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What's in a truth?

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Chapter 1: Fear Training with Third Years is No Fun 

 

Three sets of eyes full of pity stared at the hero known as Uravity through a one-way window as she fell to her knees, crying. The image reminds them of how innocent and young she was just a couple of years earlier when she had first come to UA. In the short time that has passed, Ochako Uraraka hadn't changed much in terms of looks (maybe a little less chubbiness in the cheeks, but she always retained that cute round face). But nowadays, she sported the attitude of a hero. That changes a person. It was an effect they'd seen occur in all of the students of UA's, now, 3-A class.

"I miss when we used to do Fear Training with first years." Midnight sighed, crossing her arms against her chest. "Nothing's better than watching a so-called 'manly-man' cry at the sight of a giant spider or his mom finding his porn collection. With these older kids there's no break in the depressing nature of it all."

Eraserhead just nodded his head slightly in agreement. Fear training had been a component of UA's studies for as long as he had been teaching. The day-long course consisted of projecting a student's worst fear in a controlled environment. After a string of hero suicides several years ago, this course was made in the hope of encouraging heroes to acknowledge and deal with their fears in a healthy setting, rather than burying them and letting them grow too big. The test itself last no more than a few minutes, and students were allowed 30 minutes to be alone (although they were secretly monitored for safety) in the gymnasium where they could ground themselves, vent their frustrations, or do whatever they needed to do prior to going back to their classmates.

Of course, a course like this came with a lot of controversy, Aizawa himself being on the fence about the whole thing. Nonetheless, he had seen a lot of positive change in some of the students after the experience and continued to teach it. The experience itself may feel traumatic, but afterwards it became clear that everyone suffered from overwhelming fears, thus creating a more supportive community. Originally, they had done this course as first years, but parent backlash forced the school to wait until the students were older. Today, students completed the course just 6 months shy of graduation and Pro-hero status.

Currently, Uraraka faced her worst fear. A hologram of her mother was also on her knees crying. She was holding out a paper in front of her that read "EVICTION" in red daunting letters.

"We lost everything Ochako," the hologram wailed. "Your father couldn't handle the guilt and he hung himself! Don't leave me all alone! I have no place to go!"

"I'm sorry mom! I'm sorry!"

Suddenly the image blipped away. Another girl in the room stood from her chair. She wore what could only be described as a futuristic outfit consisting of baggy capris and a tight tank-top that changed colors in the light in a way only a holographic material could. On her left wrist was a bulky, metal cuff and she had an ear piece in one ear, which was only revealed when her bright pink hair was tied into a high pony tail as it currently was. Standing, she was barely taller than she had been when sitting in her chair. In any other situation she would look absolutely adorable.

"You may now exit the room," the girl's voice was stoic, robotic even, not matching her overall girly appearance. "Please visit the gymnasium for the required 30-minute isolation period prior to returning to the dorms. Have a good day."

Uraraka pushed herself to her feet, her legs still wobbly from the experience. She nodded once she felt like she could walk and slowly left the room with a dazed look on her face.

Midnight pushed away from the table where she and her fellow teachers were sitting.

"Coffee, tea?"

"Coffee if it's no trouble!" A retired All Might boomed. Midnight nodded as she left the room.

Once she was gone, Toshinori gave a small sigh. This was his first Fear Training unlike his counterparts. While they were required to do this training every year due to the nature of their quirks (it wasn't uncommon for at least 1 student to need subduing if they let their quirk and/or emotions take over), the third spot was always open on a volunteer basis. Toshinori had volunteered enthusiastically for the sole, albeit selfish, purpose of seeing his successor's reaction. Despite Midoriya wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Toshinori had come to realize that the boy was actually quite adept at hiding his thoughts and fears. Toshinori hoped the knowledge he gained today would help him connect to his student better. He hadn't realized how taxing the training session would be for the teachers.

Toshinori turned to Eraserhead who had cocooned himself in his yellow sleeping bag for a nap, then back to the pink-haired hero who was focused intently on her computer. He also hadn't realized that Terabyte's quirk had a 30-minute cool-down between uses.

YAMASHITA, TAKARA. HERO NAME: TERABYTE. HER QUIRK: UPLOAD!

BY PLACING HER HAND ON TOP OF A PERSON'S HEAD FOR SEVERAL SECONDS, SHE CAN UPLOAD MEMORIES, THOUGHTS, OR FEELINGS ONTO A MEMORY CARD. THE ONLY LIMITATIONS ARE THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION AT A SINGLE TIME AND A 30-MINUTE REST PERIOD IN BETWEEN USAGES.

Toshinori shivered as he watched the girl unemotionally continue whatever she was doing on her laptop. She seemed un-phased throughout this process. Perhaps her career in interrogations had made her this way, but Toshinori wasn't sure that was the case.

Midnight eventually returned and handed Toshinori his coffee.

"So, what are the bets for the next student?" Midnight asked, sipping her drink. Eraserhead unzipped from his sleeping bag, rejoining the land of the living.

In order to stay sane, the teachers had taken to placing bets on what each students' fear would be shown. At first, Toshinori had been appalled at the concept, but soon joined in. After the first few students, it became clear that there were some common, predictable themes. A student's death or the death of a loved one, failure on the job or in the eyes of another, in other words, fears that were a little too real to not turn into a game. Every once in a while, there'd be a surprising or unique fear to peak their interest. For example, Kaminari feared being trapped in his 'dunce' state forever after using his quirk too much. They'd never thought about how it must be scary to become an idiot.

"Which student is it again?" Aizawa asked, although he was actually uninterested. He always placed his bet on someone dying. Midnight checked the chart.

"Bakugou."

"Death."

"Really?" Midnight raised an eyebrow at her peer. "I thought the boy actually liked watching people be in pain. I'm going to go with: villain destroying everything."

"I think it's weakness." The two turned to Toshinori curiously. Toshinori reminisced about Bakugou shedding tears after his fight with Midoriya after Toshinori had been forced to retire. The boy had blamed himself for All Might's retirement since All Might lost his powers on the mission to save him.

"Isn't that too close to mine?" Midnight asked, annoyed.

The door to the room in front of them opened. Into the nearly empty space walked a tall blonde with a scowl on his face.

"Let's get this over with." He muttered as he walked in and loudly sat himself into the only available chair at the table where Terabyte sat at her computer. She looked up.

"Welcome student, today you will be participat-"

"Skip the speech, just get on with it asshole." Terabyte blinked. Then without a word she stood, walked around the table to stand behind the boy, and placed her left hand on his head.

Everything was silent for a few seconds, then the cuff on her wrist spit out a small memory card. She took it with her right hand, while removing her left from Bakugou's head. In return, she received a scowl.

"Please stand in the center of the room facing North." She stated in her unemotional voice as she again rounded the table, reaching to insert the card into her laptop. Bakugou stood up silently, looking bored as he followed her instructions.

Terabyte didn't say anything more and after a few clicks from her computer, Bakugou noticed a hologram spring into existence from the large round circle on the ground in front of him.

The three teachers in the viewing room's eyes widened at the recognizable figure.

"Why did you do it Kacchan?" Screamed his childhood friend, looking worse than ever.

Midoriya's costume was torn and singed, both his arms hung limply at his side, but his right arm was far worse, burned beyond recognition. His classmate was trying to support his body weight on his one functional leg, as the left was obviously broken as he could see the hint of white sticking out of the skin. Despite his best efforts, he kept almost falling onto the building rubble on which he stood. Blood ran from beneath his mess of green hair, but his eyes held a ferocity that Bakugou had never seen. Behind him, the-his-city was in chaos, with buildings crumbling, fires raging, and people screaming in both horror and pain.

"Was being the number 1 hero not enough for you?" Midoriya screamed in response to Bakugou's dumbfounded look. "Were you still not satisfied with being the best hero so you had to become the best villain too?"

It was as if Bakugou had been shocked with an electric Taser.

"SHUT UP DEKU." He screamed, wanting the pieces in his head to stop coming together, not wanting to make the obvious connections between his friend's words and the scene in front of them.

"Well you killed them all! Our classmates-our friends! You were right that none of them compared to you, because you murdered them all gruesomely! But I'm not going to let that happen to anyone else! You'll have to kill me first!"

As soon as he said it, Bakugou knew what was going to happen.

"N-" The explosion went right through his chest and he recognized it instantly. It was definitely his super move. He watched the light fade from Midoriya's green eyes.

The image disappeared. Bakugou became aware of someone loudly breathing, only to realize it was himself.

"You may now exit the room," came a voice from somewhere near him, far too quiet in comparison to the sound of his breathing. "Please visit the gymnasium for the required-"

Bakugou had to control himself from tripping over his own feet to get out of the room. He needed to kill something right now. Anything to stop the shaking.

As the door slammed shut in the other room, the three teachers released the tense stances they had unconsciously taken up.

"Who won?" Midnight whispered quietly, but the mood didn't lighten up.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2: It’s Always the Innocent Ones that Catch You Off Guard

 

The next 30 minutes went by too slowly. Midnight didn’t like the implications of Bakugou’s fear. She, after all, was one of the many who still thought that kid was a better fit to be a villain than a hero. Eraserhead was wrapped in his yellow hideaway but couldn’t sleep, thinking about how he might address this unique concern. It would be a difficult topic to broach, but he knew that Bakugou still had a good heart as shown by the fact that becoming a villain was his fear. Toshinori had stopped thinking about Bakugou. The time went by too slowly for him because the time he’d been waiting for had finally come.

There was a knock on the door of the other room. Eraserhead unzipped his sleeping bag.

“Enter,” Terabyte said without welcome and without looking up. A green-head of hair and a freckled face popped into the room before the door fully opened. Despite being older, stronger, and even a bit taller, Midoriya walked in the same way he ever did: timidly but full of wonder. He looked around the room, surveying it, even looking straight at the teachers despite not being able to see them stare back. His eyes caught Terabyte and his eyes lit up.

“A—Ah! Famous interrogation hero Terabyte! You’ve gotten the information that has led to securement of several villain organizations, not to mention the number of crimes you’ve stopped before they’ve even happen! Just last year, I read an article about—”

“Welcome student, today you will be participating in UA’s Fear Training Course. I am Terabyte.” Midoriya shut up instantly. “You have received a pamphlet describing the course prior to signing the appropriate information release and consent forms. Do you still wish to have my quirk and the procedure described to you?”

“Yes!” Midoriya’s eyes lit up at the concept of more information about Terabyte’s quirk. The teachers in the viewing room groaned, having heard the same speech several times already.

“My quirk is ‘Upload’. By placing my hand on your head, I am able to upload whatever information I require that is stored in either your conscious or unconscious mind to a memory card for further review or storage. The process is neither long nor painful.” 

“How do you control what information you pull out? Is there a limit to how much? Does the contact time required change with the amount of information you need? Or does it have to do with the uniqueness of each mind? Does each mind have the same general information organization style? If so, wouldn’t that mean—”

“After this course,” Terabyte interrupted Midoriya’s muttering, without answering any questions or deviating off-script. “The memory card containing your unique information will be destroyed. No one else is allowed to see the contents of the memory card and neither I nor the teachers in the viewing room are at liberty to speak of today’s events with anyone other than the current participants. Once I find the correct information file, you are to stand in the center of the room facing North to experience what you have internalized as your ‘greatest fear’. Do you accept this procedure and its conditions?”

Midoriya nodded seriously. Once again, Terabyte stood, circled the table, and placed her left hand on Midoriya’s head. In the teacher’s viewing room, Toshinori fidgeted uncomfortably noticing it was taking longer than any of the previous students, but then the memory card popped out of the cuff like usual. 

“Please stand in the center of the room facing North.” 

Midoriya stood up stiffly, trying to steel himself for whatever popped up. There were certain things he really hoped wouldn’t come up. Actually, quite a few things. He was glad that none of the teachers could share this information with anyone. No matter what his greatest fear turned out to be, Midoriya was glad that All Might wouldn’t find out. He tensed for a second, turning back to the wall he knew had to be a one-way window based on the layout of the room, his eyes wide. What if All Might was one of the teachers? He hadn’t even thought that far! 

“OI! DEKU!” He jumped at Bakugou’s voice, his head spinning back to face forward. He hadn’t notice the hologram turn on. Honestly, he was surprised it was Bakugou’s voice considering he thought the two got along pretty fine lately. He didn’t know why his fear would be—

His eyes widened in horror when he realized the Bakugou in front of him wasn’t his classmate. Rather, he was shorter, wearing a black uniform. Staring down at middle school Bakugou, something clicked in Midoriya’s head.

“No!” The three teachers stared, confused, at Midoriya as his head bounced back and forth from the hologram in front of him to the mirror behind him.

Toshinori’s eyes narrowed at his student’s frantic expression. He was well aware that young Midoriya and young Bakugou had shared some history, and, though the former never spoke in detail, Toshinori was aware that most of it was negative. But “greatest fear”? After going toe-toe with some great foes of their era, including All-For-One, his childhood bully couldn’t be his worst fear, could it?

“Long time no see faggot!” Everyone but the hologram and Terabyte flinched. 

“Don’t say anything Ka—" Midoriya pleaded in a higher pitch than normal, but it would seem as though he couldn’t interact with the hologram in anyway, seeing as it was just a projection of his fear. 

“What? Afraid no one will like you anymore when they learn about how much of a slut you are? I think you have it all wrong. Once you tell them how good you are at taking cock, they might see you as something more than worthless!” The hologram laughed as Midoriya paled at the hologram’s crude description.

The teachers in the room behind him all shifted uncomfortably. Everyone viewed Midoriya as the purest cinnamon roll that had ever existed. Midnight especially felt bad if such expectations made Midoriya feel bad about his sexual experiences. People would be surprised, yes, but no one would ostracize him for enjoying his sexuality, gay or straight. Perhaps this sexual history is what made his relationship with Bakugou so strained?

