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Breaking and Healing

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All Might was no more.

She sat at the bar, scowling at every person that walked her direction. Of course, multiple men tried to start up a conversation, drunkenly flirting at her, and she responded in kind. By completely ignoring them. She was very much not in the mood.

The only true hero, the only hero she believed in, was gone.

Ended because some idiot child who wasn’t even worthy of saving got himself kidnapped. Now, All might, had no power, a fate the hero did not deserve.

All other heros were hypocrites. Men and Women who only wanted, fame, money, or power. Who used their power for their own gain, and claimed they were good and just. How could they say they were heroes when they were just as bad as the villians? The only difference between a hero and a villain is that a villain acknowledges their wrongs while a hero only lies to themselves.

No one deserved the title of hero. Not anymore, after the only one who was different lost that title.

And she was extremely pissed off about that.

And it was all because of one boy. The villains had only wanted him because that ‘hero’ was more like a villain. Because the villains thought the boy would be beneficial on their side. Because that boy was worse than the rest of the hypocrites.

She would take her revenge. He would make that boy suffer.
_______

Kirishima walked slowly down the sidewalk, taking his time on the way back to the Class 1-A dorms. He held not only his own homework but also the one and only Katsuki Bakugou's assignment from Mr. Aizawa himself. The other hero in training was still on house arrest for his fight with Midoriya, much to the amusement of everyone in class and to the annoyance of Bakugou. Kirishima smirked to himself as he imagined how Bakugou might react to the rather large amount of homework given to each student today, because Kirishima himself was very upset at the huge assignment.

But he never even made it as far as the dorm's front door, because suddenly he couldn't breathe. Kirishima froze as some strong force held him back and it felt as if there was some hand covering his face and body. But, that's not possible, there was nobody else around but him. Unless, he thought, invisibility type quirk. Kirishima began to fight desperately against whatever force was holding him back but it was strong and he found it impossible to win against something he couldn't see.

The homework was scattered against the floor at this point, forgotten as Kirishima struggled to get even a single breath in because now he was feeling as if he was about to pass out, darkness flooding the edges of his vision.

That's when he heard the voice.

It was a feminine voice, and he couldn't place exactly where it was coming from, but it was close. Probably right next to him. Yup, definitely someone’s quirk.

"Where is Bakugou?" the voice- definitely a woman- asked. Her voice was extremely rough, and why the women wanted to know where Kirishima's (best?) friend was, he didn't know, but there was no way in heck he was going to let the other hero in training get hurt or taken again. With the thought of not only himself but also his friend in danger, he began to fight more. Nobody else was getting hurt on his watch.

Well, he's certainly been in worse situations.

He obviously didn't respond the the women's harsh question, though it wasn't like he could've said anything because there was an invisible hand against his mouth.

Suddenly the hand was removed and the voice harsly hissed against his hear. "Speak, boy!"

Finally able to breathe again, Kirishima wheezed in harsh, quick puffs of air that only barely reached his deprived lungs. "I am not telling you," he started between breaths, "Anything, whoever you are." The voice practically growled in what Kirishima could only assume was frustration.

Geez, this lady was crazy.

Kirishima couldn't tell what was going on really, why would this random (Invisible?) lady want with Bakugou?

"D*** it." The women seemed to realize that whatever it was she was planning wasn't going to work in the long run and her grip seemed to loosen on Kirishima's body, and relieved, he immediately he started moving against the now distracted women.

But the grip only tightened harder in response.

"No, if I can't have Bakugou, I’ll have you instead.”

Kirishima couldn't even wonder what that meant before something hit the back of his head and everything went black.
____
Bakugou was getting very annoyed.

To be fair, he was pretty much always annoyed, but as of right now, he was even more annoyed than usual. Kirishima was supposed to be back over an hour ago with his homework. Not like he was excited for said homework or even Kirishima. He just wanted to get his homework so he wouldn't get behind, geez.

Still, though, Kirishima should’ve been here by now, and he was getting restless by the lack of anything to do. He had been waiting in the common room just sitting on the couch while everyone else around him was either being unnecessarily loud or unnecessarily trying to bother him.

He turned to Ashido, the pink girl sitting on the side opposite him as she got ahead of her own homework. “Where the h*** is weird hair? I’ve been waiting for my d*** homework for over an hour.”

She glanced up at him and smirked, putting her pencil on her lap. “Aw, is Bakugou getting worried?” she cooed, unafraid to take a jab the exploding-quirk boy.

Bakugou scoffed. “H*** no. I just don’t need to get further on my homework then I already am.” He folded his arms to show his annoyance, an action which only made Ashido roll her eyes and deepen her smirk.

“Uh huh. Just be patient, dude, I’m sure he’ll be here soon.” With that, she picked her pencil back up and continued on her long assignment.

Bakugou looked back at the blank wall he had been looking at the past hour and leaned his head against the back of the couch. He could try to ignore the small twinge of worry sneaking up on him, but the longer his fri- weird hair took, the more the worry manifested.

Not that he’d tell that to anyone, ever.
________________________

Kirishima’s head was pounding. Literally pounding, pain resounding with every thump, thump, thump that banged like drums in his injured skull.

Ugh, head injuries were the worst.

Wait, when did he get a head injury?

His eyes snapped open as his memory finally pieced together. Some woman wanted to know where Bakugou was… or something. Normally, Kirishima would be totally supportive of Bakugou getting some more female friendships, but considering the fact that this crazy lady had been trying to suffocate him he was going to go off on a limb and say that was an all-around bad idea.

It didn’t take long to realize that his arms were tied up behind his back, along with his legs being bound against some kind of rusty chair he was sitting in. The room was dusty and damp, very much the ‘kidnapping aesthetic’ you would expect. So, crazy lady kidnapped him. Great. Kirishima was almost surprised he wasn’t on the verge of panic, but hey, he was a hero in training. He’s been getting used to life-threatening situations lately. That, and his head was pounding too much for him to care.

That was when crazy lady decided to make her entrance.

“Ah, so you’re awake then? Took you long enough.” The woman was no longer invisible, and she definantaly had the crazy mojo all over her. Her dirty blonde hair was in a single, very messed up bun placed haphazardly on the top of her head, and she looked like she had eyeliner smudged all over her eyelids.

Also the possibility that her quirk was simply invisibility was quickly diminishing, or at least the invisibility wasn’t a 24/7 thing like Hagakure. Maybe it was more like short-time camouflage? Geez, he was beginning to sound like Midoriya.

The woman was seemingly waiting for a response but Kirishima definantaly wasn’t going to give one. He wasn’t completely stupid, after all. Don’t give crazy kidnappers what they want.
The crazy lady scowled at this, and practically growled as she spoke. “Listen, boy, you are not here because I want you to be.” Well it’s not like I want to be here either, genius. “This is only a simple miscalculation in my more long term plan.”

“And what would that be, exactly?” He said, speaking for the first time. Maybe talking wasn’t the smartest plan, but at least this way he might get some information out of this freaky woman.

Crazy lady’s scowl only deepened. “You see, hero,” she spit the title out like poison, “Your little friend destroyed something I care very much about, so I am going to destroy him.”

Yup. definantally crazy.

“Who, Bakugou? What on earth did he do to piss you off?” Kirishima asked, and if he was being honest, he wasn’t too surprised. Bakugou pissed a lot of people off.

“He’s the one who caused the fall of All Might.”

Oh.

Oh sh**

“If that hero wasn’t a hypocritical, destructive ba*****, he would’ve never been kidnapped by the League.” Crazy lady continued, now in full on rant mode. Kirishima didn’t know whether to be glad for the info or annoyed by the sheer amount of crazy. “Then All Might would’ve never rescued him. And he never deserved to be rescued by him either.”

Well, this lady sure had some pent up anger. All Might fangirl gone insane? Maybe she’s a believer of Hero Killer Stain’s ideologies, he wondered, and the loss of All Might's power means the loss of the last true hero.

He only blinked in response, not giving any sort of reaction to the lady’s villain monologue. At least he got some pretty decant info. How to use that information, though…

He was still kidnapped, and he still had no idea how to escape and had no idea if anyone was even looking for him.

“So,” he asked, more out of curiosity than anything. Just a stall for time until he got out of here. “What does any of that have to do with me?”

The lady sneered. “Miscalculation, boy. Bakugou wasn’t where he was supposed to be, you were. Even with camouflage, I couldn't just walk into your precious dorms. You,” she said darkly, leaning uncomfortably close to the red-haired hero, “Are only an expendable pawn, bait so i can trap my true target.”

Kirishima gulped, a spike of real fear flaring up his body. He was bait. Just bait.

Expendable…

Kirishima glared, anger welling up inside him. “Bakugou isn’t stupid. He wouldn’t fall for this crap. Especially not for someone like me.” Like you said, expendable.

The woman only smirked and leaned closer. “No… no. I’m being smart about this. I’ve done the research. Bakugou, for whatever reason, cares about you.”

And that was when she hit him.

Right across the face, too. Rude.

He hadn’t had the time to activate his quirk, and now the throbbing in his head had increased painfully. He closed his eyes and clenched his teeth, dropping his head in an attempt to keep his vision from swimming.

“Now, all I need to do is contact him.” She stated her voice a low whisper as she began to search Kirishima, much to his disdain.

She pulled his phone from his pocket and finally backed away from him. Kirishima sighed in relief as she did, though he could tell it would be short-lived.

Crazy lady smirked as she tapped at his phone, but then her smug face turned into a terrifying scowl.

Kirishima chuckled darkly. “You want to use me to bait my friend? Well, you’re going to need the password, genius.” He lifted his head to meet her angry gaze, this time a smirk on his own face. “Guess you’ll just have to find some other way. Not that any way will work,”

Crazy Lady practically growled. “You will learn your place, boy.” She took a threatening step towards him. “Tell me the passcode.”

This time, Kirishima was prepared, and he activated his quirk just moments before her fist collided with his jaw. The woman backed away, surprised as she looked at her now bruised knuckles.

“Ah, I see, that’s your quirk isn’t it?” She asked, so morbidly fascinated that Kirishima didn’t know what to make out of it. “Interesting. Might as well have some fun out if this, yeah? Let’s see how long you can last, hero.”
____________________

It’s been two days.
Two days and still no sign of that stupid, weird haired idiot. Bakugou was way more than annoyed now. He was angry. He was pissed. He was-

Okay fine maybe he was a little worried. Kirishima hadn’t been seen by anyone since after school, not even by the teachers. Aizawa said that the red-haired hero in training had grabbed Bakugou’s homework and left for the dorms.

The teachers were now in a frenzy, and so were most of the students. It hadn’t even been that long since Bakugou himself had been kidnapped, and now it's possible that another student has been taken as well?

After only three hours of Kirishima missing, the teachers holed themselves in the conference room and discussed their plan of action, not taking any risks and going under the assumption that Kirishima had been kidnapped.

And Bakugou was really pissed about that. He had been sitting in his dorm room for the past day, kicking anyone who tried to enter out. He had just been sitting there, waiting. Not like he had anything better to do.

Besides, he owed Kirishima. He was one of the people who provided his escape when he had been taken. Deku had told him after the whole thing was over that Kirishima was the first one to actually convince the others to get him. (Along with Todoroki, surprisingly.) So, Bakugou owed him. Yup, that's it. The only reason he was now extremely determined to find his frie- weird hair.

Well, first of all he needed a plan. And he also-

The vibrating of his phone cut off his sudden change of thought. He sighed angrily and pulled it out.

Then he shot off his bed, running out of the dorm room. He needed to tell somebody what he had just received, and soon.
_______________
He couldn’t hold on anymore.

