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New To Both Of Us

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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.”

“I’ve noticed.”

“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.

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The nibbling becomes a pattern. Bakugou can deal with the spare pillows and blankets getting chewed up. He runs so hot that he barely uses them at all. His work papers are a different matter. He hates paperwork enough without having to redo it every fucking time. He leaves it out for two seconds and it gets chewed to pieces. And he still never sees the fucking culprit. He’s never gotten more than the occasional glimpse of green fur to let him know that Deku hasn’t run away.

The third day, Bakugou gets home early to find Deku in the kitchen with a bag of chips in his hand. Deku freezes, his ears flattening to his scalp and his nose twitching frantically. Where Bakugou is standing, Deku would have to get closer to him to get to his nest and there’s no good way around.

“I’m not gonna hurt you,” Bakugou sighs. “Just hold still.”

He steps closer to the bunny. Deku holds still. His eyes fill with tears and he trembles, but he holds still.

Bakugou stares at him for a moment. He wants to show Deku that he isn’t gonna hurt him, but scaring the shit out of him isn’t exactly a great way to do that. “Fuck. Nevermind. Do whatever.”

Deku still doesn’t move. The blood is drained from his face, leaving him so pale that Bakugou is amazed he hasn’t passed out.

Bakugou breaks eye contact. “I’m not gonna hurt you,” he repeats and walks into his room. He closes the door and hears Deku scramble away. He curses, his hands popping with small explosions. This isn’t going well.

After four whole days of Deku cowering away from him, Bakugou figures that the bunny probably isn’t going to be settling in quickly. He asks Uraraka to talk with him after work for a few minutes. Uraraka has been one of his most trusted allies for years and she’s the only one of his graduating class who brought a pet with her to UA.

“What do you need?” Uraraka asks as she finishes up her paperwork for the day.

“I wanna know how you keep Tenya so calm. He’s really anxious, isn’t he?” Bakugou leans against her cubicle, staring down at her.

Uraraka takes a sip of her tea. “Anxious isn’t the right word, really. He just gets overstimulated sometimes, so I’ll float him for a while.”

“Where is he now?”

Uraraka points up. Tenya is floating a few inches below the ceiling, still in his armor. He’s got his eyes closed and earbuds in. “This way, he doesn’t have to be touching anything unpleasant for a while. It helps him keep his mind straight,” Uraraka explains.

“How long did it take you to figure that out?”

“Oh, we’ve been doing this from the start. Why do you ask?”

Bakugou loathes asking for help, but the only possible witness is currently floating above them, listening to music. “My pet. Deku. He’s pretty fucking terrified of me. Haven’t done anything to him. I tried to pet him once and he started crying so I let him go. How do I make him calm down?”

“Well, what have you been doing to make him more comfortable?”

“Got him a nest,” Bakugou offers.

“What have you done besides the bare minimum?”

“Fuck you.”

“You’re welcome.”

This is why they’re friends. Bakugou flips her off and storms out to figure out what his bunny likes.

By the fourth day, Deku is expecting to be taken back to the store at any moment. He had tried so, so hard, but he couldn’t even makes his master want him long enough to pet him. He forces himself to stay out of the nest as much as he can, but every time he hears his master coming, he still darts away to hide. His master is big and loud and blows things up and he’s terrified.

The fact that his master doesn’t try to hurt him almost makes things worse. It means that for all the screaming and exploding, his master is patient. He doesn’t want to know what will happen when he reaches the end of his master’s patience. All he knows is that it will probably hurt.

The morning of the fifth day, his master actually approaches the nest. Deku presses himself against the back wall, panting in fear.

“Look,” his master says. “I’m not gonna fucking hurt you, but I don’t think you’ll believe me anyway, so… I got you some shit. It’s in a package on the counter. It’s yours. Do whatever the fuck you want with it. Try to stop nibbling all my shit.” He snarls in frustration and Deku bites back a whimper. “I’m not expecting you to calm down any time soon. Just. Enjoy your presents. Or don’t. I don’t give a shit. I’m heading out.”

Deku is confused. He doesn’t know what to make of this. He waits a couple hours like usual before finally slipping out of his nest. Sure enough, there’s a package waiting for him on the counter. He opens it with trembling hands.

Inside are a chewable necklace and a fluffy pink pillow. Both brand new. Both for him.

Deku just stares in awe for a second. Then he nibbles experimentally at the necklace. It’s not as satisfying as fabric or paper, but it shouldn’t get him into the loop of nibbling Master’s things because he’s nervous and then getting nervous because he’s nibbling Master’s things. He clutches the pillow close. It’s soft and firm and cozy and before long it’s damp with tears. Deku wraps himself around it, chewing on the necklace.

As happy as he is, the anxiety doesn’t really go away at all. He should be doing more for his master, but he can’t. He doesn’t want to be ungrateful. Master is just buying him more things, trying harder to make him happy. Maybe Master won’t give him up, but maybe Master will just be angrier when he finally does.

He clings to the pillow to try and cope with his fear of the person who gave it to him.

Bakugou doesn’t see Deku again until a week later. This time, it’s entirely by accident. He’s watching TV on the couch when he remembers he left a load of laundry in the washing machine. When he goes to get it out, he sees Deku in the laundry room, putting his clothes in the dryer. The little rabbit is humming to himself, ears twitching.

“Deku?” Bakugou asks.

He might as well have electrocuted him. Deku’s ears flatten to his skull, he goes tense with a whimper. His eyes dart to Bakugou standing in the doorway and he slowly backs away, hands up to defend himself. When his back hits the wall, he sinks to the floor with a low moan.

Bakugou stares at him. “Hey, it’s okay. I’m leaving. I’m leaving,” he promises, backing out slowly. He gets a good distance away, but he can still see into the laundry room.

Deku hurries out of his corner. He quickly finishes loading Bakugou’s clothes into the dryer before he finally flees. It’s the longest he’s ever tolerated Bakugou’s eyes on him.

Once Deku is gone, Bakugou heads into the laundry room. Deku put it on the wrong setting, but Bakugou just fixes it. He looks over at Deku’s nest, shaking his head in bemusement. He doesn’t know what to make of this little encounter.

The next morning at work, he pulls Tenya aside.

“Is this about your new pet?” Tenya asks. “My mistress mentioned him to me.”

Bakugou appreciates Tenya’s bluntness. “He did my laundry without being asked and panicked when I caught him doing it. Seemed like something you would do so what the fuck is up with it?”

The greyhound’s tail wags and his hands flail as he replies. “He simply needs some tasks to keep his mind occupied! Being left with nothing to do all day just lets him sit in his anxieties! Pets need to feel useful to feel valued! Mistress always has chores for me to do when I need to relax! It doesn’t need to be too strenuous, but we can feel like burdens if we can’t do anything for our owners!”

Bakugou nods. He finds it hard to believe that Tenya would ever feel like a burden on Uraraka given that it was his family’s money that made sure she could afford UA, but he’s not a pet. “Thanks. How’s your new sidekick?”

Tenya grimaces. “She’s-”

“You don’t have to be polite to me.”

“She’s struggles to adjust to the idea of working under a pet,” Tenya says cooly. It’s the closest to rude that he can get.

Bakugou raises an eyebrow. “Enough to be a liability on the field?”

“No. I will alert you if that changes.”

“Good. Make sure you do.” His first couple years at UA, Bakugou had thought Shouta-sensei was a bit over sensitive for expelling any student who didn’t respect the pets in the class. Now that he’s had to try and make heroes from other programs work with his pet colleagues, he understands a lot better.

“If anyone tries to make you fetch, you have my permission to fire them on the spot!” he calls over his shoulder as he heads home.

Master didn’t seem upset about the laundry. That’s a good sign. What isn’t a good sign is when Master gets home and heads straight for Deku’s nest.

“I want to see you while I’m talking to you,” Master says. “I’ll be on the couch.”

The couch isn’t too far from the nest. Deku is at least comfortable enough that he doesn’t cry when he’s in the nest and Master’s on the couch. He’s making some progress. He doesn’t know if he’s made enough progress to be able to endure Master looking at him for so long.

Still, he can’t disobey a direct order. He waits until the footsteps die down and then crawls out of his nest, sitting just outside it. He has the necklace in his mouth and his arms wrapped around the pillow. They help ease the anxiety just the tiniest bit.

True to his word, Master is on the couch. His explosive hands are in his lap and he’s a safe distance away. Deku relaxes just the tiniest bit.

“Thanks for doing my laundry,” Master says. There’s a growl to it, but it looks more like gruffness than anger now that Deku can see his face. “I wanted to give you some time to settle in before I gave you too many responsibilities, but I asked around, and people seem to think responsibilities will help you settle in faster.”

So it wasn’t a guilt trip, then. Master just didn’t know how to make Deku useful. He nibbles harder and nods.

“Okay. Don’t push yourself to get near me if you’re not ready. For now, I want you to do my laundry and keep the house clean. I’ll let you know if I need anything else done, okay?”

Deku nods again, the barest hint of a smile working its way onto his face.

His master looks him over. “Alright. That’s all I needed. You can go.”

Deku darts back into his nest, curling up with his pillow. His ears relax. He doesn’t feel safe, but the looming terror lifts enough for him to breathe.

Very little changes over the next month. Bakugou stops worrying about laundry, which is nice. At least one a week, he gets home to find his clothes clean and folded in the drawers. It takes him a little while to adjust to having his clothes be where they’re supposed to be, but he’s nothing if not adaptive.

As the days wear on, he gets a shadow. While it’s rare for him to every see the bunny, he hears soft footsteps in the corners of the room and by doorways. Sometimes, he catches a glimpse of a fluffy green tail as Deku darts away. Once, he makes eye contact. After that, he doesn’t hear Deku for another couple days.

Bakugou isn’t a patient person by nature, but it’s becoming obvious to him that Deku is trying as hard as he can. He doesn’t want to scare Deku and lose what tiny amount of progress they’ve made. He starts knocking before he enters rooms, moving slowly around his house, giving Deku time to get away from him. The careful dance around each other settles into a rhythm and Bakugou finds that he doesn’t mind waiting for Deku to make the next move.

Then, two months after Deku first comes home with him, Bakugou opens his bedroom door to find the bunny chained to his bed, eyes wide with terror.

Bakugou gapes at him. Tears well in Deku’s bright green eyes as he struggles feebly, but he doesn’t break eye contact. If anything, he’s straining towards Bakugou instead of away. Bakugou’s first thought is that a villain got in somehow, but none of the alarms are tripped and a villain would probably have just stolen Deku.

No, there’s only one possible explanation. His fucking pet has cuffed himself to the bed.

“Deku, what the fuck?”

Chapter Text

Bakugou can only stare as Deku whimpers and pulls at the chains. It takes him a moment to recognize where they’re from. Deku had needed to be cuffed when he first moved in to prevent him from running during transport. Bakugou had just put the cuffs in the closet and forgotten about them, but obviously Deku didn’t. The key to the cuffs lies on the floor between them.

“Did you do this?” Bakugou asks, trying to keep his voice level.

Deku’s mouth opens, but all that comes out is a small squeak. He spreads his legs in a way that would be alluring if not for the obvious terror in every line of his body.

Bakugou sighs. “You don’t-you don’t have to… I’m not gonna…”

The tears in Deku’s eyes finally spill over, glistening as they run down his face. Bakugou is frozen. Something pushed Deku to this, but he has no idea what it was. Bakugou knows a desperate last resort when he sees one. Either way, he doesn’t want to unchain Deku until he knows what’s going on in case that makes things worse.

“I’ll be right back. Don’t-don’t go anywhere.” He cringes internally as he steps out of his room and carefully shuts the door behind him.

His first instinct is to call someone. Kouda or Yaoyorozu, probably. But he’s worked up enough that he knows he’ll start screaming as soon as he does and he doesn’t want to spook his pet. Not to mention Kouda hates talking on the phone so Yaoyorozu is really his only option.

He pauses, examines that thought. Kirishima and Tenya are two of his closest colleagues, while Yaoyorozu is someone he just happens to know from school. So why did his mind turn to her first? Why did he lump her in with Kouda? What’s the common thread. Yaoyorozu’s a world class hero and Kouda’s a D-lister who only keeps his hero license so he can freely use his quirk to help… Shouto’s scar flashes in Bakugou’s mind.

Abused pets. Kouda and Yaoyorozu both have experience with abused pets.

He sits down heavily on the couch, running a frustrated hand through his hair. Of course! Deku is too scared, has been for too long for it to be anything other than trauma. He thinks back to the day he bought Deku, what the shelter owner had told him. Three past owners. Last one got bored with him.

Bakugou may not know too much about pets, but he remembers when Uraraka offered to let Tenya go home to visit his family without her after his brother was crippled. Bakugou had never seen Tenya be so clingy before and he hasn’t seen it since. And that was just the thought of being away from his mistress for a week.

An owner who surrenders a pet out of boredom is an owner who should never have had a pet in the first place. And that sort of owner could easily be the reason why the shelter owner had felt the need to specify that Deku wasn’t disfigured or disabled.

Bakugou grimaces, kicking himself mentally. It took him two fucking months for him to realize he was dealing with an abused pet. It explains a lot. The fear, the fleeing, the inability to speak. It doesn’t explain why Deku chained himself to the bed though.

Luckily, Bakugou knows where to start looking now. A quick perusal of pet advocacy websites reveals the answer.

Touch starvation.

It can happen in humans too, but pets need the contact from either their masters or other pets. Without regular touch, pets get depressed, panicky, fearful. From what Bakugou can tell, they basically turn into Deku. They turn into what Deku was like before he went two months without being touched.

No wonder the bunny got desperate.

When Bakugou finally reenters, his pet is looking even more pale than before. Bakugou keeps his distance. With Deku sandwiched between the bed and the nightstand, there’s no way for Bakugou to get close without caging him in.

“I need to communicate with you,” Bakugou says, keeping his voice as soft and level as possible. “Can you nod and shake your head if I ask you questions?”

Deku nods immediately.

“Okay, okay, that’s good. Are you okay?”

Deku nods again.

Bakugou clicks his teeth. “I need you to be honest with me.” He tries not to make his anger at himself too obvious in his tone, knowing it will just scare Deku, but Deku flinches anyway. “I’ll ask you again. Are you okay?”

Tearfully, Deku shakes his head.

Bakugou lets out a slow breath. “Thank you for being honest with me. Do you want me to touch you?”

Deku whimpers and shakes his head.

That wasn’t what Bakugou expected. He realizes his mistake a moment later. “Do you need me to touch you?”

Deku nods as hard as he can.

Bakugou takes a step closer. “Here’s what we’re gonna do,” he decides. “I’m gonna sit down right next to you and I’m gonna put my hand on your leg. Just one. And then I’m gonna stay there for at least five minutes to make sure you have a chance to settle, but after that, you’re gonna let me know as soon as you need me to stop. Got it?”

When Deku nods, Bakugou does exactly what he said he’d do. He places one hand on Deku’s thigh where his skin gives way to soft green fur. Deku whines in fear, his nose twitching frantically. He writhes like he’s trying to escape, but his leg presses back against Bakugou’s hand. He stops moving before Bakugou can pull his hand away, not calming down per se, but not blindly panicking either

Despite the circumstances, Bakugou is elated at finally getting to touch his bunny. His skin and fur are both soft and smooth. Bakugou wonders if his hair is just as soft, but he doesn’t try to find out. Instead, he just rubs Deku’s leg gently.

“Look at you,” he murmurs, barely even registering that he’s speaking out loud. “So beautiful. So brave.”

Deku has settled by the five minute mark. Bakugou hesitates to call it relaxation, but Deku doesn’t look like he’s so tense that he’s in danger of hurting himself anymore. It’s progress.

Bakugou focuses on the feeling of Deku’s body under his hand to remind himself why he’s fighting so hard to keep the anger off his face. How could someone have done this to such a sweet looking pet? It pisses him off.

After about an hour, Deku starts squirming again.

“You want me to let you go now?” Bakugou asks, retrieving the key when Deku nods. He sways when he stands, lightheaded from staying in one position for so long. When the chains come off, he steps to the side so he doesn’t block Deku’s path to the door. “Is that okay? Are you better?”

Deku scrambles away as fast as he can, but he pauses on the threshold to nod one last time before disappearing entirely.

Bakugou watches him go. Once Deku is out of sight, he flops down onto his bed face first and screams into his pillow. It doesn’t help much. He pulls out his phone to see a slew of messages from Kirishima, starting casual but drifting towards worried as time goes by without Bakugou responding. Bakugou nearly sends him a quick “fuck off” to let him know he’s okay, but at the last minute, he calls Kirishima instead.

“Dude, please tell me you’re not dying or something,” Kirishima says dryly.

“Fuck off, I’m fine. I’ve called you before.”

“Yeah. Because you were dying.”

Kirishima’s not wrong. The last time Bakugou called him first was after he refused to go to the hospital for injuries that turned out to be a lot more serious than he first thought. “I’m not dying this time, so shut the fuck up.”

“So did you call me just to tell me to shut the fuck up and fuck off or…?”

Bakugou groans. “Is there a way to surrender a pet to a shelter without traumatizing them? I’m pretty sure I’m not cut out to be an owner.”

Kirishima lets out a low hiss, or maybe that’s Denki eavesdropping again. “What happened?”

Bakugou tells him, finishing with “It took me two fucking months to realize that him living in sheer terror all the time wasn’t great for him. I really don’t think I’m the best person to take care of him. He should have an owner who won’t accidentally neglect him for months.”

“Hey, hey, don’t beat yourself up,” Kirishima chides. ”I’m not gonna say you didn’t fuck up, but you were trying to do what’s best for him.”

“Which I did by neglecting him for months.”

There’s a long pause before Kirishima replies. ”Well, if you find an owner number five who’s willing to give up the kind of investment you put into him just to make him more comfortable, you let me know. You’re the best chance he’s got.”

Bakugou hangs up. Fuck. Why does Kirishima have to be right about things? It’s unfair. Bakugou spends the next few hours doing the research he should have done months ago, but he still keeps an eye on shelters and wanted ads for pets. If Deku can chain himself to the bed to deal with his fear, he can deal with moving to an owner who can care for him properly. It’s a last resort, but Bakugou wants his options open. Just in case.

He falls asleep a lot later than usual, closer to eleven than his usual nine o’clock bedtime, so he’s surprised when he wakes up in the middle of the night. He’s always been a light sleeper, but he usually stays asleep. He cracks one eye open to see what’s going on in time to see Deku’s shadow fall across the floor as the bed dips behind him.

Bakugou keeps his breathing level. Whatever Deku is here for, it’s something he doesn’t have the courage to do while Bakugou’s awake. Over the next hour, Deku creeps closer and closer, flinching away every time Bakugou twitches. It’s a good thing that Bakugou isn’t actually asleep or he might have woken up violently when Deku’s hand finally comes to rest on his arm.

Deku’s hand is soft and warm like the rest of him, but trembling and sweaty. He stays there for long enough that Bakugou almost falls asleep again.

A quiet voice, barely audible, fills the room. It’s the first time Bakugou’s ever heard it.

“I-I’m sorry,” Deku whispers. “I’m trying to be good, I promise. Please don’t leave me. I’ll do better.”

Bakugou swears internally. There’s no way in hell he can give Deku up now. He can’t break his pet’s heart like that. He’ll just have to be the best fucking owner ever. He smiles to himself.

He’s always liked a good challenge.

Chapter Text

Deku is more confused than he’s ever been in his entire life, but not really in a bad way. He’s curled up in his nest, hugging his pillow tightly and chewing the necklace his master gave him. It’s not as good to nibble on as cloth, but it’ll do. Over the past few weeks, he’d come to the conclusion that Master is annoyed by him. Master stayed away from Deku, which is a lot better than masters Deku’s had before, but being ignored like that still hurts.

But when Deku finally got desperate enough to get his master’s attention, Master didn’t get upset. Master touched him as much as he needed and no more than that. In Deku’s experience, masters just aren’t that considerate.

And then, after doing so much for Deku in exchange for almost nothing in return, Master still hasn’t given him up.

Deku has a small pad of paper and pen that he’s pretty sure Master hasn’t noticed his missing. He doesn’t write much down, just what he thinks he can get away with, but he’s been keeping a list of things he’s noticed about Master. He knows he’s anxious and paranoid, but as he reads through the list, he can start convincing himself that he’s safe.

The morning after Master touched him, Deku gathers his courage and steps out of his nest before he hears the front door close.

Master is in the kitchen, leaning against the counter, tapping away at his tablet. His back is facing Deku. Deku’s green plate sits on the edge of the dining room table. Deku could easily snatch it and rush back to his nest, but he doesn’t. He stands by the table so he can flee if he has to and stares at Master as he eats.

To his relief, Master seems distracted. He gives Deku a brief glance over his shoulder before going back to whatever he’s doing.

Deku can’t do much more than pick at his food with the anxiety roiling in his gut, but he manages to eat it eventually. The whole time, Master is still and quiet. Not a threat. Deku can feel the tears fill his eyes. His master cares about him.

He dashes up to Master and wraps his arms around his waist in a hug, bolting away before Master can react. When he gets to his nest, his heart is pounding and his whole body shakes, but he smiles.

Bakugou blinks in surprise. He’s just glad he’s been listening to Deku carefully. It could go very badly if his bunny manages to actually take him by surprise. He finishes placing his order and grabs his keys.

“Okay, Deku, I have to head to work. Will you be okay?”

A mass of green curls pokes out of the nest, nods quickly, and vanishes again.

