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As a student, the idea of becoming a great hero is romanticized. Tragedy is glimmered with the triumphant smiles, with actions that make the world seem like a less terrifying place. Even death seems to be a force kept at bay, at least it felt that way until Ochaco found herself face to face with it.

 

Today was just supposed to be a test of their skill progression, yet it appeared simplicity wasn’t on today’s agenda when the arena class A-1 stood upon quaked and rumbled beneath their feet. Each student braced themselves despite their confusion to the situation, a few yelping in surprise, while others quietly speculated to themselves.

 

Aizawa had instilled the importance of expecting the unexpected, but no one could have foreseen the damage of a single training exercise.

 

The ground split into large sections, blowing up dust and making the students visibility limited. Shoto Todoroki appeared unfazed, using his ice to form a bridge between two split areas of the arena to keep from falling within the gaps while Momo Yaoyorozu created a net to catch herself and several others. Aizawa watched carefully, assessing each student’s reaction, taking in on whether they used their quirks to protect themselves or help those around. It was a defining moment for some to see if their compassion grew, but as he searched across the decimated arena, he heard one shrill cry that was unlike anything he had heard in long time.

 

Ochaco had used her quirk almost immediately when the ground began to crack open beneath her. She floated just above the arena, her brown hues scanning the immediate area around her. She caught a brief glimpse of Izuku Midoriya before the dust engulfed him from her sight. “Deku!” she called, her hand reaching out toward him. She, like the rest of her class, didn’t have the slightest idea as to whether this whole ordeal was on purpose or if their training grounds were under attack. It was hard to gain trust in any situation that wasn’t explained beforehand at this point. Either way, there wasn’t time to question any of it, only react.

 

Using some of the rubble, Ochaco used her legs to propel herself in the direction she last saw Izuku, hoping to catch sight of him again. Her stomach lurched as she floated and it took everything she had to remain focused. “Deku!” she called again, her voice finally carrying over the chaos.

 

“Uraraka!” Izuku was balancing on a section of the arena that hadn’t entirely been destroyed. He coughed and squinted through the dust, seeing the slightest silhouette of Ochaco’s form floating towards him. He lowered himself against the ground, readying his quirk to try and launch himself toward her. If he could grab onto Ochaco’s hand, then it was possible they could land on the same area and proceed to look for their other classmates.

 

But things didn’t go quite so easily.

 

Before Izuku could launch himself, the arena began to quake again. His tiny piece of ground split, forcing him to leap to another section, which unfortunately furthered himself away from Ochaco. He gritted his teeth. “What the hell is going on…” Inquiry was cut short in the young heroes mind when he heard Ochaco’s scream echo. It wasn’t of surprise or fear…but of pain. Izuku’s eyes widened as his head whipped in the direction of the scream. “Uraraka!”

 

It was then he saw her.

 

The second quake through the arena had sent a large crack racing up the nearest wall where Ochaco floated. Debris rained down toward her, yet not a single piece hit her. Ochaco hit each chunk, forcing it to float before it could knock her clean out. She pushed each piece she touched away from her as she tried to spot a place to land. Her stomach lurched again. Floating this long was beginning to weigh her down and if she didn’t land soon, she was either going to hurl or crash, neither in which sounded the least bit appealing.

 

With the new kick up of dust she couldn’t see Izuku anymore. “What the hell is happening?” she murmured, trying to stifle a cough. She was starting to get dizzy. Her limit was fast approaching. Unfortunately as Ochaco surveyed the area below her for solid ground, she was vastly unaware of a large, jagged piece of rebar sticking out of one of the floating arena chunks as it came spiraling back toward her.

 

The metal pierced her side. At first, Ochaco could only turn her head in surprise. It wasn’t until her body hit another passing piece of rubble, forcing the metal deeper, that her mind registered the searing pain. Her lips parted and the most bloodcurdling scream escaped her lips. Her heart leapt inside her chest, pounding against her ribcage as terror struck every fiber of her being. Her quirk failed her and found herself falling briefly, lost in the dust and chaos until her body hit solid ground with a large, painful thud.

 

After the last quake, everything on the training ground was quiet. Each student had heard Ochaco’s scream. Izuku had seen his crush plummet to the ground, the blood trailing after her body as she screamed…and yet he found himself frozen in place. His eyes stared toward the direction she fell, his body quivering uncontrollably. “Uraraka…”

 

Not far from where the zero gravity hero landed, another set of eyes had been watching. Katsuki Bakugou had seen Ochaco’s form skewed by the rebar and her scream had unexpectedly shaken him. His crimson hues watched her fall and immediately his fists clenched at his sides. “The hell….?”

 

“Was that Uraraka?” From beside the fiery blonde, Eijiro Kirishima stood, seeming almost petrified. “Was this planned?”

 

The red head’s voice failed to reach Katsuki. He gritted his teeth, his fist sparking uncontrollably as he crouched down, readying to launch himself in Ochaco’s direction. Whether this was real or some kind test, something very, very bad had happened in the midst of it and he was determined to find out what exactly. Without warning, Katsuki sent himself flying.

 

Kirishima shielded his eyes from the sudden kick up of dust as he watched the ill-tempered hero fly across the decimated arena. “Bakugou! Wait!”

 

“Oi! Roundface!” Katsuki shouted. His feet hit solid ground, sliding until the momentum of his power stopped, his crimson hues widening. Before him he saw Ochaco’s limp form and surrounding her a pool of blood nearly the same color as his own eyes. “Shit.” He lunged forward, running the remaining distance and falling to his knees beside her.

 

Ochaco was unconscious, yet her breathing was labored. She had lost a fair amount of blood, but fortunately the ragged metal in her side prevented her from entirely bleeding out. It was a gruesome sight seeing her like this. Katsuki swallowed hard. He reached his hand out and smoothed away a loose lock of hair from her face. This was bad.

 

“Fucking hell,” he spat. He stood and inhaled sharply, bringing his fingers to his lips and made a loud, piercing whistle. “Oi! Someone get the fuck over here NOW!” He fell back to his knees and hovered over his classmate. He hadn’t interacted with Ochaco since their fight during the Sports Festival, yet despite that there was something about seeing her suddenly so helpless that made his stomach lurch uneasily. Slowly he reached out for her hand, taking it in his. If he tried to move her, he risked doing more damage than good, even if it meant he could get her to Recovery Girl sooner.

 

“What happened?” Aizawa had finally located the source of the scream thanks to Katsuki’s whistle minutes prior. The Pro Hero clenched his fists, eyes narrowing as he assessed his students limp form, battered and bloody. “Bakugou, locate Recovery Girl immediately.”

 

With a loud thump, Kirishima landed beside Aizawa and Katsuki, his body hardened from his quirk. The moment he saw Ochaco on the ground, he stopped.

 

“Kirishima, locate others and confirm there are no other significant injuries,” Aizawa instructed briefly. He moved forward and knelt down beside his student. “This is bad.”

 

“You fucking think?” Katsuki spat, standing. He turned away and held his fists together, allowing sparks to form. For the majority of his time at UA, he had respected Aizawa, but in that exact moment he felt nothing but rage toward the hero. What teacher allowed his students to become this injured? His crimson hues took in Ochaco one last time before he propelled himself off the ground with his explosion. It didn’t feel right leaving her side for some reason. His chest ached, but he knew getting her help was more important. “What a shit day…”

 

He skyrocketed over where Izuku stood, motionless. Katsuki scoffed, his rage becoming more fueled. Had that bastard seen everything and not make a single attempt to reach the girl he obviously had a crush on? “Fucking useless nerd.” Though brief, Izuku and Katsuki’s eyes met before the hot-headed hero disappeared to find Recovery Girl.

 


 

Hours passed before class A-1 were fully evacuated from the testing arena. Murmurs flooded through the halls as everyone gathered, speculating the purpose of today’s class. Only three students knew the dire situation Ochaco Uraraka was in.

 

Recovery Girl was brought in immediately along with an entire team of medical staff. Katsuki had returned with the healing hero and watched as Ochaco was carefully extracted from the arena. Aizawa watched wordlessly, his brows furrowed in thought, fists clenched tightly at his sides. No one had expected something like this to happen, yet it was enough to remind Aizawa of the mortality each of his students possessed.

 

Kirishima had helped locate the remainder of his class and get them out safely, unable to speak a word about what happened, as though saying something would somehow jinx Ochaco’s life. Aside from a few minor scrapes, no one else had been injured.

 

Katsuki left the arena once Ochaco was safely brought out. His eyes scanned the hallway, landing on each of his classmates until they finally landed on Izuku. With rage sparking dangerously, he pushed past clamoring students and reached his arm back, fist formed, and launched it directly at Izuku.

 

Everyone gasped in surprise. Iida quickly intervened, standing himself between Izuku and Katsuki. “Bakugou, what’s the meaning of this?” he demanded. He watched as the ill tempered hero sparked with rage.

 

“Ask that useless bastard of a nerd,” Katsuki spat. “Standing there like a fucking moron while he watches Round-Face fight for her life.”

 

Iida’s brows furrowed. “Uraraka? Bakugou, what happened? What don’t we know?” At this point, everyone hung on every word between the class rep and class bully. The excitement of their class had worn into anxiety and fear.

 

Slowly, Izuku raised his head to look at Katsuki. “I didn’t know what to do, Kacchan. Everything happened so fa—“

 

“That’s your excuse?!” A large burst of fire hit the wall as Katsuki hit it. “You’re pathetic.” He turned on his heels and left. He was seething and he wanted nothing more than to beat Izuku to a bloody pulp, but there was a larger feeling that nagged at him more. For the first time in his life, Katsuki Bakugou actually felt anxious about the wellbeing of another person.

 

Izuku and Iida watched silently, before the class rep finally turned to All Might’s successor. It was clear he would question his friend to what really happened.

 


 

Three days after the incident with Ochaco, the whole class was buzzing about it. Thanks to Recovery Girl Ochaco would survive, yet at the moment she remained in critical condition. There was only so much healing that could be done each day and so much that modern medicine could do.

 

Several classmates had attempted to visit, a few being Mina Ashido, Momo Yaoyorozu, and Tsuyu Asui. Until Ochaco was no longer in critical condition, visitors were prohibited. Despite this, Katsuki didn’t seem to care. During the day he acted normal, attended classes, hung out with Kirishima and Kaminari, but at night… Night was when he broke the rules and went to see Ochaco. No one expected the students to leave their dorm rooms and by that time Recovery Girl and her team were not heavily guarding the young hero’s room from visitors.

 

For Katsuki, it was the perfect time to visit.

 

He slipped inside her room effortlessly and made his way slowly to edge of Ochaco’s bed. She lay there unconscious, her body hooked up to several machines and monitors, each making their own subtle noises. The only one Katsuki cared about was the one monitoring her heart rate. What exactly would have happened if she had died out in that arena? The question plagued him like a nightmare. He had never seen anyone critically wounded, let alone someone he had come to respect during his time here.

 

Swallowing hard, he took a seat in the chair beside her bed and reached his hand up to gently take hers. Her skin felt cool and soft against the warmth of his. Apart of him idly wondered whether she always felt cool to the touch or if it were only on these dire circumstances. She was so pale, so frail. It bothered him more than it should. All he could think about was the determination that flared into those brown hues during the Sports Festival.

 

Katsuki admittedly thought Ochaco was weak until he faced off against her. She had truly surprised him, something no one had done for a long time. To him, she went from being a nobody who hung out with that nerd to someone he respected. Was that why seeing her like this bothered him so much or maybe it was because he was the first to find her after she’d been impaled? It didn’t make any sense and apart of him felt rage for not understanding.

 

He drew in a sharp breath and forced his thoughts aside. He was going to drive himself insane before too long if he kept at it. Releasing her hand, Katsuki reached up and swept a lock of hair from Ochaco’s face. Despite the motion being soft, it caused the zero gravity hero’s face to stir.

 

“Roundface?” he whispered, surprise evident in his tone. This was the most movement he had seen from Ochaco since he had begun visiting her two nights ago.

 

“Nhnn…” Her voice was hoarse, nearly inaudible. Slowly Ochaco swayed her head as her eyes began to open. She was stirring awake.

 

Katsuki took her hand back in his. “Can you hear me?” he inquired. His eyes darted toward the door, watching for any shadows of nurses periodically checking on Ochaco. A sense of relief washed through him, though he didn’t fully understand it. A large part of him was happy that she wasn’t waking up alone. He could only imagine how it would feel to wake up from death’s door to being alone in a dark room hooked up to a dozen machines. It made him internally shudder.

 

Ochaco stirred again, this time her eyes opening entirely, finding his. For a moment it was like she didn’t recognize him, like nothing around her was fully registering. And then panic flew across her round features. She squeezed Katsuki’s hand unknowingly, her heart rate increasing as she reached up a hand to feel the IV sticking into her arm. She clawed at it as she began to hyperventilate.

 

“Damnit, Roundface, stop,” Katsuki said sternly. He gritted his teeth, wanting nothing more than to yell at her for being an idiot but something stopped him. Instead, he took both her hands in his to keep her from clawing at the tubes. His crimson hues stared her down until she looked at him, recognizing finally registering. Once he was certain she wasn’t going to panic, he slowly released her hands and reached up to remove the oxygen mask on her face.

 

“B-Bakugou….?” Her eyes welled with tears. Her heart rate was still high, but she hadn’t made any sudden movements just yet. “Am I dead…?”

 

Her words took him by surprise. It wasn’t often Katsuki was left speechless, especially by a girl, nonetheless. “You’re alive,” he said slowly. “You got pretty fucked up during a training exercise, Roundface. You’ve been in intensive care for three days now.” His chest ached. He didn’t have the slightest idea what to do. Granted he was glad she didn’t wake alone, especially after seeing her panic, yet he didn’t imagine he’d be the one present when she did.

 

“I thought I died,” she cried weakly. Her tears spilled over and all Katsuki could think to do was give her hand a squeeze while his freehand gently wiped her wet cheeks.

 

“Just take it easy. I doubt someone like you would go down that fucking easy,” he laughed dryly. Comfort was not his strong suit. But too his surprise, Ochaco’s lips curved into a faint smile as she squeezed his hand back.

 

“Thank you, Bakugou.”

 

For the remainder the night, Katsuki sat beside Ochaco while she quietly cried and wrapped her head around the accident. The pain in his chest worsened as the night went on and the spark of something unfamiliar agitated his nerves and plagued his every thought.

 

What exactly had sparked?

Chapter Text

The days following the training event had become a thing of unknowns for Ochaco. She had woke from a three day coma to find the one person in her class who always kept his distance sitting at her bedside in the middle of the night. What was more surprising was to see his temper hinged, a twinge of concern flooding his usually hostile red eyes.

 

And his touch.

 

She curled her hand into a loose fist, remembering the warmth of his hand in hers. It was such a strange feeling and it was the last thing she needed to be thinking about as she made her way down the path from the infirmary to the dorms. After waking up she had stayed a full week under Recovery Girl’s care until the wound on her side has been healed enough to allow her to move on her own again. It was a long and exhausting process. It made her anxious to think back on the last few days. Katsuki had visited her each night in secret, surprisingly answering her barrage of questions about everything that happened or made zero sense.

 

Like where were her parents? Why was she in an infirmary and not a hospital?

 

Ochaco’s accident had the unfortunate timing that coincided with a villain destroying a large portion of the train station and main bridge near where her parents lived. They had been notified, but until the damage was repaired, they were unable to come see her. She could only imagine what they were going through, yet apart of her was glad they didn’t see her in the sorry state she was in. Deep down she felt that if they saw their daughter battered and cozying up to death, that she would have let them down even more than she already had.

 

Each conversation she had on the phone with them since waking had been filled with an undertone of pressure to get her to quit her goal of becoming a pro hero and to just come home. Apart of her wanted to throw in the towel, to give up, to run back to the safety of a normal life, but was that something she could live with?

 

Ochaco inhaled sharply as she approached the dorms. Despite being healed enough to walk, she couldn’t deny she was still in a decent amount of pain and she had taken the advice of staying at the infirmary and thrown it out the window. All she wanted was to come back to something familiar. She couldn’t stand being there anymore. The sooner she could get back to her life, the better, though what life exactly? Maybe she wasn’t really fit to become a pro hero. Her heart rate rose as quickly with her anxiety. She still didn’t even have the faintest idea of how she was going to react to her classmates when they saw her. Recovery Girl had only allowed visitors a few days ago. Nearly the whole class had come to see her, some to wish her well, others to dish on what happened during the training exercise. It had all been too overwhelming to deal with everyone’s concern and curiosity at the time.

 

Oddly enough, the only visitor who didn’t cause her to fall into a complete mental wreck was Katsuki Bakugou.

 

“Oi, Round-Face!”

 

Speaking of which…

 

Ochaco slowly turned to see Katsuki standing on the path behind her, hands shoved in his pockets, his brows furrowed into their usual irritated position. Classes were supposed to be in session still for another few hours, but apparently someone didn’t get the memo.

 

“Shouldn’t you be in class, Bakugou?” Her lips parted into a nervous smile. He was definitely not acting as he did during his visits, that much was for certain. This was the usual Katsuki she didn’t know how to handle.

 

“Shouldn’t you be in the infirmary getting better?” he shot back. He closed the distance between them, moving past her toward the main door to the dorm. It was clear he wasn’t going to share with her why he was there. “You coming inside or what?”

 

Giving a frantic nod, Ochaco moved toward the door he now held open for her. Okay, maybe Katsuki wasn’t entirely acting like his usual self. Her cheeks flushed red.

 

They entered the building in silence. Katsuki didn’t shoot off on his own like Ochaco expected him to do, but instead he stood there staring at her expectantly. She swallowed hard, unable to find words in her haze of confusion and embarrassment. So instead of forcing a conversation, she made her way to conjoined living room area that was located in the split between the male and female dorm sides. She sat the couch closest to the window, letting her chocolate hues take comfort in the seemingly normal appearance outside.

 

Katsuki growled in irritation, plopping down on the couch opposite of her. “Well, talk, damnit!” he demanded, causing Ochaco to shoot her head back in his direction in surprise.

 

“What about?”

 

“About why the fuck you’re not in the infirmary!”

 

Flinching, Ochaco turned away again. Why did he want to know anyway? “I couldn’t stand it there anymore,” she admitted softly. “I felt like the longer I stayed, the more suffocated I became. I just needed something normal, I guess.”

 

“Things aren’t going to be normal for awhile, Round-Face.” Katsuki exhaled sharply, his gaze following hers to the window. He was definitely irritated, but it appeared that he had a grasp on his temper for the time being. In fact, he seemed more lost in thought than anything.

 

Ochaco picked at the hem of her pink hoodie as she mustered up the courage to ask a single question that kept burning at her conscious. “Bakugou,” she started, gaze now focused on the floor. “Why did you come visit me?”

 

It was Katsuki’s turn to be surprised. It was a question he should have been expecting, after all sneaking in to visit in the middle of the night was not only out of character, but unusual in general for anyone to do. He kept his gaze averted while he pondered his answer. “I saw you when you got hurt. Nobody knew what had happened,” he explained, purposely leaving out the fact that the Izuku had witnessed the accident as well. He didn’t know if that nerd had come clean to freezing up when he saw what happened or what, but it didn’t matter now. He wanted her attention on him, not fucking Deku.

 

“I was the first the reach you,” he continued, finally looking at her. Her eyes were wide as she listened, yet she still couldn’t seem to bring herself to fully look at him. He felt a twinge of irritation flood through him. “Recovery Girl said if they tried to bring you to the hospital, there was a higher chance you wouldn’t make it by the time you got there. She made a risky move calling in help and taking care of your situation here.”

 

Suddenly he stood and turned to face completely away from her. Both of his fists were clenched tightly at his sides. “If you don’t want to get trampled by dumb fucking questions, I suggest you go to your room. Class with be out soon.” With that, he disappeared down the hall toward his own room, leaving Ochaco alone, dazed and confused. This was certainly the most difficult time she ever had trying to get a read of the ill-tempered hero.

 

As she watched him fully disappear, she took note that he wasn’t wearing his uniform at all, but rather just a simple pair of black pants and a black t-shirt. Had he skipped class entirely today? Of all the questions floating around in her head that seemed to be the one she just couldn’t quite shake.

 


 

Katsuki practically slammed his dorm room door behind him. Sparks flew from his palms as his anger he had forcefully tried to quell finally ignited. He wanted so badly to yell at Ochaco. He thought she was a complete idiot for leaving the infirmary. Even with Recovery Girl healing her everyday, there was no way she was well enough to be up and walking, let alone trying to get back to the normalcy of life. What the fuck was she thinking?

 

He slammed his fist against the wall. Apart of him couldn’t fully understand his anger toward her. He had anticipated it would happen, that was the whole reason he had skipped class in the first place. He thought back to the last time he had visited her in the infirmary, when she weakly joked about wanting more than anything was to sleep in her own bed and that she would talk to the staff about getting an early release. It was clear that sleep was not coming easy for her judging from the dark circles under her eyes. Maybe he was being the idiot… If she was in a place she felt comfortable, there was higher chance she would sleep and relax, even. Still, it bothered him. Having her back at the dorms meant she wasn’t just going to get back to normal, but it meant not being able to visit her alone anymore.

 

As far as he knew she hadn’t told a single soul about his late night visits.  He didn’t understand it himself, but each night he had gone to see her, he felt a sense of calm wash through him that he never felt before. Seeing this girl so defeated brought a sense of discomfort he couldn’t get rid of. Katsuki went through his days at school seeing his classmates be normal. They smiled, they were obnoxious, and even Round-Face often got on his nerves, but seeing her so defeated it was…it was not the same girl he faced at the Sports Festival. Seeing that determined glint missing from her eyes did not settle well with him in the slightest.

 

Katsuki threw himself on his bed, burying his face in his pillow. In just a few short hours, the dorms would be filled with noise and classmates. He had enjoyed the silence of the building to himself today, even if he did walk around its halls a multitude of times to see if his predictions of Round-Face returning would prove true.

 

As his mind spun of thoughts of Ochaco, Katsuki closed his eyes, finding himself getting dragged into the depths of sleep. That damn girl was turning into quite the dilemma.

 


 

Ochaco had made it to her dorm after her awkward conversation with Katsuki. He wasn’t exactly wrong about her leaving the infirmary. Recovery Girl wasn’t the least bit happy when she had brought up returning to school. The wound had been closed, the internal bleeding stopped, but the wound was still very delicate. In fact, no amount of healing would ever fully get rid of the evidence that a rebar had been skewered into her side. There would always be a scar to serve as an ugly reminder.

 

She let out a pained breath as she lowered herself onto her bed. Exhaustion swept through her like a tidal wave and her muscles in her legs burned just from the short walk down the hall. Getting back into fighting shape was going to be no easy task. But it didn’t matter. Who even knew if she would continue to be a student here? Ochaco tried desperately to keep that burning question down, but in her most vulnerable moments, it always reared its head, demanding an answer.

 

Her hand rose above her and she studied it carefully. Apart of her wished she was still back at the infirmary, sitting expectantly for the clock to reach midnight so she could visit with Katsuki. They never exchanged words or glances when he would take her hand in his, but it became something safe and familiar to her the past week and she found herself yearning for that hand more than ever in that moment. How could someone so ill tempered feel so safe to be around?

 

She clenched her fist and dropped it at her side, allowing sleep to consume her. She couldn’t fight back the exhaustion any longer and she could only hope that a few hours of silence would be enough to rejuvenate her enough to face her classmates when they returned.

 


 

Noise filled the halls, stirring Katsuki awake. He grumbled irritably, pushing himself up to sit. Outside his door, he could hear Kirishima’s voice growing closer until a sudden loud knock struck his door.

 

“Yo, Bakugou! You in there?”

 

“No, now go the fuck away, Weird-Hair!” Katsuki spat.

 

Kirishima opened the door despite the venomous rage his friend appeared to be in, yet before he could open his mouth to say anything, a pillow came flying across the room. It smacked him square in the face, somehow leaving a red mark despite its softness, a feat only Katsuki seemed to be able to accomplish. He blinked and stared at the blonde, assessing him for a moment. “Did you sleep all day?”

 

“Of course I didn’t. Why would I waste my fucking day sleeping?” Katsuki got up and scratched the side of his head. His already spiky hair was messier than usual, but it didn’t seem to bother him in the slightest as he shoved past Kirishima.

 

To his surprise, he saw Ochaco at the end the hallway talking to Iida and that infuriating nerd, Deku. He stared at the group for a moment, much to Kirishima’s confusion as he came up beside his friend.

 

“Yeah, I guess Uraraka came back from the infirmary. I’m surprised she came back so soon, since…you know.” He made a silent motion toward the side of his stomach to indicate Ochaco’s accident. “We should go say hi.”

 

“Knock yourself out,” Katsuki said. His fists were clenched inside his pockets, and he did everything he possibly could to keep his rage in check. There was nothing more he wanted to do in that moment than to slam his fist into Izuku’s face. Seeing him talk to Ochaco made him feel sick, especially when she returned his goofy smile with one of her own. “Fucking Deku…”

 

Kirishima made no move to stop Katsuki, not unless he had a death wish. Instead, he bounded over toward the small group, waving his hands toward them. “Hey! Uraraka! Glad to se you up and about!”

 

Ochaco looked up, her lips curling in a faint smile. She looked exhausted, but cautiously happy. Her chocolate hues however found themselves looking past the spiky redhead and at Katsuki’s retreating figure. Her heart skipped, panging her in chest uncomfortably. What in the world was wrong with her?

 


 

That night, everyone had gathered in the dining area for dinner.  The room filled with excited chatter and the smell of food permeated the air.  Ochaco, Momo, Mina, Tsuyu, and Toru all entered together, taking a seat at the far end of the room. Mina was whispering about something excitedly, her lips pulled up into a bright smile. On the other end of the table, Izuku, Iida, Mineta, and Kaminari stood talking, however the moment All Might’s successor saw the zero gravity hero, he left the group to approach her.

 

“Uraraka, how are you?” He gave a small wave as he smiled at her. It was clear to him that she was exhausted, but it was expected with it being her first day back at the dorms. She returned his smile and left the girls to go talk to him.

 

“I’m a bit tired,” Ochaco said, giving a short, nervous laugh. “I feel like I’ve been gone from the dorms forever even though it’s only been a week. Crazy, right?”

 

Izuku shrugged, averting his gaze. His cheeks flushed a soft pink. “I know the feeling. During the last week of summer break I was training with All Might. It felt a bit weird when I came back. Anyway, I’m glad you’re back Uraraka. Everyone was so worried about you.” The accident was a tough subject to breach. It was clear based on how everyone acted around Ochaco today that they were afraid of asking anything too brash about it.

 

He watched as Ochaco squirmed uncomfortably under his comment and guilt hit him like a brick. “I’m sorry, Uraraka, I just meant it like…” He rubbed the back of his head, searching for the right words. “I just meant it like everyone cares about you. They just wanted to know you were okay.”

 

“It’s okay, Deku. I know what you meant. I guess it’s all just a bit weird still,” she said with a small smile. “Anyway, are you hungry? I’m starving, we should find a seat, yeah?” Her obvious aversion to the subject was made clear and Izuku nodded, turning toward Iida and motioning him over. The three found their seats among their other classmates, eager to enjoy the dinner.

 

Unfortunately, not everyone from class A-1 was excited. Katsuki sat closest toward the door, his red eyes narrowed in the direction of Ochaco and Izuku. Kaminari and Jiro sat next to him, laughing at some idiotic joke Kirishima was blasting off about. He couldn’t bring his attention away from her or from the dark circles under her eyes. He idly wondered if she managed to get any sleep earlier.

 

“Hey, Bakugou, what’re you staring at?” Kirishima inquired, breaking Katsuki from his thoughts.

 

With a twitching brow, Katsuki slammed his fist on the table. “Nothing, Weird-Hair! Mind your own damn business, would you?!”

 

“Damn, you’re in a worse mood than usual, Bakugou.” Kaminari quirked an eyebrow, his eyes following the direction Katsuki seemed intrigued by and noticed Ochaco. He snickered under his breath and elbowed Jiro to get her attention. She followed his gaze as well, understanding suddenly spreading across her features. “Were you thinking about Uraraka?”

 

“Like fucking hell I was!” Sparks flew from Katsuki’s fists as he clenched them till his knuckles were bone white. It was all too obvious that something was eating away at the ill-tempered hero, especially when he abruptly stood and marched from the dining hall.

 

Kirishima ran after him. “Aren’t you gonna eat?”

 

“Not hungry,” Katsuki spat. He glared at his friend, daring him silently to say another word. Instead, Kirishima let out a nervous chuckle and put his hands up in surrender before heading back into the dinning hall.

 

From their seats, Izuku, Ochaco, and Iida watched the display. When they saw the redhead come back in without the hothead, they turned back to their meals. “I guess Kacchan is in a bad mood. I wonder what happened.”

 

“When isn’t he in a bad mood?” Iida mused. “It’s not that out of the ordinary.”

 

Izuku fidgeted with his napkin, suddenly loosing his appetite. “Normally, but this time it seemed like something was really eating at him.”

 

“Well, given his explosive nature, it’s likely best to avoid him for now.” Iida gave a reassuring smile to Izuku. Even with a strained relationship, he knew that his green haired friend knew more than most when it came to Katsuki.

 

Ochaco sat quietly, picking at her food. Izuku was right, something was definitely off about Katsuki. He was quick to anger, but something in the intensity of it just now was all wrong. She gripped her fork harder and lifted her gaze to her friends. Off to her right, Mina and Toru gushed over a fashion magazine while Momo leaned off toward another table, seeming quite infatuated with a conversation that had sparked between her and Todoroki.

 

Everything seemed normal, mostly…yet it couldn’t have felt more off for Ochaco.

 

Sliding her bowl away from her, she stood, giving her best worry free smile. “I’m gonna call it an early night. I can’t say it was confortable sleeping on the bed in the infirmary, so I’m gonna catch up on some sleep.”

 

“Do you want me to walk you to your dorm?” Izuku offered, almost hopeful.

 

Ochaco shook her head. “I’ll be alright. I’m sure after a good nights sleep I’ll be good as gold!” She pumped the air with her fist and beamed at her friends. “I’ll catch you all tomorrow, okay?” Everyone said their goodnights before the pink cheeked girl left. Pretending to be okay had to have been one of the most exhausting things she had ever done and it was more clear now that her body wasn’t going to hold up if she didn’t get sleep.

 

Unfortunately, the night seemed to have other plans.

 

As she made her way to elevator, she saw Katsuki leaned up against the wall, staring intently at her. His whole demeanor was intense and she couldn’t decide if approaching him was smart or a death wish.

 

“You’re not doing so well,” he said bluntly, his eyes bearing into her.

 

Ochaco blinked back her surprise and waved her hands in front of her face. “I’m fine, just tired. In fact, I’m headed to bed now.”

 

Katsuki remained silent. He pushed himself from the wall and closed the distance between them, his crimson hues falling to her stomach where her injury was. Slowly he reached out his hand, brushing against her side. He made a point to apply a small amount of pressure with his index finger. When Ochaco winced and stepped back, he finally spoke again. “You’re far from okay.”

 

“Look, I’m—“

 

“Not okay,” he repeated, his voice more stern. The harsh features of his face softened slightly. “Come on, I’ll help you back to your dorm.”

 

Without resistance, Ochaco nodded, following him nervously to the elevator. How the hell did he go from pissed off to concerned? She swallowed a lump in her throat as she stood next to him. The heat from his body was intense just from standing beside her and the tension was almost thick enough to cut with a knife.

 

“Why the sudden concern, Bakugou?” Her inquiry was met with deafening silence. She peeked up at him. He was standing with a ridged back, gaze trained on the elevator door. When she dropped her attention to his hands, she saw they were clenched tightly. He didn’t look the least bit comfortable standing beside her.

 

Despite his demeanor, Ochaco couldn’t help but notice that behind all the hostility, Katsuki was actually quite attractive. It was so hard to notice when he was constantly cursing and yelling. She found herself blushing and when he finally glanced at her, she lowered her head down in a futile attempt to hide her face.

 

The elevator stopped and the doors opened. Katsuki stepped out first, stopping to make sure she followed. “Which room is yours?”

 

Unable to speak due to severe embarrassment, all Ochaco could do was point in the direction down the hall and watched as he sauntered off towards it. When they arrived, she fished out her key and unlocked the door, letting it swing open. Katsuki entered before her, eyeing everything around him, seeming almost unimpressed by her plain room.

 

“Well, thanks for walking me back to my room, Bakugou.”

 

“We’re not done yet.”

 

“Whaa…?”

 

Blinking, Ochaco watched him carefully. He peeked out into the hallway, looking to see if anyone was there. Everyone was still downstairs having dinner. With that, he closed the door, leaving only a crack. His eyes met hers as he slowly approached the now frozen Ochaco.

 

“Show me the wound,” he demanded softly.

 

Ochaco was taken back. “Why?”

 

“Tch, just show me, damnit. Don’t get the wrong fucking idea…”

 

This night had certainly taken the oddest turn. First he wanted to walk her to her dorm, now he wanted her to show him the wound from the rebar? Her face lit up into the brightest blush to ever cross her cheeks when it occurred to her that showing him meant lifting her shirt up part way. What the hell was he thinking?! She couldn’t even bring herself to look at him.

 

“Damnit, Round-Face. I told you not to get the wrong idea!” With one swift movement, he was directly in front of her, his hands on her shoulders. “I want to see just how healed your wound is. Since you’re stupid enough to leave the infirmary before you’re completely healed, someone’s gotta make sure you don’t keel over.”

 

“And why would that someone be you?” Ochaco challenged. Her cheeks were still ablaze, yet a spark of confidence allowed her to lift her head and look him dead in the eye. His behavior was entirely out of character from what she’d seen yet she couldn’t help but be a bit intrigued with his sudden interest in her.

 

“Don’t ask stupid questions,” he countered, expertly avoiding. Since she seemed reluctant to show him the wound herself, it was time he took matters into his own hands.

 

Slowly, without losing eye contact with her, Katsuki slid his hands down her arms, his fingertips resting against her wrist briefly before one hand moved and gripped the hem of her hoodie. Ochaco swallowed hard, but made no attempt to stop him. It wasn’t like she could even if she tried. Finally, he let his gaze drop when he lifted the right side up, revealing Ochaco’s painfully damaged side.

 

Her pale skin was still heavily bruised around the outline of a ragged wound that had been barely healed. It was clear that her whole right side would be scarred for the rest of her life, no matter how much healing was used.

 

Katsuki let out a haggard breath, his fingertips reaching up to barely trace the outline of the wound. “How the fuck are you walking around right now, Round-Face?” he demanded in a harsh whisper. “You’re nowhere close to being well enough to have left that goddamn infirmary.”

 

Flinching at his touch, she made no sudden movements. He was entirely right, yet she wouldn’t admit it, not aloud. She couldn’t stand being there anymore. Besides, it wasn’t like she was in critical condition anymore. If she had, there wasn’t a chance in hell that Recovery Girl would have agreed, though begrudgingly, to let her come back to the dorms.

 

Tears welled in Ochaco’s chocolate hues. She squeezed them shut, letting her head fall, defeated. Katsuki released her shirt and did something that not only surprised Ochaco, but himself as well. With one fluid movement, he brought both his arms around the petite girl and brought into him. His chin rested against her head and for a long moment neither moved.

 

“Bakugou…” she whimpered. Why did she have to feel so weak? Her whole body shook from pain and frustration, but even so, it didn’t stop her from eventually wrapping her arms around his waist and burying her face in his chest. Tears fell freely and her shoulders shook with sobs that soon became uncontrollable.

 

This was truly a breaking point for Ochaco. She hadn’t really accepted what had happened, only waved it away like it was some sort of pesky problem and wore a smile like a mask just to make it so no one else worried. It was clear Katsuki had seen right through her and brought her into a critical moment during the aftermath of her accident: acceptance.

 

Had she been in denial the whole time the past week?

 

As Katsuki began to pull away, Ochaco’s tightened her grip. “Please…j-just a bit longer…” she softly begged. “I don’t know what to do.”

 

“Just…let me be here,” he responded. His cheeks had the slightest blush speckled across his normally stern features. It pained him unbelievably to see her like this. Her resolve had been completely decimated and he was powerless to do a damn thing about it. He brought his face down, letting his lips brush against her ear. “Sit down,” he ordered gently. “I’ll stay, just breathe.”

 

Ochaco’s sobs had waned in the course of a few minutes and she found herself regaining her composure. Her eyes burned, feeling heavy and what little strength her body possessed was starting to give out. She weakly looked up at Katsuki, almost unable to recognize him beneath such a calm expression. This had to have been some kind of record for him to say something in a normal voice and without cussing.  She heard him fully shut her door and allowed herself to be lead to the bed. 

 

He sat down first, though his hands remained on her, helping her slowly sink down beside him. His fingertips twitched against her arm when she winced. It was like dealing with an injured bird.

 

Ochaco gently moved her body so that she sat directly beside Katsuki. It took every ounce of strength she had left to get comfortable and even though it was bold and uncharacteristic, she couldn’t help but reach out her hand and take his in her own. To her delight, he squeezed her hand in response and leaned his head to rest on hers. The feeling was warm and familiar, just like when he would hold her hand each night he visited the infirmary.

 

“Just sleep, Uraraka.”

 

Her eyes fluttered against the exhaustion for a moment. Had she just heard him correctly? “Bakugou—“

 

“Don’t make me knock you out,” he scolded, careful to keep his voice low. Their classmates would be returning to their dorms shortly and if anyone caught him inside Ochaco’s room, both of them would catch unimaginable hell.

 

But for now, he didn’t give a shit. He just wanted her close to him, for her to find some semblance of peace in the chaos that had become her life.

 

The clock ticked away and by the time the halls filled with students turning in for the night, both Katsuki and Ochaco were fast asleep, their hand still entwined.

Chapter Text

Morning hit like a sack of bricks.

 

Katsuki was the first to open his eyes against the sunlight that filtered in through the curtains. His gaze wandered over Ochaco’s room, momentary confusion clouding his mind until the zero gravity hero stirred against his side.

 

“Shit…” He had been there the whole night. He had only wanted to make sure she fell asleep before leaving to go back to his own room, but clearly that hadn’t happened. Careful to not wake Ochaco, Katsuki reached into the pocket of his black pants and pulled out his phone. It was eight in the morning and he had four unread messages, all from Kirishima.

 

Yo, what happened?



I know you’re in there, why you ignoring me?! D:

 

Aww c’mon, just message me back. You don’t go to bed this early.

 

C’mon bro, stop brooding and just come hang. The guys rented a movie, it’s gonna be good!

 

Kirishima was too much for Katsuki to handle right now. He locked his phone and tossed it aside on the bed. People were undoubtedly up and about, despite it being a Sunday. And here he was in the girl’s dormitory.

