Actions

Work Header

Comfortably Numb

Chapter Text

Izuku’s POV

Present day:

~Just have to get through today.~

That’s what crosses my mind on a daily basis; almost like a mantra.

~Just get through today.~

Sometimes, it would almost sound like a melody, playing on a constant loop. If it weren’t for the underlying motive for this internal repetition, I would almost find it hilarious.

Keyword: Almost.

~Just get through today, and you’ll be home free.~

Unfortunately, my thoughts seem to come equipped with built-in surround sound, because I don’t notice others around me whispering things like:

"Ugh! He’s muttering to himself, again." "It’s kinda creepy." "Can somebody shut him up? I can barely focus."

'Just get through today. Just get through today. As long as you maintain a calm composure and smiling face, you can fool them. All you have to do is GET THROUGH TODAY!'

"Hey, Deku! Shut the fuck up!"

I barely have time to register that one of the students have called out to me, before I feel the 'smack' of what I believe to be a water bottle colliding with my head; causing me to startle out of my thoughts, and ungracefully fall out of my seat. This results in the rest of the students bursting out into laughter at the display before them.

I'm willing to bet, if it were any other student, everyone would drop what they were doing to get up and check to see if they were okay. But, because it's me, Midoriya Izuku, better known by everyone on campus as 'Deku'(no thanks to a certain someone), nobody even offers an 'are you alright?'.

Typical.

"Midoriya! Please take your seat, and do try to pay attention." Our professor, Nagai-sensei, says with the least bit of concern for the fact one of her students was just assaulted by another student's beverage; not even bothered by the fact her class was interrupted.

"If you're not going to make the effort to pay attention, then there's no point in you being in my class. Remember, it's your tuition money, not mine." This causes the class to erupt into more laughter; the professor doesn’t even bother to silence them.

So she'll bat an eyelash at the class disrupting the lesson, but has no problem with putting me on the spot? Why do I even bother? I eventually pull myself up from the floor and get back into my seat; burying my head into the crook of my arm, not even bothering to pay attention to the lesson or even take notes.

'What's the point?'

I think to myself, being mindful of my muttering, 'Whether I pay attention or don't? Whether I show up an hour early to do homework, stay an hour after to take more notes, or if I even bother to drag myself to class at all, nobody would care, either way.' I think pitifully, as I bury my head in my arms; hiding the tears brimming in the corners of my eyes. 'I doubt anybody would care if I stopped coming to class altogether.'

That's right. Nobody cares about you. Because you're a useless, pathetic, weak DEKU.

 

-

 

Normal POV

14 years earlier:

Ever since Izuku could remember, he had been drawn to a certain boy with a rather 'explosive' personality; a boy by the name of Bakugou Katsuki. Their moms were both best friends since junior high, so it only made sense that their children would be just as close.

Izuku always saw Katsuki as a brother; they played together, watched episodes of their favorite 'All Might' TV show, sharing snacks, you name it. That never stopped Katsuki from teasing Izuku from time to time; he would make fun of him for 'being a crybaby'. But it was never meant to be mean; just playful teasing, like how siblings would do. Izuku and Katsuki were practically inseparable growing up; always holding hands when out playing, always within each others' radar, and if you had the mindset, you would even consider them to become lovers, if given the chance.

So Izuku found it to be quite the jarring wake up call one day, when Katsuki pointed out the kanji that made up his name, could also be read as 'Deku'.

It all started one day, after school; the boys had met up at their usual spot in the playground, and Izuku had assumed they were going to play their usual games like always. But instead, Katsuki decided to show off this new discovery. One would normally see this as just a kid wanting to gloat about how smart he was, and nobody would have batted an eyelash at the antics amongst the boys, but nobody could guess the type of emotional, and psychological warfare this would eventually hail down.

"Wow, Kacchan! You're so smart. You can actually read it?" Izuku asked in genuine amazement. "Of course I can, dummy" Katsuki sneered, relishing in the fact that he could read the kanji as a secondary name.

"Look, this part can be read as 'Deku'," Katsuki points to the kanji he'd written on a piece of paper "I learned it in class; it can mean 'a wooden puppet', but it can also mean 'useless'."

"Woah, seriously?" One of their friends said.

"Hahaha!! So that means Izuku is also a 'Deku'. So he's 'useless'!" Another one of their friends pointed out.

"Yep. He's useless Deku! Isn't that right, Deku?" Katsuki chanted, not realizing the effect those taunting, hurtful words were having on Izuku, despite the fact that they were all still impressed that Katsuki could even read the kanji, at all.

"K-Kacchan, please don't say that that's not nice." Izuku stutters out, suddenly feeling very small.

"Huh?! Why shouldn't I? It's true, isn't it?" Katsuki gets up close to Izuku until he's invading his space; expressing his dominance.

"You've always been a deku, Deku. That's why I'm able to read your name that way. Even if that wasn't your name, it wouldn't matter, because you're a useless, pathetic, weak DEKU!"

Izuku didn't know what to say to that; in fact, he couldn't, not without crying in front of everyone.

'What happened?' He thought 'Why is Kacchan saying such mean things to me?'. He felt so helpless as he watched the boys laughing and high-fiving each other, while Katsuki stood there almost triumphantly, chin held high, as he had just given an amazing speech worthy of a standing ovation.

"Deku! Deku! Deku! Deku!"

They chanted the insult in a sing-song fashion like it was some sort of fun nursery rhyme. Katsuki barked out laughing when Izuku couldn't fight the tears from falling; fat, salty drops rolling down his round, freckled cheeks as he tried to hold in his feelings, failing miserably.

"Ha! See? All you do is sit there and cry; you can't even take a simple name. You really ARE a Deku!" Katsuki had a look in his eyes as he said this; one that Izuku, from that day onward, was certain he recognized as something akin to:

Pride in breaking down someone's spirit.

 

-

 

Useless, pathetic, weak Deku.

 

 

 

U s e l e s s, p a t h e t i c, w e a k D e k u.

 

 

U s e l e s s.

 

 

P a t h e t i c.

 

 

W e a k.

 

 

D E K U.

Chapter Text

Izuku's POV

After what feels like an eternity(maybe it was, for all I know), everyone files out of the lecture hall; not bothering to tell me the class was over, or even sparing me a glance. I finally rise from my seat, gather my things and slowly make my way out the door and down the hall; trying my hardest to make myself as invisible as possible.

Either everyone notices the bad things about me, or nobody notices me, at all; the only reason anybody would bother to pay attention to me would be to either throw an insult my way, or throw literal blows to my head(although a certain blonde hair, red-eyed boy usually sees to that majority of the time).

~Just get through today. You're almost there.~

There it is again; my security blanket; my only motivation nowadays for getting out of bed, putting on clothes, going to class, and making some attempt at a normal college life.

~Soon you'll be home. You'll be out of the marring, judging gaze of everyone who sees you as less than the dirt beneath them.~

It's funny, there was actually a time where I would never have these terrible, yet comforting thoughts in my head, every day. I wasn't always like this, or at least, not consciously, and until just seven years ago, back in junior high, only one person made me feel like this. Not to say he still doesn't make me feel this way, but now it's become a crowd-jointed effort that has resulted in me always having to keep a wall up, keep one eye open, and never truly feel relaxed, or even slightly at peace.

'Why did this have to even happen?' I think to myself, as I exit the building and walk through the courtyard 'Whatever I did to deserve feeling this way and being treated like this, I'm sure somebody, anybody, would tell me. Just tell me what I did, and I'll fix it.'

"Hey, Deku." I'm so caught in my thoughts, that I don't hear the person calling out to me. "Deku! I know you hear me talking to you, shithead!"

It isn't until I feel the painful grazing of the pavement against my cheek, as I'm violently shoved to the ground, my body splayed out like a rag doll.

Now fully aware of my surroundings, I realize I was just shoved by none other than Bakugou Katsuki, or as I, unfortunately, keep referring to him as, ‘Kacchan’.

How I wish I could still see him as the same 'Kacchan' from when we were children; it would make the pain and humiliation I have to endure every day less unbearable. But it doesn't help that Katsuki was the one who started the whole 'Deku' campaign; although he always seemed annoyed when others called me that name in his presence, he never made an effort to stop anyone from calling me it, either.

Not to mention, he has no problem physically and verbally abusing me in front of everyone and their grandmother, letting the whole world know which one of us is top-dog.

"You deaf or something, Deku, or are you trying to ignore me?" Katsuki sneers as he looms over me with that predatory glint in his eyes. "Last time I checked, when I call your name, I expect you to answer, got it, you dumb fuck?"

All I could do is nod my head as I stare at him with a mix of fear and anger. Fear at the fact that Katsuki just takes pleasure in treating me like this for no reason, and anger at mainly myself, for not being strong enough to stand up to him.

No, that's a lie. I AM strong enough to stand up to him; I just choose not to. Either because I know he can beat me down for even thinking such a ridiculous notion, or because I secretly think I deserve this.

"K-Kacchan, I'm s-sorry, I w-wasn't l-lis-stening. I've j-just had a-a l-lot of things o-on my mind..." God, why can't I even talk to him like a normal person? Whenever it's Katsuki, I always end up stuttering out almost every other word, and this just serves as more ammunition for him to throw back at me.

"I don't give a shit if you have a lot on your mind, Deku. And I especially don't care about you." Katsuki proceeds to grab me by the collar of my shirt, pulling me up to my feet so our noses were practically touching; his deep crimson eyes piercing into my large green ones, practically piercing into my soul; the same eyes I always used to admire, and secretly wished that I could stare into forever, indulging in their beauty.

"You're lucky I have things to do, nerd, otherwise I would beat the shit out of you right here. Consider that scrape on your cheek a warning, got it, Deku?" He says that last part with so much venom; so much malice, I almost thought he would turn into a wolf and tear me to shreds.

"Y-Yes K-K-Kac-cch-han..." I manage to get out, barely above a whisper; trying desperately to control my stuttering.

"Say it so I can hear you, you fucking RETARD!!" Katsuki bellows in my face.

His grip on my shirt tightens, and he shakes me roughly, causing me to wince at the threatening, maliciousness in his voice. "Yes, Kacchan!!"

He finally releases me; albeit practically shoving me, before harshly bumping into my shoulder with his as he walks away; leaving me there in a trembling, fear-stricken stupor. I couldn't even glance back at him to see if he was looking at me. I doubt it would matter how he felt if he saw the look on my face.

I notice other people start to gather around where Katsuki and I just were, starting at me in both amusement and curiosity. Again, nobody even bothers to see if I'm okay, or even have the decency to call a teacher for assistance.

I manage to pick up my bag, along with the few supplies that fell out after Katsuki's 'creative' brand of greeting me. Heading back to my apartment, all I want to think about is getting myself home, allow myself to recharge and prepare my mind and body for the same thing tomorrow, but instead, all I could think of was:

'When did Kacchan become like this? Was he always like this, and I've just painted this image in my mind to make it look prettier than it actually was? Maybe Kacchan never really cared for me.’

Tears threaten to spill from my eyes, but I hold them back; wanting to stay strong as long as possible, or at least appear strong, until I make it back home.

'Maybe it never was Kacchan who was at fault; after all, I'm the one who's a 'Deku'; I'm the one who's wrong; it's MY fault that our relationship fell apart like it did.'

 

-

 

Opening my apartment door, I close it behind me and take off my shoes; not even bothering to put them neatly away in their proper place. Tossing my keys and wallet on the counter, and my bag on the dining table, I make my way to my bathroom; shutting the door behind me, even though I live alone, and have no reason for the extra barrier of privacy. Removing my clothes, leaving on only my boxers, I open the medicine cabinet and see two items sitting on the shelf, waiting patiently for me:

my bottle of prescription Zoloft, and box cutter.

[I don't like my mind right now; stacking up problems that are so unnecessary. Wish that I could slow things down; I wanna let go, but there's comfort in the panic.]

As I feel the sweet sting caused from the blade of the box cutter being dragged across my inner thigh, I allow the tears that I had been holding in to finally flow, finally allowing the pain to evaporate. Slowly, but surely, I start to forget the events that had transpired earlier in the day; seeming like nothing more than a minuscule blip on a Doppler weather radar.

[And I drive myself crazy, thinking everything's about me. Yeah I drive myself crazy, cause I can't escape the gravity.]

The Zoloft starts to kick in; the chemicals being released into my brain doing their job and helping me to calm down, even as I continue to stroke the blade along the flesh of my thighs like an artists’ brush; staining my skin in that lovely crimson, the same crimson that reminds me of a certain blonde haired, red eyed man.

[I'm holding on, why is everything so heavy? Holding on, so much more than I can carry. I keep dragging around what's bringing me down, if I just let go, I'd be set free. Holding on, why is everything so heavy?]

After what felt like forever, I rinse off the box cutter, and place it on the counter. The Zoloft makes my body feel more numb, despite still feeling the lingering stinging all over my thighs; I'm covered in that brilliant red, as is the tiled floor.

I grab a rag and wipe away the blood, disinfect my legs and wrap them up in bandages before redressing in loose sleep clothes. Suddenly feeling very exhausted, make my way to my bedroom, completely ignoring my homework.

"I'll get up early and work on it then." I say as I crawl into my bed; ignoring the pain, and collapse against the pillows, burrowing my head as I drift off and hope that my dreams don't turn into nightmares.

Chapter Text

Normal POV

14 years earlier:

Whenever a passerby or anyone outside of the circle happened to see their interactions, one would assume Izuku and Katsuki shared a victim-bully relationship since the dawn of time; unless they secretly treated one another that way on purpose and simply did it for fun, no one would think otherwise.

However, for those who didn't know the two very closely, it would come as a shock to learn that Izuku and Katsuki actually used to be practically joint at the hip since they were in diapers. Despite their polar opposite personalities, that never stopped them from becoming supporting pillars in each others’ lives.

So what changed?

Sometimes, even Izuku couldn't fathom a good enough answer, though he may have had a good idea as to when it started.

He often recalled a time from when they were young, he and Katsuki, as well as some of the other boys, would still play together; despite having been practically branded with the name ‘Deku’, that didn’t seem to stop Izuku from wanting to seek out Katsuki’s company.

Maybe it was due to a longing for closeness to his only true friend, or maybe he was trying to pass off a front like he was wearing a mask to play off as being aloof; something akin to saying ‘who cares if my nickname literally means useless? I don’t care. I’ll show you I don’t care!’

Of course, it wouldn’t stop Izuku from being with his only friend.

One day, in particular, Izuku remembers when he and his ‘friends’ went out to play out in the woods. The game they would often play was “Leader”, with Katsuki as the leader, and he would Sheppard the rest through the forest and towards an imaginary destination, which would often turn into the playground or the creek. Although they technically weren’t allowed to go into the forest on their own, Katsuki insisted he knew what he was doing, and that they should listen to him.

Even though he knew they were breaking the rules, Izuku trusted his best friend to lead them through safely. After all, Katsuki was brave and strong. ‘He’ll protect me, even if he won’t admit it, I know he will.’

As they crossed over an old, fallen tree that balanced over a small creek below, Katsuki lost his balance, and slipped off the tree. Landing directly in the creek below and letting out a pained shout, the other boys just stood there and watched; dumbfounded as to what to do or how to help.

“Are you okay, Bakugou?!” One of the boys shouted.

“Yo, Bakugou! That looked like a long drop, dude.” Another one of the boys called out in more of a snarky-type banter than concern.

Katsuki had sprained his ankle from the impact of the sudden drop, but other than that, aside from having wet clothes, he was okay.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Stop squawking, you babies.”

Just as Katsuki was about to get up, despite his sprain, as if out of nowhere, Izuku was now in front of him, standing over him, with his hand stretched out like he was trying to shake his hand. His face portraying a look of genuine worry and concern.

“You okay, Kacchan? That sure looked like a bad fall, huh?”

To any other person, Izuku’s question, along with his expression and gesture, all screamed ‘I actually care that you fell and possibly got hurt, let me help you’. He even gave him his usual sweet, gentle smile, assurance that he was here for him.

However.

To Katsuki, all he saw and heard was ‘You see? You’re just as weak and useless as I am. In fact, here, let me lend you a hand; that’ll show everyone you can’t even pick yourself back up from a fall like this.’

Almost a whole agonizing minute passed between the two before Katsuki finally realized his situation. Deciding to put Izuku back in his place, he slapped his hand away with his own, causing Izuku to jump slightly. The others must have been surprised by the action, as well, because an audible gasp could be heard from them.

‘This shitty nerd even has the nerve to look surprised.' Katsuki thought to himself as he went to stand up, despite his ankle still being hurt. ‘I’ll show him. I’ll make him learn to NEVER look down on me like that EVER again!!!'

“K-kac-chan, what’s wrong? Did I-I do s-somet-thing wrong?”

Katsuki shot Izuku an almost feral look.

Oh, he was pissed, now.

“You little shit. Who the fuck do you think you are? I didn’t ask for your fucking help, did I?!”

“W-well, n-n-no, but I-I”

“But you what?!”

Katsuki started zeroing in on Izuku, ignoring the radiating heat pulsing through his ankle. The other boys were now cheering and chanting for Katsuki to ‘teach the punk a lesson’, and ‘show him who’s boss’.

Izuku was now backing away, backing into a nearby tree, now looking genuinely afraid and confused.

“K-kacchan, please, I’m sorry. I-I was j-just trying to help. I didn’t mean anything bad,”

Before Izuku could say any more to defend his case, he was met with a punch to the gut, causing him to double over with a whizzing sound.

“Remember, Deku, you’re NOT my equal! You will NEVER be my equal! So don’t you EVER think about trying to offer me your help again. I’d rather break my leg than accept help from the likes of you.”

With that, Katsuki turns on his heels and walks away to meet his other friends at the base of the fallen tree; leaving Izuku huddled over in a whimpering, trembling mess.

From that moment on, nothing was ever the same.

From that moment on, his ‘Kacchan’ was gone.

 

-

 

Izuku was eleven years old when he was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

Inko had taken notice of her son’s sudden mood change; seeing how he had become more skittish and jumpy, seeming more sad and disinterested in spending time with other children like he always loved to. Although his love of All Might would never diminish, in fact, it only seemed to grow with time, which was a plus, it still didn’t deter her worry for her Izu. He’s always had dreams of helping people and making the world peaceful with a smile, and he can’t do that if he’s always sad.

All she wanted was to see him happy, again.

And so, that was how they ended up at the doctor’s office the next morning. Dr. Higuchi Toshio, a psychiatrist who specialized in diagnosing and providing treatment for people with mental health issues, was going through with asking his patient various questions to help him assess the root of his anxiety.

“So you’ve been feeling anxious and uneasy lately, Midoriya-kun?”

“Y-yes, sir.” Izuku replies quietly, avoiding the doctor’s and his mother’s looks of concern.

“I see. And you’ve been experiencing feelings of nausea or abdominal discomfort, is that correct?”

“I, I think so...”

“Izuku. Please answer him honestly, honey. The doctor won't be able to help if you're not truthful.” Inko said in a gentle voice; trying her best to stay calm. For him.

Izuku nodded. “Yes, sir. I have.”

“Hmm.” Dr. Higuchi wrote some notes on his clipboard as he continued.

“Have you been feeling more fearful, lately? Like, say, more afraid of things that you normally wouldn’t be afraid of?”

Izuku pondered this for a moment. What was he afraid of? Was he really afraid of anything?

‘Remember, Deku, you’re NOT my equal! You will NEVER be my equal! So don’t you EVER think about trying to offer me your help again. I’d rather break my leg than accept help from the likes of you.’

He suddenly remembered Katsuki’s words; the same words he had spoken to him when they were younger. Though he still saw Katsuki as his only friend despite everything, his words still struck him.

‘You’re a useless, pathetic, weak, DEKU!’

“Yes.”

Dr. Higuchi looked up after a moment of silence passed by.

“Yes, sir. I have been feeling more fearful.”

As he wrote down more notes, he took note of Izuku’s facial expression; it seemed to look more solemn, void of emotion, almost, blank.

“I see.”

 

-

 

“Take one tablet by mouth twice a day, it’s best to take it once in the morning right when you wake up, and again in the evening after you’ve had dinner.”

As the pharmacist gave Izuku and Inko the instruction on his new prescription medication, all Izuku could do was stare at the orange bottle in his hand as she continued to explain.

“Doctor Higuchi has decided to start Midoriya-kun off with Xanax at a dosage of 0.5 mg for at least a month. After that, he'll be switched over to Zoloft at 25 mg, which he'll take once a day. Keep in mind, that Xanax will only be used for short-term treatment for anxiety, while Zoloft will be used for long-term treatment.” She explained to Inko who nodded in understanding. “If he begins to experience any of the side effects listed on the form provided, or if the dosage is too high or too low, feel free to give us a call and we’ll get it readjusted.” She said with a kind smile.

“Thank you so much for your help.” Inko said, bowing her head in appreciation, and the pharmacist merely smiled and bowed her head in return.

“It’s no trouble, really.”

“Thank you, again, ma’am.” Izuku said with a smile of his own, bowing his head politely, as they left the pharmacy and made their way home.

 

-

 

Having started junior high just days after getting prescribed with Xanax and Zoloft, Izuku was actually feeling pretty okay; not just because it was the start of the new school year, but he felt like a new person. Although he didn’t like having to rely on medication to feel normal again, at least it was only temporary, or at least, he hoped it was. At the very least, he didn’t feel so anxious or worried as much as he used to, and he could finally focus on his school work without his classmates jeering at him.

Of course, Katsuki was in his class, along with his entourage of goons, but what can you do?

He continued to torment him every chance he got; reminding him that ‘he was a useless Deku’, and that he should ‘know his place’.

During lunch, he overheard some of his classmates discussing what they were planning on doing when they graduated high school, and this caused Izuku to think about what he wanted to do.

‘I know what I want to do; though it may seem like a stretch, and probably even a dumb idea to some, it never hurts to try.’

Truth be told, Izuku has always known what he’s wanted to do since he was very little.

Growing up, he had vivid memories of watching his favorite TV show, 'All Might', a series that starred the powerful superhero and titular character, All Might, who would always rescue people from danger, and do so with a big smile. Everything about All Might was what Izuku wanted to be; he’d admired the hero just as much as he admired Katsuki, if not more.

Even though he knew it was just a TV show, and it was just an actor playing a character, it was all the motivation he needed to decide what he wanted in life:

To travel the world, and help people in need, and to do so with a smile.

Setting up fundraisers and charities all around the world, and using the donations to help people who were in need; from giving the homeless a safe and warm place to live, to providing aid and support to the disabled, and rescuing abandoned animals and finding them good homes, he would even help orphaned children find loving homes with loving families.

Sure, he couldn’t fly or lift a 2-ton car off a victim in distress or even destroy a giant robot with a single punch or kick, but perhaps, he didn’t need a cape to be a hero.

 

-

 

Almost two months later, and so far, Izuku was feeling pretty good; Dr. Higuchi had him visit his office to see how his new medication was treating him. Seeing that nothing was out of place, Dr. Higuchi allowed him to receive monthly refills of his Zoloft, so long as he saw no negative side effects. Granted, he was still being bullied, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle. As long as he kept taking is prescription and keeping up with his studies, while also steering clear of Katsuki, everything would be right as rain.

A couples of weeks after midterm exams had finished, Inko had invited the Bakugous over for dinner to celebrate their boys passing, and also as a way to catch up.

Izuku could only smile politely as he watched his mom converse happily with Katsuki’s parents, hoping the worst he got out of the evening was silent glares from the blonde.

“It’s so good to see you again, Inko-chan!” Mitsuki said as she pulled her best friend into a tight hug; both women not having seen each other since Izuku’s and Katsuki’s fallout.

“I know! It’s been far too long. Perhaps we can get together for tea sometime and catch up?”

“Hell yeah!” Mitsuki exclaimed as Masaru simply smiled at his wife and her best friend bonded.

“I hope everyone’s hungry, I made a hot pot!”

While everyone sat at the table, enjoying their food and sharing small talk, Izuku would occasionally catch glimpses of Katsuki giving him disinterested glares, prompting him to draw his gaze back to his bowl.

“Hey Auntie, can I use your restroom? I need to take a piss.”

“Katsuki! Watch your mouth, you damn brat!” Mitsuki shouted, while Katsuki simply shrugged. Inko giggled at their antics.

“Mitsuki-chan, it’s alright. It’s down the hall to the left, Katsuki. Take your time.”

Katsuki thanked her as made his way down the hall, turning his head in time to catch Izuku staring at him, only to quickly look back down. He scoffed at that.

As Katsuki washed his hands and splashed some water on his face to freshen up, he took the time to examine the interior of the bathroom. It looked like any generic bathroom; the usual toiletries you would find in any bathroom, aside from the cartoony-looking All Might toothbrush he happened to spot resting by the sink. This caused him to snort to himself.

‘He still uses an All Might toothbrush? Seriously!? What is he, five? I bet that nerd still has a plethora of All Might merchandise stashed away.’

Despite what he often said about Izuku, a very small part of him thought it was kinda cute that he was still so infatuated with the fictional idol.

Though he would never admit it to anyone. Even himself.

As he went to leave, he caught a glimpse of something tucked away in the corner of the small counter. Some would scold him for snooping, but it’s not like he was planning to steal, or anything. Just a quick peek won’t hurt, right?

Grabbing the foreign item, he sees that it’s actually a bottle; a small, white bottle with small lettering on the front.

--------------------

Musutafu Pharmacy

1-8-5 Suruga-ku
Musutafu, Shizuoka NNN-NNNN Japan

Dr. Higuchi Toshio
Rx: 5870031

Midoriya Izuku
1-5-2-220 Suruga-ku
Musutafu, Shizuoka NNN-NNNN Japan

TAKE 1 CAPSULE BY MOUTH ONCE DAILY.

Zoloft
Sertraline 25MG HCI CAPSULES

REFILLS: 2

Qty: 30

Date Filled: 05/28/2011

Date Written: 05/28/2011

--------------------

“What the fuck…?” Katsuki said quietly as he stared at the label for another minute before it finally clicked in his head and he put two and two together. 'When the fuck did Deku start taking fucking PILLS?! Is this some sort of fucking joke?'

Suddenly remembering where he was, he looked at the name on the medication, and at the name of the prescribed ‘patient’, and after a moment, he started to smile to himself as his grip tightened around the bottle.

‘So, you wanna pop pills like some fucking tweaker, huh Deku?’

He said as he dug his phone out of his pocket, opening the camera app and holding it up to the bottle in his hand and taking a snapshot of it; making sure to get Izuku’s name in the shot.

Satisfied with the results, he placed the bottle back where he found it; making sure to hide any evidence it was tampered with.

He grinned down at his phone one last time, saving the photo to his home screen before finally leaving the confines of the tiny bathroom.

‘Time for show and tell’.

 

-

 

Izuku took his time, like always, getting to school; not feeling too rushed, so there was no need to make a fuss in getting to school too quickly.

He enjoyed these types of mornings; it always allowed him time to gather his thoughts before he had to face his figurative(and literal) demons. Last night’s dinner with the Bakugous went better than he thought. Katsuki didn’t call him any names aside from his usual jabs here and there. In fact, after he came back from his backroom break, he seemed a lot more calm and happier, somehow.

Maybe he was imagining things?

Unfortunately, he would soon learn why that was the case, as he started to enter the school grounds, only to notice something was off.

For starters, normally when he went to take off this shoes, there was usually either one or more of Katsuki’s lackies, or just Katsuki himself, lingering around waiting for him to grab his slippers and trade them in for his outdoor shoes, and either end up trashing or stealing them. Instead, the only ones he notices nearby were a couple of girls, but that wasn’t the strange part. What was strange was that they were whispering to each other, and he could distinctly make out what they were saying:

"There he is, I can’t believe he’s been doing that this whole time.", "I know; I never would have thought he was that type of person."

As he went to turn around, they would immediately turn around and act like they weren’t whispering about him. Even as he gave them a glance, they acted like he wasn’t there, and once he was out of earshot, they went back to gossiping.

It wasn’t just those two girls, he noticed; as he made his way to his homeroom, he could see other kids whispering, giggling and even pointing to him as he walked past them, saying similar things as the girls near the entrance.

"He actually has the nerve to show his face around the school, after what he’s been doing."

"Is this why he’s been acting like an emotionless zombie? I guess this explains it."

"Is it even legal to do that? Won’t he get caught? I feel bad for his mom."

Izuku was beyond confused at what he was hearing. What were they talking about? Emotionless zombie? Illegal? Maybe, just maybe, they weren’t talking about him. Perhaps this was just a misunderstanding.

It was never a good idea to hang onto false hope for too long.

Just as he entered the classroom, he saw his classmates huddled in a circle, snickering and giggling like the kids in the hall. One of them noticed Izuku walking in, and gestured to his friends to look up and they all shared the same taunting looks as he did.

“Hey, Midoriya! Did you take your drugs, today?” One of the boys questioned mockingly.

“Never took you for a tweaker, nerd.” A girl taunted.

“So who you been buying from, huh? Is it someone from our school, or some drug dealer? “

As they poked fun at him, all Izuku could do was stare in utter confusion; trying desperately to piece everything together.

Just as he was pondering these thoughts, one of the students showed him a picture on their phone, and what he saw made his breath hitch.

A picture of someone, holding HIS prescription medication bottle.

It had a caption above it that said ‘Look who’s popping pills, now? Lmfao!’

‘When was this taken?!’ Izuku thought as he stared dumbfounded at the floor; his heart rate beginning to increase. ‘And how did this get sent out to everyone in our class?! This doesn’t make sense! I never told anyone about my anxiety or my medication, not even Kacchan knows, for good reasons. So how could...’

Then he remembered last night’s dinner with Katsuki and his parents.

He went into the bathroom, where he kept his prescription bottle.

The sudden, sickening realization hit him so hard he thought he was going to break into millions of pieces.

Izuku turned around only to bump right into none other than Bakugou Katsuki; that same sneering evil grin plastered on his face as always.

“Hey, Deku.” He said in a snide tone; that same wicked grin on his face. “Did you remember to take your medicine this morning?”

Izuku was feeling multiple things at once:

Betrayal, anger, humiliation, sadness, confusion, but worst of all,

He was hurt.

Everything hurt. His chest felt tight, like he couldn’t breath; his stomach did violent twists and flips, and he could feel his breakfast trying to come up faster than it went down; his limbs felt like lead, heavy and straining; his ears were ringing with the laughing and taunts of the rest of the class.

‘I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away I gotta get away!!!’

Izuku didn’t hear his teacher calling out to him, didn’t hear the rest of the class shouting at him, didn’t hear anything as he ran as fast as his legs could carry him, out of the classroom, down the hall, and up the stairs till he made it to the roof.

After slamming the door to the rooftop shut behind him, Izuku slid down to the ground, panting in exhaustion, as the events of the last few minutes play back in his mind; as he pulled his knees to his chest, wrapped his arms tightly around his legs, and buried his face in his knees, Izuku began to cry in the deafening silence.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s POV

Present day:

I begin to stir awake as I was bombarded with the offending sound of something blaring in the background. It took me a moment before I realize it was my alarm going off; reminding me that reality was calling for my immediate attention.

“Yeah, yeah...” I grumble to myself as I reach out and turn my alarm off; allowing myself to simply lay in bed for a few moments, blinking my eyes a few times so they could adjust; the last remnants of sleep still plaguing my subconscious. Eventually, after another moment of just laying in pregnant silence, I urge my body to rise from the safe, comforting refuge of my bed.

I grab my phone from the nightstand, checking for any notifications or messages(which were usually nonexistent), and notice the time that was displayed on my alarm clock in bright, red fluorescent light:

5:00 AM

“I did say I had homework I still needed to work on, so I guess I better start getting ready.” I say to myself as I get ready for the day. Gathering some clean clothes and underwear, I make my way to the bathroom for a quick shower. As I set my clothes on the toilet, I took notice of the box cutter I had left on the counter, and it was in that moment that I feel the lingering pain that ghosts around my thighs.

Looking down, I spot the bandages still wrapped tightly around my thighs; the once crisp, creamy white color, now was stained in a dirty rust color.

Carefully removing the soiled dressings, I'm relieved to see the bleeding has indeed stopped. I was always careful to never go too deep to cause serious damage, but just deep enough to relieve the stress before it became too overwhelming. In the face of everything that goes on in my day-to-day life, I’m surprised that I’ve managed to hold on for this long.

But lately, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to keep everything neatly aligned and presentable.

 

-

 

After taking a quick but satisfying shower, being mindful of the cuts decorating the sensitive skin of my legs, I step out; steam following out behind me. After applying ointment and wrapping fresh bandages around the slightly irritated slits, I make my way to the mirror; wiping away the fog clouding around the glass, as I take in my appearance. Green, unruly curls; still dripping wet, coupled with large eyes that shared the same green hue. Freckles that look as though they had been splattered haphazardly with a paintbrush along pale rounded cheeks, which I tend to hate since they make me look younger than eighteen.

How’s anyone going to take a college student seriously when they’re rocking a baby face with freckles? Talk about a double whammy.

After drying my hair and brushing my teeth, I grab the box cutter still sitting abandoned on the counter, and open the medicine cabinet to put them in their proper place. That’s when I spot it, just sitting there like it’s teasing me; the very thing that has become both the bane of my existence and also like a long-forgotten friend coaxing me into a warm, comforting embrace.

 

-

 

7 years earlier:

I had stopped taking my medication soon after that fateful day.

I didn’t tell Mom about what happened at school; she had enough on her plate already with having to make sure I was taken care of, and I can only imagine what it must’ve taken to even get the prescriptions I needed in the first place. Mom didn’t need any more weight on her shoulders because of me.

It didn’t help that basically the entire school, let alone my classmates, pretty much knew about my 'prescription-addiction', but it was made even worse because Katsuki made it look as though I had been taking illegal narcotics, like Marijuana or Cocaine. Even when I tried to explain to everyone that it was all a misunderstanding, that the medicine was meant to treat anxiety, they simply laughed at me and called me a wuss.

I finally got up the courage to confront Katsuki after school that same day; we were both outside the school gates when I told him how I felt.

“Kacchan...” I said in a tone that I wanted so badly to make me sound confident and serious, but instead, it made me sound timid and small.

Katsuki turned to face me; clearly annoyed at my presence. “What do you want, nerd?”

I simply stared at him; I had to tell him how I felt, how he made me feel. I wanted so desperately for him to understand.

“W-why, Kacchan? Why would you do this?” I wanted desperately to know, what would make someone, especially Katsuki, want to do something so cruel as to share something so personal to everyone at school.

He turned fully around to face me; staring me with a look that was both bored and cold; it looked as if he were silently challenging me to get on his nerves and make his day.

“Seriously?” He said, eyeing me with disdain. “You bug me to ask something like that? Does it really fucking matter at this point, Deku? What’s done is done. So just drop it.”

I couldn’t believe what I had heard. He had snooped in my bathroom, took a photo of my prescription medicine, shared it to the whole school without my knowledge or consent, causing everyone to now see me as an addict, and he wanted me to 'just drop it'?! No one was this cold and heartless, not even Katsuki. Yeah, he was an arrogant, callous bully, but not even he would do something so cruel just for the hell of it.

Right?

~You can do this. No, you HAVE to do this. He needs to understand. Make him understand!~

"Yes! It DOES matter, Kacchan! What you did, you, do you have any idea what you did? You had no right going through my things and parading them to the whole school like that!”

“Maybe next time you won’t leave your shit lying around for people to just come up and mess with, won't you? That’s what a lockbox is for, dumbass.” He said this in such a matter-of-fact tone of voice; not even a hint of remorse could be found in his voice or on his face. “Better yet, maybe you should keep shit like that in your room if you don’t want people poking their fucking noses in it.”

I couldn’t even fathom what I had heard. It didn’t even sound real; it was almost like Katsuki was talking in a foreign language, and I was unable to articulate what he was saying to me.

Or, maybe I simply didn’t WANT to fathom it.

“We done here?” Katsuki asked, sounding impatient. All I could do was give him a stunned, practically astonished look. He didn’t even care; he likely never did, and never would.

He turned his back to me; giving a ‘tch’ sound as he went to leave. “Thought so.”

And there I stood, alone, and completely speechless.

 

-

 

Present day:

I stare blankly at the orange cylinder; noticing the lid was slightly ajar, causing a grimace to crease my features.

“I can’t believe I did it, again.” I say as I reach for the bottle, fix the lid, and put it back. I feel ashamed and disappointed for allowing myself to fall back into this habit, when I've been doing so well with handling my stress(if you want to call cutting as a form of coping with the stress 'doing well').

I have sworn to myself shortly before my twelfth birthday that I would no longer take Zoloft OR Xanax ever again; the only time I’ve ever found myself needing to take it was during exams and finals, but other than that, I've tried going cold turkey. I didn't care anymore about controlling my anxiety or trying to help ease it. Unfortunately, because I had chosen to keep the events from school to myself(and my teachers seemed to do the same, judging from the lack of concern from them), Mom continued to have my prescription refilled every month, and even considered increasing the dosage; believing I wasn’t getting the results I needed. I tried to assure her I was fine, but it ended up backfiring on me.

