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everybody wants to be a cat

Chapter Text

Being a hero wasn’t just punching villains and saving the day. No, it included mundane tasks like writing reports, scoping out buildings, and clearing debris. Midoriya learnt that the hard way, thanks to one particularly messy encounter with a villain. The villain hadn’t been strong, but his quirk allowed him to produce bombs from his stomach, and while the takedown was quick, the villain had still managed to detonate a few, causing a lot of damage to a cafe and supermarket nearby. Once the police had taken the villain away, Midoriya joined the other heroes who were rescuing civilians stuck under debris.

After what felt like hours, Thirteen called the search to a stop. “That’s about it. I can manage the rest. Thank you for your efforts,” they said. Sighs of relief could be heard all around.

Uraraka approached Midoriya. “Good work, Deku-kun!”

Midoriya smiled. “You too, Uraraka-san! Are we the only U.A. students here?”

“I thought I saw Bakugou-kun, too, but looks like he’s already left,” she said.

Midoriya dusted his hands on his pants and straightened up. “Let’s head back then.” Uraraka nodded.

They were just rounding the corner of the destroyed cafe when a meow sounded. “A cat?” Midoriya said, he looked around and saw nothing. He took a step forward and there was another meow, but slightly louder. “Can you see anything, Uraraka-san?”

“No… wait, what about those rocks over there?” she said and pointed to a small group of rocks that had yet to be moved.

Midoriya rushed to the rocks and moved them with ease. Sure enough there was a cat trapped in the middle of them. Uraraka joined him. “Aw, poor kitty,” she said.

The cat’s fur was short and oddly blond in colour, and it was wearing no collar.  Uraraka bent down and reached out to it but the cat hissed and swiped her hand away. “Ah, what should we do?” she said.

Midoriya looked around, Thirteen was the only other person left, but they looked busy. Midoriya crouched down and extended his arm, but the cat responded just as viciously. “He doesn’t like us… but we can’t just leave him here. He could die.”

Uraraka nodded. “What if I make him float?” The cat hissed at that but Uraraka managed to get a touch on him and proceeded to make use of her quirk. However, as soon as the cat’s front paws left the ground it instinctively used its back legs to leap onto Midoriya’s chest. Midoriya caught the cat and stood up.

“I don’t think he likes floating,” he said, and stroked the cat’s back. The cat hissed, turned its head, and bit Midoriya’s hand. “Ow! Okay, I won’t pet you.” Midoriya looked to Uraraka. “Let’s go. He can stay in my room tonight. We’ll figure something out tomorrow.”

Uraraka walked ahead. “Should’ve guessed you had a soft spot for cats,” she said.

Midoriya looked down at the cat in his arms. It was cute, even if it was feisty; it just added to its personality. “Doesn’t everyone?” When Uraraka said nothing, Midoriya looked back up. She was looking up at the sky.

“What a lovely night,” she said.

She was right. The sky was alight with fiery orange and red hues, stretching as far as they could see. Though, that was the least of Midoriya’s concerns. “Wow. I didn’t even realise how late it had gotten.”

“Yeah.” Uraraka sighed. “We’re probably gonna get in trouble.”

“We’ve got a valid excuse, though! Thirteen will vouch for us, surely,” Midoriya said.

“Yup! Let’s hurry anyway.”

They walked as fast as they could without breaking into a run. The cat remained curled up in Midoriya’s arms and was struggling to keep its eyes open despite all the hurried movements. There was no one about in the common room when they got back to U.A., but Midoriya rushed to his room anyway, wishing Uraraka a good night as he did. She looked tired; her quirk had been a major help with clearing the debris, the excessive use of it had taken its toll on her. Midoriya would seek her help in the morning, after she was well-rested.

As he closed his door behind him he took a deep breath and exhaled. He had made it safely without any problems - though, he didn’t think the teachers would mind anyway, Koda had a rabbit in his room, after all. He walked over to his bed and gently placed the cat on it. The cat was unfazed by the movements, as it stretched its legs out briefly and then curled back up and went straight back to sleep. Midoriya could only smile.

His smile soon turned into a frown as the reality of the situation came crashing down on him. He would need to find food and water for the cat; fortunately, it appeared to be beyond the milk stage. He also needed to find some kind of litter tray. But where? He racked his head for ideas, his frown deepening. He needed to find someone good with animals… Midoriya’s eyes widened. Koda! Koda’s quirk allowed him to communicate with animals and, to make things even better, he had a pet rabbit in his room. Midoriya punched the air in victory but refrained from cheering, he didn’t want to disturb the cat.

“I’ll be back soon!” Midoriya said and quietly exited his room.

As it turned out, Koda was a huge help. He had a surplus of cat biscuits (which he kept to feed the stray cats around the campus) and even spare bowls. He had advised Midoriya that dirt from outside in a plastic tub would be fine temporary substitute for a litter box. The two of them had found an ideal plastic tub in the laundry and headed up to Midoriya’s room, precariously balancing all the supplies as they did.

When they got in they put everything down by the door. The cat had moved off the bed. It wasn’t until Koda motioned to the curtains that Midoriya saw it. The cat was clinging to the top of the curtains. It made a swipe at the air, but as Midoriya drew closer he could see it was trying to catch a fly. The fly shot past and the cat sprung from the curtains in its attempt to catch it. It was a big drop to the ground, and while Midoriya knew the cat would land fine, he couldn’t help but lunge towards the cat and catch it.

“Ah, cat! You can’t be doing that! What if you get hurt?” Midoriya said, worry laced in his tone. The cat hissed in Midoriya’s arms and made a swipe for his face. Midoriya got the message, crystal clear, and placed him down on the bed. The cat ignored Midoriya’s concerns and immediately sprung back up the curtains. Midoriya sighed and turned to Koda, who was busy pouring dirt into the plastic tub.

“Thanks, Koda,” he said and busied himself with placing two bowls down, one for water and the other for biscuits. “How many scoops should I put in?” Koda held up one finger.

Once everything was done, Koda made to leave but was stopped by Midoriya grabbing onto his arm. “I don’t know how your quirk works, so I’m sorry if this is asking too much, but do you think you could try communicating with the cat? Ask if it has a home to go to?” Koda looked at the cat and back to Midoriya. He nodded.

Koda approached the cat and gently pulled it from the curtains. “Hi, cat. Don’t be startled,” he said, softly, but the cat swiped at his face anyway. “It’s okay. I just need to know if you have a home we can take you back to. Do you?”

The cat bit Koda’s hand, startling him, causing him to trip backwards and land flat on his back. The cat walked on top of his chest and sat there, looking down at Koda. It was almost condescending - if a cat could be that. It meowed several times and with each passing meow the colour drained out of Koda’s face.

“Koda? Are you okay? What’s the cat saying?” Midoriya said.

Koda opened his mouth to respond but the cat hissed, shutting Koda up. The cat jumped off of Koda and jumped up onto Midoriya’s bed and made itself comfortable. Koda scrambled up as fast as he could and legged it out of the room before Midoriya could even thank him for all his help.

It made Midoriya curious, though, as to what such a small, blond cat could actually communicate to Koda to manage to frighten him to such a degree. He’d only seen Koda like that twice. The first time when he was teamed up with Jirou and had to face his fear of bugs to take down Present Mic; and the second time when Bakugou threatened to let bugs loose in his bed if he didn’t move out of the way. As far as Midoriya knew, Koda was scared of bugs, and possibly Bakugou, but not cats.

Midoriya flopped back on the bed and turned his head to watch the cat sleep. He hadn’t managed to find out whether it had a home and he wasn’t sure how long he would be able to look after it or, more appropriately, how long the cat would let him look after it, being so feisty and all.

He reached out and pressed the tip of his finger to its small paw pad. He was immediately met with regret as the cat instantly unleashed its claws. One eye opened a fraction and just watched him; like it was daring Midoriya continue. Midoriya wasn’t that foolish, though, so he retracted his hand, got up and collected his notes and pen from his school bag before making his way back to his bed.