 

“Uraraka, wake up,” he whispered. She stirred, not seeming to hear him. His cheeks briefly flared red. It felt unusual using her name. It hadn’t been the first time, yet under the current circumstances, it felt strange. They weren’t comrades in this moment; they weren’t rivals in an arena as before. There was no need for him to display that kind of respect. Then again, why not? He did respect this girl. A lot. She had taken a damned rebar to the side and survived, showed back up to school with a smile on her face even though she was in pain. The girl just didn’t back the hell down and to Katsuki that was one of the single-most admirable traits he saw in her.

 

Slowly Ochaco’s eyes opened. She didn’t look as exhausted as she did yesterday. She sat up, wincing slightly. “It’s morning?” Her chocolate hues blinked, looking over her room, then falling to Katsuki who sat directly beside her…on her bed…in her room. “Oh, crap!” Her hands flew up to her mouth.

 

“Keep it down!” he hissed quietly. “You wanna wake the whole fucking place up?”

 

“Sorry! It’s just… I… Well, I didn’t expect us to fall asleep.” Ochaco scooted to the edge of the bed and stood. Her hair was fluffed up on the side where she had been resting her head on Katsuki’s shoulder. She heard Katsuki chuckle lightly behind her and she quickly turned to him, eyebrows quirked. “What’s so funny?”

 

“Your hair,” he said, meeting her to stand. He reached up a single hand and used his fingers to comb down the strands that stuck up, making Ochaco turn the brightest red he’d seen her turn yet. “There. Now you don’t look so dumb.”

 

“You’re one to talk,” she said, pointing at his own hair and giggling. His own hair wasn’t in its usual spiky form, but rather fell flat against his head on the right side where his head had been resting on Ochaco. It gave him an odd appearance, almost less wild. It definitely didn’t suit such an explosive person.

 

Katsuki scowled as he patted his hair. “Well, never mind that. We have bigger issues to deal with.”

 

“Right!” Ochaco curled her hands into fists and looked at Katsuki, her eyes brimming with energy. It would seem a good nights sleep was exactly what she needed.

 

Katsuki felt his lips tug into an involuntary smirk. “Alright, Round-Face, your job is just to make sure the coast is clear. If I can make it to the elevator, then I can make it to my room without being seen.”

 

Nodding, Ochaco made her way to the door and unlocked it. What was she going do if she actually ran into someone? She swallowed the lump in her throat and cracked the door open, carefully peeking out her head. To her relief, the hallways were completely empty. “I don’t see anyone in the halls, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone by the lounge area near the elevators.”

 

The only person that came to mind being up this early and outside her room was Momo. Sometimes she studied by the lounge and drank her morning tea. She was the last person Ochaco felt would understand such a significant break in the rules. She was, however, very easy to distract.

 

Since the door was open, Ochaco refrained from talking. They also had to be careful because of Jirou. If she was up and paying any sort of attention she would be able to pick up on their conversation with no sweat. Ochaco looked from right to left once more before entering the hall. Katsuki followed behind her, closing the door. Together they made their way towards the elevators.

 

As Ochaco peeked her head around the corner, their biggest dilemma that morning sat drinking her tea on the couch facing in their direction: Momo Yaoyorozu. “As soon as her and I leave, take the stairs.”

 

“Why the stairs?” Katsuki quirked a brow up.

 

“I thought you were supposed to be smart, Bakugou,” she teased softly, stifling a giggle. “What do you think will happen if someone on the boys floor sees the elevator coming from the girls floor and you’re the one on it?”

 

Katsuki scoffed, turning his head away to hide the embarrassed blush that speckled his cheeks. “Don’t get cocky with me, Round-Face. Just go do whatever it is you’re gonna do before someone comes.”

 

Nodding, Ochaco turned the corner and began walking toward Momo. “Morning!”

 

Startled, Momo looked up. She eyed her friend up and down before smiling. “Ochaco, I’m glad to see you looking better this morning. Everyone was worried after you left dinner last night.”

 

“Yeah, I was just really tired. I got some good sleep though, so I should be alright now,” she responded with a nervous laugh. She never wanted to make anyone worry when she came back, but seeing as how she looked half dead from stress and exhaustion, she really couldn’t blame them. “Hey, Momo, would you mind walking with me?”

 

“What for?” Momo’s cheeks suddenly lit up and she covered her mouth. “I’m so sorry, that came out rudely.” She stood and cleared her throat. “What I meant was is everything okay?”

 

“I know what you meant, it’s okay! I wanted to make some breakfast but I wanted to kinda pick your brain about tea. I’ve wanted to get some more, but I’m not really sure what kind. You always seem so knowledgeable about it, I figured you were the best person to ask.”

 

“Oh! I’d be delighted!” The creation hero’s eyes lit up. “I have a whole list of tea that I’ve been wanting to try myself, but I know of several others I think you would absolutely love!”

 

“Great!”

 

As the two girls talked and laughed, Katsuki tapped the heel of his foot against the wall impatiently. “C’mon damnit…” he muttered to himself. Finally they got into the elevator and disappeared and the explosive blonde made no hesitation making a run for the stairs.

 

This was definitely not how he expected his morning to go, yet as he hurried down the stairs to the boy’s level of the dormitory, he couldn’t help but feel this wasn’t going to be the last time he wound up in this sort of situation.

 

“This should be interesting,” he murmured, amused. His lips curled into a mischievous smirk as he made it down the last of the stairs and through the door.

 


 

I wonder if Uraraka is doing okay, Izuku thought to himself as walked toward the kitchen area. He had gotten an early start to the day doing training, but he couldn’t seem to clear his mind or remain focused on anything he did. Sighing, he turned the corner, stopping momentarily when he heard Ochaco’s giggle carry across the air.

 

At one of the tables he saw Momo and Ochaco sitting together, drinking tea. Izuku let a relieved smile lift his lips as he approached them, giving them each a small wave. “Good morning,” he said, his smile broadening. “Glad to see you looking better, Uraraka.”

 

“Morning, Deku!” Ochaco rubbed the back of her head and sheepishly smiled. “Yeah, sorry for worrying you. I didn’t realize I looked like a zombie walking around yesterday. I’m good now that I got some sleep and today I’m going to see Recovery Girl again. She said I shouldn’t need too much more healing done now that I’m up and about.”

 

“That’s good. When are you going to see her?” Izuku’s head tilted quizzically.

 

Kicking back the remainder of her tea, Ochaco stood. “I’m actually about to head there now.” Her chocolate hues turned to Momo as the biggest smile lit up her face. “Thanks again Momo for talking with me. When I’m able to move a bit better, we should go to the market and get some of that tea that’s on your list. The strawberry one sounds too good to pass up!”

 

“Agreed,” Momo said, returning her smile. “I should get going as well, I have a few things I need to take care of today. We’ll talk later?”

 

“Definitely!”

 

As Momo left, an uncomfortable silence crept in between Izuku and Ochaco. Ochaco didn’t quite understand it, but each time she looked directly at him, his gaze immediately averted, like he was ashamed of something.

 

“Deku, are you alright?”

 

Rubbing his arm nervously, he shook his head. “I wouldn’t be honest if I said I was. The truth is, Uraraka, I need to tell you something.”

 

“What is it?”

 

“During the accident…” He paused and caught a glance at her. He knew this was one of the last things she wanted to talk about, but he couldn’t live with this guilt. It ate at him for the past week and seeing her now in front of him only made him feel worse. “I saw you get hit and go down. But I froze. I…I….” Swallowing the lump in his throat, his emerald hues began to brim with frustrated tears. “Uraraka, I’m so sorry I let you down! We’re supposed to be friends who are training to be pro’s, yet when I saw you go down I couldn’t bring myself to move at all! I feel like I let you down completely as both a friend and a hero.”

 

Ochaco was left voiceless. She stared at him for a long moment, her mind milling around his words. Her fists clenched and she moved toward him, reaching out and gently placing her hand on his shoulder. “Have you been feeling like this the whole time?”

 

“I thought I could deal with it on my own, that eventually it would go away,” he admitted. “You already had enough to deal with, I didn’t want to burden you with my own insecurities, too.”

 

“Deku, you’re not a burden!” she said, smiling. “But you should have told me this sooner. I’m not mad at you for what happened to me. If anything, I blame myself for not being good enough.” A sharp, dry laugh caught in her throat. Her resolve began to waver. “I mean, what kind of hero gets taken out by a piece of metal, huh? That’s just crazy!”

 

“Uraraka…” Izuku watched her, his brows creasing from concern.

 

“I should have been better. I have to be better.” Ochaco’s eyes welled with tears as she forced herself to focus on the floor.

 

It was Izuku’s turn to be at a loss for words. He knew what it was like to feel helpless and afraid. Hell most of his life was like that. Yet even with so much experience feeling like a failure he didn’t know what to say. Instead, he did something that even surprised him. He wrapped his arms around Ochaco and hugged her while she broke into sobs.

 

Unbeknownst to the two, Katsuki watched the entire display from the doorway. His fists clenched until they were bone white, the only color being the sparks flickering from his Quirk. He had just come down to grab some water and then do his morning training, yet here he was listening to Ochaco break down about the accident and seeing fucking Deku be the one to comfort her.

 

He wanted nothing more than to hit something. But rather than let his anger out in front of an already wounded Ochaco, he turned and left, quietly seething.

 


 

Eijiro Kirishima was dragged from sleep the second his room filled with loud, angry knocking on his door. He rubbed his eyes, looking at the time, confused. It was a Sunday, he normally liked to take one day to sleep in. Granted it was already reaching nine thirty, but still…

 

“Oi! Weird-Hair!!” Katsuki shouted. His fists hit the door again, this time making sparks fly from his fist. “Wake the fuck up, we’re sparring!”

 

“What the hell man, what’s gotten into you?” Kirishima inquired as he opened the door. His red hair was flat against his head, his eyes staring at his friend quizzically. It wasn’t unusual to see his best friend fired up, but the way he was now wasn’t just his usual vigor. Something had seriously pissed him off.

 

“Just get the fuck ready!” Katsuki began storming down the hall, clearly having no desire to clarify his mood. “Meet me at the arena in ten!”

 

With a deep sigh, Kirishima quickly dressed into his training gear. He didn’t even have time to style his hair into their iconic red spikes, so instead he used a bandana to hold it back from his face. He jogged down the corridor towards the elevator. He was in no shape to be training, being half asleep still. But he wasn’t about to let his best friend down either, even if he hadn’t the slightest idea what was going on.

 

In the training arena, both the heroes-in-training prepped themselves for a spar. Katsuki’s fist hadn’t stopped sparking since he had gotten there and Kirishima could already tell that he’d likely be on the defense for the majority of the battle. In fact, he was going to have to be completely on guard given how ruthless Katsuki’s sudden smirk was just now.

 

“Get ready!” Katsuki shouted, launching himself from his starting point. He started with a right hook, the flames splitting out around as he collided with Kirishima. The redhead immediately hardened his arms, using them to keep the flames from doing any damage to him. He body slid backwards from the impact and he gritted his teeth. It was one hell of an opening move, a reckless one at that.

 

With Katsuki still close to him, Kirishima took the opportunity to slam his fist down into the ground, creating a shockwave that forced the explosive hero back. If he could force Katsuki on the defense, he might have a chance in the fight. Maybe.

 

“Bakugou, what’s gotten into you?”

 

Katsuki simply broadened his smirk. “Who the fuck cares right now?” he said, letting another wave of explosions to fly from him. The shockwave wasn’t enough to place him on the defense for long. He was already launching himself forward for another attack, except this time he anticipated Kirishima’s block attempt and aimed for his left side instead. The punch hit with such impact that the redhead had to harden both his legs to keep from completely being thrown back. He grunted, having not been able to block Katsuki’s attack and drew in a sharp breath. His side burned, but it wasn’t enough to take him out.

 

The two exchanged several punches, neither able to find an opening to completely wipe out their opponent. Their breathing became labored, both beginning to reach their limit. It was clear that despite this, Katsuki still looked like he was ready to fight everything and anything.

 

Katsuki raised his fist, letting the sparks consume him again. He gulped in large breathes of air before he once again launched himself. Instead of coming at Kirishima head on, he used a well-timed explosion to send him into the air directly above the redhead. “GET READY!”

 

Unfortunately for Kirishima, he didn’t stand a chance. His quirk was becoming weaker, his limit clearly on the brink. He watched as Katsuki’s fist came barreling down and all he could do was muster up everything he had left in him to block the attack. The force knocked him all the way back and out of the arena, his back slamming roughly against the wall. He collapsed to his knees, breathing heavily as he looked up at Katsuki who stood in the center of the arena, seeming satisfied with his victory.

 

“Man, I could barely keep up with you,” the redhead panted. “You at least feeling more sane?”

 

“For now.” Despite burning a large amount of hostile energy, Katsuki couldn’t get the image of Deku holding Ochaco from his mind. Each time he saw them embracing, his anger flared uncontrollably. It didn’t make sense why it mattered to him so much. It’s not like it was uncommon to see the two together. Still, deep inside he wanted to be the one who held Ochaco, not that fucking useless nerd! After all, Deku didn’t do a damn thing when Ochaco first got hurt! He stood there watching like a fool.

 

Scoffing, Katsuki began to leave the arena. He made his way to the locker room and slumped down onto one of the benches. A moment later Kirishima came in and sat beside him.

 

“I feel like I’m not gonna be able to move my arms for a week,” Kirishima complained, looking over his whole body. Despite there only being a few scrapes and bruises, he was in terrific shape for someone who just went against a berserker Katsuki Bakugou.

 

Katsuki chuckled dryly. His entire demeanor had gone from fiery and energetic, to defeated and quiet. He raised his head to look at the redhead. “You defended against me pretty well,” he said softly.

 

“Damn you must be losing your mind today if you’re throwing out compliments,” Kirishima teased, elbowing his friend in the side, his sharp teeth exposed in a goofy grin.

 

“Shove it.”

 

“Does this have anything to do with Uraraka?”

 

Katsuki’s body tensed. His crimson hues dropped to the ground, staring off at nothing in particular. “Why do you ask?”

 

Shrugging, Kirishima worked on stretching his arms, trying to get his muscles to feel a bit better after their beating. “It’s obvious something has been bothering you for a week now, right around the time Uraraka got hurt.” He sighed and turned to look toward the ceiling. “It’s not surprising. Everyone was shaken up after the incident. Even the teachers. I don’t think I’ve seen Aizawa so shocked before.”

 

Shaken up was a mild way of putting it. Without looking at Kirishima, Katsuki got up and began walking toward the door. “I’m calling it a day. And uh…thanks, I guess, for this.” He shrugged off the wide smile that emerged on Kirishima’s face and quickly took his leave before he got a ration of shit for both a compliment and a thank you on the same day.

 


 

Ochaco and Izuku had parted ways after they both had their meltdown. Apart of her felt embarrassed for having broken down the way she did, but at the same time she felt a bit relieved. They had become close friends since starting school together, so it only made sense that he would have been worried about her. There wasn’t anything wrong with confiding in a good friend, yet apart of her still felt uneasy over it. It wasn’t like she hadn’t cried in front of him before.

 

Sighing, she tried to push her thoughts aside. She was on her way to Recovery Girl now for another round of healing, yet she couldn’t seem to focus. The sooner she was better the sooner everything would be back to normal, right?

 

How wrong she was.

 

As she made her way down the path leading from the dorms to the school, she briefly caught sight of a figure walking towards her. To her surprise, it was Katsuki. He had both his hands shoved into the pockets of his black sweats, his whole body was scuffed up as he walked, seeming entirely lost in thought.

 

“Bakugou, were you in a fight?”

 

Suddenly his head shot up, eyes widening in surprise. The last person he expected to run into was Ochaco. He blinked several times at her before his mind registered what she was asking. “I was just sparing with Kirishima,” he said flatly. “Why are you out here?”

 

“I’m on my way to see Recovery Girl. I have to go to her every day until my wound is healed.” Her eyes fell to a large scrape on Katsuki’s arm. “Looks like you might do well to see her yourself, Bakugou.”

 

He glanced down, noticing the scratch. Guess Kirishima had gotten in a few good hits in after all. “It’s nothing I can’t handle,” he said with a shrug. “Though if it bothers you that much, I can see her if you want me to.” He could care less about any wounds he got, he just wanted an excuse to walk with her.

 

Ochaco nodded happily. They began to walk side-by-side. “It looks like you two sparred for quite a while. Who won?”

 

Katsuki glanced at her sideways. “Me, obviously.”

 

“You’re always so cocky,” Ochaco muttered under her breath. It was roughly around eleven and the day was already starting to become hot and muggy. Summer was drawing to an end, but it didn’t seem like the heat had any immediate plans of leaving.

 

As the two walked, both of them seemed almost completely at ease. It was a strange feeling, one that Ochaco never expected to feel around Katsuki. Even with silence between them, it felt nice still. When they reached the school, both made a mental note of how eerie the building felt without classes going on. It was almost like being in a horror movie, only during daylight hours.

 

“We’re here,” Katsuki announced, letting Ochaco enter the infirmary first. Recovery Girl was sitting at her desk, reading over notes before popping her head up to look over the duo.

 

“Ah, Miss Uraraka. Oh, and Bakugou as well. How unexpected?” She pushed her glasses up on her nose as she eyed Katsuki for a long moment, causing the youth’s temple to pulse in annoyance. “Come now, let’s get to healing!”

 

As Ochaco was led towards the back to one of the beds, Katsuki remained up at the front of the infirmary. He could see the two clearly from the doorway, though he felt if he came with it would be highly intrusive. He didn’t exactly know what Recovery Girl’s intense healing sessions actually entailed, whether or not Ochaco more or less kept her shirt on. He slumped down into a nearby chair, trying desperately to keep his attention focused on the wall before him.

 

“Your wound is healing nicely, though I’m afraid I can’t lessen the severity of the scar,” Recovery Girl admitted.

 

“Well, I guess on the plus side it’s not in an obvious spot, right?”

 

“I suppose that’s a good way of looking at things.”

 

Minutes passed and the longer Katsuki waited, the more impatient he became. Just how long was this going to take? He stood and shoved his hands in his pockets, trying to keep from losing his mind. Ten minutes…twenty minutes…forty minutes. He let out an aggravated sigh, half tempted to head toward the back to see what was going on, but as soon as the thought popped into his head, Ochaco came to the front, a warm smile on her lips.

 

“I’m surprised you waited, Bakugou,” she said, laughing softly. “Sorry it took so long. Since I’ve been getting a little better, she was able to do a bit more healing than normal.” She lifted the side of her pink shirt to reveal the wound. Yesterday it had looked ragged and deep in color, today it was heavily faded and the tone had drastically improved. “I can even move better now too!” Dropping her shirt, her smile faltered a bit.

 

Despite being healed so much, it was clear that much of her energy had been used in tangent. “You should probably get some sleep,” he said finally. Relieved as he was about her wound looking better, it was clear she was still nowhere close to being mentally or emotionally better.

 

“Yeah, I’ll probably take a nap. Anyway, we should get going.” Ochaco waved to Recovery Girl, thanking her profusely for taking such great care of her. As they entered into the hallway and began to walk, Ochaco suddenly stopped, her gaze on Katsuki’s arm. “I completely forgot, weren’t you going to ask Recovery Girl to look at your arm?”

 

“It’s fine.” Katsuki turned his body so his injured arm was out of sight. He wanted Ochaco’s full attention for what he was about to say next. “Uraraka, tomorrow I want you to start training with me.”

 

“Wha…?” In an instant Ochaco’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. “Why would you want me to train with you?” Her eyes shifted around the hallway uncomfortably, trying to find anything to focus her attention on. Was this some kind of weird joke?

 

Katsuki was staring right at her, his gaze bearing into her like daggers. He was dead serious and despite her sudden anxiety, he made no effort to sugarcoat his demand. “I want you to become strong again. I know you still have a ways to go until you’re fully healed, but…” he clenched his hands, dropping his gaze. He wasn’t good at wording things on an emotional level. It was something he always struggled on. “I’m not giving you a choice.”

 

Ochaco slowly brought herself to look at him. “I’ve been thinking a lot lately and to tell you the truth, I don’t know if I’m really fit to be a hero,” she said, laughing softly, almost inaudibly. “I mean, I—“

 

“Shut the hell up, right now!” he interjected. His crimson hues shot up meeting hers as he suddenly closed the distance. He had forced Ochaco to step back until her back was against the wall, his form looming over her. “Don’t say stupid things.”

 

Ochaco almost couldn’t take his intensity. What on earth had gotten into him all of a sudden? She stayed silent, unable to find her voice. Instead she starred wide-eyed at the explosion hero.

 

“I’ve seen first hand what you’re capable of, Uraraka. I fought against you, was pushed to my limit by you. And you think you can just stand there and say you can’t be a hero because you got injured by a piece of metal?” He scoffed and raised his arms, putting them on either side of Ochaco. “Guess what, Angel-Face…accidents happen all the damn time. It’s part of being a hero, part of being human. You have a dream to be a hero, which means you can’t let your resolve get shaken.”

 

Images of Deku and Ochaco hugging flashed through Katsuki’s mind. His eyes narrowed, becoming more intense. He could see the fear creeping into those chocolate hues and he forced himself to calm down. The last thing he wanted was for her fear to extend toward him as well.

 

“Let me help you become strong again…” He dropped head, almost as a way of begging. “I can’t stand to see you look so defeated, not when I know what you’re really capable of. You’re far from weak.”

 

“Bakugou…” Ochaco’s eyes brimmed with tears, her gaze not once looking away from him. Slowly she lifted her hands up toward him, allowing herself to wrap her arms around him. She buried her face in his chest, inhaling deeply. She was pleasantly surprised that he smelt so much like caramel. It was a sweet scent, almost intoxicating. It was likely due to his Quirk and the natural sweet scent nitroglycerin gave off. Still, it threw her off. Who would have thought someone like Katsuki would smell so good?

 

As if to tear her mind back to the embrace, Katsuki wasted no time pulling Ochaco closer. His face fell into the nook of her neck. For a long moment, they remained enclosed in one another’s arms, but for Katsuki it wasn’t enough. He slowly pulled himself from the hug and looked her dead in the eye before moving his face closer to hers.

 

Ochaco’s heart pounded against her ribcage, her cheeks flushing red. She knew what was coming next and she was helpless to stop it. She wanted it just as badly as he did.

 

Katsuki’s lips fell onto hers. It was the sweetest moment he had ever experienced with someone and he found himself instantly addicted. He pushed deeper into the kiss, feeling Ochaco’s hands grip his shirt, reciprocating his sudden actions. His tongue teased her lips, asking for entrance to which she eagerly complied.

 

They both became entirely lost within the moment. That was until a familiar voice spoke out to them both.

 

“Kacchan? Uraraka?”

 

Standing there, wide-eyed, Izuku stood staring at the two of them. It was impossible to discern where the hurt started and the surprise ended. Katsuki and Ochaco pulled themselves away from one another as a thick, uncomfortable silence fell over the three.

Chapter Text

At first, Izuku’s mind was unable to register what his eyes were seeing. Why the hell was Ochaco being held by… “Kacchan?” He stepped away when realization finally hit. The close quarters, the flushed cheeks, their lips having been on one another’s. It became all too obvious and his face lit up in embarrassment. “I-I-I have to g-go!” he stammered, wasting no time turning on his heals and making a run for it.

 

Katsuki and Ochaco stood there in silence, their own embarrassment consuming them. Not only did they share their first kiss with each other, but they had a witness too.

 

“Fucking great,” Katsuki muttered. He stepped away from Ochaco, who still seemed to be reeling from the situation. He did everything in his power to keep himself there with her instead of running after that useless nerd and tearing him a new one. It was unlikely that Izuku was going to run off spouting his mouth about what he saw, but even so, he’d have to make certain.

 

Katsuki tapped on Ochaco’s shoulder, bringing her from her daze. “C’mon, I’ll walk you back to the dorms.” Nodding slowly, she followed wordlessly the entire way back, completely lost in thought.

 


 

At the dorms, Katsuki and Ochaco parted ways. Lunchtime was nearing and the halls were beginning to fill. Katsuki saw nearly everyone as he walked towards his room, all except Izuku. He clenched his fists, letting his eyes scan the lounge area. No sign, just Kirishima, Iida, Todoroki, and Tokoyami were sitting around.

 

Kirishima’s face lit up as he waved to his best friend. “Yo, wanna grab lunch?”

 

“Not right now. I need to find that shitty nerd,” Katsuki snapped through clenched teeth. The group on the lounge stirred uneasily. This certainly couldn’t be good.

 

“Midoriya?” Kirishima scratched the back on his head, internally debating with himself. Was it really a good idea to tell an angry Katsuki where he was? “Well, last I saw he was headed towards his room. He looked pretty shaken up, maybe you should leave him alone?”

 

Without answering, Katsuki brushed past the redhead and made his way straight to Izuku’s room. He didn’t even bother knocking, but rather turned the handle to find it unlocked and barged in. Izuku was sitting on the edge of his bed, but the moment he saw his childhood friend he jumped up, his eyes wide with panic.

 

“Kacchan?! W-What’re you doing here? I, uh…” He looked around frantically while he struggled to find the right words.

 

Katsuki slammed the door behind him and made his way to the balcony door. “Get outside.”

 

“Eh…?” Izuku blinked, frozen in place. Is Kacchan going to throw me off? His mind raced with terrifying possibilities until he felt Katsuki grab the front of his shirt and drag him outside. He heard the door shut behind them and the ill-tempered hero loomed, fists sparking.

 

“Deku, what the hell were you doing at the infirmary?!”

 

Izuku’s eyes narrowed slightly as he straightened up. He gripped the railing, still unsure of what Katsuki would do. “I was checking on Uraraka. She told me earlier she was going today.” His emerald hues studied the blonde intently, trying to get a read on him. It was near impossible to see his feelings outside of the immense anger.

 

“Why are you always getting in my way, you useless fucking nerd….” Katsuki’s voice had become softer, yet the venomous edge remained. His head fell forward, hands still clenched at his sides. “Why does it always have to be you?”

 

“Kacchan, I—“

 

“Just shut up!”

 

Izuku swallowed the lump in his throat. It appeared whatever level footing they had made with each other after their last explosive fight was gone. He had expected this confrontation the moment he caught Katsuki and Ochaco kissing. It was the single most unexpected thing he could have ever imagined and he couldn’t help but feel complete animosity towards the boy he once admired so much. Why would Ochaco choose him? His heart thumped uncomfortably in his chest as he looked at Katsuki.

 

His next words were likely going to get him killed, but Izuku didn’t care. His own anger was becoming ever more apparent on his otherwise kind features. “You shouldn’t get involved with Uraraka,” he said simply.

 

At that moment, Katsuki’s head snapped up, crimson eyes wide with a mixture of surprise and disgust. “What the fuck did you just say?”

 

“I said you shouldn’t get involved. Uraraka has strong aspirations of becoming a pro-hero. She’s strong, but she’s not like you.” The green haired boy sighed, suddenly looking down at his feet. “Being around someone like you will only put her in the shadows.”

 

Katsuki let out a dry, sarcastic laugh. “Right, because being All Might’s successor won’t do the exact same thing,” he shot back. “Deku, are you really that fucking blind to how things really are?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“You sit around admiring those around you, writing notes in your stupid fucking notebooks, yet you keep your head so far up in the cloud’s that you don’t even see the strength your own friends carry!” In a swift movement, Katsuki reached out and used his arm to knock Izuku back against the door, pinning him. “You think that just because Uraraka stands beside a strong hero that she won’t be seen as strong herself? You’re so fucking blind. You can’t even see Uraraka for the person she is, you’re too busy looking at her as the girl you’ve had a crush on.”

 

Katsuki’s words slashed Izuku deep. Yet despite his own anger beginning to bubble over, he couldn’t bring himself to argue against those words. Had he really been so aloof as to forget that Ochaco was training to be a pro-hero herself? Did he even realize how much progress she had made since starting UA?

 

The ill-tempered hero released Izuku and opened the door, shoving his way through, but not without salting Izuku’s wound one last time. “Maybe instead of telling me to stay away from Uraraka, you let her decide for herself who the fuck she wants to be around, you idiot.”

 

And with that, Izuku was left alone with his thoughts. Darkness crept around him as he pondered over Katsuki’s words, unable to fully comprehend what had transpired in the last few minutes. In his own way, Katsuki had defended Ochaco and rightfully so. He had been naïve to think of Ochaco as the same girl he met at the entrance exam?

 


 

When Ochaco reached her room she immediately collapsed onto her bed. Her heart was still racing uncontrollably in her chest as her mind reeled from the events that happened less than an hour ago. What was she supposed to be thinking? How was she supposed to be feeling?

 

She brought her hand up to her face, her fingertips brushing against her lips. “My first kiss,” she murmured. It wasn’t what she expected it to be and she certainly didn’t expect it to be with Katsuki Bakugou. Yet her cheeks flushed a deep pink and her stomach fluttered. She almost felt giddy and she couldn’t control the smile that creased her lips. This had to be just some stupid schoolgirl crush, right?

 

Rolling over to her side, her smile faded as her mind dredged up the memory of Izuku standing there, mouth agape, eyes wide and filled with heartbreak. Since becoming one of his best friends, she had developed a huge crush on him. He was sweet, determined, and held a passion for life unlike anyone she had met before. He was one of her biggest inspirations since coming to UA.

 

She clenched her eyes shut, trying to will the memory away, but to no avail. What had happened was unexpected to say the least and deciding whether she truly accepted the closeness that had developed between her and Katsuki was still very much up for debate, but to have Izuku witness something like that? She felt like complete trash knowing that even though unintentional, she had hurt one of her closest friends.

 

Ochaco pulled out her phone, disappointed to see no new messages. Katsuki wouldn’t message her, neither had actually exchanged numbers yet, but apart of her was hopeful that Izuku had at least sent something. With a sigh, she hit compose. If he wouldn’t message her, then she would message him instead.

 

Deku, can we talk when you get a chance? It’s important.

 

Her hands shook as her finger lingered over the send button. She didn’t have a single idea of what she would say to him, but if something like this lingered, then who knew what sort of damage it could do in the long run. Swallowing hard, she hit send and then buried her face in her pillow.

 

To Ochaco’s surprise, her phone beeped about a minute later. Her hands began to sweat as she picked her phone back up. What if he messaged her to tell her he didn’t want to talk to her anymore? Or maybe that she was terrible for having kissed Katsuki? Dread flooded her from head to toe. She clicked the message, an ounce of relief filling her.

 

Meet me on the roof in 10 minutes.

 

Today was going to be the death of her. Pushing her unease down, she stood and exited her dorm, making her way to the elevator. This was not going to be an easy conversation.

 


 

Izuku paced nervously while he waited for Ochaco. Katsuki’s words echoed in his mind and deep down even though they stung like hell, his childhood friend was right. She could make her own choices and it wasn’t as though she intentionally kissed Katsuki in front of him to cause him harm. His fist clenched on his chest, his teeth gritting. It still hurt to see.

 

Would things have been different if it had been him to walk her to the infirmary instead?

 

His mind snapped from their thoughts when the roof door opened. Ochaco nervously smiled at him, giving him a small wave. She stood beside the door, as if prepping to bolt at any second.

 

“Deku, I’m glad you agreed to talk to me,” she started. For some reason it felt impossible to bring herself to look him straight in the eye. “I…well…”

 

“It’s okay, Uraraka.” Izuku scratched the side of his arm and smiled sheepishly. “I can’t say I completely understand what’s going on, but I want you to know you and I are still friends.” The pounding in his chest reached his ears and he idly wondered if she could hear it. He had never felt so nervous before. “But I have something to say, before all this gets put behind us.”

 

“What is it, Deku?”

 

“For a long time, I’ve liked you. I’ve cherished our friendship each and everyday, but I was always was afraid to say anything that could change things,” he stated, bringing his emerald hues to look at her. His cheeks flushed a dark pink. “I want you to know my true feelings, Uraraka. I need to be honest and clear with how I feel, but I’m not doing this to purposely change things between us.” His lips parted into a soft smile. “Kacchan had brought up a good point to me earlier, actually.”

 

Ochaco’s eyes widened in surprise as she listened to every word. Katsuki and him already spoke? She wondered how that had gone. He wasn’t burned or beaten up, so at least that served as a promising sign.

 

“He said that it didn’t matter how anyone felt, that ultimately whoever you decide to be around is your choice. When he first confronted me I told him that he would bring you down. Uraraka, I’m sorry that I didn’t recognize you as a strong hero before now. I guess apart of me always just wanted you to be the Uraraka I knew when I first came to UA, the one who made me look at the name ‘Deku’ differently, who helped me build my confidence.” Izuku’s gaze met hers, his smile broadening. “I’ve always liked you as more than a friend. I just wanted to be honest with you, even if it’s not me you choose in the end.”

 

“What are you saying exactly?” Ochaco’s cheeks burned, yet she couldn’t stop from looking at Izuku. “To be honest, I don’t know what I’m really feeling right now. What you saw between Bakugou and I…” she turned away, laughing nervously. “That was the first time something like that had happened. It’s not like I had some secret relationship or was trying to be dishonest.”

 

Izuku blinked and stared speculatively at her. “Ochaco, was Kacchan your first kiss?” He knew he had guessed correctly when her face lit up even more. “Do you like him?”

 

“I’m not actually sure. We never really spoke outside of when we competed against each other in the sports festival, but since my accident he’s made an effort to talk to me. I won’t lie and say I don’t enjoy his company, but whether I would consider it a crush or something else, I really can’t say right now.”

 

Izuku closed the distance between them, his mouth pulled into a full smile. “Then maybe I have a chance to win you over,” he said before walking past her. It was a very unusual display of confidence that Ochaco had never seen in him on an emotional level, at least one that didn’t involve him tearing up. “You should get some rest, Uraraka. It’s been a long day.”

 

When the door shut, Ochaco found herself more confused than before. She had Katsuki making unusual moves on her and she might be wrong, but she swore than Izuku had, in his own way, stated that he wasn’t giving up on making their friendship something more.

 

This was all becoming too much for her to handle. At this point she felt like locking herself in her room and avoiding all contact. In fact, that plan sounded perfect. She had to catch up on a weeks worth of homework anyway, so she welcomed the distraction.

 


 

The afternoon quickly turned to evening as Ochaco sat at her desk. She had forced herself in her textbooks, finally finding a sense of peace from the chaotic day. She had survived off of snacks she kept in her room, not finding herself wanting to go to the cafeteria or kitchen area only to run into all her classmates. Not to mention there was a chance she would run into Katsuki. She still wasn’t quite sure what to say to him anymore than she had to Izuku.

 

To ensure she wouldn’t be disturbed, Ochaco had texted all the girls to tell them that she would be in her dorm studying. The last thing she needed was everyone knocking on her door throughout the evening to check up on her.

 

Unfortunately her peaceful evening became heavily disrupted by a single text that came through her otherwise silent phone. To her surprise, it was from Kirishima.

 

Hey! Sorry if you’re asleep, Bakugou didn’t give me much choice. He said he wanted your # but I said I’d ask you first to see if it was alright.

 

Her cheeks burned red. Had Katsuki told Kirishima about what happened earlier? He was the most likely to be confided in of all the people that he hung out with, but still. She found it unlikely.

 

Sure

 

It was all she could come up with. It was weird enough that Katsuki had actually asked someone for her number rather than finding some clever way of obtaining it if he wanted it that badly.

 

Her ability to focus on homework had fallen through the instant she had read that text. She got up and sat on her bed, dropping her phone beside her. Her entire body felt weak and achy, yet her mind was wired. The second her phone beeped she reached for it. Sure enough an unsaved number popped up.

 

Go to sleep, we train at 5:00AM.

 

She blinked. That’s what he decided to send her after he had kissed her today? Anger began to bubble up inside her. Without thinking, she began typing, hitting send without any regard.

 

We’ll train another day. I’m up late catching up on homework. Later.

 

Her message was curt and dismissive and she knew that it would piss Katsuki off. He deserved it after a lame text like that. Besides, she wasn’t entirely lying. She had a lot to catch up on and with her mind racing a mile a minute studying was the only distraction she had.

 

The clock struck eleven and Katsuki still hadn’t responded. Apart of her was surprised. She half expected some kind of text consisting of capital letters and curse words, but her phone stayed silent. Yawning, she shut her textbook and tossed it aside and grabbed another one. She had moved all her homework to her bed and had about six books spread out before her. She grabbed another book and as she opened it, a small knock came at her door.

 

Slowly she stood and walked to the door, cautiously turning the lock. When she opened it a crack, her eyes widened and a surprised yelp left her. Katsuki was standing there staring at her. Without a word he pushed past her and entered her dorm, careful to shut the door as quietly as he could. He wore his black sweats and a black hoodie, the hood pulled up over his head.

 

“Bakugou? What are you doing here, are you trying to get us into trouble?” Ochaco spat frantically, struggling to keep her voice a whisper. Katsuki remained silent. He wasn’t giving off any of his usual wired energy and his eyes held a sense of calm she had never seen in them before.

 

“You said you weren’t going to be sleeping,” he said simply. He pulled the hood off his head and walked over to her bed, examining the textbooks she had splayed out everywhere.

 

“How does me saying I’m staying up to study translate as you coming to my dorm?”

 

Silence drifted between them and Ochaco’s nerves were getting more fried by the second. “Look, if you don’t have an actual reason for being here, then leave.” Her voice cracked, which caused Katsuki to finally look up at her. “Today hasn’t exactly been that easy on me. First you walk me to the infirmary, then you take my first kiss, then Deku confesses his feelings to me, and now you’re just here after sending me a text an hour ago telling me to go to sleep and wake up at five and—“

 

“Stop.” Somewhere between the flustered rambling, Katsuki had closed the distance and covered her mouth with his hand. “Don’t think you’re the only one struggling with this,” he murmured. “I never expected to have what happened earlier to happen either. I just…” Sighing, he turned away from her. “To be fair, it was my first kiss too.”

 

“What?” Ochaco studied him carefully. A very distinct blush has crossed over his cheeks. “Then why did you…?”

 

“I can’t fucking explain it, Round-Face,” he said, a flicker of his usual self emerging. “I can’t get you out of my mind. When you said you weren’t sleeping all I could think of was how ragged you were going to run yourself.” Suddenly, his eyes lifted to meet hers.

 

The intensity in his crimson hues was almost too much to handle. Her heart pounded against her ribcage and her breathing became heavy. There wasn’t a single thing she could think of to say that wouldn’t sound stupid and she couldn’t seem to get her mind to stop playing their kiss on repeat. It wasn’t that it was her first kiss that bothered her, but rather the feelings that flowered with it.

 

“Katsuki, I’m sorry…”

 

He quirked his head, about to inquire when he suddenly felt Ochaco’s lips on his, her arms shooting around his neck and bringing him in close.

 

Did she have any idea what she did to him?

