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2,645 Miles

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July 12, 2018 13:22:05 PM

Heat radiated off of the asphalt as the vacant road stretched for miles across flat, grassy farmlands and rolling hills canopied by trees. The hot, July sun was at its peak and showed no mercy to those caught under its scorching rays. Izuku Midoriya and Ochako Uraraka realized this as they sat on the grass at the side of the road, backs against an old, rusted 98’ Honda Civic, now smoking from under the hood, where a fire had broken out some time ago.

 

The two had subdued the fire some time ago by pouring the entirety of their water supply on the engine and sacrificing Izuku’s shirt trying to beat out the flames. The two figured they had handled the situation rather well, stopping a car fire on their own, but then soon realized that they could no longer get the car to start. Standing in the heat, tired and fatigued, they became very aware of the fact that they were now stranded in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service, and no water.

 

Now, Izuku sat criss-crossed, twirling a blade of grass between his thumb and index finger, looking up at a number of buzzards that had begun to circle in the sky above them. He wondered if this is how it would end: dramatically dying on the side of the road, not even halfway to their destination.

 

“This is ridiculous,” Ochako cut the silence. “We’ve had to have been here for, like, an hour already. How come no one has driven by?”

 

Izuku shrugged. “This is the country, Ochako. I don’t think there’s as many people as back home.” Ochako groaned in frustration and started picking up pebbles from along the road and floating them in an attempt to satisfy her boredom.

 

Izuku, however uncomfortable he felt in the dry heat, which made his neck burn and his body sweat profusely, didn’t mind the situation as much as she did. Sure, the heat was smothering and the car would most likely never again be usable, but the scenery wasn’t half bad. Seeing the blue tinted grass sway in the wind for miles in front of him, until rolling hills full of trees cut them off, was a nice change from the bustling streets back home where noise never stopped and buildings were stacked so close together that when he looked out the window, the only scenery he could see was a rusted fire escape and the red brick of the building next door.

 

He could imagine what it would be like living in a place like this, waking up every morning to the sound of roosters crowing and sitting on a big front porch, drinking coffee, watching farm animals run by. Yeah, that sounds pretty nice, he thought to himself.

 

A little smile pulled at his lip when he was distracted by the sound of Ochako abruptly getting up. “That’s it! Come on, Izuku, we’re walking to the next stop. I can’t sit here any longer! We need- Is that a car?”

 

Izuku popped up quickly, following Ochako’s gaze and - yes - a small, pin prick of a figure along the horizon was moving closer and closer. “What should we do? Should we try to get their attention?”

 

“Mhm.” Ochako confirmed, not really paying attention to her friend as she jogged out into the middle of the road and started waving her arms aggressively, trying to force the driver’s attention on to her.    

 

As the vehicle got closer, Izuku could make out the shape of a massive, red truck hurtling down the road at an ungodly speed. “Ochako, I think you should get out of the road. I don’t think they’re gonna slow down…”

 

“What? Of course they will!” And she stood her ground and continued to wave until the truck was in such close proximity to her that Izuku, out of sheer terror and concern, lunged for her arm and yanking her to the roadside before the truck sped over the spot she had just recently inhabited.

 

“Are you okay?” He stressed, hands on her shoulders, giving her a once over. She was a little stunned, hair askew, but gave him a huff and a nod in response.

 

Izuku sighed in relief, thankful that his best friend wasn’t just turned into a pancake.

 

Ochako, however, was pissed.

 

“That’s so rude ,” she gasped, face contorting into an expression of distaste.“Why would they just keep driving?” She picked up a pebble off the side of the road, chucking it in the direction the car had gone and wiped the sweat from her forehead. “I guess it’s back to the first plan. Grab your duffle, Izuku. We’re going to walk.”

 

The freckled boy nodded and walked in step with Ochako towards their broken down, piece- of-junk car to get their bags from the backseat, when, out of nowhere, he heard the slow rumble of an engine coming from behind.

 

With a quick glance over his shoulder, Izuku saw the monsterous truck drive back up the road in reverse, coming straight towards them. He tugged at Ochako’s arm to get her attention and when she turned her head to the side to look at him, he pointed over his shoulder and the brunette switched her gaze to the truck.

 

It parked next to them and Izuku noticed how the candy apple red paint glimmered in the sun, severely contrasting from the dark tinted windows. Izuku peered over at Ochako who gave him a weary smile and grabbed ahold of his hand, squeezing it tightly.

 

The driver side door popped open and the pair registered the sound of  boots hitting asphalt as a figure hopped out and walked around the front of the car and over to them. Well, that’s a character… Izuku thought as he first took in the appearance of their possible savior. He was around their age, maybe a bit older. The most prominent characteristic Izuku could register was the bright red, spiked hair that topped the man’s head. That is, until Izuku saw the guy smile and immediately felt a little weary of his shark-like teeth.

