Bakugou is reasonably certain this is going to be the worst mistake of his entire life. He’s a pro hero. He doesn’t have time to look after a pet. Sure, most pets are pretty self sufficient. In fact, even some of his colleagues are pets. All Might, the greatest hero ever, is a pet. And yes, Bakugou does go a little stir crazy when he’s alone in his apartment. And at his level of skill and expertise he’s only called into the field for the toughest of villains, the kind that don’t show up very often, so it would be better than staying around at the office doing paperwork.
But that doesn’t mean he’s going to buy a pet. He’s just looking around.
On his day off, he heads down to the local shelter, because Kouda would probably stab him if he tried to go anywhere else. It’s clean and well kept, but it still has a depressing air to it, since most of the pets here are either abandoned, troublemakers, or both.
“What kind of pet were you looking for?”
Bakugou shoves his hands into his pockets and glares at the middle aged man running the place. “Fuck off. I’m just looking.”
“Well, let me know if you change your mind,” the man says calmly.
Each pet is kept in a small room, two or three pets to a room. It’s a necessary precaution, since pets don’t do too well on their own. Most of the pets are talking amongst themselves or sleeping, but there’s one that catches Bakugou’s eye.
A small green rabbit sits in the corner of his room. He’s nibbling on his own shirt as he pores through some books. Given the stack of books surrounding him, he probably stole them from other pets. The rabbit glances up, his bright green eyes locking on Bakugou’s for just a moment. Immediately, the rabbit starts trembling.
Bakugou sighs. He knows he’s not exactly the cuddliest guy around, but he didn’t think he was that scary. “Hey fuckface,” he calls over his shoulder. The rabbit drops his books with a squeak.
“I have a name, you know,” the shelter owner says. Bakugou doesn’t pay attention to what it is.
“What’s the deal with the green rabbit?”
Fuckface gets out his tablet and taps on it for a moment. “Name’s listed as Deku. Twenty-five years old. No quirk on record. Three past owners. Last one surrendered him to us a few weeks ago. Got bored with him. Apparently, he has some issues with his temperament, but he’s pretty docile if you just give him some books.”
Bakugou looks back at the rabbit. He hasn’t gone back to his books, instead starting at Bakugou. Deku’s eyes are keen and sharp, but his body is soft, delicate. Probably couldn’t take very many hits but Bakugou has Kirishima if he needs a sparring partner. What Bakugou doesn’t have is someone he doesn’t have to be tough for. Fuck. He’s getting sappy already. Goddamnit.
“Any health issues I should know about?” he asks. He isn’t considering buying Deku or anything. He’s just curious.
“Some scarring, but nothing disfiguring or disabling. Up to date on all his vaccinations. Not very verbal, a bit anxious, nothing major.”
Right. Bakugou stares into those wells of emerald for a moment longer. Wells of emerald. Hasn’t even properly met the guy and he’s already calling his eyes fucking wells of emerald. Shit. Fuck. “I’ll take him.”
”Hey, fucking pick up you bitch!”
Yaoyorozu tiredly lifts the phone to her ear. “Nice to hear from you too, Bakugou. What do you want?”
She strokes Kyoka’s hair as the bat nuzzles her stomach. Hanta and Mina wrestle playfully on the floor while Shoto watches from the windowsill, his tail wrapped around his feet. He’s not very social, but he’s warmed up a lot in the year she’s had him.
”I bought a pet and I don’t know what to do with him. You’ve got a ton of pets, so-”
Yaoyorozu cuts him off. “And you didn’t call Kouda because?”
”He’s busy. And he doesn’t answer his phone anyway.”
“Okay,” Yaoyorozu sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose. Shoto immediately darts over to put his right hand on her forehead as an ice pack. It’s unnecessary, but she appreciates the gesture. “Knowing you, I assume you took him home already?”
”What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
He didn’t deny it. “Where is he now?”
”Hiding in the closet, I think. He fucked off as soon as I opened his crate.”
Kyoka’s eye opens and she stares at Shoto. Shoto blushes. Yaoyorozu puts a comforting hand on his arm.
“Alright. Here’s what you’re gonna need to do.”
The closet is clean, which is already an improvement over Deku’s last master. Deku is trying to think positively. He’s not doing a very good job of it. Deku hasn’t even been in the house an hour and already his master is yelling and screaming and oh god are those explosions? Deku isn’t exactly hiding very well, but he has a couple days before his master comes after him, hopefully. Everyone knows it takes a pet a couple days to get settled in. Deku’s not completely fucked until the end of the week.
He curls up in a ball and tries to control his breathing. His panic is entirely instinctive. His master hasn’t even done anything to him other than be loud. But he didn’t even realize he was back for sale yet and now he’s in a new place with a new master and he’s terrified.