 

Without question, he brought his arms around her and pulled her closer, deepening the kiss. He had yearned to feel her again since this morning and he could hardly believe she had instigated another kiss between them. Katsuki thought for certain that after this morning she was going to dismiss any connotation of the spark that had ignited. He knew she felt it too, but that didn’t mean she accepted it like he had.

 

To his surprise, Ochaco nudged him toward the bed. When he resisted out of confusion, she placed her right hand on his chest, activating her quirk and used it to effortlessly push him. “Release,” she said, breathlessly after breaking the kiss. Katsuki’s legs hit to edge of the bed and he found himself falling backwards onto it. It was intriguing to see the anti gravity hero taking such an unusual initiative, but he wasn’t about to ruin the moment by telling her that. Instead he watched her as her petite body leaned forward, her lips recapturing his.

 

As fun as it was to see her in control, Katsuki smirked into the kiss and wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her into him. Her body fell into his as he guided her onto the bed with him. For a moment, they stayed like that, silent, calm. He finally broke the silence when he let his hand wander to her side, his fingertips moving the hem of her shirt up over her wounded side.

 

“Be honest with me, Uraraka,” he said, his lips now against her ear. “Are you in pain?”

 

“Not all the time. I still have moments when it feels sharp or uncomfortable,” she admitted, a shiver racing down her spine against his touch. Hearing her name fall from his lips was pleasant and strange.

 

Katsuki used his free arm to shove the textbooks from her bed to the floor, not seeming to care if it made noise or not. He scooted further onto the bed, his other arm guiding Ochaco up with him. He lay there on his back, pulling her against him.

 

“Earlier, I meant what I said.”

 

Ochaco rested her head on his chest, her eyes becoming heavy. Her once frantic mind had begun to settle despite the fact that Katsuki was once again inside her dorm, this time it was more than just their hands entwined. “What if I can’t become strong again? I wasn’t that strong to begin with.”

 

A dry laugh left his lips. “Don’t sell yourself short. Telling me you’re not strong is the worst fucking joke you could come up with.” Without warning, he reached over and turned her light off, letting the darkness swallow them. “For now just sleep… I’ll stay here for as long as you want me to.”

 

“Better get comfortable then.” Her cheeks burned red as her sudden bold and unexpected comment. She was thankful for the darkness, yet she wasn’t in a situation to be embarrassed. She had after all pushed him onto her bed, making it all to clear already that she didn’t want him leaving her tonight.

 

“Just promise me you won’t be gone when I wake up,” she whispered. Her eyes closed and she had heard Katsuki say something, but exhaustion has seized her, pulling her into a deep sleep.

 

It had truly been a strange an unexpected day.

Chapter Text

Katsuki didn’t even care that he was in the girl’s dormitory at four in the morning. For the first time in a long while he felt no decay in his mental state since the day he and Izuku had a blow out fight after All Might lost his power. It wasn’t something he was accustomed to anymore and apart of him wasn’t sure what to think of this newfound serenity.

 

His arms tightened around Ochaco, pulling her sleeping figure closer to him. With a faint smile, he brushed aside a lock of hair from her face, watching as she stirred awake. He would have to leave soon, but certainly he could indulge in a moment of weakness a bit longer?

 

“Morning,” he whispered against her ear. In response, a shiver raced through Ochaco’s body, making Katsuki chuckle.

 

“I don’t remember falling asleep,” Ochaco stated, giving him a sheepish smile. “What time is it?”

 

“A little after four.”

 

As much as Ochaco didn’t want to leave his embrace, she sat up, smiling at the look of reluctance that fell over Katsuki’s face. “Most of our class is gonna be up soon,” she said through a yawn. She wasn’t much of a morning person by nature, but she had to admit, getting to wake up next to someone like Katsuki had great appeal.

 

“Probably.” His red eyes never left her for a second. In fact, she hadn’t looked away either. How could she? Katsuki was sprawled out on her small bed, his black hoodie slightly slid up to reveal the chiseled muscle of his abs, and his blonde hair tussled from sleep. “We need to get ready to train.”

 

Ochaco felt her face light up and she forced herself to avert her eyes. Stop getting so worked up, she thought to herself. “I guess me saying yes to training depends on what you had in mind.”

 

Katsuki sat up beside her, his hand idly running along her back, causing her to shiver again. Despite having one of the best nights rest he’s had in awhile, he still felt oddly tired. All he wanted to do was stay in bed with Ochaco and keep her close to him. He wasn’t about to admit that to her though, of course. Instead he just shrugged his shoulders. “Nothing crazy. I won’t push you too hard until you’re completely healed. Today we’ll just work on basics.”

 

He got up, stretching his arms over his head. “”We’ll meet out front in twenty, got it?”

 

“Okay, but what if someone sees us training together?”

 

“Eh?” Katsuki quirked a brow at her, his hand resting on the door handle. “So what? Let them see us.”

 

“Well, I mean…isn’t it kind of embarrassing for you to be seen with someone like me?” Ochaco asked hesitantly. She poked her index fingers together as her pink cheeks lit with a faint blush. “I don’t want to cause you any trouble. You’ve already been supportive since my accident.”

 

Katsuki glared at her, his demeanor shifting. “Didn’t I tell you to stop being stupid? I don’t give a fuck if people see us together or not. If I cared at all about what people thought of me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” He turned away from the door and returned to the edge of the bed. Without warning, he leaned down and captured her lips with his.

 

Ochaco gasped in surprise, her blush igniting into neon status. “What was that for?”

 

“What? I need a reason to kiss you now?” he teased, flashing a smirk.

 

While frantically waving her hands in front of her, Ochaco felt as though her heart was going to burst from her chest. “No…I mean yes! I mean no… Ugh, just go already!” Her pink cheeks puffed out in defiance and frustration. “You’re gonna get us caught if you keep this up, Bakugou!”

 

Standing up straight, Katsuki looked down at her, his smirk still firmly in place. He could tell that teasing her was going to become his new favorite thing. “Alright, have it your way. But the only one who’s gonna get us caught is you if you keep raising your voice.”

 

That definitely silenced her. She brought her hands up to cover her mouth as his words sank in.

 

“Remember, meet me in twenty minutes,” he reminded her, opening the door. He gave a quick look around before slipping out. As long as no one saw him coming out of Ochaco’s room, he didn’t care who saw him walking through the halls.

 

As long as their name wasn’t Deku.

 


 

After Ochaco had regained her composure, she grabbed her sweats and a black t-shirt. She had no idea what Katsuki meant by basics. He always seemed to be on a different level than everyone else and apart of her worried about what was really in store for her, especially right before school.

 

Something told her it was going to be a long day.

 

As she closed the door behind her after getting ready, she saw Asui exiting her own room. “Oh, good morning, Tsu!”

 

“Good morning, Ochaco. How are you feeling?” Asui had a towel draped over her shoulder, her body still clothed in pj’s. She placed her index finger on her chin as she looked over her friend’s appearance. “Are you going to train this morning?”

 

“I’m feeling fine. And yeah, I’m gonna actually train with…Bakugou,” she said sheepishly, ending her sentence in a murmur.

 

“That seems unusual for Bakugou.”

 

Ochaco touched her fingers together and laughed. “Yeah, it is. Who knows, maybe he’s starting to open up to people more the longer he’s at UA?” It was a weak theory, since the only one she had seen him open up to recently was Kirishima. In truth, she really didn’t have the slightest idea why he had chosen to help her or even show her kindness. It wasn’t as though he were directly involved with the accident, he was just a witness, after all. It was a question that she really hadn’t pondered on before.

 

“Maybe he likes you?” Asui suggested, her bluntness unmatched.

 

Ochaco’s cheeks burned pink. At this rate if she kept blushing her skin would stay that color. “That’s just crazy talk! I don’t think he likes anyone! Anyway, I gotta go!” As she waved to Asui and jogged away, causing the conversation to have an abrupt end. Sometimes Asui was too perceptive for her own good. It was clear that Katsuki didn’t hate her. They did kiss and even slept in the same room on more than one occasion. Those weren’t the usual things to do with someone you hated, right?

 

“Crap, I’m going to be late,” she muttered, checking her phone’s clock. She could already see him seething from having to wait an extra ten minutes for her. As she made her way to the main entrance of the dorms, she saw him waiting for her, hands shoved in the pockets of his black sweats, his face contorted in pure annoyance.

 

“Oi! I told you twenty minutes!” he huffed. “What the hell gives?”

 

“Sorry,” Ochaco said, bringing her palms together in apology. “Tsu was in the hallway, so I stopped to talk to her before coming down.”

 

“Tch. Let’s get started. Time is ticking away, Round-Face.”

 

They made their way to one of the training arenas located towards the back of school. Katsuki threw open the doors and walked in, clicking his tongue in annoyance. “We’ll start small for now, see how far your physical limitations are before we do anything with quirks.”

 

Silence.

 

“Oi, you listening?” he snapped, turning on his heels to face her. His dangerous glare softened into surprise when he saw Ochaco standing in the doorway. Her body stiff and her face was drawn into a stern look of terror that she tried desperately and futilely to hide.

 

He looked around the arena, her fear not registering for a long moment. When it did hit him, he felt his gut wrench. The arena they stood inside was an identical mirror of the one where Ochaco’s accident happened.

 

Having such dismal feelings about a place holding a particularly bad memory was to be expected, but being able to overcome it was a prime opportunity to test Ochaco’s resolve. Katsuki cleared his throat, breaking Ochaco’s trance.

 

“Step inside,” he ordered softly. “The place isn’t rigged to explode.”

 

Slowly she took one step.

 

Then two steps.

 

And finally three steps.

 

When Ochaco was fully through the doorway, she inhaled sharply and looked at Katsuki dead in the eye. “I guess it took me a bit off guard coming here.” It was to be expected yet she felt so weak for the way she shook like a leaf, especially in front of someone whose resolve was nearly unbreakable, at least to her.

 

After the distance had been closed to only a foot between them, Katsuki reached up his hand and gently rested it on her side. “Something bad happened, so your mind and body will fight whenever possible on instinct to get somewhere it deems as safe.” Letting his hand fall, he turned away from her again and assessed what he had to work with. There was very little they could do that wouldn’t send Ochaco over her limit immediately.

 

Doing anything small or half-assed was not something Katsuki knew how to do, so trying to come up with baby-steps was causing his brain to hurt. Training with her was going to be a bigger challenge that he originally thought, but he wasn’t about to throw his words to help her by the wayside either.

 

“Uraraka, have you used your Quirk since the accident?”

 

Ochaco shook her head, remaining silent. She looked at him with dread plastered across her face like a neon sign. Her stomach was already doing flips, activating her Quirk was likely going to make her hurl.

 

To her surprise, she watched Katsuki walk out further away from her and towards the center of the arena. He positioned his hand at the ground, squinting as a powerful explosion was released from his palm. He had lodged a chunk of the floor up and broke it into smaller pieces. When he was done, he motioned for her to come to him.

 

“Start with a small piece. Just float it, get yourself used to using your Quirk again.” Katsuki was astonishingly calm. It was not something people got to see of him often and Ochaco felt her heart skip a beat when she approached him.

 

She inhaled sharply, holding her breath as she placed her hand on a small chunk and activated her Quirk. When the stone floated before her, she released her pent up breath and concentrated. It was easy enough, despite her stomach wanting to dispose of its contents.

 

Without him asking her, she crouched down and touched another rock and then another. When the three were floating, she stole a glance at Katsuki. “Can you make a few larger pieces?”

 

Of course he could.

 

He blasted the ground out a ways from her to keep any shooting debris from flying in Ochaco’s direction. He heard a large thud and turned to see she had dropped the three rocks she had been floating, her hands on her knees, her breathing labored. She didn’t look tired, but rather panicked?

 

Katsuki moved to her side quickly. “What happened?”

 

Ochaco looked up at him, trying her best at a nonchalant smile. “I guess it’s going to take me a bit of time to get over being so shaky. When you made that explosion, my body froze, I couldn’t help but remember….” Her voice trailed, but it was clear what she meant.

 

“Try sitting,” he stated. Without even waiting for her to respond, he sat on the ground near her and motioned her to follow. “It may help you feel a bit more stable, at least for using your Quirk on small things.”

 

“Worth a shot, I guess,” she murmured, taking a seat across from him. Trying to ignore her erratic heartbeat, she touched one of the three rocks she floated previously and let it fall upwards. She watched it twirl slowly for a long moment, trying to get a feel of whether sitting was actually helping or not.

 

“Is it helping?”

 

“A bit. My body feels tense, so it’s hard to concentrate. I’m trying to relax, but it’s like my mind keeps sending these weird shock waves through me.” Ochaco refused to look away from the rock. Somehow focusing on only it helped ease her, even if it barely made a difference.

 

Katsuki picked up one of the other rocks and held it out to her. “Here, trying floating two. Just concentrate on actions, not emotion.” That advice was certainly something he lived by. If he stopped to feel every time he did something, he wouldn’t be as reactive as he was. Having feelings pop up in battle was just a giant nuisance that got in the way. His throat tightened, his breath catching when Ochaco reached for the stone. Without realizing it, her fingertips had brushed past his to take it from him and the heat lingered on his skin.

 

It was a strange, yet pleasant feeling.

 

The second rock floated up next to the first one. Ochaco’s hand shook. She wanted to float something larger to really shake the rust off, but that strange feeling in her gut just clung to her like a sickness.

 

The rocks fell and Ochaco stood to her feet at lightning speed, making a run for the door. Katsuki got up after her, but didn’t run. Judging from how her hand went up to her mouth and the other wrapping around her stomach that nausea had won out against her resolve.

 

When he got outside, he saw her near the hedges lining the arena, wiping the back of her hand against her mouth. She glanced up at him and smiled weakly, trying to laugh to diffuse her embarrassment. “I guess I’m just a total wreck.”

 

“The fact that you can still use your Quirk inside a place that makes you feel afraid shows that you weren’t broken,” he said simply. His face held no emotion as he looked at her. He was busy dealing with his own whirlpool of emotions, but he wasn’t about to let her know that. For now, wearing an apathetic mask was just easier. Still, he didn’t want to completely shy away from Ochaco.

 

“Let’s call it a day. Should be getting ready for class anyway.”

 

“Bakugou, could I ask you a favor?” Ochaco looked up him, taking his inquisitively quirked brow as the okay to continue. “Can you meet me here later for more training?”

 

“Shouldn’t you rest more?”

 

“Maybe, but I don’t have the luxury to just take things slow. If I want to become a hero, I need to try to get back to how I was before so I can then become stronger.” Her brown hues held a flame behind them that wanted to ignite so badly. Her passion and confidence was merely trapped behind the insecurities that formed after the accident and it was no easy feat getting past it.

 

“Yeah, meet me here at sundown,” he said and despite himself, let his lips curve into a smirk. “Not much can keep you down, can it?”

 

“I mean, that’s the point of Zero Gravity, right?” she joked weakly. It was such a terrible joke, but it brought both their lips into an involuntary smile, something that was more rare than finding a diamond on the street when it came to Katsuki.

 

“Alright, let’s head to class. Everyone else should be up by now.”

 

They walked back to the dorms in comfortable silence, not seeming to have much care in the world at that moment.

 


 

In class, everyone was in groups chatting amongst one another. Ochaco was at her desk surrounded by Momo, Todoroki, Izuku, and Mina. Iida ran from various groups, attempting to get everyone in their seats, despite class still having ten more minutes before starting. Kirishima and Kaminari were laughing at some kind of joke while Katsuki glared in annoyance at the two for having chosen his desk to cluster around. Jirou sat at her desk in silence, listening to her music while going over notes she’d taken the night before for homework, her eyes heavy with sleep. Mineta prowled around, the air filling with his inappropriate comments.

 

The room was certainly lively, and became louder as more students filtered in the closer it got to start time.

 

Eventually the chatter ceased when Aizawa entered the room. He stared nonchalantly at his class, waiting for complete silence before saying a word. “As you all know, break is in a few short days. Some of you will be returning home during that time while others will remain here, however despite where you wind up at, you will each have an assignment.”

 

The class groaned.

 

“It will be simple for some, but difficult for others,” he continued, ignoring their dismay. “As you all know, Uraraka had become injured during a training exercise. Some of you will argue that it was because no one told you something was going to happen, while others may want to place blame on the faculty.”

 

An uneasy aura seemed to float over the class and Ochaco felt herself shrink down into her chair. No one dared to look at her, knowing full well it had been a traumatizing moment. Not just for her, but for everyone.

 

Aizawa had made a pointed looked at Ochaco before letting his eyes fall to a stack of papers on his desk, lifting them up and handing them to the first student in the first row. “Being prepared for the unexpected is apart of being a hero and apart of going into dangerous situations. The variations of natural disaster and quirk related disasters run high on any mission. I believe all of you were too shaken by the unknown, which is why I want you each to write me an essay telling me what you believed could have been done differently during that training exercise. I want you to delve deep, tell me what you could have done differently yourself and what those around you could have done as well. You may start.” As he finished his explanation, he pulled his familiar yellow sleeping bag out and rolled up, not seeming to care about the eerie silence that fell over his students. “You have all of break to complete the assignment, but get started now.”

 

Everyone took a sheet from the pile being passed around. Ochaco swallowed hard as she took hers and looked it over. It was a plan sheet for the essay to make it easier to organize thoughts before putting each paragraph together. Pros, cons, mistakes, and triumphs were all listed on the form. For Ochaco, she only saw cons to the whole ordeal. Anything that could be considered a pro was how Katsuki had managed to get help for her in time. That and surviving.

 

The words on the sheet blurred together the longer she stared at it. She couldn’t help but wonder what kind of backlash the school faced after the incident. Were these essays a sly way of the school trying to find out exactly what had happened or had they taken a tragic event and turned it into some kind of learning opportunity? Either way, she felt herself reeling with anxiety the longer she thought about it. When she looked around the room, she caught Izuku staring at her, though he looked almost as spaced out as she did.

 

Katsuki was focused on his paper, seeming almost as stumped as everyone else. Nobody was writing, they all just stared.

 

No wonder they had all break to complete it. It wasn’t an easy assignment.

 

When class ended, Ochaco couldn’t get out of there soon enough. She was one of the first to leave and she immediately booked it toward the bathroom. She stood in front of the mirror examining herself trying to figure out why her stomach felt so knotted.

 

“Ochaco,” Asui said, entering the bathroom. Her head was tilted in concern as her index finger rested on her chin. “Are you okay? You left in a hurry. Ribbit.”

 

Was there even a sense in lying? Not to Tsuyu Asui. The girl was too perceptive; lying wasn’t really smart, especially since Ochaco was very visibly shaken by something.

 

“Not really,” Ochaco admitted, her voice catching in her throat towards the end. “This assignment is making me think of something I would much rather forget.”

 

“Understandable.” Asui came to stand beside her friend, ready to listen. “You came close to dying. Ribbit. It couldn’t have been easy.”

 

“Traumatizing, more like it.” Looking at the frog hero, she tried to crack a smile. “Maybe Aizawa is trying to torture me?”

 

“Not likely,” Asui stated, not seeming to catch the joke. “I think it’s because you got hurt that he wants everyone to write about it. Dealing with villains was one thing, but someone you know almost dying is a completely different matter. Ribbit.” Her vacant stare bore into Ochaco. “I think the assignment will be hard, but beneficial.”

 

Ochaco quirked a brow. “Beneficial?”

 

“Writing about it may help you come to terms with what happened,” the frog hero said simply.

 

She wasn’t wrong. An event that left trauma was not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.

 

“Oh, by the way, did you train with Bakugou? Ribbit?”

 

Ochaco’s whole body went rigid, her face turning beat red. She nodded and then looked down. “Yeah, this morning before school. We didn’t do much. He just had me use my Quirk to see how far I can push myself. I’m not completely healed, so I have to be careful still.” She had nearly forgotten that she had asked him to train with her again later.

 

“He wasn’t mean to you, was he?”

 

“No, he was oddly patient with me. I’m not sure what’s gotten into him, truthfully. I don’t think I’ve ever really seen him calm like that.”

 

“Well, this is just a theory, but maybe seeing you almost die changed him somehow?” Asui suggested, her finger going back to her chin. “You said he witnessed it, right? I imagine that can change someone.”

 

“I never really thought about it that way.” Ochaco leaned against the sink and sighed. “Whatever the reason it, he’s more a mystery now than he was before. Anyway, we should get to class.”

 

As the two left, Mina spotted them and bounded happily over to them. “Hey! What are you two planning to do over break?” she inquired, her voice high enough to catch the looks of students passing by.

 

Ochaco rubbed the back of her head, looking away sheepishly. “Nothing fun, unfortunately. I need to catch up on my studies. I’m way behind since I missed a week of school.”

 

Mina pouted. “That’s all? Damn, girl you need to have at least one day of fun! What about you, Tsu?” she inquired, turning to the frog hero.

 

“I’ll be heading home to see family. Ribbit.”

 

“Aww, man! I was really hoping that everyone would have some time so we could all do something.” Mina huffed, letting her shoulders slump forward.

 

“Don’t worry, Mina,” Asui said, patting the acid hero’s back. “We’ll plan something for when we come back from break. We can all catch up then. Ribbit.”

 

Ochaco offered her best supportive smile. “Until then, let’s get to class before we’re all late.”

 


 

 As the last class for the day dismissed, the intercom chimed up, grabbing everyone’s attention.

 

‘Due to maintenance, all arena’s are closed off to the student body until further notice.’

 

As Ochaco stood in the hall and listened to the brief announcement her heart sank. Without access to the arenas, her and Katsuki wouldn’t be able to train like they had planned. Not to mention break was fast approaching and they likely wouldn’t be able to train during that week either. Life felt as though it were pushing back relentlessly since the accident and Ochaco was getting tired of it. At this rate she was going to have to use every ounce of free time to study just to catch up.

 

Sighing, she began to walk towards the dorms. Her whole body hummed with nervous energy. Even with fear gripping her earlier the moment she stepped foot inside the arena, Katsuki had made her feel at ease just by talking her through her freeze up. The part that messed with her head the most was how weak she felt. She had taken him on without a problem during the Sports Festival, had put blood and sweat into her training, yet one accident made it come crashing down.

 

Why did it bother her so much?

 

Villains had kidnapped Katsuki, Izuku had broken multiple body parts just by learning his Quirk, and All Might had lost his powers. So many around her had had it worse. All it was was a damned rebar. It didn’t kill her. She survived and was standing; though admittedly not as strong as she liked to have been.

 

Clenching her fist, Ochaco felt a wave of anger flood through her. I need to become stronger, no matter what! Her eyes settled on the dorms as they came into view. She took a quick look around her and inhaled sharply, holding her breath until she then took off running. Since the accident her physical activities had been heavily limited and even though she was nearly done having to go see Recovery Girl, she couldn’t wait until she was at one hundred percent to start getting back to the grind of  real training.

 

Air felt like it was being denied to her lungs as she approached the doorway to the dorms, her side aching terribly, legs close to giving out beneath her. Had one week hit her that hard?

 

It looked as though she was one of the first ones back. Everyone else usually hung out or waited so they could walk together while some made a b-line to the cafeteria to grab an early dinner. Luckily, she wouldn’t have to worry explaining her pitiful physical state to anyone.

 

When she got into her room, she flopped down on her bed. She pulled her phone out and pulled up Katsuki’s number.

 

 I guess no training later?

 

Moments later, his response came through. Ochaco wouldn’t be surprised if he had already made it back to the dorms.

 

You’re not getting out of training tomorrow morning. Don’t be late.

 

She smiled at her screen. Even after such a weak display earlier he didn’t seem to be giving up on her just yet.

 

I’ll be there.

 


 

As night fell over UA, the nervous energy Ochaco felt earlier returned at full force. She had studied until the girls came and got her for dinner, they all chatted and gossiped and before they knew it bedtime had snuck up.

 

Now she was lying there wide awake and rubbing the pads of her fingertips trying to calm herself down. She had really hoped that her and Katsuki could have trained together after classes. Even if she didn’t get much farther than she had this morning, it may have exhausted her enough where sleep could lull her off for the night. Not to mention the last two nights she hadn’t been alone either. Katsuki had been sleeping right here next to her.

 

Her cheeks lit up thinking about his warmth beside her, the way his lips felt against hers. They hadn’t really talked about what that kiss meant. Everything had moved so quickly. It was now, with nothing else to do, that Ochaco really let her mind dredge up everything that occurred the past couple of days.

 

Her and Katsuki had kissed.

 

He had slept in her room. Twice.

 

Izuku had feelings for her.

 

Ochaco’s face lit up again. It hadn’t occurred to her before after talking with Izuku that she might be caught between two people, whether it was intentional or not. She quickly picked her phone up and began typing. She couldn’t just space out and let things keep happening. She needed to get a handle on her damn life!

 

Bakugou, are you awake?

 

The phone remained silent, it’s light taunting her. It was already breaching ten thirty, so it was highly doubtful that he would bother responding, even if he were awake. It wasn’t like the zero gravity hero was all that important, anyway.

 

Beep.

 

Nearly jumping out of her skin, Ochaco grabbed her phone.

 

Yeah, but why are you? Go the fuck to sleep.

 

I need to talk to you.

 

It can wait till morning.

 

Ochaco defiantly puffed her cheeks out. Oh, he wasn’t getting off that easily. The whole reason she was awake right now was because of him! Had the past few days meant absolutely nothing to him? He slept beside her, held her, kissed her, yet here he was just blowing her off? The heat in her cheeks grew, her anxious energy igniting into an uncontrollable knot in her stomach.

 

Why did you kiss me?

 

Silence.

 

Silence.

 

Silence.

 

“Bakugou, you idiot!” At that point she didn’t care if anyone had heard her. Her eyes stung with tears of frustration as she threw herself up off the bed and grabbed her sweats and hoodie. Staying in this room was going to be the death of her tonight. She had to do something to get her mind off things and she knew exactly what to do.

 

Just beyond the gates of the dorms a wooded area looped around towards the back of the building. There a small path led to a small forested area that was sometimes used for training. It wasn’t too far and it was rarely ever used that the likeliness of being caught was slim. Or so she hoped. It wasn’t like she was going out there to cause a commotion or fight someone, unlike a certain pair of heroes-in-training.

 

Ochaco threw open her balcony window after getting dressed and peered down at distance between her room and the ground below. It wouldn’t be too difficult. Granted she really hadn’t floated much other than the rocks from earlier, but she had to try, right?

 

Inhaling, she pressed her fingertips together. Within seconds she began to float. She closed her door before launching herself off the railing. She had half expected to start feeling sick, but so far she just felt as though her stamina was severely lacking. She was careful to avoid passing by the windows below and kept to the shadows. When she landed, she exhaled the breath she had been holding.

 

“Getting my stamina back up is going to be hard,” she murmured to herself. She had no time to worry about it now; she needed to make it out of sight before she was caught. That was the last thing she needed. But just as she made it to the small loop around path, her phone beeped, making her jump. Her heart lurched, beginning to pound erratically against her ribcage. Had Katsuki texted her back?

 

He had.

 

Swallowing hard, she opened the message up.

 

Meet me on the roof.

 

The roof? She was opposite of the roof now and she had no intention of turning back now. She had a set goal. Besides, she wasn’t entirely certain if she was ready to hear what Katsuki had to say about their kiss, despite having been the one to bring it up in the first place. Her whole mind was a jumble and her nerves were fraying fast.

 

I can’t. Send.

 

He was just going to have to deal with waiting.

 


 

Katsuki had a death grip on his phone as he glared belligerently at the screen. “She can’t?” After asking a damn question like that through a text she couldn’t fucking make time to come to the roof to talk about it? He gritted his teeth together.

 

Why?

 

He hit send before he had a chance to add in a message that consisted more of curse words than anything. With his arms folded across his chest, his temper flaring, he waited. The minutes passed and his impatience was starting to get the best of him. Was Ochaco ignoring him? Even if she was studying, there was no way she could use that an excuse to say no. It wasn’t even that late!

 

Picking up the phone again, he punched in another message, having to retype it twice as his anger made him hit more buttons than intended in his rage.

 

You can’t ask me that question then fucking ignore me, Round-Face.

 

Several minutes passed and still no response. The waiting was killing him. Finally he hit call and listened, waiting for her voice to pop onto the line.

 

“Bakugou?”

 

“Where the hell are you?” he inquired. As much as he wanted to yell at her for ignoring him, his mind immediately shifted after she picked up. Her voice wasn’t coming through clearly, it was as though some kind of static was interfering. That or wind. “Are you outside?”

 

Maybe she went to the roof thinking he’d be there? Wishful thinking on his part.

 

He could hear her laugh nervously. “Well?!”

 

“Sorta. I snuck out to train a bit. I couldn’t sleep, is all.”

 

“You snuck out?!” A faint knock came at the door, undoubtedly it was Kirishima checking in to see what the raised voice was all about. Katsuki ignored him. “You realize it’s about to fucking rain right? Did you even look at the forecast before going outside?”

 

“Says the one who wanted to meet on the roof.” She sounded breathless, like she had been running.

 

“Don’t change the subject! Where the fuck are you, Uraraka?” His grip on his phone was becoming dangerously tight.

 

There was a pause on the other end, only the raspiness of the wind blowing against the receiver. “Just around the dorms.”

 

No doubt passed through him that she was working on her Quirk similar to what they had done this morning. “Why didn’t you just ask me to come with you?” he inquired, still very much fueled by anger. Another knock came at his door and instinctively threw the nearest thing he had at the door, which thankfully was a pillow.

 

“Go away, Shitty-Hair!”

 

The hallway became silent except for a slight murmur.

 

Just then, a large crack of thunder ripped through the sky and Katsuki froze. “Damnit, get back inside!”

 

“Not yet, I—“

 

The phone went dead.

 

Flying out of bed, he grabbed his hoodie and threw it over his head, yanked on his boots and tore open his dorm room. How could something that cute be that fucking stubborn?

 

Unfortunately for Katsuki, Ochaco’s stubbornness was the least of his concerns. His night became ten times more difficult when he rounded the corner and saw Izuku sitting on the lounge area. Growling under his breath, he stomped past the green haired boy.

 

“Are you leaving the dorms?” Izuku asked, not missing a beat. It wasn’t hard to miss Katsuki when he was in a bad mood, but for him to be in a bad mood this late at night that didn’t have to do with their rivalry was something different.

 

“Shut the hell up and mind your own fucking business, Deku!”

 

Narrowing his eyes, Izuku stood. “We just got off house arrest not long ago, Kacchan. If you get caught outside again the school isn’t going to go easy on you.”

 

“So what?” Katsuki turned on his heels, glaring at his childhood friend. He hated the way Izuku looked at him, his green hues so full of concern. It was utterly sickening to him. “Just stay out of it.”

 

“Hard to stay out of it when you come storming through here, Kacchan,” Izuku remarked, averting his gaze from the ill-tempered hero’s. “Why are you trying to go outside? It’s pouring rain out there.”

 

He didn’t have time for this! Growling again, he balled up his fists, small sparks beginning to emit from them. “Because fucking Uraraka is outside training like a fucking moron! I’m going to bring her back inside!”

 

The was a brief pause, but it was enough to make Katsuki’s skin crawl when the next words from Izuku’s mouth hung between them.

 

“I’m coming with.”

Chapter Text

Rain pelted down in heavy sheets around Ochaco. Her phone was wet and dead, her clothes soaked, and a chill penetrated her straight down to the bone. Coming out here had been incredibly stupid, she knew that, but even with her bad judgment pricking away at her thoughts, she had no intention of heading back inside yet.

 

She had to strengthen her resolve, no matter what. Just because she had a close call with death didn’t mean she could expect mercy from the world, so why should she expect any from herself?

 

Ochaco drew in a sharp breath as she squinted against the rain. Before the onslaught and Katsuki’s call, she had begun lining up four large decorative boulders. Her goal had been to make herself float and then one by one make the boulders float at the same time. This had been something she worked on even before the accident to try and increase her ability to use her Quirk on herself and on her surroundings with less exertion. If she could manage even a minute, then she’d have succeeded in at least one of her training milestones.

 

The pain in her side ached, as if a silent scream telling her she wasn’t prepared for this kind of training yet. She barely was able to make rocks float without heaving her guts up, what hope did she have pushing herself this far so soon?

 

Ignoring the pain, Ochaco put her fingertips together. Within seconds her body began to float and a familiar queasiness began to surface. Focus! Just focus, Ochaco. You can do this! Slowly she reached out a hand and touched the first boulder. Her lips curved into a triumphant smile as it lifted into the air. She had already exceeded what she had done earlier in the arena; it was now time to push her limits further.

 

Oh, what a terrible mistake that was.

 

When Ochaco’s hand touched the second boulder, thunder cracked at a deafening volume overhead, forcing her to lose focus. In a split second, a searing hot pain raced through her side as she fell to the ground with a loud thud, followed by nausea so intense she actually thought she would pass out from it.

 

As the contents of her stomach emptied onto the grass, Ochaco felt herself trembling under the strain she had just put herself through. It had been beyond stupid to push herself that hard, especially in a downpour. Not only that but the moment her phone had gotten wet she lost the ability to be able to call for help. Katsuki had no idea where she was, just that she was outside somewhere, and since no patrols came through here it was unlikely that anyone would find her anytime soon.

 

Ochaco couldn’t help but feel afraid as she curled herself into the fetal position. Her whole body had been rendered useless by the pain still spreading from her side. Whatever healing Recovery Girl had done had certainly been undone to some margin.

 

How could you be so stupid?

 


 

 

Stopping dead in his tracks, Katsuki turned to look at Izuku. Their eyes met and stared one another down, the fierceness of determination meeting those of pure rage. He knew this was the worst time to let his rivalry with Izuku get the best of him, especially when Ochaco was god-knows-where in this shitstorm, yet he couldn’t keep himself from feeling completely overwhelmed in that moment.

 

“What the fuck did you just say, Deku?” Katsuki’s eyes flashed dangerously, his tone holding a venomous edge.

 

It was rare when Izuku would match Katsuki’s intensity without backing down. Now was definitely one of those times. He held the older boy’s stare as he closed the distance between them and stood face-to-face with him. “I said I’m coming with you,” he repeated. “If Uraraka is in trouble, then I’m not going to sit here and do nothing.”

 

Katsuki had no choice but to relent, even if every fiber of his being wanted nothing more than to blast Izuku to hell. He forced himself to unclench his hands. “Where would she go?” he asked, strained.

 

Izuku thought for a moment, his brows furrowing as he thought. There weren’t many places he knew Ochaco to go to outside of school and the dorms, except… His eyes lit up and he snapped his fingers. “I think I know where she’s at,” he announced. “There’s a place around the dorms that nobody really goes and it isn’t patrolled very often.”

 

“Why the hell would she be there?” Katsuki started toward the door, making a mental note that Izuku was still wearing his PJ’s. Thunder cracked, followed by a flash of lightning. Panic stirred inside him, causing him to pick up his pace. Why did you go out in this, Uraraka?

 

When they reached the main door, Izuku stopped. “I need to get changed, but if Uraraka really is out there, then there’s no time to wait,” he said softly, worry plastered over his features. “Just past the gate there’s a small path that leads to a small wooded area. I have a feeling that’s where she is.”

 

There were so many questions Katsuki wanted answers to, like why she went to such a weirdly secluded place, why she went out in this damn storm, and why he felt so panicked thinking of her being out there. He knew she wasn’t in the best of places since the accident and he knew full well that his text from earlier hadn’t helped matters either.

 

Hell, for all he knew, he was the reason she was out here to begin with because he decided to send that damned text.

 

Without another word, Katsuki stepped out into the storm, not bothering to look at Izuku. At that point, he didn’t care if that shitty nerd followed him or not. He just needed to find Ochaco, and fast.

 

As he sprinted toward the dorm gates, his blonde hair fell flat against his head, red eyes squinting to see out in front of him. How the hell was he supposed to find her when he could barely see? The lights by the gate barely gave off enough visibility against the rain.

 

Fortunately, the sky lit up with lightning, giving Katsuki a brief glimpse of the path Izuku told him about. He carefully made his way, moving slowly. The further he got the darker it became. After what felt like forever, he finally made his way to what he assumed was the wooded area.

 

“Uraraka!” he shouted, his voice barely carrying over the storm. He didn’t hear anything else but the rain and thunder, yet he hoped that amongst it all he could hear her calling to him from somewhere nearby. “Where the fuck are you?!”

 

“Kacchan!”

 

Katsuki turned, surprised to see that Izuku had caught up to him so quickly. It was a clear indication that he had been here on more than a few occasions, seeming to know the path even in the dark.

 

Izuku ran up, his hair clinging to his face, his clothes completely drenched. He looked breathless and panicked. “Did you find her?”

 

“Obviously not, Fuckface! If I did I wouldn’t still be here!”

 

Ignoring him, Izuku brushed past him. He kept to the path that led further into the wooded area, seeming to know where he was going. Reluctantly, Katsuki followed, silently seething.

 

Even though he was actively looking for Ochaco, Katsuki felt useless. He should have known better than to blow her off earlier. He had just been so damn nervous when she wanted to talk to him about their kiss. In truth, he didn’t know what to say. When neither of them questioned what was going on, he felt at peace, like nothing in his life was even slightly out of place. Yet the moment it came into question, his heart had nearly stopped for fear her ending things between them, telling him that they’d be better off as just friends. He was in too deep with his feelings to see her as just a friend anymore.

 

“Kacchan, look!” Izuku called, breaking the older boy from his thoughts. On the far side of the path, Ochaco was on the ground, curled up and unmoving. Both heroes in training took off at the run in her direction, but it was Katsuki who had reached her first.

 

Katsuki fell to his knees beside Ochaco and gently lifted her up. She was unconscious, yet her face was contorted in pain. Mud was matted into her hair and covered her clothes and when he brushed his hand against her cheek she was cold to the touch.

 

“We need to get her inside,” Izuku said, kneeling down beside the two. His own hand reached out and took her hand in his, his brows furrowing in concern. “She’s freezing…” he trailed. He released her hand and stood, turning back toward the path. “Come on, this way.”

 

As much as Katsuki would have normally loved to argue and tell the green haired boy to fuck off, he had more pressing matters. For once, he didn’t feel the necessity to argue and simply followed, keeping Ochaco’s limp form pressed against him. After all, if it weren’t for Izuku, he may not have found Ochaco until much later, if at all. He didn’t know there was a pathway behind the dorms, let alone that Ochaco even had a place she went to be alone.

 

“Baku…gou?”

 

Ochaco had stirred awake, her chocolate hues staring up at him. Without realizing it, she was pulled closer to him as they approached the doors leading to the dorms. Upon entering, Katsuki knelt down, breathless. His lips brushed against her ear, whispering softly enough to where Izuku couldn’t hear.

 

“I got you, Angel.”

 

Despite the pain and exhaustion, Ochaco couldn’t stop the blush from igniting on her cheeks. She buried her fact into his chest, hoping he wouldn’t notice how flustered he made her.