 

“Hey there! Y’all need some help?” Izuku noted how he spoke with a thick southern accent. He stood right in front of them, hands resting in the pockets of his ratty jeans, grinning in wait of their answer.

 

“Uh.. our car kinda caught fire,” Izuku explained. “ and we put it out, but now it won’t start.” He nodded his head towards the hood of their car, which was still idly smoking.

 

“Yeah,” the redhead laughed. “To be honest, I ain’t a pro at cars but we can at least take a look.” He turned on his heels and headed back towards his own truck, shouting, “Hey Katsuki, get outta there and give me a hand!”

 

A muffled shout came from the truck and was then followed by what sounded like a fist hitting the door.  The redhead turned is head back towards Izuku and Ochako, giving them a sympathetic smile, and went to yank open the truck’s passenger side door, but found it locked. He sighed. “Katsuki, I’ve got the damn keys and you can sit in there all damn day and die from heat or come help me and then we can get back on the road.”

 

… A minute passed…

 

The lock popped and the door opened to a disgruntled blond, someone who set Izuku on high alert. He seemed tough, dangerous even, with hard muscles sleeved in tattoos. While his redheaded friend seemed helpful and personable, this man seemed like the kind of person you didn’t want stopping to help you on the side of the road. The green haired boy hoped that he and Ochako didn’t end up regretting the choice to flag these boys down.

 

Izuku was brought back to reality by the truck door slamming shut as the blond walked over to him and Ochako, giving them a once over before setting his gaze on Izuku.The boy felt awkward under the other’s calculating stare. “Why aren’t you wearin’ a shirt?”

 

Izuku suddenly became very embarrassed, turning red from neck to cheeks to ears. “Sorry! I- I, uh, burned it trying to put out the fire…” Now fully aware of how bare his chest was, the freckled boy ran over to his own car now, reaching in the back to get a new shirt out of his duffel.

 

Katsuki rolled his eyes at the ridiculous boy they had just stopped to help and turned to his friend. “So, what’s the fuckin’ problem, exactly?”

 

“Their engine caught fire and now the car won’t start.”

 

“Yeah, we weren’t sure what to do,” Izuku admitted, walking back over in a fresh, yellow t-shirt. The blonde grimaced, glaring at him with cherry-red eyes. His face was all sharp angles and damn , Izuku swore he should have the word dangerous tattooed across his forehead.

 

Without a further glance at Ochako and him, the blond walked over to the hood of the car and tried to pop it open, sucking in a breath when he felt the heat of the aluminum lid. “Eijirou, open this thing. It’s way too fuckin’ hot.”

 

“On it,” the redhead, Eijirou, jogged over to the blond, and the pair of strandees watched as his hands morphed into what appeared to be solid rock and lifted the searing hot hood without a second thought. Izuku gawked and Eijirou, noticing, grinned. “Pretty sweet, right?”

 

“Yeah, is it rock?” Izuku asked, walking up and grabbing his arm. “It looks so sturdy! So, you can just grab onto something so hot and not get burnt? I wonder if it can only survive up to a certain  heat index, though... Can you just turn it on and off all the time? Do you have a specific duration of time that you can last for? Does it fade? Oh my god, wait, can you deflect things like bullets? Its so-” Eijirou looked over at his friend and smirked, silently laughing at how excitable the green haired boy was.

 

“Izuku,” a honey-sweet voice cut through the boy’s ranting. “You’re mumbling again.” Ochako rested her hand on his shoulder and grinned at him. Izuku, now remembering what he was doing, went pink at the ears and dropped Eijirou’s hand.

 

“I am so sorry. I just get really excited when I see new Quirks,” he muttered, running a hand through tousled curls. “I haven’t seen one like yours before, so I guess I got carried away.”

 

Eijirou clapped Izuku on the back with a softened hand, causing him to flinch, “Don’t worry about it, man! Nice to see somebody thinks my Quirk is cool.” Katsuki grunted in response as he continued to look over the damage.

 

“What did y’all even do to this fuckin’ car?” He asked. “Like, its a fuckin’ mess. I can’t even touch it without burnin’ myself, but from what I can see, I can tell y’all it's a hunk o’ junk.” As if proving his point, he kicked the front bumper and it completely fell off, causing a scowl to cross the angry blond’s face. “Yeah, we aren’t gonna be able to fix this shit.”

 

Izuku felt his heart drop out of his chest. This was absolutely horrible, all their planning and effort in jeopardy now that their only vehicle was done for.

 

“Izuku, what are we gonna do?” Ochako groaned, pulling on his arm. “We don’t even have cell reception.”

 

The green haired boy fell into deep concentration, trying to develop a plan of action, completely ignoring the world around him. Although, if had been paying attention, he would have noticed the silent argument, made entirely of angry and pleading facial expressions, that was happening between the nice redhead who stopped to help them, and the surly blond who was a little too scary. As the debate went on, Katsuki seemed to be getting angrier and Eijirou, more adamant.