“How do you think your mom will react when she finds out her do-goody son is a whore? I still have the pictures of you getting fucked. Maybe she’d like to see? Maybe the world would? How can you be the next Symbol of Peace when you can’t even stop your own rape?”

The world went still, except for the hologram.

“Aw don’t cry again shitnerd. You gonna go add some more scars to your body, next to the scars I gave you? How about you stop with the small stuff, and this time when you try to kill yourself, follow my advice and jump off the roof! Maybe then you’ll actually succeed you worthless fucking Deku!”

It felt like a stampede. Simple words with such darker meanings hit them one after another. And just as fast the hologram unceremoniously disappeared.

“You may now exit the room,” Terabyte’s voice still had no reaction, no emotion. “Please visit the gymnasium for the required 30-minute isolation period prior to returning to the dorms. Have a good day.”

Midoriya couldn’t bring himself to look toward the teachers as he scurried out the door. In the hallway outside, he let himself feel it. Feel the panic rising within him. He had expected one of his secrets to be revealed. He hadn’t expected his worst fear would be his secrets being revealed. All of them.  It couldn’t have gone worse. He felt like he was going to be sick.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3: Make the Others Wait, We Need a Break

 

No one moved in the teacher’s viewing room. Not at first. Then it was as if the spell was broken and everyone was on their feet. Toshinori had buffed up into the old All Might’s normal appearance and was almost out the door when Midnight stepped in front of him, blocking the way.

“We can’t go to him yet. We have to give him a little time or else we’ll just be suffocating him. That’s what the isolation period is for. Plus, we still have more students.” Toshinori puffed back into his normal form and coughed up blood.

“I need to…” He couldn’t finish that sentence.

Toshinori had no clue what he needed to do honestly. He was Midoriya’s mentor; he often felt like a father figure to the teen. Now, too much had happened in such a short period of time. Midoriya had hurt himself…could still be hurting himself. Toshinori shivered. Midoriya thought about killing himself at least at one point. Midoriya had been… 

Toshinori couldn’t stop the thoughts. How could he have not known? When did this happen? Were there no signs of the abuse when they met? It couldn’t possibly have happened after he met the boy could it have? For a second, the image of middle-school Midoriya on the roof a building appeared in his head. He heard the tremble in the boy’s voice as he asked if he could still be a hero without a quirk. He heard his own words in the background “No, I should think not”. He had hurt the boy too, hadn’t he? He’d hurt his hope then. Did Midoriya hurt himself that time…?

“Aizawa where are you going?” Midnight tried to turn, to catch the other’s man arm in time, but she just missed him as he walked out the door behind her.

 “Tell Terrabyte and the students we’re taking a break. This needs to be dealt with now.”

 


 

Across campus, Bakugou was just entering the dorm rooms. His 30 minutes of isolation had ended, but he was still seething. Perhaps a better word was smoking as the nitroglycerin just seemed to keep pouring through his pores uncontrollably.

What the fuck had that been? Where did that come from? He’d meant it when he told the League of Villains years ago; he would never join their side. He was going to be a hero. He was a goddamn motherfucking hero. And why the fuck did the hologram have to take Deku’s form?

Nearly everyone in the common area jumped when Bakugou kicked the front door wide open. When it was clear that it was just him, people settled back down, with some wondering how he didn’t destroy the door this time. This late in the day, most people were done with the Fear Training; only a few people still missing. On a normal day, the common area was bustling with energy and laughter, but it seemed as though the course was hard on just about everyone.

People had taken to coping with it in their own ways. All of the girls who were done had grouped up, quietly whispering and crying about their experiences, having decided that sharing was probably the best way to move past it. Kaminari and Kirishima seemed to have come to the same conclusion, however, they were only discussing the experience to one another at the kitchen bar. Some of the other guys had settled themselves on the couch, aimlessly flipping through channels, deciding the best way to move on was to move forward. Tokoyami and Todoroki were loners, both sitting at different tables, seemingly in their own thoughts.  

Bakugou made his way to the kitchen, yanking the fridge door open in order to grab a soda. From the corner of his eye, he saw Kirishima open his mouth.

“Talk to me and I will fucking kill you.” Kirishima’s mouth closed as Bakugou closed the fridge. As he was walking away, the front door slammed open a second time, causing nearly everyone to jump again.

“Bakugou, with me now.” Aizawa commanded.

Eraserhead only looked this pissed when it was something really bad. Everyone turned to stare at Bakugou, their eyes asking different questions. He scowled making a “tch” sound, as he left the unopened soda on the counter. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and walked toward the front door.

He guessed that the teachers wanted to talk to him about his Fear Training. They had mentioned meeting with everyone individually to talk. Probably wanted to confirm he wasn’t a villain. But with a look around, he noticed that it didn’t seem like everyone was back from the course yet. It was unlikely that they would have gone to their room after everyone had been warned to stay together afterwards lest they get scolded. So then why did Eraserhead want to see him right now when they still had more students?

Something cold settled in his chest. Something was wrong. He casually looked around the students one more time, right as he was nearing Eraserhead. As the older man pushed Bakugou roughly out the door by his shoulder, the latter noticed who was missing. Deku wasn’t one of the ones back. Outside the dorms, his heart started beating too fast and he had to control his hands from making tiny explosions. Memories were swirling in his head, mixing together into an inseparable mess. What did Deku fucking tell them?

 


  

Midoriya felt sick walking all the way to the gymnasium. They knew now. Whoever was behind that glass knew his deepest secrets. He felt so exposed, so dirty. He had promised himself no one else would see how weak he had been, that no one would know about his disgustingly worthless quirkless self. Midoriya had One-For-All now, but he was still that same person inside. He still felt like that other person; the boy without a quirk. Ever since getting his UA acceptance letter, however, he had vowed to keep that Midoriya trapped inside the mirror. Only he’d see that true reflection. No one else could know. And now they did.

But of course, someone else did know—had known all along. Because someone else had helped shape that Midoriya. Someone made him cry until his eyes were bloodshot and his face blotchy. Someone had left burns all along his body, with ones that looked like fingers if you looked too hard on his hips. Someone had planted the idea of death being the only way out long ago and he had tried to follow through with a blade to his wrist.

His hand stopped on the door of the gymnasium.  

Those secrets he revealed weren’t just his. Now that other people knew them, that means they knew about what Bakugou did. Midoriya’s heart began to speed up again. Bakugou was in trouble!

With a pivot, Midoriya was sprinting as fast as he could without activating his quirk back in the direction from where he came. He would have to check the dorms first. Hopefully the teachers were onto the next student, so he still had some time. As he rounded the next corner though, he saw someone entering the Fear Training room far down one of the halls he was passing. He skittered to a stop. The boy he’d seen had blonde hair.

 


 

From their chairs inside the teacher’s viewing room, Midnight and Toshinori saw Eraserhead lead Bakugou inside the testing room. Terrabyte had left as instructed, and Eraserhead dragged her empty chair to the center of the room.

“Sit.”

Bakugou didn’t say a word as he slumped into the chair, turning his head to face the door. Midnight watched him like a hawk, while Toshinori seemed like his thoughts were elsewhere.

“What was your relationship with Midoriya like before coming to UA?” Aizawa asked, his voice too controlled to be good.

“Eh?” Bakugou feigned disinterest. “Shitnerd just followed me around all the time.”

Aizawa slammed his fist on the table. Apparently, he wasn’t as in control as he looked. Bakugou didn’t flinch. Midnight stood from her seat ready to run into the other room if needed.

“That’s not what we just heard.” Bakugou looked away from the door, focusing his gaze downward instead, his eyes empty.

“I don’t know what the fuck you heard.”

“We just heard that you bullied, no burned Midoriya until you left scars, that you encouraged him to, quote, ‘jump off a roof’, and raped him.” The only reaction Aizawa got was a small flinch at the word “rape”.  “Is it true?”

Bakugou had opened his mouth to reply when the door slammed open.

“It was made up!” Midoriya was breathing just a little too heavily as he let the door slam behind him. “None of it happened.”

He looked around the room, his face turning slightly red when he saw Bakugou who still didn’t look up.

“It’s just my fear.” Midoriya went on, going through the script he’d made in his head on his way to find Bakugou. “No one said that our biggest fear was real. I was just afraid of all those things the hologram said, none of it happened. This is my fault. Let Kacchan go.”

Eraserhead stared at him angrily.

"You expect us to believe that you just fear that one day he will scar you, tell you to kill yourself, and rape you?” Midoriya’s head was swimming.

“No, I mean yes. I mean, Bakugou did use to bully me,” he stammered trying to make it sound more realistic, “but he never went that far! I just—I was really depressed and thought it would only get worse and that’s the stuff I thought of when I was—when I was suicidal.”

Midoriya hated saying it. He hated admitting how weak he had been…still was sometimes. Eraserhead stared at him incredulously. He didn’t believe it for a second.

“…Shut the fuck up deku.” The other men turned to Bakugou. He still didn’t look up.

“Kacchan! I’m sorry I got you into this—”

“I said, ‘Shut the fuck UP’!” His head shot up with a snarl. He turned to their teacher. “Whatever you heard before was true.”

“Kacchan, no! You’ll get in troub—”

“I said SHUT UP!” Small explosions shot out of both his hands, palms facing toward the ground. Eraserhead activated his quirk and the fire stopped instantly. “I did whatever you heard and more. Do whatever the fuck you want about it.”

“You should be arrested.” Aizawa said with cold malice. He had no place in his heart for rapists.

“No!” Midoriya yelled, desperate. He fell into a bow. “Please don’t arrest him! Please! I don’t want you to!”

“He assaulted you.”

“That was a long time ago! Kacchan is different now! And even then—please! I refuse to press charges.” Again, Midoriya’s mind was going a mile a minute, trying to figure out how to fix this. “You can’t share the hologram with the police because of the contract. I’ll refuse to testify, and I’ll say it was all a misunderstanding if you force me up there.”

“You’d be lying and breaking the law if you did.” Midoriya stood up straight, eyes bright.

“You can’t arrest him!”

Aizawa was frustrated.

“Then we take him to the principal's office to get expelled.”

“What!” Midoriya squeaked. “It never happened!”

“You both admitted to him bullying you. That means he entered the school under false pretenses. We would never have allowed him to enroll in the first place had we known.” Midoriya’s eyes got impossibly big.

“You can’t do that! We’re about to graduate! You can’t—”

“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO SHUT UP FUCKER?” Midoriya turned to Bakugou who shockingly looked more shaken than angry for once in his life.

“Kacchan, tell them—”

“Don’t call me that fucking Deku!”

“—that none of it’s true!”

“It is shitnerd!”

“They’ll expel you!”

“So fucking what?”

“So what?” Midoriya looked at him in shock, hurt evident in his eyes. “What do you mean? You’ll never be #1! You’ll never even get to be a Pro-hero!”

“Well maybe I was never meant to be one asshole.”

Midoriya didn’t think as he punched his childhood friend in the face. Even without powering up One-For-All, the way Bakugou’s head snapped to the side made it clear that he would have a fist shaped bruise tomorrow.

“Don’t say that! Don’t ever say that! You’ve been saying you’d be the #1 Pro-hero ever since we were little!”

“I said it for you.” Midoriya stared at Bakugou, slack jawed, as his friend spit some blood on the floor before resting his head in his hands. “I’ve always wanted to be a hero for you.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 4: You Can’t Stay Away Forever

 

Midnight shifted the weight from one foot to the other awkwardly. She felt like she was intruding on something deeply personal and way too complicated. She glanced over at Toshinori who was still seated in his chair to her right and he looked so broken. It was worse than seeing him on the television when his true appearance was first revealed. Turning back to the room on the other side of the window, Aizawa still looked absolutely livid although he looked like he was probably starting to think instead of reacting on pure emotion. Midoriya looked hurt and confused while his classmate sat shaking with his head in his hands.

She had to do something.

Midoriya jumped when Midnight opened the door.

“Okay, this needs to get sorted out. We will be talking to each of you individually and we will go to the principal together.” She turned to Midoriya who squeaked. “Are you okay? Physically, mentally, emotionally?”

He hesitated then nodded even though he didn’t feel stable at all. Midnight turned to Bakugou. 

“Are you going to do anything that will make me regret sending you back to the dorms?” She took no response as his response. “Good, go back to the dorms while we finish Fear Training.”

Eraserhead immediately went to protest, but she struck her whip against the ground.

“None of that! Get going! Don’t go anywhere we can’t find you and don’t do anything else stupid. We’re not figuring anything out this way and we’re all too on edge to figure it out right now anyway.” She turned to Bakugou. “Stay away from Midoriya.”

Bakugou stood up, straightening his back, and nodded without making eye-contact with anyone before walking out the door. Midoriya looked star-struck for a moment longer before nervously darting out to follow Bakugou. Eraserhead let his shoulders slump as he rubbed his eyes tiredly and walked back to the viewing room. She looked around the now empty room and mumbled about also having to go get Terabyte and the next student. Why did she always end up with all the work?

 


 

“Kacchan! Wait up! Ka-“ Midoriya almost ran into Bakugou who stopped to look at him, explosions ready in hand. 

“Stay the fuck away from me Deku.”

“But we have to talk about this! We have to make a plan, what are we going—”

We will do nothing shitnerd. I got myself into this trouble and whatever the fuck happens, you will stay as fucking far from it as you can.” Bakugou began walking away again, when Midoriya grabbed his arm.

“But this is my fault—” Midoriya jumped with a yelp when Bakugou extended his free arm to shoot off a small (for him) explosion above his head.

“Did you not hear what I fucking said? None of this shit is your fault and stay the fuck away from me. If you aren’t going to listen to me then listen to our asshole teachers.” Bakugou tore his arm away, stuck his hands back in his pockets and walked to the dorms. Deku kept his distance this time.

