Bakugou woke suddenly just before dawn to a rustling sound in his camp. His eyes opened just enough to take in the dying embers of his fire and the figure bent over his saddlebags, rummaging through them. Bakugou glanced toward where he’d tied his horse, only to find the animal gone. He grimaced; he’d traded one of the dragon teeth from his trophy necklaces for that horse. Bakugou shrugged off the red cape and white fur mantle that doubled as his blanket and rolled to his feet, silent as he watched the intruder straighten and turn toward him, a triumphant noise passing the thief’s lips the instant before their gaze landed on Bakugou’s crouched form across the fire. Bakugou caught a glimpse of wild red hair and a wide-eyed look of surprise and fear and smirked, teeth flashing in the dim firelight. The thief yelped and turned to run, but Bakugou was faster. He lunged over the embers and slammed his shoulder into the thief’s back, sending him tumbling over Bakugou’s bags with a cry of shock and fear. Bakugou crouched over the fallen intruder and placed his knee between his shoulders, putting enough of his weight into it to keep him from trying to escape. He seized the thief’s arms and wrenched them behind his back as he tried to squirm, only to cry out as he twisted one harshly.
“Hold the fuck still, or I’ll break your fucking arm,” Bakugou growled. The thief went limp, breath coming in sharp gasps as he struggled through terror and Bakugou’s weight to breathe. Bakugou scowled and muttered, “What were you even after, you…” Bakugou trailed off when he noticed that the thief appeared to have dropped something - or several somethings - that he’d gotten out of Bakugou’s bags and then lost in his haste to escape. Bakugou’s trophy necklaces were laying in a tangled heap near the thief’s head. Bakugou shifted his grip, holding both of the thief’s wrists in one hand, and reached out to snatch up his trophies with the other. “Did you seriously fucking think you could steal those and get away?” Bakugou hissed. “Do you know how many dragons I had to fight to get all of those?” A shudder ran through the thief’s body, and he lifted his head just enough to glare at Bakugou, sharp teeth glinting in the low light as he bared them in a show of defiance that almost impressed Bakugou.
“I know exactly how many dragons you killed to get those,” the thief snapped, his eyes shining crimson for a second. Bakugou tensed, unnerved despite himself. Bakugou was still, silent for a moment. Then his expression shifted, becoming a little confused.
“You’re shit at fighting. How have you survived?” Bakugou grumbled. The thief didn’t answer. Instead, his skin rippled, gaining a rough, hard texture for a second. It distracted Bakugou just enough that the thief managed to squirm halfway free before Bakugou pinned him again. “Fucking hold still, you’re not gonna get away from me.”
“Then just kill me and get it over with!” the thief snapped, glaring over his shoulder at Bakugou again. Bakugou considered it. He really did. But there was the fact that this thief had managed to get into Bakugou’s camp without waking him up, and he did seem to have some intense determination underneath his frightened squirming.
“There’s no fun in beating someone who can’t fight for shit,” Bakugou complained, making sure he’d reclaimed all of his trophies before he lifted his weight from the thief’s back and stood. “Learn how to actually fucking fight before you start taking people’s shit.” The thief scrambled to his feet and turned to face Bakugou, attention darting from the teeth dangling from the necklaces in his hand to Bakugou’s face and back again.
“If I’m so bad at fighting, why don’t you teach me?” the thief demanded. Bakugou snorted. Him, teaching this thief how to- The thief took advantage of Bakugou’s momentary distraction and lunged, making a grab for the necklaces. Okay, at least the guy had some intelligence. Bakugou grabbed his wrist easily and twisted, stepping toward the thief and pinning him against Bakugou’s chest, one arm twisted behind his back as he glared at Bakugou, who held him easily and shook his head over the thief’s antics.
“I don’t even know your fucking name. Why should I train you when you’ll just fucking use it to steal my damn trophies and then galavant the fuck off?” Bakugou growled.
“Because I scared your horse away and you need someone to help you carry all your stuff?” the thief replied. Bakugou resisted the urge to glare in the direction his horse was supposed to be in.
“You know what? You’re right. You do owe me a horse. So you’re gonna be my horse and carry all my shit until I can get a new one. Just remember I can kick your ass if you try to steal my shit again,” Bakugou warned. The thief nodded seriously, then beamed like Bakugou wasn’t considering just killing him and saving himself the trouble.
“Deal! I’m Kirishima! Happy to be traveling with you!”
“Wipe that fucking grin off your face and pick up the bags,” Bakugou snapped. Kirishima blinked.
“You mean...we’re heading out now?” he asked. “But the sun isn’t even up!”
“Too fucking bad! You’re the asshat who woke me up!”
“I wasn’t trying to!” Kirishima whined. Bakugou shrugged and looped his necklaces around his neck, then picked up his bags and shoved them into Kirishima’s arms.
“Like I said. Too. Fucking. Bad,” Bakugou growled. “I’m awake so I’m ready to get the fuck on the road.” Kirishima pouted at him, or tried to, but ended up just grimacing at the weight of the packs.
“What do you even have in here? Rocks?” Kirishima complained as Bakugou went back to where he’d been sleeping, dusted off his cape, and slung it around his shoulders.
“No, but that’s a goddamn good idea. Make you carry a fuckton of rocks to build up your skinny as shit ass,” Bakugou replied.
“Don’t you even eat breakfast?” Kirishima tried one last time to delay their departure.
“Usually, yeah. But some shithead trying to snatch my fucking trophies kinda killed my fucking appetite,” Bakugou snapped as he stomped out the last few embers of his fire and then kicked dirt over the smoldering remains. He cast one more glare over Kirishima, then added, “The packs are fucking heavy cause they’ve got supplies and my weapons in them. Don’t fucking touch anything or I’ll kill you.” With that, Bakugou turned and started walking away from his temporary camp. Kirishima shared at him for a second, then groaned and slung the saddlebags over his shoulder in an attempt to make them easier to carry.
Kirishima really, really just wanted to kick this arrogant human’s ass, but his goal was more important. Those teeth were more important. Besides, he did need to get stronger, since Bakugou had beaten him so easily. Kirishima settled the saddlebags a little more comfortably and hurried after Bakugou.
He’d bide his time for now, get what he could out of traveling with Bakugou, and then when he had a chance to reclaim the teeth, he’d take it and leave this pesky human behind.