 

And then Eijirou spoke up:

 

“Hey, look,” he started. “ Y’all don’t seem like you’re from around here and you’ve probably got like 30 to 50 miles of country before you atleast get to a motel or somethin’. We can give you a lift, though, if you’d like. Only if you’re cool with it, though.”

 

“Eijirou, we aren’t gonna fuckin’ take them with us,” Katsuki interjected.

 

“Ignore him-”

 

“Kirishima! Shut the fuck up. We. Are. Not. Takin’. Them.”

 

“He doesn’t mean that-”

 

“You know what, I need to talk to you about somethin’,” the blond turned on his heels and stomped off, beckoning for his friend to follow. Eijirou noted and turned back to Ochako and Izuku, who looked weary of the situation unfurling in front of them.

 

“He’s mostly bark, not bite. Just think about it and I’ll go talk to ‘em,” he smiled. “It ain’t really manly for us to be leavin’ you two stranded.”

 


 

Katsuki watched Eijirou jog over to him on the other side of the deserted road. “Yeah, bud?” he asked, as though nothing of what just happened was a problem to get worked up about.

 

“The fuck, man? You can’t invite them into the fuckin’ truck with us!”

 

“Why not?” the redhead responded, as even toned as possible.

 

Katsuki glared at him, perplexed and baffled. Seconds passed as he tried to control his temper, running a hand through his hair, taking  massive breaths. “ Why the fuck not? Dude, do you not realize that we’ve already got targets on our backs? If you invited them, one of two things’ll happen: Either, they’ll get dragged into our problems, which none of us want, or they find out and fuckin’ rat us out to the cops  and we all end up trading cigarettes for phone calls in prison!”

 

“Dude, c’mon. Those two are as harmless as it gets,” Eijirou argued, laughing at his friend’s tendency to overreact. “Besides, its thirty goddamn miles. They don’t have a car, there’s no phone service out here, and the dude looks like he’s never even seen this part of the country. I mean, look at the poor guy, bless his heart,” he grabbed Katsuki’s face, crushing his cheeks, and forcing him to look over at the couple. The boy was staring aimlessly at his surroundings as though he was in total awe and the girl kicked gravel beneath her feet. “His shoes scream city kid. No one wears goddamn fresh nike high-tops in farm country.”

 

Katsuki gave a huff, which was as close to a laugh as he would offer the redhead.

 

“I get it. We’re keeping a low profile, but just cause we caused a little trouble doesn’t mean we ain’t good people. We gotta help them.”

 

Katsuki did not want them in the truck. He did not want these two kids who he had never met, who looked completely clueless about everything the world had to offer, sitting in the back seat of the truck, risking his and Eijirou’s plan. But, god damn, he hated Eijirou for making a point. No matter what way he looked at it, his friend was right and as angry as it made him to give in after making a scene about how he was absolutely, irrevocably against the whole idea, he accepted his fate.

 

A contorted expression reached his face and Eijirou, knowing Katsuki well, decided it was a ‘I really hate this and we better not live to regret it’ face.

 

The two boys sauntered back over two the trash heap of a car on the side of the road. “We talked and if y’all still want that ride, we’d be happy to give it you. Right, Katsuki?” Eijirou asked for his friend’s support.

 

The blond grunted in response. Katsuki noticed the green haired one wipe sweat soaked curls away from his eyes and give them a subtle smile. “We talked it over too. As much as we don’t want to put our trust in some random strangers, we’re kinda in a bind. So, if you could just drive us to the next motel or something, that would be great.”

 

“Great! Y’all can drop your bags off in the bed of the truck,” Eijirou offered. “We got water in the back seat too. You look like ya might need it.” Izuku and Ochako nodded gratefully, and moved to grab their things out of the back seat.  Katsuki gave Eijirou one last devilish glare before turning his back on all three and getting back into the stuffy truck, slamming the door behind him. While he waited for the other three to get in, he thought.

 

He thought about man, many things. Mainly, how did my life get to this point? Picking up two strays off the side of the road while I drive cross country with shitty-hair and 50K in stolen cash hidden beneath my seat… He looked out the rearview mirror and saw Eijirou helping the pair put their bags in the bed of the truck, laughing with them about some stupid thing, as though he wasn’t on the run for his life.

 

He couldn’t read the girl very well, but the small, green-haired male seemed pretty open about who he was and what he was like. Katsuki thought about how trusting he seemed, how friendly he was to strangers. It made him nauseous.

 

Eijirou said something and all three laughed. Katsuki noticed how the green-haired boy’s laugh reached his eyes and could not begin to comprehend the positivity he radiated.

 

This is gonna be a long fucking trip…