First of all- ghosts shouldn’t have anxiety.
Of all the fucking things that could have followed him into death- it had to be an ever-impending sense of doom and discomfort? Hadn’t he already reached his doom? Was death not doom enough?
Secondly- Katsuki listened to some god-awful music.
It hadn’t entirely been his decision to haunt Katsuki- though out of all the things that had happened to him since he died he supposed this was the thing that bothered him the least. Probably because it reminded him the most of when he had been alive.
He stood- or uh; floated now he supposed- there and tried to get Katsuki’s attention and either he ignored his existence entirely or he yelled and threw things and told him to go away.
Originally, he had just intended to go back home- because what the hell else was he going to do? And he had for a little bit- but his mother had cried and cried, and he just felt so terrible.
There was no consoling her, she just wept and looked at pictures of him and no matter how hard he tried to hug her; he just couldn’t reach her and it was just torture.
He was going to stick with it though; after all he was here for a reason he supposed and he should probably figure out what that reason was. But then he went to his funeral- and let me tell you that was the weirdest experience- ever.
Staring down at yourself lifeless in a coffin- like he knew he was dead but he was really dead. Like that was his body- laying there. Dead.
That was when he realized that ghosts- fucking have anxiety.
Well maybe not all ghosts- but he did; lets correct that. Ghosts had the capacity for anxiety.
How fucked up is that?
So, there he was- having a panic attack at his own funeral. Staring down at his lifeless green mop of hair and trying to tune out his mother’s high-pitched wails when Katsuki Bakugou looked him dead in the eye.
Now; he could have been looking somewhere else- it is entirely possible.
But Izuku just could not shake the feeling that he saw him.
He looked away quickly and left the funeral as quickly as his legs would take him and Izuku could have just brushed it off and gone home- but it wasn’t like anyone was going to miss him If he wasn’t there to awkwardly float around in the kitchen; or attempt to possess an all might doll.
So, he followed Katsuki home.
That had been a week ago and as it turns out.
Katsuki can see ghosts- or he can see Midoriya anyway. They hadn’t really delved into the seeing other ghosts part of things.
Also, as it turns out; Katsuki did not want to be able to see ghosts.
Which would have been fine if anyone else in then entire world could fucking see him- and believe him he tried. He followed every one of his classmates around the classroom- pulling faces and yelling and nobody so much as looked up from their worksheets or glanced in his direction.
So, they were in a bit of a situation.
“you can’t ignore me forever!” he yelled, positioning himself between Katsuki and his homework.
The boy huffed putting his eyes anywhere but on Izuku and continuing to work.
“I know you can see me” he added taking the liberty to wiggle around a bit on top of Kacchan’s desk.
Still no eye contact.
Of course, not because when had Kacchan ever made anything easy.
Of all the people in the world that could see him; and he had to get stuck with this surly asshole who won’t even acknowledge his existence. It was stupid. He wished his mother could see him; or Iida they would at least talk to him. They wouldn’t make him feel like maybe he was crazy- maybe he was just a crazy ghost yelling at a teenage boy who couldn’t hear him at all.
He wished he wasn’t fucking dead is what he wished.
But that option was long gone so he settled for wishing that Katsuki would just fucking answer him for once. Because he knew- he knew he had to be able to see him.
He caught him staring- when he though he wasn’t looking.
At spots that would just be blank wall- but never the same spot. Spots that only made sense to stare at because Izuku was there.
He caught him whispering things- under his breath.
Soft reassurances that he was fine- that it was the grief talking. That he wasn’t crazy.
Caught him snickering when he had all but flown through Minatas’s head- still half worried he would get stuck in the stupid grape juice balls the dumb kid had attached to him.
But after all this he still hadn’t believed a single word out of Izuku’s mouth and it was driving him mad.
He flung himself across the room, as dramatically as you can when you don’t really have legs- or arms; or body mass at all.
Just a vague outline of where those used to be.
He had been trying and nothing was getting through to this kid and he was about at his wits end.
He didn’t know what to do anymore- what do you do when you’re dead? You’re supposed to pass on- do something but he was stuck here.
He was stuck here, and he didn’t know how to get back and he didn’t know how to cross over, and he was just- stuck.
With this asshole- and his stupid rap goes country- bullshit CDs that Izuku could hardy understand, and it just made him so angry he could explode- he tried to slam his fist into the cd player willing it with all his might to just die.
He surprised himself when the contact his hand made was solid and the cd player crashed onto the floor.
“what the fuck?” Katsuki yelled “what are you doing you stupid nerd?”
“you can see me!” he had yelled back relishing the fact that he finally got Katsuki to speak to him; even if that hadn’t been the original intent; but hey he wasn’t going to complain.
“of course, I can fucking see you!” he hissed back- “you’re here all the fucking time and I can’t manage to get you to go away! You’re in my room, and following me to class, and hovering over me when I try to do my classwork I can’t even threaten to kill you because you’re supposed to already be dead!”
Katsuki sounded angry but his face betrayed him- it was pale, his normally firm unwavering stance was slightly off kilter and his breathing was uneven.
He was scared.
Izuku had scared him.
He didn’t know if he should feel bad, or laugh.
“you could have at least acknowledged I exist.” Izuku huffed.
“yeah and let everyone think I’m insane? No thank you?” Kacchan brushed him off.
Midoriya thought about it for a moment- deciding that it was fair; at least partially that Kacchan was ignoring him after all they didn’t really want Heroes that talked to their ex classmates long after they were buried. That was just on the wrong side of crazy.