Bakugou smiles fondly and heads to work. The office is unusually busy when he walks in and he ends up spending most of the day at his desk, trying to get his schedule for next month figured out. He only has time to go out on the streets for a couple hours and stopping muggings, while necessary, is pretty boring.

When he gets back, he’s surprised to see Deku outside his nest. Deku sits in the opening of his nest, poised to run back inside at a moment’s notice. Not wanting to spook the bunny, Bakugou just takes his shoes off and moves over to the couch to watch TV. It’s theoretically supposed to help him unwind after work, if he can find anything that doesn’t infuriate him.

He eventually finds himself getting sucked into a cooking show. The competition is pretty excessive and ridiculous, but the show itself is surprisingly engaging. It doesn’t give him any new ideas for his own recipes though and he can only take so much unnecessary screaming and sabotage. He’s about to write the whole thing off as a lost cause when he catches Deku’s reflection in the TV screen.

Sometime in the past couple hours, Deku has emerged from his nest to watch TV. Or at least, to be close to the TV. He’s staring at Bakugou over the back of the couch, but he’s close enough that Bakugou could just reach out and touch him. Bakugou pulls out his phone and takes a quick selfie. The picture is a bit blurry since the noise of the phone startled Deku, but Deku still recognizable in the background of the picture. Bakugou texts it to Kirishima with a feeling of quiet triumph. It’s progress.

He’s gonna have to do a lot more than let Deku get near him if he’s gonna be the world’s greatest master though. He dangles his arm over the back of the couch.

“Hey, Deku. I’m not getting up for a couple more hours. If you need to touch me, come take my hand. I won’t touch back unless you want me to.” There. That should be the happy medium between not letting Deku get touch starved and not traumatizing him by touching him.

Bakugou keeps his eyes on the TV as he hears Deku pad over. He feels Deku’s small hand rest against his and suppresses the urge to twitch. They sit like that until Bakugou can’t put up with the cooking channel any more and changes to a fashion show. The fashion show doesn’t make him any less frustrated, but he can at least take pictures of the particularly bad pieces and text them to Tokoyami. Tokoyami understands his pain.

And they dare to call themselves goth. Tokoyami texts, his frustration mounting with each picture Bakugou sends him. What utter imbeciles. Just putting on a black jacket does not a goth make. Where is the style? Where is the flair? Where is the true darkness of soul?

I know, right? Bakugou texts back.

I think it looks pretty good. Very classy.

“No one asked for your opinion, Dark Shadow,” Tokoyami spits as he opens the heavy curtains in his room. It’s late afternoon, but the sun is shining right through the window.

Dark Shadow flips him off and vanishes inside him.

Tokoyami sits cross legged on his bed as he texts Bakugou furiously about the state of the fashion world. He doesn’t even notice how late it’s getting until a knock on his door startles him out of a rant about eyeliner he was in the middle of texting. He accidentally sends it mid word. sry gtg yuugas calling he texts quickly.

“What is it?”

“Oh, monsieur, your repas is served,” Yuuga trills from outside the door.

Tokoyami’s heart sinks. Sure enough, when he emerges, the dinner table is set for two with romantic candle lighting, a deep crimson tablecloth, and two plates piled high with fancy cheese.

“I thought you ate already,” Tokoyami remarks, eyeing the cheese with no small amount of consternation. It’s not like he doesn’t have money, but he would rather not spend all his money on cheeses. He knows he didn’t give Yuuga permission to buy this much cheese.

“Oh hoh hoh!” Yuuga laughs. Tokoyami wonders if he practices it. “But of course! This meal isn’t for you and I, but for you and your darker half! A feast for both you and the monster lurking within. Indeed-” He throws his arms wide and twirls, his hooves clopping on the floor as he settles into a dramatic pose that might look genuinely menacing if not for the lightup plastic horn stuck to his forehead “-I have prepared a mad banquet of darkness.”

A rush of fondness overtakes Tokoyami, filling the cold black emptiness where his soul is supposed to be. “It’s a most excellent banquet, Yuuga, but I’m afraid that Dark Shadow subsists on the evil that lurks in each of our hearts, not on cheese. He doesn’t eat mortal food.”

Yuuga’s face falls and Tokoyami resigns himself to spending the next day in bright pastels and glitter until the horse feels better. Then, the realization dawns on him.

“Dark Shadow, did you give Yuuga my credit card?”

Dark Shadow’s physical form doesn’t manifest, but a fell voice rings through Tokoyami’s head. Not my fault you weren’t paying attention.

The next few days, Deku finds himself feeling hopeful for the first time that he can remember. He gets into the routine of holding Master’s hand for an hour or so after Master gets back from work. Once or twice, he has to run before he’s ready, but he’s getting the touch he needs and there’s no pain with it. The fear doesn’t abate, but it quiets down into something Deku can manage.

Finally, one morning after Master leaves for work, Deku finds a small box in the living room as he’s going about his chores. It has his name on it, engraved in gold lettering. Next to it is a small note that reads “Just in case you’re not sure or something, this is a gift for you, Deku. Open it as soon as you find it.”

Deku sits down on the floor and opens the box. As soon as he sees what’s inside, he bursts into tears.

Inside the box, nestled in soft blue velvet, is a collar. It’s pink with powder blue trim and a couple small bows. The tag is rose gold. One side has his name on it and the other side reads “Property of Katsuki Bakugou” along with his master’s contact information. Relief and joy mingle in Deku, swelling until he feels like he’ll burst from joy. He sobs so hard that it takes him twenty minutes to calm down enough to fasten the collar on. But it’s okay. He’s safe now.

Master is going to keep him.

The first and most important step in Bakugou’s plan to be the greatest master ever (after “stop neglecting your pet”, which doesn’t really count) is to get Deku a collar. He’s amazed it took him so long to figure it out. He’s never seen an uncollared pet outside of a store or shelter, not even on hero pets. All Might’s bright red collar is instantly recognizable, but even Shouta-sensei wears a thin black strip of leather, mostly hidden under his combat gear.

Tokoyami and Yuuga of all people are the greatest help in this mission. Tokoyami treats Bakugou to an hour long lecture about the role of the collar in goth fashion in the time before quirks and pets first emerged and how it was gradually phased out in favor of being pet-specific. Bakugou spends most of the time wondering when Tokoyami had a chance to learn centuries old fashion history in between their training and hero careers, but he tunes in long enough to catch Tokoyami explain how important a mark of ownership is to a pet as proof that they’re wanted.

Yuuga, on the other hand, helps point Bakugou in the right direction in terms of style. “Make him feel chéri. Cherished,” he clarifies before Bakugou can pull up a French to Japanese translator. Yuuga’s own collar is obviously a compromise between his style and his owner’s. It’s black, but an opalescent black that reflects the light into shifting colors. Exactly the sort of thing a self proclaimed unicorn would appreciate.

Bakugou is pretty sure the collar he picked won’t mean as much to Deku. Bakugou simply doesn’t know him well enough. But that’s okay. They can get a new collar later. In the meantime, he finds himself surprisingly nervous when he gets home from work on the day the package finally arrives.

When he opens the door, Deku is sitting on the floor by his nest, running his hands over the collar around his neck. He rushes up to hug Bakugou, nearly knocking him off his feet, and then darts right back to his nest.

Bakugou smiles. “I take it you like it?”

Deku nods over and over again. His ears slowly drift up into a relaxed position that Bakugou has never seen before. His mouth works silently for a few moments before he finally manages to get a single word across his lips, the first word he’s ever said to Bakugou that Bakugou was meant to hear.


Chapter Text

Bakugou can’t find his work shirt. This isn’t exactly unusual. He only has a couple work shirts and while he certainly isn’t sloppy or disorganized, it can be hard to figure out which black shirt is the one he needs out of his dozens of black shirts. Still, he has to get to work and he can’t go to work shirtless. After a fruitless twenty minutes or so of searching, he pokes his head out of his room.

“Hey, Deku? You awake?” he calls. They’ve been together for three months now and Bakugou feels confident that he can raise his voice a little bit, even if he hasn’t heard a single word from Deku since that one time two months ago.


Deku pokes his head out of his nest, looking almost criminally adorable. The bun’s green hair is messy and he blinks languidly in the early morning light. His arms are wrapped tight around his comfort pillow and he’s chewing lightly on a wad of fabric.

“Have you seen my work shirt?” Bakugou asks.

Deku’s whole face turns bright red and Bakugou realizes what’s in his mouth.

“Deku, I need to go out in the field today,” he chides fondly. “I need my work shirt.”

He holds firm in the face of Deku’s pout until the bun whines and spits the shirt out, tossing it in Bakugou’s direction. There’s a small hole in the front, but nothing too noticeable. Bakugou sighs and throws it into the wash while he finishes getting ready. He prepares a few snacks for Deku, listening to the frantic pattering of feet that signals Deku moving through the house. When he turns around, Deku has one of his workout shirts in his mouth instead.

It really is adorable, but Bakugou will need his shirts eventually. He can deal with this later though. “I’ll probably be back late today. Make sure you eat dinner.”

He pulls on his shirt while it’s still damp and heads to work, letting it dry on the walk over.

“How’s Deku doing?” Uraraka asks, shouting over the groan of concrete as a massive piece of rubble floats free of the wrecked building. As it pulls away, Shiozaki’s vines lash out to hold the rest of the building up.

Bakugou blasts the rubble to pieces and lets the wind clear it away. Earthquake rescue really isn’t his forte, but he does what he can. “Same as ever. He’s started chewing on my shirts though. I dunno why. He’s still got his necklace.”

A few feet away, Shoji is pinpointing where he hears trapped civilians. Kirishima holds the rubble up while Shoji stretches his dupli arms in to help the civilians pull themselves out.

“It’s probably not an anxiety thing then,” Uraraka explains as she floats herself down an elevator shaft to lift free the civilians trapped at the bottom.

“Well, what is it then?” Bakugou demands to no one in particular.

“Sexual frustration?” Mineta offers from where he’s helping a couple elderly men to the first aid station. His balls are holding the old hospital together and his scalp is bleeding a bit.

“Really?” Bakugou asks dryly, falling into step beside him. There’s enough heroes suited to this job that he feels a little redundant. He can do first aid at least. “Is that your explanation for everything?”

Mineta shrugs. “Tsuyu just gets really weird if we’re apart for too long. If he’s acting weird, that could be why.”

“Where is Tsuyu, anyway? I thought this was her area.” Bakugou likes Tsuyu a lot. She’s smart, level headed, straightforward, and powerful. She joined their class second year, basically inviting herself in as Mineta’s pet. The alpha frog didn’t bother to hide the fact that she was just using him to get into UA, but they have a pretty strong relationship despite that.

“She’s busy with some pirate thing,” Mineta explains. “I think she’s got higher clearance than me now so I can’t even sign off on her missions anymore.” He doesn’t sound bothered by that. “She should be back in a couple days though and then-”

Bakugou promptly tunes Mineta out. He doesn’t really care to hear how Mineta plans to spend his reunion.

After the cleanup is finished, Bakugou is exhausted, but he doesn’t go home right away. He takes a quick shower at headquarters and heads to a clothes store, buying himself a few new shirts. If Deku is going to keep chewing on his shirts, he’d at least rather they be ones he doesn’t wear that much.

He gets home to a quiet house, setting the bag down on the counter. He kicks off his boots and looks around. Usually, Deku is staring at him from the nest when he gets home. Not seeing Deku and not hearing him scamper away is enough to make Bakugou worry a little bit. He doubts Deku would run away and there’s no sign of breaking and entering, but he might be sick or something.

Bakugou peeks into the nest to make sure Deku is okay, taking a wary stance when he hears a strange thumping noise.

Deku is definitely okay. He lays on his side, one hand holding one of Bakugou’s shirts over his nose and mouth. He’s fingering himself with the free hand, three fingers knuckle deep in his ass. His leg thumps as the fingers drive in deeper. His cock is bright red, leaking precum all over what Bakugou distantly recognizes as a pile of his dirty clothes.

“Deku, I, uh--” Bakugou fumbles. He’s more than a little turned on and it’s making it hard to think.

Deku squeaks in surprise and scrambles upright, rushing to cover himself. He looks horribly guilty, trying to hide the shirts he stole.

Bakugou clears his throat, quickly looking away. “I, uh, got you some new shirts. I’ll wear them for you so they get my scent on ‘em. They’re, uh, they’re on the counter.” He heads to his room as fast he can without fleeing. He isn’t sure whether or not to call this progress.

“Remember, he might be a bit nervous to meet you,” Master Kirishima says and it’s all Denki can do not to roll his eyes too obviously, his tail lashing in annoyance.

“Yeah, yeah. He’s a bunny with trust issues. I heard you the first twelve times. I can play nice.” Denki doesn’t even glance up from his phone, though he at least pulls out one of his earbuds. He’s actually really excited to meet Master’s best friend’s pet, but that doesn’t mean Master isn’t being really irritating about the whole thing.

Master probably notices that Denki isn’t actually paying much attention to his phone, but he doesn’t mention it. He just lets Denki lean against him as they drive over to Master Bakugou’s house and trails kisses everywhere he can reach.

“Remember to stay behind me,” Master cautions as he starts picking the lock. Denki hides outside the door as it slams open and Master takes an explosion to the face.

“Kirishima!” Master Bakugou yells furiously.

“Bro!” Master yells back gleefully, pulling him into a tight hug, hardening against another explosion to the face.

Denki turns his music up to drown out the sounds until Master pulls on his arm and leads him inside. He slips his phone into the pocket of his bright yellow Red Riot bomber jacket. He had it custom made because yellow looks a lot better on him than red. Master’s PR team refused to make any more than the one because they thought it would confuse people.

“So, where’s your pet?” he asks, looking around curiously. He sees the nest in the living room, but he can’t see into it.

Master Bakugou looks around and rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “He’s, uh, well. Loud noises. They tend to spook him.”

Denki laughs, secretly relieved that he’s not the only one who doesn’t appreciate their habit of greeting each other with fucking explosions, and sniffs the air. Most of the house just smells like Master Bakugou, but he can smell the delicate scent of a fellow Omega too. He stands up on tiptoes to kiss Master on the nose and then wanders deeper into the house to make a new friend.

Deku isn’t exactly upset that Master hasn’t tried to fuck him, but he’s starting to get frustratingly horny. He can jack off on Master’s clothes multiple times a day and still not be entirely satisfied. He’s not in a full blown heat, but that doesn’t mean that his own hand is gonna be good enough when he’s constantly surrounded by Master’s delicious, tantalizing scent. Master’s scent is thick and heavy, like wildfire and cinnamon and Deku wishes he could get closer to it than just Master’s clothes.

Master at least promised to let him meet other pets, which is nice. Hopefully, it will distract him from how needy he is until he can imagine Master touching him without wanting to cry.

Right now, he’s hiding in the laundry room. Master warned him that Master Kirishima tended to be… loud, but loud is different than explosions. Which he knows are Master’s quirk. Buried under the instinctive terror is an emotion almost like fond annoyance.

He sits in the back of the laundry room as he listens to the new footsteps approaching and he smells sharp ozone and fancy pet perfume.

“Hey, are you Deku?” The voice is bright and cheerful and friendly. “I’m Denki. Can I come in?”

Deku stares at the door.

There’s a brief pause, but Denki is determined. “Master Bakugou said you’re not much of a talker. Knock one for yes and twice for no. Can I come in?”

Deku weighs his options carefully. He doesn’t think Master would let someone in who would hurt him, not when Master could hurt him himself and chooses not to. He knocks once on the floor.

The door opens and Deku is greeted with the sight of a cat with bright yellow hair and fur. The cat smiles brilliantly, so wide that Deku can’t help but smile back just a bit. He’s a bit nervous about a cat, but this one is keeping his distance.

“You mind if I shut the door?” Denki asks.

Deku knocks once. He doesn’t want to feel trapped.

Denki turns around to close the door, then stops. “Wait, that means you do mind, right?”

Deku doesn’t reply, his eyes going wide. Denki stares at him curiously, sees where he’s looking. “Oh, you like my jacket? It’s one of a kind. Master wanted something special for his pet.”

Deku is so shocked that the words spill out of him despite the fear. “Your master’s a pro hero?”

Denki looks at him like he’s an idiot. “Uh, yeah? So is yours? Did you- did you not know this?”

Bakugou feels pretty bad for scaring his pet, but in his defense, he’s not going to take a charitable interpretation of someone picking the lock on his door. He pours Kirishima a mug of tea and leans back against the counter as Deku and Denki socialize. Bakugou had wanted a less potentially dangerous pet than the one with the electric quirk, but Denki is better with people than anyone else Bakugou knows except maybe Tooru and she would probably spook Deku worse.

As much as Bakugou wants to go check on his pet and make sure he’s alright, Kirishima just keeps him engaged in small talk.

“Denki knows what he’s doing,” Kirishima promises. “Besides, omegas always feel safest with each other. They’re vulnerable. Let him do what he does best.”

Bakugou sighs. “Fine. But if he does get through to Deku, save the congratulatory fuck for when you’re out of my apartment.”

“That was once, bro.”

“Yeah. Once. A week. At least.”

Kirishima shrugs. “How about I let you fuck Deku at my place once he calms down a little? Is that fair?”

Bakugou can’t blow people up with his eyes and he can’t blow Kirishima up at all anyway, but neither of those little facts will stop him from trying. Before he can spit a scathing remark though, Denki’s voice echoes through the house.

“Hey, Master Bakugou! Get your ass over here!”

The pets are in Bakugou’s room. Deku’s back is pressed against the wall and Denki is shielding him with his body, but then Deku whispers something into Denki’s ear.

“He wants to know why you didn’t tell him you were a pro hero. Although he worded it more politely,” Denki explains.

It’s a bit of a pain to go through a middleman like this, but it’s the most communication Bakugou’s ever gotten from the bun and he doesn’t miss the awe and wonder in Deku’s eyes. “It never came up,” he says apologetically. “I kinda thought you knew.”

Deku whispers something else. “He thought you just had a really physical job. Maybe construction or something.” From the expression on Deku’s face, Denki probably added the construction part himself.

Bakugou is a bit taken aback. He tries not to let his fame go to his head, but he’s not used to people not knowing who he is, especially not people close enough to him to chew hole in his hero costume. “Well, yeah. I’m a pro hero. Ground Zero.”

Deku doesn’t seem to recognize the name, but he whispers something else in Denki’s ear, his whole body shaking with excitement.

“He wants to know if you can introduce him to All Might.”

Years ago, Bakugou would have been enraged at someone caring about another hero more than him, but now he just smiles. “I’ll see what I can do.”

Chapter Text

There’s really not a whole lot Bakugou can do to let Deku meet All Might, but that won’t stop him from trying. All Might has enough fans trying and failing to meet him that Bakugou doesn’t even bother asking him directly. Instead, he asks Lemillion to put in a word for him. He hasn’t worked with Lemillion that much, but it’s common knowledge among the HRU that the golden retriever is being groomed as All Might’s successor. Bakugou is content to ask Lemillion to talk to All Might and leave it at that, but there’s something still weighing on his mind.

Contrary to popular opinion, Bakugou isn’t actually a conceited, self-absorbed jackass. That doesn’t mean he’s unaware of the fact that the HRU as a whole are the third ranked hero team in the country and that he’s one of their most public members. He’s not used to people not knowing who he is.

For a hero fanboy like Deku to not know who he is… Well, Bakugou’s suspicious, to say the least.

A few days after their brief conversation, Bakugou heads down to the shelter he got Deku from after work.

“Hey, Fuckface!” he calls as he kicks the door open.

Fuckface is there at the front desk, talking quietly to another owner. He tiredly tries to give Bakugou his actual name, but he answered to Fuckface so Bakugou isn’t gonna call him anything else.

“Who were Deku’s old owners?” Bakugou demands. He has his gauntlets and mask off, but otherwise he’s in full hero costume, striking a more intimidating presence than probably necessary.

Fuckface blinks. “Give me five minutes, please. You’re not my only customer.”

Bakugou takes a seat, slouching in his chair and crossing one ankle over his knee as he pulls out his phone. He has half a dozen new texts, all from Kirishima. Since he doesn’t have anything better to do, he actually reads them.

You really need to get Deku a phone the most recent one reads. The rest are messages from Denki, letting them know how Deku is doing. Denki has started keeping Deku company while their owners are at work.

Bakugou purses his lips. He hadn’t even thought of that, but that’s a good point. Especially given how much trouble Deku has speaking verbally. Fuckface is still busy, so Bakugou grabs a pet care pamphlet to peruse. Most of it is stuff he already knows, but it also specifically advises that owners don’t normally need to buy phones for their pets. Deku’s not a normal pet though, so Bakugou can safely ignore that advice.

“So can I help you?” Fuckface finally asks.

Bakugou doesn’t even bother looking up from his pamphlet. “Yeah. Who were Deku’s past owners?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“Why’s that your business?”

Fuckface sighs. “His last owner surrendered him anonymously. Left him with a note with the explanation and no contact info. Couldn’t get the bunny to tell us much.”

Bakugou raises an eyebrow, finally looking up at him. “And you weren’t suspicious about that at all?”

“Sure I was,” Fuckface says. He looks oddly melancholy. “Not much I can do about it though. If I’d called the police or something to track the guy down, Deku would be their only lead. I didn’t think he could deal with the trauma of speaking against his owner so soon after being separated. Most I can do in these cases is try to find them better owners.”

There isn’t much Bakugou can say to that, so he says nothing as he walks out. The suspicion doesn’t abate, but he pushes it aside for the moment. The most he can do for now is try to be a better owner.

When he gets home, Bakugou finds a note waiting for him on the counter. He’s never seen the handwriting before, but Denki would have just texted Kirishima to text him, so it has to be Deku.

