“Shut the fuck up,” barks Katsuki, pressing his uniform jacket as hard as he dares to the wound in Deku’s side.
Deku coughs, a pitiful little thing.
“Take it,” he says again, trying to lift his bloody hand to Katsuki’s face. He dodges it, not having the hands free to press Deku’s down with.
“No. You aren’t dying,” Katsuki is stern about it, refuses to let his voice waver, because Deku isn’t dying here, isn’t dying in the middle of a goddamn alley because of course he puts the whole fucking world ahead of his own life.
The woman he saved grips her cellphone tight, even though the emergency call ended ages ago. The robber, with the fucked up exploding spikes quirk, is passed out on the other side of the alley. Probably with too many explosions to the face to justify, but Katsuki can’t bring himself to care.
One of the spikes took a chunk of Deku’s side before either of them could do anything.
Deku survived far worse than this, fought Shigaraki of all fucking things.
He isn’t going to die to some random robber.
Blood seeps through the thick jacket, wetting Katsuki’s fingers and palms. Deku coughs again, frowning with a furrowed brow.
“Please,” he breathes, “Please, you did in Nabu, you know?”
No, Katsuki did not, because he remembers fuck-all about the battle of Nabu. He grits his teeth. He can’t cauterize the wound, not with Explosion. Too dangerous, too much could go wrong. Too much torn in Deku’s side.
Katsuki survived being impaled.
“You can tell me what the fuck happened there later,” he spits, “This isn’t the same, I know it.”
“Y-you don’t even remember-”
“Yeah, but I ain’t stupid.”
The jacket is a dark, deep crimson where it’s pressed to Deku’s side. His heart beats faster, he swears he can feel it in his palms, in his wrists, in every inch of his body.
“Kacchan-” Deku sounds weak, fragile.
Fragile like Deku has never been.
The girl is crying. Katsuki should probably try to comfort her, but he can’t move. Deku’s face, Deku’s wound, it’s all he can focus on.
“No! Please Kacchan- I don’t-: He coughs again, interrupting himself. Blood flecks out on his lips,
“Fine, fine, but I’m giving it back! I don’t want your shitty haunted quirk!” He restrains himself, keeping it a frantic whisper. The girl doesn’t notice, crying as hard as she is.
Deku smiles, brushing Katsuki’s lips with a bloody hand.
Copper, iron, defeat.
Katsuki wants to spit it out, but he flicks his tongue to a cut on the inside of his cheek. Better to do it right. It’s what he promised Deku.
“T-thanks,” Deku murmurs, hand falling limply to the ground. His eyelids flutter and he coughs another blood spatter cough.
Katsuki snarls, “Hold the fuck on, I said I didn’t want to keep this.”
Deku doesn’t listen, like he always does.
Sirens blare in the distance.
His uniform jacket is completely soaked.
Hospital chairs are a torture device, Katsuki decides two hours later in the waiting room. His back cracks and pops when he moves in the uncomfortable plastic chair.
He resolutely ignores the humming under his skin, like a lightning storm bottled.
His head knocks into the tiled wall. The pain grounds him. Takes his mind off how pale Deku was, how much blood was on his jacket, was on the street after the paramedics had picked him up.
Katsuki’s hands still feel wet with blood. He’s been to the bathroom ten times already, scrubbing off invisible stains.
Auntie Inko is here, crying and off nonstop. She must feel even worse, but it’s not like Katsuki knows what to do with her. All Might is comforting her now, even though she’d slapped him (again? The hell) when he’d first appeared at the hospital.
It’s quiet save for her sobs now. There aren’t any other people in the waiting room.
The door opening startles them all, Katsuki resisting the urge to pop off a few tiny explosions.
“Midoriya, correct?” He asks. His expression is blank, impenetrable.
“Yes,” Auntie Inko says, wobbling to her feet and brushing away her tears, “That’s us.”
He nods, looking around.
“He’s fine,” the doctor starts and Auntie Inko collapses into the seat again, “He’ll need around two months of recovery time, but otherwise no lasting problems beyond scarring.”
Auntie’s sobs are relieved now, thanks yous falling from her lips in a stuttered mess. Katsuki’s shoulders relax for the first time in three hours. He closes his eyes and exhales sharply through his nose.
“We’ll allow one person in at a time, if you want to go in,” the doctor says to Auntie. She starts to get up again but pauses.
“Katsuki...you should go in,” she says, like that’s a normal thing.
She sits back down, crossing her legs and looking down.
“You saved his life...you were here the longest, I think it’s only right.”
It’s easy to see where Deku gets his stupid, sappy heart from, staring incredulously at Midoirya Inko.
“One hundred percent! Besides...Izuku will want to see you too, I think. To make sure nothing happened while he was out.”
“Tch, like anything would happen to me.” But she’s not wrong. Besides, there’s something he needs to give back as soon as he can.
Katsuki stands, joints popping, and follows the doctor to Deku’s room.
This isn’t the first time he’s seen Deku in a hospital bed. It unfortunately probably won’t be the last.
“Kacchan!” Deku says, though it’s weak and he stays prone on the bed. It’s laid flat, much like Katsuki’s own was when he was recovering from Jakku.
“Deku,” he says, watching the doctor leave out of the corner of his eye.
The chair beside Deku’s bed is marginally more comfortable and he slouches down into it, hand going to his hair.
He plucks one with nary a wince, shoving it in Deku’s face.
“Here’s your stupid fucking quirk back. There better not be any damn ghosts in my head after this.”
Deku looks at the hair with his stupid wobbly smile and big watery eyes.
“And don’t think you’re getting out of telling me about Nabu, I wanna know that shit.”
“Of course, Kacchan.” Izuku flushes at that, looking away.
There’s a glass of water beside the bed and Katsuki shoves it at Izuku as well.
“At least take the hair with some water, shit’s nasty.”
Deku grabs it and swallows the hair with a disgusted expression. Katsuki doesn’t bother to hold back his laughter. He gets a scowl in return. He smirks, the buzzing still under his skin but it feels...diminished already.
The difference in static and lightning.
The smirk fades from his face and he frowns.
“Don’t do that shit again,” Katsuki says, serious.
Deku frowns too, “I’m not gonna stop saving people.”
“No, but you could think before you move for once.”
“That’s harder than you think it is.”
“Maybe if you cared about yourself enough like we do-”
He stops. Clamps his mouth shut and looks away.
Deku looks dumbstruck, a stupid gaping-fish sort of expression.
“Your mom’s out there, I’m gonna get her.” He shoves the chair back, standing with force and striding to the door.
It slams shut. Katsuki flushes, shoving his hands into his pockets.