“Hey, hey, did you see Uravity came out with a new song,” Kirishima called from the living room. Even from his bedroom Bakugou could hear the smile in his voice when he said the words. He sighed, looking at the clock on his computer: 2:00PM. He had a lot of shit to do, including training later, and he didn't want to waste time watching a live performance from some pop idol. Knowing that there would be a lot of excited chatter later if Bakugou didn’t go to watch the broadcast of the pop idol, though, he got up from his desk and headed out to the living room where Kirishima, Kaminari, and Sero were all piled on the couch, their eyes fixated on the young woman with a short brown bob and big brown eyes on the screen.
She had a bright smile on her face as she sang, her cheeks tinged pink like they usually were when she was on stage. She sang a song about finding love and wanting to know what it was like to be loved. The words sounded kind of sad, but also hopeful. It was charming, really.
Bakugou would never admit it to his friends – never in a million years – that he actually liked Uravity’s music. Hell, he even thought she was cute as hell, but that didn’t mean shit. He was known for liking harder music, like rock and metal, with the occasional electronic artist thrown in, but definitely not pop. But dammit, her music was too good and she was a really great singer – even he could admit that.
Sero and Kaminari started to belt out the song as Uravity got to the chorus, singing very off key and making Bakugou’s ears ache. He gritted his teeth before yelling, “Oy, shut your fucking traps, you sound like dying dogs!”
Kaminari laughed, looking over Sero’s head to grin at Bakugou. “Oh, come on, dude, this is a great song! Just listen to her!”
He was. He turned his attention from the three on the couch back to the screen, the song coming to a close on a soft and long note as Uravity danced the final few steps as she sang the ending bridge before coming to a halt on the stage, her head angled down, eyes closed, before she opened her eyes and looked up at the crowd behind the camera, who all cheered for her. She smiled so bright it was almost blinding, waving to the crowd as she bowed her thanks.
The three boys on the couch clapped wildly and loudly, hollering their approval of the performance. Bakugou grit his teeth again and began to reprimand them again, when Kirishima said, “Shh, shh, wait, she’s saying something.” He turned the volume up a few notches.
“Thank you all for coming to my performance today of my new song, “Love Waits.” Did you all enjoy it?” There were cheers from the crowd – and the three idiots on the couch. She giggled. “I’m so glad! I’m here to also announce that I will be taking a short hiatus to prepare for my tour in a month—” there were a few disappointed “awws” from the crowd, and Kaminari, “—but I will be back before you know it! I hope to see you all at one of my shows soon!” The crowd cheered again as Uravity waved from the stage and exited off of the screen, the shot turning back to one of the reporters at the event.
Kirishima turned the volume down low and sat back with a huff. “I can’t believe we have to wait a month for her to return. Arrghh, she’s just so cute!”
Sero nodded with a grin. “The song was great, too.”
Kirishima laughed. “Of course it was! All of her songs are.”
Bakugou agreed with Kirishima there, but he didn’t voice that opinion out loud. What he said instead was, “If you’re done fanboying, I’m going back to my room to study.” He turned on his heel, not waiting for a response, but he could hear the three of them say bye to him and go back to talking about Uravity and her tour – which they each had tickets for to her last tour stop in two months’ time, including Bakugou, who was gifted a ticket from Kirishima.
He closed his door behind him when he reached his room and sighed as he went back to his desk and sat in the chair. He replayed Uravity’s song in his head, remembering how happy she looked on stage to be performing, singing about a love that was waiting for her somewhere out there. He chuckled low to himself once before he unlocked his computer and went back to studying.
As a university student, Bakugou was top of his class like he was in high school, but now it was more about how he was going to become the best hero out there than ever before. High school had been nothing compared to university, and though he was only taking a two-year track, he was learning so much about how to handle his quirk and how to grow stronger, including different techniques to use in combat, that he found the track to be extremely useful. He was at the end of his second year, about to graduate in a few months’ time – the day before Uravity’s concert, actually – and he couldn’t lose focus.
But as he studied for a few hours after the performance, he kept thinking about Uravity’s song and how he wanted to listen to it again – to really listen to it, to dissect it and appreciate it the way he did with every new song he listened to, but not while his roommates were in the apartment, too.
Rubbing a hand through his hair, he leaned against his desk, staring at the equations he had to solve for his homework, but he couldn’t concentrate. He grumbled and leaned back, staring at the ceiling. Dammit, Uravity, why do you do this to me?