I just didn’t have it in me to tell her the truth.

And so now here I am, staring at just one of the dozens upon dozens of prescription bottles that I’ve been pretending to take; with the rest, I’ve hidden away in various parts of my apartment. I only have one Xanax prescription bottle(the one I'm currently staring at), while the rest are all Zoloft. I only keep this one in plain sight in case if Mom were to pay me a visit. I want her to believe that everything is fine, that nothing has changed.

Nope, I haven’t stashed almost a hundred bottles in every nook and cranny of my living space.

I get dressed, careful of my thighs, make myself a quick breakfast, and quickly get to work on my assignment papers.

I’m currently studying as a Liberal Arts major, with Sociology as my major and Communications as my minor; I've been working tirelessly every waking hour so I can graduate with my Bachelor’s degree. I believe that the power of better communication and better team-building skills can help with achieving my goal of finding the best resources needed to get my dream off the ground. I also want to gain a better understanding of what makes people do the things they do; both good and bad.

I don’t believe humans are born with the intention of causing harm. As the saying goes, ‘All men are created equal’, but I don’t think this is the case. It’s more complex and broad than that, and it’s my goal to better understand what makes us all different, and if it’s truly a bad thing.

Maybe if I study enough in the field of human behaviors, relationships, and social interactions, I may begin to learn and understand more about what makes us all the way we are.

And perhaps, with enough time and enough perseverance, I may begin to understand Katsuki better, even just a little bit.

 

-

 

With my papers finished, bag over my shoulders, and my keys, wallet, and phone in hand, I set out to leave for class. Checking the time on my watch,

7:42 AM

“Okay, good, still have plenty of time before class starts.” I say as I lock the door and head off.

Class begins at 8:30, and the University is just a five-minute walk from where I live, so it gives me ample time to walk to the campus.

I often wonder how I ended up attending the #1 university in the country, let alone the #1 high school that led up to me being able to attend said university; both of which are mere pipe dreams to a normal person. It’s not that I didn’t think I would have a shot at getting accepted in a school like this; I know if I worked hard enough, and kept a dead-set target on my goal, I would have gotten in on my own.

Rather, it was the circumstances that came before that that made it hard for me to believe I would end up here.

 

-

 

Yuuei High School, or more commonly abbreviated as ‘U.A.’, is the top-ranked high school in the nation; considered to be an elite school, students all over Japan talk about wanting to attend, or at the very least, obtaining an Official Letter of Recommendation, in order to get in.

What makes the school so special, is not only is it the only high school in the country to be a university-attached school, but Yuuei students are automatically granted access onto the jointed-university's campus once they pass the exam.

Of course, it’s not as easy as it may sound; the percentage of students that get accepted into Yuuei every year is less than 2%. The reason for this is because the school has been known to set very high standards for its students. Only the best of the best are accepted, to the point where they'll send out scouts from Yuuei to seek out potential students with exceptional talent and skills, and then send in an Official Letter of Recommendation.

Furthermore, Yuuei also has very strict guidelines and policies regarding students retaining a permanent position in their facility; Yuuei has a zero tolerance policy for students either not putting in the effort required to keep their spot, or breaking any of the rules each student is expected to abide by.

Granted, Yuuei provides enough resources to help anybody make up missed work and bring their grades back up to a passable level, as well as having an excellent guidance counselor on staff to help students figure out which subjects they are struggling in the most, and offer suggestions to give them in order to pass that subject. After that, it's up to the students to keep their grades stable for each mandatory subject. However, if a student breaks any of the rules and regulations enforced, Yuuei has the grounds to suspend them, which weakens their chances to get into the jointed-university, but still makes them eligible. However, if a student is expelled, they lose any and all chances of getting accepted into the jointed-university.

So, yeah. The stakes are very high.

Many of the people to have graduated from Yuuei include the most famous and well-renowned physicians and nurse practitioners, Olympic athletes, physicists, authors and novelists, musicians, CEOs, celebrities, the list goes on. The most notable of all, however, is a world-renowned actor and activist Yagi Toshinori, better known by his TV persona, All Might.

I smile fondly at the thought of Yagi, as memories of a special, and almost unlikely chance meeting, gloss my mind.

 

-

 

4 years, 2 months earlier:

My final year of middle school was finally here.

Normally I would be feeling nervous about studying for and passing entrance exams for potential high schools, but I was more nervous about just making sure I stay within Katsuki’s good graces.

As the class was settling down, our Homeroom teacher stands before the front of the class, with a stack of papers lying in a pile on his desk.

“Now listen up, everyone! You’re all third-years now. It’s about time you all started thinking seriously about your futures!” He exclaimed; pointing his finger to the stack of forms.

"Even though the first semester just started, don't think this means you can slack off and waste time; start thinking about which high schools you want to apply to next year. Let's not forget, your test scores will also play a big part in whether or not you get accepted."

“Hah! Sensei, don’t lump me in with the rest of these losers.”

Everyone’s attention, including the teacher’s, was drawn to the person who spoke. Who else could it be to say such a cocky, condescending remark than Bakugou Katsuki. He sits in his seat with his feet propped on the desk; acting like he owned the place.

“As if I would ever find myself sharing the same space with the rest of these extras. Heh.”

This didn’t bode well with the others.

“Get over yourself, Katsuki!” One student shouted at him.

“Nobody asked for your opinion, you jerk!” Another student said behind them.

“Shut up, extras!” Katsuki scoffed at them. “Extras like you belong with other extras!”

“Oh, that’s right.” The teacher said in realization; completely ignoring Katsuki's remarks. “Bakugou, you're aiming to get into Yuuei High School, aren’t you?”

An audible gasp could be heard around the whole room.

All I could do was huddle against my desk; wrapping my arms around my head to make myself as invisible as possible. I groaned internally; already knowing where this was going.

“What? Yuuei?! As in, the ‘top national school’ Yuuei?!”

“Isn’t the lowest passing score a 79? That’s barely a C-average!”

“Not only is it the #1 rank school in the nation, but it’s the only one in the country to have a university attached to it. Yuuei students are guaranteed a spot there!”

“I heard the percentage of students getting in is barely 2%. They hardly accept anyone!

While everyone was beside themselves with the very idea of someone from our school even attempting to get into the top-ranked school, Katsuki jumped on his desk in prideful excitement.

“Hah! That’s what I like to hear from you stupid extras!” He exclaimed as he smiled that same arrogant, prideful smile. “I aced every mock exam, and I’m the ONLY one out of all of you losers who have what it takes to get in! I’ll be the best of the best! Not to mention, once I get into Yuuei, I’ll be seen as a genius! I’ll become one of the richest, most successful people in the WORLD!!"

“Oh.” The teacher interrupted Katsuki’s announcement.

Oh, no.

“Midoriya, aren’t you also shooting for Yuuei?”

The whole class was dead silent. Even Katsuki was speechless; you could hear a pin drop, it was that quiet. The whole class then turned to look at me; all eyes were now on me, when just a few minutes ago, everyone barely thought I was there.

Oh, joy.

Then, everyone burst out into a symphony of boisterous laughter, as somebody had just told a comedic-worthy joke. Some of them were grabbing their sides, a couple of them were even on the verge of falling out of their seats. Of course, I would end up as the butt of the joke.

“Huh? Midoriya?! Yeah right!”

“It takes more than good grades to get into a school as prestigious as Yuuei!”

“You would either have to ace the entrance exam with flying colors, get in with an Official Letter of Recommendation, or be insanely rich!”

I got up from my seat, trying my best to look more confident than I felt. “T-that’s not necessarily true. I mean, sure, it’s very difficult to get in, but I’m sure if I tried they might..”

Before I could say any more, I was startled by Katsuki slamming his hand onto my desk; causing me to fall back in surprise on the floor.

"Get real, Deku!" Katsuki shouted at me as I sat and stared at him in both fear and embarrassment.

“It’s one thing if these extras tried taking the exam; at least they have some chance of passing. But YOU? You’re just a useless Deku, and you really think you can compete with me?!”

"No! No, w-wait, Kacchan!" I say as I quickly scurry backward so I was backed up against the wall. “I wasn’t saying that I wanted to try and compete against you. Really, I mean it. It, it’s just that….it’s been my dream since I was a kid, and…”

I looked up at him sheepishly. “There’s...nothing wrong with at least trying, right?”

Katsuki didn’t seem impressed. He never did.

"Try?! Try WHAT?! You’re planning to take an exam to get into the top national school in the FUCKING COUNTRY just to ‘TRY’?!?" He bellowed at me, as the rest of the class just stared at me in disdain.

This day couldn’t get any worse.

 

-

 

The end of the school day couldn’t have come fast enough.

I purposely stayed behind while everyone else left the classroom; waiting until I was the only one left still sitting at my desk. Just as I was putting my composition notebook in my bag, it was quickly snatched out of my hand.

“Ah!” I gasped and looked up in shock, only to see it was none other than everyone’s favorite class bully.

“Not so fast, Deku. We ain’t done here.” He said, waving my notebook around.

“What’s that, Katsuki? Deku’s diary, or something?” One of Katsuki’s goons said with a snicker, while the other boy simply chuckled.

‘For my Future’ huh? Seriously, Midoriya?” Another one of them mocked.

“Guys, c-come on. Give it back, please!”

Then, with his free hand, Katsuki reached into his pocket, and retrieved a lighter. Holding it under my notebook, he did the unthinkable; something I didn’t think would top my Xanax being exploited, but it came pretty close.

He flicked the lighter, a flame spitting to life from it, and set my notebook on fire.

"HUUUHHHHHH?!?"

My notebook, my very future, one of the few things I have that keeps me sane and grounded, and Katsuki literally set it ablaze!

“Why…?!” Then, as if to rub salt into my already gaping wound, he tossed the notebook, still on fire, out the window. All I could see was the embers and ash trickle in the breeze.

“Kacchan.....why?”

“Yuuei isn’t some free trial program that you can try out and then get accepted into, and it takes way more than having decent grades and perfect attendance to get in. It’s a school for only the best of the best. Even All Might was a graduate from Yuuei, but as soon as I get in, I’ll be even better than him! I’ll be the first and only student from this crappy public middle school to ever get in! I’ll become a celebrity genius!”

Katsuki turned towards me, and just before he went to walk past me, he stopped in front of me.

“In other words…” and he gripped my shoulder in a bruising, vice-like grip.

“Don’t you DARE get into Yuuei, nerd.”

After squeezing my shoulder painfully one more time; causing me to tremble with fear, he released me with a shove. He leaves the classroom with his lackeys following close behind. They would throw me snarky remarks like ‘Geez, he’s such a wimp.’, or ‘Can’t you even do anything?’

For once, I didn’t want to do anything. For once, I just wanted to disappear.

 

-

 

I walked home feeling like I had been trampled on; clutching pitifully onto the now scotched composition notebook in my hand that I had managed to find in the koi pond of the school’s courtyard. I guess now, it serves a better purpose as fish food than as a notebook. Sadly, I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking, since I ended up walking down a sewage entryway.

‘What else can I do? If I can’t get into Yuuei, then what else is there for me?’

I felt tears starting to brim in my eyes, burning the rims of my eyelids, but they don’t have time to fall, as I suddenly felt my body being forcibly pulled into a tight grip and pulled against a broad, hard body. A large hand clamped over my mouth; preventing me from screaming, then I felt what I believed to be the blade of a knife pressed firmly against my throat.

“Hey there, little boy.” Said the voice of a gruff-sounding man. I couldn’t see his face since he was holding me from behind; judging from his voice and his physical presence, I had to guess he was at least in his late 30s to early 40s, and he might be between 5’8’’- 6’0’’. Either way, this guy clearly had the upper hand. “So, here’s the thing, kid. I’m gonna borrow you for a bit. What do you say?” He said into my ear in a sickening, rough voice; pressing the blade closer to my jaw when I began to struggle; desperately fighting to escape.

“No point in struggling, kid. Unless you wanna end up like a pile of butchered meat, just let me do this, and it’ll all be over.” He then locked his arm around my neck; locking me in a choke hold. When his arm tightened more around my neck; causing my airway to become obstructed, I furiously started clawing at his arms.

He was suffocating me.

My arms fell to my sides, my vision blurring as my body became weak from lack of oxygen. I trembled with fear; fear at the realization of what was about to happen to me.

‘Please.’ Tears began to trickle down my cheeks. ‘Somebody...help me…’

“HEY! YOU THERE! GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF HIM, YOU BASTARD!!”

All I remembered before my body hit the ground with a hard 'thud'; my vision becoming fuzzy and black, was seeing a tall, skinny man with blonde, disheveled hair slamming the criminal to the ground with lightning speed.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s POV

The first thing I noticed was the strong, yet gentle slapping sensation on my cheek. It went on for a few more seconds before I was finally thrown back into reality; bright, warm afternoon sunlight beaming down on my face. I then noticed the figure hovering over me; seemingly the source of the slapping on my cheek.

“Hey.” A rough, but kind-sounding voice called out in concern. “Hey, kid. You okay?” After a few more seconds, I finally saw who it was that spoke to me. It was the same blonde man I saw from before.

Suddenly, I started to remember:

I remembered being grabbed, and this sick creep pressing a blade to my Adam’s Apple. Then, this blonde man grabbed the guy by the arm, causing him to drop me on the ground(that explains the pain in my side and back), and turning him into a human Rubik’s Cube. I didn’t know what would have happened to me if the blonde man hadn’t been there, but I didn’t want to think about it, too much.

“Ah! Good. Glad to see you’re awake.” The strange man said, sounding happy. After helping me up, it was then I noticed there were police cars nearby, a few officers speaking to one another, and I even spotted the man who had assaulted me sitting in the back of one of the police cars.

“Nice work, Tsukauchi.” The blonde man said; motioning to where the perp was. This prompted ‘Tsukauchi’(who I assumed was an officer given his uniform) to start laughing. “Oh, no need to thank me, all I did was throw the cuffs on him; you did most of the work.” The blonde man chuckled at this. “Looks like the Police Force is starting to slack off if random guys like me are taking crooks down. Maybe I should start doing your job, huh?” He joked, causing Officer Tsukauchi to burst out into more boisterous laughter.

‘They seem very close, given that this guy’s a civilian and the other is a cop.’

I took the time to take in the stranger’s features: He was very thin; almost like he was underweight, spiky, wild blonde hair with long bangs framing his face, striking blue eyes with dark circles around them; possibly a sign a insomnia or stress, and a sharp and angular jawline and cheekbones. I also took note of how baggy his clothes were; probably due to how thin he was. Aside from those things, he seemed like a normal guy.

“Hey, kid! You alive over there?” I was pulled out of my thoughts when the blonde called out to me. I jumped and began nodding my head in embarrassment at being put on the spot.

Although this guy seemed like just an ordinary civilian, there was something about him that seemed…..familiar? Had I seen someone like him somewhere, before? If so, where? And when?

“Well, we better get back to the station; gotta get this guy booked, and fill out the report. Thanks again for your help. Don’t be a stranger! Stop by and visit sometime, okay, Yagi?” Officer Tsukauchi thanked the man.

Wait.

Wait.

Did that officer just call that guy ‘Yagi’? As in, ‘Yagi Toshinori’? As in, the world-renowned actor and member of the advocacy organization ‘The National Japanese Safeguard Project’? Best known for his role as the #1 hero and Symbol of Peace ‘All Might’?! THAT YAGI TOSHINORI?!?

I could almost feel my jaw touch the ground.

“Yeah, yeah. I got it.” All Might said in a somewhat tired tone of voice, but still had a smile on his face.

I watched as the rest of the officers got in their cars, and drove off; leaving me standing there, with All Might himself!

“So umm…” All Might said after a moment of awkward silence; probably seeing how I was beaming at him. “You sure you gonna be okay, kid?”

"You’re All Might!!"

This caused him to chuckle with a smile. He was even better in person than I’d ever imagined! “Geez, can’t get passed a mega fanboy like you, huh? Yep, that’s me.” He scratched the back of his head nervously. Suddenly, I realized that I still had my scorched, slightly damp notebook.

‘I have to get an autograph!’

I opened the notebook to the nearest empty page, only to find, in giant English letters, the name ‘Yagi ‘All Might’ Toshinori!’ written across both pages.

"He already signed it!!" I was absolutely beside myself.

“Thank you SO much, All Might!! This is an absolute honor! I will treasure this for years to come! IT’S GETTING FRAMED!!!!"

“Heh, no problem, kid.” All Might said with a smile as he turned to walk away, but before he could, I grabbed onto the hem of his shirt without realizing what I was doing.

“Wait! All Might! Hold on. Before you go, I have some things to ask first. Please?”

All Might looked at me in contemplation, before he let out a soft sigh, and turned towards me, again. “Sure thing, kid. It’s not like I have anything better to do.” He said with a grin. “And you can just call me ‘Yagi’, kid.”

I felt so dumb; I had been calling him by his character’s name this whole time, not even realizing that’s not what others call him, aside from maybe younger children. “Yes! Of course Yagi-san!” I bowed my head to him; hoping it would hide the deep blush spreading over my cheeks. “Heh, no worries, and just ‘Yagi’ is fine.”

“W-well, for starters, is it true? Are you really Yagi Toshinori? The same Yagi Toshinori who plays as the #1 greatest hero All Might?” The question seemed to throw him off a little as he quirked a non-existent eyebrow.

Now I feel like a jackass.

“I-I-I mean not that I d-don’t believe that y-you’re no-ot actually him, it-it’s just, you look, you look so..”

“It’s okay, kid. I get it.” He said; putting his hand up to stop me from rambling. “I know my appearance throws people off. It’s nothing I’m not used to, so don’t feel bad.”

“Oh, okay. I see.” I said with a slight laugh, embarrassed at my obnoxiousness, earlier.

“So, why do you look so different in person than you do on TV?” I asked, hoping that this wouldn’t offend him and make him think I was shallow.

“Well, that’s what makeup is for, right?” He said in a joking and sarcastic tone, but I couldn’t tell if he was serious.

How could that be? The 'All Might' series was a live-action TV program with real actors; the All Might I had always seen looked so different from the one standing before me.

Even though it made me sound gross, considering he had to be in his late 20s or early 30s, but on TV, Yagi was incredibly handsome! Tall, well-defined muscles, amazing physique and a smile that could eclipse the sun. But in person, he almost looked ill. Not that it was a bad thing; Yagi was still very handsome, but it did concern me a bit, as well as raise questions.

“But in all seriousness,” Yagi said in a more serious tone. “I actually did use to be very fit back in my day. But unfortunately, I ended up being injured 5 years ago; received a pretty nasty blow to the gut,” Yagi lifted his shirt to reveal a very large scar, which covered at least 50% of his torso. “and ended up having 3/4 of my stomach removed, and my lungs were badly damaged, as well. The injury was severe enough that my health began to decline, and now this is what you see.” He pulled his shirt back down, looking away as he did.

I was shocked. Not just at the severity of the injury he had sustained and the toll it had taken on him, but at how cavalier he was about it. But he did say it had been 5 years, now.

There must be more to it.

“Well, I think that’s enough. I need to get going.” Yagi turned away as he said this; waving his hand without looking back at me. “Take care, ki-”

“Wait! I still want to ask you something.”

“Not today. I need to take care of some things. Maybe some other ti-”

Is it possible for someone like me to get accepted into Yuuei?!

He stopped walking at that. He didn’t turn around, but he didn’t move, either; Yagi just stood there, waiting for me to continue.

“I...I’ve always wanted to help people, to be someone that people can look up to, just like you! Someone who can be there for others, and protect those who can’t protect themselves, and do so with a smile. And...I’ve been picked on and bullied since I was little, but I want to be able to make a difference in the world, despite that, so...”

Please, tell me there’s a chance I can do the same as you!"

Yagi turned around and just stared at me; I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. And it was making me anxious.

“Have you been scouted out?”

“Huh….?” The question threw me off. “Uhh, no. I haven’t-”

“Have you taken the mock exams? If you’re at least within the top 50 of your school, you may have a chance.”

“I, uh…” What was I supposed to say? The answer to all of his questions was a big, fat NO.

He sighed, and came closer to me until he was a few feet away from me.

“Kid, I’ll be honest with you. I really don’t think Yuuei is the right fit for you.”

Huh?

“Wha..?”

“While I don’t doubt you could get into any school if you worked hard enough, Yuuei is a completely different ballpark. For one, it’s not uncommon for students planning to apply there to spend the entire duration of junior high school studying for the exam.”

‘What? 3 years of studying?! Is the exam really that difficult, or do scouts look for students who are dedicated enough?’

“Also,” Yagi continued. “unless you’re absolutely confident that you’ll pass, there’s only one other way you would be able to get in, and that’s with an ‘Official Letter of Recommendation’.”

“An ‘Official Letter of Recommendation’...?”

Yagi nodded before continuing. “An Official Letter of Recommendation is sent in by a faculty member of Yuuei, and usually they’re the ones who scout out the student. If they feel the student would make a worthy addition to their school, they’ll send in the letter. Also, the letter must contain four signatures from the following: three Yuuei teachers and the Head Principal-Chancellor of Yuuei. Without those signatures, the scout’s referral won’t be enough.”

I stared back at him wide-eyed. “So you’re saying unless I somehow get scouted out, and then earn an Official Letter of Recommendation with four signatures, I have no chance of getting in?”

“As far as I see it, no.” He said this so casually; as if it were a given.

I didn’t know what to do or say.

“Listen, if you’re serious about wanting to help people, you have so many other options available to you.” Yagi said more sincerely, as he placed a hand on my shoulder.

He went to leave, not before he turned to look at me one more time and said: “Though there’s nothing wrong with having a dream, you really need to try and be realistic.”

And with that, Yagi, All Might, my idol, walked away.

I felt my heart crack.

-

‘Even Yagi Toshinori, my idol, even he doesn’t believe in me…’

I walked down the sidewalk as I thought back on everything that has happened in the past few days, months, years.

‘You’re a useless, pathetic, weak, DEKU!’ ‘Hey, Deku. Did you remember to take your medicine this morning?’ ‘Can’t you even do anything?’ ‘It’s about time you all started thinking seriously about your futures!’ 'Get real, Deku!' ‘Never took you for a tweeker, nerd.’ ‘Don’t you DARE get into Yuuei, nerd.’ ‘You really need to try and be realistic.’

I could feel the tears threatening to fall, but I forced them back. 'No! Don’t cry! You knew it wouldn’t be possible, didn’t you? This is the real world, so just stop playing make-believe, and face reality!’

Even if I wanted so badly not to face it. Sometimes, it’s less painful that way.

Suddenly, I noticed a large crowd gathering near the outlet shopping center; a big commotion was coming from that area. Curiosity got to me, and I decided to go see what the fuss was about. Though I didn’t see the point.

Then, I spotted someone in the center, surrounded by the large crowd; some of which I realized were also police officers. The person they were surrounding wasn’t alone; they looked to be holding somebody close to them, with something pressed to their head. No, they weren’t just holding them, they had their arms pinned behind their back. Was this a hostage situation?

Then, the sickening realization struck me when I recognized both of the individuals: the man who was just arrested earlier for assaulting me,

and Katsuki.

“Nobody come any closer, or this kid's DEAD!” He shouted as he pressed the object in his hand against Katsuki’s temple, causing him to grunt in anger(or possible pain).

It was then I recognized what the thing in his hand was: it wasn’t the knife he had used on me before, but a GUN!

‘How did he get a gun? Or for that matter, how did he escape?! He was sitting in the back of a police car, handcuffed, so there was no way he could have done all of this!’

It was at this moment I noticed the man’s appearance; I hadn’t had the chance to see what he looked like before, but now I could fully see what he looked like: He was fairly tall looking; around 5’9’’ with a large build, so he definitely could have overpowered the police, or even Katsuki, if they weren’t prepared. I also noticed he had on a beanie, as well as the handcuffs dangling off of one of his wrists. This presented a plausible theory:

He may have been hiding some kind of tool in his beanie, like a bobby pin or maybe a nail, somehow must have found a way to maneuver his hands so that the cuffs were in front of him, and after getting the cuffs off, was able to steal a gun from one of the officers.

Even if that wasn’t what happened, it really didn’t matter, when somebody’s life was at stake!

“We need to act now! Where the hell is backup?!” One of the officers shouted.

“They’ve already called in backup less than 2 minutes ago. We need to try and negotiate with the suspect; give him whatever he wants, and try to get the hostage to safety.” Another officer responded.

There’s no time for negotiations! Two people have been shot, already! We can’t risk any more civilians or officers getting hurt or killed!!” An officer near the back shouted out.

I then saw in the corner of my eye, that two people, had indeed, been shot; blood pooling around them as first responders did everything they could to stop the bleeding. Luckily, their injuries didn't look life-threatening, but if nobody put a stop to this soon, others might be joining them.

Katsuki was struggling, fighting with all his might to get out of the man’s grip, but it was no use.

“Why isn’t anybody doing anything?!”, “Can’t they just give him what he wants? It’ll save the kid faster.”, “They can’t risk making any sudden moves; they don’t know what his demands are, yet.”, “Even if they did give him what he wanted, that won’t guarantee the kid will live.”

'This can’t be happening. None of this is real. This is a nightmare.'

Katsuki began struggling more violently this time when the man suddenly ran his tongue up his neck; a disgustingly evil grin on his face.

‘Please. Just hang in there, Kacchan.’

Katsuki was cursing at the man; demanding that he let him go.

‘I’m sorry, Kacchan! I’m sorry you’re going through this! Someone will come to save you.’

Katsuki thrashed, trying so desperately to escape. He was literally fighting for his life.

‘Someone will be here. To save you.’

Then, for just a split second, our eyes met.

There were so many emotions running through his eyes at one time, but there was one emotion I saw that made every nerve sparked to life, every muscle twitch and seize, every joint creak to life with mobility. Everything moved on autopilot.

I saw FEAR in his eyes.

-

GET BACK HERE, KID! ARE YOU CRAZY?! STOP!!

‘Why are my legs moving? Why am I running? Why??’

“What the fuck?!” The man looked at me with confusion and slight anger.

“Deku?” Katsuki gave me the same confused look, but I couldn’t tell if he was angry, scared, or just annoyed.

“It’s you. You little shit!” It was then that the gun that had been nuzzled against Katsuki’s head, was now pointing right at me.

“Eeep!!”

‘What do I do? What do I do?! I’m gonna die if I don’t do something!’

You’re DEAD!!” He shouted, and pulled the trigger.

But nothing happened.

"The fuck?!” The man looked at the gun; confused at why it didn’t fire. The safety was off, but it didn’t fire like it was supposed to.

‘It’s jammed! Now’s my chance!!’ I didn’t know how long it took to unjam a gun, but I wasn’t planning on finding out.

Without even thinking, I took off my backpack, and with all the strength I could muster, threw it at the man’s face; causing him to stagger back from the force. I took the opportunity and grabbed his arm; trying with all my might to remove the gun from his grasp.

This guy was twice my size and must have weighed over 180 lbs., so the likeliness of me being able to overpower him was very slim, but if I could at the very least get his weapon away from him, that’s all that mattered.

Finally, I was able to knock the gun from his hand, causing it to fly at least 10 feet. Now, I just had to worry about getting Katsuki out of the man’s vice grip. I quickly wrapped my legs around his waist from behind; trying to use my own body weight to throw him off-balance, while using my hands to grip at whatever they could reach; my fingers practically clawing at his eyes.

The man yelled and cursed for me to get off of him, trying to shake me off without releasing his grip on Katsuki, but I held on for dear life.

Deku! What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!” Katsuki shouted at me; one of his arms managed to come loose, while he tried to free the other one.

I’m sorry, Kacchan! My legs just started moving on their own! I don’t know why, but…”

‘You’re a useless, pathetic, weak, DEKU!’

“You looked like you needed help!!”

Suddenly, all three of us fell to the ground after the man lost his balance from trying to keep me from clawing his eyes out. Unfortunately, the man’s focus was on me, again. While still pinned between him and the pavement, he turned over and used his forearm to press down against my throat, just like before. “You fucking piece of SHIT!! I’ll make sure you don’t get in my way AGAIN!!!

Then, just as I thought my heroic efforts would be in vain, I saw someone rushing in, grab hold of the man by his neck, and punch him in the face, causing him to stumble backward and fall to the ground. Before he could get back up, the officers rushed in and restrained him.

Still rubbing my throat, I looked up, and when saw the thin frame and blonde hair, and I knew right away who had saved us. It was Yagi!

He turned to me and smiled. “Hey, kid.”

-

Afterward, the officers took the psycho into custody, and the remaining first responders stayed to help assist the wounded. Yagi was speaking with the officers about the details of what had happened since he was there when he saw the criminal the first time. Of course, he was praised for his role in stopping the man from taking two innocent lives.

I was expecting one of three scenarios to take place: the first, and least likely, would be the officers would say how brave and heroic I was for risking my life to save my friend; the second, and most likely, would be them telling me how reckless I was for putting myself in danger like that; and the third, they would simply ignore me.

Turned out, #2 was the winner.

What were you thinking, young man?!” One of the officers bellowed at me. “Do you have any idea the risk you took, today?! There was no reason for you to put yourself in danger like that!!

Meanwhile, Katsuki was getting all the praise. “You were so brave! Good on you for holding your own.”

It was like the roles were reversed.

After that, I walked home, and all I could think of was Yagi.

‘I was hoping I could apologize to Yagi for getting him involved. Maybe I can send him an email or something…’

Deku!!” I turned around to see Katsuki panting heavily.

“I..” He started, but then, he shot me a look that was mixed with anger, resentment, and something else.

“I NEVER asked you to save me, Deku! As if some weak little nobody like you ever could! If you had just stayed outta my way, I could've taken that asshole down myself! How DARE you take pity on me! What was your goal, huh? To try and win me over? Turn me into a kiss-ass?! Fuck you, Deku!!!

With that, he turned around, and walked off; still grumbling under his breath.

‘Well, that happened…’ I didn’t know why, but despite what Katsuki had said, and the obvious intent behind it, there seemed to be more to it. Even if he would NEVER admit it, I think Katsuki was trying to thank me, in his own aggressive, and ‘explosive’ kind of way.

With that thought, I started to smile.

‘He’s right, though.’ I thought sadly. ‘I couldn’t do anything, and nothing changed. But...I’m glad he’s safe.’

I gripped the straps of my bag tighter as I turned back around and kept walking. ‘I suppose...I can take this time to look into my choices for my future…’

Young man!!!” Out of nowhere, Yagi Toshinori, came from around the corner; blood dripping from his chin, and he was panting like he just ran a marathon.

"Huh?! Yagi?! Why are you here? And, are you okay?”

“Oh, this? Yeah, it’s nothing” He said, wiping the blood with the back of his hand. “Happens all the time. Kid.” Yagi said in a more serious, but sincere voice. “Listen, I wanted to apologize for what I said to you before, and to offer you a proposal.”

“Huh? A ‘proposal’"?

“After I was injured 5 years ago, I tried to hide the overwhelming pressure I had felt with a smile, but in the end, it all became too much to handle. Even after I retired a few months ago, I didn’t want to let it become public news; I couldn’t find it in me to let others see what had become of me.” Yagi said; sadness present in his voice. "I couldn’t handle the thought that I had let those around me down."

Wait. Retired? That’s right! I remember. The show had canceled near the beginning of this year, but they still aired reruns. Even so, I had no idea this was how Yagi had been feeling. What made it even more unbelievable, was how much we had in common.

“But after hearing your story, after seeing you risk your life to save that boy, it made me realize I was being selfish and insecure, so thank you!”

I was confused by what he was saying. Why was he thanking me?

“That’s...no, I mean, I didn’t do anything, really." I looked down at my feet, feeling ashamed with myself. "I rushed in without even thinking, I could’ve gotten myself and Kacchan killed, and yet, even though I knew better, I had the nerve to ask you...”

"Exactly!! Don’t you see?” I looked up at this, surprised by how excited he sounded.

“Even with police on the scene, whose job it is to protect and serve and to do so at the risk of losing their lives, of all the people who were there, you, a timid and insecure middle schooler, were the only one to act and risk your life for another! It was your selfless act that inspired me to act!"

My eyes widened at this; it felt like a chord was struck deep in my heart. 'Did Yagi just tell me that I had inspired him? Me?!'

It felt like my heart was beating faster than its normal rate, and it was becoming harder to breathe.

“I told you before, that Yuuei wasn’t the best choice for you,” Yagi said after a moment. “But after today, I’m starting to reconsider. You see, there are certain traits Yuuei scouts look for in potential students, but of those traits, the ones that truly count, end up getting glossed over by intelligence alone.”

I felt fat tears roll down my cheeks as he said this; my knees buckling beneath me as my body trembled.

‘What’s happening? Why is he saying this to me?’

"The traits of a truly exceptional Yuuei student, are the same as the ones I saw in you today!"

I began to curl in on myself; my body shaking uncontrollably, as more tears fell.

‘This isn’t real. None of this is real!

"You, young man, have what it takes to get into Yuuei!!"

-

“Young man? Are you okay?” I didn’t even hear Yagi as I was suddenly on my knees; clutching my chest tightly as I tried desperately to breathe; my body shaking uncontrollably.

‘No. No! Not again! Why now? Why here of all places, and why in front of Yagi of all people?!’

I was having a panic attack.

"Young man!! Hey, hey what’s wrong? What’s happening!?" Yagi came towards me, but before he could do anything else, I let out a shaking whimper.

‘Can’t breathe can’t breathe can’t breathe can’t breathe can’t breathe!!’

He didn’t put his hands on me, but he didn’t back away, either. Instead, he began speaking to me softly. “Hey, hey. You’re alright, everything’s okay. It’ll be over soon, just try and breathe, okay?” The calmness of his voice allowed me to steady my breathing; my heart was still beating at an almost dangerous rate, but at least I was able to catch my breath, again.

“That’s it, you’re doing great.” Yagi said as he gently placed one hand on my back, the other in my hair. “Just keep breathing, kid. You’ll be fine.”

After what felt like hours of Yagi talking in a soothing voice, and me just breathing, I finally lifted my head up; my eyes puffy and red, and my face stained with tears,

“You okay?” He asked, his face filled with concern. “Y-Yeah, I’m fine. It was just a panic attack, happens sometimes. Just felt a little overwhelmed, but I’m okay, now.” I said as I pull myself from the ground; Yagi kept a hand on my back for support. “I’m sorry you had to see that.”

“Why are you apologizing? You just had a panic attack, kid, that’s not something to apologize for!” He sounded upset as he said this, but not because of what had happened. Probably because it had happened and he couldn’t do much of anything to help me.

“Does that happen often?” He asked after a moment, his voice calmer. I nodded my head, looking down at my feet. “Unfortunately, yes. I’ve had an anxiety disorder since I was eleven...” I grimaced as I said that. I didn’t want to tell him any more than that.

He didn’t need to know about my prescriptions and the drama that came with them.

“I see. But you’re okay, right? Like, physically, are you gonna be alright?” I smiled at how concerned he sounded. I guess he’s never witnessed a panic attack before. I’ll admit, It is kinda scary seeing one for the first time, but not as scary as actually having one.

“Yes, Yagi, I’m okay. Thank you for helping me.” I said with a genuine smile.

"Yes! Of course, as long as you’re okay. Like I was saying before, you, young man, have what it takes to get into Yuuei! And I plan on helping you prepare for the exam!!!"

“...Huh?!?"

-

And so, for the next 10 months, Yagi kept his promise and put me through intensive study sessions every day before and after school to get me ready for the entrance exam. He even went as far as to create a customized study plan he called the ‘Pass the Test, American Dream’ plan, to help target subjects I was having the most difficulty in.

Of course, Yagi made sure to not push me too hard, or to let me push myself too hard, out of fear of triggering another panic attack. Though it was sweet of him to take my anxiety into consideration, I let him know he had nothing to worry about. I didn’t have time to spend on worrying about that when there wasn’t much time left; I needed to focus all my efforts on studying.

I only get one chance at passing the exam, so I can’t afford to squander it.

-

10 months later: 6:00 AM; 3 hours before the Entrance Exam

"The day has finally come! You’ve worked so hard for this, young Midoriya! You should feel proud!!” Yagi said as he patted me on the back. “I don’t know about that, Yagi. I mean, I feel like I cheated, somehow.” I said, feeling a little deflated. “Why do you say that?” He asked, a bit confused.

“Well, everyone else has had to study on their own for this, while I had you helping me, and plus, you were an Alumni of Yuuei, so know better than anyone what this test is all about. I just,” I felt tears start to brim my eyes as I said this “I feel like I don’t deserve this.”

