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Chapter Text

Izuku sat on the desk, his black uniform ruffled and open at the collar. He had one leg up, his ankle crossed under his other knee. The bruises that surrounded his neck were dark and purple; his smile fond.

Across the room, with at least three desk rows between them, Katsuki sat in his seat with his legs propped on the desk as he leaned the chair back.

They were alone.

(They were always alone here.)

“I wonder how much more messed up the other me would be if he knew you wanted him in middle school,” Izuku said, tapping an ankle against the metal desk leg.

Katsuki ignored him.

“It’s a little amusing,” Izuku said, knowing Katsuki was listening. He hit the desk leg again. Paused. Hit it again. “Don’t you think so?”

Katsuki pulled his legs off the desk and crossed his arms on the surface instead, dropping his chair back to the ground with a heavy “thump.” He turned to stare at the window, glaring at the night sky and the few strands of moonlight that gave shape to everything in the shadows.

“He’d either be furious you kept it so well hidden this whole time.” Izuku hit the desk leg; the ring echoed in the room. The steady beat matching Katsuki’s heartbeat. “Or ecstatic that he might have a chance.”

Izuku hummed under his breath, stopping his leg. He hopped off the desk, walking exactly one row closer before stopping, not quite stepping into the light. “Though more likely, you’d just be a matching set, and he’d be as conflicted as you are.”

“What are you doing?” Katsuki asked, glaring at Izuku out of the corner of his eye while still facing the window. The other played with his open collar, fingers close to the bruising. Katsuki looked away.

“Talking,” Izuku said. He touched a finger to his lip, eyes smirking. “We can’t do that now? Or are you in the mood again? You know I like it when you make me shut up.”

“Just say what you want,” Katsuki said. Covering his eyes, he willed himself to be anywhere else than here.

The world remained stubbornly in place; Izuku and middle school uniforms and all.

“It’s almost cute how much this all bothers you,” Izuku said. Katsuki listened to him move again, his old shoes squeaking on the hard floors. “All those ‘what ifs’ that are crowding your every thought. It’s getting to be hard to breathe in your head, and I’m used to taking up a lot of room!

“It must be driving you mad knowing that Izuku would have said ‘yes’ if you asked him to be yours back then, even if you didn’t change a thing about you and what you were.

“What if you weren’t so scared?

“What if you focused on the other reasons you hated him instead of just the jealousy he’d be better?

“What if you let the part of you that admired him show more than the part that wanted to crush him?”

Katsuki flinched hard enough to rattle the desk when arms wrapped around his shoulders. Izuku hugged him from behind, the back of the chair digging into their bodies as it separated them. He wrapped one arm around Katsuki’s front, squeezing tight enough to hurt, while the other arm dug fingers deep into Katsuki’s hair. Izuku’s breath warmed his neck as he nuzzled Katsuki.

Izuku whispered, “I wonder what he’d do if he knew you wanted to stick your hand down his pants while you shoved his face in the dirt.”

“That’s enough!” Katsuki yelled. He shoved back his chair and twisted, grabbing Izuku’s uniform collar. He lifted the brat and slammed him into the nearest desk hard enough to scoot it back an inch with a deafening screech. “Shut up.”

“Don’t be so upset, Katsuki,” Izuku said, green curls falling to the side; green eyes amused. He reached up and put his hands behind Katsuki’s neck, pulling them closer together. “You don’t have to hide anything from me.”

Izuku yanked Katsuki closer with an unexpected jerk, pressing their forms together. The room stayed quiet; their heavy breathing the only real sound outside of the shift of fabric.

“I mean, anything you need to hide, I already know about,” Izuku said, kissing Katsuki on the side of the lip. He kissed him again. “I’m the one who starred in all those little fantasies of yours. I know every little want, desire, and regret. Isn’t that nice?”

Katsuki touched his hand to Izuku’s collar. The bruises fit the shape of his hand; he couldn’t remember when he’d done that. “You’re nothing more than a bad dream.”

“Compared to what’s waiting for you when you wake up, I’d like to think I’m a rather pleasant one,” Izuku said.

Katsuki dropped his head on Izuku’s shoulder; gentle fingers petted his hair.

(Waking up came too soon.)

Katsuki groaned as he turned on his stomach, hands digging into his sheets. He smacked his hand against the alarm clock and sat up. He ruffled his hair out and put his feet on the floor with a smack.

He could hear Kirishima rummaging around his own room as he got ready for the day and smiled to himself.

They’d only been in the dorms a week and while Katsuki’s nights were the same as usual, waking up to something other than his mother screaming at him to get ready was a plus in his book.

But that was the only one.

After a shower and getting ready, the breakfast area remained its usual chaos with all twenty students still tiptoeing around each other and adjusting to each other’s morning routines. At least half of them had already made it downstairs and Katsuki snagged a cup of coffee from under Ashido’s arm as she and Sero fought over the stove.

He blocked out everyone else, save for one “good morning” head nod to Todoroki at the toaster, and headed to the couch. He collapsed in the seat and drank his coffee with his bag next to his legs while he waited for Kirishima to finish his hair routine so they could walk to class.

“I can’t believe I ever wanted to get into Class 1-A,” Shinsou said, sitting next to him. The ever present eye bags were more defined than usual and he clutched his own tumbler of coffee. “Everything is so lively. Man, I hope this settles down into a routine before I resort to making a facility use schedule myself.”

“I’m sure Yaoyorozu and Iida would be glad to help with that,” Katsuki grunted. He snuggled into his seat and clicked on the television to catch the morning news.

“—and that’s the weather for today. Up next, we have an interview with an Orudera Junior High alumni who used to know Izuku Midoriya, a young villain who’s been making quite the name for himself since he debuted as a member of the League of Villains. For his most recent act, Midoriya was found to be responsible for the kidnapping and injury of a U.A. Hero Class student last week,” the news announcer said, voice even.

A picture of Izuku from the attack in the street last week appeared on screen, fuzzy and out of focus from some civilian’s phone. Katsuki saw his own face on the sideline for everyone to see.

“We don’t have to watch this,” Shinsou said.

Katsuki gripped the remote tighter as he let the newscast continue, and ignored the way a few of the others had noticed what was playing on the television.

The screen shifted to a teenager with his face blocked out and voice distorted—not that it would have mattered otherwise. Katsuki wouldn’t have remembered an old classmate even if they’d shown his face. They were all unimportant extras whose names he never bothered to learn, but now he wished he knew.

The kid said, “Midoriya? Yeah. I knew of him. He was that Quirkless guy who was always mumbling under his breath about heroes and following Bakugou and his friends around. He was always creepy, if you ask me.”

“What’re you guys watching?” Kirishima asked, arriving behind the couch.

“They’re talking about Midoriya on the news,” Iida answered, standing on the other side of the room.

Kirishima nodded and leaned his walking crutch on the couch back next to Bakugou as the newscaster continued.

“Can you tell us anything about Midoriya’s relationship with Bakugou? He was seen at the last attack and the two of them seemed familiar from the footage that’s been submitted to the station,” the reporter asked.

“Relationship?” The other student snorted. “I’m not sure you could call Bakugou beating the,” a beep aired, “out of Midoriya once a week a relationship. Bakugou made that guy’s life a living hell whenever they were in the same room. But maybe Midoriya was into that, because it sure didn’t stop him from getting into Bakugou’s space as often as he could.

“Everyone in class knew that leaving Bakugou and Midoriya alone together was a bad idea, even if we were all too scared of Bakugou to actually say anything about it.”

Shinsou grabbed the remote and turned the television off before the report could continue.

Katsuki felt everyone’s eyes on his back and he stood up from the couch. He glared over his shoulders, looking each concerned and confused expression straight on. When the eyes started to narrow, Katsuki nipped things in the bud and hissed, “If you’ve got something to say, speak up.”

“Is what that guy said, true?” Ashido asked, eyes wide. “Did you used to beat up Midoriya?”

Sero mumbled under his breath, “It would sure explain a lot.”

“It would put his hyperfixation on you in a different light, should it be true,” Todoroki said, staring at the table. “Though it’s also possible that young man is exaggerating for the press and attention.”

Katsuki bit his lip and slowly unclenched his hands out of their fists. He reached down and grabbed his bag. “It’s true, and I’m not talking about it.”

“Bakugou,” Kirishima said. Katsuki could feel his friend’s gaze on his back as he pushed his way out of the room and from everyone staring. Kirishima scrambled for his crutch and hopped after Katsuki. “Wait up!”

He was out the door, only holding it open for Kirishima out of necessity, when he heard Shinsou tell the others to “Leave them alone for awhile.”

The door to the dorm slammed behind them and Katsuki leaned on it, staring at the morning sky and listened to the early birds leaving their dorms for class.

“You okay?” Kirishima asked, leaning heavily on his crutch. Katsuki stared at the cast on his leg, full of signatures from their class. He hated that Izuku had broken Kirishima’s leg and he hated that even a week later there were still a few stubborn yellow bruises leftover and stitches in a healing shoulder. Kirishima snapped his fingers in front of Katsuki’s eyes. “Hey, I’m going to take that silence as a ‘no,’ so talk to me.”

“I’ve been thinking about middle school too much lately as it is,” Katsuki admitted. He slumped against the dorm wall into a squat. (Izuku in his crisp black uniform; always adoring, no matter what expression he wore.) Katsuki grabbed a rock and threw it across the room, igniting his Quirk behind it so that it skipped all the way to the next dorm. “I wasn’t expecting to get hit with it this morning in a news program due to some idiot whose name I don’t remember.”

Katsuki was glad Kirishima didn’t have a comment.

(He didn’t want to think about Middle School.)

“Let’s walk to class,” Kirishima said, the upbeat tone in his voice obviously forced. The laugh that followed was a bit more natural. “You can check my homework and tell me all the questions I got wrong to clear your head.”

Katsuki snorted as he got up. He pointed at Kirishima’s back and huffed. “You left your bag in the dorm.”

He couldn’t help the smirk as Kirishima cursed under his breath and hurried back inside, the crutch tapping on each tile square as he greeted people in the hallways.

Katsuki waited for him outside, leaning against the dorm and closing his eyes.

(Now everybody knew.)

The television wires sparked from the damage after Izuku had thrown one of his stick grenades at it, missing the box proper and hitting the wall behind it.

“How dare they make Kacchan look bad,” he hissed, sitting on the edge of the worn couch.

“You’re lucky that wasn’t in the bar,” Shigaraki said, slumping against the back of the couch in their apartment living room. He clicked his tongue and waved his fingers at the destruction. “Kurogiri would have killed you.”

Izuku fumed, biting his thumb and glaring at the wrecked device. This wasn’t good enough. He had too much fury and nowhere to put it without breaking something he couldn’t afford to replace.

(They needed a new television anyway.)

“I’ll be back,” Izuku said, getting up. He was acting on his anger, but Izuku was allowed to do that now: He was a Villain. That’s what Villains did. Izuku said, “I’m going to see Giran.”

“What about?” Shigaraki asked, almost amused.

“I’m going to check his network for someone who’s good with computers and hack into the news network for the unedited footage,” Izuku said. He ran his fingers along the couch edge as he moved. “How does attacking a news station sound as a fun, public event for the League of Villains?”

“Before or after you murder the kid in the interview?” Shigaraki asked, laughing.

“I was thinking we could do it at the same time. You’ve been bored anyway, and this could be a good co-op mission for us,” Izuku said. He turned and indicated the wrecked television. “Besides, how else will Kacchan know I defended his honor if he doesn’t see it live?”

Shigaraki snickered under his breath and smacked the couch with his open palm. “I love it.”

Izuku grabbed his coat from the rack and slung it over his shoulders as he stomped to the doors leading downstairs to the bar.

His past with Kacchan didn’t belong to anyone but Izuku and Kacchan.

(No one else understood their relationship; no one. How dare they?)

After this week, no one would make that mistake again.

Chapter Text

Katsuki probably should have realized he’d be getting a phone call from his parents when he got back to the dorm after school.

He had forgotten that “Everybody” wasn’t just everybody in his school.

It was everybody, everybody.

Needless to say, he received a very firmly worded request to come home for dinner, dorms be damned, and to be prepared for Mrs. Midoriya to be there. It didn’t give him much room to escape when she said they had already acquired permission from the school.

Kirishima volunteered to come with as emotional support, but Katsuki turned him down. His best friend had his own issues surrounding Izuku and he didn’t think meeting Mrs. Midoriya was going to help that any.

Instead, he spent the entire train ride home wishing that Izuku would come crashing in and cause trouble just so he could get out of this visit.

(It figured the one time Katsuki wanted the twerp to show up he was a no-show.)

Once he finally arrived, Katsuki wasn’t too surprised to find out that Mrs. Midoriya had been completely in the dark concerning her son’s middle school days and his relationship with Katsuki.

He was, however, surprised to find out that his mother knew.

Which is why when he clicked open the door and let himself in, he found himself taken aback by Mrs. Midoriya yelling at his mother.

“You knew about it the entire time and you didn’t say anything to me?” Mrs. Midoriya asked, her eyes angry and wet. “I can maybe understand not being able to control your son and his actions, but I should have known what he was doing!”

Katsuki winced as his mother hissed right back, “Excuse me?”

“Hello, son,” his dad said from the side, drawing his attention away from his mother’s vicious response. His dad glanced between his wife and his son, biting his lower lip. “I’m sorry you’re coming home to this. But we thought it would be best to talk through with all of us after Izuku’s mother called us earlier.”

“No shit,” Bakugou said under his breath.

“Katsuki, please try to be a little nicer than usual,” his dad said, shrinking in. He whispered, not quite wanting to attract attention to their presence just yet. “Hisashi had to leave for his flight back to work last night, so Inko was already a little more sensitive than usual when the news hit this morning. She’s really upset.”

Bakugou breathed out and dropped his schoolbag by the door as he listened to Mrs. Midoriya bark back her own responses to the yelling. “Perfect.”

“And I’m telling you that kid on on the news was exaggerating!” Katsuki’s mom yelled back. “I didn’t tell you what was going on because I didn’t think it was anything to be worried about! Every time my kid pushed yours around, the next day Izuku would still be following him around like Katsuki was the best thing to ever happen to him. He always had that stupid smile on his face like nothing had happened. Clearly they were working things out on their own.”

“Pushed around? Is that what you’d call what that boy described on the news! I asked around after that, you know? I didn’t want to believe it, but I had to be sure so I called his other classmates’ parents to speak to their kids and they told me just what your son did to ‘push’ mine around,” Inko said. She crossed her arms and said quite sternly, “You say you know what your son was up to all those years, but I don’t think you did.”

His mother reared her head back and sucked in a breath. He recognized the twitch of genuine anger and decided this needed to stop.

(The last thing he needed was to wreck his mother and Mrs. Midoriya’s friendship over something so stupid.)

“It’s in the middle,” Katsuki said, speaking up loud enough to get both mothers’ attention. He shoved his hands in his pockets and stepped into the living room, staring hard at the floor. “The bullying wasn’t as bad as they said on television, but it’s probably worse than what my mom knew about since the worst of it happened when she wasn’t around.”

“It’s about time you got home, brat,” his mother said, crossing her arms. She frowned, her body tense and tired, but she relaxed a fraction. “Masaru! How long has he been there?”

“Just a few minutes, we didn’t want to interrupt, Mitsuki,” his dad said, He tried for a calm smile and rubbed his hands on his shirt. “Why don’t we go sit at the table and talk this through.”

“Sounds good to me,” his mother said. She tugged on her blouse sleeve twice before reaching down to grab the tea tray and cups off the coffee table. She nodded her head toward the dining area and huffed. “Come on, we’ll yell at each other in there like civilized adults.”

“That’s not quite what I meant,” his dad said, but followed the other two into the kitchen. He looked over his shoulder when he noticed his son wasn’t following. “Katsuki?”

“I’m coming,” he said.

Katsuki reminded himself to get a thank you gift for Kirishima on the way home. He wasn’t sure how he would ever get through this conversation if he hadn’t had a chance to practice talking about it a few times before hand.

(Didn’t make it any easier though.)

When he was finished telling them the simplified version of what he’d spilled his guts to Kirishima about, Mrs. Midoriya said a quiet, “I need to think about all this” and left with a small apology for yelling at Katsuki’s mother, which was returned with the same sincerity.

The house was quiet after Mrs. Midoriya left, and Katsuki slumped at his kitchen table. He covered his face and breathed in.

(This sucked.)

Eventually, he dropped his hands to face his parents. His dad smiled softly, but looked worn and old, while his own mother looked like she wanted to yell. Instead, she settled for a hug and said, “I think you’ve got the picture of what went wrong here. Go get some sleep, baby.”

Tired and exhausted, Katsuki hugged her back and went to bed, hoping and praying that it wasn’t this rough when the rest of his class attacked him for answers of their own.

(At least he’d had plenty of practice.)

“I’m starting to think I never quite appreciated the network Giran had built up,” Izuku said, walking alongside Shigaraki in the familiar neighborhood. He had his hands casually in his pants pockets, feeling a bit like Kacchan and the way he always strolled along, and admired the sights of his old hometown. They reached the house they needed within a few minutes and no one was out and about in the sleepy neighborhood. “I was hoping for immediate gratification, but I didn’t think I’d actually get it.”

Shigaraki scrunched his fingers together and used his Decay on the the lock. It fell away, and he pushed the door open with a single finger. “Giran can be very efficient with the right motivation.”

“It’s also sort of funny that he’s scared of me now,” Izuku said. He scrunched his nose and shook his head. “Giran used to give me such a hard time with work, but now he’s practically calling me ‘sir’ whenever I talk to him.”

“Feels good, right?” Shigaraki asked, smirking behind the hand-mask.

Izuku said, “Yes.”

The house remained quiet as Izuku walked in through the front door. The small dwelling was much like any other house in the neighborhood, with a modest living room and kitchen taking up the main space. He took a turn on the first hallway he came across and cracked open the first door, finding the first bedroom on the hall. The kid’s parents slept soundly in their bed, breathing heavily. He left the door open as he moved further down the hallway, ignoring the way Shigaraki chuckled as he entered the parents’ bedroom.

(Next door, next door.)

There. Past the bathroom and a small linen closet, Izuku found the second bedroom of the house, with his prize inside: Izuku recognized his old classmate, sleeping spread out on the bed. If he recalled, the other boy’s Quirk allowed him to stretch out his neck.

(Not a threat.)