His ears twitch as the explosions quiet down, trying to hear if his master is going to approach. His master stomps around the house, but doesn’t go near the closet. The door opens and more people enter, talking too quickly and over each other and Deku can’t follow what they’re saying. To his surprise, he smells some pets among them. Two alphas and two omegas, all with the scent of the same home on them. Who has four pets? That’s a lot of pets for once person.
Eventually, the intruders leave and it’s just Deku and his master in the house. There’s a pounding at the closet door and Deku presses himself against the back wall, light headed in fear.
“Got some shit for you,” his master growls. “Heard you’d be fucking scared or some shit for a while. I’m not gonna fucking hurt you. Just-” another growl. “There’s food in the dining room. Green plate’s yours. Got you a nest or whatever in the living room. Um, what else? Ground rules. Right. Don’t leave the house. Don’t break my shit. Don’t attack anyone. Take care of your basic needs. Food and water and bathroom and that stuff. I’ll let you know if I think of anything else, but I won’t punish you for breaking rules you don’t know about.”
There’s a thick, heavy pause while Deku tries to work up the courage to reply.
His master huffs. “Whatever. I’m heading out.” The footsteps retreat.
Deku is crying already. Thankfully, this is the closet where his master keeps the spare sheets. He wraps himself up in a comforter and sobs softly. It’s not until he’s spitting feathers out of his mouth that he he realizes he chewed a hole right through his master’s down pillow.
“Sooooo, I heard someone got a pet.”
“Fuck off, Shitty Hair,” Bakugou says with no real heat.
Kirishima just laughs and wraps his arm around Bakugou’s shoulder in a sideways hug. “Congrats, bro. They’re a treat to have around. What’s he look like?”
Bakugou takes a swig of his beer. It tastes like shit, but the bar is pretty quiet and discreet enough that he can drink without getting mobbed by civilians. “Fuck if I know. He’s been hiding since I got him home.”
Kirishima laughs and steals one of his fries, his skin hardening before Bakugou can blow him the fuck up. “Yeah, Denki didn’t leave his crate for like two days after I got him home. Kept hissing and sparking at me every time I got close.”
Bakugou raises an eyebrow. “Stop bullshitting me.”
“I’m not!” Kirishima insists. “Here, I got pictures!”
He does. He has a lot of pictures. He scrolls through selfies with Denki, pictures of Denki playing with toys, sexy nudes of Denki, candid photos of him napping with Denki, a couple videos of Denki trying to braid his hair. “Hold on, I know they’re in here somewhere. Aha!”
Kirishima shoves his phone into Bakugou’s face. Bakugou grabs it and holds it a reasonable distance away. Sure enough, there’s a picture of Denki in a carrier, his little claws batting at Kirishima’s hardened arm. There’s also a blurry picture of Kirishima getting electrocuted. Bakugou texts that one to himself.
“Okay, so Denki took a while to warm up to you. So what? Wasn’t fucking asking you for advice.”
“I was just saying, if you want me and Denki to swing by your place-”
“I’d rather die.”
“-and let them hang out for a little while, it might help your pet relax sooner.”
“Or maybe putting my brand new rabbit in a room with a hyperactive electric cat will be a bit stressful for him,” Bakugou shoots back.
“Ohhhh, you got a rabbit? Wow, I thought you’d get like a pit bull or something. You know, a gentle, family pet. Rabbits are super skittish.”
“You can ask for help if you need it, bro. I’m here for you.”
Bakugou rolls his eyes. “Anything interesting happen at work?”
“Nope!” Kirishima pops the p. “No reason for you to come into work at all. So go home and take care of that rabbit, okay?”
Bakugou leaves Kirishima with the bill and walks home. It would be faster to take an Uber or something, but Yaoyorozu had advised giving Deku time to explore the house on his own. When he gets back to the house, it’s just as still as ever, but the green plate is missing.
The closet door is opened a little bit. He peeks in curiously and sees the hole chewed in the pillow. He sighs. He can let this one slide, assume Deku chewed a hole in it before he was told not to and just never ask. Hopefully, this won’t become a pattern.
Once Deku’s tears have dried and he’s sure the house is empty, he slowly opens the door and crawls out. He didn’t notice too much about the house on his way in, but he knows something’s changed. There’s a nest in the living room. He knows for a fact he didn’t see a nest when he first came in. He’d been crying about it.
He knows his master bought him on a whim, wasn’t set up for him at all, but in just the past couple hours, that’s changed. He creeps towards the nest, poking it carefully to ensure it’s not a trap.
It’s smaller than ideal, but bigger than some of the ones he’s had before. There’s room for him to store his things. The clothes his old master dropped off with him are folded neatly in one corner and his small handful books are in another. There’s even a little booklight so he can read inside his nest.
He smiles, ears twitching. The sight of the nest lets him calm down enough to realize he’s hungry. He grabs the food and brings it back to his nest. Before long, his belly is full and he’s curled up in his nest with a book.
He lets himself enjoy this. Might as well savor the few good days he has before his master realizes he’s broken and throws him away. It wouldn’t be the first time.