“Young Midoriya,” He said in a soft voice; his hand still on my back. “that’s not true. Sure, you had my help, but this was all made possible by your dedication and effort. So don’t sell yourself short.”

I smiled at that. “Thank you. For everything.” I said to him, and he ruffled my hair in response.

“It’s no trouble! Now! Off you go, young Midoriya! You have an exam to pass!!"

-

To say I wasn’t nervous was a bold-faced lie.

There had to have been at least over a thousand students(maybe more!) from all over Japan, sitting in this giant auditorium; a large, movie theatre-like screen at the front, surrounded by speakers, and an oversize podium with a microphone at the center. I wasn’t sure if it was because there were so many people in one room with me that was making me feel this way or the fact it was the day of the Yuuei Entrance Exam, either way, my nerves felt like they were seizing up. It especially didn’t help that Bakugou Katsuki, of all people, decided to sit right next to me.

It was strange. Since that day 10 months ago, Katsuki hadn't bothered me, but I wouldn't put it past him to try something on the day of the exam. So my guard was definitely on high alert, today. It also didn't do much to calm my already frazzled nerves.

In fact, my nerves were so bad, I almost wished I had brought my medicine with me.

'Maybe if I let one of the teachers know about my anxiety and that I have a prescription for it, they may let me run home and get it before the exam; there’s still time, or maybe they could let me call mom and have her bring i-'

~No. No! You’re NOT about to fall back into that, now. Just get through this. You’ve come too far to fall back into old habits.~

Just then, the door burst opened, and a man with long blonde hair that was tied back into a partial bun, a short mustache, and black framed glasses, walked up to the podium and began to speak. His appearance definitely did not prepare me for how loud his voice was.

“Welcome to today’s show!! How are my lovely listeners, today?!” The man, who I had to assume was one of the teachers, exclaimed loudly; the whole auditorium was silent. “Glad to see you’re all so lively this morning! I’m Yamada Hizashi, English teacher of Yuuei, but you lovelies can call me by my radio host name, ‘Present Mic’! I’ll be overseeing all of you during the exam, so are you examinee listeners ready?! YEAHHH!!!!!”

Dead silence.

‘No way!! Present Mic is a teacher here?! He’s a famous radio host in Japan; he even has his own radio show, ‘Put Your Hands Up Radio’; it’s even gained popularity in the United States. I listen to it every Friday! I can’t believe he teaches at Yuuei, too!’

“Deku. Shut the fuck up.” Katsuki hisses quietly at me.

‘Crap. I was muttering the whole time! I’ve got to work on that.’

“Alright, my listeners, in about twenty minutes, the test will begin! You’ll have five hours total to complete the exam; one hour per subject! You’ll be allowed a ten-minute break in between each subject! However, nobody may leave the campus during the time of the exam, unless it’s an emergency!”

I was busy psyching myself for the exam, I didn’t notice Katsuki was giving me a sideways glare.

“That’s all for now! Hope you’re ready, my listeners! I’ll leave you with our school motto. As the great Napoleon Bonaparte once said: ‘True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life.’”

“PLUS ULTRA!!! Break a leg, everyone!”

Let the exam begin

-

~You can do this; remember everything Yagi has taught you.~

So far, I was feeling really good about this, I even dared say I was feeling confident about passing; though we still had another two hours to go. But if I just relaxed, and focused on my breathing, acing this exam would be a cakewalk.

~You’re doing great. Just have Social Studies and English left after this; another two hours to go!~

I was so focused on my exam, I didn’t notice Katsuki was doing something with his hands. We’re prohibited from passing notes during the exam, so I almost gasped when a tiny paper note slipped under my right thigh on the long bench. Sparing a small glance down at the slip, I gingerly reach down; being very careful not to get caught(this is just the entrance exam, and I’m already breaking the rules?), and opened it in my lap. What I read made me have to muffle a gasp.

‘Take your meds today, tweeker?’ was written on the slip.

Suddenly, it became very hard to breathe.

~Calm down. Just calm down! Breathe. You need to breathe! He’s just trying to distract you, don’t let something like this stop you from passing!~

Carefully slipping the note into my pocket, I chanced a side glance to my right and saw Katsuki giving me his own side glance. He looked so proud of what he wrote; with a smug grin to boot.

I started sweating more than when the exam had started, and my heart rate picked up.

Why was Katsuki doing this to me? Was he doing this on purpose? He had to have been. He knew about my anxiety, and how this would affect it; he knew my nerves were getting to me, so of course, knowing the one thing I needed to relieve this feeling, he used that against me. The perfect weapon!

‘Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus!’

Only two more hours to go.

-

"Six minutes, twelve seconds remaining."

I could barely breathe; my lungs felt like they were filled to the brim with excess oxygen, and they were going to burst from the pressure. It was becoming so hard to see; my vision cloudy due to unshed tears I was fighting so damn hard to hold in, and the irrational thoughts that impaired my mind kept me from thinking clearly. Now I definitely regretted not bringing my medicine. Oh wait, if I did, Katsuki would have another reason to torment me.

But at least if I had it, I wouldn't be having a mental breakdown!

‘Everything is so hazy; I can’t see. Why can’t I see? Why can’t I breathe? Please, I need to breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe I can’t breathe I can’t breathe I can’t breathe I can’t breathe I can’t breathe!!’

"Four minutes, three seconds remaining."

I was so focused on trying to get my breathing under control, I didn’t even realize I still had about fifteen unanswered questions left. I wouldn’t pass if I got anything below 79%, but I would rather finish the exam, and still fail than fail because it was incomplete.

'I have to get through this! My anxiety be damned!!'

Quickly wiping my eyes, I gripped my pencil hard, and quickly filled in as many blank questions as I could.

"Two minutes, eighteen seconds remaining."

‘Everything Yagi did for me. It will be all for nothing if I don’t pull it together and finish!’

I raced to get everything written down; being careful to actually read the questions and actually answer them correctly, while also being mindful of the time. The pressure was on!

‘He believed in me. He saw potential in me; otherwise, he wouldn’t have wasted his time on a nobody like me! I have to make him proud!!’

"One minute, five seconds remaining."

‘The traits of a truly exceptional Yuuei student, are the same as the ones I saw in you today.’ ‘It was your selfless act that inspired me to act!’ ‘You, young man, have what it takes to get into Yuuei!!’

"TIMES UP!! IT’S ALL OVER!!!!"

Present Mic exclaimed, prompting everyone to put their pencils down and pass in their papers. I looked down at my exam, and the tears nearly spilled right then at what I saw.

I still had one more question unanswered!

That’s it. It’s over. I failed.

-

One week later:

I was stuck in a daze for what felt like forever; Mom seemed to take notice as she tried to speak to me.

“Izuku? Izuku?! Why are you staring at your fish like that?” Mom sounded worried, I didn’t blame her. “Ahh, oh, I’m sorry, Mom. I’ve just been….tired, I guess.” I didn’t tell her the details of how the exam went; I didn’t really want to, either.

“Izu...has your anxiety been bothering you, sweetie?” I flinched at this. Of course, she would think that was the problem. Well, she wasn’t wrong, but it wouldn’t have been a problem if it weren’t for Katsuki!

“I’m okay, Mom. Just nervous about the results, is all.” I said as I sat on the couch, turning on the TV. It didn’t help that Yagi hadn’t contacted me since the exam. Did he find out how badly I did, and give up on me?

“Well, you know you can tell me if anything is bothering you, right? I’ll always support you, no matter what, honey.” Mom has always been my rock, even after dad left us before I was born; she’s been there for me when my anxiety was at its worst, and she’d always know just what to say and do.

I’m grateful to have her as my mother.

“Thanks, Mom.” I said with a smile. As I flipped through the channels, trying to clear my mind about the exam, I suddenly heard frantic footsteps beside me.

“Izuku! Izuku!!” I turned my head, only to see Mom is practically sitting on the ground, with an envelope in her hand. “It’s here! The letter is here!!!”

This is it. Better get this over with.

-

I sat at my desk; staring blankly at the letter, the seal with Yuuei’s insignia shined in the glare of my desk lamp.

‘It’s now or never.’

I ripped open the envelope, careful not to rip the letter, and pulled it out. But I’m surprised and confused to see, that there’s two.

‘Does it take two times to tell someone they failed the exam at Yuuei, or am I just the exception?’

But my cynical thoughts were halted by the words that graced the parchment. The first one looked like a normal letter; typed out, of course, but a letter, regardless. From….Yagi?!

‘Dear young Midoriya,

My apologies! I know it’s been a while since we’ve last spoken; there was a lot to get done before the results were sent out. I’m sure you must have a lot of question, like why I’m the one who’s writing you this, so I’ll get to the point. As you may know, getting a score below 79%, which is the lowest passing score, results in automatic failure. I have reviewed your exam, and the results of your score was a 77%.’

A 77%? I didn’t get the passing grade. I clenched my fists around the letter; trying my best not to rip it to pieces as my hands shook.

‘I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!! I’m so pathetic! Kacchan was right. I am just a Deku..’

Then, I remembered there was more here to read, so I kept going.

‘I want you to know that while this is, in fact, a failing grade, there’s more to it! Do you remember when I told you what else was required in order to guarantee acceptance into Yuuei? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Although I’ve retired from my acting career, due to my being a prominent member of the board of directors at The National Japanese Safeguard Project, the largest advocacy organization in the country, I was offered a job as a representative of Yuuei just a few months ago, as well as a teaching position.’

'Wait. Yagi? a teacher? At YUUEI?!'

I kept reading.

‘Because of this, after witnessing your heroic actions against that criminal 10 months prior, as an official faculty member of Yuuei, I used that to my advantage and informed the Yuuei staff members that I had found a fine candidate for Yuuei. This means, despite your failing grade in the exam itself, I have scouted you out, and I have deemed you worthy of joining our school. As a result, I was able to obtain an Official Letter of Recommendation on your behalf.’

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. My hands were shaking so much, I had a hard time reading the rest of the letter.

‘As I have said before, the traits of a truly exceptional Yuuei student, are the exact traits you possess as well: Bravery, selflessness, determination, dedication and unwavering compassion to help those in need or in danger while looking past their social status or individual characteristics. Those are traits I look for in a Yuuei student, and you, young Midoriya, have those traits!’

'No way. Does this mean…?'

‘You’re in! Congratulations! Welcome to Yuuei High School, Midoriya Izuku! May you experience perseverance on your journey to achieving your dreams. Till then, I’ll see you in April! And remember, Go Beyond! Plus Ultra!!

Best regards,

Yagi Toshinori.’

Tears were rolling down my cheeks, and I didn’t care if they soaked the paper; the smile on my face felt like it was permanently plastered there.

And it was all thanks to Yagi! He truly was a hero. My hero.

This was the beginning of my journey.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s POV

Present day:

The smile on my face starts to slip as I get closer to my destination.

I could see the large, extravagant buildings that makeup Yuuei’s facility in the distance; the bright morning sun reflecting off the plexiglass windows. From the right angle, it looks a lot like a grand castle. Yuuei is a very large campus, even without factoring in the university portion; if it were just the high school on its own, Yuuei would still be very large.

Yuuei consists of the main building, which includes the high school classrooms, a large cafeteria, the nurse's office, a conference room, a giant library and a multitude of different after-school clubs. There are also smaller subsections surrounding the main building, including a large gymnasium, track field and pool area, an arena used for sports competitions during festivals, and as recent as my sophomore year of high school, they even added in brand new dormitories that surround the main building.

‘Heights Alliance’ was established as a way for high school and college students who lived further away easier access to the campus; at no extra cost to them or their parents. Of course, it’s not mandatory for students to live there(thank god!); if students prefer to live outside of school, they are permitted to do so, so long as they keep their Student IDs on them at all times, in order to get in. I was more than happy to get my own apartment shortly after finishing high school.

The university portion of Yuuei is essentially the same as the high school, except for a few additional lecture halls and buildings, on-campus cafes and coffee shops, and even a concert hall and rec center. Although college and high school students share the campus, main and sub-buildings and dorms, they’re kept separate from each other during and after school hours to avoid conflict. The only time a college and high school student would ever interact would be during tours, orientations, tutoring sessions and internships.

‘Another day, another verbal lynching from the class, and maybe a bit more from Kacchan…’

I don’t hate this school. Far from it. I worked way too hard to get accepted here, and I owe it all to Yagi for helping me get this far. Even if he weren’t a teacher, I have a feeling he would have fought tooth and nail to get me that Letter of Recommendation.

As I continue walking, I being to gingerly rub the spot where my thigh is bandaged under my jeans; I can’t help but think back to my first day here as I do.

 

-

 

I began cutting shortly before starting high school.

It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment type of thing, per se. Rather, it was a small accident; a slight fumble, that sparked this dangerous but satisfying domino effect that I found very hard to break out of whenever the stress got to be too much for me.

Sometimes, the most simple coping mechanisms, can also become the most detrimental.

 

-

 

3 years, 2 months earlier:

Last Day of Middle School

“That’s so wonderful! To not only have one of our students get into Yuuei, but two of our students? It's unprecedented!

Katsuki and I stood before one of our teachers in the teachers’ room while they congratulated both of us for getting accepted into the top school in the nation. While I was feeling flustered at receiving praise from the teacher like this, I could practically feel the angry heat coming off of Katsuki.

“Well, good for you, boys! I know you’ll work hard and make everyone proud!”

We bowed our heads politely before being dismissed. I walked as fast and as far away from Katsuki as my legs could go. But it was in vain, because a soon as I rounded the corner outside, I roughly bumped into someone, who unfortunately happened to be the person I was trying to avoid.

“Oh, K-Kacchan! M-my bad.” I said politely as I tried to duck my way past him, but he was quicker, as he grabbed me by my arm, and dragged me along with him. “I would like a word with you, Deku.”

I flinched at the way he said ‘Deku’; I knew he was angry, and this was just a fraction of his anger. As soon as we were out of view of others, he pushed me up against the wall and pinned me there by slamming his hand on the wall, right by my head.

“So,” He started in a low, deep voice(was it bad that I thought it made him sound kinda hot?) as he leaned in closer, making me feel claustrophobic. “you actually managed to pass the exam. A useless nobody like you actually managed to get accepted into Yuuei; even after I told you NOT to!” Now he was bellowing in my face at full volume. “What are you trying to pull, Deku!? Huh!? I told you NOT to get into Yuuei! A Deku like you doesn’t belong in a place like Yuuei!!”

That made my eyes widen. A sudden surge of anger shot through my body, but I wouldn't let it turn into a rage; I refused to become like Katsuki when angered.

I grabbed his arm, causing him to flinch slightly at the contact, and shoved it away. I gave him a look that, for the first time in my life(and probably his), I knew made me look and feel confident.

“Kacchan, you’re wrong!” Katsuki’s eyes widened at this; he had never expected me to stand up to him like this, and I was actually feeling really good with myself.

‘I don’t need my medicine for this. I don’t need it for anything. I’ll prove it!’

“Someone told me, that I have the traits of a truly exceptional Yuuei student. They told me, that I have what it takes to get accepted there.”

I’ve never spoken to Katsuki like that before, and it felt so good to do it, so I wasn’t going to waste it.

“I’ve earned the right to go there, Kacchan! You tried to get me to fail with your cruel trick, but in the end, it just pushed me to try harder! No matter what, I’m not giving up on my dreams, Kacchan! Whether you like it or not, I’m here to stay!!"

I was beaming with confidence, and Katsuki was speechless. This feeling felt so good, it was even better than Zoloft. I knew it wouldn’t last forever, so I relished in it for as long as it would let me.

And then Katsuki smirked.

“Alright, nerd.” He sounded…..humble like he was genuinely being sincere. “I’ll give you credit for having the balls to stand up to me just now, and for having the balls to actually take the exam, and actually pass it. I’ll admit it, I underestimated you; you’re obviously not as dead-brained as I thought you were. Maybe you do have what it takes.”

I was genuinely shocked.

‘Is Kacchan...actually...being nice to me? I can’t remember the last time he’s ever said anything so nice to me….so why now? Could it be...he actually wants to try being friends again?! I mean, better late than never!’

"But," He suddenly lost his humble charm; reverting back to his cocky demeanor. “that’s all the praise you’ll be getting out of me from this point onward, so don’t let it get to your head, shitnerd!”

‘I spoke too soon.’

“So, let’s get this outta the way, Deku. We’re about to be stuck at the same school together for the next 3-no, scratch that, the next 7 years, since we’ll also be attending the same fucking university together! So, with that, I’m gonna go ahead and set some ground rules for you to follow:

1) Stay out of my way. 2) Don’t try to buddy up to me, or try to be my friend. And 3) Don’t you DARE try to one-up me, or try to be better than me; I meant what I said when I said I’m gonna be the best of the best! That includes being better than any of the other extras that got in, and you!!” He pointed his finger to my chest in emphasis. “So follow the rules I’ve laid out, and we’ll be square. Got it, Deku?”

‘Is he serious?’ I glared at him even harder at that.

"And if I don’t?" I challenged him; feeling a bit cocky, but I didn’t care. “Kacchan, we’re not kids, anymore. And I meant what I said about not giving up. You really think a threat like that’s going to scare me?”

His smirk faltered again, and for a split second, I thought he was going to curse under his breath, and simply walk away. Instead, his grin grew bigger, and he continued.

“I was honestly hoping you would say something like that, Deku.”

Okay, I definitely wasn’t expecting that. And it worried me.

“It was getting kinda boring with you constantly walking around with your tail between your legs like a little bitch, so I like a little challenge.” I thought he was going to hit me when I saw his hand move, again. I felt a little afraid, but I continued to stand my ground; watching his every move.

I was surprised when, instead, I saw him reach into his pocket, and retrieve his phone; that same smug grin on his lips.

“So you wanna be like that, Deku? Wanna play the tough guy, now?” He asked in that condescending manner, as I watched his thumb tapping along the screen. “Alright, then. I’ll play along.” Then, he turned his phone around so it was facing me. I gasped loudly at what was on the screen.

The picture of Katsuki’s hand, holding my prescription.

He still had it?!

“W-w-what is t-this, K-Kacchan?” I tried so hard to control my stuttering, and I felt stupid for asking that; , of course, I knew what that photo was, but I just couldn’t believe he still had it this entire time.

“What does it look like, shit nerd? It’s got your name on it, doesn't it?” He said condescendingly and in a blatantly sarcastic tone, with that same glint in his eyes. It was a glint of smug pride at how he'd managed to crush the small shrivel of confidence I'd managed to build up.

‘Why is he doing this?!’

“As you’re already aware,” Katsuki spoke up. “you and I are the only ones from this shit school to get accepted into Yuuei, which means, the only one out of all the others who know about your ‘prescription’, is yours truly."

He put his phone back in his pocket, and walked closer to me; once again pinning me against the wall. And this time, he grabbed me by the front of my shirt while he spoke.

“So, here’s what’s going to happen: you’re going to follow the rules I’ve laid out for you; plain and simple. Do that, and we won’t have to worry about this getting spread out, again. But if you don’t,” He leaned in closer till I felt his hot breath tickling my ear. "I’ll make sure every single person at Yuuei sees this."

I just stood there; my eyes wide with fear. My breath caught in my throat.

I couldn’t believe he would do this to me. It was true, even though everyone from Aldera, including the teachers, knew about my prescription, the only ones who got into Yuuei were me and Katsuki. And the one person who I knew for a fact would use that against me, was the same person who would be joining me at Yuuei for the next 7 years.

Yuuei was my one and only chance at escaping from that horrible place, and those horrible memories; my only chance at a fresh start, a new beginning, a brand new chapter in my life; with new people, and possibly even new friends.

So for Katsuki to go and ruin it all for me with a simple photo and a few twisted and exaggerated words, it made every muscle in my body tense up.

“So,” Katsuki spoke after a moment of silence between us. “what do you say? What are the rules, Deku?”

I fought the tears that danced along the rim of my eyes; feeling my bottom lip start to quiver as I quietly spoke.

“S-stay out of your way. Don’t t-try to b-be your friend. And don’t be b-better than y-you.”

I flinched as he petted the top of my head. “Good boy.”

I watched him walk away, and once I was sure he was gone and I was all alone,

I let my tears fall.

 

-

 

I went home that day feeling even more drained than I did when I woke up that morning. Mom greeted me, but all I could manage was a small ‘hey’. I went into my room, closed and locked my door, sat at my desk, and just stared at nothing.

‘I can’t believe he kept that photo all this time. What is Kacchan trying to prove? What is he gaining by torturing me like this? Isn’t it enough that I’ve had to endure this throughout all of middle school, but he wants me to go through this again for another 7 years?!’

The tears rolled down my face at these thoughts, and all I could do to try and keep my mind busy was to grab one of my old All Might comics; those always used to cheer me up when I was feeling down. But I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing...

"Ouch!"

I looked down, only to see a long, slender slit on my outer index finger. I had accidentally given myself a papercut on one of the pages. Though it was a small cut, it hurt so much, but for some strange reason...I started to feel better. My stress from earlier that day; the words Katsuki had said to me, his blackmail, the looming threat of my entire future at Yuuei being destroyed with so little effort, they all seemed to just melt away with each stinging pulse from this tiny cut on my finger.

And from that moment, I found a new way to relieve myself of this agonizing internal pain.

 

-

 

I would only cut myself if the stress and anxiety got to be too much; it was definitely not a healthy substitute for taking Zoloft, but I would rather mark my flesh and let it scar than take something that supposedly ‘drug users’ use. I knew it was immature to think that, but nothing about this situation was mature.

I was also careful about where I cut myself; I never left marks where others could easily see them, such as my wrists or neck. Instead, I would cut on my thighs, along my hips, ribs, stomach, chest and even along the inside of my upper arms. I was very careful about the clothes I wore that might reveal the scars, or if I ever had to undress in public; like at bathhouses or at the school locker room. I always waited till I was the last one there to shower or change, and I never took longer than 3 minutes to bathe or shower.

It started with just a pair of scissors, then I switched to my trusty box cutter, along with replacement blades that I kept hidden in my room; Mom never messed with my things, so I didn’t have to worry about her finding them. I always made sure to hide any evidence that I was injured from Mom; if she ever did happen to find blood droplets anywhere, I would lie, saying it was from shaving(even though I don’t shave).

I would keep up with this until I found a better, less mutilating version of stress release, but who knew when that would be?

 

-

 

First Day of High School

‘This has to be a dream. I’m dreaming, right? Someone tell me I’m dreaming!’ I couldn’t keep the big, dopey grin off my face as I stared at my reflection in the mirror with child-like excitement. My Yuuei High School uniform felt so crisp and new, I was almost too scared to move around in it too much, not wanting to wrinkle it.

“Izuku!” Mom called out from the living room “Are you ready, honey? If you don’t get going soon, you’re going to be late for your first day!”

“Yeah, Mom!” I quickly make my way to the genkan, grabbing my backpack while hastily putting my favorite red boots.

“Do you have everything, Izuku? Have you got your tissues? What about your handkerchief? Will you be alright getting to school on your own? Oh, dear, maybe I should drive you!”

“Mom! It’s fine! I’ll be okay, you have nothing to worry about.” Although I felt embarrassed at Mom gushing over me, even though I was a fifteen-year-old high schooler now, I couldn’t keep the smile from spreading on my face.

“I know, dear. I just wanna make sure your first day goes well. Oh! That reminds me. Did you remember to take your medicine, Izuku?”

Aaaand there goes my smile.

“...yeah, Mom. I did.”

~You liar.~

“Okay, dear. I know I don’t need to remind you, but you know me. I’m a helicopter Mom, after all!” Mom said with a slight chuckle; I fake laughed to play it off.

“Well, I gotta go. I’m gonna be late.” I said after lacing up my shoes, just before I went to step out the door, I heard Mom call out. “Izuku!”

'Oh, for the love of...'

"Whaaat, Mooom?" I said impatiently.

She smiled fondly before she looked at me “You look so handsome, Izuku.” She said gleefully with tears in her eyes. I smiled back at her.

“See you later, Mom!” I said cheerfully to her as I left.

I power-walked down the sidewalk until I was a few blocks away from our apartment, and after a while longer, I slowed down; the smile that was on my face began to fall.

‘I hate lying to Mom, like that. Why can’t I just tell her? Is it because I’m afraid of what she’ll think of me? Or is it because I wanna prove to her I can handle dealing with my anxiety, myself. I just wanna be able to get through high school, college and life in general without having to use a prescription as a crutch.’

~No. You wanna prove to your peers, who don’t even care about you, that you don’t need it; which is a complete joke. Stop with the charade, already. You know just as well as anybody that it’s peer pressure keeping you from utilizing the one thing that will keep your anxiety at bay.~

My frown deepened at this.

‘No! I need to stop thinking about those things. Today’s my big day. Now off I go!’

My smile came back at that, as I started to sprint down the sidewalk, making my way to the school of my dreams.

 

-

 

“Class 1-A, huh?” I stood before the unusually large door with a window on the front, and large, vertical ‘1-A’ red lettering on the door.

‘Looks like this is it. I can only hope that Kacchan isn’t in the same class as me.’ I slid open the giant door and poked my head inside.

“Take your filthy shoes off of that desk, this instant! Do you not realize how disrespectful your display is to the people who have come to this beloved school before us, as well as the quality craftsmen who made them?! Such arrogance!!” A tall boy with a short, flat black hair styled in an undercut and glasses, shouted to the one whose feet were propped up on the desk.

"Hah! Does it look like I give a shit, foureyes? What middle school dumped you here, extra?!”

‘Kacchan?!’

“I’m from Somei Private Academy. And my name is Iida Tenya, do not refer to me by such a phrase.” The boy, whose name turned out to be Iida, said politely. He seemed nice when he wasn’t being all stiff.

"Somei?! So you’re some stuck-up, kiss-ass elitist, then? I oughta bust your nuts, extra!!" Katsuki said in his usual brash tone.

“Such language!! How did you even get accepted into a school like this? Do you really expect to get far with manners like that?!”

“I don’t think I give a shit what some elitist nerd like you thinks, I’ll be the best in this whole school. Just you watch!!!"

It was then that Iida noticed me still lingering in the opening of the door of the classroom. “You there! Do you plan to stand there all day, or come inside?” Iida asked, pointing right at me.

"Oh! Yes! Of course.” I quickly walked inside, only for Iida to walk up to me with his hand held out to me. “Pleasure to meet you, fellow classmate. My name is Iida Tenya.”

“It’s nice to meet you, too. I’m Midoriya Izuku!” I said cheerfully as I shook his hand. As everyone sat in their seats; mingling with one another while waiting for Homeroom to start, I caught Katsuki glaring at me, and I quickly looked down at my desk.

‘Stay out of his way. Don’t try to be his friend. Don’t be better than him. Stay out of his way. Don’t try to be his friend. Don’t be better than him.'

 

-

 

Honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, despite Katsuki’s ‘rules’.

For one, everyone was nice, for the most part. I had even managed to make some friends after the first few days of school, so that’s something.

The first friend I had made was a girl named Uraraka Ochako. She took note of how nervous I looked on our first day and asked if I was okay or if I needed help. I was taken back by it, at first; aside from mom and Yagi, nobody had ever shown kindness to me as she had before, but I accepted it with a smile. We bonded very quickly and even exchanged numbers with each other.

She’s a very sweet, bubbly, laid-back and caring girl; always looking out for her classmates, but she could also be scary when angered, and she wasn’t afraid to beat the crap out of anyone who messed with her or her friends. She even introduced me to her girlfriend, and fellow classmate, Ashido Mina, a girl with short, fluffy pink hair, tan skin and gold eyes; her personality was a lot like Ochako’s, and they really fit well together.

Ochako told me about what she planned on doing after high school: she came from a poor family, but despite this, her parents told her to do what made her happy and to follow her dreams. Ochako has always had a fascination with how gravity worked, and anything to do with space, in general. So she’s planning to major in Physics; the complex nature of gravity and how it works had always been something she’s wanted to learn more about.

Iida Tenya was another friend I had made; although we kinda already met each other, after walking in on him and Katsuki bickering. Tenya was a bit stiff, took things way too seriously, and he also seemed like a major killjoy. But after getting to know him more, I saw him as being incredibly humble, more than willing to admit his faults and mistakes, and he was very loyal.

Being top of his track team while in middle school, as well as a gifted athlete, Tenya planned on becoming an Olympic Track Star; wanting to become the first long-distance track runner from Japan to win gold. But because Tenya was aware of the likeness of not making it as an Olympic runner, he’d also set aside a back-up plan. If his dream of getting into the Olympics didn’t happen, he would return home to become a track coach for Yuuei.

Then, there was Todoroki Shouto. He…..was complicated. Regardless, it was a very rewarding experience that I didn’t regret in the slightest.

At first, it seemed as though he hated my very presence, though it was different from how Katsuki hated me. I couldn’t quite point it out, but I could tell he didn’t hate me just for the fact that I existed; there was more to it. In fact, he seemed to act like that to everyone, but with me, he was especially ice-cold. After about a month of Shouto side-stepping and ignoring me, I finally confronted him.

One day after school had let out, I asked him why he hated me so much, and what I ever did to him. This seemed to spark something in him, as he finally told me what he actually thought of me...which wasn’t what I was expecting.

He explained to me that because of my affiliation with Yagi, and the fact that he wanted to fall out of his father's shadow, he saw me as his arch-rival. He went on to explain that his father, Todoroki Enji, was also a world-renowned actor, but he only came in as second-best compared to Yagi; losing the role as All Might after Yagi was given it. This resulted in a long-term antagonistic rivalry between his father and Yagi, and by extension, between Shoto and me. How he found out about my relationship with Yagi, I have no idea. Maybe from his father? Who knows.

I asked him why his father’s attitude towards Yagi had anything to do with him; he wasn’t his father, and his father wasn’t him, Shouto was his own person. This seemed to change something in Shouto; his demeanor became more relaxed; softer even, but he still seemed distant and standoffish. So I encouraged him, telling him I was here to listen to him. Whatever was making him feel this way, I would listen, and I wouldn’t turn him away.

Finally, Shouto began to open up.

Shouto’s childhood was filled with trauma.

When his father Enji wasn’t being a famous actor, he was at home being an abusive husband and father towards his wife and children, but especially towards Shouto. As the youngest of four, he faced the brunt of their father's wrath the most. His mother, Rei, did everything she could to keep her children at bay from Enji’s abuse, only to end up on the receiving end on his back-hand.

His mother was a comforting presence for Shouto; loving, kind, caring and always smiling sweetly at him, she told him no matter what his father said or did, he could become anything he wanted to. It made him so happy to hear her say that.

Sadly, the intensity of the abuse weakened her mental stability. So much so, that one day, she spotted Shouto standing behind her, and because he resembled his father for the left-half of his hair being red, out of sheer panic, she threw boiling hot water on him, and burned him; scarring the left side of his face permanently.

He was only five years old.

Since then, his mother was sent to stay at a mental institute; she’s resided there for 10 years now. Meanwhile, Shouto developed unrelenting hatred and hostility towards his father and had been unable to think of his mother in the same way he had as a child.

“Shouto. I, I had no idea.” I felt lame for not saying anything more sincere and heartfelt.

“Yeah.” Shouto said quietly after a moment. “It’s not something I like to tell people; it was a very painful time in my life, and if I can just try to avoid as many people as possible, I feel like I’ll be able to get over it.”

It was then that something he said clicked: He had painful memories that he didn’t want others to know about; insecurities that he's tried to bottle up; his true self hiding behind a mask.

Just like me.

“Shouto,” I said after a moment; I suddenly felt a sense of wanting to help Shouto feel more secure. “would it be okay if I told you something personal, too?”

This was the very first time that I would ever confide in anyone about this moment in my life. Ever since that day, I had tried my damnedest to keep the aspects hidden away; never letting them see the light of day. But Shouto had just gotten up the courage to confide in me about his personal life and the painful memories that came with it; memories that I’m sure he'd preferred to keep to himself.

But he trusted me enough to talk about his personal life, so it was only fair that I did the same. Or at least, tried to.

“Sure.” He said softly. It caught me off guard when he not only agreed but with how casually and softly he said my name; like it was a living, breathing entity.

“Umm, well, it’s, uh, it’s kind of recent, well, not really, but it’s uh..” Why the hell couldn’t I just say it? Shouto was able to pour his heart out to me, why couldn’t I do the same!?

Taking note of my anxiousness, Shouto held up his hand to stop he from stammering; a small smile on his face.

“Would it be easier like this?” He asked softly, holding out his phone to me. I looked at it in confusion at first, but then I understood what he was trying to do. He wanted to exchange numbers.

Wow. That was quick! But I was happy, nonetheless.

We exchanged numbers, and I stared at my screen for a moment before I took a deep breath, and began to type.

-

I told him everything. Everything. Katsuki’s bullying. My anxiety disorder. My Zoloft prescription, and Katsuki finding out and exploiting it to everyone at our middle school. I even told him about my recent cutting habit. Everything came flying out onto the screen, and I couldn’t seem to stop.

Maybe it's because it was Shouto I was telling this to, and I felt I could trust him, or maybe because it actually felt good getting it all off my chest. I suddenly felt sick with guilt knowing that I had yet to tell my own mother about what’s been happening. Maybe when the time was right, but for now, Shoto was the right person to tell the truth to.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Shouto: Oh wow. Izuku, I am so sorry. I had no idea. Now I feel like a jerk. :(

Izuku: It’s okay, Shouto. I used to it lol

Shouto: You shouldn’t HAVE to be used to it, Izuku! This is completely messed up!

Izuku: I know.

Shouto: I’m so sorry for how I acted towards you. It was completely uncalled for. Forgive me?

Izuku: Of course! :)

Shouto: That’s good lol Izuku?

Izuku: What is it, Shouto?

Shouto: Thank you.

Izuku: Lol What for?

Shouto: For listening, and for being honest with me. I can’t even imagine how hard it must’ve been to tell someone. Especially someone you barely know. You’re very brave for confiding in me.

Izuku: Oh wow, that really means a lot to me Shouto. It really does.

Izuku: So...does this mean, we’re friends? If you want to, that is lol we don’t have to.

Shouto: Yes, of course. :)

Izuku: Great!! :D

Shouto: Lol you’re silly.

Shouto: And Izuku, if you ever need to talk, please don’t hesitate to text or call me, okay?

Izuku: Okay, Shouto.

Shouto: I’m serious, Izuku. I don’t like hearing that you’re being treated like that. It worries me, especially if you’re cutting. And also, if Katsuki messes with you, let me know. I’ll make him back off.

Izuku: I will. Thank you so much, Shouto! :)

Shouto: Anything for a friend. :)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I looked up from my screen, tears in my eyes, and a small smile on my face, as I saw Shouto smile back at me. This time, his face, which was once stoic and cold, was now softer-looking.

I had finally found a friend who shared something in common with me and was willing to stay my friend, despite my emotional cracks and blemishes.

 

-

 

Having Ochako, Tenya, Mina and Shouto in my life really made the struggles of dealing with my anxiety so much easier, even with Katsuki around. I was especially lucky that my friends and I were all in Class 1-A together, so we would be in the same circle for the next 3 years until we transitioned to the university half of the school. We most likely wouldn’t be in the same classes again, especially if we ended up studying in different majors, but we promised to keep in touch and hang out as much as time would allow.

Not only were my classmates all very unique and different, but the teachers were just as unique; most of the teacher were not only alumni of Yuuei, but most of them were also celebrities, as well.

First, there was our Homeroom Teacher, Aizawa Shouta-sensei, and if he wasn’t eccentric, I didn’t know who was.

With his wild appearance and apathetic, no-nonsense attitude, it almost seemed like he didn’t even care about his job, or even took it seriously. To the point where often times, we would find him asleep in a sleeping bag during Homeroom; never stopped him from scolding us from either slacking off or goofing around. Nevertheless, he still cared about us, and was more than willing to put our needs before his own(which might have explained his insomnia).

Then we had Yamada Hizashi-sensei, also known as ‘Present Mic’, as our English Teacher. Along with being a famous radio host, as well as the one who oversaw us during the exam, Present Mic was very charismatic and energetic while he spoke; always maintaining the persona of a radio host. And if that weren’t mind-blowing enough, as it turned out, he just so happened to be married to Aizawa-sensei. So that was neat!

Yagi was another one of our teachers, to my surprise and relief; I couldn’t simply call him ‘Yagi’ while in class, though, so I would call him ‘Yagi-sensei’ during class. He didn’t wear his usual baggy clothes but instead would wear a suit. He taught Social Studies, and also served as an adviser and counselor for those who needed moral support.

In addition to all of the other teachers, Yuuei also had an ensemble of other amazing faculty and staff:

There was our Guidance Counselor, Inui Ryo-sensei; despite his scary temper and almost ‘dog-like’ appearance, he cared very much for the students. An amazing chef, who simply went by the name ‘Lunch Rush’, worked in Yuuei’s cafeteria; his cooking was to die for! And I’m fairly sure he WAS a famous chef. We even had a nurse named Shuzenji Chiyo-sensei, or as she liked to be called, ‘Recovery Girl'. Not only did she work as the nurse for Yuuei, but she was also one of the top physicians in the country; she even had her own practice.