 

As they made it to the entrance of the dorms, Katsuki picked up his speed. His own body temperature had fallen due to the rain, but not nearly as much as Ochaco’s. It didn’t cause him to falter in the slightest, however. His grip on her remained steady as he knelt down, catching his breath and assessed Ochaco carefully.

 

“Uraraka,” Izuku said softly, careful to keep his voice down. He watched the pair intently and there was a clear undertone of jealousy evident in his gaze. “What were you doing outside during a storm?”

 

Ochaco’s heart had nearly leapt from her chest. She hadn’t realized Izuku standing there until he had spoken. She turned to him and smiled weakly, taking in his soaked and ragged appearance. “I was outside before the storm hit. I was doing a bit of training and must have exerted too much energy,” she said, leaving out the reason why she was out there to begin with. She didn’t want Katsuki to know just how upset he had made her earlier; it would only prove to make him feel bad. Truthfully, it was the last thing she wanted right now. It was clear that he had gone through trouble to find her and bring her inside safely. Both of them had.

 

She waved her hand dismissively. “Trust me, I don’t intend to do that again. I thought I was okay to train a bit, but I should have just rested instead. I’ll be fine, really.”

 

Neither of the two boys seemed convinced by her nonchalant response, but neither appeared to want to argue either. Katsuki helped her sit up on her own, though he hovered near her, his gaze never leaving her.

 

“Anyway, thank you both for coming to get me. I didn’t mean to cause so much trouble,” she said sheepishly, her voice cracking at the end. The smile she wore, the cheeriness in her voice…it was all staged. When her eyes met Izuku’s, her smile faltered. “This is a bit awkward…but is it okay if I talk to Bakugou alone, Deku?”

 

Katsuki couldn’t help but steal a glance at Izuku, not feeling guilty what so ever to see the look of confusion and disappointment fully displayed. It was satisfying to see.

 

“Uraraka, are you…sure that’s a good idea?”

 

“Hm? I’m fine, but I do need to talk to him about something.” Ochaco’s voice held a bit more force. Her resolve was quickly breaking down, the mask she wore beginning to crack. “I’ll text you in a bit to let you know I’m okay,” she lied, not indulging on the fact her phone was quite possibly ruined.

 

Nodding slowly, Izuku began to walk away, his head turning to catch one last look at the blonde and brunette before disappearing around the corner.

 

For a long moment, the two sat in complete silence. Ochaco watched the direction Izuku had taken, not entirely convinced that he hadn’t stuck around. His demeanor was different, there was an edge to it that she had never seen in him before, yet despite its unfamiliarity, she knew where it stemmed from and it caused her heart to sink. He had admitted his feelings in his own way, but sitting there now, her relief had been when she saw Katsuki, not him. If it weren’t for him speaking, she wouldn’t have even noticed him on her own. If that was attestable as to who was a primary focus on her mind, then she didn’t know what was.

 

Even with her feelings becoming clearer, she didn’t exactly like seeing Izuku so dejected. No one liked being rejected. Her heart panged uncomfortably as she turned her gaze to Katsuki finally, her eyes welling up with tears. Without waiting for him to speak or even react to her sudden change in emotion, she threw her arms around him and buried her face in the nook of his neck.

 

“I’m sorry, Bakugou,” she whimpered, sniffling. “I shouldn’t have gone outside.”

 

For a moment, Katsuki sat there dazed. He wasn’t sure if he was dreaming of if the girl who had been plaguing his mind had actually thrown herself into him. When he decided it didn’t matter if it was reality or not, he pulled her closer to him, lowering his face into her hair. Her scent was sweet and soft, laced with the rain making it absolutely intoxicating. He hadn’t realized just how much he loved it until he felt as though moment’s prior he was going to lose her, that she would toss him aside for being such an asshole.

 

“I’ve got you,” he assured, his grip tightening. He didn’t want to let her go, but they couldn’t stay embraced in the hallway forever either, not while they were dripping wet and freezing. “C’mon, I’ll walk you back to your room. You need to get out of these wet clothes before you get sick.”

 

Nodding, she let him pick her up and carry her towards her room as she rested her head on his shoulder.

 


 

When Izuku rounded the corner, he stopped and leaned against the wall, his gaze focused on the ceiling. His chest was tight and painful, his heart beating sporadically against his ribcage as he felt his eyes sting. He had felt such fear when he found out Ochaco was outside in the storm, yet it wasn’t him that she seemed happy to see when she roused awake.

 

It was Katsuki.

 

He had wanted nothing more than to hold her, to cry in relief that she was okay, yet in just an instant that was taken out from beneath him. How had those two gotten so close? What had transpired behind closed doors that had ignited the attraction between them?

 

Swallowing, he forced himself off the wall and trudged toward the elevator, letting tears fall freely down his cheeks. It was hard for him to grasp that Katsuki Bakugou, the boy he called Kacchan since they were kids, had stolen the girl he loved right out from under him.

 

Was he destined to always been in his shadow?

 


 

When they reached Ochaco’s room, she opened the door quietly, motioning for him to wait out in the hall. Neither of them spoke, for fear that a few students would still be awake. She was surprised to see that it was only eleven thirty, though from how exhausted she felt she could argue it felt more like three in the morning.

 

Katsuki leaned against the doorframe, watching as Ochaco rummaged through a few of her drawers, taking out articles of clothing. He didn’t quite know what she was doing. He wanted her to change out of her wet clothes, but he didn’t expect her to do it in front of him, though wishful thinking.

 

When Ochaco seemed satisfied with what she grabbed, she went to her closet and took a towel she had on a hangar and draped it over her shoulder.

 

“What’re you doing?” Katsuki finally asked. He had become annoyed trying to figure out she was doing. “You’re gonna get sick at this rate.”

 

“I’ll be fine. I’m going to take a bath,” she said simply.

 

“So why do you need me here?” he asked, his tone holding an unusual edge of caution.

 

“Well,” she started, placing her fingertips together. When her head lifted, her cheeks were the reddest he had ever seen. “This…might be bold…but…” Her voice became softer, her cheeks redder. “I want you to take a bath with me,” she finally blurted, her body going rigid.

 

 

“…what?”

 

Had he heard her correctly? Bold was a damned understatement of the century. He stood there, staring at her, fully aware of the redness coating his own face as he watched her with a dumbfounded look on his face. Embarrassment didn’t seem to impede him from answering, even if it wasn’t an answer he expected himself to say. Then again, maybe he was thinking with the wrong head in that moment….

 

“Yeah.”

 

Ochaco’s head popped up. “You will?”

 

Averting his eyes, all Katsuki could do was nod to reaffirm his previous response. And as if Ochaco’s request wasn’t surprising enough, he found himself further taken off guard when she came up to him and kissed him on the cheek. Where the hell had she gotten this kind of confidence? He was blunt, always to the point, yet he had to admit he didn’t have the guts she had right now. It was admirable and if he was being truthful a bit nerve-racking. What else was she going to be assertive about?

 

“Meet me at the bath in ten, okay?” Her lips curved into a soft smile, despite her blush still being very, very evident still. She didn’t know what came over her; the confidence that flooded through her was exhilarating, if not a bit addicting. She kissed him again on the cheek and began making her way toward the bath, leaving a very embarrassed yet highly intrigue Katsuki alone with his thoughts.

 

Such an incredibly unexpected turn of events for such a stressful night.

Chapter Text

What the hell had she been thinking?

 

Asking Katsuki Bakugou to take a bath with her? Had she completely lost her mind? It was clear that common sense was severely lacking in her decision to venture off into the night with an approaching storm, but this?

 

Ochaco’s cheeks were so bright she was in awe that she couldn’t light the darkened hallway up. She had left to go to the bath first, but now that she stood outside its doors clutching her towel and clothes, she wondered whether she had made the right choice. What had surprised her more than her invitation was the fact that he actually agreed.

 

It was one of those rare moments when Ochaco couldn’t quite understand what Katsuki was thinking. Unfortunately it felt like those rare moments were becoming much less rare as of late and it was beginning to wear her nerves thin.

 

Still, despite such an impromptu lack of common sense, the thought of bathing with Katsuki did hold its appeal. If it weren’t for his ill-temper and constant scowl, he easily could be deemed as one of the school’s most attractive guys. Which then led to her next bought of anxiety. He was attractive, he was smart, though hotheaded, and he was about to see her naked.

 

Her eyes fell across her own body and her cheeks heated, her self-consciousness becoming a bit unbearable. She wasn’t unattractive, but she didn’t hold a light against Katsuki, with his chiseled muscles and handsome features. She was more…curvaceous, but she didn’t feel it was in a way that held much sex appeal.

 

Maybe because she lacked sex appeal that’s why he agreed to take a bath with her? If he didn’t find her attractive, then nothing could possibly go wrong, right? But then that didn’t explain the kiss, or the hand holding, or the—

 

“Oi, you gonna space out all night?”

 

Ochaco’s head shot up in the direction of Katsuki’s voice, her brown hues lit with surprise. “Sorry, I must have been spacing out while waiting.”

 

“Why didn’t you just go inside? You’re shivering like crazy…” he said, his eyes falling over her small, trembling form. “At this rate, you’re definitely going to get sick.”

 

Laughing nervously, Ochaco pressed her clothes tighter against her body. “Hopefully not, though I guess it’s what I deserve for being so stupid, going out in that storm and all.” She couldn’t bring herself to look him straight in the eye and no amount of darkness could hide the embarrassment plastered on her cheeks, which lucky for Katsuki meant she was too caught up in her own thoughts to notice his own embarrassment.

 

Without a word, he brushed past her, opening the girls side of the bath and motioned for her to go in. He peeked around the hall before following her inside.

 

“What if we end up getting caught?”

 

“Tch. If you were worried about getting caught, you wouldn’t have fucking asked me to come take a bath with you,” he said pointedly, dropping the bundle of clothes he held in his hands onto one of the benches set near the lockers. “Besides, what kind of excuse would you use if we actually did get caught?” Even with her refusing to look at him, it didn’t stop the challenge from twinkling in his eyes.

 

When she didn’t have an answer for him, he basked in silence at his victory.

 

“Anyway, you get in first. I’ll be out in a minute.” Ochaco just stood there, her eyes boring into the wall. She hadn’t even set her clothes down and her shivering had become beyond noticeable.

 

“Or we could just get in together.” He closed the distance between them and with one hand he took her chin and forced her to look at him for the first time since arriving at the bath. “We’re going to see each other naked anyways, so what difference does it make if it’s now or when we get in the water? Unless you’re chickening out,” he teased.

 

“N-No… I just need to…get my nerves in check.” Her voice trailed into a whisper towards the end.

 

“Well, too fucking bad. If I leave you here to fight with your conscious, you’ll take forever. And the longer you stay in those damned wet clothes, the more likely you are to get sick.”

 

“I promise I won’t take forever.”

 

“Nope.”

 

With each word spoken between them, Ochaco had slowly been stepping backwards, the fiery blonde following suit until her back pressed against the locker, leaving her with no escape.

 

Katsuki didn’t give her a chance to make up excuses again. His hands rose to the zipper of her hoodie and yanked it down before pushing it off her shoulders. It landed on the floor by her feet with a thud and Ochaco’s shivering increased when the air hit her wet shoulders. Without realizing it she had dropped her towel and dry clothes and found herself nervously rubbing the pads on her fingers.

 

“Relax, will you? You’re going to give yourself a fucking stroke,” he said with a soft chuckle. “It’s not like I’m going to do anything to you.”

 

“It’s not that…” she said, hugging herself. “I’m just…just…self-conscious.”

 

Katsuki’s eyes widened in surprise. “About what? Your wound?”

 

“In general. I’m not that attractive.”

 

“Like hell!” he blurted. Ochaco couldn’t help but look him in the eye, her own surprise flitting across her rounded features. Katsuki froze and swallowed hard. He hadn’t meant to just say that out loud, but the words had left his mouth as quickly as they had formed in his mind. Instead of speaking, he let his hands fall across her sides and fingered the fabric of her shirt, pausing to see if she would stop him.

 

She didn’t.

 

With one swift movement, he pulled her black tank top over her head and dropped it to the floor, leaving Ochaco only in her pants and a baby pink bra. His crimson hues instantly fell to take her in, his breath catching in his throat. She was beautiful, even with the ragged scar from her accident stretching across her side. It took everything he had to not reach up and trace a finger over her breasts, to feel their softness and take in the face she might make if a fingertip or two brushed against her nipples, which were very erect from being so cold.

 

Instead, he slipped his fingers into the hem of her pants and slowly pulled them down, exposing the matching pink panties she wore.

 

“You know,” she said finally, swallowing hard. “How can I feel at ease if I’m the only one not wearing clothes? Don’t you think that’s a bit unfair?”

 

With a devilish smirk, Katsuki lifted his own shirt over his head, exposing those exquisite muscles.

 

It was definitely Ochaco’s turn to wander over his body, though it wasn’t just her gaze, but her hands. Slowly she traced her fingers over his stomach, not paying the least bit attention to the amusement dancing across his face as he watched her. He wanted so badly to give her a ration of shit over her reaction to him being shirtless, but he didn’t want to do anything that made her shy away from him. In truth, her touch drove him absolutely insane. It was enough to set him on edge, fully aware of a possible problem that could erect itself if she persisted the way she was.

 

Finally he spoke, drawing her attention away from his chest and back to the reality at hand. “C’mon,” he said, his voice coming out a bit huskier than intended. “You’re still shivering.” He wasted no time undoing his belt and pants, letting them and his boxers fall to the floor. His cheeks burned. He knew he wasn’t lacking, but it was still a very odd experience to be standing before Ochaco, completely naked. It was the first time he had felt this exposed to someone.

 

No matter how many times Ochaco screamed the phrase don’t look down in her mind, she couldn’t help but look down, and she definitely was not disappointed in what she saw. Holy…

 

“Oi, stop staring and strip!” Katsuki hissed, gritting his teeth. “We don’t have all night!”

 

In one fluid motion, Ochaco unhooked her bra and disposed of it among the rest of her garments, taking note on how intrigued Katsuki became the second her breasts became fully exposed. She smirked, feeling her embarrassment lessen. “We don’t have all night,” she teased, throwing his words back at him.

 

The last item removed was Ochaco’s panties, and Katsuki had wasted no time at all removing them for her.

 

He couldn’t help but admire the way her skin glistened when wet. Or the way her perfectly round breasts swayed ever so slightly each time she moved, those pink, velvety nipples teasing him. But despite his attraction, he was still very aware that she still shivered.

 

There would certainly be plenty of time to admire her physique while they bathed.

 


 

The moment the water from the showerhead hit Ochaco’s skin, she felt her whole body become tingly. She hadn’t realized just how cold she had gotten until the warmth enveloped her entire body. It felt wonderful to wash away the rain and grim from her hair, though her pleasure in warming up was short lived when she became vaguely aware of Katsuki standing beside her.

 

“Will you help me?” she asked, holding out a bottle of shampoo towards him. Her eyes were fixated on the ground, her embarrassment returning. “It’s hard to lift my arm for a long period of time since it strains my side. Normally Mina or Tsu helps me out, but since neither of them are here…that leaves you.”

 

Katsuki blinked at her, dumbfounded. He wasn’t sure what he expected when it had been decided they would bathe together, but he definitely wasn’t expecting this. He took the bottle from her and examined it carefully, quirking an eyebrow up.

 

“If I try to do it myself, it’ll just take forever,” she said, sticking her tongue out at him. “And we both know patience isn’t your strong suit.”

 

A small laugh trilled from her lips and at that moment Katsuki couldn’t decide whether to be irritated by her comment or entranced by the musical laugh of hers. He settled for grumbling a multitude of curses under his breath as he poured a dab of shampoo into his hand. The smell of honey and jasmine hit him instantly and he felt himself becoming erect. It had taken everything in his power to calm himself when he first saw her naked, but now she wanted him to touch her? Granted it was only her hair, but still.

 

As he lathered up his hands, Ochaco waited patiently. So long as she kept her eyes forward, she lessened the risk of blushing and making a complete fool of herself. She wanted badly to look at him again, to take in every detail she possibly could and commit it to memory. But she just couldn’t quite find the nerve.

 

When his hands ran through her hair, Ochaco gave an involuntary moan and leaned into him a bit. Katsuki stopped, causing realization to snap Ochaco back into reality as her hands flew up to cover her mouth.

 

“What was that?” he asked, smirking. Though it had been a surprising sound, he couldn’t deny that it was one of the sexiest sounds that he’s ever heard from her and how badly he wanted to hear it again.

 

“Absolutely nothing!” she said, ducking her face into her hands. This time it wasn’t just her face that lit up, but practically her whole body became pink with embarrassment.

 

Katsuki couldn’t help but reach up and pull her hands away, which inadvertently pulled her back against his bare chest.  She let out a surprised yelp, which only fueled him more. “If it makes you feel any better, it was an attractive sound,” he said, his breath dancing against her neck. Teasing her was definitely becoming one of his favorite things.

 

“S-Stop that!” Even with her plea, she couldn’t hide the smile that had crossed those perfect lips. “Just wash my hair so we can actually get in the bath.”

 

“Fine, fine…”

 

As soon as her hair was free of suds, Ochaco turned the showerhead off and made her way to the bath. She stood at the edge, her gaze softening as she glanced over her shoulder at him.

 

Katsuki was definitely staring at her. He had to finish washing up before he could join her, but he couldn’t help but take a moment to fully appreciate her in all her glory in that exact moment. It was a side of Ochaco that he had never expected to see before and it made his heart skip a beat. Something about how each droplet of water ran down her perfect curves, the way her skin seemed to glow beneath the light, and don’t get him started with how her hair frame her cheeks. It was enough to drive him absolutely crazy.

 

Yet despite the beauty that encased Ochaco, the one thing that brought Katsuki back to reality was the scar spreading like a thorn across her side. It was a potent reminder of their mortality and apart of him wondered if her confidence towards him as of late had anything to do with how close to death she was. Trauma certainly had a way of changing a person. He knew all too well.

 

Ochaco let out a sigh as the water engulfed her. Her eyes closed as she dipped down further until the water slid clear up to her chin. Any trace of the cold had been chased away, yet she still felt a chill race up her spine. It was such an odd feeling.

 

“Lost in thought again, Angel?”

 

Perking up, she turned, having not heard Katsuki enter the bath.

 

He stood there, the water barely reaching up his hips, concealing a certain detail. He tilted his head slightly as his crimson hues bore into her, studying her carefully. “What has you so lost in thought?” When Ochaco stood, he reached his arms out and wrapped them around her, pulling her into his embrace. He may be hot headed, but he could tell when something was amiss and something definitely plagued the gravity heroes mind.

 

Ochaco didn’t resist, nor did she even blush. She welcomed his warmth and leaned into him, resting her head against his shoulder. His scent was intoxicating and it made the core between legs ache unexpectedly. Her head lifted and for the first time since being entirely nude before him, she locked her chocolate hues with his and held his gaze. “Do you ever wonder if being a hero is worth it?” she asked softly. “I’ve always wanted to save people, to climb to the top so I could help my parents, but I never once stopped to think of what could possibly happen to me.”

 

Katsuki quietly listened, his gaze never leaving hers. He knew quite well that the very foundation she stood upon as a hero had been shaken and doubts and what if’s floated through her mind, shattering her resolve. He had gone through something quite similar after being kidnapped and witnessing All Might’s last stand as the number one hero. Doubt was not an unfamiliar thing to him. He pulled her tighter to him and kissed the top on her head. “Wanna know what I think?”

 

“Hm?”

 

“I think that someone who doesn’t get shaken up once in awhile is someone who will never be a true hero,” he said softly. His eyes closed as he rested his cheek against the top of her head. Being with her had an overwhelmingly calm effect on him, one he didn’t think he’d ever fully understand. “I want to be the number one hero someday, I want to prove to the world that I can be the best, but…” His eyes opened and he pulled away from her just enough to look her in the eye once more. “It’s not something I can accomplish if I think I’m invincible.”

 

Ochaco was speechless. Katsuki was not stupid by any means, but she never expected him to have such a viewpoint, nor to express it without a single curse word. But what he said made sense. “How are you supposed to overcome it?”

 

“You don’t.” His lips curved into a cocky grin. “You wield it like a weapon and turn weakness into strength.”

 

Weakness into strength…. Those words echoed within her mind like a mantra. She didn’t know what it would take for her to wield her fear like a weapon as Katsuki had said, but she was certainly more willing to try than she had been before.

 

With a smile, Ochaco raised herself onto her tiptoes and planted a soft kiss on Katsuki’s lips. She wasn’t surprised when her gentleness was met with eagerness. He pulled her close, deepening the kiss, his lips flicking out against her mouth requesting access.

 

From the second their tongue’s met, Katsuki’s desire spilled over. His hands fell over the curves of her body, memorizing each dip and detail; the way her roundness complimented the harshness of his own physique. She moaned against their kiss, drawing him to snake a hand through her brown tresses and gently pull, causing her back to arch.

 

“Do you have any idea what you do to me, Angel?” he whispered, dropping his lips to the nook of her neck.

 

“Katsuki?”

 

Slowly, he lifted his head to look at her, surprise flitting across his features. It was the first time she had called him by his first name and the way it rolled from her tongue made his heart slam against his ribcage. How could something so simple do so much to him? He lifted his hand to her face, cradling her cheek, letting a faint smile crease his lips when her hand reached up to entwine with his.

 

“Will you promise me something?”

 

Ochaco’s words made him cautious. Despite his growing feelings towards her, it was hard to make a blind agreement. He squeezed her hand gently. “What is it?”

 

“Promise me that you won’t ever let me become weak.” The fierceness of her gaze bore into him like a flame and he found himself completely and utterly helpless against her; consumed by her fire.

 

He leaned down and recaptured her lips before pulling away and resting his forehead against hers. “You have nothing to worry about, Ochaco,” he said softly, closing his eyes.

 

Is this what happiness felt like? The serenity enveloping him was gentle, something he had little experience with, yet he didn’t find himself minding it either. All he knew is he had found a goal outside of becoming the number one hero, and that was to keep her beside him for as long as he lived.

 

For a long moment, they stayed in each other’s arms, content and without worry. It was the first time in a while that either of them had felt unhindered by their journey to become pro heroes.

 

But how long could such peace last?

Chapter Text

Morning flickered through the blinds like fire, causing the duo the stir awake in panic. Ochaco was the first to shoot up, her hazelnut colored hair framing her face messily. She looked around the room, partially forgetting that after bathing last night the two had retreated to Katsuki’s bedroom to get whatever sleep they could salvage for the night. Unfortunately it seemed they salvaged a bit too much.

 

She patted the bed looking for her phone, gasping when she found it and lit the screen up to view the time, still surprised the damn thing still worked after getting wet from the storm. It was already eight fifteen. “We’re late!” she cried, looking over to Katsuki’s dazed form. He didn’t seem the least bit concerned.

 

“Relax,” he murmured, stretching. “I’m late. You’re fine.”

 

“Huh?” She stared at him incredulously, her brain not connecting the dots he seemed to lay out.

 

When he sat up, the covers fell away to reveal his exposed chest and Ochaco felt her face heat instantly with a blush. He looked at her, his face calm and relaxed, eyes still partially closed with sleep. “I’ll go to class late, you go to Recovery Girl with the excuse that you weren’t feeling well,” he said simply, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. His hand reached up to trace her side, causing her to wince slightly. “You need to get more healing done anyway, so this seems like a good excuse as any.”

 

Ochaco nodded slowly. “That can work,” she mused. “I guess we should probably start getting ready. I’m sure everyone else is already in class, so the dorms should be empty right now.”

 

Hopefully.

 

There was always a chance someone didn’t make it to class, much like themselves, but right now neither of them worried about that. Ochaco threw the covers off her and got up, gasping in surprise when her small frame was pulled back down onto the bed so suddenly. Katsuki had reached up and turned her face to him and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

 

“Katsuki?” she asked, dazed.

 

He smirked against the kiss before pulling away. He had flopped back against his pillows and watched her intently. “Are you going to call me by my first name in public?” he asked, cocking his head to the side curiously.

 

Ochaco didn’t quite know how to respond. “I’m not sure,” she said truthfully. “I guess it depends on whether you want me to or not. It doesn’t bother me.”

 

“Even if people asked why?”

 

“Well, I mean the same goes for you,” she shot back. She pocketed her phone and stood again, making her way toward the door. “Will you call me by my first name?”

 

Another smirk danced along his lips, yet he remained quiet. He seemed satisfied with himself for keeping his answer to himself.

 

Ochaco quirked a brow up, debating on whether or not to say anything more about the subject. At this point she was quite certain she would have to wait and see what Katsuki decided to do, whether he wanted the public to realize just how close they had become in the last week. Either way, the thought of people knowing them as more than just classmates, as friends or more, it didn’t matter. She accepted him in her life and if people found out, then so be it.

 

“See you later, Katsuki,” she said, giving a faint smirk as his name rolled off her tongue. “Let me know if you get detention.”

 

With that, she slipped out of sight and into the hallway.

 

Katsuki just chuckled to himself and looked to the ceiling. He honestly had no fucks to give about getting up and being on time to school. Break would be starting tomorrow and right now life was too good to get stressed over. In fact, he was more curious about what Ochaco’s plans were for break than actually being productive today. 

 

But despite what he felt, he still got up and prepped himself for school.

 


 

 

For the most part, the day went by slowly. Ochaco had gone to see Recovery Girl and got excused from classes. She had debated going to her afternoon classes, but exhaustion had draped around her like a wet blanket. She was so tired of feeling tired this past week from all the healing and late nights. It was starting to wear on her.

 

She sighed, sinking into one of the couches in the dormitory lounge and looked up at the ceiling. There was still a huge chunk of the day to fill and she knew exactly how to occupy her time—an essay. The one she needed to finish over break, to be exact. Since Aizawa had issued the assignment her stomach had done flips every time she thought about it. Her mind didn’t want to fall back into the memories of that day and more than anything she wanted it to be shoved far into her past.

 

Easier said than done.

 

Lifting her head, she peered around the empty building, feeling uneasy. It was so eerie being at the dorms when they lacked the laughter and vibrancy of her class. Either way, the quiet drifting around her made for the perfect set up to concentrate on her own thoughts, or so she had hoped.

 

She opened up her notebook and peered at the blank page. What was she supposed to write? During the exercise she felt like she hadn’t done anything right. Her first instinct had been to try to reach Izuku using her quirk when she saw him, but then the wall had cracked and fallen against her.

 

A shiver raced down her spine at the memory. All she could remember was the searing hot pain in her side when the rebar had skewered her but anything after that she really didn’t remember. With so many blanks in her mind she was going to need help with this assignment. She needed others to help her fill in the missing pieces and then only maybe she would be able to string something together that would be good enough for a passing grade.

 

Her thoughts drifted to Katsuki. He had been super late this morning and she felt partially guilty for not making sure they got up in time. Either way it couldn’t be helped now. She pulled out her phone and pulled up his number.

 

Did you get in trouble?

 

To her surprise he responded almost immediately. He must be sitting at his desk looking at his phone, bored out of his mind.

 

Nah.

 

She tilted her head as she read the text, but then another came through.

 

Are you feeling okay?

 

It still came as a surprise to see any such concern come from Katsuki. He had shown her a much softer side to himself, but it always made her heart skip a beat. She didn’t think she would ever fully get used to it. Had he always been like this? Had anyone else seen this part of him? Her mind idly wandered to Izuku. They had grown up together, but they were far from close. Didn’t mean they never were at some point though. She made a mental note to ask Izuku about it later. 

 

Tired, but I’ll survive. Have you by any chance done any work on the essay we have to write?

 

There was a long pause this time and Ochaco found herself silently cursing at herself for just sitting there watching her phone like some love struck puppy. Finally his reply came and she practically jumped.

 

No. Why?

 

I’m having trouble on it. I don’t remember enough to string something decent together.

 

There was another long pause.

 

You doing anything this break?

 

What? Ochaco blinked. What was with the sudden change in subject? She debated on whether or not to respond, irritation beginning to bud.

 

Staying at the dorms to train and study.

 

She felt like her patience was going to completely disintegrate with each long pause that came after each text. Granted she knew that he was in class and likely couldn’t just keep texting without getting reprimanded, but the subject at hand was giving her anxiety. Why did he want to know what she was doing over break? She sat there wracking her brain until her phone chimed.

 

I’m going home for break, but I don’t live far. We’ll work on it together.

 

Well, she already knew he was going home for break. But what did that have to do with her? Another response came through, making her jump. When her eyes read over his words her heart practically stopped.

 

I’m leaving tonight, so I’ll take you home with me.

 

Katsuki had made her sound like she was some sort of stray kitten. Her heart practically jumped from her chest. He was going to bring her home with him? How on earth was that going to work? She couldn’t just show up with him! That was insane, right? She found herself hyperventilating, unable to respond.

 

???

 

Ochaco forced herself to stop shaking. What was she supposed to say? With her brain practically on meltdown she typed quickly and hit send before she could second-guess herself.

 

Okay.

 

Good.

 

Something told her this was going to be a break she would not soon forget.

 


 

Students piled from the dorms in groups, each chattering excitedly. Everyone had some kind of plans for the break, whether it was going somewhere exciting or just going home to see their parents. Either way, Ochaco was a bit jealous. Her parents were always working so she usually just stayed here to catch up on studies.

 

Not this time though.

 

She stood by the window overlooking the main entrance of the dorms, watching as everyone stood about waiting for their rides and saying their goodbyes. The agreement to go home with Katsuki was one that was going to be the death of her. So many questions spiraled through her brain. What it just for tonight? Would that be the only time she saw him during break? What was she going to wear when she would have to undoubtedly meet his parents? Her stomach churned uneasily until a familiar voice sounded behind her.

 

“Oi, you alright?” Katsuki stood there in his uniform still, his arms crossed as he watched her closely. “Have you packed?”

 

“Packed?”

 

His brow quirked up in confusion as though what he was saying was obvious. “Yeah, to come home with me.”

 

“What did you want me to bring? We’re just going to be working on the essay for bit, aren’t we?” she said, cheeks flushing.

 

Katsuki closed the distance between them and stood beside her, him crimson hues watching their classmates gathered outside. “For part of it.” Slowly he turned to her, his face serious. “Angel, when I said you were coming home with me, I meant for the entire break.”

 

“What?!”

 

“What’s the problem?”

 

“Well, for one it’s short notice. Two, are your parents even okay with this? Third, is the school even okay with this? And four, my parents don’t even know about this!” She felt as though she were going to hyperventilate again. “Katsuki, how am I supposed to stay the whole break with you?”

 

“Easy, you come home with me. I already told my parents you were coming,” he said, almost sounding annoyed. “The school doesn’t give a shit, we’ll be off campus and out from under supervision. And if you’re concerned about your parents knowing, then call them.” He just seemed to have answers for everything right now. “So, chop-chop, get a move on!”

 

In a panic Ochaco nodded and raced off towards her dorm. This was certainly going to be interesting.

 


 

 

Once packed and outside, Katsuki waited for Ochaco. He knew she was going to take awhile, but in this instance he didn’t mind. He just sat leaned up against the wall scrolling through his phone until Kirishima practically ran into him, sending a wave of rage to flare up inside him.

 

“Oi! Weirdhair!! What the fuck gives?!” Katsuki clenched his phone in his hand, nearly breaking it when a small explosion popped from his palms.

 

Kirishima’s mouth upturned into a goofy grin, a large bag slung over his shoulder. “Why you still here? Figured you’d have taken off by now, Bakugou.”

 

“Waiting for someone,” he responded, teeth gritted.

 

The red head blinked and stared blankly at the blonde. “Midoriya…?” he guessed weakly. It was literally the only person he could think of and it stemmed mostly from the fact the two boys lived in the same neighborhood.

 

“Nope.”

 

“Then who…?”

 

Suddenly, the dorm doors swung open and Ochaco appeared holding onto a medium sized bag. Her honey colored eyes met with Katsuki’s and she stopped when she saw Kirishima. It was very clear she had no idea if approaching was safe. For all she knew he intended to leave with her in secret, but to her immense surprise, Katsuki gave her a short wave to motion her over.

 

“Ochaco,” he said, his glance flicking briefly to Kirishima’s bewildered face and slack mouth.

 

“Did you just call her by her…first name?” he asked, running a hand through his red locks. And then another realization dawned on him. “Wait, are you and Uraraka spending the break together? Did the world suddenly end, dude?”

 

Katsuki held out his hand and took Ochaco’s bag, slinging it with ease over his shoulder. “Shut it, shitty-hair. And yes, we’re spending the break together, got a damn problem with it?” he snapped, another spark coming from his hand.

 

Ochaco awkwardly stood there, her face a deep red. “I asked him to help me train and for help on the essay,” she said quickly. It was a weak excuse, but it was the only one she had.

 

“That and we intend to just hang out too,” Katsuki added, much to both his classmates’ surprise.

 

Ochaco couldn’t believe her ears. This was extremely unlike Katsuki. He was terrible at showing emotion and yet here he was using her first name and telling Kirishima that he wasn’t just helping her train, but was in fact planning on hanging out with her.

 

Kirishima’s eyes flitted between the two, his mouth slack again. His brain was working on overdrive trying to figure out what exactly was happening. “When did you two become so damn close anyway? Like seriously, this is freaking me out. I’m your best friend and we don’t even hang that much outside of school, and now you’re here taking Uraraka home with you?”

 

“Yup.” It was the most basic of responses that Katsuki could have offered up, but his deadpan expression and clenched jaw was a clear indication he was done talking and answering stupid questions. Without another word, he grabbed Ochaco by the wrist and began leading her toward the gate.

 

Ochaco turned and waved apologetically at Kirishima. “Sorry for the bombshell,” she said, laughing nervously. “Have a good break!”

 

Both Ochaco and Katsuki had no doubt in their mind that when they returned from break, they were going to be high on list of gossip flooding around their class.

 

Things were certainly starting to get interesting.

Chapter Text

The train ride was excruciatingly awkward for Ochaco. She stood in front of Katsuki in silence as she wracked her brain trying to come up with some kind of explanation for what had occurred in the last day. It was one thing to be asked to hang out over break, but a completely different thing to be asked to stay during the entire break. What made her even more flustered was the fact she had agreed to it so candidly. Her response hadn’t held much hesitation once her mind had wrapped itself around his words.

 

Though now she was beginning to question the choices being made.

 

She stole a glance at Katsuki, who was flipping through his phone nonchalantly, seeming almost bored. He didn’t seem the least bit fazed about the situation at hand, which was quickly becoming another thing weighing on Ochaco’s mind. When had he even decided that he was going to bring her home during break? Not only that, but were his parents really okay with him bringing a girl home to stay with them for the week?

 

Her eyes lowered, fixating on his hands and watched his thumb scroll lazily through whatever was on his screen. It didn’t matter how much she thought about it. She wouldn’t know how his parents perceived her or the situation until she actually met them. 

 

The train slowed, a chime piercing the quiet of the train before coming to a complete halt. When the doors opened a flood of people got on, forcing Ochaco to move involuntarily closer to Katsuki. The station was unusually busy and the inability to move was causing her to feel a strain of annoyance. Her gaze caught Katsuki’s, who had put his phone away, and she swallowed the lump forming in her throat. His eyes bore into her, calm and unreadable. There wasn’t a spec of evidence that allowed her to see what he was thinking at that moment.

 

Ochaco didn’t know how long they had been staring at each other before a tall man getting on the train pushed through, his briefcase bumping her right side. Despite her wound having gotten much better from her last session with Recovery Girl, it still remained extremely sensitive. Her eyes widened, tears welling instantly when the corner of the briefcase made contact and she found herself leaning further into Katsuki. She rested her head against his shoulder, her hands grabbing at his jacket as she tried to focus on her breathing.

 

To her surprise, Katsuki didn’t fly into a rage. Instead he put his arms around her protectively, one hovering near her right side to act as a barricade from further contact. When Ochaco’s breathing steadied, he lowered his lips to her ear. “Are you okay?” he asked softly. When she managed a nod, he let out a small sigh of relief. “We’re almost there, Angel. The next stop.”

 

She nodded again, keeping her head down.

 

As the minutes ticked by, neither of them moved from their stance beside each other. Katsuki’s eyes shifted carefully around the train, becoming hyperaware of any movement that occurred within two feet of Ochaco. As the train stopped, he extended an arm out to force a path and led Ochaco out, neither saying a word until they both stepped out.

 

“How’s your side?”

 

“It’s fine. It aches a little, but the majority of the pain is gone now,” Ochaco said, looking up at him and smiling faintly. “I hope it doesn’t remain that sensitive. That was…unpleasant.”

 

Their conversation was cut short by the call of a woman. She was standing on the far end of the station waving her hand excitedly at them both, her lips upturned into a full smile. Her ashen blonde hair peeked out from beneath the winter hat she wore and her eyes were the same striking red as Katsuki’s. Beside the woman a man also waved, though he didn’t hold nearly as much energy behind it than his wife. He pushed his glasses up on his nose as he followed the energetic woman.

 

“Katsuki! I was worried your train might be late,” the woman breathed, finally reaching them. She looked her son over quickly before her gaze fell on Ochaco, who unintentionally shrank away. “You must be the girl Katsuki said he was bringing home.” It was a blunt statement, but the tone behind her words was surprisingly warm.

 

“Stop hovering!” he hissed, his fist sparking.

 

Mitsuki Bakugou quickly shot her head back toward her son, her hand lashing out and thwacking him on the head. “Stop using your Quirk in public and introduce me to your lady friend!”

 

Ochaco stared at the two in complete awe. The mystery of where Katsuki got such a temper was finally revealed, she just didn’t expect such similarities between him and his mother.

 

“Don’t mind them.” The man who had followed behind Mitsuki approached Ochaco and gave her a warm smile. “This is fairly normal for the two. I’m Masaru Bakugou, Katsuki’s father. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

 

“And I’m Mitsuki Bakugou, this brat’s mother.” She jabbed her thumb in Katsuki’s direction and offered up a charming smile to Ochaco.

 

“I’m Ochaco Uraraka,” she said with a nervous laugh. “It’s nice to meet you both.” It was truly an awkward moment, but she couldn’t help but feel happy about meeting them. It felt like something that wasn’t offered to just anyone Katsuki knew. “I hope I’m not causing trouble by staying with you over break. I was a bit surprised when Katsuki had asked me to…”

 

Mitsuki’s face lit up and she gave her husband a slight nudge and leaned in towards him. “First name basis…” she whispered excitedly. Without hesitation, she moved towards Ochaco and brought her into a hug. “You’re no trouble at all! In fact, when Katsuki told me he wanted to bring someone home during break, I was ecstatic. As I’m sure you know he doesn’t let many people get close to him.”

 

“Tch.” Katsuki stood off the side, watching the display unfolding before him. His cheeks burned pink even if inside he was feeling relieved that his parents accepted Ochaco without a second thought. “Can we fucking go now?” he asked and shifted Ochaco’s bag on his shoulder.

 

“Watch your language and stop yelling!” Mitsuki shouted. “You have company, show some respect!”