It had only been a few hours. Crazy lady had no longer been using her bare fists but was now using all kinds of weapons, mostly knives. None of them had pierced his skin, but as the lady continued to slash across his face and stomach, he could feel his quirk reaching its limit. Each attack exhausted him, and each attack began to hurt more than the last.

And Crazy Lady knew it too. As he got closer to his limit, she got closer to her goal. “Are you ready to tell me what I want, boy?” She asked for what seemed like the hundredth time. “Or are you going to suffer even more?”

She expected no answer, and he gave none.

She grabbed what Kirishima believed to be her favorite knife and slashed his stomach once again. Only this time, he could feel blood seeping out of him, and he was in suddenly more pain than he had ever felt before. It wasn’t deep, but he couldn’t stop the short scream that tore out of his throat as he closed his eyes and tried to calm his heartbeat. Don’t panic, don’t panic!

He could practically feel pride radiating off of his torturer as her fist collided with his jaw once again, and he yelled out again as he finally reached his full limit and his quirk had completely deactivated.

He could tell he was going to be in a lot more pain now than he was before, and now he was really scared. And he was so ashamed about that. He couldn’t help the fear that now trembled over his body, and he couldn’t help but hate himself for it. He was a hero in training. Hero’s didn’t get scared. All Might always had a fearless smile. And Bakugou had been in the same situation he was, and Bakugou was never afraid. Ever.

If he was terrified now, who was he to call himself a hero?

The crazy lady smirked. “You’ve finally reached your limit. Now tell me,” She leaned over to him, her face barely an inch from her own. “What is. The password?”

If the situation wasn’t so serious, it might’ve been hilarious. Some crazy lady asking a teenage boy for his phone password. So lame.

But if he gave the password, it would put Bakugou in danger. All the crazy lady needed to bait him was his phone. And even if he was scared, he wouldn’t tell her anything. Not if it puts his friends in danger.

So he lifted up his head and fiercely met her gaze. “I will never tell you,” he said, though it sounded more like a hoarse whisper than a defiant voice.

Crazy Lady sneered. “We’ll see about that.”

And it went on and on for hours, maybe even days. All Kirishima knew was that she would come into the room, torture him for a bit, then wrap up his injuries and leave, saying something about how she didn’t want him dying before she got what she wanted. He didn’t understand anything other than that. And the only thing he knew was pain.

“Tell me what I want to know!” She screamed as she punched his ribs, hard. She was getting desperate, he could tell. It had most likely been a couple days by now, and her plan not going as planned. She underestimated him. But right now, as another broken scream tore out of his throat, he was wondering if he overestimated himself.

He was pretty sure he had broken ribs at this point, along with several other injuries. But then again, he didn’t know what broken bones felt like. He hadn’t exactly broken any before, not with his quirk. All he knew was that he was in so much pain.

He felt like he couldn’t breathe, and his heart was beating so loud he thought it was about to explode inside of him. His brain was on the verge of panic and he was getting more desperate to just get out of here.

He couldn’t even muster the strength to lift up his head anymore, and he could tell he was about to pass out.

Crazy lady growled and lifted up his head by pulling back his hair, causing him to his in even more pain. Her eyes were angrier than they had been the entire time, causing another spout of fear through him.

Suddenly she lifted up her arm and slapped him hard across his face, the sound resounding off the walls around him, echoing for what seemed like an eternity.

“Tell me.”

She pressed her hand against his stomach, causing him to feel every cut flare up in pain at once, and he couldn’t stop himself as yet another horace scream tore out of his throat. “Tell me!”

He couldn’t anymore. It hurt too much. He clenched his eyes shut in anguish and shame. “Six-two-five-seven.” His voice wavered as his chin trembled. “That’s it. Six-two-five-seven.”

Crazy Lady grinned and dropped his head, which immediately fell to his chest. “See, now was that so hard?”

Yes.

He couldn’t stop as the tears started falling down his face.

He wasn’t a hero. He never would be. He was just a coward.

I’m sorry, Bakugou. I’m not as strong as you.

And he would never forgive himself.
_______________________
It had been a text from Kirishima.

Well, Kirishima’s phone.

All it was was a picture and five simple words, and that was all it took to send Bakugou into a rage he hadn’t ever felt before.

The picture was of Kirishima, and at least the hero’s were right about one thing, he had definitely been kidnapped. He was in seriously bad shape, bleeding and bruised everywhere. And that was just what they could see from the photo.

The worst thing about it was they way Kirishima had been looking at the camera. It was like the most defeated and guilty looked he had seen on the weird-haired boy. That look alone made Bakugou want to kill pretty much everyone.

And the text was simple and self explanatory. Central park, 3:00. No heroes.

Three o’clock was an hour and a half from now, and the only people he had told about the text were Ashido, Kaminari, and Sero.

“Look, man, you can’t go!” Sero tried for what seemed like the thousandth time, desperation and panic clear in his voice. He sat on the common room couch in front of Bakugou, and next to him both Ashido and Kaminari were nodding in agreement with their classmates.

Bakugou sneered. “Like he** I can’t.” the other three only sighed, knowing when he was set on doing something, no one could stop him.

Ashido groaned in frustration. “Bakugou, at least tell Aizawa or All Might or someone who actually knows what they’re doing!” She looked at him seriously, eyes flashing dangerously and daring him to disagree with her.

He didn’t. He knew she was right. But his mind kept flicking back to that picture and couldn’t help but panic at the idea that if he told a pro hero, it would only put Kirishima in further danger. Of course his fear didn’t show on his usually stoick face, never one to show what his real emotions were.

“I can’t.” He said, now sounding more defeated than angry. “You know I can’t risk it.”

He looked all of his friend- fellow classmates in the eye. It was then that all four of them reached an understanding, and the other three nodded in a mix of defeat and resolution.

“Be careful,” Kaminari said, speaking up for the first time. The other student was unusually quiet, but even he knew when to be serious when the situation required it.

Bakugou nodded, then stood up to walk to his room. He could tell that this was going to be a long day, and he had little time to prepare for it.

Well, he’d take what he could get. He owed that much to Kirishima, after everything that had happened.
_________

Ashido watched as Bakugou walked up the stairs that led to his dorm room, and immediately turned back to the other two.

“We all know we need to tell someone else, at least Aizawa.” She sait, clenching her fists by her side. “Bakugou can pretend all he wants that he can do it alone, but we all know he can’t”

Neither of the other’s looked at her, but they both nodded.

They all knew they would have to go behind Bakugou’s back, and they might even do it at the possible risk harming Kirishima further. Bakugou hadn’t shown them the supposed picture he received, but Ashido could tell it must’ve been bad if it had shaken the easily-angered boy this much.

But even with that risk, she had to do it, even if it felt like she was betraying two of her friends.

And she could tell that Kaminari and Sero agreed with her.

I’m sorry Bakugou, she thought to herself as she and the others stood up, ready to walk out the door to tell someone who would know what they were doing, but were still just kids. You’re not ready for this, none of us are.”
----------------------
His mind was fuzzy.

It had been fuzzy for a couple hours now, or at least he assumed it had been a couple hours. After crazy lady unlocked his phone (A fact that still made him flinch in shame) she hadn’t touched him, hadn’t even entered the room he was held in. Kirishima was pretty sure he had passed out soon after that, but he couldn't be absolutely sure about anything. He was too tired to care.

He flinched inward as he heard the familiar sound of the door screeching open, alerting him of Crazy Lady’s presence. He tried to lift up his head to look at her, but as he did so his vision spun harder, and he had no choice but to drop his head to his chest once again.

The woman walked around behind him and grabbed his wrists, the movement making him hiss in pain as the haphazard bandages brushed uncomfortably against his injuries.

Then he felt as the Crazy Lady untied him. His arms immediately dropped to his sides, as he was too weary to even try to attack. Moments later, the women moved to his front and untied his legs.

“Time to go,” was all she said, all to giddy, as she grabbed his shirt and started dragging him to the now open door. She growled in anger as he didn’t even bother to move.

“Move, boy, or I’ll force you to.”

The threat was all he needed to start walking, though it was on trembling legs. He couldn’t tell if it was because of the pain or the sudden fear that spiked up him at the simple thought of more pain.

He was pitiful. Weak.

Whatever happened next, he didn’t know. He was too busy concentrating on not falling over where he stood. Soon enough, though, he was shoved harshly in the back of a rather large car. Not before Crazy Lady restrained him yet again. He was sure by now that his wrists had permanent burn marks on them.

“Don’t try anything.” The woman spat, sneering down it him threateningly. It not like he was going to, or like he even had the energy to try anything,’ as she so poetically put it.

The car’s trunk slammed shut in front of him, and he flinched at the sound. His body ached with pain, and the uncomfortable position he was currently in didn’t help.

He laid down, losing the ability to stay up any longer, even if it was just sitting down. He just couldn’t hold himself up any more.

Wherever they were going, he could tell it wasn’t going to be fun.

Though, he couldn’t seem to find the energy to care.
_____________
It was three o’clock.

Bakugou stood in the middle of central park, scanning the crowds of people that walked around him, looking for any sign of a potential villain.

He tapped his foot restlessly, releasing all the energy pent up inside him. He wasn’t nervous, just angry. He would use that anger to his advantage, however, as doing so usually worked in his favor.

He felt his phone buzz in his pocket, and he pulled it out, unsurprised as he saw Kirishima’s name pop up on his lock screen. Unlocking his phone, he read the message.

Follow the car, contact no one.

That was all it said, and he immediately pocketed his phone and looked around for a car, though that wasn’t exactly a specific description.

Then he saw it. There was a huge white van that had a lady, an extremely crazy looking lady, standing beside it. What tipped him off, however, was the fact that the lady was looking directly at him. There was something in her expression, something like complete and utter hatred that burned in her eyes, and he knew.

This was a trap, wasn’t it?

He wasn’t stupid. He knew a trap when he sees one. Why else would Kirishima’s contact him and only him? Or even take him in the first place. Kirishima probably hadn’t done a single bad thing in his live. With a pang of guilt, a feeling he never thought he’d feel, he realized that if it weren’t for him, Kirishima probably wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place.

The women, still looking at him, gave a single nod and walked into her car. Bakugou started running after it, and soon enough the car drove away, slow enough that he could follow it at a reasonably far away distance.

Two blocks away, they finally stopped. They were now in some empty ally, which not surprising. The less witnesses, the better.

The women stepped out of her car and immediately pointed a gun at him, her message clear. Don’t try anything.

Bakugou sneered. “Where is Kirishima?”

The lady smirked and walked closer to him, her hold on the gun still unwavering. “You’re a hard man to find, Katsuki Bakugouu. Or should I say boy? You’re nothing more than an ignorant child.”

Bakugou only deepened his sneer. “Where. Is. Kirishima?” He growled, and he could feel sparks coming out of his clenched fists. He wasn’t here to play games, he was just here to get his fri- Kirishima back. Because he owed him. That's the only reason.

The lady chuckled and opened up the trunk, and Bakugou frowned as he saw what he could only assume was the missing hero in training. As she pulled him out, he felt his anger rise to level he'd never felt before, and that was saying something. Kirishima looked even worse in person, and Bakugou doubted the red-haired boy even registered his presence. He was bloody everywhere, and bruised marked his usual impenetrable skin.

Bakugou looked back up to the crazy women and scowled. “What the h*** did you do to him?” he asked, low and angry. He glared darkly at a woman, a look that most people scoured away in fear from, yet this lady didn’t even falter.