He got up with a huff and grabbed his wallet and keys from the nightstand beside his bed, stuffed them in his pockets, and pulled his phone from one of his other pockets. Looking at the time – almost 5:30PM – he decided he may as well go to get food before he continued to study. They didn’t have much in the kitchen from what he could remember, and they hadn’t pitched together money yet to stock up, so he walked out of his room, slamming the door behind him as he walked to the entrance.
The three boys were still on the couch excitedly discussing Uravity and comparing her new song to some of her previous ones, when Kirishima asked, “Hey Bakugou, where you off to?”
“I’m hungry and there’s nothing to eat here,” he said as he opened the door and left, not bothering to ask if they wanted to eat with him or anything. They’d fend for themselves, so Bakugou didn’t care much if they did or didn’t follow him.
Besides, now that he was alone, maybe he could enjoy some peace and quiet without them around talking so loudly. He sighed, his typical scowl gracing his face as he entered the crowd outside. There were people heading home from work or going out to eat like he was. It was a full sidewalk, but not something he wasn’t used to. Besides, people usually gave him a wider berth than they probably realized because he always emanated an aura of “don’t get in my way unless you want your face blown off.” Frankly, it worked in his favor.
It took him about fifteen minutes to walk to his favorite ramen shop in the downtown area. The bright orange light above the entrance showed the shop’s name, the soft light from inside pouring out of the large windows onto the street, reflecting on him as he walked past the windows to get to the door. Once entering, he could smell the meat and different ingredients in the air, making his stomach rumble with hunger. It was pretty packed given it was a Friday night, but he didn’t care.
Walking in, he looked around to spot any open tables, but they were all occupied by couples or groups of people that already had food or were waiting. He scowled more, looking around the counter that wrapped around the main cooking area, where he spotted one seat left in the far corner. He headed straight for it, plopping down in the seat and causing the person on his left to jump slightly from the movement. He didn’t care.
One of the chefs behind the counter turned to him with a menu and left Bakugou alone for a few minutes to deliberate what exactly he wanted. He skimmed the menu, looking up and down the rows of selections before he called for one of the chefs over to him. “Spicy pork ramen, level five.” The ramen shop specialized in spicy ramen, ranging from level one (mild) to level five (volcano), which was one of the reasons Bakugou loved to come here on a weekly basis. The owners even recognized him because he was in so often.
“I-I’ll have what he’s having!” The person on his left said in a stutter. It sounded like a young woman. He didn’t bother to even look at her as she added on, “But level one, please.” She sounded like Kirishima: he could hear the smile in her voice. The chef nodded to her and took their menus away as he shouted the order to the others behind the hot stoves and grills, who yelled their acknowledgement back.
He watched with his resting bitch face as the chefs cooked up the food for him and the girl beside him. The smile was getting stronger and his stomach grumbled louder as he sat and waited for his food. The people in the restaurant were all talking over one another to the point where it sounded like a dull roar in the building, but this kind of noise Bakugou didn’t mind. He could still be lost in his own world even surrounded by unfamiliar people whose faces he wouldn’t remember when he left anyway.
But that peaceful feeling didn’t last long as the young woman beside him said tentatively, “I’ve never been to this ramen shop before. Is it any good?” Bakugou didn’t even deign her a glance, but just grunted his approval of the place. She hummed thoughtfully. “I can’t wait to try it,” she said mostly to herself as an afterthought.
They didn’t have to wait long for their food as the chef came back and placed each of their bowls and utensils in front of them. They each said their thanks before Bakugou picked up a container of spicy sauce in front of him to squirt into his own dish. He could hear the low whistle from the girl next to him as she, presumably, watched him. “Wow, you really like spicy food, huh?” Again, he only grunted as he stirred his food and didn’t bother to blow on it to cool it down a little before he slurped his first bite, the spice making his tongue and throat burn as it made its way down. He loved the feeling and it often felt like a challenge to him when he’d order something like this: how much could he tolerate before it was too much? So far, he hadn’t found that limit just yet.
The girl beside him started to eat her own food and she made an approving moan. “This is so delicious!” She giggled to herself softly and took another bite.
Bakugou blinked at his food. He felt like he had heard that giggle before.
He shook his head, scrunching his eyebrows. There were plenty of girls that giggled the same, why would this one stick out to him?
But then the girl started to hum to herself, a soft melody of a song that he knew so well that he could hear the lyrics in his head: I’ve traveled far to find you, and I’d travel even further to be with you again~
It was a song by Uravity, one from her first album that she had completely wrote and composed herself. He could always hear her heart and the feeling behind the words more than any other song she had to date. It was his favorite song called “Show Me More.”