 

“Me?! You’re the one who started to fucking yell!”

 

The two argued their way to the car while Ochaco and Masaru walked quietly behind, keeping a bit of distance when Katsuki began making small explosions.

 

It would certainly be a lively break.

 


 

When they arrived at the Bakugou residence, Katsuki couldn’t help but laugh at Ochaco’s reaction.

 

“Your house is huge!” she exclaimed, her mouth hanging open. It was certainly more elaborate than anything her or her parents had lived in, that was for sure. For a long moment she simply stared in disbelief until she felt Katsuki gently tug on her arm.

 

“C’mon, let’s head inside.”

 

Having her so flustered brought a smirk to play along his lips as he opened the door. His parents had already gone in ahead to get dinner started. Ochaco followed wordlessly, her chocolate hues sweeping the entryway, her nose catching the faint scent of caramel and spice. The Bakugou home was simple yet tasteful, and despite not having been overdone in its decor, Ochaco felt like she was the plainest thing there.

 

“This place is amazing,” she murmured, taking her shoes off and placing them in a small cubby near the door next to Katsuki’s. For some reason, the ill-tempered blonde hadn’t said a word since coming inside and it made Ochaco’s stomach churn uneasily. Had he regretted bringing her home with him? He was turned away from her, making it impossible for her to see his face and get a read on him, so instead of saying anything more, Ochaco wordlessly followed Katsuki into the main living room.

 

The spacious room was simple, yet elegant, decorated in chocolate colored furniture surrounded by cream colored walls. Behind the larger couch the wall was made up of a unique pattern of tiles, while another wall consisted of brick, which became mostly blocked off from a stretch of bookshelves. The living room broke off into an impressively sized kitchen and on the opposite side a staircase was located. Ochaco could hear Katsuki’s parents in the kitchen talking about something, but she couldn’t make out anything more than a few words.

 

Katsuki moved up the stairs fluidly, almost leaving Ochaco behind as she struggled to catch up while taking in everything she could about his home. Once upstairs, she finally dared to speak again, unable to handle the silence any longer.

 

“Katsuki…are you okay?”

 

He turned to her, surprised. “Yeah, why?”

 

“Well, you’re just really quiet. It’s a bit unsettling.” She laughed nervously, rubbing the back of her head as she offered up a sheepish smile.

 

“I was just thinking.” Despite having gotten him to talk, he continued down the hallway and stopped just before the door located on the far left. “It was exhausting introducing you to my parents. The old hag can be a bit overbearing.”

 

“Katsuki! Don’t call your mom that!” She crossed her arms, her brows furrowing.

 

“Oh, don’t fucking start with me!” he snapped, his temple pulsing. Yet despite his demeanor, Ochaco’s anger faded into a whimsical laugh and Katsuki felt his heart wrench. “Anyway, this is my room.”

 

Ochaco followed him in, noting just how strong the scent of caramel wafted through the air around her was. Everything was simplistic and a bit bare, but much like her own room at home, most of her stuff came with her to the dorms. It was expected that most of his belongings were there too. Even so she took in the large room with great interest. She hadn’t really seen much of Katsuki’s personal side before. The few times they stayed inside a room together had been hers.

 

She made her way over to the small bed and sat down, watching as Katsuki set the bags he was holding down, one of them being hers. She watched him intently for a moment, becoming lost in thought before unknowingly falling back against the black comforter. This all felt so strange being here. When she thought about calling her parents and telling them where she would be staying, her heart had begun pounding so hard she thought it would explode. What would they think of their daughter knowing she was staying the week at a boy’s house?

 

“Do you regret coming here?”

 

Ochaco sat up in time to see Katsuki walking towards her. He sat on the bed beside her, his hand reaching out to take hers. She gave his hand a tight squeeze before resting her head on his shoulder and letting her eyes close. “No, it’s just something very new to me. I feel like there hasn’t been a whole lot of normal going on in my life since the accident. Truthfully, it’s a little stressful.”

 

Katsuki nodded his head before resting it against hers. “I know the feeling,” he said softly. “If you feel uncomfortable being here for any reason, tell me? I won’t force you to stay and I won’t hesitate to bring you back to the dorms if that’s what you want.”

 

“Don’t worry, I think I’ll be fine. If I didn’t want to be here with you, I wouldn’t have agreed to come.”

 

“Fair enough,” he said, chuckling. He moved his head to look down at her. “I’m sure dinner will be ready soon and after we eat I’ll show the room set up for you to stay in, though I doubt you’ll spend much time there.”

 

“What’s that supposed to mean?” She lifted her head, meeting his crimson gaze.

 

With a wicked smirk, he captured her lips in a quick kiss. “I intend to keep you busy during this break.” As a bright blush spread across Ochaco’s cheeks, Katsuki’s smirk became all the more devilish.

 

“You’re going to be the death of me…”

 


 

 

Dinner had gone about as well as expected considering the fiery natures of both Katsuki and his mother Mitsuki. Ochaco had stayed silent for the most part, watching in awe at the bickering that occurred within the Bakugou household, yet she saw the endearment that both his parents emitted. Katsuki definitely wasn’t the easiest child to raise it would seem, but they both had their own special way of showing their love towards their only son.

 

Once the table was cleared, however, Katsuki wasted no time dragging Ochaco back upstairs to his room, ignoring the shouting from his mother about being courteous to a young lady nice enough to even hang around him.

 

Katsuki practically slammed his door shut, causing Ochaco to jump. “Jeez, you don’t have to be so angry all the time,” she said, shaking her head.

 

“Yeah, yeah…” He brushed her words off and flopped down onto his bed. “Do you want to take a bath first?” he asked, watching her intently.

 

“I don’t mind waiting if you wanted to take one first,” she said, her cheeks red again. It was bad enough staying here at a boys house during break but now they were talking about bathing, which truthfully shouldn’t even have an effect on her seeing as how they bathed together at the dorms. She shook her head, as though trying to shake her cheeks free of her blush.

 

“Would you relax? You don’t need to be so jumpy,” he stated, his eyes having never left her since entering the bedroom.

 

“Says the boy who communicates with his family through shouting,” she retorted, laughing dryly. “I can’t help but be nervous. I don’t know what to do with myself.”

 

“Well,” he said, getting up. He took both of Ochaco’s hands in his and pulled her into him, his lips grazing her ear. “How about you take a bath first, for starters? Then you can come back into the room and we’ll go from there, okay? Just breath, Angel.”

 

She nodded against him, inhaling deeply. She had come to the conclusion that the more the two of them got closer, the more intoxicating his scent was becoming to her. “Alright, that works…”

 

But of course, the conversation didn’t stay innocent for long.

 

Katsuki had pressed her closer to him, his lips still at her ear when he whispered something that had Ochaco’s whole body heating up from a mixture of want and embarrassment. “Do you want to take a bath together?”

 

“Katsuki!” She quickly pushed herself away from him, her hands shooting up to cover her whole face. “Are you trying to make my heart give out? If it beats any faster I’m going to drop dead from a heart attack!” she chided.

 

Laughter unlike anything Ochaco had heard from the ill-tempered boy rolled in the air around them. It wasn’t the psychotic cackling she heard from him in class or the arrogant chuckles during a competition or fight. It was pure, genuine laughter. Her hands fell from her face as she stared at him in shock and her heart tightened. The sound of his true laugh made her body tingle all over and she felt an unusual heat between her legs. It was strange how such a simple sound could cause such a tremendous arousal to stir within her.

 

“Just show me where the bath is,” she said, playfully smacking him on the arm. “I think you’ve tortured me enough for right now!”

 

“Fine, fine,” he said, another laugh coming from him. It had been a truly long time since he had laughed that hard before. Katsuki just couldn’t help it. That expression had been the pure mixture of innocent, adorable, and hilarious. He had never known someone to get so flustered around him that wasn’t out of fear. It was nice. When he caught his breath, he motioned toward the pink bag of Ochaco’s. “Grab what you need, I’ll get everything set up. It’s just down the hallway.”

 

As he left her in his room, Ochaco released a breath she didn’t know she was holding.

 

Calm down, Ochaco. Just calm down… Breathe.

 


 

 

Katsuki had to use every ounce of energy he had just to keep himself in his room while Ochaco went to take a bath. He couldn’t help but recall how beautiful she looked standing before him, water glistening on her silken skin as she stared up at him with those honeyed eyes of hers. If it weren’t for his parents being home, his suggestion earlier of them taking a bath together would have been a serious question. 

 

He remembered what it was like to run his hands over her body, to feel her warmth not just physically but emotionally too. What was it he was feeling? Did he want to be with her or did he just want her?

 

As he lost himself in thought, his phone chimed. When he lifted it up to see the ID, he groaned. To his dismay it was Kirishima. He knew full well that he would text asking questions, he just didn’t expect it to be so soon.

 

So…Uraraka, huh?

 

Fuck off.

 

Are you two dating?

 

No.

 

Are you going to ask her out?

 

Katsuki stared at his phone for a long moment. The idea of dating Ochaco hadn’t crossed his mind before now. He felt heat rise into his cheeks at the thought. What would dating even be like? Was what they were doing now considered dating? They had certainly moved beyond friendship with everything they shared with one another. But was it enough to for them to actually have a title with one another that exceeded friends or were they caught in some kind of relationship limbo that he didn’t understand?

 

He wanted to tell Kirishima to fuck off again, but he was internally debating with himself about trying to get the subject dropped or to uncharacteristically ask for advice. Finally he typed in a response. Maybe he could ask for advice without being too obvious about it.

 

Why should I?

 

Kirishima’s response came through immediately.

 

Something is clearly going on, dude. You invited her to your house.

 

What the fuck does that have to do with anything?

 

Dude, I’m your friend and even I haven’t been to your house. Now all of a sudden you’re hanging with Uraraka and inviting her over?

 

You sound like a jealous girlfriend or something. Stop fucking being stupid.

 

The conversation was becoming more and more annoying as it went on. At this point Kirishima just knew something was going on, but didn’t have any definite idea as to what. He was just fishing for answers, a confirmation to what he thought he knew.

 

It took awhile for Kirishima to respond, but when he did it left Katsuki both irritated as all hell and stumped.

 

Word of advice, dude… Be manly and ask her out.

 

The response so was simple yet it spoke volume. Since he was little he had no qualms about going for whatever he wanted, stopping at nothing until he got it. Why should this be any different? Would asking Ochaco out actually be something that would hinder him? Would going out with her actually be much different than what they were doing now with the kissing, the hand holding…the seeing each other naked?

 

He tossed his phone to the side and flopped back against his pillow, his crimson hues staring intently at the ceiling, his mind a complete train wreck.

 


 

 

When Ochaco submerged herself into the bath, she let out a loud, aggravated sigh. She was thankful for the moment of peace she had obtained. It had been a long, exhausting day and more than anything she wanted to crawl into bed and let sleep whisk her away. But as she used her dry hand to grab her phone, she peered at the time and sulked. It was only six thirty; she still had a long way go.

 

As she went to put her phone back on the edge of the tub, it chimed. When she looked at the ID, she saw it was Mina and suddenly her heart began to beat faster. She had a pretty good idea what the pink haired girl was texting her about.

 

KIRISHIMA JUST TOLD ME YOU WERE LEAVING CAMPUS TO GO TO BAKUGOU’S.

 

Ochaco stared at the screen, her eyes wide. Mina was an easily excitable person, but the caps were a bit much to take it all of a sudden.

 

Tone down the caps, yeah? I can hear you shouting at me just by looking at your text.

 

DON’T AVOID THE SUBJECT!

But seriously, did you actually go to Bakugou’s?

 

Swallowing the lump in her throat, Ochaco just stared at the phone. Katsuki had already told her he had no problems with people seeing them together, so why should she? It was common for friends to be seen together, right? Granted at that point she knew they were well past friendship, but still…

 

I’m at Bakugou’s right now. We’re working on the essay together for class.

 

Likely story. Kirishima said the bag you were bringing with you wasn’t small. Besides, why would you go all that way just to work on an essay for a couple of hours? Dish! Tell me what’s going on, it’s not fair that you’re keeping secrets!

 

Another lump formed in her throat. She had already expected the class to know what he and Katsuki were seen together just based on Kirishima’s reaction, but now that Mina was in the mix it was likely her phone might just explode with inquiries. That or Mina would text nonstop until she got the answers she was looking for. The girl was relentless when it came to gossip.

 

I’m not keeping secrets. Bakugou and I are just friends, I think.

 

You think!?

 

Here it came…the first official admittance to another person about had transpired between her and Katsuki. It made her heart race. Was it really okay to tell Mina all this? Not that she was being left with much choice.

 

We’re not dating. After my accident, Bakugou came to visit me while I was recovering. We started talking and we became friends. I admit that I like his company, but I doubt it’ll go any further than that.

 

Are you dense?! HE INVITED YOU TO HIS HOUSE!

 

Ah, here Mina went with the caps again. Ochaco felt her head begin to ache. So much for having a moment of peace to herself.

 

We’re just working on the essay and doing a bit of training over break, I promise!

 

Girl, you better be ready for me to bombard you with questions the next time I see you. You’re not getting off so easily!

 

At that point Ochaco couldn’t tell if Mina was mad or challenging her. Sometimes her energy was a bit difficult to read in situations like this, but she was too tired to worry about having someone be mad at her. She was after all being asked for information about a relationship that had no official status while she was taking a bath in the house of that person involved in said relationship. That was definitely not something she was going to just openly divulge to Mina through a text message, now was it?

 


 

 

Once out of the bath, Ochaco made her way back to Katsuki’s room. She slowly opened the door and peeked in to see him just laying there staring at the ceiling. When he didn’t look up or say anything, she came over and flopped down next to him, forcing him to scoot over to make room for her.

 

“You okay?” she asked, trying to find the exact spot on the ceiling he was so intent on. Her hair was still damp and the scent of honey and jasmine wafted between them, mixing with sweet caramel and spice.

 

Finally, Katsuki shifted on the bed, angling himself so he was facing her. “Ochaco,” he started, his eyes fixated on hers. He strung his arm over her small frame and pulled her in close to him, his lips pressing against the side of her head. “Would you…be okay…with being my girlfriend?”

 

In that moment, time stood completely still for Ochaco, her heart slamming sporadically against her ribcage. Had she just heard Katsuki correctly? Had he just…asked her to be his girlfriend? Slowly she moved away to look up at him, holding his gaze with hers.

 

“Katsuki…I….”

Chapter Text

Ochaco stared at Katsuki, bewildered. “Katsuki…I…” Her words stuck in her throat, choking her. Had she heard him correctly? Her entire body had become ridged against him, her honeyed eyes peering at him as she tried desperately to wrangle her thoughts into something that made sense. Am I dreaming?

 

The longer silence crept in between them, the more anxious Katsuki felt himself becoming. He had decided to take Kirishima’s advice and ask her, but he felt himself becoming consumed with regret. Silence was never a great start to a serious question and he wanted more than anything to just disappear and escape the embarrassment he was unaccustomed to feeling.

 

But finally, Ochaco spoke, her voice meek. It caught the ill-tempered blonde off guard and a mixture of emotions welled up inside him.

 

“Why would you want to be with someone like me?”

 

It was his turn to be at a loss for words. She was staring up at him with an expression that drove him insane, searching for answers, her confidence teetering dangerously. Katsuki still couldn’t understand how Ochaco managed to make him feel this way and he was realizing that he would likely never know the answer to that particular question, ever. Still, even with his resolve being challenged, he didn’t falter. He was beyond embarrassed, but he had already come this far to confessing, so what difference did it make if he took it further?

 

“What did I say about being stupid?” Katsuki asked, closing his eyes. “Do you think I asked you that because I was fucking bored or something?”

 

Ochaco blinked and tensed up, her mind like an unraveled ball of yarn. She honestly didn’t know what to think at that moment. To her surprise, Katsuki pushed her onto her back and moved with lightning speed to straddle her. Each of his movements were precise yet gentle, from the way he held his weight on her to the way his hands grabbed hers and pinned them above her head. A small gasp emitted from her as she took in the sight of the explosive hero. His blonde hair fell partway over his crimson hues, a cocky smirk creasing his lips as he peered down at Ochaco.

 

Katsuki brought his head down, pressing his forehead against hers as his hands entwined with hers above her head. “Ochaco Uraraka,” he said, his voice a devilish whisper. “I’ll ask you again…will you be my girlfriend?”

 

Inside, Ochaco was screaming, but not from fear, not from anger, but rather from excitement. Seeing Katsuki the way he was now, being somehow exposed and his usual prideful self had her feeling all too agreeable. He had been monumentally embarrassed and flustered just a moment ago and in just a single second he had completely flipped. Something in him had won out against the insecurity of his confession to her and now she found herself having to do the same.

 

If she was being at all honest with herself, Ochaco had to admit that the idea of being the girlfriend of Katsuki Bakugou had extreme appeal. The chemistry they shared already was an attestation that something had definitely blossomed between them in the wake of her accident, so who was to say it was so wrong taking things a step further?

 

Ochaco angled her head against him, allowing her lips to brush against his and in a burst of confidence she bit down on his lower lip, causing an unexpected, but pleasant moan to slip from the blonde.

 

“Ochaco?” he murmured against her, lifting his head away just enough to look her straight in those honey colored eyes.

 

“I’ll be your girlfriend, Katsuki,” she responded with a smirk. “If you think you can handle me, of course.”

 

“Handle you?” Chuckling, the explosive hero kissed her again, taking his time to savor the feel of her lips on his, the way her sweetness intoxicated him. “I think I’ll be able to handle you just fine, Angel.”

 

Reluctantly Katsuki unpinned Ochaco and moved off her to lie back on the bed, yet he wasted no time in pulling her into him, going as far as to capture her lips once more. She was quickly becoming something like a drug to him and he idly wondered whether that was good or bad. For the time being he decided he didn’t give a fuck.

 

He just wanted her by his side.

 

Ochaco wasn’t fairing much better. Each touch of their lips left her body tingly and a yearning heat rose from her core. She knew what the sensation meant, but it wasn’t as though she was going to openly announce her arousal. They may be an official couple, but she wasn’t about to let things move too quickly now.

 

Shifting so that she was laying on her stomach, yet prompted up on his chest, Ochaco moved her hand up to brush a blonde strand from his eyes. She smiled when his arm snaked around her waist, his fingers gently running rhythmically down her lower back. “So, any plans for the rest of break or are you just winging everything that happens?”

 

Katsuki shrugged, letting a smirk play on his lips. “I have a few things in mind,” he said. “There’s a festival tomorrow night. Do you want to go?”

 

“You would actually take me to one?”

 

“What the fuck kind of person do you think I am?” he spat.

 

“Not the kind who usually likes going on dates,” Ochaco teased, poking his cheek.

 

“You wanna go or not?”

 

Ochaco laughed and rested her head on his chest. “Of course I do.”

 

Despite being flustered by the word ‘date’ Katsuki allowed himself to smirk at her reaction. He didn’t want to see that smile fade from her lips anytime soon.

 

As the night went on, the two eventually tired themselves out talking and let sleep claim them, both in a complete state of bliss.

 


 

 

When morning came, the last thing Katsuki wanted was to wake up. The sun bled in through the window, illuminating Ochaco’s sleeping form and all he could do was watch her, mesmerized by how angelic she looked to him in that moment. He had every intention of making sure they stayed on a schedule for training, but in that moment, he honestly thought waking up like this held much more appeal, at least for today.

 

Ochaco stirred slightly. She was draped over Katsuki almost entirely, her head resting comfortably against his chest while one hand held his, the other tucked against him. At some point during the night she had managed to tangle her legs with his, making it impossible for him to move. Slowly her eyes opened against the sun, her honeyed eyes igniting in an array of browns and gold’s and Katsuki felt his breath hitch at the sight.

 

“Morning, Angel,” he murmured finally, catching her attention. When she turned her head lazily toward him, she smiled, sleep still evident on her round features. She squeezed his hand and nuzzled his neck, clearly not ready to be entirely awake. Katsuki chuckled, finding her behavior similar to a cat.

 

“What time is it?” she mumbled against him.

 

Katsuki grabbed his phone from the bedside table and unlocked it, seeing three unread messages, two from Kirishima and one from Izuku. His eyes narrowed, reading the names again before scoffing.

 

“What’s wrong?” Upon feeling his demeanor shift, Ochaco popped her head up and looked at him intently.

 

“Even on break Weird-Hair and that shitty ass nerd can’t seem to leave me alone.”

 

Frowning at the nicknames, Ochaco grabbed his phone and looked at the screen, seeing the notification for the unread messages. “What do they want? It’s not often Deku messages you, right?”

 

“Never does,” he admitted, taking back his phone. How could such a perfectly good moment be ruined so easily? Katsuki opened the message from Izuku first and scoffed again.

 

Are you going to the festival tonight?

 

Why the hell would Izuku care whether or not Katsuki went to the festival? Truthfully, he hadn’t gone since him and Izuku were kids. This would be the first time in a long time since he had and it was all for Ochaco. He deleted the message immediately and opened Kirishima’s, his eye twitching.

 

Yo! Midoriya told us there’s a festival going on near where you are. I’m gonna be in that area later, we should go together!

 

Uraraka would probably like to go.

 

“What did they want?” Ochaco asked, breaking Katsuki from his thoughts.

 

“They both asked about the festival. Apparently Weird-Hair and the nerd are going.”

 

Ignoring his moodiness, Ochaco’s face lit up. “We should all go together! It’ll be fun!”

 

“You really okay with sharing our date with other people?” Katsuki inquired, quirking a brow up. As realization hit the gravity hero, he felt a pang of guilt as she bit her lower lip. “We can go with them if you want,” he added, trying to reassure her.

 

Ochaco tapped her index finger against his chest, her gaze averting. “It would be fun to go with a group of people, but I also wanted this to be a date between just us. It would technically be our first date, you know.”

 

Lacing his fingers back with hers, he brought her hand up and kissed it. “Then we’ll go together, Angel.”

 

“Easier said than done,” she said, exhaling softly. “If they’re going to be there, then isn’t it likely they’ll end up running into us?”

 

Katsuki thought for a moment. She was right and the thought of running into Izuku made his blood boil. “True, but that’s if they can recognize us.”

 

“You lost me…” Ochaco said, furrowing a brow.

 

“This festival is known for masks. If we both wear one, we won’t be recognized as easily. My parents used to collect them when they were newly weds, they would get a new one each year they went to the festival.”

 

The idea sounded both intriguing and strange to Ochaco, but rather than argue she nodded her head. She had been to plenty of festivals, but never one involving masks. It would certainly be something new on top of the fact that her as Katsuki were going on an official date. She was giddy just thinking about it all.

 

“Alright, I’m trusting you on this,” she said finally, smiling.

 


 

 

As the sun began to set, Ochaco felt herself becoming more and more nervous. Earlier her and Katsuki were the only one who knew and now his mother was involved, pouring over her excitedly, gushing that her ill-tempered son actually had a girlfriend.

 

“I’m sorry if I’m hovering too much,” Mitsuki said, smiling. “To be honest with you, I’m surprised Katsuki has allowed himself to get close to anyone. He’s always been so defensive around people, even those he would consider as friends. I was worried he would always be alone and closed off from the affections of others.”

 

Ochaco watched as Mitsuki rummaged through a large walk in closet. The woman had a room just for clothes and it amazed her how spacious the Bakugou home truly was, making her feel a bit more out of place than usual. When Katsuki had announced to his parents that he was going to the festival, his mom had put two and two together, realizing that it was a date. From there she had insisted that neither of them make light on the festival and to go in style. Ochaco didn’t have the faintest idea what that meant, just that it involved wearing a mask of some sort.

 

But to her surprise, Mitsuki pulled out a pastel pink yukata decorated with dozens of tiny cherry blossoms, the obi a soft blue. Ochaco had one at home, but nothing with such a beautiful design. Hers was just a plain looking blue one.

 

“My husband designed this for me a long time ago. I think this one would be perfect for you to wear tonight.” Mitsuki brought it over, letting Ochaco get a closer look. “The mask I’ve picked out for you matches this, too. It’ll be a bit chilly tonight with fall coming in, but you should be just fine. Just stand close to Katsuki and you’ll stay warm!”

 

Ochaco’s face lit up and she was convinced she would pass out from the sudden rush of blood to her head. She idly wondered if there was a world record for how many times a person could blush.

 

Mitsuki had went back to the closet and came back holding a small kitsune mask, the ears dipped the same pink as the yukata and a beautifully painted cherry blossom directly on the forehead with smaller ones framing the cheeks of the mask. The craftsmanship was elaborate and Ochaco felt nervous just by looking at it. What if she accidently broke it or damaged it?

 

“Come on, let’s get you ready.”

 


 

 

“Katsuki, are you ready yet?” Mitsuki called from the stairs. “Don’t keep your girlfriend waiting!”

 

“Would you shut it!? Give me a fucking minute!” Katsuki yelled back, finally emerging.

 

Ochaco was ready to go, waiting in the living area. She was pleasantly surprised how she looked in the yukata, how well it fit and how adorable it was paired with the mask. Mitsuki had pulled her hair up into a bun at the base of her neck, leaving two strands of hair to frame her round cheeks. However despite how she looked, nothing prepared her for how her boyfriend looked.

 

Katsuki came down the stairs, seeming almost embarrassed. His crimson hues were averted, his arms crossed over his chest. He had on a black yukata with a scarlet obi, a pattern of intricate flame designs in red cascading down the black fabric. His normally untamed blonde hair was slicked back from his face and sitting on the side of his head was a kitsune mask matching Ochaco’s, but rather the coloration of pink and white, it was red and white with a small fireball on the forehead and flames falling down the sides.

 

Ochaco felt her breath hitch. Katsuki looked like he was about to do a photo shoot as Japan’s most eligible bachelor and it made her heart beat sporadically. She had not once seen him so well put together. One could almost argue he looked like a handsome, civilized person rather than the hotheaded hero-in-training he usually looked like.

 

When Katsuki finally met Ochaco’s gaze, his own breath hitched. His crimson hues looked her up and down, taking in how the yukata she wore framed her figure perfectly; the accents of pink and blue somehow making her cheeks glow brighter and more beautifully.

 

“You two look perfect together!” Mitsuki gushed.

 

Katsuki didn’t even have it in him to snap at his mom, he was too focused on Ochaco. Instead he extended his hand toward her, his cheeks deepening in color. This was certainly a new experience for the both of them, but he was determined to make it a night she wouldn’t forget.

 

“Let’s go.”

 


 

 

The streets were lined with crowds of people, a majority of them wearing masks. Laughter gifted into the air like song, and the soft glow of the lanterns awed Ochaco as she walked hand-in-hand with Katsuki. Food and sweets permeated the air, making her mouth water, making Katsuki chuckle lowly. Watching her get so excited over everything around her was actually placing him in a strangely good mood.

 

Not that he could be that moody when she was around to begin with.

 

“What do you want to do first?” he inquired, squeezing her hand. Despite having the mask on, Katsuki was still very noticeable. He only hoped that their disguises were enough to keep them hidden from the eyes of their friends and from Izuku, who would undoubtedly be there with Kirishima and who knows who else.

 

Ochaco grinned, making her eyes luminous from behind her mask. “I want something sweet!”

 

“Of course you do.”

 

“Hey, don’t judge. I can’t help it if I have a sweet tooth,” she retorted, jabbing him in the side.

 

“Alright, alright… Just stay here, I’ll be right back.”

 

As Katsuki disappeared through the crowd, Ochaco wandered off to some of the stalls that were nearby, careful to stay within view of Katsuki. Everything felt so carefree and good, it reminded her just before she got accepted into UA, her and her parents had gone to a small festival near home. It wasn’t anything super big, but it brought back memories that warmed her and the fact that she was here now with Katsuki made her feel even happier.

 

Unfortunately, what was happiness with a bit of misfortune sprinkled in?

 

“Ochaco?”

 

Freezing, the gravity hero heard an all too familiar voice and knew what was coming next. She didn’t even have to turn around to know that Asui Tsuyu was standing behind her and the giggling that emanated around her was that of Mina Ashido.

 

So much for this being a date, she thought to herself before turning around and lifting the kitsune mask from her face. “How did you know it was me?”

 

“Tsu figured it out,” Mina said proudly, as though she were the mastermind behind the deduction. “We saw you and Bakugou walking together and I didn’t think it was you two at first until Tsu said she recognized the pin in your hair.”

 

“My pin?” Ochaco’s hands instinctively went up to her bound hair, her finger tracing over a small decorative pin with a pink flower on it and realization had hit her like a sack of bricks. She had put it on after Mitsuki had done her hair. It was something her parents had gotten for her for her birthday one year and it matched the yukata, so for her it felt right wearing it, but she never thought in a million years that it would be the one thing that could make her stand out in a crowd to her friends. Leave it to Asui to remember something even if she had only seen it once.

 

“You are here with Bakugou, aren’t you?” Asui inquired. Her dark hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail and she wore a dark green yukata with bright green lily pads all over. Her index finger was resting on her chin as she took in her best friend, and despite the vacant stare, she seemed perturbed by something. “Did we interrupt?”

 

Ochaco laughed nervously, rubbing the back of her head. “Well, kinda… We just got here, he just went to get something to eat real fast.” Her cheeks lit up and immediately Mina was in front of her squeezing her face.

 

“So in other words you’re on a date with Bakugou?” Mina stated, a prideful glint in her eye. “I told you that you’d better be ready to dish the next time we saw each other!”

 

“Unfortunately I hate to break it to you, Ochaco, but I don’t think you’ll be able to be with Bakugou alone tonight when the others arrive,” Asui said softly, looking around.

 

“Others? Just who else is coming? Don’t you all live away from this area?” Ochaco pushed Mina’s hands away and blinked, trying to regain her composure from the surprise run-in with her friends. She knew Izuku and Kirishima were likely going to be here, but she hadn’t expected anyone else.

 

Asui nodded. “Midoriya invited a bunch of us. I’m not sure how many are coming, but we all decided it would be fun to go together. He sent you and Bakugou a message to see if you two were coming.”

 

Ochaco knew about the message sent to Katsuki, but she hadn’t really checked her own phone much since she last talked with Mina. Sighing, she resigned herself from her disappointment at not being able to be on a date with Katsuki and offered up her best smile. “I guess since we’re all here, we may as well enjoy the festivities together, right?”

 

“It should be fun,” Asui said, nodding again, yet despite her response, she still seemed bothered by something and Ochaco knew something was up.

 

“You okay, Tsu?”

 

“Sort of. I’m sorry we ruined your date with Bakugou, Ochaco. I told Mina that we should just leave you alone, but she came over the second I knew it was you. I’m sorry.”

 

“Don’t feel bad, Tsu,” Ochaco assured, despite the blush igniting on her cheeks from the usage of ‘date’.

 

Mina hugged Asui and laughed, messing up the frog hero’s hair slightly. “If her and Bakugou really are dating,” she said, nudging Ochaco’s side with her elbow suddenly, “then they’ll have plenty of more opportunities to go on dates!”

 

As all three of the girls laughed, their whimsical chatter was soon interrupted. Katsuki had watched from afar as Mina and Asui had bombarded Ochaco and he knew that Kirishima and Izuku wouldn’t be far behind. They had been there for less than five minutes before the eerily perceptive frog hero had picked Ochaco out from a crowd. It was both impressive and annoying.

 

“Oi, what’re you losers fucking doing here?” Katsuki snapped. He had his mask resting on the side of his head, his crimson hues watching them calmly, which surprised all three of the girls standing before him. Despite his rude demeanor he wasn’t close to being the ill-tempered boy they came to see on a daily basis in class.

 

Ochaco approached him, giving him a small shrug. “Guess we need to work on hiding in plain sight better,” she laughed. When Katsuki remained silent, she felt her stomach flip a bit. This was turning into quite the awkward display and she couldn’t quell the disappointment that kept rearing its ugly head.

 

Finally, Katsuki tore his cold gaze away from Mina and Asui and handed Ochaco a small bag. “Here, I got you mochi.” He took her hand and squeezed, as though silently assuring her that he was fine, despite his annoyance at the turn of events.

 

“Holy crap, Bakugou!”

 

The group of friends turned, seeing Kirishima and Izuku smiling broadly and waving, though mostly the redhead. Izuku was quiet, his eyes finding Katsuki and Ochaco, immediately noticing how their hands were entwined.

 

“Bakugou, you look so damn manly!” Kirishima cried, a single tear falling.

 

Mina threw her arms over Ochaco and Katsuki’s shoulders, her smile flashing brilliantly. “These two also decided to become an official couple, too!” she exclaimed. Katsuki immediately shook her off, the calm he had managed before quickly fading.

 

“Lay off damnit!” he snarled, his temple pulsing. Mina simply ignored him and instead hugged Ochaco, who stood there quietly, her face red and looking beyond uncomfortable with the spotlight.

 

“You two are dating now?” Izuku asked, his voice almost too soft to hear.

 

Everyone began gushing about the new juicy gossip, everyone seeming more excited than Ochaco and Katsuki. Ochaco felt as though she was going to faint. Being on the spotlight was becoming more and more overbearing as the seconds went on and more than anything she wanted to escape.

 

Katsuki moved to her side, bringing his lips to her ear. “Are you okay?”

 

Without answering, Ochaco shook her head. She was nowhere close to being okay right now.

 

“Breathe, Angel.” As he reached for her hand, Ochaco surprised him by pulling away completely.

 

“I need some space,” she said suddenly, her voice cracking, seeming almost panicked. “This is too much.”

 

Before anyone could stop her, Ochaco turned and rushed into the crowd of people littering the streets and disappeared from sight, leaving the small group silent and stricken with sudden guilt as the realization hit them. They had completely overwhelmed Ochaco, causing her to distance herself from the situation at hand entirely and run off into the night alone.

 

Kirishima’s cheery demeanor shifted, worry laced across his features. “Bakugou, I’m sorry, man… I wasn’t trying—“

 

“Just shut up and help look for her,” Katsuki said, surprisingly calm again. “Just split up and find her, I don’t want her out there alone.”

 

Mina shifted uncomfortably as she leaned against Asui. “I’m sorry, Tsu. You were right, we shouldn’t have made such a big deal of her dating Bakugou.”

 

“Now’s not the time to worry about that, Mina,” Asui responded, patting the acid hero’s shoulder. “Let’s just find Ochaco and make sure she’s okay. She shouldn’t be out alone, like Bakugou said.”

 

As the group parted ways to find the gravity hero, Katsuki felt his heart wrench in his chest. It wasn’t because Ochaco was upset or had run off, no it was something different, like a sense that something bad was about to happen.

 

He had to find her and fast.

Chapter Text

The noise from the festival faded with each step Ochaco took until silence surrounded her like a heavy blanket, quelling her anxiety for the moment. She couldn’t explain what came over her, why she had let her emotions run rampant and consume her. Since the accident, her life had kept making one giant leap after another until she felt her control over everything slip and before long she was unable to keep up with the events being thrown her way.

 

With a soft sigh, Ochaco finally stopped and took in her surroundings. She had made it to the outskirts of where the festival was being held, just opposite of where her and Katsuki had entered. On her right, a long stretch of stone stairs climbed upward near the main road she was on and toward the top she could make out the outline of a shrine gate. Glancing around, she saw no one beside herself on the road and she decided to take a gander at exploring the area. It was unlikely they would find her in the shrine right away, allowing her the perfect escape to collect her thoughts.

 

She took each step carefully as to avoid tripping in her borrowed yukata. The shrine before her was small, but elegant, yet judging from the foliage nearly overtaking the statues and pillars, it had been abandoned. Yet even in it’s unkempt state, it was still quite beautiful.

 

“I wonder why it was abandoned?” she asked herself, following the short path to the entrance of the shrine. As curious as she was to peer inside the small building, it somehow didn’t feel right doing so. Instead, she leaned down and used her hand to sweep off leaves and nature debris from the stone steps and sat. Up here she could overlook almost all of the festival and relished in the small twinkling lights that glittered like stars.

 

Ochaco set down the small bag Katsuki had given her earlier and a pang of guilt stabbed at her. He hadn’t done a single thing wrong, no one had, really, yet she had left abruptly without much explanation. A small sigh escaped her and her gaze fell to the ground. Why was everything so complicated right now? Every time she took hold of something that made her happy, something else came along to knock it just out of reach. She couldn’t use her Quirk as well as before the accident, her confidence in herself was nearly shot, she had grown close to Katsuki but then received a confession from Izuku, and on the same day she agreed to be Katsuki’s girlfriend some of their friends had shown up put a huge damper on things.

 

She pinched the bridge of her nose between her fingers, feeling a tension headache begin form. Somehow, someway, Ochaco needed to find some kind of normalcy within the changes that had occurred in her life. Nothing was going to be the same as it was, that much she knew for certain, but where that left her in dealing with everything was a total mystery. Guilt panged at her again when her thoughts fell back to Katsuki. She had left him to deal with her emotional outburst and thanks to her running off he was likely spending a good amount of his time trying to find her.

 

As frustration and disappointment built up more and more inside her, Ochaco felt the sting of tears assault her eyes. Why were things so difficult for her to get a handle on?

 

“You know, pretty girls shouldn’t be caught crying,” a voice said, slithering from the shadows like a toxic snake.

 

Ochaco’s head shot up, her eyes searching for the disembodied voice, yet no one came into her sights. She stood from where she sat and turned slowly, scanning the thick brush of trees. “Show yourself,” she said, trying hard to keep her voice steady. All she could think of was how something was yet again going so very wrong. She was beginning to feel more and more stupid for having run off on her own, but could a girl really not catch a damn break just to collect her thoughts?

 

From her right, leaves and branches rustled. She turned on her heel, her chocolate hues catching sight of a tall, slender man, his eyes sunken and dull, his mouth upturned into an amused smirk. His hair was matted and dirty, much like the old white t-shirt and jeans he wore.

 

“You know, life gets a bit lonely when you possess a Quirk that people aren’t fond of,” he said softly, tilting his head. “Though it does make it easier to subdue my targets.”

 

A cold shiver raced up Ochaco’s spine. If she weren’t dressed in a yukata, she would be able to easily reach the stairs and use the edge of the top stair to launch herself into the air where she could use her Quirk and simply float out of reach. Unfortunately the use of her legs were restricted to walking only and something told her this man wouldn’t just let her stroll out of the area. Not without a fight, at least.

 

Slowly she began to edge toward to stone stairs, her eyes never leaving the man as he made slow movements towards her. He was only a few feet away. He could easily lunge forward and grab her if he wanted, but he seemed more amused by how she was reacting than actually trying to catch her.

 

At that moment, Ochaco thought she was saved. From below the stairs, she heard a familiar voice call her name and immediately she opened her mouth to respond.

 

“Tsu, I’m here!” she shouted. The man growled and reached his hand out with almost lightning speed, taking hold of her wrist and yanking Ochaco back into him.

 

“Don’t be stupid, girl,” he warned, tightening his grip. He examined Ochaco’s hand, taking note of the tiny pads on each of her fingers. “You remind me of a cat.”