And of course, the one leading them all was the Principal-Chancellor, Nezu-san. He was very polite, eccentric, and wanted nothing more than to see his students succeed. His appearance was a bit...strange: He was very short, with almost white colored hair, and though he was good-looking, he kinda resembled a rat(maybe that’s why his name his ‘Nezu’?). Regardless, Nezu-san did a fantastic job at running both the high school and university portions of Yuuei.

 

-

 

Dream school, great friends, amazing teachers(including Yagi!), and a bright future. Yet, I still couldn’t shake off the constant feeling of fear, dread, and worry.

Anxiety tended to do that; even when there was absolutely nothing happening around me that was worth worrying over, I still felt the tightening, clenching feeling in my chest; my lungs doing it’s best to allow more oxygen inside my body while trying to expel the excess carbon. Guess I don’t need Katsuki’s help in feeling this way, but it never helped when he did.

The cutting only becoming more frequent, to Shouto’s worry and dismay. Regardless, he remained supportive of me, always asking if he could help me in any way, even if it was something as small as going out for lunch, going on a walk, or just giving me a call. My other friends were also very helpful in keeping my anxiety down; their unique personalities clashing well with one another. It made me feel loved...but most times, I always felt like they didn’t mean it like they didn’t actually care about me, and they were just pitying me.

Again, the handy work of anxiety.

The voices got worse; becoming more frequent and passive-aggressive. They would go from being encouraging to being spiteful. Most of them weren’t even my own thoughts, but they would simply be painful memories from when Katsuki would bully me.

Eventually, I cracked.

The week of final exams during my senior year of high school, my anxiety became so overwhelming, so intense, so crushing, the Zoloft I had tried so hard, so goddamn hard to not take, ended up being shoveled in my mouth out of desperation.

Even though I passed all of my finals, I felt like the biggest failure.

 

-

 

Present day:

“I wonder what Yagi is doing later, today? Maybe I can go visit him after his last class finishes.” I say to myself as I near my destination.

The coolest thing about Yagi working as a teacher at Yuuei, not only was he my teacher all throughout my high school career, but he also gives me permission to come and visit him at the teachers’ room during lunch or after school, so long as the other students didn’t catch me there. He wanted to avoid any tensions from forming, as well as misunderstandings of possible favoritism.

I don’t blame him.

As I pass one of the last couple of blocks, I hear something from around the corner; it’s actually fairly close to where the school is, so I keep walking in that direction.

As I get closer, the noise is getting louder, and as I approach the walkway where it intersects near the school entrance and another adjacent street, I finally see where the noise is coming from:

It’s Katsuki, engaging in a very loud, and very violent, argument with two other guys; both of whom are a bit taller than Katsuki, and they don’t look very friendly. I didn’t recognize either of these guys, and Katsuki and I are both college freshmen, so that means they must be Sophomores, maybe even Juniors.

Is Katsuki seriously trying to pick a fight with two upperclassmen?!

“I said shut the fuck up, Bakugou!! You really think you’re better than me, you little bitch?!” One of the guys shouted with a mean scowl. He has short brown hair and is wearing a red baseball cap. The other guy, who has purple hair styled in a short, messy undercut, and wearing a green jersey jacket, was standing behind red-cap with the same rough, ugly scowl.

"Why don’t you make me, motherfucker!?" Katsuki barks back in redcap's face. “And yeah, I do, actually! You’re just butt-hurt now, cause you know that my mech gear was better, and that I could out-build you and your bitch boys, any day! So why don’t you crawl back to your little amateur engineering club, and go fuck the table saw!!"

And then came the physical blows.

Red-cap punches Katsuki in the face hard, while green-jersey grabs him by the hair. Katsuki tries to gain the upper hand by throwing his own body weight onto red-cap and pulling him down to the ground, but they’re both at least a foot taller than him and are easily able to overpower him. Green-jersey then goes in for a kick at Katsuki’s gut, causing him to double over; giving them the advantage.

‘What do I do? I have to do something...but I can’t.’

Katsuki grunts as he tries to get up, only to be kicked back down.

‘I didn’t ask for your fucking help, did I?!’

‘Do I even want to help Kacchan? After everything that he’s done to me?’

Another punch to his face. Another kick to his ribs.

‘You’re NOT my equal! You will NEVER be my equal!’

‘Everything he’s done to me; every name he’s called me.’

“That'll teach you to know your place, bitch!" Another swift kick to Katsuki’s stomach and sides.

‘How DARE you take pity on me, Deku! What was your goal, huh?! To try and win me over?! Turn me into a kiss-ass?! Fuck you, Deku!!!’

‘Is it worth it? Is any of it worth it? What has being a good person, and trying to help, ever gotten me?’

“Hey, dude! Grab his arms, I’ll check for his wallet. Must have some cash on him. Hehe.”

‘Stay out of my way. Don’t try to buddy up to me, or try to be my friend. Don’t you DARE try to one-up me, or try to be better than me. Got it, Deku?’

‘Nothing but pain. Nothing but misery.’

Katsuki begins to struggle again, as they try to mug him; causing red-cap to punch him hard in the stomach, again. A pained cry escaping Katsuki’s mouth.

‘Deku!!’

 

-

 

"KACCHAAAAN!!!!!" I run as fast as my legs could go; not caring about looking like a complete maniac, and launch myself at red-cap.

“The fuck?!" Red-cap yells as I begin clawing at his face, and kneeing him in the gut. Meanwhile, green-jersey is caught off-guard by my sudden appearance, and Katsuki takes advantage of this by headbutting him in the face. After being released, he throws green-jersey over his shoulder and slams him onto the ground with so much force, I almost thought Katsuki had broken his back.

I was distracted long enough for red-cap to grab me by the arms, and throw me to the ground. I was expecting him to charge for me, but instead, he goes to his friend and helps him up.

“Couldn’t take the two of us on yourself, so you had to have ‘Freckle Face’ come to rescue you, Bakugou?!” Red-cap says as he places a hand over his bruised cheek.

“Shut the fuck up, Yamaguchi! He has nothing to do with this. Now get the fuck out of here!!"

Finally, ‘Yamaguchi’ and his friend turn around, and start to slowly make their way to the campus, but not before turning around and giving us a snarling gaze.

“This isn’t over. Better watch yourself, fucking punk!”

And then they were gone.

 

-

 

I pant, trying to catch my breath, as I stand there with my bag laying on the concrete.

‘At least they didn’t rob Kacchan…it could've been worse, though…’

"Deku!" I jump when I hear Katsuki call out to me. I look over, but I don’t even have time to react, as I end up shoved roughly to the ground; the hard pavement grazing against my back.

I wince from the impact, but I wince even more, when all of a sudden, Katsuki is straddling my waist, with his hands gripping tightly around the front of my shirt. And the look in his eyes is just as terrifying as his voice.

"YOU FUCKING RETARDED SON OF A BITCH!! HOW DARE YOU GET IN MY FUCKING WAY, AGAIN!!!"

He screams in my face as he slams my back against the ground, over and over, harder and harder.

I completely regret my decision, now. But what else was I supposed to do?

“I thought I told you to NEVER, EVER look down on me!!! I NEVER asked for your FUCKING help, you stupid fucking dumbass!!! Are you fucking retarded or something, Deku?! Well?!"

“I...I just, uh...uh, I..”

"SAY SOMETHING!!!!!"

I couldn’t. I couldn’t.

With one last slam into the pavement, Katsuki gets off of me. I slowly sit up, only to quickly scramble away when I see Katsuki start to advance towards me. Before I can respond or say anything, though, he picks me back up by my shirt.

He wasn’t done, yet.

“I have had enough of your goddamn fucking shit, Deku! You think you’re some big, brave hero; always coming to everyone’s aid, when in reality, you’re nothing but a scared, limp, useless little NOTHING!"

“K-k-kacc-chan. Please, I, I just, I just wanted..”

“Don’t. You. Even. Don’t you even say it. I don’t wanna hear you say that ‘you just wanted to help’". He said that part in such a mocking tone, like my concern for his safety was unimportant; like my opinion was invalid.

Like I was invalid.

“Ka-kacchan, please,”

“Shut. The fuck. UP! You think anyone really cares what you think, or how you feel, well guess what? They fucking don’t! Nobody gives a shit about you, you’re nothing but a fucking waste to them!”

crack

“If you weren’t here, nobody would care. if you weren’t here, everybody would be able to focus on their fucking studies, without having to listen to your constant fucking muttering!!"

crack

“The only reason you’re even here, Deku, is because of luck. Not because you're talented or special, not because you're a genius or some gifted prodigy, not because of any of that shit! But because of complete, and utter LUCK! You don’t fucking belong here, in fact, you don’t belong anywhere!"

crack crack crack

“And you wanna know something?” He came closer to me until he was almost a foot away from me. “The only reason that Round-Face, Four-Eyes, Pinky, Half n’ Half, and all of the other shitty extras; the only reason they’re even nice to you, is because they fucking pity you. Nobody fucking cares about you, Deku. Nobody ever has, and nobody ever will, so how about this,”

crack crack crack crack crack crack

“why don’t you do yourself, and everyone of us a favor, and FUCKING KILL YOURSELF?!?!"

SHATTER

I feel my heart, my mind, my entire being, shatter into a million pieces, like fragile glass.

Before Katsuki leaves, he says “If I EVER catch you trying to get into my business like that, again, I’ll fucking kill you, myself!" He growls venomously, but I don’t flinch, I don’t so much as gasp at his threat. He scoffs at me, before grabbing his bag off the ground, and turning away from me.

He just leaves me there, as he heads for the school gates.

 

-

 

There I stand; still, not moving from my spot. I don’t know how to feel, but the one feeling that is most distinct, is one that ironically holds the most weight:

Empty. I feel empty.

‘For the longest time, I could never figure out why Kacchan hated me so much; searching through the huge catalog of information in my internal library, never could I find anything even remotely close to a coherent enough answer.’

I feel tears roll down my cheek, but I don’t even bother to wipe them from my eyes. I don't care about the painful throbbing in my back or the back of my head. I don't care about the stinking on my thighs. I don’t care about anything, anymore.

‘But now, after careful thinking, after carefully processing every interaction and conversation we’ve had throughout our lives, and after the events that have transpired today, I think I know the answer, now.’

I look over at the gates, and notice other students making their way inside; some of them giving me strange looks as they pass by me; probably wondering why I’m just standing there(or maybe they never cared to begin with, as Katsuki said).

‘He never hated me for no reason. In fact, there's been a reason this whole time. It was me. It's always been me. Because I’m here, Kacchan is never happy. Because I’m here, Kacchan is constantly angry and annoyed. Not just him, either, but Mom, Auntie Mitsuki, Uncle Masaru, Yagi, Ochako, Tenya, Mina, even Shouto. None of them ever cared about me. Maybe they never did. Either way, I know what I need to do to make things right...’

I slowly grab my own bag off of the ground, and turn away; not even bothering to look back, not even bothering to check and see if anyone notices(I doubt they do), as I make my way down the opposite direction; away from Yuuei.

‘Perhaps, for once in my life, I can do the right thing. For once, I can make everyone happy....’

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s POV

Present day:

“I can’t believe the fucking bullshit I had to deal with this goddamn early in the fucking morning! When I see Yamaguchi and that snaggle-toothed douchebag friend of his, I’ll make DAMN sure they know they’ve messed with the wrong fucking person!! And the next time I see that shitty fucking nerd...”

I was fuming and venting so hard and so loudly, that I didn’t even notice(or even fucking care) that others have stopped to get a gander at the spectacle before them.

“What the hell is Bakugou yelling about, now?”

“I think he got into it with Yamaguchi, again, from the sound of it, heh.”

“Does he really have to be so noisy this early in the morning? He acts like he owns the place.”

I can hear those fucking extras gossiping behind my back. And that pisses me off even more.

With a snarling growl and gritted teeth, I turn towards them with a look that I’m certain could kill.

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ASSHOLES LOOKING AT?! YOU GOT SOMETHING TO SAY?! BEAT IT, YOU FUCKERS!!!"

This causes them to jump and scurry off in the opposite direction, like the pussies they are.

“Pfft. Yeah, thought so.” I say under my breath as I make my way to my class. The angry, pulsing itch under my skin was still lingering, and it was fucking annoying! I was definitely not in the mood to deal with nosy, pompous little ass wipes like them, especially not after the bullshit that went down earlier with Yamaguchi and his bitch boy.

And fucking Deku.

“That shitty nerd...who the hell does he think he is?”

 

-

 

It feels like out of all the emotions I have, anger and irritation both seem to be on permanent speed dial. It takes very little effort to trigger my anger, and the minute it does, I don’t care who it’s aimed towards; I’ll scream at an elderly lady if she pisses me off enough. It may seem like a problem to some people, to the point where they see me as arrogant, stuck-up and rude, but honestly, I don’t really give a shit.

I don’t know where my attitude came from, or why my parents even let me get away with it(most of the time), but one thing I know for sure: there’s not a force on this Earth, no authority figure in existence that will ever keep me from reaching my goal:

To be the best of the best, no, even better than the best! I’ll take it to my fucking GRAVE!

 

-

 

15 years earlier:

I honestly didn’t remember when Izuku and I became friends. Izuku had always been a big softy; following me around like a lost puppy, and looking up to me like I was the greatest person he had ever met. I didn’t know if that’s where my huge ego first came from; the fact that someone like Izuku saw me in the same light as a god, it boggled my mind.

But I’d slept since then.

Not to say I always disliked Izuku; after all, we were friends in the beginning. As kids, we shared similar interests: reading comics, watching ‘All Might’, playing with action figures, the usual things kids do with their best friends. Although we were very close, we didn’t share everything in common: Izuku was kind of a wimp; he couldn’t run very fast, couldn’t climb trees, he couldn’t even squish a damn spider without losing his shit. Not to mention, he was the BIGGEST crybaby I had ever met in my LIFE(he still is)!

Regardless, we stuck together like we were conjoined twins, and I was pretty cool with him. In fact, I may secretly have had a crush on him; I mean, he reminded me of a woodland creature, with his fluffy green hair, big eyes, round cheeks, and freckles. Almost like he was pulled straight out of a fairy tale book. I actually thought he was pretty damn cute.

So what changed?

 

-

 

When I learned how to read the kanji that made up Izuku’s name, everyone lost their shit, as I had just cracked the code to the whereabouts of the Holy Grail. Even though I was only four at the time, I was able to read and understand a large number of kanji, which apparently, made me gifted. I could feel my heart glow as I soaked in all the praise.

But then, as I read the kanji again, I noticed that it could also be read another way, but I just couldn’t tell what the word was. Until the teacher told me.

“Ah! Yes, this part,” she pointed at the kanji strokes that made ‘Izuku’. “can also be read as ‘Deku’, but with different kanji. Deku usually means ‘a wooden figure or a wooden puppet’. That’s very good, Katsuki-kun! You’re so smart!!” She praised me, also impressed at the fact that a four-year-old could read this kanji. But the only thing I could think about was:

‘Deku, a wooden puppet, Deku, wooden, wood block, blockhead, dumb, dumb ass, useless, useless Deku. Useless Deku. Useless Deku!’

Then, something clicked in my mind; something that, for some reason, I couldn't quite figure out where it had come from, or why I had thought it.

‘He can’t climb trees, he can’t run fast, he can’t beat me in any video game, he can’t skip rocks at the stream, he can’t even read or write most kanji correctly as I can. That means, Izuku is actually a Deku!’

From that point on, I stopped calling Izuku ‘Izuku’, and instead, called him ‘Deku’.

 

-

 

Even after branding Deku with his new name, it didn’t stop him from following me around and acting like we were friends, which I found kinda annoying. But, whatever. As long as he stayed out of my way, I didn’t give a shit what he did, or if he still hung out with me.

Honestly, his presence was kinda comforting; having him near me, and also, I still thought he was really cute. There was sometimes this weird airy, fluttering feeling in the pit of my stomach that I thought was kinda annoying, but I would just ignore it.

One day, while out playing with Deku and some other friends, I slipped and fell off a bridge made from an old tree. I wasn’t hurt, though my ankle was sprained, I didn’t let it bother me.

Then, Deku was in front of me; his hand outstretched to me.

‘What is he doing?’ I thought. ‘What the fuck is Deku doing? Who the hell does he think he is?! Is he fucking pitying me?! This little shit! I’ll make him pay for looking down on me!’

That was all I could think of, even as I slapped his hand away, got to my feet, and gave him a piece of my mind(and fist).

From that moment on, I no longer saw him as my equal; I no longer considered him my friend, I even found it a lot easier to ignore the fluttering in my stomach. All I saw him as, was a Deku.

 

-

 

The start of middle school didn’t change or lessen my hatred towards Deku; I hated him just as much as I had on that day at the creak. Despite my obvious disgust and annoyance with him, he still acted like we were friends, as nothing had changed between us!

Either he got a kick out of hanging around me and getting on my nerves, or he was secretly a masochist, and actually enjoyed my verbal(and sometimes physical) abuse.

I tried not to pay too much mind to him, though, as I focused on one thing, and one thing only: I was planning on getting into Yuuei High School after graduating from Aldera; I wasn’t too worried about passing the Entrance Exams for Yuuei, since I was already in the top 50 of the school after midterms were done. Getting accepted into Yuuei would be as easy as taking a shit.

I would be the best of the best. I would be the first and only one at this shitty school to get into Yuuei, and nothing would get in my way!!

 

-

 

When I think about Deku, a lot of things come to mind that describes him: Slow, weak, annoying, a spazz, the list goes on. Honestly, I could've made a fucking novel with the list of things that made Deku such a pest. Not to mention, his goddamn fucking MUTTERING. But one thing that would never, EVER come to mind when thinking of Deku: a fucking pill popper!

‘Zoloft? Deku seriously has a prescription for fucking Zoloft?!’

Any normal person would do one of the following: they would either be direct and honest with Deku and simply ask him about the pills, not hide the fact that they found it. Or they would say they just so happen to see it, but still, ask about it out of curiosity. Or, a normal person would probably just do some fucking research, not make a big fucking deal of what they found, and simply look up the thing they found, and what it’s supposed to be used for. Or, I don’t know, just mind their own fucking business, and move the fuck on!

I, however, didn’t do any of that shit.

Instead, out of sheer spite and petty amusement, I did the one thing that would most likely earn me a spot in hell, and most likely get me in big trouble if my parents found out or the teachers actually gave a shit.

 

-

 

The moment I sent the photo to some of my friends from class, I knew I had fucked up.

At first, I didn’t think it was a big deal; all I could think was ‘It’ll just be something between all of us, something for us to laugh about; like an inside joke. After everyone’s had their shits and giggles, they’ll probably forget about it, and move on to something else’.

But I should’ve known better; the type of people my ‘friends’ were, they weren’t the type of people to just let something go just because it wasn’t funny anymore, or because it was morally wrong. And because they knew about my beef with Deku, this definitely didn’t go unnoticed.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Something the old hag always told me when something bad happened, and it couldn’t be fixed, was: ‘What’s done is done, so just let it go’. That’s what I kept thinking after the photo got spread throughout the whole school; there wasn’t a single person who hadn’t seen or heard about the photo. It probably didn’t help that I made it look like Deku was a straight-up drug addict. But, what’s done was done.

It especially didn’t help that not only did Deku find out, but I had decided to reveal myself as the main instigator; like a pure villain. It was like I had two different personalities: the calm, rational, logical, and almost sympathetic side that felt bad for how my actions made others feel, and the egotistical, arrogant, calloused asshole who didn’t give a shit if I had just ruined somebody’s life. Like a classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Again, what’s done was done. And I didn’t wanna deal with this shit, anymore.

Which is why it pissed me off when Deku tried to confront me about the photo; trying to get me to explain myself.

What the fuck did he want me to say? ‘I’m sorry.’? ‘I didn’t mean to do it.’? ‘It was a mistake’? Did it really fucking matter at that point whether I apologized or not? Even if I did, what good would it do?! It wouldn’t change what I did, it definitely wouldn’t change the fact that EVERYBODY knew!

So, instead of owning up to my fuck-up like a man, I blamed Deku for his carelessness(even though I was the one who had snooped in the first place).

Was it wrong of me to do? Yeah.

Did I care? No.

Did I feel sorry? Hell no!

I honestly didn’t know if I ever would.

 

-

 

‘How the fuck did this shit even happen to me?!’

That was all I could think of as I was being held in place with my arms behind my back, and a fucking GUN pressed to my skull!

All I could remember that could have possibly led me to this scenario, was me walking with my ‘friends’ from class; we had left school after having a little ‘fun’ with Deku. While walking, I wasn’t paying attention to the commotion happening nearby. The next thing I know, a man is running in my direction, and I’m being grabbed roughly by this big gorilla; handcuffs dangling off one of his wrists, and a gun in his hand.

“Don’t fucking move, kid.” He said with a hiss; his breath smelled horrible! “Do what I say, and nobody gets hurt, but if you make me mad, I’ll blow your fucking brains out!” He shoved the gun against my temple.

This guy was a complete fucking psycho!

Within minutes, we’re surrounded by a crowd of bystanders; with looks of concern and terror on their faces. I even saw some cops in the crowd attempting to make their way near us.

‘Why the fuck isn’t anybody doing anything?!’ I thought, as I watched the cops just standing there, but I got my answer when the psycho opened fire at two bystanders(luckily the shots weren’t fatal); the blasts from the gun caused my ears to start ringing, but I ignored it as I looked on in horror at the brutality in front of me.

“Nobody come any closer, or this kid’s DEAD!” The fucking psycho shouted; tightening his grip on my arms. I started to struggle to get out of his grip, but it was no use.

This guy was not afraid to kill innocent people to get what he wanted, whatever the hell that even was. Now I was panicking. I tried to keep my composure, even as the officers were shouting at one another about what to do, and how to save me without getting me, or anyone else, killed.

Then, this perverted motherfucker licked my fucking neck.

I began to struggle even harder. It was bad enough that I had a gun pressed up to my fucking head, but there was no FUCKING way I was gonna become this fucker’s sex toy.

‘This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening! I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna die!’

The sick fuck chuckled as he started to rub his hard-on against my back. My eyes widened with fear.

‘No! No! Please. No, Please! Somebody. Anybody!!’

I looked out into the crowd, not even caring if I looked scared and weak, and for just a split second, I could’ve sworn I spotted Deku among the crowd, but I was panicking too much to pay attention.

‘HELP ME!!!’

 

-

 

I had mixed feelings: Deku was actually the biggest badass I had ever met and had bigger balls than any of these fucking cops. He didn't even hesitate to run up to a psycho with a fucking GUN pointed at him, and rescue me. Or: Deku was a fucking nosy, bitch-faced little pussy, who couldn’t even knock that motherfucker out. If it weren’t for that skinny-ass guy coming to the fucking rescue, we’d both be dead.

The one time I thought I would’ve shown just a shred of appreciation, humility, and graciousness, I decided, instead, that that was the perfect time to be an asshole to the person who just saved my fucking life.

I didn’t know what came over me when I started shouting at Deku, but I felt like somewhere deep, deep down, I didn’t actually mean what I was saying. In a weird fucking way, I felt like my rant to him, came out more like a declaration of gratitude, even if I didn’t flat out thank him. Again, it felt like my personality did a complete 180.

Either way, I was alive, thanks to that fucking nerd.

 

-

 

Did I feel bad for writing that note? No...?

Did I feel bad for causing Deku’s anxiety to become visibly worse during the exam? Kinda...

Did I feel bad at the thought that I very well could’ve caused Deku to fail the exam to get into the school he’d always wanted to go to? .....

-

‘What the fuck is my problem? He got into Yuuei, fair and square, so why the fuck am I getting so pissed off about it? Maybe because I told the fucker to NOT get in! And what the fuck was that blackmail shit, anyway?! The other extras that got accepted into Yuuei are obviously not obnoxious like the ones back at Aldera, so why did I even bother with doing that!?’

All of these questions kept flooding my head as I walked home from school.

Then, something came to mind that I hadn’t even bothered to consider until that moment.

‘Maybe...I didn’t do it because I actually believe the others will buy into my bullshit...maybe I did it...because...I'm afraid of others finding out how I actually feel about him…?'

I stopped walking after a moment; staring at my shoes as cars drove past me. Why couldn’t I just despise the shitnerd like I always have? Why did I have to go from being a complete scumbag to acting like I actually gave a shit how he felt? What the fuck was actually wrong with me?

Did I really hate Deku as much as I thought I did...?

 

-

 

Present day:

“Heyyy there, Bakugouuu! Took you long enough!!” Hatsume Mei, or as I like to call her, ‘Dreadlocks’, exclaims in her usual upbeat, chipper voice; causing my already throbbing headache to become worse.

“Shut the fuck up, Dreadlocks!” I shout back as I take my seat; not even caring that our professor is shooting me a look before continuing with the lecture.

I’m currently majoring in Engineering, and once I get my Bachelor’s Degree, I’ll be able to start my career in producing top-of-the-line equipment to sell all over the world. As a kid, I was kind of a pyromaniac, and I always loved to ‘make things explode’, so to speak. Despite my destructive tendencies, I wasn’t stupid when it came to school; in fact, I was actually voted most likely to become successful in a high-end career, and most likely even run my own company. So instead of wasting my talents on dumb shit, I’ve decided to put my skills to good use, and start creating blueprints for some badass inventions.

Utilizing my love of ‘making things explode’, I’ve been studying and experimenting with nitroglycerin, with the possibility of creating unique inventions that would incorporate the chemical. Unfortunately, I’ve been scrutinized by a lot of people, including professors, about the dangers of incorporating nitroglycerin into my inventions. But I don’t give a shit what they think; it’s not like I’m making a fucking bomb, and I know how to handle these types of chemicals. I’m not a fucking idiot!

With reluctance, they finally left me alone to my studies.

Plus, I’m also working on creating better bullet-proof uniforms and gear for the Police Force, maybe even the Japanese Army. Rather than cops having to rely on those wimpy-ass bullet-proof vests, I’m working to create a material that’s twice as strong as Kevlar. The inner linings of police uniforms will also have the material sewn in, so even without the vests, cops won’t be susceptible to stab or bullet wounds, reducing fatality in officers. And that’s just the beginning!

I’ll become so famous, that even the United States will want my inventions; they’ll pay me top dollar to have my work for their big name corporations; I’ll become one of the richest men in the world. I’ll become the next Nintendo, I'll become the next Nissan, Toyota, and Honda, I’ll even become the next Sony. In fact, I’ll be even bigger than them; better than all of them!

I’ll be #1!!

“So,” Dreadlocks says after a moment of much-needed silence; to my displeasure. “who stuck a rod up your butt, this time?” She snickers at that.

“What part of ‘Shut the fuck up’ do you not get?” I growl back; trying to ignore her as I got out my textbook and notes.

“I’m gonna take a wild guess, and sayyyy Yamaguchi had something to do with it.” She grins at me as she leans closer, invading my space.

This bitch is about to end up on my shit list, too.

“I said shut the FUCK UP, and mind your own goddamn business, DREADLOCKS!!!"

“Bakugou! Hatsume! Pipe down, over there!” Maijima Higari-sensei shouts at us mid-sentence. “You two can finish your little squabble after my ramble is finished, till then, zip it!" He turns back around and continues with the lecture; the projector displaying today’s lesson on the screen.

I grumble in embarrassment at being called out; though there aren’t that many of us in the Engineering Department(maybe about a dozen, including me, Dreadlocks, and Yamaguchi and his goons), it didn’t keep the blush from spreading on my cheeks.

“Looks like I hit the nail on the coffin.” Dreadlocks whispers at me; a shit-eating grin on her face.

"Fuck you!" I quietly hiss back at her, which doesn’t seem effective in the slightest, with how she tries to muffle a giggle.

Fuck my life.

 

-

 

After class let out that afternoon, I was still fucking pissed off about this morning; I couldn’t fucking concentrate all day today, and it was all that shit nerd's fault. Speaking of which…

“As soon as Deku comes out, I’ll make sure he knows to never mess with me EVER again, even if I have to do it in front of every single one of these extras.” I made my way to the Liberal Arts Department, and check my watch.

1:25 PM

It’s Wednesday today, so Deku gets out early today at 1:30 PM. Once I see him, I’ll show him his place, and give everybody a show.

 

-

 

2:17 PM

“What the fuck?!” I growl as I stare at my watch; the rest of the extras have already left for the day, so where in the hell was Deku?

‘He’s probably hiding. He knows I’m waiting out here for him; probably pissing himself at what I plan to do.’ I smirk at that. ‘Well, better go find him.’ I make my way inside the building; not paying any mind to the others that chose to stay behind.

I check all of the classrooms, not bothering to talk to the professors about where he is, and when I don’t find him, I move on to the next. But after searching the twentieth classroom, and finding no Deku,

I start to become….worried?

“What the fuck?” I say in a quiet voice. “Where is he? I didn’t see him leave with the others, and it’s not hard to spot him, with his fluffy green hair. Where could he have gone?!”

“Young man.” I turn when I hear someone calling out to me, and see a middle-aged woman with long, brown hair tied back in a ponytail; she’s giving me a questioning look. “Class has been done for a while now. Do you need something?”

“Uhh yeah, actually,” ‘I won’t tell her I’m planning to beat the crap out of Deku, but, I still need to know where he is…’ “did De-Izuku come to class, today? I didn’t see him when class let out.”

She quirks her eyebrow questioningly for a moment, before checking her tablet for students who were in attendance, before looking back at me. “Midoriya Izuku actually hasn’t been to class all day, today. He didn’t call in to say he wasn’t coming in, and nobody called in for him, so he’s been marked absent.”

‘What…?’

“Why? Are you a friend of his?” She asks me out of curiosity.

“Uhh, I, uh, y-yes, yes, I am. I’m Bakugou Katsuki, I’m with the Engineering Department. I’m a close friend of Dek-Izuku.” I try my best to stay calm as I speak to her.

“Well, if you do see him, have him see me before class whenever you get the chance; though he did miss today’s lecture, it won’t affect his overall grade as long as he makes up the work, alright?”

“Yes, ma’am.” She nods her head and walks away.

And as soon as I’m sure she’s gone, I begin sprinting down the hall, and out of the building.

 

-

 

‘What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck?!’

He was never in class today?! But, I fucking saw him this morning! We were both right there, right by the gates, but I didn’t even check to see if he was following me onto campus. So then, if he wasn’t in class all day,

Where the fuck was he, now?!

‘Stop! Calm down. Calm the fuck down! What the fuck am I even freaking out for? He probably just has a stomach ache or some shit. I mean, he did try taking down a giant meat-head this morning and ended up getting slammed on the ground. He’s probably just at home, resting.’

I stop running around like a spazz, and decide to head back home.

‘Should I...should I go check on him? I mean, I know where he lives. His apartment is fairly close to mine, so it wouldn’t hurt…’

I shake my head, deciding against it, and keep walking back home.

‘Whatever. Fuck it! Not like I give a shit about that pussy, anyways. If he wants to act like that? Fine. If he decides to show his face at school tomorrow, I can stop freaking the fuck out, and go on with my fucking day.’

Keyword: If.

 

-

 

That evening, I lay on my couch, barely paying attention to the show that’s on the TV.

I live in a 2-bedroom apartment with my roommate and fellow classmate, Kirishima Eijirou. We were classmates during high school; in the beginning, Kirishima got on my damn nerves(even more so than all the others), and it made it even worse due to the fact that he refused to leave me alone, or back off from trying to be my friend. Despite how I felt about him at the start, he eventually grew on me, and I even started to value his friendship.

Not only that, Kirishima is a lot of fun, even if I don’t want to admit it; he has great taste in music, he’s really good at video games, and he has a pretty damn good sense of humor. Overall, shitty hair’s not bad, at all.

I glance up at the clock on the wall and grimace when I notice the time.

8:13 PM

“Shit. That late, already? Haven’t even had dinner, yet.” I groan as I get up from the couch, and make my way to the kitchen to make myself something to eat, but when I open the fridge to grab stuff to make spicy curry, my frown deepens when I see I’m missing a few ingredients.

“Goddamn it!” Slamming the fridge door shut, I quickly pull on some jeans, grab my keys, wallet, and phone, and make my way to the convenience store just around the corner.

 

-

 

“Will that be all for you, sir?” The store clerk asks in her usual cheerful voice.

“Yeah..” She thanks me for coming, as I grab my bag, and make my way out of the store, and head back home. As I round the corner, I begin to hear something that I don’t recognize. At first, I ignore it, but as I get closer to the source of the noise, I hear that it’s coming from an alleyway that’s wedged between the back of the convenience store I had just come from, and another building.

The alleyway is kinda narrow but still big enough for a few people to gather there in one spot. There’s also a couple of large dumpsters with a few boxes laying on the ground.

But the thing that catches my attention the most, is what I see, or rather, hear, in the alleyway.

Even though it’s only about 8 PM in late June, it’s starting to get dark outside, so the shadows casting over the buildings are making it a bit hard to see who exactly it is that’s in the narrow space, but their loud voices make it easy for me to tell who it is: Yamaguchi, as well as a few of his goons, laughing and hollering like a pack of hyenas.

‘Yamaguchi? What the fuck is he doing?’ I think to myself as I try not to get caught, but it doesn’t seem like they even notice me. They’re way too busy shouting and laughing at something(no, someone!) on the ground. Not only that, he’s beating them up!

“Whatcha gonna do now, you lil’ bitch? Huhhh!?” Yamaguchi slurs as he stomps his foot onto the person on the ground; causing a cry to escape their mouth. “Not so tough now, huh?! Now that Bakubitch isn’t here to save you, we can do whatever we want!” Another one of the fuckers sneers with a slur as he kicks the person hard in the ribs; another agonized cry escaping.

That’s when I notice the person on the ground looks...oddly familiar. With my eyes adjusting to the dark, I’m finally able to see that the person looks(and sounds) like they’re male, he looks fairly young, but not too young; maybe high school or college-age. But there’s one thing that stands out to me, that finally makes my eyes widen with realization:

He has green, curly hair.

‘Deku!’

“I told you this wasn’t over, didn’t I? I told you to watch yourself, pussy!” Yamaguchi slams his foot into Deku’s gut and then punches him hard in the face. I cringe at the sounds coming out of him, and at the brutality of how hard they were beating him.

‘How in the fuck did they even find him? The only ones who know where Deku lives are me and auntie Inko, so how…’

Then, it hit me.

Yamaguchi and his friends frequent a bar that’s just outside of Yuuei, and Yuuei is very close to both mine and Deku’s apartments, so if they just so happened to find Deku wondering outside near the bar or if he just so happened to be heading in this direction, that would give them the perfect opportunity to jump him. And considering their drunken state, the fact that they now have it out for Deku(and most likely me), on top of the ferocity of their attack on him,

Deku is fucked.

“I’ll teach you to never fuck with me, you lil’ bitch!! Hey, hold him down, you guys!” Yamaguchi shouts over his shoulder as he starts doing something with his jeans. Two of his goons hold Deku’s arms down firmly on the hard concrete; preventing him from moving, but I doubt it would matter, he looks like he's ready to pass out. I could hear the others snickering at and taunting Deku.

“I thought he would put up more of a fight. Guess not!” “I think that was just a one-time thing, man! He’s nothin’ but a lil’ pussy!” “Yamaguchi will show ‘im, hah!”

My eyes widen, and my jaw drops when I see Yamaguchi beginning to undo Deku’s belt.

‘No. No. No! NO! NO! NO! NO! What the FUCK is this fucker DOING?!’

I can’t believe what I’m seeing, and I especially can’t believe that I was just standing there watching it happen.

‘I’ve beaten Deku up. I’ve called him names. I’ve humiliated him. I’ve blackmailed him. Hell, I’ve fucking given him death threats! But NEVER would I ever attempt to fucking RAPE him!’

Gripping my grocery bag even tighter; my hands shaking with boiling anger, I grit my teeth, allowing a growl to slip out, not caring if they heard me. As I watch Yamaguchi pull Deku’s jeans down past his knees, and start to fondle him, that’s when I lose it.

‘Why are you just standing here and watching this shit happen?! He risked his life, ran up to a psychopath with a fucking GUN, and saved your ungrateful ass! If you don’t do something, NOBODY fucking will! For once in your pathetic fucking life, grow a pair, and DO SOMETHING!!!’

And so, I did.

 

-

 

Izuku’s POV

I open my eyes, and the first thing I noticed was the cool breeze of the wind. The sky above me was a beautiful pinkish-purple color; indicating the time of day.

‘Is it morning, or evening? It’s hard to tell from here...wait...where is here?’

