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In Which Midoriya Izuku Does Not Appear

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Bakugou Katsuki was many things. He was rude, arrogant, aggressive, reckless, and powerful.

And despite what may people think when they meet him, he was not stupid. Sure, he wasn't a chemistry whiz like Izuku, or a biology whiz Izuku, or an anything-whiz like Izuku, but he liked to ascribe that to the fact that Izuku was one of the nerdiest nerds to ever nerd. He used to make chewing gum himself because he didn't like the tastes they sold in the shops.

But the point is that Katsuki was many things, and one of those things was smart. He was ninety-nine percent sure he absolutely crushed the written exam.

Which was, in two words, fucking sweet.

Now, he was sitting in a crowd, waiting for the practical to start, when Present Mic came walking in. The Voice Hero was smiling broadly, and when his request for a hey was met with silence Katsuki yelled loudly in reply, just to be contrary. Present Mic waved at him. Izuku was going to be so fucking jealous - after he was done with the speculating of whether or not the voice boxes were part of the hero's body or his suit.

Present Mic then explained the assignment. It was fairly simple, so he didn't really get what Four-eyes was whining about. There was something about points, but Bakugou had already formulated a fool-proof one-step plan to victory.

Step 1: Destroy every fucking robot

Bakugou Katsuki would crush those robots as badly as he did the written exam.

---

Step 1 was going well so far. Katsuki really was a genius tactician.

The robots were easy. He was flying through the air, propelled by his explosions, like a human bullet. A human exploding bullet. That could change its course. He never claimed to be good with metaphors. Metaphors were stupid anyway, but now he would have to look into them later, just in case someone challenged him to a metaphor contest.

He had just planted his feet on the ground, when he heard a clanging coming from behind him. He whipped around, hands ready to fire like some kind of gunslinger, only to see a purple-haired extra brutalizing a robot. He stared for a moment, confused as to why this kid had decided the best way to defeat robots was with a fucking piece of rebar, before he spoke up.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

The boy looked up, and the dark bags underneath his eyes might as well write insomniac on his forehead. No way he got those from one night of stressing out over the exam.

"Destroying this robot. Not all of us can count on our flashy quirks, explosion-boy," he drawled.

"Explosion-boy?" Katsuki's eyebrow twitched. "Do you have a problem with me or something?"

"Do you have a problem with the way I do things?" the other retorted. Bakugou snorted. Of course he fucking did. It was like this idiot wasn't even trying to get into UA.

"Yes! Why don't you just use the fucking gun!?"

The insomniac looked at him, uncomprehending. "...The gun?"

"Yeah," Katsuki said, walking forward and, with a few small explosions, ripped the laser gun-arm from the robot's torso. "How did you not notice the damn gun! It has a big, red button right here on the side. Just blast things with it. You've got eight minutes left."

Insomnia Incarnate seemed extremely confused now. He took the gun-arm and almost fell over due to the weight. "Most people don't push the big, red buttons," he mumbled, somewhat defensively. Most people didn't hang out with Midoriya "I-wonder-if-this-one-is-the-self-destruct-button-or-this-one" Izuku, but whatever. Katsuki had some robots to kill.

---

The zero-pointer was taller than the buildings that surrounded it, a billion times stronger than its tiny counterparts, and left in its wake a concrete desolation, most of the buildings in its vicinity flattened by a wave of its arm. All of that added up to several thousand tonnes of 'Fuck You', which Katsuki saw as a personal offense. He really wanted to smash its face in. It might not give him any points, but it couldn't hurt to show the pro's watching his skill.

That, and he just really wanted to smash its face in. Considering all the exercise he had been doing the entire exam, he had probably worked up enough sweat to do it in one blast.

The crowd of people rushed by him, breaking before him like waves. Bunch of extra's, running away for some scrap-metal-to-be. And they wanted to be heroes? Heh. Katsuki jumped, rocketing himself upwards with a blast. He rose, and rose, and when the technological titan tried to smash him he weaved around the slow movements of its arms, letting them crash into the buildings beside him. Finally, he reached his zenith. He stopped his blasts, and for a moment he was weightless. He floated in the air, the zero-pointer's eye bathing him in a harsh, red light. He had to time the blast well, and take into account the angle at which he would be blasted backwards.

He raised his hands, nytroglycerine gathered in his palms, and-

A scream.

