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dog teeth (you're all over me)

Chapter Text

At first, no one noticed anything besides how irritable he was.

It wasn’t anything new; Bakugou had always been a touchy guy, yelling at anyone who touched him or even gave him a halfway sideways look. These levels were new though— he was louder, crueler, choosing to isolate himself and arrive seconds before class began or late than to walk the halls. He was the first one to shower and leave the dorm and the last one to go to bed. His class just assumed it was frustration with his less than stellar internship. They all unanimously, silently, decided to give him a little space.

It was when he snapped at Kirishima that they realized there was something wrong.


Bakugou had arrived early to class for once. Maybe that was an omen for things to come; none of them were sure.

But one moment Kirishima was wandering over and trying to spark up a conversation and the next he was on the floor, more taken aback by the sudden explosion than hurt.

All talking stopped.

Bakugou’s rough, uneven breathing sounded very loud in the silence.

“Bakubro, what the hell?” Kirishima said, pulling himself up.

“Don’t—” he hissed, fingers clutching his desk so tight they could all hear creaking. “Don’t.”

“Bakugou—” Kirishima said, his voice softer and more timid. “What did I—”

“You know what you did!” Bakugou yelled, slamming his hands on the table. Everyone around him flinched. “Fuck— fuck—

He stumbled to his feet, forgetting entirely about his bag. “Don’t fucking follow me.”

Slamming the door behind him, the class sat spellbound for a moment before half of them rushed over Kirishima, asking questions and pulling him to his feet.

“What happened?”

Kirishima stared at the door, bewildered hurt plain across his face. “Nothing,” he said. “I just—I just did...normal things.”

“The hell,” Kaminari said from his seat. “Was that?”

None of them had an answer.


Chapter Text

“Oh, so you really are a —”

“Stop struggling. It won’t make a difference.”

“Yeah, sweetheart, so good, so good —”

Bakugou slammed a punch into the wall, his fist easily eating into the drywall as the words pounded in his ears. He could still feel those hands on him, that mouth, that—

His ears rung and he realized he was on his knees and suddenly he was back there, trapped, forced to his knees—

Fucking Kirishima.

He slammed his other fist into the wall.




Until all that filled his head was the buzzing of violence and the blood dripping from his scarred hands.

Down the hall, a door opened and he stumbled away, taking off blindly for the dorms where he could hide, hide, hide until no one could find him and take away the buzzing in his lungs, in his hands, in his heart ever again.

Chapter Text

Class 1-A, minus one and a quarter members (grape boy who?), congregated in Momo’s room.

The girls were mostly sprawled across the bed, Ochako thrown over Tooru and Jirou’s legs. Mina had her rightful place in the center of them all. Momo perched on the edge of her bed while Tsuyu was perched in Momo’s egg shaped chair.

The boys had claimed the floor, with Deku curled up in Momo’s desk chair.

“...what exactly did you say?” Mina asked Kirishima, who sat against the bed.

“Nothing,” Kirishima said. “Outside of the usual, I mean.”

“Elaborate,” said Jirou, eyes narrowing.

Kirishima sighed. “‘Hey, Bakubro! Looking manly as always. Of course, you’d look even manlier with me on your arm.’ And then I touched his shoulder.”

“And he just—” Jirou asked.

“Yeah,” said Kirishima, nodding.

They were quiet for a moment.

“Something happened him during his internship,” Tokoyami said, surprisingly. Everyone turned to look at the normally recalcitrant teen. “That much is obvious.”

“But what?” Izuku asked.

No one could answer.

Chapter Text

Bakugou snuck into the gym at nine and hadn’t left since then.

The clock glowed an ugly ruby red up on the far wall, protected as it was by metal bars. One in the morning.

Sweat poured off him, glimmering sickly in the artificial lights.

He’d thrown up twice, had stumbled to wheeze and gasp, ribs aching, more times than he cared to count. He knew how dangerous it was to exercise with a binder and how that went double to exercise like this— going and going and going and going until there was nothing left, not even thoughts and he lay curled in the darkness of the locker room, having picked the lock and refastened it before falling into sleep.

Slamming his bruised and scraped fist into the punching bags, Bakugou had to snort back a bitter laugh at that. Sleep.

He didn’t know the last time he’d slept for more than an hour or so.

Bakugou kept throwing punch after punch, hating himself as they grew steadily messier and messier until the buzzing in his head was overcome by fogginess and oh wow, that was the ground.

He stared up at the ceiling, empty stomach twisting as his limbs trembled.

In a few minutes he’d get up again.

His hand slammed painfully against the ground as he wheezed, hating himself and hating his fucking weakness.

Chapter Text

Bakugou barely made it to class before Aizawa did. Face pale with lack of sleep, scorch marks peppering unchanged clothes, he flopped into his seat and glared at the wall, daring anyone to say a word to him.

After yesterday, no one did.

The weight of silence seemed to press down on all of them, oppressive and painting the room darker somehow, grittier. It felt as if one word could spark an explosion.

Aizawa’s entrance dispelled it a bit, breaths finally flowing in and out of lungs as designed and clothes rustling as people leaned over to grab notebooks or whisper to their friends.

Bakugou remained still, one leg thrown over the other and arms crossed as he attempted to glare a hole into the wall.

The class pretended to not notice him breaking pencil after pencil or the creaking of his desk as the period went on.

When the class finally ended and they had a break, they all watched as Bakugou was the first to rise and first out the door, the oppressive silence shrouding the room once more.

“We need to talk to him,” Midoriya finally said.

No one answered, but they all knew it was true.

Out in the hallway came a distant yelling.

Maybe sooner rather than later.

Chapter Text

Bakugou counted the pills two by two, the soft clinking of the solid white capsules almost comforting as the transferred from his palm to his blanket.


He wasn’t sure what he would do once he finished counting.


He was just so...tired.


Leaving aside the one, he poured the rest into the bottle and set it in his lap. He picked up the outlier and turned it over in his hand, letting his thumb trace over it. It was smooth, not soft but— sleek.

He slowly brought it up to his mouth.

No flavor at first and then— bitterness. Like he was eating chalk. He barely shaved any of it away and eventually the flavor moved from disgusting to tolerable, it itching his tongue like tiny sparks of electricity.

He dropped it.

Staring at the bottle in his lap, with trembling fingers he picked it up and lobbed it across the room, watching as it struck the wall near the door and fell.

He picked up the pill and curled his fist around it, falling under the blankets even though he hadn’t exercised that night and even though he still had homework from a day of people staring at him and whispering behind his back—

He chased sleep.

Chapter Text

Bakugou wasn’t the only one struggling to sleep that night.

Sitting on the balcony of his dorm room, Midoriya Izuku stared at the night sky, barely feeling the cold as his mind whirled.

He couldn’t figure out what the hell was wrong with Kacchan.

Fingers curling around the cold metal, he sighed tiredly, eyes automatically drawing constellations across the sky.

It couldn’t have just been the internship, could it? Sure, it must have sucked having your hair rearranged against your will and to not get as much out of it as you wanted but…

That...didn’t make sense. Nothing was adding up.

Bakugou was so strong . No matter what he had done to him, Izuku could never really hate him. It was so obvious that Bakugou was doing it to convince himself that he was strong enough to live up to everyone’s expectations that even though it stung, it never really hurt all that bad. And...Izuku knew that didn’t make it better. He knew Kacchan shouldn’t have—

But when he’d seen the panicked look for a split second in Kacchan’s eyes when he realized Izuku was going to U.A. with him, he couldn’t hold any ill will against him.

Not when he knew what Bakugou was so afraid of everyone finding out.

But now…

He couldn’t figure Kacchan out. Bakugou had gone into his protective shell and forced everyone out— violently, in Kirishima’s case. After years of knowing Bakugou, he knew that none of them could force Kacchan to just say what was eating at him.

It had been almost two weeks since internships had ended and the semester’s end was coming faster and faster.

They needed to find out what was wrong before the summer began.

...but how could they get Bakugou to talk?

The stars glittered coldly but gave him no answers.

Chapter Text

“God, I’m so fucking tired of ‘Bakugou this, Bakugou that!’”

The room fell silent.

“Dude—” Kaminari said, eyes narrowing.

“Don’t fucking ‘dude’ me.”

Jirou leaned forward. “This is our classmate. We’d be worried if anyone else—”

“Well, no one else is!” she shouted. “The only one acting like this is fucking ‘Lord Explodoshit’, as always.”

“What is wrong with you?” Mina asked. “This isn’t like you—”

“Well, maybe it’s because Bakugou treated me like less than dirt today,” she said, her voice shaking. They all fell quiet. “I don’t— I don’t give a shit what reason he has. He must have known I was— insecure about…” she drifted off.

“Tooru,” Midoriya said, looking tired. He’d been the one to call the one a.m. meeting. “Bakugou says shit to make people ignore how he’s actually feeling. It doesn’t make what he said any better, but—”

“I fucking understand,” Tooru said. Her clothes wrinkled a bit as she seemed to pull a knee up to her chest. “I want to be so fucking angry with him but—”

She didn’t finish but they all knew what she meant. No matter how abrasive and dickish Bakugou had been over the last few weeks, they could all see the raw pain and anger practically swimming off his shoulders.

“We need to figure out how to get him to talk,” Midoriya said, drawing their attention back to him. “The sooner we figure this out, the sooner Kacchan will be back to normal. Right?”

“It’s not that simple,” Shouji said after a beat. “What if it’s something...worse...than we expect?”

“What do we even expect?” Ochako asked, fiddling with her pajama top. “We don’t even have a clue.”

“Perhaps a professor,” Shouji offered. “There is a therapist on staff that could talk to Bakugou. I’m surprised he hasn’t been called in.”

“Maybe he has,” Kaminari said with a shrug. “Would he even go?”

“,” Momo said. “I don’t think he would.”

“There has to be something we can do,” Satou said, looking a little helpless. “Right?”

“I’m sure there’s something we can do,” Iida said, his voice trying to be upbeat but deflating in the face of uncertainty. “I’m sure of it.”

The clock ticked towards two.

Chapter Text

It hurt it hurt it hurt it hurt

Bakugou swore loudly as his bed caught on fire, dizzily stumbling out of it as he threw up on the floor, head aching.

He could still feel it—

Not now. Fuck—

He blearily reached for the fire extinguisher and put out the flames. For a moment he stood, weaving, before collapsing back down to his knees, inches from the sick. He pressed his forehead to the floor, shaking, before realizing that kneeling was a really bad idea.

Choking against the non-existent cock, he scrambled back, slamming into his door. He trembled there for god knew how long until he shoved himself to his feet, still feeling the weight of—

He cleaned up what he could and stumbled out of his dorm. Somehow, he made it to the common room and collapsed there, his body aching with the memory of the man’s body and the bitter taste of cum in his mouth.

This is why you don’t sleep in a bed anymore, you fucking idiot.

He’d just— fuck, he’d just wanted to fucking prove to himself he could and now his fucking mattress was ruined and he was still—

Still on this fucking couch with nothing but his own shaking hands and the memory of someone else fucking moving inside him and suddenly he wanted to die again, the anger turning rapidly into a fire.

But he was too tired to move and his body felt like three elephants were sitting on it and he couldn’t find the will to move so he just lay there, eyes tracing the ceiling blankly as he tried to forget the taste of another man.

He’d just wanted a fucking nap before this week’s night training but he couldn’t even have that.

God, had he really been so awful to Deku that he deserved—

His hands shook. He knew that answer.

He couldn’t let the guilt catch him, not now (not ever).

Only three fucking hours until training.

Bakugou didn’t want to move ever again.

Bakugou did a lot of things he didn’t want to do.

Two hours and fifty eight minutes.

Chapter Text

Thirteen: did anyone else see smoke coming from 1as dorm

XxDomQueenxX: it was prbly just bakubitch blowing some shit up again

Thirteen: ...should we do anything?


XxDomQueenxX: is there fire? no


XxDomQueenxX: i’m being forced 2 stay out in the cold and watch a bunch of kiddies beat each up. It’d be entertainig if it didn’t cut into my ‘me’ time. responsbility my ass

tired gay: on the topic of bakugou, he’s been acting weird

Catholic Guilt: He has?

Not A Furry: ken i know youre about observant as a rock sometimes but come on

RT IF YOUR GAY: He’s been acting up in my classes for sure!

Bloody Nose: Rt if you agree

XxDomQueenxX : rt

All Right!: RT

tired gay: rt

Bob the Builder: rt

Ghoul: rt

God: rt

Not A Furry: rt

tired gay: wait hold on

tired gay: half of you dont even have a class with him

Bloody Nose: He made one of my kids cry yesterday. He hasn’t done that in months.

tired gay : ….

tired gay: okay fair


XxDomQueenxX: i say wait. See if itsj ust him being a bitch abt his hiar

Bloody Nose: ...hiar.

Ghoul: hiar

XxDomQueenxX: OH FUCK

Bob the Builder: hiar

God: hiar

tired gay: hiar

XxDomQueenxX: I hate you all

Not A Furry:

Not A Furry: kinky


-XxDomQueenxX left the chat-


-Your Boss added XxDomQueenxX to NOT PAID ENOUGH FOR THIS chat-


tired gay: i need a drink

tired gay: or a soft fucking bed


RT IF YOUR GAY: That can be arranged

Ghoul: Damn it Hizashi.

Your Boss: Someone make sure Bakugou isn’t burning down his dorm

Your Boss: ....

Your Boss: ...again

McCree: Not it.

All Right!: NOT IT

XxDomQueenxX: NOT IT

Ghoul: Not it


Bloody Nose: not it

Catholic Guilt: Not It.

Not A Furry: FUCK NO

God: Not it

Bob the Builder : NOOOT IIIT

Your Boss: Not it

Thirteen: Not it!

tired gay: wait-

tired gay: fuck

Chapter Text

Bakugou’s room was empty. But even without the boy in question, the room gave Aizawa enough to set off alarms in the back of his head.

The window was cracked a bit, explaining the smoke. The bed was torn apart, even ignoring the discarded fire extinguisher and its contents spread all over the bed and the sick stench of burning polymer, wool, and cotton. Someone—Bakugou— had obviously thrown up and failed to clean it up properly. The door was scorched.

Something had happened here and he doubted it was a simple fit of anger, even if Bakugou had happened to be the type. Despite what half the staff seemed to think, Bakugou’s anger had a purpose, even if it was just to shield some other emotion or reaction.

Aizawa may be perpetually tired, but he wasn’t blind .

Though, looking around the room, he began to wonder if he was.

There was something wrong.

He could feel it in his bones.


Chapter Text

Satou narrowed his eyes as Bakugou shoved his way past him, hands sequestered deep inside his baggy pockets. He looked awful.

“Hey, Bakugou—” he started, only for the boy to turn on him with a look of hellfire. Satou, shaken, forced himself not to take a step back as Bakugou looked away.

But as Satou turned his attention back to an irritated Midnight, he realized there had been something else too in those eyes.


It shook him more than the anger had.

“—Bakugou, Hagakure—” Midnight called. Satou scuffed his boot at the grass, trying to wrap his head around what that look had meant. “—Satou. Get your asses—”

Satou’s head shot up. She didn’t mean that he was in the same group as—

“Candy Queen, get the fuck over here,” Bakugou snapped, the bags under his eyes deep enough to look more like bruises.

Satou shuffled over, giving a little smile to Tooru, who appeared to be crossing her arms based on her gloves.

“So this is what we’re gonna fucking do—” Bakugou said, almost weaving where he stood.

They listened, throwing long glances at each other despite Tooru’s invisibility. It was obvious that Bakugou could hardly stand and yet—

“Bakugou, maybe you should sit this one out,” Satou started, his voice low and calm like he would use to soothe one of his foster sisters after a nightmare.

“Why the fuck would I do that?” Bakugou snapped, glaring at them through bruised eyes. Despite the bite in his words, his arms were wrapped around his chest as he shivered in the cold. Satou never thought of Bakugou as anything but impossibly, incredibly strong, but standing there, the wind blowing leaves through the forest floor, he seemed…

Fragile .

Like one touch could shatter him.

“You look sick,” Tooru finally said.

Bakugou exploded.

“—fucking acting like you fucking care, who the fuck gives a shit,” Bakugou roared as Satou’s ears finally stopped ringing loud enough that he couldn’t hear. “Do you think I can’t fucking handle—”

“Bakugou!” Satou snapped. Bakugou turned on him and he swallowed but stood firm. “That’s enough. She’s just worried.”

Bakugou seemed to realize the entire clearing had gone dead silent during his ranting and shoved his hands in his pockets. His eyes darted from person to person before he kicked a rock, backing away from them.

“Like I give a shit,” he snarled. “You think I’m sick? Fine. Be a man down. Have fun losing.”

He took off for the dorms before anyone could even breathe.

It wasn’t till later that Satou realized there had been desperate, furious tears in Bakugou’s eyes.

Chapter Text

Group Chat → tired gay, XxDomQueenxX, Catholic Guilt


tired gay: couldn’t find bakugou

tired gay: did he show up for class

XxDomQueenxX: show up 2 class? You could fucking say that

tired gay:

tired gay: what do u mean

XxDomQueenxX: explodoshit blew up on hagakure and stomped off

XxDomQueenxX: idk where

tired gay: and you didn’t have anyone follow him?

tired gay: what the fuck

Catholic Guilt: We had a class to teach. He was heading for the dorms so I assumed he would be fine until we can call him to one of our offices.

Catholic Guilt: I already emailed him.

tired gay:

tired gay: you know what fuck it

tired gay: im going to go find him because apparently no one else on staff gives a shit about the students

Catholic Guilt: I care about my students.

tired gay: funny way of showing it

tired gay: have any of you even bothered asking him why he’s acting so

XxDomQueenxX: so what

tired gay: i shouldn’t even have to fucking answer that

tired gay: i have a student to find

tired gay: have a nice night


-tired gay left the group-


Chapter Text

Bakugou watched as tiny sparks raced across his palm. He’d mastered this control exercise years ago. It had been something else for the teachers to praise and for his classmates to coo over.

He closed his fist, the sparks tingling painfully against uncalloused skin.

He let his hand drop.