“Oh, you know.” She said nonchalantly, giving now further response. Then her smirk deepened, a sense of accomplishment in her gaze. “It’s your fault you know. All I wanted was you, but you weren’t around. He was.”

Bakugou scoffed. “What, do you want me to join your villain side too? Well guess what lady, it’s not happening.” Ugh, why did everyone want to kidnap him all of a sudden? Frankly it was just getting annoying.

The womans confidant form turned to anger. “No, you stupid child. I want to kill you.”

Oh, well that was new.

Actually it probably wasn’t. Oh well.

He only blinked in response, giving no other reaction. Geez this lady was crazy.

The woman was getting even angrier now. “You don’t understand do you, boy? You’re the reason the last true hero is gone!” She was practically yelling as she spoke, and Bakugou could feel pure hatred radiating out of her voice.

“What the h*** are you talking about?”

Her eyes flashed dangerously. “If it weren’t for you, All Might would still be around to show the world what the meaning of a hero actually is.” Her voice was no longer loud, but low and threatening. “Stain was right. No one else is worthy.”

Bakugou’s eyes widened in realization. She is one of Hero Killer Stain’s followers. Her ideology was that all the other heroes, other than All Might, were hypocrites. And honestly, she wasn’t completely wrong.

He claimed to be a hero. But if even the villains thought he was better oh their side, how could he say he was one? He did more harm than good, and that was proven by All Mights end.

But that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to stop trying. He wouldn’t give up on what he had his heart set on his whole life, he was too determined for that.

But still..

“You’re right.” He said, a deep pit growing painfully in his stomach, filling him with anguish. “It is my d*** fault.” his eyes began to fill with angry tears that he refused to let spill over. “And that’s why I have to make up for it.” he didn’t yell, yet he spoke in an anger that could’ve out burned Hell itself.

“Baku...Bakugou?” A new voice started wearily, and his attention turned to the body that was probably only held up by the woman’s grip on his arm. Kirishima looked at Bakugou tiredly, confusion evident in his eyes. “What…. Are you doing here?”

Bakugou’s entire persona shifted into one he had never really expected. He felt the need to protect the other hero in training at all costs.

“Hey, you dumba**!” He yelled at the other boy. “I’m gonna get you the h*** out of here!” Kirishima’s eyes widened but he nodded, though it seemed to cause him a lot of pain and his chin fell back to his chest.

Bakugou turned to look back at the lady, glaring as energy surged through his entire body.

Suddenly his hands sparked dangerously, and the woman began to show fear for the first time. Bakugou smirked as he began to advance.

Then she turned the gun directly against Kirishima’s head.

Bakugou’s eyes widened and he stopped. s***.

Under normal circumstances, Bakugou would’ve still risked it, and he might have even gotten both of them out of there alive. But these weren’t normal circumstances. He looked at Kirishima’s expression and felt his stomach drop, because his eyes were full of complete fear.

Then he felt his blood boil, but he knew there was only one way out of this if he wanted to ensure Kirishima’s safety. And he did. He didn’t quite know why, but he did.

“Okay,” he said, resolved. Still angry, but resolved. “It’s me you want, right? Let him go, and you can have me.”

His own words surprised him, but he still felt that it was the right thing. Because, he realized suddenly, he saw Kirishima as an equal. As probably the first person who’s safety he put above his own.

His friend.

The woman seemed surprised by this and contemplated his offer. He was willing to give her what she wanted, there was no reason not to accept.

She hummed in response. “That’s awfully heroic of you. Putting someone else over your own well-being.” Then, she smirked cockily at him. “Alas, I’m not buying it. People like you don’t change overnight.”

Bakugou’s stomach dropped again, and he felt a surge of panic filled his body.

“Oh,” she laughed sadistically. “But you do care for him don’t you? Maybe my original plan would be letting you off too easy.” She was practically grinning now, and Bakugou, for probably the first time in his life, felt true fear running through his body. “You deserve to suffer, and killing you won’t do it. But maybe,” she turned to look at Kirishima and adjusted her grip on the gun. “Killing him would.”

“No, no wait-” Bakugou’s heart was beating too fast and he couldn’t think clearly, and as he looked to Kirishima he could see that the other boy was clearly panicked, eyes wide and looking at Bakugou desperately.

“But, I think I’ll have a little more fun with him first. I haven’t had this much for a long tIme.” She looked back to Bakugou. “Take one step and I will kill him right now.”

Bakugou couldn’t do anything. He was useless, so d*** useless.

The women started shoving an immoble Kirishima back to the trunk, and Bakugou couldn’t help but mentally beg him to please fight. He didn’t, of course, and Bakugou couldn’t blame him.

Then he saw his chance.

The crazy lady took the gun off of Kirishima for a moment, just to get him in the trunk, but it was perfect. Her back was turned, and Kirishima was no longer at gunpoint.

Bakugou advance, activating his quirk and jumping into the air. He was about to land the perfect hit when-

She disappeared. He landed, two feet planted on the ground just in front of the car. as he looked around in confusion, no sign of the crazy lady anywhere. Her quirk-?

He reached out for Kirishima, hoping that maybe the lady had ran, when suddenly he heard her appear behind him. Bakugou turned to face her, ready to attack. “Think I’m really that stupid?” She said coldly as she sneered. “Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She raised her gun, aimed directly at him.

And she pulled the trigger.

He braced himself for impact, flinching away as the sound of a gunshot rang through the air. But the impact never came.

But then he heard a scream.

Bakugou’s eyes widened and he turned to look back at Kirishima-

Who was now completely limp in the back of the car.

“Pity,” The crazy lady said in mock sadness. “I was going to have so much fun with him. Ah well, time to go.”

Bakugou didn’t move, he couldn’t move, and he couldn’t take his eyes off of Kirisimas limp, unmoving body. And then he could only see red.

He screamed as his quirk activate to life, heart beating rapidly as he blew explosions in the direction of the women. He wasn’t thinking clearly, and he just sent off dozens of genades and any fire power he had on him in the direction of the women.

His breathing quickened almost painfully as the dust cleared, but there was no one to be seen. The lady was gone again, and as he turned around, he looked in shock as the car drove away. He growled and started running after it, unafraid to use his quirk if it meant catching up to it.

Because he was going to kill that d*** woman.

He didn’t make it far before he heard his name being called, the only noise he could make out of the chaos that was inside his head.

“Bakugou!”

He stopped running at the voice of his teacher, but right as he did so, he fell straight to his knees.

He heard footsteps- at least two sets- running towards him, but he couldn’t be bothered to look. All he could see was Kirishima’s body in the back of that car, knowing full well it was likely he was dead.
__________
Aizawa was shocked, to say the least.

He was shocked about several things. Several of his students came to him in a near panic about an hour and a half ago, saying that Bakugou was about to do something really stupid. Aizawa hadn’t been too worried at first, Bakugou was almost always doing something stupid, but he decided to humor the three younger students and ask what exactly the exploding-quirked boy would do.

“He got a message,” Kaminari had said, uncharacteristically serious. “Saying to meet at Central park at three.”

“And?” Aizawa drawlled, not particularly caring for the conversation.

“And it came with a picture of Kirishima.” Ashido interjected, eyes furrowed and determined. “And it said to come alone.”

Aizawa had immediatily called upon the teachers after the students explained that Bakugou was, in fact, idiotic enough to actually go alone without telling any adult. He had first checked the dorms for proof of the student's story, and much to his dismay, Bakugou wasn’t in them.

The teachers had strung together a quick plan for three of the pro heros- Eraserhead, Midnight and All Might. (Even without his power being sustainable, the others continued to consider him a pro, and even if they didn’t he would’ve probably come along anyway.)

At three o’clock exactly, they all at central park in their respective positions, Aizawa around the middle, Midnight at the north entrance, and All Might at the south entrance. All were prepared and ready for battle, though they would much rather make it out of this without having to fight their way through it.

Several minutes later, and there was no sign of Bakugou. Aizawa was beginning to worry that they were maybe too late. “Any sign of him?” he asked through the comms as he scanned the crowd once again.

“No,” All Might had said simply. “Do you think were too late?”

Midnight spoke up on the other side of the comms. “I think it's likely that the villain and Bakugou didn’t actually meet up here. This is not the kind of place for an exchange, or whatever you want to call it.”

Aizawa hummed in thought. “You’re probably right. Maybe he saw the villain, then the villain led him to an undisclosed location? It’s likely that the villain had figured that Bakugou had, in fact, brought back up and did that so it would prevent any followers.” Aizawa huffed in annoyance. “If that’s the case, were dealing with someone smarter, or at least someone who thinks ahead.”

He heard the other two hum in agreement over, and All might then spoke up. “Well, with that in mind, what's our-”

He didn’t even get to finish before the three of them heard a rather large explosion, not more than a block away. Several of the civilians in the crowd started panicking and running, under the assumption that it was a villain attack. Aizawa only smirked. “Think that’s him?”

He didn’t even wait for a response, he only started running towards the explosions, which were now continuing and getting stronger. Soon enough, though, he saw All might several feet ahead of him with Midnight not to far behind.

He was expecting a severely injured villain and possibly a rescued Kirishima. He knew his students, and he knew Bakugou was more than capable of defending himself or even rescuing others without harm to himself or others.

He was surprised when all he saw was a very panicked-looking Bakugou running after a car that was already turning a corner. “Bakugou!” he shouted, and was thankful when the student seemed to register him, but shocked when the strong-willed boy only fell to his knees.

All Might and Midnight stopped a few feet away from the boy, knowing that Aizawa would probably want to speak with him first.

“Bakugou, what the h*** were you thinking?” He asked coldly, prepared to scold the young student.

Bakugou didn’t move, he didn’t even react. Aizawa frowned at that, usually the student would be the first to react. But he just kneeled there, looking at the ground unmoving.

Aizawa felt a hand on his shoulder, and he turned to look at All Might. He sighed, understanding what the look he gave him meant. Even when he wasn’t in his strong hero form, he always had this understanding and comforting presence about him, and Aizawa knew his usual cold approach wouldn’t exactly be the best in this situation. He nodded at the former- pro and the two other heroes began to walk away, giving Aizawa and Bakugou the space he needed.

“Bakugou,” he tried again, this time speaking softly. The boy suddenly looked at him, and Aizawa had to hold back a gasp at Bakugou’s painted and shocked expression. It was something he never expected to see in the young students face, almost like pure terror.

“Bakugou, what happened?” He asked, trying to sound as calm and gentle as possible. Geez, it was hard to forget that they were just kids sometimes.

Bakugou’s demeanor suddenly changed drastically. His whole face contorted in anger and pain. “I f***having killed him, that’s what!” he screamed, eyes filling with angry tears. “She- she shot him. I-I-I was trying to s-save him but sh-she just, f***ing shot him.” Bakugou head dropped to his head into his hands.

Aizawa backed away in surprise, not expecting that reaction at all.

What Bakugou said didn’t need much of an explanation, and Aizawa could put the pieces together quickly enough. Most likely, the villain wanted to exchange Kirishima for something Bakugou had, or even Bakugou himself, then something happened that caused Bakugou to think he had a shot at rescuing the hardening-quirked boy, probably miscalculated and the villain shot Kirishima and got away. Geez, no wonder the kid was in shock, even if he was typically not the type to show what he’s really thinking.

Bakugou looked back up at him slowly, breathing shakily as he spoke. “I-it’s my fault. It’s a-always my d*** fault.”

“Kid, what are you talking about?” Ugh, he hated acting like this around his students. He wasn’t the type of person to comfort, but he knew that that was what Bakugou needed right now.