He didn’t bother to remember the other boy’s name.

It really didn’t matter.

(As Kacchan would have put it, “He’s an extra.”)

He slammed his hand over the boy’s mouth, waking him instantly. Frozen in fear, his old classmate’s eyes widened as large as saucers, and his body shifted as his neck lengthened on reflex.

Izuku jammed a knee into his chest to keep from wriggling away and leaned over him, being sure to smile as brightly as possible. “It’s not nice to tell lies on the news.”

The boy’s screams vibrated through his palm.

(Maybe it was a little fair this kid had thought Izuku was “creepy.”)

“So, you knew about the bullying thing the whole time, didn’t you?” Shinsou asked, popping open the top of his bento at the lunch table. He pulled out his utensils and pushed the food around. Eijirou was surprised Shinsou hadn’t brought the topic up yesterday, but then again, most of the class had agreed not to bring it up for at least one day. Shinsou said, “Which would explain why you were so confused when I said Midoriya had a crush on Bakugou.”

“Yeah, I knew about it,” Eijirou said, leaning his elbow on the table. He really wished he’d had a chance to talk to Bakugou about this the other night so he could get his facts straight about what he could and couldn’t tell their friends about he whole mess. So for now, he had decided just to stay quiet. “But it’s not really my place to talk about it, even now. It was all said in confidence, you know?”

“Confidence,” Shinsou said, shoving an omelette slice in his mouth. “I get it.”

Eijirou bit his lip and put his utensils down; he forgot that was a touchy subject.

“You know that thing with you and Midoriya is different though, right? His safety was on the line, and he was a threat to other people.” Eijirou cleared his throat and took a long drink. He tried not to wince as he said, “You’re not a bad friend because you told someone what he confided in you.”

“That’s what they keep telling me,” Shinsou said. He crossed his arms on the desk and pushed his half-eaten lunch away. “But I was also more okay with that answer when he was still in custody and they could talk to him or get him help. He’s obviously gotten worse since the breakout, and I’m not sure if I can help him now.”

“Which makes you wish you hadn’t said anything in the first place,” Eijirou finished for him.

Shinsou laughed, fake and empty, before shrugging. “Something like that.”

“Okay, no more gloom and doom over here,” Mina said, dropping her tray down next to them. Sero and Kaminari joined her at their table, and the regular crew was almost all accounted for. “Bakugou’s already grumpy enough as it is after yesterday and that stupid newscast, so we should be sure to get him in a good mood before we interrogate him.”

Eijirou snorted and dug into his lunch. “Where is he, anyway?”

“Aizawa caught him and dragged him down to the principal’s office,” Kaminari said, half chewing on a biscuit. He swallowed and wiped a few crumbs off the side of his mouth. “Said they wanted to talk to him about the newscast.”

“I’m surprised he didn’t talk to him yesterday,” Shinsou said, leaning on the table. “Wouldn’t that have been more timely?”

“I think Aizawa was thinking along the same lines as the rest of us,” Sero said. He reached across the table for the salt and added a bit to his lunch. “Bakugou was so closed off yesterday, he probably figured he wouldn’t get much out of him even if he asked about it. Since our favorite explosives expert was much calmer this morning, Aizawa probably figured it was safe to bring it up.”

“And why today he’s going to answer some questions,” Mina confirmed with a nod. “He’s got a lot of explaining to do.”

“I just hope he’s okay,” Eijirou said. He sighed and rubbed the side of his face. “He didn’t even want to talk to me about it last night, and then he had to go home to his parents where I’m sure the subject came up, so I know he’s got to be taking this whole thing badly. I’m really not sure Bakugou was prepared for everyone in the area to find out about his thing with Midoriya.”

“I sure wouldn’t be either,” Kaminari said. He played with the hem of his sleeve on the table and frowned. “And I can’t stop thinking about that first time we saw Bakugou and Midoriya together in the hallway. Bakugou looked ready to kill that kid. Remembering made it way too easy to picture that being a regular thing when they were in middle school.”

“I know right? He had him half way up the wall and Midoriya’s face was turning red,” Mina said. She mimicked the scene with her arms, holding them up high and shaking her wrists once. “I don’t even think the guy's feet were touching the ground.”

Eijirou had forgotten about that.

Or rather, he’d forgotten that Kaminari and Mina were with him when they ran across Bakugou at his least manliest during Midoriya’s first week of school at U.A.

“It kinda makes you wonder why this isn’t a big revenge thing,” Kaminari said. He leaned toward the center of the table and lowered his voice. “That would make way more sense if you ask me.”

Sero shrugged, “I don’t know. It’s a fine line between love and hate, right?”

“Maybe Midoriya’s a masochist?” Shinsou offered, starting to eat again. He looked thoughtful as he continued, despite everyone at the table staring at him. “I mean if he is, he clearly hasn’t found a healthy outlet for it, but it would explain why he’s so crazy about Bakugou’s whole alpha male schtick and pushing his buttons to get a reaction.”

“Dude, don’t say stuff like that.” Kaminari snorted and started laughing. He leaned his arm on the table and snorted. “Bakugou might actually kill you if he hears you making jokes about it.”

“Who was joking?” Shinsou asked, straight faced and serious.

“Drop it either way,” Eijirou said, frowning. Midoriya’s obsession with Bakugou was on an entirely different level. None of them had any idea just how bad it really was. The jokes lost their edge, plus: “I don’t want to think about it, either.”

Shinsou finished off his omelette. “Just looking at all our options.”

“Hey, the television turned off,” Sero said, looking up. He pointed at the large screen at the end of the cafeteria that typically played a mix of the local news and school announcements. “I wonder why?”

Kaminari looked up and squinted. “The feed must have been cut because the power’s still on. You can see the light in the lower corner.”

Most of the students hadn’t noticed the television lose it’s picture, but they all turned to stare when the volume spiked and static roared.

It blinked white before it opened on a news room floor, the main desk pushed out of the way. In the center of the screen was a young teenager, crying his eyes out in handcuffs. A collar had been hooked around his neck attached to a strap on his chest. His neck, long and winding, folded in on itself as it moved in his panic.

“Is it working?” A voice said to the side.

Eijirou felt his stomach drop; he knew that voice.

“Midoriya?” Shinsou whispered, eyes wide.

“It looks like everything’s working!” Midoriya said, walking into the frame. He wore his full villain costume, his half-mask on and his hood darkening his face. His voice remained full of cheer as he held his hands out. “Great! My name is Izuku Midoriya and I’m here from the League of Villains! I hope you’re all paying close attention, because I’ve got a couple of announcements to make.”

“Man I hope Bakugou isn’t watching this,” Kaminari said, wincing.

Eijirou agreed.

Chapter Text

Katsuki wanted to go back to lunch.

The Principal and Aizawa had decided this was the perfect time to ask Katsuki how he was doing after the news report and his time at home with his parents. Specifically though, they wanted to know how he felt about the broadcast and if he was willing to talk about his time with Midoriya in middle school with either of them. Katsuki realized fairly quickly that he wasn’t getting out of this room without saying something and prayed for an intervention before he had to talk about his feelings with the Principal and Aizawa.

His silent prayers were answered when Present Mic opened the door with a slam and yelled while somehow keeping a serious expression in his face: “You need to turn on the TV.”

“What is it now?” Aizawa asked the air as he picked up the remote and did as instructed.

“—couple of announcements to make,” Izuku said, front and center on a ruined newscast set.

“What’s he doing?” Katsuki asked, staring at his childhood friend in the middle of a newsroom wearing that stupid costume. He zeroed in on the young man at Izuku’s feet and it didn’t take much to put two and two together. “Ah, hell.”

Principal Nezu waved for Aizawa to turn up the volume. He muttered under his breath and frowned at the box. “Young Midoriya didn’t waste any time reacting to that broadcast, did he?”

“Before we start, I’d like to remind everyone that if we see so much as a single person within ten feet of the building’s perimeter—” Izuku cut himself off and tapped forward. The camera shifted as Izuku moved it to the side from the front, revealing a group of people huddled together next to none other than Tomura Shigaraki himself, covered in his creepy white hands. Izuku said, “Then our fearless leader will have to execute someone. I personally would rather not resort to that, but Shigaraki would love it. So let’s not give him an excuse, okay?”

As Izuku moved out of frame to fix the camera, Shigaraki waved his fingers at the lens and his shoulders moved up and down like he was laughing.

Katsuki felt sick.

“Is anyone at the scene yet?” Aizawa asked Present Mic, speaking softly with his eyes still on the channel.

Present Mic pulled his glasses down and said, “Yes. I managed to contact the authorities when the broadcast started and they started sending Pros to the scene almost immediately when the channel went down. I don’t know the details of who’s going to be there or what the plan of operation is, though.”

“Then I guess all we can do is keep watching,” Aizawa said, frowning hard at the screen.

Izuku took a seat on top of the news counter he’d shoved back to make more room for the main floor and crossed his ankles. “We’ve got three things we’d like to announce. The first of which is a message from the League of Villains proper, while the other two are just from me.”

Katsuki could help but stare at the screen, his heartbeat picking up with every word.

“Since a few of our guests in the corner are getting edgy, we might as well start!” Izuku said, leaning back. He laced his fingers together through his gloves and sat them on the side of his thigh. Katsuki could see heavy bags under his eyes over the top of the metal mask; he looked like he hadn’t slept. Despite how tired he looked, his voice still had some pep when Izuku said, “For our first big announcement: The League of Villains is recruiting! If you have an interest in causing destruction or embracing your inner desires, ask around for the League and we’ll find you. Anyone is welcome and if you don’t think you have the right tools to get the job done, we’ll help you get them.”

“Boy, if he isn’t the perfect poster child for recruitment,” Present Mic muttered under his breath. “He has a much more pleasant appearance than that Shigaraki brat, and everybody knows he was an average, bullied middle schooler that’s now a legitimate threat to Pro Heroes. Shigaraki couldn’t have asked for better advertising.”

Aizawa grunted in response while Nezu held a hand up for them to be quiet.

Katsuki half listened to them, fixated on the screen and the unnatural confidence Izuku displayed. Even in their past confrontations, there’d been a touch of desperation and neediness that hinted of his multiple anxieties, but this version of Izuku—he was practically charismatic.

“But, now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to get some things straight with our next point of the day,” Izuku said. He vaulted off the counter, smacking his boots hard into the ground. He reached over and dug his fingers into the hair of their peer and yanked his head back, arching the entire body up as the chain hooking the neck and chest together remained taut. “Yesterday morning my old classmate here said some things about Katsuki Bakugou that were highly misinformed.”

The world grew out of focus; fuzzing around the edges as Katsuki stared at his childhood friend on the screen.

Izuku had said his proper name.

Katsuki couldn’t remember if he’d ever actually heard Izuku say his proper name before; it was always “Kacchan” this and “Kacchan” that. If Izuku had felt even a fraction of the same shiver that just ran down Katsuki’s spine when he had finally said “Izuku” for the first time since they were four, he could no longer find himself surprised at how fast Izuku’s creepy behavior had escalated after they “made amends.”

(“Don’t be unfair now,” Izuku said, biting his lower lip with a smile and tugging on the black collar of his uniform. “I call you ‘Katsuki’ all the time when you’re dreaming of me.”)

He shoved down the intrusive daydream and focused on the real Izuku, whose eyes burned into the camera over his mask.

“I want to make something clear: Katsuki is my oldest and dearest friend. He means everything to me. Everything. I know from an outside perspective that our relationship may seem rough around the edges and hard to understand, but it also solely belongs to the two of us and I will not stand here and let a jealous brat like this,” Izuku paused to yank the young man higher, “make Katsuki look bad for a gossip piece about me.”

Present Mic whistled.

“Brag and theorize about me all you want, but if anyone so much as thinks of dragging Katsuki Bakugou down in any way while you’re at it, then you will regret it,” Izuku said. “And just to drive that point in, I have a demonstration.”

Izuku dropped the student back down to his knees where he overbalanced trying to catch himself, toppling over onto his side. Izuku tugged a black cloth from out of his pocket and knelt next to the boy scrambling to get away. With a flick and a tug, he had wrapped the black cloth entirely over the boy’s mouth and nose, yanking it back. The fabric held airtight to their classmate’s face, enough that you could see the outline of his mouth frozen in it’s half-open position. Izuku tied it in a knot behind the other boy’s ears and threw his arms wide and proud when he was finished.

The boy thrashed, smacking his head up and down on the ground attempting to get rid of the gag. But it stayed firmly in place and the goal of the cloth became clear with every second the boy’s mouth struggled to inhale. Izuku slammed a foot down the boy’s side, essentially kicking him over onto his stomach to keep him from wriggling too much.

Katsuki whispered, “Izuku’s going to suffocate him.”

“I’m going to contact the station and see what’s going on and if they need any help,” Present Mic said, shoving his glasses back up. He yelled as he ran out the door, “We might not have more than four minutes to save that kid.”

Katsuki felt impressed that Present Mic had already jumped into action. His own movements were frozen in shock and the inability to look away at the morbid scene.

“I’m going to gather the other teachers and address the students so they don’t panic,” Principal Nezu said, also living up to his profession as an educator and Hero. “Keep an eye on young Bakugou.”

(Why was Katsuki still sitting here? Why wouldn’t he move?)

Aizawa and Katsuki were left alone with nothing else to do but stare at the television screen: Aizawa with a sense of growing rage, and Katsuki feeling disturbingly more numb by the second as the the suffocating teenager’s movements became more and more sluggish.

“Now that that’s over with, we can address point three,” Izuku said. He stepped off their old classmate and walked closer to the camera, though the dying boy behind him remained visible. He stared straight into the camera lens; and while he was technically looking at everyone, it felt like he was staring straight at Katsuki. “This one’s a bit personal, but I think all of you would benefit to pay attention.”

Izuku reached up and yanked his mask down and threw his hood back, open and vulnerable despite the steel in his eyes and the grease dragging down his curls. He declared, “Katsuki Bakugou is mine and I’m done sharing.”

(Katsuki felt that shiver again; he hated it.)

Izuku opened his mouth to continue, but a crash off camera interrupted his announcement. Panicked screams and noise filled the air, which had to be the hostages. Izuku stared to the side and backed away from the camera in time for everyone to hear a “Stop, Villain!” shouted by (Katsuki was pretty sure) Fourth Kind.

Aizawa took a seat on the corner of the principal’s desk, watching the camera. “I don’t think they’re going to make it to that kid in time.”

Watching the boy on the ground, knowing he had a couple minutes at most before he suffocated, Katsuki couldn’t help but agree.

Clearly not sharing Aizawa’s pessimism, nor showing signs of delight, Izuku did nothing more than huff in irritation and shoved his mask back up into place. He dove to the side when a projectile of some sort flew by him, indicating there was more than one Hero, though Katsuki didn’t recognize the voice or the Quirk.

The camera tipped over after a rattle and the screen cracked, but the picture still ran.

“I guess we’re tuning out early,” Izuku said, loud enough for the cameras.

He tugged one of his stick grenades from his pocket—the screen flickered—and tossed it up once. He caught it and leaned down to shove it in the chest harness of the boy on the ground, barely twitching as he struggled to stay conscious.

Izuku mumbled under his breath. The words were hard to make out through the noise and distance from the mic, but Katsuki could tell from years of practice: “And here I went to the effort to make this painless. Honestly, all they had to do was wait two more measly minutes for him to die and everyone would be fine but now we have to do this. I didn’t even get to finish my speech and I practiced and everything. Oh, well. We were prepared for this anyway. It’s not a problem. I can deal with this just fine.”

Izuku clicked the top of the grenade down and ran off of the screen, pulling out another grenade from his pouch as he yelled “Shigaraki, duck!”

Katsuki heard the grenade attached to the bound teen beep before something smashed into the camera, cutting the feed.

Aizawa cursed under his breath.

Staring at the screen and biting her lip with the edge of her thumb pressed into her canine tooth, Himiko giggled at the static across the television, still coated in the blood of her latest crush. She lifted the knife and stabbed it into the meat again, and again, keeping time with her heartbeat.

“Wow,” she said. Green eyes and green hair. Passionate. Willing to get his hands dirty. Now that was a man! Himiko got off the body and tapped the top of the television, hoping to bring the picture back. “Aw, I wanted to see more!”

She got up and patted down her skirt; she had to see that one again.

Himiko put her hands on her hips and shifted to one leg. She grinned wide and licked the red off her lip. “Now what was that he said about recruiting?”

(She supposed it was time to start asking around.)

“Katsuki?” Shigaraki asked first thing as the two of them stepped through Kurogiri’s warp and back into the safety of their home. “I thought Bakugou’s first name was ‘Kacchan’?”

“No, his first name is Katsuki,” Izuku said, tugging his sleeve back. Three bars worth of energy still resided in his flesh and he needed to release that soon before it decided to release on its own. Izuku hadn’t intended to absorb that much extra during the fight, but he’d dropped a grenade on accident when Fourth Kind tackled the desk he was standing near. Izuku huffed and sat at the bar, deciding he might as well practice small energy bursts. “I’m not going to call him ‘Kacchan’ on national television. That’d embarrass him.”

Kurogiri said his goodnights, practically ignoring their conversation, and left to report to the Master or turn in for the night; Izuku didn’t particular care which.

“I see,” Shigaraki said, standing to the side. He scratched his neck, watching as Izuku made tiny sparks in the palm of his hand. It crackled like a sparkler, lighting the dark corner of the room. “How thoughtful, though I think killing someone for him and declaring him yours in front of the whole world might have had the same effect.”

Izuku felt his cheeks flush; Shigaraki might have had a point.

A larger burst almost burned his wrist, but Izuku caught it in time. He scowled at Shigaraki. “Maybe I also don’t want anyone else getting the idea in their heads that it’s okay for them to call him that. That’s my nickname for him and it’s between us and us alone.”

“That answer I believe,” Shigaraki said. He frowned at his hand. “I didn’t get to kill anyone.”

That in and of itself was still surprising. Izuku didn’t know how the Pro Heroes had managed to find just the right spot in the wall to hit Shigaraki without touching the hostages, but he hated to admit he was impressed.

(They really did need more members. Without bringing the Nomu along, he and Shigaraki really weren’t equipped to handle large groups, even with Kurogiri’s warp support.)

But those thoughts were for another day.

“If the plan had gone perfectly you wouldn’t have killed anyone anyway,” Izuku said, dropping his elbow on the counter. He yawned into his hand and rubbed the side of his eyes. “I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to crash.”

