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Misery Business

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What the fuck?

Bakugou couldn’t believe what he’d heard. In all of his years of hero service, he’d never seen a crime as ludicrous as this. He stared at Mori Akita - Chief of Security of Japan, with his mouth agape. There was absolutely no way that he’d heard that right.

“You’re telling me this villain walks in this country’s most well guarded bank-” He repeated the man’s earlier words.

“Yes.” Akita replied in a flat tone.

“Asks politely for the money and they… they just fucking give it?!” He barked, eyes narrowing into slits. “Shit- That’s… Just what the fuck?!”

“Indeed.” He sighed, adjusting the tie on his neck. “I’d like to show you what the cameras captured. I pray you’ll find it useful.”

“Doubt it.” Bakugou angrily sat on the chair, crossing his arms and tapping his fingers against his biceps. “I take it since you’ve called for me, there’s not much to go by.”

“We shall see.” He sighed, pressing down the play button. 

 


 

“So… where were those keys again?” You leaned against the mahogany counter, batting your eyelashes.

“I’ll t-take them t-to you!” The employee stammered, cheeks flushed red. “P-Please, wait here!”

Piece of cake.

You whistled, waiting for the man’s return. Donned in your villain costume; black latex suit, leather boots and a fox mask – one would expect any passerby to recognize the danger of your presence and start calling for help. Especially while you were obviously there to steal money.

When one had a quirk like yours, however, there wasn’t any need to hide. Not when people welcomed you so warmly.

“H-Here you go m-mam’!” The sputtering man came back with the keys, eager to please. “Can I show you where the vault is?”

“That’d be wonderful.” You sent him a sly smile, following the man through the long grey hallways.

“Would you l-like me to fill the bags for you?”  After pulling open the 50-inch steel door, the poor man panted like a dog.

“Aren’t you a little angel!” You patted his cheeks, causing him to sweat even more than before. “I would be so, so very glad.”

And like a man possessed, he began filling the sacks with piles and piles of money.

You had to admit, this was much, much easier than what you’d expected. When you’d revised your plans, you’d expected to run into some trouble - considering at least a dozen of unexpected variables and scenarios. Turns out, even high-security banks like these had weak points you could exploit. They were minimal, of course, with the sheer level of precautions they'd taken. Most manners of physical quirks were rendered useless – explosions, flames, super strength and telekinesis even. Too bad that reinforced walls and infrared signals did nothing to deter you.

Brute force just wasn't your style.

Rapidly, the vault began to empty - your bag starting to fill up to the brim. The cheap sack struggled to maintain the money inside, stretching until its seams were almost ripping. So much money and you'd barely broken a sweat stealing it. Well, not counting the ridiculous amounts of research you'd done beforehand. You leaned against the walls, humming to yourself a tune. ‘A necessary effort in order to pull the right strings. Or the right puppets.

Influencing others in ways no one would ever notice was almost an almost subconscious action with how often you did it. A little bit of your quirk here and there, and it was like all doors opened to you. Effortlessly, you played people like fiddles - and they were more often than not happy for it. Ignorance was bliss, was it not?

You glanced at the cameras, not really worried about any guard calling out heroes on you. You’d managed to use your quirk on them too, so they’d be pliable for a few hours at least. Enough time for you to get the money and escape. There wasn't a lot of fuss involved, at least not until the effects of your power wore off. Your quirk wasn’t as omnipotent as one would think, and the people watching the footage from the cameras afterwards would know that. In fact, they better see it. Your career debut had to be nothing short of dramatic.

This heist was ballsy. It had to be if you wanted to make an impression; even if it put you in considerable risk of getting caught. However, as long as the heroes didn’t find how your quirk worked specifically, you’d pretty much get off Scot-free.

“H-Here it is!” The boy gestured at the bags, his attire absolutely drenched in sweat. “W-Will you come again to see me?”

“Absolutely.” You winked, hoisting the sacks over your shoulder, only to almost keep over with the weight. Holy fuck was it heavy. “See you later!”

