Izuku sat on the desk, his black uniform ruffled and open at the collar. He had one leg up, his ankle crossed under his other knee. The bruises that surrounded his neck were dark and purple; his smile fond.
Across the room, with at least three desk rows between them, Katsuki sat in his seat with his legs propped on the desk as he leaned the chair back.
They were alone.
(They were always alone here.)
“I wonder how much more messed up the other me would be if he knew you wanted him in middle school,” Izuku said, tapping an ankle against the metal desk leg.
Katsuki ignored him.
“It’s a little amusing,” Izuku said, knowing Katsuki was listening. He hit the desk leg again. Paused. Hit it again. “Don’t you think so?”
Katsuki pulled his legs off the desk and crossed his arms on the surface instead, dropping his chair back to the ground with a heavy “thump.” He turned to stare at the window, glaring at the night sky and the few strands of moonlight that gave shape to everything in the shadows.
“He’d either be furious you kept it so well hidden this whole time.” Izuku hit the desk leg; the ring echoed in the room. The steady beat matching Katsuki’s heartbeat. “Or ecstatic that he might have a chance.”
Izuku hummed under his breath, stopping his leg. He hopped off the desk, walking exactly one row closer before stopping, not quite stepping into the light. “Though more likely, you’d just be a matching set, and he’d be as conflicted as you are.”
“What are you doing?” Katsuki asked, glaring at Izuku out of the corner of his eye while still facing the window. The other played with his open collar, fingers close to the bruising. Katsuki looked away.
“Talking,” Izuku said. He touched a finger to his lip, eyes smirking. “We can’t do that now? Or are you in the mood again? You know I like it when you make me shut up.”
“Just say what you want,” Katsuki said. Covering his eyes, he willed himself to be anywhere else than here.
The world remained stubbornly in place; Izuku and middle school uniforms and all.
“It’s almost cute how much this all bothers you,” Izuku said. Katsuki listened to him move again, his old shoes squeaking on the hard floors. “All those ‘what ifs’ that are crowding your every thought. It’s getting to be hard to breathe in your head, and I’m used to taking up a lot of room!
“It must be driving you mad knowing that Izuku would have said ‘yes’ if you asked him to be yours back then, even if you didn’t change a thing about you and what you were.
“What if you weren’t so scared?
“What if you focused on the other reasons you hated him instead of just the jealousy he’d be better?
“What if you let the part of you that admired him show more than the part that wanted to crush him?”
Katsuki flinched hard enough to rattle the desk when arms wrapped around his shoulders. Izuku hugged him from behind, the back of the chair digging into their bodies as it separated them. He wrapped one arm around Katsuki’s front, squeezing tight enough to hurt, while the other arm dug fingers deep into Katsuki’s hair. Izuku’s breath warmed his neck as he nuzzled Katsuki.
Izuku whispered, “I wonder what he’d do if he knew you wanted to stick your hand down his pants while you shoved his face in the dirt.”
“That’s enough!” Katsuki yelled. He shoved back his chair and twisted, grabbing Izuku’s uniform collar. He lifted the brat and slammed him into the nearest desk hard enough to scoot it back an inch with a deafening screech. “Shut up.”
“Don’t be so upset, Katsuki,” Izuku said, green curls falling to the side; green eyes amused. He reached up and put his hands behind Katsuki’s neck, pulling them closer together. “You don’t have to hide anything from me.”
Izuku yanked Katsuki closer with an unexpected jerk, pressing their forms together. The room stayed quiet; their heavy breathing the only real sound outside of the shift of fabric.
“I mean, anything you need to hide, I already know about,” Izuku said, kissing Katsuki on the side of the lip. He kissed him again. “I’m the one who starred in all those little fantasies of yours. I know every little want, desire, and regret. Isn’t that nice?”
Katsuki touched his hand to Izuku’s collar. The bruises fit the shape of his hand; he couldn’t remember when he’d done that. “You’re nothing more than a bad dream.”
“Compared to what’s waiting for you when you wake up, I’d like to think I’m a rather pleasant one,” Izuku said.