Bakugou hated having to explain shit like that. It should be fucking obvious, but that idiot wouldn’t listen if Bakugou didn’t spell it all out to him. For the moment he just wanted to be in his own head. Or destroy something. Maybe both.

He didn’t slam open the door to the dorms this time, but the room got just as quiet. Bakugou guessed he looked as shitty as he felt because it was as if everyone’s eyes were glued to him as he walked over to the elevator. He jammed the up button as hard as he could with his thumb.

He waited for someone to say something about how students weren’t supposed to go up to their rooms alone after Fear Training, but his only luck today was that Iida still hadn’t done his training and was thus nowhere to be found. As he entered the elevator and turned around, most of his classmates turned to avoid meeting his gaze, save for Kirishima who looked worried and Todoroki who looked curious (never one to care when Bakugou was obviously ready to kill).

Just as the doors were closing, Midoriya walked into the dorms, his eyes obviously looking for him. When they met their mark, the doors were just finished closing, thankfully blocking out the pain that was evident in that gaze.

 


 

As soon as the elevators closed, and everyone felt like they could breathe again, people noticed the new presence.

“Hey! Midoriya’s back!” Uraraka turned around when she heard the classmate’s declaration. She jumped up immediately and grabbed him in a hug. He instinctively flinched at her touch and she frowned.

There used to be a time where Midoriya’s overreaction to touch and constant surprise was considered commonplace; just another one of his idiosyncrasies. Over time, however, he’d slowly lost that jumpiness to take on a more mature awareness of his surroundings. Seeing his violent reaction to her touch out of the blue concerned her. But then her frown softened when she realized he had probably just gotten back from his Fear Training.

“Wanna talk about it?” She whispered. Midoriya jumped again, eyes wide with fear as if wondering how she knew, but then he shook his head.

“Okay… Hey! You won’t believe what happened to Bakugou!” She said under-breath, trying to distract Midoriya from his unpleasant experience with some gossip. “When he had just gotten back from his Fear Training, Professor Aizawa came in looking for him. He looked realllyy mad too. I wondered what happened? Do you think it had to do with his fear training?”

Uraraka was too deep in thought to notice how pale Midoriya had turned or to notice he had stopped following her to one of the couches. When she sat down, she turned to see he was still several feet away looking quite ill. She jumped up again.

“Izuku are you okay?” Even though he was looking straight at her, his eyes seemed unfocused as he nodded. When he turned around, Uraraka called out to him, “Wait, where are you going?”

“I just have to grab something from my room! I’ll be back down in no time!” He added that last part in response to her movements indicating an intention to follow him.

She nodded hesitantly as he ran over to the elevator and anxiously waited for it to arrive. She kind of wished Iida was around to yell at him that they were instructed not to go to their rooms.

 


 

Once Midoriya was in the elevator, he didn’t press the button to his floor, choosing to press four instead. The elevator had never felt slower. He honestly didn’t know what he was doing. What was he going to say when he saw him? If he saw him. Knowing Kacchan, he probably wouldn’t even open his door. If he did, it would probably only be to hit him in the face. 

Midoriya jumped when the elevator doors opened. Shakily, he made his way toward the door belonging to his childhood friend. Even though Izuku knew the other boy hated him, more today than probably ever before, he had to know why the other had said what he said. Standing at Bakugou’s door, he felt more nervous than he did entering UA for the first time. He knocked.

He waited.

He was about to knock again when the door opened just a tiny bit. Midoriya blinked, confusion evident on his face, but he pushed the door open just enough to look inside.

“Get the fuck in or get the fuck out.” Bakugou said stoically as he flopped back onto his bed, propping up the back of his head with both arms, eyes toward the ceiling. He’d taken off his school shirt and tie, Midoriya could see them hanging off the edge of the bed, leaving him in his black tank top undershirt.

After a moment more of hesitation, Midoriya stepped into Bakugou’s bedroom for the first time, shutting the door behind him. The place was surprisingly plain. Black bedspread. Just books on the desk. No pictures or mementos of any kind. But, thinking back, the same could have been said about Bakugou’s bedroom in this childhood home too.

“Did you come here to stand there or say something shitnerd?”

Midoriya turned to look at his…classmate. He didn’t know if he could call him his friend anymore. They’d grown up a lot since they were little and Midoriya realized that labels like “friends” were complicated. Bakugou’s eyes were concentrated on the ceiling above him, ignoring Midoriya’s gaze.

“I’m sorry Kacchan.”

“Tch. If that’s why you’re here, then fuck you Deku.”

“I really mean it.”

“Exactly asshole.” Midoriya wasn’t an angry person but could feel himself getting slowly riled up anyway.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked in a huffy voice. “I didn’t mean for this to happen, I don’t want you in trouble.”

“Then why are you here?” Bakugou asked, annoyance heavy in his voice. “If you were such a good follower you’d stay away like we were told.”

Midoriya hesitated again.

“I need to know.”

“Know what?”

“What did you mean back there?” He didn’t repeat Bakugou’s words even though they ran on repeat in his mind. ‘I’ve always wanted to be a hero for you.

The room was quite for a second. Then Bakugou swung his feet over the bed, sitting up but not moving. Midoriya waited for a response.

Instead, Bakugou stood up, walked over, and roughly pushed the other against the door his forearm pressing into the chest of the slightly shorter male to hold him place. Midoriya opened his mouth to repeat his question, standing his ground, but Bakugou stopped the action with his own.

Midoriya’s eyes went wide, recognizing the feel of Bakugou’s lips. His mouth having been half opened easily allowed the other teen to slip in some tongue. Vaguely he could feel how it was different than their last kiss, intense but not forceful, but thinking that brought up other thoughts. He imagined the forearm being pressed against his throat instead of his chest. He felt the intense need to breathe as lips crushed his and asphyxiated him. He could almost taste the blood that coated both their tongues after Bakugou had split open his lip with a bite.

He hadn’t meant to activate One-For-All, and luckily it was only about 2-3%. Still, Bakugou flew across the room, toppling over his desk chair, his head barely missing hitting the desk.

“Kacchan!” Midoriya squeaked, breathing heavily, as he moved to help Katsuki. The latter put his hand up to signal for him to stop.

“Get the fuck out.”

“Kacchan, I’m sorry, I didn’t—” 

“FUCK OFF DEKU.” Katsuki pounded his desk with his flat palm, charring the wood from a muted explosion.

Midoriya didn’t know what to do, so he listened. Fumbling with the doorknob, he looked back at Bakugou one more time, seeing him grip the arm that he had used to hold Izuku down. With the door open, he darted into the hallway, pulling the door closed behind him. He was still breathing heavy, his whole-body shivering. He glanced at the elevator and instead turned to the rarely used stairwell. He took the steps two at a time until his was on his floor, and he all but tripped into his room. He didn’t know why, but he locked the door behind him.

Izuku was still shaking. He stumbled over to the wall between his desk and the balcony, sinking into the corner with his butt hitting the floor hard. He hadn’t expected that. He hadn’t known what to expect but not…that. The teen touched his lips, half expecting them to be bleeding but they weren’t. He touched his throat lightly, feeling for a bruise, but there was none. He stuck his hands into his bird’s nest of hair.

It’d been so long since he’d felt the ghosts. They’d been so present at first, so real. Those first few weeks he could feel the hands, the teeth, the burns, the…. He felt them worst when he was alone. Worst when he tried to sleep in his bed where it had happened, then in any bed. He slept on the floor for a long time. Eventually the ghosts became more surreal. Less like a poltergeist, more like the memory that they were. He got used to things being triggers, he was surprised when the flashbacks occurred less frequently. It took so long to get to that point. 

Now they were back, strong as ever. His tingling lips from actual human contact lent itself to other memories. More feelings, more sounds, more pain.

Midoriya pulled his hair slightly. A different pain to distract him from this familiar one. It didn’t work. He could still hear Kacchan’s grown of pleasure while he cried in pain. He bit his lip to try to keep the sobs fighting in his throat at bay, shutting his eyes as forcefully as possible. He was supposed to go downstairs again. Uraraka was expecting him and she wouldn’t forget. He needed a clear head. 

He didn’t want to do it. He hadn’t done it in over a year. He’d celebrated the year anniversary with a little cupcake in his room alone, the only one knowing how important the day had been. It’s been the longest it has ever been in between “relapses”. But he needed it. He could feel the ghosts grabbing him and the constant feeling the usually lurked under skin as an irritating itch was now burning white hot like the sun.

Like Bakugou’s explosions. 

Midoriya snaked his hand out of his hair and to the bottom drawer of his desk. He reached for the small box in the far back. It was tiny, wooden, meant for an antique locket or a similarly sized pocket watch. Opening it revealed three razors with their safety seals still on one side. They were all that were left from a container he had bought from online back in middle school. They were laboratory grade, chosen in case his mom ever ran into them so he could say they used them in science class.

It’d been so long, but his body moved like it was yesterday, muscle memory still stored somewhere in the recesses of his mind. He adjusted his pants and the hem of his boxers just below his waist. Most of the burns had faded, but the ones on his hips had been so bad…. Luckily, only a couple of Kacchan’s fingers had left a permanent scar, making it impossible to know what caused them unless someone knew. But Izuku knew. Crossing over them were several other scars, some thin, some thick, most faint. 

Midoriya’s breath hitched as he brought the razor on one of the burn marks. He let the breath out shakily as his skin broke. The pain stung, but after breaking your own finger or destroying your arm with your quirk, it wasn’t much. He watched drops of blood pop from inside his body to the outside of his skin.

He made three more cuts before he reached up to his desk, blindly grasping for the box of tissue he kept up there. He didn’t feel like standing up for fear of smearing the blood, so he pressed his face into the side of the desk to reach further. Ideally, he’d use a Band-Aid or some gauze, but he was running short on time. Uraraka would be looking for him. The dull ache on his legs helped ground him, stabilizing him for human contact. He was glad he hadn’t let any tears drop and hoped his eyes weren’t red from holding them back.        

His fingers wrapped around the tissue box. With a sigh of relief, he straightened up and turned to his injured side and froze.

Bakugou was standing on his balcony, his arm raised as if he was going to knock. But he hadn’t yet, he’d seen them first. He saw the fresh cuts bleeding on Midoriya’s hips.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: Everyone Makes Bad Decisions

 

As Midoriya left, Bakugou gripped his arm. It wasn’t hurt that badly, but it might bruise. It seemed that he’d have a lot of new bruises tomorrow. Katsuki gripped his arm harder as he began to shake in frustration. He wanted to scream at the top of his lungs and destroy the whole building, but he didn’t.

What the fuck was wrong with him? Didn’t he fucking learn? He was about to be fucking kicked out of school, if not put in jail. So, what the fuck does he do? He kisses that stupid fucking Deku. After everything he’s done to him, he’s lucky that he wasn’t killed by a lucky shot of One-For-All to the head. He’d been too busy enjoying the kiss to even realize Deku had even activated his given quirk.

Fuck, what was wrong with him! Enjoying the kiss? What was he? Some love-struck bitch? Did he fucking say ‘love-struck’? Goddamnit! He was so PISSED.

Why was he like this with Deku? Everyone else in his life were just fucking extras. But not him. Never him. A friend. An enemy. A classmate. A rival. That asshole was always something more.

Bakugou hated it. He knew exactly why he treated Deku the way he fucking did. He’d go to prison before he’d say any of it aloud.

Yet he didn’t know why he fucking thought that was okay to do. He dug his nails into the skin of his arm anger. He wasn’t stupid, he remembered what he had done to Deku prior to coming to UA. Even though he had practically buried the memory, he could always feel the memory lurking just beneath the surface of his thoughts. That look in Deku’s eyes when the latter pushed him into the door just now… he hadn’t seen that look in a long time. That pure, unadulterated fear. He didn’t miss that look. He never wanted to see that look directed at him again.

He really wanted to punch something. But that’s how he always got himself into these messes. Katsuki could’ve just answered Deku like a normal person. Instead, he approached the frustrating and embarrassing situation the same way he always did: with aggressive action. Sometimes he wished he could just react like everyone else, but he can’t remember a time where he didn’t feel this anger deep inside of him. It was a slowly growing fire that waxed and waned with the wind. UA had helped him learn to control it, but he wanted it to be gone. At least sometimes.

Someone knocked at the door. Bakugou looked up, still pissed. Why the hell did he come back? He walked over to the door and pulled it wide open.

“Oh shit!” Kirishima jumped, not having been looking at the door. “I didn’t think you’d actually answer! I’m usually yelling at you through the door before you just end up coming out. 

“What the fuck do you want?” Bakugou’s face was marred by a scowl. He hadn’t considered it’d be anyone other than Deku at the door. 

“Uh, I was just giving you a heads up. Iida’s the only one still gone for Fear Training so that means either he or the teach’s will be here soon. You’d get in trouble if they found out you went up to your room when we weren’t supposed to. It wouldn’t be manly of me not to warn ya!” He smiled genuinely. Bakugou was still pissed.

“Like I give a shit.” Kirishima frowned. He looked so stupid when he frowned. “Urgh, fine. I’ll be right down.”

Kirishima perked up and nodded.

“Want me to wait?”

“Why the fuck would I want that?” Kirishima shrugged and began walking away. Bakugou hesitated. “Oi! Did you see Deku down there?”

Kirishima paused, hand on his chin as he considered it.

“Nah man. I haven’t seen him since he first came in. Come to think of it, where did he go?” 

“Fuck if I know. He’s probably downstairs. I’ll be there soon.”

With another nod, Kirishima walked over to the elevator. Bakugo closed his door and locked it. He grabbed his school shirt, slipping it on, but left his tie behind. He hadn’t wanted to admit that he’d upset stupid Deku to Kirishima. He also didn’t want to go check on the idiot. Or at least let him know that he checked on him.