Midoriya sat on his bed with his back against the wall and looked at his homework. As he started to write in the answers he noticed the cat moving towards him. It jumped on Midoriya’s lap and positioned its front paws on Midoriya’s notebook, its eyes transfixed on the paper. Midoriya read the next question What type of quirk is Fat Gum’s ‘Fat Adsorption’? Transformation or Mutant? and started to write Transformation but was stopped short when the cat sunk its teeth into his finger, hard too. It stared at Midoriya for a good few moments but eventually let go of his finger and turned its attention back to the notebook. Midoriya picked up his pen and was almost finished writing the word Transformation before the cat bit into his finger again, even harder this time.

“Ow!” Midoriya flinched. “What is your problem, kitty?”

The cat tapped its paw on Midoriya’s question sheet. Midoriya wasn’t sure what it was trying to do, but it seemed to be growing impatient as it started to claw the piece of paper.

“No, no, don’t rip that!” Midoriya said. To his surprise, the cat stopped, looked from Midoriya down to where his paw was on the question sheet, and shook his head. Midoriya, confused, looked at where the cat had started to claw, it was over Midoriya’s answer of Transformation .

Midoriya prided himself on being quick to catch onto things, but he wasn’t sure whether he was overthinking things when it came to the cat. Surely, the cat wasn’t suggesting his answer was wrong? He felt a bit embarrassed about questioning a cat about his homework, but he had to know. “Do you think my answer is wrong?” he said. The cat licked his finger, just once. That was the first positive interaction he’d had with the cat the whole night. He had no clue whether it was just coincidence or the cat was trying to tell him that yes, his answer was wrong.

So, Midoriya did what he did best, which was to think things through (though many would argue he overdid it with his thinking process).  What did he know about Fat Gum’s quirk? It was called Fat Adsorption, which, when he thought about it, was a process rather than a transformation. Yes, his quirk could turn him from fat to thin but it wasn’t a transformation in the quirk sense, rather, that was just a byproduct of his quirk. His quirk enabled objects, or people, to adhere and sink into him, and that was his default form. So, with the main feature of his quirk not being a temporary change in his body, that would exclude it from the Transformation type.

Midoriya scribbled out his former answer and wrote Mutant in its place. The cat sat back and merely licked its paw.

“You’re one smart kitty,” Midoriya said and stroked its back. “Smart and feisty. You’d probably get along with Kacchan.” The cat purred, so Midoriya continued to pet it. It eventually jumped off Midoriya’s lap and made itself comfortable on Midoriya’s pillow, curling in on itself.

“You’re cute like he is, too. Though he would probably kill me for saying that.” The cat bit Midoriya’s finger, but there was no force behind it. It was struggling to keep its eyes open. Midoriya smiled and gave it one last pat before getting up. He looked at the All Might clock on his desk, it was already quarter to nine. He had less than an hour to spare before the lights went out, so he hurried to the boys bathroom to shower and get ready for bed.

As he was walking back from the bathroom he heard a voice call out, “Midoriya, hold up!” Midoriya turned around and saw Kirishima rush towards him.

“Kirishima-kun? What’s the matter?”

Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s nothing major… I was just wondering if you’d seen Bakugou.”

“Eh? Kacchan? He helped out with the bomber villain today. Is he not back yet?”

“I knocked on the door but there was no response, but maybe he’s just sleeping.”

“Maybe,” Midoriya said. “I can help look for him if you like. I’ll try the laund-”

Kirishima put his hands up. “No, no, it’s alright. I’ll catch up with him later.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Have a good night, Midoriya,” Kirishima said and then was off again.

“Night, Kirishima-kun!” Midoriya said, but Kirishima had already rounded the corner. Midoriya was hesitant about leaving Kirishima on his own; what if Bakugou was in some sort of trouble? He went into his room and was about to pace back and forth when he was reminded of his current predicament: the cat he was looking after. It had moved and was drinking from its bowl of water. That was a good sign, at least.

Midoriya sat on the edge of his bed, one leg bouncing restlessly as he considered his two options. One: Go out and help Kirishima search for Bakugou, or two: wait until the lights went out and for Aizawa to do the compulsory bed checks. After all, Bakugou could just be sleeping, but in the off chance he was missing then there would likely be some commotion from the teachers.

The choice was made for him when the lights went out, though. Midoriya quickly tucked himself into bed, knowing that Aizawa would check his floor first. The cat followed, but made itself comfortable at the end of the bed.

It didn’t take long for Aizawa to get to Midoriya’s room. He popped his head in and shone the torch directly at the cat, which hissed in response. He stared for a few moments but didn’t say anything, instead he aimed the torch at Midoriya, who shut his eyes quickly, pretending to be asleep. Without a word, Aizawa ducked back out of the room, gently closing the door as he did. Midoriya decided he would wait twenty minutes and listen out for any commotion, and if nothing came of that he would text Kirishima.

Twenty minutes passed and there had been no noise, not that Midoriya heard anyway. After all, he was on the second floor while Bakugou and Kirishima were on the fourth.

He unlocked his phone, squinting when the light assaulted his eyes in the darkness of the room. He opened up messages and found Kirishima’s name.

Midoriya: Did you manage to find Kacchan?

He received a reply in a matter of seconds.

Kirishima: Aizawa-sensei said he’s sleeping.

Midoriya shot back a thumbs up and then dumped his phone back on his bedside table. He yawned and closed his eyes. It was a matter of minutes before he fell asleep.

Midoriya awoke to something heavy on top of him, preventing him from moving. He tried to wriggle free but it was to no avail. He opened his eyes, but he was confronted with a headful of blond hair in the way. His first thought was it was the cat, but it couldn’t be, it was human hair, or at least that’s what Midoriya thought. With his free arm he lifted it up to feel the hair in question. It was soft, but sure enough it was human hair. Who the heck was in bed with him?

Just as he was withdrawing his hand he heard the person stir. With a bit of nudging from Midoriya the person eventually rolled over, allowing Midoriya to see who his company was. Midoriya almost screamed.

It was Bakugou.

A completely naked Bakugou.

Midoriya was frozen, he had no idea what to do or whether he could even dismantle the situation without Bakugou killing him. His best option, he decided, was to pretend to be asleep. But that option went when, without warning, Bakugou’s arm wrapped around Midoriya’s waist, and pulled him in close, causing Midoriya to let out a not so manly squeal.

Midoriya had his back to Bakugou so he had no idea whether he had woken him or not, but he did feel the arm around him tense.

“Deku?” came Bakugou’s voice, absent of its usual malice.

Midoriya gulped. “Yeah?”

And whatever Bakugou heard must have whipped him back into reality because the next thing Midoriya knew he was being blasted across to the other side of the room. He hit the wall with a thump, his back taking most of the impact. “Ow,” he said as he tried to straighten up.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Bakugou said, stood on the bed with his fists bared.

Midoriya’s face was beet red, he had to look away. “Ahh, this is my room, Kacchan. I should be asking you that. Also… um…” He didn’t know how to address the issue of Bakugou’s state of undress, so he just made a sweeping gesture in Bakugou’s general direction.

Midoriya chanced a look at him and caught Bakugou looking down himself, seeing how utterly naked he was.

“What. The. Fuck!” he growled and immediately dropped back down on the bed and pulled the blanket over himself. “Deku… You’ve got a lot of explaining to do!”

“I.. I.. I have no idea what happened! I just woke up to you, naked and lying on top of me in my own bed!”

“That can’t be tr-,” Bakugou said as his eyes ventured around the room, but stopped when he took in the sight of the cat bowls. “Oh.”

Midoriya followed his line of vision. “Oh! That’s right! The cat! Where is he?” he said, turning his head frantically around the room in search of the cat. “Here, kitty, kitty.”

