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Bakugo always liked being by himself. It was easier that way, it was calmer that way. Being around others just made him fill with hatred and anger, and he discovered very young in his life that the only place he ever felt at home was in the forest.

 

He had left home properly about a year ago, but he still returned every once in a while to check in on his family, on his father. Running a village wasn’t something he wanted to do with his life, and his mother constantly berating him and breathing down his neck was suffocating. So he left.

 

Fighting had always come naturally to him. He had trained under veteran knights in his village, had learned how to use a sword as well as his own arm. Bakugo loved fighting more than he loved anything else in his life, loved the adrenaline, the feeling of popping in his hands and the thud of a beast’s body on the ground that signaled his victory.

 

Over his life, he’d fought hundreds of monsters. He’d fought giants, ogres, giant snakes, furry things with big, sharp teeth. But he’d never fought a dragon before.

 

Before, he’d thought they were extinct, myths. But standing in front of one now, he wasn’t so sure.

 

He blasted himself into the air partly because he wanted to get a better look, and partly because he had a sudden urge to beat the thing. He wanted to fight, to prove himself in a way he never had before.

 

The dragon roared when it caught sight of Bakugo, bared it’s huge white fangs and reached its claws out to swipe at him, but the sight just made Bakugo grin in excitement. He fired a blast behind him, shooting himself higher into the air, and then detonated a huge one down towards the dragon.

 

When the smoke cleared, Bakugo saw the thing recovering, having been knocked off balance and shaking its head.

 

Yes! This was his chance. He fired another blast above him this time, propelling himself down with one leg outstretched and landing a solid ass kick into the side of the dragon’s head. It toppled over more, its legs buckling as it worked to keep its balance.

 

Huh. Bakugo raised his eyebrow with disappointment. He thought a dragon would be a good enemy, ferocious, but Bakugo was beating this one almost as easily as he could a woodland creature.

 

He landed on the ground, and right when he did the dragon swiped at him with huge, sharp claws. Fuck, he was caught off guard.

 

“SHIT,” he cursed as he blasted himself up, dodging the attack as fast as he could. He was off balance, and he felt his cape catch on the talons and tear before he fell on the ground, his entire left side getting covered in dirt. He scrambled to his feet before the dragon could get another hit in, and blasted himself out of reach. His arms throbbed with the blast, and he scowled at his forearms.

 

He looked behind him at his cape to see the bottom of it even more torn up than it had been, two big holes at the edge of it. He turned towards the dragon with murderous eyes and his blood thudding in his ears. His hands clenched at his sides.

 

One more. He had one more explosion left in him. Make it count. He stepped back with one foot, the other bending to get himself in a strong enough stance to hold against the recoil, before he brought both of his palms in front of him, the explosion already collecting and glowing. His lips curled up in a deranged smirk.

 

“You tore my cape, you fucking asshole. Prepare to DIE.”

 

Then it caught, the blast bursting from his hands and almost knocking him backwards. His arms throbbed , but it didn’t matter. It was strong enough to do what he wanted. He shook his head, running towards the dragon, who had been blasted across the clearing and into a huge boulder.

 

It had hit it’s head, body thudding on the ground heavily enough that it slightly shook the earth at impact. Bakugo sneered, resisting the pain just enough to blast himself up and then landing superiorly on the dragon’s long nose. He smirked at it, drawing his sword confidently and pointing the edge directly between two glowing yellow eyes. One had a scar at the corner, curling like an eyelash. It blinked sadly at him.

 

He let his victory wash over him, confidence pouring from his body as he drew his shoulders back, sneering down at his prey. “I win.”

 

The dragon sighed, closing its eyes in defeat, when a weird orb suddenly appeared above their heads. Bakugo scowled, his forehead creasing in confusion. He hopped back onto the ground, rubbing his arms as he watched the light grow bigger, moving down to stand in between him and the dragon.

 

Out of the corner of his eye Bakugo saw the dragon’s body deflate in exhaustion, but it kept its eye on the light curiously.

 

“The fuck?” Bakugo growled. Did he have to destroy this thing too? His arms hurt, he needed a break. Damn it.

 

And then, suddenly, it felt like his entire chest and stomach was being grabbed and tugged forward, twisted and bundled together. Bakugo coughed, pain shooting through his entire body as he fell forwards onto his knees. His chest kept tightening and being pulled, like something was trying to pull him forwards by his gut. Ow. It hurt.

 

Bakugo looked up through squinted eyes to see the dragon also bent over, a deep growl coming from it’s chest and it’s claw coming up to clutch at its chest at the same place Bakugo was clutching his.

 

Then it stopped. Bakugo gasped in a breath, heard the dragon do the same. He lent forward, palms on the ground. His chest felt full, like there was something warm and heavy placed there, a warm stone.

 

The bond is formed. You are connected .” A smooth voice came from the light. It glowed big, impossibly bright, and Bakugo had to shut its eyes against it.

 

And then it was gone.

 

“WHAT THE FUCK!?”

 

Bakugo looked up, the dragon staring hard at the ground. Bond? What the fuck did that mean? What just happened? Why was there this weird stone suddenly in his chest?

 

Rage coursed through him. His blood started to boil, and he lifted himself off the ground, he was going to KILL that light.