Shigaraki snickered. “You and your need for sleep.”

“We can’t all run on sheer willpower, and we just had a fight after staying up all night” Izuku said, not even caring it was still technically the middle of the day. He sent off one last spark, watching the last bar leave the back of his arm. He had plans for a bath and sweet dreams and his eccentric friend wasn’t keeping him up to play video games this time. “I’ll see you after a long nap, Shigaraki.”

His friend held his hand up in goodbye, turning on the television.

Izuku tapped up the stairs toward the apartment section above the bar and rubbed his thumb into his chest. He’d taken an unexpected hit from Fourth Kind that was sure to be a spectacular bruise, but paid the Hero back with an explosion to the face that wrecked that stupid piece of headwear he had on.

The entire mission had had its ups and downs, but overall Izuku considered it a success.

As he headed for the bath, Izuku could only hope that Kacchan saw the broadcast. If he had, then an extra bruise or two were of no consequence; they’d be worth it.

(And if not, Izuku could always send Kacchan a tape of the recording.)

Katsuki made it two steps into the classroom before he found himself knocked back into the wall, tackled by Ashido’s fierce (and unexpected) hug.

“Bakugou! Are you okay?” Ashido asked, squeezing him hard enough he had to exhale. Sero tugged her back, revealing the rest of the class had gathered near the door waiting for his arrival. “You and Aizawa were gone for so long we figured you had to have seen that awful show on TV!”

“Dude, you okay?” Kirishima asked, leaning on his crutch.

Katsuki rubbed between his eyes and sighed. “Better now that I know that kid survived, even if he’s intensive care.”

“He’s alive?” Kaminari leaned up on a desk. “But Midoriya stuck a grenade on his chest!”

“The young man survived, yes, but we’re keeping it under wraps for now for fear Midoriya will try again,” Aizawa said, walking into the classroom behind Bakugou. He tugged his scarf down and sighed. “Everyone take a seat and I’ll address the situation.”

Katsuki wandered back to his desk and collapsed in his chair, only complying with the request because he knew they were going to be dismissed early to the dorms as soon as Aizawa was finished speaking.

He shot Kirishima a weak smile to appease the worried glance digging a hole in his back before turning back toward the front of the room. Katsuki slumped forward, burying his head in his arms as he breathed.

“First, the information I’m about to tell you is classified,” Aizawa said. Katsuki didn’t need to look up to know he looked as tired as Katsuki felt. “You’re being informed because it directly effects Bakugou, and we decided that burdening him with secrecy might not be a good idea at this time.”

That particular bit of dialogue had come straight from the Principal when he finally came back to the room to find Bakugou and Aizawa sitting in silence, one stewing in rage and he other still in shock. He thought it would be difficult for Bakugou to talk things through with his friends if he had to leave such important details out.

(“He’s going to tell them anyway, so we might as well make it official,” as Aizawa had put it.)

Their teacher continued, “From what I understand, almost all of you saw the footage in the cafeteria today, or at least have heard about it. However, the reports from the news are only reporting that the villains escaped and that there was a single casualty.

“However, this is an intentionally false report in order to protect the victim, and as Bakugou mentioned earlier, the young man Midoriya kidnapped from his home is alive and in intensive care. As his parents were already found dead in his home, we felt the best choice for now was to continue to let Midoriya believe he killed that boy,” Aizawa said.

“Wait,” Kaminari said. He held his hand up and leaned forward on his desk, rattling it slightly. “We all watched Midoriya stuck a live grenade on his chest. How’d he survive that?”

Katsuki had asked basically the same thing when the Principal reported the news, already convinced that a kid’s blood was directly on his hands via proxy.

“Dumb luck and one hell of a rescue team,” Aizawa said. “The kid’s missing half his side, but they were able to stabilize his vitals and get him to a hospital with not a moment to spare. He’s not in one piece, but he’ll live.”

Someone behind Katsuki whistled.

“Before I dismiss you for the afternoon, I want to remind everyone that this will be the sort of situation you deal with in the future again and again until you’re sick of it,” Aizawa said. “You got a taste of this life during the attack on U.A., and a few of you have seen it closer up hand. It only gets worse from here, and we were lucky today.

“Tomorrow we’ll be discussing the entire event in more detail, pointing out what went wrong and how we can prevent situations like this in the future. Be ready for it, and you’re dismissed.”

Katsuki drew his head out of his arms as Aizawa left the classroom. He glanced around looking to see who would accost him first with questions. Getting it over with now meant Katsuki could go back to his dorm and sleep it off faster. He saw everyone had a question in their eyes, but no one seemed to have worked up the will to start asking.

He sighed and pointed at Kaminari. “You. I can tell you want to say something so just ask it already. I’m not in the mood to beat around the bush right now.”

Kaminari held his hands up and shrunk in his seat. “No, uh. It’s better if I don’t say what’s on my mind. Let someone else go.”

“Everybody wants to ask something and they’re all getting exactly one question, so ask yours now and get it over with so I can go back to the dorm and take a nap before my head explodes!” Katsuki said, with enough bite that it almost felt like yelling, but didn’t quite reach it.

(Kaminari jumped, so it was good enough.)

“What the hell did you do to Midoriya in middle school to make him that obsessed with you?” Kaminari blurted, leaning forward with a face expressing morbid curiosity. He slammed his hand over his mouth immediately afterward. “Uh, sorry. No. That wasn’t what I meant.”

Katsuki stared at him for a full second, processing what he’d just asked.

A moment later, Katsuki had doubled over laughing at his desk so hard he thought he might be crying.

Chapter Text

Izuku straddled Katsuki’s lap, digging his fingers into Katsuki’s hair with one hand and clutching his shoulder with the other. Izuku’s nails dug deep into his scalp, pulling hair as he held on tight. Izuku’s labored breathing moved his chest, knocking it into Katsuki’s with a tempo that matched his rolling hips.

Warm, amber afternoon light washed over the room; school having just let out and the classroom cleared, leaving only the two of them behind to take advantage of the empty space.

Katsuki kept his face buried in Izuku’s neck, inhaling the smell of his soap. His hands clutched to the black uniform, wrinkled and burnt under his smoking palms. Izuku’s uniform jacket hung open in the front, revealing the crisp white shirt beneath it, still maddeningly tucked into his trousers. Katsuki pressed kisses into Izuku’s skin, pulling them closer together at the waist.

Izuku returned a kiss at Katsuki’s temple, pressing his nose there and dropping his arms around Katsuki’s shoulders. He pulled himself up into a hug, pressing their heads together at the side.

“You know, Katsuki,” Izuku said, whispering. He leaned back and kissed Katsuki’s eyelid. He spoke into Katsuki’s skin, murmuring along it. “People will say that they’d be willing to kill someone for you, but not many would actually do it.”

Katsuki stopped.

“It’s flattering, don’t you think?” Izuku asked. He put his thumbs on Katsuki’s cheeks and placed his fingers behind his neck. Izuku kissed Katsuki full on the mouth, distracting him with tongue and spit, before nipping his bottom lip. “And we both know how much you love flattery and praise.”

“It always amazes me how you find new ways to be a pain in the ass,” Katsuki said, returning his head back to the crook of Izuku’s shoulder. He let his hands drop from Izuku’s back and busied them, tugging on the end of his jacket instead. “Way to kill the mood.”

“The mood was already dead,” Izuku said, petting the back of Katsuki’s head. He shifted back a bit on Katsuki’s knees, adjusting their position to something less intimate. Izuku ruffled Katsuki’s hair. “But I can fix it.”

Izuku leaned back, drawing his hands over Katsuki’s shoulders. He pressed Katsuki back so he had to sit up properly and look at him. Izuku smiled meekly, raising his shoulders into an innocent shrug before he wrapped his fingers around Katsuki’s uniform collar and yanked.

Jerking himself backwards and Katsuki forwards, Izuku put enough force behind his tug that it knocked both of them out of the chair. They landed hard on the floor, Izuku on his back and Katsuki crashing on top of him, catching himself on his knees. He hissed as his joints knocked into the floor, smacking his head forward into Izuku’s chest and bit back the curses.

The classroom disappeared; the floors and walls turned to onyx with a single, burning hanging light above them.

It swung.

“I’ve been bored,” Izuku said. Katsuki crawled up, hovering over Izuku on his knees and elbows. The light swayed, turning the darkness into a warehouse for a blink, before going back to the shapeless nightmare. Izuku played with his own jacket collar and pulled up a knee. He tapped it against Katsuki’s hip in a steady rhythm. “Which must mean you’re bored with the same old daydreams, too.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Katsuki said.

He moved to get up, but Izuku snatched Katsuki’s hand and put it over his own heart, still grinning. Smoke rose from Katsuki’s palms without his consent; he felt the sparks burning Izuku’s shirt and tried to yank his hand away. Izuku’s grip remained iron, even as his shirt singed.

“Don’t worry, I think I know something much more fun we can do,” Izuku said. He leaned up and kissed Katsuki on the side of the mouth. “Trust me.”

Katsuki blinked and Izuku’s villain costume replaced the familiar school uniform, complete with his face mask, though the hood was drawn back. Izuku’s curly hair framed his face, eyes alight with amusement and smile hidden. Katsuki looked down and saw his own hand dressed in his costume gloves. He could feel his own hero mask on his face and the weight of his gear.

“Now this could be fun,” Izuku said, leaning up. He kept Katsuki’s hand on his chest, the smoke still rising. “Don’t you think?”

An explosion burst from Katsuki’s hand, blinding him.

Waking him up.

The nap hadn’t helped.

Katsuki sat up and punched his pillow. He hit it four more times before he slicked back his hair and climbed off his mattress. His crumbled U.A. uniform shifted as he moved and he yanked it off, replacing it with a plain shirt and some jeans.

He supposed it wasn’t realistic for a two hour nap to make all your problems go away after your childhood friend turned into a sociopathic murderer, but Katsuki had hopes, gosh darn it.

At least the question and answer session was done and over with:

“What the hell did you do to Midoriya in middle school to make him that obsessed with you?”

Apparently be awesome and feed the twerp constant negative attention. (Katsuki didn’t have a better answer than that, because he sure as hell didn’t know either.)

“How are you holding up?”

Take a wild guess and you wasted your question. Next!

“Have you really known Midoriya since you were children?”

Yup, known each other our entire freaking lives, for better or worse. Our moms are friends, too, if that saves anyone a dumb question.

“What are you going to do next time you run into Midoriya?”

Katsuki didn’t have a clue.

But he was sure it would involve decking that idiot halfway across a room.

Half the class gave up their one question when someone else asked it first, and he managed to get out of their clutches within twenty minutes of interrogation. Todoroki patted him on the back as he headed out the door, and Kirishima promised that they’d “study” tomorrow after Katsuki had time to decompress. Overall, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

(Now if only his dreams would stop turning into nightmares, he might be able to function again.)

Katsuki clicked his dorm room door shut behind him and headed straight for the stairs. He tapped down them, flight after flight, until he hit the bottom floor. The common room seemed mostly empty, save for Sero watching television and Iida sitting at the counter near the kitchen. Iida stared at the table top, his hand across his forehead and his expression furrowed like he was thinking too hard.

Grabbing a snack out of the fridge he sat across from him and regretted it even as he asked, “What’s up, Class Rep? You look more serious than usual.”

“Bakugou,” Iida said. He pulled his hand down and crossed his arms on the counter. He continued his frown, sighing and attempting to look less miserable (and failing if Katsuki noticed). Iida said, “I just have a lot on my mind.”

Katsuki surprised himself when he asked, “Such as?”

“Midoriya,” Iida admitted. He turned his head just so, reflecting the light off his lenses. “I know that’s a sensitive topic for you, so I’ll refrain from talking about it.”

“I’m not a piece of glass,” Katsuki said. He rolled his orange on the counter and pointed. “Spill.”

Iida smiled wryly and shook his head. He fixed his glasses with a soft smile and said, “If you insist. Do you remember a few months ago when I got caught by Stain and that Nomu in the alley?”

“Yeah, you were an idiot and Endeavor bailed you out and Izuku out,” Katsuki said. Iida cleared his throat, his cheeks reddening. Katsuki crossed his arms and nodded. “The point?”

“It’s been on my mind since that broadcast,” Iida said. “I’m still trying to reconcile that the boy we saw on television earlier this morning was the same as the young man who showed up to save me from Stain, and that hung out with me and Uraraka after school.

“Midoriya walked straight into that alley and yelled at Stain without fear, which I had mistaken at the time for foolish heroism,” Iida adjusted his glasses again, frowning hard as he struggled to remember. If Katsuki recalled, Iida had hit his head pretty badly during all that. He imagined that was rough for a guy as meticulous as Iida to have memory problems. Iida continued, “But now knowing about his connections and hidden occupation, it has occurred to me that perhaps the reason he could walk up to Stain without fear was mere familiarity instead.

“I keep wondering about every moment in that alley, desperately trying to figure out what clues should have tipped me off that all was not as it seemed,” Iida said. “Or figure out why he bothered to save me in the first place. I know Aizawa suggested that he was trying to make connections to keep his cover, but that doesn’t sound right either. There are far more worthy students in the class for something like that, so why did he bother?”

“You’re thinking too hard,” Katsuki said. He stuck his thumb in his orange peel and tugged it back. “Izuku saved you because he wanted to. Since Stain is still in jail, I’m guessing he’s not exactly in anyone’s good graces in the League of Villains. For all we know the Hero Killer trying to kill you was the last straw.”

Iida frowned, and shifted. “You think so?”

“Look, Izuku didn’t have friends before he got here,” Katsuki said, ripping off an orange slice. “Nobody wanted anything to do with the Quirkless kid starting from when we were four all the way through middle school, so he followed me and my friends around. Trust me when I say that Shinsou, you, and Uraraka were his first real friends. I guarantee that part of his life in U.A. wasn’t an act.”

“That almost makes it all worse,” Iida said, snorting out a half-laugh. He wrung his hands under the table and said, “I’m starting to understand how Shinsou feels. We let Midoriya down, didn’t we?”

“And another thing,” Katsuki said, splitting his orange open and cutting Iida off. He pointed a finger at Iida and growled. “Stop killing yourself trying to figure out what you missed or what you should have noticed to tip off that Izuku was working with the League of Villains.

“If anyone should have noticed something was up, it should have been me, and it should have been in our third year of middle school when Izuku dropped off the face of the planet,” Katsuki said, aware that his voice was raising in his impromptu guilty confession. He put his orange down and dropped his arms loosely in his lap. He stared at the table. “Izuku used to follow me and my friends around like a puppy our entire lives.

“I could look over my shoulder on any given day and see him hovering around spying on me, but then one day he just stopped. But it wasn’t just that: He was silent in class, went straight home after the bell rang, and was a ghost on weekends.

“I barely saw him, and I told myself it was ‘about time’ that he stopped tagging around. In truth though, I knew there was something off about everything. If years of threatening him and shoving him around didn’t get him to leave, then something else had to have happened to make him go away.”

Katsuki felt himself pausing, biting the edge of his lip. He felt split open and raw, and said what was on his mind anyway: “But I was too scared to ask what changed.”

Surprised Iida continued to listen without interrupting, Katsuki finished his thought and admitted what he had denied so fiercely in middle school: “Izuku started avoiding me the day after the Sludge monster attack. I thought maybe that he had heard how I had been helpless and weak, needing to be saved, and it was possible that Izuku finally wised up and decided I wasn’t as cool as he thought any more.

“It’s all ego talking, but when you get used to somebody calling you ‘amazing’ and saying how cool you are literally every day, it goes to your head a little,” Katsuki said. He laughed and rubbed his mouth. “And with my attitude, Izuku was the only one still saying it by the time middle school hit. Everyone acknowledged my skills, but no one actually liked me.

“So I guess when I thought he gave up on me, I got a little terrified he might be right. I didn’t want it to be true, so I just ignored him as much as he was ignoring me.”

Katsuki swallowed, his voice dry. He reached for his fruit and popped another slice in his mouth.

Feeling his cheeks flush, and realizing just how much he had shared, Katsuki fiddled with his orange and huffed. “I guess my end point, is you and Shinsou were better friends to Izuku than I ever was, so uh, don’t beat yourself up about it too much.”

“Thank you for sharing,” Iida said. He took off his glasses and rubbed his misty eyes. “I will cherish this unusual moment of openness.”

“It’s not that weird!” Katsuki yelled, slamming his fist on the counter. He squished the last of his orange, spilling the juice and innards over his palm. He frowned and shook the excess off. “Shut up!”

“Bakugou, bro,” Kirishima said. Katsuki spun around on his seat and stared. Kirishima had tears on his cheek and he bit his lip. He held up a single fist, and tilted his head down and to the side in pride. “That was so manly. You’re always so manly. Look at you sharing and making friends. I’m so proud to be your best friend, man.”

“How long have you been there?” Katsuki asked, gaping.

“We’ve all been here for a while,” Todoroki said, holding his hand up from the couch. Ashido and Sero sat on his other side, giggling. Kaminari took a step out from behind Kirishima and leaned on his shoulder. Katsuki bristled and Todoroki shrugged. “It’s not our fault you were so focused on your heart to heart with Iida you didn’t notice us walk in.”

“It’s okay, Bakugou,” Shinsou said. He snickered and put his hand on Bakugou’s shoulder, grinning wide. “We already knew you were a softy inside with an insecure side a mile wide, but we like you anyway.”

“I’m going to kill all of you,” Bakugou yelled, shoving off the hand and letting loose and explosion. The group scattered with a laugh and dodged out of the way. He shouted, “You hear me! Dead! Izuku won’t have anything to hunt down when I’m done with you.”

“You’ve got to catch us first,” Shinsou said. The challenging smirk he sent Katsuki made his blood boil. Shinsou lifted an eyebrow, as if daring Katsuki to try. “You think you can do that?”

“Just watch—”

Katsuki blinked, staring at the television from the couch. Ashido popped in a movie and he jerked his head at to the side. Shinsou had an arm over the back of the couch and shrugged. “We decided a movie night would be more fun than you murdering all of us over something as dumb as being embarrassed over something you have no reason to be embarrassed about.”

“You were outvoted, dude,” Kirishima said from his other side. He gave a thumbs up and laughed. “And Shinsou’s not sorry about using his Quirk.”