“Deku.”

“Sorry, Kacchan, but I really need to find the cat.”

“Here, Deku!”

That got Midoriya’s attention. He walked over to the bed, but couldn’t see the cat anywhere on it. “Where?”

Bakugou’s face turned red. “For once in your life, don’t play dumb.”

“Eh?” Midoriya frowned. “Play dumb? I can’t see him anywhere.”

Bakugou turned away, his jaw clenched, and thrust a thumb towards himself. “I’m the fucking cat… or I was until this morning.”

“What -”

“Don’t make me repeat myself, Deku!”

Midoriya put his hands up defensively as he processed what Bakugou had said. It was dead silent for a few minutes until Bakugou huffed. “Is it really that hard to understand?”

Midoriya snapped out of his train of thought and sat down at the edge of the bed. “So you were the cat I brought in last night?”

“Yes, dipshit. If you get that then lend me some clothes so I can get out of here.”

“But according to Kirishima-kun, Aizawa-sensei saw you sleeping.”

“Yeah… in here, as a cat.”

“How would he know you were the cat!?”

“‘Cos he’s not an idiot!”

When Midoriya said nothing, Bakugou sighed. “That rock head, Koda, probably told him.”

An 'oh' formed on Midoriya’s face. “He knew it was you!? That must have been why he was so scared,” he said, but then he furrowed his eyebrows. “How did you even transform into a cat?”

“Seriously?” Bakugou said, clearly losing his patience. Midoriya nodded. “The sidekick of that shitty bomber villain yesterday had an emitter quirk. Didn’t realise it would last so long or otherwise I would’ve punched his head in even harder. That’s it. Clothes now.”

Midoriya scrambled to get up and raked his wardrobe for some clothes. “Will this top be okay?” Midoriya made to unfold it but Bakugou got up, blanket draped around his waist, and snatched it from him.

“Anything. I don’t care.” Midoriya handed him a pair of black gym shorts. He turned away just as Bakugou dropped the blanket.

Midoriya turned around a few minutes later when he heard Bakugou stomping away. Bakugou, fully dressed, grabbed the door handle but stopped and looked back at Midoriya, a pained expression on his face. “Thanks for…” he gestured with his hand, “you know.”

“Saving you?”

Bakugou’s face lit up bright red, embarrassment or anger, Midoriya couldn’t tell. “Hell no! I didn’t need saving!” Bakugou said and then took a deep breath. “Whatever, I’m going. You dare tell anyone about this and you’re dead,” he said and left through the door, slamming it behind him. Midoriya didn’t even flinch at the noise.

“That’s a nice top you have on, young Bakugou!” came All Might’s voice. “I could’ve sworn Midoriya-boy had the same one.”

Midoriya wondered whether now would be a good time to lock his door. After all, what was more embarrassing, being seen in a top with All Might’s face, saying I LOVE ALL MIGHT , or being seen in said top and it being recognised as belonging to Midoriya.

“Deku!”

Midoriya locked his door.

Chapter Text

Ever since the cat incident, Bakugou had been ignoring Midoriya — which wasn’t unusual — but it was to a further extent than he normally did. Instead of reacting negatively (and loudly) to everything Midoriya said he just remained quiet, as if Midoriya hadn’t spoken at all. He had become quite subdued, the more Midoriya thought about it. Which, well, was uncharacteristic of him. It got to the point where even Aoyama had commented on it, calling it the “Deku Effect”. Fortunately, Aoyama had been smart enough to keep his mouth shut in the presence of Bakugou. Otherwise who knows what could’ve happened.

The thing was, though, no one except himself, Bakugou, Koda and Aizawa knew about the cat incident, or if they did they hadn’t made it known. What had he done to piss Bakugou off so much that he basically ceased to exist? He liked to think that he had taken good care of him as a cat so it couldn’t be that, surely. Unless it was about the change of clothes he had provided him, but still, two weeks had passed since then. Bakugou either knew how to hold a grudge or was acting out of character for some other reason.

Or maybe he was embarrassed? And felt threatened by Midoriya — thought that Midoriya would entertain the class with stories about how Bakugou had been naked and on top of him. Midoriya’s cheeks lit up and he had to shake his head to rid himself of that unwise line of thinking.

Maybe, it was himself who had changed. He had actively avoided Bakugou for the first few days following the incident, but stopped when he realised Bakugou wasn’t even acknowledging his presence, there or not. Other than that, Midoriya hadn’t acted any differently. He still answered questions in class, still goofed around with Iida and Uraraka, and still idolised All Might like he was God. So, it couldn’t be him, surely.

Either way, Midoriya wanted to find out, but he wasn’t sure how. He couldn’t be the instigator, no. It had to be someone not privy to the cat incident.

As if on cue, All Might stopped by the couch Midoriya was sat on in the common room. “Midoriya-boy, what’s got you so deep in thought on this fine evening?”

Midoriya snapped out of it. “All Might!” he said. “It’s, uh, nothing. Honestly!”

All Might raised an eyebrow. “It’s never nothing with you.” He began walking and gestured for Midoriya to follow. “Come with me.”

Without a moment’s warning, All Might changed from big and buff to slight and scrawny. Midoriya stood and rushed to catch up; even in his weakened physical state, All Might could walk fast. “Where are we going?” Midoriya asked. It was a Thursday evening, he had been alone in the common room adding notes to his hero notebook; most of his classmates had opted to spend the night outside in the courtyard since the weather was so nice.

All Might came to a stop in the cafeteria. It was empty. “Grab yourself a seat. I’ll be two minutes.” Midoriya merely nodded and did as he was told. He grabbed a seat and watched as All Might disappeared into the kitchen.

A few minutes passed and All Might reappeared, except he was carrying two mugs. He sat in the chair opposite Midoriya and placed the mugs on the table, one by Midoriya and one by himself. Midoriya watched the teabag slowly drift around until it came to a stop.

“Just some tea. You looked like you could do with some,” All Might said.

“Ah, thank you, All Might,” Midoriya said. “But I’m okay, really.”

All Might put his hands around the mug. “I think I know you well enough to see when something is troubling you, Midoriya-boy. But if you don’t want to share then that’s okay. We can just sit here and drink. I’m just offering my company. And insight — should you want it.”

Midoriya bit on his bottom lip. Maybe All Might could help. He looked from the mug in front of him to All Might. “It’s about someone… They’ve been acting out of character lately — acting like I don’t exist and I don’t know why.”

“Did something happen?”

“Kinda…”

All Might tapped his fingers on the side of his mug. “You haven’t tried speaking to them directly, have you?”

“No. That… that just wouldn’t work. We don’t really talk.” And it was true. They didn’t. Not for a lack of trying on Midoriya’s part, though.

“Well, there’s no better time to start. I’m sure Bakugou has an explanation for you.”

Midoriya’s eyes widened. “Wh-what! It’s got nothing to do with Kacchan!”

All Might just smiled. “Ah. So easy to read when it comes to your friends. You’re one of a kind, Midoriya-boy.”

Midoriya looked away and took a sip from his mug. “So what if it is Kacchan? He won’t just talk to me.”

“This is all since the cat incident, yes?” All Might said, an eyebrow raised.

Midoriya froze. “How did you know about that!”

All Might held his hands up in a calming manner. “Sho— Aizawa had confirmed everyone was in their beds, but I had not seen Bakugou return to campus. So, I asked him and he gave me the rundown of what had happened.”

Midoriya gaped. “Neither of you thought to help our predicament?”

All Might shrugged. “We saw it as a bonding session for the two of you.”

“God knows you need it.”

Midoriya jumped at the new voice. He turned around in his chair and watched as Aizawa pulled out a chair at their table. “May I?” he said. Midoriya nodded. Aizawa sat adjacent to him.

“Bakugou isn’t the easiest to talk to, but I believe it’s still your best bet,” Aizawa said.