-he was moving before he knew it. His blast went to the left and slightly angled up, shooting him downwards to the right, and doing absolutely no damage to his foe. In his fall he looked at where the scream had come from. It was that girl that had floated Izuku. Uraka? Ocharu? Moonface, he settled on. She had gotten stuck under some rubble. Insomnia was trying to help her out but he seemed to be as strong as he looked. Wimp.

Seriously, he missed his chance to take down that behemoth because of these fuckers? They were fucking dead. No really, they were about to have a few tonnes of rock fall on their heads, courtesy of the zero-pointers wild smashing, or maybe Katsuki's wild flying. Probably both.

After letting out a few blasts to slow his descent so he wouldn't become a red smear on the pavement, Katsuki landed in a roll. He rose, scratches on his skin and tears in his clothes. Insomnia's and Moonface's eyes had been fixed on the stone above, but now they focused on Katsuki, eyes wide in fear. Good, he thought, let them see a real hero.

"FUCKING! DIE!" He thrusts his hands up, and felt his elbows pop out of their sockets from the recoil as fire and fury raced upwards, obliterating the falling rubble and letting it rain down on them as harmless gravel instead of gravestones.

He turned his head back to the zero-pointer, and winced at the sudden rush of pain in his arms. They might be useless, but maybe he still could-

"TIME'S UP, LITTLE LISTENERS!"

Ah, shit.

---

There was a commotion at the door. Recovery Girl, after fixing his arms, had told him to stay put, and was now talking with what sounded like two people. Katsuki rose from his bed, moving his arms to test if anything still hurt. Nothing, except for a little soreness. Awesome.

When he got to the door he was surprised to see Moonface and Insomnia talking with the old lady. What were they doing here?

"The boy needs rest. Maybe later," Recovery Girl finished. Nobody had seen him yet.

"We just want to say thanks," Moonface pleaded. "We're frie-"

"I will destroy you."

"-Acquaintances of his. Oh hi Bakugou! Good to see you're up!"

Katsuki frowned. How did she know his name? Oh yeah, he'd told her, at Izuku's insistence. Recovery Girl harrumphed. "No it's not. You should be resting," she admonished him. The teen rolled his eyes in aggrevation.

"I'm fine. Quit nagging me." He ducked his head, barely managing to avoid a swipe from Recovery Girl's cane. She went for his ankle instead, and Katsuki hissed in pain. Her wrath satisfied, the Youthful Heroine (seriously, who the fuck came up with that moniker?) let out a sigh.

"Fine then, you can go with your friends."

"They're not my-"

This time, the stick did hit his face. "Leave, before I change my mind. And don't be rude to your friends." Katsuki huffed, but walked away. His two visitors followed.

"Thank you so much for saving our lives back there, Bakugou! You were amazing!" Moonface said. Insomnia rolled his eyes at her behaviour.

"Yeah, such an awesome quirk. You must be proud of it." Moonface elbowed him in the side, and Insomnia shot her a glare, but added, "Thanks anyway, I guess. For saving us, and the gun tip."

"So we were wondering-"

"She was."

"-if maybe you'd go grab a drink with us, as a thank you. And to celebrate! We finished the exam!" Moonface seemed to be seriously excited, but Katsuki wasn't sure if that was because of anything specific or if that was just who she was.

"If it's a thank you for me saving your lives, does that mean you're paying?"

Insomnia whistled. "You sure are rude, aren't you? Explosion-boy?" Katsuki's eyebrow twitched in annoyance. What in the fucking hells was this guy's problem? Insomnia cocked his head, unimpressed. Katsuki let out a breath and bared his teeth.

Moonface clapped her hands, startling both. "Yeah sure, I'll be paying. But you'll have to order something cheap, because I don't have much money with me. Now, who's coming?"

"Sure," Katsuki said, shrugging carelessly.

Moonface nodded, before she creased her brow, as if remembering something. "What about your friend, Midoriya? Does he want to-"

"The Support Course Exams won't be done for a while. We might as well go now." Katsuki thought he heard Insomnia mutter something about friendship, but he ignored it. A free drink is a free drink.

---

He learns Insomnia's name is Shinsou Hitoshi and Moonface's is Uraraka Ochako, and forgets them in record time. They sat down on a park bench, each one a drink in hand. Katsuki and Insomnia got a coke, while Moonface settled on iced tea. Katsuki had been planning to just get a drink and run for it, but Moonface was cunning, and lured him and Insomnia to a nearby bench with a clever mix of sweet smiles and energetic enthusiasm to get to know them.

