There was no way Bakugou was going to do it again. Not this shit. No more invitations from anyone named Todoroki, and definitely no more running after little rugrats. This was not how he wanted to spend his free day at all, thank you very much. Actually, this was like the pinnacle of all the things he did not want to do.
“My sister invited me,” the Halfie replied in that stupid, monotone voice of his.
"That explains why you are here," Bakugou countered.
“She told me to bring my friends.”
Tchk. How many times did they have to have this argument? “We have never been, nor will we ever be friends. Tell her that.”
Bakugou shot Deku a warning look. Yes, actually, the waste-of-space Nerd’s presence was just the broccoli on top of this stinking shit-cake.
“That would be rude. And anyways, nobody would be buying it. Not the least Fuyumi-san who has seen it with her own eyes-”
“-Shut up!” Bakugou yelled. He had no intention of discussing this with the Nerd. They all saw it wrong. He was not holding his hand out to Todoroki. His fingers just pointed in that direction for strategic reasons related to the fight. Also, it was fucking forever ago. And more importantly. “Why? And why me? Why not bring Ponytail or Round-face? They are your friends and they’d be perfect for this!”
The Half’n’Half bastard had the cheek to shrug, “Fuyumi asked for you specifically after she heard how well you get along with children.”
Wait, was that a smirk on his stupid mismatched face?
“How could she possibly hear that?” he asked with suspicion.
“I told her.”
Fucking Candy Cane. Why did he go around telling stories of their miserable remedial course days? Those times were supposed to be forgotten - never ever to be mentioned again.
“I’ll KILL y-” Bakugou started.
“-You know, Todoroki-kun told me the story too. It sounded like it was amazing, Kacchan…” the Nerd interrupted with a nervous smile, his eyes suspiciously bright with an emotion that once upon a time Bakugou would have identified as mockery. Now, he didn't know anymore what it was. In any case. This whole thing was fucking unbearable.
“Amazing?!? That was the single, most miserable day of my entire FUCKING EXISTENCE!!!!”
And that was counting the sludge monster and the kidnapping and that time Sero literally taped him into the middle of a snow-ball fight.
“I remember you laughing,” Todoroki noted, his eyes narrowing slightly.
Bakugou scowled. So what? People laughed for all reasons. That was not a proof of anything.
“Only because that half-witted Blondie turned you into a dumbass prince,” Bakugou couldn’t help grinning at the memory.
The other two shared a knowing look. That just pissed Bakugou off even more. Were they making fun of him?
“We are here,” Todoroki motioned at the big school-gate totally needlessly. If the big preschool sign wasn’t a dead give-away, well, there was his sister waving excitedly in front of it.
“Oh, Shouto. You made it! And it’s so nice to see you again Bakugou-kun and Midoriya-kun,” Fuyumi’s smile was as bright and enthusiastic as the first day they met.
Bakugou’s curses got stuck in his throat.
“The kids can’t wait to meet you,” she motioned the boys to follow her as she led them across the yard. It looked a lot like the kindergarten Bakugou went to with the Nerd. There was suddenly a bitter taste in his mouth, like swallowing cobwebs in a dusty, forgotten attic. He pushed the memory away.
“And we are so excited to meet them!” Midoriya enthused on his best fanboy voice. “It’s rare that we get invited to a class, but I think it's a great idea. They must be fantastic kids.”
“They are,” Fuyumi beamed with pride.
Bakugou tried to remember if any of his teachers ever seemed so proud or invested in them when they were little, but he honestly couldn’t remember. Not that he ever paid much attention to those losers. They were just necessary stepping stones for him to becoming the strongest hero.
The door of the large gym opened, revealing twenty snotty brats waiting silently, looking at them with bright eyes and mouths agape.
Fuyumi started the introductions.
First, Midoriya got into a long-winded speech about his dream of becoming a hero, and All Might and saving people and mutter-mutter-mutter, more All Might. Then he asked questions to the kids who started to respond first haltingly, then shouting over each other. Deku gushed about all the little punks’ amazing quirks. He was probably itching to scribble it all down in his stupid notebooks. Pathetic. All Might's successor shouldn't get so hyped about someone’s…wait…snot-bubble-quirk? What the fuck is a snot-bubble quirk? Eeeww.
Even the two sad-eyed, quirkless brats cheered up when Deku patted their heads and told them about the great minds in the support-item lab, showing off his arm-braces.
Bakugou was next up, and he kind of...drew a blank. What was he supposed to say after all the Nerd's word-vomit? Hi, I'm an All Might fan too? Yep, didn't think so. Instead, he growled a greeting at the kids and showed them a couple of small explosions to break the ice. They stared back at him frigthened. Bakugou frowned - he kind of ran out of ideas. He glanced over to his companions. Right. Ice. IcyHot bastard was the reason he was in this mess in the first place. Payback time is a bitch.
“Enough about me. This one is Five pee-pee-man,” he pointed at Todoroki with a triumphant look. “And his quirk is to make not-too-lame ice-slides.”
“ICE SLIDES!!!!” yelled the brats. “MAKE US, ICE SLIDES, FIVE PEE-PEE-MAN!!!!”
The Halfie gave Bakugou an accusing glare, which made him smirk with satisfaction. Maybe this was going to be fun after all.
He watched Todoroki stomp out an intricate ice-slide, adding details at Deku’s suggestions, who predictably got very into the whole thing. He even joined the screaming kids for a round of sliding, using his quirk to make them go at neck-breaking speed.
