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if we live 'till 34

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In airports, time always seems to pass oddly.

“Tell me, Katsuki, have you been having any dreams? I’ve been keeping a dream journal. I want to figure out what my head thinks when I’m asleep.”

Midoriya’s hero journals are a thing of a past. Ever since, he is in a perpetual search for a something to fill that gap, though – hobbies, mostly. Bakugou presses on the bandage covering his left eye, remembering. The fabric is getting a bit wet. He’ll have to change it soon.

“Not really,” he says. “Just the regular.”

“Kirishima?”

“No, not him.” Bakugou says. “Work.”

Midoriya spreads his palms on the table, fingers stretched wide. For a while, he thinks.

“I dream of long hands and sweet flowers. My teeth falling out, sliding down right into my throat. Fights old and new.” He looks up at Bakugou and there is pleading in his eyes. “Sometimes I lose. And sometimes, I dream of you.”

They’re late, the bus seems to have lagged – which is a problem. They have a hostage situation on hand, an elementary school, five hundred pupils, twenty-three teachers, and sixteen staff members. Midoriya watches the leaves rustle softly in the wind. He’s cut his hair short recently, and it makes him feel alien, exposed.

“The villain promised that for each minute of delay, a child will die,” Katsuki notes.

“We can count the time that way then? Five children have passed since we’ve been waiting here.”

“Being a hero made you rot from inside out, Deku. You’d be better off staying useless and quirkless. Innocent.”

Neither of them can walk: Katsuki got his legs broken in a torture session, they’re still weak, barely healed. Izuku has been awake for the last ninety-nine hours. He wonders how many children will die until he makes it to one hundred. He can’t remember the last time he cried.

“I do feel guilty,” Midoriya admits. “If you want to, we could talk about the afterlife.”

The train is fast and its speed rattles the table they’re sitting at. They’re at a train station now, an old, and dirty building, only a few platforms sewn together by the overgrown grass. Midoriya’s coffee spills a little, but he seems not to notice, staring at the charred remains of his right arm instead.

“So, when I die, do you think I’ll live on?” he asks. He’s barely audible as another train passes them by.

Bakugou lets out a quiet tsk. He’s not drinking anything; wouldn’t have the time to finish it; his line will arrive soon. “When you die, you die. It ends there. Stupid question.”

Midoriya smiles apologetically. “I’ve been reading a lot of European philosophy lately,” he explains. “Plato, Hegel, Nietzsche – just the basics, really. Please, Katsuki, promise me that you’ll remember when I’m no longer here.”

“I have to go,” Katsuki says, and then they’re at a funeral.