Kaminari Denki, the electric boy of 1-A, knows that there are a lot more to his power than shocking people and shocking MORE people. That is, well, shocking himself. It’s easier to control the electricity within him when it’s in him, joined by neurons and synapses. There are conduits and systems for the electricity to flow too, unlike when he fires it out, wild and volatile.
He doesn’t do it too often.
The human brain is a delicate thing, wired with billions of neurons that transmit messages to one another, firing with electrical and chemical impulses when the cell hyperpolarizes or depolarizes. He’s studied every research paper he could get his hands on, he knows how to enhance his memory, how to turn off his emotions, how to stop feeling fear, just by altering the electric currents he sends.
The easiest way for him to do it is to short-term short-circuit the area. It’s quick, but the lasting effects vary, and sometimes he gets worried that it’ll never go back to normal, so he doesn’t do it that much. Sometimes there are side-effects, things that the research didn’t yet cover because the human brain is still largely a mystery. Getting majorly depressed and sobbing hadn’t been fun, and he had to shock himself unconscious to prevent him from killing himself. Not a fun weekend.
Enhancing an area was a trippy experience, and exhausted him a lot with the spent muscles. He could use it to boost his speed, make the motor neurons in his legs fire rapidly. He could use it to enhance his eyesight and focus, but then his eyes would be dry and painful.
He could turn off his pain receptors. But that hadn’t gone too well the last time he did it. His mother saw him almost chop off his pinky, and he hadn’t registered it because he had been so spent. She screamed bloody murder and that was when he realized the reason the knife wouldn’t move was because his bone was in the way. That had been… a wild ride. He still has the scar.
He does, sometimes, still shock himself the simple way.
His eyes burn with unshed tears as he re-focuses on his textbook, thigh throbbing where his finger sent a shiver of electric current. He’s punishing himself whenever his mind wanders so he could condition himself to focus on the math. Kaminari’s pretty decent at all subjects but math. There’s a test tomorrow. He has to pass or he has to stay back after classes every day for remedial classes. Getting a single digit in one test really pulls your class average rank down.
“You can do this,” Kaminari pleads to himself, holding his head in his hands. “Come on, focus.”
His phone vibrates.
Kaminari hesitates, looking between the textbook to the phone. He really shouldn’t, but well… maybe it was something important.
It’s Kirishima, text full of smiley faces as he asks:
Kaminari! :) I’m going to beg Bakugou to teach me last minute math, you in? :) :)
Christ. Bakugou. Math. Could Bakugou even teach? He had been to Yaoyorozu’s house the last time for their midterms, but he felt bad asking her for help when he wasn’t even that close to her. He is desperate. Well, if Bakugou blows his head off… maybe he could stop thinking. There’s no bad result to this if you think about it that way.
Yeah! Meet @ his door
Kaminari sighs, looking down at his bruised thighs. They end up like this every time they had a math test. He decides to change out of his shorts and wear track pants instead.
He grabs his textbook, a notebook, and his pencil case. He hugs the items to his chest as he exits the room, yawning. Trudging, he finds Kirishima already in front of Bakugou’s door, bouncing with nervous energy. Kirishima brightens at the sight of him, knocking on the door.
“Bakugouuuuu help us!”
The class grump opens the door with a snarl. “The fuck do you want?”
“Well, the test is tomorrow, can you teach us enough for us to pass?” Kirishima grins. Bakugou’s red eyes slides from Kirishima’s cheery face to Kaminari’s pouting one intensely.
“Both of you?” He lifts his eyebrow.
“Well, I want Kaminari to pass too!” Kirishima explains, and Kaminari felt a wave of appreciation. Fuck, he didn’t deserve a friend like Kirishima, bless his little heart.
“Bro,” Kaminari fake sniffles.
“I got you bro.”
They fist bump and Bakugou looks disgusted. Whatever, Bakugou looked disgusted at nearly everything, so that's nothing new. Kaminari fully expects Bakugou to reject them, but the explosive blond gives a heavy sigh, leaving the door open as he retreats back into his room.
“If you do that bro shit on me I’m kicking you out.”
Kirishima beams at Kaminari, giving a thumbs up. Huh. Since when had Kirishima been close enough with Bakugou to enter his room without getting killed? Have they been doing this often? Kaminari returns the smile, going in with some hesitation. Bakugou is sitting on the floor, books out in front of him. All the pages on the workbook are neatly completed and tagged with coloured tabs, unlike Kaminari’s largely empty one.
Tentatively, he sits somewhere not too close or too far, but Kirishima plops down right next to Bakugou. “Bakugou, what do you think will come out for tomorrow?”
“You can pass with chapter 3,4 and 7.”
Chapter 7 was the hardest. He was always so bad at statistics.
“Math isn’t even hard, you just need to apply the damn rules,” Bakugou grumbles, but starts flipping his book. “Page 102.”