You walked through the hallways and out of the bank. Even though the place was packed, from businessmen to police officers - nobody batted an eye, keeping on to their daily lives as if you hadn’t just wiped clean at least half the reserves of the safe. The guard even waved at you on the way out.

Gracefully shoving the large sacks of money in the trunk of your van, you waved back, a wicked grin curling the corners of your mouth.

“I can’t believe it!” You laughed, plopping down on the driver’s seat. “Heroes? Preposterous! The only thing I smell around is the sweet scent of victory!” Turning on the ignition, the vehicle sputtered to life, and away you drove from your very first heist.

“Maybe I can finally retire this bad boy. Buy a new shiny car…” You chuckled, fumbling for the radio. Your hands shook with excitement. Turning the channels was a bit harder than usual. “Oh, who am I kidding. No way I can get rid of you when we’ve gone through so much together.”

The transmission whizzed to life – and though the static distorted a bit of the audio, you could hear the voices clear as a bell. The reporter spoke incredibly fast, the poor woman barely breathing as she related the news of an unprecedented theft. In the middle of the day, in the most well-secured bank of the country, with zero resistance. Stocks were dropping by the second, politicians enacting emergency meetings, and even the most infamous Hero Agency was getting in the whole shtick. The whole nation shaken to its very core.

You whistled, changing the channel to a funky 50’s song.

“All in a day’s work.” You plopped a bubble-gum inside your mouth, steering the vehicle away from the chaos that erupted inside the city. Your mind wandered to the employee who was victim of your quirk.  “Poor guy. I hope he doesn’t get in a lot of trouble because of me.”

 


  

Now tell me why the fuck you did it or I’ll blow your head off!” Bakugou slammed his hands against the metal table, nitroglycerin smearing its surface. The man squeaked, cowering into his chair, only for the chains binding him to the table deter his movement.

“I swear to God I don’t know!” He cried out, eyes wide with fear. “S-She… just came there and asked me to do it and I don’t know why I did it but I did!” He began to weep, limbs trembling like a newborn fawn. “It felt right to do it at the time! S-She looked t-trustworthy?! L-Look, I know it sounds stupid, but I swear I’m telling the truth!”

Bakugou ground his teeth together, abruptly turning to leave the interrogation room. He shut the metal door behind him, glaring bitterly at the pink woman standing behind the one-way mirror.

“Told ya he didn’t know anything.” She chimed in, a smug smirk donning her face. Bakugou threw a calendar at her, which she effortlessly dodged. “Your aim’s getting bad too, eh?”

“Piss off.” He replied, leaving the room. “I need a fucking drink. Call me if you find out anything about this whole fucking mess.”

“Sure thing!” Ashido Mina waved away at him, filing away the last of the day’s paperwork before the closing off the Agency for the day. “Try not to get hammered this time around, right? We’re gonna need you tomorrow!”

“Whatever.” He huffed, clicking impatiently the button to the ground floor.

The elevator music did nothing but aggravate his mood. The calming melody a striking contrast to the bubbling fury that raged beneath his skin. He resisted the urge to explode the stereo right then and there.

If there was one thing he missed from U.A., was his ability to blow shit up without having much repercussion. He never realized how destroying things did wonders to him emotionally until he became a pro hero. Eventually, Bakugou had to find out the hard way that there was no leeway to blasting private property into smithereens - unless it’d been an unavoidable consequence of a villain fight.

But even then, the amount of bureaucracy involved due to collateral damage was ridiculous.

So instead of blowing up the stupid speakers, Bakugou just glowered at them. If a villain ever attacked the Agency, he knew what he was going to explode first.

The metal doors opened with a ping, the ground floor stretching wide in front of him. Civilians and heroes alike filled the floor, stacked like sardines in between the glass windows. A cacophony of yelling and arguing echoed from virtually every spot of the room, the noise so loud that his ears hurt just from being in its vicinity.