Midoriya frowned into his mug. “There must be another way.”

All Might crossed his arms and placed a hand to his chin. “Fighting is more his form of communication.” Aizawa looked All Might dead in the eye with a look that could kill. All Might hastily added, “But that will only get you into trouble.” He rubbed the back of his neck and gave a weak laugh.

Aizawa sighed. “The alternative would be to wait it out, but that could be a while. Especially since it’s you, Midoriya.” He glanced at All Might. “Of course, the option of you making the first move remains open.”

Midoriya sat up straight. “Huh? Make the first move? That sounds.. Um, me and Kacchan— our relationship, it’s not like that!”

“Not like what, Midoriya?” Aizawa asked but he was staring right at All Might. Midoriya looked at both of them and frowned, their eyes were locked on each other. Something in the air must have changed because Midoriya could practically feel the tension between the two adults. He couldn’t help but feel like he was missing something.

“Uh. Aizawa-sensei? All Might? Is everything okay?”

Before he could hear for a response, something moist wrapped around him and reeled him out of the cafeteria. He didn’t attempt to break free of the all-too familiar hold, instead he closed his eyes — last time this happened he’d suffered slight motion sickness — and, as predicted, landed gently on his feet. He opened his eyes.

“Ribbit.”

“Tsuyu,” Midoriya said as Asui released him. He was hardly surprised. He only knew one person to have a frog tongue and the fact that All Might and Aizawa had not reacted was enough to deduce the tongue didn’t belong to a villain.

“Midoriya-chan,” Asui said and linked her arm with his, “Thought you could use a hand getting out of there.” She guided him out of the cafeteria and back into the common room.

“Eh? What?” Midoriya said as he sat down on the couch.

Asui smiled and sat on the next couch over. “It was getting tense in there, wasn’t it?”

“Oh, yeah. What was with them?”

“I have a few theories…” she said. She tilted her head slightly. “It’s probably best that we’re out of their way.”

“Why? Are they going to fight?”

Asui shrugged. “Something like that.”

“Shouldn’t we stop them?” Midoriya said and made to stand up, but Asui stopped him from moving.

“No. You don’t wanna get in the way. Trust me,” she said. Midoriya stared at her for a few seconds before relenting. He sat back and exhaled. This was Asui, after all, she was probably the most sensible, level-headed person he knew and actually did trust. As cool as it would be to see them spar, he knew Asui was right.

Asui grabbed the notebook that was next to her. “Midoriya-chan, I was hoping we could compare notes on the homework due tomorrow,” she said.

Midoriya nodded. “Sure! Let me just grab my notebook — where did I leave it...”

Asui held up a second notebook that was under her own. “You left it here. I was coming to return it to you.” And sure enough that was Midoriya’s notebook, tattered and scribbled over.

Midoriya took the notebook. “Oh, thanks!” He opened it up to the page of their most recent homework; Asui did the same in her own. “So. What did you put for question one?” Midoriya said.

“I chose option A,” Asui said.

“Me too. Question two?” Midoriya said. They went through all the questions and found that they had answered the majority of them the same. Together they worked through the few that they differed on until they came to the same answer. It was fun. Asui had somehow managed to make homework more enjoyable; Midoriya found himself laughing a lot, especially when Asui did impressions of their classmates with a straight face the whole time.

As Midoriya calmed down from laughing, he checked the time. It was 7PM. They had been working for about an hour. He was about to thank Asui when Bakugou walked right past them and outside without the slightest acknowledgment. It was enough to drain the laughter out of the room.

“I think I need to talk to him,” Midoriya said, reminded of All Might and Aizawa’s advice.

Asui nodded. “Ribbit. Good luck, Midoriya-chan.”

“Thank you, Asui-san, ah, I mean, Tsuyu,” he said. Asui smiled and gave him a small wave before he got up and followed Bakugou’s trail out of the building.

It wasn’t until they arrived at the main entrance of the campus that Midoriya finally caught up to Bakugou.

“Kacchan!” Midoriya said, as he got back his breath. “Hold on a second!”

Bakugou didn’t stop or let on whether he heard or not. Midoriya steeled himself. He wasn’t going to let Bakugou ignore him any longer. He ran around Bakugou to stop him face on. Bakugou’s eyes widened for a fraction of a second before he sidestepped Midoriya and continued walking.

Midoriya didn’t give up, though. He reached out and grabbed hold of Bakugou’s arm. Bakugou tried shaking him off but Midoriya wasn’t letting go, not even when he saw sparks start to fly from Bakugou’s palm.

“Let. Go,” Bakugou said.

“No!” Midoriya said and stood his ground. “Not until you tell me what’s going on.”

“You asked for it.” As if on cue, simultaneous explosions erupted from Bakugou’s palms, the force behind them enough to launch Bakugou up into the air and shake free of Midoriya. Midoriya regained his footing and watched as Bakugou continued to launch himself through the air, away from him.

He clenched his fist. If words wouldn’t suffice then maybe actions would. Midoriya activated Full Cowl and launched himself forward in pursuit of Bakugou. Bakugou turned around and scowled when his eyes met with Midoriya’s. He stopped blasting himself forward and dropped to the ground.

“You just don’t know when to give up,” Bakugou said, spacing his feet apart.

Midoriya came to a halt opposite him but kept his body low, knees bent and fists bared. Bakugou launched forwards towards Midoriya and directed a punch right to his head. Midoriya managed to dodge at the last second with a pivot. In the same movement he ducked down low and extended his leg, swinging it in one fast motion in an attempt to take Bakugou out at the feet. Bakugou anticipated it, though, and managed to blast up into the air. He used his split second advantage to aim a blast at Midoriya’s chest. Midoriya was sent flying backwards.

Bakugou walked up to Midoriya as he was getting back up and aimed a kick right at his side. Midoriya read the movement, though, and managed to grab hold of Bakugou’s ankle just in time. He pulled Bakugou down to his level and headbutted him. Bakugou stumbled backwards and landed on his butt.

Midoriya towered over him. “I just want to help, Kacchan,” he said. He extended his arm, offering Bakugou a hand up. Bakugou stared at it for a moment before slapping it away and getting to his feet.

“I don’t need your help,” he said. “You just cause more shit.”

Midoriya frowned. “What do you mean?”

Bakugou cracked his knuckles. “We’re not done yet,” he said, ignoring Midoriya.

“But -” Midoriya was silenced by the fist Bakugou drove into his cheek. It took him by surprise; he tried to regain composure but Bakugou capitalised on the opportunity and kicked Midoriya’s feet out from under him, causing him to fall to the ground, flat on his back.

Bakugou straddled Midoriya’s stomach and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. “Where are your fucking survival instincts? I could really fuck you up.”

Midoriya smiled, even though it hurt to. His cheek was turning a shade of purple. “You could try. But you wouldn’t,” he said.

“Don’t tempt me, Deku!”

Midoriya held up two fingers. “One: I’m not some pushover you can just “fuck up”, I’m going to be a great hero. Don’t you forget it. And two,” Midoriya looked Bakugou straight in the eyes and said, “You’re kind. Even if you don’t always show it.”

Bakugou’s eyes widened for a fraction of a second before his sneer was back in place. He let go of Midoriya and stood up over him. “I don’t have time for your bullshit.” He walked off, leaving the campus grounds through the main entrance. Where he was going, Midoriya had no clue. Midoriya remained on the ground and watched the sky slowly darken. He couldn’t decide whether the fight was progress or a waste of time. Bakugou didn’t ignore him, which was somewhat encouraging, even if he did let his face get beaten in. Conversation, though, had been just as impossible as he thought it would be, no thanks to his teachers. Midoriya sighed. All he knew for certain was that Bakugou was an enigma. An enigma he was determined to figure out.

“I take it your conversation with young Bakugou did not go so well.”

Midoriya looked up from his notes. He was first to class; he had arrived an hour early to revise.