Katsuki dropped his head on Izuku’s shoulder; gentle fingers petted his hair.
(Waking up came too soon.)
Katsuki groaned as he turned on his stomach, hands digging into his sheets. He smacked his hand against the alarm clock and sat up. He ruffled his hair out and put his feet on the floor with a smack.
He could hear Kirishima rummaging around his own room as he got ready for the day and smiled to himself.
They’d only been in the dorms a week and while Katsuki’s nights were the same as usual, waking up to something other than his mother screaming at him to get ready was a plus in his book.
But that was the only one.
After a shower and getting ready, the breakfast area remained its usual chaos with all twenty students still tiptoeing around each other and adjusting to each other’s morning routines. At least half of them had already made it downstairs and Katsuki snagged a cup of coffee from under Ashido’s arm as she and Sero fought over the stove.
He blocked out everyone else, save for one “good morning” head nod to Todoroki at the toaster, and headed to the couch. He collapsed in the seat and drank his coffee with his bag next to his legs while he waited for Kirishima to finish his hair routine so they could walk to class.
“I can’t believe I ever wanted to get into Class 1-A,” Shinsou said, sitting next to him. The ever present eye bags were more defined than usual and he clutched his own tumbler of coffee. “Everything is so lively. Man, I hope this settles down into a routine before I resort to making a facility use schedule myself.”
“I’m sure Yaoyorozu and Iida would be glad to help with that,” Katsuki grunted. He snuggled into his seat and clicked on the television to catch the morning news.
“—and that’s the weather for today. Up next, we have an interview with an Orudera Junior High alumni who used to know Izuku Midoriya, a young villain who’s been making quite the name for himself since he debuted as a member of the League of Villains. For his most recent act, Midoriya was found to be responsible for the kidnapping and injury of a U.A. Hero Class student last week,” the news announcer said, voice even.
A picture of Izuku from the attack in the street last week appeared on screen, fuzzy and out of focus from some civilian’s phone. Katsuki saw his own face on the sideline for everyone to see.
“We don’t have to watch this,” Shinsou said.
Katsuki gripped the remote tighter as he let the newscast continue, and ignored the way a few of the others had noticed what was playing on the television.
The screen shifted to a teenager with his face blocked out and voice distorted—not that it would have mattered otherwise. Katsuki wouldn’t have remembered an old classmate even if they’d shown his face. They were all unimportant extras whose names he never bothered to learn, but now he wished he knew.
The kid said, “Midoriya? Yeah. I knew of him. He was that Quirkless guy who was always mumbling under his breath about heroes and following Bakugou and his friends around. He was always creepy, if you ask me.”
“What’re you guys watching?” Kirishima asked, arriving behind the couch.
“They’re talking about Midoriya on the news,” Iida answered, standing on the other side of the room.
Kirishima nodded and leaned his walking crutch on the couch back next to Bakugou as the newscaster continued.
“Can you tell us anything about Midoriya’s relationship with Bakugou? He was seen at the last attack and the two of them seemed familiar from the footage that’s been submitted to the station,” the reporter asked.
“Relationship?” The other student snorted. “I’m not sure you could call Bakugou beating the,” a beep aired, “out of Midoriya once a week a relationship. Bakugou made that guy’s life a living hell whenever they were in the same room. But maybe Midoriya was into that, because it sure didn’t stop him from getting into Bakugou’s space as often as he could.
“Everyone in class knew that leaving Bakugou and Midoriya alone together was a bad idea, even if we were all too scared of Bakugou to actually say anything about it.”
Shinsou grabbed the remote and turned the television off before the report could continue.
Katsuki felt everyone’s eyes on his back and he stood up from the couch. He glared over his shoulders, looking each concerned and confused expression straight on. When the eyes started to narrow, Katsuki nipped things in the bud and hissed, “If you’ve got something to say, speak up.”
“Is what that guy said, true?” Ashido asked, eyes wide. “Did you used to beat up Midoriya?”
Sero mumbled under his breath, “It would sure explain a lot.”