“Nope,” Shinsou confirmed, taking the bowl of popcorn from Todoroki, who settled on the floor in front of Katsuki’s knee.

Katsuki snorted and snuggled into the couch. As everyone in the dorm squeezed into the small room, ready to watch whatever movie Ashido had decided to unleash on them, he couldn’t deny the warm feeling growing in his chest as he sat surrounded by his friends.

He felt lighter.

It made forgetting about his nightmares easier.

(If just for the moment.)

Shigaraki pushed Izuku off the couch.

He huffed and picked the controller back up, watching his fighter continue their victory pose. Izuku snickered under his breath and stayed comfortable on the floor, clicking the “Continue” button.

Shigaraki was a sore loser; what else was new?

“I want to play another game,” Shigaraki said. He clicked the game off mid-menu and pulled up the list of titles.

Izuku tapped the controller against his knee as Shigaraki scanned through the list. “We could play that cooking one. It has two player co-op so we won’t be competing against each other, just the level.”

Shigaraki paused on the game for a few seconds before shrugging and starting it. “I get to pick an avatar first.”

Not having a preference, Izuku let him have first pick. Video games were probably the weirdest addition to his new super villain life. Izuku honestly couldn’t say he had played many before, usually too busy buried in his notes and looking up videos of heroes in his spare time. He remembered Kacchan was fond of the arcade, but that was one of the few times he didn’t feel the need to watch his every move. Kacchan’s arcade afternoons were when Izuku got his own things done.

He probably should have guessed early on by Shigaraki’s vocabulary that the man genuinely loved video games.

Izuku just didn’t realize he’d be expected to play them with him.

“Better you than I,” Kurogiri had said one day while cleaning the bar. “It’s nice he has someone to play with that isn’t me. I can’t stand those games of his.”

“Ready?” Shigaraki asked, selecting the first level.

Izuku nodded and straightened up, rubbing his thumb on the controller edge. “Let’s go.”

About twenty minutes into the game, the sun had set over the horizon and Kurogiri warped into the living room behind them. He flickered in place until Shigaraki reluctantly pressed pause on the remote.

“I hate to interrupt, but Giran has arrived with a hopeful new member,” Kurogiri said. He waved his hand toward the stairs. “Shall we greet them properly?”

Shigaraki tossed the controller on the couch cushion and Izuku followed him up, setting his own down next to it. He stretched his arms behind his head and cracked his neck out.

“Shall we meet our new friend, Shigaraki?” Izuku asked, clicking his mask up. “Maybe our party will grow from two to three.”

Shigaraki, already wearing his own hand, rolled his shoulder. “Let’s find out.”

Forgoing Kurogiri’s warp, the two of them trailed down the stairs and into the bar. There near the doorway stood Giran with a hand in his pocket and his eyes glued to his phone as he scrolled through his messages. Standing near him was a blonde girl with her hair in double buns, wearing a sailor-style high school uniform and a long sleeved cardigan. She hummed under her breath, swaying on her legs with her arms behind her back.

As soon as she noticed Izuku and Shigaraki, she spun on her heel and gasped in delight.

“Izuku Midoriya! I love you!” she shouted, her voice full of glee. She put her hands on her cheeks, smiling so brightly her face had to hurt. Izuku took a step back of the intensity of her emotions. “I love you so much I want to be you! Can I kill you? Please? I think we might be soulmates!”

Izuku shared a glance with Shigaraki while the girl continued giggling in flushed joy, face red and hands on her cheek like a little girl gushing over her crush.

Izuku could barley manage a “What?” in response.

“You’re even more perfect in person,” the girl swooned. “I bet you taste so good.”

“This is Himiko Toga,” Giran said. He raised a hand and walked out of the bar. “And she’s all yours.”

Izuku was pretty sure this was some sort of revenge for (basically) becoming Giran’s boss.

Chapter Text

Tomura had known Himiko Toga for all of three minutes and had decided she was certifiably insane after one.

“I can’t believe we’re standing here together,” Toga said, her hands still on her cheeks as she leaned forward at the waist to invade Midoriya’s personal space. He leaned back to get away, which only encouraged her to step forward (practically skipping) and get even closer. Toga bit the edge of her lip as she gushed. “You were so passionate in that broadcast and so motivating, I couldn’t help but fall in love!”

Midoriya turned five shades of red and reverted to an anxious state that Tomura thought he had beaten out of the boy.

It was a fairly interesting spectacle: Toga continued to hover around him, flirting with her body language and enjoying his sputtering responses. Midoriya held his hands up defensively in front of his chest to put distance between them, waving them in random directions as he tried to give a coherent response to the flattery. Midoriya refused to make eye contact with Toga and she grinned more and more as he continued to fumble about.

“Oi, Midoriya. Why are you getting flustered?” Tomura asked, scratching his neck. He dropped his elbow on the bar and snorted. “Aren’t you in love with Kacchan?”

“I am!” Midoriya yelled, snapping his head to look at Tomura. His cheeks stayed flush, but he narrowed his eyes as his brain started working too hard. He put his hands to his chest, almost scandalized. “I’ve never had a pretty girl confess to me, okay? Even if she’s crazy it’s still a first!”

“You are so cute,” Toga giggled.

This was getting nowhere.

Tomura sighed deeply and looked at the new blonde. He dropped his hand from his neck and pointed at her. “You. I don’t understand you. Repeat that thing you said earlier about wanting to be Midoriya and kill Midoriya.”

“Boys are cuter when they’re roughed up,” Toga said, throwing her arms behind her back and sticking her chest out. She rolled her shoulders in, trying to look cuter than she was. Toga hummed, “But as for that second part. It’s normal to want to be like the ones you like, right? Midoriya understands! That’s why I think we’re soulmates.”

“I understand what now?” Midoriya asked.

“You’re trying to be like the one you love, aren’t you?” Toga asked. She threw her arms forward and grabbed one of Midoriya’s hands. Tomura barely caught the movement; girl was fast. She held Midoriya’s hand between hers and yanked it forward to place near her heart, just above her breast. “You were bullied, and he was your bully, but now you’re the bully! You’re trying to emulate him by being big and tough and cool, and if that isn’t just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen I don’t know what is!”

Midoriya stared at his hand on her chest.

“Don’t deny it! You want to be just like him.” She pressed her lips together, smiling more meekly. She rubbed her thumbs on the sides of Midoriya’s skin. “I bet you want to rough him up, too. I can tell. You’re like me, aren’t you?”

“I am not like you,” Midoriya said, calming himself down. He tugged his hand back and cleared his throat. Tomura remained impressed Midoriya didn’t step away and held his ground. “Am I the only reason you came to join the League?”

Toga smiled, showing off her sharp canines. “Do I need a better one?”

“How many people have you killed?” Tomura asked. She turned to look at him, biting the edge of her index finger. “Out of curiosity.”

Her eyes glittered. “How do you know I’ve killed someone before?”

“Call it a hunch,” Tomura said, scratching his neck.

“Good hunch. Well, let’s see,” Toga said. She turned tilted her chin up in thought and tapped her cheek with the same index finger she’d been chewing on. After a second she laughed hard enough to shake her shoulders. “I don’t know! It’s not like I was keeping count. What about you?”

“That was the right answer,” Tomura smirked from behind his face mask. They might be able to use this one, even if she did need to learn who was in charge around here. Tomura slumped forward on his stool, leaning away from the bar. “Because I don’t know either.”

“It sounds like our initial interview is a success then, especially if these papers Giran provided are to be believed. Perhaps we can move on to the details of this arrangement,” Kurogiri said from behind the bar, setting aside the small dossier their broker had given Kurogiri before Tomura and Izuku arrived downstairs. He picked up a glass and said, “Assuming you realize that killing other members of the League is strongly frowned upon, no matter what your personal affections.”

“Shucks,” Toga said. Her gaze switched to Midoriya and she flushed. She turned on her heel and slapped her hands on her cheeks. “But I think that’s okay. It just gives me more time to tell Izuku how much I love him before I crawl into his skin.”

Midoriya gagged out a flabbergasted “What?” at the same time Kurogiri said, “She is surely going to make things more interesting around here.”

Toga blushed (again; it was like her blood constantly spent its time at the surface of her skin) in response and tapped over to the bar to introduce herself properly to Kurogiri. He offered her a drink and she hauled herself up, kicking a leg back and forth against the bar, while shooting Midoriya a look over her shoulder every so often.

(And a few were spent staring at Tomura with a thoughtful expression he wasn’t sure he liked.)

“I don’t really sound like her, do I? We’re not alike, right?” Midoriya asked, tugging his mask down and whispering in Tomura’s ear.

“A little,” Tomura admitted, pinching two fingers together.

He was lying, but the answer was worth it to see Midoriya glare at him.

Katsuki leaned against the wall as Kirishima got his check up from Recovery Girl in the nurse’s office after class. It’d been a long night of awful nightmares and a weather forecast of storms in their future, so he was glad that at least one good thing was happening today.

“I’m glad you could fit me in,” Kirishima said, smiling brightly as always. Recovery Girl’s assistant finished removing his leg cast and set it aside. “I think I would have gone stir crazy being out of commission for another week or two.”

“Let alone the three to four months it would take to heal naturally,” the nurse said, chuckling as she wiped off some dust from the plaster. Katsuki looked away from the blotted and bruised skin, rubbing his arms. “There we go. He’s all yours, ma’am.”

“Thank you, dear,” Recovery Girl said. “And it’s no trouble. It’s been a fairly quiet week with injuries. Everyone seems to be taking things more seriously and are being less reckless after that horrible broadcast yesterday. I’m just sorry I couldn’t get you in to finish up sooner.”

“No! I totally don’t mind,” Kirishima said, holding his hands up. “Getting healing in small doses is absolutely okay. I don’t need you to use up all your stamina on me just because I’m getting cabin fever.”

Katsuki snorted.

Kirishima was getting healing in small doses because he was so wrecked from Izuku’s Nomu during his kidnapping that everyone agreed it’d be better for him to heal in small batches with one wound at a time, his shoulder taking priority and the leg last with two treatments.

“You’re a good boy,” Recovery Girl said. She puckered up and with a familiar green glow, pressed her lips to Kirishima’s knee. Within seconds, the flesh turned back to it’s normal tan color and looked healthier than ever. Recovery Girl patted Kirishima’s knee with a soft smile and said, “That should finish you up. Take it easy for the rest of the day to let things settle, but you should be good to go for all activities tomorrow.”

“You’re the best!” Kirishima said, hopping off the table. He collected his things and tapped his leg up and down on the ground. The nurse shook her head at him as she took his crutch and cleaned up the bed. “Thanks again!”

“Any time,” Recovery Girl said. She squeezed the top of her cane handle with a fond smile. “It’s what I’m here for.”

“Okay, okay,” Katsuki said, pushing off the wall. He walked over and grabbed Kirishima by the arm. “Thanks again, but we have been here too much already.”

“I agree,” Recovery Girl said. She waved her hand. “Off with you two, now.”

“Bye!” Kirishima said, waving over his shoulder as Katsuki dragged him out of the room. They made it a few feet down the hall before Kirishima stretched his arms over his shoulders and said, “Man, I can not wait to take a proper shower. My leg is still itchy from that cast.”

Katsuki grunted, shoving his hands in his pockets.

“You okay?” Kirishima asked. He threw his bag over his shoulder, pausing for a moment to rub his knees. “You were doing better last night after the movie, but you seem more out of it today.”

“Haven’t been sleeping well,” Katsuki said, voice low. The halls were mostly empty now that classes were over, but you never knew. “Been staying up too late thinking about stupid things.”

“I said before that nothing’s stupid if it involves your feelings and I still mean it,” Kirishima said. He threw an arm around Katsuki’s shoulder, tugging him into a side hug. “We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, but don’t like, berate yourself for having thoughts.”

“Thanks, but I am not in the mood for more sap,” Katsuki said, pushing Kirishima off his shoulder. He rubbed his hands together, lighting sparks the way his dad usually did and smirked. “Let’s go see if Todoroki wants to help me blow shit up.”

“One of these days he’s going to get sick of making you practice dummies out of ice,” Kirishima said, grinning wide and showing off every single row of his shark-like teeth. “He’s going to get bored before you do and then he’ll go find a new friend to spar with.”

“Then I’ll start using you for practice again,” Katsuki said. He flicked Kirishima in the head and snorted. “That Quirk of yours is good for that.”

“I might actually take you up on that,” Kirishima said, staring down at the floor. His face fell into something more contemplative and breathed out. “I need more practice with my stamina. I’ll give Midoriya one thing, he’s great at seeking out weaknesses and what’s the point of being unbreakable if someone finds a way?”

“It’s his own loss, really,” Katsuki said. He held up a fist and pressed it into Kirishima’s shoulder. “Revealing our weaknesses means we can get rid of them, and eventually even Izuku’s going to be the one in the corner. He’s smart, but he’s got his own faults and when we find them, it’s going to be game over.”

“You said it,” Kirishima said. He returned a shoulder hit of his own to Katsuki’s side and laughed. “Let’s go get dinner.”

Katsuki nodded and breathed in.

They had a lot of work to do.

Himiko liked this place.

She had a new bedroom to herself that she had already made plans to decorate. Everyone lived together and it was basically a tiny little family in here with plenty of room to grow!

Mr. Kurogiri was nice and polite and he really loved Tomura. His only downside was that he didn’t like Izuku very much, but she sort of understood that since Mr. Kurogiri was jealous—that was one emotion that Himiko knew very well. It wasn’t hard to see he didn’t like sharing Tomura with Izuku.

You could even say Mr. Kurogiri flat out didn’t like Izuku and thought Tomura should take charge more.

(But if he laid a single warp-covered finger on her cute and beloved Izuku, she’d figure out how to stab him. Repeatedly.)

Speaking of Tomura, he was pretty fun, too. He was spoiled rotten, did whatever he wanted, and liked video games. His Quirk could destroy anything he wanted with the touch of his hand (like the one he wore on his face!), but he’d learned how to handle everything without breaking anything using an odd amount of care that he disguised with an air of laziness. He was scary when mad, but also super cute when he pouted, which Himiko checked off as an extra point in his favor.

(He also didn’t fluster easy, but Himiko was sure she could crack him.)

The best part of all though, was getting to see Izuku all the time.

(She’d only been there one night and it was already fantastic!)

Himiko giggled to herself, holding one cheek on her hand while the other spun her knife around in the air. She drew little hearts with it, tempted to carve her name alongside Izuku’s into the couch to signify their future coupling, but decided not to ruin Mr. Kurogiri’s furniture. She rolled onto her side and scratched the blade back and forth on the carpet.

Izuku was so much better in person than on the broadcast.

Himiko rolled even further on her stomach, humming to herself as she watched Mr. Kurogiri fix dinner in the small kitchen across the room.

So little time had passed, but Himiko already knew that Izuku worked like the devil, with some sort of analysis or news program running whenever he had a spare moment. He sent files to Giran and took clients over the computer and still managed to find time for his own projects. He’d mastered multitasking (and got the cutest look on his face when he mumbled facts and figures under his breath while he sorted papers and websites).

Izuku mumbled to himself almost all the time and it was adorable.

(Himiko had to note it twice—it was that cute!)

He was also considerate and despite a full workload, paused for an hour to watch over Tomura’s shoulder when the man wanted Izuku to watch his handheld game (something about a high score). Izuku and Tomura were very close, but it was in a cute, good way. But it wasn’t just Tomura. Izuku had also used Mr. Kurogiri’s warp to visit his pet Nomu at least once, and Tomura said Izuku tried to do it every day. Izuku cared very much for the two of them.

(And thankfully not in a way that would require Himiko to be jealous.)

She tapped her knife against her cheek.

Best of all, though, Izuku knew obsession.

Himiko had only needed one glance in his room to know that his love for “Kacchan” was the real deal: Pictures of the teenager covered Izuku’s walls. With the exception of one tack board that held a few pictures of the hero All Might and a photo of a middle-aged couple with green hair, every other available surface found itself coated in photos of Kacchan including: publicity stills, candid shots that looked like they’d been taken from fairly close distance, and random school photos with bits of text around them that might have been clipped from a school paper.

The collection was as haphazard as it was complete. If Himiko had been any other girl, she might have found it creepy that Izuku was such a stalker.

But Himiko was Himiko and she found it wonderful.

Now if only she didn’t want to stab Kacchan in the eye for taking all of Izuku’s attention.

It was Himiko’s ultimate conundrum: She loved Izuku because he loved Kacchan, but if Izuku got the Kacchan that he loved so much, then he wouldn’t have room for Himiko! She’d never get him all to herself to love and cherish and shove his face in the dirt and cut his skin and drink him alive.

It was quite the pickle!

“Are you done giggling to yourself?” Tomura asked, leaning over the side of the couch. His hand-held game hung loosely in four fingers from one side. He huffed, one eye glaring through the fingers of his mask. “You’re annoyingly loud.”

“But I’m so happy!” Himiko said, she hopped up on her knees and poked Tomura’s mask. “Besides, it’s not like I have much else to do. You’re playing games and Izuku’s doing all the work by himself.”

Tomura tapped his game console up and down on the couch side. “I don’t know if you’ve forgotten already, but we did destroy a news station yesterday.”

“Oh, right.” Himiko said. She wrapped her knuckles on the side of her head. “I guess it makes sense you’d take a break then! But then why is Izuku still working so hard?”

“Because he’s a workaholic,” Tomura said, scratching his neck. He looked back toward the open door to Izuku’s room and huffed. He raised his voice, “You do know you don’t have to do Giran’s work anymore, right, Midoriya?”

“It’s what I’d be doing in my spare time anyway,” Izuku shouted back. Himiko wished she could see him from the living room, but his desk was just out of sight from this angle. “Might as well get paid for it.”

Tomura stilled for a second, considering that answer before snorting loudly and walking around. He kicked the couch until Himiko scooted over and he sat. “I forgot analyzing Quirks was his hobby.”

“What other hobbies does he have?” Himiko asked. She clapped her hands together and put her knife away. “I already know about Quirk analyzing and his Kacchan stalking—”

“Don’t call him that!” Izuku yelled from the other room.

“Oops,” Himiko said, putting her finger over her mouth. She corrected herself, “Bakugou stalking. But what else does he like? Tell me!”

“All Might?” Tomura scratched his neck. “I don’t know. I make him play games with me but he doesn’t like them and he doesn’t do anything else but work or stalk Kacchan.”