Bakugou walked out onto the balcony, closing the sliding glass door behind him. He counted the verandas until he found the right one. A few of the students, himself included, were pretty adept at sneaking into friends’ rooms or just out in general via these balconies. Whoever thought it was a good idea to include them for teens with hero-grade quirks was an idiot. With a solid jump and a little help from his explosions, he landed on the balcony that was Deku’s room. He hoped the room would either be empty or that he’d find the window shades drawn. He didn’t know what the fuck he’d do (or how he’d feel) if he saw the shitnerd crying or something. 

He wasn’t prepared for what he found.

As soon as he landed, he knew something was wrong. Deku was sitting on the floor between the window and his desk. That didn’t make any sense. Bakugou couldn’t see his face as he had it pressed against the desk, grasping for something on top of it. What he did see made the fire inside him burn in a new, far worse way. 

Midoriya’s hip was bright red. Not a lot of it, just four straight lines that threatened to overflow with that sickening sight of blood.

Bakugou’s heart began to race. The fire of anger inside him was intense enough to make him sweat nitroglycerin. He raised his hand to either get Deku’s attention or to break down the glass door (he hadn’t decided yet) when his classmate turned back around, tissue box in hand.

They both were frozen when their eyes made contact. Bakugou with his hand still raised, Deku with a death grip on his tissue box.

Midoriya moved first.

Frantically the slightly smaller boy pressed a tissue against his wounds and closed the blinds. Like that would stop Bakugou.

Lucky for school property, Midoriya hadn’t considered locking his sliding door because Bakugou would’ve broken it down. Midoriya had barely enough time to scooch out of the corner and toward the bed, pulling his pants above his wounds as he did, before Bakugou slid the door open so hard it rattled. Izuku squeaked as Katsuki came through the blinds looking like the devil himself. 

“THE FUCK WAS THAT?” Midoriya winced and tried to pull himself into a standing position. His legs felt like Jell-O and he could only stay standing by using his arms on the bed’s edge to prop himself up. “ANSWER ME DEKU!”

Midoriya couldn’t make eye contact. Thoughts were racing through his head and he was too concentrated on them to accurately form words. Unintelligible muttering came out of his mouth as he continued to try to stay standing. 

Bakugou closed the space between them, gripping the front of his classmate’s shirt, pulling him up and toward him.

“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?”

Midoriya still couldn’t look at him in the eye. He needed to get out of here. Uraraka was still waiting for him. No one, well no one else, was supposed to know he had ever done this, let alone still does. He wanted to explain how this was the first time in a long time since he cut. But that would mean admitting that he had cut before. And even if hologram Kacchan knew about his previous experiences with self-harm, the real Kacchan didn’t and shouldn’t.

“…it’s nothing Kacch—” Midoriya hissed when Bakugou tightly gripped the spot on his left hip where he’d cut.

“Then why the fuck does it hurt?” Bakugou stared at him, eyes full of rage, head full of confusion. He was doing it again, letting the anger win, but he couldn’t stop. “Are you fucking into pain? Are you trying to punish yourself? What the hell is wrong with you!” 

Bakugou hadn’t released his death grip on Midoriya’s hips. Even though he was only holding onto one side, regardless of the fact that Izuku was currently being held up in a standing position, the grip reminded him of being immobilized again. Like Bakugou was holding Izuku beneath him. Like he was trapped. Midoriya felt himself breaking again, the pain from his cuts not distracting enough to ignore that Katsuki was certainly going to use him again, break him again. Tears started to fall down Izuku’s face.

“Please don’t hurt me again. Please not here!” As if burned, Bakugou dropped both his grip on Izuku’s waist and the one holding the other up, letting Midoriya fall backwards onto the bed. This seemed to make matters worse. The other teen worse stared up in horror as his fears were confirmed in his mind. He scrambled off the bed, even though it meant falling roughly to the floor. The sound of Midoriya hitting the ground shook Bakugou from his shocked stupor.

“Stupid!” Bakugou reached down to grab Midoriya’s arm to help him up, but the boy started to crawl away from him. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Please Kacchan!” Midoriya begged, trying to crawl to the door, but he couldn’t figure out how to move his hands and feet in a synchronized way. It felt like he was sliding on ice.

Bakugou stared at Deku struggling, but not getting anywhere. He moved his jaw back and forth with frustration. It’d been so long since Deku looked this helpless. He didn’t look like the next ‘Symbol of Peace’ with a quirk that could literally change the weather. He didn’t even look like the bright bubbly teen that brought all of his class together. He looked like he had when he was quirkless.

“Motherfucker, why are you acting like this now?” Midoriya stopped, turning his head over his shoulder to look back at Bakugou with wide eyes. “Why is this all coming up again now?” 

Midoriya could hear the hurt in his words. Although the Bakugou had his eyes closed, Midoriya could’ve sworn that he was tearing up.

“Were you just faking it? All these years did you just pretend we worked through that shit or was I just delusional?”

“Kacchan—"

“Is this how you deal with it?” Motioning over to the corner where Midoriya noticed both the tissues and the razor still lay. “Is that why you can stand seeing me in class every day? You fucking hurt yourself?”

“N—no Kacchan. I wasn’t…I mean I haven’t…” Midoriya still didn’t know which was worse, saying too much or too little. “…I haven’t cut in a long time.”

Apparently, he made the wrong decision as Katsuki’s eyes snapped open and he glared.

“The kiss then?” Midoriya stammered to deny it, but Bakugou walked past him toward the door. “I’ll stay out of your fucking hair then. Fucking fine. I came to make sure you got your ass downstairs before the teachers came. So hurry the fuck up!” 

Midoriya hesitated, but then forced himself up. He was still shaking, and he probably looked like crap from crying. He tried to wipe the tears out of his eyes on the shoulder of his shirt while Bakugou unlocked and opened his door. They walked over to the elevator without saying anything. They didn’t say anything the entire ride down either.

When the elevator doors opened, Bakugou left without looking at Midoriya, heading towards the kitchen. Midoriya stood there, wondering if he should follow. Instead he decided to find Uraraka.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6 Forgive Don’t Forget

 

No one had noticed that Midoriya and Bakugou had come down on the same elevator. Uraraka looked absolutely relieved when she saw Midoriya walking over to her.

“There you are!” She hissed under her breath, looking around at the other students. “I was worried you weren’t going to get back in time! Iida’s the only one left.”

Midoriya nodded numbly. Uravity looked him over, noticing the red eyes and blotchy face. 

“Are you okay Deku?” Midoriya forced himself to perk up and rubbed the back of his head sheepishly as he nodded. “You know you can talk to me about whatever.”

“Yeah…thanks Uraraka.”

She smiled brightly in response before again using this as a cue to move forward. She began hypothesizing about what the next steps would be like for everyone. Did everyone have to meet with a teacher? Which teachers were even behind the glass? She figured this was Deku’s thing, but when he wasn’t saying much, she was happy to fill the silence. Uraraka was mid-theory when Iida finally came in. He looked pale, less straight and proper than usual. Uraraka ran over and gave Iida a hug. He blushed but smiled and gave a gentle hug back. Midoriya felt a little number staring at the exchange, jealous at how the hug seemed to comfort Iida. Then he felt bad for feeling that way.

Learning from her interaction with Midoriya, Uraraka didn’t ask about Iida’s experience during Fear Training, but was happy when he gave a brief summary without prompting. His description was purposefully vague, and he stared at the ground as he discussed how he could do nothing but kneel in front of his paralyzed brother and be told how he was a disgrace to the name “Ingenium”. Midoriya reached out, placing a hand on Iida’s thigh. Iida squeezed it back in a sign of thanks. 

It wasn’t long later that Midnight and Eraserhead entered the dorms. Everyone’s conversations hushed quickly. Midnight walked to the wall by the television and taped a paper to the to it.

“Alright! Everyone’s meeting time tomorrow is on the wall with either me or Eraserhead. If for any reason the time doesn’t work, or if you’d feel more comfortable talking to someone other than us, let us know by tonight so that we can try to make alternate accommodations to the best of our abilities.”

“Tomorrow’s Saturday!” Mineta complained.

“Exactly! Don’t get on our bad sides!” That shut him up.

After Midnight walked away, everyone stood up to crowd the list and learn their times. As Midoriya approach, she coughed. He turned to her.

“You and Bakugou will meet us in study room 1 at 10 pm tonight. It’s imperative that we figure out this situation immediately.”

Midoriya looked behind Midnight toward the kitchen where he saw that Aizawa was talking to Bakugou, likely telling him the same thing. Bakugou didn’t look his way. Midoriya looked back at Midnight and nodded. After she walked away, he looked back toward Bakugou only to see him walking back toward the elevator. Izuku felt like he was being ripped in two.

 


 

It was only 9 pm but the common room was completely empty save Midoriya. The day had been hard on everyone and most people had gone up to the rooms to sleep or think nearly an hour ago. Midoriya hadn’t told anyone that his meeting was tonight, and no one seemed to notice he hadn’t been on the list of meetings tomorrow. He couldn’t blame them. Things were hard all around.

Seeing as it was a good hour before their meeting time, Midoriya was surprised when the elevator gave a loud “ting!” and opened to reveal Bakugou. The latter boy stepped into the common area, only seeing Midoriya after the elevator had closed again. If Midoriya felt numb, Bakugou looked empty.

“…I’ll leave.” He turned to press the button.

“Stay!” Midoriya tried to say firmly, but it came out more like desperate.   

Bakugou paused then came over to sit near Midoriya, but not on the same couch. They sat in silence. What do you say after that? Izuku felt sick thinking about Kacchan seeing him so vulnerable, so weak that he cut himself. Katsuki couldn’t get rid of the image of Deku crawling away from him as if Bakugou was going to kill him. The silence lasted a long time. 

“…You never answered my question when I came to visit you Kacchan.”

“And you didn’t answer a single one of my questions so we’re fucking even.” Midoriya was surprised by how emotionless Kacchan sounded.

“Okay, a question for a question then. What—"

“Why did you cut yourself today?”

Midoriya winced. Leave it to Kacchan to get straight to the heart of it.

“Th—The kiss.” It hurt saying it aloud. “It—it brought up a lot of memories.”

Katsuki stared at Izuku, as if reading his soul. It was silent.

“It’s your turn shitnerd.”

“Oh! Right!” He fidgeted. “What did you mean when you said—when you said you’d become a hero for me?”

Bakugou looked away, staring out the window to pitch-black darkness outside. He didn’t say anything for so long, Midoriya was starting to think he wasn’t going to answer.

“You always looked at All Might with those eyes.” He scowled. “Eyes that fucking sparkled like there was no one better in the world. I wanted…”

Katsuki didn’t continue. Midoriya almost sighed. Of course Bakugou wanted Midoriya to look at him like that. With adoration, with awe. Bakugou always had to get praise from everyone, to be on top. Izuku found it hard to believe that the other had never realized that he had always looked at him like that. Even when there was also fear in his eyes. 

“How long have you been cutting for?” Midoriya flinched again. It didn’t get easier, he felt so guilty.

“Since the… you know.” He had never said that word out-loud.

Bakugou didn’t turn back to look at Midoriya. It was as if he could see him somewhere outside.

“Do you hate me?”

“Isn’t it my turn to ask?”

“Answer the question asshole.”

But Midoriya couldn’t. Something had happened that night after the UA entrance exam, something had changed in Midoriya. That’s why he always referred to Bakugou as his “childhood friend” while at UA, instead of pretending they were still friends deep down. He knew that bond had broken under the strain of that experience. He had always refused to think of Kacchan as the “bad guy” no matter what he had done. He knew he also had the potential to be a great hero. But he could also never forget all the things that had happened. He wouldn’t.  

“Why me?”

“Oi, you didn’t answer my—”

“Why me Kacchan?” Midoriya’s voice was a mess, cracking as he felt new tears coming to his eyes. “Why did you care so much that I was quirkless? Couldn’t you just have been fine with having another worthless ‘extra’ in your life? Why did you pay so much attention to me? Why were you worse than everyone else? Why couldn’t you just leave me alone!”

“Do you think I didn’t try to? Do you think I didn’t want you to be a fucking pebble I could ignore?”

Bakugou didn’t see Midoriya’s eyes widen, still filled with tears.

“You were supposed to be my second-in-command, remember? We were number 1 and number 2, top heroes. Then your dumbass had to be quirkless. Fuck yeah I was pissed, but even four year old me knew. I knew you couldn’t fucking be a hero without getting killed. So, I’d be number 1 and keep you safe. But you motherfucker, you had to keep trying. You came down to the river to save me like I needed your quirkless help and you got all scratched up by the shrubs. Did you think I didn’t notice?”

“Your dumbass self was always trying to help people, putting yourself in front of harm’s way when you couldn’t even protect yourself! Someone had to teach you how stupid that was before you ran into a villain and got your bitch ass killed.”

Bakugou held up his hand and let little sparks of explosions happen. He stared at them with hate.

“No matter what I fucking did, you didn’t get it did you? I’ll admit it: I got pissed over time and I started to make it a game to see how far I could push you til you finally caved. The only thing I regretted at that time was telling you to jump off the roof. …I said that out of spite.”

They were both quite again. Bakugou knew what Deku wanted to ask about next. 

“I went farther than I ever meant to that night.” His voice was just above a whisper, but just as full of fury. “When I saw you at the UA entrance exam…I couldn’t understand what you were thinking. I didn’t know about One-For-All, I didn’t know you had a quirk to protect yourself with. …I just thought about making you finally cave…making you break.”