The gym was quiet. Dark. He hadn’t bothered turning on the light when he came in and soon discarded his shirt, feeling stifled. Rare were the times that he dared to just wear his half binder but he could barely stand anything on his skin at the moment.

His breath echoed in the still gym as he rose, a little unsteady but determined. He took off for the indoor track, his feet quickly finding a rhythm as his brain drifted away.

When he finally stopped what felt like hours later, he wasn’t prepared for the sudden, oppressive silence that filled the gym. The wheezing of his lungs and the rattling of phlegm in his throat barely made an impact on the quiet.

He swore softly, head spinning as he sunk to the ground. Pulling at his binder, he sucked in air. His mood plummeted out of nowhere and suddenly his wrists were itching and he was aching for something he barely acknowledged to himself.

God , he just—

One fucking night. That’s all he was asking for. One fucking night when he could pretend that he was fucking fine and nothing had happened. One night where he didn’t want to see his blood turn everything red or ache for oblivion. One fucking night when he didn’t battle terror and anger in equal turn until he didn’t know what was up and what was down and whether he fucking deserved it—


His fingers pulled away from his arms with a quiet squelch of blood. He buried his head in his hands, bloody fingernails pressing crescent moons into his forehead.

“Fuck you!”

“As you wish.”

He screamed, anger, grief, frustration all tumbling out of him as he punched himself over and over, as if he was Him, as if by hitting himself he’d be— he didn’t fucking know. He didn’t fucking know.

The moon caressed him as he swore, anger and shame twisted in his gut.

He smelled something burning.

He looked up. HIs hands were covering his ears and— oh . That was his hair.

For a moment, he thought about just— making an explosion. It would kill him, probably. It’d be easy.

He sat there for a long time.

The sun broke through the windows.

Bakugou got up and shuffled off to his dorm room.

Chapter Text

Aizawa watched Bakugou through class. He still had no idea where the kid had run off to the night before. No one had seen him after his meltdown in class until he’d staggered in, ten minutes late, to class.

He looked, if possible, worse than the day before. There were bags a mile deep under his eyes and he was skittish, jumping at slight noises with his hands sparking. His eyes were filled with a rage so complete it almost shook him until he looked farther and saw the despair and hopelessness that did not belong on Bakugou Katsuki’s face.

Bakugou Katsuki was not hopeless.

When homeroom ended, he pulled Bakugou aside as half the class left to get water or prepare for the next course.

“Bakugou? May I talk to you?” he asked.

Bakugou shrugged. “You are right now.”

Aizawa raised an eyebrow. “Let’s move to the hallway.”

Kicking at some invisible pebble, Bakugou followed him out.

The door shut behind them and suddenly they were alone, the hallway eerily quiet.

“What’s wrong?” Aizawa said, taking the most direct route.

Bakugou immediately stiffened, his eyes narrowing. “Nothing.”

“That’s why I found your room in shambles and you missing?”

“What is this?” Bakugou snapped. “The fucking Spanish Inquisition—”

“Bakugou, please,” Aizawa said, reaching out as Bakugou moved to storm away. He blinked as Bakugou flinched violently, nearly falling. “Bakugou—”

“Get the fuck away from me,” Bakugou snapped, his hands sparking violently as he breathed, chest rising and falling with a sharpness like the edge of a knife.His eyes darted around the corridor, as if identifying exits and weak points.

“Bakugou, I’m not going to hurt you—”

“Get off me!” he shrieked as fire created a barrier between them.

Through the smoke, Aizawa heard the sound of unsteady footsteps speeding away. “Bakugou!”

He dodged through the smoke, cursing himself for not using his quirk before Bakugou did.

Swearing, he burst forward into the clear part of the hallway only to find it empty.

Behind him, the students of 1-A filed into the doorway as he turned, the smoke clearing.

“Sir?” Midoriya asked.

“Get back in the room,” Aizawa said, rubbing the bags under his eyes and feeling them somehow deepen. “Just— go.”

Midoriya and Kirishima were the only ones who stayed outside. Aizawa, phone out from texting some of the other teachers about the situation, looked them both over.

“We’re worried about Kacchan,” Midoriya said, glancing at Kirishima, who nodded.

“There are teachers looking for him now,” said Aizawa. “He’ll be fine.”

“Why was he yelling?” Kirishima asked, eyes narrowed and cold— cold. “It sounded like he was—”

Aizawa sighed. “Unfortunately, that is none of you—”

“I’m his best friend!” Kirishima snapped. “If he’s hurting, it is my business.”

“I grew up with Kacchan,” said Midoriya. “Maybe I can—”

“If there’s something about him that you can tell me,” said Aizawa. “That would be appreciated. If you have even the slightest idea what may be causing this, that would also be appreciated. But not here.


“There’s— something,” the boys said together.

“My office then.”

They followed him through the slightly smoky halls.

Chapter Text

Midoriya was stiff, fingers curled over his knees as he watched Aizawa. Beside him, Kirishima was wound tight, a different sort of stiff.

The words hung between them like a knife spinning through the air towards its mark.

“This is concerning,” said Aizawa, rubbing his eyes. “You say this began after internships?”

Both boys nodded.

“I’ll look into it,” he said, already planning to call Best Jeanist and Bakugou’s parents. “Thank you for coming to me.”
Still looking a little pale and quiet, Kirishima shrugged. Midoriya just looked away.

The silence was awkward.

The atmosphere more so.

For a moment they sat, none of them looking at each other until Aizawa sighed, standing. “I will join the search for Bakugou,” he said. “Go back to class.”

“Yes sir,” said Midoriya, Kirishima echoing him.

They were mostly out the door when Aizawa spoke up.

“Thank you,” he said, the words exhausted.

Neither boy said anything but hurried out.

The door snapped shut and Aizawa rubbed his temples, the exhaustion settling in his veins like caramel or maybe molasses.

For a long moment, he sat, thoughts twisting and curling tightly in his head. He stood.

He had to help find Bakugou and figure out what the hell was going on.

The words felt repetitive.

He hoped he wouldn’t have to think them ever again.

Chapter Text

Bakugou ran.

He ran and ran and ran and ran until he was face down in the dewy grass, his fingers curled helplessly into his hair as he threw up nothing.

It was raining.

He tried to push himself to his feet again but he just stumbled, knees slamming into the squishy earth like stones dropping into a pond.

Wheezing, he pulled at his binder from where it clung to him, almost shrinkwrapped in the presence of rain.

As the adrenaline faded and energy warped into shaking, he realized just how much his chest hurt.

His ears rung with the pain as light darted across the sky. A moment later, he felt the earth tremble and a distant (for him) boom. Thunder.

He needed to move and yet he couldn’t find the strength so he stayed, fingers curled into the grass that was more mud and eyes burning and desperation warring with fear warring with fury in his heart.

A sob tried to break forth from deep inside him but for once it wasn’t Bakugou that stopped it but his ribs.

Holding them, he pressed his head to the earth as the heavens roared above him.

Chapter Text

Thunder crashed around U.A. as rain lashed the windows.

“What did Aizawa say?” Tooru asked as they huddled around Izuku’s desk, ignoring the random flashes that danced across the glass panes.

“That he’ll look into it,” Kirishima said. There was a trace of bitterness in his voice that made them all pause. “And that he was going to look for Bakugou.”

“Is that why none of the teachers are here?” Mina asked, wrapping her arms tightly around her chest. She flinched as a particularly loud thunderclap shook the room.

“Probably,” Momo said.

“You’d think a bunch of pro heroes would have found him already,” said Kaminari, flicking a pencil so it rolled halfway up the desk and came back down to be flicked again.

“But this is Bakugou ,” Tooru said. “Since when has anyone been able to control him?”

“Best Jeanist did,” Satou said, speaking up. They turned to look at him. “His hair.”

“I’m surprised the teachers aren’t bowing at his feet and asking how he did it,” Jirou snorted, twisting her earjack around one finger. Despite the nonchalance of her voice, her face was tight with concern.

“Wait-” said Midoriya. “That’s it.”

“What’s it?” several voices said.

“Bakugou started acting weird after internships, right?” said Midoriya. “And Best Jeanist was able to mess with his hair— and Bakugou is actually really protective over it.”

“Really?” said Ochako, surprised.

“Really,” said Midoriya with a tiny nod. “What if— Best Jeanist did something? To make Bakugou act like this.”

“Best Jeanist is a top hero,” Kaminari protested.

“So is my father,” Todoroki said, making half the class turn to him. “That doesn’t stop him.”

No one spoke for a moment.

“But Best Jeanist —” Kaminari said again.

“It’s the only lead we have,” Momo said. “Has anyone been keeping track of various symptoms and reactions Bakugou has had?”

“He’s really jumpy,” Satou offered.

“He looks like he hasn’t slept in days,” Tsuyu added with a short ‘kero’.

Kaminari tapped his pencil against the desk. “He’s super touchy about being touched— more than normal I mean.”

“His temper is worse as well,” Iida added.

“He’s isolating himself,” Momo murmured.

“I haven’t seen him eat in days,” Kirishima finally said. “Not even those peppers he likes.”

“I still can’t believe Bakugou straight up eats peppers,” Jirou muttered.

“He looks scared,” Midoriya said after a moment. “If you watch him long enough. It’s like...he’s trying to cover it all up with anger but…”

“Bakugou? Scared?” Kaminari snorted.

“He’s only human, Kami,” Satou said after a moment.

A sobering silence went through them then and they sat in quiet, the thunder rattling their desks and ruining the pattern of Kaminari’s tapping and rolling or the clicking of Iida’s pen.

“I don’t get it,” Tooru said after a long moment. “What could this mean?!”

“I think we’re gonna find out,” Kaminari said. “Now that the teacher’s are looking for him and he blew up on Aizawa like that.”

“What if it’s something bad?” Mina asked quietly.

“It already happened,” Shouji said in response. “We can’t change that it happened. We can only support him as we would support anyone else in the class.”

“I don’t get why you all care about him so much,” Mineta said with a shrug. “He’s just an angry asshole.”

“Shut the fuck up,” Tooru snapped at the same time as Kirishima. Half the room reared back at Kirishima’s swearing while the other half restrained from clapping.

Mineta opened his mouth to speak again when he froze, noticing the fury rolling off of Kirishima’s shoulders. He shut it with a snap and backed away, hiding behind Midoriya who shrugged him off.

“What if he’s hurt?” Satou asked. “Bakugou, I mean. He was so off at that night exercise thing—”

“He looked really sick,” Tooru added.

“He’s not dumb,” said Ochako. “I’m sure he would have went to the nurse if he was super sick or something.”

“I don’t know,” said Shouji. “He’s very independent.”

“But even Bakugou has to know that he can’t just fight off being sick,” said Mina. “Can he?”

They turned to Midoriya, who was worrying his lip.

“Midoriya?” Jirou asked.

“I— think he would. Not go, I mean,” said Midoriya. “I knew him through school but we haven’t been close since we were kids. But he’s always been, well, Bakugou . And he’s come to school hurt before and I don’t think he’d seen a doctor…”

“Fuck,” Tooru said, kicking a desk. “They better fucking find him.”

“They will,” Iida said, restraining himself from saying ‘language’. “They aren’t Pros for nothing.”

“It took Bakugou losing his shit on Aizawa and then two students concerned about him for them to do shit,” said Tooru with a snap. “I don’t know how much faith I have in them right now!”

Her words echoed through the room just as the loudest thunder clap yet made Kaminari’s pencil fall off his desk.

“I hope they find him soon,” Kirishima said, staring out the window.

“ too,” one of them whispered.

Lightning danced across the sky.

Chapter Text

Bakugou wasn’t sure where the line between unconsciousness and consciousness was, only that he’d been crossing between it for what felt like— fuck, hours? Days? Years?

He wasn’t sure when he’d stopped shivering or when the pain had faded into a quiet buzz in the back of his mind.

He wasn’t sure when he’d stopped caring.

Bakugou floated, his mind slipping between nothingness and the past and the future and everything in between.

Then something grabbed his arm and he screamed, explosions lighting up the night and sending sharp bursts of warmth through his hands and then someone was yelling, grabbing him and was back there, hands on his wrists as they were wrenched up, quirk suppression bands shoved on them roughly


And then He was there, hands too big, too rough too gentle and he wanted to throw up as fear sprinted up his spine at the sound of a zipper falling as if some primal part of him knew what was coming even if his conscious mind didn’t yet understand.

“Fuck, he’s ice cold—”

One of those hands gripped his chin and Bakugou wanted to bite, to fight, to run as far away as he could before burning this whole fucking place to the ground but he could do nothing as He leaned in.

“Bakugou, stop fighting—”

He let out a panicked whine, more explosions bursting from him as he tried to shake the hands off his wrists, feeling that fucking weight in his mouth and then burning, ripping, tearing—

“So good, Katsuki, just relax. We’ll get to your next hole soon enough and that will be exquisite—”

“Bakugou! Relax, it’s us—”

Bakugou wanted to die.

He wanted this to end.

He wanted it to stop.

Please please please please please

“We need to get him out of the rain.”

“He keeps fighting us!”

“Just pick him up and keep those hands away from you. He practically unconscious anyway.”

One hand scooped under him to pick him up and—

Bakugou wanted to sob as He picked him up as if he were a young child. He did as That Man leaned down and bit his lip and

“NO!” Bakugou screamed, writhing in their arms. “No— get off, please, fuck, get off get off get off—”


“I’ll kill you!” he screeched, the panic rattling through his ribs and sending white hot pain between his eyes. “I’ll kill you, I will I can’t—”

“Aizawa, please, erase—”

“On it.”

Bakugou fought blindly, weakly as they brought him out of the rain, vision flickering between that dark room and the chaos of the storm, feeling Him moving in and out and in and out and his his hands and weight and he wanted to scream, to run, to rip open his wrists and leave this fucking world that would let this happen to him—

“Bakugou, please, just calm down—”




“Get him out of those wet clothes.”

As his shirt was being peeled off, Bakugou tumbled into unconsciousness with a broken, “Stop.”

Not again.”

Chapter Text

Nothing about Aizawa’s face gave away that something was wrong.

Every single one of them knew it anyway.

A cold chill seemed to swirl around their feet and into their lungs as Aizawa sat at his desk, choking back coffee until Cementoss arrived for their next class. Normally, when Aizawa subbed, they’d be set to some kind of task while the man took a nap but he’d left them to their own devices as he stared at his computer screen.

“Aizawa-sensei?” Mina finally asked, breaking the tense silence just as lightning sparked. She flinched at the thunder that followed but kept her eyes up on Aizawa.


“Did— was Bakugou found?” she asked.

The room went dead quiet as Kaminari stopped rolling his pencil.


A jolt of relief seemed to run through them all then, the coldness lifting from their lungs.

“Is he okay?” Kirishima asked, slamming his hands against the desk. “Where is he? Why didn’t he come back—”

Aizawa raised one hand, seeming to weigh his words then. A flicker of emotion crossed his face.

“He should be fine,” he said after a pause. “He is currently under the care of Recovery Girl.”

“He’s hurt?” Midoriya breathed.

“I want to see him,” Kirishima said, standing up. Beside him, Tooru did the same and then Satou and Jirou and suddenly the classroom was out of control.


They did so, watching as the scarf settled back around Aizawa’s neck.

“Bakugou needs rest ,” he said, the words tasting metallic in his mouth. “You will see him when he’s ready.”

The coldness swept back in. Even when Midoriya wrecked his body, they’d been able to see him.

Why couldn’t they see Bakugou?

It was then that a grim-looking Cementoss walked in, relieving Aizawa of his post. The normally slow man didn’t sprint — didn’t speed run or speed walk— and yet his steps seemed fast to the students, as if he were desperate to get somewhere.

The door shut and Cementoss told them to get out their books.

They did so but few were able to concentrate as rain filled the windows and thunder made their desks trembled.

Chapter Text

An hour earlier, Aizawa was sitting at Bakugou’s bedside, his head in his hands.

“H-how old do they look again?” he asked softly.

“...about two weeks old,” said Recovery Girl.

“His internship—” Aizawa said, feeling sick. He’d called Best Jeanist before they’d found Bakugou. The man had said Bakugou was defiant and angry at the beginning but had calmed down a bit near the end but that he had no idea what could have caused the change. Had— but no, Hakamata would never. He was one of the few high level pros worth an inch of their reputation. He was his friend. He would never

“What about— did you find any signs of—” Aizawa started, not wanting to say it. What they knew and could infer from that was bad enough but if it was what he thought—

Recovery Girl nodded, looking grim. “He was infected. Healing poorly. I helped it along where I could but there’s only so much I can heal at once.” She closed her eyes. “Aizawa, when you find out who did this…”

She opened them, fury raging inside dark, beetle-black eyes. “You will not let them get away with this.”

“Never in a million years.”

She sagged, brushing a piece of hair off of Bakugou’s forehead. “How did we let this happen?” she asked softly.

Aizawa didn’t answer that. He’d been wondering himself.

They sat quietly, rage and worry electrifying the air as Bakugou breathed, the sound shallow and pained, even with Recovery Girl’s help.

“Besides—” he paused. “From then. He’s okay?”

“Hypothermia and broken ribs,” she said. “And…” she sighed again. “Burns.”


She nodded. “He’s either been working himself too hard or—”

“Been doing it to himself.”

“If not both,” she added quietly.

They sat quietly.

“We failed him.”

“You did,” she said bluntly. “I did. Every goddamn adult in that child’s life has failed him.”

“What have we done…”

She brushed his hair out of his face again. “Not enough...not enough…” She sighed. “And too much.”

A knock came at the door and they both startled.

“Aizawa? We need you to cover Ishiyama’s class for a bit until the police are done questioning him…” one of the third year professors said, out of breath. He must have run here.

“I understand,” he said roughly, the bags in his eyes catching the light.

“Why not a different teacher—” Recovery Girl started but Aizawa raised his hand.

“I’ve got it,” he said heavily. “It’s only a class period.”

“Thanks, Aizawa,” said the professor, taking off again.

Aizawa scanned Bakugou’s face one more time before looking up at Recovery Girl. “I’ll see you in a few,” he said.

“You as well.”

The walk away from the infirmary felt like a burial procession.