Master can watch, if Master wants

Before Bakugou can get too confused, soft whines reach his ears. He heads into the living room. Deku is fingering himself again, on his knees with his ass in the air. He scissors himself open with two fingers, fluffy tail twitching eagerly. His nose is buried in one of Bakugou’s shirts, one of the ones Bakugou bought and wore for him. A jolt of arousal rushes through Bakugou as he sees his precious pet jack off to his scent.

His first instinct is to leave before he spooks the bun, but the note is a pretty obvious invitation. He sits down on the couch to give Deku his full attention. “Beautiful…”

Deku freezes when he hears Bakugou speak, but he doesn’t flee. After a tense moment, he relaxes and goes back to pleasuring himself. He strokes his cock with his free hand, smearing precum over his length. He doesn’t turn to look at Bakugou, but he adjusts his position to give Bakugou a better view.

Bakugou palms his cock through his pants, just trying to relieve some of the aching pressure. The last thing he wants to do is make Deku uncomfortable, but he has needs of his own. “Deku… would you mind if I… uh… fucking jacked off?” It’s a fight to keep his voice steady.

Deku glances up at him. His eyes are wide and glassy with pleasure and he nods eagerly. His eyes are fixed on Bakugou’s bulge.

Bakugou frees his erection, stroking himself rapidly as he pants, groaning softly. “Fuck… that’s a good bunny.”

Deku’s whole face lights up. He pushes his fingers in deeper, moaning loudly around the shirt in his mouth. He’s more relaxed than Bakugou has ever seen before.

“You’re so fucking beautiful, Deku.” Bakugou keeps going, loving the bun’s reaction to the praise. “Such a good boy…” As Deku writhes, Bakugou strokes himself harder. “Look at you, rubbing one out on my shirts. So fucking gorgeous. You look so tasty right now.”

Deku’s ears fly back to his scalp and Bakugou curses inwardly, trying to quickly figure out what spooked Deku.

“Hey, don’t worry about anything else,” he says in the soothing voice he uses on rescue missions. “Stay here in the now. Stay with me. You’re so brave for this, Deku.”

Slowly, Deku starts to relax, but he seems more hesitant now, more forced, almost guilty.

“Good boy,” Bakugou murmurs as Deku relaxes. “Good boy. You’re doing so well. You’re doing perfect for me.”

That seems to do the trick. Deku’s ears come back up and he moans and whines. Bakugou keeps up a steady stream of praise until his voice starts to waver. Watching his pet be so desperate, so eager for him despite the fear. It’s hotter than Bakugou could have imagined. His moans lose words as he gets closer to the edge. Deku's hips buck wildly and when he turns towards Bakugou, Bakugou can see the sheer lust in his wide green eyes.

Bakugou cums explosively, spattering his seed all over his shirt. He whites out from the pleasure. He’s been avoiding jacking off, worried it would make Deku feel obligated to join him, but Deku's the one initiating things this time.

The bun squeaks and moans, writhing on the floor so much that it looks almost painful. At least there's something Bakugou can do to help.

“Cum for me, Deku,” he orders, his voice still low and husky.

Deku's whole body jerks and he shrieks “Master!” as he cums. It’s the loudest noise Bakugou has ever heard him make.

After they both catch their breath, Deku slowly works his fingers out and gives Bakugou a shy smile. He’s already starting to curl up defensively again, but he still has Bakugou’s shirt in his mouth.

“Holy fuck,” Bakugou breathes. “Good bunny.” He pulls his cum stained shirt off and tosses it to Deku.

Deku catches it and wrinkles his nose, looking almost affronted.

“What?” Bakugou asks with a playful smirk. “I thought you liked my dirty laundry.”

Deku stares at him, then at the filthy shirt, and then back at him before he slowly raises one incredulous eyebrow.

Bakugou can't help but laugh.

Deku is starting to settle into life here, enough to actually be comfortable. He still has to wait until Master is asleep to dart out and clean his fur, but cumming at his Master’s word leaves him satisfied in a way that he can't achieve on his own. And Master seemed okay with not touching him. Seemed to enjoy it, even. It’s almost too good to be true, but Deku is starting to accept that this is just how Master is..

It makes sense that a hero would be good to him.

Master is a hero! Deku is still reeling from that discovery. It's been so long since he heard anything about heroes. No wonder there are new ones that he hasn't heard about. He wants to ask Master everything, but he doesn't want to annoy him and talking is still too hard anyway. It’s frustrating, not being able to speak, but trying to push through the anxiety too quickly will just make it worse.

Once Master is asleep, Deku climbs out of his nest to put in a load of laundry. Master’s cum stained shirt goes in first. It’s not just Master’s cum. Deku used the shirt to wipe his own seed off the hardwood floors. Mingling their seed together like this is the closest they've gotten to having sex. The thought makes Deku blush and he barely stops himself from slamming the washing machine closed as he squeals.

Why is he so embarrassed by this? It’s not like he's never had sex with his masters before. Maybe it’s because this Master cares enough to be patient with him. This Master asked him permission! Just to jack off in front of him, not even to touch him! Guilt rises in Deku's chest, angry voices reminding him that he should let Master use him properly, that he should be good for Master. But Master did say he was good, even when he was being bad and not letting Master touch him.

Maybe Master’s standards are too low. That would make sense. Deku is his first pet, so maybe he thinks he's supposed to wait for a pet to come to him.

Deku shrugs to himself. Ah well. It works in his favor. Master will figure it out eventually and Deku might even be ready to cope with it by then.

When he finally does get to sleep after the laundry is done, he has the same nightmare that's haunted him for a decade. His first master, the one he should have loved the most because he’s the one who chose Iz– who chose Deku to mold into the perfect pet, coming to his home to take him away. In the dream, Deku's first master is massive, terrifying. Deku can’t feel any of the love for him that a good pet should. His hands are harsh and cruel and Deku tries to run but no matter how fast he runs his master is always right behind him, reminding him to be a good pet and driving the guilt in so deep that Deku's entire world is reduced to pain and shame. This time, though, the nightmare changes. An explosion rocks the empty grey expanse that Deku always flees through. He looks behind him and sees a chasm between him and his first master. He knows he has to go back, knows he should want to go back. But he also knows his master can't make him.

The next morning, he finds a package on the counter with a phone in it. A phone for him. Master bought him his very own phone.

Deku didn’t know it was possible to feel so happy and so guilty at the same time.

Is Master busy?

Bakugou glances at his phone and jumps at the chance to get a reprieve from paperwork and scheduling. He can't choose his shifts until he hears back from Suneater, so he's really not doing much of anything productive. nope. what's up?

The typing symbol pops up immediately but keeps disappearing and reappearing for almost five minutes. Master can touch deku if Master wants. deku is for Master to use

Bakugou purses his lips. Kouda warned him this could happen. will it make you happy if i touch you? Before Deku can reply, he quickly adds i won't be upset if you say no, but i will be upset if you lie He hates to say anything that might be taken as a threat, but he does need Deku to be honest.

Deku takes a long time to respond once again, but he actually has a lot to say this time. deku isn't sure. deku wants Master to touch him but deku is still scared of Master. even though he knows he shouldn't be! Master is good to deku! deku’s working on it! deku will be happy if Master is happy with him. deku can do things he's scared of if Master wants him to. Master doesn't need to be so careful.

Well. Bakugou isn't about to let that slide. what if i Want to be careful? you're so beautiful when you're brave for me, when you're happy too and not just trying to please me. be patient with yourself. i don't mind waiting until you're ready.

Master shouldn't have to wait For all that he's only heard Deku's voice a handful of times, Bakugou can still imagine the self deprecating tone. It breaks his heart.

if i refused to do things that i shouldn't have to do, then i would be a pretty shitty hero

Deku types for half an hour as Bakugou waits with bated breath. He can imagine Deku typing and deleting over and over again, trying to find some way to tell him.… well he doesn't know what yet. Finally, the text arrives. There's no words at all. Just a single heart emoji.

Bakugou smiles and sends one back.

Chapter Text

After work, Bakugou decides to head to a small cafe instead of going straight home. He orders an americano, a preference he picked up from All Might, and settles into a corner to text his pet.

i’ll be home late, got a couple errands to run. u need anything while im out?

He really doesn’t know all that much about how Deku thinks, so he’s trying to keep the conversation as neutral as possible so he doesn’t scare his pet.

The response comes fairly quickly. deku has everything deku needs Master doesn’t need to get anything for him

alright. Got anything you want?

deku wouldn’t want to impose. Master already does so much for deku

Everything Bakugou has found in his research points to bunnies generally being needy and attention seeking. Most pets are, to an extent.

remember, im a pro hero. i got more money than i know what to do with. it’s not imposing on me Before Deku has a chance to reply, he adds get me a list of things u want and i’ll buy them for u if i want u to have them too. that way we’re both happy

A few minutes later, he gets another heart emoji. He smiles. It’s about time he started spoiling his pet.

“You know you can ask him anything you want, right?” Denki asks. His breath his hot on Deku’s neck as he leans over Deku’s shoulder. His bright yellow tail caresses Deku’s arm absentmindedly.

Deku settles back against Denki’s chest. The touch isn’t the same as his Master’s, but still nice. “I don’t want to bother Master,” he repeats for the millionth time.

“You telling me your old masters didn’t love talking about themselves?”

Deku shudders. “It wasn’t Deku’s business.” He curls up a little, hugging himself as his ears flatten to his scalp.

“Hey, hey, what’s wrong?” Denki asks, pulling away from him a bit. “You doing okay?”

Deku doesn’t answer. He’s supposed to be quiet and respectful to his betters and Denki is… He breathes in Master’s scent, focuses on the phone in his hand. Denki is another pet and another Omega and the pet of one of Master’s colleagues and friends. Denki is safe.

“Yeah. I’m fine.” He smiles feebly. “Really.”

Denki raises an eyebrow. “That was like, the worst lie I’ve heard in my entire life,” he remarks. “But maybe some shopping will cheer you up.” He darts over to his tablet and pulls up some stores. “Here, take a look. This is where Master Kirishima buys me all my stuff.”

Deku takes the tablet with shaking hands. He still isn’t used to Denki talking about his master so casually. He looks through the store curiously. The cheapest items for sale are still absurdly overpriced. “Are you sure it’s okay to get these? Master might not want to spend this much…”

Denki looks at him like he’s an idiot. “Deku. Babe. Master Bakugou’s Ground Zero. I know you’re not up to date with hero stuff, but, like, he’s Ground Zero.”

Deku glances up at him with an identical unimpressed stare. “Denki. Babe. I’m not up to date with hero stuff. I don’t know anything about Master G-ground Zero.”

Denki stares at him for a moment like he’s trying to figure out how to process that information. Then he grabs the tablet out of Deku’s hands and goes to Ground Zero’s wiki page. It feels wrong for Deku to be looking at this, but it’s public information so he hopes it’s okay. Denki highlights the part where it lists Ground Zero’s income and gives it back.

Deku gapes. “Is– are you sure that’s the right number of zeroes?”

Denki counts them and mutters as he does some mental math. “I think they might be missing one, actually.” He giggles at the awestruck look on Deku’s face. “Your Master’s an S-class hero. He can buy you a couple toys.”

Deku ponders that for a moment. He's pretty sure at least one of his old masters had a decent amount of money, but nothing like what his current Master has. Besides, Master won't actually have to buy him anything. He’s just sending him a list of good rewards he could earn. This is fine. He can do this.

Almost like he can sense Deku's mood, Denki leans against him and starts purring. “Okay. Let’s start here.”

An hour into running errands, Bakugou gets a text from Deku with a link to a wishlist. There's only a handful of items and Bakugou figures that buying all of them at once would overwhelm Deku, but there's one thing in particular that catches his eye.

Denki always leaves on his own. He explained to Deku once that he just takes public transportation, but Deku can't fathom that. It's probably some special privilege afforded to hero pets. He’s never thought about it too hard. Mostly because Denki leaving signifies that Master will be home soon.

As soon as the door shuts, Deku dashes through the house, making sure everything is clean and orderly. It always is, but he likes to be sure. He climbs into his nest and reads to calm his nerves until Master gets home. Today, he finds himself almost more excited than afraid. Master wants to talk to him. Maybe Master even cares about what he has to say.

“Hey, Deku, I’m home!”

Deku pokes his head out the nest to smile at his Master. Master is carrying enough bags that he barely manages to squeeze through the front door. Which means his hands are full. Deku darts up to grab some of the bags for him. Master shifts to let him, but keeps his hands full. Deku manages to put a whole bag of groceries away with Master in the room before the trembling gets too bad and he has to retreat back to his nest.

Before he can go into his usual guilt spiral at not being able to please Master, Master knocks lightly on the roof of his nest.

“Got you one of the presents you asked for. It’s on the counter. I’m gonna take a quick shower and then we can try it out if you want.”

Deku waits until his footsteps die away to emerge. Sure enough, there’s a small box on the counter with a brand new vibrator inside. Deku washes it off just in case, nibbling on the box as he does. It’s bright orange and carrot shaped, which had Denki laughing hysterically when Deku picked it out, but it's the perfect size for Deku and Denki’s the one who recommended the brand. Besides, just because he’s a bunny that doesn't mean he has to have a carrot vibe. He just wanted one. And this particular one has another great feature. He takes the vibrator back to his nest, but leaves the remote on the counter.

When he gets back to his nest, there's a text from Master waiting for him. i want to talk to u before we do anything. let me know when ur ready

Deku pouts a bit at that. It’s nice that Master takes things slow, but he actually wants this Master to use him so it's unfair that Master is still dragging his feet. deku is ready whenever Master is

i know ur not ready for me to touch u yet. is there anything else that might come up that ur not comfortable with?

Deku doesn't even need to think about his reply. Master can touch deku as much as he wants. deku is Master’s.

i only want to touch u in ways ur comfortable with. tell me how i can do that

deku is comfortable with anything Master wants to do to him

Master’s reply sends ice shooting through Deku's veins. Deku. Do not lie to me.

Deku can feel the phantom hands closing around his throat and he can barely read the screen for the tears in his eyes. He has no way out of this. Either be a bad pet by lying for be a bad pet by denying his Master what he wants. Another text comes through before he can reply and his heart pounds. He can barely force himself to read it.

i know things seem strange to you right now, but im not your old masters. the rules are different here. just do what i want, not what they wanted. you're mine now, not theirs. is there anything that might come up tonight that you know will make you panic?

Deku's heart rate slowly returns to normal and he scrubs the tears away as he replies. deku thanks Master for sparing him. deku panics when he doesn't have a way to run, but he can't think of anything else that might come up

thank you for telling me, deku. good bunny.

The words always mean more when Master says them, but Deku would be lying if he said he didn't feel a rush of pride at seeing those two words.

Bakugou lingers in his bedroom for a bit longer than strictly necessary to give Deku a chance to compose himself. He hates having to be that firm with the bun, but letting Deku pretend he’s okay while Bakugou hurts him would be even worse. He leaves his room in a pair of sweatpants and a tshirt, one of the ones he gives to Deku. Maybe this one will be special now.

He smiles when he sees the small orange remote on the counter and he only smiles wider when he sees Deku. The bunny sits on the floor outside his nest, wearing nothing but one of Bakugou’s shirts. The big skull on the shirt doesn't really fit him. Bakugou makes a mental note to buy him lingerie at some point.

“M-master,” Deku greets with a small smile of his own.

Bakugou flops down on the couch, legs spread with a pretty obvious tent in his sweatpants. “Good bunny,” he replies.

Deku's eyes light up and he shudders eagerly.

Bakugou palms himself through his pants. “Does my good bunny want to go get his new toy for me?”

Deku ducks back into his nest, wriggling his ass a lot more than strictly necessary. The shirt bunches up on his fluffy tail, framing his puckered pink hole. He emerges with the vibrator in one hand and a bottle of lube in his mouth. Bakugou has had more than a few dreams about his bunny's oral fixation, but even if Deku was less fearful, Bakugou isn't sure he would want that nibbling habit anywhere near his dick.

He forces himself away from that train of thought and smiles at Deku. “I want to watch you pleasure yourself. I want to see how you get yourself off to my scent with the toys I buy to play with you. Show me what makes my precious pet feel good.”

There are tears in Deku's eyes already, but the rest of the bun’s body language indicates that they're happy tears. He pops open the bottle of lube and kneels on a towel with his legs spread, angled so that Bakugou can get a view of his hole as he teases the tip of the carrot against the rim. After a moment, he tilts his head to Bakugou with a curious expression. “Master?”

“Good bunny. Are you ready?” Bakugou asks as he idly tosses the remote up in the air.

Deku nods and Bakugou actually believes him. He presses the remote, turning the vibrator to its lowest setting. The bunny gasps softly. He presses the vibrator in, the tip just barely breaching the ring of muscle. His leg twitches as he holds himself back from thumping his shin against the hardwood floor.

“Good bunny. Good bunny,” Bakugou gasps. He frees his length and strokes himself as he watches Deku. The precum slicking his hand is the perfect accompaniment to his pet’s lewd moans.

And Deku isn't holding anything back. As he pushes the vibe in deeper, he groans and keens with abandon. His hole stretches obscenely around the toy like his body is trying to drag it inside. His own cock is leaking all over the towel, but it's unattended. Deku has one hand on the vibe and he's bracing on the other hand to hold himself up. Bakugou wishes he could take that pretty little cock into his mouth and lavish it with affection, but he promised himself to be patient for his pet.

Besides, it's not like he can't give Deku any pleasure. “I’m turning it up, good bunny,” he warns as he presses the remote twice in quick succession.

Deku's cock jumps and he lists to one side as he tries to adjust. The leg in the air thumps safely against nothing. Deku pushes the vibe in an inch deeper and starts fucking himself with it, but he's almost hesitant. His quiet squeaks are punctuated by shrieks of pleasure.

Bakugou turns the vibe down a notch. “Let me know if you want more, good bunny.”

It seems he found the perfect setting for Deku pretty quickly because the bunny doesn't ask for more. He works the vibe in all the way and angles it to rest against his prostate as he jacks himself off. His eyes are closed and his breathy moans are muffled by a mouthful of Bakugou’s shirt.

Fuck,” Bakugou breathes. His own hips buck and jerk in time with his hand as he loses his composure. “You got no idea how fucking good you look, my good bunny. My precious pet. You're so fucking gorgeous, so brave to trust me with your pleasure like this. You're being a good bunny, Deku. You're doing amazing.” He isn't used to his dirty talk being so reassuring, but he’ll give Deku anything he needs. “Cum for me, good bunny.”

His words push Deku over the edge immediately. The bunny sprays thick ropes of cum all over the towel and Bakugou's shirt. Bakugou isn't far behind, spurred on by his pet’s ecstasy.

Bakugou spends a moment just panting in the afterglow. When he looks up, Deku is cleaning up his own mess, ears twitching. The bunny is staring intently at Bakugou, his expression carefully neutral.

“You alright there, Deku?” Bakugou asks.

Deku flinches, just barely and quickly nods his head.

Bakugou purses his lips. He really hates having to do this. “Deku,” he chides as gently as he can. “You don’t look like you’re doing alright.”

Deku flinches harder this time like he’s trying to dodge a blow even while Bakugou is halfway across the room from him. His mouth forms the shape of a wordless apology.

Bakugou softens his features with some effort. “Did something upset you while we were playing?”

Deku hesitates and then nods. He sits down with the comfort pillow Bakugou bought him, trembling. At least he isn’t panicking completely.

“Do you want to get your phone?”

Deku shakes his head and Bakugou’s heart breaks when he see how terrified Deku is to do even that much.

“Alright. Did something I did upset you?”

Deku shakes his head again, frantically.

Bakugou isn’t entirely sure he believes that, but he accepts it for the moment. “Did something you did upset you?”

Deku hesitates and then shrugs.

“Is there something you think you should have done differently?”

Deku nods. He’s visibly trying not to react, but Bakugou can see him relax just a little bit.

“You did perfectly, Deku,” Bakugou insists. “You did exactly what I wanted you to, my beautiful, brave bunny. You’re my good bunny.”

Deku stares for a moment before darting into his nest to retrieve his phone. He types slowly, glancing up at Bakugou every other second until Bakugou finally gets the hint and turns away so Deku can see he won’t lash out suddenly.

deku didn’t accept all of Master’s gift

It takes Bakugou a moment to figure out what Deku is even talking about. “Is this because I didn’t turn the vibe all the way up?”

deku didn’t want to be ungrateful but deku thought Master wanted him to feel good so deku didn’t accept all of Master’s gift and now deku doesn’t understand why Master doesn’t just get a pet that can be grateful

Suddenly, Bakugou is incredibly relieved that he doesn’t know who Deku’s old masters are. The last thing the bunny needs is for Bakugou to be jailed for homicide. “That’s alright, Deku. I’m not mad at you for being upset, but there’s nothing to be upset about. I got you a gift so you could use it to feel good and that’s how you used it. That’s exactly what I wanted from you.”

Master isn’t going to leave deku?

It takes all of Bakugou’s willpower not to scream in Deku’s face. “No,” he says, more coldly than he intended. “I am never going to–”

An alarm blares from his phone before he can even finish the sentence. He answers the call immediately. “This is a really bad fucking time. I’m off rotation this week.”

“Tough shit. They’re calling the entire HRU in,” Gale Force replies. “Tartarus is open.”

Chapter Text

Deku flinches violently when the alarm goes off. Seeing his Master angry is terrifying even when the anger isn't directed at him. He tries to go back to his nest, but Master snaps his fingers at him and points to the floor. Deku stays where he is, shaking in fear. Master has always allowed him to flee before, but something is going wrong.