It’s then that I notice I’m standing on what I believe to be the top of a building. As I make my way closer to the edge to assess my whereabouts, I gasp a little, and stare in amazement at what I see:

Not only am I standing on top of a building, but I’m also standing on top of a very tall skyscraper; it has to be at least 90 stories tall! In the distance, I can see other skyscrapers that are just as tall, and along the horizon, I see the bright, orange sun. If I were to make a guess, I would say the sun is setting.

Either way, this view is so beautiful, but...this also feels...very sad.

I feel gentle tears beginning to roll down my cheeks; the wind making them feel cold from the sudden moisture, but I don’t care.

I walk a little closer to the edge until my shoes are just barely touching the edge. I then turn around, careful of the wind as it begins to pick up, and I’m now facing away from the sun.

I stretch my arms out to my sides, and as more tears start to flow, I slowly allow my body to be pulled down by gravity,

and I fall.

As my body begins to pick up more speed; my skin stinging from the intense cold, I allow a small smile to spread over my lips, as I wait for the impact.

‘Perhaps, for once, I can make…..everyone….happy…..’

 

-

 

Katsuki’s POV

I jump in my seat when I hear a sudden ‘gasp’ erupt from Deku as he wakes up with a start. He looks panicked; as he had just woken up from a nightmare(or like he had just come back from the dead).

As he takes deep breaths trying to get his breathing under control, Deku starts to look around, taking in his surroundings.

“W-wha-where-where am I?” He says finally; his voice still a little shaky.

“You’re in my room. Well, in my apartment, to be specific.” I say casually; this causes him to turn towards me with a surprised look on his face. “K-Kacchan…” Deku looks at me dumbfounded, and it kinda gets on my nerves, a little. “Wh-why am I here? How..how long have I-ack!” Deku winces suddenly when he moves a little too much; gripping his stomach.

“You alright?” I ask, my voice filled with concern.

“Yeah...I’m fine, just, uhh…” He pauses for a bit, lost in thought. This causes my anger to trigger.

“What? You got something you wanna say, then say it!" He jumps at this; looking scared again.

‘Damn it. I really need to learn to control my temper.’ “Sorry, I uh, I didn’t mean to shout.” I say in a low voice, looking down at my lap.

“It’s okay, Kacchan.” I glance back at him, and I take in his appearance: He has a few dark bruises on his cheeks, neck, jaw, and arms, a black eye, dried blood around his nose and mouth and he may have a broken nose and a few cracked ribs. I’ll have to take him to the hospital in the morning for those. Aside from those, he still had the same curly green hair, large, doe-like green eyes, and round, freckled cheeks that I remember from when we were kids. Even after all these years, he still reminds me of a woodland creature, or maybe a fawn; all he’s missing is a pair of small deer antlers and a floral crown.

Then, I see a slight smile appear on his face, and it makes me feel a bit uneasy. ‘How the fuck is he able to smile after what he just went through?!’

“So, why did you bring me here, Kacchan?” He asks quietly after a moment; not looking me in the eyes.

“Isn’t it obvious, Deku? Because I happened to find you getting pummeled like a sack of potatoes, and you looked like you were about to keel over.” I say with callousness in my voice. Even though I felt concern for his safety, I wasn’t going to let it get to his head, or give him the wrong idea about our relationship, even though it didn’t make sense at this point.

“Wha-wait, you mean, you saw Yamaguchi doing all of that to me? So, does that mean...you saved me, Kacchan?” He has a look in his eyes that’s akin to gratitude and admiration.

But again, I pop that ego bubble before it gets too big.

“Actually, Deku, I have some questions for you, too.” I notice the way Deku’s demeanor changes; now he looks a bit uneasy, nervous, even. “Where the hell were you today? Why weren’t you at school?” I ask, getting straight to the point.

Deku looks at me surprised, his big green eyes wide with unease.

“Uhh, I, um, well, that’s uh..”

That pisses me off.

"Just fucking say it! I don’t have all night!” My patience is getting very thin, and Deku is getting on my last nerve with his goddamn stammering. “It’s bad enough that you’re in MY fucking bed, and I’ll most likely have to sleep on the fucking couch, the least you could do is answer my fucking question!!"

Well, technically there was Kirishima’s bed since he was staying the night at his boyfriend's, but fuck that, I’m NOT sleeping in shitty hair’s bed!

“I’m sorry, Kacchan.” Suddenly, I see Deku starting to get up from my bed, and slowly making his way towards the door. “I didn’t mean to inconvenience you. I’m sorry for overstaying my welcome. I’ll leave, now.” He says quietly and with a sad look, as he struggles to stand up straight without limping.

Fucking Hell.

“Wait. Hold on. Deku, hold on, don’t leave.” I get up and grab hold of Deku’s arm, being mindful of his bruises. “Deku. Wait, I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t mean it like that. Just,” I take a deep breath as I think carefully about what I’m about to say. “just stay here for tonight, at least, until you feel better, okay?”

Deku looks back at me; surprised at my proposal, and at how softly I was speaking. I’m so used to yelling and shouting, or just talking loudly in general, that it’s hard for me to speak in a voice that isn’t loud. So for him to hear me talk so tenderly, it must have been pretty unnerving.

After a long minute of us just staring at each other, he finally nods his head. “O-okay, Kacchan.” I help Deku back under the covers; making sure he’s comfortable, and I even ask if he needs anything, to which he says no. Taking my spot back in my computer chair, I begin to speak, again.

“Okay, so, I’ll ask again: Why weren’t you at school, today?” I asked, waiting patiently for him to reply. I notice he seems a bit hesitant about answering right away, in fact, it looks like he’s racking his brain trying to look for the right answer.

“I…I had to run home and finish some homework I had forgotten to work on…” He says, looking at me hoping I would believe him.

But he obviously forgot who the fuck I am.

“Yeah, and I’m the fucking Emperor of Japan’s long lost son. You really expect me to believe that obvious bullshit, Deku?” I say with irritation seeping in my voice. Deku flinches at my words and stammers again with a reply. “N-no! Really, Kacchan! I had gone to bed late last night, and I forgot to finish our assignment papers, so I had to run home an-”

“And you worked on your assignments? At home? For five hours?! You think I’m fucking stupid, Deku?! I may not be a goody-two-shoes like you, but I KNOW it doesn’t take you five fucking hours to write a couple of stupid papers! I know you better than that!!”

I was actually getting really fucking angry, not just because it was Deku, but because he actually felt the need to lie to me, and if there’s one thing I hate more in this world, it’s a liar.

I see him cower away from me, and I try to calm down and speak again. “Okay, Deku, if you’re not going to tell me where you were all day, then at least tell me how in the hell you ended up in a scuffle with Yamaguchi.” I was genuinely curious about that, especially considering this morning, he was able to kick the fucker’s ass(well, kinda) with very little effort. It also baffles me that this is the same guy that was able to run up to a man with a fucking GUN pointed at him, and somehow was able to subdue him long enough for help to arrive, and yet he got his ass handed to him by a nobody like Yamaguchi.

Something just didn’t add up.

“Well, I, uh, I just, I wasn’t feeling very well, that’s all. I was...kind of out of it, and...I guess I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings…”

Another lie.

Fucking. Hell.

“Alright. You know what, Deku? Fuck it. You don’t wanna tell me the truth? Whatever. Not like I even give a shit, anyway.” I get up from my seat, and make my way out of my bedroom, before turning back to Deku. “You’re staying the night, Deku, and I’m taking you to the hospital in the morning before class starts. So don’t you even try to leave, ya hear?” I point my finger at him as I slam my bedroom door, not even bothering to wait for an answer from him.

‘Is this considered kidnapping? Well even if it is, I don’t give a shit. I’m taking this asshole to the doctor in the morning, whether he likes it or not’. I groan to myself as I lay down on the couch, plug in my phone, and make sure the alarm is set. I didn’t even bother with making dinner for myself; I was too busy with worrying about shitty nerd.

‘What the fuck am I even doing? I just said I was taking Deku to the doctor. Fucking DEKU of all people! Why?! I hate that shit nerd….and yet...I just couldn’t stand seeing him get hurt. And the thought of Yamaguchi touching Deku like that...it just made my blood boil.’

Trying to clear my mind of the events from earlier, I turn over and try to go to sleep. As I lay there in the silent darkness, the last thing I remember before drifting off to sleep, was:

‘Why in the hell were Deku’s thighs bandaged up….?’

 

-

 

I wake up to my phone alarm; my back hurting from sleeping on the couch, as I get up, and quickly get ready to take Deku to the hospital.

After brushing my hair and teeth, I knock on my bedroom door(which felt odd), expecting Deku to be awake by now.

“Deku. It’s time to go.” No reply. I knock again. “Deku! We need to get going!” No reply.

This time, I don’t even bother with knocking, and I just barge right in. I don’t give a shit if he’s butt-ass naked right now, I’m getting this fucker up!

DEKU! YOU DEAF, OR SOMETHING?! GET THE FUCK U-"

He’s gone. Deku is gone.

“Wha-What the FUCK?!" I quickly check the front door, and sure enough, it was unlocked. Since he didn’t have a key, he couldn't lock it from the outside. So Deku must have left sometime early this morning while I was asleep.

I go back into my room and notice that not only did he make my bed for me, and pick my dirty clothes up off the floor, but there was also a note on the nightstand.

‘Kacchan,

I’m sorry for leaving so suddenly. I know you said not to, but I just didn’t want to be a bother to you, anymore. Or to anyone else. Thank you so much for letting me stay the night, and for taking care of me. It was very kind of you.

Take care, Kacchan.

Izuku.’

After reading the note, I crumble it up and toss it on my desk, as I just stand there, in anger and disbelief.

“That son of a bitch…”

 

-

 

Deku didn’t come to school again, today.

Okay, now I’m definitely getting worried. It’s one thing for him to miss a day of school, but missing school twice in a row?!

‘Well, he did get hurt last night, so maybe he went to the doctor, after all, and he was told to stay home. It only makes sense.’ Still, it did very little to calm my nerves, so I decide to ask Deku’s friends if they’ve seen or heard from him.

But as it turns out(and to no surprise), both Round-Face and Half n’ Half don’t like me very much, especially Half n’ Half. Regardless, Deku being absent from school for two days does concern them, and so they tell me what they know.

“I haven’t heard from him since Monday,” Round-Face says. “but we usually meet for coffee after school on Thursdays.”

“Yeah, I didn’t see Izuku yesterday or today, either.” Half n’ Half said with that same stoic expression on his face. I knew he didn’t particularly like me very much, but he did care very much about Deku, so that alone keeps him focused. “We’ll try calling him and see if he’s okay.”

“And I can have Mina-chan and Tenya-kun try getting ahold of him, too.” Round-Face chimes in, a look of determination in her eyes.

“Thanks.” I say, as I turn around and left the campus.

‘Where the hell are you, Deku?’

 

-

 

As I make my way down the street, I just couldn’t stop thinking about Deku, and then there was the note he had left this morning.

It didn’t say ‘See you later’ or ‘I’ll catch you after school’ or nothing like that. It just said ‘Take care’....why would he write that?! He IS planning on coming back to school, right…?

I suddenly stop in my tracks.

‘No…’

A very sickening feeling starts blossoming in my chest and stomach.

Without a second thought, I turn around, and as fast as I could, start sprinting in the direction of Deku’s apartment.

‘He’s fine. He’s fine. He’s fucking FINE! He’s just resting, you dumb ass. Just check on him, and make sure he’s fucking okay!!’

I finally make it to Deku’s apartment unit; my legs feeling like Jello, despite being fit, as I make my way up the stairs to his apartment door. I stand in front of his front door, and as I inhale deeply, I lift up my fist and prepare to knock on the door. But right when my fist connects with the door, I realize it isn’t even shut all the way; the door’s slightly ajar, like he didn’t even bother to close his door shut.

Not wanting to ponder over why his door is slightly open, I let myself in.

Everything looks fairly normal, for the most part, except for the fact that his apartment is dark; the only source of light coming from the little bit of sunlight peeking out from beneath the curtains. As I inspect the living room, that’s when I see something on the floor: a white bottle, and the lid laying off to the side. I pick the bottle up, and when I see the Zoloft prescription label on the side, my stomach flips. What made it feel even worse, was the fact that the bottle was empty.

“D-Deku? Are-Are you here?” I call out as I make my way through the apartment, finding more empty bottles on the floor. Once I got to the small walkway, I must have spotted at least 15 or 20 bottles strewn around(Hell, there might've been more); some of them were completely empty, some had a few pills left in them, with the rest of the pills laying on the floor.

“Deku?! Deku?! Where are you?!” But as soon as I pass the bathroom, it was like everything just stopped, including my breathing. There, laying on the bathroom floor, with more empty bottles on the ground, and in nothing but his boxers,

was Deku.

 

-

 

"DEKU!!!" I run into the bathroom, turn on the light and roll him onto his back. I shake him roughly by his shoulders; frantically trying to get him to wake up, but he’s out cold.

“Deku! Deku!! Oh my God, Deku! Please, wake up. Please, no! NO!!" When he doesn’t respond, I quickly dig out my phone; trying my best to steady my hand as I dial 911.

*911, what is your emergency?* The operator asks in that typical friendly fucking spiel.

*My-my friend! I-I found him in his bathroom, I t-think he took a bunch of pills, and, he’s, he’s not moving!!* I shout into the phone, despite it being on speaker, as I try to shake Deku awake, again, knowing it was useless.

*Okay, sir, I’m sending help right away. Could you please tell me your location, and could you also tell me your friend’s name, and possibly any details about his current condition, if you can?*

I tell her Deku’s address and apartment number, and where exactly we were in the apartment, I also tell her that I had just found him a few moments ago and that I didn’t know how long he’s been like this. I was so panicked, that I could feel my breathing becoming shorter.

‘Please. Please don’t do this. Please, Deku. Please!!’

*Okay, sir. The paramedics are on their way to your location. Could you tell me more about Midoriya-san’s condition? Is he breathing?*

I look down at Deku’s face again, I notice the bruises still on his face, and my eyes widen when I see that his skin is unnaturally pale, except for the slight bluish tint on his lips, and it seems to be spreading to his cheeks.

*He's-he's not moving! He's not BREATHING!*

*Sir, he’s most likely not getting enough oxygen; he could even possibly be in cardiac arrest. You need to perform CPR on him, right away. Start by laying him on a flat surface. Place the heel of your dominant hand firmly aga-*

*I KNOW HOW TO PERFORM FUCKING CPR, GODDAMNIT!!!* I toss my phone on the floor, with the operator still on the line, as I lay Deku’s flat on the ground in front of me; his head by my knees.

*Okay, sir. Just try and stay calm, okay? The paramedics will be at your location, shortly. Stay on the line with me until they arrive, okay?*

I’m not even paying attention to her, anymore, as I press the heel of my right hand over Deku’s sternum, my left hand over my right, tightly lacing the fingers of my left hand between the gaps of my right, as I begin to give chest compressions. I don’t even care if the force I’m exerting ends up breaking his sternum or ribs, none of that matters to me. All that matters, is getting this idiot to fucking breathe!

[Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored? Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?]

After the 30th compression, I quickly pull my hands away, tilt his jaw upward, plug his nose closed with my thumb and index finger, clamp my mouth tightly over his, and deeply expel two breaths of air. After that, I pull my mouth away from his and repeat the process.

[We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep. There are things that we can have, but can’t keep.]

I lost track of time; there isn’t a window in this bathroom, so I can’t tell the time, but it didn’t make any difference. I lost count of how many times I pumped his chest, how many times I expelled air into his lungs; I could feel my arms start to weaken; my muscles screaming for me to stop, but I refuse. I absolutely REFUSE! If I stop, even for a split second, Deku will DIE!

[If they say, who cares if one more light goes out? In a sky of a million stars. It flickers, flickers.]

For a while, I even forgot that the operator was still on the phone, on speaker, so as I begin to cry out to Deku’s still form, she could hear every word.

[Who cares when someone’s time runs out? If a moment is all we are. We’re quicker, quicker.]

“Deku. Please, please don’t do this! Please, don’t do this to me, Deku! Please, I’m begging you! You can’t go, Deku. Please don’t go! Not like this. I didn’t mean it, I never meant what I said. I never meant any of it! So please! Please just wake up! Wake up! WAKE UP, PLEASE, DEKU! PLEASE, DON’T DIE!!!!"

[Who cares if one more light goes out? Well, I do.]

Tears are rolling down my face, and I’m crying like a baby, but I don’t give a shit. Nothing matters to me except for Deku. I don’t care if I look and sound weak. My pride can go fuck itself!

[The reminders pull the floor from your feet.]

In the background, I can hear the front door of Deku’s apartment slam open, as a group of three EMTs barge into the tiny bathroom.

[In the kitchen, one more chair than you need oh.]

“Young man! We’ll handle it from here!” One of them says in a loud but professional voice. But I wasn’t ready to give up, just yet. “No! No, I can’t! He’ll die if I stop!!” My tears come even faster as I try compressing his chest even faster; my arms becoming shaky from exhaustion.

[And you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair.]

“Young man! You need to step out of the way!!” Another EMT grabs my arm, and pulls me off of Deku, as I frantically try to grasp onto him; not wanting to let go. Once I’m out of the bathroom and standing in the doorway, one of the EMTs starts administering CPR in my place, while the other checks for a pulse. After a minute or two, they switch places, but it doesn’t look like anything has changed.

[Just ‘cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.]

I begin to hyperventilate; more tears rolling down as I watch the scene taking place before me. I stand there; my face puffy and tear-stained, my eyes blood-shot, as I watch Deku, Izuku, my former best friend, the boy I relentlessly bullied and tormented, and the boy who I had had a crush on since I was four, die right in front of my eyes.

[If they say, who cares if one more light goes out? In a sky of a million stars? It flickers, flickers.]

After several more attempts at CPR, one of the EMTs goes to pull out an emergency intubation tool from their big, black bag.

[Who cares when someone’s time runs out? If a moment is all we are. We’re quicker, quicker.]

‘This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening! Deku, please. Please, wake up, Deku!’

[Who cares if one more light goes out? Well, I do.]

One of them proceeds to insert the long, rubber tube down Izuku's throat, but at this point, I'm starting to lose hope. My heart feels so numb, my mind feels clouded and all I can think of is,

'Just stop, already. It's no use. We were too late. He's not coming back...'

I can't stop my tears, and I don't even care to. It feels like my heart has been ripped out of my chest as I watch them try to revive Deku's lifeless body.

'He's dead...'

 

-

 

“GAAASP!!!”

It was the most haunting and most beautiful sound I have ever heard in my entire life. It was a sound that would send a shiver of crippling fear down the spine of even the most hardened veteran, yet a sound that one would hope, pray, to hear when it counted most; a sound that a newborn baby would make after being born into the world; a sound that someone would make after being submerged underwater for far too long.

It was the sound of Deku breathing!

[Who cares if one more light goes out? In a sky of a million stars. It flickers, flickers.]

“We’ve got a pulse!” One of the EMTs calls out as they begin to assess Deku’s vitals. Meanwhile, Deku is still gasping for air; it sounds gurgled and choked like there’s fluid trapped in his lungs, which is most likely the case. Drool begins to ooze out of his mouth as he continues to gasp and wheeze for more air; normally I would be grossed out to see him drooling like that, but I don’t care. All that matters is that Deku is okay!

[Who cares when someone’s time runs out? If a moment is all we are. We’re quicker, quicker.]

I step aside as the EMTs quickly haul Deku onto the stretcher that’s laid out in the small hallway; an oxygen mask placed over his face as they lead him out of the apartment, and down the stairs. I look on; tears of happiness in my eyes, as I watch them carefully place him inside the awaiting ambulance truck.

[Who cares if one more light goes out? Well, I do.]

‘He’s breathing. Deku is breathing! He’s really breathing! He’s alive. He’s ALIVE!'

[Well, I do.]

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thursday June, 21 2018

6 Missed Calls

8 Unread Messages

***

Ochako: *Missed Call*

Ochako: *Missed Call*

Ochako: Izuku. Is everything ok? We were supposed to meet for coffee at 5, today.

Ochako: Izu, please call or text me when you can. Let me know if you’re ok.

Ochako: Please, Izu, I’m really getting worried. Katsuki was even asking about you. We’re all worried :( Call me back soon please.

***

Mina: Hey, Izu! Chako-chan was getting worried about you, so whenever you can, just give one of us a call or text, ‘kay? Hope you’re doing ok. <3

***

Tenya: *Missed Call*

Tenya: Midoriya-kun, this is Iida. My apologies for the sudden message, but I was told you haven’t been attending your classes in the past two days. While I don’t know of your current situation, please know that we’re here for you if you ever need us. Please keep us updated.

***

Shouto: Izuku. Are you okay?

Shouto: *Missed Call*

Shouto: *Missed Call*

Shouto: Please, Izuku. I need to know that you’re ok. You’re my best friend, Izuku. You’re ALL of ours! Let us help you!

Shouto: *Missed Call*

Shouto: Please call back as soon as you can, Izuku. We’re all worried. Just let us know that you’re ok, and remember what I’ve told you, I’m here for you. We all are. :)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s POV

We arrive at the hospital about 10-15 minutes later; I was given permission to ride in the ambulance truck along with Deku(No, Izuku. Izuku!) and the other EMTs, since I was the one who made the 911 call, and I was the only one who personally knew De-Izuku. Unfortunately, I was told to wait in the lobby while they haul Izuku away to the ER.

So there I stand, alone with nothing but my own thoughts, as I try to organize and articulate everything that’s happened within the last 24 hours.

All I can think about, are the ‘what if’s and the ‘I should have’s, knowing full well it’ll do little to no good in helping with the current situation, it’ll also do little to no good in saving Izuku’s life.

’Izuku is alive, sure, but for how much longer? With how many bottles I found lying around his apartment, there’s no telling if he’ll even MAKE it. What if he stops breathing, again? Or what if he ends up going into a coma, and they can’t bring him back? It’s too soon to tell. What should I do? What even CAN I do?!’

As my thoughts keep racing at a hundred miles a second, I find myself sitting in one of the vacant seats in the large waiting space; the lobby uncomfortably quiet, despite the sounds all around me: the phone of the receptionist’s desk ringing off the hook, babies crying, patients coughing from sickness and the bustling chatter of nearby hospital staff.

’Why did I leave Izuku alone last night?! I should have just stayed with him while he slept; if I had just done that, he wouldn’t have snuck out...no...that’s complete bullshit, and I know it.’

My head lowers in my hands, as more tears spill from my eyes; I can’t remember the last time I ever cried this much, if ever.

’This never would have happened if I had been a better fucking friend, a better fucking person. I never should have done any of the shit that I had done to him, in the first place! I never should have bullied him, or called him names, or exploited his medication and made him feel bad for taking it. I never should have done any of those things! I’m such a fucking piece of shit...if Izuku dies...what will I do? How will I explain to everyone? His professors? Yagi? His friends? My pare-oh, oh god!

Auntie...how will I tell Auntie Inko?!

I rise from my seat; not even bothering to dry my eyes, as I dig my phone out of my pocket, and tap on the screen for a couple of seconds, before I see it, right there, in my contacts, the bold lettering just staring back at me,

'Auntie Inko'

With a shuttering intake of air, I tap the call button, hold the phone to my ear, and wait. Part of me hopes that she’ll pick up right away, another part of me prays that she doesn’t.

’No! You HAVE to do this! YOU did this, YOU fucked up, so YOU fucking fix this!!’

All I can do is stand there; listening, waiting, trying my damnedest to breathe normally, as the ringing reverberates inside my ear.

*RIIIIIIIING*

inhale

*RIIIIIIIING*

exhale

*RIIIIIIIING*

inhale

*RIIII-Hello?*

My breath hitches; I can feel it catch in my throat as I begin to speak with trembling lips.

*A-A-Auntie...it’s-it’s Katsuki…*

*Oh, Katsuki! What a surprise! It’s been ages since I’ve heard from you. How have you been, dear?*

Hearing Auntie’s chipper voice only makes my tears come even faster; it almost makes me want to chicken out, and abort the phone call; simply claim it to be a mistake. But I refuse to back out.

Before I can get any words out, Auntie starts again; her voice sounding more concerned.

*Katsuki? Is everything okay, honey? It’s not like you to call out of the blue, like this. What’s going on? Is Izuku with you?*

The mere mention of Izuku’s name causes a sob to become lodged inside my throat. After a few agonizing seconds, I begin to speak again, and I don’t even try to cover up my sobs.

*...Auntie...I-sob-I-I need you to..to please come down t-to 'Musutafu Emergency Medical Center'...something, something terrible has happened-sob-to Izuku…*

 

-

 

I tell her I’ll be waiting for her near the front entrance, and end the phone call a few minutes later. Not 5 minutes after calling her, I see a short, plump, green-haired woman run inside as fast as her legs can go; her round cheeks red and tear-stained.

”Katsuki!!” Auntie cries out when she spots me, as she runs up to me and pulls me in a crushing hug. All I can do is stand there, and hold her tightly as she cries.

After she calms down enough to speak normally(or as normally as one is able to after finding out their only child tried to commit suicide), one of the nursing staff greets us and asks if we need any help. When Auntie asks about Izuku, he then leads us to a different waiting area, two floors above the main lobby, and it happens to be on the same floor where Izuku is currently being treated. He goes on to explain that the doctors are doing everything they can to help Izuku, and all we can do for now is wait.

And that’s exactly what we do.

 

-

 

3 hours. 3 agonizing, torturous hours, of waiting to see if Izuku has survived.

I sit in the stiff leather seat; trying my best to keep my leg from bouncing with nerves. Auntie sits beside me to my right; her left hand clutching my right hand tightly, while her other hand uses a handkerchief to dry her eyes, not that it helps to keep her tears at bay. During the long wait, the room is silent except for the sound of auntie’s sniffling and soft sobs, and her occasional 'Oh, Izuku!'s and 'My baby!'s.

I didn’t think it was possible for my heart to break any more than it already has, but as it turns out, I was wrong.

”K-Katsuki…”

I startle a bit at hearing Auntie speak after such a long time, but I compose myself and turn my attention to the woman who was like a second mother to me.

”Ohh, Katsuki!” She cries out, as more tears spill out.

”I’m here, Auntie.” I pull her into a hug, despite the armrests. “I’m so sorry…”

”K-Katsuki...how, how could this have ha-happened?! Izuku, he, he’s never done anything like this, before! How could I not have noticed something was wrong?! This would never have happened if I had just paid more attention! Oh, my baby!!!"

My frown deepens at her words; knowing full well what she’s referring to.

’No, Auntie...you didn’t know, you couldn’t have...this..this never would have happened, if..if I..’

"INKO-CHAN!!" We both look over to the source of the voice, and my heart drops into my stomach when I see Mom and Dad power-walking over to us.

Auntie gets up, and runs over to Mom, who pulls her into her arms and hugs her close; rubbing her back soothingly. Dad walks over to me; a look of concern spread over his features as he sits beside me. After a few more moments of quiet sobs and hushed, reassuring words, Mom brings Auntie back over to sit with us, as we wait together.

I was definitely not looking forward to explaining myself to not only auntie, but also my parents, and at the same time, to boot.

 

-

 

”Oh, Mitsuki-chan!” Auntie cries out into Mom’s shoulder; Mom’s arm wrapped around her shoulder to provide some sort of comfort to her best friend.

”I know, honey. I know.” The old hag says in a soft voice; rubbing Auntie’s back in gentle circles. “I’m so sorry we took so long to get here; Masaru and I tried to leave work as soon as we got your call, but weren’t able to leave early enough. It’s okay, Inko-chan. Everything will be alright, Izu will pull through this, I know he will.”

While Mom continues to comfort Auntie, Dad looks at me; that same look he gave me when they first arrived, and then he says to me, “Katsuki, what happened to Izuku? How did this happen, son?”

I was surprised by the question. Normally, Dad would either be the voice of reason when things escalated, or he would just sit by quietly, while Mom did all the talking. But this time, he’s the one to pop the question and asks me the one question I was hoping I could avoid answering. At least, so soon.

”Katsuki,” he says again, more firmly this time; his tone which I would expect to only come from Mom. “there's something you’re not telling us, isn’t there? If there is, you need to tell us. So please, son, what happened to Izuku?”

I feel my heart rate pick up its pace and my hands becoming clammy as all eyes are now on me.

What do I say? How do I say it? How in the fuck am I supposed to explain to not only my parents, but also to Izuku’s mother, that I’m the reason Izuku even needed to be prescribed Zoloft for the anxiety that I most likely caused him, made fun of him for taking his prescription, bullied him all throughout school, threatened him for wanting to attend Yuuei, blackmailed him after getting into Yuuei, bullied him even more, and to top it all of, I told him to KILL HIMSELF?!

How does one even begin to explain themselves?!

”I, uh, I…” But before I could even get a word in edgewise, the door to the waiting area opens, and in walks two people: a male nurse, and a female doctor.

”Midoriya-san? Bakugou-san?” The doctor calls out, and immediately, we all get up from our seats in unison, and rush over to where they’re standing.

”My baby!! Is he okay?! Is Izuku going to be okay?! Please, tell me!!”

As Mom, Dad and the nurse try to calm Auntie down, I take in the doctor’s appearance: She’s a slender, elderly woman, and she’s very short; I’d say she barely reaches past my waist. Her gray hair is pulled back into a tight bun, with thin-framed glasses resting on her face. Despite her age, she has hardly any wrinkles on her face; making her look about thirty years younger. She has on navy blue medical scrubs, the typical white doctor’s lab coat with a stethoscope around her neck, and indoor hospital shoes.

”Please calm down, Midoriya-san. I’ll be happy to tell you about your son’s current condition, but first, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Dr. Shuzenji Chiyo,” She points to the name tag attached to her coat’s breast pocket, to confirm her title.

’Why does that name sound so familiar? In fact, why does she look so familiar?

Then she continues to speak. “and this is my assistant, Iteyama Yayoi-san. As for young Midoriya, I’m happy to inform you all that, despite the severity of his condition when he first arrived, we were able to get him stabilized. Your son is going to be just fine.” Auntie cries out again after hearing this, but this time, she cries tears of happiness and relief. Not that it matters since by that point, I’m crying almost as much as she is.

’He’s alive! He’s ALIVE! I can’t believe it’s really true. Izuku’s going to be okay...wait, did she just say her name was ‘Shuzenji Chiyo’?...Wait...no way..’

"RECOVERY GIRL?!"

The whole room goes silent, and all eyes are now on me.

"Katsuki!! Watch your mouth, you damn BRAT!” The old hag snaps at me as she smacks me upside my head. “And keep your damn voice down, Katsuki!”

”Look who’s talking…” I mumble under my breath, hoping she doesn’t hear. But of course, I was wrong. "What was that, Katsuki!?" We’re then cut off by the sound of ‘Recovery Girl’ giggling at our mother-son antics. “Now, now Bakugou-san, it’s quite alright. He’s not wrong, actually.” Mom, Dad, and Auntie all look at her in confusion, and Recovery Girl goes on to explain. “Well, not only do I run my own practice at this hospital, and happen to be one of the top leading physicians in the country, but I also happen to be the nurse at Yuuei High School. ‘Recovery Girl’ is simply a nickname the students and staff refer to me by, but please, feel free to call me ‘Granny Chiyo’.”

No fucking way. So Recovery Girl is a nurse for Yuuei and an actual fucking DOCTOR?! Those asshole back at Yuuei better be fucking paying her, well!

”Wait! If you’re a doctor here AND a nurse at Yuuei, then who the hell is running the nurse’s office back at the school while you're here?” I mean, it’s a valid question, in my opinion. This causes her to chuckle. ”Silly boy. Do you really think a renowned physician; working for the top school in the country, wouldn’t have top-qualified assistants managing my office back at Yuuei while I’m here tending to my patients? Surely you jest!”

Well, I guess that makes sense. But still, I can’t even imagine the fucking workload she must have every day, between here and Yuuei. She must really know her shit.

”Anywho, back to the matter at hand:” Granny Chiyo holds her tiny hand out to Yayoi, only for him to hand her a clipboard, which she begins flipping through the forms before speaking, again. “Young Midoriya will indeed make a full recovery; if all goes well, he should be discharged within the next 2-3 days. Honestly, this case was a bit of a…complex one, to say the least.”

”What do you mean, doctor?” Auntie asks, and we all look at her.

”Well, according to the report that I received from the paramedics upon arrival, young Midoriya had overdosed on Sertraline, or as it’s commonly known as, ‘Zoloft’, which is a type of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, or SSRI for short, and according to his medical history, he had been prescribed the medication with a dosage of 25 mg, which in and of itself, isn’t very high. You see, it’s actually very rare for someone to die from overdosing on SSRI, alone. The only way for it to turn fatal would be for him to have taken it and mix it with alcohol, opioids, barbiturates, tricyclic antidepressants, just to name a few. But by itself, at most, overdosing on SSRI would just cause him to become more drowsy, or have slurred speech.”

I don’t understand, I didn’t find any other pill bottles in the apartment, and he doesn’t drink(that I know of). Then again, he did take an obscene amount of Zoloft, maybe that might have something to do with how he ended up like this.

”However, considering the level of SSRI in his system was over a thousand times the recommended amount, plus factoring in his body’s overall weight and blood volume, side effects would become more severe, even with a dosage as low as 25 mg. More severe side effects include cardiac arrest, Serotonin Syndrome, high blood pressure, seizures, heart failure, delirium, and so on. Even then, it still wouldn’t put him in immediate danger, so long as the airway isn’t blocked. Unfortunately, young Midoriya did show a few of these side effects, mainly cardiac arrest; I regret to say he even had a couple of seizures while we prepped him.”

”Oh, no! Oh, Izu!!” Auntie cries out, again, but just before the floodgates can break again, Granny Chiyo continues.

”Luckily, we were able to counteract the SSRI in his system by giving him activated charcoal to help absorb the excess serotonin in his system. With this, we’ve managed to get his toxicity levels back down to almost normal. He’s very lucky to be alive.”

Everyone sounds relieved at the news, and of course, I am, too. But that doesn’t make my stomach stop churning at her earlier comment of ‘his case was complex’. What was so complex about it if Izuku apparently wasn't in any real danger? But it seems Granny Chiyo is also a mind-reader, because she looks right at me, and speaks again.

”Young Bakugou,” she says, her voice with a more serious tone to it; her smile had fallen slightly. “I can tell what you’re thinking, young man, and I’ll happily answer your question if you wish. The paramedics informed me upon arriving at young Midoriya’s residence, they found you attempting to resuscitate him via CPR, correct?”

”I, yes. Yes, I did. I don’t know how many times I did it, or for how long, but-”

”Yes, and your efforts were very admirable, young man. If it weren’t for you being there, there’s a chance young Midoriya wouldn’t have made it.” I gasp at this, and I hear a gasp coming from my parents and Auntie, too. “What-what the hell do you mean, Granny? I thought you said he wasn’t in any immediate danger of dying! You just said-”

”I said that it’s very rare for someone to die from ’overdosing on SSRI, alone’, but remember that I also said that as long as his airway isn’t blocked, there shouldn’t be any reason for concern of potential death. Tell me, young Bakugou, was he breathing when you found him?”

Her words sink in, and then I think back to the events that had led me up to his point, after a few seconds, I shake my head. She hums to herself before saying, “That’s what makes his case complex. Yes, the SSRI isn’t enough to kill him, despite the amount that was in his system and the severe side effects he was displaying, but if his airway was blocked, and his body wasn’t getting the oxygen it needed, then his body would have shut down before we would have had time to do anything about his toxicity levels.”

”So...you’re saying...”

Granny Chiyo nods her head slowly. ”If you hadn’t been there when you had, young Midoriya most likely would have died.”

My mouth fell open at this. It feels like someone had just punched me in the gut; the information seeping into my mind like liquid on fabric.

’If I had shown up a few minutes later, If I hadn’t been there when I had, hell, if I hadn’t been there at all, Izuku...he would have...’

”Doctor,” Auntie says after a short while later; disrupting the uncomfortable thoughts from concluding, to which I was grateful. “may we please see Izuku?”

Granny Chiyo smiles again, before turning on her heels. “Of course. Right this way! And please, just call me Granny Chiyo. No need for formalities.” She chuckles as she leads us out of the waiting room, and down the hall. After a short walk down the wide corridors, we finally come to a stop; standing in front of the large open sliding door of the room. There, laying in the bed lays Izuku. He looks so frail just lying there; his soft, green curls fanned out over the pillow and framing his delicate face while he sleeps, wires hooked up the machines and covering almost every inch of his body, an IV in his right arm and an oxygen mask over his face so he can breathe. But at least he’s alive.

