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The Way You Used To Do

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From the moment Midoriya felt the bone of his forearm snap as he fell full-weight on it, he knew he was doomed.

By now, he was used to having his bones break all the time – ever since he welcomed One for All into his body, feeling its power course through his veins as easily and as often as it snapped his limbs like twigs, he grew accustomed to the pain and the discomfort. However, habit didn't make the pain any easier to handle, and he didn't manage to hold back a startled yelp at the same time the "crack!" of his arm snapping filled the dark alley where he and Kacchan had been cornered.

"Stand up, idiot!", Katsuki shouted, standing in front of Izuku in a way that could have been interpreted as protective, had this not been Katsuki and Izuku, and sparing the fallen boy a quick glimpse over his shoulder before turning his focus back towards the threat ahead of them. "He's closing in", Bakugou warned, even though he didn't have to. Izuku might have had his vision blinded by a white flash of pain when his arm broke, but he could damn well see the man standing at the exit of the alley now, blocking their way out.

This had been supposed to be a simple patrolling activity, designed by UA to help training heroes to learn the protocols and nuances of patrolling. There weren't supposed to be any real villains at the area, just a couple of robbers or small criminals that students could handle with ease. However, Class 1-A seemed to have a special – and very much cursed – talent for making villains show up in places where there should be none. They should have all seen it coming, if Izuku was being honest with himself. A bit of pessimism wouldn't go amiss in these types of preparation.

He wished he could say it was fate who planned for him and Katsuki to be paired up and go on the first patrol round together, but it had been none other than Aizawa sensei. According to the teacher, this patrolling exercise was to be seen as a very profitable opportunity for both Midoriya and Bakugou to bond with each other, or "finally sort their shit out", as Kirishima put in a less elegant manner. Ever since their fatidic fight which resulted in house incarceration for both of them, Izuku and Katsuki hadn't actually spoken to each other more than they already did before, but they hadn't not spoken either. It was a complicated matter related to a complicated relationship that went a lifetime back and that certainly would not be simply solved by a talk with All Might and a simple week. Aizawa sensei seemed to be aware of that, Izuku was aware of that, Katsuki was definitely aware of that. But part of being a pro hero is being able to cooperate with your partners, even if they're not from the same agency, and if Izuku and Katsuki ever wanted to get anywhere near becoming number 1, they would have to learn how to deal and work with each other.

Yeah. Izuku definitely could see where Aizawa sensei was coming from when he paired him up with Kacchan. It didn't mean his arm hurt any less from being shoved to the floor by his alleged partner, though.

"Oi, shithead!", Katsuki called again when Izuku failed to respond. He had his arms stretched out beside his body in a position that was at the same time defensive and offensive. The man standing at the exit of the alley seemed unbothered by this display. "Who do you think you are to ignore what I'm fucking saying?"

"I'm not ignoring you", Izuku said through gritted teeth, taking a deep breath past the pain which was still pulsing like a hellish fire through his injured arm. Clutching the limb close to his chest and taking a series of deep breaths, he got back to his trembling feet and stood beside Katsuki, hating that he was being forced to hunch forward in order to bear the pain. To his left, Katsuki seemed unaware of the fact that he had just broken Izuku's arm by shoving him out of the way in an attempt to prevent them both from getting hit by one of the villain's energy beams.

"Sure, seems like it, Deku", Bakugou snarled, scoffing at Izuku's shaking form and spitting the nickname with venom in his tone. He sounded more pissed off than usual, but Izuku opted to ignore that. "Stop hugging yourself and tell me what that guy's quirk is", he ordered, his tone leaving no place for a discussion. Izuku turned his head towards him with an exasperated expression.

"How should I know?! I'm not a m-mind reader!", he protested nervously. "You're the one who dodged his attack, you tell me what his quirk is!", he added, sounding braver than he actually felt. Had this interaction taken place a year before, he would have cowered back beneath Katsuki's intense, death-bearing glare and quite possibly apologized for his harsh words. Now, all he did was glare back; defiance etched in his features even though he was trembling from head to toe with pain.

"What's the point of your stupid notebooks then, if you can't even tell what that asshole's quirk is?", Katsuki argued, and honestly, it was so half-hearted it ended up sounding like he spat the words only for the sake of arguing. "You know what, forget it. Leave it to me, you jerk", he huffed under his breath, clicking his tongue with disdain at Izuku and focusing his attention back on the villain, who hadn't moved from his spot at the exit of the alley.