Bakugou watched them from a corner.
“You are not participating?” Fuyumi stepped next to him. She surveyed the room with a proud glimmer in her eyes.
Bakugou wasn’t not participating so much as he was just waiting for the right time to participate. “My quirk is better suited to make fireworks of the ice in the end.”
“I'm sure it will be a sight,” Fuyumi replied with a little clap of excitement. Then she added with a serious expression, “Thank you for looking out for Shouto. It makes me feel good that he has such great friends.”
“We are not…” Bakugou interrupted her quickly (because he really, really, really didn’t want to know more about Halfie’s miserable childhood; it pissed him off and gave him these little annoying pangs in his stomach), but when he looked at Fuyumi’s wide smile, he swallowed the rest of the sentence. “We do get along fine, I guess,” he shrugged. It wasn’t a big deal. Getting along technically wasn’t the same as being friends. He didn’t lose any ground. It was just a feint.
There was a knowing look in Fuyumi's eyes, like she wasn't buying it, but that she was too polite to argue.
"I'm so glad you decided to come."
Bakugou swallowed the urge to clarify that he didn't decide shit; that he was just dragged along kicking and screaming.
"I just...why? Why me?" There were people with more fun quirks. The kids would love Tape-guy or Round-Face or Froggy. They could fling them from the ceiling or make them float.
"Shouto told me you have something very special..."
"Sensei! Mika got a boo-boo," some of the kids came running to Fuyumi dragging along a crying little girl with a bleeding pinkie.
"Excuse me..." Fuyumi gave Bakugou an apologetic look and knelt down to the kids to deal with the emergency.
Something very special, huh? Bakugou scanned the room as if it were a battlefield; taking in the laughing, screaming, squealing kids being chased by Deku up the ice-slides, Todoroki making arches of flame above their heads as they slid down.
Then his eyes zoned in on that brat. There was always one. The one with the scowl and the arms crossed defensively across his chest. The little shit who felt he was above it all; who thought that he needed no friends. The one who wasted his childhood looking down on others instead of being part of the fun.
Then it dawned on him. The others were for Deku and Todoroki, but that one was for Bakugou to save. That’s why he was here.
He marched up to the kid and held out his hand.
“YOU! I’m talking to you, little troll! Why are you standing there? You think you are a special hot-shot or something? Go have fun!!!!”
He knew something was up as soon as he entered the common room of the dorm. He had a sixth sense for these things; the way Mina glanced at him while whispering something into Pikachu’s ears, they way Round-Face kept opening and closing her mouth like she wanted to say something. Kirishima giving him the thumbs-up with a proud grin sealed it. They heard something.
“Why are you staring, dumb-asses!?!” he growled, because attack was always the best defense and he was not having this discussion
“Did you have a nice day off, Bakugou?” Hair-for-Brains asked fake-innocently. Fucking subtle.
“None of your damn business,” Bakugou replied with dagger-eyes daring anyone to continue.
Kaminari displaying his usual lack of self-preservation waved his phone in the air. "Don't deny it - there is proof."
The whole group of imbeciles gathered over his phone screen, grinning and giggling.
“Your reputation is ruined, dude. Nobody will ever believe that you are the tough guy you pretend to be,” Tape-Elbow grinned.
“It’s so sweet, ribbit!"
Bakugou bit his lips. He was not going to break down. He was not going to take the bait. He was most certainly not look at whatever stupid shit they were cooing about. Their opinion didn't matter. It was probably fucking Deku's doing, as usual. He was not going to give these losers the satisfaction of a reaction.
"I'm going to bed. Your yapping gives me a headache."
"So soon? It's only 8.15..." Kaminari yelled after him. Bakugou flicked him off without looking back.
Once in the quiet refuge of his room, he laid on his bed staring at the ceiling, replaying the events of the day. Nothing extraordinary happened. It's not like he gave any important ground. Heroes had to do this publicity stuff, it was sensible to do practice. His thoughts were disrupted by his phone buzzing.
Bakubro, don't listen to them. It was Kirishima, sending him a link to an Instagram story.
Bakugou contemplated the merits of leaving him on read. It didn't matter what anyone thought. Still, his fingers almost on autopilot clicked the link.
It wasn't Deku. The story was actually posted by Fuyumi. [Fun day with my "little" brother and his friends] .
Bakugou stared at the pictures of smiling brats, Todoroki's ice-slides, Deku with his arms held out with rugrats hanging off them like small monkeys with Bakugou carrying a kid on his neck and two on each shoulder in the background, Deku sliding, Todoroki holding out ice and fire in his two palms to a wide-eyed girl, Bakugou blasting the ice into tiny snowflakes as the kids were trying to catch them on their tongues. Finally, there was the selfie Fuyumi took with them at the end; all four of them smiling, cheeks flushed, eyes bright.
Bakugou scowled at the picture - he didn't realize he was smiling at the time. Still, the picture was decent, so he saved it on his phone. It wasn't a big deal. It was just a stupid picture. It didn't prove anything.
Before putting away his phone, he sent back a middle-finger emoji to Kirishima for good measure.
The reply buzzed right away. Good night to you, too, bro. That was really manly. Thumbs-up.
He left that message on read (because he still had a reputation to maintain) and turned off the lights.
Next time he would insist on bringing Kirishima, he thought as he drifted off to sleep. He would like this sort of stuff.