“Sh-she wanted me. She b-blamed me for what happened with A-all Might.”

Alright, that was it. “Are you still seriously off about that?!” He yelled. Screw it, he was done with the comforter facade. “Geez, kid, you can’t blame yourself for everything. You want to be a hero? Bad things happen. They always have happened and they always will happen. If you blame yourself for everything that happens, it will only hold you back. So if you wanna go pro, you can’t let it hold you back. Besides, we don’t know for sure that he’s actually dead, all right? So were going to catch this dumba** villian who thought it was a good idea to come after my students.”

Bakugou stared back at him, wide eyes still wet with tears. Then, his student nodded and Aizawa could tell that he was beginning to calm down.

Surprised, Aizawa chuckled. “What, are you actually listening to my lesson for once?”

Bakugou basically ignored him and stood up, hands shoved inside his pockets. Aizawa assumed that was the end of the conversation and stood up as well, but then Bakugou spoke. “You’re right.” he said simply, glancing to the older man. “Thanks,” he said quietly, then walked away to the other teachers, ready to regroup back at the dorms.

Aizawa huffed in slight amusement, momentarily forgetting the hardships ahead. It seemed like he was right after all, comforting wasn’t the best way to get to Bakugou. He should’ve known the short-tempered boy would respond better to scolding.

Heh. Maybe he knew his students better than he thought.
______
The pain was the only thing that tore his mind away from unconsciousness.

Kirishima opened his eyes and groaned. Geez, he was in so much pain. He had thought he was in pain before, but now-

He had woken up the same d*** room he had been in for several days now, tied up to the same chair. the only difference being that there was a throbbing pain in his leg.

What happened…? He wondered, searching his memory for some kind of answer. His memory was extremely fuzzy, he could barely remember anything.

And then it clicked.

Bakugou.

He had fallen for the trap, hadn’t he? d***it. He couldn’t remember it exactly, but the crazy lady had taken him to some ally somewhere, probably for an exchange. Him for Bakugouu. The crazy women wanted Bakugou for revenge, and he wanted to use Kirishima to get it.

The worst part was that Kirishima practically handed Bakugou over on a silver platter, or at least the information necessary to get him.

He only vaguely the whole meetup, he had been on the verge of passing out from the sheer amount of pain he was in, and basically everything had come in a blur. He wanted to slap himself, he was so d*** weak.

Only one thing confused him, however. The crazy lady had played Bakugou right into her hands, so why wasn’t he here? Did crazy lady change her mind or something?

Then he remembered.

He remembered his heart beating rapidly as the women had grabbed him by his arm and jammed a gun barrel against his head, and he remembered as Bakugou’s face flashed with anger and panic.

You deserve to suffer, and killing you won't do it. Maybe killing him would.

Kirishima’s stomach dropped as he remembered those words. She didn’t want to kill Bakugou anymore. She wanted to kill him. But he was only going to do it to, what, hurt Bakugou? He wasn’t stupid, he knew that even if he considered Bakugou a friend, he probably didn’t consider Kirishima one. Why on earth would Bakugou care if he lived or died?

But why would he meet up with crazy lady if it wasn’t to get you back?

Bakugou, for whatever reason, cares about you.

The lady’s words rang through him for the second time, and Kirishima huffed. Maybe the other hero in training did consider him a friend, after all.

A loud creaking pulled him out of his thoughts, and he looked up to see the rusted door opening and the crazy lady walk into the dimly-lit room.

“So, your awake. Finally. You’ve been passed out for nearly a day now.” She walked to him and inspected the bandage wrapped around his leg, which he hadn’t noticed before now. “How’s your bullet wound? It’s not every day I get to shoot someone.” She smirked up at him as he tried to remember when he got shot.

At least that explains the burning pain in his leg.

Then she stood up and walked around him. “At least it wasn’t a wasted bullet, and that b****** thinks you’re dead.”

Kirishima inwardly gasped and turned his head rapidly to face her. “What?!”

She laughed menacingly. “What, you don’t remember? The idiot tried to attack me, so I shot you, and now thinks you’re dead.” She made a tch sound with her mouth as she shook her head in mock sadness. “The real question, boy, is what to do with you now? Killing you would be pointless if he already thinks you’re dead. I could have some more fun with you,” She winked at him as she pulled out a knife from her pocket, and Kirishima backed away in fear. “Or, Maybe I could sell you. Could get a whole lot with that quirk of your’s.”

Kirishima glared at her, though his heart beat rapidly against his chest, He almost wished she would kill him and get it over with. If everyone thinks your dead anyway…

No. he had to get out of here. There had to be some way to get out of here.

The lady seemed to get tired of his lack of response and finally left him alone in the room. Thank goodness for that, because he wasn’t sure how much more of her presence he could handle.

He needed to get out of here, but he had no idea how to do that. He had a useless leg and he probably wouldn't have been able to walk for long periods of time even without it, we were too exhausted and too injured. He needed something, anything.

And then he saw it.

His phone was just laying there, in the corner of the room. The women must’ve just left it there when she was done with it. Well, that was idiotic of her. Good for him at least.

Only problem was, it was several feet away. And he was tied up, severely injured, and too exhausted to even move a muscle. But, this was the only chance he had to get out of here.

Okay, quirk, I need you to work with me here, please.

He concentrated all of his energy into a single index finger. He could feel it working little by little, but he was way too drained, and he knew it wouldn’t last long, but it was enough.

With his finger now hard is rock, he started sewing at the rope that bound his hands together behind his back. Thank goodness they weren’t handcuff, or this would be much harder.

The position was uncomfortable, but several minutes later he felt the rope snap and fall off of his wrists.

Moving his arms hurt like h*** but at least he could move them. He slowly moved to the binds that tied his legs to the chair. Those ones were much easier to get off, luckily, because his quirk wouldn’t last much longer.

Now, for the hard part.

He tried to stand but immediately fell over, and he prayed that the crazy lady didn’t hear the noise that came from the sloppy landing. He breathed rapidly as he looked towards the direction of the phone and started moving toward it, practically crawling.

And then, he made it. It took minutes, and as he reached his destination he was utterly exhausted, completely out of breath.

He grabbed his phone, extremely relieved that far, even if it was only several feet.

Now, all he needed to do was send a simple text.

And then, he needed to do was set up his backup plan.
______________

Bakugou hadn’t spoken a single work in nearly 24 hours.

He mostly didn’t feel like it. He knew that Aizawa was probably right, that it wasn’t his fault, that Kirishima might not actually be dead. But his mind just kept going back to his friend’s body, unmoving in the back of that trunk, and that lady’s sickly satisfied look.

Bakugou felt a shiver down his spine, and he was forced out of his thoughts. He sighed as he looked around his empty room. He was so d*** tired, he couldn’t focus on anything. He figured that was because he hadn’t slept at all since he had gotten back to the dorms.

Not that it wasn’t for lack of trying, though. It was just, as he lay in bed and tried to close his eyes, all he could see was-

Bakugou huffed, not wanting to go down that train of thought again.

Suddenly, his phone rang for the second time in two days. Bakugou frowned, wondering who would try to text him right now, but picked up his phone anyway.

It was another text from Kirishima.

Bakugou frowned and opened the message, wondering if it was the crazy women mocking him or something.

Then he launched off of his bed yet again as the message completely shocked him. It was a location, with a message that simply said ‘Alive.’

Bakugou’s heart beat rapidly against his ribcage, hope filling him. He knew it was likely that it was a trap, but that didn't make sense. The crazy lady acted like she had killed Kirishima, and said he was going to make him suffer. Why would sending him their location do that?

Still, he had to be sure.

Prove it. He typed out slowly, then sent the message.

He almost didn’t expect an answer, but barely a minute later, he got a response.

Last week u fell down the stairs and the rest of us were literally dying ashido spit out her milk and kaminari nearly electrecuted su all

Bakugou snorted, holding back a laugh. If the story wasn’t enough to prove it, the horrible grammar and bad spelling certainly was.

You dumba**. He texted in response.

We’re coming. Don’t die or I'll kill you.
_________________
“Aizawa!”

Aizawa turned in the general direction he had heard his name being called He sighed as he saw Bakugou running towards him. “Bakugou? What do you want now?” The older man asked apathetically.

“Kirishima,” He breathed, catching his breath. “You were right, he’s alive.”

Aizawa frowned, pretending he didn’t notice the relief that filled his body. “What makes you know for sure?”

“I got another text,” said the younger boy, uncharastically explosive. “It’s his location, and proof that it’s him.”

Aizawa nodded, and turned around and continued down the hallway. Noticing the student wasn’t followning he turned back to him. “Well, come on then. I was just on the way to another hero meeting, and you have vital information for a plan of action.”

Bakugou smirked, the most Bakugouu-like expression Aizawa had seen on the boy’s face in days, and nodded as he followed after Aizawa.
_________
It’s been just under an hour.

Toshinori was practically radiating nervous energy, luckily after years of being a pro hero he learned how to transfer that energy into being productive and, well, hiding his nerves.

But, sheesh, this was the second kidnapped student in less then a month. And this time, he didn’t have the power of One for All on his side. Well, at least he was still on the rescue team. Even if the others hadn’t included him on the plan, he would’ve come along anyway. Nothing was stopping him from making sure his student was all right.

He wasn’t so sure about Bakugou coming too, however. He was only aloud to come under the strict rule that he would not attract or attempt to fight, as he hadn’t gotten his Hero Licence yet. But, as he had given the hero's Kirishima’s location, he would be allowed to come. He was also sure that, like himself, if he hadn’t been allowed to, he would have come anyway. And he knew there was no stopping the explosives-quirked boy when he had his mind set on something.

And now, ten pro heros, seven teachers, and entire police unit, and himself were all standing in front of an abandoned warehouse. Typical. Why was it always an abandoned warehouse.

Aizawa walked up next to him, capture weapon at the ready. “You sure you’re ready for this, Toshinori?”

Toshinori looked at the other hero, grinning. “Of course. Who do you take me for?” Aizawa rolled his and huffed in annoyance.

“You know what I mean.”

Toshinori sighed. “Just because I no longer have my quirk doesn't mean I’m still not capable of being a hero.” A fifteen year old boy without one taught me that. “Besides,” he grinned further, patting his gun holster. “I have other means, if it does come to that.”

Aizawa only nodded. “We’re going in in less than a minute.”

Toshinori nodded in response, and Aizawa went to stand by Yamada.

And then, it was time.

It didn’t take long to force themselves into the building. The hard part was finding the villain and young Kirishima, preferably without harming the boy further. Toshinori searched around the warehouse with Aizawa and Yamada, looking for anything suspicious.

When a gunshot rang out, the three of them went running as quickly as possible to where the sound came from.

He entered a room and he saw a woman, a rather young girl with a strange musk of insanity about her, held a gun up to the ceiling. She was surrounded by half a dozen policemen, along with Best Jeanist and a few of his interns.

She sneered threateningly. “Don’t come any closer, or this time I’ll shoot someone’s head off.”

Toshinori reflexively pulled out his own gun, though he didn’t cock it. The police were already going through their ‘we have you surrounded’ speech, so he wasn’t sure how much help he would actually be. Ugh, he was so useless.

Then the women looked right at him, and screamed “You!”

He frowned as she suddenly disappeared, and the police frantically started looking around the room. Toshinori wasn’t as surprised as the others as she reappeared directly in front of him. Clearly that was her quirk, and clearly she had some kind of problem with him. What it was, however, he didn’t know.

“You,” she said again, and expression that he couldn’t cypher present on her features. “Why are you here?”