The scary thing was is that if they’d been too late, there would have been one.

The terrifying thing was that he didn’t know if they had been too late.

The marks on Bakugou’s arms and the knowledge of what had been done to him rattled in his brain as he made his way into the classroom of silent, watching children.

He took a breath, steeled his face, and sat down.

Show time.

Chapter Text

Bakuguo woke.

There was a quiet hum of people talking and as he forced himself up, he tried to remember where he was and what had happened.





He remembered.

Scrambling up, ignoring the sudden lights popping in his eyes and the pain roaring through his chest, he felt his heart thump at the thought of them seeing the half-faded bruises and bite marks, the mostly healed scratches and cuts.

His stomach plummeted when he realized he was in a gown instead of clothes.

Later, he’d curse himself for it, but it was his own panicked, desperate whine of panic that caught the nurse’s attention.

“Bakugou!” she said, hurrying over but Bakugou was already trying to get out of bed, already trying to run.

His body was too weak though, still under the grasp of pain meds and he barely made it out of the bed before he was crumpling, falling into the nurse’s arms and NO NO NO GET OFF DONT TOUCH ME FUCK YOU FUCK YOU GET OFF—

He didn’t realize he was yelling it till his ears stopped ringing and he realized he was curled on the bed, shaking.

“Breathe, Katsuki-kun,” the nurse said soothingly. “All is well.”

Bakugou wanted to argue, wanted to point out how nothing was okay, how it was all over, how he wanted out, but he could barely find the energy to breathe.

Instead he hyperventilated until black dots covered his vision and he found himself spiralling into darkness.

Chapter Text

Aizawa stared at the phone.


He pushed back the rage.

Before, he’d been desperate, searching for any reason not to suspect Hakamata. Now…phone call ringing in his head...

His skin crawled.

Bakugou was not someone who looked fragile— as emotionally unstable as the kid was on a good day, his physical strength was absolutely undeniable and his confidence as equally unshakable.

But on that bed, green bruises littering his chest and throat— small nicks, cuts, marks , his ribs painfully visible beneath the hospital gown and stomach uncomfortably concave—

He looked young. Fragile.

Worse though, were the small burn marks scattered across his arms and thighs. They looked deliberate in a way the other burn scars on the kid weren’t.

He couldn’t get the panic in Bakugou’s voice out of his head. The desperation. The begging .

The way the kid had begged the nurse to stop when she’d started getting him out of his wet clothes. He’d been kicked out then, for Bakugou’s privacy, but the absolute lost panic in eyes so normally lit by fire—

Someone had hurt his student.

The desire to fight— to kill, protect, wreak unholy vengeance on the one who had dared violate a child, his child in such a monstrous way—

He didn’t even register that he was thinking of Bakugou as his own.

Aizawa got up and walked towards the infirmary.

Chapter Text

Bakugou wouldn’t look at anyone.

“Katsuki, we need—”

“Don’t call me Katsuki.”

“...Bakugou, we need to know who did this.”


“Bakugou, please. We can’t ensure your safety unless—”




“You don’t have to talk about what happened just yet,” the police officer said slowly. “Just give us a name. Did you know them?”

Bakugou paused. He slowly nodded.

“Alright,” said the officer. “Thank you Bakugou.” She wrote something down. “What gender were they?”

Bakugou stared at the sheets, shoulders tight. He wanted to throw up. He wanted to scream. He wanted to run.



Bakugou stayed silent.

“When did it happen?”

Bakugou clenched his fingers.

“I-Internships. During internships.”

“Was it just once?”

Bakugou curled into a ball, head on his knees. He shook his head.

“How many times?”

He shook his head. Nonononononono—

“Alright. Thank you for your cooperation, Bakugou.”

The police turned her attention away from him and started talking quietly to Recovery Girl and Aizawa. Even if Bakugou wanted to listen, he couldn’t so he just shook, struggling to push back the memories suddenly crowding him.

He let out a choked sound, attracting their attention and someone touched his shoulder and he screamed, lashing out as He was there again, pushing Bakugou down and—

“STOP!” he screeched, fighting. Get off get off get off get off please please fuck

“Stop!” he begged as they tried to calm him down, their touch only worsening things. “Get off fuck get off get off get off please—”

“Bakugou, you’re in the nurse’s office, it’s okay—”


Went limp. He gave up. Bakugou Katsuki gave up.

“...get him a sedative…”


The world went dark.

Chapter Text

They’d had a sub for homeroom for the last two days.

No one was allowed in the backroom of nurses with that private bed only a few students ever had the ‘privilege’ of staying in.

None of the teachers would answer when asked about Bakugou.

...something was wrong.

Very wrong.

“I call the next meeting of 1-A students into order,” said Iida, for once not fighting the members of the self-proclaimed ‘Bakusquad’ who were sitting on top of desks.

“What do we know?” Todoroki asked.

“Bakugou attacked Aizawa,” Tooru offered.

“Then he went missing,” Mina added.

“Then a bunch of teachers went missing,” Kaminari added.

“And then Aizawa subbed for Cementoss and seemed off and yelled at us,” Jirou added, swinging her leg up and down anxiously.

“And then he ran off,” Midoriya said.

“But they found Bakugou,” Mina added. “And he’s hurt.”

“And no one is allowed to see him,” Tooru jumped in.

“But what could have happened…?” Momo asked aloud.

“I think...Best Jeanist has something to do with this,” Kirishima said after a short quiet.

“Best Jeanist?” several people asked.

“We already talked about how he changed after internships,” Kirishima said. “Haven’t any of you notice how snappy he gets whenever the guy comes up?”

“We’ve talked about this, Kirishim—” Momo started.

“We haven’t,” said Kirishima. “Not really. Because this is Bakugou. Why would he…”

The pieces clicked and Kirishima lost about three shades.


“Kirishim— dude, are you okay—”


Kirishima stood up quickly, chair clattering to the floor. Bakugou

“Kirishima!” Iida said, arms doing their wiggle thing. “What on Earth—”

But Kirishima was already out the door, leaving the room in confusion.

“So, Shouji, how’s the girlfriend?” Tooru asked after a long moment.

“She’s not my girlfriend!”

“How’s the almost girlfriend?”

“Probably killing people,” Kaminari mumbled.

“She isn’t a villain!”

“Keep telling yourself that buddy,” Tooru mumbled.

At his desk, Midoriya’s brain kicked into overdrive.

I’m missing something…


Out in the hallway, Kirishima sprinted towards the nurse’s office, lungs aching with suppressed tears.  


Chapter Text

Well, he’s along the right path… Aizawa thought as he faced a pale Kirishima. “No, Kirishima,” he said. “As far to my knowledge, Bakugou was not physically abused by Best Jeanist.”

“Oh…” said Kirishima, sitting back in his chair. “I…”

“I know you are concerned about Bakugou,” Aizawa said. “But he’ll tell you when he’s ready. For now, though, just let him be. He needs a friend, not an interrogator. Understand?”


Aizawa got the strangest urge to ruffle Kirishima’s hair. Oh god I’m going soft.

“Why don’t you go ask the nurse if Bakugou is up for some visitors?” he asked. “Like I said, Bakugou could use a friend.”

“...what if he doesn’t want to see me?” Kirishima’s voice was small.

“It wouldn’t be because of you,” said Aizawa, voice gentling. “Bakugou is in a very rough place right now. You know him— he’s a prideful, strong boy and kids like him don’t like being seen as weak. Letting people in hurts. But he could use a friend and you are a very good one.”

Shota, you have turned into a squishy toy.

“I—” Kirishima took a breath. “Okay. Okay. I’ll go seem him.”

“Alright,” said Aizawa, watching as Kirishima stood. “And Kirishima?”

Kirishima glanced back, a question in his eyes.

“You’re a good friend to him.”

Kirishima turned red. “Tha-thanks,” he said, rubbing his hair. “Have a— nice night, Aizawa-sensei.”

When Kirishima left, Aizawa slumped over his desk, pouring a small glass of bourbon. His stomach had sunk like a stone when Kirishima had burst into his office, white face and shaking. He’d thought that the kid had figured it out. Instead, Kirishima wove a different tale of misery— of beatings and mental abuse— a sick sort of gratefulness wore over him. Kirishima didn’t figure it out. As much as Bakugou needed a friend his age who knew and that he could confide in, it was his story to tell.

He took a long, slow draught of his drink and leaned forward, forehead cradled in his arms. God, I need sleep.

But the police officer’s words rang in his head. Without Bakugou naming a culprit, they could arrest Best Jeanist on suspicion, but they couldn’t hold him long without more solid proof. More than 72 hours had passed and while a rape kit could still get evidence, it wouldn’t be enough to incriminate Hakamata.

It all depended on Bakugou.

God help that poor kid.

Chapter Text

The rape kit was probably one of the hardest things Bakugou had ever done in his life.

But it was over and he’d slept most of the day after in a nice sedated semi-coma so he hadn’t even had to deal with the nightmares but he was just...drained.

He didn’t want to talk to anyone. He didn’t want to deal with anything.

He was just…


He was so fucking tired of the panic and anger and the constant fucking voice in his head that never shut up about how pathetic he was and how He would find him again.

Bakugou just wanted to go back to before.

He also knew he never could.


He opened his eyes, cold sliding from his heart to his feet. No he can’t see me like this

Bakugou yanked up the blanket, pulling himself into a sitting position. He was careful to make sure it was wrapped around his shoulders up to his neck and that it hid the fucking fat lumps on his chest. His heart pounded.

There in the doorway was Kirishima, looking uncharacteristically unsure and hesitant.

“Hey, Bakugou…” he said and Bakugou felt his eyes start to burn and he wanted to scream.

Not him. Fuck. Not him

Kirishima drew nearer, his hands raised. Bakugou wanted him to leave.

Bakugou wanted him to stay.

Before he could stop himself, he was crying.

Fuck fuck stop crying, stop crying Katsuki, now

“Can- can I hug you?”

Bakugou hated himself as he nodded. You’re dirty, you’ll get him dirty, grow up, stop being a baby

He flinched when Kirishima touched him, felt Him fucking embracing him, felt Him nipping his neck but it washed out as Kirishima gently rubbed his back.

“You’re safe,” Kirishima murmured. “I’ve got you.”

Bakugou let himself break down.

The lights above them buzzed softly as Kirishima slowly rocked them as Bakugou sobbed, grieving what he’d lost.

Eventually his sobs slowed and Kirishima ran his free hand through Bakugou’s hair as the latter drifted into an exhausted sleep.

It had been a long day.

When Bakugou started snoring against Kirishima’s shoulders, he gently laid Bakugou down, tucking the blanket up higher. If Bakugou was hiding something, he figured he had a reason and that the nurse knew. He wouldn’t pry.

He got off the bed as slowly as he could. He buried the anger bubbling under the surface.

He could figure out what happened later.

Aizawa was right— Bakugou needed a friend more than an avenger.

Kirishima would be the best damn friend he could.

He owed Bakugou that much.

For a moment, he watched Bakugou, comforted by the slow rise and fall of the blankets. Bakugou was alive. He wasn’t okay— not after what he saw— but he would be.

Bakugou had them.

Kirishima would make sure of it.

Chapter Text

For the first time in two weeks, Bakugou woke up not feeling like shit.

Bakugou lay there, eyes tracing the ceiling tiles as he tried to wrap his mind around the day before. It’d started out bad enough. Actually, Bakugou didn’t want to remember the morning, fuck you. Before the anxiety could swell up in his throat he wrenched his thoughts to later.


Did he know? Did he see?

His chest felt fucking heavy and not for the first time since they had cut his binder off him (too small, old, ragged, stuck to him like plastic wrap someone get scissors ) he fought the urge to not just get up and grab one of the scissors or scalpels and hack away.

He ached. The bruises and scratches, yellowed and scabbed with age, the worst nearly healed littered his body. A dull ache radiated from his...

They’d...stitched him. During the rape kit. Fixed him up and yet he almost hurt worse now. It was like he was back with—

Tearing, ripping, laughter

Blood, oh god, oh god

“Don’t you dare, Katsuki, keep that mouth open.”

Neck aching as he was pounded into the mattress, tears drying across his cheeks

Bakugou threw up and rolled away from it all, curling into a quavering, aching ball. He wanted to die.

Funny how quickly you can be having a good day and have it all fall apart.

Bakugou was...tired.

He felt washed out.

Bakugou stared at the ceiling tiles and tried to chase the peace of that morning.


Chapter Text

“I’m trans,” Bakugou blurted.

Kirishima froze, one foot in the door. “Huh?”

Bakugou swallowed, shifting on the bed. He’d finally been given a sweatshirt, but there was no hiding his chest. No one could say Bakugou Katsuki wasn’t brave.

“I’m trans.”

“Oh,” said Kirishima with a shrug, throwing Bakugou off balance. “Okay. I figured.”

Bakugou stared.

Kirishima tilted his head. “What?”


Kirishima sat at the end of his bed. “My sister is trans. And...yesterday kinda confirmed it.”

Bakugou looked down, fiddling with the blankets.

“...what happened?” Kirishima asked.

That was a loaded question. Bakugou evaded it.

“A lot’s happened,” Bakugou snorted even though it sounded more fragile then he’d like. “You’re going to have to specify.”

“With Best Jeanist.”

Hands pulling, pain, pain, pain, burning

“Nothing happened.”

He could feel Kirishima staring, could almost hear the question but instead Kirishima just shifted. “Okay.”

Bakugou relaxed, shoulders going almost limp.

“They said you’re good to go by the end of the week,” Kirishima said in that fake peppy voice of his— so good you could almost believe it if you didn’t know him.

Bakugou made a small noise.

“Everyone’s really worried,” Kirishima continued. “It’s not the same without you.”

Bakugou shrugged.

Kirishima shifted. “It’s okay not to be okay, you know,” he said. “You don’t...have to be okay.”

Bakugou paused.

He pulled his knees up, setting his head on them. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be okay.”

The words slip out before he can stop them. It’s the mixed blessing/curse of being around Kirishima— it was so fucking hard not to respond with his earnestness with truth.


Neither of them register the use of his first name.

“Can I touch your hand?” Kirishima asked after a while, inching closer.

Bakugou shrugged.

A pause.

“Can I have a yes or no?” Kirishima asked.


Kirishima shifted, coming close enough that he could take Bakugou’s hand, which he did.

He squeezed. “You’ll get through this, Bakubro. You’re manly enough.”

Bakugou bit back a sob.

Kirishima bumped his shoulder gently. “C’mon, Katsuki. You can cry your manly tears in front of me. I don’t mind.”

“Shut up,” Bakugou choked out. The words lacked their fire though and he leaned into Kirishima.

“I’m not gonna leave just because you cry you know,” Kirishima said gently. “Or think anything less of you.”

Bakugou choked out a sob, tears escaping him.

“I’ve got you,” Kirishima said, squeezing his hand. “I’ve got you.”

Bakugou cried.

Kirishima held his hand.


Chapter Text

“Hello. Would you like me to call you Bakugou or Katsuki?”

Bakugou stared at the woman.

She smiled at him.


Writing that down, she nodded at him. “Bakugou it is then.”

“What am I doing here?” Bakugou asked after a moment, pulling his knees up to his chest.

Long black curls fell over her shoulder as she glanced at him, smiling warmly. “That’s what I should be asking you.”


Therapy went fast after that. It wasn’t anything like Bakugou had expected— there was no couch, no old man, no weirdo trying to crack his head open and crawl inside it. Just a nice lady who explained how therapy would work and tried to help him figure out what he wanted out of it.

He didn’t like it.

She was one of those people that made it easy to spill whatever you were thinking into the open air, like Kirishima. He didn’t trust her.

He’d nearly said too much too many times already.

Bakugou laid on the bed, staring at the ceiling. Kirishima was in class, Recovery Girl was busy and none of her interns and other nurses were around.

He could easily…

He eyed the scapals but decided he was too tired and unmotivated at the moment. Maybe later.

Bakugou rolled over. Sore. Still.

He burned in other places but he was trying to forget that. Trying to forget how they’d had to open him back and stitch and how he’d woken, burning, and wishing he was dead

At least the bruises and hickeys were fading. They’d been the hardest to hide.

It wasn’t the first time Bakugou had had to hide bruises. His mother was a strong adherent to ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ and took it to its extreme.

Seeing Deku with his perfect fucking mom always pissed him off for the day.

Bakugou sighed, holding an arm over his face. He pushed back the guilt as he always did. He could feel is fester and knew if he let it, it would eat him alive so he just...let it fester.

He needed to apologize.

He also knew that it would destroy him.

So instead he just rolled over, burying his head in the pillow. He was alone with his thoughts and he wanted them to fuck off but someone brilliant had figured out that Bakugou Katsuki + his quirk + being possible suicidal = bad time and slapped more quirk suppressors on him. Great.

He could sleep but that was a one way train to nightmares.

Bakugou punched himself, letting his chin jerk to the side. He did it again and again until his face was throbbing and cheek bright red.

Curling up, he stared at the wall.

What am I doing here?

The wall held no answers.

Chapter Text

“ can go back to class tomorrow.”

Bakugou’s head shot up. “Huh?”

“You can go back to class tomorrow,” Kirishima said, chewing at his lip. “At least— that’s what Recovery Girl said.”

Bakugou was quiet.


“I’m fine.”

Kirishima sighed, shifting on the bed. His hair was down again, falling in loose waves over his broad shoulders. “You don’t have to if you aren’t ready.”

“Of course I’m ready shitty hair. I could have gone back days ago.”


Bakugou pulled his knees to his chest, ignoring the slight ripple of pain that went through his body. “I’m fine.”

“ aren’t though.”


Kirishima sighed. “I won’t push you.”

They sat in quiet for a while, Bakugou slowly leaning against Kirishima as they watched the clock tick together.

“How was therapy?”



“She just asked me a bunch of questions and shit.”


The clocks’ hands shifted but the pause wasn’t awkward.

“How was school?”

“Boring,” said Kirishima with a grin. “It’s quiet without you.”

“Sure,” Bakugou snorted, picking at the blanket.

“I’m serious!”

Bakugou glanced up.