The anger was taking over again, and again it was directed at himself. For the first time in a long time, he let memories long buried slowly come to mind. After Deku had beaten him that first week at UA, when he realized that Deku really did have a quirk (and a powerful one at that)… Bakugou came to a horrifying realization. He had tortured Deku for nothing. Midoriya didn’t "need" to be broken down because Deku could be a hero. It was Bakugou who was fucked up for thinking he couldn’t be. That night he had exploded things outside the park by his house way past midnight, well past the safe limit for his body.

Then even worse memories came up. He remembered how innocent Deku had let him into his apartment when he showed up at his door after the entrance exam. Bakugou wants to scream at memory Midoriya to not do it. It’s fucked up that Deku trusted him enough to even take him to his bedroom in case his mom came home. Bakugou had never given Deku any reason to show that he could be trusted. Katsuki had only planned to kiss him that night, but so what if he had? Was that any better? He didn’t have a right to take Deku's kiss or really anything he wanted. But he ended up doing just that didn’t he? He threw any plans out the window the minute they locked lips and took everything he wanted. He’d been denying it to himself all this time, convincing himself that Izuku had gotten over it. Like that made it okay. But that didn’t change the hard truth.

Then Bakugou was thinking of tonight. How he wanted to just show Deku how he felt. How he tried to show that he was sorry in literally the worst way he could have. Didn't Katsuki get that kissing Izuku was something Bakugou needed, not Midoriya? Why was he so selfish? He couldn’t stop thinking of Deku crawling to get away from him the way he should have been in that moment. 

Because Bakugou was a villain.

 


 

For the first time, Midoriya actually knew. After all the bullying, after all the nights he asked himself “why”, he finally knew. He knew why Bakugou had done everything he had done. Bakugou loved Izuku. In Bakugou’s messed up head, he thought he had been protecting Midoriya. That is, until he did what Bakugou always did and did whatever he wanted with Izuku. And as that fact finally became clear to him, Midoriya wasn’t conflicted with his feelings anymore. 

Izuku was furious. 

All these years he was tortured, for what? Because Katsuki couldn’t just tell Izuku that he felt that way? Worse, that he couldn’t or wouldn’t admit it to himself? Seriously? All this time, Izuku knew there had to be some reason, but this one flabbergasted him, enraged him. Because it didn’t matter to Midoriya how Bakugou felt romantically, the guy had ruined him. His life could’ve been so much different! Without the bullying, with the… Would he still have cut himself? Would he have been happy all these years? He stood up.

“Sorry.”

Midoriya heard the whisper and he almost punched Katsuki for the second time today. Sorry? Sorry didn’t begin to make up for all the torture, all the suffering Izuku had endured. But then he looked at Bakugou, actually seeing him with clear eyes for the first time since the other male had finished speaking earlier. 

Bakugou had one hand gripping the arm rest of the couch so tightly that his fingers turned white. The fabric was smoking under his fingers in an obviously unintentional way. Izuku watched the other teen rocking in his chair, forwards and backwards, repeating the word “sorry” not to Midoriya, but to some unseen person. Katsuki’s eyes were closed and he had covered his face with his free hand, but Midoriya could still see his grimace of pain. Midoriya recognized self-hatred when he saw it.  

He felt it all the time. 

Looking down at himself, he noticed that he had activated One-for-All again, his right hand glowing slightly in a familiar but now frightening way. Now in his third year, Midoriya could finally control his quirk with deadly precision when it came to a fight. Yet, again, he had activated the quirk without him thinking about it. He let One-for-All inactivate and he felt himself shaking as bad as Bakugou was.

Their roles had reversed, if only for this moment. Izuku had been about to hit Bakugou, not because he was hurting him but because he was angry with him. If he had hit Bakugou, it would have been solely to relieve his frustration, for his pleasure. Izuku had punched quite a few people, but never before had he hit someone for himself. He looked back up to Katsuki, still rocking and repeating the word “sorry”. Was Katsuki this angry? He thought about the explosions in Bakugou’s hands and how they went off at the smallest reaction. Was it even possible to live your life while this angry?

Midoriya, still staring at Bakugou, then saw himself. This is what he must have always looked like all those times. Scared, helpless, but worse of all, self-blaming. Why had he always blamed himself? Why had he let himself shoulder every pain? But Midoriya knew why. That’s who he was. Even if it hadn’t been Katsuki, he would’ve experience suffering and pain in his life and he would’ve shouldered it all himself. He would blame himself because he was his own worst enemy. 

Then Izuku did what he should’ve done for himself a long time ago. Kneeling down in front of Kacchan, Midoriya moved the hand from Katsuki's face and hugged him with this thought:

“I forgive you Izuku.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 7 The Duties of a Guardian

 

Bakugou froze. He’d been so deep in his thoughts, he had forgotten Midoriya was still there. It wasn’t until he felt himself being held that he remembered. Once he realized what was happening, he reactively tried to push Izuku off. But Midoriya held onto him tighter. 

Why was this happening? He didn’t deserve this, didn’t Midoriya get it? Couldn’t he see that? Why didn’t he hit him? Why didn’t he just leave him to suffer? Then he remembered that this was Izuku. Too kind, too selfless. This is how it always was: Midoriya was still crying but helping others despite his own pain, and Bakugou was still selfishly taking advantage of his kind nature. Why was Bakugou making Midoriya take care of him after everything that had happened?

Eventually though, Katsuki stopped fighting to get free. Hesitantly, he hugged Izuku back. When Midoriya didn’t pull away or flinch at the contact, Bakugou hugged him back tighter. And they stayed like that for what seemed like both forever and no time at all. They must have then fallen into their own thoughts because they didn’t hear it when someone entered the dorms.   

“Let go of Young Midoriya now.” Both of the teens pulled away in shock, turning too quickly to the voice that had snuck up on them.   

To their surprise, they saw All Might in all his old glory. He stomped over in his muscular form, intimidating in a way few heroes can be. And even though he poofed back into his scrawny persona, the teens still cowered under his gaze. Toshinori pulled Midoriya up from the ground, earning a yelp from the boy in surprise. Bakugou didn’t dare follow as Midoriya was half-dragged to study room 1.

“Wha—What are you doing here All Might?” Midoriya asked anxiously, wringing his hands in front of him. He felt embarrassed about how that must have looked. He also had no idea what time it was, and he didn’t want to be late to his meeting with Midnight and Eraserhead. The last thing he wanted to do was to explain to All Might about why he had to have a meeting on a different day than everyone else.  

Surprising Midoriya once again, Toshinori immediately hugged him, holding his head against his shoulders tightly, protectively.

“Are you alright? Did he hurt you?”

Midoriya’s was confused. It took him a second to interpret All Might’s questions. Then his heart dropped to his knees. All Might knew. He knew what Bakugou had done. Someone had told him…no, it was worse.

“You were watching the Fear Training?” Midoriya’s voice was impossibly high but quiet. He was forgetting how to breath.

“You’re safe now Midoriya. I am here.”

But that was the problem. All Might couldn’t be here. He felt stupid that he had been embarrassed about Toshinori seeing him hug Kacchan; this was a much bigger problem. All Might couldn’t know how messed up Izuku was. He couldn’t let him know that he cut himself and had thought about killing himself. The Symbol of Peace couldn’t be fragile like him. All Might was going to regret picking him as his successor.

Midoriya started to hyperventilate. His chest felt impossible tight but his heart was beating fast enough to tear right out of him.

“Midoriya?” Toshinori asked loudly to overcome the sounds of Izuku’s heavy breathing. “Breathe Midoriya, breathe.”

He was trying to! He tried to fight the panic attack but he felt it ramping up. He’d had panic attacks before, but this one was way worse. He had always feared that he would have one in front of All Might and now he was. Next time he might have one in front of his classmates. Next time he might have one in front of a villain. Why was everything just getting worse!

All Might had let go of Midoriya although he was still trying to calm him down. He was starting to get anxious himself when nothing seemed to be working. The door to the study room burst open.

“Move!” All Might instinctively stepped in front of Midoriya, blocking him from Bakugou.

Bakugou scowled and grabbed Midoriya’s arm pulling him sit down on the ground with him. He forced his classmate’s head between his knees, then leaned back to give him space.

“Breathe in, 2 3 4. Out 2 3 4.” Bakugou repeated this mantra until Midoriya could follow along. It took a little while, but eventually he could follow without shaky breaths or falling out of sync. Bakugou had seen Midoriya have several panic attacks in their lifetimes. Unfortunately, he’d given him a few too. Luckily, he had paid attention to what he used to do to calm down.

All Might on the other hand felt helpless, again. He wanted that blonde rapist as far away from Midoriya as they could arrange, yet here he was doing what All Might couldn’t. He watched Midoriya begin to breathe again. Toshinori wanted to protect Midoriya but he only seemed to be causing the boy pain. Eventually Midoriya started to breathe evenly, even if the rest of his body was still shaking. And Bakugou watched him…with concern? 

As frustrated as he felt, All Might recognized that he wasn’t helping Midoriya. It also seemed like Bakugou wasn’t currently a threat. So, Toshinori made himself walk out of the study room but watched the pair through the open door from the other side of the hallway. He was still standing there watching the two teens when Eraserhead and Midnight showed up a few minutes later. Toshinori nodded toward the room before they could ask him any questions. Aizawa’s brow furrowed into a set line while Midnight smiled sadly. If none of them knew their history, they would’ve looked like great friends.

Eraserhead cleared his throat loudly. Midoriya’s head shot up, and Bakugou turned his head angrily.

“We want to talk to you individually first, get your stories, and then we’ll decide if it’s okay to speak to you together.”

Bakugou started to stand but Midoriya grabbed his hand.

“No!” Midoriya’s voice cracked even though he was trying to sound authoritative. “You speak with us together or not at all.”

Toshinori was about to object, but Aizawa just nodded. The latter walked in and took a seat at the table. It wasn’t as if he’d join the teens on the floor. Midnight walked in next, with All Might following slowly behind, closing the door behind him for privacy. The teens stood up, Midoriya requiring Bakugou’s help to get into a chair due to him still shaking. There was a long pause before Aizawa turned to Midoriya.

“I don’t know what you feel toward Bakugou or why you feel you need to protect him, but he needs to take responsibility for his actions. Even if you don’t want to press charges, you were a minor when it happened which means as your current guardians we have a duty to proceed with or without your consent.” He turned to Bakugou.

“While you were and still are a minor, from our limited knowledge, we know you used your powerful quirk during the sexual assault to subdue and maim Midoriya. This may result in you being tried as an adult and being sentenced like one. That means jail time.”

“Please Professor Aizawa—”

“I understand.” Bakugou interrupted Midoriya, not breaking eye contact with his teacher. “I’ll take full responsibility.”

If Aizawa was surprised by this response, he didn’t show it. Midnight and Toshinori were worse at hiding their feelings but didn’t make a sound.

“We briefly spoke to principal Nezu and its been decided that you will be expelled effective immediately.”

“No!” Midoriya screamed in shock, looking from Bakugou’s stoic face to each of his teachers. Everything was moving too fast. “Why do I not get any say in the matter? Why is everyone giving up on Kacchan?”

Midoriya turned to Bakugou whose face was completely blank. For once, Midoriya missed Katsuki’s anger. He wanted Kacchan to punch a wall with his explosive palm or threaten to kill anyone who got in the way between him and being a hero. But Katsuki wasn’t doing any of that and not doing so just wasn’t him. Midoriya couldn’t recognize this person next to him. This Bakugou looked dead despite maintaining eye contact with Eraserhead and nodded in understanding.  

“You can’t do this! If he goes, then I go too.”

“It doesn’t work that way Midoriya.”

“Please, this will just keep him from ever being a hero. What do you think will happen if—”

“My boy!” Toshinori interrupted. “You need help, not Bakugou! We will find someone you can talk to and you can move on from this.”

“You don’t get it!” Midoriya looked frantic again. “Don’t you see that this doesn’t fix anything? This will only make things worse!”

“You must be out by Sunday evening.” Aizawa continued as if Midoriya wasn’t objecting furiously. “Tomorrow we will contact your parents to come take you and your belongings. We will contact police on Monday morning, once you are off the premise.”

Again, Bakugou just held his eye contact and nodded. He stood up to leave. With decisions already being made, he didn’t feel like there was any need to explain more about what he did. He could tell the police when they asked. Izuku reached for his hand again, but he moved it out of his reach.

“Midoriya, we know this hard,” Midnight said in her smoothest voice, “but we need you to stay and tell use more about what happened that night.” 

Izuku felt like his whole world had flipped upside down. He didn’t forgive Bakugou, in fact Izuku was still incredibly angry with him. But, he was mad with this situation too. If Bakugou got kicked out and put in jail, who did that help? Back then, it would’ve kept Bakugou away from him and kept him safe. Now though? Midoriya would feel better if Bakugou could save other people by becoming a hero. After all, Midoriya had only been able to put up with all the bullying and pain because he had imagined that the Kacchan he remembered (the one that had been his childhood friend) would become the good guy someday. The hero. If they kicked Bakugou out now…

Midoriya could see this future. He could see exactly what would happen if they did this to Bakugou. They hadn’t seen what Bakugou had been reduced to so little time ago, but Izuku had. Bakugou would never become a hero as he was now, he couldn’t be one. Izuku could tell Kacchan saw himself as a villain, and that Katsuki didn’t see that he didn’t have to be one. Things would only escalate if they sent Bakugou away now and Bakugou would start hurting people again to deal with that pain…or hurt himself.

Someone tried to touch Izuku’s hand soothingly when he had gone so long without a reply. He jerked away and stood up in response. 

“I’m not telling you anything! I was the one that was—raped.” He hiccupped as he said the word aloud for the very first time, but his voice was otherwise loud and steady. “Doesn’t that give me any say? Don’t I have any control over any of this?”

