people like you are rare
Anata no yōna hitobito wa maredesu
Katsuki swallowed hard, his adam’s apple bobbing with the motion.
Red eyes were narrowed in an intense stare all the way to the middle of the cafeteria, by the double doors leading inside. Some would argue that he looked positively constipated by the manner in which he appeared, a bit sweaty, widened pupils, mouth firmly pressed in a hard line, with his jaw jutting out.
There was chatter all around him, students of U.A. High rushing around to buy food, talking with their friends, discussing the hottest topics and stuffing their faces, all at the same time.
However, none of this bothered him as it usually did.
The source of all his agonizingly obvious attention made it all feel like distant background noise, like the countless nights he fell asleep with his TV on.
Long puffy locks of orange, a mop of hair that seemed bigger than its host, framing a slender but well proportioned body, with wider hips and a smaller chest, large fierce eyes that could put the purest of gold to shame and a toothy grin that gave way to some rather sharp looking canines. She was the very impersonation of rage, red, fire, passion and brutality, with a healthy dose of confidence. He didn’t even have to add pretty to that list, the word would do her no justice and the whelps at her table knew that, she knew that. And he preferred to not have noticed.
He was in his third year by now and she was in the second one, so he wondered how he hadn’t seen her until the beginning of the year ceremony. Perhaps it was all the things that kept him busy, all the events that transpired and stopped him from paying attention to other trivial surroundings, perhaps the bouts of guilt, the overwhelming happenings, perhaps his extremely messy mind that sometimes drove him mad with the desire to be better, be better and win. Win. Win.
But still, a sight like her, how the fuck did he miss that in a crowd of extras like them?
Absentmindedly, he realized that he was, like all boys his age, still, irrevocably, annoyingly, a teenager with needs, much to his chagrin. Granted, those idiots could never hope to compare to him.
Bakugou was not the kind of guy that was looking for a potential love interest, he was above all of that, he was never interested in wasteful relationships, petty girls, stupid gossip or good looks, he valued prowess and competency, he was looking for equals in his line of work, worthy opponents, worthy competition. He had a goal and that goal had priority no matter what --to surpass, to thrive, to be the number one hero. Never in his eighteen years of being alive had he strayed from this path.
But her? She was striking to the eye, that was what made him stop and stare in the first place. She had the red shape of a four petaled flower painted between her hikimayu-style brows, then there were the stark black stripes beginning from her ears and stopping mid-cheeks in a jagged pattern, like those of a tiger. Speaking of ears, hers were...pointy, odd, but in a good way that reminded him of those old RPG games he used to play as a kid, saving the elven princess --not because he wanted to, it was just a quest to finishing the game --she hid them behind the large locks of hair, but he had observed when she would brush away her unruly tangles, they would catch behind her ears.
It has been at least two months since he saw her first and he was still here, as always, staring dumbly at her from across the hall, unable to force himself to make any move, to say anything, anxious that he might choke up like a dumbass. It wasn’t like him to do this kinda syrupy lovey-shit stuff, anyway --he had excused his lack of courage with a nasty sneer.
“Ah, she moved here from Shiketsu, that’s what Uraraka said,” Mina hummed at the far end of their table, and that’s why he snapped out of it, jerking his head that way and seeing her point in the mystery girl’s direction. Kirishima had asked, a quick glance at the redhead made him put the pieces together, as the male in question sounded his awe and looked back in the same direction Bakugou had been staring in for the past ten minutes.
“She’s really...vivid !”
Vivid? His eyes twitched in annoyance, lip jutting out. “Shut up and eat, hedgehog,” the blond snapped, kicking his buddy’s chair and making the two’s little convo pause abruptly. As normal, his friend only grinned and nodded, oblivious, starting to dig into his food a second later, but Mina, after giving him the stink eye, left the table in favor of the one where some of the other girls had gathered.
When he turned his gaze back on his intended target, his face completely blanked at seeing that she was looking straight at him.
Perhaps his outburst was louder than he liked it to be.
She didn’t look intimidated when they made eye contact, merely sized him up and indifferently turned right back to resume her conversation with her colleagues.
The next time he saw her, it was on an extremely rainy day. The humidity in the air felt suffocating and soggy on his uniform, which is why he chose to discard the jacket and wrap it around his middle.
School hours ended more than a while ago, so most students already left. Bakugo remained only because he had to go by the library --and he didn’t want anyone seeing rough tough Katsuki sneaking around with police novels, he had a reputation to upkeep.
When he was done, books in his backpack and umbrella in hand, the boy made to leave back to the Heights Alliance dorms, only to pause at the sight of her, under the roof of the main building’s entrance, glaring disdainfully at the pouring from above.
Tora was what she was called by the people that knew her well enough, he had found out a week or two ago. And her quirk was yet to be seen at its full capacity, but he knew from rumors that it had to do with something she called beast mode, as Mina gossiped with Uraraka during one of the class breaks.
It sounded cool, added a bit of spice to her already flavorful allure.
Not wanting to look like an idiot, the blond marched forward casually, closer to her, so close that he could see her pointy ear twitch just barely and her head turning a second later to regard him.
In awkward silence, he gazed out into the distance and prepared his umbrella.
“What moron forgets their freakin’ umbrella during the rainy season?”
He cringed at his own words, mentally smacked himself for letting those be the first words he’s ever said to her, but honestly, who did that?
“Bakugou Katsuki, you do live up to your reputation,”
Oh no, she was snarky. His head snapped in her direction, only to find her golden gaze deadpan on him, lips twisted in a sneer. Her voice sounded nice, but her tone was extremely flat, unimpressed, much like the look she’d given him a while back.
“And what would that be, catty-breath?”
Her brows narrowed at the insult and it made her look cute, like a pissed off shiba inu. He did have a very creative mind when it came down to offending people and his lips twitched in a triumphant smirk at seeing her rising hackles.
“A crass, big-mouthed, bull-headed, selfish jerk, more or less,”
His smile completely vanished from his face and he could feel the sweat starting to form on his palms. In fact, his hand clenched so tight around his umbrella that it snapped in two, making them both glance down to the broken object as one of the halves fell on the steps of the school and rolled onto the wet pavement in the rain.
When they locked gazes again, him livid and her grinning with malicious satisfaction, he felt his heart leap in his chest and tingles beginning like small explosions in his stomach.
“Well, have a safe trip, Bakugou,” with that, she raised her backpack above her head and jogged down the stairs, pausing to turn around and stick out her tongue at him before running off into the downpour.
And Bakugou Katsuki was left staring dumbly after her, ears flushed red. It had been a chance to walk her to the dormitories, under the pretense that he had an umbrella and she didn’t, but he fucked that up.
Nevertheless, he just had his first conversation with her and she was….fiery.
Just like he imagined she would be.