or roll his eyes. This is vital for him to not only fit in but also not be discovered. “Yeah, well…”
“I think you’re a good person. I can see it in your eyes. I can read people, you know? I’ve seen the inside of your heart and into your soul. I know what kind of person you are, I can feel it here,” Red Riot whispers, inching closer to him and pressing his open palm against his chest. “that you want to be the best person you can be.”
Bakugou leans in unintentionally, feeling like his whole skin’s on fire. Goose bumps form all over his arms and legs as he breathes in deeply.
“Yeah?” He mutters, breathless, his lips just slightly parted for him to pant that single word out.
“Yeah.” Red Riot smiles at him, tilting his head to the side and looking at him though half-lidded eyes. “The rest just… they aren’t as comfortable as Pink Riot and I are about letting you inside our base. You’re new and everything. But I want to teach you all about being a vigilante.”
“I want to learn.” Bakugou mutters, breathlessly.
The redhead chuckles, turning to have a sip of his coffee. “I can see that. I also think you’ve got great assets and things you can show us. A different point of view.”
“Yeah…” The blond whispers, his thoughts long gone as his eyes can only focus on the redhead’s juicy lips.
“Watcha doing?” A chirpy voice forces Bakugou to come back down to Earth. He snaps his head around to look in the direction of the shrill scream and he finds himself staring at Pink Riot. He can now take in her face, and he’s astounded by the amount of mascara and eye shadow she wears.
She walks closer to them and places her hands on her hips. “Hey, that’s my mug!”
“Sorry.” The redhead mutters sheepishly, ducking his head and looking at her with puppy dog eyes.
“Eh, it’s my spare. I can lend it to him, it’s okay.” She laughs and goes over to the sofa, throwing herself next to Bakugou. She slings her arm over him and pulls him towards herself. “So… whatcha talking about with the newbie?”
Bakugou shakes her off, frowning at her. She just laughs at him, holding him tighter still. There’s an almost defiant look in her eyes as he struggles to get her off himself. Before the blond can tell her that whatever they were talking about is nothing of her goddamned business she lets go and sits up, shrugging her shoulders. “Well, I’m beat, I’m going home!”
“See ya tomorrow!” The redhead calls at her as she skips along, and Bakugou hears him laugh before he continues talking. “Despite what you might think about her, she likes you.”
“Fucking doesn’t seem like it!”
“They just need some time to adjust.”
Yellow Riot and Black Riot walk into the room in their civilian clothes. The blond has a Pikachu shirt, light skinny jeans and a choker while the other’s wearing a grey sweater and dark trousers. They’re watching a video on the phone the tall one is holding and they seem to be finding it very amusing, but they immediately stop laughing when they see them on the sofa.
“You’re still here.” Yellow Riot greets him, and Bakugou can tell by the way his head tilts slightly to the side that he isn’t happy about it.
“Fucking ‘course I’d still be here.”
The other just shrugs at him. “I dunno. Most people can’t handle being a vigilante.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not most people.”
“I can tell.”
They stare at each other for a few seconds, the tension rising in the room. Black Riot sighs and pulls Yellow Riot into the kitchen by his elbow. “Hey, c’mon, I want to make myself some coffee.”
The other responds with a drawn-out groan but he follows him nonetheless.
“Yeah… not everyone’s excited to see you here.” Red Riot chuckles nervously, holding his mug in both hands and staring at its contents as if he had nowhere else to look.
“It’s okay. I’m kinda used to it.”
“Hmmm?” The redhead lifts an eyebrow, tilting his head upwards until their eyes meet. “Yeah? Whatcha mean?”
“I…” Bakugou curses at himself on the inside as he struggles to find a way to continue without giving anything away. “I’m used to being disliked.”
The redhead stares at him, his brows furrowing. “Why would people dislike you, though?” He asks, as if it’s a difficult math problem that only the teacher can solve.
The blond snorts. “You can’t be serious.”
“No, really, I’m-”
But he’s interrupted by Bakugou, who gets up. “I’m going home. I’m tired and I need to do stuff.”
“Yeah, yeah! Of course!” Red Riot answers, also getting up and offering him a wide smile. It quickly disappears from his face, though.
The blond tries to not pay it any heed as he turns around. He’s stopped by a hand wrapping itself around his arm tightly. Bakugou’s forced to meet the saddened eyes in front of him. The red orbs are filled with a glimmer of hope in them. “Uhm… I’d like to see you tomorrow… around…”
The blond is stunned into silence. He opens his mouth but no words come out, so he just closes it again.