That’s when he decided to finally glance at her, to see just what this girl was on about.
He frowned when he saw the getup that the girl was wearing: a bucket hat that hung low over her eyes, cover most of her short brown hair, large rounded black sunglasses (though it was only 6:00PM and the sun had already moved behind most of the tall buildings for the night… plus they were inside), a black hoodie, black leggings, and black shoes.
If she was trying to look inconspicuous she was doing a damn poor job at it. If she were going to a funeral, she’d fit right in.
The girl glanced over at him, some noodles hanging from her mouth, and she stopped humming. The blush on her cheeks darkened just slightly under the scrutiny of his gaze. She turned her head back to her food and slurped the noodles, wiping her mouth with the napkin beside her, before looking back at him. “Do I have something on my face?” She touched her face gently.
Bakugou just scowled at her, making her lean back from him slightly, before he turned back to his food. “If you’re trying to blend in or hide from someone or something, you’re not doing a very good job in that getup,” he said. Why did he even do that? He didn’t talk to people outside of his circle, and he didn’t even want to talk to the people in the circle most of the time.
The girl flailed her hands in front of her and nervously laughed. “I-I’m not hiding from anyone,” she stuttered.
He glanced at her as he took a bite of his pork before saying around it, “You’re a shit liar.”
The girl froze in her seat for a moment before frowning at him – at least, that’s what it looked like given her pout, but he couldn’t see her eyes to really tell. “Well excuse me for dressing like this. Maybe this style is what I wear every day, did you ever think of that?”
Bakugou scoffed. “I don’t care,” he muttered and turned back to his food.
“Because,” she said, her voice raising in pitch before she cleared it a little to speak again, softer this time, “Because maybe I just wanted to try somewhere new and I didn’t want anyone to recognize me.”
They sat in silence after that for a while, the sounds of the people around them still loud. The two men on the other side of the girl were drinking pretty heavily and starting to get rowdy, but they kept to themselves, just getting louder as they laughed and talked. Bakugou didn’t even know why he started talking to the girl in the first place. She was clearly a weirdo with an agenda behind her, even if it didn’t directly affect him in any way. Still, it made him annoyed that he even bothered to talk to her. He sighed through his nose, as he finished up his bowl of ramen, pushing the dish away from him slightly. He wasn’t sure if he was ready to go back to the apartment yet, but that damn math homework wasn’t going to finish itself.
He was starting to pull out his wallet to pay for his food when he heard the girl beside him ask, “Is there anything else from this place that you’d recommend?”
He glanced at her with a deep-set scowl. “Why?”
She shrugged, smiling sheepishly at him. “Because maybe I want to come back here again sometime soon and I want to know what else is good. You seem like you like the food here since you’re already done yours,” she gestured to his bowl then hers, which still had about half left. “It’s actually crazy that you finished it so fast given that you had the spiciest level that they have here! I got level one and it’s still a little too spicy for me.”
He rolled his eyes, a smirk playing on his lips. “If you can’t even handle a little bit of a pathetic spice like that, then there’s nothing here I’d tell you to try.” Seriously, this ramen shop was known for its spicy ramen – almost every dish had some sort of spice level.
She puffed her cheeks slightly before pointing a finger at him, her demeanor almost challenging along with her words as she said, “Give me one dish to try next time I come, and I’ll try it.”
What was with this girl? He frowned at her incredulously, but then he smoothed his expression a bit and said, “Okay, Bucket Hat, you want to try something different next time? Then try the Mongolian spicy chicken, level three. It’ll already have a punch from the spices that are initially cooked into the chicken, and then adding their level three spice sauce will really have you sweating.” He grinned at her, but not in the friendliest of ways.
She seemed to be unaffected, because she smiled. Why did he get the feeling he had seen that smile somewhere before? “Alright, I will.”
The man directly on the other side of the girl leaned over and said, “Hey now, cutie, is this young man scaring you?” He was slurring his words, his eyes red and a bit bleary.
The girl looked over at him, but she was leaning away from him as she said, “Oh no, I’m fine, thank you.”
Bakugou just watched silently as the man laughed at whatever he found funny in her statement. Then he said, “Hey, why are you wearing sunglasses inside of a ramen shop? It’s rude to do, you know.” He reached for her sunglasses, but she leaned as far away as she could from him without falling off of her chair.
“M-my eyes are just sensitive to light,” she said, her voice both raising in pitch and sounding more annoyed the longer the drunk man talked to her and got closer to her.