Kirishima shrugged, pulling at a loose strand of hair and curling it around his finger. “I don’t know. You can just tell there’s something missing. It’s….weird.”

“...I don’t know what to say.”

He shrugged, red hair falling against his jaw like a waterfall. “They miss you.”

Bakugou shrugged with a snort.

“They do!”

“I’m an asshole, Eijirou, I really don’t—”

Kirishima leaned his head on Bakugou’s shoulder, batting his eyelashes.

Bakugou jumped away, heart pounding.

Kirishima paused. “Sorry.”

“It’s— fuck, it’s fine, I’m fine, everything is fine—”

“Is it?”


“It’s okay not to be fine, Katsuki.”

“I’m tired of not being fine.”


“...I know.”

The bed creaked and Bakugou flinched as Kirishima got up to grab his tablet out of his bag. “Wanna watch a stupid show?”


Kirishima was careful not to touch him again as together they watched a stupid cartoon as the sun set in the window, sending shards of orange, red, and yellow through the curtains and dancing across their faces as the room grew darker and darker.

A fragile calm grew in the cracks of the nurse’s office, quiet and unspoken.

Chapter Text

Bakugou’s hand was frozen around the door handle.

Just open the door, shitty coward.

His hand didn’t move.

Fucking grow a pair, you piece of shit

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

He is Bakugou Katsuki, winner of the Sports Festival—

So good my little slut

He’s Bakugou Katsuki—

C’mon baby






Bakugou startled as Kirishima came up behind him. His eyes darted away, red boring into the wood of the door as his hand clenched around the metal.

“Nothing,” he mumbled. He slammed the door open violently and let it knock against the hinges, striding it with his hands in his pockets. He looked at no one as he stalked towards his desk despite knowing they had to be whispering and feeling their stares.

He started to swing his legs up on top of the desk but—

Hands spreading his knees apart

Vulnerable, dysphoric, violating

His elevator boots hit the ground with a smack.

He ignored the bruises he was boring into his arms, glaring at the back of the head of whatever second rate extra was in front of him.

You’re so insecure, Katsuki-chan, His voice said, fingers tracing his jaw. You act like you are better than everyone around you and yet you know how absolutely worthless you are.

He winced as his nails drew blood. His heart pounded as he just barely picked up on someone talking.

“Shut the fuck up,” he snapped, turning to a startled Izuku. He looked at the class as a whole a moment later. “Get your fucking entertainment somewhere fucking else and stop staring at me like I’m a fucking exhibit at a goddamn fucking zoo. It’s none of your fucking business where I was, I won’t fucking tell any of you, and if you fucking keep looking at me one fucking minute longer I’ll rip your eyeballs out of your skulls and shove them up your ass so far they replace your fucking kidneys.”

Silence rang.

Bakugou glared out the window, ignoring the shaking going through his entire body.

Aizawa cleared his throat. “Bakugou, meet me after class.”

Bakugou barely held back a groan, fingers pressing deep into the calluses on his palms.

He could feel the stares and with an impressive amount of self-control, managed to stay quiet and endure.

It wasn’t like he’d never done that before.


Chapter Text

Maybe it meant she was a bad person.

Maybe it meant she wasn’t exactly the squeaky-clean hero everyone who bothered to notice her assumed she was.

Hagakure Tooru was so sick of all the attention that Bakugou Katsuki got.

She knew it was bad. She knew something was wrong with him— knew everyone had a very good reason to be worried and focus on him.

But— fuck , she couldn’t stop the jealousy.

I’m a bad person.

She watched Bakugou his first day back, though she’d sworn to herself that she wouldn’t. She watched the tenseness— the little movements he made and half-aborted flinches.

She watched as he exploded at the class.

Watched as he stayed quiet despite the glances at him all throughout class.

And she thought.

Tooru knew why she was jealous. Bakugou drew the spotlight. He was someone who would be a main character in an anime— someone who would become a top hero for sure, if he didn’t become the villain she heard people whisper about in the hallways.

Tooru was just….


Tooru was the kind of person who could be missed in an empty room, even ignoring her quirk— the kind of person that no one really noticed, that no one really cared about.

Her thumb traced the lines on her arms, hidden from anyone and everyone, whether or not they would care. Bakugou’s hurt was clear on his face— in the bags under his eyes, in the hollows of his cheeks. Anyone with functional eyes could tell he was in a bad place.

All Tooru had to do with sound reasonable perky and no one would ever know she was falling apart.

So maybe she was a bad person.

But god was she sick of Bakugou Katsuki being the center of attention.


Maybe that’s why they would slowly begin to get along.

Chapter Text


Tooru jumped, almost screaming. To her surprise, instead of falling face first into the river like she would have expected, she found herself pulled back onto the grass by her collar.

She blinked when she realized just who it was who’d saved her.


He shrugged, letting go. Tooru stared as he sat next to her, suddenly bare feet— when had he taken his shoes off? — swirling in the cool water. The Bakugou of a few months ago would have let her fall.

They sat in silence for a long time. The wind blew through their hair as the sun peeked through the cloud, sending thin razors of hot light across their shoulders and faces, heating the thick grass below them.

Together they watched as a branch floated by and as a few young fish darted about in the water, scales catching the light and sending it sparkling across the water.

This part of U.A. was secluded. Tooru went here whenever she got too overwhelmed— when the sudden crush of people after years of homeschooling made her stomach invade her chest cavity and when sweat began to pour out of her, no matter how invisible it was. It was her safe place— where she could be just Tooru without having to worry about being...well….invisible.

Part of her wanted to hate Bakugou for invading that space but it was overwhelmed by the part that surprisingly enjoyed just….having someone there with her.

She didn’t look at him when she heard him shift, heard the bit back sob.

They stayed there, quiet and watching the light catch on the current and send it, shattered, across the river and against pebbles and stones.

He stood first, feet finding balance. “Thanks, Hagakure.”

Her head shot up at the thank you. She’d never heard him say that before.

“I— yeah. No problem. Anytime.” The last word slipped out before she could stop it, but for some reason, she couldn’t really say she regretted it.

He nodded and disappeared out into the normal world.

For a moment longer, Tooru sat there, watching the fish and the water before realizing that it just— seemed too empty. Too...lonely.

She rose to her feet.

Skipping a pebble she’d been rolling in her hand the entire time, the invisible girl disappeared back into the rush of normal life.

Chapter Text

“In and out, Katsuki,” said Kirishima, sitting cross legged in front of him. They were in the hallway. “Breathing square, remember?”

“C-can’t—” he choked out. “Can’t.”

“Yes you can,” said Kirishima. “You’re Bakugou Katsuki, remember? You can do anything.”

He reached out to take Bakugou’s hand. “Breathe with me. In for four—” He modeled it and Bakugou shakily followed. “Hold for four.”

They did so together. “Out for four—” They breathed out. “Hold for four.”

Together, they breathed like this until Bakugou’s trembling decreased. He swore softly and pulled his hand from Kirishima’s, curling into an embarrassed ball.

“Hey, c’mon,” said Kirishima. “There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You aren’t the only one in class who gets panic attacks y’know.”

Bakugou didn’t answer but just grit his teeth, pressing his lips into a tight line. He swallowed hard and pressed his forehead against his knees.

“You’re okay,” Kirishima said.

I feel weak.

“Do you know what triggered this one?”

Bakugou looked up, eyes darting away from Kirishima’s. Someone had grabbed his shoulder to steady herself in the hallway.



“Wanna tell me?”

He shook his head.

“That’s okay.”

They sat in quiet for a while, Kirishima tapping out a simple rhythm on the floor.

“...Best Jeanist was arrested yesterday.”

Bakugou made a noise from the back of his throat.

“News didn’t say why. Did you hear about it?”

Yeah. He had. Aizawa had pulled him aside after class.

He nodded.


Kirishima coughed and shifted. “Wanna head back to the dorm?”

Bakugou nodded, blinking as he stared at Kirishima’s suddenly outstretched hand.

Kirishima grinned at him and wiggled the hand.

Bakugou took it.

Chapter Text

“You’re a girl?

Bakugou’s fist slammed into Mineta’s face before he registered what he was doing, shoulders heaving as the smaller boy slammed into the ground. A sick crack was followed by a bloom of blood as Mineta shrieked, holding his broken nose.

Kaminari was frozen in the doorway, one hand holding onto the side.

Bakugou looked up, fists hanging at his sides.

Red met gold as Mineta whined on the ground, blood dripping onto the tiles.

Bakugou straightened, adjusting his binder as he shrugged on the rest of his clothes, eyes cold as he stared down Kaminari. “Gonna say anything?”

Kaminari shook his head and just pushed aside his own costume slightly to show the strap of his own binder— flesh toned, instead of black like Bakugou’s. Understanding seemed to spark between them as Mineta struggled to his feet, not having noticed the by-play.

“You listen to me, you little grape rat freak,” Bakugou hissed, watching more blood drip down from Mineta’s nose. “I’m a fucking boy. You tell anyone and I’ll blow up those little fucking balls on your head one by one until you’re a cooling corpse on the floor. Got it?”

Mineta’s lip curled slightly and he spat blood at Bakugou’s feet. “Sure,” he said, wiping away the blood from under his nose. “Whatever you say, Bakugou-chan.”

Before Bakugou could do anything, Mineta sprinted away, pushing past a startled Kaminari.

Bakugou slammed his fist into the nearest locker.



“He’s a piece of shit.”

Bakugou snorted, shaking out his fist. “No fucking kidding.”

Kaminari shifted. “If you ever need— tampons or pads or whatever…”


“I won’t say anything if you don’t.”

Bakugou looked up and gave a short, brief nod.

“You know, it’s kind of funny how Mineta tripped and smacked his face into a locker,” Kaminari said, leaning against the doorframe. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to blame someone else— like you, for example.”

Bakugou blinked in confusion for a moment before getting it. “...thanks, Kaminari.”


The two left the quiet locker room, with the bloodstains on the floor and a slightly dented metal door behind.

Chapter Text

Spine straight, jaw lifted, don’t show weakness.

Carmine eyes bore into sheer black as he hid his trembling hands in his pockets. When he’d been called into Aizawa’s office, he’d thought it was something about decking Mineta or something stupid like that.

The moment he’d spotted the police uniform, his stomach had found a home somewhere in his legs, tight and painful as electricity seemed to spark down his spine.

He refused the unspoken request to sit, his legs like blocks of wood beneath him as he met the pitying gaze of the officer, his own chest burning with self-hatred and fury that she’s looking down on him, goddamnit, he’s not broken, he’s not fragile, he’s not fucking—

He feels vulnerable though, trapped in that office, caught beneath the twin gazes of Aizawa and the officer.

Bakugou misses her question, eyes not finding her lips in time.

He stares blankly for a moment, off balance.

She repeats, “Did Hakamata Tsunagu rape you?”

The words hit like hammers to his ribcage, as if he was back out in that storm with his binder squeezing him until all he felt was blood on his tongue.

He doesn’t realize he’s taken a step back and another until his back hit the wall.

Get ahold of yourself, it’s just words, shitty excuse for a piece of—

He swallows.

“Bakugou?” Aizawa asked, voice gentle, eyes unreadable.

He raises his jaw, red eyes hardening into something dangerous but also painfully shattered and simultaneously strong. He gives one short, harsh nod before spinning on his heel and leaving, door slamming behind him.

For a moment, a sick, heady feeling goes through him, making his knees almost limp. He catches himself, breathing in through tight lungs.

He told.

His fingers try to find old bruises around his throat but they’ve faded at this point, leaving nothing but phantoms in their wake.

I told.

I told— fuck, I told, fucking idiot, fucking piece of shit, fucking—

His heart is too fast but he can’t calm down

His feet find the gym and the indoor track and he runs until there’s nothing left but the ache of overworked muscles and the spinning of his head as he stares up at the large ceiling fan in the rafters, the fan’s arms twisting like his gut.

I told.

Bakugou was screwed.

Chapter Text

When Bakugou was younger, he’d tried to catch bees with his bare hands, eyes gleaming as he chased the fat, fuzzy bodies of the bumblebees buzzing lazily among his mother’s poorly upkept flowers.

The sensation in his head harmonized with that half-remembered buzzing, worsened by the ever-present thick heaviness in his ears.

The back of his heels rattled against the side of his balcony, eyes latched on the thin sliver of moon.

It would be so easy to fall.

He breathed in the cold night air. His therapist had tried, unsuccessfully, to get him to talk about what happened. After one flashback and one rant later, she’d simply guided him through a new coping skill. If Bakugou was inclined to, the paper was still laying on his bed.

Bakugou kept tapping his feet against the bars of his balcony.

He watched the subtitles on his phone.

No. 4 Hero Best Jeanist Arrested—

He closed out a second later, hands shaking slightly. He should be happy.

Why does he feel like...this?

The phone slid down his hand until the tips of his fingers hold onto it. A twitch of his finger would send it spiralling four stories to the ground.

It felt oddly poetic.


He would have to testify.

Bakugou’s fingers suddenly clenched around the bars of his balcony as he felt dizzy, phone miraculously clattering to the floor instead of down four stories to the ground.

He’d have to testify.

If he wanted a chance if he wanted freedom

His ribs ached.

Bakugou watched the night sky eat the moon and the sun paint the sky shades of red.

Chapter Text


It took all four of them to hold Aizawa back.

The anger rushed through him, hot and bright as he lunged against their arms, eyes burning.

Hakamata’s eyes met his unflinchingly.

“Why?” he hissed, pain and betrayal and anger boiling in his voice. “Why?”

Hakamata shrugged, dark eyes half-hidden behind unusually messy blond locks. He looked smaller in prison garb, no longer larger than life. His confidence and flamboyance remained untouched however, even in the face of Aizawa’s fury.

Aizawa managed to get free of Mic and the other’s hold, slamming Hakamata against the wall, fingers curling into the fabric of Hakamata’s jumpsuit.

“You fucking hypocrite,” he growled.

Hakamata’s dark eyes narrowed slightly. “And what could you mean by that?”

“When I was—” His teeth grinded audibly, fingers bunching into the fabric more. “When I was almost— you fucking hypocrite, you said you hated rapists and you fucking— you fucking raped my student you piece of shit—”

“It was not rape.”

Aizawa slammed his head into the wall, ignoring the sick crack and groan. To his surprise, none of the four behind him moved to stop him.

“It was rape, you slimy pedophilic piece of hypocritical shit—”

“He practically was asking for it.”

Before Aizawa could actually kill him, he was pulled back. Hakamata slid down the wall a bit, holding his head with a groan.

“How the fuck— there were fucking tears , you piece of shit, he’s only sixteen —”

“Brutish little brat,” Hakamata said, a mocking smile on his face. “ Someone had to teach him his place. Besides, he more or less asked me to.”

“Shut up— shut up—”

“Shouta, we should go—” Mic said, dropping his voice. The usual playfulness and extravagance was gone, replaced with barely withheld fury.

“Let me fucking— he raped my student —”

“Let’s go Shouta-kun.”

Aizawa let him drag him from the room.

They stood in quiet for a moment as Aizawa slammed his fist against the wall despite knowing how stupid it was. He trembled, throat tight.

“He was our friend.”

Mic sighed.

“He was our friend.”

“Yeah. He was.”

The past tense hung in the air as the two of them stood there. Aizawa pulled his hands down his face, trying to get control of himself. He slowly breathed out.

“What are we going to do?”

“What we can,” said Mic. “Whatever we can to make sure this never happens again.”

“It shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

A pause. Aizawa looked up to see Mic glancing out the window, a shadow across his face as light glowed against his hair.

“No. It shouldn’t have.”

“Never again.”

Mic nodded, pushing off the wall.

“Never again.”

It was a promise.

Chapter Text

Ishiyama Ken was a man of few words despite his profession. At twenty eight years old, he had nearly a decade of hero work under his belt and nearly a full year of education. He was the sort of man who slid effortlessly into academia, as much a scholar as he was a hero.

While teaching dipped heavily into his time allotted for hero work, it wasn’t something he minded overmuch.

Ken stared into his tea, the teacher’s lounge quiet around him. Soft oranges and pinks streamed through the half-curtained windows, sending speckles of light across the table and into his cup of amber liquid.

The memory of Hakamata’s eyes, so cold compared to what they usually were, haunted him.

Jeanist hadn’t even fought them when they arrived. He’d just looked up from his desk, joviality fading as he’d realized what they were here for.

Hakamata simply lifted his wrists and smiled .

Ken didn’t think that smile would ever leave his nightmares.

He sipped his tea, watching the light come through the glass like a candle flame. They hadn’t realized just what Hakamata was. No one had. The fact that someone so strong, someone so respected and well loved could…

Best Jeanist was supposed to be selfless and brave. A good man. A good hero. Flawed, of course, perhaps a bit arrogant and a little too flamboyant, but never…

But it had been a mask, hadn’t it? He was a man who knew how to create a positive social reputation and manipulate it. He was a man in the perfect position to groom the victims who came his way.

How many people before Bakugou Katsuki had he harmed?

How many people like Best Jeanist were out there amongst the heroes, using their status to harm those they were supposed to be protecting?

Ken dropped his head into his hands, sighing. An irrational part of him kept whispering that he should have known. He should have seen the signs.

The rational side of him knew better though. People like Best Jeanist— they knew how to hide in plain sight. They were clever in their cruelty, chameleon in their private depravity. They staked their entire operation on making sure people like Ken— people like Aizawa and Mic— couldn’t see the signs.

He and the others weren’t blameless though. Ken knew that.

Bakugou Katsuki had been among them nearly two weeks before he’d fallen apart before their eyes, nearly dying because of their incompetence. Bakugou Katsuki had been hurt by the negligence and occasional outright abuse of the staff upon him— most notably the Sports Festival.

It might have been his mother’s suggestion, but they still had tied a sixteen year old to a hunk of rock, muzzled him, and handcuffed him on live television in front of millions and to what? Embarrass him? Punish him?

Ken never found the answer.

The guilt wore down on him as he stared into his tea, the light fading from the window. Soon, the other teachers would arrive and the meeting would begin.

His thoughts scattered in his mind like the sakura blossoms in spring and he leaned forward, large hands cupping around his tea. They had to be better. Not just for Bakugou, but for all the students.