"You think this is a test?", Izuku asked hesitantly, the words sounding uncertain to his own ears. "Maybe he was sent by Aizawa sensei –", he tried to argue, but Katsuki was quick to interrupt him.

"Only if Aizawa sensei finally got sick of your tiring nerd bullshit and decided to give you a quick, pointless ending at the back of a dirty alleyway", he scoffed, annoyed. "That guy there was aiming to kill. You used to know better than that, Deku", he added, which for some reason upset Izuku more than any of Katsuki's previous malicious comments.

"S-Sorry", he apologized, not because Bakugou was being mean but because he was right. He wasn't thinking straight, and the pain in his arm was probably the major contributor to that. Possibly noticing for the first time something wasn't quite right with Izuku, given the boy’s ludicrous and uncharacteristic suggestion, Katsuki finally turned his head in order to stare him for a bit longer, truly looking at him this time, instead of simply glancing. After a few seconds of assessment that felt way more intimate than they should, Katsuki finally spoke up.

"If you can't help, then don't", he said harshly, but Izuku could tell there was something in his eyes that strayed from annoyance or defiance. It almost sounded like Katsuki was trying to be responsible, rather than just put him down for once. "Stay back and let me handle this. I've got it", he said the words of reassurance in a dry tone.

"Kacchan –", Izuku tried to protest, but Katsuki pushed the boy back behind himself before he could continue, a bit too roughly.

"Shut the fuck up, shitty Deku", he scowled, going back to sounding like his usual self, as if the rare moment of level-headedness had been nothing but a slip. "Bad enough you got yourself injured before the fight even started", he accused, taking a step away from Izuku and towards the villain. As Izuku blinked in surprise at the words, Katsuki gained his distance, approaching the villain faster than the boy’s pain-addled mind could comprehend.

"You're the one who broke my arm!", Izuku accused back, but Katsuki paid him no mind, halfway across the alley already. "Kacchan! Wait!", he shouted after his friend, following him close while still clutching the injured arm to his chest. Katsuki paid him no mind and continued forwards, where the villain remained impassive and unmoving.

"Move", Katsuki growled angrily at the villain blocking their way, standing mere feet away from the masked man. "Or I'll move you", he added with a dangerous smirk, igniting some explosions at the palm of his right hand as if to make a point. Midoriya caught up with Katsuki and stood beside him, staring at the villain with apprehension in his eyes.

“When I was told I would be facing training heroes tonight, I expected something…”, the villain said in a scornful tone, eyeing Katsuki and Izuku from head to toe. “… grander”, he concluded with something akin to disappointment in his voice. Izuku’s heart froze and he didn’t even have to look at Katsuki to know this wasn’t going to end well.

Eeh?!”, Katsuki growled with indignation, already starting to fume. Izuku let go of his injured arm and closed his good hand into a fist at his side, already allowing One For All to flow through his body in anticipation. It was obvious that a confrontation was about to ensue.

“Kacchan”, Izuku said with a warning in his voice, never removing his eyes from the villain.

“I’ll show you something grand, you bastard!”, Katsuki shouted right before sucker-punching the villain, explosions erupting from his hands and sending them both flying back. Izuku raised his good arm to protect his face from the blast, being shoved back by the sudden air dislocation caused by the explosion. Thankfully, he didn’t fall back or lose balance, which enabled him to jump at the villain right before he managed to retaliate Katsuki’s blow. Hitting the man’s face with a well-given kick, which had been perfected thanks to his Shoot Style, Midoriya fell back to the floor at the same time Katsuki launched himself towards the villain, a loud cry of “DIE!” echoing through the alleyway as he struck the man with a series of explosions.

The villain was busy enough with Katsuki’s powerful blows to focus on Izuku, who took the distraction to head towards the exit of the alley. He would never, in a million years, leave Kacchan behind or turn his back to a fight, but he needed to see if Aizawa sensei or anyone with a higher rank than them in UA were around. Much to his dismay, there was no one to be seen on the street, which made him recur to the communication device he and Katsuki had been provided with right before they left for their round.

“Does anyone copy?!”, Izuku shouted frantically into his communicator, over the loud sound of Katsuki’s explosions and screams of “die!”. “Aizawa sensei! We are under attack! There's a villain here! Do you co– Kacchan, watch out!”, he cut himself off as he saw the villain was about to use one of his energy beams to hit Katsuki. Neither of them knew what the energy beam did – it looked like Aoyama’s navel laser, but it emerged from his hands and was tinged in a red hue. Izuku figured it was better for them not to find out.