But when they were here- when they were alone and nobody else was around. Well he didn’t see why he had to float around aimlessly when Kacchan could see him. Could talk to him even.
“you could just talk to me when we’re here.” He suggested- and Kacchan’s face twisted in annoyance Midoriya rushed to elaborate before he could say no. “because you’re the only one who knows I exist- and I think If I don’t talk to someone soon I’m going to explode.”
Kacchan said nothing.
But he didn’t look away from him either and Izuku couldn’t help but think that this was a point they wouldn’t come back from and he honestly didn’t know if he was happy about it or not.
“fine.” He finally muttered. “but you have to relax a little at school- you’re really distracting im going to fall behind.”
Izuku considered it a minute and then nodded. It seemed like a fair trade- he would get someone to talk to and all he had to do was be a little less distracting in class. That couldn’t be too hard.
“deal.” He replied- and he felt- happy.
He wasn’t sure what he expected would happen when he died; but he was sure it wasn’t this. He didn’t expect to be floating around as a ghost- he didn’t expect to still feel things so vividly. Like he was still- alive. Everything in life had not prepared him for this and he couldn’t help but wonder if he was somehow doing everything wrong
Because leave it to Izuku Midoriya to not even be able to die properly. Honestly- he could have messed it all up because he didn’t quite remember what happened to begin with.
One minute he was walking down the street; and he heard someone screaming for help- and he rushed down the ally to find a woman drenched in her own blood held against a wall by -someone that he couldn’t quite place. He remembers fighting- vaguely; and he remembers it being harder and harder to breath and then he remembers blacknes.
Dark. And cold- and then nothing.
The next thing he remembers is staring down at himself in a hospital bed- wires hooked up to him everywhere; beeping, and screaming and crying and so many doctors clamoring to fix it.
But- it couldn’t be fixed.
He had struggled for a little while- to figure out what was going on. Because his mother was weeping and begging him to come back and he couldn’t because he was right here.
And she just couldn’t see him, couldn’t hear him.
He would have screamed his throat raw if he could have- because he just wanted to be there. To help her.
Some fucking hero he was.
but this was his life now; or his death- he supposed.
He didn’t really know what to call it because it felt like he was sill living. He still laughed, and cried, and had panic attacks. He still wanted to learn- he still wanted to live.
It didn’t feel, final like death was supposed to feel.
And he still had Kacchan-
He didn’t know if it made it better or worse.
Because sometimes it made him forget that he was- you know.
And sometimes- sometimes that was good and other times it was terrible because he let himself forget and for a minute everything was the same.
He was still pushing himself into spaces that Kacchan didn’t want him in- still making terrible jokes and assessing everything around him. Kacchan was still calling him a stupid nerd- but was asking his opinion a little bit more; because after all he was there when he was training. Watching- so it would have been stupid not to.
And for a little while it would be beautiful- and then he would remember.
Or- he would stop pretending.
And he would realize that nothing was the same at all.
That he wasn’t a student anymore- even though he sat through the classes in the back of the room- and he wasn’t a son because his mother had lost her son and he was just a-
He was just a ghost.
Of a person who used to be a person but was now just-
He didn’t fucking know.
And that’s when it would always hit him.
The overwhelming fear that he had no idea what he was doing- or where he was going and he didn’t know what the hell he was supposed to do because ghosts aren’t supposed to be real. And he wasn’t supposed to be one and he just didn’t know how to stop- being.
The worst part about panic attacks when you’re a ghost- is that you cant breathe to calm yourself down. You just have to let it happen- and remind yourself through the haze of emotions coursing through your non corporeal frame that- the worst that could possibly happen to you.
Has already happened.
And you just have to hope it will go away.
Or at least that’s all he had figured out so far.
Except this time it just wasn’t really working- which was fine; great even because why the hell would he need to be doing anything else other than trying to breathe air into lungs that don’t exist.
And this time was worse- because Kacchan had to walk in right in the thick of it and if Midoroya wasn’t already dead he would have wished he was.
“what’s wrong?” Katsuki asked sounding almost concerned- and Midoriya should have seemed more surprised- but he wasn’t really. Because you don’t spend every waking second with someone and not grow at least a little bit attached to them
Even if you hated them before.
But he couldn’t speak.
He couldn’t find words.
And he just- floated there. Probably looking like a dead fish.
And Katsuki looked confused- and worried.
Midoriya wanted to help him but he was wrapped up in his own panic- wrapped in this preassure- tight and unrelenting and he was fucking drowning in it and he couldn’t come up for air no matter how hard he tried.
“breathe.” Kacchan reminded him.
And wasn’t that just rich.
He laughed- sharp and mocking and a little too full of spite for his liking but there Is something about dying that puts a bit of a damper on ones overwhelming optimism and he coudnt help but be a little jaded.
“I cant fucking breathe” he retorted- still laughing like maybe he had gone mad- he felt a little like he had gone mad because one second everything was crashing around him and the next everything was still crashing but he was laughing and- maybe this is what madness felt like. “im dead.” He finally finished after a good bout of laughter.
Katsuki was staring at him- like he was crazy.
Which was fair- because what teenage boy needs a fucking crazy anxiety ridden ghost of his ex classmate in his bedroom.
But then he was laughing too.
And they were both laughing- and Kacchan’s face had this way of just glowing when he laughed- he almost forgot what that looked like but here they were- and he was fucking laughing- and nothing was okay; and he was dead for gods sakes but- for a minute, it felt like it was all going to turn out alright.