 

“What?” Ochaco blinked back her surprise, her head angling up to look at the man, repulsion written all over her round features. She moved her other hand toward his leg, hoping to land all five pads on him to activate her Quirk, but just as she was close, the man grabbed her hair and yanking roughly, causing her to lose focus.

 

“Ochaco!” Asui had made it up the stone steps, her stoic face staring at the display before her.

 

“Tsu, go get help!” Ochaco urged, straining against the man’s grip.

 

For a moment Asui just stood there, taking in everything that she could, from Ochaco’s torn expression to the grungy appearance of the man. Finally she crouched down, causing the man to shift uncomfortably. “I’m sorry, Ochaco, but I can’t just leave you. Ribbit.” Placing all her force in her legs, Asui jumped into the air and lashed out her tongue. It whipped the man across the face, causing him to let Ochaco go and stumble backwards.

 

Unfortunately for the frog hero, the man regained his composure faster than Ochaco could start to move away toward her friend. He grabbed her around the waist and placed his hand squarely on top of her head. “Sorry, kitty,” he whispered, his voice venomous. “You got lucky someone came, but you won’t go unscathed.” Asui’s tongue shot out again, this time using enough force to knock the man back against a tree, causing his head to hit against it hard enough to render him unconscious.

 

When Asui was certain the man was rendered helpless, she quickly made her way to where Ochaco stood, dazed. “Ochaco, are you okay? Ribbit.”

 

“I don’t…feel so well. I feel kinda funny.”

 

“Funny?”

 

Suddenly Ochaco’s entire body began to glow. The light became bright, forcing the frog hero to shield her eyes until it faded nearly as quickly as it had erupted from the gravity hero’s body. But as she looked back, it wasn’t Ochaco she saw, but a small brown cat sitting in the midst of the pink yukata.

 

“Ochaco?” Asui questioned, a tinge of shock actually crossing her features. “Well, this is certainly not what I expected his Quirk to be. Ribbit.”

 

In response, the cat let out a soft meow and stared at Asui, almost panicked. It was then in the midst of the girls’ confusion another voice broke through.

 

“Oi, toad girl! What the fuck is going on?” Katsuki had made it up the stairs, his breathing labored, likely having been running for an extended amount of time. His crimson hues watched Asui closely before falling on the cat standing in the middle of the yukata Ochaco had been wearing. “The fuck…? Where the hell is Ochaco?!”

 

Asui placed her index finger on her chin and stared at Katsuki then turned back toward the cat. “That is Ochaco.”

 

“Ha…?”

 

The frog hero used her other hand to point at the unconscious villain slumped up against the tree she had thrown him against. “That man touched Ochaco’s head. A minute later she glowed and was suddenly a cat. Ribbit. He must have a Quirk that lets him change people into animals.”

 

For a long moment, Katsuki merely stood there with a dumbfounded expression, his eyes continuously shifting between the cat, Asui, and the man as it finally sank in. He pointed at the cat, blinking several times in confusion. “Ochaco?”

 

Ochaco meowed and hunkered down, her eyes dropping to the ground in front of her. Her tail curled up around her protectively all she could do was sit there as Katsuki struggled to understand the entirety of the situation.

 

Thankfully, Asui was a bit more forthcoming in ushering the situation along. She scooped Ochaco up into her arms and gathered the yukata before making her way to where Katsuki still stood. “You should take her home, Bakugou,” she said, holding Ochaco out to him.

 

He grabbed her carefully, holding her out a ways and stared at her chocolate hues, recognizing them instantly. “How the fuck did you get turned into a cat?” The cat’s eyes seemed to narrow and a single paw swiped the air at him. “Hey! It’s a legitimate question!”

 

“Ribbit. Enough fighting, you two,” Asui interjected. “Ochaco has been through a lot lately. It may be best to get her home for now.” She turned and looked back at the unconscious man. “I need to report this to the police. Ribbit. They’ll have questions, but they’ll probably not come looking for Ochaco right away. With luck, she’ll turn back to normal by the time the police come to get a statement about the situation.” She paused and glanced back at Ochaco. “And for her sake, I’m sure she doesn’t want the others to see her like this. Ribbit.”

 

Her final words were enough to shake the seriousness back into Katsuki. He brought Ochaco close to him and slung the yukata over his shoulder, nodding slightly. “You gonna be okay staying with this creep till the police arrive?”

 

Asui nodded. “I hit him into that tree pretty hard. I don’t think he’ll wake up anytime soon.”

 

A knot formed in Katsuki’s throat, his next words feeling foreign to him. “Thank you…for saving her.” He had little contact with the frog hero, but in that moment she had earned a great deal of respect from him for having come to Ochaco’s aid.

 

“Keep us posted,” he said as he turned to leave, carrying the small cat protectively against him.

 


 

 

Katsuki walked home without saying a single word, his eyes never once straying to the small cat curled up in his arms. What was he supposed to say? It wasn’t as though she could talk and his mind still reeled from the night’s events. From the moment Ochaco had run off, he had flown into a panic trying to find her, especially before anyone else did. He felt like shit for not being able to provide the kind of evening that she wanted and in lieu of everything she had gotten flustered and run, resulting in getting hit with an animal changing Quirk.

 

When they reached the Bakugou residence, Katsuki was relieved to see his parents weren’t anywhere in sight. The last thing he or Ochaco needed was them to see the situation and ask questions, maybe even immediately report it to the police and cause a bigger stir in stress levels.

 

Katsuki quietly made his way upstairs and down the hall, sighing in relief when he made it into his room and closed the door. He gently set Ochaco down on the bed before flopping beside her, face down in his pillow. He still hadn’t really acknowledged Ochaco since Asui had handed her off to him, but it became unbearable for little cat Ochaco.

 

With a tiny meow, the gravity hero turned cat pawed at the side of Katsuki’s face, causing him to roll over and finally look at her. His crimson hues stared at her intently, his expression almost unreadable.

 

“How did you go about getting turned into a damn cat?” he asked finally, repeating his question from earlier. He reached out his hand and stroked the top of her head before pulling away. Ochaco merely meowed, this time louder. She moved toward him and nudged his cheek with her nose as though offering an apology. “I wonder how long this damned Quirk is going to last.”

 

For a long moment after nudging him, Ochaco just sat there, staring at him. Despite her appearance she was entirely aware of everything going on around her. It felt strange not being able to communicate properly with Katsuki, how every time she wanted to say something it came out as a meow instead. Her tail slowly wagged back and forth as she watched him, her chocolate hues trying desperately to get a read on the explosive hero. At this point she wondered if he had regrets asking her to be his girlfriend since she had caused so much trouble just over some of their friends finding out about them dating.

 

Ochaco hunkered down on the bed, wrapping her tail around her small body. She felt more insecure than ever before and it was driving her insane. Why couldn’t she just catch a break? Was that really something the universe had to deny her at every turn?

 

“Ochaco…”

 

Perking her head up, the cat turned her attention back to Katsuki, surprised to see him staring at her still. Slowly he reached out and picked her up and brought her over and placed her on his chest. The feeling of being so small compared to him made Ochaco’s nerves fray. She felt completely helpless in this form. She let out a meow and felt her heart pang in her chest when she saw his lips curve into a small smile.

 

“You know I’m not mad at you, right?” Katsuki’s fingers came up and gently booped her on the nose. “You had me worried sick when you ran off. I thought I had fucked everything up.”

 

Another pang rose in Ochaco’s chest. Katsuki had felt like her running off had been his fault when in reality it was entirely the opposite. She had let herself get too overwhelmed and reacted badly. He had been the only calming force around her and she wanted so badly to tell him that, to pull him into her arms and hold him close to her. But she couldn’t while stuck in this form. She let out a mournful meow, nudging him again.

 

In a fluid motion, he sat up and brought Ochaco up to his face and kissed her on the top of her head. “Please don’t give up on me yet, Angel.”

 

His words had triggered a form of happiness Ochaco didn’t know she was capable of feeling before and much to both of their surprise, she began to purr.

 

Katsuki’s lips curled into a smirk. “Even as a cat, you still have pink cheeks,” he noted, poking her lightly. Unfortunately, his teasing was met with a swipe of her paw, her claws catching the skin on his arm. It wasn’t enough to draw blood, but it definitely left small marks. “Oi! Don’t you fucking start that!” He glared at her briefly, before examining his arm. “You’re pretty dangerous as a cat, you know that?”

 

Another swipe, this time blood was drawn.

 

“Damnit, stop that! And why the face!?” His temple pulsed as his voice raised, his hand holding onto the small scratch that Ochaco had made across his cheek. The cat simply stared at him, seeming amused. “If you don’t stop I’ll start calling you Miss Murder Kitten.”

 

Katsuki gently moved Ochaco aside as he got up from the bed. He was still dressed in his yukata, the obi coming loose likely from all the running he had done earlier trying to find her. He rummaged through a few drawers, taking out a pair of black pants and one of his usual black t-shirts and slung them over his shoulder. When he looked back at Ochaco, his lips curled into a soft smile. She was feisty, even as a cat. He knew full well she had been feeling insecure lately, but she still had a fire in her, whether she wanted to acknowledge it or not.

 

“I’m gonna take a bath and you’re coming with me,” he said. “Despite being a cat you’re still covered in dirt.” Without bothering to see what expression she had, Katsuki scooped Ochaco up and held her against him.

 


 

 

In the bathroom, Katsuki had undressed and turned the shower on, letting the water cascade over him, though he remained all too aware of how flustered Ochaco looked, even as a feline. He couldn’t help but chuckle under his breath as he watched her. He had a towel draped around his waist to hold up some decency for her sake, but even so her wide chocolate hues remained intently focused on him, her body rigid as she sat in the corner.

 

“You’re going to have to come here eventually,” he said, smirking. “You can’t exactly wash yourself as a cat. Besides, we’ve both seen each other naked, so why are you so flustered?”

 

Ochaco gave a deep meow, bordering on a growl to indicate a flare up in her temper. She turned her head away from him.

 

“Oi, Miss Murder Kitten,” he teased, flicking water in her direction. When the droplets hit her, she whipped her head back toward him and hissed, her body arching defensively. “Come here. I need to wash your fur.”

 

Ochaco refused to move.

 

“Ochaco, stop being so fucking difficult and come here.”

 

Again, she refused to move. She hissed at him, which in response Katsuki cupped his hands under the water, letting it collect and he tossed it at her, splashing her face.

 

It was then he knew he made a huge mistake.

 

Ochaco shook the water off, her eyes narrowing. Despite her fur being mostly wet, it spiked up along her spine, her tail becoming fluffed up as she lowered her belly to the ground. Her haunches shook from side to side as her tail swayed back and forth dangerously.

 

Katsuki blinked, realizing suddenly that she was getting ready to pounce. “No… Ochaco, don’t you fucking dare,” he warned, holding his hands up in defense. He didn’t have clothes on the help ward off her claws and judging from how she was acting, she was aiming to do a bit of damage.

 

Ochaco’s butt shook before she launched herself into the air toward him. Her paws extended out in front of her, claws drawn as she began to move toward scratching him, but halfway to him, her body began to glow much as it had earlier in the evening. To both their surprise, the feline morphed back into a girl, yet she was still flying through the air toward him.

 

“Oh, shit…” Katsuki braced himself as Ochaco, arms out in front her, her eyes wide with shock, her body completely naked, came slamming into him. He wrapped his arms around her body, bringing her into him as he fell backwards onto the bathroom floor, the water now pouring over them both.

 

For a long moment, neither of them moved, remaining tangled up with one another.

 

“Ochaco?” Katsuki asked finally, exhaling sharply. His cheeks were tinged pink, fully aware that he was holding his naked girlfriend close to him, her warmth and plushness pressing against him, making a certain problem begin to erect itself.

 

Ochaco on the other hand was petrified by shock. Her whole body was red with embarrassment as she kept her head ducked down, her forehead pressed against his chest. “I guess…we know…the Quirk doesn’t…last long,” she said between labored breaths.

 

Swallowing hard, Katsuki found himself not quite able to respond. He was too busy trying to keep himself physically calm. His towel had fallen from his waist during the fall, leaving Ochaco’s thigh to slip easily between his legs and against his manhood. But as arousal began to get the better of him, Ochaco spoke, her tone serious.

 

“Katsuki, are you really not mad at me for earlier?” When his grip around her tightened, she finally lifted her head to look at him, her honeyed eyes boring into him. “I’m sorry I let myself get so flustered. I ran away and got hit with the stupid Quirk and-“

 

“Stop.”

 

Ochaco tensed. It felt like the intensity of his gaze grew exponentially and she felt a shiver race through her body despite the warmth of the water falling over them. Then, like a tidal wave, she felt all the emotion she felt earlier wash over her. Tears began to well in her eyes as her head collapsed back against his chest.

 

“Katsuki…I don’t want you to give up on me, either,” she cried.

 

“Not gonna happen, Angel,” he murmured. Katsuki took one arm from around her waist and used it to tilt her head back up to look at him. “Ochaco, we don’t have a shallow relationship. We’ve been through some shit together and every time something happens, it only makes us stronger.” With one swift movement, he pulled himself into a sitting position, careful to keep the gravity hero close to him. He brought his head down and captured her lips with his, feeling his arousal hit him once more.

 

Ochaco kissed him back, deepening the kiss with a fierceness neither of them quite expected. She wanted nothing more than to feel closer to him. The need to be as close as possible was enough to make her question her sanity. She had literally just been a damn cat a few minutes ago, now she was sitting on the bathroom floor, naked, making out with her boyfriend. That was total insanity, right? Were things moving too quickly?

 

As much as she wanted desperately to quell the ache that began to form at the core between her legs, she knew this wasn’t the right place for it. She broke the kiss and leaned her forehead against his. “Let’s hurry and wash up,” she murmured.

 

Katsuki placed another gentle kiss on her lips before nodding, fighting against the disappointment stirring within him, unaware that his girlfriend had other plans.

 


 

 

The second Katsuki closed his bedroom door Ochaco locked it, causing the explosive hero to quirk a brow up curiously. “What are you doing?”

 

“Making sure we aren’t disturbed,” she whispered, pushing him up against the door and planting a soft kiss along his jawline. Since she had gone to the bath with him as a cat and turned back into a human, she lacked clothes. Katsuki had given her his shirt to wear until she could get to her bag and change, yet her wearing his clothes had left quite the effect on him. There was just something about the way the fabric danced around her thighs as she walked and of course knowing she wore literally nothing beneath the garment, that drove him completely mad with want.

 

“What do you have planned, Angel?” he asked, his lips curled into a mischievous smirk.

 

Ochaco tilted her head as she peered up at him, her chocolate hues glazed over with a lustful calm she had never felt before. “I don’t know if I’m ready to go all the way, Katsuki, but I want to go further than what have. Like you said, we’ve seen each other naked, we’ve gone through a lot… and…”

 

Katsuki cut her off with a kiss, his arms wrapping around her waist. When he broke away, his forehead against hers, he lets his gaze bore into her. “I won’t ever deny you, Ochaco, but the moment you feel uncomfortable, you tell me, okay? Don’t think for a second I will be disappointed if you want to stop for any reason.” He already knew he wanted her, both physically and emotionally, but he had to be certain that she wanted the same. The last thing he wanted was to push her too far to the point regret plagued her. He wanted her to be a hundred percent okay with everything they did together.

 

His words warmed her and she felt herself pushing up on her tiptoes to kiss him again. Without hesitation, he grabbed her around the waist and lifted her, closing the short distance from the door to the bed and lowered down onto the black sheets, recapturing her in a kiss, this time letting his tongue flick out teasingly.

 

Ochaco moaned against him involuntarily, letting her lips part and met his tongue with her own, joining him in a passionate battle.

 

Unfortunately for both heroes in training, their lustful adventure had come to a screeching halt when Ochaco’s body began to glow. Katsuki jerked away, shielding his eyes. When he looked back to his girlfriend, Ochaco was sitting before him, once again as a small brown cat.

 

Both of them stared at one another, an awkward silence creeping in around the room. Ochaco meowed loudly, frustration clearly evident.

 

“The fuck is up with this Quirk?” Katsuki muttered. He sat down beside her, scooping her up in his arms and holding her close, his hand idly beginning the pet the top of her head. “Something tells me this Quirk has more to it than just a time limit.”

 

Ochaco meowed in response and nudged him, her tail curling around her.

 

“Don’t be disappointed,” Katsuki said softly. “We have plenty of time together.” He picked her up and held her out from him so he could look at her directly, a faint smile crossing his lips. “We’ll figure this all this shit out tomorrow. For now, let’s just get some sleep, Miss Murder Kitten.”

 

With a swipe, Katsuki had two scratches on his cheek. He immediately let Ochaco fall into his lap as he fell back against the bed, his hand covering the fresh wound. “I deserved that,” he mumbled. “You’re violent as a cat.”

 

Ochaco merely jumped from his lap to the bed and made her way to the space between the wall and his pillow and curled up, her chocolate hues watching him carefully, seeming almost smug for having landed another scratch on him.

 

Katsuki relented and flopped down, dragging the blanket over him as he did before reaching over and shutting off the bedside lamp. “Night, Angel,” he said, stifling a yawn before moving over and planting a kiss on the top of her head.

 

In response, Ochaco began to purr and she moved from her small space and moved to curl up on Katsuki’s chest.

Chapter Text

“Fucking hell…” Katsuki murmured, his crimson hues opening against the harsh sunlight. Morning had come all too soon, especially after the numerous failed attempts to fall asleep last night. All he could think about was what to do about Ochaco, how she went from being a cat, to normal, to cat again and idly wondered whether or not it would occur again.

 

Morning certainly had an answer to that question.

 

As the blonde turned over onto his side to find the small brown cat, he was astonished to see Ochaco lying there, human, and entirely naked. He couldn’t help but stare, though not because a girl was lying naked in bed with him, but for the fact that Ochaco looked like an actual angel. Her hair framed her pink cheeks, a single strand caressing her soft, slightly parted lips. Sunlight filtered in through the blinds, bathing her skin in gold light, accenting every curve and dip of her body, the silkiness of her skin beckoning his fingers to touch.

 

He wanted to reach out to her badly, to become enthralled in her touch and scent, to hear her voice fall over him like a soft song. Instead he simply smiled and watched her for a moment longer before curling the blanket around her body and leaned in to kiss her cheek.

 

Ochaco stirred, her eyes opening and catching the light to reveal the honeyed color of browns and gold’s speckled together. She met his gaze, a smile forming immediately. “I changed back into a human,” she noted softly. “I wonder if I’ll keep changing.”

 

“It’s hard to say,” Katsuki said, his hand reaching out brushing her hair to the side. He had half expected her to become flustered when the realization had hit that she was nude and lying beside him, yet in that moment she seemed blissfully content.

 

Ochaco held the blanket over her chest as she moved in close to Katsuki, placing a kiss on his forehead and to her surprise he moved his arm around her waist and pulled her partially on top of him. She shifted to avoid digging her elbows into his chest and settled her arms on either side of his body. In that moment, worry began to set in, her small eyebrows furrowing together as she looked at him.

 

“Katsuki, we’ll have to talk to the police at some point today,” Ochaco said, a small sigh escaping her. “They’ll want to know everything that happened and maybe with any luck they’ll know something about the Quirk I was hit with.”

 

The realization definitely put a damper on the mood, but she was right. If they didn’t make their way to the police station then certainly they would come here and the last thing he wanted was his parent’s to find out. In truth, it was more he didn’t want word to get back to Ochaco’s parents and their first impression of him being that the boy their daughter was dating failed to help protect her.

 

“We should get ready,” he said finally, planting a kiss on Ochaco’s nose. “Let’s get this shit over with, yeah?”

 

Nodding, Ochaco pushed herself up, letting the blanket fall from her body, but as she did so, she began to glow again. “Uh-oh… Not again…” she murmured, just as she shifted back into a cat. She peered up at him and let out a frustrated meow. Something about the randomness of the Quirk activating seemed off to them both. A simple change Quirk didn’t go back and forth the way this one did, especially since the one who had caused all this wasn’t anywhere near Ochaco now.

 

Katsuki picked up the cat and held her close, petting the top of her head. “We need answers now,” he said. “This shit is getting too fucking weird.” He set her down on the ground and stood, making his way over to his desk and grabbed his phone. He had a missed text from an unknown number and he opened it quickly, finding it to be Asui.

 

Call me as soon as you get this message. This is Tsu.

 

That certainly couldn’t be good. But just as Katsuki was about to hit dial, his mothers voice called up the stairs to him.

 

“Katsuki! Your friend Izuku is here to see you and your girlfriend!”

 

Gripping the phone with a deathlike vice, the blonde stomped over to the door, opened it and leaned out. “Tell him to fuck off!”

 

“Don’t be so damn rude! He’s coming upstairs!” Mitsuki shot back, her voice equally as high and angry.

 

Katsuki muttered a few curses under his breath as he made his way to the shirt Ochaco had gotten to wear briefly last night and slipped it on. He was certain everyone had told Izuku what had happened yesterday and he likely was here to make sure Ochaco was all right. It made him furious. The last person he wanted to see right now was that damned nerd. But as he heard footsteps on the stairs, he also heard voices. Izuku hadn’t come alone, evidently.

 

Izuku knocked softly on the open door, his eyes landing on Katsuki. Behind him Kirishima poked his head in, his usual goofy smile missing. Both of them looked dead serious and it made Katsuki’s skin crawl uneasily.

 

“What the hell are you two doing here,” Katsuki spat, flopping down onto the edge of his bed. As the two came in, Kirishima closed the door before making his way to the desk and sat down in the chair, unusually quiet.

 

Izuku’s gaze fell to the small cat, his eyes narrowing with worry. “So you really did get hit with that guy’s Quirk,” he murmured, finding a place on the floor to sit. Ochaco meowed in response and moved over toward him, pawing at his scarred hand in a reassuring jest. The All Might successor looked up at his childhood friend, his face grim. “Kacchan, did you get Asui’s message?”

 

“A few minutes ago. I was about to call her before you two fucking showed up, uninvited, I might add.”

 

“The police apprehended the guy last night,” Kirishima said, breaking his silence. “Unfortunately when they went to check up on him this morning, the dude was gone.”

 

Katsuki’s browed furrowed, concern and anger crossing his stern features. “What the hell do you mean ‘gone’?”

 

“He wasn’t in his cell, dude. The cell was still locked and everything.”

 

Ochaco meowed from her place in front of Izuku, her head turning toward Katsuki. Her eyes were wide with panic.

 

“So why the hell am I hearing this shit from you two and not from the police?” Katsuki inquired, eyeing the two suspiciously. “You’d both better fucking talk before I get even more pissed.” To cement his point, he raised his open palm and let sparks flicker dangerously.

 

Kirishima and Izuku exchanged looks as though having a silent conversation. Finally Kirishima spoke, seeming confident that what he was about to say was better off coming from him. “Tsu and Mina told us everything that had happened last night before we showed up, right up to the point that Uraraka got turned into a cat,” he started, motioning toward the brown cat. “Tsu also told us that when the police came to apprehend the guy, she didn’t tell them that Ochaco had been hit with a Quirk.”

 

“Why the fuck not?”

 

“She seemed pretty confident that it would wear off, so she figured since the guy was in custody, there wouldn’t be much harm in just letting you two catch a breather instead of being hounded. The Quirk having a time limit doesn’t seem to be the case though.”

 

“No shit. She’s already gone from cat to human twice now since last night,” Katsuki spat, his fists clenching.

 

“Asui is already beating herself up over this, Kacchan,” Izuku added softly. “She intends to tell the police, but she wanted to talk to you first about it. I thought it would be better if I told you in person.”

 

Scoffing, the explosive hero crossed his arms over his chest. “You’re all fucking idiots. By not saying anything you made a mess of everything.”

 

Ochaco moved over the door and pawed at it, looking back at the three boys and meowed. When they simply stared at her, clearly not getting the hint, she pawed at the door again, her next meow much deeper.

 

Katsuki stood and crossed the room, scooping her up into his arms. “Guess we need to sort this shit out, not just with the police, but we gotta find the guy who did this.”

 

“Kacchan, shouldn’t you let the police look for him? I’m sure that the pro’s are going to be all over this, we shouldn’t get involved,” Izuku argued, his fists clenching at his sides. “Besides, what if you find him and he activates his Quirk on you? You’ll be in the same situation as Uraraka.”

 

“Yeah, man… You’ll be powerless against that guy if you’re turned into some kind of animal,” Kirishima added. “Just think for a second, would you?”

 

“Shut up, Kirishima.”

 

The room went silent. It wasn’t often when Katsuki used the legitimate name of his classmates and though he had been known to use Kirishima’s, this wasn’t a situation that typically invoked it. His crimson hues bore into his red haired friend as he made his way towards him, stilling carrying Ochaco.

 

“Take Ochaco to frog girl,” he said, handing the small, now struggling feline, to Kirishima. After handing her off, the blonde turned on his heels and opened his bedroom door entirely and motioned for them to leave. His anger was very apparent and it made both the boys nervous as they exchanged another look with one another.

 

Kirishima held Ochaco awkwardly, not really knowing what was acceptable and what was just a giant nope. He settled for just letting her sit on his lap, his hands crossed over his chest to avoid as much contact as possible. Ochaco seemed just as petrified with embarrassment as he was.

 

“Kacchan, if you’re going to look for this guy, then I’m coming with you,” Izuku said, standing. “I know you’re strong, but dealing with someone who can physically alter people isn’t something you can handle alone. Not to mention you need someone there to remind you not to do anything rash, for Uraraka’s sake. She’s been through a lot, I don’t think she could handle something happening to you too.”

 

For a long moment, Katsuki stared at Izuku with an intensity so strong it was like he could create sparks just by looking. He wanted so badly to deny the chance for Izuku to tag along with him, but as his words sank in he looked over to Ochaco and sighed. “Fine. But stay the fuck out of my way.”

 

Izuku didn’t respond to his snide remark, but simply walked past Katsuki and through the doorway. “I’ll wait for you downstairs.”

 

“I’ll get Uraraka to Mina and Tsu,” Kirishima said, now holding Ochaco loosely in his arms, his cheeks tinged red. “Man this is weird holding a female classmate like this,” he said under breath as he walked past Katsuki. But as the redhead made his way through the door, the blonde grabbed his shoulder roughly and spun him around, sparks beginning to emit from his palms and burning his friend’s shirt.

 

“By the way, Weird-Hair…if Ochaco turns back into a human and you see her naked, I’ll fucking kill you.”

 

Kirishima swallowed hard and nodded. “Got it.”

 


 

 

As Kirishima left the Bakugou household, he pulled out his phone and checked the time. It was close to ten o’clock already and he felt his stomach growl. Things had become so chaotic when he had learned from Mina that Ochaco had been turned into a cat. Last night he had gotten a run down version of the events that had occurred, from Ochaco running off to getting hit with a strange Quirk, to the fact that her and Katsuki were now dating. It was a lot to take in and the jumble of good news vs. bad news made it hard for him to settle on a single emotion.

 

Sighing, he looked down at Ochaco, who sat quietly in his arms. She was staring out ahead of them, seeming lost in thought.

 

“Are you aware of everything that’s happening?” he asked suddenly, causing her look up at him. She meowed, though it didn’t really answer his question. For all he knew he had just startled her when he talked and she responded the way a cat might. “Do you understand what I say?” Another meow, except this time it was followed by a slight nod of her head. It was insanely strange for him to see a cat look so aware of everything around her. “This is so weird.”

 

Ochaco meowed again and turned her attention back ahead of her. For the rest of the walk they remained in a cloud of awkward silence. Thankfully when they reached the small café Mina had told him to meet her at, relief washed over him when the pink haired girl spotted them and made an immediate b-line to Ochaco and took her from his arms.

 

“Ochaco, I’m so glad you’re okay!” she cried, snuggling Ochaco’s cat body against her. “Aside from being a cat, obviously.” She laughed as Kirishima plopped down in one of the chairs, looking at the two like every ounce of energy had been sucked right out of him.

 

“This is all too weird,” he said again, running a hand through his hair, which he had failed to spike this morning.

 

Mina shrugged and sat down across from Kirishima and put Ochaco up on the table. “Yeah, but it’s not like we haven’t seen weird Quirks before, right? This isn’t much different, just that it’s one of our friends that’s effected.”

 

“True, but it’s still weird. This whole thing seems kinda weird.”

 

“What do you mean? And stop saying weird so much!”

 

“Well, think about it. Uraraka runs into a guy that has a change Quirk and he manages to land a hit on her, which inflicts her with the Quirk. Then the next morning the police end up losing the guy from within his own cell? Doesn’t that seem like a strange coincidence?”

 

Mina pondered his words for a moment while she idly ran her hands through Ochaco’s fur. “A bit. The disappearing part, at least. The police wouldn’t tell Tsu anything more when she went to tell them that Ochaco was hit by his Quirk, but it might’ve been because of how upset they were for her to have withheld information.”

 

“Possible. Where is Tsu, anyway? She should have been here with you.”

 

“She’s still with the police. She said she was going to be there for awhile and to go meet up with you as soon as I could so we could bring Ochaco with us to the station.” Mina blinked, confusion suddenly crossing her features. “Hey why were you the one to bring Ochaco? Wasn’t Bakugou with her?”

 

Kirishima nodded and laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his head. “Yeah, but he uh…well, he went off to see if he could find the guy who did this. Midoriya is with him now to hopefully keep him on a leash.”

 

“And you actually let those two go!?” Mina shouted, suddenly standing. There were a few people outside the café where they were and the acid hero’s sudden outburst had drawn a few unwanted glances. “You really think those two can work together while trying to find the guy who turned Ochaco into a damned cat?”

 

“Well, it’s not like I had much power to stop them,” he said sheepishly. “You know how Bakugou gets, Mina. If the same thing happened to you, you know I’d do everything I could to help.”

 

A small blush spread along the pink haired girls cheeks as she sat down again, causing a tilted look from Ochaco who meowed very loudly to remind the two she was literally standing right in front of them. Mina patted Ochaco on the head and laughed softly. “Yeah, you’re not the only one to have started dating someone this break, Ochaco,” she admitted, sticking her tongue out. “Eijiro and I are dating now. Now you and Bakugou can go on double dates with us!”

 

“Right, cause Bakugou is such a joy to be around in social events,” Kirishima stated, laughing. “No offense, Uraraka.”

 

“Hey, who knows, maybe he’s a totally different person when Ochaco’s around,” Mina said, her smile growing wide. “Anyway, we should probably head to the station. Poor Tsu has been there for two hours already.”

 


 

When Mina, Kirishima, and Ochaco got to the police station, the three were surprised to see Aizawa at the front counter, waiting for them, looking entirely too displeased.

 

“Mr. Aizawa?” Mina squeaked, pausing in the doorway. She held Ochaco closer to her as she stared at the homeroom teacher.

 

“You’re all in trouble,” Aizawa said bluntly, hands shoved into his pockets. From behind him, Asui and Toshinori emerged, their eyes immediately falling to Ochaco.

 

“Ah, you’ve arrived,” Toshinori stated, smiling lightly. His piercing blue eyes looked around and a frown creased his lips. “Where’s Young Midoriya and Bakugou?”

 

Kirishima and Mina exchanged looks, alerting Aizawa and causing him to move forward so he was standing directly in front of them.

 

“Where are they?”

 

Swallowing the lump in his throat, Kirishima looked to the floor. “When Bakugou heard the guy got away, he went to find him. Midoriya went with him.”

 

“What is it with those two constantly getting into trouble,” Toshinori said, sighing. “I’ll stay here. You find those two and bring them back before they cause anymore problems.”

 

Nodding, Aizawa moved toward the door to leave, stopping momentarily to look back at his students before disappearing.

 


 

 

“Something doesn’t feel right about all this,” Izuku said, gnawing at his thumb as his mind mulled over the events he was able to piece together from what everyone had told him.

 

“What the hell are you muttering about?” Katsuki snapped, his temple pulsing. “Focus, would you?”

 

Izuku looked up at the blonde, his eyebrows furrowed in concentration. “I am, Kacchan. But even you have to admit that something seems really off about all this.”

 

“Off how?”

 

As the two approached the steps leading up the old shrine, Izuku stopped at the base and blocked Katsuki from moving ahead of him. “Think about it. If this was really just a random attack, then what are the chances that the man who attacked Uraraka would suddenly get out of a jail cell, without force, without anything, and just disappear?”

 

“It doesn’t matter if it was planned or not, I’m finding that bastard and pummeling him into the ground, Deku. I’ll make him reverse his damn Quirk and Ochaco will be fine again.” With clenched fists, Katsuki made a motion toward Izuku…move or be moved.

 

Reluctantly, Izuku stepped aside and followed Katsuki up the stairs. Something didn’t set well with him and he knew the fiery tempered hero in training felt it too, he was just too stubborn to admit it.

 

As they reached the top, Katsuki’s gaze swept the area, falling to the areas of kicked up dirt, footsteps, and then finally to the tree Asui had tossed the guy into. He didn’t know what he expected to find exactly and he knew the chances of the bastard coming back here wasn’t likely, but if a chance existed, he was taking it.

 

Katsuki moved over toward the tree, examining the bits of broken bark and a bit of blood caked into it where the villains head likely hit. Asui had hit him much harder than he thought her capable of and he found himself impressed. But as he tore himself away from the tree, his crimson hues fell to the ground. The grass was high and unkempt, but it was heavily matted down in the area. To him it looked as though whoever attacked Ochaco had been hunkered down here for a while. Izuku’s words slithered back into his mind and a chill raced up his spine. Had Ochaco actually been targeted on purpose? Was this guy waiting for her? How did he know she would even come here?

 

“I think I found something,” Izuku stated, motioning Katsuki over. He was hunched over the area where Asui and the man had fought and in the midst of the weeds and torn up dirt was a broken needle from a syringe. “I don’t know if it had anything to do with Uraraka, but finding something like this here doesn’t seem very likely.”

 

As Katsuki came over and squatted down beside Izuku, he picked up a stick and moved the needle around with it carefully. “There’s no rust on it, it hasn’t been here for long.”

 

“Do you think Uraraka was injected with something?”

 

“Not likely. She didn’t say anything about getting hurt or feeling anything.”

 

“Yeah, but in the middle of the Quirk taking effect, she may not have noticed something as small as an injection prick,” Izuku stated. “I don’t think we should rule out the possibility. We should tell the police to comb over the area again.”

 

“Tch. It’s a fucking waste of time.”

 

“Kacchan, what if Uraraka was injected with something? What if the Quirk was just a distraction in order to get close to her?”

 

At that point, Katsuki’s patience was wearing thin. The fact that Izuku might be right was something he wasn’t willing to admit. The thought of someone having injected something into Ochaco downright scared him and his need to find the bastard who did this suddenly waned in light of needing to be beside Ochaco.

 

“Call it in,” Katsuki said, dropping the twig he was using to prod the needle. He felt almost panicked; especially knowing he couldn’t exactly text Ochaco to see if she was all right seeing as how she was a damned cat. Even so, he brought out his phone and checked for any missed messages or calls, a tinge of relief when he saw nothing.

 

“Kacchan, are you alright? You look pale,” Izuku noted. He watched his childhood friend carefully, his scarred fingers hovering over the call button for the police. “I think maybe…we should go to the station with the others. You should be with Uraraka, not out here looking for some villain.”

 

“Shut the fuck up, Deku!” Katsuki spat, standing suddenly. He glared venomously at Izuku. “Don’t tell me what to do.”

 

Anger flared in Izuku and moved to stand in front of Katsuki. “Then stop being so damn stubborn! What do you actually hope to accomplish by running after a villain who escaped using methods no one can figure out? It’s obvious that he’s not working alone. Someone got him out of the cell, Kacchan.”

 

“Don’t you think I know that?!” A large explosion ignited in his palm and Katsuki sent it flying into the air, finding himself momentarily unable to control the output of power. The last time he had felt such a strong rage and fear built up inside him he had been kidnapped by the League of Villains. The difference now was he felt more rage towards Tomura Shigaraki when he had been kidnapped vs. now where the fear he felt for Ochaco’s safety was overwhelmingly stronger than rage. The feeling of caring so deeply for another person was so foreign to him before now, he truthfully didn’t know how exactly to handle himself.

 

Izuku’s body began to glow, One For All beginning to activate. He was prepping for a fight and at first Katsuki thought it was due to his outburst, but as he followed Izuku’s gaze, he saw a tall man in dirty clothes standing at the top of the stairs, a familiar warp gate open behind him. Instantly Katsuki became poised, his hands sparking.

 

“Guess we know how he got out,” Izuku said softly, his eyes never leaving the man.

 

The man held his hands up in surrender, a sickly smile falling across his lips. “I’ll be gone before either you have a chance to attack and if I disappear, you won’t know what happened to that poor, sweet girl.”

 

Katsuki and Izuku both tensed up. They badly wanted to dish out a bit of hurt on this guy, but the second he mentioned Ochaco, they had to dredge up every ounce of willpower to keep themselves firmly planted in place.

 

“What the fuck did you do to Ochaco, you bastard!?”

 

“Calm down, boy. My Quirk is the least of your problems,” the man said coyly. “I used my Quirk to help keep what I injected into her from activating. You see, it doesn’t work on animals so while she’s a cat, she will remain unharmed by Virus.”

 

“Virus?”

 

“Yes, it’s someone Shigaraki had found. Weird guy.”

 

Both froze at the name, their rage building further. Of course the League of Villains had something to do with this. Why wouldn’t they?

 

The man shrugged before stuffing his hands into the pockets of his dirty pants. “Yes, Virus. He has a Quirk similar to that teacher of yours, only his works on a more lethal way.”

 

“What the fuck is this guy saying?”

 

Izuku’s eyes narrowed as he mulled over the man’s words. “How does making someone an animal fit into this other guy’s Quirk?”

 

“His blood, it only works on humans. You see Virus has a rough time controlling his abilities. If someone intakes his blood he can use it to erase their Quirk for as long as his blood is in a person’s system. Inject it right into the bloodstream and it stays in a person’s system longer. The thing is, it doesn’t work on animals, and so that’s where I come in.”

 

“How does that even make sense? How can you attack someone’s Quirk directly using blood…? Unless the Quirk can manipulate others somehow, maybe some kind of hypnosis, or maybe…”

 

“Oi, stop fucking rambling and pay attention!” Katsuki snapped, forcing Izuku out of his muttering reverie. “We got bigger problems right now!”

 

“Right, sorry.”

 

The man watched them carefully, his body leaned more toward the warp gate. It was clear that his words had fired up the two heroes in training and he didn’t trust them to actually stay put. Despite this, he continued to smirk at them, seeming nonchalant by their panic over the situation. “I’ll spell it out nice and simple for you two so you can understand since you’re both having such a difficult time,” he said, sneering. “Virus’s Quirk is strong and he doesn’t have much control over it. It works on people with Quirk’s, but not animals. I make people who get injected with his blood into animals so he has a period of time where he can get a handle on everything. Once he’s in control, I release my Quirk and he’s able to manipulate the blood to attack someone’s Quirk and take away their abilities until the blood is taken out of that person’s body.”