All Might was smiling down at him, something like sympathy in his eyes.

“Yeah. It never does,” Midoriya said. He smiled but it felt strained.

“I apologise. I should’ve known better,” All Might said.

“Ah! It’s not your fault, All Might! It’s just… Kacchan… He’s never been much of a talker.”

All Might placed his hand on Midoriya’s shoulder. “You’re much too kind, Midoriya-boy.” He gave Midoriya a reaffirming pat before letting go. “We’ll speak later.”

“Ah, wait!” Midoriya said as All Might had turned to leave.

All Might turned around and raised his eyebrows. “Yes?”

“You and Aizawa-sensei… is everything okay?”

All Might’s eyebrows practically shot up into his hairline, his cheeks tinted red. “What do you mean is everything okay? Everything is fine. Nothing the matter. Why would there be? Aizawa and I are professionals. Professionals and nothing else -”

“Ahuh,” Midoriya said, interrupting All Might. Adults were weird.

“Is that all?”

Midoriya nodded and watched as All Might exhaled and left the classroom, mumbling something to himself. He sat back in his chair and let his head fall back.

He was disrupted moments later by the sound of chatter. Bakugou walked into the classroom, Kirishima and Kaminari chatting behind him. Bakugou took his seat, not sparing the slightest glance at Midoriya.

“Wow, Midoriya-kun! Who gave you that shiner?” Kirishima said pointing to his cheek.

“Ah, no one. Just a training accident,” Midoriya said, rubbing the back of his neck.

Kirishima frowned. “Midoriya… you know you can talk to us, yeah?” he said. Kaminari nodded along.

Midoriya smiled. “I know. Thank you.”

He chanced a glance at Bakugou; he had his feet crossed on his desk with his arms crossed and eyes closed. He was also sporting a bruise on his forehead which Midoriya assumed was from the headbutt. That had hurt.

He was scowling, too, but that wasn’t out of the ordinary. Midoriya wondered how a smile would look on Bakugou — not a smirk, but a genuine smile. The last time he’d seen one was when they were much younger. That would never happen now, though. Not from him. Kirishima would be the most likely candidate for getting a smile out of Bakugou.

Maybe he would talk to Kirishima. He was the one student whose friendship Bakugou did seem to value.

The rest of the class started to arrive. Kirishima grinned and gave Midoriya’s arm a firm pat. “Any time. Seriously,” he said before heading to his desk.

Kaminari grinned and noogied Midoriya’s head. “We got you,” he said and turned to follow Kirishima.

Midoriya’s looked down at his desk, his eyes watered a little bit. Friendship; aspects of it were still foreign to him. He wasn’t used to people, besides his mom, showing concern for him. And as much as he didn’t like making people dear to him worry, it was a warm feeling, just knowing they cared. Bakugou once cared, but that was a long time ago.

Aizawa walked in and addressed the class, “Okay, okay, take your seats. Class is in session.” Midoriya sat up straight and wiped his eyes, ignoring a couple of curious glances sent his way.

“As you all know, as U.A. students you are expected to behave to an exemplary standard and stand in line with our core values of respect, integrity, and justice. It would appear a few of you are not heeding this rule, so I’ll say it again. Fighting between yourselves is not permitted or tolerated under any circumstances. Sparring is fine — as potential heroes I trust you can tell the difference,” Aizawa said. “Any questions?” No one responded. Aizawa yawned. “Good. Bakugou, Midoriya, see me after class.” Midoriya could feel all eyes on him and Bakugou; he averted his gaze.

Chapter Text

“Detention, after last period. All next week,” Aizawa said. The rest of the class had been dismissed for next period, it was just Aizawa, Midoriya and Bakugou.

Bakugou clenched his fists. “Are you fucking serious?”

“Deadly. Don’t use that language in here unless you want to be on clean-up duty, too.”

Midoriya didn’t say anything, just stared at his hands in his lap. Aizawa sighed. “I don’t know what’s going on with you boys, but you need to sort it out. Bakugou, reflect on your treatment of Midoriya. Midoriya, learn to read people’s personal boundaries. Neither of you will grow if you keep pulling each other back like this.”

Bakugou crossed his arms, his trademark scowl in place. “Whatever. Can we go?”

Aizawa nodded. “I’ll see you back here after last period.” Bakugou got up and stormed out the door.

Midoriya stood up and hauled his bag over his back. “Bye, Aizawa-sensei,” he said and headed for the door.

“Midoriya…”

His hand hovered over the door handle, he dropped it and turned around. “Yes?”

Aizawa hesitated. He looked tired— more tired than usual. He opened his mouth but shut it again, until finally, he said, “Don’t be late.”

Midoriya nodded. “I won’t, sir.”

The weekend passed too fast and before Midoriya knew it, Monday had arrived. Detention was a bore, but Midoriya had expected no less. It was just him, Bakugou, and Aizawa. Aizawa slouched forward on his chair, his arms crossed and eyes closed. Midoriya couldn’t tell if he was sleeping. Bakugou was sat at the opposite side of the room from Midoriya. His head rested against the window.

After their talk with Aizawa, Friday had progressed just like any other day. Apart from Mineta, no one in the class addressed the fight between Midoriya and Bakugou, and even then Iida was quick to silence Mineta. Midoriya didn’t know what the hush was about, he just figured they didn’t want to cause more trouble.

He had spotted Kirishima and Bakugou alone in the corner of the cafeteria during lunch. Midoriya had no idea what they were talking about, but if Bakugou’s murderous expression was anything to go by then it was something serious.

Midoriya looked at the clock and sighed; it had only been five minutes. He pulled out his hero notebook from his bag; despite constantly updating it with notes, it had been a long time since he had had a proper read-through of it.

That was the plan, anyway. The plan until a scrunched up piece of paper hit him on the head. There was only one person who could’ve been responsible and that wasn’t the teacher. A quick glance at Aizawa and his lack of reaction was enough for Midoriya to conclude he was definitely asleep. Midoriya turned to Bakugou, who rested his chin on his hands and was looking out the window.

“What is it, Kacchan?” Midoriya whispered, glancing at Aizawa as he spoke. “Kacchan,” he repeated, Bakugou’s lip flared, he pointed to the floor where the paper had landed. Midoriya reached down and picked up the scrunched piece of paper. He opened it up and smoothed out its creases with his hands.

We need to talk. My room @ 5.

Midoriya’s eyebrows furrowed. Good or bad sign, he didn’t know. He scrunched the paper back up and tucked it into his backpack. There was no decision to be made; he would go, and Bakugou probably knew that.

Detention didn’t end until 4:30PM so Midoriya turned back to his notebook, opening it up on Ashido’s page, and began to read the time away.

Midoriya swallowed. He was standing out the front of Bakugou’s door. He didn’t know what he was in for, but he wasn’t scared. Not scared for the obvious reasons, anyway. He and Bakugou never had alone time together. The times they did ended with them both battered and bruised. Well, there had been one exception, and that was the cat incident. Midoriya was still in denial about that whole predicament; it had affected Midoriya in ways he wasn’t ready to deal with. It felt like so long ago, though it was really only approaching three weeks.

Midoriya exhaled, deciding it was now or never, he knocked on the door three times.

It didn’t take long for Bakugou to open. He popped his head out the door and looked down either side of the hall. Why, Midoriya didn’t know, but he seemed content with what he did, or didn’t, see. “Close the door behind you,” Bakugou said and went and sat down on his bed.

Midoriya ventured in, closing the door behind him. Bakugou’s room was pretty ordinary, in comparison to some of his classmates’. Midoriya was delighted to see a poster of All Might hanging on the wall, but apart from that there wasn’t much else to distinguish the room as Bakugou’s except maybe the red and black colour scheme of the bed sheets. Everything was clean and orderly, though, which had been a bit unexpected. Truth be told, Midoriya didn’t have a clue about Bakugou’s cleaning habits. The last time he recalled being in his bedroom was when he was a young child.