For all of them.

Never again.

Ken looked up as the teachers began to arrive in twos and threes, sitting around the large center table. The scent of coffee and tea filled the room as slowly all of them arrived.

“The trial will begin in a few weeks,” Aizawa said finally. “For Hakamata.”

“Will Bakugou-kun have to testify?” a teacher from the general course Ken had only spoken to once or twice asked.

A pause.

“Yes,” Aizawa said, voice heavy. “Most likely. I would be surprised if Hakamata’s other victims stepped forward as well.”

“You think there’s more?” Midnight asked, stirring her black coffee.

“I don’t know for sure,” said Aizawa. “But I wouldn’t be surprised.”

There was an uncomfortable quiet.

“We need to vette the heroes the kids go to for internships better,” said Mic, one foot kicked up on the table. His hair was down for once, tied into a messy blond bun. He looked...tired.

“How?” said Snipe, fiddling with his hat.

“Maybe they would have to submit a short report on what they plan to do with the kids?” Thirteen suggested, signing at the same time for Snipe’s benefit, knowing their voice was difficult for the man to pick out. “And we could do a more stringent background check.”

“Jeanist would have slipped through both,”  Sekijirou pointed out.

“There’s only so much we can do,” Ectoplasm said, shaking his head. “Jeanist was a good actor. Can anyone honestly tell me this didn’t come as a surprise?”


“His record was perfect,” Ectoplasm continued. “We can do our best to protect the students from now on and make sure we catch what we can but there will always be predators out there that we won’t spot until it’s too late.”

“So what do we do?” Power Loader asked.

Thirteen sighed, tapping at their helmet anxiously. “We can...all take a course in spotting signs of abuse. It would help in more than just internships as well.”

“We could also take a bystander intervention course,” added Snipe. “The United States has a program called ‘S.A.F.E.’, correct? Maybe we can establish something like that for the hero academies here in Japan.”

“S.A.F.E.?” Ken asked, curious.

“Students and faculty for equality,” said Snipe, shrugging. “My sister teaches at a school in the U.S. that requires S.A.F.E. training for all the hero instructors. It helps professors learn how to handle topics like abuse and rape as well as basic LGBTQ+ topics.”

“It’s something,” Ken said with a sigh. “What are we going to do about Bakugou-kun?”

“What about him?” Midnight asked.

“We fucked up,” Aizawa said bluntly, half-chugging his coffee.

“The school already apologized for the Sports Festival—” she argued.

“This isn’t about the Sports Festival,” Ken said, setting his cup down perhaps a little too hard.

The entire room snapped their heads toward the man.

Ken looked up, hand tight around the handle to the cup. “The child went two weeks before anyone bothered to intervene and that was after we found him half dead on school grounds. Two weeks.”

His eyes were narrowed with shame and barely withheld anger. “Tell me. If it had been Uraraka-chan or Midoriya-kun, would we have waited two weeks? Would we have let the other students in his class suffer?”

There was an uncomfortable silence.

“It’s not just Bakugou either,” said Snipe. “I’ve noticed the same bias amongst ourselves for other students— that Shinsou boy in 1C, notably.”

“Kuroiro in 1B,” Sekijirou added.

“Ichinawa in 3F,” Power Loader joined in.

“Haru—” started Aizawa before Nezu patted the table.

“That’s enough,” the principal said. “What do you suggest we do, Cementoss?”

“I don’t know,” he said honestly, sipping at his tea. “Other than become aware of what we are doing and how we treat the students?”

“That’s not enough,” said Mic.

All Might sighed, rubbing his eyes. “I don’t know what to do.”

A shiver went through the staff at that.

“None of us do,” Ken finally said, finishing his tea. He stared at the dregs. “But we need to do something.”

“But what?” Thirteen asked.

No one had an answer.


Chapter Text

He breathed in the cold morning air, toes dug into the dewy grass.

“Where you from, anyway?”

Tooru shifted, tossing a rock into the river. “Tokyo. Yoyogi district.”

He nods, stripping a stick and tossing the bits of bark into the water.

“My parents are into fashion,” she said, not sure why she was telling him this. “I remember seeing you in magazines they had on their desks.” She paused. “Do you still model?”

“Not for a while,” he said after a pause, shaving at his stick with a pocket knife.

“Where are you from?” she asked.

“I was born in Kawanehon. Shizuoka Prefecture. It’s a small town. My parents moved to Musutafu when I was four for work.”

“What’s it like? Kawanehon, I mean, if you remember it.”

Bakugou was quiet for a moment. “Green. Really green. Lots of mountains and forests. Summers were pretty hot. Sometimes I’d help my uncle pick green tea on his farm.”

“Do you ever go back?”

He nods, picking at the grass for a moment before going back to his stick. “Sometimes during the summer, yeah. I help out at the farm. Free labor and all. Keeps me in condition though, so I don’t complain.”

She nods, though she knows he can’t see. One nail slices down the stem of a kanto dandelion.

He picks his own dandelion, twisting the stem a bit and staring at the petals.

“What happened?” Tooru finally asked, throwing her flower into the river.

Bakugou paused, hand tightening around the stem of his dandelion.

For a moment, they were both quiet, the sound of the rushing water and distant birds chirping filling the clearing.

“What do you mean?” Bakugou said slowly.

“When you were gone. What happened?”


“Got hypothermia. No big deal.”

“Bullshit,” Tooru said, eyes boring into his own, even though Bakugou couldn’t see it. “We both know that’s bullshit, Bakugou.”

“It’s none of your goddamn business.”

More quiet.

“I guess you’re right.”

They sat in silence for a while longer, Bakugou carving at his stick again with quiet ‘schtick’ noises as the sharpened blade ran down the wood.

“Everyone’s worried about you.”

“They shouldn’t be.”

“You sure?”

A pause.

“I’m sure.”

Tooru hummed softly, fingers curling into the dirt as she watched a few young fish swim in circles, the rising sun sending streams of gold and orange across the glittering waves.

“You know, the heroes have treated you like shit,” she said casually, twisting her fingers around a bruised zinnia.

Bakugou glanced at her, eyes narrowing.

“They fucking tied you up like a dog,” she said, ripping at the grass. “I’ve seen how they treat you. Like you’re an animal. Or a monster.”

“...your point?”

She shrugged a bit, tossing the zinnia into the water. “I don’t know. I guess I’m just talking, mostly.”

“I’m not gonna be a villain.”

She was quiet for a bit. “I know.”

Bakugou blinked, staring at her invisible form. She kept pulling leaves off dandelions and wildflowers, tossing them into the river and watching the current drag them away.

“I know everyone thinks you’re this big brutish bitch,” she said and though Bakugou couldn’t see her eyes, he could feel them burning into him. “That you’re violent and hateful and don’t give a shit about anyone or anything besides being the best.”


“And,” she said, tossing the stem of one bare flower into the water. “I know that’s bullshit.”

“How do you know that?” he challenged.

“I’m invisible, Bakugou, not oblivious,” she said. “When you’re not being loud and annoying, you are actually pretty decent to be around. You’re quiet, yeah, and a bit of a loner. You keep to yourself. But you work harder than probably anyone. You’re smart. Determined. And though your morals can be kinda skewed—” She ignored his half growled protest. “They are probably more solid than anyone else here. You’re stubborn as a mule. If you decided to be a hero, nothing and no one could shift you from that.”

They were both quiet for a long time.

“You only get praise for your quirk and fighting ability, don’t you?”

“What are you—”

“Don’t you?”

He swallowed but didn’t answer.

It was answer enough.

“It’s pretty easy to tell when someone is actually insecure,” she said lightly, casually. She grabbed his wrist as he tried to stand, not flinching when he violently pulled it away.

“What the fuck do you want from me?” he snapped.

“Nothing,” she said, shrugging.

“Bullshit. Everyone wants something.”

“I just want to enjoy the sunrise, same as you.”

He watched her for a long moment; she kept plucking wildflowers and thistles, tossing them into the water.

“I don’t want anything from you,” she said with a small shrug. “I just...want to make sure I’m reading you right.”


“When you’re invisible, people forget you’re there,” she said. “You’re practically a ghost. Even when you are loud and playful and’s like….you’re an echo. Like you aren’t real.”

He slowly sat down beside her again. “ people are seeing just an afterimage of who you are.”


“They see just what you want them to see.”

She tosses a stick into the water. “People aren’t going to hurt you if you tone down the anger, you know.”

He flicks his knife around his thumb, not answering her.

She sighed as the last few streams of sunrise set the grass and water on fire. “Look, Bakugou. Everyone is really curious about what the hell happened. And with Jeanist being arrested...people are going to put two and two together soon enough. Would you rather them find out through the media or by telling them yourself?”

“I’d rather they never find out.”

“Mhm,” she hummed quietly. “That’s the thing, Bakugou. You aren’t invisible. You’ a wildfire. Bright and loud and completely conspicuous. You don’t have the option of hiding.”

“You really like metaphors, don’t you.”

She shrugged again, shifting to her knees as the colors in the sky faded to a soft blue, wisps of white and sooty clouds streaking across the broad expanse above thick green foliage. “Maybe.”

He snorted. “Whatever.”

“You going to stay here till class starts?”

“Don’t know.”

She nodded, getting to her feet. “I’ll see you around, Explosion King.”

“See you around, Invisibitch.”

She padded away until her uniform blended into small trios and duets of students milling among the paths between the dorms and school buildings.

Bakugou watched the river and breathed, dropping his head onto his knees.

His phone buzzed in his pocket but he already knew what it would say.

4 pm. Courthouse. Meet w/ attorneys.

He breathed in and out, heart racing along to the tempo of the river in front of him.

Chapter Text

Punch. Duck. Block. Kick.

Sweat poured down his back as Bakugou pummeled the reinforced dummy, fists wrapped in thick white bandages to keep him from splitting open his knuckles.

His foot cracked against the thick fabric as he spun, ducking under the bag as it swung back and sliding towards the opposite side to slam his fist into the heavy bag.

The rhythm chased away the electric bites curling along his spine with every reminder that court was drawing rapidly closer.

He hadn’t wanted anyone to fucking know.

Punch. Duck. Kick. Weave.

He hadn’t wanted this.

Any of this.

Fury curled his lip as he put his entire weight into a kick, clenching his toes.


Bakugou froze, foot extended as he fell on his ass, staring at the smoke curling up from the now-half melted bag.

Did I just—

“Holy shit.”

Bakugou pulled one of his feet closer to him. He’d noticed his soles were just as thick as his palms but he hadn’t thought he could…

“Hello, Bakugou-chan!” a particularly annoying voice chirped. “What are you doing on the floor?”

“Fuck off, canadian baguette.”

“I am French, monsieur—

“You’ll be fucking french toast in a moment if you don’t shove off.”

Aoyama huffed and shifted over to the weight ball racks. “You shouldn’t destroy school property so recklessly monsieur.”

“I’ll fucking do what I want, you shitfaced rat bastard.”

Aoyama had the audacity to laugh. Bakugou’s fingers twitched.

“It is very good to have you back in class, Bakugou-chan.”


Normally Bakugou’d rip off the head of anyone who called him ‘chan’ but honestly, Aoyama called everyone that and he didn’t want or need special treatment from the faux french man, fuck you.

“You may be uncouth, rough, loud, angry, aggressive—”

“Get to the fucking point.”

“But,” Aoyama continued, “you push everyone to be their very best. You are,” he hummed a bit, fishing for the words, “the symbol of courage for our class. So though you’re a bastard—”

Bakugou growled.

“—you’re our bastard.”

“Thanks for the fucking pep talk, sparkle shit. Now get the flying fuck out of my face before I bake you into a linguini.”

Aoyama flounced away.

Bakugou rubbed his eyes and got up, prodding the melted punching bag.

Quirk practice and then…

Back to the courthouse for yet another tour of the courtroom.


Chapter Text

When Bakugou was small, he’d sit in front of the television and watch as All Might decimated his enemies, bodies broken and bruised beneath the weight of his power. He’d watch one massive foot crack spines, large glove-clad fist send teeth flying and blood gushing from snapped noses. It was brutal, vicious, and ugly beneath the veneer of heroics and the music underplaying the news.

When Bakugou was small, he absorbed the violence and viciousness and associated it with victory and heroism.

And so his own childish exuberance and playful aggression twisted into cruelty and viciousness. When he saw weakness in others, or what he believed to be weakness, he crushed it.

He was a hero, after all. He was only helping them in the long run.

“You’re weak, Baku-chan,” He said, lips just barely above his ear as he signed with his free hand in the corner of Bakugou’s eye.



“I’m not weak,” he spat at the therapist the court had assigned him. “I don’t fucking need this. Any of this.”

“Needing help doesn’t mean you’re weak, Bakugou-kun,” the therapist said and Bakugou wanted to punch his smile off his face.

He wanted out.

He wanted shit to go back to the way it was before all of this but it couldn’t and it fucking made him want to scream.

“I don’t need help.”

“We all need help sometimes.”

“Well I fucking don’t! I’m gonna be the number one hero, no matter what anyone fucking says, no matter what anyone fucking does!”

The words spilled out of him like gasoline on a fire, burning and scalding his throat as he felt His fingers on his wrists, on his shoulders, on his throat.

Number one.



“I’ll tame your brutality.”

He spun and stormed out of the office, slamming the door behind him. Ignoring the sudden influx of eyes on him from the various court officials scattered throughout the hallway, he took off into a sprint.

The whispers of his past seemed to haunt him as he ran. Villain. Vicious. Criminal. Villain.


He was too violent, too loud, too strong, too much. He was too powerful. His quirk was vicious and strong and explosive and villainous, no matter what anyone said to his face. He knew the truth.

Better to be cordial with the kid who was destined to be a villain to his face. Maybe he’ll spare you, one day.

Bakugou knew when he was being used but he’d been so desperate for attention and affirmation and power, to prove he wasn’t weak, to prove he could be as strong as All Might and one day have no one ever hurt him again that he’d accepted it, rallying his followers users around him and twisting his teacher’s fear into faux respect.

The sun almost blinded him as he stumbled into the grass, the muted roar of the city closing around his skin.

When Bakugou was small, he’d watched All Might pummel his enemies into submission and called that strength and heroism.

When Bakugou was older, he’d watched Deku not just catch up with him but threaten to surpass him, gathering their classmates around him and rallying them, becoming a hero in a way he couldn’t even begin to understand.

His throat closed up as he felt the sun seep into his skin, unnoticeably slowly darkening the tan expanses of his arms.

It almost felt like a curse.

His strength had meant nothing in the face of Him. Power, viciousness, aggression, ruthlessness…


He was helpless.

The unfairness of it all curled up in his throat and he wanted to scream. To let the smoke curl around him and burns etch their way into his skin and see the earth around him crumble and scorched.

He wanted to see Him burning at his feet, skin peeling away from bone except he didn’t, he just wanted him to be gone, to leave him alone, to never see or talk to him again and just get the fuck on with his life without being so fucking afraid.

After all, he deserved it, didn’t he? It wasn’t like he’d ever stopped when one of the kids he beat up begged him to. It was karma.


Bakugou pushed his guilt away, compressing it into a tiny ball that sat in the bottom of his spine, heavy and cold. Guilt was useless, or so he’d thought. It only slowed him down, made him soft like Deku.

Deku, who’d faced motherfucking Stain and come out on top.

Deku, who seemed to be catching up at a rate that fucking scared the shit out of Bakugou, though he’d never admit it out loud.

Deku, who held all the fucking cards and could send Bakugou’s glass house tumbling down with a single word.

And he called Deku the worthless one.

The irony seemed to carve itself into his bones. He’d lost more than he’d won, coming in second or worse for the majority of the year. He’d been kidnapped more than once, tied up in front of millions, turned into a damsel and now—

Swallowing hard, he tried to ignore the phantom taste in his mouth.

His arrogance and confidence seemed like a distant dream.

He just wanted shit to go back to normal but he knew it never would.

It never could.

“You need to move on,” the school counsellor had said. “Accept what happened and begin to heal from it. Doing that means understanding that your world has shifted and that it is okay. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You have space to heal and grow. Don’t waste it. Take your time. Accept what happened.”

Maybe Bakugou was a coward, but he didn’t want to accept it. He wanted this to stop. To reverse.

To go back.

Back to when the good crushed the bad and might ruled and he was the best no matter how much his mother screamed how useless he was and kids whispered how he’d be a villain and how his hearing was disintegrating bit by bit by bit—

He wanted to pretend everything was alright again.

But it wasn’t. And it wouldn’t be, not for a while.

And that hurt almost more than everything else.

The sun turning his hair almost white, he slunk into the crowds and headed home towards U.A., ignoring the stares and whispers.   

Chapter Text

“I’ve fucking told you, ripoff jolteon, that it’s fucking simple, just—”

“Not everyone can be a genius like you, Bakugou,” Kaminari shot back. “Can you just...break it down or something? Like you do with Kirishima.”

Bakugou shrugged, letting out a soft huff. “Fucking fine.”

The two boys worked quietly for a while, Bakugou slowly breaking down the homework and Kaminari piecing it together. Neither were quite sure how this exact situation actually managed to happen. One moment, Bakugou was being his usual standoffish, prickly self times a thousand since the end of the internships and the next, seemingly, they were clustered in a corner of the library with an irritated Bakugou managing to make English make sense to Kaminari.

It must be noted that Kaminari’s worst subject is English, and for good reason.

Kaminari was henceforth banned from speaking English in public after the goat incident.

Poor Ponii.

Kaminari might not be exactly the top of the class when it came to academics, but he wasn’t stupid, so he managed to keep from asking any of the hundreds of questions that he and probably definitely the rest of the class were wondering.

Questions like:

Why are you gone so much?

Why do all the teachers look at you like that?

Why are you so jumpy lately?

What’s with all the long sleeves lately?

Kaminari managed to keep his mouth shut however and tried to focus on the English he was supposed to be learning.