 

“And what happens if it’s not taken out?” Katsuki asked, swallowing hard. He didn’t like the sound of this at all and his tension rose higher than he ever thought possible. There were still so many questions he needed answers to.

 

“If the blood stays in a person’s body? Well, that’s easy. They die. Eventually Virus’s blood becomes much like a poison,” the man said gleefully. “But we have ways of neutralizing it, which I will happily deliver to you…in exchange for something.”

 

Izuku’s blood ran cold. He had a bad feeling about this. His glanced sideways at Katsuki, knowing his childhood friend felt what was coming as well.

 

“Katsuki Bakugou, your presence is requested by Shigaraki.”

 

“What is the league’s obsession with Kacchan?” Izuku demanded through gritted teeth. Since he had said no to joining them, were they going to force his hand by holding Ochaco’s life as ransom?

 

The man shrugged. “Don’t ask me. I’m just here to provide you with a scope of information. The intentions of Shigaraki are his own. You’ll have to find out more from him. Either way,” he said, motioning toward the warp gate, “It’s time to go.”

 

Katsuki stepped forward and Izuku immediately grabbed him by the shoulder. “Kacchan, no!”

 

Jerking away from his grip, Katsuki ignited a small blast to force Izuku to step back away from him. “Stay back, Deku,” he said softly, mirroring the exact words he’d spoken the first time he’d been taken through Kurogiri’s warp gate. “Find the others, tell them what’s happening.” He turned to Izuku, looking him dead in the eye. “And whatever you do, don’t let Ochaco die.”

 

“Kacchan…” No matter how badly Izuku wanted to stop his childhood friend from once again becoming a victim to the League of Villains, he had to restrain himself, not for Katsuki’s sake, but for Ochaco’s. He watched in seething anger and despair as his childhood friend came to stand beside the man, him crimson hues catching his emerald ones one last time before he disappeared through the gate.

Chapter Text

As Katsuki stepped through the portal, he took his phone from his pocket and quickly scrolled through his messages until he landed on Ochaco’s number, now realizing how much his hands shook. He didn’t have much time to do what he was going to do and his fingers worked diligently over the keys as he angled himself away from the nameless man beside him.

 

With a trembling breath sliding through his lips, Katsuki hit send, giving Ochaco the coordinates to his current location and a single message attached to it that cut at his heart roughly.

 

I love you, Ochaco. Goodbye, my Angel.

 

As the portal closed behind him, he found himself standing inside a large warehouse, the members of the League of Villain’s welcoming him with insouciant stares. The first time he had been in front of these bastards, he had All Might in his corner helping with his rescue, yet now? Now it was up to him to figure a way out of this and to go back home to where Ochaco was waiting for him. His fists balled at his sides, his crimson hues sweeping across each of their faces until finally he landed on the man who was always a star within his nightmares.

 

Shigaraki opened his arms, as though he were about to hug an old friend. “Bakugou, so nice to see you again,” he said, a small laugh following suit of his words. He stopped directly in front of the blonde; his gaze falling to the phone Katsuki held and made a swift motion to take it from him, his Quirk activating and destroying it. “Did you think I wouldn’t have anticipated you trying to call out for help?”

 

Katsuki scoffed, his lips curving up into a cocky smirk. “Like I’d need help,” he spat. He was just saying his goodbyes, in case everything went south. He had no intention of letting these bastards take Ochaco’s life and if it meant giving his own to save her, then so be it. His fists sparked as he held Shigaraki’s stare. “You were all fucking beaten once before, what makes you think you won’t get beaten again?”

 

“Easy,” the grey haired man said, shrugging. “Our purpose is simply to create doubt within society. You’ll see soon enough, though by the time you do it will have been too late to stop any of it and your life as an aspiring hero will inevitably come to an end.”

 

“Just know you’re the star of the show!” Himiko Toga added, her smile wide as she waved at him with manic enthusiasm.

 

Those words stabbed at Katsuki, his eyebrows knitting together. Something was different about Shigaraki from the last time he had seen him. Before the man only had an inkling that he could convince him to join the League based off only his desire to win and his temper, but surely he knew by now that Katsuki wasn’t one to be swayed, even if someone he loved was being held hostage.

 

No, something was very different. Shigaraki had no expectation of him joining now. In fact, Katsuki was willing to bet his life that this bastard expected a fight from him. He just didn’t know why.

 

Yet.

 

Flexing his palms out, Katsuki created sparks, his grin from before returning at full force. “So who wants to fill me the fuck in on what’s going on here before I start burning you fuckers to a crisp?”


As Izuku shuffled, defeated, towards the police station, his thoughts spun around like a tornado inside his head. There wasn’t anything he could have done differently that wouldn’t have put Ochaco’s life in danger and no matter how many times the events from moments prior repeat in his mind one thing always stuck out.

 

Katsuki made the choice himself to willingly go with that man.

 

Anger bubbled up inside him. This is exactly what the League wanted. So far everything that had happened, from Ochaco being secluded, to being turned into a cat, to her life being threatened in order to lure Katsuki. It had all been woven in and he found it difficult to find anything that could be used to help Katsuki now. There was no evidence of what the League was even planning.

 

“Midoriya!”

 

Shooting his head up, the green haired boy found Aizawa standing before him, his eyes narrowed in a cocktail of anger, disappointment…and concern? Blinking back his surprise to see his homeroom teacher, he shuffled forward, dejected.

 

“Where’s Bakugou?” Aizawa demanded, reaching out to grab Izuku by the shoulders and forcing him to look him straight in the eye.

 

“Uraraka’s life is in danger,” he said, refusing to meet his teacher’s stoic stare. “The League of Villain’s is behind all of this. They told Kacchan that if…if he…if he didn’t go with them that they would…kill Uraraka.”

 

Frozen in place, all Aizawa could do was stare at his student, his own thoughts mulling over those words carefully. “Bakugou is with the League right now?” he confirmed, watching as Izuku nodded. “Damnit. Get to the station and tell them everything you can. Afterwards, head immediately back to the school.”

 

As Aizawa brushed past him, Izuku quickly turned on his heels. “Wait, what are you going to do?”

 

“I’m going to gather the staff. This incident has to be contained at all costs. If the media gets hold that Bakugou has been taken a second time, there will be more than hell to catch this time around.”

 

Swallowing the lump in his throat, Izuku watched as Aizawa sprinted off. Something about his words just now nagged at him, but he couldn’t pinpoint precisely what.


At the station, Mina and Kirishima were attempting to have a staring contest in order to pass the time while Asui held Ochaco’s cat form in her lap and gently stroked her fur. They hadn’t yet been permitted to leave and it became clear that no one was willing to let them so long as Izuku and Bakugou were off playing hero.

 

“It’ll be okay, Ochaco,” Asui assured, patting the small cat on the head. “I’m sure Aizawa will bring them back and then together we’ll figure out how to get rid of that Quirk’s effects on you.”

 

Ochaco could only meow as she hunkered down, her brown hues falling to the floor, her tiny eyebrows knitted together in concentration.

 

“Ha! I win!” Mina cried, pumping her fist in the air. “You suck at staring contests, Kirishima.”

 

“You cheated! You kept poking my hand to distract me!”

 

“Distractions aren’t against the rules and it makes things more interesting.”

 

Just then the doors to the station opened and Izuku shuffled in. Asui stood and walked over to him, immediately sensing something amiss. “Midoriya, where’s Bakugou?”

 

Slowly Izuku lifted his head and let his gaze fall to each of his friends before finally meeting Ochaco’s. “There’s a lot more to this Quirk than we originally thought,” he said, almost in a whisper. “Kacchan is… He’s been taken by the League again.”

 

“What?” Kirishima left Mina’s side, rushing to grab All Might’s successor by the shoulders and shake him. “What the hell do you mean Bakugou’s with the League again?”

 

“Yeah, what do they have to do with Ochaco being a cat?” Mina added, tilting her head.

 

“The guy that changed Ochaco into a cat is working with the League. He purposely targeted Ochaco so he could lure Kacchan back to the League without him putting up a fight. There’s more to it, but I’ll fill you in later. Right now Aizawa wants everyone back at the school. I need to stay here and tell the police everything I can. I might even give Tsukauchi a call and see if he knows anything.” He looked around, as though distracted. “I’m actually surprised he isn’t here.”

 

Finally, Toshinori came up to Izuku, having caught the tail end of the conversation, his hand reaching out and resting on the teenagers shoulder. “Young Midoriya, just take a breath. I’ll stay here with you. I’d like to know everything that happened as well. Afterwards I’ll take you back to the school.” His blue eyes lifted, falling to his other students. “For now, all of you head back to the dorms.”

 

In the midst of the conversation, no one had really stopped to look at Ochaco, to gauge her reaction to everything that was being said. But as everyone moved uneasily toward the door, Kirishima being the one to go first so he could hold it open, Ochaco made a break for it. She launched herself from Asui’s arms and hit the ground at the run, taking off.

 

“Ochaco!” Asui shouted.

 

“Hey! You can’t just run off!” Mina cried, beginning to run after her. “Head to the school, I’ll get Ochaco!” she said over her shoulder.

 

“Honestly I can’t blame her for being freaked out,” Kirishima said softly. “Hopefully Mina can bring her back. We’ve had enough people running off on their own for one day.” He stared pointedly in Izuku’s directions before motioning Asui. “Let’s head back to the dorms. I bet they’ll call everyone back early for safety reasons.”


“Damnit, Ochaco! You’re too fast as a cat!” Mina was practically breathless as she shot down after the brown feline. Her eyes scanned the area around her, slightly smirking when she realized no one was nearby. “It’s not really breaking the rules if they don’t see me, right?” she muttered to herself. She activated her Quirk, sending a glob of acidic goop down the path ahead of her and jumped on, letting it glide her toward Ochaco at a quicker pace.

 

When she got right at the cat’s heels, she lunged forward, managing to grab Ochaco and pin her to her body as she rolled. “Gotcha!” At first Ochaco struggled, trying desperately to get free, including using her claws to dig into Mina’s arms, yet surprisingly the acid hero held on. “Would you stop already!?” Mina shouted. “Man you definitely have been hanging out with Bakugou. The Ochaco I know wouldn’t be running off gun’s blazing, especially as a cat!”

 

For a moment, the two just stared at each other in the middle of the sidewalk, Mina still trying to catch her breath from the chase. Ochaco shifted in her friend’s arms uncomfortably, finally letting out a small, apologetic meow.

 

“What’s gotten into you, anyway?” Mina inquired when she was able to breath normally again. “I know you’re worried about Bakugou, we all are, but you can’t go around doing anything reckless. Besides what are you going to do to the enemy as a cat, anyway?” The pink haired girl was well aware that Ochaco couldn’t respond and her questions began to come off as more of a rant than actual inquiries.

 

Unfortunately as Mina began to regain her composure, she let out a surprise yelp when Ochaco began to glow. Immediately she set her down and scooted back, watching in awe as the tiny cat turned back into a human.

 

“Holy crap that is so weird,” she muttered. When the glowing stopped, she blinked, staring at her friend. “Uh…well, glad you’re back as a human and all, but hon you’re naked.

 

It was Ochaco’s turn to yelp. Her eyes darted around, thankful they were alone in the area, but it didn’t stop her from making an immediate b-line toward a few large bushes just off the walkway they were on. She crouched down, hiding herself from view. “Of all the damn times to turn back why did it have to be in public?!” she cried.

 

“Could be worse,” Mina noted. “Could have been in front of our classmates instead of just me.”

 

“True, but still!”

 

Shrugging off her jacket, Mina tossed it toward Ochaco. “Put this on for now. We’ll have to get you something to wear. You can’t go to the train station naked, though honestly I’m wondering whether or not we should have tried getting someone to just drive us back to the school.” Biting her lower lip, Mina watched as Ochaco slid into the coat and wrapped it tightly around her. “I mean, what if you turn back into a cat while on the train?”

 

“And I still need to get my stuff from Katsuki’s house,” Ochaco said softly. “My phone is still there.”

 

“We probably should just go back to the police station. Midoriya and All Might are still there, right? Chances are All Might won’t be taking the train back to the school and we might be able to get Midoriya to go to Bakugou’s to grab your stuff.”

 

Mina pulled out her phone and began swiping her finger across the keyboard like a madwoman. “I’ll text Kirishima and Tsu and tell them to go on ahead. I don’t think Midoriya will answer right away, but I’ll text him too and tell him we’re headed back to the station.”

 

Nodding, Ochaco stood from behind the bush, assessing her appearance. Mina’s coat came down over her thighs thankfully, but it still didn’t cover as much as she would have liked. Still, it was good enough to be able to make it back to the station without too much attention. She hadn’t exactly run far, after all. She turned her attention back to Mina and made her way back to the sidewalk. “Let’s hurry back before someone sees me. This is super embarrassing.”


“And you’re certain that’s everything?” Naomasa Tsukauchi let out a small sigh as he held the phone to his ear. On the other end of the line, Izuku was rambling on about everything from Katsuki willingly going with the League, to what the strange man who’d inflicted Ochaco with an animal Quirk said about the man named Virus, to the fact that he had a bad feeling.

 

“Yeah, that’s everything,” Izuku said from the other side. His voice was trembling from having explained everything so quickly, but he appeared to be a bit calmer than just a moment ago during his rambling.

 

Tapping the table in front of him, Tsukauchi turned thoughtful for a moment. “Did you tell all this to the police there?”

 

“Some of it. I didn’t tell them about Kacchan going with the League willingly or that Uraraka is being affected by two Quirks.”

 

“Good. Just keep some of this under wraps, all right? It’s not that I don’t trust the guys there at the station, but if we can minimize the exposure of this incident, the better.”

 

“Yeah, I agree. The man I described, the one that has that animal Quirk, do you think he’s been arrested before?”

 

“Why do you ask?” It was an odd question, but not particularly unusual.

 

Izuku paused on the other end for a long moment, trying to find the right words. Finally, he spoke. “The way that guy talked about the villain Virus, it almost sounded as though he knew him personally, not just from being in the League of Villains. I think maybe they worked together before joining the League. What if they met while both arrested?”

 

“It’s possible. I’ll look into it and see what I can find. It’s not uncommon for criminals to form bonds with other inmates while in prison. In the meantime, keep a tight lip about all this. Thanks for calling, Midoriya.”

 

As the two hung up, Izuku was standing outside the station, away from earshot of the other officer he had spoken to moments ago. His emerald hues swept around the area, falling to the sidewalk leading up to the station. There, Mina and Ochaco walked toward him.

 

“Uraraka, you’re human again!” he said, smiling, but as his eyes fell over the jacket and her exposed legs and bare feet, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. Immediately he swung away to face the wall, his body going rigid. “What happened to your clothes!?”

 

“Seriously?” Mina’s eyebrows knitted together as she approached Izuku and patted him on the back. “She was a cat, what clothes would she possibly be wearing?”

 

“R-Right, I guess that make’s s-sense,” he stuttered. “I thought you two were going to the train station?”

 

Ochaco hid behind Mina, her own face a bright red. “That was the plan,” she said softly. “But since there’s really no predicting when I’ll turn from human to cat and back again, we figured it was smarter to just come here and see if we could ride back to the school with you and All Might.”

 

“Plus her phone is still at Bakugou’s house. You’re the only one here aside from Ochaco that can really go there without rising suspicion that something has happened,” Mina added. “And since Ochaco is currently going to and from being a cat, well…that leaves you.”

 

Izuku’s face flushed again. “Just because I’ve been there doesn’t mean it won’t be weird for me to go there asking to pick up Uraraka’s things,” he cried. “That just makes me look like a creep for walking around with a girl’s things like that!”

 

Mina pondered for a moment, her face turned toward the sky as she tapped her chin in concentration. “I guess I could go with you,” she said finally and then redirected her attention toward the gravity hero. “Ochaco, you’ll just have to wait here until we get back, is that okay?”

 

“Not like I intend to go anywhere wearing just a jacket,” she mumbled, looking toward her bare feet.

 

“Alright, so it’s decided then! Midoriya and I will go get your things, you stay here with All Might, then when we get back we’ll all head back to the school and go from there,” Mina said, beaming. She lurched toward Izuku and looped her arm through his and dragged him along, causing him to once again turn red. “We’ll be back!”

 

As the two disappeared, Ochaco couldn’t quell the unease building in the pit of her stomach as she waved to them. As much as she appreciated the company of her friends, she had bigger things to worry about, things that involved getting Katsuki back. The idea of waiting and doing nothing had her emotions building up into dangerous levels and she wasn’t quite sure how she was going to deal with herself if she let the dam holding everything back explode.

 

Sighing, she rubbed the space between her eyes, trying to fight off the building headache. She knew she was being targeted as well, her life anyway, in order to get Katsuki to comply with the League. Unfortunately Izuku failed to fill her in on how exactly her life was being targeted and how the cat Quirk fit into it all.

 

Just as she was about to force her thoughts down and head inside, a wave of panic stirred inside Ochaco as she pulled her hand away from her face and reached out toward the door leading into the station. On her hand, vivid black lines rose along her skin where her veins ran. She brought her hand up and examined it, her eyes widening in horror.

 

“Miss Uraraka?”

 

Toshinori had evidently caught sight of her from inside and came outside, his own blue eyes falling to lines marking Ochaco’s hand. Slowly the gravity hero turned to look at him, tears welling up in her eyes. “What the hell is happening to me?” As the pro hero reached out toward his student, Ochaco began to glow again, her body shrinking back into a cat.

 

Toshinori scooped Ochaco up, examining each of her paws, moving the fur aside to try and see if the black marks were still there. Finding none, he held the cat out, looking her in the eye. “We should head back to the school,” he said sternly. “We need to get you to Recovery Girl now.”


Katsuki shifted uncomfortably, the mask forced onto his face hot and stuffy. He had gotten no answers as to what Shigaraki’s plans were for him, but instead he had his temper quelled drastically when the man who had inflicted Ochaco with his Quirk told him that if he didn’t start behaving, her life would soon be in danger. Stupidly, he had ignored the warning and ran headfirst at the man, trying to use a right hook combined with an explosion to try and knock the guy out.

 

The man had not only dodged with unexpected ease, but as he did so his hand and eyes glowed briefly, similarly to how Ochaco had when she shifted between the two forms. Immediately he stopped, realizing what was happening. The strange, nameless man had turned Ochaco human again, his grin malicious as he reminded the explosive hero of what Virus’s blood would do to her before he got full control of it.

 

That had certainly stopped any further reckless behavior from Katsuki. He had fallen to the mercy of the League, unable to fight back even slightly. The feeling of being so helpless both for himself and for Ochaco was the single most sickening feeling he had ever been plagued by. It made his gut wrench uncomfortably as he now stood in the middle of Dabi and Himiko, Shigaraki talking with a whispered urgency to the Kurogiri in the corner.

 

“Things aren’t looking too bright for you, are they?” Dabi said, unfazed by the menacing glare Katsuki shot his way. “Personally, I think we could have done our plan without you, but Tomura seems to think exposing you to the world—“

 

“Dabi, don’t go spilling all the details!” Twice interjected, waving his hand around in front of the patchwork man. “Tell him, tell him everything!” he added, shaking his head.

 

Ignoring him, Dabi turned his attention back to Katsuki. “What do you think would happen, if the world saw you once again in the hands of the League of Villains?”

 

Unable to answer thanks to the mask, Katsuki simply glared at him, but hung on every word. This was the closest he had come to finding out just what the League wanted from him since he had stepped through that damned portal earlier.

 

“Tomura intends to show you off to the world as the newest member of the League,” Dabi continued. “You pissed him off pretty badly when you denied his invitation to join before, so now he’s determined to destroy any chance you have at becoming a pro hero. From today forward, the world will only see Katsuki Bakugou as a villain.”

 

Having been quiet beside the two, Himiko’s mouth spread into a wide, malicious grin. She wore her own mask, her backpack holding her pump and array of needles and syringes dangling and swaying as she moved. “This’ll be so much fun!” she chirped. “I can’t wait to see the world turn against you!” She came in close, her grin somehow managing to widen as she flicked out a small knife and dragged it across Katsuki’s cheek. Her tongue lapped out against her lips as her yellow eyes honed in on the blossoming red along the explosive hero’s skin. “Just a…taste,” she sang, moving in closer. But as she was about to lick his cheek, Katsuki moved his head back before bringing it forward and slamming his forehead into hers, knocking her away.

 

Shigaraki turned his attention toward the commotion, his eyes narrowing. “How annoying…” he hissed. “You cause so much trouble, Bakugou.”

 

“Tomura, is it truly wise to have brought the boy back here? This plan is…” Kurogiri paused beneath the sudden glare his boss shot his way. “Things can backfire on us easily.”

 

“You worry too much. No physical harm will come of him,” Shigaraki stated. “Emotionally however…that is all we need to inflict. The rest will follow suit without our direct interference.”

 

Himiko rubbed her head, her yellow eyes narrowed angrily. “That was so rude,” she muttered. Her hand still gripped the knife tightly, a strip of blood caressing the metal gently.  “I still got what I wanted.”

 

Katsuki tensed. They had masked him to keep him quiet, yet they hadn’t bothered with shackling his arms and legs. They were cocky enough to think that having Ochaco’s life on the line was enough to keep him tame, and for the most part they were correct, but given even the slightest opening to do something that could save her, he would take it. His biggest threat was the one that the nameless man called Virus. He hadn’t seen anyone new in Shigaraki’s group when he first arrived.

 

Smart.

 

Keep the one person holding Ochaco’s life hostage away from him. He held no chance in saving her if he couldn’t take out the bastard capable of killing her. Which left a much bigger problem: finding an opening. Katsuki didn’t stand a chance at stopping the League’s plan this time. His reputation would be wrecked, his face a poster boy for villain’s and undoubtedly it wouldn’t just be his life that fell into ruin. The media would devour the story of a young hero turned villain and dissect his life, which meant Izuku and Ochaco would fall into the way of speculation as well.

 

No matter how hard he thought about it, there was nothing he could do to save Ochaco entirely. Her life yes, if he cooperated, but her reputation?

 

His hands gathered into fists at his sides as he glared at Shigaraki. His only hope now was that somehow Ochaco got his text and the location with it. So far they hadn’t moved from the warehouse since his arrival, giving way to a shred of hope that things would turn in his favor.


It had taken a little over an hour to get back to the school. Ochaco, despite having returned to being a cat, was lethargic and quiet. Even as Toshinori attempted to quell her anxieties, the small feline hadn’t let out a single sound. She stared at the back of the seat as they rode in a taxi back to U.A.

 

“Miss Uraraka, we’ve arrived,” Toshinori announced, his voice soft. He could only imagine what was going on through her mind. It was one thing to be afflicted by a strange Quirk, another things when that Quirk was becoming more and more unpredictable.

 

As they entered the school, Aizawa and Recovery Girl stood waiting, having received a called from Toshinori prior to their departure from the police station. Immediately the elderly hero approached, her hands reaching out to take Ochaco into her arms. None of the heroes exchanged words. The silence was almost deafening until Kirishima came running up, Midnight close on his heels.

 

Aizawa looked at the redhead, his eyebrows knitting together. “Shouldn’t you be at the dorms with the rest of your classmates?” he inquired, voice flat.

 

Midnight sighed, her arms crossed over her chest as she approached the small group. She tossed her raven locks over her shoulder before speaking. “I told him to wait with the other students as they arrived back, but he was insistent on staying until Midoriya and Ashido returned.”

 

“And you couldn’t have just knocked him out and dragged him to the dorms?” Aizawa countered.

 

“The thought crossed my mind,” Midnight admitted with a shrug, “But it seems there’s been a development.”

 

Recovery Girl patted the top of Ochaco’s head, noticing how the cat perked up at her teacher’s words.

 

Kirishima fished out his phone before anyone had a chance to respond and opened up his text messages. “I got a text from Midoriya about twenty minutes ago. He said that him and Mina went to get Uraraka’s stuff from Bakugou’s house. When Mina looked at Uraraka’s phone there was an unread message from Bakugou.”

 

Aizawa and Toshinori exchanged looks, not quite grasping what the young redhead was saying. “And?”

 

“Apparently the timestamp on the message, according to Midoriya, was sent after Bakugou went through the portal,” Midnight concluded.

 

“Yeah, but Uraraka’s phone is password protected, so they couldn’t open it up to see what it said,” Kirishima added.

 

By this point, Ochaco was very much aware, her lethargy from earlier wearing off. Her ears pointed forward as she soaked in each word being said and she felt her nerves wrack with anxiety. She couldn’t outright tell them the password to her phone while she was still a cat, but she might be able to paw it in if she had the phone in front of her. The question now was would they even allow her to open her phone or would they just demand the password from her the next time she turned into a human? Remaining quiet, she continued to listen.

 

“So Bakugou managed to send a text after he went through the portal, but he only sent Miss Uraraka a message, that we know of,” Toshinori summarized, nodding his head.

 

“I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high,” Aizawa warned. “There’s no guarantee the text holds any value as far as information goes.”

 

Ochaco’s heart sank. True as her homeroom teacher’s words were, she had to believe that Katsuki would have sent her something. He wasn’t one to just send things without a purpose. She knew Kirishima knew that too and that he wasn’t willing to accept the dismissal the teacher’s seemed to give about the message. Somehow she had to get to her phone before they did.

 

“Alright, I think that’s enough for now,” Recovery Girl suddenly said, smiling softly. “If you don’t mind, I need to care for Uraraka. I need to run some tests to determine what is happening to her.”

 

“What’s happening to her?” Kirishima echoed, his eyes falling to the feline. “Did something else happen?”

 

“Don’t worry about it for now, Kirishima,” Aizawa said. “Just go to the dorms and wait with the other students. You’ve done enough to help.”

 

“But-“

 

“Go. Now.”

 

Defeated, Kirishima shuffled off, giving Ochaco one last glance, though rather than worry his gaze held determination. He had something planned, that much Ochaco was certain of.


An hour passed since arriving back at the dorms. Ochaco was in the infirmary with Recovery Girl in the other room, pouring over the results of blood work and various other tests she had performed. Aizawa and Toshinori had regrouped with the rest of the teachers to discuss the situation and Mina and Izuku had finally arrived back at the school with Ochaco’s belongings, phone included.

 

Kirishima hadn’t gone back to the dorms as he was instructed to. Instead, he waited near the front of the school for Izuku and his girlfriend. When they arrived, he waved them down.

 

“Hey you two, do you have Uraraka’s phone?” the redhead asked, bracing himself as Mina ran at him and threw her arms around him.

 

“Yeah, we got everything,” Izuku said, nodding. “What’s going on?”

 

“We need to hurry up.”

 

“Why?” Mina’s eyebrows knitted together as she hoisted Ochaco’s pink bag on her shoulder and released her boyfriend. “You look kinda spooked.”

 

Kirishima glanced away toward the entrance of the school, making sure the teachers were still in their meeting. “Kinda. We need to get Uraraka’s phone to her so we can unlock that message before the teachers see it.”

 

“Why?”

 

“I have a feeling the teachers may not let Uraraka read it,” the redhead explained. “I think they’re worried about the amount of strain on her, but I just have a feeling that they want to see the message Bakugou sent before she does.”

 

“What’s wrong with that? I mean they can’t just keep her phone, can they?” Mina asked. She rummaged through the bag and produced the phone, handing it to Izuku. “I think Midoriya should be the one to give it to her.”

 

Despite his confusion, Izuku took the phone from the pink haired girl. He briefly examined it before put it in his pocket with his own. “Why me?”

 

“Well, you two are good friends,” she said, smiling. “Besides, you can probably get away with going to see her without raising suspicion. Where is Ochaco anyway?”

 

“She’s in the infirmary. Recovery Girl is running tests on her.”

 

“Perfect!” Mina grabbed Izuku by the shoulders and gave him a shove towards the school’s entrance. “Go see her! Eijiro and I will keep a look out for any of the teachers. If someone comes we’ll make a scene.”

 

“We will?” Kirishima eyed Mina suspiciously. “Why do we have to make a scene? Can’t we just have some secret tell to let Midoriya know someone’s coming?”

 

Mina jutted her lip out in a pout. “You’re no fun.”

 

“This isn’t supposed to be fun,” he said, shaking his head. “Anyway, you should go see her, Midoriya. Make sure she gets to her phone first.”

 

Still not fully understanding, Izuku gave them each a small wave and began to jog toward the doors. He wasn’t going to argue with the urgency Kirishima put behind his words. Clearly he knew something that him and Mina didn’t and it made his stomach churn uneasily as he entered the school. His gaze swept the entryway before he darted down the hall and toward the infirmary.

 

When Izuku arrived, he paused before peeking his head in. Recovery Girl was nowhere in sight and Ochaco was laying on one of the beds. Her head popped up the second she saw him and she immediately jumped off the bed and ran toward him. Her honeyed eyes were glazed over and dull, the vibrancy lost. He could tell stress was beginning to take a toll on her along side the Quirk.

 

“Uraraka, I need to talk to you,” he whispered. “Can you walk okay?” The cat nodded and he motioned for her to follow him. He moved to the end of the hallway and turned the corner before squatting down in front of Ochaco. He pulled out the phone and placed it in front of her. “We need to be quick before someone sees us, but…” His voice broke as he looked at her, his lower lip trembling.

 

Ochaco pawed at him, her head tilting.

 

“Uraraka, you have more than one Quirk in you.”

 

Meowing urgently, Ochaco paws at him again, this time using her claws to scrape against his hand. The emotions she was trying desperately to hold back were beginning to fall across the dam she had created inside her and panic became all too evident in her eyes.

 

“I think I have a plan,” Izuku assured her. “But first, can you open your phone?”

 

They stared at each other for a long moment, Ochaco eternally debating what she wanted her next move to be. There was so much energy pushed toward the message Katsuki sent her and as much as she wanted to see if for herself too, she couldn’t help but hesitate. What was she expecting exactly? Was it really okay to read something sent to her in front of others?

 

Now more than ever she wished she were human. Being a cat made her feel so vulnerable, so weak, like she was incapable of doing anything on her own. Frustration bubbled up in her, causing her chest to squeeze uncomfortably. She wanted so many things right now. She wanted to scream. She wanted to throw herself into Katsuki’s arms. She wanted to hit something so hard it broke. She wanted to feel what happiness was like again. She wanted her confidence back.

 

She wanted things to be normal again.

 

As Ochaco stared daggers at the tiny pink phone, she felt herself beginning to tremble. Izuku reached out toward her, but as his hand was about to make contact with the top of her head, she began to glow.

 

Like a prayer answered, Ochaco turned back into a human right before Izuku’s eyes. His cheeks burned red as he stared at her, his body shaking. He was fully aware that she was kneeling in the hallway beside him, naked, yet she didn’t seem to pay mind to it. Instead, her eyes remained focused on the phone, her hand snatching it up and unlocking it immediately. She was trembling more than he’d ever seen of her, more than when she was about to face Katsuki at the Sports Festival.

 

Her hands typed in the four-digit pin and the screen came to life. She hit open, her honeyed eyes reading over Katsuki’s text, widening in an instant. Izuku watched helplessly as tears began to fall down her cheeks, her hand now gripping the device so hard he thought she would break it.

 

“No…” she whispered. “No, no….please no….”

 

“Uraraka?”

 

Slowly Izuku took the phone, almost having to pry it from her hands. For the time being, his concern outweighed his embarrassment of the naked girl before him and as he let his emerald hues read the same words Ochaco had, he felt his gut wrench uncomfortably.

 

I love you, Ochaco. Goodbye, my Angel.

 

Ochaco slammed her fists against the floor, her vision blurred through tears, her heart wrenching uncontrollably against her ribcage, Katsuki’s words the only thing she could think of in that moment.

Chapter Text

Ochaco felt her entire world crumble around her in an instant, her heart thrashing violently against her ribcage as Katsuki’s message cemented itself in her brain. How could this have happened? Why did it happen? The dam to her emotions burst, an outpour of sorrow, rage, and hatred consuming her. She slammed her fist down against the ground, causing Izuku to jump.

 

“Uraraka, it’ll be okay,” he soothed. He stared at his shaken crush, his heart wrenching. He wanted his childhood friend back too, but more than anything he wanted to see Ochaco smile again, even if it wasn’t him that caused it.

 

“Don’t lie to me!” she shouted, slamming her fist down again. “We don’t know that anything will be okay.” True as that statement was, it pained her to say it aloud.

 

Izuku brought his attention back to the message on her phone, his eyes narrowing when he realized there was some kind of attachment. “He sent something else,” he mumbled, more to himself than to Ochaco, whose head shot up immediately at his words.

 

“What did he send?” she asked, almost frantic. “Show me.”

 

A pause fell between them as Izuku’s brain processed what he saw, his eyes widening suddenly. “He sent coordinates.”

 

With lightning speed Ochaco grabbed the phone from her friend, her honeyed eyes pouring over the tiny map and a singular dot in the midst of several warehouses. It wasn’t far from the bar that the League had originally taken Katsuki to; she knew the area well since her parents often bought materials for work at a nearby lumberyard.

 

In that instant, a glimmer of hope had ignited within her. She beamed up at the green haired boy. “We have a chance to find him, Deku!” Standing to her feet, she turned on her heels and moved toward the infirmary, her sudden spark of determination outweighing any feelings towards being naked in front of Izuku. At this point, she didn’t care. There was an actual chance that she could reach Katsuki and bring him home.

 

“Uraraka, wait!” Izuku called after her. He grabbed her wrist and spun her around the face him, though his gaze was averted to the wall beside him, his cheeks flushed a deep red. In his right hand he held out the button up shirt he had been wearing over his t-shirt moments ago and handed it to her. “You won’t be able to help Kacchan if you’re dead.”

 

Ochaco tilted her head, blinking, her thoughts suddenly going blank. “What are you talking about?” She took the shirt from him and draped it over her small shoulders, buttoning it up as she stared at him. The blue fabric fell down her thighs, giving little coverage, but enough so that he didn’t see everything.

 

“You were hit with more than one Quirk that night,” he said slowly, finally turning to meet her gaze. He searched her eyes, trying to figure out if she was actually taking what he said seriously or if she was still focused on the map Katsuki had sent to her. “When that guy activated his Quirk on you, he also managed to inject you with the blood of someone else.”

 

“Blood?” Immediately her mind flashed to Himiko and the Hero Killer Stain. Blood Quirks weren’t entirely unusual, but it seemed as though anyone they ran into that possessed such a morbid ability was in possession of twisted ideals and a lack of mortality. A shudder raced through her, her throat suddenly dry. “What kind of Quirk?”

 

“It acts similar to Aizawa’s, but it uses the Quirk user’s blood to suppress someone’s Quirk. In other words, the blood has to be inside someone in order to work.”

 

“And the cat Quirk? How does that fit into this?”

 

“The blood Quirk doesn’t work on animals. The person whose Quirk is inside you doesn’t have complete control over it and after awhile, his blood becomes poisonous. The animal Quirk was to make sure the blood Quirk didn’t take effect right away.” Inhaling sharply, Izuku reached out and placed his hands on either side of Ochaco’s face, his gazing bearing into hers. He had to make certain that she understood. “Uraraka, the longer the blood remains in your body, the more poisonous it becomes until it eventually kills you.”

 

A sharp stab of panic shot through Ochaco’s chest, making breathing extremely difficult. “I’ll…die?” she murmured. Flashes of her hands earlier flooded her mind, the way her veins shown black against her pale skin. Was that the blood Quirk activating? She swallowed hard and pushed Izuku gently away from her and turned away, her hand gripping the phone tightly to her chest. “How long do I have?”

 

“I don’t know,” he admitted, his voice barely audible. “But…I have an idea.”

 

She turned just enough to look at him over her shoulder. “What idea?”

 

“A blood transfusion. If we manage to filter out your blood with new blood, it may get most of the blood Quirk out to give you a better chance at survival.”

 

As her mind mulled over his words, she looked back to her pink phone and pulled the map back up, studying it carefully. She had a choice to make, one that could tilt things irreversibly and change things forever.

 

Did she save herself or did she go after the warehouse in the coordinates?

 

Finally, she looked Izuku dead in the eye. “Alright. Let’s do the blood transfusion.”


Recovery Girl tapped her chin thoughtfully, listening to Izuku ramble on about the blood transfusion. Her eyebrows were knitted together in worry and finally she turned to Ochaco and to the black veins appearing on her hands and arms.

 

“What do you think? Do you think it would work?” Izuku asked, hopeful.

 

“It is possible that doing a transfusion could lessen the hold it has on Uraraka, but there isn’t a guarantee,” she said softly. “That being said, if we are to do something like this, it would take time to set up and as you know time isn’t on our side.”


“I’m aware,” Ochaco said suddenly, pulling the blanket given to her tighter around her. ” But we don’t have many options right now. We have coordinates of where Katsuki might be and he likely won’t fight while the League is threatening my life.”

 

As tensions within the infirmary rose, Principal Nezu appeared in the doorway with Aizawa and Toshinori behind him. He frowned as his gaze landed on the marks tracing Ochaco’s skin and then he turned toward Recovery Girl. “What is the prognosis?”

 

“Not good, I’m afraid,” Recovery Girl said, shaking her head. “Miss Uraraka was hit by two Quirks, one being a blood Quirk that acts similar to Mr. Aizawa’s.”

 

Aizawa’s eyebrows rose slightly. “How so?”

 

“The Quirk users blood needs to be within another’s body in order to suppress their Quirk. Unfortunately the side effect of the blood being in someone’s body for too long is that it becomes poisonous and will eventually kill if not removed.”

 

Izuku shuffled uneasily. He hadn’t been able to sit still since Ochaco had agreed to the transfusion. Something about the way her eyes gleamed, the ignited determination on her round features rubbed him the wrong way. Her mind was ticking away with some kind of plan that he wasn’t aware of, but he was willing to lay down his life and bet that it was something involving Katsuki and doing something reckless. After all, he was already a pro at being reckless; he could see the signs when they presented themself. He had to make sure she didn’t throw her future away over something like this. The whole class was on thin ice as it was when it came to the topic of expulsion.

 

Ochaco looked up to meet his gaze, her eyes holding his for a long moment as they stared each other down. She was fully aware he questioned her motives, but at the same time, she just didn’t care. Something had to be done soon in order to save Katsuki and if it meant taking things into her own hands, she would.

 

Finally breaking their silent struggle with one another, Izuku cleared his throat, getting the teachers attention. “The one that came to get Kacchan, he said that there was a way to neutralize the blood in Uraraka’s system, but he didn’t really go into detail.”

 

Nezu nodded slightly, turning thoughtful. “But there is no guarantee that this cure actually exists.”

 

“Thankfully, Deku has a suggestion that might help,” Ochaco said, her lips upturning slightly. “If I do a blood transfusion, it may be enough to filter out the blood that’s poisoning me.”

