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Meant to Be

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Bakugou loves it when they put up a fight.

To the villain’s credit, he’d only meant to rob a single bank that night. Poor bastard must be down on his luck, resorting to his most primal instincts to get by and survive. Bakugou has read his file a few times. The villain’s identity is still currently unknown, as kept secret by the mask obscuring his face. He’s responsible for a string of bank robberies over the past couple weeks. He has a routine. Works solo. Waits until around midnight to strike.

He hasn’t harmed anyone- yet, that is. But his quirk could potentially prove lethal if provoked. Judging by the terrified expression on his face, Bakugou figures it just might come to that.

The villain’s eyes dart around, searching frantically for an escape. He was so close to getting the bank’s vault open… Now he’s willing to cut his losses and get the hell outta there at any cost. Anything to avoid arrest and being caught.

Nothing is more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose.

“Don’t move,” Bakugou orders, closing in on the target. “It’s all over for you, asshat. Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way-”

Backed into a corner, the criminal curses in despair then jolts forward as a bright force field manifests from the electrifying flash of his palm, aimed directly for the young pro hero blocking his exit.

Bakugou manages to dodge the blast at the last second, readying himself for retaliation.

Hard way it is then.

“Get away from me!” the villain yells in desperation. “Or the next one will rip you in half!”

Bakugou is unfazed by what he perceives as idle threats. All he can think before shooting a steady projectile to subdue his target is how much of a waste the villain’s quirk is.

The force field is incredibly powerful; durable enough to withstand several of his own blasts. It’s also capable of expelling and isolating objects within an impressive radius of several meters. Could’ve been useful in rescue missions, or you know, anything more productive than robbing banks.

A smaller explosion fails to restrain the would-be thief, let alone penetrate the force field. Bakugou is quick to remember one helpful detail from the reports. The force field only lasts for a few seconds, and the criminal has to wait to create a new one after dropping the first.

It’s a small window of opportunity to catch the thief. Question is: Can Bakugou do so without causing major bodily harm to the villain?

Given his track record thus far with damage claims and the like, probably not. The agency is gonna have his ass if he goes overboard with the violence, but it’s all about progress not perfection. He’s certainly not intending to kill the guy, but he’s willing to get chewed out if he just so happens to get sent to the slammer with maybe a broken leg.

Oops.

The force field fades, dissipating into grey smoke. Bakugou doesn’t have so much as five seconds to strategize his next move before the inevitable. He’s willing to gamble on his own reflexes and dashes relentlessly ahead to close the distance between them.

To his surprise, the villain fixates his attention elsewhere; toward some mysterious figure emerging from the shadows.

Wispy fumes of pearly mist emanate from beyond Bakugou’s field of vision, but he already knows full-well who has graced them with their presence.

Her presence, rather.

“What the hell?!” the villain shrieks. “What kind of sorcery is this?!”

Bakugou pauses for a moment, braces himself for a single shot. He catches a small glimpse of the image projected in front of the villain and rolls his eyes with a disdainful grunt.

An exact replica of Ground Zero himself blocks the alternate escape route, with the clever illusionist shielded behind the projection in a thick layer of mist.

“Back off,” the illusion-version of Bakugou barks.

After face-palming himself, the real Bakugou quickly steadies his aim and fires a perfectly timed AP shot toward the delirious criminal. He flies into the air until his back slams against an adjacent wall, rendering him unconscious.

Lights out, Bakugou thinks with a smirk, approaching the incapacitated villain with intent to arrest.

He can sense the mysterious figure’s presence before she’s able to hurl any sort of tasteless joke his way, but doesn’t bother to turn around in acknowledgement.

“You’re late, Camie,” he tells her. “Almost had no choice but to completely fry this one.”

“Mmmmm, sorry ‘bout that, Baku-bro,” she replies in her most sultry voice. “But I was half-way across town. Real gentlemanly of you to start without me, by the way.”

Bakugou snorts at that, then finally turns to face her. “Mind giving me a heads up next time?”

“’Bout what?” Camie asks, tilting her head. “Being late?”

Bakugou shakes his head. “About your little illusion freakshows,” he clarifies.

Camie lets out a laugh. “OMG, you’re totes salty that I used you as my muse again.”

Sure, her impromptu plan worked. Creating an illusion of Bakugou had succeeded in convincing the villain there were two Ground Zeros coming for his ass, thus allowing for an easy capture.

More laughter follows suit before Camie offers an idea truly fitting of her character. “You, my dude, seem kinda tense. You oughtta lighten up a little.”

Bakugou hates to admit she’s right. It’s been a rough week, and he definitely feels overworked as hell.

“After we take care of this troublemaker,” Camie continues, “we should go out and get turnt.”

Bakugou rolls his eyes. It’s crazy to think he used to have to do mental acrobatics to understand what she was saying half the time. Luckily, their communication has improved greatly since their school days, even more so now that they’re partners and work for the same hero agency. They’ve worked on countless assignments together and, given their history, the results have earned them much-needed brownie points for their careers.

