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The Rose - Ground Zero

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"Bakugou Katsuki could always be described as a rose. Beautiful, sharp, and deadly. It only took a week for his petals to be ripped and his stem to be shriveled.”  

 


 

Katsuki’s  POV  

 

Bakugou Katsuki had led a basic life all throughout his childhood. With the basic dreams of a child: To be a  hero.  Another boy he knew, named Midoriya Izuku, shared the same dream of becoming a hero. Katsuki knew the boy because the boys’ mothers were friends, they almost didn’t have a choice in the matter. They grew up in the same neighborhood, and that was that. 

Out of all the neighborhood kids, Katsuki always took the lead. Whether it be getting them into trouble or exploring their little corner of the world. He was... Happy back then.  

“Let’s go kill the enemy!” The blond exclaimed, pointing to the gate with a sign specifically saying: ‘No Trespassing’. The others cheered at the declaration, following in almost immediately after. But he noticed something behind him out the corner of his eye. He watched the greenette hesitate assessing what was around him, before pumping his fists in the air and running after them. 

‘He didn’t follow blindly, huh?’  He wondered.  

It had been a lingering question in his mind. Would they just follow him if they led him into a ditch? He was smarter than any of them, no doubt about it. He was the best of the best, of course.  

He knew that even before he got his quirk.  

------ ---- 

After that, their mothers tried to push them to be friends, so they hung out quite often. He learned that Izuku had similar dreams. But, currently, he had nothing going for him. 

“You can read the last part of his name as Deku.” He said, pleased with himself. 

He watched Izuku frown. “Why are you being so mean to me, Kacchan?” He asked. 

“Cause, you keep whinin’ about how you don’t have a quirk yet! It’s time to work, if you wanna be a hero, got that?” The blond exclaimed, his fists shooting up in the air.  

After that, Izuku stopped whining, he became more determined than he ever had before, his eyes had shone when they watched all the fights All Might had one. They were.. safe back then. They were secure, and they acted as brothers, looking out for eachother.  

------ ---- 

We're gonna be heroes, Deku! Whether you like it or not! Got that?” He boasted to the greenette in the sandbox. “Don't forget what I told you! They were kindergartners then, still young, and bright-eyed. Waiting for the day they got their quirks.  

Izuku's eyes shone at what seemed to be the promise, his expression morphing into that of excitement.  “Just as soon as we get our quirks!” He shouted.  

Age four, the sound of popping from inside the classroom. Katsuki is staring at his hands in astonishment as tiny crackles are emitted from them. The first quirk in the class to arrive. He gazed at his classmates, pure glee and excitement that radiated from their eyes. Izuku, especially, was in awe.

That'll certainly grow into a powerful quirk! "Truly a hero in the making!" His teachers had praised him.


 

Izuku's POV

"That was amazing, Kacchan!" Izuku Shouted the same day outside. He sounded, genuinely happy  back then, for his best friend. “If I get my quirk, I hope it’ll be as good as yours!” He added. 

“When.”  Kacchan corrected the greenette. “ When you get your quirk. Don’t forget our promise, Deku.” The Kindergarten student smirked. Izuku nodded. “Right, Our promise.” 

Yet it seemed that young Izuku was right. “If” was the correct phrasing; as the promise was never fulfilled. It was only a few months later, that young Izuku had been diagnosed “quirkless”, and dubbed “useless” by the neighborhood children. 

“Sorry, kid, it’s not gonna happen.”   

Those were the words to temporarily shatter his dream.  

He was... Oh god...  

Don’t forget our promise, Deku."  Kacchan’s words rung in his head. Like the bell of the sanctuary, endlessly ringing. The words kept repeating in his head.  

He had broken the promise by default. 

It seemed had never heard of a child being quirkless, he was unaware someone could  be born without a quirk.  Kacchan stepped into the classroom, only to find all of his classmates talking about it. They were practically all centered around something, and something being  him.   

He was something, in his own eyes. He was quirkless, an alien in a super-powered world. A world of heroes. 

The greenette could hear all of their whispers, it’s not like they were trying to hide their disgust at him, not at all. 

I heard Deku is quirkless." “ Quirkless? Like, you can be born like that?” “That’s so stupid.” “I can’t imagine being him.” “Guess he’s useless after all.”  