His reflexes reacted faster than his mind and Izuku grabbed the lid of a nearby trash can, sending it flying towards Katsuki and managing to make the metal serve as a shield right before the villain’s energy beam hit the boy in the stomach. The villain seemed surprised by this, whereas Katsuki only looked offended.

“You think I didn’t see that coming?”, he shouted angrily at Izuku at the same time he aimed another well-pointed explosion towards the villain. “I told you not to get in the way, shitty nerd!”, he dodged one of the villain’s blows.

“We need to work together!”, Izuku pointed out, stepping back into the fight even though his broken arm was hanging limply beside him. “That’s the whole point of this exercise, isn’t it?”, he gave Katsuki an almost pleading look, to which the boy responded with an unreadable expression in his angry eyes.

“This ain’t an exercise, kiddo”, the villain said with a smirk, dodging Katsuki’s attack with grace and attempting to retaliate to it. The boy jumped back before the villain’s hands could grab him. “I have orders to kill”, he smirked, right before attempting to attack Katsuki again.

“Who sent you?”, Izuku asked at the same time he propelled himself forwards with One For All, hitting the villain on the stomach with a powerful kick and launching him towards Katsuki, who, predicting Izuku’s movements, made an elaborate maneuver across the air and finally knocked the villain down with a precise explosion. The man fell to the floor on his stomach, battered, and as he weakly attempted to get back to his feet, Katsuki simply placed a foot on his back, pushing him back towards the floor and pinning him there.

“Was that grand enough for you?”, Katsuki asked with scorn, scoffing. The villain writhed pathetically as he attempted and failed to move.

“Who sent you?”, Midoriya insisted, stepping closer to the fallen villain and panting slightly. He wouldn’t dare to say it out loud lest he increase Katsuki's anger, but he was quite proud that their synchronized attack had actually worked. All Might was right – if they worked together, they could become the best heroes in Japan. “Why are you attacking UA students in training?”

“You’re with the League, aren’t you?”, Katsuki asked, scowling with disdain and pressing his foot down harder on the man’s back. “You guys are all about boasting, not as much about accomplishing your goals. That Shigaraki sent you after me again?”, he raised an eyebrow.

“No”, the villain said, but much to Izuku’s confusion there was actually… humor in his voice? “But I’m sure he’ll thank me for finally getting rid of your annoying ass”, he added.

Everything happened at once.

Thanks to the enhanced perception One For All granted him, Izuku was able to read the villain’s intentions before they happened. Time slowed down around him as the man raised his hand and reached for Katsuki’s leg. Izuku could tell Katsuki had captured the movement as well, but the explosive boy's reaction to it was slow, too slow. The villain’s hand was glowing. He was about to grab Katsuki. There was no telling what he would do. Katsuki wouldn’t be able to dodge or stop him in time.

“Kacchan!”, Izuku screamed as he used his power to launch himself towards his friend, pushing him away from the villain before he managed to grab the boy’s leg. He enclosed his good arm around Katsuki’s waist as he used the momentum from his jump to push them both away from the villain’s grasp, flying midair. Before they hit the ground, something hot and painful hit Izuku’s back, burning him so intensely he couldn’t help but to cry out.

Katsuki collided with the brick wall behind them harshly, knocking his skull with such force he blacked out. Izuku should have controlled the intensity of his jump better, but in his rush to get Katsuki out of the way, he ended up overdoing himself. When Katsuki regained his senses, god knows how long later, Izuku was lying on the top of him, face buried in his chest and not moving.

Katsuki groaned in discomfort and took a hand to the back of his head, not surprised when it came back covered in fresh blood. There was a constant throbbing in his temples now, his vision blurry and swimming. He felt a bit nauseous, but swallowed past the lump in his throat as he tried to move. Izuku’s deadweight was pinning him down, but Katsuki didn’t need to move much to notice that the villain was gone, the alley empty of anyone other than himself and Midoriya. Who still wasn’t moving.

“Hey”, Katsuki called with annoyance, shaking one of Izuku’s shoulders in the hope that he would wake up and get the hell off him for once. “Wake up, shitty nerd. Nap time is over”.

No response. Izuku continued to lie very still, body splayed on the top of Katsuki’s, pinning him down. His arms were spread limply beside him.

“What the fuck are you doing, Deku?”, Katsuki asked, shaking him again. The annoyance in his voice was growing with each passing second. “Get the fuck off. I might still be able to catch him”, he tried to push the boy away and free himself. Izuku simply rolled limply to the side when Katsuki pushed him, limbs splayed in an unnatural manner on the floor and head lolling uselessly to the side once he was off Katsuki. It was only then that it dawned on him.