Himiko waited for Izuku to scold Tomura for the use of nickname.

It didn’t happen.

“Why do you get to call him that but not me?”

Tomura shrugged. “I was his friend first?”

Himiko snickered into her hand, but she and Tomura both jumped when Izuku’s door slammed shut behind him. Bags were under his eyes and he huffed as he walked over.

“You’ve certainly made yourself at home already,” Izuku said. He frowned at Himiko and put a hand on his chin. “You passed Giran’s initial test because your file says you were responsible for the blood draining murders, but we still don’t know anything about you aside from why you joined.

“You may have passed Shigaraki’s test just by being a killer, but I’m still wondering if you’re going to be able to pull your weight around here as an effective team member,” Izuku said. Izuku studied her, eyes raking all of her frame. Himiko shivered and fidgeted on the couch, from the intensity of it. Izuku asked, “What exactly is it you’re good at aside from murder?”

“Hard to please, are you?” Himiko said. She bit her lip. Izuku was even cute when he was mad and trying to glare. She wanted him. She wanted to touch him so badly. Himiko had an idea. “That’s okay! Once you know what I can do, I think you’ll be very impressed.”

“And what is it that you can do?” Izuku asked.

“Let me have a cup of blood and you’ll find out,” Himiko said. She grabbed the couch back and pushed up to lean over the side to be closer to Izuku. This was perfect! Himiko had wanted to be Izuku, but she didn’t think it’d get to be this soon. Her heartbeat picked up from the excitement. “Or a tablespoon. Either is okay. I just need your blood.”

Izuku said, “No.”

“Don’t say that!” Himiko forced a smile and leaned even closer. “You’ll like it! I promise!”

Tomura scratched his neck and said, “Does it really matter whose blood it is?”

“I guess not,” Himiko said, putting. She puffed her cheeks and slumped on the couch side. “But I really wanted it to be Izuku’s.”

“Why don’t you just tell us?” Izuku asked.

“It’s more fun if it’s a surprise,” Himiko answered. And she wanted that blood; Izuku’s blood. Himiko pressed her lips together and smiled coyly. Izuku looked away from her and she ran her hand over the couch back. “It ruins the fun if I just tell you.”

“I am not giving you my blood if I don’t know what you’re going to do,” Izuku said, crossing his arms. He paused and huffed. “No, I take that back. Even if I know, I’m not giving it to you.”

“You’re no fun,” Himiko said. (That was a lie. This was adorable. His glaring was so endearing she wanted to cut his face off and frame it.) She held her hands together and begged, “Pretty, pretty please?”

“Here,” Tomura said. He shoved his arm in front of her face and pulled back his sleeve. “Small cut, no more than what fits in your palm. I’m already tired of this back and forth, so just do it.”

“Tomura knows how to have fun!” Himiko said. She flicked her knife out, spinning it once. He didn’t so much as twitch as she cut a tiny slit on the inside of his arm near the wrist. Izuku had jerked into a battle-ready position at the sight of her weapon, but didn’t move to intervene (such a good boy). Himiko caught a mouthful’s worth in her palm before she said, “I’m good!”

“Shigaraki!” Kurogiri said. He appeared at his master’s side in a blink of an eye (without his warp, even!) and immediately applied a cloth to stop the bleeding. “What were you thinking?”

“That I was bored and I wanted them to shut up,” he said. He glared at Himiko and let his arm be tended. “Go on then. Impress us.”

Himiko licked the glob of blood off her palm and did just that.

Chapter Text

Dabi walked into the wrong damn bar.

He stopped dead in the doorway, eyes widening as he took in the cast of characters bickering in the main seating area of the small establishment. Under normal circumstances, Dabi’s eyes would have gone to the back wall first to see if there was anything decent (or cheap, depending on his mood) stocked. But this time around it was hard to miss the drama that took over the entire place like they owned it.

(Which they probably did.)

“But I don’t want support equipment!” a blonde girl whined, waving her arms around. Dabi had no idea who she was, but he already knew she was annoying. The girl puffed up her cheeks and stopped her foot. “I have my knife and my knife is good enough! Besides, what you described to Giran to order is so not going to be cute!”

“The point is to look scary,” a man scratching his neck said with a hand mask on his face. He looked scrawny but every inch of him screamed “creepy” in that “you don’t want to meet him in an alley” kinda way. That guy, Dabi knew: Tomura Shigaraki. You couldn’t go two steps in the underground without hearing about big bosses with masks, and most people knew to stay out of their way. Shigaraki groaned, scratching his neck harder. “You’re a villain.”

“And you need support equipment,” a green haired boy said, swirling ice around in a half-filled cup of something sparkling. The brat looked frustrated and tired with bags under his eyes that almost were as purple as his own burnt skin. Dabi knew that guy, too: The crazy kid from the news broadcast with the grenades and a serious thing for some U.A. student. “Your Quirk is incredibly handy, but your methods of collection are shoddy and inefficient.”

Blondie narrowed her eyes, insulted. A woman’s wrath was not to be trifled with, but Newscast looked like he hadn’t learned that lesson yet in life. She pulled her knife out and stabbed the bar top. “My methods work just fine!”

Newscast Brat slammed his glass down next to her knife, his voice raising with his frustration. “You killed three people on accident because you took too much and have no control with the knife!”

“Who cares?” The blonde said back, putting her hands on her hip. “They were practice dummies for the real thing anyway. I’d be much more careful with someone I love, thank you very much.”

“That doesn’t matter. You need to be able to capture, store, and organize from multiple people while in the field and you can’t do that with your current methods.” The teen held both of his hands up and put them in front of him, half-way to fists. “If you want to stay here, you’re going to use the equipment we give you.”

Dabi decided to take this opportunity of yelling and bickering to take a few steps out of the bar before someone noticed him.

“It seems we have a guest,” Black Mist said from behind the bar.

(And that was strike three on major known super villains Dabi recognized.)

Dabi cursed under his breath and held up a hand with a hopefully careless looking shrug. “Ah, I think I’m in the wrong place. I’ll just let myself out.”

He took a few steps back and tripped, falling hard on the floor…on the other side of the bar next to Shigaraki. He glared at Black Mist, watching his warp return to his person, before getting back on his feet. Dabi wiped dirt from the floor off his sleeve and huffed, “Or I guess I could buy a drink.”

“And what’s your poison?” Black Mist asked, pulling down a fresh glass.

“Anything that’s cheap and not literal poison,” Dabi said, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Because I’ve only got like four bucks on me.”

Shigaraki snickered behind his face mask while the blonde girl skipped over to hang on Newscast Brat’s arm. She giggled into the sleeve covering her hand and said something suspiciously like “He’s cute, too.” Newscast look unamused, but gave Dabi a once-over with his eyes so thorough that it made his skin crawl—even the bits without nerve endings.

“And what makes you think you’re in the wrong place?” Shigaraki asked, watching Dabi from a wide eye wedged between two of the fingers of his mask. “You sure look like you fit in with the freaks.”

“I don’t know, I think I’m pretty handsome myself,” Dabi said, clicking his tongue before rubbing it along the metal stitching on the inside of his mouth. A glass clinked onto the bar top, but he had to reach in-between Shigaraki and Newscast to get it. This was a freaking test if he’d ever seen one. Dabi rolled his eyes and snatched up the glass; he had his own tricks up his sleeves if these losers tried anything. “You’re the one hiding your looks behind a mask, not me.”

“You didn’t answer the first half of that question,” Newscast said. Dabi could almost feel his eyes continuing to scan over his stitches and burnt skin; Newscast’s mind whirled behind those eyes. That kid was dangerous and asked again, “Why are you here?”

“I asked Giran for a bar that didn’t card minors because getting a fake I.D. is more trouble than it’s worth when you’ve got a face as nice as mine,” Dabi said, admitting the truth. It’s not like he had anything to lose. “He recommended I check out this place, and while he neglected to mention this is apparently a League of Villains hangout, he was right about the bartender not caring about checking your age.”

Dabi threw back his shot and nearly spit it back out. He swallowed it, relishing the burn before dropping the glass at his side, held loosely between his fingers. Dabi glanced at Black Mist, “And if that was the cheap stuff, I’m terrified of what your top shelf costs.”

“We don’t carry anything ‘cheap’ in this establishment,” Black Mist said, the amusement loud and clear. “But consider that on the house.”

“Just out of curiosity, but how do you know Giran?” Newscast asked, mouth tugging halfway into a smile. The girl repeated “Tell us! Tell us!” over his shoulder. Newscast sighed and shoved her face away. “It might answer a lot.”

“I do the occasional odd job,” Dabi said carefully, keeping his eyes on where Shigaraki’s hands were. He was the closest and Dabi didn’t know how fast he was if Dabi said the wrong thing. “Just when I need some spare cash.”

“Giran is well aware that this isn’t a public bar,” Newscast said, holding up a finger and drawing it around in a circle. “Which meant he probably sent you here as a future recruit without telling you.”

“Thanks but no thanks,” Dabi said. He lifted his glass in a half toast and set it back on the bar. “I’m a little small time for this.”

“You’re staying,” Shigaraki said. He leaned his elbow on the bar, dropping the side of his head into a waiting hand. His voice sounded dull and bored, but with enough authority that Dabi could believe this was the guy who tried to kill All Might. He pointed at Newscast and Blondie. “I won’t be left alone with them, so I’m keeping you.”

Dabi glanced behind him as the door slammed shut, closed by Black Mist. Dabi breathed out and weighed his options of how far he’d get using his fire. Shigaraki he could maybe take if he was alone, but that girl was really close to her knife and Black Mist had a few tricks, too. He looked at Newscast and remembered his Quirk had something to do with energy absorption—which included fire.

Unless he unleashed something big enough to take the whole place down and bring every cop in the city running, he was stuck for now.

Dabi said, “Well, damn.”

“Shall I get you another drink?” Black Mist offered, still amused at his predicament.

Dabi shoved Newscast and his girlfriend over, taking the seat in-between them and Shigaraki. Dabi pulled his cigarettes out of his pocket and tapped one out of the case. “Give me the whole damn bottle.”

Shigaraki giggled under his breath and Dabi rubbed his hands down his face, stretching the skin under his eyes. Blondie poked him in the cheek, catching her nail on one of his stitches and continued to coo about him in Newscast’s ear. Dabi took the offered bottle from Black Mist and poured himself a double.

Katsuki wiped the sweat off his face and collapsed into the grass. The leftover slush cooled his back and he exhaled, releasing the last of his excess energy from the work out. The sky loomed above his head with white clouds and clear skies. He could hear Kirishima complimenting Todoroki on creating steam off to the side.

His latest work out session with Todoroki hadn’t been enough (it never was) but it’d allowed him to let out a little bit of steam of his own. His hands and arms ached from the exercise, burning in that good way that noted his heart rate was up and his muscles were growing.

“We’re going to head back to the dorms,” Kirishima said, looking down at Katsuki. He stood over him and gave a thumbs up. “You coming, or just going to chill down there?”

“I’ll catch up later,” Katsuki said. He held a hand up and waved them on. “I want to be alone for a while.”

“If you say so,” Kirishima said. He left Katsuki’s vision, returning his gaze to the sky above. His boots stomped in the melting slush and he said, “Come on, Todoroki! We’re going back without him.”

“See you soon, Bakugou,” Todoroki said, off to the side and out of sight. “Don’t stay out here too late.”

“I won’t,” Katsuki said.

He closed his eyes and breathed in the warm afternoon air. The air in the training field stayed quiet and he rolled to his side to get up. Katsuki would stretch and cool down with a light jog before going back to join everyone else back at the dorms.

“You looked like you were having fun.”

Katsuki stopped, kneeling on one knee, he carefully turned to look over his shoulder. Izuku smiled, his metal mask hanging around his neck, and raised his hand to wave. He sat on the bleachers, one leg raised with his arms wrapped around them.

“Makes me wish I’d taken Todoroki up on that offer to help train,” Izuku said. His smile turned wry as he stuck his tongue in the side of his cheek. “But it still makes me a little jealous to see them with you.”

“What are you doing here?” Katsuki asked, pushing up. Izuku’s gaze swept over his back tank top with a small bite to the side of his lip. Katsuki resisted the urge to cross his arms, and widened his stance. “Shouldn’t you be kissing Shigaraki’s ass?”

“I think Shigaraki can miss me for a while.” Izuku snickered and hopped off the bleacher. Katsuki glanced around, looking for a teacher or someone else. He didn’t see Izuku’s friends, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t secretly outnumbered or something. He couldn’t afford to keep screwing up. Izuku stopped about four feet from Katsuki. “It’d be nice if you looked at me since I came all the way here.”

“How’d you get into the school?” Katsuki asked.

“I wanted to see you,” Izuku said, as if that were all the answer he needed.

(It probably was; the brat was smart like that.)

Izuku edged closer, revealing flecks of rust on his upper cheek. Katsuki could smell the rot coming from his Villain costume, still reeking from sweat and old blood. Izuku stopped a breath away from Katsuki, looking up with large eyes that looked like they wanted to eat Katsuki alive.

“Why aren’t you calling for help? Or striking out?” Izuku asked. He pushed up on his tip-toes just the extra inch he needed to put them eye to eye. “Shouldn’t you be stopping me, Hero?”

The quiet afternoon seemed too bright; too empty. Izuku stood in the middle of this field next to Katsuki like he belonged there. Like he hadn’t tried to murder some kid on television. Like he hadn’t put Kirishima in the hospital.

“Why are you here?” Katsuki asked, voice heavy.

“Because you want me here,” Izuku said, far too knowing. He put his hands on the back of Katsuki’s head and pulled him forward to crash their lips together. Their teeth knocked; Izuku nipped the side of his mouth. “Because I want to be here.”

“I hate you so much.” Katsuki dropped his head into the nook of Izuku’s neck and shoulder. He grabbed his back, digging his raw fingers into the black jumpsuit.

“No you don’t.” Izuku petted the back of his hair, calm and even. He completed the hug, wapping his arm’s around Katsuki’s back. Izuku nuzzled him, whispering, “Can I take you home now, Katsuki?”

The ground opened up beneath them.

The bright blue sky disappeared into a sea of inky black warehouse walls and concrete floors. The hanging lamp returned, swinging as it lit patches of the ground, but never the entire room.

Katsuki hit the ground, landing hard on his back and losing all of his breath. He didn’t hear Izuku land, but he could hear the taps of his boots in the darkness around him. Katsuki rolled over and got to his knees, looking around for where Izuku had slunk off to. The light swayed again, the stem creaking in the empty room like a nail on a chalkboard.

He really hated this place.

“Oh suck it up, Katsuki,” Izuku said. The boot connected with Katsuki’s lower back, kicking him forward. Izuku helped himself to a seat on the lower part of Katsuki’s spine, shoving his face into the concrete floor from the back of the neck. Inhumane strength kept Katsuki pinned and furious. Izuku chuckled, scraping Katsuki’s cheek on the floor. “You’re not going to win. You couldn’t beat me in Middle School. You couldn’t beat me when I took Kirishima. You couldn’t save that kid. You can’t save yourself.”

Katsuki bit his tongue and scrunched his eyes closed as Izuku shifted his hips, pressing them into the dip of his spine.

Izuku fit their bodies together, reversing a position that Katsuki used to daydream about when he was younger. He repeated an old line with a whole new sickening meaning: “Just give up and let me have you, okay?”

Ice water splashed over Katsuki’s face, throwing him out of the dream and back into the dorm living room.

He breathed heavily and reached up to wipe off the excess water dripping from his face.

“Having a good nap, there?” Shinsou asked, staring down at Katsuki. He set the empty glass on the side table next to the couch. Shinsou looked pointedly at Katsuki’s waist and the after effects of his dream. “Sure looks like it.”

“Oh, shut up.” Katsuki tugged at his pants as he readjusted and calmed himself down. He tugged up a leg to lessen the evidence and glared at Shinsou. Fire still pooled at his belly, but he was too disgustingly grateful to have had his dream cut short to be too angry. “Was the glass of water necessary?”

“I thought you were having a nightmare at first, but then realized you needed to cool off instead,” Shinsou said. He continued watching Katsuki with an odd look before snorting and turning away. “You talk in your sleep by the way. I’d advise not taking naps in the common room if that’s what plagues your subconscious. If anyone else finds out you’re moaning Midoriya’s name in your sleep, this whole situation will get a thousand times worse.”

With that, Shinsou turned on his heel and walked away.

“Hey!” Katsuki shouted after him, but his friend had already left the room.

He could still feel the tension in the air, but he couldn’t pinpoint from what. Shinsou kept a lid on his emotions more than Katsuki did when he wanted to, and right now he was a closed book. But it was clear as day from the glare in his eyes and the glass of ice water that the dream he’d overheard bothered him.

But how? Had Shinsou liked Izuku himself or was he just disgusted in general?

Either way, Katsuki was screwed. He groaned and rubbed between his eyes before falling back on the couch. He dropped his hand on the top of his thigh, thumb near his waist, far too tempted.

“So who are you obsessed with?” Dabi asked, lighting the edge of his cigarette with his own flame.

Shigaraki’s eyes darted to the fire still lingering on Dabi’s fingertips before his gaze headed back to Dabi’s face. He scratched his neck. “Obsessed with?”

Dabi pointed with is cigarette to the other half of the room. “Newscast over there is obsessed with that U.A. student. Blondie’s obsessed with Newscast. I’d be willing to bet money Black Mist is obsessed with you considering he’s watching you all day. All of this leads me to think having a center of obsession is a requirement for membership in this group.”

“I’m not obsessed with anyone,” Shigaraki said. He reached over and used his Quirk on Dabi’s cigarette, dropping the ashes over his chest and lap. “And Kurogiri’s not obsessed with me. He’s just doing his job as my servant.”

“Sure,” Dabi said. He lit another cigarette and blew the smoke in Shigaraki’s face. He was tempting death at this point, but he couldn’t seem to give a shit. “Doesn’t explain those two.”

“Midoriya was obsessed with that Kacchan boy before I met him, I just gave him a nudge into acting on it,” Shigaraki said. “The other one’s just crazy, but she’s very good at killing things so I decided to keep her, too.”

Dabi blew a puff of smoke and made a joke. “Like pets?”

“What else would they be?” Shigaraki asked.

