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"You know, I've been waiting for this."

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It was all normal. All, up until Deku dissapeared.

That useless Deku.

Apparently he went missing without a trace. At least, that's what the police had said. Katsuki wasn't there to witness the event.

Oh well. It's not like it mattered anyway. The world was doing him a favor.

He deserved it for always trying to compete with me.

 

 

 

Days swam by, gliding and fleeting, filling a whole week.

 

 

 

Looks like that brat decided to ditch school and not come back. Heh, maybe he really tried to jump off a roof somewhere.

Quirkless.

And yet his mere absence was making him tick, tick tick tick until he was on the verge of exploding, lashing out at his lackeys at the slightest mention of that trash.

Why are you still talking about him? He's gone. Deku's gone. Don't you get it? GONE. And I can finally have my peace. So stop.

That bastard always messed up his day, no matter where he was.

 

 

 

The weeks passed by, one after another, in a rhythmic pattern.

 

 

 

Katsuki couldn't shake off the feeling. That quirkless Deku who always annoyed him, always annoyed him with that smile, how he always looked at him, looking, looking...staring. And for acting like he would be a hero, that nerd. Trying to be someone he wasn't. That freak.

But now he was gone. And that made it all the better.

His mother was colored a sickly pale, the color of the dead. She almost resembled a skeleton nowadays. Every day she kept asking, asking, where was Izuku? Where was he? Were there any more leads? Any at all?

She also tried talking to Bakugou.

He told her to fuck off and received a sting on his cheek at the hands of his mother. And a bump on the back of his head.

She may as well have lost her purpose in life, mourning over someone who would not likely return.

He was probably lying dead in a ditch somewhere, abducted by some kind of villain.

The local police had already given up.

 

 

 

Finally, a month's time and some spare change.

 

 

 

Where the hell was Izuku?

Katsuki grit his teeth.

It was annoying. He was annoying.

He wanted to beat him up. So badly.

But Izuku wasn't there.

Who would be his punching bag?

 

 

It was seventh grade.

 

 

 

The months passed by, crawling like snails and leaving trails.

 

 

 

Izuku, the name, a plague, crawled under his skin each passing day. Not a day would pass by that he wouldn't hear it everywhere around him. And by everywhere, he didn't mean by his classmates talking shit. No, they had forgotten about him already. It were the objects.

Deku's desk.

The one he used to sit in every day. Now vacant, lifeless. And as if a presence had embodied itself in it, beckoning, Katsuki's eyes felt drawn to that particular spot every day, unwilling, detesting, and maybe half-expecting, half-dreading the day that Izuku would finally get out of his ass and fucking come back and sit in there.

He didn't.

A Kokuyo Campus notebook. One he saw someone else had. That thing fucking glared at him whenever he saw it, a seemingly stark contrast to all the other books. It was the same model Izuku used to write in.

Their playground. The one they used to 'play' in when they were kids.

The bench he occasionally saw Izuku sit on near the Sakura trees, always jotting, jotting, jotting down something in that 'hero analysis' notebook of his.

All around him. Izuku. Izuku. Izuku, Izuku.

Shutupshutupgoawayyyyyy.

He hated it.

Katsuki wanted to blow someone's head up.

 

 

 

The snails reached a labyrinth. In certain places, they maneuvered through quickly, but at others they were stumped.

The months would pass. They surely would. Right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then Izuku suddenly came back into his life.

 

There he stood, watching increduously, as Izuku, the very same, useless Deku, silently walked into the classroom and into his seat, as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Not at all.

The desk had been surprisingly untouched, no one deciding to claim it after all these long months.

He was quiet. Quiet. Quiet as always, unnoticeable, a ghost.

Just settled there without an explanation.

It irked him to the bone.

What the actual fuck.

His fingers twitched, sweaty and uncomfortable, and formed a fist. On pure impulse, he ran to the boy and punched him in the face.

Because that totally felt justified.

Izuku's head lolled back from the impact, and it hung there for a while, head turned upwards and to the side, as if processing the sudden influx of information. Either that, or he forgot what side of earth he was on. Well, considering the situation, it wasn't surprising. He just came back after all. Just came back without a goddamn word.

Izuku's eyes readjusted to his new position, coming down from their surprised stupor. The pupils slowly rolled over towards the right, and seeing Katsuki, they visibly sharpened like knives, the slits widening for a split second before returning to that dazed stare.

The short spasm didn't go unnoticed.

"Ahh... Kacchan. You're here." he said in a completely nonchalant tone, sounding a bit breathlessly pleased in the end.

Heh. It was funny.

Here he was, all worked up in front of him, and the other dares to give him that neutral expression like they just met during a fucking walk in the park?!

That phrase made him want to spit it right back at him.

"I am. I am here. Well?? And what about you?? What's up with that face? Or are your shitty, fried brains flying in the clouds somewhere? Hah, Deku?"

Izuku only laughed.

"I'm glad to see you again, Kacchan."

His fist slammed onto the table, grounding his emotions in a futile attempt.

"Dont you fucking ignore my question!! Answer it, Deku!!" He was starting to lose his self-control now, and fast, the unused energy building up within and threatening to spill after all those endless months.

"Why, Kacchan, did you miss me?" Another unfamiliar, teasing tone.

He growled in response, seething in his own rage.

Midoriya, on the other hand, was very collected, completely unlike his previous self, not even flinching at Bakugou's rash reactions.

What the heck happened. Who was this. This was not Deku.

"I appreciate the sentiment and admit that I did feel a bit lonely, too, without you being there for me and all. But it's fine. Because now we've got each other. After all, we're friends, aren't we, Kacchan?" That cheerful tone, composed and void of any blemish.

He was beyond himself at this point.

He lunged at him, grip strong on the shoulders, eyes full of pure rage. Would it have continued for any longer, he would have physically attacked him in his unbridled anger for a second time, but the teacher had to put the one-sided interrogation to a stop. Physical force was used to peel off the boy from the other as he made intelligible noises, struggling all the way against the restricting grip.

Katsuki did not understand.

He was confounded. Confounded with the way Izuku had become, had changed. On a regular day he would be cowering with fear over his outburst. But this time—he even had the gall to laugh, to try and act as if they were friends.

This was not normal.

What happened in the span of time he was missing? What was wrong with him?

He wanted answers.

He didn't understand.

But he was too arrogant to ask, and he himself was unaware of this fact.

And so the days slowly returned to their strange but new rhythm, Izuku being the quiet Deku he was, if only a bit more cheerful, more dissociative from his surroundings. As if he was daydreaming.

The most prevalent deviations in his behavior he noticed was when Deku was looking at him.

Those wide-open, blank eyes that deeply stared at him. Penetrating into his conscience. Probing into his very own soul.

It sent shivers up his spine, he practically felt that gaze on his back every time it was directed at him.

It made him extremely uncomfortable.

If Katsuki didn't know any better, he would have thought Izuku was trying to provoke him.

He didn't understand.

If anything, he became even more aggressive towards him, frustrated, and yet again, shattering all his expectations, Izuku took it with stride. Not saying a word. Nor retaliating.

What was wrong with him.

At the end of his beatings, a smile creeped it's way on Izuku's face.

What was wrong with him.

That endearing tone as he said, "Kacchan" longingly, out of place.

It was absurd.

 

His lackeys noticed Katsuki's change in demeanor. Their fearful, cautious gaze did nothing to alleviate his bruised ego.

 

He hated it. Hated that he had no control over the situation. And he hated him. Hated him more than ever.

 

What was wrong with him?