 


 

Katsuki’s  POV  

 

Katsuki grit his teeth at the whispers. What did  these  idiots know?  

But... 

Deku ... doesn’t have a quirk? Does that mean we couldn’t become heroes together...? Heck no! He just needs to work harder to become a hero; that’s all!’  

He tried to convince himself. But... how could they work harder, if they wanted Deku to become a hero? He looked at the greenette, still stunned in the circle. His face was pale as a weak smile was frozen on it. The greenette’s eyes were red and puffy, as if he couldn’t cry any more tears.  

It made the blond angry to see him like this. Smartest kid he knew, being ridiculed for something out of his control. He wasn’t an extra, like the rest of him, he was better than this! 

------ ---- 

“Stupid Deku!” He stood up in the sandbox both he and Izuku were in. His teeth were bared in a fierce emotion that he himself didn’t know he could feel. It quickly got Izuku’s attention, as he looked up almost immediately. “Don’t think not having a quirk is gonna excuse you from our promise! Quirk or no quirk, we’re gonna be heroes! Got that?!” Katsuki shouted.  

It took a pause, before the greenette nodded, grinning. “Right, Kacchan. Our promise isn’t broken yet.” 

Fast forward several years later, at age eleven.  “Come on! Come on! Come on! You have to take down your opponents by analyzing their moves. That’s the only way you can take down your enemies. Not only when I’m not there to protect you from those damn extras, but for your hero training.” Katsuki barked, getting into fighting stance again. A clearing in the woods they had found last year, perfect for training. A look of determination was fierce and shining in Izuku’s eyes, as he struggled to get back up. 

“If you keep stumbling, how will you be able to take down a villain with a quirk better than mine, Deku? Even if it's not likely.” Katsuki kept yapping. “Are you ready?” He asked, as Izuku gained his stance again. His question was answered when Deku ran at him, imitating a war cry. He quickly dodged and threw his arm forward, one of his explosions detonating at Izuku’s side. It threw the greenette boy back again, but he regained his stance quicker than before. 

This time, he ran into one of the bushes, where Katsuki couldn’t see him. “Where are you, Deku, you better not have run away.” He murmured, scanning the area to find out where the coward might’ve run off to. That was before feeling a force land a blow to his head and tackle him. He tasted dirt as the force pushed his head into the ground, grabbing his left arm; rendering him immobile. 

“Where’d you learn that one?” Grumbled Katsuki. “Hero notebook eight!” the boy pinning him replied cheerily. “Figures....” The blond boy muttered. “Now, get off, Deku!” He barked, before feeling the weight that was his quirkless friend vanish as he stood up. It took a minute for Katsuki to get up, and he stumbled for a moment. He finally looked up to see Deku’s eyes shining. “How was that?” He squeaked. “Gives you the element of surprise, but it most likely won’t work the second time.” Katsuki said sternly, brushing the dirt off of himself. 

“Now, try something else.” Katsuki smirked.  

 


 

Age fourteen, the years had passed by quickly.Too quick if you asked Katsuki. They were in their last year of middle school now, after Day-in-Day-out training. In theory, it’d make both Katsuki and Izuku unstoppable machines. Yet, it felt as if they had just been going through the motions recently. There was no spark in their eyes when they sparred, no passion behind the scowling blond’s punches, nothing.  

He knew their classmates noticed, too.  

 

“Look, I think  Bakugou  finally gave up in trying to train Midoriya.” “Maybe he sees what the rest of us see, now.” “Maybe Midoriya just quit.” “Either way, he’s not going to the hero track.” “It’s for his own good anyway.”  

Katsuki bared his teeth. What the fuck did they know, anyway? The whispers continued, and it was all pissing the blond the hell off. He stood up. “Shut the fuck up, you damn extras! You won’t be saying this shit when we both go to Yuuei and you’re still stuck here in this miserable town as fucking Sidekicks to some busted D-Lister at most !” He snarled. 

That shut everybody up. 

Good.   

Out of his shocked classmates, Izuku was the first to speak up. He stood up from his seat as well, putting a hand on the fuming blond’s shoulder. He smiled. 

“It’s fine, Kacchan.” Yet he seemed dejected from all of his classmate’s words.  