The enraged masses circled the elevators leading upwards into the offices - only thing preventing them from storming into the Agency being a few disgruntled heroes who feebly attempted to salvage the situation.

“Bakugou!” A red-haired man called in distress, trying to contain the crowd of people nearby. “Can you lend a hand here for a sec’?”

“No.” He deadpanned, causing Kirishima to sigh in defeat. He was in one of those moods again.

“Oh don’t go there-” Red Riot tried to warn, but by then, his friend was too far away in the mob to be able to hear him. “Man… The press is going to have a field day with this.”

Bakugou waded through the distressed citizens like oil floated through water. Sensing his bad mood, those who were wise enough stepped away from the man’s path as if their lives depended on it – which, according to the hero’s infamy, was a fear not so unfounded.

Or at least, that was the tale the media had decided to spin.

It didn’t matter how much he told the press that they were making wrong assumptions of himself. It was like their opinion never changed. Eventually, Bakugou realized that they’d do anything to find themselves a good story – even if they had to make up one themselves.

Bakugou hissed as a light flared on his face, for a second blinding his eyes. He quickly raised his forearm over his face to block the camera’s intrusive flash, cursing inwardly as a sea of reporters and journalists swarmed him.

“Ground Zero! What do you have to say about this afternoon’s robbery?” One man shoved a microphone in his face, to which he very politely slapped away.

“Do you have any clues about who this new villain might be?” Another one stepped in between his tracks. More flashes flooded his vision – his patience dwindling with each click of the camera.

“Fuck this shit.” He muttered under his breath, swatting the reporters away from him. At that point, he couldn’t care any less about behaving professionally, and straight up ran towards his motorcycle.

The swarm tried to follow, of course. But against a pro-hero, it was not like they had any remote chance of catching up. Bakugou smirked, revving up the engine of his Cruiser. The sound was music to his ears, the smell of gasoline reinvigorating.

He zipped through the streets, wind pulling on the sleeves of his jacket and the locks of unruly hair. He knew the city like the back of his hand, so he took his time in listening to the sounds of the metropolis’s beating heart – the mindless drone of the cars, the chatter of strangers in the night, the drunken stupor of the resident night owls. The ride was over too quick, as it always was, when he stopped before his favorite bar. Sparing a last glance at his motorcycle, Bakugou went through the door.

The undeniable scent of cheap alcohol and cigarette assaulted his nostrils. He breathed in the disgusting smell with a smile on his face.

Bar’s Might’ was, at first, just a random pub he’d found during one of his patrols with Kirishima back when they were just newbies. They ended up going in for the hell of it, the stupid name taking a chuckle or two out of them. Turns out that, despite their awful collection of liquor, it was the perfect place to wind down after a long day of work.

No nosy reporters, no annoying fans, no intrusive waiters, no bullshit.

Bakugou sat down on the bench near the bartender’s counter, the tension from his muscles beginning to fade.

You look like you need a drink.” You raised an eyebrow, sipping at your drink absently. You called out at the bartender. “Give this man the strongest stuff you got!” When the man went for the drinks hidden on the bottom of the shelf, you called him out. “No, no, no - I said the strongest stuff, not the cheapest!”

“The fuck you want?” Red irises locked with yours, a single eyebrow raised in suspicion.

“Sheesh.” You clicked your tongue, setting the empty glass on the counter. “Can’t a lady help a gal out just for the sake of it? Seriously, you look like your soul decided to take a trip to the underworld and then left your body behind.”

“…That fucking obvious, huh?” He laughed flatly, leaning his elbows against the counter.

You shrugged, closing your eyes as you drank in his scent. “I prefer to think I’m good at reading people.”

And what an easy book he was. You sensed him the very second he passed through the doors - your brain going into immediate alert. Ire, determination, tenacity, all rolled up in a tight bundle with pretty eyes and a bad personality. This was the kind of person one shouldn’t trifle with, but then again, neither were you.