He laughed at this, too, his friend also laughing at the statement. “C’mon, you just want to hide that pretty face,” he slurred again as he reached up quicker than she was expecting and pulled at her glasses.
Bakugou was there in an instant before he knew he had moved, his hand out in front of the girl’s face as he pulled her back and let off a small explosion from his hand at the drunk man, sending him flying back into his friend, both of them crashing to the ground. The sound caused the residents of the restaurant to pause in their conversations for a moment and see what had happened.
“Hey, fuck-face, how about you leave her alone,” Bakugou growled at the man, towering over him from where he stood.
The man was knocked out from the explosion, but Bakugou didn’t care. The chefs behind the counter looked from Bakugou to the other two men – the one not having picked on the girl flailing to get the larger man off of him – before one of them walked over. “I’m sorry, sir, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave. There’s no use of Quirks in here, especially ones that threaten other guests.”
Bakugou could feel his blood boiling slightly. “The guy was drunk and making her feel uncomfortable. Frankly, he was disgusting me, as well.” He didn’t want to sound like he was helping her because, frankly, the idiot was getting on his nerves even before he started being a douchebag.
“I understand, sir, but we still prohibit the use of Quirks—"
Bakugou only “tched” before turning to face the girl, whose sunglasses had fallen off and were on the floor. But when he saw her face, he froze, his red eyes widening in surprise.
Uravity was staring at him in awe from her chair. Bakugou blinked once, twice, before the gears began to click in his head: the smile that was familiar, the humming tune that he had hummed himself time and again but of a tone he’d recognize with his eyes closed. It was Uravity.
Holy shit, he just helped Uravity.
Uravity was already extremely red in the face, but how she managed to go even redder was beyond him because she instantly scrambled for her glasses on the ground and hastily put them back on her face before she put a finger to her lips in a motion to shush Bakugou. “Please don’t tell anyone that you saw me here today, okay?”
Bakugou was still too stunned to speak. How did she get here after having been across town for that broadcast earlier? Why was she even here?
Why did it even matter to him anyway?
He composed himself and “tched” again and said, “Whatever.” He grabbed his wallet from where he had placed it on the counter and dropped what he owed for the bill, before stuffing the wallet back in his pocket before he walked past Uravity to head out of the ramen shop. His mind was racing a million miles an hour: he had just helped Uravity. He had sat next to her. Talked to her. Given her shit. Hell, he’d given her a recommendation for the shop – which he doubted she would revisit after the events of today. So much for that.
“Wait!” He kept walking even though he recognized the voice that called for him from behind him. Bakugou didn’t make it another five feet before Uravity was there in front of him, holding her hands out to stop him. He stopped then, looking down at her hands with a scowl that basically showed his teeth and she took a step back. She took in a breath before she let out a rush of air and said, “You didn’t even let me thank you properly for helping me back there.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Bakugou growled as he made to move around her, but she followed his movement, which pissed him off and he glared at her, baring his teeth slightly. Why was she blocking him? Why was one of his favorite idols standing in front of him?
She put her hands on her hips and though she was several inches shorter than him, she had a presence that made her feel like they were of equal stature. It took him by surprise, but he didn’t let it show on his face. “Can you at least tell me your name?”
He raised an eyebrow, but he guessed that giving his name wasn’t going to hurt at all. Besides, people would know his name soon if he was going to be the number one hero, anyway. He huffed and grumbled, “Bakugou Katsuki.”
She smiled so bright that he felt like he was being blinded and he had to blink away from that smile before she stuck out her hand toward him and said, “It’s nice to meet you, Bakugou-kun. I’m,” she looked around her to make sure no one was listening in on them, before she looked back at him and said quietly, “Uraraka Ochako, but you probably know me better as Uravity.”
He didn’t bother to take her hand because his mind began to freeze again. Why the hell was meeting an idol like jumping into a freezing lake? Why was he freezing up? Why did it bother him so much? She was just another person, just another face in the crowd. Her fame and status didn’t matter. She didn’t really matter, not toward his end goal, anyway. But dammit, he was fucking star struck and he couldn’t even believe he was admitting that to himself.
She stood there awkwardly for a moment before putting her hands behind her back, her smile a bit dimmer now as she looked a bit embarrassed. “Thanks again, Bakugou-kun.”
He looked away from her, from her smile, and muttered, “Yeah,” before he maneuvered around her and continued to walk back to his apartment.
“Maybe I’ll see you again sometime soon,” she called as he kept walking.
Part of him hoped so, but he’d be damned to admit that on top of everything else.