Deku’s eyes were open.

His face was slack, stuck in a ridiculous expression that was a mixture of pain and surprise, lips parted slightly and eyes half-lidded. Beneath the lids, Katsuki found a familiar green which lacked its even more familiar liveliness. No, Deku’s eyes were cold and empty, deprived of its usual spark and emotion. Deku’s eyes were dead.

“D-Deku…?”, Katsuki said, voice hoarse and barely above a whisper. He was aware that his eyes were very wide, and that his face had probably been overtaken by a horrified expression. His hands hovered above Izuku’s body, mere inches from touching it but never actually making contact, as if he was afraid of what would happen if he did. On the floor, Deku continued to stare at nothing with parted lips and dead eyes. “This is not the time for jokes, you idiot”, Katsuki said, suddenly angry. In fact, anger seemed to be his first response to everything. “Stop fooling around. You’re wasting my time”, he added, hoping that the reality of the situation would make Deku quit playing games already and get back on his feet. There was a chance they could still catch the villain and figure out what his quirk was. There was a chance…

Oh, god. Deku had gotten hit by the villain’s quirk, hadn’t he?

He had pushed Katsuki out of the way and got hit himself.

God fucking damn it.

“Deku, wake the fuck up”, Katsuki ordered, grabbing the front of Izuku’s ridiculous uniform and shaking the boy. The way Izuku’s head simply lolled lifelessly in accord to Katsuki’s jolting movements was sickening, to say the least. “I’m serious, you asshole. Get up. Wake up. Come on”, he slapped a hand at the unmoving boy’s cheek, in the hope that it would urge some life into him or at least snap him out of his shock. Deku always responded to his aggressions, even if it was to needlessly apologize.

“Wake up”, Katsuki ordered, getting angrier by the second. His hands tightened into fists and he wished to beat the bloody life out of Deku, because he couldn’t be dead. There was no way in hell Deku was dead. Not like that. Not after all the trouble he went through to achieve and nurture his quirk. Not like that. “You goddamn piece of shit, wake the hell up!”, he found himself shouting at Deku’s face, never ceasing to shake him. He grabbed Deku’s shoulders and squeezed tight, aiming to hurt, aiming to make him react in some way. Any way. He jolted the boy again, making his limp head rattle. “Is this what you’re gonna do, huh?!”, Katsuki yelled angrily at the boy in his grasp. “Is this how you’re gonna go? You gonna let yourself be taken down by some D-lister? Is this the heir to All Might’s power?”, he accused angrily, not caring that someone could be hearing.

There was no one around. They were alone.

He was alone.

Deku was dead.

“Is this what you fucking wanted?”, Katsuki abruptly let go of Izuku’s body, making it fall back and collide heavily with the floor. His eyes were still open. His fucking green eyes. “Are you happy now? I bet you’re fucking having a laugh right now, huh?”, he sniffed. There were tears pooling in his eyes, but Katsuki knew better than to let them flow. There was no reason to. He didn’t even like stupid Deku in the first place, right? There was no point in crying for him. The nerd got what was coming for him, what Katsuki always warned him about.

God. He was dead. Because of him.

He felt nauseous. He felt sick. he probably had a concussion, which he convinced himself to be the reason behind his growing tears. Because there was no way he was crying because of Deku. Not Deku. Anyone but Deku. He wasn’t crying.

“You goddamn idiot”, Katsuki shook his head, voice breaking. Furious at the irrational display of weakness, he grabbed Deku by the shoulders again, having to control himself not to let explosions erupt from his hands in his emotive state. “You goddamn idiot! Why did you have to do that for, huh? Why did you have to play the martyr like you always do, fucking Deku? You fucking piece of shit, I hate you!”, he screamed at Izuku’s pale, slack face. “I hate you! You fucking moron, I hate you! I told you to stay the fuck back, I told you I had it! Why did you have to go and do that for, huh? I don’t fucking need you to save me! Stupid piece of shit!”, he shoved Izuku away from him, not bothering to look at the probably gruesome result of his harsh shove. Katsuki didn’t think he would be able to bear seeing Deku’s body splayed all twisted and askew on the floor like he was a doll. Like he was a… a deku.