“We usually patrol… do… do you wanna patrol with us? Maybe?”
“What… you patrol…? Where?”
“Just around… it’s… it may sound silly, but we… we lurk around the city, making sure nothing happens.”
“And that works?”
“Well…” Red Riot scratches the back of his head, smiling sheepishly. “Not always. But when it does, it’s pretty efficient. Together we can cover quite a lot of the city. We’re also on the lookout for potential villains.”
Bakugou swallows, feeling his heart beat in his chest, hard. Nervous, he raises his eyebrows. “Do you… do you have any… leads?”
The redhead shakes his head energetically. “Not really. We did follow someone for a while, but nothing came of it.”
“I’d like to patrol with you.” Bakugou whispers, his voice softer than usual. “How… how does it work?”
“We work in pairs some days, but we mostly go alone. It’s easy and fast to communicate with each other if something happens.”
“Phones.” The blond nods his head.
“Yeah! Speaking of, wanna give me your phone number?” The redhead looks at him with hope in his gorgeous eyes. “And… uhm… where do you wanna meet up tomorrow? I think you should go with someone if it’s your first day…”
“Yeah.” Bakugou agrees without thinking, focused on the man’s pretty smile instead of his words. Red Riot takes his mobile out of his pocket and unlocks it. It’s in a red case and has a charm with a star and a planet dangling from the side.
“Pink Riot and I match.” He mutters sheepishly as he points at it, embarrassed that they look like a sickly-sweet couple. “She got me mine and I got her hers. Anyway, uhm, here, give me a call.”
He reads his number out as Bakugou types it into his device. When he finishes, he gives the other a call and lets it ring until the stupid song the redhead chose as his tone can be heard. It’s a lame 80s one hit wonder that seems to make Red Riot really uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because of the incredulous look the blond shot at him.
“Pink Riot and I match on this too.” He whispers, sheepishly. He tries to smile at him normally again. “Wait, you didn’t add me as Shitty Hair, did you?”
The blond confirms his suspicions with a snort.
“Seriously!?” He whines, putting his phone away and trying to look at Bakugou’s.
“Well I don’t know your name, do I?”
“Yeah, but Shitty Hair? You’re really telling me you don’t have anything better?”
“Give me something better, then.” Bakugou whispers, leaning in closer and flicking the redhead’s nose teasingly.
‘Oh my fucking God, what is wrong with me!?’ He screams at himself as he just stands there, shocked that he just did that. He’s sure he’s as red as the other’s hair. He never thought he’d be capable of doing something so cheesy.
“See you tomorrow!” He cries out, trying to play it cool. Before he turns around, he notices how the other’s blushing too, his eyes wide.
Outside he finds Purple Riot smoking, her eyes on the horizon. She’s even prettier without her mask, her dark eye shadow and black lipstick highlighting how naturally pale she is. She seems so small, one foot on the concrete wall as she leans her whole body against it.
She slowly turns her head to face him as she hears the door open.
“Hey,” she greets him, flicking her cigarette before putting it back in her mouth. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Bakugou asks, walking over to where she is and taking one of the smokes she offers him.
“Don’t take this personally.” Jirou whispers. “It’s not that I hate you or anything. I just don’t… yet understand you. I want to, though. I’m just not sure how comfortable I am with having you in our base.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Today. I’m… I’m wary… not of you… just… about everything?”
“You’re not making any sense.”
She sighs and tilts her head back, resting it against the concrete. “You’re new. You’re in our base. That little ‘meeting’ we had before coming here. I agreed to let you in. I was the one that tilted the scales in your favour.”
“Gee, thanks.” He says sarcastically, looking at the horizon too.
“As I said, I have nothing against you.”
“But you don’t know me. I get it. You don’t have to apologise or anything. I’d probably do the same thing in your position.” And he doesn’t say it, but he has already. He’s had to judge whether or not a wannabe villain was good enough to enter the League, and he hasn’t always exactly been fair. He knows what it’s like to be wary of the wrong people entering your group.
“Yeah,” she whispers. “something like that.”
They’re silent for a while, until Jirou shakes her head and stifles a laugh. “Red Riot’s never brought anyone back to our base. Before you, I mean. I think… I think that means something, wouldn’t you say so?”
“I don’t know him like you do.” Bakugou mutters, fully understanding what she’s implying.
“I think you’re special. I think he likes you.”
“Hmmmm.” Is all she has to offer as they finish their cigarettes in silence.