He gave his trademark grin. “Because I am a hero, and it's my job to help those in need.”

She gasped softly, clearly shocked. “Even after everything that happened to you, even after you lose your power, you still call yourself a hero?”

Toshinori laughed as if he was in his All Might form. “Of course!” he didn’t know what exactly this woman's deal was, but he could tell this was something she needed to hear. “You don’t need a power to be a hero. Some people can only do the best they can with the best they’ve got. That is what it means to be a true hero.” His mind flashed yet again to young Midoryia and his heart swelled with pride. The student probably had no idea that Toshinori had learned just as much as he had over this whole ordeal.

The woman stumbled backwards, shocked. “This- this was all pointless.” She started breathing harshly, and her gun fell to the grown only seconds before she did. “You- you are still a hero.”

Toshinori again didn’t quite understand what epiphany this woman was having, but he figured it was time for this whole thing to finally be over. He glanced over to the nearest policemen, who currently had his gun trained on the women, and signald for him to get ready for the arrest.

Then, he kneeled down next to the still hyperventilating women. Then he asked a question that was on all their minds, neither kindly nor coldly.

“Where is the boy?”
__________
Kirishima could tell something was going on, somewhere inside the same building he was in.

He smirked to himself, knowing it was finally time to get out of here.

He had been relieved when Bakugou had gotten his text and believed it was him, when he said that he was coming.

That didn’t mean he didn’t still try and escape on his own though. He wasn’t some damsel in distress, waiting here for someone to save him wouldn’t be very manly of him. He had two basic plans, the first being to try the door to see if it was unlocked.

It wasn’t.

He wasn’t surprised, it was the main reason he hadn’t tried to escape before He figured the door would be locked, so he looked for other ways to escape. He… didn’t find any. He wasn’t going to lie, the woman was pretty thorough. Even if he could easily cut the rope, there was still no way to get out of the room.

That led to his second back up plan. To wait for crazy lady to come back into the room, and he would get the jump on her, and book it out of there.

Thing is, crazy lady hadn’t come back yet. It's been just over an hour since he’d contacted Bakugou, and he hoped that the idiot friend of his hadn’t just come alone. Again.

Good thing, too, because there was no way he was going to be able to walk out of there alone, much less run.

As soon as he had heard commotion around him, he crawled back to the door and started banging on it and screamed “In here! I'm here!”

And, finally someone opened the door.
__________

Bakugou couldn’t wait a single second more.

He had been pacing around the d*** building for nearly fifteen minutes. Shouldn’t they have gotten Kirishima out of there by now? Had it been a trap? Where the h*** where was everyone?

The arrival of two ambulances startled him out of his thoughts. He knew they were both there for good reason: one for in case anyone else got injured during the rescue, and one for Kirishima. Who was severely injured. Who had, at the very least, been shot in who knows where. Who might be dead, and the rest of them had just fallen for yet another trap.

Aaaaaand he was back to pacing.

He felt extremely guilty about the entire thing. He wasn’t used to feeling guilt. He didn’t feel guilt. The last time he felt guilt this badly was less than a month ago, and ended with him and Deku under house arrest for three days. But Kirishima had been kidnapped because of him, tortured because of him, and shot because of him. But Aizawa had been right, he couldn’t let the guilt hold him back.

His mind, for some reason, thought back to when Bakugou himself had been kidnapped, when Kirishima had done everything, risked everything so save him, even if Bakugou didn’t acknowledge it at first. They were lucky they hadn’t gotten in trouble for doing it, too. Bakugou knew that he had done everything in his power to save his unlikely friend, but in doing so he only made things worse.

That’s it. He wasn’t waiting another d*** second. He stopped pacing and walked towards the front door, uncaring that he was likely being stupid.

Luckily, he didn’t have to find out, because the door opened before he even got there. Suddenly All Might and Aizawa- or in this context he should say Eraserhead- walked out. Well, it was more they like stumbled out of the warehouse, because they were basically carrying dead weight.

Bakugou’s eyes widened as he saw Kirishima, probably on the verge of blacking out from all the blood loss. But-

He wasn’t dead. He was breathing and wearily looking up at him. Bakugou felt a huge invisible weight come off him, and he practically deflated in relief. “Kirishima-!”

All Might and Eraserhead set Kirishima down on the ground next to him. “Hey,” tThe other hero in training said hoarsely, giving a tired grin. “Bakugou.”

“You dumba**,” Was all he said in response, and suddenly he wrapped Kirishima in his arms. If the red-haired boy was surprised by his...hug, he didn’t show it.

“Ow,” Kirishima said quietly after a moment. Bakugou immediately pulled back, but as he did so, he looked awkwardly away. He wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. Nope. Nothing at all.

Though, he was too relieved to care.

“Sorry,” he said gruffly, still not looking the other boy in the eye. “Sorry.”

Kirishima just huffed, amused. “I didn’t know you cared.”

Something clicked inside Bakugou, and it made him angry. Even though the other boy’s tone was jokingly, Bakugou realized that there was truth behind that statement. He looked up at Kirishima, meeting his eyes for the first time. “I care.”

Kirishima’s eyes widened slightly, then he smiled softly. “Okay.” Then he closed his eyes, and his head dropped slightly. “I’m…tired.”

“Bakugou.” Aizawa spoke suddenly. “We need to get him to the ambulance.”

He nodded slightly and stood up, helping All Might pull Kirishima up and start walking him to the nearest Ambulance. It wasn’t long before the emergency vehicle was out of sight and Kirishima was on his way to the nearest hospital.

“Hey,” All Might- well, he guessed he could start calling him Toshinori now- grabbed his attention. “Do you want a ride to the hospital? I’m on my way there anyway.”

Bakugou nodded and followed the other man to his car. He didn’t know what would happen next, or even if everything would end up all right. But he knew one thing for sure.

It wasn’t over yet.

Chapter Text

Kirishima woke up to pure white.

Not even a second after he opened his eyes he squeezed them shut again, the light of the room too much for his throbbing head.

Where… am I?

He tentatively opened his eyes again, this time his eyes slowly adjusting to the light. Blinking, he finally opened his eyes to the room around him.

A… Hospital?

Suddenly memories from the last few days flooded his brain, and he almost had to close his eyes again, as if to hide from the shrill of panic the shot up through him.

He forced himself to calm down, because no, he refused to be weak. Not again.

Pro heroes go through that kind of thing all the time, he was no different. Not if he wanted to be a pro.

Shoving all previous thoughts from his mind, he looked around the room, first noticing a basket of his favorite foods with a note- it must be from his parents. He frowned at that, he hoped he hadn't worried about them too much.

Behind the basket was a grand multitude of other presents and get-well cards and balloons. He huffed out a small laugh at that. He was grateful that people had cared for him, at least.

Then he turned his head the other direction, and was very surprised to see none other than Bakugou Katsuki asleep on a chair next to his bed.

Kirishima didn't move for a second, shocked to see his best friend there. He looked very...calm when he was asleep, it was almost cute. The light filtered through his blond hair in a way that Kirishima could only describe as pretty.

He blushed at the thought. But that is a story for another time.

"Bakugou," he whispered, and reached to nudge his friend. Only, that didn't go as planned because as he did so a shrill of pain filled his body. He hissed in response, and moved his body back to its original position. Nope. Not doing that again.

Apparently Bakugou registered his name being called (or the sound of his friend in pain..?) and began to shift awake.

After yawning, the older teen looked to Kirishima.

His eyes widened a little in surprise. "Kirishima?" The redhead nodded, smiling a little as he did so. Bakugou sighed a little. "You're awake. The doctor said you wouldn't be for at least another day."

Kirishima grinned, though he winced a little at the pain again. "Guess I'm just an overachiever!"

Bakugou huffed. "Then explain your grades, idiot."

Kirishima could tell something was off about the other boy. He seemed… tired. Frowning slightly, he noticed dark bags under Bakugou's tired eyes, and he wondered if the nap he took here was the only sleep he'd gotten in days.

"Are you okay?" He asked, apparently much to the other's dismay.

"Seriously?" Bakugo yelled, though not as loud as usual. "You're the one in a hospital bed, having been unconscious for three days, and you're asking if I'm okay?!"

"Yup!" Kirishima said brightly. Bakugou only sighed and dropped his head in his hands.

"You're so stupid," he said, though there was no real bite to his insult.

Kirishima only chuckled lightly. "But seriously, you look like crap. When was the last time you slept, other then just barely?"

Bakugou didn't even look up from his hands. "Not since before.. You know."

d***it, he'd been worried about that. He had to suppress a flinch as his brain automatically flashed to that day, the one he barely remembered. The one where that women met up with Bakugou and tried to… tried to-

He was forced into awareness by his head suddenly being pulled up and a gun shoved against his head.

His vision swam, but he saw a familiar figure in the distance. It was.. Screaming something. Bakugou?

He could feel himself leaving consciousness as his head throbbed, but then he was thrown backwards and he landed, and barely a minute later he heard the loudest noise and the most pain he had ever felt seared through his body-

"Kirishima!"

Bakugou's worried face replaced his vision, and Kirishima vaguely registered his arms held in place by the other teen's hands.

His heart was pounding and he breathed harshly, but he could feel himself calming down. If only a little bit.

"You looked out of it for a second, what happened?" Bakugou all but barked out, staring at Kirishima intently. "Are you okay?"

Heh. Bakugou asking if he was okay. Never thought he'd see the day the other boy acted like he cared.

Distantly, he remembered the last conversation he had before he woke up here.

'I… didn't know you cared.'

'I care.'

Warmth flooded his system as he thought about the conversation. It seemed Bakugou did think him a friend, after all.

"Yeah, I'm..I'm fine."

Bakugou looked a little relieved, and he silently sat back down in his chair.

"You should get some rest," Kirishima said suddenly. The older teen still looked pretty worse-for-wear, and if he hadn't slept in at least three days, Kirishima was going to force the other boy out of here to get some proper sleep.

Plus, Bakugou was probably here because he was worried about him, and he was fine. He didn't need anyone losing sleep over him. Besides, he wasn't weak. He could handle himself for a little while.

"I just got some rest," Bakugou frowned. "And you just woke up."

Was.. was Bakugou pouting? That was a sight for sore eyes.

"Actual rest. In an actual bed. For at least eight hours."

Bakugou sighed. "Fine." Kirishima watched as he stood up and slowly made his way to the door. Looking behind his back he said "By the way, all the others are worried sick, they won't shut up about you. They'll probably be in now that they know you're awake.

Then, without another word, Bakugou walked out the door and closed it quietly behind him. Kirishima smiled to himself, knowing exactly who the 'others' were that his friends were talking about. The fabled 'Bakusquad' and Ashido loved (and Bakugou hated) to call it. He could only assume the large assortment of gifts to the left of him were from his closest friends, Ashido, Kaminari, and Sero.

Suddenly, a yawn hit him, and he figured he should take his own advice at get some more sleep, especially if his crazy friends would be coming in later.
_________________________
Bakugou sat restlessly on the dorm room couch, not having moved from that spot in at least two hours.

Kirishima would be coming back today.

It had been a little over a week since everything happened, and in Bakugou's opinion, that was too early. He knew for a fact that Aizawa had offered Kirishima to take some time off, but for some reason that idiot declined. Bakugou scoffed at the thought.

When he had been kidnapped, he had been secretly relieved that it was over summer break, and that he had been practically forced to be on house arrest for around a month. He had needed that time, he still has nightmares about the whole ordeal, and that was months ago.

Kirishima had only been back a week, and his.. Experience was much worse. But he hadn't been forced house arrest because there was no threat of the league of villains, as that women had no correlation with them, and Kirishima was likely in no danger.