After a brief exchange that Deku can’t hear over the pounding of blood in his ears, Master’s hand falls onto Deku’s shoulder. Deku screams and tries to twist away.

“Deku! Eyes on me!”

Deku’s eyes snap up, blurry with tears. He can’t read Master’s expression, but it doesn’t look aggressive. Then again, maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

“Listen to me, Deku. You are mine. I am not getting rid of you. But I have to go to work so I’m sending you to another house to make sure you’re safe.” Master’s voice is low and level and Deku can distantly feel himself start to sob. A surprisingly gentle hand tilts his chin up, brushes over the front of his collar and he nearly collapses. “I’m not taking your collar off. I’m going to get–”

Someone pounds on the door. “Hurry it up, Zero! We’re already out of time!”

“Wait there.” Master runs to the kitchen and comes back with a laptop case, which he shoves into Deku’s arms. “Hold onto that. We’re coming!”

Master keeps one hand on Deku’s back and guides him out of the house where a massive man in a fur lined cape waits for them. The man is even taller than Master and his left arm has a huge glove on it. Deku tries to cower behind Master, but Master grabs him tight.
A gust of wind swirls around them, hard enough to sweep them off their feet. Deku squeezes his eyes shut and buries his face in Master’s chest until the wind dies down. When he dares to peek out, they’re in a helicopter. The massive man is standing at the open entrance, scanning the darkened skyline.

Master carefully pulls Deku’s hands away from him and helps him sit on a crate. “Are you with me?” he asks softly.

Deku’s heart pounds in his chest and tears trail down his face, but he nods.

“Good bunny. You’re being so brave for me.” Master pats the laptop case. “This has copies of all your paperwork. Proof of purchase and stuff. If the collar isn’t enough to prove you’re mine, the paperwork will be. I still have the originals if something happens to those, but it’s insurance. I will come back to you. Do you understand? I will come back to you.”

Deku wants more than anything to be able to believe that. He nods, tears running down his face. He doesn’t want to let go of his papers long enough to wipe them away.

“I’ll see you soon, my brave, perfect bunny,” Master promises, then he stands up and goes over to the other man. “Equipment?” he asks sharply.

“Creati will be bringing it when we pick her up. I assume that’s where we’re leaving your pet?” the other man–the other hero replies.

For all his terror, Deku can’t help the surge of excitement at seeing hero work this close.

“Yeah,” Master replies. “Shouto can protect him until I get back. What’s the situation?”

Deku instinctively tunes out the reply, disappointed that he has to do so this soon. But his Master’s business isn’t his business and he’s not supposed to know anything about what his masters get up to while he’s not around. Even if Master feels differently, this really isn’t the time to ask. Instead, he plays with the hem of Master’s shirt. Master’s clothes are big enough to cover Deku completely, but he’s pretty sure the cum stain is obvious and he hates having fabric over his tail only slightly less than he hates the idea of sitting his bare ass on some random metal crate.

A scream splits the night before Deku can get too caught up in his embarrassment. It’s a terrifying, primal noise, ripped out of thousands of nightmares.

Master and the other hero don’t flinch. Master pauses his conversation to look back at Deku though. “Don’t worry, Deku. That one’s on our side. We’re almost there. I’ll pick you up in a day at the absolute most. More likely, it’ll be just a few hours. Hold tight.”

That’s all the warning Deku gets. Another gust of wind rips through the helicopter, sending Deku flying out. At least this time, he sees the other man gesturing along with the wind. He could have mentioned what his quirk was. Could have given Deku slightly more warning than this. Either way, Deku lands safely on the roof off a fairly large building. The rooftop entrance door opens and Deku nearly faints in relief.

“Get in here!” Denki calls. “Hurry!”

The moment Deku crosses the threshold, there’s a sudden chill and a shuddering creak. Deku turns around just in time to see a wall of ice enclose the entire building and then Denki shuts the door, leaving them both in darkness.

“What’s the situation?”

Yoarashi doesn’t hesitate to respond. He’s a bit worried by how terrified Ground Zero’s pet seems to be, but it’s a scary situation and one that he needs to explain as quickly as possible. “Breakout from Tartarus. Guards called in a breach on the north side about five minutes ago. Eraserhead and All Might are already on scene, keeping All For One pinned down. We don’t know much yet, but it seems that Shigaraki and Mr Compress are spearheading this one. If they have any new henchmen, we don’t know about it yet.”

“Damn,” Ground Zero says succinctly.

That about sums it up, as far as Yoarashi is concerned. Over the past decade, they managed to whittle the League of Villains down until they were barely a threat at all, only Shigaraki, Mr Compress, and Twice hanging on. Once they’d captured Kurogiri, the heroes had assumed it was checkmate.

“We’re assuming All For One is the prime target, but we saw blue fire before Endeavor arrived on scene.”


“We’re assuming so, but there’s a couple others that could manage something similar.”

“Right. Where are we deploying?”

“West side. Between Tsukoyomi and the city. Just in case.”

Tsukoyomi’s scream rips through the night as the shadow monster inside tears into the prison. It’s one hell of a deterrent for anyone who wants to escape to sea. Ground Zero’s rabbit startles and Ground Zero quickly calms him down as they pass over Creati’s manor.

Yoarashi has pulled this maneuver often enough that he doesn’t even need to think about it. Wind whistles around him, depositing the rabbit safely on the roof and pulling Creati and the box with Ground Zero’s backup costume into the helicopter. The hardest part is keeping the helicopter itself stable, but Yoarashi has been doing this long enough that he doesn’t even need to think about it anymore.

Creati is already in costume and Ground Zero dresses quickly as Yoarashi explains the knowledge they already have one more time. Creati absorbs the information calmly.

“Who’s on Kurogiri?” she asks.


“Bad idea,” Ground Zero interjects. “They’ve lost to him before.”

“Send Lemillion,” Creati agrees. “Kurogiri’s a priority target too.”

Yoarashi relays the orders as Ground Zero and Creati finish getting into the communication network.

By then, they’re approaching Tartarus. The bridge to the prison is already down, crushed to pieces. Yoarashi can just make out the tentacles churning under the dark water of the harbor. Looks like Suneater got a colossal squid. On the opposite end of the bridge, flying villains are being swatted out of the air by Dark Shadow, who is currently being held in check by the occasional burst of a glitter laser from the top of the center tower. Endeavor stands on what little of the bridge remains on the prison side, an immovable wall of flame. None of the fleeing villains dare get near him. The outer defenses may be almost impassable, but any number of villains could have slipped away before the full might of the heroes arrived, not to mention the fighting going on deeper inside.

“You deal with Mr Compress,” Ground Zero says. “If he’s got any marbles, get them. All of them. Keeps them scattered; there’s no telling what he’s got in them. Search his mouth if you can get close enough.” With that, he leaps out of the helicopter, blasting off into the night.

“Got it,” Yoarashi confirms as he pulls down his goggles. They were a present from Pixie-bob when he joined the HRU, giving him a view of the entire battlefield. He stays in the helicopter, hovering over the scene as he reaches out with his quirk, disrupting flying villains, churning up the sea, pulling flames from Endeavor’s grip to create a massive firestorm.

All he has to do is find Mr Compress, but he can multitask. He grins. It’s been too long since he had a real fight.

As soon as the door closes, Denki pulls Deku into his arms, purring loudly. The vibrations sink deep into Deku’s bones and he sobs into Denki’s shoulder. He’s not alone this time. He’s not alone. Not entirely.

“Where are we?” Deku asks shakily once he’s calmed down enough to speak.

Sparks dance across Denki’s fingers and the stairwell lights up. Deku follows Denki down into the building as the cat explains. “We’re at Mistress Yaoyorozu’s house. She works with our Masters and Shouto–one of her alphas–has a situational hero license. Most of the hero pets end up hanging out here when something goes down.”

Denki makes it sound so casual. Like this is normal. Deku clings to the papers, fighting back his tears.

“You wanna wash up a bit before you meet everyone? I can get you some fresh clothes,” Denki offers.

Deku nibbles at the hem of the shirt while he thinks. He’s feels like he’s absolutely drenched in sweat and cum, but he doesn’t want to lose Master’s shirt.

Luckily, Denki picks up on his dilemma. “You can wash the shirt in the shower and I’ll find you a pair of pants.”

Deku gives him a feeble attempt at a smile. “That–thank you.”

Denki returns a blinding grin and leads Deku to the bathroom. It’s absolutely massive and covered in marble. Deku is pretty sure the decorations are solid gold. The shower is larger than Master’s room and there are six different showerheads, benches on three of the walls, a stained glass door, and a two different complicated control panels that Deku can’t even begin to decipher.

“This is the pet bathroom,” Denki comments. “I figured you wouldn’t want something as fancy as Mistress Yaoyorozu’s.”

Deku squeaks in wordless shock.

Denki giggles. “Honestly, Yao-Mistress Yaoyorozu’s isn’t much fancier. But this is the official pet bathroom.”

This is the first time Deku’s ever been somewhere fancy enough to even bother having a separate pet bathroom, but hearing that does help settles his nerves a little bit. “How do you, um-” He gestures vaguely at the shower.

Denki points out a helpful numbered panel. “Preset six gives you a dry patch on that bench, so you can leave the case there. I gotta run off to find you some clothes, but I’ll be back in like five minutes.”

Deku spends the next five minutes trying to rinse off the shirt without losing any of Master’s scent. Only the barest hint of it still lingers and Deku isn’t sure if being clean is a worthwhile trade. He remembers that they told him at the shelter that he sometimes has flashbacks, so that might be why it feels like his entire world is falling apart, but this is more likely just history repeating itself. The shower isn’t even as comforting as it should be. The room is so large that Deku just feels exposed. The water hides the tears at least.

Bakugou grins as explosions crackle from his hands, propelling him through the air. The sounds of battle roar around him at a volume that would be deafening to anyone else, but he’s a walking bomb. Explosions don’t affect him like most people.

He lands on the inner wall of Tartarus, just above the breach in the wall, scanning the ground below him for threats. Or rather, for threats he needs to deal with himself. Best Jeanist already has most of the courtyard subdued and Pixie-bob and Tiger defend him. There’s not many villains who can get out of Best Jeanist’s grasp.

Just as Bakugou thinks this, a villain does exactly that. His muscle fibers burst and tear out of skin, ripping through the fibers binding him as he leaps away on suddenly powerful legs.


Bakugou knows him mostly by reputation. He’s killed Water Hose and he nearly killed their son too. Uraraka and Tenya were the ones who stopped him. Tenya was badly injured trying to get Uraraka close enough to touch him, but once she did, it was over.

Muscular bolts north, towards the hole in the wall. With Endeavor on the bridge on one side, Tsukuyomi can’t reach around the other side without sacrificing Dark Shadow’s immense power. And it will take immense power to bring Muscular down. He’s already nearly doubled in mass, growing faster and stronger with every passing moment.

Bakugou can’t afford to play this one safe. He pulls the pin on his grenade, drops down from the wall, and hits Muscular dead on with the full force of an explosion so gargantuan that even he can barely brace against the recoil.

“Is that all you got?” Muscular laughs.

Bakugou blasts him with the other grenade and stays in a ready stance. He can’t see through the smokescreen, but he knows he didn’t hear Muscular hit the ground.

Sure enough, Muscular charges so fast that Bakugou barely manages to dodge even though he knew it was coming. He uses an explosion to pivot and try to blast Muscular into the water where Suneater can deal with him.

Then, the world warps around them and Bakugou and Muscular are on the shore, barely a few dozen feet away from a shocked and horrified news crew.

Shouta-sensei’s familiar dry, tired voice sounds in his earpiece. “You guys forgot about Gentle, didn’t you?”

Right. Space warping quirk. Bakugou places himself between Muscular–who seems just as disoriented as him, thankfully–and the reporters and braces himself for a fight. There’s no room for fancy tricks here, just brute force against brute force and they can both bring plenty of that to bear.

“Expand the evacuation zone!” he calls to the local heroes holding the outer perimeter. “Get the civilians out of here!”

He barely notices as the news crew flees. All his attention is focused on the villain before him. Muscular shakes himself. What little muscle Bakugou managed to burn away is quickly replaced, leaving him as good as new.

They stand facing each other for a moment, unsure who will break the fragile moment of stillness. Then, in almost perfect unison, both hero and villain attack.

Deku can’t say he feels better, exactly, but he’s at least more comfortable. Master’s shirt is still damp, but he’s in a pair of sweatpants that Denki apparently borrowed from someone named Kyouka and he managed to get all the sweat and cum off him. He shakes the water off his tail and steps out of the bathroom to where Denki is waiting for him.

“You ready to meet the gang?” Denki asks.

“No, but I don’t have anything better to do,” Deku replies through a mouthful of shirt. He’s going to ruin Master’s shirt by the end of this and that thought just makes him nibble even more.

Denki doesn’t comment, instead leading him down a couple more staircases to an open den. The floor is covered in deep red carpeting and beanbag chairs. There’s a foosball table in one corner at pet height and a similar pool table in the other. It’s the most luxurious place Deku has ever been in, except for the bathroom.

Four more pets sit in the pile of beanbag chairs in front of the massive TV watching a game show: a fluffy red and white cat with a scar over one eye, a deerhound with strange mechanical elbows, a tiny pink moth, and a bat in a dark purple Creati jacket similar to Denki’s Red Riot one. Their scent is vaguely familiar. Deku can’t place why until the deerhound speaks up, leaning backwards to address him.

“Hey! Deku, right? I’m Hanta. Nice to properly meet you. How d’you like the nest?” Right. These must be the pets that helped get Deku’s nest set up when Master first brought him home.

“It–it’s nice,” Deku offers weakly. He wants to add more, but then the TV abruptly switches channels.

“Urgent warning for all citizens!” the local newscaster announces. “The current evacuation zone has widened to–”

Deku doesn’t hear the rest of it. He doesn’t hear anything at all and he doesn’t see the other pets looking at him with concern. His eyes are fixed on the screen. The footage is blurry even without his tears, and at a strange angle like the camera was dropped as the cameraman fled, but Deku can see enough to see his Master doing battle.

He sinks to his knees, too deep in shock to even hug himself for comfort. A tide of fear and panic threatens to swallow him whole. The image on the screen is every pet’s worst nightmare.

His current Master, locked in bitter combat with his first Master.

Chapter Text

Shouto is the first to notice. He’s been on guard since the alarm first sounded, keeping a paranoid eye on the entire household, but that’s not why he notices. The expression of shock and horror on Deku’s face is one Shouto has seen in the mirror plenty of times before.

“Hey, we’re inside the evacuation zone now,” Hanta tells Shouto quietly.

“I know,” Shouto says. “We’re staying here.” He doesn’t take his eyes off Deku as the bunny sinks to his knees.

“Shouldn’t we move somewhere safe?”

“Nowhere is safe,” Shouto says in what he hopes is a reassuring tone. “This place is the most defensible place we have. No one will be able to break in.”

“Well, what about the–”

“Hanta. Don’t,” Mina interrupts. “Shouto knows what he’s doing.”

Shouto forces himself not to try and guess what Hanta was talking about. He can’t let his concentration waver. At least not more than the bunny’s soft cries have already thrown him off.

Denki has his hand on Deku’s shoulder and he purrs gently, but Deku doesn’t seem to hear him. Of course he wouldn’t, in this state.

“What’s wrong?” Shouto asks. The rest of the pets glare at him and he knows the answer already, but Mistress told him not to keep his emotions bottled up in inside so he shouldn’t let this pet do that either.

Deku sobs and finally hugs himself, rocking back and forth. “They’ll hurt each other. I don’t want them to hurt each other.”

The TV has already ended the emergency broadcast, returning to the prerecorded game show, but a massive explosion rocks the house and Deku wails.

Shouto makes eye contact with Mina as the omegas try to reassure Deku that Master Ground Zero will prevail. That isn’t what Deku needs right now. The bunny is just panicking more. Mina flutters over to Deku’s side, shooing Hanta and Kyouka away.

“Your masters are strong,” she says, barely able to hold onto the tone of simpering sweetness. “They’ll both get through this okay.” She wraps Deku into a hug and Shouto can see the pain in her eyes.

He swallows back his own bile as Deku slowly starts to relax. Shouto can at least excuse whatever twisted love he still has for his father as being admiration for the Number Two Hero. Deku is going to have to face the truth sooner or later. Shouto just wishes he could help more.

Bakugou’s arm throbs, but it isn’t broken. Not yet. Muscular isn’t a particularly strategic fighter. He’s content to attack and attack and attack the most obvious target. That works well enough when Bakugou wants to hide the line for civilians to escape, but it’s bad when Bakugou wants to get out of this with his limbs intact.

He decides to sacrifice his left arm first. He needs to brute force his way through this without his gauntlets. He can’t waste both arms equally. His forearm feels like it’ll split apart any moment and his shoulder is halfway to dislocated, but he just braces himself and fires off another one of his largest blasts.

Muscular laughs, but his breath is starting to come out raspier as the smoke settles in his lungs. “Is that all you got?” he roars and charges.

The moment his foot lifts off the ground, Bakugou blasts again. His vision whites out in pain, but Muscular goes skidding back. Bakugou tries to shake out his arm in the interval before Muscular attacks again, but he underestimated his opponent.

Muscular is halfway to him and there’s no time to brace, no time to gather the sweat for an explosion, no time to dodge. Before Bakugou even has time to swear, a massive fist impacts his stomach and he flies into a building. He tucks his head as he goes flying through, crumpling against a desk.

He scrambles to his feet as Muscular lands a few feet away from him, nearly cracking through the floor with the weight of all that muscle.

“I thought Ground Zero was supposed to be cool!” Muscular laughs. “You’re pathetic! You barely put a scratch on me!” He’s cut off by a coughing fit, giving Bakugou just enough time to get into a ready stance and spit the blood out of his mouth.

For all Muscular’s boasting, they’re both in pretty bad shape. Muscular has been slowing down, relying on less muscle fibers. His swings are wider and less powerful. But he still has a titanic amount of brute force and he’s wearing down even Bakugou’s stamina. Muscular has the upper hand here. Bakugou is a lot more durable than the average person, but even he has trouble getting blasted through a building. His left arm is definitely dislocated now, or close enough to it that Bakugou can’t risk using it. No point tearing his own arm off.

He readies his right arm, not even able to use the left to brace it. He aims low, sending up a spray of tiles from the ground in front of Muscular’s feet.

“Hah! What’s that supposed to do? You didn’t even hit me!” Muscular steps forward and shrieks as the floor crumbles beneath his feet and he plummets three stories down.

Bakugou’s face stretches into a wild grin and he leaps down the hole just as a torrent of water rushes to fill it. Caught off guard, there’s no time to dodge. The water slams him into the wall and his vision goes dark.

Deku can tell the other pets are staring at him, that they’re judging him, but his heart hurts too much for him to get defensive. He just wants his masters to be safe. He clings to Denki and the alpha moth when she comes over too.

Denki is quiet at least and the purring does help Deku relax, but he has that look on his face that he gets whenever he thinks Deku isn’t looking at him. It’s a look of pity and Deku hates it.

“It’s not my fault that my old masters aren’t as rich as yours,” he says sullenly. He needs to distract himself from what’s going on. He needs to make that look on Denki’s face go away.

Denki looks startled. It gets rid of the pity at least. “Rich? What does that have to do with it?”

“You don’t have to work as hard to please your masters when they can get whatever they want. I’m not some pathetic little pity case just because I just try to be polite to my masters.”

Denki flinches and Deku’s gut twists. “What’s that supposed to mean? You think I don’t try to keep Kirishima happy?”

“Does Master Kirishima know you talk about him like that behind his back?” Deku spits back. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knows he’s being unfair, but seeing his masters fight is throwing him into turmoil and it hurts him to see these other pets take so many unnecessary risks, even if their masters won’t correct them.

Denki hisses and moves away, his tail lashing. “Yes. He does. And he doesn’t care. Because he loves me no matter what I call him.”

Deku sees red. He screams in rage and charges at Denki. He doesn’t know why, doesn’t know what he’ll do if he gets there, he just wants to make Denki hurt. Before he can cross the distance, a massive block of ice springs up in front of him.

“Deku. Come with me.” Shouto turns and walks away. His voice is as cold as the ice he created, chilling Deku’s blood just the same way. Deku follows him. All he can do now is hope Shouto won’t tell his master about this.

“So,” Shouto says cooly. They’re sitting on the balcony, looking out over the massive ice wall that protects the mansion. “What happened?” He’s really not cut out for this. Mina is a lot better at social stuff than him. But Mina has no idea what Deku is going through so her job is to make sure the other three omega don’t turn against Deku. None of them are particularly happy to have a stranger imply that they don’t treat their masters right.

Deku nibbles on the collar of his shirt, curling up around his papers. “I’m not a bad pet,” he insists. “I’m just trying to be a good pet. I’m tired of them looking at me like I’m stupid because I want to make my master happy. Master is good to me. He deserves to have a good pet. I’m not a bad pet. I’m not. Master loves me.”

“Do you think Denki is a bad pet?”

Deku flinches. “He’s so… casual. He doesn’t think about his words. He says things that he should be punished for all the time but his master doesn’t ever punish him.”

Shouto tries to think back to when he first came to this houseuse, what he thought, what he needed. “Do you think he should be punished?”

“Master would have punished me for being so rude.” It’s not a yes. Shouto isn’t sure if Deku is doing better than he himself had been or if Deku is just more careful with his words around an alpha.

“Bakugou doesn’t seem like the type of person to punish people for that sort of thing.”