Or at least, that’s how Camie describes it. Brownie points.

In spite of his wasted efforts to work alone, he figures if he has to work with someone, Camie had always been his go-to. It’s obvious to the higher-ups that they make a great team, and while he’d never say it out loud, Bakugou is kind of relieved to have someone he can at least somewhat tolerate as a crime-fighting partner.

Fuck, she’s pretty much his only friend. She and Kirishima, of course. (And maybe a few of those assholes from U.A.)

He nudges the unconscious villain not-so-gently before responding to her proposition. The bastard is still knocked out. Good.

“Get turnt?” he pries, having only a vague understanding of the god-awful term. “The fuck is that?” It’s a pain in the ass to keep up with this lingo.

Camie sighs, twisting the fawn-colored strands of her hair playfully. “Come on, Katsuki. Everybody knows what that means,” she teases. “Ya know, like party and get wasted, tipsy-”

“Okay, I get it,” Bakugou interjects. He considers her suggestion when he remembers how awful his week was. He could probably use a few drinks to get his mind off things. He and Camie have gone out after particularly gruesome days at work before so it’s not like he expects anything spectacular or out of the ordinary to happen.

The night will wash over in predictable fashion; he and Camie will get slightly plastered, talk about random shit, and then go their separate ways to sleep it all off.

Bakugou spares one last glance at the villain still snoozing on the ground, ready to call it a day. With a huff he looks back at his partner, hands on his hips.

“Sure, whatever, Illusions,” he concedes. “Let’s get outta this shithole first.”


 

The bar is a bit more crowded than Bakugou would’ve liked, but the booze is strong enough to distract him from that little detail.  His thoughts are clouded, like he’s mentally tiptoeing on the awkward line between just tipsy and solidly drunk.

Camie isn’t nearly as drunk but she’s not exactly sober either. Her hips sway to the beat of the music, a little out of sync but she’s enjoying herself.

“Bakubro,” she shouts, leveling her voice to match the loud setting. “Dance with me!”

Bakugou can see what’s going on at the dancefloor across the way, and he wants no part of it.

“I don’t dance,” he insists, downing the rest of his drink in one fell swoop. “Especially not with strangers.”

“I ain’t no stranger,” Camie persists. “Sounds like you’re not drunk enough yet.” She orders them both a couple extra shots of schnapps, to which Bakugou perceives as a challenge.

“You don’t think I can handle two more shots?” he scoffs.

“I know you,” Camie smirks, lifting the first glass. “And I totes out-drink you every time we go out.”

Bakugou furrows his brow. The audacity of this chick is mind-blowing. “You ready?” he taunts. “Or are you just gonna keep running your mouth?”

Without even bothering to countdown like they normally do, they throw back the first shot almost in unison, then the second right after. From there it’s merely a waiting game. A competition of who will feel the effects first.

Bakugou grimaces slightly, the sting of the alcohol sliding down his throat as he slams the second shot glass down on the counter.

Camie appears unfazed through it all, the playful smile resurfacing to her pearly pink lips. It’s a shade lighter than her usual lipstick, Bakugou notices. Why he’s even noticed such a thing is beyond him, but his eyes certainly find it an interesting sight.

Oh shit. Now he’s starting to feel it. The warm fuzziness, the slight dizziness, the distant fading of the music.

Camie pulls out the vanity mirror in her purse and inspects her makeup, ensuring everything has remained intact. Her inspection renders her oblivious to the man sitting next to her on the adjacent barstool, eyes sweeping over her with seemingly predatory intent.

Bakugou’s vigilance catches the creeper in the act, but before he can drag Camie away to safety, the creeper has already made his move.

“Well hello there, miss,” he greets. “You look like you could use a drink.”

His attempts at flirting are futile. “Got that covered,” Camie replies, sparing only a single glance. Thanks, but no thanks.

Creepy guy does his best to mask his pained masculinity and drifts away from the bar, disappearing into the crowd. “Whatever.”

Bakugou finds at least one thing amusing. Watching Camie turn down all these desperate losers is the fucking best. Sometimes she’ll tag on a clever one-liner to drive away even the cockiest of gents. And the looks on their faces, utter humiliation and defeat, practically feeds Bakugou’s soul.

It’s different with his other female acquaintances. The few times he’s gone out with old classmates like Uraraka, Yaoyorozu, and Ashido similar situations have transpired. Some creepy guy tries to hit on them, and after being rejected he goes on a butt-hurt rant like it’s personal.

Which is when Bakugou promptly knocks them out with a single jab to the face. Boom. Problem solved.

But with Camie, he doesn’t have to resort to such tactics. She handles it all on her own; even prefers it that way. And she implements a different strategy each time. (It's always a treat to see her put on quite the show using her quirk.)

Bakugou finds it curiously fascinating.

He wants to tell her that, but postpones the task in favor of other priorities.