His tone was so dead serious that Dabi snorted to cover his laugh. He smothered the chuckles with another puff on his cigarette and leaned back into the couch as he watched the television. The local news played on, talking about heroes this and heroes that. He didn’t really care, but Shigaraki had returned to watching the latest gossip on heroes while Newscast and his girl worked on a laptop near the window. Dabi tapped the ashes from his cigarette into the waiting tray.

These people were out of their minds and he was sneaking out the window at the first opportunity.

Plus, he needed to pay Giran a visit and burn his entire damn office to the ground before calling the police to tip them off about what was in the ashes.

It would serve him right for sending Dabi into a lion’s den because he was a little bitter about one freaking job gone wrong. Dabi was gonna’ pay him back his money and that geezer knew it! He didn’t need to take it out on Dabi when all he wanted was a drink and some place to chill out.

Shigaraki scratched his neck, that stupid mask still covering his face. Dabi smoked, pondering the odds of Tomura Shigaraki actually caring if Dabi up and disappeared in the night. They’d known each other, what? Four? Five hours tops? That couldn’t be enough time to make an actual impression.

“I believe I’ll be turning in for the night, unless you need anything else?” Black Mist said, putting the last of the things away in the small kitchen. He paused and looked straight at Dabi. “And where will our newest guest be staying tonight?”

“He can share with Toga,” Shigaraki said.

Dabi lowered his cigarette and glared at Shigaraki. He already didn’t like where this was going. “I can just sleep on the couch.”

Shigaraki turned and looked at Newscast. “Midoriya. Tell Toga it’ll make you happy if she makes sure Dabi doesn’t sneak out in the night and run away.”

“It’ll make me really happy if you keep an eye on Dabi and make sure he stays put for Shigaraki all night,” Newscast repeated, almost mechanically, never taking his eyes off his keyboard as he worked.

Blondie hummed, kicking her legs back and forth. She watched Dabi with bright eyes and a knowing smirk. She dropped and hugged Newscast’s arm and asked, “How happy?”

“I’ll tell Giran to make your gear cuter,” Izuku said. He looked up and dropped a bright smile that looked wrong as shit on a guy that murdered someone on television over a jealous crush. “I’ll even make sure he paints it pink.”

“Deal!” Blondie jumped off the window seat and skipped across the room. She threw her arms around Dabi’s shoulders and swung her way around over the couch back to land in his lap with a heavy thump that knocked his breath out. She kicked her legs up and laughed. “We’re gonna’ be roomies!”

Dabi picked his fallen cigarette off the floor and shoved it out in the ash tray. “Peachy.”

“I told you I was keeping you, too,” Shigaraki said. He watched Dabi through the fingers of his mask, pupil small and gaze manic. “So don’t be stupid and make plans on your own.”

“Welcome the League, Dabi!” Blondie said, giggling. She stayed in his lap as she reached down for the television remote. She swapped the channel from the news to some sitcom and waved it in the air. “Izuku, baby! Come on! Let’s watch TV together!”

“No,” Newscast said.

“Boo,” Blondie said. She dug her fingers into the back of Dabi’s hair and leaned on his shoulder as she snuggled into his lap and dropped her legs between his. Blondie looked down at Dabi and Shigaraki and said, “Then we’ll just be best friends over here without you!”

Dabi grunted when she mock-whispered. “Do you think this will make him jealous?”

“No,” Shigaraki and Dabi said at the same time.

Blondie burst into laughter and squeezed his head to the side of her chest and Dabi vowed to redouble his efforts to get out of here and escape at the first opportunity.

Chapter Text

Izuku curled on his side under his comforter, clutching a pillow to his chest. Burying his cheek into the side of it, he blocked out the sound of Shigaraki’s troubled breathing through the (still unfixed) hole in the wall between their rooms. He’d put a large print-out picture of Kacchan over it, but paper did little to block sound. Shigaraki didn’t snore, but he had nightmares of his own that resulted in heavy, labored breathing and shifting that made his bed creak when he should have been relaxed and calm.

Dabi and Toga were mercifully silent sleepers in the room on the opposite wall, making it easy for Izuku to retreat into his own little daydreams in the dead of the night.

He thought about Kacchan, mostly.

(Kacchan had taken over nearly all of his thoughts, really.)

Izuku replayed his last moments together face to face with Kacchan: His hands around the other boy’s neck, the desperation of his own heartbeat, and the shock and outrage he’d felt when it had been smacked in his face how their peers at his ex-dream school had defanged and declawed one of the most amazing people Izuku had ever known.

As much as he had hated that the original news interview had made Kacchan look bad, it had done a wonderful job of reminding Izuku of how dominant Kacchan used to be. He was a self-absorbed, violent force of nature that Izuku couldn’t help but admire. Kacchan was an asshole, but he was an asshole that did what he said he would: Win, succeed, and do whatever it took to keep that first place spot in whatever he set out to do.

Sure, Izuku often wished that violence and hatred had been focused more toward goal oriented things and symbolic hurdles than people, but he’d far rather have Kacchan be a bully than a watered down lap dog.

Kacchan was meant to have a scary smirk and murder in his eyes.

Izuku shivered, hugging his pillow closer. His hand slipped over his belly and below the waistline of his boxers.

Kacchan would be furious when Izuku finally caught him. He’d be spitting mad, fighting every restraint meant to keep him contained. He’d be glorious again.

Izuku bit his pillow.

He was far away from the end goal of getting Kacchan alone and all to himself, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t pretend that moment was already here.

(And it was so easy to pretend.)

Himiko hummed as she fixed her hair in the mirror. Dabi slept behind her, face buried in his pillow and drool on the side of his cheek. The crust of it stuck in his stitches and it was as cute as it was disgusting.

The temptation to take his blood still lingered, but Himiko had learned the hard way that Dabi was fast with his Quirk, even in his sleep, and she didn’t want to risk getting a burn before she and Izuku had consummated their love.

She was sure Izuku wasn’t the shallow type and would hardly care about a little thing like a scar or burn mark, but it was the principal of the matter!

Himiko was adorable and flawless and she was going to keep it that way.

Which meant Mr. Handsome Dabi got to keep his blood.

He was behaving anyway, being a good boy for Shigaraki and Izuku, so Himiko thought he had probably earned the right to control what blood he gave her.

Happy with her hair, Himiko stretched and threw open her door. It was gloriously the middle of the night and moonlight fell softly into the main living room. Izuku and Shigaraki’s doors remained shut, though that wasn’t much of an obstacle for what she wanted.

Pressing her ear against the door to Izuku’s room, she listened for any sounds that her love might be awake. It wasn’t unheard of for him to be a night owl, but he usually passed out by two or three.

Himiko bit her lip as she caught the sound of a shifting sheets and mumbling through the door.

Her Izuku-baby was definitely awake. She covered her mouth to hold in the giggle and slid to the floor with her back against the wall, careful not to jostle the door.

Himiko knew to be gone by the time morning came, but she enjoyed herself listening to her beloved say someone else’s name over and over—his own beloved. Himiko pressed her fingers to her lips and smiled wide, feeling her own face flush.

It was only a matter of time before it was her name on his lips keeping Izuku awake at night.

(She was sure of it.)

“We need to do something fun,” Kaminari said, sitting on Sero’s desk after their last class had ended. Katsuki shoved the last of his classwork into his bag and leaned on the back of his chair to listen. Kaminari blew his bangs out of his face and huffed. “Everything’s been all work and seriousness since Midoriya tried to murder that kid.”

“Things like attempted murder by teenage Villains tend to be serious,” Shinsou said, slumping in his chair. He still hadn’t said a word directly to Katsuki since the incident in the common room two days ago, but he figured that was only a matter of time. Shinsou scratched a finger on his desk. “We’re not exactly going to start pretending it didn’t happen just because a little time has passed.”

“That’s not what I mean!” Kaminari said, crossing his arms. “I just meant that it’s already been a few days since then and all of us sitting around and being miserable is probably exactly what Midoriya wants.”

Ashido hopped up onto her own desk and kicked her legs back and forth. “He’s got a point. We have been more down than usual, and that’s probably not the best thing for any of us.”

“Frustration will do that,” Shinsou said. He sent a glance toward Katsuki before putting his attention back on Ashido. “Midoriya’s making all the big moves and we can’t do anything about it aside from hoping that someone gets to the scene in time when he does show up. He’s got us on the ropes and he knows it.”

“All the more reason not to let it get to us,” Kaminari said. He nodded to himself in agreement. Kaminari slapped his hands together and looked around the small crew that had gathered. “So what’s fun we can all do?”

“Going to the movies or the mall is a pretty standard outing,” Ashido said. She put her finger on her cheek and hummed. “Or we could go hiking or something.”

“We could go to the theme park,” Sero suggested. He tugged out his phone and pulled up the website, flipping it around to show everyone. “They just opened a new ride that sounded pretty fun and I was kinda hoping to check it out anyway. Going with the group would be way more fun.”

“A theme park?” Katsuki asked, sticking his cheek into his palm. “Isn’t that a little kiddish?”

“They can be fun,” Kirishima said, speaking up. He leaned on his elbows on his desk and scrunched his nose as he grinned. “There’s always delicious snack foods and kids running around to watch. Plus, the carnival style rides aren’t like super exciting or anything, but they can still be fun.”

“That sounds like two votes for the theme park!” Ashido said. She raised her hand in the air and laughed. “I’ll be three! We should totally go this weekend!”

“Would that really be a good idea?” Shinsou asked. He picked up a pencil and tapped it on the edge of the desk. “All of us out in public and in the open? I don’t know if you forgot, but there was a reason we all got moved into dorms.”

“That was to help protect our families and stuff,” Kaminari said, waving his hand back and forth. “We’d all be together, too. So it’s not like we’d be out alone.”

“A bunch of U.A. students out together is going to attract attention, even more so now that Bakugou’s semi-famous from all those newscasts,” Shinsou said. He put his pencil down and slid back into his seat. “We’d still be a walking target.”

“We would,” Kirishima said. He stared at the table top and threw his head up, slamming his hands on the table top. “Hey! What if instead of waiting for Midoriya to show up, we bait him out?”

“Like how?” Kaminari asked.

“He gets super jealous because Bakugou has friends, right?” Kirishima asked. He stood up and waved his hands around. “What if we sees us all together having fun out at a theme park? He’d want to crash the party, wouldn’t he? And when he does, we could be ready to ambush him!”

“That sounds stupid,” Katsuki said, gritting his teeth together. The last thing he needed was Kirishima and Izuku in a space together. He didn’t want them to see each other ever if he could help it. Katsuki squeezed his fingers into a fist. “We’d have no way of knowing if he’d actually show, and even if he does, he’s got Shigaraki and a Nomu with him.”

“Plus whoever answered that newscast,” Todoroki said, joining the conversation. He walked closer to Katsuki and his friends and frowned. “We could be facing considerable numbers.”

“But that would be an issue next time the League of Villains attacks anyway, right?” Kirishima asked. He almost growled, grinding his own sharp teeth together. “The next time Midoriya shows up he’ll bring those new ‘considerable numbers’ with him and we’d still be caught off guard. At least with this scenario we know to at least prepare for a bigger group than we anticipated.”

“And if he doesn’t show up, we had a nice day in the park!” Ashido said.

Katsuki rubbed between his eyes. “I feel like if baiting Izuku out was a good plan, someone would have come and asked me to do it by now. It’s not like the Pro Heroes aren’t looking for him or the League.”

“Bait missions are typically frowned upon, it’s true,” Aizawa said. Katsuki jumped at his voice and turned in his seat. Aizawa held his class books under his arm and sighed. “But that’s also because the victims of stalkers are typically civilians. Bait missions with heroes are more common, but in your suggested scenario none of you seem to have accounted for the civilians who would also be in the area of said ambush.”

“Right,” Kirishima said, sinking back into his chair.

“We could have a U.A. only day,” Sero suggested. “That way everyone in the park would be a Hero in Training and the teachers would have a good excuse to be there.”

“Wouldn’t that discourage Midoriya from attacking?” Shinsou asked. “The guy’s not stupid. He’s not going to walk into a park full of potential enemies, no matter how jealous he is.”

“I don’t know,” Kirishima said, staring straight ahead. Katsuki could see his mind running behind his eyes, probably remembering how out of control Midoriya had gotten before. He rubbed the side of his arm and pressed his lips together. “Midoriya might risk if it if we tempted him enough.”

Katsuki didn’t like where that sentence was going.

“You mean like we should cuddle up extra hard with Bakugou and show it off online?” Ashido asked, giggling. She held up her phone and flipped through the appropriate social apps. She turned it around and pointed at a selfie of her and Sero. “I bet if we posted a ton of pictures with Bakugou having fun with us that would definitely get Midoriya’s attention.”

“He already wants to kill all of you, do you really want to make it worse?” Shinsou asked.

(Katsuki agreed.)

“Or on the flip-side,” Kirishima said. The frustration leaked into his voice, hiding an anger that Katsuki didn’t like on his normally chipper friend. “He already wants to kill all of us. What do we really have to lose? He attacks us in a scenario where we’re prepared for him, or he attacks us when we’re off guard. It’s going to happen either way, so at least in the first one we have a better chance of taking him down.”

“Assuming he doesn’t realize it’s a trap,” Todoroki said. “We might not be the only ones with a plan.”

“He probably won’t care,” Shinsou said, thoughtful as he looked at his desk. “He’s high on what was essentially a win for him, and if the League has gotten new recruits, this would be a good opportunity to test them out.”

“Are we really still talking about this like it’s a good idea?” Katsuki asked. He glanced at their useless teacher, who still listened quietly. Surely that guy would tell them all they were being idiots intentionally provoking Izuku at this point. “Because it’s going to explode in our faces.”

“There has to be some sort of irony going on when you say things like that,” Kaminari said. “I figured you’d be the one who wanted a chance to take a swing at Midoriya more than any of us.”

Katsuki snorted and and slumped in his chair.

(“Only if we were alone and one on one, right, Katsuki?” Izuku asked. “But we can’t tell them that, now can we? Especially not after Shinsou saw what he did.”)

Stupid dreams, Katsuki thought to himself. He growled and slumped in his chair, ignoring the voices in his head.

“Now I really think we need to get out and do this,” Ashido said. She reached over and ruffled Katsuki’s hair with both hands. “If Bakugou’s not up and yelling about murder, then we really are too down in the dumps!”

“Stop that!” Katsuki shouted, smacking her hands away. He slammed his hand on the desk and shouted. “I’m trying to be smart about this, you idiots!”

“A little better,” Kaminari snickered. “But not quite there.”

“If you lot can come up with an actual plan of action,” Aizawa said, glancing over the group. “I’ll mention it to the Principal. Call it your next class assignment.”

As Aizawa walked out the door, Katsuki slid further down in his seat with a sinking feeling in his chest.

Nothing felt right, and the others weren’t wrong: The fire that normally burned in every inch of his body, the anger and drive, seemed to have been dragged out of him and beaten.

(“And whose fault is that?”)

Katsuki covered his eyes and blocked everyone out as they planned out a theme park ambush would be most effective, ignoring both the eyes of Shinsou and Kirishima staring at his back.

Dabi had severely underestimated the abilities of one Himiko Toga.

Four days. He’d been trapped in his hellhole of an above-business apartment with psychopaths for four days because that awful woman had the strength of a bear hiding somewhere under that stupid cardigan. She’d foiled every attempted he’d made at sneaking out in the night, whether it was by just flat out not sleeping or curling herself around Dabi like a boa constrictor that had a trigger happy knife.

He really wasn’t sure why he hadn’t just given up and lit the entire building on fire already, but that was a lie. He knew exactly why his flames were being kept under wrap: He’d overheard a small call with Shigaraki’s master, and he rethought just how desperate he was to leave.

Dabi wanted to get out, but while he could live with getting on Shigaraki’s bad side, he was pretty sure he’d be dead if he got on his Master’s bad side.

Needless to say, burning down the League of Villain’s property and home of operations was nixed from the plan list.

He lit another cigarette and nursed a shot of something expensive enough he didn’t want to know the cost of, but it was free so Dabi wasn’t complaining. Who cared if he was having liquor and cigarettes for breakfast? The bar itself was the only quiet place in the building with Himiko hovering around Izuku upstairs and Kurogiri cleaning things and he was exhausted.

Shigaraki himself had taken refuge on the couch with a book.


“How can you even see the pages with that thing on your face?” Dabi asked, blowing smoke in the room. He slumped all his weight on the bar top, sinking half off the stool with his knees bent. “Seems like it would make things difficult.”

Shigaraki flipped a page.

Dabi hated that guy. He tossed back his drink and dropped off the stool, crossing the room. He smothered his cigarette out in the back of Shigaraki’s couch and grabbed the book. Shigaraki stared at his empty hands for a second before turning to glare at Dabi, who had just turned the book over to look at the cover.

“Well aren’t you a smart cookie,” Dabi said, whistling at the back cover. He dropped the book back into Shigaraki’s hands and shoved his own into his pockets. “Got to admit, I was all ready to tease you over a romance novel or something, not find out you’re a total geek reading up on your chemistry theorems.”

Shigaraki huffed and flipped his book back to the page he was on. “Only idiots stop their studies after they drop out of school.”

“How far’d you even make it?” Dabi asked, half curious. Shigaraki had a scary Quirk and a wrinkled face, but he wasn’t the most offensive looking person. He could have made it through a few years of public school. Dabi snorted, remembering his own school days. “I made it to second year myself before skipping out.”

“Good dog,” Shigaraki said. He flipped another page. “You want a treat for that accomplishment?”

Dabi lit the book on fire with a snap of his fingers.

“Bad dog,” Shigaraki said, snapping his head up.

The brat’s hand shot forward, aiming for Dabi’s shoulder, but he missed when Dabi threw himself back. He called his dark flame to put space between them as he laughed. “Didn’t anyone tell you not to bring home stray dogs? They bite.”

“Only until you train them properly,” Shigaraki said.

His second strike hit the mark, grabbing the front of Dabi’s collar (one finger raised) and yanking him forward for an over the shoulder throw. Dabi hit the ground and reminded himself that Shigaraki was terrifying in the underground for a reason before twisting around to sweep his leg at Shigaraki’s ankles. The other man hit the floor, and Dabi stood over him.

Dabi readied another flame when they heard something shatter upstairs and both of them stopped.

Shigaraki got to his feet, scratching his neck as he looked at the ceiling. He grunted and huffed. “He better not have broken the TV again.”

“What was that?” Dabi asked, dropping his flame.