Deku flinches violently but doesn’t comment. Excessive caution then. Because this wasn’t hard enough already. “I don’t mean him. I mean my first master.”

Oh. Oh. That explains a lot. “Your first master? Private trainer?”

“Yeah. My first master taught me how to be a good pet. I… I get upset, sometimes. When Denki acts like a bad pet. Because that’s not okay. Pets shouldn’t do those things. But Denki does anyway and his master doesn’t even seem to care. I’m good for all my masters. Even if they don’t ask me to be. A pet should be good without having to be told.”

Shouto takes a deep breath. “My first master was abusive.”

Deku squeaks in shock. Shouto doesn’t look at him. He doesn't need to see the pity on his face. “I–I…”

“You don’t need to say anything,” Shouto sighs. “But. Yeah. He was abusive.” Even now, it feels like a lie to say out loud. “He hurt me for reasons I didn’t deserve. He was cruel. He was awful to me.” It’s supposed to be cathartic to get all this off his chest. Maybe it is for humans. “But I didn’t want to accept that. I wanted it to be my fault.” He still does. “So I told everyone that I just wasn’t a good enough pet. That he had to be cruel to me to make sure I behaved. It wasn’t true though. I didn’t deserve it.” It’s all he can do to keep his voice from shaking.

“Why… why are you telling me this?”

Shouto shrugs, trying to make it look casual. He still can’t bring himself to face Deku. “The rest of them came from academies. Before you came along, I was the only one any of them knew who came from a private trainer. That probably skewed their opinion of private trainers. They’re more likely to think things you learned that they didn’t are abusive instead of just different. Sorry.”

Shouto wishes he could grab Deku by the shoulders and shake him until he understands that what he was taught isn’t healthy. But Mina still has the scars from the time she tried to do exactly that for Shouto. The most he can do is make it clear that Deku’s habits aren’t normal and hope the bunny will someday be able to fill in the rest.

“It… it’s okay. Not your fault.” Deku’s voice is distant. He’s thinking about it. Good.

“You’re fearful. They’re overprotective.” Bracing himself for an outburst, Shouto continues. “Of course they’re going to jump to conclusions when they find out your first master was villain.”

Deku shoots to his feet. “Master isn’t–!”

“He’s fighting a hero, isn’t he?” Shouto interrupts, still seated. “Do either of your masters know the other owned you?”

“I don’t… I don’t think so.”

“Then why else would a hero fight someone?” It’s a cruel trap to put Deku in, to force him to acknowledge that one of his masters might not be a good person. Shouto doesn’t regret it though. This process is never easy.

Deku sits back down, his shoulders shaking as he sobs. He’s silent for a few moments. “How do you know your new master is any better?” he asks.

Shouto bristles, but forces himself to calm down. It’s a sincere question. And one he has an answer for. “I’m going to ask you two questions. You don’t have to answer either one of them out loud, but I want you to think about them. First, do you try harder to be good for Master Bakugou than for your old master.”

“No!” Deku insists, offended. “I would never–”

“Second, does Master Bakugou make you happier than your old master?”

Shouto doesn’t get an answer to this one. He doesn’t expect to. “That’s how you tell,” he promises.

By the time Deku goes back inside, things have calmed down a little. He apologizes to Denki, who accepts it gracefully and apologizes in turn. Neither of them is entirely comfortable around each other, but at least Deku didn’t ruin their friendship.

After about an hour, the emergency broadcast returns to announce that the fight is over. Shouto melts the protective shell around the house and, after a brief discussion, Denki takes Deku home.

It turns out the second evacuation order was more of a precaution than anything else. The streets are mostly clear. They’re eerily quiet with most of the civilians in more distant shelters. Deku doesn’t spend much time watching the streets. Mostly, he’s just amazed that Denki is the one driving. He didn’t even know pets were allowed to drive. His masters had certainly never entertained the possibility before, but Denki’s license looks legitimate.

Deku’s old masters…

His old master, his first master is a villain. It explains a lot, now that Deku thinks about it. He’s starting to look at some of the rules in a different light. Maybe he might even try to ask Master about some of them, see if Master’s rules are the same as–to see if Master Bakugou’s rules are the same as his first master’s.

When he gets home, Denki leaves right away. Deku doesn’t mind that. He still feels terrible for lashing out at Denki like that. Master is gonna be so mad when he finds out Deku was disrespectful. Even though he hasn’t earned a proper punishment yet, Deku can’t help but tremble.

Master doesn’t know yet though. Master isn’t home yet. None of their masters were home when Deku and Denki left. Master had said it could take up to a day, but he also said it would be a lot closer to a few hours and seeing his old master has the old anxiety return to flood Deku’s heart. The hours wear on. The sun starts to rise. Deku is still alone. There’s only one explanation he can think of. For whatever reason, Master can’t get back to him.

Deku’s going to be taken away from the best master he’s ever had.

Chapter Text

Bakugou jerks awake almost instantaneously. He bolts upright, hacking water out of his lungs. He’s slumped against a wall in a pool of water up to his waist, rubble scattered around him.

“I’m sorry! Are you okay? I’m so, so sorry! I didn’t mean to, I swear.”

Bakugou stares at the dark haired young man in front of him. He looks vaguely familiar, but Bakugou can't place him. “Where's Muscular?”

The young man grimaces. “Mr Compress grabbed him. I tried to stop him, but–”

Bakugou ignores anything else the boy might have to say, stumbling to his feet. His left side is a mass of pain. The shoulder is definitely dislocated and from the way his wrist is swelling up, that might be broken too. With how many times he fired off his largest blasts, stress fractures are definitely a possibility in the whole limb. The battle seems to be winding down at least. “You an intern?” he asks through gritted teeth.

“Yeah. Water Hose.”

Ah. So that's where Bakugou recognizes him from. “Last I heard, you hated heroes.”

Kouta Izumi shrugs, shuffling his feet awkwardly. “I hate villains more.”

Bakugou raises an eyebrow. That's not a great philosophy for a hero to have. He holds his fingers in front of his face. No blurriness or double vision. That's good news at least. “That why you decided to rush in single handed against Muscular with no backup and without checking the surroundings?” he asks mildly.

Izumi bridles. “Hey! What do you know about anything? How did–” Realization blooms on his face and his aggression dulls to sullenness. “How did you know I didn't bring backup?”

Bakugou doesn't bother answering. “Help me to the first aid station.”

Izumi throws Bakugou's good arm over one shoulder and they stumble off the battlefield. As Bakugou suspected, the battle is over. Once the sun started rising, the increased visibility would have turned the battle too much to the heroes’ advantage. Now the assembled heroes are licking their wounds at a small first aid tent. Standing outside the tent is the last person Bakugou wants to see right now.

“Ground Zero,” Best Jeanist greets, his tone bordering on hostile. “I’m glad to see you in one piece.” He turns and walks away, probably hoping the exchange will end here.

“Lying ain’t exactly heroic, you know,” Bakugou shoots back with a fierce grin. He walks into the tent after him and sits down, gesturing for Izumi to put his shoulder back in place.“How bad is it?”

“All For One and Kurogiri are still contained,” Best Jeanist grits out. “Every other member of the Vanguard Action Squad escaped, along with the villain Gentle.”

Bakugou grimaces. “Do we know how the League got in yet?”

“Gentle,” Best Jeanist explains. “Or rather, his pet. A mouse with fairly impressive hacking skills and a quirk that let her empower his.”

Wracking his memory, Bakugou finds a vague recollection of the case. “She wasn't rehomed? I thought that was one of the conditions of his surrender.”

“It was and she was,” Best Jeanist confirms. “But it seems she never really bonded to her new owners.”

Bakugou nods silently. This much of the League escaping is a blow, but nothing they can’t deal with. The media circus will be the worst of it, Bakugou hopes. “Izumi, you gonna put my shoulder back in place or not?”

“Fuck you, man, I don't know how to!” Izumi snaps.

“You’ve been in school for what, a year now? What are they teaching you at UA these days? Nothing useful.”

“Taught us how to use our fucking eyes at least. I’m at Shiketsu, motherfucker.”

Bakugou's been pretty preoccupied since he woke up, so he hasn't been paying too much attention to Izumi. He glances over his shoulder at Izumi’s bare head. “You lost your hat.”

Izumi’s hands fly to his hair as he pales. “Shit! Fuck! Utsushimi-sensei is gonna fucking kill me!”

Best Jeanist clicks his tongue in irritation. “Would you please control your language? If you keep behaving like this, I will have to have a talk with your supervisor. I would rather see you behave in a manner befitting a proper hero.” He glances subtly to Bakugou, who flips him off.

Of course, Bakugou has earned the right to be an asshole by now. He outranks Best Jeanist. But he knows what happens when Best Jeanist decides that he’s the best person to direct angry, impulsive teenagers who don’t know how to run on anything except rage.

“Hey, kid–”

“I’m not a fucking kid,” Izumi snaps.

“Hey, kid,” Bakugou continues, unperturbed. “Who’s your supervisor?”


“Not anymore. You’re with me now.”

Izumi and Best Jeanist blink in unison.

Bakugou grins. “I’m gonna find him and get the paperwork handled. You go find your hat.”

Deku knows he shouldn't be nibbling on the furniture, but he can't seem to stop. The necklace Master gave him is almost destroyed from the constant chewing and he can't bear to lose the first gift he's had in over a decade. So he curls up on the couch, nibbling the leather cushion, and prays Master will be home soon.

He knows Master promised to come home, but that promise has been broken before. Deku’s stomach growls. His eyes burn and he fights back tears. He has no idea how long the food in the house will last so he can't risk eating so soon. He won't make the same mistake twice. Master has friends who know about him, but they have their own lives to worry about. Deku's teeth tear a hole in the cushion and he curses and moves to another part of the couch.

Finally, Deku's phone buzzes. He lunges for it, opening it with desperate speed.

hey good bunny. sorry things took so long i’ll be home in less than an hour <3

The relief nearly sweeps Deku off his feet but it's the fear that follows that makes him crumple to the ground. There's no time to fix everything that he had been nibbling on and he’s not supposed to be destroying Master’s things. Plus, he attacked Denki and made trouble for all the other pets. He's sure he found the limits of Master’s patience. Even if Master doesn't sound angry, sometimes he punishes Deku anyway.

It’s nine in the morning by the time Bakugou finishes all the paperwork. It doesn’t take particularly long to convince Suneater, but dealing with bureaucracy is always a pain in the ass and the pain in the rest of his body is pretty distracting.

He decided against letting Recovery Girl heal him, since that would mean an hospital stay while he recovers and she has much higher priority patients right now. He doesn’t mind healing naturally. Since he’s been targeted by the League before, he’s supposed to keep a low profile, so it’s not like he’ll be out on the streets much for a while. It grates on his nerves a bit to know that he’ll have underground heroes basically stalking him for the next month or so, but it’s better than letting villains get anywhere near his apartment and his pet.

His pet. Shit. He got distracted. Deku is probably panicking by now. Bakugou was supposed to be home hours ago. He’s so exhausted that even simple shit like that is slipping his mind.

He’s just about to leave the command center when he hears footsteps running up to him.

“Bakugou! Could I have a word with you?”

Bakugou growls tiredly, but turns to face Yaoyorozu. He’s really not in the mood for any more distractions. “This better be important.”

Half an hour later, Bakugou goes home. He’s not tired anymore. He’s just more furious than he’s ever been in his entire life.

By the time the door opens, Deku is crying too hard to make out the details of Master’s features. He can see the tall, bulky frame, the blonde hair. He can see the tension and the anger, like Master is ready to lash out at any moment.

He doesn't flee. When Master is this angry, that will just make things worse. Instead, he shifts up to his knees and twines his hands together behind his back, wrists crossed above his tail. He sniffles but tries to keep the tears as quiet as possible. Master doesn't like to hear him cry.

“I heard what happened at Yaoyorozu’s house,” Master says. Deku can barely hear him over the static of panic in his head as he braces himself for pain.

“I’m sorry.”

Deku's head shoots up when he hears those words. Either he spoke without realizing it, or–

Master crouches down to eye level with Deku. “I should have warned you about my job so you could be prepared for something like this. I know you only lashed out because you were stressed and I know you would have been less stressed if I had thought to warn you. So. I’m sorry. And I’m not mad at you.”

I’m not mad at you.

Deku collapses, all the stress and pain and fear pouring out of him as he sobs into the floor so hard that his chest aches. Master isn't mad at him. He’s safe.

As he cries, he realizes how badly he craves comfort, how badly he needs to touch his master to confirm that they're both safe. That Master is really back. He glances up. Master is sitting on the floor. His left arm is in a sling and a cast and his right hand is in his pocket. He wouldn't be able to grab Deku before Deku could react.

Master smiles at him and Deku hears the words again. I’m not mad at you. He’s safe. He can do this.

Slowly, carefully, Deku crawls to Master’s side. He rests his head on Master’s arm, doing his best to avoid the cast. Master is solid and strong and warm. And he’s a hero. He’ll take good care of Deku. Deku is safe. They sit there in silence for a few minutes until Deku finally manages to relax. It’s only then that Master speaks.

“Do you want me to touch you, good bunny?” Master asks. “I won't be mad if you say no.”

Deku still almost nods out of instinct but he catches himself, forcing himself to think it through. And then, because the terror and relief and adrenaline have thrown him off so much that everything feels like a dream, Deku can dare to go even further. He opens his mouth and pushes through his fear.

“D-deku… Deku would like Master to-to touch his arm…” The words are so soft he isn’t entirely sure that Master hears them at first.

But then, Master’s hand eases out of his pocket and rests on Deku's upper arm, stroking the skin. His touch is light enough that Deku can easily break away if he needs to. Deku trembles, but he doesn't panic.

“Thank you for telling me what you want,” Master says. “You're being so brave for me. I want to talk to you now. Do you need to go get your phone?”

Deku weighs the difficulty of speaking against how good it feels to be tucked against his Master’s side with his Master petting him. “Deku…Deku will try to speak.” He can’t quite get his voice to work for every word but it’s more than he’s spoken to any Master in years.

“Alright. Thank you. If you need your phone later, you can go get it.” Master pauses, looking a little unsure of himself. “You're attracted to me, right? Sexually, I mean.”

Deku nods eagerly. The number of times he’s jacked off in Master’s clothes should be proof enough of that, but if Master needs reassurance, he’ll happily provide it.

“But you also panic if you're touched in certain ways, right?”

Deku tenses. “Deku can be good for Master,” he promises.

Master strokes his arm reassuringly. “You're already being good for me. But I need to know what makes you panic. I want to help you be less scared.”

That makes Deku tear up again. Master wants to help him. Master is so good. He leans in closer, listening to Master’s heartbeat.

“That means I need to know you can be honest with me.” Master keeps going before Deku can panic. “I’m not mad at you. You're trying to make me happy. But I won't be happy if I hurt you accidentally. So I need you to be very, very brave for me. I need you to tell me something I’m not allowed to do to you.”

Deku's blood runs cold. He's trapped. No matter what he does, he’s denying his master something. He curls up tighter against Master's side. He needs the comfort more than anything else right now even if Master is the one making him afraid. The darker parts of his memories threaten to rise up and swallow him, but he focuses on the feeling of Master's hand on his arm. Master is a hero. Master is good to him. He’s safe. His mouth works silently as he tries to answer.

“You don't have to tell me now,” Master offers. “I just won't go any farther than using the vibrator on you until you tell me.”

Which implies that if Deku does tell him, Master will go farther. Deku lets himself imagine that for a moment. Master's mouth sucking marks into his skin, Master’s hands holding him tight and close, Master’s cock… everything about Master’s cock, really.

There's not much Deku wouldn't do to get his lips around that.

He steels his nerve. “Please, M-master. Please don't, don't e-ever…” A sob cuts his voice off.

“Take your time,” Master murmurs.

Deku doesn't have the words. He just doesn't. Even the thought of typing it makes his hands shake. But the prospect of a reward and the desperate fool’s hope that Master will actually listen to his request drive him forward. He places a hand on his neck, staring up at Master with watery eyes.

“I’m not allowed to touch your neck?” Master asks.

Deku nods with a whimper. “If Master wants…”

“I do want,” Master replies calmly. “I will not touch your neck, Deku.” He moves his right hand away from Deku to place it over his own heart. His eyes capture Deku's, hold him spellbound. “I swear on my honor as a hero that I will not touch your neck.”

Deku believes him. He doesn’t know why. He doesn’t know how. But he believes him. “Thank you, Master.”

He draws his knees up to his chest so they can rest against Master’s leg. This is the most he’s ever touched Master before. Master is so warm. Not like any Master he’s had before.

“I have to ask you another scary question, Deku,” Master warns. Master even thinks to warn him. If Deku wasn’t already smitten, he would be now.

“Hmm?” Deku asks. He doesn’t even feel scared just yet. At least, not more scared than baseline.

“What is it about me touching you that scares you?”

Oh. Now Deku’s scared. He whimpers and nearly flees but the feeling of Master’s hand on his arm is too good to let go of no matter how sacred he is. He tries to speak but no words come out. He doesn’t want to leave to get his phone though. He whimpers a little louder, trying to show that he wants to be good.

“I’m gonna move my hand away for a second, alright?” Master does exactly that, reaching into his pocket. Before Deku can change his mind about staying here, Master pulls out his phone and opens it to a notes app. “There.” He hands it to Deku. “That might be easier for you.”

It is. Of course it is. Deku slowly texts his answer while Master rubs his arm again. deku is scared of being trapped he needs to be able to run away even if he doesn’t ever need to run

Master reads it over his shoulder. “What if I let you tie me up? Would that make it easier for you?”

Deku stares up at him and slowly nods. The only reason he worked up the courage to touch Master now is because he knows Master’s reactions will be slower. If Master can’t grab him at all– Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s just another question to help Master understand more. Master would never actually let his pet tie him up.

“Alright, my good bunny,” Master croons. “When do you want to try it?”

Deku replies without thinking. "Now."

Chapter Text

Bakugou stares down at his pet for a long moment and with a great effort of will manages not to laugh. It’s strange to see him so eager after he’s spent so long cowering. Not that Bakugou’s complaining.

“Now?” he repeats with a soft chuckle.

Deku turns bright red and for a moment, Bakugou is afraid he might finally flee. This is the longest he’s ever spent this close to Bakugou’s side. Bakugou is sure it’s stressing him out at least a little bit. “If Master wants.” His lips form the syllables with barely a whisper of breath behind them.

Bakugou rubs Deku’s arm gently. “I would love that, but I’m exhausted,” He says apologetically. “I don’t want to fall asleep on you.”

That brings a nervous shadow of a smile to Deku’s face.

“Why don’t we do it tonight? I have at least a week off of work so we won’t get interrupted again.”

Deku turns that thought over in his mind, chewing his lip. He’s been taking longer to respond to Bakugou’s questions lately. According to Yaoyorozu, that’s a good sign. His ears twitch idly as he thinks instead of flattening to his skull like Bakugou is used to seeing. Finally, he looks back up at Bakugou and whispers. “Would Master mind if Deku stayed in Master’s room with him until then?”

Bakugou’s heart nearly bursts out of his chest. “I wouldn’t mind at all.” His voice is shaking, but he makes sure to smile so Deku understands how happy he is. “You’re allowed to leave at any time, but I wouldn’t mind at all.”

Master is pleased with Deku. That’s a good thing. Even if Deku slipped up and pushed too much, he still managed to make Master happy. He feels light and floaty, better than he has in a long time.

Deku helps Master to his room, concerned about his injuries. He’s the one holding Master’s arm. Master isn’t holding him. He can get out. He’s safe. When they get to the room, Master falls into bed immediately, not bothering to undress at all. He pushes the blankets aside to make room for Deku underneath them, but falls asleep almost immediately.

Deku pauses on the edge of the bed. He’s worried Master is faking sleep to test him or trap him, so he doesn’t want to climb in just yet. Master gave him permission to leave, so he creeps out of the room, cleans up all the debris of his nibbling as much as he can, changes into his usual gym shorts and t shirt, and finally sneaks back inside once he’s sure Master has had time to fall asleep. The bed looks warm and inviting and Master’s face is slack with sleep. He looks so soft that Deku can actually believe Master wouldn’t hurt him.

The blankets are still too scary for Deku. He could easily get trapped in them, so he carefully smooths them back into place and climbs onto the bed.

Master is sleeping on his back, probably to avoid hurting his injured arm. He’s snoring softly and his other hand hangs off the side of the bed. Deku crawls up until he’s pressed against Master’s side once more. He listens to Master’s firm, steady heartbeat and smiles to himself. He doesn’t doze off, but he lets himself daydream. Master’s arm twitches a couple times, but it never moves to grab him.

A few hours later, Master blinks awake slowly. Deku lifts his head from where it was propped on Master’s shoulder.

“How is Master feeling?” he asks. “Should Deku get Master anything?”

Master yawns, stretching as much as he can. Deku takes that as his cue to slip off the bed. He backs up to the wall and waits, rocking slightly on his paws. Master sits up slowly and looks around.

“Hey, Deku,” he mumbles. He seems a bit confused so Deku helps him out.

“Master went to sleep because he was tired after work. It’s about three in the afternoon now.” He chews his lip for a moment before adding as casually as possible. “Master also brought up the idea of maybe letting Deku pleasure him? Deku can do that if Master is still interested.” Normally he would add that he would do anything to make Master happy but he gets the sense that that sort of thing is too forward for Master’s taste.

Master’s eyebrows furrow and Deku’s heart catches in his throat. Master doesn’t sound upset when he speaks though. “Ah, right. I offered to let you tie me up too, didn’t I?”