She had been talking with Insomnia about... something, when the purple prick does it again.

"You've been awfully quiet, explosion-boy."

Katsuki chugs what's left of his drink and throws the can into a trashcan. Perfect aim. He then turns his head to Insomnia, and glares. Aggressively. There is just something so... disdainful in the way he says it that really pisses Katsuki off.

"That's it, Insomnia! What is your fucking problem with my quirk!?"

Insomnia huffs, calmly sipping from his drink. Uraraka follows their exchange, hesitant to step in. She stays quiet for now.

"Who says I have a problem?"

Katsuki rolls his eyes. "Oh, come on, I'm not fuckin stupid."

"Could have fooled me."

"See!? This is exactly why I think you have a problem! Or do you just think you're better than me?" Katsuki stands up and turns around to face Insomnia, who's still seated. "Is that it!? What's your fucking quirk then, huh!? Let's see-"

"Sit down and be quiet."

There's fuzzy blanket over his mind and before he knows it Katsuki's sitting again. He's disoriented and takes a moment to gather his bearings. A moment in which he notices a few things. Moonface is staring at Insomnia with wide eyes, drink forgotten. Insomnia is keeping his gaze in front of him, looking at neither of them. His face is carefully blank, which is telling enough.

He looks surprisingly brittle.

"What was-" Katsuki began, before he was interrupted.

"My quirk. It allows me to brainwash anyone who responds to my words." Katsuki sees Moonface reflexively close her mouth out of the corner of his eye, before a look of frustration mixed with shame takes over her face. His first thoughts go to Izuku, who had been talking his ears off about the physical differences a psychological quirk could have on a human for years.

His second thought is that it still doesn't explain the problem with Insomnia has with Katsuki's quirk. Luckily, the sleepless boy elaborates, and when he does there is such venom in his tone Katsuki isn't sure whether he's still being addressed or if the other is simply taking the opportunity to air his personal grievances.

"Too scared to talk now, are we? Afraid of the boy with the villain's quirk? I know people like you and what you are like, explosion-boy. You think you're so much better than people like us, because of your quirk. That you deserve to be a hero, and we don't, simply because our quirks aren't heroic enough. Well, guess what? I will get into UA. I will be a hero. And I will-"

"Please say you will shut the fuck up, because if you don't I'll say it." Insomnia actually has the gall to look surprised. As if he thought Katsuki really would be too afraid to speak, simply because of a quirk. Fuck that shit.

Katsuki looks the other square in the eye. Over Insomnia's shoulder he could see Moonface was still wondering whether she needed to step in or not. "Let me start with this. You are not scary. You are not terrifying, or intimidating, and I am not even slightly afraid of you in the slightest. Hells, I've got a friend who I'd be more afraid of if he turned villain than you, and that has nothing to do with his quirk. So stop thinking you're some kind of boogeyman, because you're fucking not."

Insomnia is getting annoyed again. He's probably thinking Katsuki was just insulting him for the fun of it. Well, it was fun, but also true.

"Second, you don't know a damn thing about me, so stop acting like you do. Third, you," he pokes Insomnia's shoulder, punctuating his words, "were talking," another poke, harder, "fucking bullshit. Who gives a shit what kind of quirk you got. It's what you do with it that matters."

Insomnia is looking at him now with wide eyes, surprise clearly visible. Katsuki stands up, steals insomnia's drink, and finishes it before throwing that one also into the trashcan. "And finally, quit calling me 'explosion-boy', or I will end you. It sounds like the sidekick from a kid's cartoon." He gives them a last glance before turning and walking away. "I'm going home now. The old hag will be nagging me about staying out late."

Insomnia scrapes his throat, knowing he needs to talk now, before Katsuki leaves. "Bye, explosion-man," the prick drawls. It sounds like a peace offering.

"Fuck you," Katsuki replies.

As Bakugou leaves, Uraraka and Hitoshi watch him go. "He might be the single, most-confusing person I've ever met," Uraraka says.

"Hmm," Shinsou agrees. He eyes Uraraka. Did she care about his quirk? She catches his eye and gives a small smile.

"I should probably head home as well. I'll see you in UA. And if not, we can still hang out. Maybe Bakugou would even come." She giggles at that.

He takes that as a no. Bakugou's words still ring in his head, and Hitoshi smiles back.