Midoriya sighed. If the quiet could kill, he would be six feet under at this very moment. He and Bakugou had been tramping through Hosu City for nearly three hours now with an ocean of silence between them, Bakugou offering him nothing but the stubborn view of his back as he stomped ahead of him, making sure to keep as much distance as possible.
It was so unfair. They had been doing so well, considering... Their first few years of UA had been rocky, to put it lightly, but now they were merely a semester away from graduating, and they had been more or less on good terms. The fights between them had been less and less, evolving more into harmless spars that ended in breathless laughs and taunts. Sometimes now, Midoriya would catch Bakugou staring, and, unlike before, he wouldn't scoff and glare and look away, but instead just meet his eye, lips quirking mysteriously before his gaze would drift. He'd felt so content in this new sense of ease he had with him - it wasn't like when they were kids, but things had been... softer, now. He'd been content.
But he'd ruined it. Midoriya grimaced through the thought, as he turned his eyes from the same one spot between Bakugou's shoulders he'd been staring hopelessly at, and instead watched the ground as he walked down the sidewalk. He had hoped that this last internship would be the chance he'd needed to really rectify it all and get close to Bakugou again, like before-- Better than before. He didn't regret what he did, but...
Midoriya stumbled back, hand clapped to his face after he'd accidentally run right into Bakugou, who had stopped short all of a sudden. Flustered, he opened his mouth immediately to apologize but stopped when Bakugou only turned to flash him a cold look, before gesturing a hand towards the air.
"Do you smell that?" he asked in a curt voice, and Midoriya flinched at the tone.
... he had to of been furious still, if he wasn't even bothering to raise his voice towards him anymore...
After a moment, his eyes narrowed. "Hey, idiot. I asked you a question. Stop spacing out." Bakugou scowled, crossing his arms over his chest. "How do you expect to stop any villains lookin' as fuckin' dopey as you do right now. Someone could sneak up and stab you in the back right now and you wouldn't even notice."
"I'm paying attention," Midoriya muttered defensively.
"Then answer my question. It's fuckin' weird..." Bakugou glanced around them. "Something's off."
Frowning, Midoriya sniffed the air a few times, but it took him a moment to catch a whiff of what Bakugou was talking about. There was an almost sickeningly sweet aroma in the air, mixed in with all the normal smells of the city. "Pesticide?" he guessed as he marveled at Bakugou's perception. Amazing of him... he wouldn't have noticed it at all.
"Dunno," Bakugou answered. "Don't like it though. Could be a villain or somethin'. Keep your dopey eyes open, yeah?"
Midoriya forced a friendly laugh. "Yeah..."
Bakugou started to stomp off again and Midoriya frowned, glancing over his shoulder before hurrying to follow him. "Hey, Kacchan--" he started nervously. "I know we're patrolling and all, but, maybe after-- m-maybe we can--..."
He trailed off, because now, he was noticing something. A strange shimmer in the air, hanging over Bakugou's head, one that was almost invisible except for the way it caught in the light, glittering like diamonds. "What... what is that?"
Bakugou's eyes snapped back to him, then followed his gaze upwards, eyes hungry for trouble as they searched. It wasn't just gathered over his head, but the shimmer was travelling through the air, leaving a gauzy trail. "Fuck yes ," Midoriya heard Bakugou hiss under his breath before he started to run ahead, following it.
"Wait- waitwait, we're supposed to report any villain activity we see, not go after it!" Midoriya called after him- not like he was heeding his own warning. His feet and body moved on its own, instantly chasing after Bakugou, adrenaline starting to coarse through his veins at the thought of finding a villain. It had only been hours since they'd been left to their own devices, and the idea of getting to show how helpful they were so fast was definitely exciting-!
The two dashed through the streets, following the trail, until they came to a stop in front of an alley where the strange shimmer seemed to be pulsing from. Here the sweet smell in the air was far more potent, and Bakugou wrinkled his nose at it before he gestured Midoriya to follow him as he started to jog down.
"I'm gonna try and call someone," Midoriya whispered quickly, yanking his phone from his belt as he ran, and Bakugou only made a scoffing noise as he ran even faster. The trail was harder to see in the darkness, but the smell was only getting stronger and stronger, until breathing in was difficult without coughing from the cloying stench of it.