Deku nods. He hadn’t wanted to mention it and put Master off. Master just looks down at his arm pensively. Then he reaches into the drawer of the nightstand and tosses Deku a key. “Hall closet, top shelf. There’s a black plastic box. Bring that down here. I’m gonna grab a quick shower.”

Deku waits until Master has entered the bathroom and closed the door before he lets himself bounce happily, clutching the key to his chest. He skips down the hall and he’s so excited that he can barely get the key into the lock. He puts the box on on Master’s bed and sits next to it, trying to be as quiet as he can about his excitement.

Deku isn’t really being quiet at all. Bakugou can hear his little happy squeaks even over the shower. He chuckles to himself as he rinses off, but he makes sure he looks as composed as he can before he steps into the room, fully nude. He doesn’t want to make Deku feel embarrassed. Deku backs off as soon as the door opens, but he’s leaning in eagerly, barely able to sit still.

Bakugou opens the box with his good hand and sifts through the contents. It has all his toys and equipment. There isn’t much of it, but there’s enough for what he needs to get done. He pulls out three sets of cuffs and one length of bright red rope. Deku tenses when the cuffs come out, so Bakugou speaks as quickly as possible.

“Alright, Deku. I’m gonna tie my bad arm myself just to make sure it doesn’t get strained or anything and I’ll do my ankles too. You’ll have to get my good hand yourself. Just so you’re aware, I can break out of these if I have to, but it’ll take me long enough that you’ll be able to get out of the way. You still good with this?”

Deku doesn't relax for a long moment, chewing his lip. His mouth works silently for a couple moments. “Yes, Master,” he finally whispers.

Bakugou smiles. “Good bunny.” He cuffs his ankles to the bed frame and places the key on the nightstand.

As he gets to work tying the rope around his cast, Deku scurries off, returning a moment later with his carrot vibe. He presents the remote to Bakugou, beaming with pride. He takes a deep breath, eyes on the floor and whispers “Deku probably won't he able to fit Master inside him tonight without it hurting and Master doesn't want Deku to hurt so Deku is giving Master a different way to play with him.” It’s obvious that he had to rehearse those lines carefully. “I–is Master okay with that?”

Bakugou chokes down the tears welling in his eyes. “Yes, Deku. You're making me very happy, my beautiful brave boy. That’s good, Deku. That’s perfect. You’re perfect.

Master is laying it on a bit thick, Deku thinks. The people at the shelter were like that too, praising him too much for every little thing. He really doesn’t have to say so much. Deku’s tail twitches rapidly and he bounces a tiny bit as he goes to place the remote in Master’s reach. He catches sight of himself in the mirror and he’s bright red and grinning. He didn’t even realize how wide he’s smiling.

Once Master has the remote in hand, Deku backs off a bit. He’s still anxious knowing that Master could break through the restraints, but he’s determined. Master is good to him. He can do this. He wants to do this.

With a deep breath, he presses the vibe inside him. He doesn’t need as much lube as he uses, but he’s pretty sure Master wants him to be careful. When the vibe is seated fully inside him, he finally allows himself to approach Master. Master is absolutely beautiful. Deku could stare at his chest for hours and be content, but he gets to do more than that today.

He creeps closer and places a hand on Master’s chest. He can feel Master’s heart thudding softly through the gentle warmth of his skin.

“Master, can De–”

“Do whatever you want, sweet bunny,” Master murmurs. “If I don’t like something, I’ll tell you.”

That’s a bit more nerve wracking than Deku thinks Master intends it to be, but he can panic about it later. Right now, he’s too excited.

He bends his head over Master’s chest and kisses him lightly. Master tastes clean and fresh, but there’s a sweet smell lingering underneath it, almost like caramel. The vibrator turns on and Deku gasps softly, his hips wiggling. He trails kisses over Master’s soft, plush pecs until he finally wraps his lips around the nipple. He sucks lightly, earning a gentle moan from Master. He peeks up quickly to see that Master’s eyes have fallen shut.

Deku smiles. His confidence is growing. He climbs into the bed and straddles Master’s chest as Master turns the vibe up another notch. He leans forward and kisses Master’s collarbone. Master’s head falls back to give him more access. Awestruck, Deku creeps upward and presses a quick kiss to Master’s Adam’s apple. He flinches back, but Master just sighs happily.

As Deku flinches back, the movement presses the vibrator right up against his prostate. He screams. Master turns the vibe down but Deku shakes his head as he ruts against Master’s stomach. “More, more, more,” he chants, not even realizing the words are falling from his lips.

He gets more. Pure bliss shoots through his veins as Master turns the vibe back up. He can’t even think of pleasuring his Master. He just writhes, trying to get the best angle to chase that pleasure, to get more of it.

Slowly, words filter through the haze into what remains of his conscious mind. “So beautiful. Good bunny. Look at you, my good boy. So fucking pretty.” The words are drenched in lust and that’s all it takes to push Deku over the edge. His vision whites out and he screams as loud as he can.

When he comes back to himself, he’s slumped over on Master’s chest, panting heavily. His cum is painted all over Master’s skin and Master is looking up at him with an expression of joy and satisfaction. Deku savors it for one blissful moment until finally he gets the courage to dare for even more.

He slips off Master’s chest and settles between Master’s thighs instead. Master’s cock is large enough to be intimidating to the small bunny, but it looks absolutely delectable. It’s bright red and rock hard, except for the purplish tip dripping precum onto Master’s stomach. Deku can only stare at first, drinking in the sight.

“May I?”

“You may,” Master affirms in a gentle tone.

Deku wraps one shaking hand around the base and licks the tip experimentally. Master jerks and moans, so Deku does that again, swirling his tongue around the head for a moment before he finally takes the whole thing into his mouth. He gags at first, out of practice, but it doesn’t take him long to remember how to relax his throat and draw Master deeper and deeper into his mouth. Master tastes absolutely amazing. Deku’s never tasted any cock like this before. He bobs his head slowly, a little deeper each time. Master holds as still as he can for him but he moans loudly the whole time.

To his disappointment, Deku can’t get all of Master’s cock down tonight. It’s been too long since he’s done this. When he’s gone as deep as he can, he starts bobbing his head faster, hollowing his cheeks and stroking Master’s shaft with his hand. It’s a lot sloppier than he usually manages, tears dripping down his face and mingling with his saliva.

Master doesn’t seem to mind though. In fact, Deku sees the joy and wonder in his eyes in the moment before Master cums.

Deku doesn’t manage to swallow everything either. Some of Master’s seed spills onto Deku’s hand and the bed. That’s okay though. Deku just licks his hand clean and then does the same for Master’s stomach. Master doesn’t stop whispering his praises the whole time.

Deku laps up the praise, but the anxiety returns as the afterglow fades away. It’s not unbearable and he knows now that it’s irrational, but it’s enough that he doesn’t want to stay. But he also knows that Master will allow him to leave. He uncuffs Master’s wrist and darts away, his heart pounding.

Once he’s back in the safety of his nest, the smile returns. Master is perfect.

Bakugou is a little surprised to see Deku run off so quickly, but he knew the stress would get to him sooner or later. He’s still reeling a little bit from that whole thing. It’s starting to look like Deku has a rabbit’s sex drive after all. Not that Bakugou’s complaining. That was the best sex he’s had in years.

He checks his limbs to make sure the circulation is still flowing properly, takes a quick shower, and then draws a bath for Deku to soak in. When he goes to text the bun to let him know, he finds a text from Deku already waiting for him.

Bakugou has never been particularly sappy, but tears still spring to his eyes when he reads what Deku wrote.

Master Ground Zero is the best Master deku has ever had

Chapter Text

Deku’s hand is shaking as he sends Master the text. He can’t help but feel his old Masters looming over his shoulder, ready to punish him for being so disrespectful. “Master is good to me,” he whispers to himself. “Master will protect me. I’m safe.”

He’s actually excited when he hears his phone buzz, but his face falls as he reads Master’s text. thank you, good bunny. i have a bath ready for you. i’ll be in bed

That isn’t much of a reply at all. Deku didn’t expect much, honestly, but it just feels so formulaic. Like everything Master does. Like he’s only doing it out of a sense of obligation. It isn’t too hard to get Deku’s brain caught in a bad spiral, especially when he’s already in such an emotional state, and by the time he gets into the bath, he’s almost crying. He doesn’t expect effusive praise. He knows he’s supposed to be good no matter what. But even his second master, who barely paid any attention to him at all, still wanted more from him. Master praises Deku, sure, but it isn’t enough. It isn’t right. Deku knows he’s just being greedy and selfish. As much as he tries, he can’t make himself stop.

When he gets out of the bath, he scurries back to his nest and curls up with the comfort pillow Master gave him. It helps muffle his tears at least.

All he can think about is that this is the only time Master has ever told Deku he made him happy.

Bakugou is still tired after the battle and his injuries, but he can’t go to sleep just yet. For one thing, he doesn’t want to ruin his sleep schedule. But he’s also worried about Deku. It isn’t uncommon for Deku to get anxious after an encounter like this and there’s already plenty of reasons for the bunny to be anxious. After a moment of indecision, Bakugou goes out in the living room to watch some TV and to check on Deku.

He pauses on the threshold when he sees Deku’s nest. There’s a massive hole in one side and Deku’s head is poking through as he absentmindedly chews on the fabric. Bakugou sighs. He knew the nest he got was on the cheap side, but he thought it would be a little sturdier than this.

“Deku?” he asks softly. “Is something wrong?”

Deku turns to face him without flinching. His eyes are red with tears and he’s hugging the pillow close. “Master?” he murmurs softly. He trembles, but doesn’t say anything else.

Bakugou takes a few steps closer and sits down on the floor next to the couch, putting himself on Deku’s level. “Deku, I need you to tell me what’s wrong.”

Deku chews on his lip for a moment. “Is Master upset with Deku?” There’s a strange note to his voice that Bakugou can’t quite decipher.

“No, no, Deku. I’m not mad at you,” Bakugou assures him.

Deku is still for a moment before suddenly jolting upright and retreating to the back of the nest. Bakugou can still see him cower through the hole. “Deku broke Master’s things. That’s against the rules,” he points out. If anything, he sounds cold.

Well, Bakugou can’t fault Deku for being too predictable at least. He rubs the bridge of his nose and takes a deep breath. “Deku. I’m not mad at you.”

“Master sounds mad.”

Bakugou glances up to see Deku’s ears flatten back against his skull. His first instinct is to assume that it’s fear, but Deku’s eyes are flashing. He takes a deep breath. “Deku. Stop.”

Deku doesn’t break eye contact as he crawls forward, grabs the torn edges of his nest, and rips it even further.

Bakugou can feel his temper flare, but he strangles it down. “Are you trying to piss me off?” he asks as calmly as he can. He’s never seen his bunny be this aggressive before.

Deku shivers, but he nods.

“Why?” Bakugou asks, stunned.

“Deku wants to know he can make Master feel something.”

Bakugou’s palms spark. He clenches his hands into fists so he doesn’t catch something on fire by mistake. “What do you mean?”

Deku doesn’t reply. His face is completely blank and his body language is neutral, except for some trembling.

“Deku!” Bakugou snaps. “If you’re upset about something, I want you to tell me.” He’s trying as hard as he can to be reasonable and calm but he’s too tired to deal with this.

Deku backs off, shifting towards the door of his nest “Would Master tell Deku if Deku upset him?”

“Of course I would,” Bakugou growls. “Answer my question. Why are you so upset?”

Deku retreats out of his nest, but there’s fire in his eyes and he thumps one foot angrily. “Master is always telling Deku not to hide his emotions but all I want to do is make Master happy. Deku can’t make Master happy if he doesn’t tell me what he wants.” He scrubs the tears out of his eyes. “You get mad at me for hiding things from you so I don’t upset you, but then Master does the exact same thing. And Deku still doesn’t know what will happen when Master gets upset with him because Master still wants to pretend he won’t ever lose his temper but he will because everyone loses their temper sometime and when you do you’re gonna hurt me because you tried so hard to be patient with me and I wasn’t–Deku wasn’t good enough for Master and–”

“Deku,” Bakugou interrupts softly. The anger has vanished like it never even existed. “I’m sorry.”

Deku shrieks in wordless frustration, sinking to the floor and clutching his head in his hands. “Why won’t you just hurt me already?” he sobs.

Bakugou walks over to Deku’s side and sits down in front of him, close enough to touch. “Because I don’t want to. But I keep hurting you by mistake, so I need you to help me. Am I understanding this right? You want me to punish you so you know what happens when you misbehave?”

Deku nods. “Masters always lose their temper eventually. Master has kept his temper for so long, but he’s still human. Deku is scared of what will happen if Master is pushed over the edge. Masters hurt Deku and they longer they wait, the more it hurts.”

Bakugou hums to himself for a moment, thinking quickly. Hurting Deku is the absolute worst thing he could do and the absolute last thing he wants to do, but Deku has a point. “I’m at a bit of a loss, Deku,” he explains. “You want me to punish you, but I don’t think giving you what you want is a very good punishment.”

Deku curls up, trembling.

“Here’s what we’re gonna do,” Bakugou decides. “I already told you that I won’t punish you for breaking rules you didn’t know about, but you did damage my property. So. Go stand in the corner. That will be your punishment.” It feels a bit awkward and juvenile, but he doesn’t want to traumatize Deku further. “Five minutes. If you speak or try to leave, I’ll just reset the time.” He takes out his phone and gets the timer ready. “Go on.”

Deku’s heart pounds as he slowly stands. Part of him is still bitterly disappointed, but he’s mostly just ashamed with himself for lashing out like that. He can’t believe he was that disrespectful. The punishment doesn’t feel like enough for what he did, but it’s Master’s decision to make. He just has to endure it.

He faces the corner and clasps his hands together behind his back as he settles in to wait.

It doesn’t take him long to admit that the punishment is pretty effective. He tries to count the seconds at first, but Master moves somewhere behind him and the sound distracts him enough that he loses count. He wants to fidget, but he wants to prove that he can be good even more. Even if Master won’t– no. He’s being good. He’s where Master wants him. That thought helps him stay calm and settled even as he yearns to be back at Master’s side. He wants to be at Master’s side, but not just to escape punishment.

After what seems like an eternity, the timer dings.

“Alright, Deku. Come here.”

Deku turns around slowly and walks over to the couch where Master is waiting. He stops just close enough for Master to reach out and touch him.

Master cups one large hand against Deku’s cheek and guides him closer. He presses his lips softly against Deku’s. Deku whines in surprise, his mouth falling open. Master deepens the kiss as Deku moans into his mouth.

When Master pulls away, he keeps his hand on Deku’s cheek. His bright red eyes lock with Deku’s. “I forgive you, Deku.”

A knot in Deku’s chest uncoils, leaving him almost breathless with relief. He wraps his arms around Master and drinks in his scent. He doesn’t cry. He’s just content. Slowly, he curls up in Master’s lap, still clinging to him. Master just strokes his hair wordlessly for a few minutes.

“So, you’re gonna need a new nest,” Master finally says.

Deku doesn’t flinch. He’s not sure why he doesn’t, but he isn’t afraid. “Yes, Master,” he replies sheepishly, hiding his face in Master’s chest.

Master grabs his tablet off the table. “I’ll let you pick one out,” he decides. “I don’t really know what you need. Don’t worry about the budget. In fact, go ahead and pick two.”

Deku turns to stare up at him, his jaw dropping. “Two?”

“I was gonna surprise you, but I don’t mind telling you now. I’m gonna turn that back room down the hall into your room. You’ll have a nest in the living room and then another one in that closet.”

Deku knows the room Master is talking about. He doesn’t go into it much. It’s just big enough for him to still feel exposed and he never has much reason to be there, since it’s currently empty. The closet is a decent size for a nest, though he doesn’t know what he’d do with the rest of the room. He settles into Master’s lap, back against his chest, and starts shopping. While he scrolls through various websites, Master strokes his thigh with the back of one hand, helping keep him grounded and preventing him from getting overwhelmed at the prospect of spending so much money.

By the time he’s picked out his two new nests, he’s calmed down enough to ask for a favor. “Master?” he murmurs softly.

“Yes, Deku?”

Deku can’t respond right away. He’s been speaking a lot more than usual today and he’s beginning to lose words again. He figures it out though. “Deku wants to look pretty for Master.” He takes a deep breath. “Deku… Deku would like Master to pick out some clothes that make him look pretty.”

“I still want you to make some choices of your own, but we can compromise,” Master says. “I’m going to pick out ten sets of lingerie and ten regular outfits that I think you’ll look pretty in. You pick the five of each that you think will be the prettiest or the most comfortable and that’s the ones that we’ll get. Is that alright?”

It’s so much better than before, to know that this is something Master will definitely be happy with. That Master won’t just be putting up with him until he figures out how to be a good pet again. “Deku likes that idea,” he says with a small smile.

Master presses a kiss to the top of his head. “Good. It makes me happy when you’re happy, good bunny. But there’s one more thing I want you to do for me.”

“Anything Master wants,” Deku replies promptly.

Master is quiet for a moment. “I’m worried that you keep confusing me for your old masters. That you keep expecting me to act like them. So I want you to be able to separate me from them completely in your mind.”

Deku is thrilled. Master wants Deku to be completely his. Deku clings to the tag on his collar, his tail wiggling as he smiles. “How does Master want Deku to do that, Master?”

Master replies right away. “Call me Kacchan.”

Chapter Text

Deku stares up at Master for a moment in awe and then a giggle escapes him before he can stop it. He covers his mouth quickly, but his shoulders still shake. “I–Is Master sure?” he asks disbelievingly. “None of Deku’s old masters would ever let him call them anything like that.”

Master kisses the tip of one ear, making Deku giggle again. “That’s the point, good bunny. Come on, I wanna hear you say it.”

There’s fear in the back of Deku’s mind, but he’s safe in his Master’s lap and he’s going to try to be brave. “Kacchan,” he whispers, barely loud enough to be heard.

“Good bunny,” Master says. He presses his lips to the top of Deku’s head and Deku can feel Master’s sideburns tickle the sides of his ears. “Good bunny. You can still call me Master in front of other people, but Master Kacchan if you have to refer to me, okay?”

Deku nods, swinging his feet. “M–Kacchan is so good to Deku.”

They just cuddle for a moment, Deku basking in Master’s warmth. Finally, Master picks up the tablet again and starts browsing clothes. They spend the rest of the evening doing that, except for a quick break for dinner. It’s not just clothes either. As Deku gains confidence, he manages to ask for a few more things just for himself. That part is stressful enough that he loses words, but he doesn’t mind. As soon as he put a notebook in the cart, Master promised to find one in the house for him.

Deku doesn’t sleep that night. He’s not really comfortable enough to sleep without his nest, but he probably wouldn’t be sleeping even if he still had it. He can’t remember how long it’s been since he had a notebook all his own. He stares at it for a long moment, unsure what to call it. Hero Analysis For The Future seems pretty silly now and he never finished the thirteenth notebook anyway. It would mess up his numbering if he ever got the old notebook back. Finally, he settles on Hero Analysis For Kacchan #1 and gets to writing.

His phone has internet access so he spends the night looking up as much information on Master–on Kacchan–as he can.

Kacchan is incredible! Deku knew that already, but it’s still amazing to see him at work. His track record is insane, rising through the ranks almost as fast as Hawks, completely unblemished. Kacchan has never been defeated once! At least, not since he graduated, but instinct keeps Deku away from any mention of villains that seem familiar to him. He also takes the opportunity to get caught up on All Might’s career. By the time he realizes light is filtering through the windows, his hand is throbbing in pain and he has a quarter of the notebook filled. Half of what he’s written is just on Kacchan, but he’s got a few more heroes in there too. Red Riot, Creati, Gale Force, anyone he can find with a connection to Kacchan.

He leaves his notebook out on the coffee table as he gets breakfast started. Kacchan usually cooks but he needs rest and Deku is a pretty good cook too. Plus, the warmth of the stove feels good on his tired hand.

When he hears Kacchan come in, his ears twitch back, but he stays focused on breakfast. He trusts Kacchan enough to be behind him.

“You got a lot of writing done,” Kacchan comments. “You mind if I take a look?”

“Master can do what he likes,” Deku says, trying to sound flippant, but the tension is obvious in his voice. His first master had really hated when he wrote or talked about heroes.

“What’s my name?” Kacchan chides softly.

“Kacchan,” Deku replies. The tension slowly bleeds out of him.

“That’s right, Deku. Good bunny. Do you mind if I take a look through your notebook?”

Why is Kacchan asking again? Deku would never refuse him anything. Unless this is a test and Kacchan will get mad at him for saying it’s okay. It doesn’t seem like the kind of thing Kacchan would do, but his masters have taken him by surprise before and Kacchan wants him to say no more than any masters have before so–

“You’re overthinking it, Deku.”

Deku flinches as he realizes he was muttering, but Kacchan doesn’t seem to mind. “Kacchan can look through Deku’s notebook,” he decides. He’s still tense as Kacchan does, but he’s not panicking. He can focus on breakfast and be okay.

Or at least, he can be not completely destroyed by the anxiety as he waits for Kacchan’s reaction.

“You’re pretty smart, Deku,” Kacchan says.

Deku squeaks and nearly drops the eggs. “Deku just likes heroes, Ma–Kacchan. He isn’t that smart, he just–”

“Don’t argue with me, Deku,” Kacchan says fondly. “I say you’re smart, so…”

Deku turns the stove off so he can bury his bright red face in his hands without having to worry about the food. His ears and tail twitch happily. It’s been so long since anyone even let him write in his notebooks, much less complimented him for them. “Deku is smart,” he repeats dutifully.