Honestly though, he couldn’t be sued for being curious. Bakugou acts weird for weeks, disappears for two more, and then keeps randomly leaving and missing classes and all the teachers keep giving him these looks. Not to mention his internship mentor was arrested a few days ago—


Yep. None of Kaminari’s business. He isn’t gonna touch that can of worms with a ten foot pole. Any of the immediate ideas that popped into his brain were as unwelcome as one of his overloads. Well. Not as unwelcome buzz ow where am i who amiwhatsgoingonwhats ogngin but enough that he was going to shove that entire can and any possible theories from it into his ‘incinerate immediately’ mental pile.

“Pokeshit, focus.”

“Right. Sorry.”

Bakugou was a surprisingly good tutor, once you got past the insults and abrasiveness. He was thorough and clear, capable of distilling the information down into easily understandable bits.

Eventually, somehow, the tutoring session came to an end and Kaminari still hadn’t figured out how any of it came to be. The only person who had reportedly been able to get anywhere near Bakugou for longer than a few minutes recently with him being willing was Kirishima, as far as he knew.

And yet, there they were. In the library.

“Fish food, I swear to god.”

“Shit, sorry,” Kaminari said, jumping. Sometimes he wondered if his whole inattention and focus problem thing was from his quirk or something else.

Maybe you’re as stupid as people said and he only got into U.A. as a fluke, the traitorous part of his mind whispered.

He gave that part of his mind the mental finger and tried to focus on what Bakugou was saying. He nodded quickly. That was probably the right response.

“Then see you tomorrow, flake shit.”

Bakugou swung his bag onto his back and stalked away.

Kaminari blinked twice.





Bakugou forced his shoulders up as he stalked past the teachers. He wasn’t blind. He saw the looks. It was pretty damn obvious that most of them knew.

Part of Bakugou wanted to run. To get as far away from the knowing eyes and the judging and the pity and the expectations that came with it. They wanted to see him break. He knew they did. They wanted to see him slice his wrists open, scream, cry, flinch at every touch and panic at the sight of a man. They wanted him to be uncomfortable around anyone with blond hair or wearing denim and be a startled little perfect victim who realized that forgiveness was the best route and who broke so beautifully and fucking perfectly.

Bakugou wasn’t a perfect victim.

He hated Him. Bakugou had never wanted to kill, not really. He’d been willing in self defense and had attacked out of sheer, vicious fury, but Bakugou’s hate and will to kill was cold. Planned. Calculated. When Bakugou was angry, he moved out of pure instinct and toyed with his victims, making them suffer but never wanting them dead, not really. When he found a threat, he eliminated it as efficiently as possible.

When he hated someone…

It was cold and as calculated as ice.

He hadn’t hated Midoriya. Sure, he’d resented him, disliked him, annoyed by him, frustrated, threatened, jealous, you name it. But he had never hated him.

He hated Him. He hated the League, hated Tomura, and now hated the one who had shattered him in ways he couldn’t ever admit out loud.

If given the chance, Bakugou would break his morals and kill in cold blood.

At least, that’s what he told himself. He told himself that next time he’ll be strong enough to fight back. Next time, he won’t be a victim. Next time, he’ll make Him feel helpless like he had—

He ignored how even the thought of His eyes made his entire chest go cold and fingertips numb.

It wouldn’t happen again.

It wouldn’t.

He wouldn’t let it.

He couldn’t.

Bakugou’s feet wound their way to the small creek, where an invisible girl sat skipping stones. She said nothing as he buried his head in his knees and wove his fingers into his hair, silent tears soaking into his pants.

He said nothing when her skips were interrupted by her own quiet sobs.

An unspoken promise.

Chapter Text

The words refused to change.

No matter how long Bakugou stared at the piece of paper, the words stayed immutable in black ink. No matter how much he willed it to change, he wouldn’t.

“Bakugou-san,” Aizawa said, catching his attention. “This is a setback, but it isn’t as dire as it might seem.”

“He paid bail.”


“He paid bail and the hearing was moved.”

“Yes,” said Aizawa cautiously.

“He’s a fucking— he fucking— I—”


“I didn’t want any of this!”

For a moment, both stood opposed to each other, Bakugou’s shoulders heaving.

“I didn’t want any of this,” he repeated, voice trembling. “I didn’t want what happened. I didn’t want anyone to find out. I didn’t want him to get arrested yet. I didn’t want to get—” He cuts off. “And I didn’t want him to get off on bail.”

“I know, Bakugou—”

“You don’t! You don’t know! You can’t know how this feels so stop fucking pretending you do like everyone else who fucking knows! You don’t know what it’s like to have fucking everything taken from you, to be fucking— violated like that— and not get a choice in everything!”

His words rang out as his shoulders heaved. A heavy sort of pressure built up in his eyes and nose as his lungs constricted. He felt too warm and yet too cold.

“I don’t,” Aizawa finally admitted. “But I do know that for someone like you, it must hurt more than I could imagine.”

“Someone like me?”

“Someone who needs control over their body and their environment.”

He snorted softly, heart aching.

“But...while I can’t know how you are feeling, I can rather accurately imagine.”

“What do you mean?” Bakugou asked, his breathing slowly returning to normal.

“I mean that I very nearly was raped myself, Bakugou-kun. I was seventeen at the time.”

Bakugou’s head shot up, staring at his teacher. “You—”

He nodded.

Sitting back in his seat, Bakugou took that in, head spinning. “Oh,” he said lamely.

“But that is a story for another time,” Aizawa said. “I thought I’d give you a heads up before I told the rest of the class, considering the circumstances.”

Bakugou’s eyes narrowed.

“At the end of first term in a few days, we are going on a training camp trip. The Pussycats will be supervising.”


Chapter Text

Satou was not stupid. While many, many, many people got that idea (probably from him being rather brawny), there was a reason he often sat among the top ten in his class, despite not being as showy as his peers.

Bakugou reminded him lately of his one of his foster sisters.

A strange uncomfortable feeling followed him around whenever he let himself remember that.

Boxers, shirts, uniform, swimming trunks...Satou carefully folded each item into the duffel bag, glancing out the window. An odd feeling curled in his gut as the thick, heavy clouds slid across the sky, muffling sun rays. He hoped it was just the change in temperature giving him cold feet but something about this trip felt off.

A quiet sigh fell from his lips as he ran the nail of his thumb across the tip of his middle finger, thinking.

Maybe Satou should have felt bitter that even his thoughts kept rolling back to Captain Explodo, that even he struggled to tear his eyes away from one of their class’s stars, but he couldn’t. He didn’t know why.

Maybe it was because he knew Bakugou was on the verge of supernova. On the verge of collapse.

Collapsing stars were beautiful in their destruction after all.

‘Cept, Satou didn’t think that Bakugou’s downfall over the last few weeks was all that beautiful. Painful, more like. Secretive. Confusing. Aching.

He wondered if Kirishima was as good a friend as he hoped he was.

Satou wondered a lot of things.

Chapter Text

Mina’s pissed.

Tooru’s pissed too, but that’s another story and besides, Tooru’s emotions don’t matter.

Tooru is just the invisible girl. she might be a little bitter, sue her.

She had every right to be bitter.

The river is cold this time of year, filled with orange and yellow leaves and thin, grayish brown branches. Tooru likes colors- likes pointing them out, breathing them in.

Despite all the many things she dislikes about Bakugou, she likes how colorful he is- inside and out.

She doesn’t like how washed out he feels- looks- now.

So she flops down and she doesn’t get how Bakugou always knows she’s there when he’s deaf and she’s invisible.

Even if she’d deny it three times, the thin gloves on her hands nowadays weren’t just for style. ‘Sides, she could always claim it was so Kouda could see her sign back, since that always made his day.

“What’s got you pissed off?” Bakugou grunts, one thin knee pulled to his chest.

“Nothin,” she signed and spoke, fingers tracing through the cool night air.


“Mina and I had a fight.”

“Acid bitch?”

“That’s my girlfriend, shithead.”

“Yeah, and?”

She growled half heartedly at him, turning over a pebble in her hand. “I just- I don’t like fighting with her.”

“Then don’t.”

“It’s not that easy.”

“Lot’s of shit is fucked up,” he mumbled. “Don’t fuck up shit that’s fixable, Casper.”

“That’s wise coming from you.”

“Shut it.”

“Make me~”

She shrieks as he shoves her in the river and how did he always know where she was and holy shit that was a fish you fucking asshole it’s cold!

He’s not laughing, not happy but she likes the smirk on his face when she drags herself out of the water, shivering and cursing.

It’s a far cry from the dark, hopeless look that filled his breaths nowadays. It’s a stretch from the way he looks whenever the name Best Jeanist is whispered.

She doesn’t exactly like Bakugou but she does like these moments, even when she ends up drenched and freezing because it’s easy to get lost in petty arguments and hurt feelings and as shitty and bitchy as Bakugou can be, he’s not all that bad. Maybe all of this hope is fake and shitty and cheesy but fuck it if she's not going to cling to it with all her strength. She deserves this (or at least sometimes, on good days, on good moments she believes she does). They deserve this.

Even if she is so getting revenge next time she comes down by the river.

Chapter Text

Cricket chirped as the soft schtliking noise of dull blade against wood carved through the night. Somewhere, deep in the canopy of leaves and bark, a cicada buzzed, and then another; a little light seeped through the branches from the moon, the stars, and the intermittent flickering of lightning bugs.

He flipped the shitty knife shut and held up the sharpened branch, poking the end. Sharp, unsurprisingly.

A long moment passed where he debated just shoving it into his stomach.

Instead, the point of the stick fell into the dirt with a small thump, startling away a rabbit that had dared to come near.

The rest of his class was off in the hot springs or something, soaking their aching bodies after a rough day of training.

Bakugou stood, using the stick to push himself up. He shoved the stick over, watching the tip that he’d stuck into the ground earlier snap off.

Tiny sparks of light danced on his fingers and with a soft growl, he slammed them into his arm, watching smoke curl up from his flesh.

The burns would heal in a day or two anyway. It didn’t matter.

It was dark out. Quiet. Or at least, he thought it was quiet. His hearing was rapidly fading in the last few months so what did he know. Bakugou fiddled with the knife as he stood, watching the dark foliage.

He knew he was being bitter, a mix of anxiety and apathy and bitter fury rolled up in one but he doesn’t care and yet he does and it’s just fucked up because He is free. On bail, yeah, but he’s free and walking around and Bakugou is supposed to just fucking accept that. Oh yeah, so he has a protective order on him so the bastard can’t come close but fuck.

It’s not enough.

Nothing is enough.

He doesn’t fucking want to be here, with everyone so oblivious and happy and young. He feels ancient. His bones ache with something and he doesn’t know why it hurts so bad to watch them just be.

A stick snapped behind him and suddenly, he fell into darkness, a large hand curled around his bicep.

The crickets chirped and the only sign Bakugou was ever in the clearing was the snapped sharpened stick and a dull pocket knife.

Chapter Text

Izuku couldn’t stop biting his nails. The floor around him was peppered with tiny crescents of bitten-off nail but he couldn’t stop.

Bakugou hadn’t shown up yet. The clock pinned to the left of the doorway read nearly three a.m. and yet he still wasn’t there.

Kirishima and a few others were awake too. Kaminari. Satou. Hagakure— the latter of whom who’d slipped in to talk to Satou about something and then stayed when she’d heard that Bakugou hadn’t come back. Izuku hadn’t known either of them were friends with Kacchan but whatever.

Izuku’s head snapped up as Kirishima stood. He silently tilted his head at the door, red hair sprawled around his shoulders.

The watch group all staggered to their feet, following him out the door.

“So?” Hagakure finally asked, apparently messing with her sleeves from how they were shifting in midair.

“We need to tell the teachers,” Kirishima said, leaning against the wall. “It’s been too long. Bakugou wouldn’t stay out by himself this late.”

“Won’t Aizawa be sleeping?” Izuku couldn’t help but ask.

“Doesn’t matter,” Kaminari said, arms tightly curled over his chest. “If he’s— if he’s gone, a few hours might be too late, y’know? And if there’s villains out here…”

“No one would expect them,” Satou finished, swallowing.

“O-okay,” Izuku said, biting his lip. “But who would want to take Kacchan?”

“Best Jeanist is on bail,” Satou pointed out.

“We don’t know if Bakugou was even related to why he was arrested. I heard a rumor it was because of some civilian girl,” said Kaminari.

“B-but if Bakugou saw something and Jeanist threatened him—” Izuku added.

“Jeanist isn’t stupid, he’d have to know he’d be painting a target on his back for making Bakugou disappear,” Kirishima said.

“Unless he makes it look like villains did it,” Hagakure said, voice quiet.

“What?” Izuku, Satou, and Kaminari said.

“I mean, the Sports Festival,” she hedged. “That could have gotten villains attentions, especially with how hard people pushed the villain thing with Bakugou-san.”


“It makes sense,” she said. “He has a quirk that could easily immobilize and shut him up long enough to get him out of range. It’s late at night, so he can easily make an alibi. It fits.”


“Either way, we need to tell Aizawa-sensei,” said Izuku. “We— we can’t rescue him if no one knows he’s missing, y’know?”

“Yeah…” said Kirishima.

There was a short pause where they all took a breath, energy twitching in their palms, in their feet, in their spines.

The moon was bright.

“What if he wasn’t taken?”

Three sets of eyes latched onto Kaminari.

He flinched at the attention. “I mean...with all the shit happening, I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to get away.”

“What are you saying?”

He shrugged, arms tightening around his chest. “I don’t know. I’m just talking shit.”

Izuku swallowed, cold seeping into his gut. No. Kacchan wouldn’t run. He may be a jerk and abrasive and a dick and— and he could go on, but Kacchan wasn’t someone who would just say fuck it and give up. He wouldn’t go to the villains. He wouldn’t.

“Aizawa,” Kirishima said yet again. “Let’s just...get the teachers. They’ll know what to do.”

Izuku glanced up at the moon and then back at Kirishima, nodding. “Let’s go.”

Chapter Text



Animals. Multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development.

The moment they emerged from the darkness, his arms flung out, flickering with orange, red, and light.


A muzzle, wrapped around his jaw so tight he could barely scream. Chains, digging into his flesh. Bruises. An animal. A bear, poked and prodded for show. A tiger, pacing on a chain.

A boy, medal shoved between his teeth.


The battle was short but longer than they expected. Four fingers curled around his throat, the fifth hovering above his jugular.

Red eyes watched chapped lips, stilling. Smoke curled from his hands as they dropped to his sides.

Ropes curled around his shoulders, his wrists, his legs. Metal ensconced his hands, warning him.


It’s amazing how animal humans become when clothing sheds off. Globs of flesh cling to bones. Hair sprawls down off the scalp and peppers the skin.

Bodies meet, grind, groan.

A child struggles and a hand presses down on his neck. Tears ignored.

No one saves him.


His throat ached with the smoke in the air as his head buzzed. He’s alone, except for these freaks and he needs to fucking think, he can’t stay trapped in his head, he has to—


“If you become a villain, you’ll just be what everyone wants you to be,” he whispered, lips close to Bakugou’s ear. “Listen to me. I can teach you how to be a hero if you just behave.”


He needs time to plan.

He needs more time.

Bakugou’s head shot up as the others slowly enter the room in ones and twos and threes.

The League of Villains.

Looks like he might be a big deal.

The fear threatens to boil in his blood but he shoves it back, eyes flashing, teeth bared.

Almost animal.

The freak leader with the hands and the chapped lips and the fucking disintegrating shit hands is right in front of him and talking but Bakugou can’t hear anything but the buzzing in his head and the fire building in his chest.

His hands are bound just like then, cameras in his face, just like then, his own clothing binding him tight and fuck—

He won’t let them win. He’s not going to give in.


Ivan Pavlov’s experiment with dogs didn’t begin to test classical conditioning, but instead focused on the physiology of canine digestion. Developing a procedure to study their digestive processes over time, he discovered that the dogs began salivating at the presence of the technician who fed them, even if no food was present.

He later experimented with this phenomenon and discovered that if a stimulus was presented with an action, eventually the stimulus would be associated with the action.

This stimulus is also known as a trigger.


He can’t breathe. A crowd roars in his ears. Metal in his tongue. Lines crossed against his skin, his scent in his mouth, there’s too muchtoomuchtoomuch—

A body moving against his. Ribbon pushing his teeth apart. Blood pouring from where he rubbed his wrists raw.

They don’t have a healer, do they?

No one knows where he went. No one knows who took him. No one is looking for him and god knows his parents won’t give a shit—

He won’t be a villain.

The memory of those things pop into his head and he wants to throw up but he doesn’t, just curls his fingers as much as he can inside those fucking chains.


Didn’t the League…?

And they didn’t have a healer, so maybe…

It would hurt but he’d rather die on his own terms then let anyone else ruin another part of him.

Because sure as hell he wasn’t going to be a villain.

Either he would die at their hands or they would make use out of him one way or another.

Nitroglycerin began to cover his hands and his heart raced. Cold curled in his chest, in his head and he felt too heavy, too light, too hot.

This was it.

This was the end.

A twitch and he’d go up in—




Nothing. Nothing happened, he didn’t understand, why didn’t—

“What a naughty boy.”


Footsteps and a shadow fell across him as he stared at his hands, body frozen.

“I didn’t take you for the suicidal type, Ba-ku-chan.”

He didn’t look up, the trembling beginning in his hands and making their way through his body until he couldn’t breathe.

“Of course, you’re always full of surprises, aren’t you?”


Chapter Text

“No— you’re supposed to be in jail .”

Laughter seemed to curl around them both as the sick dark green sludge slunk towards him, curling around his ankles.

“You think they could keep someone like me there?” he said, the cold slime shimmying under Bakugou’s socks and curling around each of his toes. “A low level hero? One mistake and I was free.”

Bakugou shoved down the panic and bared his teeth, mind racing at a hundred miles an hour. He stayed quiet.

“So fierce, Baku-chan,” he said, sludge moving up his pant inch by inch as the sludge villain threatened to engulf him again.

He wanted to throw up.

“I’ll— I’ll kill you—” he hissed, hands shaking, a thumping in his head. “I’ll fucking blow you up from the inside out—”

“That worked well last time,” he said with a sharp smile and Bakugou’s stomach roiled.

Helpless he’s helpless and he can’t breathe, he can’t

“Slow down, boy,” said one of the League, the shadow freak. “You’re going to break him.”