Cunning, pragmatic, brutally efficient; you didn't meddle with things that didn't matter to your goals, or that didn't give you an edge in some shape or form. Normally, you wouldn't have ever approached the stranger (he was too angry and you were too spent to deal with him), but something instigated you to make conversation. Perhaps it’d been kinship that made you approach him, or the exquisite scent that he exhaled. Maybe it was just plain curiosity. Regardless of the motive, now that you’d talked to him, your intuition told you there was something about this man that could prove useful to you. And your instincts never lied. It took barely a second for you to understand why it'd pointed you at his direction.

This guy was a top dog.

It showed in the way he portrayed himself; hinting you to the fact that he likely belonged in the higher echelons of society, despite his foul language. The poor acted meekly, even when they were calm, which this man was anything but – he exhaled confidence like a peacock showed its feathers. Indeed, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume that this person was either rich or very influential.

Not like the shiny Rolex on his wrist didn’t tip you off or anything.

'Lucky me!'  You smirked. 'I just happen to be very interested in emptying these pretty little pockets.'

It wouldn't even be hard. Buy him some drinks, flirt a little here and there, get him to unwind and trust you a little. Use your quirk if he's too stubborn, and while he wasn't looking, snatch that big, fat wallet of his. If this guy was as rich as you suspected, then it wasn't like this little accident would trouble him in any way. And in case it did, well... that wouldn't bother you regardless. Wealthy idiots like him deserved it for stealing from the poor anyway.

“If you’re that smart-” He grabbed the absinthe the bartender slid to him, downing it in one go. “You’d know what I want at the moment.”

“You want to be left alone.” You definitely were playing with fire. “And you want to get rid of some stress.”

Congratulations! ” He growled. "Now follow your own damn advice and leave me the fuck alone."

You tapped your fingers against the counter, observing the man in minute detail. From the manner he scratched the nape of his neck when the collar of his shirt rode too high, or how his muscles tensed every time the something flashed on the old TV screen. He obviously noticed your shameless staring, but purposefully ignored it in hopes you’d let him be.

Fat chance of that.

“Pal’, drinks on this one are on me alright?” You called the bartender once more, pointing at the blonde bombshell sitting next to you.

“Seriously, why the fuck are you doing this?” He swiveled on his seat, his expression a mix of skepticism and annoyance. “If you want a picture or some shit, know that I’m not in the mood.”

“I don’t want anything from you.” The lie flowed easily from your tongue.

“Not gonna cut it.” He interrupted you, drinking a shot of whisky. He slammed the frail glass against the counter, evidently irked by your incessant talking. “You’re gonna need a better excuse.”

This one is going to be a though nut to crack.’ You smirked involuntarily, the challenge thrilling you. ‘I’ll just have to play my cards right, then. Maybe a little honesty won’t hurt.’

“You obviously had a rough day. I can relate to that, having had an awful lot of bad days myself.” You glanced at your own reflection at the counter. “I always wished some kind stranger would show up and help me out. That’s why.”

Silence stretched between you, and for a second you thought you’d lost your chance.

“…Fine.” He huffed, seemingly satisfied with your answer, before waving the bartender over for more drinks. “Don’t come complaining about the bill later.”

“Oh, I won’t.” You chuckled impishly. “Let’s just say I landed myself a promotion.” You caught a glance of yourself on the newsflash through the grainy TV.

“Turn off that crap.” He growled, noticing what you’d been watching. “Don’t want to think about work right now.”

“Oh? Didn’t take you for an officer type.” You resisted cackling at the irony. “You’re way too handsome for that.”

“What?” He cranked his head towards you, a crease between his brow and a light flush on his cheeks. “I’m not an officer. I’m a pro-hero.”

“A… hero?” You blinked.

Maybe… you’d bitten a little more than what you could chew this time.

The wise choice would’ve been to sprint away the second those words left his mouth. Yet, you stayed still in your seat - half of you stunned, the other half skeptical. You just couldn’t picture this brash, vulgar man wearing a cape and saving kids with a smile. Or maybe... maybe it was because he lacked the stupid self-righteousness most of heroes had.