“That’s right,” Kacchan affirms. He walks over and gently rubs Deku’s back. “And Deku is a good bunny too.”

“Deku is a good bunny,” Deku whispers, awestruck. He feels like he’s going to burst with pride.

He stays pressed up against Kacchan’s side all through breakfast. He has to be careful not to jostle Kacchan’s broken arm, but the affection is worth it. He can be brave for Kacchan. Kacchan reads the notebook all through breakfast.

“This is impressive,” he says as he finishes and hands it back. “You’re figured out a lot just from news reports. Think you could do more with more information?”

Deku isn’t really sure what Kacchan thinks he’s doing with the information. He’s just making notes on things that interest him, but he nods, hugging the notebook to his chest. “I–Deku guesses so, but Deku only has news reports.”

Kacchan hums. “I think I can figure something out.” He opens his mouth, closes it again.

“Kacchan?” Deku asks softly. “Does Kacchan want to say something?”

Kacchan shrugs. “I’m not really sure how to phrase this.”

Deku rests a hand on Kacchan’s chest and peers up at him, waiting patiently. Kacchan looks at him and smiles wistfully.

“Is Deku the only name you’ve ever had?” he asks.

“Y–” Deku pauses, thinks. He presses closer to Master, to Kacchan, unable to meet his eye. “Deku is the name that Deku’s first Master gave him. But it’s Deku’s name now.”

Kacchan nods. “That’s what I thought. If you ever want to tell me the name you had before, I’ll listen.”

Deku tenses, anxiety sinking into his bones. He hadn’t really minded being renamed. It meant his Masters could never touch his oldest, happiest memories. He was Deku and they were safe with someone else with a different name. “Deku… Deku isn’t ready for that yet. Deku is sorry.”

“That’s alright, good bunny. You don’t have to tell me. I just wanted to let you know that you can.”

Deku takes a deep breath. “Deku isn’t ready yet, Ma–Kacchan. But he will be,” he promises. “Someday. He will be.”

Kacchan presses another kiss to the top of his head. “I’m looking forward to it.”

By the end of the week, Bakugou has to get Deku a wrist brace. The bunny will not stop writing in every spare moment and Bakugou is worried he’ll hurt himself. He can’t bring himself to make Deku stop though. Deku’s sheer joy is infectious and Bakugou catches himself smiling fondly every time he finds Deku curled up somewhere with his phone and notebook, feet thumping cheerfully. Eventually, he lets Deku use the desktop computer too and finds himself having to remind Deku to eat and sleep. It’s worth it though. Anything that makes his bunny so happy is worth it.

Deku takes the wrist brace and just keeps writing. When he finishes one notebook in three days, Bakugou sends it to Tenya. Tenya sends him an article about how to talk to you pet about getting their first job.

Bakugou reads it carefully, but he doubts he’ll have too much trouble convincing Deku to spend more time around heroes.

Denki has never really been nervous to talk to another pet before. He’s outgoing to a fault, usually getting in trouble by talking too much. He’s even had pets lash out at him before. But he’s never been angry enough to bite back like Deku did. He accused Deku of not being loved by his Master. But neither his Master nor Master Bakugou really understand the gravity of that sort of thing and they both think a simple apology will be enough to repair the relationship. Denki apologized already, but he still feels awful.

“I can hear you moping from here.”

Denki sparks a little bit. “I didn’t ask for you opinion, Shouto.”

The scarred cat shrug and goes back to staring out of the car window at some birds. The two of them are helping Master bring some packages to Master Bakugou since Master Bakugou isn’t supposed to leave the house when possible. “I know. But I didn’t ask to stand around and watch you mope either. Deku apologized already.”

“So? You heard what I said to him,” Denki reminds him, shamefaced.

“I heard what he said to you too. Are you still mad at him?”

“Of course not!”

“Why not?”

Denki opens his mouth to respond, but trails off. He actually has to think about this. “It’s not his fault he doesn’t know how his Master should be. It’s not his fault he thinks that’s normal.”

“Well, there’s the problem,” Shouto says cooly. “Stop acting like he’s too stupid to know any better. He hit first, you hit back. That’s all that happened.”

Denki wants to say more, but that’s when the car stops and Shouto gets out immediately. He grabs one of the larger packages and hoists it over his shoulder. Denki grabs a couple of the smaller ones and follows.

When they get up to the house, there’s a strange air to it. Master actually knocks on the door and Master Bakugou greets him without any explosions. His arm is still in a sling. Denki has seen plenty of injured heroes before, but never so long after a battle.

“Denki! Shouto! You’re here!” Deku seems cheerful at least. He’s got new clothes too. His normal plain t shirt and gym shorts have been replaced by tan cargo shorts with a notebook and pencils sticking out of the pockets and a Ground Zero tank top. “How are you?” He lifts the package out of Shouto’s hands and carries it into the living room, chattering cheerfully the whole way.

Denki falls back into small talk easily enough as they get Deku’s new nest set up. Deku doesn’t mention what happened to that one, but Shouto has already told Denki that it was a bit on the small side.

The new nest is much fancier. Master Bakugou has finally figured out how to spoil his pet. Took him long enough, Denki can’t help but think. It’s a rectangular structure, about six feet long, three feet deep, and four feet tall. The floor has a built in futon and a separate space partitioned off for storage. Deku fills that space with a dozen blank notebooks from one of the boxes Denki brought in.

“What’s with the notebooks?” Denki asks curiously. He’d gotten a few notebook when he tried drawing a few years ago but nothing much ever came of that.

Deku shrugs. “Oh, I just like writing about heroes and stuff. Master let me have some notebooks so I can keep my thoughts organized. He’s really nice like that.” He wiggles excitedly. “Master says I’m really good at hero analysis!”

“There’s a lot of things you can do with a skill like that,” Shouto comments. “Have you ever thought about getting a job?”

Deku freezes, eyes wide with panic. “Can’t–can’t say that I have," he squeaks.

Chapter Text

Bakugou swears he’s starting to develop a sixth sense for when Deku gets nervous or panicky. He’s just talking about work with Kirishima, making plans to actually meet with his new intern and at least go back to the agency for desk work, when he stops. He’s not sure what’s changed. Something in the air, maybe. Maybe Bakugou spontaneously developed a quirk. Or maybe it’s just a safe assumption that Deku is panicking at any given moment. Who knows? The important thing is that he stands to go check on Deku right when Shouto walks into the room.

Deku follows closely behind Shouto before sprinting to Bakugou’s side. He clings nervously to the strap of Bakugou’s sling.

Bakugou reaches around to pet Deku’s head. “What’s wrong?” he asks.

Deku just shakes his head and hides his face in Bakugou’s side with a tiny whimper.

“I mentioned that he could get a job,” Shouto says. “I said he should talk to you about it. He’s obviously very intelligent and I know you could always use more analysts.”

Deku keeps shaking his head frantically.

And there go all of Bakugou’s plans to ease him into it. He pinches the bridge of his nose where Deku won’t see. He’s willing to be patient for Deku’s sake, but he’s still human. He’s going to get frustrated. But then again, knowing who had Deku before…

“Thank you for telling me,” Bakugou says. He can’t keep all the tension out of his voice. “That’s something for me and Deku to worry about.”

He wishes he could just make everyone stop interacting with his pet for a little while but he doesn’t want Deku getting lonely either. Still, it only takes Deku a few minutes of cuddling before he pulls away and goes back to getting his room set up.

The next hour passes without any incident, or at least no incident that makes Deku come back for more comfort. Kirishima helps him figure out how income tax works with a pet as payment for all the tutoring Bakugou gave him in high school. Just as Bakugou thinks he’s about to blow up the desk, Deku comes back in with a smile.

“Does Kacchan want to see Deku’s new room?”

Bakugou smiles at him. “Sure, good bunny. Let’s see what you got.”

In all honesty, Bakugou forgot most of what he bought for Deku. He didn’t really care what it was as long as it made Deku happy. At least Deku seems to have good taste. What had once been a bare, beige room is now a bright, colorful sanctuary. The hardwood floor is covered by a circular carpet in yellow, blue, and red and beanbag chairs in black, green, and orange. The walls aren’t painted, but Deku ordered some wall hangings to make up for it. There’s a massive picture of Bakugou himself with a flashy Ground Zero logo and explosions on the far wall. To the right is a smaller poster of All Might hanging above the walk-in closet. The poster is still bigger than Deku is, of course. All four walls have platforms mounted onto them for Deku to climb connected by various ramps. Just above the level of Bakugou’s head is a net to catch Deku if he falls by mistake. The biggest platform is the one right by Ground Zero’s signature devilish smirk.

Deku hops up there as soon as they enter the room. “Deku can sleep up here when Kacchan is working,” he says cheerfully. Deku has already moved one of his notebooks and the comfort pillow up here as well as his new jewelry box. It’s clear that this is his favorite spot already.

Bakugou can’t help but laugh at that, making Deku pout. “Sorry,” Bakugou says. “You’re just adorable, that’s all.”

That makes Deku pout even more, but that makes Bakugou grin even more. It’s hard not to get emotional when Deku can finally express dislike of something that Bakugou does without panicking.

“Is Kacchan just gonna stare at Deku all day?” Deku asks. He’s laying on his platform, one hand dangling over the edge. One ear is perked up so he can listen while the other flops in front of his face.

“Not all day,” Bakugou says with a smirk as he snaps a quick picture. “But I actually have some presents for you.” After Deku had ordered all his own things, Bakugou went back and made a few purchases of his own. Of course now, he’s a little more nervous about giving them to Deku. “I’ll be right back.”

He goes back to the main room to get the packages and kick Kirishima and the pets out of his house. In a nice way.

Deku smiles fondly as he listens to Kacchan screaming at Master Kirishima and blowing him up. It’s strange to think that it doesn’t terrify him anymore, but it’s almost relaxing.

He leans over the edge of his platform when Kacchan comes back with a large bag. He’s tired from moving everything in and he yawns as he opens it. Inside are a few boxes and some clothes.

The clothes make Deku tense up a bit. Neat button down shirts and tailored slacks. They’re almost like–

“I thought you might like some more, uh, professional looking clothes,” Kacchan explains carefully.

Deku’s eyebrows wrinkle and he sets the clothes aside to open the biggest box. “Whatever makes Kacchan happy,” he mumbles dismissively.

Kacchan sighs, sitting in one of Deku’s beanbag chairs. “Deku. We talked about this. It’s not about what I want. This is for you. How do you feel about working?”

Deku shrugs. Inside the bigger box are a few loops of baby pink shibari ropes. They’re probably just mean for Deku to restrain Kacchan with, but Deku notices that they’re thin enough to easily be hidden under clothing. “Deku likes these,” he comments, holding them out for Kacchan to see.

“I’m glad you like it. But we really need to talk about this.”

Deku opens the other boxes. There are bullet vibrators in many different colors, a jeweled butt plug made for extended insertion, and some bracelets to go with his outfit. There’s also a collar tag that states that he’s a working pet. Deku hops up to one of the higher platforms to put the sex toys away and then jumps back down to neatly place the jewelry in his new box. The tag gets shoved to the very back where he doesn’t have to look at it.

“Deku,” Kacchan prompts when he realizes Deku isn’t planning to respond. “I need you to answer the question. How do you feel about working?”

Deku doesn’t actually know what he feels. His masters taught him to be terrified of having even the slightest bit of independence. Whenever he tries to think about it, all the can remember is his old masters.

“Deku will work i–” His breath catches in his throat and he swallows. “Does Kacchan want Deku to work?” He’s still staring into the jewelry box, unable to summon the courage to face his master.

Kacchan looks at him and sighs. “This isn’t about me. I want you to do what you want.”

Deku’s shoulders go tense. He trembles. He has to answer the question. He doesn’t want this to escalate into a panic attack. “Deku isn’t allowed to work,” he explains. “Only bad pets that aren’t worth the money spent to buy them should work.”

Kacchan’s hands spark for a moment. He gets it under control quickly but it’s suddenly a lot less relaxing. “That’s bullshit and you know it. Unless you wanna tell me you think Denki’s a bad pet. Or that All Might is.”

Deku hugs himself for comfort. He feels like he’s coming apart at the seams. He doesn’t actually think that but it’s what his masters taught him to recite. But Kacchan isn’t like his other masters. He doesn’t know what to do. “Deku…” he takes a deep breath. “Deku doesn’t know what he wants.”

This is too much for him to deal with alone. He jumps down and runs into Kacchan’s arms, still poised to flee if he feels the need. “Deku doesn’t understand why Master thinks he should work,” he mumbles softly.

Kacchan runs a hand through his hair, petting him softly. “Because I believe in you. Your notebooks are incredible. You figure things out in five minutes that some of my sidekicks can’t figure out in five months. That’s amazing. You’re amazing, Deku.” He speaks in a gentle whisper, a tone Deku has never head from another master before.

That’s what seals the deal. Deku’s first instinct is to shake his head and deny all the praise, but Kacchan has made it pretty clear what he wants. “Deku will do it,” he whispers. “Even if he’s scared.”

Kacchan tilts Deku’s head up with one finger under his chin. His bright red eyes are soft and worried. “Deku, don’t do this for me. Do this for you, okay?”

“Deku doesn’t know what he wants,” Deku repeats. “But Deku knows what Kacchan wants and he knows what his old masters wanted and Kacchan is Deku’s master right now and–” He breaks eye contact, looking down and away. This is absolutely terrifying to admit, but only Kacchan will hear it. “Deku would rather obey Kacchan than his old masters.”

Kacchan doesn’t reply immediately. Deku jolts when he feels something wet on his ear and then looks up to see Kacchan in tears.

“Kacchan?” he asks nervously.

“It’s alright, Deku,” Kacchan laughs as he wipes his eyes. “I’m just happy to hear you say that.”

Deku blushes at that and buries his face in Kacchan’s stomach.

“How about this?” Kacchan offers. “We try it out for a few days and see if you like it? If not, I’ll take you back home and we figure something out, okay?”

Deku nods, his face still buried in Kacchan’s chest. “That sounds good, Kacchan. We can do that. Deku will still be scared though.” He’s getting better at doing things he’s scared of with Kacchan’s help.

“Of course,” Kacchan replies. “But I’m sure you can do it. You’re so brave and beautiful, Deku.” He gently caresses Deku’s ears, making Deku giggle. His ears are always sensitive.

He just stands there for a moment, enjoying Kacchan’s presence. He feels okay when he’s in Kacchan’s arms, but he won’t be able to just have Kacchan hug him the whole time they’re at work, but…

“Deku wants to try something,” he whispers before he loses his nerve. “He’s really scared though.”

“What is it, good bunny?”

“Deku wants Kacchan to tie him up.”

It takes all of Bakugou’s willpower not to refuse immediately. He wants to encourage Deku to communicate his wants and needs. “I’m not sure that you’re ready to be restrained just yet,” he says cautiously.

Deku shakes his head. “Deku isn’t,” he agrees. “But Kacchan can tie Deku up without restraining him, right? Just make him feel like he always has Kacchan close.”

Fuck. Deku is getting really good at tugging on Bakugou’s heartstrings. One of these days Deku is gonna do something so cute that Bakugou will have a heart attack and die and it will be worth it.

“Alright we can try that,” he says. “Why don’t you get your new ropes? I thought they would look beautiful against your skin.” He’s getting excited. He had hoped to be able to tie Deku up someday, but he expected that he’s be waiting years at the best.

Bakugou is hyperaware of all the ways that this could go horribly wrong, but it’s worth it for the sight of Deku grinning as he wriggles out of his clothes and comes back to Bakugou with a loop of rope in his mouth.

Deku offers it to Bakugou eagerly, but tenses the moment Bakugou takes it. “Deku doesn’t want to be restrained,” he repeats quickly.

Bakugou nods as he starts unwinding the rope. “No restraint. Got it. If I’m getting too close, you remember our safeword, right?”

Deku grabs the loose end of the rope and starts nibbling on it. “What’s that?”

Bakugou blinks. He never did give Deku a safeword, did he? He explains as he finishes unwinding the rope. “A safeword is a word you can use that will make me stop what I’m doing, no matter what. Even if we aren’t playing, if I’m scaring you or going too far, just say your safeword and I’ll stop, okay?”

Deku furrows his brow like he’s suspicious of the whole concept. “Why can’t Deku just say stop?”

“That’s an option,” Bakugou acknowledges. “But I want it to be something you’ll actually use. I don’t know if you’re ready to say ‘stop’ to me when you need to.”

Deku flinches. “Okay. Kacchan’s right. What’s Deku’s safeword.”

“I’ll let you decide on that, okay? What’s a good word for you?”

Deku thinks for a moment, chewing intently on the rope. The end is already starting to fray and Bakugou can’t help but think of how much he spent on those ropes. Oh well.

“Zero?” Deku offers. “It’s part of Kacchan’s hero name and Deku is allowed to say that.”

Deku is allowed to say whatever the fuck he wants, but this isn’t the time to push that.

“Zero,” Kacchan repeats. “I like it.”

Chapter Text

Bakugou hesitates for a moment, just running the rope over his hands. He’s still reluctant to do this, worried about how he might hurt his precious pet. But he also wants to let Deku push his limits at his own pace. And, if he’s being selfish, he wants to see how Deku looks in the ropes.

“Alright, Deku,” he finally says. “Let’s head into the living room.” He doesn’t want to traumatize Deku in his brand new room if something goes wrong.

Deku bounds ahead of him, his fluffy little tail wiggling excitedly as he stands in front of the couch. “Deku’s ready,” he insists, although Bakugou can see that he’s shaking lightly.

“What do you say if you need to stop?” Bakugou asks.

Deku scowls. It would be adorable if he wasn’t getting so annoyed about basic safety. “Deku will say Zero if he needs to stop but Deku doesn’t need to stop.” His ears twitch and there are tears in his eyes.

“I know that, good bunny,” Bakugou says firmly. “Now, let’s get started.” He drops to one knee and takes off the sling. His arm is healing well enough that he just needs the cast anyway. This gives Deku more room to get away and gives Bakugou better access to the bun.

Slowly and carefully, letting Deku see everything he’s doing, Bakugou loops the rope around Deku’s waist, pulling it just tight enough that Deku can feel it without it hurting him.

Deku lets out a small whimper and he grabs Bakugou’s hair tight enough to hurt. “Deku doesn’t want to be restrained,” he repeats.

“I won’t restrain you,” Bakugou promises. He keeps a careful eye on Deku as he loops the rope around again, not trusting him to safeword if he needs to. “Can you tell me what you do want out of this?”

Deku chews on his lip for a moment, but the distraction seems to have calmed him down at least a little bit. “Being tied up… it used to be something Deku liked. It used to be a good thing. But now it scares me and I– Deku misses it. Deku wants to be able to like it again.”

So it’s a kind of exposure therapy then. Alright. Bakugou can work with that. “Okay, good bunny. I can help you with that.” He loops one end of the rope around Deku’s upper thigh, letting Deku straddle his shoulder so the bunny can see that Bakugou won’t tie his legs together. Deku fidgets and squirms a bit as Bakugou finishes tying the hip harness, but it never passes into the kind of blatant unease that Bakugou knows he needs to worry about. When the hip harness is done, there’s still a good bit of rope left, so Bakugou just places it in Deku’s hands, finally removing Deku’s hands from his hair. “We’re gonna take a break here,” he decides. “I want you to make sure you’re okay with that before we keep going. Do you need anything?”

Kacchan is taking this really slowly. Deku wants to ask Kacchan to just get this over with, but that would probably mean it will end. The sick, roiling anxiety in his gut won’t go away when he’s fully tied. He chews on the rope in his hands and tries not to cry at the sight of his master kneeling in front of him. He always had a platform to stand on before when Master needed easy access. But Kacchan isn’t like Master.

Unable to speak, Deku just wraps his arms around Kacchan and holds on for dear life. He doesn’t cry, but he does shake and tremble. And yet, at the same, there still is something soothing about the pressure. Knowing Kacchan loves him enough to do this for him, to keep him close even when they aren’t physically in the same room. It’s enough that he slowly starts to unwind, wiggling his tail. Deku’s tail is framed by a triangle of rope. He had expected a little bit of constriction there, but Kacchan made sure not even his tail was restrained.

Emboldened by that realization, Deku looks down at the harness. He blinks for a moment and then squeaks, burying his face in his own hands and Kacchan’s chest. Each thigh has a heart shaped pattern on it.

“Kacchan…” Deku squeaks, one foot thumping happily.

Kacchan chuckles. “What? I just wanted to show my good bunny how much I love him.”

Okay, that’s just unfair. Deku feels like he’s gonna melt. He beats his head lightly against Kacchan’s shoulder until Kacchan peels him off with a light laugh.

“Are you ready to keep going?” Kacchan asks.

Deku pauses, actually thinking about the question. He doesn’t feel like the anxiety is going to drown him anymore. He nods.

Kacchan gently takes the rope out of his hands and starts wrapping it around his chest. “Let me know if you don’t like anything, Deku.”

Deku’s anxiety quickly returns, but he keeps his eyes fixed on the hearts on his thighs and reminds himself that Kacchan loves him and is good to him and he can get through this.

And Kacchan is so good to him. He even throws the rope over Deku’s shoulders instead of just pulling it over to make sure his hands don’t go near Deku’s neck at all. Slowly, the comforting pressure builds and it feels like Deku is wrapped in a tight embrace. The fear never leaves, but Kacchan never leaves either. He’s always right there and checking in and making sure Deku can’t get lost in the fear. Deku is crying by the time Kacchan ties the last knot at his hipbone, but they’re happy tears.