“Fucking sit down or something. Don’t just stand there,” Bakugou said.

Midoriya grabbed the desk chair and promptly sat down. “So…”

Bakugou rolled his eyes. “The teachers want us to get along. I don’t see that happening so I’ll cut to the chase,” he said.

Midoriya frowned. “Why can’t we get along?”

“‘Cause you’re Deku, that’s why.”

“Kacchan…”

Bakugou didn’t acknowledge Midoriya, he repositioned himself on his bed, leaning back against the headboard. He looked Midoriya in the eyes. “Stay out of my way.”

“Why?”

“‘Cause I fucking said so.” Bakugou sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “You stay out of my way, I’ll stay out of yours. Simple.” He picked a ball up from his bedside table and tossed it in the air, caught it, and repeated.

“I will if you answer the question,” Midoriya said. He leaned forward and put his hands on his knees. “Why? Why have you been acting stranger than usual since the cat incident?”

Bakugou paused his throwing. He was squeezing the ball so hard Midoriya thought it would burst. “You’re in no position to be making demands, Deku,” he said.

Midoriya’s grip tightened. “I’ll leave you alone.”

“Aizawa-sensei told you to stop overstepping people’s personal boundaries.”

“I’m not!” Midoriya said, and flushed. “It’s just you, Kacchan! I worry about you all the time.”

The ball in Bakugou’s hand burst. “What the fuck did you just say?” He got up from his bed. “You think I’m some sort of damsel in distress? Huh?”

Midoriya stood up. “No! It’s not like that. I know you’re strong. Very strong. But -”

“But what?” Bakugou said. He stood right in front of Midoriya, arms crossed, and with a look that could kill.

Midoriya stood his ground. “You’re my friend!”

Bakugou’s eyes widened for a fraction of a second before his murderous glare was back in place. “This is why you’re such a pushover! You befriend anyone, even if they treat you like shit!”

“That’s not true! I’m not a pushover!” Midoriya shoved Bakugou’s chest with more force than intended. Bakugou stumbled backwards, but managed to grab hold of Midoriya’s tshirt and landed flat on his back on the bed, with Midoriya falling on top of him.

Bakugou looked away from Midoriya, his face red. “Get off me now, Deku.”

Midoriya made to get up but hesitated and instead sat up and straddled Bakugou’s waist. “No. Not until you take it back.”

“Last chance, Deku,” Bakugou warned, but Midoriya remained where he was.

Midoriya barely had a moment to blink when, a few seconds later, Bakugou grabbed hold of Midoriya’s hips and flipped them over, so he was on top, straddling Midoriya. He tried to flip them back over but failed in his efforts as Bakugou kept his shoulders pinned down. Bakugou smirked. He leaned down, his face very close to Midoriya’s, and said, “You can’t beat me.”

But Bakugou was right there, so close, and in Midoriya’s space. His eyes fell on Midoriya’s lips for a fraction of a second and Midoriya didn’t know why he did it, but he pressed a kiss to Bakugou’s lips.

The reaction was instant. Bakugou backed off Midoriya within a second; Midoriya had never seen someone move so fast, well, almost. He knew too many fast heroes to discredit their speed quirks. But still, Bakugou came close.

“The fuck?” Bakugou said as he backed himself into the wall, his face flushed red. Midoriya sat up, his own face flushed red, but probably for different reasons. “Get out.” And if Bakugou’s voice wasn’t laced with murderous intent before, it sure as hell was then.

“Kacchan, I-”

“Get out, now.” Bakugou pointed to his door. “Go.”

Midoriya did as he was told. What could he have said anyway? He didn’t understand why he did what he did, he just did it. He sighed as he walked back to his room. How could he have been so stupid? If things were tricky with Bakugou before, then they were going to be a whole lot worse now.

But why did he do it? And how was he going to fix things? Midoriya wished he knew; it would only be made harder by the fact things weren’t fixed between them in the first place.

Midoriya entered his room and flopped onto his bed, staring at his largest All Might poster. What would All Might do in this situation? Midoriya shook his head — this was something not even All Might couldn’t help with.

He thought he liked Uraraka. She was always so kind to him — right from the get go, something that he had deeply appreciated. But Bakugou? What did it mean? He sought Bakugou’s friendship all the time despite Bakugou’s visible dislike of him. And while Midoriya believed he was no pushover, what Bakugou said about befriending people who treat him like shit was true. At least when it came to Bakugou, that was. He genuinely believed that Bakugou had a lot more good in him than people were led to believe; it was just a matter of showing it.

And maybe that was part of the reason why he kissed him. He couldn’t deny that he found Bakugou physically attractive, but there was more to it than that. He found lots of people physically attractive and never had even the slightest urge to kiss them. Bakugou just… was something else entirely. Exactly what, Midoriya did not know. He shut his eyes.

Midoriya woke to the sound of someone knocking on his door. He looked at his clock, it was nearly 8pm; he hadn’t meant to fall asleep.

“Coming,” he said as he got up off his bed. He answered the door and was greeted with a wave from Iida, who was holding a tray of food.

“Midoriya-kun! You missed dinner. I thought you might be hungry,” Iida said and thrust the tray of food towards him.

“Ah! Thank you, Iida-kun,” Midoriya said and accepted the tray. On it was a bowl of rice, some kind of fish, steamed vegetables, and yogurt for dessert. It looked better than usual but Midoriya’s appetite left him when he remembered what had transpired hours earlier. He needed to apologise to Bakugou.

Iida’s brows furrowed. “Are you okay, Midoriya-kun?”

Midoriya snapped out of it. “Yeah, thanks. I just… I don’t think I’m very hungry.”

“That’s not like you. Do you want to talk? As friends. Not just because I’m class rep, though I do take that seriously.”

“No, it’s okay. Think I’m gonna wash up and then head to bed. Thank you, Iida-kun.”

Iida grabbed hold of Midoriya’s shoulders and looked him right in the eyes. “Always here if you change your mind.” Midoriya nodded and silently handed back the tray of food to Iida who shot off lightning fast, even without the use of his quirk.

Midoriya closed his door. He couldn’t help the warmth that spread inside his chest. His classmates, no, his friends, were all so good to him. It was reassuring, even if he was still growing accustomed to the feeling of being supported. He frowned. With all this Bakugou business, he’d been neglecting his friends a bit. Maybe the answer was to let them in, let them help. He let himself fall backwards onto his bed and gazed up at the ceiling. His friends were worried about him; he didn’t have to tell them the full extent to get their help. He closed his eyes. It was decided — he would seek his friends’ help but more importantly, he would apologise to Bakugou.

Chapter Text

The next morning was a disaster and Midoriya blamed himself for it. Tables and chairs in the cafeteria were broken and appeared to have been thrown about, there was a man-size hole in one of the walls, and there was a strong burning smell throughout the first floor. At first, Midoriya assumed the worst, a villain, perhaps, but he was quick to spot Uraraka and Asui sitting on the cafeteria floor, nonchalant as they sipped their tea.

Midoriya rushed over to them. “What happened?”

“Bakugou-chan woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” Asui said. Bakugou did this? Midoriya paled. Was it because of what happened the night before?

“Are you okay, Deku-kun?” Uraraka said, her eyes full of worry.

Midoriya gulped and had to remember to nod in response. Was Bakugou okay? Clearly not. He racked his brain for what he should do but came up empty. In every outcome he just made things worse. He jumped when an arm wrapped around his shoulders. He looked to his left to see Kaminari smiling at him.

“Kaminari-kun?” Midoriya said. Kaminari ignored Midoriya in favour of shooting finger guns at the girls. Midoriya repeated himself. “Kaminari-kun?”

Kaminari reluctantly turned away from the girls, but not before giving them one final wink, and pulled Midoriya towards the hole in the wall. “What’s going on?” Midoriya asked.