Bakugou was still pissed, though.

It was his fault in the first place. Kirishima wouldn't have been taken if it wasn't for him.

He almost couldn't help but hate himself for it.

He hadn't had any real sleep in days, not even when Kirishima forced him out of his hospital room. It wasn't for lack of trying, it was just everytime he did, vivid memories would plague his mind.

When he had nightmares about his own kidnapping, they were more extreme than the actual experience, alternate endings that, when he woke, were very illogical. But now? His nightmares weren't extreme at all. Every thought or image his brain threw at him was something that had actually happened.

Kirishima nearly dying. Having been tortured for days.

And it was his fault.

So it wasn't like he deserved sleep, anyway.

What was that saying again? No rest for the wicked. Bakugou huffed in amusement, he was pretty sure he created a whole new meaning to the phrase.

"Bakugou!" He nearly flinched at the sudden noise, and he did flinch when suddenly arms wrapped around his neck.

The slime monster forced its abstract body in his throat, choking him and he couldn't breathe-

The man's scarred hand gripped the back of his neck and he was forced backwards as purple darkness warped around him, Deku screaming his name and running towards him-

The women appeared directly behind him and he turned, then froze at the sight of the gun pointed at him, then fired and he prepared for the inevitable pain but nothing came, then he turned around as he heard a scream-

"Get your disgusting hands off me," He growled, turning to a very ecstatic Kaminari beaming at him.

"Good to see you too, Bakugou!" The yellow haired idiot laughed. "Kirishima's gonna be back any minute, the welcome party is basically ready."

Bakugou scoffed at the reminder. The welcome party. Franckly, he thought that was stupid. Kirishima didn't need a dumb party to know he everyone was excited he was back okay. Well, mostly okay.

But before the explosive boy had the time to respond, the door banged open and the literal sun on earth stepped into the 1-A class dorms.

"Kirishima!" Half the class suddenly appeared, and the other half had already been waiting in either the kitchen or near the common area. Ashido jumped up to the red-headed boy and looked about ready to hug him, though she restrained herself as she registered his appearance.

His hair was, for once, down, and he had a cast on his left leg and his right arm (In the background he decidedly ignored Kaminari's and Sero's jokes about 'Fullmetal Alchemist"), As Recovery Girl did have limitations on her quirk and how much she could heal at a time. Kirishima himself looked exhausted, though he still sported his usual grin and determined fire in his eyes.

Though, Bakugou realized with a frown, his grin was forced.

Guilt gnawed at him as he looked at his friends appearance, but he had other things to worry about at the moment.

"Don't smother him, you dumba**es!" He all but yelled at the now growing crowd around the newly-returned classmate. He shoved Glasses and Round Face away as he reached Kirishima, then turned to face the class as a whole. "Have you ever friken heard of 'personal space'?"

He almost expected the usual protest from Kirishima when he became rude and yelled at the class, or random extras, but none came. He turned to Kirishima, and barley hid his surprised when Kirishima looked relieved.

The class realized they might have been a little pushy and backed off some, though not enough for Bakugou's comfort, and he glared lasers into anyone who dared step closer.

"Hey, Kirishima!" Deku smiled brightly as he spoke. "We have a welcome home party set up, if you want to join us!"

Bakugou glared at his fated rival, but said nothing. He looked back to Kirishima to see the other teen giving an (obviously forced) grin and small laugh. "Sorry man! Usually I'd be totally down to hang with you guys, but tonight I'm beat. I think I'm just going to go to bed."

Deku nodded though he, and several others, were visibly disappointed.

Only a select few were allowed to visit during Kirishima's week in the hospital, mostly only the 'Bakusquad', being his closest friends. Bakugou, however, was secretly happy that only he and a few of the teachers had been allowed to visit while Kirishima had yet to wake up.

Kirishima began the short walk to the elevator, with Bakugou following slowly behind. He was almost surprised no one else followed him, but most seemed to realize that Kirishima wanted space right now.

Distantly, Bakugou thought maybe he should back off too. Oh well, worst case he could just say he was going to bed, too. It was almost nine, after all.

His worries disappeared, however, when as soon as the elevator doors closed, Kirishima let out a huge sigh of relief.

"Thanks," Kirishima said, turning to the other teen.

Bakugou frowned. "For what?" It's not like he had done the crappy-haired boy any favors.

Kirishima smiled up at him, though it wasn't his forced grin he had on earlier. "Getting me out of there. And for, you know, all the other stuff."

Bakugou scoffed. "It was the least I could do." It was because of me you were there in the first place. "Are… you okay?" He asked the question awkwardly, he wasn't used to.. Being nice. Or concerned. Or having friends.

Well, at least he was trying. That, and he was too tired to act like himself.

Kirishima huffed and looked away. "As 'okay' as I'll ever be."

Bakugou frowned, not looking away from the other teen. He didn't sound okay. But.. he didn't know what he was supposed to do in this situation.

He didn't do 'feelings.'

But right now, he kinda wished he did.

Kirishima turned back to him and met his gaze, and forced another smile. "But, yeah. I'm good as new, I just need to get back to my normal routine, and i'll be good."

He.. could understand that, actually. After he had been taken, the best thing he found he could do was train. To keep moving. He nodded, and the elevator door beeps as it opened to their floor.

He nodded goodnight to Kirishima, then went into his room, preparing himself for another long night of little sleep.
___________________________
Izuku was getting worried.

Well okay fine, he was always a little worried. It's not his fault he was probably too kind for his own good.

But this time, he felt he was justified. Kirishima had just been kidnapped and tortured, after all.

The whole class had noticed a shift from their usual dynamic. Kirishima was basically the glue that tied them all together, he had a natural talent at uniting people, become friends with practically everyone. He had even been able to become best friends with kacchan, let alone befriend him in general.

But now something was different. Something was simply off about Kirishima.

Izuku could tell when someone was forcing a smile. He had done enough analyzing and studying of practically everyone to be able to do so. He knew when Kirishima's bright grin was hiding a tired, and possible scared, expression.

He was also very...tense. He flinched a lot at everything, though most of his classmates pretended not to notice. Everyone was all too ready to force things back to normal, most of all Kirishima. But Izuku knew it couldn't- shouldn't- be forced. Kirishima needed help.

Izuku hated the stereotype that getting help, or admitting needing it, made one weak. It did not- if anything it made them stronger. He knew that most, if not all, heroes needed some kind of help. Hid some kind of fear behind their fearless actions. But what people needed to realize was that that was okay.

He could tell Kirishima thought himself weak. He wasn't. What he had gone through had made him anything but.

He could also tell that Kacchan wasn't okay either.

Izuku realized pretty early on that he had major guilt that was eating him alive.

It had only been around a week since Kirishima had been back from the hospital, and since then Kacchan hadn't let the other teen out of sight. Not that Kirishima seemed to mind, but Izuku could see the expression on Kacchan's face when he thought no one was looking. His usual determination was gone, replaced with a timidness and fear and guilt that did not belong on his face.

Kirishiima had not noticed. In fact, he probably thought the reason that Kacchan wasn't leaving him alone was because he thought Kirishima was weak.

Izuku was borderline annoyed at the stupidity of the two of them.

Kirishima wasn't weak, and Kacchan didn't think so either, it probably hadn't even crossed his mind.

What Kirishima hadn't been through wasn't Kacchan's fault. Kirishima hadn't even considered that a possibility.

Izuku sighed, momentarily breaking out of his thoughts as he ran a hand through his curly green hair. Even thought both of his classmates were being very idiotic, they needed eachother.

The fact that one had the other was probably the only reason they were (at least somewhat) sane.

Hopefully both would build the other up, just as they had before this whole mess happened in the first place.
_______________________________
The first time it happens is, thankfully, on the walk back to the dorms after class.

Because of the whole 'kidnapping' (Kirishima cringed at the thought) incident, school had been cancelled for two weeks, though the students were still required to stay in the dorms. The first week was while he was still hospitalized, and the second was basically a recovery/readjustment period for the class.

Meaning, this was their first day of school since he had come back.

Kirishima huffed quietly as he shoved his hands into his pant pockets, risking a glance to the other teen walking next to him.

Bakugou had been.. Different science Kirishima had come back. It was kind of hard to explain. Nicer? And it wasn't really just towards Kirishima, either. He wasn't a never-ending ball of anger that could explode at any second anymore. He seemed… sadder.

Kirishima wished he could do something for his best friend, especially after all Bakugou had done for him. But what could he do? He was no one special.

He sighed, letting himself relax into the companionable silence that had fallen over them as they lagged behind the rest of the class. Bakugou wasn't much of a talker on the best of days, and Kirishima, despite popular belief, did enjoy moments of silence. The walk was a familiar one, as he and Bakugou did this practically every day after school before the whole mess happened. It was nice. Nostalgic even.

He smiled at the thought.

The road took its usual turn, and Kirishima suddenly froze at the realization.

This… this was where it happened. Where it all started.

Don't panic, don't panic, nonononono.

He felt his heart rate picked up, and he had to force himself to control his breathing. Calm down…

Bakugou had noticed him at this point, and Kirishima vaguely registered his friends concerned voice, but suddenly his head was ringing and

Invisible hands wrapped around his throat and he couldn't breath, panic filled his body because it was her, she was back and she was going to cause so much pain and she wanted to hurt Bakugou, and she would because he was weak, weak, weak….

He wasn't unbreakable.

"Kirishima?"

He couldn't see anything, only black surrounded him, but he knew he was back there. He was back, he was back, and oh s*** she was going to- going to-

"Kirishima!"

Distantly he heard someone screaming, someone was in danger, someone, who?

Suddenly he saw him, Bakugou. What was he doing here? He had to leave, she would hurt him. He screamed a warning, get out of here! But then She pulled it out, aimed it, and fired-

And Bakugou fell-

He couldn't breathe couldn't breathe ohgoshwhatwashappening-

"Kirishima!"

His brain snapped into focus, his eyes locked into concerned red ones. Wha.. what?

He looked around, but only Bakugou was there, holding onto his arms. He was on the floor, the other teen kneeling beside him.

"Baku… Bakugou." He whispered, his breathing out of control. He frowned, confused. Wasn't he just-? He let out a single harsh breath, feeling lightheaded. His face was wet, had he been crying? What just happened?

A panic attack. He had just had a friggin panic attack.

Da**it, he was so weak.

"Kirishima? Are you-" Bakugou frowned, seeming unsure what to say.

But before he could say anything else, Kirishima practically launched forward and wrapped his arms around his friend.

Bakugou immediately tensed up, and if it were any other situation, Kirishima would've laughed at his very socially awkward friend. But it wasn't so all Kirishima did was hug him. The other boy began to relax, and even go as far as to return the gesture. Though very awkwardly, Kirishima noted with a slight smile.

"Thank you." He mumbled quietly into Bakugou's shoulder. Weak or not, Bakugou did just snap him out of it.

"What? Why?" Bakugou's gruff voice sounded next to him, confused

Kirishima's small smile widened, if only a little bit. "Just, say you're welcome, Bakugou."

The other boy grunted. "Um. You're welcome. I guess."

Not a lot of other people got to know the real Bakugou, the one who wasn't always angry or explosive. The one who was kind, and caring, and human. But he did, and he was thankful for that. Bakugou was, in all seriousness, the best friend he had ever had.

So, If Bakugou was around, he wasn't worried about anything. Bakugou was strong, relentless, a hero.

All in all, everything he wasn't.

For now, he could live with that.
______________________
It was that night.