“It’s fine  my ass. Your attitude says otherwise. Fucking look at yourself.” Katsuki growled. He brushed off Izuku’s hand, before grunting. “C’mon. School’s over anyway.” The blond turned heel and walked away. 

------ ---- 

“Are we going to train today?” Izuku groaned as they were making their way back from the middle school. Recently, they had started to clean the dump-ground that was Dagobah Beach. It was an all-around junkyard, littered with waste at almost every inch. It was tough work for just the both of them. Yet, somehow, they managed to lift at least three things from the beach every single day.  

Katsuki let out a sharp laugh. “No, let’s take a break for the day. Use it wisely because this is the first and last one I'm giving you.” The blond teased. It made Izuku chuckle, even if it was only for a short while.  

Looking back on it, this was probably what started the worse week of Katsuki’s life.  

Perhaps if it had just been a normal day, if Katsuki had made the decision they would train that day. Perhaps the fall of Midoriya Izuku would’ve just been another day. The rise of Ground Zero would have no reason to happen. Yet fate, as Katsuki learned, would bite you in the ass at every turn regardless.  

“Are we walking home together?” Katsuki asked, after a pause in their conversation. Izuku only smiled. “It’s fine, Kacchan. Plus, If I need to, I can defend myself.” The quirkless teen laughed.  

“Whatever.” The blond rolled his eyes. 


 

It wasn’t long before Katsuki noticed he was being followed. The footsteps had been too loud and too consistent the entire time. He was about to ignite his explosions and throw it at whoever was trailing him before he heard a voice. 

“Heeeeyy, Katsuki.” One of them said. He ground his teeth together. He  recognized  that voice. He turned around to find himself face-to-face with two of his classmates. He addressed them and long-fingers and Sharptooth respectively, as he never bothered to learn their names.  

The blond rolled his eyes at the both of them. “The fuck do you want, you goddamn extras.” He growled.  

“Woahh, no need to be aggressive, Katsuki.” Long-fingers raised his arms in surrender, before Sharptooth piped up. 

“We haven’t hung out in a while, maybe we could go to the arcade, pick up some  ladies .” The shark-like teen winked at the last word.  

Unfortunately, these were the closest people he could call friends aside from Deku. Yet he would much rather prefer to spend his time with the greenette than these gang of losers.  

“Whatever.” He sighed. The two both cheered in unison. 

------ ---- 

“So, why do you always hang out with Midoriya over us? He’s quirkless.” Long-Fingers asked Katsuki when they reached a narrow street. It made Katsuki snarl as he turned around to face the middle-schoolers. 

“Because unlike the both of you, Deku actually has 2 cents in that half-wit brain of his, and actually has more ambition to become a hero than two of you combined in  general.”  It had always pissed the explosive teen off when people looked or talked down on  Izuku , when they were no better, or frankly speaking,  worse  than the  quirkless  teen. In frustration, he kicked a soda bottle filled with  disgusting  green liquid to prove some sort of point.  

Depending on the day you asked him, it was either the best or worst decision he had ever made. 

Yet it was that one decision that made it all go wrong. 

His two companion’s eyes widened in horror and mouths fell in shock at what he thought at the time was his own rage. 

“What are you gaping at, extras?!” He barked, igniting his quirk. 

Long-fingers only motioned to behind him. 

Katsuki spun around to see an oozing figure looming over him. He could hear the footsteps of his “friends” as they ran away. 

“What do we have here, an explosion quirk? This’ll certainly be useful.” The sludge monster mulled over.  

A cold chill ran down Katsuki’s spine, as he slowly stepped back, only to be seized by the ugly green villain. “Let go of me!” He barked at the fluid monster, igniting one of the explosions in his palm. Yet is only decimated a good chunk of the building beside him. His eyes widened in shock.  Shit. That’s not what he meant to do.  He was vaguely aware that he couldn’t breathe. 

But, he couldn’t just let this villain take him over. He had to survive this attack, no matter what. He had to be there for Izuku! He couldn’t die here, he needed to be a hero!  

“Escape is pretty useless, kid.” The villain chuckled in his demonic voice. “’Body’s made of fluid.” he said, before willing Katsuki to set off another explosion. 

For the first time in his life, he felt real fear.  

He was alone, and no hero was coming to save him.  

That’s when the rose inside of him began to wilt.