 

He looked up, and as soon as his eyes met the dragon’s all the fight left his body.

 

They stared at each other, and somehow it felt like the rock in his chest started to feel warmer. Bakugo gulped.

 

Oh. That thing had done something, something that connected Bakugou and this huge, stupid dragon.

 

Okay...guess they’d have to find the light together. Bakugo took a deep breath, walking over to the dragon without breaking eye contact. He stood in front of it and puffed out his chest, his hands on his hips.

 

“Listen up. I'm assuming you can’t talk, but I’m pretty sure you’ve figured it out too. That stupid light did something to us, and we’re somehow connected now, which is dumb and annoying.” The dragon blinked at him.

 

“I don’t know how powerful this thing is, but I’d rather not find out what kind of bullshit will happen if we get separated, so you’re gonna come with me to find that thing and kill it. Deal?” Bakugo scowled. The dragon blinked again.

 

“Deal, fuck face?” He tried again. The dragon nodded its head.

 

Bakugo turned and started walking. He heard the dragon stand up and start following him not long after. He sighed.

 

They walked for a long time, the dragon correctly keeping his distance behind Bakugo. Although he wasn’t angry, he didn’t really want to be around anything living right now. The dragon could probably tell.

 

The silence was heavy, but Bakugo didn’t want to break it. Something in his gut twisted, telling him that the dragon behind him was uncomfortable. and maybe a bit sad even. He ignored it. He’d be rid of this and on his way soon enough.

 

They walked more. It felt like each step they took made the air thicken, the silence almost fucking suffocating. Ugh.

 

Jesus ,” Bakugo growled, stopping in his tracks and turning around. As soon as the words left his mouth, the thick air dissipated. The dragon looked surprised.

 

“What is it? Fucking quit pouting. It’s annoying,” Bakugo glared at him. The dragon just stared at him.

 

Bakugo quirked one of his eyebrows in my impatience. The dragon snapped out of its staring, shaking its head. Oh yeah. Dragons can’t talk.

 

Bakugo sighed, bringing his hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose. The rock in his chest got heavier. Ow.

 

He was used to magic, didn’t really know anything else. His family had been blessed with magic powers for generations-as leaders they needed it. Bakugo could make explosions from his palms, to an extent. He was a warrior, and he’d encountered hundreds of different types of magic, but nothing quite like this. Things that hurt him on the outside sure, but not on the inside.

 

This kind of magic was dumb . How was this supposed to work if they couldn’t even talk? Bakugo couldn’t find this thing on his own if this connection was going to keep fucking him up and weighing him down.

 

“What’s your name?” Bakugo muttered. Maybe he could at least try that?

 

No answer. The dragon cocked its head at him. UGH.

 

“Whatever. Let’s go.”

 

They walked. It felt like hours passed this time, but there was no more of that awful suffocating air within the silence between them. Thank god.

 

The dragon suddenly trotted up to walk next to him, a small smile on its face. It was huge, a red beast that towered over Bakugo. He didn’t like feeling so small. Bakugo glared up, clicking his tongue.

 

“What are you doing?” He growled. “Don’t fucking walk in front of me, asshole!”

 

The dragon glanced down at him smugly before turning his head to the road and taking off in a sprint.

 

“FUCKER!” Bakugo shouted, reaching behind himself and firing off a few blasts to launch himself forward.

 

Bakugo chased behind the dragon, a smile on his face as they ran. The dragon led him into the forest, and they dodged the tall trees and bushes, hopping over stones like an obstacle course.

 

They came upon a clearing, kind of. A clearing would be generous. It was a lake, a huge pond with clear, dark blue water. There were tall trees all around it, hanging over and blocking it off from the rest of the world.

 

Bakugo looked up at the dragon, it’s face content looking at the lake. Had it been here before? Was this like…. the dragon’s house?

 

“Hey-“

 

The dragon took off, flapping its wings once- just enough to launch into the air and dive into the water. Okay then.

 

Bakugo didn’t want to get wet. Water was cold and ruined the fur lining on top of his cape. He looked around, and decided a tree would be his best bet at avoiding a giant splashing idiot dragon.

 

He opted to climb instead of blasting himself up. For some reason exploding something felt like it might ruin the mood right now.

 

He sighed when he got up, settling on a high branch that hung over the river. He had a full view of the river, and of the dragon. He looked down at it, splashing around, it’s red body almost taking up the entire lake. It was long, wide. Its wings were smaller than Bakugo thought a dragon’s would be.

 

The dragon made a happy noise before plunging its head into the water, jumping and splashing. It rolled around, long tail flailing and a huge smile on its face.

 

Cute, Bakugo thought. His whole body stiffened as soon as the thought crossed his mind. Gross. This was a dragon, they were dangerous and assholes and Bakugo didn’t want anything to do with it.

 

Even if it did kind of seem like an oversized puppy, right now.

 

Bakugo looked away with a scowl, staring at the dark green leaves around him. He pushed all thoughts of the dragon out of his mind.

 

They were there for a long time. Bakugo, for some goddamn reason unknown to him, didn’t mind sitting up high while the dragon splashed happily beneath him. He leaned back against the trunk of the tree, crossing his arms and ankles and closing his eyes, just enjoying the shade and the stupid content feeling in his bones.