 

Aizawa looked to Recovery Girl for confirmation, his stance shifting uncomfortably. “Something like that would take time to set up,” he said.

 

“Yes, but it may be the only chance we have, especially if the cure was just a lie,” Ochaco argued. “We can’t just wait around doing nothing.”

 

“Miss Uraraka, did you by chance see what Bakugou sent you?” Nezu asked suddenly. “I assume that you were given your phone earlier by Kirishima. He told us that he retrieved your things earlier.”

 

Ochaco’s hand instinctively tightened around her phone she had hidden at her side as she nodded. At this point it didn’t matter if they got her phone, she knew exactly where the warehouse was. She flipped her phone open and unlocked it, pulling up the image and handing it over to her principal, watching as his paw took it. As his eyes scanned over the image, Aizawa looked over his shoulder to peer at the coordinates as well.

 

“That isn’t far from here,” he murmured. “Uraraka, does anyone else know about the coordinates?”

 

“Just everyone in this room,” she said.

 

“Good. Let’s keep it that way for now.” He plucked the phone from Nezu and pulled out his own phone and took a picture of the map. “We will get Bakugou back,” he assured, despite his voice being flat.

 

Despite nodding her agreeance, Ochaco’s demeanor never faltered once from the determination seeming to emanate from her. “Is it alright if I go back to my dorm room for the time being? I’d like to get some clothes and wash up.”

 

“Yes, of course,” Recovery Girl said, smiling. “Get some rest as well. I will call for you when we’ve completed the preparations for the transfusion.”

 

“Deku, walk with me,” Ochaco said, getting up, her eyes immediately falling to the green haired boy.


Katsuki wasn’t entirely sure how long he had held his breath after Shigaraki approached him, a malicious grin in place. He stared at the grey haired man, wanting desperately to take that damned hand covering his face and burn it to a crisp. That would certainly piss him off, but alas he relented to just watching him carefully, taking in his words spoken.

 

“Bakugou,” Shigaraki said, his voice soft yet clear. “Are you ready to show the world what you truly are?”

 

Just behind the two, Twice was fiddling around with a camera, adjusting some of the settings and becoming aggravated when he couldn’t figure it out. Himiko was chatting incessantly as Dabi straightened up a large monitor set up on top of a steel box acting as a placeholder for a table. The rest of the League weren’t anywhere to be seen, likely either keeping guard or off on some errand for hand boy.

 

Releasing his pent breath, Katsuki shifted and crossed his arms over his chest. The mask was becoming increasingly more annoying to deal with as it practically suffocated him. He wanted to voice his own opinions of what he thought about Shigaraki. The first time he had been kidnapped, he had been cautious about what he said and when, unable to fully determine the motives of the villains before him. Now? Now he was just too damn pissed to care if their feelings got hurt by what he said or if they lashed out against him. He wanted them to know just how pissed off he was.

 

“That mask is kinda lame, isn’t it?” Himiko said, almost seeming to appear out of nowhere. She had left her post of helping to set up to peer maliciously at Katsuki, her eyes falling to the cut on his cheek. Slowly she reached her hand up toward the mask, causing Katsuki to jerk back violently, his fists beginning to spark. “Don’t be reckless,” she chided. “You wouldn’t want dear little Ochaco to get hurt would you?”

 

Katsuki remained defensive, but he made no movement to lash out as she grabbed the strap holding the mask in place and undid the small metal latch. As it fell to the floor with a clank, he inhaled deeply. “You know you’re all idiots, right?”

 

Jutting her lower lip out, Himiko turned thoughtful for a moment. “Why’s that?”

 

“You think showing me standing beside you fucking losers is going to prove anything to anyone? You failed at turning me to your side the first time and the fact you could only get me here by taking someone’s life hostage just shows how stupid you all are,” He stated, shoving his hands into his pockets. Katsuki motioned toward the equipment Himiko had previously been helping set up. “Lemme guess, you plan to make some dramatic fucking appearance on TV, trying to showcase your ‘success’ at obtaining me.”

 

“Not quite,” Himiko said, waggling her finger at him before reaching into the pocket of her uniform and producing a small vile containing no more than a couple drops of blood in it. “There’s more to you being here than we let on. We already know you wouldn’t willingly admit to being a villain, so that’s where I come in.”

 

“Then what’s the damn point in dragging me all the way the fuck out here if you didn’t intend to actually use me?”

 

“Easy, big guy. You’re just one of two that Tomura intends to destroy here shortly,” she chirped, turning away.

 

One of two?

 

Those words echoed through Katsuki like a sharp pitch, deafening all other thoughts that floated through his mind. Finally he spoke, his voice strained and rough. “What do you intend to do to Deku?”

 

“Break him, of course,” Shigaraki interjected. He had been watching the two intently from the corner, his interest in the conversation he had with Kurogiri fallen. Now he seemed far more intrigued by Katsuki’s reaction as Himiko foolishly ran her mouth so nonchalantly. “You see, Bakugou… We live in a tainted society, a society I intend to break and rebuild, starting with your obnoxious friend. He ruins everything I plan.” Annoyance contorted on Shigaraki’s features briefly before turning placid again.

 

Katsuki swallowed the lump in the back of his throat as he watched Shigaraki pick the mask up and examine it for a short moment before activating his Quirk, destroying it. It was becoming crystal clear that the League had absolutely no intention of letting him live. His only purpose here was for Himiko to obtain his blood and use his face to stake claim as a villain and bringing a wave of doubt to flood through society. Not only that, but he acted as lure once again for Izuku and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do so long as Ochaco’s life was being held hostage.

 

He ground his teeth together in frustration. There had to be something he could do to get the hell out of here, but then what? That bastard whose blood was poisoning Ochaco was nowhere to be found. Even if he did manage to break out of here and find a pro and tell them what he knew, he didn’t have a location to give them. By the time they actually did find Virus, it might be too late for Ochaco.

 

“The time to act is now, while All Might is diminished to a walking corpse,” Shigaraki continued to muse. “The world won’t get a chance for another Symbol of Hope of rise from the ashes.”

 

Did Shigaraki know about Izuku being All Might’s successor? Katsuki’s stomach twisted uncomfortably as he mulled over those words. There was so much riding on him behaving like a good hostage, yet he began to feel his temper rise up. At some point, he knew he would have to try to fight.

 

For the first time ever, Katsuki felt fear and doubt about fighting, knowing full well one wrong move could end everything he tried desperately to protect in that moment. But before he could linger on his own dark thoughts, Dabi approached, looking at cold and unimpressed as ever.

 

“I’m about to head out,” he announced, his gaze settled on blonde’s rapid glare.

 

“Where the fuck are you off to?” Katsuki spat, a chill racing down his spine, his gut wrenching brutally as the patchwork man’s lips parted into a morbid smirk.

 

“To see that girl of yours,” he said simply. “After our inside man finds us a way into the campus, of course.”

 

“Stay the fuck away from her!” he shouted, lurching forward. His palms ignited and were aimed directly for Dabi, but just as his fists would hit, Kurogiri’s warp gate appeared, engulfing his target and leaving an empty space before him. He stared in disbelief, his whole body beginning to tremble with rage. He turned to face Shigaraki and Himiko, a strange calm coming over him.

 

“I’ll fucking kill each and every one of you.”


“Uraraka, are you okay?” Izuku inquired, following nervously behind Ochaco. They had walked from the main school building towards the dorms, yet as they arrived at the gate, the gravity hero stopped and turned to face him finally.

 

“Deku, what went through your mind when Katsuki was kidnapped the first time? What was it that made you go after him, knowing that you were risking everything you worked hard for?” Ochaco’s honeyed eyes caught the last remnants of lights filtering in over the horizon. Evening was beginning to settle in and her nerves were becoming more and more frayed with each passing moment. It felt like everyone just talked, but no actual action was being taken. It was starting to drive her insane. What was actually being done to locate Katsuki?

 

Izuku took in her words and thought for a moment, holding his chin in his fingers while his emerald hues remained glued to the ground. “Well,” he finally said, “Kacchan is my friend. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to help him.” When he looked back at the gravity hero, he was surprised to see her staring directly at him, tears welling in her eyes.

 

“Would you go after him again if you had the chance?”

 

Her words caught him off guard before realization set in. Would he? He had risked his future as a pro hero just to bring his friend back, just as others had, but he had also learned how foolish some of those choices had been. The students were on a short leash as it was, another stunt would likely result in actual discipline being handed out and the thought of Ochaco being caught up in it left him feeling uneasy. He couldn’t let Ochaco throw her future away on a gamble of getting Katsuki back.

 

Izuku closed the distance between them and placed him hands on her shoulders, looking her straight in the eye. “As much as I want to go after Kacchan, I won’t.”

 

“Why?” Ochaco’s voice was barely audible. The tears brimming her eyes fell over, wetting her cheeks.

 

“We’re training to be pros, Uraraka. Apart of that is learning to trust those around us. We have to trust the pros to get him back.” He inhaled sharply, averting his gaze. “Besides, Kacchan is in love with you. If you went after him and something happened to you, it would only hurt him more. The first time that he was taken, you were the one who told us to think about how Kacchan feels.” He looked at her again. “He wouldn’t want you to place your life or your future in danger, Uraraka. You would feel the same if it was you who were taken, right…because you love him back.”

 

Ochaco’s heart panged painfully in her chest, as she moved forward, her head falling against the edge of his shoulder. “What am I supposed to do if something happens to him?”

 

Izuku was speechless. He didn’t have the right words to comfort her and he understood the frustration of feeling helpless. Even if she did go after Katsuki, she wouldn’t be able to do anything without her Quirk and the likelihood of other students agreeing to go with her were extremely slim considering the backlash from all the reckless choices.

 

A sudden cough emanating deep from Ochaco’s throat brought him from his thoughts. He stepped back to look at her, his mouth opening to inquire if she was okay, but nothing came out. His emerald hues fell to her arms where black lines snaked around her, trailing clear up to her throat now.

 

“Something’s wrong,” she whispered, looking up at him, panic sewn within her features. “I feel weak, Deku. Worse than before.”

 

“Uraraka! We need to get you back to the infirmary!” Without another thought, Izuku turned his back to her and squatted down, motioning for her to climb on. “Get on, we don’t have much time.”

 

Complying, Ochaco wrapped her arms around his shoulders, locking her hands together. It felt as though her blood was on fire within her body, that each vein that turned black began to create a stinging pain just below the surface of her skin.

 

As Izuku hoisted her up, he felt One For All ignite within his body. His demeanor had shifted from the awkward friend to a hero in a matter of seconds. His only goal within that moment was get Ochaco to the infirmary as soon as possible.

 

“Just hang on, Uraraka.”


“Quickly, bring her here!” Recovery Girl ordered, motioning toward a small cot on the right side of the room. Izuku complied, rushing over to the cot and gently setting Ochaco down. Her steadied her once she was on her feet, her eyes glazing over, almost seemingly dazed.

 

“Uraraka, are you in pain?” Izuku asked, his eyebrows creasing in worry. When she didn’t respond, he shook her shoulders gently, causing her to lose her balance. He helped her onto the cot just as Recovery Girl rushed over. She was becoming more and more dazed.

 

“We don’t have all the blood we need for the transfusion, but we have enough to begin the process. We can’t wait any longer, I’m afraid,” she said, shining a light in Ochaco’s eyes, finding the pupils unresponsive. “When did she begin showing signs again of the poison?”

 

Izuku swallowed the lump in his throat and tore is eyes away from Ochaco, his chest on fire with worry, his heart beating sporadically. “Just a few minutes ago. We were over by the dorms when she said she felt weak.”

 

The black tint to her veins ran clear up her throat and was beginning to form on her cheeks and forehead as well as her legs. Things were looking grim and the idea of losing Ochaco to some villains Quirk before she even had a chance to become a pro hero made Izuku feel more and more uneasy by the second.

 

“How long will the blood transfusion take?” he asked, turning his attention to the elderly hero as she worked diligently around Ochaco. There were two young women, both nurses who flitted around. One brushed past Izuku, annoyed.

 

“Look kid, I know you’re worried about your friend, but we need to work,” she said, her stance rigid. “Let us work.”

 

“Midoriya,” Recovery Girl said, glancing over her shoulder at him. “Go back to the dorms with the other students. The transfusion will take several hours, so it is best to let Uraraka rest while we work.”

 

“I understand,” he murmured. As he was escorted out into the hallway, he was surprised to see Aizawa standing there, leaned up against the wall, arms crossed.

 

“Not planning any heroics this time, are you, Midoriya?” he asked, his voiced edged with authority. He knew well enough that the recklessness of his students was also due to the lack of a watchful eye, something he intended to change this time around.

 

Izuku shook his head. “No, Aizawa, but I think Uraraka was debating on it,” he admitted. Ochaco was making her second walk to death’s door in under a month, letting her run straight to where a group of villains gathered was the last thing he wanted her to do.

 

Aizawa glanced at the door then back at his student. “I don’t think she’ll be in any position to leave,” he noted. “Even so, one of the teachers will keep an eye on her. In the meantime, go back to the dorms.”

 

Once again, the green haired boy nodded and began to walk down the hallway. Something was nagging at him, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. He could only hope that Ochaco came out on top over this Quirk.


Dabi watched the gates of UA from the rooftop of a nearby building, his eyes heavy with boredom. The last thing he wanted to do was go on a mission to retrieve some girl. He felt there were better uses of his time, but despite that he also knew that he was the most likely to succeed in his mission. The other members were either too sporadic or not reliable enough to perform such a task alone.

 

Well, almost alone.

 

Glancing to his right, he watched as Twice fiddled with a paperclip, muttering contradictions to himself before his attention popped up to the patchwork villain. “Are we ready to start?”

 

“We are. You’ll create a clone of me and we’ll send it in to infiltrate with a mic attached to know what’s happening. With the security measures the school has in place it’ll be impossible to go in ourselves and expect to make it out without capture,” Dabi stated, opening up a folder to reveal a brief dossier and an image of Ochaco.

 

Twice leaned into Dabi, looking at the image and quirking up an eyebrow. “Is that the girl? So ugly! Just kidding, she’s so cute!” he ranted, ignoring Dabi’s rough shove. “So, uh, why the eccentric plan? Couldn’t we have just kidnapped the girl from the beginning for the bosses plan to work?”

 

“You really are an idiot,” Dabi muttered. “Toga needed Bakugou’s blood. Despite being outnumbered, that kid is capable of doing some serious damage and our plan would have been easily to figure out if we had just jumped him to take his blood. We used the girl to make him easier to manage.”

 

Twice nodded his head, tapping his foot obnoxiously. “I still don’t get it. We got the blood, so why are we keeping the kid and trying to kidnap another kid?”

 

Sighing in annoyance, Dabi looked Twice straight in the eye. “I don’t have time to explain every detail to you. Just hurry and make the clone so we can get this over with.”

 

“Fine, fine… You’re such a buzz kill…but I’m having the time of my life!”


U.A. came alive with a loud buzzing and immediately Recovery Girl jumped into action. The two nurses looked around, confused.

 

“What’s going on?” Ochaco asked weakly, her eyes frantically sweeping around the room.

 

“Stay near Miss Uraraka,” Recovery Girl ordered the nurses. “There’s been a breech in the school.” The elderly hero quickly made her way toward the door, ready to shut it and knock out the lights in hopes no villain passing the halls would think someone was inside. But just as she reached the doorway, she yelped in surprise when Dabi emerged, hand ignited in blue flames.

 

Dabi’s eyes met hers, his mouth curling into a smirk. “Hiding won’t due,” he said simply, pushing past the healer. His eyes swept the room, landing on the two nurses hovering nervously near Ochaco.

 

Recovery Girl regained her composure quickly and darted toward her desk and slammed her palm down on a red button. “You won’t get away,” she said. “The staff has been alerted to your location.”

 

“It won’t matter,” Dabi said, shrugging. “This won’t take long.”

 

As the patchwork villain moved further into the room, Ochaco felt her entire body tense up. It had been two hours since she had begun to transfusion and she was only about halfway done. She had been resting, waiting while the rest of the blood to finish the procedure arrived. In that time the blackness in her veins faded drastically and she felt more alert, her weakness now more or less being from the transfusion itself than from the Quirk. Even so, there was no way she was going to be able to fight head on, especially against someone as strong as Dabi. Swallowing hard, she glanced at the two nurses near her, both trembling and unsure. They likely didn’t possess any type of Quirk, or least any that could be used offensively.

 

When Dabi approached the bed Ochaco was laying in, he stared at the needle in her arm attached to a tube filled with blood. It took him a moment to register, but when it did he turned towards Recovery Girl and narrowed his eyes. “Smart, yet stupid,” he muttered. “I’ll give you kudos for having figured out how to counter Virus’s Quirk, but since you have, I’ll have to improvise.” Dabi held his palm out, letting the blue flames lick at his skin as he aimed his first shot straight at the elderly hero. “You’ll have to die now.”

 

“Stop it!” Ochaco cried, her voice carrying more volume than she expected in her weakened state. She forced herself up to sit, the palm of the arm not connected to the tube moving forward. All five of her fingertips connected to Dabi’s lower back and the villain spun around abruptly. His confusion grew before fading into pure anger as his body began to float up toward the ceiling.

 

“Looks like you’re getting your Quirk back,” he mused. “Floating me won’t stop me from killing you, though.”

 

“Nah, but it makes you an easy target!” A huge shockwave of sound barreled through the doorway, hitting Dabi directly and sending it flying into the wall just near where the two nurses stood cowering. Present Mic had made his appearance, his mouth spread into a cocky grin. Behind him, Aizawa stood, poised for battle, his eyes focused only on Dabi.

 

Recovery Girl quickly moved to Ochaco’s side, reaching out and patting her arm. “Are you alright?”

 

“I’m fine, but what about—“ Ochaco cut herself off with her own shriek. Where Dabi had been flown against the wall, now lay a giant puddle of a mud-like substance. “What the heck happened!?”

 

“Ugh, that’s just unnatural.” Present Mic wrinkled his nose as he leaned up against the doorway, not seeming the least bit interested in getting close to the muck. “And a giant mess.”

 

“It was just a clone.” Aizawa said, moving into the room and squatted down to examine the puddle. “He used the same trick at the training camp. He must have known coming himself would likely result in getting captured.” He turned to Recovery Girl and Ochaco. “What did he want?”

 

“I’m not certain,” the elderly hero murmured, her head shaking. “He became rather intent on killing us when he realized we were giving Miss Uraraka a blood transfusion to fight off the Quirk.”

 

“This isn’t good.” Standing, Aizawa whipped out his phone. “If they learn they don’t hold leverage anymore, it likely means that Bakugou is in danger now. They might not have a use for him now if they can’t control him.” He punched in a number and the line rang twice before Midnight’s voice filled his ear. “We need a status report on the warehouse, now.”

 

‘Best Jeanist and Hawks have scoped out the area and have confirmation of movement from inside. Mt. Lady and Kamui Woods are en route.’ Midnight said. ‘What do you want them to do?’

 

“There was an attack on the school. The one who attacked is likely headed back to the warehouse now. As soon as Shigaraki finds out that we’re giving Uraraka a blood transfusion, they’ll likely try to dispose of Bakugou or cause harm. He’ll fight back, making things worse. We need to get him out now.”

 

‘I’ll give the order the second reinforcements arrive.’


 As Dabi and Twice came through the warp gate, they were met with a less than warm welcome back. Shigaraki was standing in front of a large Nomu, in its grasp an unconscious Katsuki.

 

“What happened here?” he asked, cautiously walking toward his boss. Twice bounded off toward Himiko, seeming unfazed by the plan having gone awry.

 

Shigaraki’s eyes narrowed, his hand reaching up to scratch at his throat. “This brat became out of control,” he muttered. “I brought in a Nomu to stop him. We’ll need to show him how to behave again using the girl…which you seem to be lacking.”

 

“Things didn’t go according to plan,” Dabi stated. “The clone got in just fine, but it looks like we underestimated the situation. The girl is being given a blood transfusion. She used her Quirk on me before the clone got destroyed.”

 

Shigaraki scratched at his throat harder, his mind racing as quickly as his anger began to flare. “How could you screw this up? Now we have to alter the plan.”

 

“More than you think, Tomura,” Kurogiri cut in. “Spinner and Mr. Compress confirmed that the warehouse has been located. There are heroes already here and likely more to come.”

 

When blood bubbled to the surface of his skin, Shigaraki abruptly stopped scratching and watched as Katsuki stirred slightly. “Kurogiri, get us out of here,” he ordered, his voice hushed and malicious.

 

“And the boy?”

 

“Leave him.”

 

Kurogiri paused for a moment, internally debating questioning his leader, despite being second-in-command. “Tomura, am I to assume we’re abandoning the plan?”

 

“Not entirely. We still have one card left to play.”


It didn’t take long for the police and the four pros to make quick work of the warehouse door as soon as everyone got into position. Once the door was cleared, Hawks sprung forward first, his speed causing the dust from the settling debris to part in an instant. His caught sight of Kurogiri’s warp gate near the back corner and just beside it was Twice holding onto a large black box in one hand a monitor in the other.

 

“What’cha doing?” Hawks asked lazily, his arms crossing over his chest as he watched Twice squirm under his gaze.

 

“Nothing bird-boy! …What lovely feathers you have,” Twice said frantically. He dropped the monitor, letting it crash to ground and shower to concrete with glass and clutched the black box to his chest as he slowly inched towards the warp gate in the most obvious manner possible. He was literally only a foot away, close enough to leap through the gate if absolutely necessary.

 

Hawks unfurled his wings, a few of the red feathers shooting out toward Twice, causing the villain to yelp in surprise and leap through the gate. As it began to close, Best Jeanist and Kamui Woods came up besides to number two hero, stopping when they saw the scene before them.

 

Best Jeanist motioned toward the gate and Katsuki’s unconscious body lying on the ground. “Look there.”

 

“I’m on it,” Kamui responded, his hands extending into branches and pulling Katsuki toward him just as the gate completely closed behind Twice, who had his tongue stuck out and middle finger raised.

 

“Is he alive?” Hawks asked, landing on the ground. He retracted the feathers he’d sent flying, letting them reattach to his wings.

 

“He’s just unconscious.”

 

“Kamui, you and Mt. Lady should escort Bakugou back to U.A. It appears he was knocked out before he could put up much of a fight. The villains displayed him as a distraction to get away. Such cowards,” Best Jeanist spat.

 

The police, piecing together any evidence they could find while Kamui gently placed Katsuki in Mt. Lady’s large palm, was already scouring the warehouse. There wasn’t much left for the pro’s to do now and there was still a great deal of confusion about why they were called to rescue Katsuki from the League yet again.

 

Nonetheless, they complied with Aizawa’s call and scoped out the warehouse, finding themselves all too willing at the possibility of bringing down the nefarious League. Unfortunately, Shigaraki had been one step ahead once more.

 

“Talk about Déjà vu,” Mt. Lady laughed, examining Katsuki’s unconscious form. “What is it with this kid anyway? Isn’t this like the second time he’s been kidnapped?”

 

Kamui nodded as he walked along side the giant, trying to maintain his balance through the tremors of her footsteps. “Eraser said there was more to the situation than he was permitted to say. Also, why on earth do you have to take him back to the school while you’re big?”

 

“In case someone tries to catch us off guard,” she said, almost matter-of-factly. “Villains are less likely to attack a giant woman walking around.”

 

“And if you accidently break something while walking?”

 

“Ah, you worry too much.”

 

“Or not enough.”

 

As they approached the school, Aizawa, Midnight, Present Mic, and Principal Nezu all waited at the front gates for them.

 

Nezu was the first to approach, his smile wide and kind as he greeted the two pro heroes. “We are grateful for your assistance in this matter,” he said. “I apologize that we couldn’t give you more information about the situation, time was of the essence.”

 

Mt. Lady leaned down and let Aizawa hoist the unconscious student onto his back. “Maybe attach a bell or something to that kid.”

 

“Were any of the villains involved in the situation captured?” Nezu asked, hopeful.

 

“Afraid not. The police are combing over the warehouse to see what they can find. I’ll head back there myself. I’ll keep you informed if they find anything.” Kamui gave them thumbs up and turned to leave, watching as Mt. Lady shrank herself down to normal and began walking beside him.

 

“Let’s get Bakugou inside to the infirmary.”


Three hours after having been rescued, Katsuki’s eyes opened, blinking several times against the ceiling lights. He turned his head, his vision blurry as his head pounded, trying to make out his surroundings. To his surprise, he saw Aizawa and Recovery Girl on the far end of the room talking in hushed voices.

 

Groaning, the explosive hero brought his hand up to rub the side of his head where he felt a large lump forming matching with a killer bruise. “How the fuck did I get back here?”

 

“Oh, you’re awake already,” Recovery Girl said, moving to his bedside. “You took quite a nasty hit to the head, young man. You were brought back a few hours ago when the warehouse was stormed. You were already unconscious when you were found.”

 

Katsuki kept his eyes shut, trying hard to think past the fogginess clouding his mind. “It was a damn Nomu.” As his thoughts drifted in and out from what he remembered, the image of honeyed eyes and pink cheeks crossed his thoughts and he sprang up in bed, nausea hitting him like a sack of bricks. “Ochaco, where is she?”

 

“She’s resting,” the elderly hero assured, smiling. “We found a way past the Quirk she was inflicted with. It will take a bit of time to fully recover, but she will be alright.” She pulled back a curtain to Katsuki’s right, revealing Ochaco’s sleeping form on the cot next to him.

 

She had been that close to him? Tossing the thin blanket off him, Katsuki swung his legs over and stood, grabbing onto the bed’s edge to keep himself balanced. He felt like total shit, but that wasn’t about to stop him from reaching his girlfriend. He dropped down beside her, his weight on the bed jostling her awake.

 

“You should be resting and not disturbing Miss Uraraka!” Recovery Girl scolded.

 

“I don’t think anything is going to stop him right now,” Aizawa stated, watching as the blonde took Ochaco’s hand and brought it to his lips. “His whole fight was to save her, after all. Let’s just give them a moment.” He pulled the curtain before moving back toward Recovery Girl’s desk.

 

“Katsuki?” Ochaco blinked heavily against sleep. “Is this a dream?”

 

Katsuki let out a short laugh, his head falling forward against her shoulder. “No, Angel. I’m back.”

 

Slowly she reached up her hand, the tip of her index and middle finger tracing over Katsuki’s jaw and over his lips. When she felt his warmth, the softness of his skin, her eyes began to well with tears. “You’re back…” she whispered, forcing herself to sit up so she could wrap her arms around his neck. She inhaled deeply, taking in his scent, relishing in the feeling of his arms wrapping safely around her.

 

Unfortunately their reunion was cut short when Kirishima and Sero burst into the infirmary, breathless and panicked. Aizawa met them at the door, brows sewn together in concern.

 

“What happened?”

 

“Bakugou…he’s…he’s on TV,” Kirishima said between large breaths. As he used the wall for support, his attention fell to Katsuki, who stared at him with an unreadable expression. “Wait…if Bakugou is here, then who’s on TV right now?”

Chapter Text

Time stood frozen as Katsuki stared at the TV, his face and cocky grin looking back at him. He suspected that the League would attempt something as a last ditch effort, but this seemed all too desperate. This plan to ‘expose’ him as a villain only worked if he wasn’t able to show his face to prove that it wasn’t true, but they had stupidly let him go. At this point it felt more like a tantrum from Shigaraki than an actual plan.

 

Still, despite this, UA would still fall under scrutiny and a barrage of questions from the media would be let loose, placing the staff on the spot again. He didn’t have the slightest idea on whether or not Principal Nezu would admit to another kidnapping having occurred, but it seemed unlikely. So far there wasn’t any coverage or blimps about him having actually been with the villains outside of what he saw now about people questioning him on TV that very moment.

 

Ochaco stirred uncomfortably from beside Katsuki. She remembered her first run-in with Himiko and she had no delusion about who she was looking at on TV that very moment. “What are they actually trying to do?” she murmured to herself. If only she hadn’t run off the night of the festival. One reckless choice had spun an elaborate web and it was a due reminder that every choice, every action, had a justice consequence.

 

It wouldn’t be easy being a Pro Hero. There was so much more than the flashy saves and the smiling face.

 

Katsuki reached out and took her hand, squeezing it gently. “It’ll be alright,” he whispered, leaning in and brushing his nose with hers. “Something like this won’t stop me.”

 

“You’re not invincible, Katsuki,” she said, glancing around. Kirishima and Sero were standing beside Aizawa, more focused on the broadcast. Shigaraki was droning on about how flawed society was, how the end of All Might was the first step in rebuilding the world. It made shivers run along her spine, because no matter how much the camera focused on that grey haired man, all she saw was Himiko disguised as Katsuki.

 

Eventually Nezu clicked the TV off. The UA staff had all gathered in the conference room after the announcement and it was clear tensions were beginning to run much higher. He sighed heavily as he looked to everyone in the room. “Things are a bit dismal at the moment. The media will be swarming around the school shortly.”

 

“We’ll have to give another press conference,” Aizawa muttered, his gaze shifting toward Katsuki. “In the meantime I want all students to go back to the dorms. Uraraka, you should stay in the infirmary and—“

 

“Recovery Girl said the rest of the blood for my transfusion will take a bit longer and now with the media about to surround the place, it may take even longer,” she interrupted. “If I may, I’d like to go to the dorms to rest a bit.” Her hands reached out, taking Katsuki’s, her intentions becoming clearer.

 

With a small sigh, Aizawa motioned toward the door. “Very well. Bakugou, we’ll call for you when we’re about to do the press conference. Having the world see you with their own eyes that you are in fact not a villain will help sway the public opinion greatly.”

 

Katsuki’s stomach churned. The idea of appearing before the media was unsettling and one of the last things he wanted to do, but if it helped clear his name, then it was just another thing to overcome in his climb.

 

“Let’s go, Ochaco.”


The dorms were buzzing with activity and energy. Gossip spread around like wildfire as the TV on the main floor buzzed with the newsfeed, but the second Katsuki, Ochaco, Kirishima, and Sero walked in, everyone became silent for the briefest of moments.

 

“Ochaco, you’re okay!” Mina cried, throwing her arms around her friend. Asui wasn’t far behind, a smile plastered to her own face before looking at Katsuki.

 

“Bakugou, what’s going on?” Asui inquired, her finger to her chin. “Ribbit. We all saw you on TV with the League.”

 

As Ochaco pried Mina from her, she met the frog heroes gaze. “It’s Himiko, the one that was at the training camp.”

 

“Right, that makes sense, given what her Quirk is. Ribbit.”

 

“Uraraka, Kacchan, you’re both okay!” Izuku ran up, his face flushed. “What’s going on?”

 

Amidst the attention, Katsuki remained surprisingly quiet. Everyone was in a frenzy to find out more information, but all he wanted, all he needed, was Ochaco. The last two days had been hell and having faced the prospect of possibly losing her entirely didn’t set well with him in the slightest. His crimson hues fell to her, taking in how pale her skin was, how the shine in her eyes dwindled with exhaustion. It wrenched his heart apart.

 

Ochaco was clearly becoming overwhelmed. She tried her best to answer each question that flew at her, but when she felt a familiar tug on her hand, her mind stilled. Her eyes found Katsuki’s and for a moment she saw the wear of what a hero’s path truly looked like flash across his features. She squeezed his hand before turning back toward their friends and smiled her best reassuring smile.

 

“Thank you all for worrying about us,” she began, “But I need some time to myself.”

 

The class watched as Katsuki and Ochaco moved past them, hand in hand, ignoring the confused stares and whispers rising around them. Only a handful of people still knew that her and the explosive blonde were dating, but she was confident that Mina would have no trouble filling everyone in on some of the missing details.

 

Katsuki had led her to his dorm room. They usually had met in hers, but for some reason his autopilot had taken him here. In truth, it didn’t matter where they were he just needed her beside him. As he closed the door, he let out a pent breath and watched her, his face the most calm it had ever experienced.

 

“Katsuki, I’m so sorry,” Ochaco wept, her eyes spilling with tears. “All of this mess started when I ran off that night.”

 

Immediately Katsuki’s arms flew around her, pulling her in close, the faint smell of honey, cinnamon, and caramel wafting together. It crushed him to see the pain wrack her body, knowing that the entire time he had gone to the League layer that she had felt such immense guilt over the situation. Yet not once had he blamed her for what happened. The thought had never once crossed his mind.

 

“Ochaco, you’re not at fucking fault here,” he said softly. He pulled away to look her in the eyes, his free hand lifting to gently wipe the stream from her pink cheeks. “I never blamed you for it and you shouldn’t blame yourself either.”

 

“They got to you because I was reckless!” Jerking away, she turned away from him entirely, her small body shaking with frustration. “I’ve been nothing but weak, Katsuki. Ever since the accident I’ve lost everything I knew about myself. I allowed myself to be reckless and run straight into a trap set by the League because I let myself get clouded by emotion.” Her head lifted, gaze falling to the small crack in the blinds. The weather was suitably cloudy. “What if getting involved with one another was a mistake?”

 

Silence drifted in around them, sweeping through Katsuki like an icy whirlwind. Her words took a long moment to register and he felt his heart hit his ribcage painfully. He had just gotten her back, was able to put his arms around her, feel her warmth embracing him, yet here she stood, voicing doubt about their relationship. He couldn’t stand the sharp pain erupting in his chest.

 

He closed the distance between them, his arms snaking around her and pulling her back against his chest; his head lowering down to nuzzle the nape of her neck. “Ochaco Uraraka, you are sometimes the stupidest person I fucking know,” he murmured against her.

 

“Wha…?”

 

“I don’t care if the entire world looked fucking down on us,” he said. “You’re the best thing to have ever happened to me. To tell me you possibly regret getting involved with me is like stabbing me directly, you know. I don’t give a fuck how many levels of Hell I have to walk through just to get back to you, Ochaco, but I’ll do it again and again.”

 

A new stream of tears welled up in the gravity hero’s eyes. “Katsuki…” She could feel his heart pounding as he pulled her in closer, beating in rhythm with hers.

 

“I love you, Ochaco.”

 

Those words echoed through her mind like a dream and for a moment she found herself partially tempted to pinch herself. Her palm reached up, tracing over the skin of his arm, over a single tear that had landed on him.

 

Slowly Katsuki spaced himself from her, enough to turn her around to look at him. As one arm moved around her waist, he fisted his palm in her hair and pulled her close, his lips meeting hers. Fire erupted through them both and Ochaco found herself deepening the kiss as she inched up on her tiptoes. The softness against her was unlike anything else she had experienced and it left her yearning for more. Yet despite such a comforting feeling, she couldn’t quell the onslaught of tears.

 

When they pulled away, their foreheads connected, eyes meeting, Ochaco felt a smile tugging at her lips finally. “I love you, too.”

 

Katsuki wasn’t sure how such a simple sentence could hold so much power, so much control. Relief flooded through him, his lips curling into a smile of their own. “We’re going to make it in this world, together, you know that right?”

 

“Oh? You seem pretty confident there,” she said, a soft laugh enrapturing him.

 

Katsuki brought his lips to hers once more, his tongue lashing out against her lower lip teasingly. “I don’t intend to let you out of my sight again, Ochaco,” he said, beginning to slowly walk her backwards toward the bed.

 

When Ochaco felt her legs hit the edge, she let the explosive hero pull her down onto the black comforter with him. When they landed, both let out a soft laugh. The peace they had obtained in that moment would be short-lived, yet they both relished every second of it despite the mound of work still ahead of them.  

 

But for now? For now they could be selfish and lose themselves to one another without a care in the world, even if just for a moment.


Morning was beyond chaotic. The media was a swarm outside of the school and the staff had prepared themselves for another slash at UA’s reputation. The biggest difference this time around was the fact that Katsuki would be joining Principal Nezu and Aizawa at the press conference. It was a risky move, but it was necessary if they had any hope of quelling the fear the public felt.

 

“Are you ready?” Aizawa inquired, glancing sideways at Katsuki, who was dressed in his school uniform, tie and all.

 

Scoffing, the blonde crossed his arms over his chest. “Let’s get this the fuck over with.” The sooner this nightmare was over, the sooner he could go to the infirmary to wait with Ochaco. The rest of the blood she needed for the transfusion was finally arriving and with hope, she was finally going to be rid of that bastard’s Quirk. He wasn’t fond of having this kind of spotlight on him.

 

“Young Bakugou, do you have a moment?”

 

Turning, Katsuki was surprised to see Toshinori standing there, a small smile on his face as he motioned the explosive blonde over. Aizawa gave a short nod and held up three fingers, relaying how much time he had before they needed to join Nezu at the press conference.

 

“I know things have been stressful these past few days,” he said with a shallow laugh. “But I hope that this does not hinder your goal in becoming a Pro Hero.”

 

“It won’t,” Katsuki said simply. “I still aim to be the Number One Hero and leave that shitty nerd behind, but my reasons for wanting to be at the top are different now.”

 

“Oh? What’s changed, Young Bakugou?”

 

“I have something other than pride to fight for.”

 

It was a simple, yet powerful response. It was growth within the explosive hero that no one truly expected to see. It was surprising enough to have seen him open up to someone, even more so to hear him admit that aloud.

 

“Time’s up, Bakugou,” Aizawa said flatly. “Let’s get this over with.”

 

As the press conference went underway, each question the media had was aimed directly at Katsuki. They didn’t hold their punches as they barraged him with question after question, each he answered with a strange calmness. Nezu couldn’t help but be surprised by how well mannered the fiery student was. He half expected a strong of curses to come flying out the second he became overwhelmed, but alas he held strong.

 

“Do you believe the League of Villains are targeting you once again?”

 

“No. I think since the first time I was just convenient, nothing more. They had in their possession a few drops of my blood to use for one of their Quirks,” Katsuki answered, almost deadpanned. Despite his forcefully calm demeanor, he was enraged. He hated every single one of these reporters in front of him and wanted so badly to just blast them. They had zero grasp of the reality of the world and what it meant to be a hero in an age when the Symbol of Peace was gone and a super organization was plotting to basically rebuild the world.

 

Their way of thinking was shallow and it made his nerves fray, but before he could lose his temper, the conference finally began coming to an end.

 

Or maybe just an abrupt end.

 

As the reporters continued their slew of questions, someone from within the crowd shrieked in panic, causing heads to turn and eyes to sweep around in confusion. Toward the back of the reporter mob, one man trembled, his eyes darting from side to side in panic as familiar black lines began to trail along the surface of his skin.

 

The media quickly dispersed, making way to a man whose face was hidden behind a solid white mask, his body clothed in a neatly pressed suit with a lab coat draped over his shoulders. He stood beside the trembling reporter until he collapsed, twitching on the ground as the black lines deepened.

 

In that moment, Katsuki knew who he was looking at and rage boiled his blood as he stood from his seat at the table, ignoring Aizawa’s hand as it shot out to hold his at bay.

 

“Virus….”