“It’s our jobs as your guardians here at the school to protect you, and if that means—”

Midoriya couldn’t hear anymore, he ran out of the study room and to the elevator ignoring Toshinori’s yells behind him. Luckily the elevator was already on the ground floor because he was able to jump in and let the doors close before anyone could stop him. He hoped that they would give it a rest, at least for tonight. He needed to figure out some kind of compromise, some kind of fix. He had never felt so physically and emotionally exhausted.

When the elevator opened on his floor, his classmates started literally pouring out of Aoyama’s room. Uraraka was one of the last ones out, but her face told him everything.

“Oh Deku!”

Chapter Text

Chapter 8 Act and React

 

Izuku hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, but he suddenly felt extremely ill. All of his classmates were cramped into the hallway of the boy’s half of the second floor. Some looked guilty, some looked at him with pity, and a couple had nothing short of pure rage burning in their eyes. Jirou tried to hide her earjacks. The study rooms were generally sound proof, but when you have a classmate with earjacks for ears and access to the floor above the room… Midoriya knew there’s no way they missed a single word.

Uraraka had fought her way through the crowd of classmates to get closer to him. Midoriya was rooted to his spot in front of the elevators in disbelief. She reached out to touch him but stopped as if she thought it might be better not too.

“We’re so sorry for listening in Deku! But Aoyama heard a commotion in one of the study rooms, so he got Mineta to get the other guys while Tokoyami went to get Jirou who got Hagakure to get us girls and…” Uraraka looked flustered trying to explain how everything seemed to spiral out of control. She whispered the next part. “Is it true?”

Midoriya kept staring with unbelieving eyes. He didn’t know what to do. This day seemed to get worse and worse. Now everyone knew. Everyone knew his dark secrets and they were staring at him. People started to get uncomfortable with his lack of an answer. They needed to hear it from him.

“Did Bakugou really rape you?” The words finally bubbled out of Hanta’s mouth and he covered it with his tape when his classmates glared at him.

A voice was screaming in Midoriya’s head. It supplied no words, just screams of pure agony that made it difficult for him to pay attention to anything else. He wanted to run. He wanted to be alone.

He wanted to cut.

Midoriya didn’t even look toward his room before he bolted. It was a good thing he didn’t, because that moment of surprise was the only reason he was able to make it inside and lock the door before anyone could reach him. As soon as he backed away from the door, people were pounding on it.   

“Midoriya! Are you okay? Open this door!” Iida yelled commandingly, back in his role as class president.

“Deku-kun! Please! Let us help you!” Uraraka took the sweet approach.

He heard a rally of other voices in the background, each person’s voice fighting to be louder than the last. Midoriya ignored them all because they were a lot quieter than the one screaming in his head.

His skin was burning again. He was afraid to look at it, afraid to actually see something crawling beneath his skin. Midoriya’s hand twitched for something sharp, anything sharp.

Nothing was worse than this feeling. In this moment, he knew no greater pain or need. He’d rather tear all his limbs apart with his quirk again then to fight this demon lashing out inside of him. It hurt so much worse to know that he had created this need. If he had never put that razor to his skin the first place, he wouldn’t feel like he’s burning from the inside out now. He could feel the dull ache from his cuts earlier in the day, but they aren’t enough anymore. They were too small, their pain too little, to center him and make the voice in his head stop screaming.

Lucky for Midoriya, his razor was still on the ground where he left it. On his way over, he made sure the sliding glass door to the veranda was closed and locked. He picked up the razor and lowered his pants to his knees before sitting on the edge of the bed. He was thankful his classmates outside still didn’t know about this. He clung to the hope that this would remain a secret, beyond all reason. But at this point his hope to keep this last secret wasn’t enough to stop him from cutting now.

He pushed the legs of his boxers up, bunching them into his groin to reveal the little scars that littered his upper thighs. Back when he had cut regularly, he had eventually run out of space on his hips and made his way down his thighs. Now it’d been long enough that they were nearly all faded. They were all so small that no one had ever seen them when he changed quickly in gym and they were in a spot that was always covered by his school issued gym shorts and swim shorts. Midoriya smiled sadly. He used to be so careful when he cut. His friends were still pounding on the door.

There was no way he could wait any longer. He started cutting, haphazardly, losing any semblance of control. He smeared the blood as he went, loving how the blood covered up the individual cuts. He could pretend that way that he wasn’t doing this to himself. He’d made quite a few cuts, when he made one a little too deep. It stung and bleed profusely. That’s when the idea came into his mind. 

Izuku studied a lot. Mostly about heroes, but he was well versed in most any subject. He knew where the femoral artery was, knew he’d bleed out too quickly for anyone to save him. It wasn’t like slitting your wrists; it would happen pretty fast. He’d have to cut pretty deep, but he wasn’t squeamish when it came to pain. That’s all it would take.

All of it would go away.

 


 

Bakugou had chosen to take the stairs to his room, even though it was on the fourth floor. He got to his room, locked himself in, and flopped face first into his bed. There was no way he was going to sleep tonight. Katsuki pressed his face as hard into the pillow as he could just to do something. He should probably be packing.

Why the fuck was he so stupid? Why the fuck did he have to make so many mistakes? People were allowed a bad decision or two, allowed a second, maybe even a third chance. Bakugou used up all his allotments and more. He didn’t get any more chances.

Someone began pounding on his door. 

“Fuck me!” Bakugou screamed into the pillow.

“Open up Bakugou! Open up or I break it down!”

Bakugou recognized Kirishima’s voice again. He wanted to just let him break the fucking door down, it wasn’t going to be his for much longer anyway. Against his better judgement, he got up and opened the door.

“Is it true?” Kirishima looked pissed as fuck, already partly transformed into his rock-hard form. Behind him Kaminari bristled with electricity but looked more scared then intimidating.

“What the fuck are you—” Kirishima was the second person to punch Bakugou in the face today. Same cheek too. Bakugou could take a punch, but Kirishima’s strength in this form made him stagger.

“You did, didn’t you?” Kirishima was shaking. “I can tell! You raped Midoriya didn’t you!" 

Bakugou looked up to meet Kirishima’s eyes. He could see the betrayal; he knew Kirishima considered Bakugou as his best friend. Hell if he knew why, he never deserved that shit. This is what he fucking deserved.

“Yeah.” Was all Bakugou said, mouth collecting with blood. Kirishima’s eyes welled with angry tears as he pushed Bakugou into a nearby wall. It felt weird to be on this side of this gesture for the first time, but it should’ve happened a lot sooner.

“How can you just say that like its nothing! Midoriya is our classmate—our friend! What kind of man are you?” Kirishima was screaming as tears dripped down his face. Kaminari tried to pull him away, but Kirishima wouldn’t budge. “He was so positive! He held us all together! He was nothing but fucking nice to you man! Why would you go and break him like this? He’ll never be the same.”

Bakugou stared at his friend with a kind of blank curiosity. They knew he’d raped Izuku, but it was clear they didn’t know any details. Did they all think this just happened recently? Did they not know that it happened before everyone had gotten to know him? Could they not see that their Midoriya, the one they loved, had already lived through that soul-crushing experience and still managed to smile at them every day? Didn’t they get how strong he was? Katsuki had assumed Izuku had told someone and they blabbed, but now he was thinking it was more likely they had heard their conversation in the study room.

“It’s because of you that he won’t come out!” That caught Bakugou’s attention in a different way.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Bakugou asked angrily, but in actuality he was worried.

“He’s locked himself in his room and won’t come out, because of you!”

Bakugou threw Kirishima off him, showing that he was only letting the latter restrain him. He ran over to the glass sliding door, opening it just enough for him to squeeze through. He didn’t leave the others time to think let alone react. He was already on the ledge of the balcony, jumping toward Izuku’s room by the time Kirishima yelled after him.

When he landed on Midoriya’s balcony, he knew the door was going to be locked. Izuku wasn’t someone who didn’t correct his mistakes. Without hesitation, Bakugou let a weak explosion blast the glass door open for him 

Climbing through the broken door, he heard other classmates freak out on the other side of the locked dorm door, probably from the sound of breaking glass. They could break through their door any time they wanted, but, even as third years, they were too overwhelmed with fear to realize that’s what needed to be done. Or maybe they didn’t get how destructive Midoriya was.

But Bakugou knew. He rushed to Midoriya who was sitting on his bed. The other teen was sitting with his back against the wall, knees pulled tightly against his chest, arms resting on top of his kneecaps, face hidden in his arms. Even though the room was completely dark, Bakugou could see the dark liquid staining through the thighs of his classmate’s pants via the moonlight.

He knew Midoriya had cut again. This time Bakugou would react properly; Izuku had shown him how to. Sitting next to him, Bakugou tugged Midoriya out of his ball to hug his head against Katsuki’s shoulder.

Midoriya was crying and Katsuki tried to calm him down by slowly stroking his hair like he had seen Izuku’s mom do one time. Bakugou figured it was more comforting than hitting him on his head yelling “snap out of it” like his mom did.

“I didn’t do it Kacchan. I didn’t do it. I swear I didn’t.” Bakugou had no idea what Izuku was talking about, but Midoriya’s tone of voice let him know it wouldn’t have been good if he had.

“I know you didn’t Izuku.” These words are so foreign in Bakugou’s mouth. Katsuki never used Midoriya’s real name, but then he realized he hadn’t been thinking of him as “Deku” either.  

They were still in this position when the other door to the dorm room was finally broken down. Bakugou didn’t look up to see that it had been Kirishima who did it. He didn’t look up to see Aizawa push through the crowd of students and into the room.

For once, he focused only on Izuku.

 

Suicide Hotlines

Chapter Text

Chapter 9 Do This for Me

 

They had forced them apart when they got the door open. Midoriya remembered that. He had remembered clinging to Kacchan with whatever strength he had left in his fragile body, wishing everyone else was gone. They couldn’t see him like this. But he guessed that didn’t matter. Then he remembers them yelling, remembers something about Recovery Girl. He’s not surprised to wake up in a hospital cot. He stares at the white tiled ceiling, an all too familiar sight.

It feels weirder being so injured this time. He was the cause for so many of his injuries but this time he was suffocated by guilt. He still felt the stinging pain from cuts on his legs meaning Recovery Girl couldn’t cure all of them with her kiss. Were they worse that he had thought? Or was it because her quirk depended on the strength of the person being healed? He had never asked if her quirk depended on that person’s will as well.

He wasn’t looking forward to Recovery Girl coming in to check on him. Midoriya didn’t need to see a clock to know it was ridiculously early in the morning. Maybe 5, 6 am. Early enough that the sun was just now rising, but he could still see the moon in the sky. It doesn’t make sense, but the sight made him feel nauseous again. Like he wasn’t meant to see it. As if all of this was a mistake. The moon reminded him of the night before and the looks on all his friends’ faces. The sun reminded him that he has to see them again. He had no secrets anymore.

Forcing himself up, he grabbed the clean pair of pants that someone had brought for him from the chair closest to the window. He didn’t bother with the shirt also there, and instead tucked his hospital gown into his pants. Today is Saturday. That means there was only one day left before Kacchan got expelled for good. It’s early enough that perhaps the school hasn’t even told his parents about the situation yet. Midoriya imagined walking into class on Monday to the sea of pitying faces and an empty desk in front of him. He imagined everyone gathering around, suffocating him with their worry. It hurt to think that Katsuki wasn’t there to yell at everyone to “fuck off”. He also hated that he needed Bakugou there to do so because Midoriya knew he wasn’t strong enough to do it for himself. The pain only grows stronger and Izuku knew he had made a mistake last night.

His worn red shoes felt weird with no socks on, but he was glad someone brought them nonetheless. Now fully dressed, he didn’t hesitate. He unofficially checked himself out of the nurse’s office.

 


 

Bakugou didn’t sleep all night. He had spent the late hours alternating between tossing/turning and sitting still as he stared at the ceiling. It was about 6:00 am now. That meant it was societally appropriate to go downstairs and make breakfast.

Coming out from the elevator, Bakugou isn’t surprised to see all his classmates strewn about the common area couches, wrapped up in blankets on the floor, or even cuddled up next to each other in obviously platonic positions. He had remembered hearing them discuss this idea last night. Everyone was too shaken by the Fear Training and what had happened to Izuku to sleep alone. Guess the teachers were right about the whole experience creating a support group.

Obviously, no one invited Bakugou. He didn’t expect them too. He had still considered crashing the sleepover, if only to rile someone up enough to get himself beat up. Why was it so hard to get his ass kicked?

Bakugou hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday, but his stomach gurgled in way that pointed toward being sick more than being hungry. He decided to just pour himself a glass of orange juice. He leaned against the kitchen wall as he drank the juice, watching his frien—classmates twitch and turn in their sleep. Looking around, he noticed an obviously empty spot between Asui and Ashido where there was another mat set up. He doesn’t have to do a head count, however, as Uraraka ran in the door out of breath before he could. She looked around the room of sleeping people frantically before her eyes met Bakugou’s, wide and full of fear.  

“Is he here?” Bakugou’s whole body went cold. “I went to be there when he woke up, I didn’t want him to wake up alone, but no one was in the nurse’s office! Recovery Girl wasn’t even in the building yet!”

His glass fell to the kitchen floor. The sound of shattering glass woke everyone, some with a shock, some with sleep-induced grogginess. 

“I’ll check his room.” Bakugou didn’t bother with the elevator, choosing to run to the staircase again. Uraraka didn’t have time to respond, so she doesn’t waste her time. Instead she began to inform everyone of Midoriya’s disappearance and organized a search party.

 


 

When Bakugou found Midoriya’s room empty, he knew exactly where to go next. He ran down the stairs, out the front doors, and across the school’s campus. On his way, he saw a couple of classmates searching the woods or walking to other school buildings. How could they be walking?

