A month had already flown by since the kidnapping incident and the end of All Might’s era. Things around U.A. had already seemed to have gone back to normal—or as normal as it could get. Everyone had already settled themselves into the dorms and were living life as if the attack was months in the distant past. Almost as if it had all been just one big dream. Classes continued on and they went back to developing their quirks for the provisional hero license exam. The only reality check of last month’s incident came in the form of All Might not having to hide his true form around the students or the public anymore. Seeing the man in his frail looking form only really cemented into their minds that everything that had happened to them wasn’t some strange hallucination. That everything they went through was reality and life was already changed in some permanent way they couldn’t come back from.
They couldn’t go back to their naïve and hopeful selves anymore. They had come to realize that life and dealing with villains was a lot more serious than what they had made it out to be. It was an odd situation, but it was even odder how a new sense of security had managed to settle into everyone’s state of mind now that they were living on campus. They all knew that the pros where there with them and it allowed for everyone to sleep comfortably at night without having to check every last nook and cranny for an unforeseen evil. They could simply exist as they did before.
Not all of them felt that way though. For some odd reason Bakugou still found himself lying in bed staring into the pitch darkness where the ceiling of his room would be for the third time this week not being able to fall asleep. Time seemed to stretch on forever clouding his mind with the what ifs as the darkness only seemed to close in on him. He could feel how it pressed in from every direction trying to find him from where he lay under the covers. He shut his eyes and tried to even his breathing with a simple mantra. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. C’mon, breathe. But not being able to see where the darkness lay only seemed to make things worse, his breathing speeding up as if on cue to his realization until he was gasping for breath. His knuckles hurt with how hard he was clutching the sheets as he remembered the feeling of falling through the warp gate. Not knowing where he would end up or if he’d ever manage to get free.
He choked on his next breath as the phantom feeling of hands grabbing at him from every direction was finally too much for him to handle. The next instant, he was tearing the sheets off of himself feeling constricted as they rubbed against his skin like sandpaper. He climbed out of bed and allowed memory to lead him to the window in his room with shaky steps. Relief only came once he ripped the curtains open to let the moonlight drip in from the night sky. He pressed his back into the desk until it dug painfully into the flesh of his lower back and concentrated on getting his jumbled thoughts under control. He let the pain become his point of focus until he was finally able to calm down enough. Each lungful of air burning on its way down setting his chest ablaze.
In these silent moments where his own mind betrayed him the only savior that could provide him reprieve from his incessant nightmares was the pale moon, but even he knew that was only to an extent. He couldn’t keep going on like this and it was made only more obvious when he looked in the mirror. The heavy dark bags that settled under his eyes and his bloodshot eyes reminded him that he wasn’t okay. That he needed to do something or he was going to waste away like this and all his efforts were going to go down the drain.
He hated how pathetically weak he was for letting himself be affected so much by something that already happened. He hated that the nightmares were still there haunting him not only in his sleep but in his waking moments as well. His mother had already told him he needed to get over what happened. She had been understanding enough up to the point where he woke up screaming for phantom hands to let go of him for the fifth night in a row after he was back home. Gently, he lowered his shaking body down onto a patch of pale moonlight cast on the floor in the middle of his room and buryied his face into his hands. He couldn’t help but grit his teeth in frustration.
If he was going to be the best then he couldn’t let himself fall prey to this weakness. If he couldn’t push himself through this then he’d end up falling behind everyone else. He already was—and he knew it. He’d already failed the license exam. His fight with Izuku a week ago had brought him no enlightenment on what he was lacking and only forced him to realize that Izuku wasn’t the pebble on the side of the road anymore. To top it all off, nobody else seemed to look over their shoulder searching for hidden shadows around every corner. Or checking to see if there was someone lurking outside the windows in the common room at night waiting for them to let their guard down enough to launch another attack. No one else seemed to be too tired everyday from a lack of sleep. No one else had problems with being touched like he did.
He needed to get his traitorous hands to stop shaking. He needed to stop flinching or pulling away from others when they touched him. It wouldn’t take long for anyone to figure it out. That there was something wrong with him. Especially with the way Kirishima was big on casual touch. Always throwing an arm around his shoulders or patting him on the back. Logically he already knew that Kirishima wouldn’t hurt him and would back off if he told him to. It had never been a problem before even with his predisposition to being sensitive to touch, but now he couldn’t even handle having people stand too close to him. The heat coming from their bodies felt like a noose around his neck that would suffocate him if they came any closer.
He could see it in the way their looks seemed to linger on him whenever he entered and exited the room. In the way they all seemed to tread more cautiously around him; treating him as if anything would be enough to startle him and cause him to break. It was pissing him off on a whole different level than anything else could. It was especially frustrating when even the half and half bastard started to question him with are you sure you’re okay, Bakugou?
Who the hell did he think he was to come up to him and ask him that as if he wasn’t okay. As if he was a mess and couldn’t get himself together. He was already used to seeing Izuku look at him as if he was a weakling so all he had to do there was ignore him and brush him off anytime he tried asking him anything. It was just getting more frustrating when everyone else seemed to be suddenly more and more concerned with him.
He didn’t need their pity and concern. He just needed them to mind their own business and act as they usually did with their dumb conversations and dumb actions. It made his skin crawl knowing that they could see where he was broken at the seams. He thought years of practice would let him cover up what he was really feeling and all of his personal flaws, but he guessed that everyone had their limits and this was his.
A month was already a long time to take for recovery. He was already letting himself become too useless like his mother told him. He couldn’t be weak. He was going to be the number one hero. A hero cannot have any weaknesses. Even All Might seemed to be fine after his encounter with All For One. Even now with the outcome that he couldn’t be a hero anymore, he still continued on as if everything was okay. It’s all your fault, was all he could think of these past days. He had to be strong. All of this happening was a result of his sort comings so he needed to stop being so weak and move on.
Drawing in a breath deep enough that it burned his lungs, he jumped to his feet and turned back to his bed. This was just another fight he needed to win and damn it if he wasn’t going to come out on top as usual. He’d break through this stupid mental block and get right back to his usual routine of training to take the number one spot as a hero. He wouldn’t let them take this away from him too. Nobody makes a fool of me. His future was his and he wouldn’t let some villain nobodies get in the way.