Kacchan gently brushes the tears away. “Everything okay, good bunny?”

Deku nods. “I’m okay.”

“You wanna see what it looks like?”

Deku nods again.

Kacchan leads him into the master bedroom, to the full length mirror hanging off Kacchan’s closet door. Deku’s eyes widen as he admires himself. The rope hugs his body tightly, showing off his curves while still drawing the eye to his cock. The pink matches his collar perfectly and the hearts on his thighs are the perfect mixture of sweet and sexy. If Kacchan had asked Deku how he wanted to look (and Deku had even known where to start answering) it would probably be something like this.

Of course, Deku isn’t the only one appreciating how he looks. Kacchan’s eyes are wide and his pupils are blown out, but he’s holding himself back for Deku’s sake. Of course he is. And that would be totally fine, but Deku has soft ropes caressing almost every part of him and he knows Kacchan wants him.

“Does Kacchan want something?” he asks, batting his eyelashes and leaning back against Kacchan to look up at him with round, sweet eyes.

He watches as Kacchan closes his eyes and swears under his breath.

“Kacchan?” he prompts, tilting his head to one side and shifting so he brushes against Kacchan’s cock as he turns around. Just like he suspected, it’s starting to get hard. “Are you okay?”

Kacchan smiles wryly at him. He’s catching on to the game. “You look really pretty like that, Deku.”

I know I do. “Really, Kacchan? Do you wanna touch me?”

Kacchan hesitates. Deku can almost see the reply formulating in his brain, something vague and noncommittal and asking Deku to make all the decisions by himself.

“Yeah, good bunny. Yeah, I do.”

Oh. Maybe Kacchan’s learning after all. Deku smiles.

Kacchan sits down on the edge of the bed, facing the mirror. “C’mere, Deku,” he prompts as he unzips his pants and fishes himself out. “Sit in my lap.

And there’s that stab of anxiety again as Deku watches Kacchan stroke himself. Kacchan is big and Deku hasn’t done nearly enough prep for this.

“I’m not gonna put it in,” Kacchan reassures him. He looks like he wants to say something more, but he stays quiet.

It’s enough though. Deku climbs up into Kacchan’s lap, his legs framing Kacchan’s cock and his own cock starting to perk up in interest. His tail is a bit squished up against Kacchan, but he can’t bring himself to care. He leans back in Kacchan’s lap, staring at both of them in the mirror.

Kacchan’s frame completely swallows his own but with one arm still in a cast, Deku isn’t worried about not being able to get away. Oh wait. He thought about it. That was a mistake. Now he gets to see his face twist in fear as his breathing picks up.

“Deku? What’s wrong?”

“Deku doesn’t want to be restrained,” Deku gasps out. He’s said it often enough that the words come to him easily. Or he can get them out, at least.

Kacchan nods. “Do you want me to untie you?”

Deku shakes his head. “Deku likes the ropes!”

“Alright. Is it okay if I touch your thighs?”

Deku nods and he smiles as Kacchan does just that. The soft touch to his upper thighs, right where his fur starts, reminds him of the first time Kacchan touched him. He had been terrified then, and he’s still scared now, but the trust Kacchan built since then is still there. Deku is safe.

Not only is Deku safe, but the soft touches are enough to get him fully hard. Kacchan’s cock is just as hard, poking up between Deku’s legs.

“Can Deku touch you?”

Kacchan presses a kiss to the tip of Deku’s ear. “Only if you touch yourself too, good bunny.”

Deku can do that. He tightens his thighs around Kacchan, trapping his cock in the space between the ropes. Kacchan’s cock is so big that he can’t get his hand around both it and his own, at least not comfortably. Deku really wants it inside him someday, but it’s just gonna take him a while to work up to that. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy himself.

He wraps one hand around Kacchan’s cock and the other comes up to play with his own chest. In the mirror, he can see his whole body flushing, his chest nearly the color of the ropes that surround it. His nipples are so sensitive that it doesn’t long before he’s gasping and moaning. His eyes fall shut and he focuses just on the warm hands on his thighs and the feeling of his fingers ghosting over his nipples and the pulse of Kacchan’s cock in his hand.

Kacchan isn’t being quiet either. He lets out soft little moans. He sounds like he’s trying to hold himself back.

Deku doesn’t like that. He squeezes Kacchan’s cock harder, earning a choked off cry. He smiles, kicking his feet against the bed a little bit. “Deku wants to hear Kacchan.”

Kacchan looks stunned, like Deku just punched him in the face. Or tried to take power over him. Like his pet just tried to take power over him.

Cold panic rushes over Deku and he goes limp in Kacchan’s arms. He’s bad. He needs to be punished. He’s–

“It’s okay, good bunny,” Kacchan murmurs. “I’m not mad at you. I’m just a little surprised. You’re a good bunny, Deku. You’re okay. I’m not mad.”

Deku still can’t move. It’s like he’s paralyzed. All he can do is sit there and whimper.

“Shit.” Kacchan’s hands come around him to the knot of the rope and oh he’s going to try to end this.

Deku’s hand shoots out and grabs Kacchan’s wrist. It takes all his willpower to force the words out of his throat. “Deku doesn’t want to stop.”

It takes him a while to be able to start though. Kacchan just rubs his legs and whispers reassurances to him and they both go soft while Deku struggles to regain his composure. He would probably do better with the ropes off of him, but he doesn’t want to lose the hearts on his thighs and the feeling of Kacchan’s love around him. Even if Kacchan is right there to give it to him.

“You know,” Kacchan says once Deku has mostly calmed down. “You can order me around like that more, if you want.”

“Deku… Deku probably isn’t ready for that,” Deku admits.

“Alright. But let me know if you change your mind.”

Deku smiles. “I will.”

From there, things go much better. He never tries to push for power again, but Kacchan is a lot louder, swearing every time Deku does something he likes. Deku rides Kacchan’s cock while Kacchan pets his legs. He doesn’t always have the words to swear, but he’s just as lost in ecstacy.

They cum within moments of each other and Deku can’t tell whose cum is whose as it mingles on his hand. All he knows is that he’s happy.

Deku licks the cum off his hand while Kacchan finally unwinds the rope. There are marks on his skin, but not nearly as deep as he’s used to. That’s probably a good thing. Still, he’s glad to have them there for now.

When the last rope comes off, Deku just wraps his arms around Kacchan and he knows that he can stay there as long as he wants. He knows that he really wants to stay.

So he does.

Chapter Text

Bakugou decides it’s a good idea to get Deku to work as quickly as possible. The last thing he needs is for the bun to have a long time to overthink it and regret his choice. He ends up deciding to go in early with his broken arm to get caught up on his paperwork and teach Deku how things work.

Only two days after he gets Deku to agree to try, he brings the bun to work with him. Deku looks absolutely adorable in his professional clothes. Black slacks, a white button down shirt, and a rose gold belt and watch. He nibbles on his chewing necklace as he fiddles with the work tag on his collar, but he still steps to Bakugou’s side as they get ready to leave the house. He has his leash held loosely in his own hand, the other one resting on Bakugou’s arm.

“What–what exactly is Deku going to be doing?” the bunny asks as Bakugou helps him into the car. Bakugou is still under heavy security with the League still active, so he and Deku are being driven to work by Kamui Woods, who happens to be in the area.

“Today, mostly simple paperwork. Insurance reports and things like that. We’ll also see how comfortable you feel with analysis stuff. You’ll get to meet a lot of heroes, you know.”

Deku kicks his feet against the seat, ears twitching. He’s trying to hide his excitement. Bakugou lets him, for now. He doesn’t want to push Deku too much.

“Remember,” he says gently, “I’m the only one who’s allowed to touch you unless you specifically ask someone else to. If anyone lays a hand on you and you don’t want it, you come tell me immediately. I don’t care if I’m in the middle of a meeting. If I’m not on patrol, you tell me and if I am on patrol, you tell me as soon as I get back. I doubt anything will happen, but I just want to make sure you know that.”

“Deku understands, Kacchan,” Deku says, his voice tinged with impatience. This isn’t the first time Bakugou’s given him this talk. Maybe the bunny’s getting sick of it, but Bakugou wants to make sure. Deku stares out the window as they ride to work, just chewing on his necklace. Bakugou always wonders what he’s thinking but it probably isn’t a good idea to pry right now.

When they get to the office, Uraraka and Tenya are waiting for them outside. Deku’s eyes light up at the sight of another pet, though he still sticks close to Kacchan. For his part, Tenya wags his tail excitedly, but he gives Deku some space.

Uraraka is much bolder. “Oh, hello there,” she greets, stepping forward and crouching down to Deku’s level. “You’re Deku, right?”

Deku nods shyly. He’s clinging onto Bakugou’s pant leg. Bakugou places a comforting hand on his head.

“Deku, this is Uravity and Ingenium. They’re colleagues of mine.”

Deku’s ears flick back so he can hear Bakugou better and he ponders that for a moment. “Uravity… Is that the same Uravity who fought against the Eight Precepts of Death on…” And there they go. Deku is in full rambling mode. Uraraka looks a bit stunned by how much he knows, but she nods along eagerly enough as they go inside.

Tenya hangs back, watching the whole thing with a curious expression on his face.

“Is something wrong?” Bakugou asks him.

Tenya startles. “What? Oh, no, no. Nothing’s wrong. He’s just a bit of an odd one, is all.”

Bakugou snorts. “Yeah, I guess he is.”

Once they get inside, Deku halts in the middle of a muttered sentence. The center of the agency’s main room is taken up by a massive projection screen. It has a map of their portion of the city along with profiles and names of every villain they know about. Various colored lights flash alerts and messages, keeping everyone up to date on what’s going on. It’s a lot of information to take in at once.

“Come on, Deku,” Bakugou calls when he sees Deku staring at it, entranced. He doesn’t want a villain Deku recognizes to pop up on screen and send him into a panic attack. “Let’s put you to work.”

Being at work is a strange concept for Deku. He definitely has worked before, keeping his masters happy, but this is the first time he’s expected to accept some kind of payment for it. And he did talk to his Ma–to Kacchan about this. He’s going to get money for what he’s doing. It’s weird, but then Kacchan gives him food and shelter for nothing, so maybe he needs the extra reward.

He follows Kacchan into his office and looks around curiously. The whole place smells strongly of Kacchan, his rich, comforting scent. He has a fancy desk and chair with a small couch along the wall for guests and his UA graduation diploma and various awards hanging on the wall. Behind him is a window that overlooks the city and opens out onto a small balcony, just big enough for a human to fit on.

“What’s the balcony for?” he asks without thinking.

Kacchan answers, completely unbothered by Deku speaking out of turn. Deku should be used to this by now, but in a new environment around Kacchan’s coworkers, it still surprises him what he can get away with.

“That’s where I take off from when I go to work,” Kacchan explains as he starts getting set up. “If I need to leave quickly in an emergency or something.”

“Kacchan can fly?” Deku asks, utterly amazed.

Kacchan grins at him. “I sure can, good bunny. Anyway, let’s get you set up to work.”

The first few hours at work are an arduous process. Deku needs to be fingerprinted and registered before he’s allowed to access anything, though Kacchan takes care of getting that into the system so no one else touches him. Then there’s a background check, slowed down by how little Deku actually knows about his past masters, and a training video about how to follow hero protocol that Deku will be able to use almost none of. Finally, around noon, Deku actually gets to work for the first time in his life. He sits down on the floor with a clipboard and a stack of paper, leaning against the side of Kacchan’s desk and starts filling out forms.

It’s boring. It’s really boring. After the initial excitement of employment fades, it’s just a series of endless papers. He has to look up a lot of procedures and protocols to untangle the miserable mass of rules that constitute hero insurance, but that doesn’t mean he has fun doing it. Time passes interminably as he works. The papers have no start or end, just numbers and words and complete and utter ennui. Kacchan swears under his breath as he works on his own stuff and it doesn’t take long for Deku to join him, commiserating in the utter suffering that is office life.

When the door slams open, Deku is almost glad for the distraction. He still flings himself under Kacchan’s desk, hiding behind his legs as he trembles, but at least it gets him out of doing paperwork.

“Hey, I thought you were supposed to be my fucking boss or something!” a young man in a Shiketsu hat with two spikes on it yells as he barges into the room. “You don’t get to just fuck off for a couple weeks after you steal me from Suneater! You know what I’ve been doing ever since then? I’ve been in school. You can’t just do that to someone!”

That gets Deku’s blood boiling. Who does this kid think he is to be mean to Kacchan? He almost stands up, but Kacchan places a gentle hand on his head and he settles again, still glaring.

“Nice to see you too, Izumi,” Kacchan says sardonically. “Education is important. Besides, after a battle like that, you need a break. You shouldn’t be jumping right back into the thick of things.”

“What are you talking about? Of course I should be! That fucking bastard killed my parents!” the kid–Izumi–screams.

Suddenly, Deku doesn’t hate or fear him anymore. Instead, all he feels is sympathy. That and a desire to make sure the poor boy never has to go through something like that again. He darts out of his hiding spot and wraps his arms around Izumi, gently hugging him.

This is not how Izumi thought this day would go. He expected to yell at Ground Zero, get some of his grief off his chest–not that he’ll ever admit that’s what he’s trying to do, and maybe get to go on a patrol, not to get hugged by a random green rabbit. Even Mirio isn’t this obnoxious when he’s feeling affectionate. The rabbit has his arms pinned to his sides and his own face buried in Izumi’s chest and Izumi is smart enough to figure that Ground Zero wouldn’t appreciate it if Izumi just blasted him away.

“What the fuck?” he demands.

Ground Zero is hiding a smile and there’s laughter in his voice as he replies. “Izumi, meet Deku. He’s my pet. Deku, this is my intern. Hero Name: Water Hose.”

“Water Hose…” Deku mutters, his face still pressed against Izumi’s chest. He keeps mumbling under his breath. Izumi has no idea what he’s saying, just that it’s really pissing him off.

He raises his hand, but Ground Zero clicks his tongue. It’s pretty obvious that Ground Zero wouldn’t be pleased if Izumi just got rid of the bunny.

“Are you going to let him go, Deku?” Ground Zero asks gently.

Deku shakes his head against Izumi’s chest. “Nuh-uh.”

“You can’t hold him forever.”

“Yes I can.”

Ground Zero sighs. “Well, are you just gonna abandon me to my paperwork then?”

The bunny goes stiff. Slowly, he pulls his arms away. The moment Izumi is free, the bunny darts back under Ground Zero’s desk.

“There we go. Good boy.” Ground Zero pets Deku’s head for a moment before he turns his attention back to Izumi, acting like the interruption never happened.

“First thing you need to know about being a hero is that you can’t fight every battle. More importantly, you shouldn’t. If you push yourself beyond what you can handle, you become a liability. You can get yourself hurt.”

“I don’t care if I get hurt,” Izumi grumbles, though it isn’t really that true. “I just want to take M–”

Ground Zero shakes his head quickly.

Izumi glares, but doesn’t push it. Sure, Ground Zero and Suneater are technically the same rank, but everyone knows Ground Zero is a lot cooler and he’s definitely better than working for Best Jeanist or someone. “I just wanna take him out.”

“Well, great job you’re doing so far,” Ground Zero bites back sarcastically as he raises the arm that’s still in a cast.

Izumi blushes. “You could have gotten it healed.”

“That’s not the point.” Ground Zero glances down at his bunny and very visibly doesn’t say something. “If you want to go back out in the field, you have to prove to me that you won’t be a danger to yourself or anyone else. You need to have some discipline. You’re not going out in the field until I say you can. Is that clear?”

Izumi sneers. That was the one major advantage to working with Suneater. No matter how great a hero he is, at the end of the day, he’s still pretty much a pushover. “Yeah, fine, whatever. I’ll go get started on paperwork or whatever.”

“No, no, you can stay!” a small voice pipes up. Ground Zero and Izumi both stare at the bunny, who’s still crouched behind Ground Zero’s legs.

Deku blushes bright pink. “De–He’ll probably need some help with paperwork. So it’ll be easier to have him around. To help him with paperwork. And stuff like that. Right, Kacchan?”

“Kacchan?” Izumi repeats with a laugh.

“Yeah. That’s what he calls me.” To Izumi’s irritation, Ground Zero doesn’t seem at all bothered by it. He crouches down to Deku’s level. “Deku, is there a reason you want him to stay around?”

“Deku doesn’t know. He’s Kacchan’s intern, right? Deku will have to get used to having him around, right? Won’t it make more sense for him to stay here?”

Ground Zero thinks for a moment. “Yeah, whatever, I guess it doesn’t really matter where he does his paperwork. Izumi, grab your things and get back in here.”

Izumi salutes mockingly. “Whatever you say, boss.” The bunny stares at him unblinkingly as he leaves.

Bakugou has to admit this isn’t the kind of problem he was expecting when he brought Deku to work. He had anticipated that there would be some problems, but he’s not even sure what’s going on here. Deku won’t stop watching the door, pacing anxiously as he waits for Izumi to get back.

“Something wrong?” Bakugou asks.

“Deku doesn’t want him wandering off. He could get into trouble. Or danger. Or something. I just–” Deku runs his hands through his hair. “Deku doesn’t want him to get hurt.” He flinches. “He means, Deku doesn’t want Kacchan to get hurt either, he just–”

“It’s okay. I know you’re mine,” Bakugou assures him.

“He’s–Izumi’s Kacchan’s too, isn’t he?” Deku muses. “In a way. Kacchan’s going to be helping him grow into a proper hero, right?” As he starts to pace nervously, his sweet scent slowly begins to permeate the room. It’s not that noticeable, but by now, it’s become pretty comforting to Bakugou. Somewhat less so when he can see how stressed Deku is. “And Deku’s yours too, so–” He lets out a tiny noise of frustration. “Deku doesn’t know, okay? Deku doesn’t know why he’s so important.”

Bakugou takes a deep breath. It’s not really any harm, at least as far as he can tell. “That’s okay, good bunny. We’ll figure it out together.”

Deku nods and offers a weak half smile, but he doesn’t stop pacing until Izumi returns to the room with his laptop.

Izumi takes a spot on the couch and Deku, who had been hanging out on the floor by Bakugou’s desk, immediately dashes to his side. Bakugou is almost jealous, if he wasn’t sure this was some weird pet thing he doesn’t understand. Okay, maybe he’s a little jealous anyway. It took him months to bond with his pet and now Deku’s bonding with someone else immediately. But Bakugou is at least mature enough not to take that jealousy out on Deku or Izumi.

For now, anyway. He never thought this job would be easy.

Since he won’t be able to go back to the field for a few more days anyway, he doesn’t feel particularly motivated to get all his paperwork done as quickly as possible. Instead, he gives himself a break to go do some research into pets.

And then, when that fails him, he goes in search of Tenya. He should have some answers at least.

“I’ll be right back, good bunny,” Bakugou calls over his shoulder as he leaves the room.

Deku doesn’t even reply.

Deku feels… weird. Almost like he has a fever, but not quite. He definitely feel overheated though and there’s some weird anxiety roiling in his gut. He doesn’t want Kacchan to have to see Izumi get hurt by doing something stupid. That makes sense, right? Izumi’s probably been in danger before?

Probably, given someone apparently killed his parents. Maybe that’s why Deku feels such a connection to him. They’ve both been through a lot. But Deku never felt this kind of connection to Shouto…

He can’t make sense of it and he can’t focus on the paperwork either, not unless he’s pressed right up against Izumi so he can make sure he’s safe. For Kacchan’s sake of course. Probably.

He stands up, realizing that Kacchan isn’t in the room and he blinks in surprise.

“Where’s Kacchan?” he asks Izumi.

The boy shrugs. “Hell if I know. He didn’t say. I bet he’s just going to take a piss or something. What’s it matter to you?”

“He’s Deku’s master,” Deku explains, but he’s distracted by a sudden pain in his gut.

He doubles over, clutching his abdomen as the pain rips through him. It’s not the worst pain he’s ever felt, but it’s definitely up there. He feels like he’s being torn apart from the inside.

“Hey, hey, are you okay?” Izumi demands, rushing to his side.

Deku just clings to him, trying to breathe through the pain. Slowly, it begins to subside. He still feels faint and feverish though and Izumi has to help him to the couch.

“Wh– fuck, I don’t–” Izumi hesitates for a moment, clearly unsure what to do. “I don’t remember any of this shit!”

“It’s okay,” Deku reassures him. “Kacchan will be back soon. He’ll take care of us.” Sweat beads on his forehead and he needs Izumi to help him lay down on the couch.

Just as his vision starts to blur and the pain starts to overwhelm him, the door opens and Kacchan comes back, Tenya trailing behind him. The familiar scent of Alpha hits Deku’s nose hard.

Oh. Oh.

He’s never felt anything like this before, but that makes sense. He’s always been anxious, always been under too much stress and he’s never really felt secure enough to even think about taking care of someone else.

Kacchan kneels by his side and presses a water bottle into his hand, helping him drink. It soothes his burning throat and helps bring the world back into focus.

“You with me, good bunny?” Kacchan asks.

Deku nods. “Always.”

“How are you feeling?”

Deku almost says he’s fine, but another jolt of pain rips through him and he whimpers. Kacchan strokes his hair and arms gently. Deku really wants a hug, but he hurts too much to speak and Kacchan is good enough not to restrict him without asking permission first.

“It’s okay,” Kacchan assures him. “It’s going to be okay. We’ll get through this, I promise. Do you understand what’s happening?”

Deku nods. The fever, the pain in his gut, the sudden urge to protect and nurture a child. It all makes sense.

For the first time in his life, he’s going into heat.