The sludge villain backs off with a pout, slowly pulling back the slime from where it was curling around Bakugou, tight and possessive.

“W-what is this?” Bakugou snaps, pulling at his restraints. “Are you— gonna fucking kill me or—”

“Not if you cooperate,” said the hand freak casually.

His eyes narrowed. “So what?”

“So,” said hand freak, crossing a foot over his knee as he leaned against the bar. “The heroes haven’t been very kind to you, Bakugou-kun, have they?”

Bakugou doesn’t answer, testing his fist against the restraints to see if dislocating his wrist would let him slip out. Too tight. Fuck.

“—Best Jeanist?”

His head snapped up. “What?”

“It isn’t hard to figure out, Bakugou-kun. You were the only new element before his arrest.”

Cold washed through him, sitting at the bottom of his spine and clawing knives through his chest.

“They’ve treated you like a villain, haven’t they?” the hand freak said, picking at a nail.

He stayed quiet, lip curled up.

“My name is Tomura,” the hand freak said, leaning forward. “Dabi, remove his bindings.”

“What?” one of the villains said, covered in thick purple scars.

“He’s a smart boy. He knows he has no chance of winning if he attacks now, especially with those pretty bracelets on his wrists. We’ll remove those later, once we know he isn’t going to try and kill any of us. Unlike U.A., we don’t keep potential allies chained up like dogs.”

Scarred guy, who Bakugou assumed was Dabi, began to undo the thick fucking chains around his wrists.

For a moment, Bakugou sat still as the chains clunked to the ground.

In the next, he was throwing himself at Tomura’s face, fingers aimed for his eyes.




He screamed as he dangled in midair, layers of skin peeling and disintegrating away and nerves broiling—

It stopped, a pinky finger hovering above his wrist as a second hand grabbed his other wrist, four fingers curled around too-thin wrists.

“Expected and yet tiring,” said Tomura and Bakugou, torn between the pain and letgoletgoletgo and the smell of Him, hung there, chest heaving. “Are you done having your tantrum?”

He spat at him.

Tomura let go and Bakugou couldn’t catch himself, foot catching at the cement and sending him crashing to the ground.

Hands grabbed his shoulders and before he could do anything besides yank at the man— Dabi— tying him back up, he was restrained again.

“You must understand,” said Tomura, as if he hadn’t just torn away layers of skin from Bakugou’s wrist as if it was nothing, “We didn’t just abduct you for no reason, nor are we a group of hoodlums bent on evil. All of us have different reasons for being here, but all of us— even you— are shackled by the heroes. You too should understand this.”

“You think some fucking pretty words are gonna make me switch sides?” Bakugou spat, his blood racing in his chest and fingers trembling against the ropes. “Fucking monologuing and babbling on as if I give a fucking shit about whatever goddamn gymnastics you’ve tied your pea-sized brain into? ‘People are jerks and don’t let us do what we want so we act like toddlers throwing a fit’! It’s pointless.”

He curled his hands into fists, anger and frustration and the fucking injustice of even the villains fucking thinking he’s one of them swelling in his head and eyes and throat. “You can say whatever the hell you want but nothing is gonna change my mind.”

Straining against the ropes, he toppled the chair over and kicked back, snapping the wood and pulling himself from the broken mess, ropes dangling from his body as he pointed a jagged chair leg at Tomura.

“I’m going to be the next top hero and fuck anyone who gets in my way!”

Chapter Text


She set her drink down with a solemn clink, reddish-gold rays of light streaming through the curtains and setting the cup ablaze. As she lifted her hand, she couldn’t help but think the contents almost looked like blood.

“It’s been three days,” she said, for a moment hesitating on what to do with her hand before setting it on her hip.

“It has,” he responded, glasses catching the glint of the dawning sun and nearly blinding her. She looked away.

“She’s probably dead.”

Her husband doesn’t attempt to correct the pronouns or her words. She isn’t sure which is more telling.

“Unless she joined them,” is all Masaru said as he rose from his seat, picking up the dishes from his breakfast.


“The League. The….villains that Kasumi’s teacher’s think took her.”

Mitsuki’s hands tighten against her hips for a moment. “Ah.”

She doesn’t like this quiet.

“I don’t know which I prefer.”


“It’s the truth. Our child a villain or Kasumi dead. Either way, we’d have lost her.”

Masaru pressed his head into his hands, rubbing under his glasses. “If she was alive…”

“If she joined them, it’s over. We’ve dealt with her drama and gender bullshit,” she cut in, red eyes narrowed, “Not to mention that….Jeanist….incident. We’ve dealt with so much already. If she’s willing to utterly turn her back on that, then she’s dead to me.”

“I’d rather have a live child then a dead child,” is all Masaru said mildly.

“Agree to disagree then.” A pause. “I hope….I hope she’s alive.”

“Me too.”

Chapter Text

There were birds chirping outside.

Bakugou couldn’t hear them.

The darkness was thick enough to choke him, thick like the ropes of sludge that had once wormed down his throat, around him, in him, his body his quirk his fucking mind no longer his but that fucking villain’s.

He’s choking now, but it’s not on sludge or a cock or ghosts.

He ached but that was preferable to the darkness now, the absolute muffling of everything around him but the scent of musty basement stone and touch of poorly hewn rock and cement.

How long had it been…?

Growling, his stomach ached the way it did whenever his mom was on a stupid cleanse that she’d inevitably force him on while his father cheated his way to safety. Empty, except for the slosh of water, his stomach cramping around it as if that would do something.

So, probably two or three days, guessing on the way his stomach fucking felt like it was being clawed on by a miniature tiger.

Knees shifting up so he could hug them, he curls tighter against the wall, as if that will haunt away the cold or the phantom incessant ringing in his ears.

He doesn’t want to go home, but he wants out.

...was anyone even searching for him?


Maybe Kirishima.

Probably not though.


If it was Deku but


He shouldn’t

Think about that.


He’s not Deku.


The silence seems bigger, emptier.

Bakugou feels alone.

Chapter Text

The chill of his basement cell eased the deep ache of his bruises as he leaned against it. 

Stupid, he thought to himself, tearing yet another strip from his pants to wrap around the last of the lashes and cuts Toga had cut into his bicep. 

He’d tried to escape again. Head pouncing with nitroglycerin withdrawal and dehydration, he hadn’t gotten very far, especially with his body as fucked as it already was. 

At least he’d decked burn freak in the nose hard enough to hear it crack

He’d learned it had been a week as well. 

He also knew that the heroes were probably giving up. 

He wondered how long it would be until the villains gave up too. 


Does death hurt?

Chapter Text

“It’s them. It’s the League,” Satou said, looking up from the computer. “They have Bakugou. You were right.” 

“What?” Tooru said, spinning her chair around. “What did you find?” 

“Look,” he said, pulling up the screen. “Y’know how Bakugou did that thing in logistics class? Where he managed to find where the villains were by narrowing down where they could be?”


“I took a leaf out of his book.”

“Okay, okay, I get it, just show me!” 

He nodded, scooting over so she could see. “I wrote down all the various buildings that could theoretically have somewhere to hide a kid. We know Bakugou wouldn’t have just run and even if he had, as good as he is, the heroes would have found him. He had to be taken. That, combined with the weird fluctuations in the defenses they had set up, kinda indicates villain activity. So, I decided to first look for like warehouses and stores instead of apartments. If I hadn’t found anything, I would have moved to residential buildings and individual villains and vigilantes.” 

“While I researched his family and villain 

groups…Satou, that’s genius! So you figured it out?” 

“I figured out it had to be the LOV,” he said with a shrug. “With the info you gave me about villain activity, I noticed a pattern of crime around their district and that there wasn’t any the night he was taken.” 

“It could be a fluke,” she said.

“Yeah, until I found this old bar,” he said. “I uh...politely tricked the tech teacher into giving me permission to hack the cameras by it and saw someone in the basement window turn from a plain looking man into a teenage girl.” 

“Toga Himiko.” 

He nodded. 

“Holy shit.” 

He nodded again. 

“So, you think this bar is where they meet?” 

Satou chewed at his lip. “It could be,” he said, unsure. “From what I can tell, villains and vigilantes probably populate it, but I found some old listings about the building. There’s two basements. Apparently it was built by an eccentric. Add that to the bar and the above-the-store apartment, and it would work well as a possible meeting place, especially considering it’s located in a part of the city that’s easy to hide in. Only question is...the LOV probably has multiple bases and we don’t know if this is where Bakugou is being held, let alone if we’re completely off base and they don’t have him at all. And, it’s been so long…” 

“Satou-kun, no,” she said, poking his shoulder with her gloved hand. “Don’t think like that or you’ll make it happen. He’s going to be fine and we’re gonna get him back. We just have to make sure we get enough proof that the adults listen to us.” 

“Maybe Kirishima-kun is right and we should just rescue him ourselves.”

“He doesn’t know where to go,” she points out. “We do.”

“So if we tell him…”

“And if we’re right about the LOV and wrong about the building?” she asked. “They’ll just move him or worse, kill him. And that’s assuming we even get very far with one of the world’s strongest villain groups to get through against a few first years.” 

Satou swallowed hard, a fist-like lump twisting his stomach. He didn’t like this. “...A few first years.”


“A few first years. You’re right. We’re just a few first years so why the heck are we the ones to narrow down where he could be? Don’t they have data analysts? People whose job it is to figure out where the villains are so the heroes can rescue them? Why haven’t they found Bakugou?” 

“I don’t know,” she said, worrying her lip. “Maybe they just...are doing it differently? Or it takes longer since they work regular hours unless something big is going down?” 

“Isn’t this big?” he asked. “He’s a hero student! They took him! It’s a big deal!” 

“But they don’t know that for sure. For all they know, he left on his own.”
“He wouldn’t!” 

“They don’t know that, Satou! You know how people sometimes think of him. They see that villain quirk and they just…”


“You know what I mean. Same way they see our ‘sidekick’ quirks and think we’re boring or weird and not important. We’re quieter, quirkier but not in a hero way. He’s loud and aggressive so they see his boom boom quirk and think he’s bound to go villain or at least unethical hero like flameshit-san—”

“Todoroki-san’s father?”

“Father is a strong word, but yes. They see us and how I’m made for stealth backup and that’s all they see— if they care about me at all. They see your quirk as a less useful version of Midoriya-san’s because you have a time limit, and think you’re just a backup.”


“I didn’t say it was true! Just...people like you, people like him...if they don’t have a public outcry to get him back, the way it would be if say Momo-chan or Jirou-chan were taken, why waste extra resources? At least with people whose parents give a damn or who are obviously going to be cash-making heroes, they can get lots of good publicity. After all, if they told Jirou-chan’s parents that they weren’t gonna try, they’d go to the papers because they give a damn.”

“You don’t think Bakugou’s parents give a damn?” 

“People don’t turn out like him if they have good parents. Besides, they have more than enough money and influence and what have they done besides his mom making a stupid social media plea for her ‘baby girl’ to come back. I’m still mad she outed him. I knew ‘cause I accidentally overheard him asking the nurse for menstrual meds once while in her bathroom but— sorry, I’m getting off track.” 

“It’s okay,” he said, rubbing his eyes. “Let’s just...get a little more data and present it to Aizawa-sensei. He’s been trying to get people to work on Bakugou’s case.” 

“He hasn’t napped once during homeroom,” Tooru said in awe. Satou playfully smacked her with a pillow before putting it back behind his back. 

“At least our teachers seem to care,” he said, a sort of quiet melancholy falling over him. “I’ve been talking to Cementoss a lot about it.” 


“Yeah. He’s...really good to talk to, if you need it. He’s a foster parent, y’know?”

“I didn’t know.”

He nodded, putting his elbow on the table and leaning his head against it. “Apparently his parents died when he was seventeen. He took in his younger brother, who later died of pneumonia. The, uh, brother wasn’t concrete, so…” 


He nodded again, rubbing his eyes. “Anyway, I was talking to him about Bakugou and then my birth family and stuff and he said that he didn’t want to give us undue hope but that...Bakugou was strong, y’know? That if anyone could survive this long, it was him. He’s stubborn as a mule. And...he said that he and the teachers were working as hard as they could to get him back. That it wasn’t 1A without Bakugou there.” 

“That’s...really nice of him,” Tooru said quietly. 

“He also said...he’d do it for any of us. That it isn’t because Bakugou is special or anything but that they’re just doing what every one of us deserves. He kept saying that...he failed us, or something, and especially him. Just— I know you don’t really like or trust adults, but...if you need to talk to someone, he’s there.”

“That’s a long winded way of telling me to get help, genius.” 

“I mean it!” He picked his head up. “This is a really shit situation and we’ve been worried about Bakugou for months. Now half of us are working on trying to find him while the other half tries to ignore what’s happening because it’s fucked up and even if we didn’t give a shit about our classmate, it matters ‘cause we could be next. I don’t mean to snap but I know this has been eating you up, so just— talk to someone, okay?”

She’s quiet.


“...okay. I will. Let’s just...get back to finding him, okay? I miss our asshole.” 

“Never thought I would miss his glares or insulting nicknames,” Satou wondered aloud. “I miss being called tooth fairy. Is that weird?”

“I could call you that.”

“No way, Caspar.” 

“Hey! Not fair!” 

He grinned, edges of his mouth feeling tired at the suddenly unfamiliar strain. “Totally fair.” 

She got up with a loud groan. “Hate you.” 

“No you don’t!” 

She flipped him off, delighted by the gloves that showed her hands. He blew a raspberry at her even as she dragged her chair back open and she laughed softly. 



“We’ll find him. We have to.” 

She leaned forward on her own desk, words suddenly sticking together in her throat. “Y-yeah. We will.” 

We have to.

Chapter Text


The word itself seemed to curl inside his mouth, as if hiding from its own nature. 逃れる. Nogareru . Time had become liquid, runny and viscous all at once, sticking in his bones even as night turned day turned night all without his knowledge. 

In the end his captivity came not with his own guile or the pity of Toga or perhaps Tomura himself, nor the rescue of the shining, bright heroes they tried to convince him he could not become.

His escape came with a shadow, strings attaching to his soul and yanking, and inside, his morals flinching. 

And so, he escaped the darkness of the basement only to step into the shadows of a vigilante, gray hair tangling down the man’s thin, too thin shoulders. 

The man said he knew his nazuke-oya , the man who named him, who babysat him when his parents were too busy displaying outfits overseas. 

“You simply must say hello,” the man had said, crouched in the doorway. His sword gleamed red, dripping. 

“That’s it. You risked dying just so I could say hello to some rando you helped break out of jail?” 

“Not just any man. Your uncle.” 

And so he found himself sitting on an old creaky bed, surrounded by the eviscerated contents of a half-expired medical kit. 

He’d say hello, and then, if he had to, fight his way out. 

His body aches but who cares. He’s free. He may have quirk suppressors locked around his wrists and he’s dizzy with nitroglycerin withdrawal and pain but since when does that matter? There’s raw skin thick around his wrists and ankles and skin is flaking off his throat as if he were a fucking fish food depository but he’s free. Of a sort. 

Home seems so close yet so far and he doesn’t even know where in Japan he is. Probably near Tokyo. He’s hoping near Tokyo. 

But then, the scent of fresh water and nature in the area and the thick forest outside his window seem to bely the opposite. 

Something thick and round lodges in the back of his throat and he struggles to swallow. 

There’s a voice, loud enough for him to just make out but his ears make no sense of it.

He quickly wraps his ankle and sets aside the gauze, wanting to show as little weakness as he can. He tosses the blanket over the kit. 

A tall man in a mask slinks in, the stench of rust and blood following him. 

Long limbs. Black hair. The mask.


“Close,” the voice says, muffled. 

The lump in his throat turns to fire. 

Understanding slides into place like a chessboard emerging before him, except suddenly, horribly, there’s no move he can make that won’t lead to his downfall. Every exit, every strategy, every desperate attempt leads to one final, awful ending that he can only stall until he’s finally cornered, king toppling over. Checkmate. 

The analogy fades and the memories come quick, static but sharp, somehow, in fragmented technicolor. 

A man, tall and lanky leaning over him and adjusting his stance.

A man, giving a five year old his first blunted butterfly knife. 

A man, a monster, a vigilante, a villain, a hero, an icon, a stain.

The Stain. 

Akaguro Chizome. 

“I’m surprised it took until now for you to realize who I was.” 

“I was a child last time I saw you,” he said, watching as the mask lowered to reveal that scarred face with a sort of horrified wonder. 

“I would argue you are still a child,” he said, voice softer than he would have imagined.

This is a man who has killed scores of heroes. This is a man who nearly killed his classmates. This is a man with a dream and a plan and who, in his darkest moments, he sometimes wonders has the right idea just twisted into the worst of ways. 

This is a man whose voice was soft and who bounced him on his knee when he was little more than a baby. 

This is the man who put a blade in his hand before he even knew how to write his name. 

The laugh escapes him before he can fully stifle it and he shrugs, tension tight in his shoulders. 

“What do you want, uncle?” he said, and he’s almost startled by the weariness in his voice. 

“A good question.” 

There’s no real response he can find to that, and so they sit in quiet for a long moment. 

“Do you truly wish to return to U.A.?” 

“Will you kill me if I say yes?” 

A pause. 

“No,” he said, rolling his tongue over the word as if tasting it. “No, I don’t think so. Not yet.” 

“Then why?” 

There’s a small quirk to those lips, pulling at the scars around his lost nose. 

“I’ll tell you when you’re older.” 

Katsuki is tired and in pain and exhausted and hates being condescended to, treated like he’s lesser, and yet he can’t find the anger for this. 

“Rest for the night. I’ll take you back to school if that’s what you really want.” 

“Aren’t you going to try and convince me to stay?” he asks acerbically. 

“Would there be a point?” 

He paused. 

No one had ever asked him that before.

No one had ever even considered...not trying to manipulate him to their side before. 

At least, not anyone who as an authority figure. 

‘Would there be a point?’. 

“No,” he said, uncertain, but then more strongly. “No. If I don’t become a hero, shit will get worse than it already is. Someone has to clean up that mess from the inside and hell knows Midoriya doesn’t have the backbone for it.” 