Kirishima and Kaminari scramble to get to the same page. Bakugou explaines the methods behind it, writing algebraic expressions down with ease. Kaminari kind of gets it, but gets stuck at the next question when Bakugou tells them to do it themselves. He feels discouraged, nibbling the end of his pencil.
Kaminari flinches when a rolled up textbook smackes his head. “Ow!”
“Can’t you even do basic math? It’s 124 and not 125.”
Now he could solve it.
Smiling sheepishly, he changes the answer of that step and finds that he could solve the rest of it. Huh. When he looks up, Bakugou is smiling smugly down at Kaminari’s workbook, pleased that he got it right.
Maybe he wouldn’t fail the test after all.
They spend a few hours at Bakugou’s room, 9pm turning into 2am. By that time they finish all three chapters and covered a little more material from other chapters just in case. Throughout it all, Bakugou explained clearly and concisely, hit them when they got the answers wrong and barked insults at them, but well, that’s not so much different from what Kaminari did to himself, so.
Except Bakugou was smart and got information into him without him having to fry his thighs and leave marks. His fingers trace his throbbing thigh distractedly as Kirishima thanks Bakugou profusely, attempting a ‘bro hug’ that fails when Bakugou shoves him away. Red eyes slide towards him, and Kaminari flinches into consciousness again.
“Oh, thanks a lot Bakugou! Man, I really appreciate it,” Kaminari thanks sheepishly. He had been planning on missing sleep to study, but it seemed like he could at least get a few hours in.
“Just get the fuck out of my room.”
Maybe Kaminari is getting better at reading Bakugou, but that wasn’t anger right there. Bakugou is pleased with their progress and too stubborn to show it. Huh. Were they maybe friends? Or maybe Bakugou just thought of Kiri as a friend and Kaminari was a side plus one. Kirishima was even better at reading Bakugou it seems because he'ds grinning brightly and bidding Bakugou good night like Bakugou didn’t tell them to get out rudely.
“Well, uh, night,” Kaminari gathers his things, and Bakugou nods to show that he heard. They left his room, closing the door behind them.
“Good luck for the test tomorrow buddy!” Kirishima pats his back.
“Thanks for inviting me man,” Kaminari pats Kirishima’s shoulder. They were supportive this way. Man, he is really lucky to have a friend like Kirishima. “Good luck to you too, god knows we need it.”
Kirishima laughs, waving at him as he left. Wow, Kaminari will never know how Kirishima stays so happy. Maybe that was just how Kirishima coped. Shrugging, Kaminari retreats back into his room for a well-deserved rest.
The test goes well. Kaminari’s in a good mood, if kind of sleep deprived. He turns around in his seat right after the test to see Kirishima’s relieved and excited face. Okay great, Kirishima would probably pass too. It’s a thing they did after every test, look at each other and gauge how each other did. They almost always passed or failed the same things, and misery’s not so bad when you got company.
“Kaminari! Wanna eat lunch with Bakugou and me?” Kirishima invites, “I think we should buy him lunch or something to thank him.”
“Oh, yeah sure!” Kaminari nods. That seems fair.
Lunch time rolls around, and the three of them sit together in the cafeteria. Bakugou has the most expensive curry set meal in the school, courtesy of the 2 of them. The curry is red hot, because obviously, Bakugou chose the highest spice setting. Kirishima’s telling them about this show he watched yesterday, and Kaminari’s half listening, half watching Bakugou shovel food down his throat while listening to Kirishima himself. Bakugou hardly even looks at Kaminari.
Kaminari feels like he is intruding.
“So, what do you think Kaminari?”
Kirishima’s eyes are bright and excited. A smile stretches his lips to show sharp teeth. Kaminari slides an easy smile on his face. “I think it’s hilarious, oh my god.”
That’s obviously the right answer, and Kirishima is beaming. “Right right? I can’t believe he did that! He’s so badass and cool.”
Okay, Kirishima must be gushing about a hero show then. He goes back to his own ramen in the midst of Kiri’s cute fanboy ramblings and flinches when he sees Bakugou eyeing him thoughtfully.
“Uh, you want some of this Bakugou?”
“Shut the fuck up,” slips out of Bakugou immediately like a defense mechanism at being caught, “who wants your MSG soaked crap.”
Kaminari shrugs, eating his tasty MSG soaked crap. Bakugou stops looking at him pointedly. Okay then. He lets it go. He’s impressed by how Kirishima can carry on with his one-sided conversation, perfectly happy to talk to half-listening conversation partners.
Kiri’s great, obviously, and he seems to have a functional dynamic going on with Bakugou, who seems slightly uncomfortable in Kaminari’s presence. But that’s okay though. He’s probably not even gonna share the same space with the explosive blond again, this lunch and the study session seeming like a one-time thing.