Bakugou sprinted into their class building, but he was hardly breathing hard by the time he started climbing the stairs. Once he hit the roof, however, he was nearly out of breath. At first, he didn’t see anything, and a weight lifted off his shoulders.

But that weight fell back down that much harder when he noticed Izuku sitting by the ledge behind him. The world seemed to blur around the image of Midoriya. “Go take a swan dive off the roof!” Bakugou’s own words blared in his ears as he unsteadily walked over to Midoriya. He seemed impossibly far away. Midoriya hadn’t sat on the very ledge, no one from the ground could see him if they looked up, but he was close enough that he could easily stand, jump, and fall, and fall, and fall.

“Izuku…” Katsuki whispered as if afraid the other teen will blow away.

Midoriya turned to make sure he had heard the right voice, a bitter smile on his face. This wasn't the time to smile.

“Of course it’s you Kacchan! Of course you knew where to go.” The implications of these words were harsh, but they gave Katsuki enough to time to get close to him.

Bakugou slowly let himself fall to his knees, to sit in front of Midoriya, trying to get between him and the edge. Unfortunately, Izuku had situated himself in the corner of the building, where Katsuki couldn’t block both routes.

“Why are you up here Izuku?” Midoriya’s smile was too familiar but also too fake. He wished that the teen was crying or something instead.

“Well, I figured it out! I figured out how to get both of us out of this situation.” With a hard tug, Midoriya pulled out one of his hairs and extended it to Bakugou. His face was deathly serious. “They would never kick out the successor to One-For-All now would they? Go ahead Kaachan, if you eat this, then you can make everything right between us by being the biggest hero ever.”

Bakugou’s mouth dropped open in shock. He knew how One-for-All worked and knew that if he did eat the hair offered to him, Katsuki would inherit its enormous power. And that Izuku would lose it forever. Without hesitation, Bakugou took the hair.

He disintegrated it in between his fingers. Midoriya stared at him in surprise, having figured he would have liked the power. Then he smiled that creepy smile again before he broke off another hair to offer to Bakugou.

“Are you fucking nuts?”

“Kacchan, think about it.” Midoriya’s words are too calm. “You’re so strong and with One-for-All you’d be unstoppable! With One-For-All, UA would have no choice but to help train you to make sure you can control it like they did with me. They couldn’t expel the next ‘Symbol of Peace’! And then you won’t get arrested because that’s some really bad press. Now were you lying to me before? You said you’d be the number 1 hero…for me.” 

To Bakugou the scenario Midoriya explained sounded like a recipe for disaster. Everyone already hated him; what would they do if he had that kind of power too? For a second, the image of the city burning from his Fear Training popped into Bakugou’s mind. If Izuku knew about his fears, would he have still offered him his quirk? But Katsuki knew the answer. Yes. Izuku trusted him. When no one else did.

“And what about you Izuku? What happens to you in this situation.” That fucking smile never faltered.

“I got to be a hero for a little while. I got my dream. Maybe I could help train you?”

Katsuki didn’t buy it. He knew Izuku’s real plan. As soon as the quirk was transferred over, Midoriya would jump to his death. The quirk was the only reason he was probably alive still. Midoriya hesitated despite his obvious desire because he didn’t want One-for-All to die with him. Izuku was selfless even now. He was still being a hero.

But now it was Katsuki’s turn to be one. Bakugou leaned forward as he pretended to take the hair from Deku’s hand again, but this time he launched himself on top of the other boy.

Midoriya realized what Bakugou was doing and twisted himself as they fell backwards, trying to fall closer to the edge. Luckily, Bakugou had correctly estimated that there was enough space for Midoriya to fall in any direction backwards without falling off the building’s ledge. Still, Izuku could feel how close he had been to falling; he felt the wind from the edge blowing against his hair. He started to struggle. If he got out from under Bakugou, it was still possible to go forward with the plan. Normally this position, Midoriya trapped under Bakugou, would bring up more horrible memories, but this time Midoriya was too focused on a different kind of pain and the plan to make it go away.

“Stop this Izuku! You don’t want to die!” Finally, Midoriya’s smile turned into a grimace of pain. 

“Don’t you get it? They know. EVERYONE KNOWS!” Midoriya stared up at Bakugou, tears starting to cloud his vision. He continued to speak as he fought to tear himself from Bakugou’s firm hold.

“I can’t stand them looking at me like that! And if they all know, it’s only a matter of time until the world does. I was supposed to be the Symbol of Peace! That can’t happen if they all just keep staring at me with…with…those stupid pitying eyes! They just think I’m weak and broken now.”

“So what?” Katsuki was struggling to hold him down. Midoriya had gotten a lot stronger these last few years. “So what if they look at you like that, they don’t know you!”

“I’ve failed him. I’ve failed All Might. I’ve failed everyone. I can’t save anyone when I’m so weak.”

“Bullshit!” Both of the teens stopped struggling for a second when it became obvious that Katsuki had also started to cry.

“All Might doesn’t feel that way. No one will. No matter what, you’ve always been strong! Strong in a way most of those other fucking heroes will never be. After everything that’s happened, you still love and connect with everyone. Knowing your past will only make people see how powerful you really are.”

“Stop thinking so little of yourself already! If I can’t be the number 1 hero then you better damn well be! And if I have to follow you around, making sure you don’t jump off any roofs until you do, then that’s what I’ll fucking do! At least until you find someone you love to do it instead.”

Despite all the pain, despite all the other voices screaming at Izuku to end this, Midoriya imagined hugging Katsuki again and Katsuki hugging him last night. He remembered how safe those hugs had felt, which was so different from every other interaction he’d had with Katsuki up until then. For once he had felt strong. Maybe. Maybe everyone else could change back too? If those feelings could change... maybe his own pain would get better too? He heard his own thought again, ringing loud and clear in his head. “I forgive you Izuku.”

Midoriya stopped struggling. He began to sob harder but nodded his head to Bakugou.

“O—okay Kacchan.”  

 

Suicide Hotlines

Update: I got my first piece of fanart T-T This has literally been the dream and to make matters even crazier, I got it from the incredible author thebookmen2 (who's stories you should go read like now). I'm literally in heaven <3

OMG I GOT ANOTHER ONE! This lovely work of art is from the amazing Abbyhaxx who has also started publishing her own amazing work on AO3. THANK YOU

Chapter Text

Chapter 10: Ending with a Start

 

Bakugou didn’t need to help Midoriya walk down the stairs and through the halls of UA, but they both understood that it was probably for the best. Their combined weight meant something to them now. It meant Midoriya had been found in time. It meant Bakugou wasn’t too late. The first student they ran into was Iida. He looked extremely upset when he saw Bakugou, but the relief at the sight of Midoriya, present and unharmed, overwhelmed his anger.

“Go tell everyone to stop searching.” Bakugou snapped before Iida could open his mouth. “I’m taking him back to Recovery Girl.” Iida didn’t like being bossed around (ironic for sure) but did as instructed with his speed quirk.  

Midoriya rested his head against Bakugou’s shoulder as they walked.   

“I can walk just fine you know?” Izuku mumbled in Katsuki’s ear as they got closer to Recovery Girl and farther from the staircase to the roof.

“Like I give a fuck.” Midoriya laughed meekly. It seemed like he had the old Bakugou back. 

They reached Recovery Girl’s office soon after that. It was obvious by her reaction when she saw Bakugou that she knew what had happened between them as well. After he put Midoriya on the bed (she didn’t know that he could walk perfectly well) and quietly told her what had happened, she began to shoo him out.

“Please let him stay.” Midoriya begged hoarsely, voice shot from all the crying. He didn’t want to be alone yet.

Recovery Girl looked at him, a scolding ready on her tongue, but then she saw it. She saw the flame had returned to Izuku’s eyes. It hadn’t been there when she’d tried to heal him the night prior. She was so happy that it was back. She didn’t say anything but motioned for Bakugou to sit in the chair by the window while she checked Izuku’s leg wounds again. When she gave Midoriya a kiss this time, the cuts seemed to heal up in an instant. She noticed Bakugou’s deep bruise on his cheek and offered to heal that too. He refused.

When Toshinori came, Recovery Girl almost shooed him away when he buffed up and began crossly walking toward Bakugou. Eventually he calmed down enough that she allowed him to talk to Midoriya. It seemed like a good chat from afar because the teen was smiling when he left. Meanwhile, Aizawa didn’t even try to enter the room when he saw Bakugou sitting there, choosing instead to speak directly to Recovery Girl.

Next to visit was Uraraka. She walked in timidly but instantly began marching with purpose when she saw Bakugou; she was ready to give him a piece of her mind. Midoriya quickly got her attention, stopping her before she could.  Unfortunately, his nervousness triggered one of his trademark muttering sessions (Uraraka could make out phrases like “there’s a lot I want to talk about,” “we’re working through some stuff”, “don’t make him leave”), but it still had the desired effect. In the end, she backed down, but only if Midoriya told her everything at a later point. Katsuki was mad at her for setting conditions at all, but Izuku seemed really happy to agree. Her visit was actually very nice once that was settled.

After Ochako, the pair got way too many visits from their classmates. Uraraka had been nice enough to spread the message about Bakugou being there and had warned their classmates not to ask any probing questions. People did their best to check their reservations at the door, having made an agreement amongst themselves to ignore Bakugou all together and to shower Midoriya with their love. Nevertheless, the visits got overwhelming for Izuku from time to time, as he still hated being the center of attention. Lucky for him, Bakugou was made to be a guard dog and could always read the non-verbal cues that signaled that Midoriya had enough socializing for the moment. When he sent them away, there would be a nice gap in time before the next group of classmates visited. So, in little groups of twos and threes, they came. And they left.

At 9 pm, Recovery Girl came to kick Bakugou out for the night. When she got there, she saw them both asleep; Bakugou still in his chair, his head tilted backwards and his mouth hanging open, while Midoriya was asleep on his side, smiling. She smiled, turned off the lights, and let them sleep.

 


 

It was dark when Midoriya woke up. For a second, he didn’t recognize where he was. As his eyes adjusted to the moonlight streaming in from the nearby window, he remembered he was in the nurse’s office at UA…again. He also wasn’t alone. 

Bakugou looked so different in his sleep. Midoriya hadn’t been this close to Kacchan sleeping since they were little kids. He looked peaceful. Izuku snorted softly at the thought of Kacchan being considered “peaceful”. 

Either the intensity of Midoriya’s gaze or sound of his quiet snort woke Bakugou. His eyes opened abruptly, and he sat up sharply when he realized he had fallen asleep.

“What’s so funny?” Bakugou all but growled but his posture relaxed at the sight of Midoriya.

“Nothing!” Izuku held up his hands in an ‘I’m innocent!’ sort of gesture.

“Then go back to sleep.” Katsuki demanded as he sat back in his chair and turned to face the window. Midoriya hesitated.

“Um…”

“Now what?”

“Are you okay?” Bakugou stared at his classmate incredulously. 

“What the fuck are you talking about? You just tried to kill yourself and you’re asking me if I’m okay?”

“I’m sorry! I can’t help it…I’m worried about you too.” Katsuki sighed angrily rubbing a hand over his scowling face.

“That’s your fucking problem. You always worry about everyone before yourself.” Katsuki glanced at Midoriya and seeing the hurt on his face he sighed again. “Fuck, I’m bad at this stuff. I just mean, you don’t have to worry about me. You fucking shouldn’t. Focus on getting yourself better. I can handle my own shit.”

The light from the moon created strange shadows on each of their faces. They stayed silent for a while.

“…I’m sorry Kacchan.” Katsuki was about to yell at him for apologizing again for shit he didn’t need to apologize for, when Izuku continued. “I’m sorry I can’t love you back.”

The words hit him hard. Bakugou already knew how Izuku felt, that’s why he had said what he did on the roof. He had hurt Izuku in ways that he could never make up for, broken him in a way that might leave him missing pieces for the rest of his life. Midoriya might have a savior complex, but that didn’t mean he had to keep Bakugou around. Bakugou would never deserve Izuku’s company after what he did. That didn’t make hearing the words hurt any less.

“I—I want us to be friends.”

Katsuki felt himself stop breathing. For some reason those words hurt even more. The idea seemed ludicrous to him. After everything that happened, why didn’t Izuku get that Bakugou was messed up? Couldn’t he see how evil he was? The last thing Katsuki wanted was to be near Izuku, constantly reminded of how he’d hurt him and vice versa. So Bakugou knew exactly what he had to say.

“Okay.”

“I mean… wait did you say ‘okay’?”

“Yeah dumbass. I said ‘okay.’ That’s what you wanted to hear isn’t it?” Midoriya didn’t bother hiding his shock. Bakugou shifted awkwardly before he kept his face blank said this next part.

“You don’t have to feel like we need to be friends. You saw all those people who came. Any one of them could be a better friend with a lot less baggage. You sure you want an asshole like me around?”  

Midoriya smiled sadly at Katsuki’s words, knowing how hard this must be for him. At the same time, he was glad that after all this time they could finally be friends again. It was the only thing he wanted other than being a hero that saved others. Maybe this way, one day, he could really move past what had happened between them. For real this time.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” They were both quiet for a little bit.

“Then, as a friend, fucking take care of yourself Deku.” The ‘Deku’ sounded different coming from Bakugou’s mouth now. It sounded like ‘you can do it!’. Midoriya smiled.

“If I have to then you do too!”

“Whatever, I’m going back to sleep.” 

Katsuki turned awkwardly in his chair so that the two could sleep without facing each other.

“Good night Kacchan.”

“Fuck you.”

 


 

Midoriya woke up early the next morning and began to panic when he didn’t see Bakugou anywhere. He knew today was Sunday. Bakugou would be forced to leave today and Midoriya hadn’t figure out anyway to stop that. Izuku jumped out of bed, ready to make sure Kacchan hadn’t left yet when his friend walked in the door.