“He doesn’t?” said Stain, cool and curious. 

“He doesn’t!” he snaps before resigning his temper in. “He doesn’t. He’ll be a great figure head, a great emotional leader, but he can’t… make the hard calls. He couldn’t. He’s too fucking pure.” 

“Perhaps,” he said, calmly. “Or perhaps your view is clouded. Regardless, don’t forget that change can be made from the outside as well.” 

“Somehow killing people doesn’t seem like the best option for me,” he said sardonically. 

Stain almost smiled. It sent a shiver down his spine. 

“I’ll leave you to rest,” the man finally said, a tiny aborted movement making his hand twitch. “My student will bring dinner up. I’ll see you in the morning.” 

He gave a small jerk of his head.

Stain left. Katsuki absently noticed the pale blond roots creeping out from the thick black strands of hair as the man retreats. 

A shaking, breathless sigh escaped him as he pressed his head into his hands, a sound between a laugh and a sob forcing its way out through his teeth in an almost-hiss. 

He’s tired of the intrigue and the games. 

He wants to go home. 

He wants to go to U.A., which in truth, is the same thing. 

He wants to be safe. 


He doesn’t know where that is.

Chapter Text

Ojirou can’t stop looking at the empty seat. There’s a gravity to it, like a blackhole that eats and eats and eats until there’s nothing left but the scavenged remains of his attention. 

He never thought he’d miss Bakugou. 

Ojirou had never hated him, nothing like that, but Bakugou was confusing and abrasive and hard to be around at the most normative of times. He could trust him to have his back but...they’d never been friends.

His hand sketched in his notes even as his thoughts whorled around his mind like a dancer on the edge of falling out of her turn. 

He wondered if missing grieving Bakugou makes him like all those girls who cried over his sister as if they actually knew her. As if they actually cared. As if they would ever go through life with a gap, a hole, a space, a black hole every moment, every day, impossibly living without her. 

He wondered if this is what Kirishima and Kaminari are feeling now. 

The whole class was listless, and Ojirou isn’t exaggerating. Spars were empty without Bakugou’s colorful threats and loud explosions ringing in their ears. Class was tepid without verbal battles between Momo and Bakugou in the middle of a debate. There’s something painfully wrong about the lack of fire and wit and temperance and passion wrapped up in human flesh and set ablaze. 

Bakugou pushed them to be better. Or pushes. He’s not dead, or at least, they don’t know that he’s dead. At least, not that anyone is telling them.

Satou and Hagakure were planning something and Ojirou ached to join in but he knew there was no point. He wasn’t Bakugou’s friend. He had no right to force himself in where he didn’t belong. 

But it’s hard, when the closest thing he has to real friends are so distant, so focused, so intent. He doesn’t begrudge them it, knows the importance of whatever they are doing, but it stings sometimes when he’s alone and everyone is so close he can almost touch them and he can’t bring himself to come nearer.

He’s friendly with everyone, is the thing. He knew that Todoroki’s favorite food is cold soba and that he gives away the privilege of his first name like an American. He knew that Sero, if allowed, would eat oranges enough to feed a small village. He knew Satou loves creating presents by hand, especially with the soapmaking his adopted mother taught him, and that he wears makeup daily. He knew Hagakure is so painfully lonely that it makes his stomach ache but that she has a crush the size of the moon on half of the girls in 1A. 

Ojirou knew that Shouji has a girlfriend, that Mineta’s family is almost as rich as Momo’s, that Kaminari has a pikachu onesie, that Mina is homesick, that Momo hates her mother, that Jirou calls her parents every night but

There’s a difference between observation and niceties and actual friendship. 

Ojirou doesn’t know how to bridge that gulf. 

It’s easier, at home, when he’s so busy he can barely breathe and it’s school-dojo-piano-homework-sleep-repeat. Too busy, too tired to get lonely, to think, to dwell. 

He wondered if Bakugou feels the same way. He’s the kind of guy who’s always going forward, eyes locked so hard on the future that he’s blind to everything around him. 

He wondered if that’s why he is missing-grieving him now. Same-shadowed souls, empathy in understanding. 

He emerged from his thoughts and there’s nothing dramatic, no gasp, no teacher waiting to pounce. Just a classroom, pencils scratching as Cementoss talked about something no one cared about because one of them was missing. 

One of them was gone. 

He glanced around the classroom, the buzzing of Cementoss’s voice like a ceiling fan to his ears. Kirishima looked even more distracted than he was, bags almost tanuki like under his eyes. Mina is messing with her phone under her desk. Kaminari’s eyes are locked on a point somewhere in the corner of the room behind the teacher. Midoriya is staring at his paper, one hand tangled into his hair. 

A desire to escape swelled up in his throat. The walls were close, too close, and he wanted to scream, wanted to flip his desk and his well-mannered attitude and scream at all of them that they need to do something except that he’s worse than all of them because he could help, he could join Satou and Hagakure except he won’t because he’s a damn coward. His pencil is tight in his hand and there’s a rip in his paper and fuck, suddenly he understands why Bakugou stormed out that one day, flipped out seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of class. His blood is boiling in his skin and he wants to rip, destroy, ache, and he can’t, he can’t, he can’t.

He can’t. 

“Sensei, may I use the restroom,” he suddenly called out, voice almost tense enough to notice.

Cementoss paused and Ojirou is grateful for his reputation as a good kid, the opposite of a trouble maker. “Go ahead.”

And Ojirou fled, hiding inside a bathroom stall and gasping into his knees. He doesn’t make a sound except for the ragged pace of his breathing but the storm inside him is so loud and he’s so small. 

I need to do something.

He can’t. He’s never been able. His sister’s death just proved it.

I can’t just stand on the sidelines all my life!

He doesn’t know how else to even be, doesn’t have the slightest clue how to start. He’s not meant to be an icon, like Midoriya, like Bakugou. 

I’m supposed to be a hero.

And that was the thing, wasn’t it? 

He was here, at UA. He was in the hero program. And now, he has a chance. He has a choice. 

He has a choice to blow away the smokescreen and let himself be who he so desperately wants to be or stand back and wait to find out if Bakugou is alive or dead. 

He has a choice and it doesn’t seem like a choice but he has it and it’s his and…

He curled his tail around his legs and breathes out slowly, shakily. 

As if shrinking from his sudden decision, his panic ebbs, curling deep in his throat and settling there instead of rampaging through his veins. There’s only one choice now. 

There’s only ever been one for a hero. 

Chapter Text


Stain paused, fingers tightening just enough around the pot’s handle that the pour of tea stuttered to a stop. “Why what?” he asked, resuming the stream again.

“Why are you just...letting me go?” 

“Am I?” he asked, sliding the first of the two cups over to Katsuki. 

Katsuki took it, letting the porcelain warm his hands. “You just said you’d let me go home. Back, I mean.” 

“I did.” 

“So what’s the catch?” he asked, fingers tightening around the cup. “You have to want something. There has to be some...some hidden test, or, or something!” 

 ”Or something,” he agreed, sipping his tea. 

“So what do you gain from letting me go?” he said, half thinking out loud and half accusatory. “My loyalty? Alienating me from other hero students if they find out you assisted in my escape? Are you gonna bug me? What?” 

“Perhaps I simply want my nephew to be safe.” 

He snorted. 

“Is that so impossible?” Stain asked, voice measured. 

Katsuki wanted to punch him in the non-existent nose. 

“You want something,” he said. “You always want something. You have never helped me without getting something out of it, not even when I was a little kid.” 

Stain sipped his tea, ruminating on it for a long moment. 

“So?” Katsuki prodded. 

“You are a firebrand,” he began slowly. “Much like your friend Midori—”

“Not my friend.”

“Midoriya,” he said, as if Katsuki hadn’t interrupted. “I..wish to see if with my...calling pushing on the industry from the outside and you two working on the inside for change, if something can be done.”

“I refuse to be associated with you.”

“You already are.”

Katsuki glared but Stain didn’t seem to care. 

“I’m going to be a hero!” Katsuki snapped at him. “And I’ll do it by following the fucking law, like a normal, sane person."

“Even unjust laws?”

“I’ll change them!” 

“Hm,” said Stain and Katsuki’s fingers curled even tighter around his cup. 

“ what now?” he asked after a long moment. 

“There’s something I need to show you.” 

Chapter Text

In the end, Bakugou’s return was anticlimactic. 

He walked in through the gates, his student ID working as always, and found Cementoss waiting for him not even halfway towards the main academic building. Cameras, obviously. 

Cementoss had hesitated to touch him, leading him towards the medical ward. There, he prodded Bakugou for information while a nurse had flitted about him, checking vitals and peppering questions between the teacher’s. By the time Recovery Girl had arrived, Bakugou had a cup of tea in his hands, a full report given (minus the Stain is my uncle revelation thing), and a fussing nurse worrying at the marks around his throat and wrists from when Tomura or Toga had gotten too handsy. 

“Any major injuries you need to report?” Recovery Girl— Shūzenji Chiyo— asked as Cementoss finished writing down his notes. 

“I have some cuts on my back,” he said reluctantly. “Toga likes knives.” 

“Did she keep any of your blood?” Cementoss asked.

“I think so.” 

Cementoss nodded, rising. “Anything else you’d like to add?” 

“Not at the moment.” 

Cementoss nodded at Shūzenji and the nurse before turning back to him. “Bakugou-kun, if you remember anything else of note, please tell one of us. In the meantime, rest. One of us will be by later.” 

Bakugou jerked his head in what was almost a nod, eyes moving away. “Alright.” 

“Bakugou-kun, I’m going to look at the injuries on your back, if that’s alright…” 

He was already fading away as she spoke, mind filling with fog. “Go ahead.” 

It was the cold of the amulet being pressed into his hand that brought him back. He looked up, eyes not quite his as he searched Shūzenji’s face for an answer. 

“This fell out of your sweatshirt, dear,” she said. “It’s beautiful.” 

He nodded, saying nothing as he tucked it under his shirt. 

“Get some rest. You must be tired,” she said and he realized that there was a bandage under his chest and on his back. Had she used her quirk? He couldn’t tell. 

Either way, he didn’t fight her as she tucked in the blankets around him and pulled close the privacy curtains. 

Oblivion took him.

Chapter Text

The scars made her sick. 

Recovery Girl— Shūzenji Chiyo— pushed back the bile that rose in her throat the way she had done a thousand times before. Her instructors and mentors had always told her she needed to steel herself to the pain of those she treated, that she couldn’t afford to feel their pain, and while they had some sort of point, she had never been able to do so, not like they wanted her to. Even if she had been able, she wasn’t sure if she would. 

Moments like this though, moments where she saw children beaten and tortured, skin split at the hands of adults, that she almost wished she could feel nothing. 

The child in question was curled under a blanket, dark circles deep under his closed eyes and a vicious bruise marring his face from his lip all the way to his eyebrow. He’d walked through the gates almost nonchalantly, seemingly unaware that mere hours earlier, there had been a nearly violent debate on whether or not he was even alive. 

Nearly six weeks in captivity and the child had walked himself home, his back more wound than flesh, and answered Ishiyama’s questions as if he were answering an online personality quiz. Nearly six weeks in captivity, his throat and wrists and ankles scraped raw and flaking, and he’d simply sat there, voice steady and eyes blank.

Chiyo rubbed her eyes as she leaned over her desk, head aching. The damage the villains had to have done to that poor boy…

And the amulet...he’d clutched it like a lifeline when they’d asked to examine it and had watched it like a hawk the entire time it was out of his possession. From what they could tell, there was nothing, absolutely nothing special about the thing. Had he met someone in captivity? Had he taken the amulet as a reminder? 

And how had he escaped in the first place? 

Ishiyama had only managed to get the boy to admit he’d had help from someone, who had sent him back to UA, but there was only so far she’d been willing to let the teacher question the kid. Bakugou Katsuki had needed rest , not an interrogation! 

And the question of how to heal him when she was certain her quirk would potentially traumatize him more...she could let the boy heal naturally, perhaps should, but he had suffered so much pain already that she was loath to let him suffer more. 

The scars made her sick. 

It was moments like these where the pain of her students made her wish she could not feel so and yet so horribly glad she could. 

She brushed a strand of hair from the boy’s forehead and tucked him in, knowing the interrogation would only begin once he woke.

Chapter Text

The room is silent, like the way a bird’s voice is lost moments before a storm. The room is silent because they know. They don’t even have to be told.

Something came up about Bakugou. That’s the only reason why Aizawa didn’t walk into the classroom alone, why his face is ever so carefully blank. 

Kirishima can’t breathe, lungs seized and tight. 

Aizawa glances at Cementoss, who looks out at the class and nods. 

“As you know,” Cementoss starts and Kirishima wonders if he can feel the weight of twenty-odd heroes in training weighing on those blocky shoulders. “Bakugou Katsuki-san has been missing for a while now.” 

Hope and despair twist in his stomach and he feels sick. They found him or he’s dead. They found him or he’s dead or they gave up on him which means he’s as good as dead. 

If there’s any god out there, let him be okay. Please, let him be okay. 

“Two days ago, Bakugou Katsuki walked through the gates and returned home.” 

“What?” Midoriya said immediately, standing. 

“Is he okay?” Mina asked, Kaminari echoing her a second later. 

“Why are you only telling us now? ” Sero demands, standing too. 

“Did you rescue—”

“—he get away—” 

“Did someone save—”

“—him go?” 

“Is he a spy?” Mineta asks and the anger that rises in Kirishima’s chest and burns at his eyes is incandescent. 

“Settle down!” Aizawa says, not quite a shout. 

They settle down, but only reluctantly. Kirishima sits there and his head spins. 

“He’s stable and in no danger,” Aizawa said, taking over for Cementoss. “Evidently, one of the League’s own turned against them and gave him a chance to escape. He returned from Tokyo and managed to make it here without being recaptured. He is recovering now, but we ask that you allow him a few more days to adjust before visiting.” 

“So the League did take him?” Mina asks.

“They did,” Cementoss confirms. “We are looking into it.” 

“Why are you only telling us now?” Sero repeats, fists curled. 

“We had to ensure he was safe, stable, and actually himself. As you know, the League has a shapeshifter. We did not want to give you false hope if it turned out that he was an infiltrator wearing his skin,” Cementoss said calmly. He raised one blocky hand a moment later to quell the many upcoming questions. “You may ask myself or Aizawa-sensei any questions you have when classes are over today.” 

Kirishima presses his hands into his face, taking a shaking breath. Just like Bakugou to walk into campus after escaping virtually on his own from elite villains. He was manly as hell. He always was. 

God, what had they done to him?

Twice they’d reiterated that he was stable. Was he hurt? Was he afraid? Six weeks was a long time. Six weeks was too much time. 

The world fades around him as his head spins, racing along well-worn tracks like frantic mice. Everything is heavy. Everything is thick.

Was he okay? Was he hurt? 

He should be relieved and he is, he’s so relieved he wants to cry with it, but he’s terrified. Who will he see when he talks to him again? Will he still be the same Bakugou? Will he still be the same Kirishima?

Six weeks was too long. 


He jerks, sucking in a breath he didn’t know he was holding, chest tight and aching and head dizzy from lack of air. He presses a hand against his chest, as if that will calm his racing heartbeat. 

Aizawa is in front of him and he gives a wobbly, fake-as-shit smile, all shark teeth and charm. 

Aizawa doesn’t fall for it. 

“Why don’t you take a breather?” he says, glancing at Cementoss. “Ishiyama-sensei might need help with a project of his.” 

He sees the out and he clings to it like a dying man.

“Yeah. Yeah. Okay.” He sucks in a breath. “That sounds good.” 

He nods, patting his desk and retreating back to his podium.

Kirishima should care about the stares of his classmates but he can’t. He just can’t. 

His head is heavy and too-full and he almost stumbles on his way out the door, Cementoss steadying him, and he just wants to get out of there. He really just wants to see Bakugou. 

When the door closes and the air sinks into his lungs once more, it’s Cementoss’s hand on his shoulder, steadying and firm, that makes the world come back into focus again, the panic receding if only for a moment.

“I could use a hand in the greenhouse,” Cementoss says. “We can talk and I can answer any questions I can about what’s happening or just about how you’re doing in general.”

“Please,” he says and if he sounds desperate, maybe he is. Maybe that’s okay. 

Cementoss smiles and Kirishima almost smiles back.

Chapter Text

All the questions make him sick and tired and weak and he almost feels like he’s gone back in time, except instead of questions about Him, it’s questions about League and his escape and he’s choking with it. 

He’s numb and it’s okay. 

(It’s not okay but he can pretend for this moment). 

“—kugou-kun,” a voice says, a strange catch in it that finally pulls his attention. “Bakugou-kun.” 

He looks up and there is Aizawa and his face is neutral and somehow that’s enough.

The world almost shimmers around him as he drags himself back into focus, digging his fingers into his knees in an attempt to stay present. 

“I have something for you.” 

His eyes track the large manilla envelope that Aizawa hands him and he looks up, one eyebrow raised. 

“Your homework.” He raises a hand as one of Recovery Girl’s interns makes an affronted sound. “If you wish to complete it. There is an extension for as long as you reasonably need, but I figured you could use the distraction.” 

He turns the folder open and thumbs the brass holding it shut. “I’ll be lucky to even look at them with all of these people asking me questions every few seconds.” 

“Luckily,” Aizawa says dryly, “‘those people’ have left for the day. For now, you’re free to clam up like an oyster as much as you please.” 

Bakugou shoots him a glare.

Aizawa’s lips quirk slightly upwards as he places his hands in his pockets. 

“I hope to see you in class again soon.” 

“It’s not like I want to be here,” he points out. 

Aizawa tilts his head as if to concede his point. 

“Don’t give the nurses too much trouble,” he says and Bakugou can’t help but snort. 

“Ironic coming from you, sensei.” 

Aizawa turns to leave with a shake of his head and raises one hand in goodbye. “See you in class.” 

“See you,” he says and when he turns back to look at the folder, he presses his hands against the sides to pull himself a little closer to feeling, a little closer to the world and thinks to himself,

School doesn’t stop for anyone, apparently. At least something is normal.