The room itself is fairly large and homey-looking; not to the point of someone mistaking it as a regular bedroom, but it’s at least comfortable enough for whoever’s staying here to not feel trapped or uneasy. At the back of the room, were floor-to-ceiling windows with a sofa and a couple of smaller chairs next to them, a digital clock on the wall, a couple of potted plants on the window sill, a flat-screen TV across from the bed, and a bathroom with a bathtub and shower nozzle. All in all, not too shabby for a hospital room.

”How long will he be here for, Granny Chiyo?” Auntie asks as she takes in Izuku’s current state; her eyes appearing glassy. “For now, I want to keep him here to check on his vitals, and make sure his condition doesn’t worsen, which is most likely not the case, but you never know. If all goes well, then he should be okay to go home by early Sunday, Monday at the latest.”

Auntie hums in understanding, leaning into Mom’s shoulder for support, but is then interrupted when Granny Chiyo exclaims, “Ah! Before I forget, while prepping young Midoriya, I noticed that he had somehow sustained numerous injuries all over the upper half of his body.”

My eyes widen as she mentioned this; I don’t know what part of me thought they weren’t going to notice those. “They mainly consist of superficial lacerations and bruises, but he also has a broken nose, fractured cheekbone, and a few cracked ribs. Though we can rule out the cracked ribs as being a result of young Bakugou’s administration of CPR, which isn’t uncommon. It’s the rest that I find concerning.”

Suddenly, all eyes are on me, again, and this time, I don’t feel under pressure in explaining since I know full well how Izuku got those injuries, and they weren’t because of me.

I told Granny Chiyo, along with Auntie and my parents, about what happened to Izuku the night before. I even told them who was responsible for his injuries, the attempted rape, and that they were college students at Yuuei. Granny Chiyo nods in understanding as she writes down the details in a notepad, and informs me that she’ll contact Nezu and, if possible, will make a report to the police.

”I appreciate your honesty and cooperation, young Bakugou. I’ll see to it that these students are held accountable, and don’t go unpunished.” She says with a confident smile. “Thank you, granny.” I smile back at her; feeling so much better about Yamaguchi and those fuckers getting what’s coming to them.

After a few minutes of answering questions about Izuku’s current state, Granny Chiyo gazes at the clock, reading 9:36 PM on the wall, and lets out a sigh, and looks back to us.

”It’s getting pretty late, and visitation technically ended an hour ago, but no worries. We’ll pick all this up tomorrow. He should be awake in the morning, so feel free to swing by and pay him a visit.” Granny Chiyo makes her way around Izuku’s bed to check his vitals one more time before ushering us out of the room. “If anything changes with young Midoriya, I’ll make sure to give you a call, Midoriya-san. For now, try and get some sleep. You’ve all had a very busy day, today.” With one last smile and a wave, she turns around, and walks down the hall, while her nurse Yayoi leads us down the hall, to the elevators.

 

-

 

Just as I was making my way out the front entrance, and down the somewhat quiet, empty city streets, I nearly jump at the feeling of a hand gripping onto my shoulder; keeping me from leaving. I look over my shoulder, thinking it’s some punk, only to feel my heart skip a beat when I see that it’s actually Mom, with Dad standing beside her.

”Katsuki. Get in the car. Now.” She isn’t asking, hell she’s not really even telling me. She’s demanding me to do as she says, with a look on her face that screams, ‘Go ahead and argue with me. I fucking dare you’. Without another word, I step inside the family car that was apparently parked near the curb this whole time.

The car ride was quiet for a while; almost uncomfortably quiet; I’m afraid they can hear my rapid heartbeat inside my chest or the ringing in my ears. Then, Mom’s voice breaks the silence.

“You never answered your father’s questions, Katsuki.” I look up at her, confused at first, but then I remember what he had asked me, and I frown before lowering my head, again. “I know for a fact that you not only know something about Izuku attempting suicide but that you have something to do with it. When we get home, you’re gonna talk, and you’re gonna tell us everything.”

I don’t say anything, I simply nod my head, and stare out the window; watching the buildings and streets pass by as we make our way back home.

Time to face the beast, and repent for my crimes.

 

-

 

We arrive a short while later; it’s dark outside, and the streets are quiet and empty, aside from the chirping of the Crickets and summer Cicadas.

It feels like ages since I’ve been back home, even though it’s only been about four months since I moved out after starting college. After taking my shoes off and putting on slippers, I make my way in the living room and settle down on one of the couches. Everything looks the same as it did when I was here last; if it weren’t for the circumstances, this would all feel nostalgic and comforting.

Dad sits on the couch across from me; his expression unreadable, while Mom is in the kitchen making tea. This is the first time that I’ve ever felt uneasy and nervous in my own family home, but I suppose I have reason to be.

Honestly, I feel like I don’t deserve to feel this way.

After sitting across from Dad in awkward silence for about five minutes, Mom sets three teacups from a tray on the coffee table for each of us before putting away the tray, and taking her spot next to Dad. Now, all three of us sit in silence; waiting for someone to speak first.

That someone, ends up being Mom.

”Well,” Mom starts, her voice sounding level, but with a hint of irritation lingering in it. “You wanna tell us the truth about what happened?” She says this as she looks me dead in the eyes; her gaze hard and stone-cold. “I...I’m not too sure where to begin…” I admit to her, because well, I’m honestly not sure where to even start.

Mom looks unamused.

Leaning back against the couch with her arms crossed over her chest. “Well, the beginning would be a good fucking place to start, Katsuki. We’ve got all night, so you better get started. We’re not leaving this fucking room until you finish, either.”

’I can’t keep dodging their questions, like this. I can’t keep pussy-footing around this whole fucking thing and acting like it’ll all just go away if everyone just forgets about it long enough. I have to be better than that. It’s now, or never.’

I swallow the lump in my throat, take a deep breath, and start to talk.

”It...it all started...when we were both about four…”

 

-

 

Almost an hour had passed by the time I finished, but after that, Mom and Dad just sat there; completely speechless. The air heavy and thick with tension.

Dad sits there, his expression changing from passive to distraught. Meanwhile, Mom has barely moved or said a word. Even her facial expression is unreadable; it’s a bit unnerving. I can’t even look either of them in the eye, I feel so pathetic.

Suddenly, Mom gets up from her seat on the couch, and slowly makes her way around the coffee table until she’s right in front of me. She just stands there for a moment, still silent; still unmoving.

It happens so fast; in the blink of an eye. Before I can even make any kind of gesture, or utter a single syllable...

SLAP!

The sound reverberates off the walls of the living room, so much so that I could almost feel it through the floor.

Mom had just slapped me. Not a smack upside the head. Not a light-hearted punch in the arm. An actual, backhanded slap across the face.

Whenever I would do something to piss her off, whether it be having an attitude, talking back, getting into trouble at school, or just being a dumbass, the old hag would always smack me upside my head to put me in my place. Even so, she would never do it with the intent to cause any actual harm. Despite her temper and aggressive parenting techniques, I knew she always had the best intentions in doing so.

This, however, is different. This, isn’t one of her usual ‘love-smacks’; there’s no hint of love or playfulness found in her strike, as I can feel the stinging burn on my right cheek, my head craned back due to the force of the blow. I think I could actually taste a little blood in my mouth, too. After a moment, I slowly move my head forward, placing my hand on my cheek; wincing at my fingers brushing the tender skin, as I slowly look up at my mother.

I visibly flinch when I see the look on her face: she’s not just angry, she’s not just pissed, she’s not even just annoyed. I see so many emotions swimming in her eyes and cast over her features at once, I thought I would turn to stone from staring too long. For once in my nineteen years of life, I was actually terrified of my own mother.

”HOW. FUCKING. DARE YOU?!?! HOW THE FUCK COULD YOU DO THIS, KATSUKI?!? HOW COULD YOU?!? WE RAISED YOU BETTER THAN THIS!!!" She pauses for a moment to take a few deep breaths; her demeanor unfazed, before continuing. “To think I actually bragged about you to my fucking co-workers! Telling them how ‘amazing’, and ’intelligent’, and ‘bright’ my son is! How ‘successful’ he’ll become after graduating from Yuuei!! But it looks like I’ve been talking about a completely different fucking person, because there’s NO way that MY son would be as sinister, sadistic, cruel, and down. Right. Villainous, as you have been!! And Katsuki,”

She pauses, taking a second to compose herself, though it does little to contain her rage, as she finishes, “we did NOT raise you to be a bully, and that’s EXACTLY what you are.”

Not many things phase me; it takes a lot to phase or sway me. But hearing those words coming from my own mother...somehow, they hurt even worse than her backhand to my face did. But what seems to hurt even worse than that, is seeing the look in her eyes: disappointment, disgust, anger, rage, fury, sadness, and hurt. I’ve hurt so many people; people from school, total strangers, Izuku even, but to see that I’ve hurt my own mother to the point of tears...can a heartbreak more than once?

”Explain to me, Katsuki,” She continues, “how you can find joy out of beating and hurting someone as innocent as Izuku. Go on. Tell me! I’m SO fucking curious to hear the excuses you have for feeling obligated in making Izuku suffer; a kind-hearted, selfless, sweet boy like him, who wouldn’t hurt a fucking fly, doesn’t deserve to be treated the way you’ve treated him. But for WHATEVER reason you believe; WHATEVER crime he’s committed against you, then let me fucking hear it, Katsuki!! Well?!"

I have nothing. I have no answer. No excuse. Nothing.

I look down at my hands as I try to find the right words, but nothing sounds or feels right. “Uh...I..uh, I..I don’t-”

”SPEAK UP, KATSUKI!! LOOK ME IN THE FUCKING EYES WHEN YOU SPEAK TO ME!! YOU GOT SOMETHING YOU WANNA SAY?! YOU THINK YOU’RE A TOUGH GUY, NOW?! SAY SOMETHING, THEN!!!"

I jump in my seat as I look at her again, tears threatening to spill from my eyes, but I fight to keep them down. ’Is this how Izuku felt when I yelled at him at school the other day? In front of all those people?! This is how I made him feel!’

"I DON’T KNOW!! I don’t have an answer! I don’t have any excuses!! I..I-I don’t..” I lower my head in a bow, the tears finally spilling over, but I don’t care, anymore. I deserve this. I deserve all of this.

”Izuku..he’s..he’s so kind, so innocent, so pure. He’s always willing to befriend anyone, no matter who they are, or what they’ve done to him...including me. And I took advantage of his kindness. I took advantage of the fact that he admired me, and that he was so infatuated with me, and I hurt him because of it!” My head falls into my hands; my tears cooling and stinging my cheek at the same time as I hide my face in shame.

”I’m a disgusting, horrible person! I don’t deserve someone like Izuku in my life! Oh, god, what have I done to him?! I’m a MONSTER!!!"

As I continue to bawl my eyes out, I hear Mom sigh. I wait for her to start yelling, again. Instead, I feel her crouch down to my level, her hand prying itself past mine; resting her thumb and index finger beneath my chin, lifting my head so I’m looking at her, again. Her eyes aren’t filled with anger anymore. Now, she just looks tired.

”Katsuki,” She says in a softer voice. There’s still firmness to it, but it’s not as hardened and booming as it was earlier. “I love you. We both do. That won’t ever change. But son,” she takes a breath; trying to gather herself up. I can tell she’s trying not to let her temper loose, again, and is simply just trying to talk to me. Not shouting, not screaming, but just talking. “this behavior, it’s not okay, and I know you know it’s not okay. I know I’m not a perfect parent, I’m not a perfect mother, and I’m most certainly not the best role model for you, but if there’s one thing I know without a doubt, is that I would never teach you to treat people like that. Wherever this arrogant, egotistical, antagonistic attitude of yours came from, it needs to end.”

I just stare at her; my eyes red from crying, and my cheek still stinging, as I think about her words, and what they all mean. She’s right, she’s absolutely right. I may have adopted Mom’s aggressiveness, short-temper, and tendency to shout at others, but my parents have never once told me that it was okay to abuse another person. Especially someone like Izuku.

”I know, Mom. You-you're right. I, I don’t know why I started bullying him, or where it even came from, but, it’s no excuse. I’m don't wanna make excuses, or pretend like none of this is my fault.” I look at her with determination in my eyes.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself; I’m done playing the victim, and I’m especially done with using my intelligence and gifted talents as an excuse to make others feel more inferior than me, or like I'm some god-like prodigy.

And it all starts, with helping Izuku recover, and building him back to how he was before I broke him down.

I stand from my seat and look at both of my parents with a new-found goal in my heart.

”Whatever I have to do, no matter what it may be, no matter how long it takes, I’m gonna do anything and everything to help Izuku! Whatever I have to sacrifice, whatever I have to confess to, I don’t give a shit! I’ll do ANYTHING!! You have my word!!”

This must have been the first time since Izuku was absent from school a couple of days ago, that I’ve felt like myself again, but this time, I no longer want to achieve a goal meant for a selfish gain. Now, I want to achieve a goal, meant to provide help and support to someone I care about the most. Hopefully, though, he’ll allow me the opportunity. Before I can even attempt to help him, I first have to earn his forgiveness, and, if possible, earn his trust back, too. But even if he doesn’t forgive me(and I won’t blame him if he never does), I’ll still get him the help and support he needs through those he does trust. But only time will tell.

”Well,” Mom says after a while after she stands up, and places her hand on my shoulder. “I’m gonna hold you to that promise, Katsuki. You have a lot of work to do if you want to help Izuku. But before that, you need to see if he’ll even want your help, first. With all the shit you’ve done…”

”I know, Mom. I don’t expect him to accept my help right away. Hell, I don’t expect him to accept it, at all. At the very least, I wanna try. If I can do that much, the rest can come as it will.” Mom seems pleased with my response, as a smile spreads on her face, and she pats me on my shoulder. “Good to hear. Oh, and I hope you plan on telling your Auntie Inko about all of this, too?”

I frown a bit at the thought of having to repeat all of this with auntie, but I don’t want to leave her in the dark about all of this. She deserves better than that. “Of course I do. I wasn’t planning on not telling her.”

”Good, you better! I don’t care what you have to do to make your little ‘redemption plan’ happen, either, Katsuki. Just make it fucking happen, you hear me?!” She says as she pinches my cheek(the one she slapped), and pulls on it slightly, causing me to yell out from the minor assault. "Yes, yes! I know, I got it! Let go of me, already, hag!!"

While Mom and I continued our passive-aggressive back-and-forth banter, Dad then looks at his watch, and lets us know about the time: It’s almost midnight. “Katsuki,” Dad says after being a silent bystander for quite a while, “why don’t you stay here for tonight? It’s late, and the trains have probably stopped running by now, so just sleep here, and you can head back in the morning. Your old room is kinda being used as a storage closet, at the moment, but you can use in the guest room, tonight.” I nod in agreement; feeling exhausted, all of a sudden. After they bid me goodnight and go to their own room, I make my way to the guest room, strip down to my boxers, and lay under the sheets.

As I lay in the dark, staring up at the ceiling, I think about everything that Mom had said, everything that Granny Chiyo had said, everything that Izuku had said, and everything that has happened in the past 3 days.

‘Did it really take Izuku attempting suicide for me to realize what a complete piece of shit I am? Was there really no other way...there’s no way that Izuku will be the same after this; his life won't go back to normal like any of this shit had never happened. He’ll need serious help with getting himself put back together, and it’s going to take much more than simply saying “I’m sorry”. I have to change; I have to be better. If not for others, then at the very least, for him. If it’s for Izuku, I’ll do anything.’

These thoughts linger in the back of my mind, as I drift off to sleep.

 

-

 

I wake up early the next morning. Well, earlier than normal; my cheek still hurts a bit. The old hag sure packed a punch in that slap; I'm pretty certain a bruise will show up there, most likely. 6:00 AM is displayed in the top right corner of my phone screen. My eyes almost bulge out of their sockets when I notice that I have over ten missed calls and messages from Kirishima.

"Fuck! I completely forgot to call shitty hair and let him know where I was!” I exclaim loudly as I jump out of the bed, and quickly press ’Call’ over his contact name, and wait for him to pick up. Not two seconds after the second ring, he picks up.

*FINALLY!! Where the hell have you been, dude?! I tried calling you all day and night, you have any idea how worried I was?! I thought something bad had happened to you!!*

*What the hell are you, my mother? Would you calm the fuck down?! I’m fine, shitty hair! Fuck!*

Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh with him, I mean, it was my fault for not letting him know where I was, all night. I really need to stop jumping the gun, like that, and actually listen to people.

*Sorry about that, Kirishima. It’s just been a long fucking night for me. In fact, I need to take the day off, today. I have a lot of things to take care of, first.*

*No problem, bro. Anything I can help with? What stuff you gotta take care of, anyway?*

*It’s a long story, man. And it’s not the best time to talk about it, either. I’ll explain later, okay?*

*No worries, dude. Call me if you need anything, okay, bro?*

*Yeah, man. Take care.*

After that, I call Maijima-sensei to let him know I wouldn’t be coming to class, today(and most likely for the next few days). When he asks what my excuse is for skipping, I was a bit hesitant in disclosing information as sensitive as Izuku attempting suicide, especially since I didn’t feel it was my place to tell others. But given the circumstances, the fact Izuku is also a Yuuei student, AND the fact that Granny Chiyo will most likely vouch for me if questioned, I go ahead and explain to him what had happened.

He seems understanding, and even sympathetic to the situation, and cuts me some slack. He also says I can swing by later to copy down notes and make up the work when I’m finished. He even offers to let Izuku’s professors and Nezu know about what’s happened, if they haven’t been informed, yet. I thank him for being so understanding and flexible and hang up soon after.

Walking downstairs, I take note of how quiet it is in the house(which isn’t normal, at all.), and the smell of food in the air. Making my way into the kitchen, I see a tray of food wrapped in plastic wrap sitting on the counter, with a note laying underneath it.

’Hey, brat.

Your father and I had to leave for work early, so here’s some breakfast before you leave. I don’t know if you’re planning on going to school today or not, but I know you won’t let your grades slip. You’re a smart kid, Katsuki, and I trust you. Do what you need to do to help Izu. Whatever that may be.

Take care of yourself, brat! Love you.

Mom and Dad.’

I smile after reading the note, and then I remember the note Izuku had left for me yesterday morning, and I feel awful now for crumbling it up as I did. To think that that note could very well have been Izuku’s last words, had I not been there at his place at the time that I was. When I get back home, I’ll smooth it out, and find a safe place for it.

 

-

 

After finishing my breakfast and washing the dishes, I make one more call before leaving my family home.

I wait patiently as the ringing continues to vibrate my eardrum. Just when I think it’s going to go to voicemail, the line picks up.

*Hello?*

Auntie’s voice catches me off-guard, and for a second, I forget what I called her for. I gather myself together, and reply.

*Hey, Auntie, it’s Katsuki.*

*Katsuki! How are you, honey? I hope you’re doing alright.*

’Oh, Auntie, sweet and selfless as ever. I’m the one who should be asking you that.’ *I’m fine, Auntie. I was actually wondering if I could come over and talk to you about something. Are you free right now?*

*Oh, I’m sorry, Katsuki. I’m actually at the hospital visiting Izuku, right now. But you're more than welcome to come by and see Izuku with me, and then we can talk afterward. Would that work?*

At first, I consider meeting her there, and visiting Izuku while she’s there, afterward, I could talk to her. But then I decide against it; Izuku is in a very vulnerable state right now, and as I’m the last person he needs to see; at least, right at the moment. I can visit him at a later time, but for right now, he needs to be with his mother.

*No. That’s okay, Auntie. He needs this time to be with you, right now. I’ll come visit him later, today. Plus, it’d be better if I talk to you in private; it’s actually about Izuku. I would rather not talk about it in front of him, if possible.*

*Oh, I see. That’s perfectly fine, dear! Why don’t you meet me at my house in about an hour or so? I should be finished, by then.*

*Sounds good, Auntie. See you, then.*

After hanging up, I decided to busy myself by going onto the family computer to start doing some research. As I type ‘How to help a loved one recovering from attempted suicide?’ into the search engine, I can’t help but think back to when I first found Izuku lying on the bathroom floor, and something I saw that, at the time, I didn’t pay much attention to, but now, it’s all I can think about.

Izuku’s thighs were bandaged up before. At first, I didn’t know why that would be, but after seeing him lying there, practically naked, I was able to finally see it. Izuku’s body was covered in cuts. From his upper arms to his mid-thighs; some looked fresh, others looked aged over, and there must have been at least fifty or so scars decorating his flesh. Though I don’t want to jump to conclusion, it’s a little hard to; the way the cuts are laid out, as well as their angles, tells me none of those are accidental, which can only mean one thing:

Izuku’s been cutting himself.

 

-

 

”Thank you for coming by, Katsuki. You really didn’t have to go out of your way to visit little old me!” Auntie says cheerfully as she sets a cup of tea on the dining table in front of me. I was on board with telling Auntie the same thing that I had told Mom and Dad, but now that I’m here...my heart feels like it’s going to burst out of my chest!

”It’s no trouble, at all, Auntie. I’m the one who insisted on meeting you. Sorry for the trouble…so...is Izuku...doing okay?” I look away while scratching the back of my head, nervously. “No trouble, at all, dear. And he seems to be acting normal, but he looked a bit tired; sad, even.” She lets out a sigh as she takes her seat across from me at the table, and wraps her fingers gingerly around her own cup. “Oh, I..I see” I can’t help but frown at her words.

”Now, what did you want to talk with me about, Katsuki?” She asks as she takes a sip of her tea. The same feeling I had from last night returns; I feel like a broken record, at this point. I really need to get it together and stop being a coward. Auntie Inko, of all people, deserves to be told the truth about what’s been happening with Izuku. He’s her SON for fuck’s sake!

Taking a deep, steady breath, I look her straight in the eye, and just like with Mom, I tell her everything.

 

-

 

Mom responded with anger, malice, and rage. But Auntie...

”K-K-Katsuki…w-w-why..h-how, how c-could...I, I..I d-don’t..” She can barely even form a sentence, she is so overwhelmed and stricken with emotions, while I’m now currently on my knees in front of her, with my trembling hands clasped onto hers as she tries to process everything I’ve just told her.

”A-Auntie Inko, I am SO sorry, auntie!! I’m so sorry!" I blubber out the almost meaningless apologies, as I place my hands on the floor, lower my head down in front of her, and BOW.

I don’t bow. I never bow for anyone or anything; even when Mom smacks me and forces me to bow, I’m always reluctant about it. But HERE, in this moment, in front of this woman; the same woman who has been like a second mother to me, who has looked after me like I was her own, and who is also the mother of the boy that I had tormented for all these years; for HER, I will bow for! I’ll bow for a month straight if I have to. Hell, I’ll lick the very floor she walks on if that’s what it’ll take to earn her forgiveness. I don’t give a shit! Like I said, before, my pride can go to fucking Hell!!

”Auntie Inko! There are NO words in existence that can ever describe how sorry I am!” I cry out as my forehead pressed into the wood floor; my tears flowing so fast I can’t even see. “I don’t deserve your forgiveness! I don’t even deserve to be here apologizing to you, like this!! I am a pathetic, worthless, vile waste of a person and Izuku...” I take a deep breath, collecting myself before I continue, “...he’s the better of the two of us. I’M the one who’s a ‘Deku’, not him!”

I pause for a moment to catch my breath, “I know that I have done horrible, disgusting, appalling things to your son, Auntie. I’ve made him feel like complete garbage, I made him feel unloved, unwanted, and like he didn’t matter, and I want nothing more than to take everything I have ever said and done to him back. I don’t deserve any sympathy from you or Izuku, and I neither deserve his forgiveness nor do I expect it. And I know I have absolutely no right to ask this of you, Auntie...but if you’ll let me, please, allow me the chance to make things right; allow me the chance to help him, to build him back up, and to make him whole, again, as he should be. Not because I want to win my place in yours and Izuku’s lives, but because, if there’s one person who deserves a second chance at anything, it’s him.”

Auntie is silent for a while; a full minute passes without her speaking, not even so much as a sigh or sob from her. And I’m beginning to become scared.

”Raise your head, Katsuki.” Her voice isn’t like how Mom’s was; it’s not bellowing or loud, and there’s no hint of malice or hatred in her soft voice. She speaks as if she were comforting a frightened child. I slowly raise my head off the floor; my face red and tear-stained as I look her in the eyes, which are filled with the same kind, tenderness as her voice was, despite the tears there, but I can still sense the sadness in them.

”Katsuki,” She says softly, as she gently takes my damp face into her hands, and uses her thumbs to gently wipe my eyes. “everything that you’ve told me, a normal person would most likely respond by screaming, cursing, and even using physical violence on you, and I’m sure that’s been the case…you’re like a son to me, Katsuki. And just like with Izuku, no matter what he might do to make me angry, or upset, or disappointed, there’s not a thing he could ever do; not a thing in this world, that will ever change the fact that I love my son; with every fiber of my being, I love him. That goes the same for you, Katsuki."

She pauses for a bit, catching her breath before she goes on. "Besides...I'm just as much to blame as you are. I'm his mother! I'm supposed to make sure he's alright, and if anything has changed with him; I just assumed that, because he always smiled, and he always said he was fine, that there wasn't anything wrong. I should have paid more attention to the signs! I should have been better! So, this falls onto my shoulders, just as much as it falls onto yours.”

My eyes widen as she says this; it doesn’t even sound real. More tears roll down my face at her words. ‘How can she forgive me so easily? After everything I’ve done, everything I’ve said...Auntie...she..’ “Now don’t misunderstand, Katsuki." Her voice is more firm this time, but still holds the same motherly tenderness it did from before. “Don’t ever mistake my unwavering kindness for weakness; just because I’m showing compassion, doesn’t mean I’ll let you off the hook. What you’ve done to my baby, the horrible things you’ve said and done to him, the very fact you blackmailed him with his prescription pills...you’re absolutely right, you don’t deserve his forgiveness. In fact, you don’t deserve mine, either.”

I flinch at her words; they sound just like the words mom had spoken to me last night, and I feel the same churning feeling in my stomach from before. I think she’s going to tell me to get out of her house, and never see or speak to Izuku ever, again. I’m preparing for it, but then...

”But, I know Izuku better than that. He’s not the type of person to just toss someone away that has been a part of his life for so long, and he’s not the type of person to not offer forgiveness; even for those who don’t deserve it.” Then, Auntie grasps my hands into hers, and pulls me to my feet, “Izuku is not well, right now, Katsuki. He may be fine physically, for now, but mentally and emotionally...he’s broken. I just know it. He may act like he’s happy and he’s okay, but it’s only a matter of time before it all becomes too much for him.” Auntie’s eyes soften, again, and she strokes her thumb over my hand. “I don’t hate you, honey. I could never hate you, but unfortunately, I just can’t forgive you for what you’ve done to Izuku...at least, not yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn it. If you really meant what you said about helping my Izu; if you can help him to recover and cope with what he’s been through, even if it’s something as small as helping him get through school...then that’s all I can ask of you. Only then, will I forgive you.”

My eyes wide, my mouth agape, and I feel as though someone has just told me I had won the lottery. This woman can’t be real; there’s no way, there’s just no way!

I couldn’t even speak properly, as I wrap my arms around her neck and hold on as tightly as I can, bury my face into the crook of her neck, and cry. Auntie wraps her arms around my waist; her hand rubbing gentle circles on my back as she shushes into my ear. My body trembles as I sob; I can’t control my emotions. I’m so overcome with joy and relief, it feels so unreal. I truly don’t deserve this woman’s kindness.

’Auntie. I promise you, for as long as you’ll allow me; for as long as Izuku will allow me, I’ll do everything in my power; with every fiber of my being, to protect him, support him, care for him, and love him. I’ll give him everything he needs, wants and deserves. I’ll take it to my grave.’

 

-

 

Later that afternoon, after my intense heart-to-heart with Auntie, I find myself standing in an elevator at the hospital where Izuku is currently residing. It’s barely been 24 hours since he was brought here, but it feels like I’ve been here a thousand times.

When the elevator comes to a stop, I make my way down the hall; I walk past a few doors and past several nurses and patients, until I’m standing in front of Izuku’s room, the labeled plaque with his full name with the room number above it, and the sliding door was half-way open. I can feel my heart banging in my chest, my hands getting clammy, and I’m getting fucking light-headed; the wussy part of me wants to turn tail and run the fuck out of this hospital as fast as possible, but the stronger, confident part of me knows that’s not an option, hell, it’s not even up for debate.

’I’ve got to keep it together! I made a promise to my parents AND Auntie Inko, and I’m making that same promise to myself, too! This isn’t about me, this is about Izuku, damn it! Do it for IZUKU!!’ Taking in a few deep breaths, smoothing down my clothes, and clapping my cheeks, I walking up to the door, softly knocking and opening the door fully, stepping inside.

I was surprised(and not surprised at the same time) to see Izuku’s friends sitting around him. I don’t know how they had found out about Izuku’s suicide attempt, or which hospital he was at, but I figured it didn’t matter at this point. All that matters is that Izuku is surrounded by the comfort and support that his friends are guaranteed to provide for him, especially at this moment. Four-Eyes sits in one of the chairs beside his bed, Round-Face sits right next to Izuku on the bed with her legs crossed; her hand stroking his hair tenderly while they spoke, her girlfriend Pinky is also sitting on the bed, but she's a bit closer to the foot of the bed by his blanket covered feet; her manicured hand resting on his shin, and finally, Half n’ Half is on the other side of the bed, but instead of sitting, he just stands beside Izuku. But he still seems content with being near his friends.

Suddenly, after a short moment of me just watching them interacting, I see Izuku’s eyes land on mine, and his expression looks like a mix of surprise and confusion; this prompts the others to turn and look at me, and in an instant, the aura in the room goes from feeling content and peaceful to hostile and heavy.

I barely have time to react when suddenly, Round-Face jumps off of her spot on the bed, makes a B-line towards me, and grabs hold of the front of my shirt with an iron grip; her eyes are now filled with near murderous intent. Everyone in the room is now in an almost panicked state at what she might do. “I have half a mind to beat the ever-living shit out of you for what you’ve done, BAKUGOU!! You like picking on people who are smaller and weaker than you? I’d LOVE to see you try that with me!” Round-Face snarls at me with rage in her eyes.

Normally, I would be fucking pissed if someone ever challenged or even spoke to me like this; especially a girl. But now, I don’t dare to give her any lip. Even if she wasn’t threatening me like this, I don’t have a right to defend myself for what I’ve done. If she wants to punch me, she can.

But it never happens, as Pinky hops off the bed, and tries to pull her ravenous chipmunk of a girlfriend off of me; trying to diffuse the situation. She never gets the chance to, however, as Half n’ Half makes his way around the bed, and is now beside Round-Face; his hand on her shoulder.

”Ochako, please calm down. Remember we’re in a hospital, you can’t let your anger get to you. Especially not in front of Izuku.” He says calmly as he glances over at Izuku; a blank expression on his face as he stares down at his lap. After giving me another glare, Round-Face reluctantly lets go of me, only for Half n’ Half to take her place in front of me. Not grabbing me, but staring at me with a cold, dead glare.

”I don’t know who you think you are, or why you think you even deserve to show your face here, but if I were you, Bakugou,” he steps closer until his face is a good 3 inches from mine, “I would turn your sorry-ass self out of this room, walk out of this building, and never come near him ever, again.”

Despite the calm, quiet tone of his voice, it doesn’t hide the heavy, dark bitterness underneath it; it's just as sharp and burning-cold as the bitter ice that makes up his personality. I don’t let it phase me, though, and instead, reply just as calmly. “I understand how you're feeling; you have every right to be angry and distrustful of me. I know that I fucked up; I fucked up in the worst way imaginable, but if anyone has a say in who should or shouldn’t be here, it’s Izuku.” I say in a low voice, pointing to Izuku, causing him to jump slightly at the mention of his name. “And if he’ll allow me the opportunity, I wanna try and make things right for him, however way I can.”

Everyone’s quiet for a while before Round-Face jumps back in with even more fury than before. “Are you kidding me?! You REALLY think we’re gonna let you near Izu after all the bullshit you’ve done to him?! You can’t be trusted!!” Pinky is doing everything in her power to keep her girlfriend from clawing my eyes out, while Half n’ Half stands firm in agreement with Round-Face; saying I’m untrustworthy and not good for Izuku. Meanwhile, Four-Eyes makes a poor-ass attempt at calming everyone down with his whole ‘friends don’t fight during a situation like this, and in a friend’s time of need’ spiel, but it’s ineffective. Until…

”ENOUGH!!!”

Everyone, including me, stops and turns around to look at Izuku in complete shock. He’s shaking slightly, with tears brimming in his eyes, his hands clutching tightly onto the sheets.

”Izu?” Round-Face says softly; everyone is acting like he’s a feral animal and they don’t want to startle him, now. But then, he looks at all of us, his eyes with a mix of exhaustion and determination, as he begins to speak for the first time since I arrived.

”I..I wanna hear what Kacchan has to say…” Though his voice is so quiet it almost sounds like a whisper, everyone definitely heard him, since everyone now has a startled look on their faces, even Round-Face looks terrified. "W-what?! But, Izu, he, Bakugou, he’s the reason you’re even here in the first place!!" Izuku looks back down at his lap for a moment, closing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths, before speaking again. “I’m well aware of what he’s done to me, Ochako...and I understand your concerns, but...I still wanna hear him out. After all…” He looks up at us, again, his eyes never losing their determined glint, despite their glassiness.

“Kacchan, he saved me from Yamaguchi and his friends. If it weren’t for him, they would’ve raped and killed me,” An audible gasp erupting throughout the room, even Half n’ Half let out a gasp. “and, he also saved me, when I overdosed on my prescription and tried to kill myself. If it weren’t for Kacchan, I wouldn’t even be here, now!” Everyone is silent, nobody knows what to say. “So, please, let him stay and speak with me. And I want to speak to him. Alone.”

Everyone stays put in their spot for a while; not sure of what to do or say.

Eventually, Four-Eyes is the first to get up from his seat, pat Izuku on the shoulder and bid us all farewell. Pinky is next; giving everyone a big hug and giving Round-Face a kiss on the cheek, she even pats me on the back before skipping out of the room. Round-Face looks at me sternly before giving both Half n’ Half and Izuku a hug, before leaving the room, she shoots me one last glare and says “I’m waiting right outside this room, so if you do anything to hurt him, I won’t hesitate to drag you out of this building by your goddamn teeth! Got it, Bakugou?!” I don’t snap back at her, I simply nod my head before she stomps out of the room. Finally, Half n’ Half gives Izuku a tender hug, letting him know him and Round-Face will be right outside if he needs them, before turning around to leave, but not before stopping to look at me. “You’ve got one chance to make things right for Izuku. Don’t screw it up.” Then, he leaves, and now, it’s just me and Izuku. Alone.

 

-

 

I stand there awkwardly for a minute or two, not too sure what to do or say. Izuku looks just as awkward and unsure of what to do, as he just looks out the window; his hands fiddling and wringing the thick blanket, nervously.

”Umm...do you, uh, do you wanna take a seat, Kacchan?” He asks softly, gesturing to the chair that Four-Eyes had just occupied. “Oh! Yeah, yeah, sure thing.” I scurry over, and take a seat; pulling the chair closer to the bed, but still giving Izuku some space. Now, he’s staring down at his hands, his eyes appearing tired, and a little sad. The bruises on his face have started to fade, which is good; his eye doesn’t look as swollen, either. His complexion is still a bit pale, but not in a deathly way; he might just need to eat some more to get his natural tan color back.

”Are you okay, Izuku?” I ask him softly, but then I start internally chastising myself. ’I’m such a fucking IDIOT! Why in the hell would I ask him that?! Of course he’s not okay!! I’m a fucking dumb ass!!'

I look at him for a minute, waiting patiently for him to respond. “I...I’m not sure how to feel, right now…” He says as he continues to wring his hands around the blanket. I frown at the thought of him feeling nervous or afraid around me, but then I remember what he’d said, earlier. If he was too nervous to be around me, he wouldn’t have agreed to speak with me, and I would never force or pressure him into talking to me, either.

I also remind myself that I shouldn’t take his vague and somewhat ‘disinterested’ responses so personally. Izuku has just survived a suicide attempt; he probably has so many emotions flooding his head at once about the experience, and he has no idea on what to do next. The last thing I want to do is to say or do anything that will end up being counterproductive to his recovery. I need to be more aware of the things I say to and around him. So, I simply just wait patiently, and allow him to sort through his thoughts until he’s ready to speak, again.

That’s one of the steps in helping to support a loved one after a suicide attempt.

”I…” Izuku says in a hushed voice; still staring at his hands. I sit up in my seat, so he knows I’m listening. “M-Mom, Mom came by earlier, today...she seemed really happy to see me. It, it kinda surprised me, you know?” I nod my head, not trusting to say anything, yet. “I was so sure she would be angry, or upset with me...but, she wasn’t. She was so happy; she cried a few times, but she, she just kept hugging me and saying how much she loved me…” I thought about Auntie’s words from earlier today, and I held those words close to my mind.