“I gotta take a leak,” he blurts out, words slurred. “I’ll be back.”

“Ugh,” Camie groans, rolling her eyes. “’Kay, but when you get back, we’re heading straight to the dancefloor.”

Bakugou swerves away, pretending like he didn’t hear the last part of her statement.

When he returns from the restrooms, he’s faced with yet another dilemma.

Creepy guy still hasn’t gotten the message, thwarting another barrage of attempts to flirt with Camie as if their previous encounter was only a warmup.

Bakugou makes his way back to the bar, balling his fists in preparation to dole out the creeper’s much-needed beating. As he nears their position, the conversation finally becomes audible.

“Careful there,” Camie warns. “My boyfriend is the jealous type and probably wouldn’t appreciate you putting the moves on his girl.”

When Bakugou arrives at her side, he realizes a little too late that he probably walked in at the worst possible time.

“Isn’t that right, babe?” Camie coos, welcoming his presence with mischief rooted in her eyes.

Oh, fuck. She’s playing that card tonight. The ‘I already have a boyfriend’ card- and in this case, her boyfriend is Bakugou.

He’s your boyfriend?” creepy guy scoffs, sizing his rival up.

Bakugou doesn’t like the looks of this guy. Option B (aka knocking the guy’s teeth out) is still a viable option, but Camie winks at him, like she has a trick up her sleeve and wants him to play along.

If he were sober, he’d already have blasted creepy guy across the room, but given his current dizzy state, he opts to indulge in Camie’s masterful ways. Her gift in manipulation is practically art.

“Damn right,” Bakugou grunts, partly expecting the whole charade to end there. “Now fuck off.”

Creepy guy squints suspiciously back and forth between Camie and Bakugou, not quite believing they’re an actual couple.

“I’m calling bullshit,” is an outrageous claim the creepy dude has the audacity to make. To their fucking faces. Goddamn, the guy is persistent. Perhaps it’s merely liquid courage that aides in his quest to seduce Camie- but it’s also the same liquid courage that’s gonna result in his ass-whooping.

Bakugou is about to say ‘Fuck it’ and slam his fist into creepy guy’s jaw, but Camie’s next move stops him from achieving such satisfaction.

Without warning, she pulls Bakugou close to her and leans in, pressing her lips softly against his. Surely there was an easier way to get rid of this dude, one that didn’t involve making out with his best friend. But his head is buzzing with alcohol and his chest is warm and his heart skips a beat as Camie deepens the kiss. She raises her hand to cup Bakugou’s cheek and slides the other down from his shoulder and along his torso, teasingly so.

Bakugou can only hope the loud music swallows the sound of his erratic heartbeat, and that Camie hasn’t heard or somehow felt the vibrations against his tense muscles. Was that shit even possible? Any coherent thoughts were quickly discarded as soon as Camie sucked gently at his bottom lip. His brain promptly gives up working.

All too soon, Camie pulls away, lipstick a little smeared from the aftermath of the kiss. He may never actually recover. This was it. Mark the date and time.

Shit.

Bakugou’s still a little out of it even after Camie grabs him by the hand, dragging him to the dancefloor. When he comes to, he sees creepy guy sulk in defeat, speechless and forlorn.

“See ya!” Camie calls, waving a casual farewell with Bakugou in tow.

The shock from yet another one of Camie’s crazy-as-fuck plans has mostly subsided. Before they disappear from view, he’s sure to flip the bird at creepy guy before being dragged away to oblivion.

The dancefloor sucks- just as Bakugou knew it would. There’s too many people and the insufferable heat has a few patrons drenched in sweat. A strobe light flashes in sporadic intervals, blinding and (in some ways) unflattering. The music blares through the speakers overhead, and Bakugou recognizes the beat from some song Camie likes. He’s not even dancing really- and it’s not until Camie tugs on his arm like she’s his puppet master that he finally moves his feet.

Camie on the other hand is clearly enjoying herself. She’s laughing, moving her hips, and practically dancing around Bakugou in circles. Without a care in the world, she throws her hands up in the air, hair whipping behind her frivolously. The bass drops and she nearly bumps into someone, but luckily Bakugou catches her in time before any damage can be done.

He pulls her in close, arms encircling her delicate frame. God, this woman is tiny.

“You okay?” he asks, surprised by his own reflexes in spite of his tainted sobriety.

Camie’s reply is muffled. “Mmmpphhhh.”

Bakugou looks below and realizes her face is pinned against his chest, inadvertently smothering her. Flustered, he releases her and steps back to give her some air.

Camie giggles. “Good looking out,” she says, smiling. She’s back to dancing without missing a beat, losing herself to a whir of electronic music and flashing lights. Then she reaches for his hand; an invitation of sorts.

Bakugou obliges and slips his hand with hers, conceding to the palpable atmosphere and his alcohol-fueled condition. Everything else seems out-of-focus in this moment; a bit hazy, transcendent.

He’s fine like this. Just fine.