“What the fuck are you doing? Get back in bed.” Midoriya sighed in relief at the sight of Bakugou and did as he was told with a fake pout. 

“I’m all healed up, why am I still even here?” 

Katsuki made a “tch” sound instead of bringing up the awkward reminder that he was on suicide watch.

“They’ll be releasing you soon.” Bakugou said as he retook the chair he’d spent the night in. “You can help me pack later.”

The unassuming sentence darkened the mood terribly.

When 9 am finally came around, the pair got the okay for them to leave. Izuku had just finished changing into normal clothes when Aizawa knocked on the open door. The teens turned to look at him. Eraserhead didn’t like the small look of distrust that had grown in Midoriya’s eyes.  

“Your mom is here to pick you up Midoriya.” Izuku’s eyes widened in a panic.

“What! Why?”

“Although we are your guardians while you are on campus, we still have a duty to report any incident to your actual parents.” Izuku started breathing fast, but Aizawa put a comforting hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry, we didn’t tell her about everything. We just mentioned that you were feeling very down lately and that you need to start visiting a psychiatrist. You can tell her on your own time, when you feel strong enough to do so.”

Midoriya deflated like a balloon. He was glad that they hadn’t given his mom any details. Another person knowing was too much right now.

“Go home. Spend some time away with your mom and come back ready to continue being a hero.”

“But—” Midoriya looked at Bakugou. “I can’t—I can’t go today, Kacchan—"

“You’ll see him tomorrow in class.”

Now both teens looked at Eraserhead in shock. Aizawa sighed at how happy Midoriya looked.  

“He’s far from off the hook, but Bakugou won’t be expelled. Yet.”

Neither of the teens knew what this meant, but it was better than being expelled out right. Midoriya stood there happily, but awkwardly, for a few seconds longer. He looked between the two other men, waiting to see if anything more would be said. When Izuku realized they were waiting for him to leave, he sighed before he finally said his good byes to go meet his mom.

Meanwhile, Bakugou made eye contact with Aizawa, the two sharing a look that said, ‘just because you weren’t expelled, it doesn’t mean that life hasn’t gotten unimaginably more difficult’. When Izuku finally left, Aizawa opened his mouth to say something but Bakugou just nodded, making a motion that he would follow him. The teachers and him obviously had a lot to discuss.

Not that he cared about whatever punishments or stipulations they came up with. None of that mattered to Bakugou. This was his chance. The chance he never thought he’d have. If Deku was going to overcome his worst fear, he could too.  He was going to keep his promise to Izuku. He was going to support the future number 1 hero no matter what it took.  

And that meant he needed to become a hero too.

Chapter Text

The Subject

 

As Terabyte waits for her quirk to finish its cool down, she browses the other files she’d pulled from that rude blonde on her laptop. She does this between each subject; it is her favorite part of the job. With the ease that comes from practice, she locates and opens the “memories folder”, her favorite folder to browse whenever she has a new memory card. She organizes the folders by size and studies the top names.

CHILDHOOD

OLD BAT AND DAD 

DEKU 

QUIRK

HERO STUFF

EXTRAS

LEAGUE OF VILLAINS

She is curious about the “Deku” file, clicking it open. “Deku” isn’t a real word. Inside is a mess of videos, images, audio files, and even text files. People always assume that memories are all stored as videos only. No matter how many times she corrects them, that myth is perpetuated. Terabyte sorts these files by date and scrolls down to the older ones. Perhaps the subject was less annoying then.

The first file she picks at random is a slideshow of two little kids. She flips through the pictures carelessly. The subject, the blonde, walks across a log. Subject falls, subject lands in the small riverbed below, green-haired boy appears, green haired boy offers a hand. Boring.

She scans the files a little more closely this time. The second file she finally decides to open is a video called “Why he doesn’t tell.” She picks it because it’s one of the few files with a title. The video begins to play. The subject looks slightly younger than in the slideshow but it’s still him and the same green-haired kid as before.  She can hear the audio of them laughing through her one ear set.

“First one to the table gets the last cookie!” A woman calls from off screen. The small children run. They are evenly matched, but the subject pushes the other kid over as they round the corner, insuring his win. “Kacchan pushed me!” Cries out the green-haired boy with tears already forming, just as the subject makes his way to an older woman. Without warning, the woman immediately pushes the subject to the ground. The subject hits the ground with an audible thud. The two little boys stare at each other in shock; the subject’s eyes instinctively well up with tears that match the green-haired boy’s. Above them the woman laughs.

“See? How do you like it? Don’t dish out what you can’t take Katsuki.” She breaks the cookie in half and holds one piece out to each of them; her smile seems kind. The green-haired boy looks at the subject confused and frightened. The subject forces back the tears and pushes himself up. He takes the cookie from the woman angrily and stomps back the way the boys came from. “Sorry…” whispers the green haired boy as the subject passes him. The video ends.   

Terabyte looks back at the other files knowing that soon the next subject will arrive. She has time to look at one last one. After some consideration, she chooses a text file titled “promise”. The file is huge, taking up a large portion of the total memory card, but all it states is:

“I’m going to be the number 1 Pro-hero like All Might so Deku will love me back.”

 


 

Too Long, TMI Author’s Note:

Every time I reread this scene, and I’ve come back to it quite a few times, my heart hurts a little. It’s crazy that such an innocent, pure feeling could still get warped along the path of life and inadvertently lead to so pain/suffering (as it did in this story). Damnit Bakugou. 

Now that the story has come to the end, I want to say thank you. Thank you for clicking on this problematic story and sticking with it nonetheless. Thank you to those who allowed me to become part of their daily routine this week by coming back every day for each new update. Thank you for letting me just suffocate you with feels. Most of all: thank you for being so positive and supportive. I can’t believe all the amazing comments I’ve gotten. There have been so many insightful, long af posts that have literally made me squeal. If I’m gonna be honest, I was basically a baby Deku sitting in front of the computer bobbing my head every time I got an email notification. And I’ve made some great friends too~ (feel free to comment me if you ever wanna talk outside of AO3). 

I’ve said this before, but, originally, I didn’t know if I should post this story (and later I didn’t know if I had made the right choice and spent a whole therapy session analyzing the decision). This story came into fruition because my fiancé said, “write a fanfiction that you want to read” and then I had a dream about Fear Training. So, I did; I wrote it. 

However, I come to fanfiction as an escape. I would rather feel the emotions of a fictional character than wallow in my own stress/pain. It’s easier for me to scream at a depressed Izuku “don’t jump! Stop hurting yourself!” than to be fighting with the voices that pop up in my head. It’s been 6 years since I last wrote anything because I remember how hard it is. I know I make myself vulnerable to those feelings in order for the fiction to feel real. But I let it happen; I gave myself 1 day just to feel (and it sucked). I couldn’t be happier that I did.

In any work of fiction is some truth. For me, it’s the fact sometimes the people you love will say something/do something that you will never be able to forget/forgive. And even if they intentionally/unintentionally (and sometimes unwittingly) take a sledge hammer to the bond you’ve built together, I think there’s hope. Sometimes you need to drop people from your life, but sometimes that bond still means something to you. Those I think are worth rebuilding.

This story is me saying I want those bonds still. This story is me who, after years and lots therapy, is finally facing her fears and is telling them what she needs (instead of trying to make everyone happy). And most of all: this is an ode to second chances and hoping things turn out better this time around.

Thanks for reading this story and I hope it’s had even a fraction of the meaning to you as it has had for me. Bye y’all~

Chapter Text

EPILOGUE

Days felt much longer to Bakugou now. While his schedule had become more hectic since that day with Midoriya on the roof (he and Deku had started to refer to that whole weekend as “the incident”), time seemed to drag by slowly. Yet, here was class 3-A; less than a month from graduation, everyone ready to be pro-heroes with side kick/agency positions lined up for them in the real world. Everyone except for him.

Honestly, Katsuki didn’t give a fuck. He considered himself lucky to even be graduating. It made sense why he didn’t have a position lined up. While principal Nezu and the teachers had come to an agreement that they would keep his past under wraps, serious changes had been made.

The first thing to go was his internship. UA couldn’t have him representing the school as a hero before they agreed amongst themselves that he was trustworthy. He missed being out in the field, but it wasn’t the worst of his punishments. Unfortunately, his quitting his internship so close to graduation had hurt his chances of getting a position at any of the big agencies and was probably why he didn’t already have a job lined up like the rest of them.

Because Bakugou now had “a lot of free time” as the teachers had put it, he’d also been put on dorm cleaning duty indefinitely. At first, he didn’t think that this was too bad, having been on cleaning duty before with Midoriya after their fight during first year. The longer he had to clean, however, the worse it was. He hated having to be alone with his thoughts for so long every day.

The punishments weren’t all bad. Due to no longer having an internship, Aizawa had scheduled him 1-on-1 trainings every evening, 8-12pm. This messed with Bakugou’s routine of going to sleep early, but apparently Aizawa was an insomniac who preferred evening trainings. Eraserhead never pulled any punches during their trainings, leaving Katsuki exhausted every night. But considering how much he was improving both physically and with controlling his quirk, it was fine.

No, by far the worst punishments had been the therapy and anger management appointments. Fuck those sucked. Sure, they had helped him in a lot of ways, but it was often this annoying cycle of: go to therapy, get angry, go to anger management, calm down, repeat. Those first couple months, Bakugou was always on edge. Add his classmates giving him shit every day… Sometimes he would just have to remind himself that this is what it took to get him to graduation, to get him to be a hero.

Once he fell into the routine of things, it got easier. His classmates began to ignore him, firstly, then slowly they let him back into their “good graces”. Most of them. Some people like Todoroki or Uraraka had no qualms with reminding him what they would do to Bakugou if he ever hurt Deku again. Whatever. This new life was the new normal. 

Today, nonetheless, was rough. It had been a therapy day and no matter how many times he went, he always left riled up. Luckily, Eraserhead had picked physical training for today and that allowed him to blow off steam. That brought him here; lying on his back, on his bed, physically and emotionally exhausted. All he wanted to do was sleep.

Then he heard the glass door of his balcony slide open. 

“Fuck Deku, now what?”

“Ah! I figured you’d still be awake.” Izuku sounded a little too certain about that statement for Katsuki’s taste but he didn’t bother telling him how close he actually was to falling asleep. The other teen might leave.

This had been another thing that had changed. Both Bakugou’s and Midoriya’s balcony doors remained unlocked every night for the sole purpose of these types of night visits. They didn’t happen every night and it was never a sure bet who would visit who, but these chats seemed to increase in number as the months went by.

While Bakugou wondered why that might be, Midoriya had walked in and taken a seat on the ground, his back resting against the bed to the right of Katsuki’s head.

“How was training today Kaachan?” 

“Watch your back Deku, I’m going to beat you at our next spar.” Izuku chuckled. 

“I don’t doubt it! …And therapy?”

“Fan-fucking-tastic. You?” Midoriya began to fidget so Bakugou turned his head to look at him.

“They still want to try medication.” 

Neither of them said anything. They’d talked in length about the pros and cons of Midoriya taking their advice. What would happen if the medication affected Izuku’s ability to handle his quirk? What about the potential help it could provide him in controlling his anxiety and depression? Would he have to hide the fact that he took medication when he became a pro-hero? 

“You ready to graduate?” Katsuki changed the subject, sensing that Midoriya didn’t want to have that same conversation tonight. 

“Yeah I guess. It’s going to be weird working in the same agency as Endeavor, even if we’ll not directly under him.”

“Why the fuck did you pick that asshole’s office anyway?” Bakugou turned back to look at the ceiling and covered his eyes with his right forearm.

“Ah! Well, it’s not like it’s not a famous agency. He’s still number 1 after all. And…when I heard that Todoroki-kun decided to go there, I figured he could use the moral support.” Bakugou could practically hear the blush on his friend’s face.

“Don’t fucking tell me that half-and-half bastard finally confessed to you too.” Izuku squeaked. Katsuki tightened his hand into a fist. “Seriously? Are you two a thing now?”

“Eh? Ah—”

“Damnit Deku, you stringing him along too?”

“No! It’s not like that! I just don’t know…”

“First me, now IcyHot, who’s next? Oh, why do I ask, obviously Ochako.” Midoriya groaned.

“I didn’t ask for this! Besides, why do you care? Didn’t you have that date with Kirishima a couple of weeks ago?”

“That wasn’t a fucking date.”

“Might want to tell him that.”

The two friends got quiet again. They hadn’t talked about this subject with each other before. Many nights had been spent sharing their most intimate feelings and fears; each of them had shared things with one another that they had only ever said aloud to a stranger who got paid to listen. But never had they mentioned dates, love, or anything close to those topics. After everything they’d been through, this was the only uncomfortable topic between them. 

“…you know, we could probably get you hired at the agency too Kacchan.” Bakugou didn’t reply. He never did when Izuku brought it up. “You’re running out of time.” 

“I know.” Izuku turned around, resting his chin on the edge of the bed to stare at Katsuki, but Bakugou didn’t change his position or his expression.

“You deserve this.”

“Fuck off.”

“You do. You’re going to be a great hero.”

“Whatever number 1.” Bakugou could still feel Midoriya staring at him, but he kept his arm covering his eyes. They sat in those positions for a while. 

“…do you ever think about what if things had gone differently? If different things were said?” Finally, Bakugou removed his arm and turned to meet Midoriya’s eyes.

“This is pretty damn good.” In the moonlight, Izuku’s smile was hard to read. 

“Yeah, you’re right. …thanks for saving me Kaachan.” He stood up, walking back to the balcony door. “Good night!”

Bakugou watched him leave and waited until the other male closed the door. Then Katsuki turned back to the stare at the ceiling with a small smile of his own.

“Good night Deku.”