”I...I-I told her the truth, you know?” I was confused by his words, at first. “About what, Izuku?” I ask him, although part of me feels like I already know the answer.

“A-About me not taking my medication...I..ever since what had happened, back in middle school...I had stopped taking my medicine..figured that if I stopped taking it, the bullying would stop...but it didn’t.” His voice begins to crack, a bit; like he’s about to start crying. I don’t move right away, though; I allow him to continue speaking. “But still, I just couldn’t tell Mom the truth; not only because I didn’t want you to get in trouble, even though I knew you were the one who did it...but, I just didn’t want her to think of me as weak, but because of that, because I lead her to think I was taking my medicine like I was supposed to, she kept having my prescription refilled. I just..I couldn’t tell her...”

My eyes widened at his words. I had no idea Izuku had outright stopped taking his medication; it probably explains why he always seemed on edge(plus with the combined bullying and harassment), and it explains where all those bottles came from. But why keep them and hide them, all this time?

”Izuku,” I finally say after a while; keeping my voice low and soft, something I’m not used to, but I’ll learn to deal with it. “you know she doesn’t think that way about you. I mean, sure, she might be concerned, and would probably ask you what you were thinking, but she would never think of you as weak…” I trail off, not sure of what else to say. Until Izuku picks up, again.

”Kacchan…” He’s staring out the large windows, now; his gaze looking far away. “...you wanted to know why I didn’t come to school a few days ago, the day you and Yamaguchi got into that fight…?”

This definitely peaks my curiosity, but I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Regardless, I lean in, and wait for him to keep going.

“....I was planning on killing myself…just like you told me to do...”

My eyes nearly pop out of my head, my mouth hanging open at his words. And no words will come out.

”...I..I went back home, and just thought back on all of my accomplishments throughout my life; all the things I had managed to achieve. The only thing that came to mind….was me getting accepted into Yuuei...with that, I realized that I had nothing else to live for, and I kept thinking about all of the things you had told me….and I slowly began to believe them to be true..”

”...I-Izuku..I-I never...”

I see tears start to form in his eyes, and his bottom lip begins to tremble, but he keeps it together. “At first, I was going to jump off the tallest building I could find; a quick and painless death. I was planning to put my plan into effect that same evening...and then I ran into Yamaguchi..”

”What…?” I don’t know whether I should feel grateful that Yamaguchi had inadvertently stopped Izuku from committing suicide that night, or if I should feel pissed off with myself for even suggesting to Izuku that he even kill himself, in the first place.

”At the time, I actually felt afraid, because I hadn’t expected to run into Yamaguchi, again. But then, he and his friends began beating me, and from that point, I realized that if I allowed them to do whatever they wanted to me…” The tears are very close to spilling from his eyes, and I can’t help but to place my hand over his, for support, to which he accepts. “...even if it had resulted in them raping me, I would get what I wanted, in the end.”

”Oh, Izuku...I, I had no idea..” This whole time, I thought he was holding back. But in reality, it was just another suicide attempt hidden in plain sight.

”I’m sorry, Kacchan...for leaving as I did...I’m-I’m sorry...for not telling you the truth, sooner...” The tears have finally fallen, and I want so badly to wipe them away and let him know I’m here, but I don’t know if I should, yet, but…damnit, I can’t stand to see him, this way!

”You didn’t do anything wrong, Izuku. You never have...” I don’t even care that my own tears have started to fall, as Izuku curls in on himself. "But, I feel like I have! You've always been so angry and annoyed with me, ever since we were kids, and all I ever did was make things worse. I never listened! I...I figured...that's why you hated me so much...but then, after what happened the other day, and all those things you said to me...I started to believe you hated me simply because I'm here. Because I'm alive."

His slender shoulders trembling as he begins to tug anxiously at his green curls. “I’m...I’m so weak!” He cries out, his whole body wracking with each shuttering sob as he rocks back and forth. “I’ve always been weak, just like you’ve always told me. And I..I think you were right, Kacchan! I really AM a Deku!! I couldn’t even KILL myself without screwing up!!!"

I don’t care about my wariness, anymore, as I crawl onto the bed and sit in front of him, I pull him into my lap while being mindful of the IV still attached to his right arm, wrapping my arms gently around his smaller body. He stiffens up at first, but then he relaxes in my tender embrace. I begin gently rocking back and forth; my hand gently caressing his back; rubbing soothing circles over his spine. I feel my shirt becoming damp with tears from Izuku burying his face into the crook of my neck; his hands clutching onto the front of my shirt as he continues to cry.

”Shhh shhh it’s okay, Izuku, you’re okay. I’m here, I’m not going anywhere. I've got you. Please, don't cry, shhh." I continue to rock him, as I softly stroke his green curls; my fingertips massaging his scalp, soothingly.

”K-Kac-cchan-sob-I-I’m so sorry! I’m sorry, Kacchan!!” He continues to cry and sob, but I pull away, so I can look at him. His poor face is all puffy and red and tear-stained; his brilliant green eyes are even more green now, due to them being bloodshot.

”You have nothing to apologize for, Izuku. Absolutely nothing, you understand me?” I ask him tenderly, as I dry his face using the corner of the blanket. “I’m the one who should be apologizing to you, Izuku. Everything I’ve said to you, everything I’ve done to you, I was fucking wrong!" I brush his hair out of his eyes and tuck it behind his ear, before pulling him in for another tender hug. "I don't hate you, Izuku." I whisper while continuing to hold him; rocking back and forth, slowly. "I never did. And I'm so sorry for all those things I said to you and for making you feel like that. I don't know what the fuck was wrong with me, or why I acted the way I did, but it's no excuse."

Izuku doesn't respond, he just continues to sniffle and bury his face into my neck; his cries and sobs turning into soft whimpers and pants. The room is silent except for Izuku's cries, my breathless apologies, and the beeping and humming from the ICU equipment Izuku is attached to. The room is fairly dim, the only source of light coming from the large windows, the curtains drawn back to allow natural light to pour in.

”Izuku...I know I have no right to ask this of you, and I know I don’t deserve it; not by a long-shot. But, if you’ll allow me, I want to help you.” I hear Izuku let out a small gasp as I tell him this, but I keep going. “I’ve done..horrible, awful, despicable things to you, Izuku. There was no excuse for my actions, and I don’t intend to justify any of them. But if you’ll allow me the chance to make things right; to help you recover,” I slowly pull away again, grasping onto the sides of his head so we're looking each other in the eyes. “I promise, I’ll do anything and everything within my power to help you, and maybe, even try to rebuild our friendship, if you want. But if you don’t want my help; if you don’t want anything to do with me, ever again, then that’s okay, too! Just knowing that I had this very moment with you,” I pull his head closer, till our foreheads are touching as I close my eyes. “is enough for me.”

He’s silent for quite a while, but the air doesn’t feel heavy or awkward, in fact, it feels comfortable, despite the emotional typhoon from earlier. I’m expecting Izuku to either push me away and tell me to leave, or simply wait until Round-Face and Half n’ Half walk back inside and save him from my clutches.

I’m taken aback, however, when I feel his arms tighten around me. He looks up at me, with the same big smile he’s always had before. “Kacchan! I..I’ve missed you so much! I’ve missed our friendship! , Of course, I’ll accept you, Kacchan!! This is all I’ve ever wanted!" He’s crying again, but they’re not tears of sadness, instead, they’re tears of happiness. Smiling back at him with tears in my own eyes, I hug him close to me again, as we just sit there and enjoy each others’ company.

I don’t know what challenges will await us down the road, or if Izuku will want me around for the long haul. Given his mental state, there’s a chance he may turn around, and decide he hates my very existence. And I’m okay with that. As long as I’m able to provide the help and support he needs and deserves, I’ll take whatever raging storm blows in head-on.

We’ll get through this together, one step at a time. And no matter what, I’ll always be there for him.

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s POV

The next day, Granny Chiyo allows Izuku to get out of bed, and walk around for a bit(with assistance, of course). Due to the excessive amounts of serotonin in his system, which can potentially cause his muscles to begin weakening, Granny Chiyo wants Izuku to try regaining some of his strength by allowing him some mild exercise; even if it means just walking up and down the hallways for about thirty minutes at a time. She’s even given him permission to go outside in the courtyard for some fresh air, as long as someone is with him. Granted, his IV pole has to tag along like a third wheel crashing a date; a bit awkward to maneuver, but at least it isn’t too heavy.

Despite the circumstances, Izuku is determined to get better so he can go back home, and back to his normal life, or as normal as it can be after all of this.

 

-

 

Currently, Izuku is outside in the courtyard with his friends, having a picnic and enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Meanwhile, Auntie Inko, Mom, Dad and I are in Granny Chiyo’s office discussing the next step in Izuku’s recovery, as well as what she thinks the best option would be for aftercare treatment and therapy.

”So, as you all may be aware,” Granny Chiyo begins, as she looks over Izuku’s charts and intake forms. “young Midoriya is doing excellent, as far as his physical health goes; he’s due to be discharged early tomorrow morning once we check his vitals one last time, and hopefully, with how well everything’s looking, we hopefully shouldn’t see any adverse side effects.”

While the news starts off on a positive note, I have a feeling that, despite the good vibes in the air, there is more to her statement.

“However,” There it is. “even though his physical health has essentially returned to normal, I’m afraid it’s an entirely different story for his mental health.” Auntie places a hand over her mouth as she listens to Granny Chiyo speak; trying her best not to get overwhelmed with emotions. Auntie knew that this was bound to happen, but she still wasn’t prepared to hear it. Mom places a comforting hand on her shoulder as Granny Chiyo continues.

”Firstly, there’s the issue with his Zoloft prescription. While Zoloft, in and of itself, isn’t a dangerous drug, one of the more severe side effects, especially for those who have a long-term prescription, includes depression, which can lead to thoughts of suicide. Although this wouldn’t be an issue under normal circumstances, considering young Midoriya has already tried to commit suicide using his Zoloft, I feel it would be best that he gets taken off of his prescription Zoloft. In fact, I would recommend that he stay off of any type of medication for the time being until we can further assess his mental condition.”

”Chiyo-san,” Auntie starts, a hint of concern and curiosity laced in her voice. “with all due respect, and by no means do I mean to criticize your opinion or tell you how to do your job, but, is it really necessary to take Izuku off of his medication completely?”

Granny Chiyo gives her a knowing look, and Auntie continues. “I-I mean, he told me yesterday that he had actually stopped taking his medicine, all together, due to bullying.” She gives me a sideways glance, causing me to look away; knowing what the look implies. But I don’t say anything. “And according to him, the only time he did take it, would be either during finals or when he became overwhelmed with anxiety. Other than that, he said he’d tried to quit taking it; he even told me that he hid all his prescription bottles from himself. You really think it would be wise to take him off of it completely if he’s been off it for so long?”

”I do.” Granny Chiyo states in a matter-of-fact way, but without sounding condescending, despite the bluntness of it. “As it stands, he’s high risk for attempting suicide again, and if he continues taking his prescription, the risk will become even greater. Until we can determine the best antidepressants for him to take as a substitute, he needs to stay off of it.”

”Oh. I, I see.” She says softly, looking down at her lap. Granny Chiyo notices Auntie’s demeanor and speaks more tenderly. “I understand that you’re worried, Midoriya-san, I don’t mean to sound callous, but trust me, this is the best we can do for the time being. Just know that it’s only a temporary solution. We’ll find an antidepressant that’s the best fit for him after a month or so of him being off of his Zoloft.” Auntie looks surprised at this and becomes flustered. “N-no, no! You’re right, Chiyo-san! I’m sorry for doubting you.”

”Not, at all. Now, along with keeping him off his medicine, that also leads us into my second point: we need to get him set up with an aftercare plan; primarily in the form of therapy.” We all look at her and wait to hear what she has in mind. I knew that Izuku would eventually need to see a therapist, but I was still curious as to what Granny Chiyo would suggest.

”Luckily for us, there just so happens to be a psychiatrist who runs her own clinic not too far from Yuuei; I’d say it’s about 2-3 blocks away from the campus. Her name is Dr. Kawakami Hana; she’s one of the best mental healthcare specialists in the city, and she can provide young Midoriya with the help and support he needs, and she also happens to be a very good friend of mine. She can work with his schedule, too; he can come in for his sessions before or after school, so he doesn’t have to worry about missing too many days, or falling behind in his classes.”

Auntie seems pleased with this information, and honestly, it all sounds too good to be true. A psychiatrist just right around the corner of Yuuei, who will help Izuku through his recovery. But Granny Chiyo isn’t finished.

“Also, we still have the matter of those students who had assaulted young Midoriya.” She gives me and Auntie a reassuring look, before continuing. “Rest assure, I’ve already brought the matter to Principal-Chancellor Nezu’s attention, and he plans to handle the rest accordingly. I’m also happy to tell you, Midoriya-san, that as a consolation from Yuuei, and as a gift from me, young Midoriya’s medical expenses and his therapy sessions will be covered by the school’s insurance. Though the assault didn’t take place on school grounds, that doesn’t change the fact that Yuuei will not tolerate this type of behavior at the hands of its students, who are expected to set an example. ‘Assuring the safety and well-being of all Yuuei students during their time here is my top priority, and these students shall not go unpunished for their misconduct!’; direct quote from Nezu-san, himself.”

Everyone in the room remains speechless after hearing Granny Chiyo’s proposal; nobody knows what to say. This really is too good to be true!.

’I don’t believe it. Granny Chiyo is willing to go to such lengths to provide Izuku with the help he needs? And, Nezu’s actually going to do something about Yamaguchi and his goons for what they did to Izuku?!... If only Izuku were here right now, so he can hear all of this. Then, he would know just how much he means to everyone…’

”Oh, Chiyo-san!” Auntie exclaims; tears of joy brimming in her eyes as she begins to tremble like a leaf at hearing this. “You really don’t have to do all of this, this is far too much! How could I ever repay you?!”

”No need for repayment; simply getting that boy back to a happy, healthy life is all that matters at the moment. Speaking of which,” Auntie, as well as the rest of us, look at Granny Chiyo as we wait for her to speak, again. “That brings up the final point that I wish to address: even though we have his aftercare plan in place as far as therapy goes, that still leaves the issue of young Midoriya’s living situation.”

I furrowed my eyebrows at this. His living situation? I may be reading into this the wrong way, but I don’t understand what this has to do with getting Izuku help. Then, she answers my question for me.

”Young Midoriya lives alone, correct? With everything that’s happened, and considering the risk of him harming himself more or even making further attempts, for the time, I feel that it would be best that young Midoriya stays with someone while he’s in recovery. Or, at the very least, we have someone check in on him, and make sure he attends his therapy sessions.”

Granny Chiyo then looks up from Izuku’s forms; her glasses resting on the bridge of her nose, as she looks right at Auntie. “Midoriya-san, you’re young Midoriya’s sole parent and guardian, and even though your son is in college now, he’s still technically a minor. With this in mind, how would you like to go about young Midoriya’s living arrangements?”

All eyes are on Auntie Inko, and she begins to become a bit flustered.

“W-well, I could always have Izuku come back home while he’s recovering; it would be nice having Izuku back home, again, and I’d be more than happy to take him to school and his appointments. Or I could just come and stay at his place, if he doesn’t mind, of course. I-I could still take him to his appointments, and make sure he goes every week. Oh, wait! I-I still have work, and my job is thirty minutes away from home, and at least forty-five minutes away from Yuuei, so that won’t work…Oh! But, I could always switch to the night shift, that could work! Oh no, but-but I don’t know if they would allow me to change my shift on such short notice...and how would that affect my salary? I’m still helping Izuku with his rent, as well as paying for my own. Oh, what should I do!?”

”It’s okay, Inko-chan.” Mom says as she places a hand on Auntie’s shoulder to calm her. “You don’t have to get yourself all worked up, we’ll come up with something.”

While Mom, Dad and Auntie brainstormed ideas and suggestions, my eyes widen when a sudden thought came to mind that, until this point, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about it, sooner. But now, the answer is clear as crystal! ’This. This, right here, is my chance. My chance to make a start at helping Izuku, a chance to make things right by him.’

"I’ll do it!”

Now, all eyes are on me. Everyone is silent for a good minute, until Auntie speaks up, breaking the silence.

”You’ll do what, Katsuki?” She asks; she seems genuinely curious, as do Mom and Dad, even Granny Chiyo is giving me a look as if telling me to go on with my earlier statement.

And so I do. “I don’t live far from Izuku’s apartment; maybe five minutes away on foot, and we both live close to Yuuei. I can go with him to his appointments, I can walk with him to his classes, if he wants me to, and, I can swing by his apartment, too. Whether it be just stopping by to check on him and make sure he’s okay, coming over for a bit to watch TV, play video games, cook for him, or just keeping him company, or if he’s okay with me staying over for a few days, it doesn't matter. I can even get a part-time job to help cover his rent, AND my own. So Auntie,” I look over to her with determination and sincerity in my eyes. “you don’t have to worry, anymore. No matter what I have to do to help, whatever it is, I’ll do it!”

Everyone in the office remains silent for a while; unmoving, even. Dad turns in her seat, and gives me a questioning look, before speaking.

”Katsuki, is this really something you want to do? Taking him to his appointments and checking on him, sure, but can you really handle such a big responsibility? You’ll have to make sure Izuku has what he needs every day. And on top of that, what about your own studies? You still have to keep your grades up if you plan-”

”I don’t care about that, Dad!!”

My shouting is enough to startle dad into shocked silence; I’m out of my seat with my fists clenched. There’s so much passion in my voice, that even Mom and Auntie seem surprised by my reaction. Granny Chiyo looks surprised but unphased; it doesn’t stop me from speaking my mind.

”I’m well aware of what will be expected of me by taking on a responsibility like this, and I’m also aware, that doing so will most likely take a toll on my grades, especially if the majority of my focus is on Izuku. Well, you know what? My grades can go take a shit, for all I care! Because all that matters to me right now is taking care of Izuku, and making sure he gets better! I made a promise that I would do anything to make that happen! Whatever I have to sacrifice, whatever I have to do, whatever it takes, I. Don’t. CARE!"

I can feel my chest tighten, my body beginning to tremble and I can feel pressure building behind my eyes as tears start to sting my eyes. But I couldn’t give two shits if I cry in front of everyone. I have to let them know that I’m serious, even if it means showing my vulnerable self. A sob manages to escape when I open my mouth, again.

”....I don’t deserve to be at Yuuei…I never have. But Izuku...I told him, before, that he didn’t belong at Yuuei, and that only ‘the best of the best’ were welcome there...but I was wrong! He DOES belong at Yuuei!! I’m just a sorry, pathetic excuse of a waste of time and energy, who managed to get accepted simply by being smart; it’s people like Izuku that Yuuei should be focusing on scouting out! I will take a whole fucking year off-no, fuck that, I’ll fucking drop out of school if that’s what it takes!!”

The dams have broken completely, my eyebrows furrowed intensely as my tears flow, freely; like someone had left a faucet running. I seriously can’t remember the last time I’ve ever cried this much(probably never), I also can’t remember being this passionate about anything, aside from wanting to achieve my lifelong dream of being #1.

But now, all I care about, is Izuku.

I’m expecting Mom and Dad to start yelling at me, and saying something along the lines of: ‘Are you out of your mind, Katsuki?!’, or ’You’re really going to throw away all the time, effort and money it took to get you where you are, so that you can focus on something that isn’t even going to be permanent?!’, or ’What about school? Your career? Your future!? Are you really going to give up on all of that, now?!’, or something like that. That’s what any normal parent would say, anyway, especially if they’re planning on dropping out of a prestigious, and very expensive school like Yuuei.

But, no such thing occurs.

Mom smiles warmly at me, and Dad gets up from his seat, and pats me on my shoulder; his own smile spreading. “Well said, son.” Dad said with a proud look on his face. Even Auntie looks taken aback by my response, but not in a way that made me think that she’s disappointed in me. If anything, she looks just as stocked and ecstatic as she did after hearing that all of Izuku’s treatments would be covered for. “Ohh, Katsuki!!” She says with more tears of joy rolling down her cheeks.

’......okay? I was definitely not expecting this as a response. But beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.’ I have a feeling that they’re not acting so chill and calm because I just said I would drop out of school if I have to, but rather, it’s the underlying message behind it that makes them look so proud.

We all turn towards Granny Chiyo after hearing her clear her throat to get our attention. “Well, that’s very noble and admirable of you to make a suggestion like that, young Bakugou. Although, I don’t think dropping out of school will be necessary; not with the way young Midoriya’s recovery plan will be set up. It shouldn’t inhibit either of you from attending your respective classes, and it’s not like he’s doing anything too strenuous, either. Just him going to his therapy sessions either before or after school, and then being checked up on periodically.”

She then looks to Auntie and my parents, as she continues with a smile. “If no one is opposed to young Bakugou being young Midoriya’s aid during his recovery, I see no reason against it. Plus, it does make things more convenient, given the fact that they both attend Yuuei, and they don’t live too far from one another.”

They share a look with each other for a moment, before nodding in agreement. I could feel my heart swell with joy at knowing they trust me enough to take care of Izuku, especially Auntie. I hope she knows that I meant every word.

“Now, young Bakugou,” Granny Chiyo wasn’t finished, as she adjusts her glasses. “if you’re absolutely dead-set on quitting school in order to take care of your friend, then might I suggest an alternative, should the need arise, of course: you could always take a semester or two off; it shouldn’t have a severe effect on your overall grades as long as you make up the work within the given time before your graduation. You might be a bit behind from the rest of your classmates, but you would still remain eligible to graduate, regardless. Or, you could switch to Yuuei’s online program; all your classes would remain the same, and you could always come onto campus to complete any practical assignments, or to ask questions. Either way, you’ll still be able to keep your spot at Yuuei. Keep in mind, that this is only if you’re absolutely certain that you wish to put school on hold, but there shouldn’t be a need to. After all,”

She walks past her desk until she’s standing by the window, still smiling as she looks out the window. “I don’t think young Midoriya would be too happy knowing that you gave up on your dreams just for him.” She looks right at me as she says this.

She’s right. I shouldn’t be too hasty with my decisions, but still, I meant what I said; I’ll quit school in a heartbeat if that’s what it’ll take to help Izuku, but I also know that he would be devastated to know I did that, even if it were for good intentions. I laugh to myself at the thought of Izuku scolding me like a parent. I can just picture it, now.

 

-

 

Before leaving, Mom and Dad give Auntie and me a hug, as Mom wraps her arms around me, I could have sworn that I heard Mom whisper in my ear ‘I’m so proud of you, Katsuki.’, before leaving with Dad. We remain in granny’s office while she goes over everything that will be expected of us. Being his mother, Auntie Inko has to be informed of Izuku’s aftercare plan in the event that I’ll be unable to go with him to his appointment or to check on him. She also told me to keep Auntie up to date of any and all changes with Izuku’s progress, good or bad, and no matter how small.

Granny Chiyo gives us Dr. Kawakami’s card and says she’ll give her a call to fill her in on the details and to expect a call from Dr. Kawakami within the next few days on when Izuku can start. Thanking her for everything she’s done, we leave granny’s office before shaking her hand, feeling more confident and sure about Izuku’s recovery than ever before.

Auntie gives me one final crushing hug; telling me how thankful she is about me being there for her son, before making her way down towards the elevators. I decided to take my time and go down the stairs. As I reach the ground floor near the large hallway by the common rooms, I stop by the giant floor-to-ceiling windows as I spot a familiar group of people outside in the courtyard.

I feel a smile spread over my mouth when I see Izuku sitting on a quilt with his friends, enjoying a picnic of assorted rice balls, sandwiches, and sodas. What makes me smile the most, is seeing him smiling, laughing even, along with the others, who all seem to be having just as much fun. As it turns out, Izuku’s smile is very contagious; even Half n’ Half doesn’t look like an emotionless, sulky blob like he usually does.

After all that’s happened, Izuku’s still able to smile, but deep down, I know he’s not okay. I feel my heart clench tightly when I think back to all the times I’ve seen him smile, and wonder if they were real or not.

’Did he fake it to seem like he was fine? Did others even believe him? Did I believe him, or even care? How long has Izuku been hiding his pain behind a mask?’ I shove my fists in my pockets as I make my way down the hall, and out of the hospital.

One day, I hope I can make him smile, and I hope for it to be genuine. I hope one day, to make him happy, like he deserves to be.

 

-

 

Later that evening, I find myself standing in front of Izuku’s apartment door. Before leaving her office, granny tasked me with going back to his place, and removing anything and everything that Izuku could possibly use to harm himself with; because he’s at risk for attempting suicide again, she doesn’t want to take any chances. And, given the fact that he’s admitted to hiding his Zoloft throughout his home, it’s definitely a good idea to get rid of them, along with anything else he might use to hurt himself. I don’t know how many bottles he has stashed, but I know I have my work cut out.

Luckily, Auntie gave me her spare key, which she had in case of emergencies. Once inside, I take note of how everything looks the same as it did when I first found Izuku, even though it’s only been three days. Turning on the light, I immediately spot the empty bottles littered all over the wooden floor, with several clear oval-shaped pills strewn around like confetti. I quickly get to work picking up and finding whatever bottles and pills I can see in plain sight, making sure to check and double-check everywhere.

After placing all the empty bottles on the counter and the pills in a bowl, I then get started on the hard part: a nice round of Easter egg hunting, except with pill bottles instead of eggs.

After almost an hour of practically tearing this place apart; searching every nook and cranny; checking, double-checking, triple-checking every place I could think of, by the time I was finished, I’d found a total of 86 bottles. This includes the empty ones I’d already found, which turned out to be only 15 of them; the rest are all full. I even found one sitting in the medicine cabinet, which I thought was a bit odd, at first, but after piecing everything together, and considering that Auntie was under the impression Izuku had been taking his medication regularly and she might come to visit him, it makes sense that he would leave at least one bottle out in plain sight like that.

I have to say, Izuku sure is good at hiding stuff in multitudes of 80+ from the naked eye; in a small-ass apartment, no less. I don’t know whether to be impressed or disturbed.

After placing all the bottles on the counter with the rest, I begin pouring all the pills from the other bottles into the bowl that I had laid out, earlier. I still have no idea how many Izuku had taken; granny never gave us a clear answer on how much was in his system, either, but she did say the amount in his system was over a thousand times the recommended amount. My guess is, since each bottle contains 30 pills a piece, while also factoring out the loose pills, that means the dosage had to have been over 10 thousand, meaning the number of pills he'd taken must have been at least 400! No matter how low the dosage is, that’s still an obscene amount to take at once, but I guess that was the whole point.

I’m so thankful he didn’t manage to get to the other 71 bottles.

After I finished emptying all the bottles into the bowl(which at this point, looked more like a bowl of cereal or candy), I carry it to the bathroom, open the toilet lid, and flush all the pills down the toilet. Granny Chiyo told me specifically to get rid of anything and everything that could harm Izuku, even if it meant throwing them in the trash, or destroying them, completely. While still in the tiny space, I check the bathroom again to make sure I didn’t miss anything, only to come across something I’d somehow missed: a box cutter sitting on the shelf, next to the spot where the pill bottle was.

Right away, I take it to the kitchen and toss it in the garbage; along with all the empty bottles. With that, I check the apartment again for anything else that could be used as a weapon, like the box cutter. I don’t find anything out of the ordinary; the box cutter in the medicine cabinet has to be the most out of the ordinary thing; it doesn’t take an Einstein-level genius to figure out what it was used for if it’s just sitting in the bathroom. Aside from that, the only thing I could find was a pair of scissors in the kitchen drawer, which I decide to hang onto, not wanting to take any chances.

After a few minutes, I decided to look around a little more; not only to make sure I didn’t miss anything but because I’m feeling a bit curious about Izuku’s home. The apartment consists of a small, jointed living room and kitchen area, a small hallway, a tiny bathroom with a separate area for the toilet, stackable washer and dryer set next to the bathroom, and lastly, Izuku’s bedroom. His place is fairly normal-looking; nothing stands out too much about Izuku’s home. After contemplating it, I finally decided to look around in his room a bit; purely out of curiosity.

When we were kids, Izuku was possibly the biggest All Might fan I’d ever known; possibly in all of existence. Izuku may have even been the perfect nominee for ‘Biggest All Might Fanboy of All Time’. Before our fallout, I remember coming over to his house, to see his bedroom covered from head-to-toe in All Might merchandise; there wasn’t a single inch of his space that wasn’t doused in the brilliant red, blue, yellow and white colors that make up the fictional hero’s costume. Even after our friendship soured, I could tell he was still into All Might, judging from the cluster of All Might pins and keychains that decorated his backpack.

But now, standing in his room, I can tell Izuku’s obsession with All Might has died down, or at least, has dialed back. No longer is his room practically painted in All Might's color, but instead, it looks like a normal teenage boy’s bedroom with a few All Might things here and there.

The curtains are a plain grey color; a dark green and white plaid comforter lays spread on the bed; the sea of All Might plushies have now been reduced to only one, which lays propped against the plush white pillows; on his nightstand, the All Might alarm clock has been replaced with a simple digital one, and there’s also a picture frame with a photo of Izuku and Auntie from when he was about five or six; even the All Might lamp sitting on his desk has been swapped out with a normal-looking one. He kept three of the twenty or so All Might posters, which are now framed and hung neatly on the walls, he also kept his collection of All Might figurines displayed on the dresser; mostly the limited edition one, as well as all of his All Might comics propped in the small bookcase.

All in all, it seems as though Izuku hasn’t necessarily lost interest in All Might, but rather, he’s grown up a bit, matured, even, like any normal teenager.

As I take in the details of the room, I notice something on the bottom shelf of his nightstand. Taking a closer look, I see that it’s a notebook, in fact, it’s laying on a stack of similar-looking composition notebooks. At first, I’m not sure if it's a good idea to take a peek into his personal stuff, especially after what happened the first time I did something like this, but twelve-year-old me did that out of pure spite, and I’ve learned from my mistake. I have no intentions of exploiting Izuku’s weaknesses, again. With that, I carefully lift the notebook on top of the pile, and as soon as I see the title(and the obvious scorch marks), I feel my stomach drop.

It’s the same notebook that I had burnt all those years ago; ’For my Future’ is written on the front in big kanji strokes; the black ink having been faded out.

’He kept it this whole time? Even after what I did to it?’

I begin to flip through the pages; despite the damage, it’s surprisingly still intact. Then, I begin to notice what’s actually written on the pages: I always thought this was just some stupid diary or sketchbook Izuku would carry around for attention, but in reality, it’s filled with bullet points for different goals Izuku has laid out for himself. Insanely detailed and neatly written, like the words have been typed out, it almost looks like a textbook. Every sentence, every paragraph, is solely dedicated to one thing: Izuku’s life-long dream.

Whenever he would talk about wanting to help people and to do it with a smile, I always thought he wanted to be some stupid superhero like All Might, but that was never the case. He really does want to help people; in a more realistic and noble way. Not for fame, not for money, and not for the recognition. He wants to do it, because that’s just who he is. Even if nobody ever were to remember him, again, the thought of being able to make a difference in someone’s life, is all that matters to him.

And now, I hope to be able to make a difference in his life, just like he would for others.

As I flip through more pages, my eyes widen at what I see next: in big, black English letters, is All Might’s signature(well, Yagi’s signature, technically). It covers both pages in the giant lettering.

’When in the hell did Izuku get this?! It must have been before the Yuuei Entrance Exams, but still...Izuku is one lucky bastard to have this!’

Smiling to myself, I close the notebook and carefully place it back on top of the pile where I found it. As I turn to leave, I spot something else(well, two somethings) on the wall between two of the framed All Might posters hanging above his desk. Taking a closer look, I see that they’re not photos, or poster, or anything like that. Instead, they’re letters, and not just any letters: the first one is an Official Letter of Recommendation, and the one below it(which both surprised and doesn’t surprise me at the same time), is a personal letter; typed out just as professionally, but I can tell it’s more personal. And it’s from none other than Yagi Toshinori.

’Of course Izuku would keep his Letter of Recommendation, and a letter from ‘All Might’, himself.’ I think to myself with a fond smile. ’He’s still a big nerd.’

After shutting the bedroom door, I make my way back to the kitchen. Upon inspecting the fridge and pantry, I notice that Izuku barely has any food left; there’s maybe enough to make a meal or two. Checking the time, which reads 6:47 PM, I decided to make a quick phone call before leaving for the supermarket.

*Hey, Auntie? It’s Katsuki. Sorry for calling so suddenly, hope I’m not bothering you.*

As I place the phone between my ear and shoulder, I reach for a nearby pen and notepad while listening to Auntie on the other line.

*Oh, okay. That’s good, then. Listen, Auntie, I needed to ask you something: Izuku still likes Katsudon, right? Yeah, uh-huh. Okay, awesome! And also, what kinda snacks and drinks does he like?*

 

-

 

Izuku’s POV

I don’t know what I’m supposed to feel at the moment: uneasy, uncertain, nervous, happy, overjoyed, grateful, the list goes on.

It’s finally the day I get released from the hospital; though it’s only been three days, it felt like I was there for years. Before leaving, Granny Chiyo explained to me that I would be receiving outside care in the form of therapy for the next few months, or however long it takes. She told me that the recovery process for post-suicide attempts isn’t something that happens overnight; it may take a few months, it may take a whole year, hell, it may take my whole life before I can fully move on from this. But she assured me that it’s normal, and I won’t have to worry about facing it all alone.

Mom and Kacchan both came to the hospital this morning to pick me up; Mom went to speak with granny and another nurse, while Kacchan leads me to the car; even offering to help me into my seat, to which I politely declined.

Part of me feels so happy and relieved to have Kacchan back in my life, again; knowing that he feels genuine remorse and guilt for what he did, and knowing that he wants to make up for it however way he can, it makes the fear and anxiety start to fade away. Another part of me, however, feels...I don’t know...uneasy? Uncertain, maybe? It’s so strange, I don’t know why I feel like this around him, especially since I agreed to allow him back into my life, and I agreed to give him a chance to redeem himself. So why, then?

It could be just a natural instinct, due to all the years of bullying, to react in a ‘fight or flight’ kind of way, or it could just be the anxiety making me feel like this. Or...it could be something else.

I really wish this feeling would just leave me be.

 

-

 

Kacchan and I sit side by side in the back seat while Mom drives. The radio is playing softly in the background, and every once in a while, I catch her looking in the rear-view mirror at me while also asking how I’m feeling; even Kacchan keeps giving me side glances, but his eyes aren’t malicious like they used to be. I take the time to just stare out the window, and simply enjoy the peaceful view.

Once we finally arrive, Mom, Kacchan and I make our way up the stairs and inside my apartment. Once we’re settled in the living room, Mom begins to speak. “Sweetie, you know that Katsuki will be helping you out while you’re in recovery, right?” She keeps her voice soft as always; smiling at me kindly. I nod my head, not trusting my voice. “This means he’ll be checking in on you, to make sure you’re attending your appointments, and to make sure you’re attending your classes like normal. Granny Chiyo said that Dr. Kawakami will give you a call about when you can come in for your first visit in a couple of days, but if you need anything, Izuku, anything at all, please don’t hesitate to call me, or Katsuki.”

”I know, Mom…” I say quietly. I look over at Kacchan, who’s sitting next to me on the small couch, and he softly smiles at me, which causes me to look away with a slight blush. “Relax, nerd,” Kacchan says teasingly, but in a playful way. “it’s like Auntie said, I’m just gonna be checking up on you to make sure you actually get up for class.” Even though I know he’s just trying to lighten up the mood, I can’t shake this nervousness I’m feeling.

”Well, I better get going.” Mom gets up from her seat on the armchair, as she comes over to give Kacchan and I a big hug, before she grabs her purse, puts on her shoes and goes to leave, but not before turning to me and saying “Remember, Izu, I’m just a phone call away. Don’t be a stranger, okay, honey?”

”I will, Mom. Take care.” I say with a small smile before she shuts the door behind her. Now, it’s just me and Kacchan. Alone. Again

 

-

 

After a minute of awkward silence, Kacchan gets up from his seat, causing me to flinch slightly from the sudden movement, as he makes his way in the kitchen. “You hungry, Izuku? I can make katsudon, if you want, or if you’d rather have something lighter. I can make some stew, is that alri-”

”K-kacchan! Wait! You-You don’t have to do that!” I wave my hands frantically; trying my best to assure him that he doesn’t have to do all of this when he’s a guest in my home. “Really, Kacchan, this is too much! If anything, I should be offering to make you something! I mean, you’re my guest!”

Kacchan look at me for a few seconds, then he begins to laugh; catching me by surprise. “You literally just got released from the hospital a few hours ago, and you want to treat me? You’re too fucking selfless for your own good, you know that?” I laugh a little to myself as I look down at my lap; embarrassment creeping over my features. Kacchan calms his own laughter as he takes notice of my change in demeanor. “It’s fine, Izuku. Don’t worry about it, I don’t mind, at all. You just take it easy, and I’ll make us some food.” He turns back around as he digs through the fridge, which is now stocked up, somehow. Did Mom go grocery shopping for me, or was it...?