“Bakugou was having an early sparring session with Kirishima, only things got really intense.” Well, that partly explained the destruction, but there was definitely more to it than just that. Midoriya bit his lip. Kirishima? He knew Kirishima was strong enough to take Bakugou’s hits but it still unsettled Midoriya; it was him who had kissed Bakugou — it should be him who deals with the fallout, not Kirishima.

Kaminari gestured for Midoriya to step through the hole. “I know what you’re thinking, Midoriya. This isn’t your fault,” he said.

“But —“

“No buts.” Kaminari followed him through the large hole. “I’m not interested in whatever went down between you two; that’s your business. But you can’t keep blaming yourself for Bakugou’s recklessness. He is old enough to know better and he needs to get a grip on his temper.”

As they stepped out, the morning sun shone brightly. Midoriya had to shield his eyes slightly. The grass was slippery beneath his shoes, wet with morning dew. When was the last time he’d been outside for the sake of it? He spent a lot of time outdoors, but usually he was preoccupied with fighting villains or training. It was nice, especially now as summer was approaching. He inhaled and exhaled.

Across the grass, he could see two figures — one distinctly red — approaching. Kaminari placed a hand on Midoriya’s shoulder. “Did you hear what I said, Midoriya?”

Midoriya nodded. No matter how much he tried to avoid the topic, this was an argument he wasn’t going to win. He knew Kaminari was right, but he still couldn’t help but shoulder some of the blame. Kissing Bakugou? What was he thinking? He placed a hand to his lips; he probably would’ve been safer kissing a lion.

What’s done was done, though. And Midoriya clenched his fists by his side as Bakugou and Kirishima came into view, both looking worse for wear after an obviously intense sparring session. Bakugou’s gaze was fixed straight ahead. Either, he was ignoring Midoriya or he hadn’t realised he was there. The look in Bakugou’s eyes was deadly.

Which is why, of course, Midoriya jumped in front of him and immediately bowed. “I’m sorry for yesterday.” He chanced a glance up. Bakugou’s lip curled, and he sidestepped past Midoriya with a grunt.

Midoriya looked back down at the ground, still bent over. He could see Bakugou’s shoes leaving his periphery. He squeezed his eyes shut and said, “I shouldn’t have k-” But before he could even process it, he was yanked up by the collar of his shirt. He looked up; Bakugou was right there. He held onto Midoriya and pulled him around the corner of the building. Midoriya wondered why the world had chosen him to be everyone’s puppet that day. First Kaminari, then Bakugou.

Hurried footsteps could be heard following. Bakugou let go of Midoriya and turned around. Midoriya had to crane his head at an awkward angle past Bakugou to see. Kaminari and Kirishima had followed.

“Leave,” Bakugou said, though it came out as more of a growl.

“Bakugou-” Kirishima started.

Bakugou’s hands curled into fists. “I’ve had enough of your shit, Kirishima! Go!”

Kaminari frowned. “What the hell, Bakugou! You should be grateful to Kirishima for tolerating your bullshit for as long as he has.”

Kirishima stared directly at Bakugou. Bakugou didn’t meet his gaze. “It’s fine. Let’s go, Kaminari.”

Kaminari looked at Midoriya and then back to Kirishima, “But-.”

“Now,” Kirishima said and left the same way he came. Kaminari frowned, confusion clear as day on his face, but nonetheless followed Kirishima.

Midoriya stood behind Bakugou unsure of what to do, he might as well have been twiddling his thumbs. “Um,” he said.

Bakugou’s shoulders were tense. He turned around and pushed Midoriya against the wall of the building. “What the fuck, Deku!” There was only a few inches separating them. “Don’t go admitting shit in public.”

Midoriya stared directly at Bakugou who clutched him by the collar of his t-shirt. Bakugou stared just as intently back. “I said I’m sorry for —” But he was cut short, this time by Bakugou’s lips pressed against his own. Midoriya’s mind went blank. All he could focus on was how surprisingly soft Bakugou’s lips were and the warm sensation that filled his chest. Was that normal? Midoriya didn’t exactly have any previous experiences to compare it to… But the feeling was good — unlike anything he’d felt before. He wanted more.

However, moments later Bakugou let go of Midoriya’s t-shirt and backed off. He turned his back to Midoriya and balled his hands into fists. “Fuck!” he said and kicked a rock on the ground.

Midoriya took a deep breath. Bakugou turned back around but before he could react, Midoriya had pulled him in close by his t-shirt and planted his lips back on Bakugou’s. Bakugou, not one to be overpowered, backed Midoriya into the wall and parted his lips. Midoriya did the same and urged his beating heart to calm down — it felt like it would jump out of his chest any moment.

Bakugou put his hands on Midoriya’s hips and deepened the kiss. What had started out gentle had then evolved into something more rough. Midoriya tightened his hold on Bakugou’s t-shirt and let Bakugou pull him closer by his hips. The feeling was unreal. Midoriya’s body felt on fire, as if an electric charge was flowing through his veins threatening to spill out.

Bakugou pulled back, his face was flushed, but his hands remained on Midoriya’s hips. Midoriya looked at him, just as flushed. Unsure of what to do or say, he looked at his hand and realised he was still clutching Bakugou’s t-shirt and promptly let go.

“Kacchan, I-,” Midoriya started but was quickly silenced when Bakugou removed his hands from his hips and swiftly planted a hand on the wall behind Midoriya.

Bakugou raised his free hand, looking torn about what to do with it; he settled for a clenched fist. “I don’t know what the fuck you’re playing at, Deku, but if you tell anyone about this...”

Midoriya wasn’t scared by the threat but nodded anyway. Bakugou’s face was inscrutable. Just what was going through his mind? Nothing made sense. Things had definitely escalated. What had originally meant to be an apology had turned into their second and third kiss. And wow, that was a lot to process.

Without so much as a see you later, Bakugou withdrew his hand from the wall and walked away, leaving Midoriya standing there alone and very confused.

Classes that morning were… uneventful. Midoriya tried his hardest to act like everything was normal but his mind kept drifting off, thinking of Bakugou and the kisses.

That was until lunch time came around and Kirishima cornered Midoriya. “What did you do to Bakugou?” Kirishima asked.

Midoriya’s eyes widened and his face turned scarlet red. “Nothing! Nothing happened!”

Kirishima didn’t look convinced. “Then how come he’s in such a good mood?”

“He is?” Midoriya looked across the cafeteria at Bakugou. He had Kaminari by the collar of his shirt and was yelling into his face.

Kirishima nodded towards Bakugou with a grin. “See? Normally he would’ve knocked Kaminari out by now.” Kirishima had a point but Midoriya failed to see how he had anything to do with that. He couldn’t have been happy about their encounter… could he? Bakugou had been the one who initiated the first kiss that morning but Midoriya didn’t want to read into that too much and get his hopes up. Hopes for what exactly, he wasn’t sure. He just knew whatever those hopes were, it involved being with Bakugou a lot more.

He shrugged. “Perhaps your sparring session with him this morning put him in a good mood.”

Kirishima frowned. “I doubt it. He was pissed at me after our run-in this morning.”

“Is everything okay now?” Midoriya asked. He thought back to the morning; things had definitely been tense between Kirishima and Bakugou.

Kirishima nodded. “Yeah, we’re good. But I’m curious as to what’s made him so happy. Kind of wish I had that power.”

Midoriya was glad to hear things hadn’t escalated. But Kirishima still needed some reassurance. He grabbed hold of his shoulders. “Kirishima-kun, you are a great friend to Kacchan. Never doubt that. I’ve seen him smile more times with you than I ever saw him smile during junior high. Okay?”

“Okay,” Kirishima said. He rubbed the back of his neck and beamed after Midoriya dropped his hold on him. “Thanks, Midoriya.”