You knew those types very well. Insufferable, arrogant idiots that would never listen to someone like you. After all, you were a villain by definition, and that was enough for them. They wouldn’t care any less that you were just trying to right the wrongs of society – in fact, they’d probably think you were lying or insane. And then, off to jail you’d go. 

In the end, nothing mattered to them other than the 'absolute truth' . Villains were an evil that heroes fought to keep the peace.

As if ‘peace’ meant a necessarily good thing.

Absence of conflict wasn’t equal to harmony. What they truly maintained were the shackles around the ankles of the weak, so that they could never fight against the injustices on their lives. And even worse, the utter tools patted their own backs as if they’d done a good job in being manipulated by the rich.

A saccharine smile grew on your face.

If they wanted to be tools, who were you to refuse to use them?

“That makes a lot more sense.” You leaned closer to him, eyes locking to his scarlet ones. “That sort of confidence and power… You don’t find that sort of thing on regular guys.”

“Stop trying to kiss my ass.” His words were beginning to get slurred, his cheeks flushed red as an apple.

The way the corners of his eyes wrinkled, and how his mouth thinned when he was flustered was nothing short of exquisite. Though ultimately your flirting was purely pragmatic, you couldn’t deny that watching him squirm like this was very satisfying.

“It’s not bootlicking if it’s the truth, is it?” You wave, asking for another drink to the bartender. A little liquid courage could help you pull this off. “Tell me, what’s your name?”

“Bakugou. Bakugou Katsuki.” His voice was hoarse from the alcohol. “Now can you stop with the fucking flattery? I said that shit won’t work.”

‘Now look who’s lying?’

If his harsh breathing and avoidant gaze were any indication, then it’d been working more than well. Just to make sure, however, you took in a deep breath, savoring in his scent. Serotonin, endorphins and testosterone wafted through the air, alongside that poignant aroma of his.

He was digging that, no doubt.

You drank your rum, feeling the burning down your throat. Excitement bubbled up in your veins, white hot fire pumping through your body. Like a motor engine, your heart roared loud behind your ears.

Keep your friends close. Your enemies…’ You stood up, a sultry look on your eyes that made the hero jolt. Each step closer towards him felt as if you drew closer to a volcano – a blistering heat that threatened to melt you both.

You placed a delicate finger underneath his jaw, tracing it with a featherlight touch. His eyes widened, rendered speechless as his intoxicated mind tried futilely to find an answer to your actions. You lean close, your mouth an inch from his ear.

“Haven’t I said I am very good at reading people?” Goosebumps erupt on his skin. “I can see what you’re thinking right now…”

The hand you’d placed on his jaw slowly trailed down his neck, stopping just above his heart, beating like a hummingbird’s wings. His pupils contracted, the crimson irises blooming beautifully in the bar’s dim lights. Adrenalin, dopamine, norepinephrine – you use but a fraction of your quirk and he’s already a goner. Hook, line and sinker.

“You want to get rid of some stress.” Your voice is barely audible by now, but you were sure Bakugou was listening to every single word. “But this time you want some company, don’t you?”

You detached yourself from him, a pleasant and calm smile on your face. He was like putty, completely frazzled and breathing haggardly. You watched as his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down in expectation, tension so thick you can cut it with a knife.

“Hayashi, put the drinks on my tab.” You grabbed your jacket from your seat, swaying your hips as you went for the door. “I’ll be back tomorrow to pay them. Same time.” You spared one last glance at Bakugou before leaving.

When the door shut, finally he was able to breathe again. The world blurred around him, spinning way too fast on its axis. It must’ve been the alcohol. It had to be.

He brushed his bangs away from his forehead, a thin sheet of sweat and nitroglycerin covering his skin. Bakugou went for his glass, before realizing his hands were shaking so terribly much that if he actually held the cup, its contents would spill instantly.

Holy fucking shit.” He groaned, resting his head against the cool counter. His clothes growing too tight for comfort. “What the hell was that?”