Bakugou stood outside the warehouse, practically drilling holes into the door with his glare. This was taking them so long? It was only a simple rescue mission. In and out. It shouldn't take nearly this long.

He was getting impatient. Seriously, if they weren't out within ten seconds, he was going to barge in there, hands blazing.

What if it was a trap? What if something happened to the teachers and pro heroes? Were they okay? Had they found Kirishima yet? Ugh, that was it. He was going in.

He barged through the door, ready to start fighting at any given notice.

Yet, no one was there.

The warehouse was dark and seemingly empty. Ominous. Where was the fight?

"Hello?" He called out gruffly, yet only silence responded.

Tense, he walked through the barley lit hallway. Still, he saw no one. Anytime he saw a door, he opened it, expecting someone behind it.

There never was.

Finally, he reached the last door, praying that someone, anyone was behind it.

A massacre greeted him.

He had to refrain from screaming in shock and fear at the sight. Everyone, over a dozen people who had come to the rescue lay on the floor, dead. Some of the world's greatest heroes now gone forever.

"No," he said, voice cracking. His eyes scanned the room frantically, stopping at the sight of his teacher and his hero. Both Mr. Aizawa and All Might were among the casualties. "Nonononono, It can't-"

Shaking, he brought a hand to his mouth. One villian did this?

Then, his eyes hit the center of the room. And this time his scream couldn't be stopped.

Tied to a metal chair, bloody and expression filled with a frozen fear, was Kirishima.

His heart stopped at the sight.

"No!" Bakugou yelled brokenly as he ran to his friend. Kirishima was dead kirishima was dead kirishima-

It was his fault-

He couldn't breath, he couldn't think.

His fault, this was his fault. If he hadn't, if he wasn't-

Bakugou choked back a sob.

Who did this?

"I did."

The voice came from behind him, and he flinched at the sound. Who-?

He turned and suddenly he was face to face with himself. The other him smirked evilly at him as his hands flickered with explosions.

"Or," said the other him, "Did you?"

His stomach dropped and he fell to the floor, eyes squeezed shut. What- what was happening?

He opened his eyes and the other him was gone, but the room was alite with fire. He looked around frantically for the source but then he realised that his hands-

His hands were the source, He was the source. He looked around the room with dread. He had killed them all he was a villain he was a monster-

The fire suffocated him and he couldn't breathe-

Bakugou woke up with a scream, tears streaming down his face.

It was a nightmare, just a nightmare.

He tried to calm his breathing as he realized he had been hyperventilating, though his body was shaking and his heart was pounding too hard for him to get any real concentration.

That had been the worst one in a long time.

He was used to nightmares, he could barely go a month without having at least one. But he had been having them every night since Kirishima-

He closed his eyes, refusing to think about it.

Whatever, though. It's not like he needed anyone's pity. Or like he deserved anyone's help. He could and he would live with this himself. He had before, and he will again.

'Yeah, solid plan, Bakugou.' Spoke a voice of reason in his head that sounded strangely like Kirishima.

He shook his head, ignoring the thought.

Seconds later, he heard a scream.

He reacted almost immediately, jumping out of his bead to find the source. He narrowed his eyes, daring it to happen again.

Another shout came from behind the wall across his room…...Kirishima?

His brain automatically assumed the worst, mind still addled with images from his recent nightmare. More villains? Again?

He ran to the next room and banged the door open, immediately taking a defensive stance.

Yet, no villains greeted him.

Only Kirishima, moving around frantically is his bed, eyes closed but expression pained and fearful.

Oh.

"Hey," he ran up to the other teen, trying to shake him awake from his own nightmare. "Kirishima, wake up!"

Kirishima gasped awake and quickly sat up, nearly hitting Bakugou in the head. The red-head was practically wheezing in his attempt to get air, and he barely seemed to register Bakugou's presence.

He had yet to let go of Kirishima's arms, and he made no move to do so. Instead, he tried to whisper words of comfort, though since he was absolutely terrible at that, he basically just whispered 'Breathe,' 'It's okay', etc while rubbing his arms. At some point he had ended up criss-crossed in front of him.

Eventually Kirishima calmed down to the point where he was breathing (mostly) normally and looking down at his lap.

Bakugou dropped his arms and opened his mouth to speak, though cut himself off as Kirishima leaned over and dropped his head onto Bakugou's chest.

And then started crying.

Sh**sh**sh**sh**sh**-

"Hey-" Bakugou groaned internally, he was so bad at talking like an actual human being. "Hey, it's okay-" he tried to rub the other boy's back, though it came out as more an awkward pat.

Kirishima laughed, though it came out somewhat strangled. "It's okay, Bakugou, I know what your trying to do. Just-" he sniffed, "Stay like this for a minute. Please."

"Okay," He whispered, not really sure what else to say. They stayed like that for a few minutes, sitting together in silence.

"Hey," Kirishima spoke up suddenly. "Can- can you stay here tonight? Sorry, I just-"

"No, it's fine… I'll go grab a futon or something."

Honestly, the request relieved him. The image of Kirishima, dead, tied to a chair still stayed fresh in his mind.

He wasn't getting any sleep tonight, that's for sure.

But if Kirishima needed his help, honestly, it was the least he could do.
______________________________
The next day, Bakugou couldn't focus in class. He was too friggin tired.

He felt like he hadn't gotten any sleep in a week, which wasn't far from the truth.

After the nightmare last night, he had yet to get any more sleep. Not surprising, of course, but that didn't mean it didn't friggin suck.

Also, he was worried about Kirishima.

Yeah, yeah. Bakugou, caring about people? Sure.

Still. Considering his best and possibly only friend had been kidnapped and tortured, and was currently addled with nightmares and panic attacks, he felt he was within his right to be worried.

That, and Kirishima was still doing it.

Pretending to be happy when he wasn't. Pretending to smile when it was clearly forced. Something about that made Bakugou really, really angry.

But he didn't know what to do. It was his own fault that Kirishima had been taken in the first place. It was his own fault he wasn't a good person.

Do I even deserve to want to be a hero?

The sudden thought made him flinch. Being a hero was something he had wanted his whole life, something he had been working toward his whole life. But…

Looking to Kirishima, he wasn't supposed to see the other boy was still smiling, still trying to act normal. Even though he had been through something horrible, he was still trying. Still happy, still there for other people. Still strong.

Kirishima was, without a doubt, the strongest person he had ever known. He deserved to be a hero. In Bakugou's opinion, he already was one.

But Bakugou never would be. He could never be as kind or heroic or strong as Kirishima. He could never be as good as Kirishima.

His head began to hurt. If he wasn't a hero, what was he? He looked down at his desk as his eyes began to burn with tears, fearing the answer.

"Kacchan?" he blinked away the unshed tears and turned at the quiet whisper behind him.

"The h*** you want, you d*** nerd?" He muttered angrily under his breath, glaring at the green haired boy.

Deku didn't even flinch anymore, and a small part of Bakugou was glad the younger teen had finally, it seemed, grown a spine.

Though, it happened to just be more annoying at the moment.

"Are you okay, Kacchan?" He asked, a look of genuine concern glinting in his eyes.

Bakugou scoffed. "I'm fine. Leave me alone."

There was none of the usual anger or bite behind his words, however, and he knew Deku could tell. The other boy kept looking at him with his stupid pity.

Whatever. Why should he care about what that stupid nerd thought. He was fine.
_____________________________
Okay, so maybe he wasn't fine.
____________________________
Alright, that's it.

Izuku was done with their crap. He had given it a week, and both Kacchan and Kirishima were still being stupid.

He had mentioned it to the 'deku squad' as apparently people called it, and they had basically blew it off. The only one who seemed to remotely agree with him was Todoroki.

Nobody else could tell. Nobody else realized that the two other boys in question were both suffering and not telling the other about it.

So, after school that day, he decided to take matters into his own hands. "Kacchan!"

The older teen didn't even glance up from his place on the common room couch. "What."

Izuku stomped determinedly in front of him. "Stop it."

Kacchans finally looked at him, but he could feel his glare burning holes into his head. "Stop what, exactly?" he said, as if daring him to say anything else.

Izuku was glas no one esle was around, because now he could say "Stop being stupid. It wasn't your fault."

Kacchan frowned as if confused as to what Izuku was talking about, but then his settled back into his previous glare, only… angrier. "Leave me alone. You don't know what you're talking about."

He started to move to leave, but Izuku stood in front of him. Kacchan only glared harder.

"It wasn't your fault." He said more sincerely. Kacchan tried to ignore him and go around him, but Izuku only stood in his way, refusing to give it up.

"Leave me alone!" Bakugou all but screamed, practically simmering with…. Not quite anger, but desperation.

"Bakugou."

He spoke calmly, but the intensity of the name alone made Kacchan freeze, still refusing to look at him.

"It wasn't your fault."

Kacchan's lip and chin trembled, if only barely, but Izuki still saw it. Then, finally, Kacchan turned to face him, eyes watering with unshed tears.

"Yes, it was." he spoke quietly, brokenly, so un-Kacchan like it almost made Izuku stumble back in shock. The only other time he'd seen the other boy like this was during their fight after All Might…

This was just as bad as back then, if not worse. He needed serious help.

Kacchan shoved past him and all but ran to the elevator, clearly headed to the sanctity of his room.

Well, that worked.

Izuku sighed in defeat. Kacchan always was stubborn.

Time for plan B.
____________________________
"Kirishima, hey, It's me!"

Izuku knocked on the door, though it almost seemed as if no one would answer. Which.. Was unusual for Kirishima.

Then, finally, the door opened, and a very groggy Kirishima opened the door.

"Midoriya, hey.." He yawned, rubbing at his very tired eyes. "Sorry, just taking a nap…"

Izuku smiled brightly. "No problem! I just wanted to talk to you about something. Can I come in?"

Kirishima blinked, as if almost unsure. "Yeah, sure man, c'mon in."

He followed the red-head into the room, and was somewhat surprised to see a futon on the ground. Then, with some after thought, realized he probably shouldn't be.

"So, wazzup?" Kirishima spoke up, clearly curious.

It wasn't like Kirishima and Izuku weren't friends, they just weren't as close as they were with some of their other friends. So Izuku all but barging into his room was a little unusual.

How to approach this, however..

"I'm worried about Kacchan."

Ah, yes, the blunt approach. Ever the genius, Midoryia.

"Bakugou?" Kirishima asked, confused. "Why?"

Izuku sighed, wondering how much he should say. "It's just… he's been off since, you know…"

Kirishima raised a single eyebrow. "Yeah? So have all of us, man."

Ugh, he clearly wasn't getting it. He opened his mouth to further explain, but before he could get even a single word out, Kirishima continued.

"Dude, Bakugou's the strongest guy I know. He doesn't need help, or certainly being worried over."

Izuku just looked at him, mentally facepalming. "Look, he-"

Kirishima sighed, "Midoriya. The only thing different is-"

Alright, that's enough of that. "Kirishima!" The other boy froze, suddenly tense. In hindsight, yelling at the torture victim was probably not the best idea. "Kacchan blames himself for what happened."

Kirishima frowned. "Why would he…?" Then his face fell in realization. Oh. Then he shook his head in denial. "No, that doesn't make sense. He's too strong for that."

Izuku shook his head. "Look, you can believe it or not, but Kacchan…" Izuku trailed off, unsure how to finish. "He might not be as strong as you think he is."

He said nothing else, only walking out of the room as Kirishima looked at him in confusion and a growing concern for his friend.
_________________________________________________
It's not like Bakugou's never had a panic attack before.