“Another dog that needs a little discipline lately,” Shigaraki said, still scratching his neck. He mumbled under his breath as he headed for the stairs. “It was cute at first, but now it’s getting annoying.”

Alone downstairs, Dabi could have just turned around and walked out of the bar.

But he’d be damned if he wasn’t curious.

Izuku probably shouldn’t have thrown the lamp through the window. Sure it was a shady neighborhood and most people knew to stay away from their bar, but there was still a shattered window and people on the street looking at the household appliance broken on the alley floor below.

But if he hadn’t thrown the lamp, he would have thrown a grenade and if he blew up the television again, Shigaraki might actually kill him.

“Wow! Look how far it went,” Toga said, leaning out the window. She put her hand over her eyes and whistled. “It’s halfway down the alley!”

“Why are you breaking my house now?” Shigaraki asked, slamming open the door to the upstairs apartment. Izuku flinched at the tone and his eyes immediately latched onto the burned edges of his sleeves. “It better be good.”

“Izuku got jealous!” Toga said. She sat on her knees on the window seat, kicking her legs up and down as she continued to hang out the window. “Bakugou went to a theme park with all of his friends this morning and they’re posting pictures! It looks like so much fun. We should go, too!”

“Is Bakugou that U.A. kid?” Dabi asked, trailing behind Shigaraki. “And why would you care if he’s hanging out with his friends?”

“Because he’s in love with Bakugou!” Toga supplied. She giggled and reached for Izuku’s laptop. She pulled up a picture of Kacchan and Ashido with her arm around his shoulder in front of the park’s gate. Kacchan didn’t look amused in that one, but it was the next one that had made Izuku throw the lamp. Toga switched the picture to the offending image and giggled. “How could he not get jealous with there are all these people moving in on his man?”

The second picture had Kacchan smiling; warm and sweet and beautiful.

This lovely image had been ruined by two major points: Kirishima had put that smile there, and Kirishima’s fingers were laced with Kacchan’s as they held hands.

Such an innocent, possibly friendly gesture had revived all that ugly jealousy that Izuku had been channeling into getting work done.

Now it was just an ugly, squirming mass again in his chest that ached.

Izuku wanted to cut Kirishima’s hand off.

(Maybe he could give it to Shigaraki to add to his costume.)

“You have so many issues I’m not even sure where to start,” Dabi said, snorting. He grabbed the laptop from Toga and collapsed onto the couch with it. He flicked through the social media page, glancing at all the photos the students at U.A. had been posting from the first hour of their trip. “Your crush is in every single one of these pictures.”

(Izuku had noticed; it wasn’t helping his blood pressure.)

“That’s a trap if I’ve ever seen one.” Dabi closed the laptop and tossed it on the cushions. He pulled a knee onto the cushion and leaned on the couch back. “You’d be an idiot to go to that park.”

“But it would be so much fun, wouldn’t it?” Toga trotted over and retrieved the laptop. She leaned on the couch back, hanging over backwards until her legs hung over the side and her head hit the cushion. She opened the laptop lid again and scrolled through the photos. “It’s like an invitation! We’d be rude to turn it down, right? And it’s the perfect spot for a date!”

Toga put the laptop screen to her chest and grinned. “We should go on a date to the park and make Bakugou jealous!”

“It’s a park full of Pro-Hero wannabes and their teachers,” Dabi said. He felt the need to point it out again: “This is a set up.”

“I know! Doesn’t it just make you want to show up and ruin their plans?” Toga asked.

Izuku had been thinking the other day just how badly he wanted to see Kacchan again, but Dabi wasn’t wrong. This was a set up and the last thing Izuku needed was for another plan to go south.

(But he really wanted to see Kacchan. And he still wanted to break Kirishima’s face. This would be like killing two birds with one stone.)

“We should go on a date anyway,” Toga said. She shoved the laptop in the air with a new photo, this time of Bakugou and Todoroki standing in line for some candied treat, and waved it back and forth. “We’ll send Bakugou pictures and see how he likes it.”

“We’re going to crash the park,” Shigaraki said, eyes on Dabi—who was staring rather intently at the picture of Bakugou and Todoroki. “It’s only a trap if you don’t know it’s a trap.”

Toga screamed in delight and got off the couch. She jumped on Shigaraki’s back and spun them once in a hug before she let go and dashed toward her bedroom. “I’ll get my new gear!”

Dabi slammed the laptop lid closed and glared at Shigaraki and Izuku both. “This is a mistake.”

“We’ll see,” Shigaraki said, scratching his neck. “But I think we’ll all learn something interesting from it.”

Izuku’s heart skipped a beat.

He was going to see Kacchan.

“Stop staring into space,” Shigaraki said. He scratched his neck and headed for his room. “If we don’t go soon, they’ll be done with the park.”

“Right!” Izuku said, snapping up straight. He went for his own gear and forced himself to remain calm.

He’d just been offered a chance to get rid of everyone who’d had a hand in ruining Kacchan at once.

Izuku would be a fool not to take it.

(And he’d make sure they knew just how much he appreciated having his emotions being toyed with, ambush plan or not.)

Chapter Text

“No matter how much you glare at it, those pictures aren’t coming down,” Kirishima said. The boy laughed as he took a bite from a handful of popcorn. He finished off the bag by holding it up and tapping the remainders left into a waiting, open mouth before crumbling the bag and throwing it away in the nearest bin. “Though Ashido might have gone a little overboard.”

The sound of the roller coaster roared along with the screams of their classmates as they walked underneath it, stalking the food carts. After seeing nearly everything the park had to offer and making Katsuki pose for a picture at every single corner, Kirishima now had nothing better to do but talk about them.

“Yes, she did, but I’m not actually looking at them,” Katsuki said, scrolling up the small message list. He stared at the small message, feeling his chest sink. “My folks gave Mrs. Midoriya my number and she sent me a text confirming she typed it in right.”

“What’s Midoriya’s mother want your number for?” Kirishima asked, sitting on the arm of a small waiting bench. The two of them had retreated to a corner to avoid the worst of the rambunctious students running around the park. The teachers were keeping a close eye on everything, but it was a still a theme park. “She need something?”

“Not really,” Katsuki said. He typed out a short reply and clicked the screen off. “My parents are going out of town in a couple weeks, so they wanted her to have my number in case she needs something.”

“Does she know about the plan today?” Kirishima asked.

“No, and I sort of want to keep it that way unless we actually get our hands on Izuku,” Katsuki said. He shoved the phone in his back pocket and nodded toward the center lane in the park. “Come on, let’s go catch up with the others.”

“Yeah, we’d hate for their favorite model to go missing,” Kirishima said, snickering under his breath. He framed his fingers in a square and looked through the gap at Katsuki. “We did get some great shots though. You’re a natural for the camera.”

Katsuki snorted and shoved Kirishima in the shoulder. “Enjoy it while you can, because you’re not getting another photo of me for the rest of the year.”

“I don’t think we’d need one,” Kirishima said, pulling his own phone out. He scrolled through the media feed and bit his lower lip. “There’s enough photos here of you and everybody for like three albums.”

“Our plan probably backfired,” Shinsou said, joining the two of them with a soda hanging loosely in his hand. He stared at his own phone screen and his lips cracked into a half smile. “Midoriya’s going to be too busy drooling over all your photos to attack us. What do you want to bet he even goes to the trouble of scribbling everyone else out of them so he just has a collection of Bakugou photos?”

Kirishima stopped walking, almost crashing into a stand selling cotton candy. His eyes widened and he grimaced. “We did not think that part through, did we?”

“I’m pretty sure he already has a ton of photos of me,” Katsuki said, snorting. It’s not like he didn’t have a bunch of photos of Izuku in various places over the years. “We have known each other our entire lives and both of our parents have cameras. What’s a few more?”

“If you say so,” Shinsou said, not quite looking at Katsuki. He checked the time on his phone and shoved his hands in his pockets. “You think he’s actually going to come?”

“Not a clue,” Katsuki said. He looked over the grounds of the park of everyone running around and having a “good time” with the rides and stands, but the tension running through everyone had them on edge. The photos his friends had taken failed to account for the paranoia of everyone keeping their eyes on things, just waiting for something to go down. Katsuki snorted and crossed his arms. “But if he doesn’t show in another hour, I’m out and calling it a day. We’ve already been here like six hours.”

“If you wanted to see me that bad, you could have just asked.”

“Speak of the devil,” Katsuki said. He took a step back and glared up at Izuku sitting on the top rung of a stand. He looked perfectly content and settled, like he’d been watching them for a while. Katsuki ignored the shiver that went down his spine from knowing that Izuku had gotten that good at going unnoticed. “About time you showed up!”

“Like I said,” Izuku said, his mask clinking around his neck as he tilted his head to the side. “If you wanted to see me, you just had to ask. When it comes to you, I’m pretty easy.”

“Your baby boy isn’t too bright, is he?” A woman giggled.

Katsuki turned over his shoulder to see a blonde girl standing on another stand across from them. She had a pink face mask on and wore a weird harness that looked like it was composed of tubes, syringes, and small pressurized containers. The woman had a knife in her hand and a flush on her face that clashed with the pink gear.

“But I guess they don’t have to be smart if they’re cute,” she said. She giggled into her hand that held the knife and laughed. “Is that what you see in him, Izuku, baby? Are you all about those looks?”

“Izuku, baby?” Katsuki repeated to himself, mouthing the words. He shook his head and glared up at the newcomer. “Who the hell are you supposed to be?”

“Your competition!” She yelled, throwing her hands up. The girl leapt from the roof and slammed into the ground in front of Katsuki, grin wide and showing off her canines. “Because who wouldn’t love Izuku? Aside from you, that is.”

“Bakugou!” Kirishima shouted, but kept his distance to stay out of Katsuki’s way.

(Good. He should just stay back, but they had to keep an eye on Izuku. He didn’t trust them together. Never again, never again.)

Katsuki dodged back as the new girl swung her knife, barely missing him. He judged the distance between him and Izuku, still watching from the roof, and risked it: Katsuki lit his palms and threw an explosion toward the stranger. “Back off.”

The girl dodged with a roll to the side and laughed. “That’s a neat trick! Cute and explosive. Maybe I can understand Izuku’s crush a bit more now, but I still don’t understand you.”

Katsuki made a run for her, catching Shinsou slinking off in the background to get their teachers according to protocol. Kirishima activated his Quirk and kept an eye on Izuku and the new girl from the sidelines. Katsuki took that as his cue to charge full force. Izuku didn’t seem to want to interfere with the brawl, watching the exchange with a tiny smirk at the corner of his mouth.

“Get to the point or shut up,” Katsuki said, wanting to get rid of his idiot so he could deal with the real target.

(He hated dealing with Extras.)

“I don’t understand how you can’t like him back,” she said, eyes glittering over the top of the pink mask. “Izuku is wonderful! He’s beautiful and passionate and so smart! He’s perfect!”

Katsuki dodged her next knife swing and threw another explosion in her direction. Nimble, she continued to duck and weave out of the way, taking swipes with her knife toward Katsuki’s chest.

“Ah, I can’t wait for him to get bored with you,” she said. She stopped her offense to grab her skirt just below the center of her waist and she wrinkled the fabric as her hips twisted. He could see her heavy breath as she rolled her eyes up. “Then I’ll have my chance! Once he’s inside me, he’ll know that I’m the only one for him! He’ll be all mine!”

She dropped her moment of self-indulgence and darted forward with the knife, making quick, mad swings. “I bet he tastes so good! If you’re still alive, I’ll let you know what you missed, okay?”

Katsuki blocked the knife hit, hitting her arm with his forearm. She twisted and dodged to the side with a laugh, but came at him again like it was nothing.

There was something very, very wrong with this woman.

“Just die already!” Katsuki shouted, gathering a large blast in his palm. He grabbed her arm and threw his hand forward ready to hit the girl in the chest and shut her up for now.

Izuku moved, jumping down and putting himself between Katsuki’s blast and the girl. He took the blow, absorbing it and taking the opportunity to grab Katsuki’s arm. Izuku licked his lip and held Katsuki’s hand to his chest and shrugged. “Sorry about Toga. She got a little carried away.”

“Izuku, baby! You took a blow for me,” she said, flushing. She put her hand to her cheek and glowed red. “You do care!”

“Toga, I’d really love it if you went and played with Kirishima so Kacchan and I can catch up, okay?” Izuku smiled, crinkling the edges of his eyes. “Can you do that for me?”

“Anything for you!” Toga said. She skipped forward and kissed Izuku on the cheek before dashing past Katsuki and toward Kirishima in a blur of pink and blonde.

“Hey!” Katsuki said, yanking his hand to free himself.

(Kirishima. His skin could take the knife but he didn’t know what else she could do. He hadn’t seen her Quirk yet.)

Izuku held tight, his face twisting in his jealousy as he watched Katsuki’s attention turn to Kirishima. “I think it’s a little crowded here, don’t you think? Let’s go somewhere more private.”

Katsuki watched Kirishima throw a punch at the girl before the world dropped out from beneath him as he and Izuku fell through Black Mist’s warp.

(This was real. This was real. This was real.)

Shouto shot to attention when Aizawa’s communicator clicked to life. Iida gave his full attention to their teacher as well, moving closer and abandoning the carnival game he’d been attempting to win. He and Shouto listened to the message through the small, tinny speaker.

“They’re here!” Shinsou said, coming in loud and clear. “Bakugou and Kirishima are engaging Midoriya and an unknown alley near the food carts. No sign of Nomu or Shigaraki so far.”

“Roger,” Aizawa replied, already moving in a slow jog down the line. Shouto and Iida followed, waiting for orders. “We’ll be there soon. Do not engage and keep an eye for more enemies.”

“Yes, sir,” Shinsou said.

Aizawa turned to Shouto and Iida as they continued to move. “Meet up with the rest of your class and get the other teachers. Watch for other hostiles and be careful. I’m going to back up Bakugou and Kirishima. Understand?”

“Yes, sir,” Shouto said. He watched his teacher throw on his goggles and drop the jog to drop into a run toward the distance where he could see a few flashes of Bakugou’s explosions.

Turning on his heel Shouto moved to do as instructed when he and Iida found their path blocked.

“Look what we’ve got here,” a man said. Shouto winced at his appearance: burnt flesh stitched together with metal stables against pale skin. His eyes stayed half-lidded, tired and half-awake, but his mouth stretched into a lazy grin. “A tiny Todoroki.”

Iida shifted into a battle ready position at the same time as Shouto. He readied his ice and said, “Move aside.”

“Can’t really do that,” the man said. He snorted and held his hands out, showing off his palms. Shouto kept his eyes closely on the man and fought the feeling that he seemed familiar. Perhaps he was a villain his father had fought before. The other man seemed to know Endeavor at least if the way he’d said “Todoroki” was any indication. The stranger leaned forward and put one hand near his mouth and mock-whispered. “But I will let you in on a secret.”

Shouto and Iida stayed in position, ready for whatever this man may have in store with his Quirk, and the explosions in the distance continued to roar.

“You see, I couldn’t give two shits about the League of Villains or the lover boy’s spat on the other side of the park,” the man said. He dropped his smile and lit his palms on fire, the flames dark and black. “But I’d never pass up an opportunity to make big daddy Endeavor’s life miserable.”

Shouto threw up an ice wall to block the blast of fire heading toward him, shielding both himself and Todoroki. The dark flames shattered his ice wall and Todoroki immediately threw up two more, struggling to stay solid under the wave of heat.

(Shouto reminded himself to thank Bakugou later for all their training together. His ice had strengthened considerably after taking the punishment of Bakugou’s explosions for hours on end.)

“This may be a problem,” Iida said, eyes on the ice and looking around for an escape.

“No kidding,” Todoroki replied.

“What do you think’ll piss dad off more,” the man said, breaking through the ice wall with another roar of flames. The attack paused for a few moments and Shouto used the break to gather more ice at the read. The burnt-man continued, “His precious perfect son getting defeated by some no name punk, or hearing that his prodigy was so thoroughly wrecked he had to retire from hero work before he even got his license?”

The man laughed and surrounded himself with a steadily growing burst of flames. “Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll just do both!”

“Iida, run and get help,” Shouto said, throwing up the largest ice wall he could manage to combat the furious attack. Shouto winced, his breath frozen as his body chilled more and more. “I’ll keep him busy.”

“I’ll stay,” Iida replied, staying near Shouto’s side. He narrowed his eyes behind his glasses and nodded at the Villain. “He’s making enough of a scene that help will come to us.”

As the other man’s dark fire overtook Shouto’s next ice wall and continued to come in larger and larger bursts, he had a feeling Iida was right.

Himiko stopped her knife an inch from the red head’s arm and looked over his shoulder at the giant burst of flames that tore into the sky. Her eyes glittered and she was happy to note her opponent had been distracted by the glorious sight, too. “Wow! Dabi’s amazing!”

“Dabi?” The red head that Izuku hated asked.

“A new friend!” Himiko said. She turned back to the other boy and laughed. “Sorry! Got distracted! I’ll kill you now, okay?”

“Not a chance!” the boy said back, roaring and taking a swing at her.

His skin was too hard for Himiko to penetrate with her needles, but that was fine. He was fun to play with anyway. Besides, Himiko just had to keep him busy while Izuku had his fun.

And when Izuku was finished, he’d be sated and then Himiko would have her chance.

She was so distracted by the thought, she almost forgot to dodge when he tried to tackle her.

(This was so much fun!)

Tomura paused scratching his neck, watching the action below. His throw-away group of Nomu that rampaged in the various corners of the park kept the other teachers and students busy while Midoriya and Toga had their respective fun.

But that wasn’t the show that had his attention at the moment: The black flames filled the sky, mixing with the steam of shattered ice and flashes of red flames.

“He’s a lot stronger than we thought, isn’t he?” Kurogiri said, keeping watch next to him from their perch on top of the highest ferris wheel car. “I’m rather surprised we kept him contained for so long now that we’ve seen his Quirk.”

“I don’t think we made him angry enough to use it,” Tomura said, chuckling under his breath. That sheer amount of power was impressive, but likely hard to maintain for long periods of time. And fire ate away at everything; it was an unforgivable and insatiable hungry beast. Dabi wouldn’t have had room to unleash it in their small bar and home. Though Tomura figured motivation was also a factor: “He went straight for the Todoroki boy after we dropped him off. I bet that’s a fun history.”