After that encounter, Midoriya grew more observant of Bakugou’s change in mood. Kirishima was right — the change was subtle but there if you knew how to spot it. Bakugou’s scowls turned to smirks and he didn’t even try to punch Iida when Iida told him to get his feet off his desk. Aizawa may have noticed too before their last class ended, he requested that Bakugou stay behind for a moment. Midoriya was going to stay behind too, for detention, but Aizawa had told him he was free to go.

Save for Bakugou and Aizawa, Midoriya was last out of the class. On his way out he bumped into none other than All Might.

“Oh! Hello Midoriya-boy. You’re looking well,” All Might said.

Midoriya smiled. “You too, sir!” he said and he meant it. Midoriya had long since come to terms with All Might’s true fatigued form and while not as strong as his muscular form, it was still the same body that had endured hardship after hardship; the same body that saved countless lives time and time again. In all honesty, All Might looked a lot better then than he had before the world knew his true form. It was like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders — he was free to be himself. Midoriya was happy for him.

All Might grinned and clapped Midoriya on the shoulder. “Waiting for young Bakugou?”

“Oh no, I was just slow to leave,” Midoriya said, but couldn’t disguise the colour that went to his cheeks. He wasn’t waiting for him. Not intentionally anyway. There was a part of him that desperately wanted to, but Midoriya liked to think he had control over that.

All Might raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

Midoriya tried to compose himself. “I’ve gotta go. Train and homework and all that,” he said, fidgeting with the edge of his uniform.

But All Might just smiled at him and gave his shoulder one final clap. “Work hard, Midoriya-boy!”

Midoriya nodded. “I will!” he said and shot off, heading in the direction of the common room. He needed to get out of there fast before All Might asked any potentially awkward questions. Midoriya was, after all, terrible at lying.

When Midoriya got to the common room it was surprisingly empty. He looked into the courtyard, but that was empty too. He heard noises coming from the cafeteria and decided to head in that direction. The closer he got the more voices he recognised. As he entered through the large doors, many heads whipped around in his direction. It appeared that everyone in class 1-A, save for himself and Bakugou, was gathered around two tables that had been pushed together.

“Uh, hi?” Midoriya said.

There were a few sighs of relief. Midoriya wondered why.

“It’s just, Deku,” Uraraka said. She turned to Midoriya. “We were worried it was All Might or Aizawa-sensei.”

Midoriya walked over to the group. “Why’s that?”

Uraraka gestured for him to stand behind her. She leaned to the side so Midoriya could see over her shoulder at what was on the table.

In large capital letters, written across a large piece of paper was:

OPERATION: GET ALL MIGHT AND AIZAWA-SENSEI TO DATE

Midoriya raised his eyebrows. That certainly wasn’t what he was expecting. All Might and Aizawa-sensei dating? He folded his arms and put a hand to his chin.

“I’m not sure I understand... “ Midoriya said.

“It is as it says. We want All Might and Aizawa-sensei to date,” Uraraka said.

Midoriya understood that part. “But… why?”

Ashido rolled her eyes. “Haven’t you seen the way they’ve been acting around one another lately? They clearly want to. We’re just, y’know, giving them a little push.”

When Midoriya thought back on his recent interactions with the two teachers, everything started to make sense. It was like putting together pieces of a puzzle — only, he now had all the pieces. He had noticed they’d been spending more time together than usual. There was also the tense interaction they’d shared in the cafeteria that Asui saved him from and even All Might’s embarrassed reaction when Midoriya later asked about it. Midoriya’s cheeks lit up and he turned to Asui.

“You knew back then, didn’t you?” Midoriya asked. Asui just nodded. Midoriya felt like pulling his hair out. “How did I not put the dots together myself?”

Uraraka patted his shoulder. “It’s okay. You know now.”

Something felt off about this though. Midoriya stuttered. “Umm, don’t you think that maybe we should leave them to sort it out? It’s not really our business,” he said, scratching his cheek.

“They’ll never get together at this rate, though. That’s the problem!” Ashido said.

“I thought the same thing, Midoriya,” Todoroki said. He was sitting across from Midoriya and looked extremely bored.

Ashido flicked Todoroki in the ear. “Silence you. We need all hands on deck.”

Midoriya didn’t exactly want a part in it, but he was curious to how they were going to pull this off. “What’s the plan then?” he asked.

Sero pointed at some text written on the paper laid out across the table. “I say we go with Jiro’s idea. Lock them together in a small space, like the broom closet.”

Midoriya’s eyes widened. “Would that actually work?”

Sero shrugged. “Dunno. But it beats the other ideas.”

Midoriya leaned forward so he could read the other ideas.

  • Write love letters to each other on their behalf.
  • Set up a blind date.
  • Just tell them.

They all sounded so involved. Midoriya could only imagine the consequences.

Jiro stood, alarmed. “Hide the paper! Act normal! I hear them coming,” she said.

Uraraka nodded and was quick to roll the paper up and tie an elastic band around it. Everyone else scattered around the cafeteria hall, in an attempt to act normal.

They were just in time too as All Might and Aizawa entered through the large doors. They were clearly not expecting to see all of Class 1-A, minus Bakugou, in there judging by their surprised expressions. Everyone went silent.

“What’s going on in here then?” Aizawa said. His face reverted back to looking bored and tired.

“Nothing out of the ordinary, that’s for sure,” Kaminari said and laughed. Ashido facepalmed.

Aizawa just massaged his temples and said, “I need more coffee.”

Everyone resumed talking. Midoriya took the opportunity to leave before All Might or Aizawa could try to squeeze answers out of him. He was an easy target.

What he didn’t expect to see upon his exit, was Bakugou. Bakugou’s eyes widened, he obviously hadn’t been expecting to see Midoriya either.

“Hi,” Midoriya said. But it just sounded awkward. Why was this his life?

Bakugou didn’t say anything. Instead he backed Midoriya into the wall, crowding his space. They maintained eye contact. Neither one of them looking away, not even for a second.

Bakugou planted his hand on the wall right next to Midoriya’s head. He lifted his other hand to Midoriya’s chin and tilted Midoriya’s face ever so slightly. Midoriya’s cheeks lit up as he let Bakugou study him. This was new. It was the longest time Bakugou had looked at him without scowling or hurling insults. It was nice but Midoriya desperately wished to close the gap between them and capture Bakugou’s lips in a kiss. But he wasn’t sure that was the best idea.

Bakugou dropped his hand from Midoriya’s chin and leaned in close to his ear instead. “Don’t go wanting things you can’t have,” he said.

Bakugou was a walking contradiction, but okay. Two could play at that game.

“Same could be said for you,” Midoriya replied quietly, sounding a lot more confident than he felt. Bakugou’s gaze had dropped to his lips. It would only take the slightest movement for Midoriya to connect their lips and he was seriously tempted.

That was until he heard the cafeteria doors opening. Bakugou, quick as ever, used his quirk to blast himself backwards as far away from Midoriya as possible.

“Don’t tell me you two were fighting again,” Iida said, accompanied by a worried Uraraka.

Bakugou scowled. “Tch. He’s not worth my time,” he said and walked off.

Uraraka frowned. “You okay, Deku? Don’t listen to him. You are worth a lot of people’s time!” she said.

Midoriya smiled. “I’m okay. Thank you, Uraraka-san.” And it was partly true. While part of him hurt from Bakugou’s comments, it’s not like they were new or something he wasn’t already used to. He was more frustrated than anything. Frustrated because Bakugou clearly thought Midoriya was worth his time, if today had been anything to go by.

There was always the chance that he was just messing Midoriya about. But Midoriya didn’t think Bakugou was capable of intentionally messing with him like that. He wasn’t the kind of guy who would go to such lengths, as kissing, to mess someone about if there was the possible consequence of wounding his reputation or pride. Or at least that’s what Midoriya told himself. Maybe it was just the optimist in him.

One thing he knew for sure, though: he wanted Bakugou.