"What the fuck--"
Bakugou, after turning a sharp left towards another stretch of alleyway, stopped short, eyes wide with horror, and Midoriya skittered to a stop, his face going pale as he caught sight of what had stopped him.
As far as the alley went, bodies lay on the ground, scattered and contorted. All young men, all with the same strange, twisted expression, something caught between bliss and agony. Worse was what seemed to be growing around them - withering, decaying flowers that slowly pulsed and throbbed and spat out more of the same disgusting shimmer that was coating them and floating through the air.
Midoriya tripped forward, immediately reaching for the closest boy, his hand going straight to his pulse. "H- he's alive--!" he gasped out, "J-just barely, but--"
Bakugou wasn't paying attention, though. He was staring up, eyes bulging with rage. "You--"
Midoriya followed his gaze and saw it. Above them, floating effortlessly in the air, was a girl. A girl with soft, pink hair wafting around her in long, silky tendrils. A girl with wings that seemed to glow and glitter behind her, iridescent and delicate, buzzing frantically as she hovered in the air like a hummingbird. A girl with a bright, manic smile as she lifted another near-unconscious boy into the air, giggling softly as he writhed in pain.
"Oh, you won't do at all~" she was saying as they looked, before she tossed him, letting him plummet to the ground, and Midoriya let out a shout as he launched himself forward to catch him, green electricity bursting through his body.
"Oh, whoa! Since when did we have company?" she laughed, raising herself another few couple of inches in the air. "Kinda rude to crash the party, isn't it?"
"You bitch!" Bakugou shouted, and his gloves glowed with his anger before flames erupted from his palms, and suddenly he was rocketing towards her.
"Kacchan!!!" Midoriya screamed after him, leaping back and just barely dodging the flames as he carefully sat the boy down on the ground. "Be careful, your explosions! You're too close--"
"Shut up!!!" Bakugou replied, another explosion sending him spiraling towards her, and he reached out with both hands to grab her when she let out another laugh and twirled away and soared back, leaving nothing but shimmering air in her place. Twisting in mid-air, Bakugou searched frantically for her, seeing a moment too late that she had grabbed two victims by the scruff of their shirts and lifted them into the air, hauling them up, higher and higher, as she approached the lip of the alley.
"Oh no you don't-- " Bakugou attempted to pursue her, flying after her like a missile, and Midoriya grimaced, his thoughts racing as he grabbed for his phone once more, sending out his location and a brief explanation about his whereabouts to all his contacts, anyone who could listen and help. He didn't want to leave the victims alone, but he couldn't let Bakugou duke it out with a villain all by himself, especially when they were still technically not allowed to use their quirks like this--
Electricity crackling once more, Midoriya activated his Full Cowl and hopped between the alley walls, back and forth, until he leapt up over the rooftops, his head turning left and right as he tried to find the two. Luckily, the girl's trail seemed to follow her movements, and he found them high above, Bakugou releasing explosion after explosion with the girl dancing effortlessly between them with an agility he'd never seen before.
He'd made it just in time too. The girl, who apparently didn't have or want to use any offensive Quirks, started to toss her captives at him, and while Bakugou was able to frantically catch one of them, the other slipped past his grasp and started to plummet to the ground.
"Kacchan!!" He couldn't help but shout, and vaulted up as high as he could to catch them.
Suddenly, the girl disappeared, and Midoriya let out a yelp as she appeared in front of him, her teeth a shiny white as a smile split across her face. "You'll do just nicely!" she chirped before she wildly shook out her hair, and a puff of... pollen(?) appeared around them. He could feel the effects instantly, his eyes just barely managing to widen as he found he couldn't move, his body freezing in its place, and her expression brightened all the more as she grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.
"Deku!" he heard Bakugou shouting--
"How would you like to stay with me?" the girl said sweetly, meeting his eyes. "Forever?"
He could see his horror-stricken expression reflected in her eyes- her eyes that were completely empty, no iris, no pupils, just an awful, glittering and glistening red, like a fly's eyes dipped in rubies-- And suddenly, as she leaned forward, as her mouth approached his, he couldn't think of anything but the fact that she would devour him, and that he would die, and that--
Suddenly, he was falling. Smoke and wind whipped around him, he was falling and--
Bakugou had tackled the girl, and they were soaring away from him and-
He was falling, falling and he couldn't move, and he could hear nothing but the girl's laughter and Bakugou's angry roar, and then, suddenly-
The two careened through a window and disappeared under a veil of shattering glass.