“It would put his hyperfixation on you in a different light, should it be true,” Todoroki said, staring at the table. “Though it’s also possible that young man is exaggerating for the press and attention.”
Katsuki bit his lip and slowly unclenched his hands out of their fists. He reached down and grabbed his bag. “It’s true, and I’m not talking about it.”
“Bakugou,” Kirishima said. Katsuki could feel his friend’s gaze on his back as he pushed his way out of the room and from everyone staring. Kirishima scrambled for his crutch and hopped after Katsuki. “Wait up!”
He was out the door, only holding it open for Kirishima out of necessity, when he heard Shinsou tell the others to “Leave them alone for awhile.”
The door to the dorm slammed behind them and Katsuki leaned on it, staring at the morning sky and listened to the early birds leaving their dorms for class.
“You okay?” Kirishima asked, leaning heavily on his crutch. Katsuki stared at the cast on his leg, full of signatures from their class. He hated that Izuku had broken Kirishima’s leg and he hated that even a week later there were still a few stubborn yellow bruises leftover and stitches in a healing shoulder. Kirishima snapped his fingers in front of Katsuki’s eyes. “Hey, I’m going to take that silence as a ‘no,’ so talk to me.”
“I’ve been thinking about middle school too much lately as it is,” Katsuki admitted. He slumped against the dorm wall into a squat. (Izuku in his crisp black uniform; always adoring, no matter what expression he wore.) Katsuki grabbed a rock and threw it across the room, igniting his Quirk behind it so that it skipped all the way to the next dorm. “I wasn’t expecting to get hit with it this morning in a news program due to some idiot whose name I don’t remember.”
Katsuki was glad Kirishima didn’t have a comment.
(He didn’t want to think about Middle School.)
“Let’s walk to class,” Kirishima said, the upbeat tone in his voice obviously forced. The laugh that followed was a bit more natural. “You can check my homework and tell me all the questions I got wrong to clear your head.”
Katsuki snorted as he got up. He pointed at Kirishima’s back and huffed. “You left your bag in the dorm.”
He couldn’t help the smirk as Kirishima cursed under his breath and hurried back inside, the crutch tapping on each tile square as he greeted people in the hallways.
Katsuki waited for him outside, leaning against the dorm and closing his eyes.
(Now everybody knew.)
The television wires sparked from the damage after Izuku had thrown one of his stick grenades at it, missing the box proper and hitting the wall behind it.
“How dare they make Kacchan look bad,” he hissed, sitting on the edge of the worn couch.
“You’re lucky that wasn’t in the bar,” Shigaraki said, slumping against the back of the couch in their apartment living room. He clicked his tongue and waved his fingers at the destruction. “Kurogiri would have killed you.”
Izuku fumed, biting his thumb and glaring at the wrecked device. This wasn’t good enough. He had too much fury and nowhere to put it without breaking something he couldn’t afford to replace.
(They needed a new television anyway.)
“I’ll be back,” Izuku said, getting up. He was acting on his anger, but Izuku was allowed to do that now: He was a Villain. That’s what Villains did. Izuku said, “I’m going to see Giran.”
“What about?” Shigaraki asked, almost amused.
“I’m going to check his network for someone who’s good with computers and hack into the news network for the unedited footage,” Izuku said. He ran his fingers along the couch edge as he moved. “How does attacking a news station sound as a fun, public event for the League of Villains?”
“Before or after you murder the kid in the interview?” Shigaraki asked, laughing.
“I was thinking we could do it at the same time. You’ve been bored anyway, and this could be a good co-op mission for us,” Izuku said. He turned and indicated the wrecked television. “Besides, how else will Kacchan know I defended his honor if he doesn’t see it live?”
Shigaraki snickered under his breath and smacked the couch with his open palm. “I love it.”
Izuku grabbed his coat from the rack and slung it over his shoulders as he stomped to the doors leading downstairs to the bar.
His past with Kacchan didn’t belong to anyone but Izuku and Kacchan.
(No one else understood their relationship; no one. How dare they?)
After this week, no one would make that mistake again.