Instead, he buried his face between his knees and shoved both hands at his hair, tugging and pulling at the strands at full strength at the same time he ignored the blood coating his fingers. He had hit his head. He had a concussion. There was a chance, albeit small, that he was just hallucinating this whole thing, that Deku was playing a sick prank on him, that this whole situation was just a bad dream resulting from that sicko’s quirk. He tried to regain his composure and squeezed his eyes shut for several moments, calming himself down. When he opened his eyes, it would all be gone, right? He just needed to think. He just needed… he just needed…

He opened his eyes, slowly turning his head to the side. Deku was lying still on the floor in the same position Katsuki had shoved him, on his side, arms stretched in front of him, legs twisted.

Lips parted.

Eyes open.

Face pale.

Katsuki stared at Izuku’s dead body, who seemed to be staring right back at him.

Katsuki stared.

Katsuki stared.

Katsuki gagged.

He turned as far away from Izuku and spilled the contents of his stomach on the floor, feeling dizzy and sick. He couldn’t tell if his nausea had been caused by his concussion or by the sight of a dead Izuku in front of him. Because of him. As much as he had always hated the nerd, he had never really wanted him to die. Not because of him, at least.

He crawled his way back to Deku’s side, sitting cross legged beside him and staring. His surroundings began to lose color and he was pretty sure he could feel the blood tricking down his neck and his back, from the injury on his head. That probably explained why he felt so dizzy, so lightheaded. So groundless. So lost.

He passed out at some point, never leaving Izuku’s side. He vaguely remembered the sound of a girl screaming and of orders being shouted, but by the time Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, and Aizawa sensei arrived at the scene, Katsuki was too far gone to pay them any mind.

“Bakugou”, the Half’n’Half bastard appeared in front of him, crouched so that he was directly in Katsuki’s field of vision. He was still sitting cross-legged beside Deku, since the little shit was refusing to wake up. Katsuki, in his concussion-addled head, figured he would just have to sit beside the stupid nerd until he decided naptime was over. “Bakugou, are you with me?”, Todoroki frowned, actually looking concerned.

“Deku-kun! Deku-kun!”, Round Face was screaming and sobbing from somewhere. Katsuki didn’t really mind her.

“He’s unresponsive”, Todoroki told someone behind Katsuki, not looking at him. “He must have a pretty bad concussion, if the amount of blood is anything to go by”.

Suddenly, Aizawa sensei appeared beside Todoroki, the impassive look on his face replaced by something more somber that Katsuki couldn’t quite name. He assessed his student for a few silent moments before finally addressing him.

“What happened?”, he asked simply. Briefly. Katsuki simply stared at him.

“We need to take him back, sensei!”, Uraraka sobbed loudly. “Recovery Girl is back there; she can fix him! We need to move Deku-kun!”

“Sensei, I agree”, Iida said, even though the grief on his face was evident. “There may still be… a chance, however small, that Recovery Girl…”

“Don’t talk like that, Iida-kun!”, Uraraka protested desperately. “She can fix Deku-kun! I know she can!”

“Stop it…”, Katsuki muttered, so low and so hoarsely that no one seemed to hear him.

“No one touches Midoriya until she arrives. I have already contacted her”, Aizawa sensei instructed, gesturing at the way Izuku’s body was lying all twisted and askew on the floor. “His spine could be broken and we wouldn’t want to aggravate it by moving him in the wrong way. Some things, not even Recovery Girl can fix”.

Right. All those people were bigger idiots than Katsuki first thought.

“But sensei, the longer we take to move Deku-kun…!”, Uraraka tried to protest.

“Stop”, Katsuki said, firmer this time. Half’n’Half seemed to hear him this time, but simply spared him an enigmatic look before turning to Uraraka. He seemed to be avoiding looking at Izuku's twisted body ever since he arrived, now that Katsuki thought about it.

“She’s right, I could try to slide him over there using my ice”, Half’n’Half suggested. “The longer we stay here waiting, less are the chances he’ll –“

“Not you too, Todoroki-kun!”, Uraraka cut him short before he could resume that thought. “We need to believe in Deku-kun! If anyone can get out of impossible situations, it’s him! I know he’ll make it! ‘Deku’ means he can do it!”

“Fucking stop it already, Round Face!”, Katsuki exploded, startling everyone around him. Uraraka turned to face him with wide, shocked eyes, as if she was noticing his presence there for the first time.

“Bakugou”, Aizawa sensei said, a warning in his tone. He reached out a hand to touch Katsuki’s shoulder, but the boy flinched away from the contact.

“Don’t”, he shook his head, ignoring how dizzy the movement made him.