He knew how to get himself out of them, he's been having them since the sludge monster. He knew how to control his breathing and calm himself down. On the exterior, at least.

But he's never had one in front of other people before, if you didn't include his parents.

It happened in school, during class. When everyone else was silent and listening to Aizawa's lecture.

He knew the signs for when starts happening. Trembling, racing heart, sweating. So he knew when an almost overwhelming sense of panic came over him, that he had to get over there as soon as possible. So, he raised his hand, asked to go to the bathroom, and barely waited for a response before he practically ran out of the door.

He didn't make it that far. He found a quiet hallway and practically fell over, now sitting and leaning his head against the wall.

Breathe, breathe, breathe..

His vision became distorted, and he could feel ice running up his veins. Closing his eyes, he willed himself to calm down before this escalated, taking deep breaths and allowing himself to relax.

The first time he had a panic attack, he hadn't known what was happening. It happened on the car ride to school, and he hadn't been able to calm down completely for almost an hour. His mom had to check him out for the day.

But that was almost two years ago. And he still had them, and if he didn't calm himself down quickly, it would be just as bad as the first time, his brain shooting him images of the most unspeakable horrors that just so happened to, well, happen to him.

Not fun.

Lucily, today he managed to calm himself down. A few minutes later he had his breathing under enough control that he could go back to class.

Quickly, he shot his mom a text. Had an attack in class.

His mom wanted to know every single time he had an attack or a nightmare, to keep an eye on him and make sure he was doing okay. Even though his mom seemed like the physical lecturer type, she was actually a pretty good mom. Not that he would ever say that aloud. To anyone. Ever.

[need me to pick you up?}

{No, calmed myself down. Im fine.}

Sitting back down in his seat, he could practically feel Kirishima's gaze on him. He turned to face said red-head, waving him off.

He was fine, after all.
________________________________

Kirishima was beginning to fear Midorya was right.

Maybe Bakugou wasn't as strong as Kirishima thought. Not after he came back from the 'bathroom' looking like he had just seen a ghost.

But, that didn't make sense. Bakugou was the strongest person he knew, he wouldn't, couldn't be bothered by trivial things like, like-

Being upset his friend was kidnapped and tortured?

Being kidnapped himself?

Thinking it was his fault Kirishima had gotten taken in the first place?

That last one still didn't sit well with him.

Why on earth would Bakugou blame himself? Yeah, sure, if he hadn't been super villainous at the sports festival, he wouldn't have gotten kidnapped, which would mean All might would still be a Pro, which would mean Crazy Lady wouldn't have ever wanted revenge, and wouldn't have taken Kirishima to get that revenge.

Okay, maybe he could see why Bakugou might blame himself.

But it's not like he blamed him!

He sighed. Seriously, he didn't. He hadn't even considered thinking that. But, looking at Bakugou on the other side of the classroom, he realised that Bakugou probably did.

Well, crap. That explained a lot.
__________________________

Kirishima lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling above him.

He was almost too afraid to sleep.

He hadn't not had nightmares since… well, everything that happened. And he would be lying if he said he hadn't exactly had any before that, especially with everything that has happened to Bakugou.

That felt like so long ago.

Recently, however, his dreams were worse than they had ever been.

They were filled with images of that women, of actual memories of things that had actually happened. There was something worse about nightmares that weren't just figmints of his imagination, but actually real.

He shivered at the thought.

There were other things too. Other ways it could've ended. Ways it almost did end.

Himself dead. Bakugou dead. Those two things alone were so close to being a reality, so close to actually happening, that his subconscious made it seems af if they did happen. Over and over again, every night.

Thus, the lack of sleep.

Sighing, he turned to his side, looking to the boy who slept on the floor next to his bed. Neither Bakugou or Kirishima mentioned it after that first night, but the anger-prone teenager had slept in his room every night scene. Kirishima, for one, was grateful. Just seeing Bakugou, alive, almost peaceful, in his room calmed him down if his racing, panicking, thoughts became too much.

That, and practically every night when his brain was addled with horrible nightmares, Bakugou would wake him, comfort him, and never speak of it again. He never judged Kirishima, not once. Never said he was weak, or anything like it.

He swore, if anybody called Bakugou evil, villionus, or anything remotely similar, Kirishima would have to physically restrain himself from killing them. Because Bakugou was, in fact, the most heroic person he had ever met, despite how he might act.

Smiling to himself, he turned back to the ceiling. He would be okay, with Bakugou's help, he would be okay.

A sudden yelp startled him out of his thoughts.

Quickly sitting up, he looked frantically for whoever distruped the silence. Who..?

Eyes darting to Bakugou, the sudden realisation dawned on him. Oh….

Bakugou's previously calm face was contracted with fear, an expression that didn't belong on his face. He was trembling all over, crying out every few seconds in such a pained tone that Kirishima cringed every time he did.

"Bakugou…!" He practically fell out of the bed, rushing to aid his friend. He tried to shake him awake, but the other boy wouldn't wake up.

In fact, it only seemed to make things worse.

"No!" Bakugou cried out, trying to shove Kirishima off of him. "No, get off me!"

His skin hardened as the other boy's quirk began to activate, explosions attacking whatever it was Bakugou was seeing.

"Bakugou! It's me, it's me." He wrapped Bakugou in a protective embrace, both stopping any destruction the boy might be causing and any damage he might cause for himself.

It was times like these he was really glad for his quirk.

"No," Bakugou whimpered into his shoulder, and Kirshima felt a twinge of guilt from the action.

Midoryia was right.

Bakugou wasn't okay.

Kirishima felt sick. This whole time, for weeks, he had been so selfish. Bakugou needed as much help as he did, and he hadn't been there for him. Bakugou had been suffering, and Kirishima hadn't been there for him. For his best friend.

The other boy quietly gasped, finally awake. Kirishima sighed in relief, beginning to release his embrace, but Bakugou suddenly wrapped him in a death grip.

Kirishima tensed in surprise, but quickly relaxed into his embrace.

He decided to ignore the fact that Bakugou was crying.

Instead he stayed silent, gently rubbing circles into his friends back.

"I'm sorry," the other boy choked out after a few moments, not moving from his spot. "I'm so d*** sorry."

The raw emotion in his voice alone surprised Kirishima yet again, and it took him a moment to muster up a response.

"What...why?" He asked the question dumbly, fearing the answer.

Bakugou choked back a sob, and it sounded so wrong, so un-Bakugou like, Kirishima didn't even know what to do. "I- if I just hadn't-"

Bakugou was beginning to hyperventilate, sh** he had to do something. "Bakugou, hey calm down. Just breathe." He spoke softly, trying to be as calm as possible.

"No, I-" Bakugou sniffed. "I-I don't-" He began to back away from Kirishima suddenly, eyes full of guilt.

sh**.

"I don't deserve your help. Or, or anything." The other teen spoke in an almost whisper, pain evident in his voice as he looked to the floor.

"Bakugou…" Kirishima started, unsure of what to say.

This was way worse then he could've expected.

"No. no, this is my fault- if I wasn't- if I didn't-" Bakugou looked up, locking his eyes with a shocked Kirishima's. "If it wasn't for me, this wouldn't have happened to you." He spoke the words in a quiet whisper, but clearer than anything else he had said before.

Da**it. "Bakugou, no-"

"I'm just-" His voice cracked and he looked away again. "I'm no better than a villian-"

"Katsuki!" Kirishima all but yelled, twinges of anger filling his veins. (he did say he'd have to restrain himself, after all.) He wasn't angry at Bakugou, only at himself.

If he hadn't been so weak and self-centered, Bakugou would've never let himself spiral into this… this hole he dug himself into.

"It wasn't. Your. Fault." He said each word slowly, carefully, with such intensity Bakugou would be almost forced to believe it.

Bakugou's face broke and everything came pouring out. He squeezed his eyes and practically bent over himself as the tears came streaming down his face.

Kirishima reached out, rubbing his friends shaking shoulders. "It's okay, Bakugou. I don't blame you, I doubt anyone does."
__________________________________________
Bakugou felt like the entire world had just been lifted off his chest.

He had spent weeks thinking that Kirishima probably hated, or at least blamed him for everything. Spent weeks digging himself into this whole of self-hatred that it had been practically eating him alive.

He had felt he deserved it.

It's not like this really changed anything, though. He still blamed himself, probably for a long time. But it was a start, at least

Then, of course, Kirishima had to go and say the stupidest sh** Bakugou had ever heard him say, and that was saying something.

"It was my own fault, anyway. If i wasn't so d*** weak.."

Bakugou lifted his head with such speed that Kirishima almost jumped back a foot out of sheer surprise. "What?"

Suddenly, Kirishima's entire demeanor changed. He slumped his shoulders, avoiding eye contact. Looking almost ashamed.

Bakugou hated that look on him.

"I… if I had been stronger, it wouldn't have gotten as far as it did. He**, I wouldn't have gotten taken in the first place." Kirishima chuckled quietly, as if this was some kind of ridiculous joke.

Bakugou wasn't laughing.

"No. Stop that sh** right now." He spoke as if he wasn't someone who had just broken down crying, but… well, he spoke the most normally he had in week's. "You are the strongest person I know. Don't go saying crap like that, you idiot."

"You don't understand!" Kirishima cried, sounding angered and distressed. "I broke Bakugou. The only reason she contacted you in the first place was because I practically gave you up."

He blinked.

Bakugou hadn't even connected the dots before. Kirishima's quirk was literally that he was unbreakable. An invisible shield that protected him and those around him.

They only way Kirishima would've gotten the injuries he had, is if he had, quite literally, broken.

Somehow, that made it so much worse.

However, Kirishima had it all wrong. "Your quirk isn't what makes you strong, dumba**."

The other boy only blinked at him, and Bakugou sighed. "What makes you strong is you. You get back up, you stay standing. If you refuse to go down, that's what makes you stupidly strong." Bakuogu cleared his throat. "Not your quirk."

"But, Bakugou,"

"I don't wanna hear any sh** about how you 'broke.' Do you know how many people could go through what you did and still come out themselves? Kirishima, most Pro's would retire if they had gone through something like that."

It was Kirishima's turn to break down. A new surge of guilt flew up through Bakugou. He had been caught up in his own problems to realise that Kirishima needed to hear someone say that to him.

"Bakugou," The red-head spoke through tears. 'if you had died, it would've been because-"

"Did I?" he said, stopping that train of thought. "Then shut the h** up."

Kirishima huffed a laugh at that. "I think," he said slowly, "both of us were being pretty stupid, huh?"

Bakuogu could only give a curt nod in agreement.

Neither of them would just be fine after that. Both of them knew it. But healing takes time, and now, maybe the healing can finally begin.

-fin-
_______________________
Epilogue

Aizawa stood outside the young boy's bedroom, deciding to not interfere. At least, not tonight.

He had woken up to the sound of rather loud explosions below him, and had feared the worst. Another villain attack? Not on his watch.

Of course the logical place to go was Bakugou's dorm, as that's where the explosions would most likely be coming from. He realised about halfway to said boys room that it was rather unlikely to be villains.

He still decided to double check.

He was unsurprised to see the bedroom empty, he was well aware that Bakugou had been sleeping in Kirishima's room for the past week or so. He wasn't stupid. He just didn't really care that much.

Aizawa decided not to barge in quite yet, instead listening in to see if there was an emergency going on inside.

Thankfully, there was not. At least, not a physical one.

The two boys were finally actually talking to each other, it seemed. Thank goodness. Maybe now, some progress will be made.

Still, he decided as he walked back to his own dorm, He was going to assign those boys to a counselor.