Walking through the halls was different now, people moved out of his way quicker and some of them even let out little squeaks if he got too close. Ever since the sports festival things had felt off, that dumb medal was sitting in the trash can in hsi room and he had no intention of taking it out.
He hated it, genuinely hated it. He hated that people would run from him now, and if they weren’t running they were talking. Even though his hearing was shit on a good day (thanks to his loud as fuck quirk) he could still see them talk about him.
The media was having a field day, some dragging UA’s reputation through the mud while most were doing the same to him. It’s not like he didn’t deserve it but it still hurt to see so many people, who had never spoken to him, outwardly hate him so much that it had become scandalous to think he wasn’t a monster. Some people were calling to put him in a cell and throw away the key, ‘no-one wants a raging monster to save them, he’ll probably kill us instead’ they were saying. That's who he is now, the raging monster of UA, the hero that's going to be a villain.
His classmates didn’t notice, somehow, oblivious to what the media, and fellow students, were saying about him. They were cautious, he guessed, the other students. They probably think he doesn’t see them talking about him and running away from him whenever he walks past.
It all came to a head one day, because of course it did, nothing in his life ever goes smoothly. No-one understood, not really. They all kept asking how he was so upset, he had won the festival after all! Why was he so upset about it? To him, he had lost, there was no winning in humiliation and months of death threats.
It was a press conference, the top student of the first years and the UA teachers all sitting at a long table with so many reporters sat in front of them that he was surprised that they had enough room to breathe. Despite being a room filled with pro-heros he could feel everyone's eyes on him, why wouldn’t they? This was the first (and probably only) time that he was going to talk directly to the media. It was going to be a mess.
“Bakugou, what do you have to say about your monstrous attitude when you won Sports Festival this year?” There it was, the question he had been avoiding since this whole thigns started. He avoided turning to look to his teachers to ask for directions, they would probably try to get him to play this in UA’s favour but that's not true, UA had been the people who fucked it up, not him, not this time.
So that's what he said.
“My thoughts about the Sports Festival, it was bad, clearly. But truthfully, you can't fault me for acting how I did at that award ceremony-”
“You acted like a monster! How is that anyone but your own fault!” It was a different reporter this time, one further at the back, probably more confident because they weren’t able to be seen.
“As i was saying, it's not my fault I acted the way I did at the end of that event” They were all looking at him like he was insane, of course they were, they never got to hear his side of the story thanks to UA keeping him out of the media for months after the event.
“Imagine this, you wake up after being knocked out, you’re disorientated and you’re chained and muzzled to a block of cement. You don’t know what's going on, and you’ve already got lasting PTSD from suffocating in a different villain attack. While you’re trying to get out you realise your arms are restrained and you can’t move, you’re quirk is useless, you’re stuck. The panic sets in and a panic attack starts to build up, no-one knows this though because they can’t see your face behind the muzzle that restricts your breathing. Then you can feel yourself being moved upwards and suddenly you’re blinded by light that you can’t find the source of. The noise kicks in and suddenly every sense you have is overwhelmed with so much input that you can barely keep your eyes open to make sure you're still alive. Through the noise you can feel someone forcing something into your mouth and you can’t spit it out because the muzzle is back on before you could even realise it was off. The light starts to die down and you see someone who you looked up to standing there. You realise that you’re having a panic attack at this point and whatever they knocked you out with has affected your blood pressure somehow because you feel sluggish and can’t move your arms.. You only get the muzzle and cuffs off that afternoon, hours later because your teachers forgot about you and your classmates didn’t care enough to remind anyone to remove them, they’re scared of you. For moNths after the event you flinch when the Symbol of Peace raises his hand and you can barely talk when two of your teachers ask you to answer a question in class. Because if you get it wrong, surely they’ll just lock you up again? Right? Cause all it took for them to chain, muzzle, and humiliate you the first time was saying no. Imagine you went through all of that, are still going through PTSD and can’t go into the public without being harassed, because you said no to receiving a medal you didn’t think you deserved. Imagine being abused by heros, people sworn to protect, because you said no.``
It was quiet, and they looked horrified, good. They finally knew his side of the story and even though they still hated him after this, at least he got to explain what had really happened that day.
He didn’t want or need to stay any longer, so standing up, he walked off stage.
No-one followed him.