“It’s no secret that many, many villains have a hatred for Endeavor,” Kurogiri said. “Perhaps it’s a personal grudge from a past arrest.”

“Whatever it is,” Tomura said, mouth cracking into a smile against his will. His lips stretched and he felt the skin break. “We can use it.”

“Of course,” Kurogiri said. “Would you like to get a closer look, or would you like to remain up here?”

Tomura got to his feet and scratched his neck. “I want to kill something. I can’t the pets have all the fun, now can I?”

“Of course not, sir,” Kurogiri said, opening his warp.

Tomura walked through, leaving the top of the ferris wheel behind and walking onto the scene behind the pro hero that had shot him when they invaded U.A.

He didn’t get to kill him immediately, but Tomura took great pleasure in decaying one of his guns before his first real fight of the day got started.

Katsuki grabbed Izuku by the front of his jumpsuit and slammed him hard onto the floor of the carousel that Black Mist had dropped them into. “So who’s that chick really?”

“You’re not the only one who knows how to make friends, Kacchan,” Izuku said. He kicked Katsuki in the shin and rolled behind a horse on the other side. He grabbed the pole and used it to swing himself up to crouch on the horse’s seat. “Though I will admit I could probably do better in the friend department.”

“That’s putting it lightly,” Katsuki said. He snorted and moved to shove Izuku off the horse. He missed and the boy swung around on the pole and kicked Katsuki in the back. He retaliated with an insult, ignoring the burning feeling in his chest that still couldn’t believe how competent Izuku had gotten at fighting. “Who knew it’d take being a super villain for you to finally get popular with the girls?”

“That’s mean,” Izuku said. He returned the insult with a knee to Katsuki’s ribs before elbowing him in the back. “But at least you sound like yourself.”

“I’m always me,” Katsuki said. He grabbed Izuku by the middle mid-hit and slammed them both into the small carriage seat between the carousel horses. The side of it cracked from the impact. Katsuki hissed. “You’re the one that changed.”

“Believe that if you want,” Izuku said, almost sad.

(Don’t. Don’t. Don’t listen to that tone. He’s the enemy. A Villain.)

Katsuki snarled, and pushed through his own thoughts and past Izuku’s morose smile.

The blows continued between them until they were both interrupted by the burst of fire erupting from their left side.

“Wow,” Izuku said, dropping his arms a little from his block. His eyes widened, curious and alight with interest. “I did not know he could do that.”


“Another friend,” Izuku said, shrugging before running at Katsuki. “He’s not important right now, though he did remind me of something irritating.”

Katsuki hated himself for asking, “And what’s that?”

“I can’t take you home today because Shigaraki gave your room away,” Izuku said, almost giggling. The bags under his eyes raised with his fake smile as he huffed. “He suggested I just chain you to the wall in my room instead, but I don’t think that’s a very good long term solution for either of us.”

Katsuki felt fully justified let an explosion that took out half the carousel before the fight continued to rage on.

But it was nowhere near finished.

Chapter Text

“Do not engage,” Aizawa had said.

Eijirou cursed under his breath as he continued to block the crazed girl’s frenzied hits. He could see Shinsou watching on the sidelines, going back and forth between watching Eijirou’s fight and watching the entrance to the food area for other enemies. His hands went in and out of fists as he struggled to follow Aizawa’s instructions to stay put and watch for more enemies or run to help Eijirou.

The girl hadn’t noticed Shinsou at all, almost half-focused between the fight and giggling to herself about Midoriya, but she had more than enough energy to make up for any sloppiness.

But man what he wouldn’t give to abuse Shinsou’s Quirk right now just to get her to shut up!

“You’re the one my Izuku hates so much, right?” she said, duking under Eijirou’s fist. The girl snickered under her breath and her bangs fell in her face. Her pink mask hung low around her neck, showing off her teeth. “More than the others, I mean.”

“He talks about me?” Eijirou asked, unable to help himself.

“Nope!” the girl said. She jabbed the blade of her knife into his arm, cracking the blade on the hardened skin. The girl pouted at the chip before laughing. “I just put two and two together! When I looked up all the news reports that Izuku has been in, I remembered that you’re the one he kidnapped and tried to murder. Not to mention seeing you hold Bakugou’s hand in a picture made him throw a lamp out the window. It’s pretty easy to see he hates you most!”

“Awesome,” Eijirou said, resisting the urge to bang his head into a wall. He got hold of the knife (finally) and snapped it in half. The girl winced as a shard from the blade nicked her arm. She put her mouth to the wound and sucked it as she glared at Eijirou. He said, “Thanks for confirming what I already knew.”

“You’re welcome!” She answered, smiling too bright and too wide and all teeth.

(Kirishima wondered if this is what he looked like to other people with his own brand of seemingly endless cheer.)

“But I’m bored with you now!” she said. She tilted her head to the side and laughed. “I’m going to go play with him now.”

The girl yanked a syringe off the harness of her shoulder and dropped into a quick sprint toward Shinsou in the distance.

“Oh no you don’t!” Eijirou said. He followed her fast, tackling her in the side. She yelped and they crashed together in a heap, with Eijirou straddling her. He slammed her hands into the ground by the wrist and breathed hard. “You stay right there!”

“You’re cute, but this is a bit much,” the girl said. She tried to knee Eijirou, but he activated his Quirk in time to block her attempt at kneeing him. She pouted at the miss and kicked her feet. “Let go!”

“Where’d Midoriya take Bakugou?” Eijirou asked.

The girl snorted and shrugged. She tugged at her wrists and her face fell into a wistful smile. “Why would I know? Izuku doesn’t want me interrupting them so he didn’t tell me!”

Eijirou rolled his eyes back and huffed. “That sounds about right.”

“Oh, are you jealous, too?” the girl said, eyes lighting up. She lifted her back off the ground and Eijirou leaned back, but not so far he lifted her wrists from the ground. She giggled, still smiling too bright and face too red. “Do you like Bakugou? Is that why you two looked so cute holding hands?”

“Lady, I think your brain is fried with romance,” Eijirou said. He huffed and glanced around. He was half surprised no one else had shown up, but then again, with the fire burning in the distance where Todoroki and that Dabi guy had to be duking it out he wouldn’t be surprised if that had grabbed their attention. “Bakugou’s just my friend.”

“Boo, still boring!” she said again. She hit her head on the ground and whined, still twisting her hips under Eijirou’s thighs. He concentrated on her face, feeling his own cheeks flush. Villains weren’t supposed to be this cute! The girl whined and pouted. “I wanted to play some more!”

Eijirou heard the swoosh behind him and looked over his shoulder to see the arrival of Black Mist. The girl gasped. “Mr. Kurogiri!”

“I’m afraid I must ask you to let Miss Himiko up now, young man. This behavior is quite improper,” Black Mist said. He held out his hand ready to warp the two of them when the fluctuating mist around his body shrunk in, leaving a dark outline around what looked like to be a normal, human hand. He pulled it back and stared at the appendage. “What?”

“Aren’t you dapper?” Aizawa said, commenting on the Villain’s vest and slacks, revealed thanks to the canceled Quirk. Aizawa caught Black Mist in his scarf and yanked him back, slamming the warp villain into the ground. “I’ve been waiting for you!”

“Release me at once,” Black Mist said, glaring up.

“You didn’t really think just asking would make me let go, did you?” Aizawa said, eyes wide open behind his goggles. He turned to Eijirou, gaze still on Black Mist. “Are you okay? I would have dropped in sooner but I didn’t want to give away my position.”

“I’m good,” Eijirou said. “I have it!”

“Don’t hurt Mr. Kurogiri! He’s super nice!” the girl—Himiko—yelled. She kicked her leg up again and her struggle increased. “And Tomura’ll be really mad if you hurt his butler!”

“You’ll have to forgive me if that’s not a concern,” Aizawa said. An explosion roared from one corner of the park, while on the other flames and large chunks of ice continue to crash into each other. “Both of those situations, on the other hand are a bit of an issue.”

Eijirou’s limbs shook as he continued to hold down Himiko. She was deceptively strong for having such a tiny frame and her struggles had only increased with the capture of Black Mist. He called over his shoulder, “Where’s Midnight? Isn’t she supposed to help us restrain people?”

“She got caught up with a Nomu on the other side of the park,” Aizawa said. He continued staring hard at Black Mist, tightening his hold with the scarf. Aizawa dropped his foot onto Black Mist’s spine to hold him still. “Everyone’s engaging an enemy, but they agreed that capturing the warp gate was the top priority.”

“Smart, but ultimately futile,” Black Mist said. He smiled, wry and obvious on the dark outline of his face now revealed without the mist surrounding him. “I make things easier, but I’m hardly needed. Master Shigaraki is more than capable of handling himself.”

Himiko snorted to herself and Eijirou bit his own lip. He’d only seen Shigaraki for a few moments when he attacked their class, but that was a guy who definitely needed someone else babysitting him.

“Faith in your companion or not, you’re about to be out of commission,” Aizawa said. “Shinsou. There’s a set of sedatives in my pack. Midnight’s more reliable, but we’ll make do.”

“On it,” Shinsou said. He nodded at Eijirou as he walked by, following instructions as Aizawa gave them out.

Eijirou grunted as Himiko kicked him again, but he kept his hold. He hoped that Aizawa had enough for her, too.

“You’re getting sloppy, Kacchan.” Izuku’s hand ignited as he returned one of Kacchan’s explosions back at him.

The other blocked it, but didn’t counter with an explosion (for once). Kacchan had started trying to be smart about attacking the scenery from a distance instead of going one on one, but now he was just giving Izuku free ammo and it was starting to tick Izuku off. Kacchan was better than this and if he stockpiled any more, Izuku might have bit off more than he could chew.

Izuku kicked Kacchan in the rib. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were distracted.”

Kacchan snorted, wiping a stripe of dirt from the side of his nose with the base of his palm. “Maybe a little.”

“And why might that be?” Izuku asked, ducking under an angry swing. Kacchan kicked the side of a fallen carousel horse after his miss. “Usually you’re pretty focused.”

“I’m thinking about your little girlfriend,” Kacchan said, making a grab for Izuku’s arm. “Kirishima can handle himself, but I hate not knowing shit like what her Quirk is or what else you’ve hidden up her sleeve.”

Izuku blocked him with a strike from his palm but stumbled for a moment at that declaration. He pouted. “Toga’s not my girlfriend.”

“Does she know that?” Kacchan asked, using Izuku’s confusion against him. He grabbed Izuku’s arm and threw him over Kacchan’s shoulder and back into the floor of the wrecked carousel. To Izuku’s disappointment, he stayed standing over him instead of straddling him. “Between calling you ‘baby’ and the kiss on the cheek, you could have fooled me.”

Izuku rolled out of the way when Kacchan followed up with a second grab and hopped to his feet. He studied Kacchan’s face and the slight hint of hurt in his eyes. Izuku felt the pleased smile creep onto his face. “Kacchan, are you jealous?”

Kacchan jerked to a halt and his eyes widened in a semi-state of shock and realization.

Like he hadn’t noticed himself.

But that was all Kacchan wasn’t it? Izuku giggled under his breath and made a run for his shocked dance partner. Kacchan had already demonstrated once that he was bad at recognizing when he was jealous (or any of his own feelings, really)—that had been one of the huge stumbling blocks in their relationship at the start. Why would now be any different? Izuku bit his lip; it had been aggravating at one point, but now it was sort of precious.

“I’m not jealous! Wipe that stupid smile off your face,” Kacchan yelled. He smacked the side of his fist into a horse that had remained standing through the onslaught of back and forth explosions. Izuku snorted; Kacchan didn’t find it as funny. “I’m going to kill you!”

When Kacchan devolved back into a generic “Die” mode, it meant Izuku was winning and he’d run out of arguments.

(He tried not to appreciate that too much.)

“Did Toga kissing me on the cheek bother you that much?” Izuku asked. He grabbed Kacchan’s wrist and swung, yanking Kacchan around and using his knee to kick Kacchan into the rounded wall of the center of the carousel. He held Kacchan’s arm and bit his lip. “I can kiss your cheek if it’ll make you feel better.

Kacchan’s eyes widened, and he grit his teeth, his lip curling up with the embarrassed anger building. He hissed, “Shut up!”

“Is that a yes?” Izuku asked, not even caring that Kacchan lit an explosion in his chest large enough to push Izuku back, even as he absorbed it. Izuku held onto the energy, but felt it stir under his skin. That might have been too much. “Okay, so it was a no. I’m sure I’ll change your mind one day.”

“Just stop talking!” Kacchan shouted.

Kacchan threw another explosion, much larger than usual in his embarrassment, and Izuku grunted as it absorbed and joined the stockpile. He held his chest, looking around for a good place to throw the next release. He should have been using the blasts up more as he went, but he wanted to keep the conversation going. Now it was costing him. As Izuku considered a good way to fight back, he lost control for a few seconds and his hand sparked.

Izuku hissed and gripped his hand into a fist to stop the next burst, but not in time to cover up the mistake.

“You’ve got a limit to how much energy you can hold, don’t you?” Kacchan said, the wicked grin spreading across his face. His own palms sparked and he took great glee in turning the tables as he stalked forward. “Let’s see just how much it takes to make it overflow.”

Kacchan’s palms lit and Izuku wished he hadn’t left his Nomu back at the base.

Tomura felt the heat on his face and scratched at his neck. His throw-away Nomu had distracted the pro heroes he’d been fighting long enough for him to slip away and find his real target: Dabi.

It had only been for a moment, but he’d seen the way Dabi’s eyes had widened and narrowed upon seeing that Todoroki boy in the photograph. He knew there was something there worth noting, and he was not disappointed.

“You look like you’re having fun,” Tomura said, just over Dabi’s shoulder. They stood in front of a ring toss stand full of bottles, now half-melted from the flaring heat. He watched the various stuffed carnival toys burn around them. Their melted eyes cried out and sobbed; it made Tomura smile. “Your fire is sloppy.”

“Shouldn’t you be babysitting Newscast or something?” Dabi asked, eyes alight with the unique joy that violence could bring. He absently fed more and more fire into the wall of ice that the Todoroki boy desperately kept feeding to keep up. “You’re bugging me.”

“I came to see this special move of yours that you’ve been hiding,” Tomura said. He scratched his neck harder as he took in the range of the destruction. Between the ice chunks, the burned edges, and the still living flames, this corner of the park had turned into a hazard zone. “I’m surprised you still have the stamina to keep these fires burning.”

“This is nothing,” Dabi said, half under his breath. He paused his flames, keeping his eyes on the steaming ice. “But why are you really here?”

“I already answered you,” Tomura said. He huffed and dropped his hand, squinting to see the two tiny Pro-Heroes behind the thick ice wall. “I was bored and came to see what you could really do.”

“Whatever you say, creep,” Dabi said, side-eying Tomura. He huffed a moment later and raised his voice, shouting at the students. “Is this the best you’ve got, you little brat? You’re Endeavor’s heir, aren’t you? I expected to get at least some sort of a fight out of you!”

“That appears to be quite the claim coming from someone challenging Endeavor’s child instead of Endeavor himself, considering that’s the man you seem to take issue with!” Midoriya’s friend shouted. Tomura really didn’t like that guy; maybe he’d save his death for a day when Midoriya needed to remember who was in charge. The annoyance continued his lecture: “You are attempting to scare us, but your cowardice is on display!”

“And you’re butting in where you don’t belong,” Dabi snarled back. His hand lit on fire, but he didn’t throw it just yet. “This is between me and the daddy’s boy, so go play hero somewhere else.”

A block of the ice wall cracked and fell away, revealing the Todoroki boy on the other side. He seemed confused and his heavy breathing revealed his own exhaustion. The boy asked, “Is there a reason you’re so fixated on Endeavor being my father?”

“Nope,” Dabi said, popping the “p” at the end of the word. He laughed and moved back into an attack position. Tomura took a tiny step away from him as the flames gathered again. Dabi lit both hands on fire and took a few stalking steps forward. “Just pressing your buttons.”

Tomura licked his lip. “Liar.”

Dabi stopped. He glared over his shoulder and pointed a finger toward Tomura. “You’re really starting to piss me off. Get lost and find your own brats to torment.”

“You’re more interesting right now,” Tomura said. He waved his hand toward the Todoroki boy and Midoriya’s friend. “You’re not very good at lying either. Even they can tell you’ve got a motive for singling him out.”

“Would you leave already!” Dabi shouted. His flames flickered out of control with his emotion for a flash. “I’m trying to kill this kid and I don’t need a peanut gallery!”

Tomura smiled behind his father’s hand. Sore point. He poked it. “Why do you want to kill him specifically again?”

“Does it even matter?” Dabi asked. He spun on the side and threw up a wall of dark flame to meet the wall of orange and red fire that came from Todoroki, taking advantage of the opening like a good little U.A. prodigy. Dabi hissed and blew it away with his own fire before throwing another wave of flames at the brats. The Todoroki blocked it with fire, mimicking what Dabi had just done. Fast learner. Dabi hissed. “Either help or get lost, creep.”

“I think I’ll watch,” Tomura said, wiping the sweat from his neck. Dabi practically steamed with the heat he released, and the surrounding wild fires raised the temperature to near unbearable levels, however Tomura remained in place. “You're amusing.”

“Man, I hate you,” Dabi said. He breathed in and snorted. “Fine, then. Just stay out of my way.”

Tomura kept an eye on Midoriya’s friend, in case he did something stupid while Dabi fought the Todoroki, but stepped back to give his new pet some space. Growling like the mangy mutt he was, Dabi ran forward with fire on his fingers and tired of fighting from a distance.

He made it two yards before a tall man on fire slammed into the ground, blocking his path. The blue uniform was unmistakable past the fire decor: Endeavor, himself. Dabi skidded to a stop and threw his hands up to block the wave of fire that had shot out toward him as Endeavor moved to stand, an almost absent assault as the man turned toward a different target.

“Shit!” Dabi shouted as the fire pushed him back. He stopped near Tomura and so much hatred burned in his eyes that Tomura shivered. “You!”

Tomura noted that Endeavor barely spared Dabi a glance as he turned to face his son.

“I’m disappointed you haven’t cleaned up this trash already, Shouto,” Endeavor said. He broke the last remaining shards of ice away and huffed. “You’re better than this.”

Tomura expected rage.

He got something else:

Dabi grabbed Tomura’s wrist and dragged him in a full sprint away from the burning carnival games and the corrupt Pro-Hero like hell was on their heels.