“Bakugou-kun, I…”, Uraraka said, tear tracks evident on her red cheeks. She stared at Katsuki with the utmost confusion. “I don’t…”

“Stop it. Don’t call him that”, Katsuki said simply, offering no further explanation. “Just fucking don’t”, he scoffed bitterly, lowering his head. He swallowed dry, the disgusting taste of bile lingering on his tongue. He was getting dizzier and dizzier with each breath he took, reality feeling detached.

“B-But… I thought…”, Uraraka trailed off, unsure of what to say. Katsuki’s eyes were starting to droop and, from the look of him, it didn’t seem like he would be able to stay awake for much longer, if the gruesome state of his head was anything to go by.

“He didn’t break his spine” Katsuki announced simply, not meeting anyone’s eyes. He didn’t think he could if he wanted to. “You can move him. Not that it’ll be of much use, anyway”, he scoffed.

“Bakugou”, Aizawa sensei called again, sounding more serious now that his student had finally broke out of whatever trance had been preventing him from speaking moments before. “What happened?”

Katsuki’s head snapped up painfully at his teacher’s tone, anger, frustration and grief evident in his hazy crimson eyes. His face was paler than usual, but there was still an undying fierceness in him that didn’t seem to be leaving him anytime soon.

“He called you and you didn’t come”, he accused childishly. “That’s what happened”.

Everyone stared at him. The blood running down his neck and the way his eyes didn’t seem to be able to focus on anything only made the scene worse.

“He’s a fucking moron with no self-preservation whatsoever”, he added bitterly. “That’s what happened”.

Todoroki turned his head to the side and sighed, and Katsuki couldn’t tell if that was because he agreed with what he was saying or because he simply didn’t want to have to deal with Katsuki when he was like that. Aizawa sensei kept his eyes fixed on the explosive boy.

“I was here”, he added finally, a lump appearing in his throat. “And the guy was going for me. That’s what happened”.

Nobody said a word.

“If…”, Iida, the brave soul, was the one to finally break the almost tangible silence in the air, nervous. “If Bakugou is right and his spine isn’t broken, we should… We should move him”, he suggested finally.

Aizawa, eyes fixed on Bakugou, simply nodded.

“Ochako. Use your quirk to make Midoriya float. Todoroki, you guide him to the medical area”, he instructed simply, not looking at any of them as he spoke. His eyes were fixed on Katsuki and Katsuki alone. Katsuki, on the other hand, had his attention fixed on Izuku, and on the way his limp body began to float and the Half’n’Half bastard urged him towards the street, head turned away so that he wouldn’t have to face the unmoving boy and an alien look on his face making his brow twist. Something angry and irrational boiled inside Katsuki and, before he knew better, he was on his feet, swaying dizzily and pathetically as he tried to adapt to the blood loss and failed.

“Oi, Half’n’Half”, he called after Todoroki, who spared him an unreadable look. Katsuki was hardly able to stay on his feet and he knew he was about to collapse any minute now, but he still pointed an accusing finger at Todoroki and gave him the nastier glare he could muster. “If you hurt Deku, I’ll kill you”.

Katsuki was too out of it to notice the confused, pitying looks Uraraka and Iida sent him. None of them had the heart to correct him or judge him for his words, since he was clearly affected by blood loss and… by whatever it was he had witnessed in that alley. Todoroki simply nodded his head in acknowledgement to Katsuki’s words before resuming his task of taking Izuku to the Medical Area.

And then Katsuki collapsed.

Aizawa sensei managed to grab him before he could hit the floor, passing one of Katsuki’s arms around his shoulder and sustaining his weight into an upright position. Katsuki wanted to protest, but found he lacked the strength to. Everything around him was gray and swimming, and his tired eyes could no longer focus on anything. He felt a twist of embarrassment as his bloodied head lolled onto Aizawa sensei’s shoulder, but his limbs felt like lead and his tongue felt like cotton. He wouldn’t be able to deny his sensei's help, even if he could speak. Black and white spots danced in front of his vision, and he vaguely wondered how much blood he had lost.

And then.

“Oh my god, Kacchan! Are you ok? Kacchan, what happened to you?!”

There was only one person in the world who called him that.

Katsuki's droopy eyes widened slightly in shock and he used the last of his strength to turn his head around towards the source of that familiar voice, but just as his eyes connected with freckled cheeks and green, worried, lively eyes, his consciousness finally escaped him and he collapsed onto Aizawa sensei’s arms as his knees gave out.