And Deku fell.
Their landing was a violent smash into the ground. Bakugou was quick to keep his hold on her despite the sting and the scrapes, and as they finally rolled to a stop, he pinned her down, her wrists tightly secured in his hands as he slammed them down at either side of her head.
He glared down at her, a near-sadistic sneer of victory on his face, and she blinked her eyes curiously up at him.
"Oh? Is that how it is?" she asked softly.
"Shut the fuck up!" he snapped. "I'll snap your arms off right now, bitch. Don't even try me. You're gonna tell me everything and then you're going to rot in fucking jail. What did you do to all of them?"
The girl sighed dramatically, turning her head away. "Oh, that was nothing... Compared to what I'm going to do to you."
Bakugou blinked. "What--"
Suddenly, with a strength he hadn't expected, she surged up, smashing their heads together, and when he yelped, she slipped a hand free, snapping it around his neck and drawing him closer. "You're perfect-- " she hissed before... their lips met.
Bakugou's eyes widened. She was kissing him?! That was-- disgusting, but-
Something was forcing itself into his mouth. Something was unfurling, something from inside her, and her grip around him tightened as it suddenly shot down his throat, choking him, stabbing something into him-- That strange shimmer from before started to float in the air around him as his vision started to go black--
Suddenly, his fall broke, and Midoriya let out a yelp as his body flopped from the force of what had suddenly wrapped around his waist.
Midoriya looked up, clinging to the tongue for dear life as he burst into a grateful smile. "Tsu-chan!"
Tsuyu managed a small smile as she reeled him back onto the rooftop and climbed down from the satallite tower she had perched herself on. "You must be gaining weight, Midoriya-chan," she teased, trying to make light of the situation. "You're so heavy--"
Midoriya let out a breathless laugh as he looked around, patting his own arms as he searched the air, and then the ground below. "D-deadweight," he guessed, "I- I couldn't move at all, Tsu-chan. I was completely paralyzed, oh, oh God, Kacchan-- With the villain right now, they fell through up there!" he pointed up at the nearby apartment building. "C-can you take me up there? Did you bring anyone with you?! There's all these people down there and, oh God, Kacchan--"
"Manual-san is here.... Good thing we were nearby. We should hurry. It- it seems quiet up there. I don't like that..."
Midoriya nodded in agreement, frowning as he reached his hand out to her. "I'll jump and you use your tongue to get us the rest of the way there, okay?"
When Tsuyu nodded, Midoriya closed his eyes. Please be okay, Kacchan, he thought, before power exploded through him and he leapt through the air again, his grip on Tsuyu carefully tight. As ordered, she launched her tongue out, and it hooked around something within the apartment, pulling them inside and--
Bakugou lay crumpled on the ground, hands clawing at the air as they weakly and uselessly sparked with pathetic specks of light, eyes wide and bugging as the girl crouched over him, like she was- like she was feeding on him or something--
The sound of his shout had her raising her head, seperating their lips, and Midoriya had just enough time to see something slimy and black snap free from Bakugou's mouth and wind back into her own before anger overtook him and he was screaming, launching himself forward.
"Oops!" Easily, she flew back, and smiled at the three of them. "Call me when you're ready to play along, okay? You'll know when," she chirped, and with a wink, she was zooming towards the window.
"No!" Tsuyu tried to send her tongue after her again, but it was too late-- she was gone.
"Kacchan!!" Midoriya yelled, running to his side and trying his best to clutch onto him as he started to seize, an awful gagging leaving his mouth as he clutched at his throat. "Kacchan, oh God-- Tsu-chan, get help! Hurry!! Kacchan, it's gonna be okay! Kacchan! Kacchan!"
Bakugou jerked in his arms, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment before he let out a pained gasp. "D-deku..." he rasped out, before he coughed out suddenly, and a few specks of blood suddenly spattered onto Midoriya's face. Going pale, Midoriya could only stare as Bakugou went limp, and a single, lavender petal floated from his mouth and into the air.