”I-I know, Kacchan, I’m sorry. Force of habit, I guess...” I fidget nervously; not too sure what to do while Kacchan is in my kitchen. “No need to apologize, nerd.” He says with that same kind smile as before.

I don’t respond for a while; I’m completely thrown off by Kacchan’s sudden personality change. Well, he still retains some of the traits from his old self, like teasing me, and calling me names like ‘nerd’; in a good-hearted kind of way, of course, but other than that, it’s like his personality took a complete 180….and I don’t know how to feel about it. I mean, I’m happy, of course. This is exactly the way Kacchan used to be back when we were kids before our friendship took a plunge and I couldn’t be happier. But at the same time, it’s a bit...strange.

~Is he actually remorseful for what happened, and does he actually want to start over, or is it all just a front? It’s probably all just a trick to get you to lower your guard completely around him, and then when you do, he’ll strike again, and he’ll make sure to make it good. How can you trust him after everything he’s done to you?!~

’No. No, it’s not true! Kacchan told me how sorry he was, I heard him, myself! Kacchan would NEVER act this way if he didn’t actually mean it! And Kachan would never lie to me!’

The voice took on a sneering tone; like it was mocking me, as it went back to jabbing me with insults.

~And THIS is exactly why you’re such an easy target. This sense of unconditional love and trust for others is the very reason why you’ve ended up in this situation. Are you really so weak and dependent on self-validation, that you can’t even see the danger right in front of you?! It’s almost like you’re begging to be everyone’s personal scapegoat. Pathetic!~

I lower my head; tears stinging my eyes, and I cover my ears with the palms of my hands as I begin to rock a bit; not even realizing what I’m doing or saying.

’Stop! Please, stop it! It’s not like that! You don’t even know Kacchan like I do! You’re wrong. You’re wrong! You’re Wrong!’

”Izuku?” The sound of Kacchan’s voice was enough to pull me out of my thoughts, and I look up at him, again. He’s is now crouching in front of me with a look of concern. I must look more of a wreck than I thought.

”Hey, are you okay? You were muttering to yourself, again.” He asks as he places his hand on my shoulder, but he quickly withdraws as he notices how violently I flinched away from his touch, despite it being gentle. “Sorry-I’m sorry.” Kacchan holds his hands up in surrender, but he doesn’t move from his spot. I take a moment to catch my breath as the anxiety keeps lingering in my chest.

”I-I’m sorry, Kacchan…I, I-I just...I..” My voice is barely above a whisper as I speak. Kacchan smiles softly at me. “Hey, like I said before, no need to apologize, Izuku. But seriously,” His voice takes on a more serious tone as he continues to speak. “are you sure you’re okay? You know you can talk to me about anything, right? No matter what it is.” I don’t respond; I can barely look him in the eyes as I stare down at my lap in embarrassment. Kacchan takes notice of this.

”Hey,” he says softly, but doesn’t try to touch me; giving me the space I need, to which I’m grateful. Then, I chance a glance at Kacchan, and he looks back at me in a way I can’t quite identify, but it’s not a look of pity. It’s something else.

”I know this may all seem very strange to you right now, Izuku. You’re probably thinking ’Why is the same guy who bullied me since we were kids suddenly offering to cook for me, and acting like nothing happened?’, am I right?” I’m not sure if this was meant to be rhetorical or not, but I slowly nod my head, regardless. “I understand that you must be feeling really uneasy, uncomfortable even, with me doing all these things. Trust me, I would be, too. But, do you remember the day when I came to see you at the hospital, and the promise I made to you?”

I nod my head again, and Kacchan continues. “Well, I meant what I said. Every word of it. I’ll do anything in my power to help you, no matter what, even if it’s something as small as cooking for you. Hell, I’ll cook for you every fucking night if you want me to, Izuku.” He takes a chance and reaches out to place his hand gingerly on top of mine, but I don’t flinch, this time. “I know it’ll take a hell of a lot more than this to make things right. I know that. And I know that you may not fully trust me, right now. But please, Izuku, trust me when I say this.” He looks me in the eyes more intently, almost like he wants to propose to me...which is kinda what he’s doing, minus the ring.

”I only wish to help you and to mend our friendship. I promise.”

I don’t know what to say; all I can do is stare at Kacchan with my mouth hanging open. I want so badly to not believe him; I want so badly to see Kacchan as the monster he used to be, but I can’t. Or at least, I don’t want to. Kacchan has never been this nice to me, before. I don’t know if it’s my current state of mind or Kacchan’s kind words and gestures that have me feeling like this, but I decide to push my anxious worries to the side, for now.

’If Kacchan really didn’t mean what he said, he wouldn’t go to such lengths just for the sake of pranking me. Those tears he cried that day were real, and I’ve never seen Kacchan cry, before. So if he wants to do all this for me, then maybe, I shouldn’t push him away, and actually, give him a chance. After all, I want Kacchan back in my life, again.’

”Thank you, Kacchan.” I say with a smile on my face, tears brimming my eyes. He smiles back, pats me on my arm and goes to stand up, again. “No worries, Izuku. Now, I’ll ask, again: would you like katsudon, stew, or would you like just plain rice? Or if you’re not hungry, I can make us tea, instead?” I smile even bigger at this, relishing in being spoiled in my own home.

~You’ll regret ever letting him back into your life. Just you wait, he’ll tear you down even harder than ever before if you keep this up.~

Pushing those thoughts into the back of my mind, I focus on Kacchan’s earlier question, and simply say with a smile “Katsudon!!”

He smirks at this and goes back to the kitchen to start cooking. “Katsudon, it is!”

 

-

 

Normal POV

Izuku returned to class the next day; as promised, Katsuki arrived at Izuku’s place just before he left, so they could walk to school, together. Granted, Katsuki was flabbergasted after finding out what time Izuku gets up every morning(5 AM seems like an ungodly time to wake up for school to Katsuki). Regardless, he stays true to his word, and meets with Izuku, as they make their way to school. Although Katsuki was worried about him going back to class, especially since he just got out of the hospital, Izuku reassured him that he would be fine; his professor may be a bit stiff, but she’ll understand once he explains the situation to her(plus the doctor’s note from Granny Chiyo should be proof enough).

Luckily for Izuku, he doesn’t have very much work to make up; in fact, the Friday he was administered in the hospital, some of his class were actually canceled. The only thing he would have to make up is a paper or two, as well as stay after class for a couple of days to make up the hours he lost. Aside from that, Izuku caught a lucky break. He couldn’t say the same for Katsuki, though, but he isn’t too worried; Katsuki’s very bright, so if he does have work to make up, Izuku’s confident that his friend will get it finished in no time.

After class let out, Izuku meets up with his friends in the courtyard; they’re all happy to see him back, asking him how he’s feeling and if he’s doing okay with being back at school, so soon. Ochako saying they should all get together to celebrate Izuku getting released from the hospital; suggesting something fun, like doing karaoke or going out to eat. As everyone gives Izuku hugs and bid him farewell, Shouto stays behind to let Izuku know how worried he was, and that he’s glad that he’s okay. He then quietly tells Izuku if he needs anything, that he’ll be there and that if Katsuki does anything to him, there will be hell to pay. Izuku smiles at him and assures him that he’ll be okay and that he has nothing to worry about.

After that, he finds Katsuki waiting by the front gates, leaning against the metal bars while browsing through his phone. Upon seeing Izuku, Katsuki puts his phone away and walks up to Izuku with a smile. “Hey, nerd!” He exclaims happily, to which Izuku smiles and waves his hand. “Hey, Kacchan! Have you been waiting long?”

”Nah, not really. Only about five minutes. So, ready to get going?” Katsuki says, adjusting the straps of his backpack. As they walk side-by-side down the sidewalk, Izuku can’t help but feel a little flustered.

’Kacchan actually waited for me after school, just like he said he would. Our schedules are completely different, so I really hope this isn’t an inconvenience to him.’

”In case if you’re wondering, no, you’re not inconveniencing me.”

Izuku practically tripped over his own feet as he stammers to reply. “W-W-What?! How-how did you-I didn’t-No, I didn’t say-!” Katsuki chuckles a bit. “You’re so easy to read, Izuku, you’re like an open book. Not that it’s a bad thing.”

”Oh..” Izuku tugs on his straps nervously while keeping his eyes trained to his feet as they walk. Katsuki takes note, and speaks, again. “But, seriously Izuku, I told you I would be here for you. Even if it’s simply walking with you to and from school, I have no problem changing my daily routine for you.”

Izuku doesn’t know what to say to that, but he smiles, regardless, as they continue with walking to Izuku’s place. They would talk about certain things, like how their classes were going, what kind of movies or TV shows they’ve been watching, or just random things. When they couldn’t think of anything else to talk about, they would walk in comfortable silence; enjoying each other’s presence.

’Kacchan really was serious about doing things like this with me. Honestly, though, I feel content just walking with him, like this.’ Izuku thinks to himself as he smiles to himself.

 

-

 

The following Tuesday afternoon, while Izuku and Katsuki hung out in his living room watching TV and chatting, Izuku receives a call from Dr. Kawakami’s clinic; her secretary was actually the one to make the call, but she informs him that Dr. Kawakami wanted him to come by tomorrow to begin his therapy. After gaining his information and what time would be best for him, the secretary, named Sato Michiko-san, informs him that he’s scheduled to arrive at 4 PM and that they’re looking forward to seeing him.

Although it’s just a therapy session, nothing too out of the ordinary, it doesn’t keep the churning feeling in Izuku’s stomach down. Katsuki places a hand on his shoulder, smiling comfortingly before saying “Hey, it’ll be okay, Izuku. This’ll help you with your recovery, and I promise she won’t make you say anything you don’t want to.” Though his words are meant to provide comfort and support, Katsuki can tell Izuku’s still uncertain.

”Do you want me to sit in with you? I’ll go with you to the clinic, but if you’d feel more comfortable talking to her alone, then I don’t mind waiting, outside.” Izuku looks up at hearing that, then looks Katsuki in the eyes before speaking, softly. “You-you sure you don’t mind, Kacchan?” After all, this is his therapy session, and he didn’t want him to feel obligated to stay. Katsuki simply smiles; rubbing his back with the hand still resting on his shoulder.

”Of course I don’t mind, nerd! That is if the doc is okay with me being there, but even then, I’ll still be there for you, Izuku.” Katsuki says; a big, toothy grin plastered on his face, which causes Izuku to smile just as brightly. His anxiety snuffing out at seeing Katsuki’s handsome face, as a blush begins to spread over his freckled cheeks.

 

-

 

To say Izuku isn’t about ready to faint from the overwhelming nervousness, is a bold-faced lie

He and Katsuki sit in the small waiting space as they wait for the doctor to call them in. They arrived fifteen minutes early, but Sato-san told them Dr. Kawakami would be with them, shortly, and to make themselves at home while they wait. Sato-san is very nice and polite; she looks to be in her mid-20s, her hair styled in a messy French twist and wearing a simple blouse and dress pants.

About ten minutes later, the door opens, and a woman in her mid-late 40s with a kind smile looks at the clipboard in her hand. “Midoriya-san?” The woman says in a gentle voice, as Izuku and Katsuki get up and make their way to her. “Yes-yes, ma’am.” Izuku says with a hint of nervousness in his voice, to which she gives him a reassuring look.

”I’m Dr. Kawakami Hana, a pleasure to meet you.” She bows her head politely, which Izuku obliges by bowing back. “And is this a friend of yours?” Katsuki doesn’t realize she’s referring to him before he replies; feeling a bit flustered at being put on the spot. “Y-yes, ma’am! I’m here with Izuku, is it okay if I sit in with him?”

Dr. Kawakami smiles kindly at him. “Of course. The more the merrier! Right this way.” They follow her down a short, narrow hallway before she opens a door to a separate room; gesturing for them to go inside. The room is fairly spacious; not too large, but not too small or cramped, either. There are two leather sofas facing each other in the center of the room; a wooden coffee table with a bowl of chocolates in between the sofas; to the right of the room is a large window with delicate curtains draped around it; to the left is a row of bookcases filled with various books and encyclopedias, and even a few board games stacked on top of one another, at the back of the room is a long table with a radio, water cooler, and tea maker; there are even a few potted plants strewn around. All in all, it’s a very cozy space.

”Please, make yourselves at home. Would you boys like some tea? Water?” She asks as she takes a seat on one of the sofas. Izuku and Katsuki both politely decline as they sit side-by-side across from the doctor. She sits casually in her seat as she places the clipboard next to her. “For starters, I like to try and get to know my new patients a bit better, so with this in mind, is it alright if I call you Izuku?” Izuku stares at her for a moment before nodding his head. She smiles kindly at him. “And you must be Bakugou Katsuki, or ‘young Bakugou’ as Chiyo prefers to address you.” She gestures to Katsuki, who’s a bit taken aback, but remains silent. “Chiyo’s told me a lot about you, as with Izuku. You both seem very close.” He nods his head before speaking. “That’s right. And before you ask, yes, you can call me Katsuki.”

She smiles at this. “Wonderful! And likewise, you’re both free to call me Hana. I’m not one for doing the whole ’respecting your elders and always using honorifics when addressing strangers’ thing; not exactly my style. But I’m a professional, so standards must be met, somewhere. Plus, it makes me feel old being called 'Kawakami-san' or 'Hana-san', and I ain't getting any younger!” Katsuki smirks at this as he watches Hana laugh boisterously to herself.

She’s nothing like Katsuki had expected her to be; of course, not all doctors and psychiatrists are the same, but still. It's refreshing to meet a doctor who isn’t completely stuck-up and acts like they're above everyone else. As Hana and Izuku speak briefly about themselves, Katsuki takes in her appearance:

Hana is a slender woman of average height; her hair is dark with a few gray strands, styled in a short, wavy bob; she has on round, purple glasses that seem to cover the subtle wrinkles around her kind, dark eyes; her outfit isn’t anything too extravagant or fancy, but it’s also not too plain, either. Everything about Hana seems pretty normal, but the one thing that Katsuki noticed the most about her was the beaded bracelets and necklaces, and they weren’t just plain old regular beads: she was wearing rainbow beads, an assortment of different colors decorating her wrists and neck

How eccentric.

Hana pulls out a notepad and pen from her blazer pocket as she leans forward, a bit. ”Now, before we start, I’d like to first say how sorry I am for what happened to you, Izuku; I was informed a few days prior about your suicide attempt. I truly wish we could meet under different circumstances.” Hana says with genuine sincerity in her voice and on her face. “It’s alright, Hana.” Izuku looks down at his hands, his thumb stroking over the top of his left hand.

”Also, allow me to put your worries to rest by saying this: everything that we discuss in this room, will stay in this room. You’re free to talk about whatever’s on your mind, no matter how small it may seem, without concern about it being heard by others. And I want you to feel comfortable with talking about everything that’s been bothering you without fear of judgment. The only ones who will be made aware of your situation and why you’re here, are me, my secretary Michiko, and Chiyo. This a safe place, Izuku, and I’m here to listen.”

Izuku is taken aback by her words, and he doesn’t speak for a while. Her words are full of so much kindness and understanding; her face reflecting the same gentleness that his mother did, Izuku almost asks if they’re sisters. Wiping the tears from his eyes, Izuku smiles softly at her.

”Thank you so much, Hana. It-it really means a lot to hear that.”

Hana smiles back to him, before speaking. “No need to thank me, helping people is what I do best. Now, I was given a general rundown of your situation by Chiyo, and although it does give me a clear-cut image of what I’ll be working with, I would much rather like to hear it from you.” She leans forward a bit, with her notepad and pen still in her hand. “It helps me to better understand my patients, how they’re feeling and what they’re going through if I hear their stories from their point of view.” Getting her notepad and pen ready, she looks Izuku in the eyes, before saying softly “In your own time, in your own words, could you please tell me your story, Izuku?”

Izuku is quiet for a time; unsure of how to answer, or even where to begin. But a gentle, encouraging squeeze of his hand from Katsuki causes him to look his best friend in the eyes. Katsuki’s face is so soft-looking; his usual scowl and furrowed eyebrows are now replaced with smooth features and a gentle smile. With a single nod of his head to his best friend, Katsuki whispers “You can do it, Izuku. I’m here for you.”

Izuku slowly nods his own head back at him, as he looks back to Hana, who’s waiting patiently for Izuku to speak. “O-okay. I...I think I’m ready. Although...it’s kind of a long story…”

”Take your time, Izuku. We have all the time in the world. Just say whatever comes to mind.”

Izuku closes his eyes and takes a few deep breaths; the feeling of Katsuki’s thumb gently stroking the top of his hand making him feel more grounded, as he opens his eyes again, looks Hana in the eyes, and begins to speak.

”Okay...I’m ready.”

 

-

 

Over an hour later, and Izuku has finished speaking while he tries to control his crying, surrounded by a cluster of used tissues, with Katsuki stroking his back soothingly.

While he was talking about his time in middle school, Izuku began to sob as tears fell from his eyes, to which Hana offered him a tissue box she keeps in a drawer under the coffee table. During the whole thing, nobody else spoke; both Hana and Katsuki remaining silent while Izuku talked about his life, and what he’d been through.

”Izuku,” Hana finally says once Izuku got his breathing back to normal, her voice gentle as she spoke. “I really appreciate you talking to me about all of this. I mean it when I say it does help me better understand hearing something like this from you alone, and it'll definitely help me to help you, better. You’re very brave for discussing all of this with me; I can only imagine how hard it must've been to talk openly about something so personal, let alone with a stranger.”

Izuku stares at Hana for a bit, before laughing softly, to Katsuki’s confusion. “I-I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh. It’s just that...what you just said...it reminded me of something a good friend of mine had told me, before.” After drying his eyes, Izuku looks at Hana with a soft smile; the same words Shoto had spoken to him years ago echoed in his head.

”Thank you, Hana. Really. It...it really means a lot to hear you say that. At first, I was really nervous, and even a bit scared, to talk about my problems with another person, especially a therapist. I’ve always been made fun of for being weak and a crybaby, but...you never once made me feel judged. I actually felt wanted, and it, it feels really good.” Hana smiles back at him at hearing this. “I’m glad that I was able to make you feel that way, Izuku. Really, I am.”

After checking her notes and scribbling a few more things down, Hana gets up from her seat, and makes her way around to where the two boys are sitting. “I think I’ve got everything that I need, so far. I would like to see you again, so we can talk more about what’s been bothering you; it may even help us in finding any underlying issues that may be the root cause of your anxiety, as well as anything you may remember about your past that you would like to talk to me about. What do you say, Izuku?”

Izuku ponders this for a bit; unsure of what to say. After a moment, he looks back to Hana and says “Okay. If you believe it’ll help me, we can try it!”

Hana smiles a big smile as she goes over the details of Izuku’s new therapy regimen. He’ll come to see Hana every Wednesday after school at 4 PM. This will give Hana 2 hours to spend with Izuku to help further gauge his mental and emotional state. She even says that Katsuki is more than welcome to accompany Izuku during his sessions if both boys are okay with this. “Thank you again for your help and patience, Hana. I’ll do my best to try and get better.” Izuku says with a bow.

“No need to thank me, Izuku. These things take time; it isn’t something you can fix within a few days. It may take a while before you may begin to feel like yourself, again. Or you may never feel like yourself. But remember, it’s nothing to feel pressured or ashamed of; the after-effects of a suicide attempt may lead to you feeling all kinds of different emotions. You may feel angry, guilty, embarrassed, sad, resentful, and you may even try to push those closest to you away if they try to offer help, or if they try to get you to open up. But I want you to know that this is very normal after such a traumatic experience, and you don’t have to blame yourself for it. We’ll take this all one step at a time.”

After handing them each a stack of pamphlets, which said things like ‘Supporting a Survivor - The Dos and Don’ts’, ‘Finding Your Way Back’, ‘The Signs of Depression and Anxiety - How to Deal with Them’, etc., Hana walks with Izuku and Katsuki down the hall and into the main waiting area. But just as Izuku and Katsuki are about to leave, Hana calls out, again.

”Katsuki. I apologize, but would you mind staying a bit longer? I would like to speak with you, for a bit. In private.”

At first, Katsuki isn’t sure what she could possibly want to talk to him for, but after a few seconds, he nods his head, and turns to Izuku. “Hey, Izuku. I’m gonna stay a little bit longer. Will you be okay with walking home on your own?”

Izuku looks at Katsuki in confusion but nods his head with a smile. “Sure thing, Kacchan! See you in the morning?” Katsuki grins at that. “You bet!” And with that, Izuku turns to head home, leaving Katsuki and Hana there. After leading him back to the same room from before, Katsuki remains standing while Hana pulls out her notepad.

”So, what’d you wanna talk about?” He asks, shoving his hands into his pockets. Hana looks at Katsuki with the same gentle smile she gave to Izuku. “Katsuki,” She says softly, flipping through her notes. “you and Izuku have been friends for quite a while, judging by what he’s told me. Despite what he’s said in regards to your fall out and even with you bullying him, he seems to admire you very much; idolizes you even. And from what I’ve witnessed, it seems that you don’t feel any real malice or disdain towards him, even from when the two of you were young. Is this an accurate assumption?”

Katsuki is taken aback by her words. He has no words to say to make a come back...but perhaps...her words aren’t meant to be judgmental or criticizing, but rather, they’re meant to be sincere and concerned.

”I...I, I have no idea why I did what I did to him...and, I know that’s not a good enough answer, and it just sounds like an excuse, but I..”

”That’s because, and keep in mind this is purely speculation, perhaps you may have your own struggles that you want to express; possibly some internalized issues that you’ve kept bottled up, which may be the reason behind your anger and quick-temper. But for some reason, you either don’t know how to express these feelings, or you’re simply afraid to. I don't think you're a bad person, Katsuki; rather, you may just need some sort of outlet to help you overcome these internalized problems, something that's not so detrimental to you or others.”

Katsuki is speechless as he takes all of this in. Normally, Katsuki would retort back and start shouting at anyone who would say something like that to him; anything that even remotely comes off as judging or bringing him down would piss him off to no end. But now, after hearing these words from someone with genuine concern for him and his anger issues, he thinks she might be onto something.

”So...what are you suggesting, then…?” Hana smiles again before speaking.

“Although I’ll be mainly working with Izuku, I would also like to have you come in and see me, as well; on separate days, of course! I truly believe therapy would be beneficial in helping to better understand your problems and to try and find the root cause of your aggression and pride. It could very well be signs of potential Bipolar Disorder or even a possible personality disorder.” Hana can tell that Katsuki wants to argue with her on what she said, to which she continues.

“Not to say that that's the case. If anything, you seem to be doing a splendid job at being Izuku’s support system and a source of comfort for him. But often times, in order to help those closest to us who are suffering, we need to help ourselves, as well. It may sound selfish, but I assure you, it’s the farthest thing from it. Helping ourselves to resolve our own issues and overcome our inner demons is usually the first step in helping our loved ones. And in your case, I can definitely tell you need help. So what do you think, Katsuki?”

Katsuki just stares at her. ’She was somehow able to peel back the layers and understand my fucked-up mentality in less than 2 hours, than most people even care to! I don’t know if this will actually do any good...but for some reason, I feel like I can trust her. She sounds honest. If she really thinks that this will help me to get my shit together, and this will help me to help Izuku, then….why the hell not?’

”Therapy does sound nice, and I’m not opposed to it...but, I don’t think my parents would be able to afford me attending weekly sessions. They’re already helping to pay for my rent AND my tuition. I'm planning on getting a part-time job, soon, but I still don't think I'll be able t-”

”Oh, no! No need to worry about costs!” Hana places a hand on Katsuki’s shoulder in a calming manner. “Izuku’s sessions are already being covered under Yuuei’s insurance, and since you’re also a student of Yuuei, and yes, Chiyo informed me of that, too, I don’t see why they would be opposed to covering for your sessions, as well. Even if they don't, all my new patients receive treatment free for the first month, and I also provide discounts for students. Plus,” She leans in closer as if she’s about to reveal a big secret, as she then says in a hushed voice “don’t tell anyone I said this, but Chiyo actually owes me a couple of favors, so I’m sure she wouldn’t mind covering for you!” Hana winks at this, but Katsuki is beside himself with this information.

Hana is so willing to provide both Izuku and Katsuki with therapy to help them both with their struggles, and not just for a quick buck, but to actually help them heal, it doesn’t seem real. Katsuki would be a complete fool to turn down such an offer, especially if it means being able to better himself for the sake of making things right for Izuku.

'If it’s for Izuku; if it’ll help Izuku become whole again, then I'll do it. This is my promise to him, to everyone, but most of all, to myself!'

”Alright! I’ll do it!” He says with flames of determination and certainty blazing in his eyes. Hana smiles brightly at his words, as she claps him on the shoulder. “Wonderful! I’m looking forward to working with you, Katsuki. With both of you!”

Chapter Text

Normal POV

Aizawa Shouta isn’t one to get into the latest trends or gossip, hell, most of the time, he makes an effort to avoid any kind of drama or confrontation if given the chance, even if it means flat-out ignoring others. He’s merely a simple man with simple needs, and those needs don’t consist of interacting with whiny, nosy-ass children disguised as adults. But every once in a blue moon, he’ll often find himself being sucked into the unwanted drama, especially if it ends up catching his attention.

 

-

 

Aizawa doesn’t hate his job; far from it. He DOES, however, hate most of his co-workers. Okay, ‘hate’ might be too strong of a word to describe feelings of distaste for other people, perhaps a better way to describe his feelings towards his co-workers would be ‘Aizawa feels deep and unrelenting hostility and animosity’ towards them, especially since he has to interact with both the high school teachers and college professors.

His students are, for the most part, well-mannered, but there have been times where he’s had to get tough with them and put them in their place for goofing off. Aizawa is definitely not afraid to expel any students for acting out, disobeying orders or if he feels they don’t have what it takes to attend Yuuei(and yes, he has expelled students for this very reason, before, and he doesn’t feel bad for doing it, either).

Regardless of his cold and apathetic nature, this doesn’t mean Aizawa doesn’t care for his students. Quite the opposite, actually. The only reason he’s so harsh with them is that he doesn’t believe in kids being coddled or babied through their problems, or that they should be able to simply pay their way out of trouble. He believes in logic over feelings, and knowing when a person is unable to do something. He shows more respect towards those who aren’t afraid to admit failure, and who can think for themselves.

 

-

 

Although it’s been 3 years and 2 months already, it feels like it was just yesterday that Midoriya Izuku showed his face in Aizawa’s class.

Honestly, he didn’t think the boy was cut out to set foot on Yuuei grounds, let alone to make it after the first year. In fact, of all the students in Class 1-A, Izuku was an easy target for Aizawa to tear down; he didn’t feel that Izuku even deserved to be at Yuuei, simply for that fact that he didn’t even get in by passing the exam, but instead, Yagi had the nerve to request a Letter of Recommendation for the kid. So basically, Yagi held the kid’s hand through the whole process, which Aizawa absolutely detests. He had half a mind to expel Izuku on the spot for even stepping foot into his class while acting like a lost puppy.

But surprise surprise, he was proven wrong.

Despite his first impression of the kid, Aizawa was pleasantly surprised by the kids persistence. It turns out that Izuku wasn’t just some whiny little crybaby who constantly needed his mommy for support; through sheer perseverance and determination, Izuku was able to get through any challenge thrown at him, all while refusing to give up, even when the odds were against him.

After he has a change of heart in his opinion of Izuku, the rest of the Class 1-A students slowly started to grow on Aizawa; despite a few of them being complete turds(primarily a certain blonde-haired, red-eyed boy with a shit attitude and poor skills when it comes to cooperating with others).

Despite his group of unique(and dare he say, outstandingly talented) students and well-paying job, Aizawa often feels that he no longer has the drive or passion to continue with his career; it could be due to his chronic depression and constant bouts of insomnia that have him feeling this way, but it tends to become harder and harder to leave his house, let alone to drag himself out of bed. If it wasn’t for his amazingly supportive co-worker and husband, Yamada ‘Present Mic’ Hizashi, being a constant source of encouragement and a driving force who refuses to allow Aizawa to waste his life away by laying in bed all day, he most likely would do just that.

Aizawa and Yamada have known each other since they were in high school, in fact, they both just so happen to be alumni of Yuuei, as well as former classmates. Though Aizawa saw Yamada as loud and annoying in the beginning, the two began to grow closer, which eventually lead to them dating.

After graduating from the high school portion of Yuuei, they became engaged until graduating from college, where they finally tied the knot. Even though they’re legally married, they made the decision of using their own last names when being addressed by students or other teachers in order to maintain a level of professionalism; not because they’re ashamed of their marriage or sexual orientation, by any means. Plus, considering Yamada uses a completely different name when hosting his radio show, it doesn’t even make a difference whose last name is being used.

Even with their polar opposite personalities and mannerisms, Aizawa and Yamada were meant to be. And there isn’t a thing on this Earth that can keep them apart.

 

-

 

While slouching in his chair in the teacher’s break room sipping on his coffee, Aizawa tries his best to ignore the loud commotion going on among the other teachers and professors; it honestly sucks that the break room is shared with not only the high school staff but with the college professors and faculty, as well. It’s bad enough having to listen to bitching and constant drama from people he has to work with every day, but to hear it tenfold from people he hardly ever sees or talks to, is utter torture to him.

As he was tapping away at his tablet and checking the schedules for the next few days, he couldn’t help but overhear a few of the conversations going on around him. Normally he would just ignore them and go on with his own business, but some of the things the teachers were saying caught his ears.

”Did you hear about what happened last week? One of the students apparently tried to commit suicide over some petty drama, or something. I heard about it from one of Nagai’s students.”

”Yes! I heard about this, too. Can you believe the nerve of some students? I understand that college is tough, but that’s no excuse to do something so reckless and irresponsible; makes me wonder if they even take school seriously, or not.”

”I heard that the issue has even trickled over into other departments; apparently, a group of senior engineering students had recently been expelled due to some ties they had with the student who tried to kill themselves.”

”What is Nezu-san even thinking? Letting a student who’s mentally unstable onto school grounds, in the first place? This will most likely reflect poorly on Yuuei.”

As the teachers continued their ranting, Aizawa couldn’t stop his mouth from gaping open from what he had just heard. Once the teachers exit the room, Aizawa ponders over their words, and he can’t keep the scowl from appearing over his features.

’A student tried to commit suicide? At Yuuei? They say this as if a student simply cheated on an exam or something. What in the hell is going on?’

Though Aizawa hates getting sucked into the affairs of others, something about this intrigues him(or concerns him). Abandoning his now cold coffee, Aizawa leaves the break room to do some investigating.

Whatever the hell was going on in this school, he’s damn sure going to find out. One way or another.

 

-

 

Aizawa could feel a headache springing to life as he rubbed his temple to relieve the tension. He’s sitting in the faculty room, currently searching through archives and documents on his computer. Even though all the teachers most likely left for the day given that school let out 2 hours ago, making him the only one in the giant staff room, he didn’t mind the isolation. It gives him more time to himself and his thoughts, which were currently flooded with the echoing words of those assholes from earlier.

Just as Aizawa leans back in his seat, dragging his hands over his face and groaning in frustration at not finding anything remotely close to any reports on a suicide incident on campus, the loud and energetic voice of his husband rings out through the empty space.

”Hey there, my love!” Present Mic exclaims as he leans down to wrap an arm around Aizawa’s shoulder, pecking him on the cheek. “You still working on grading papers? Come on, Shouta, let’s get going! The cats are probably hungry!”

Aizawa grouchily shrugs Present Mic’s arm off of him as he continues typing away on his keyboard; his scowl becoming deeper. “Not right now, Hizashi.” The tone of his voice and look on his face concerns Present Mic enough to pull a chair out and take a seat next to his husband.

”Is everything okay, Shouta? Did something happen in class, today?” Present Mic asks in a more calm voice; his face filled with worry. Releasing a sigh, Aizawa reluctantly ceases typing and looks over to Present Mic with a defeated look.

”Hizashi...have you heard anything about a suicide attempt happening on campus? Specifically at the university section of Yuuei?”

This throws Present Mic off a bit; it’s definitely not a question he expected to hear come out of Aizawa’s mouth. Now, he’s definitely curious.

”A suicide attempt? No. No, I don’t believe I’ve heard about anything of that nature. Where did you hear this from?” Aizawa turns back to the screen, remaining silent for a few seconds before speaking, again. “I overheard a few college professors talking about it; something about a student attempting suicide. It apparently happened sometime last week, but this is the first time I’ve heard of it. And also, a group of students from the Engineering Department were apparently expelled, recently, and they somehow had something to do with this incident.”

Aizawa leans forward to rest his elbows on the desk, his fingers raking through his long, wild black hair. “But, I can’t seem to find anything in relation to this, at all. There’s doesn’t seem to be any records or reports made about any incidents like this occurring on school grounds...unless it’s being kept hidden away for a reason, or it never actually took place on school grounds...”

Present Mic stares at Aizawa in perplexed confusion at hearing this; he’s seen his husband look annoyed, bored, frustrated, and on rare occasions, flat-out angry or pissed off. But this was the first time he’s seen him look so engrossed in the affairs of a student, especially a student who isn’t even either of theirs.

Placing a comforting hand over Aizawa’s left one; his thumb gently stroking his ring finger, where it held his golden wedding band, Present Mic smiles a comforting smile in contrast to his wide, goofy grin. “Perhaps Nezu-san might know a thing or two about this. You can try asking him, yourself. I’ll go with you, of course, if you want.”

Aizawa smiles slightly at this, which seems rare in and of itself, as he stands from his seat and takes Present Mic’s hand in his own and they stare in each other’s eyes lovingly.

”Yeah. I think you’re right. Sure, let’s go talk to the old man.”

 

-

 

Moments later, Aizawa and Present Mic find themselves standing before their boss in his office.

Nezu is both the Principal and Chancellor of Yuuei’s respective school branches, but he somehow makes the task of managing both schools with hardly any effort, despite the massive workload on his shoulders. Nezu is also known to be a very kind and polite man, albeit a tad on the strange, eccentric side, but nonetheless, he’s great at making all of his students feel welcome at his school.

”Good afternoon, gentlemen!” Nezu says in his usual cheerful, peppy manner as he takes a puff of his cigarette. “Glad to see you both appear to be doing well. But something tells me you’re not here for tea and chit-chat.” He hit the nail dead center on the coffin, not even bothering to beat around the bush as he leans forward a bit over his desk, his fingers laced together as he tilts his head to the side.

”You appear to be perturbed about something, Aizawa-sensei. What seems to be the trouble? Anything I can help with, perhaps?”

”Actually, sir,” Aizawa pauses as he takes a deep breath. “I need to ask you something. I know this is most likely none of my business, and for all I know, I could flat-out be wrong, but…”

Nezu leans back in his giant leather swivel chair, a smile spreading over his face as he puts his cigarette out. “I understand. Well, then, if it has something to do with my school, then, of course, I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions, especially if it’s a cause of concern for you, sensei.”

Aizawa looks to his husband, who only nods his head at him, a smile on his face as he gently squeezes his hand in his. Aizawa nods back to him, turns back to their boss with a stern, serious gaze, and he told him what was on his mind.

 

-

 

”A suicide attempt? Here? Hmmm….well, I don’t quite recall anything of that nature happening on campus, and certainly not of late. Although I do recall a group of students being expelled due to harassment since I was the one who expelled them, but suicide….hmmm…”

Nezu sat in perplexed contemplation, but Aizawa had a feeling that he couldn’t remember anything of the sort, or at the very least, not at the moment. But he was starting to feel doubtful. “So...the whole ‘student attempting suicide’ thing was just a rumor? Perhaps...I may have just heard wrong.”

Aizawa turns to present Mic and nods his head to him before on his heels and making his way out the office. “My apologies, Nezu, didn’t mean to waste y-”

”Oh! Hold on, you two!” Nezu exclaims, causing the two men to stop and turn back around as they watch Nezu swivel around in his chair; opening one of his massive file cabinet drawers and browse through the labeled folders. It seems he remembered something crucial.

”Now that you mention it, I DO recall something that had happened that sounds familiar to what you had mentioned, Aizawa-sensei. In fact, it was actually Recovery Girl who gave me the report for both this incident and the incident that lead to those students’ expulsion.” Aizawa and Present Mic both stare at Nezu in anxious anticipation as they watch him retrieve a thin manila folder and place it on his desk.

Nezu scrolls through the papers, humming to himself as he searched for the form he’s looking for. After almost a whole minute, he finally pulls out the paper he needed. “Present Mic, Aizawa-sensei, this incident, as well as the details behind it, are classified and very confidential, despite them not occurring directly on campus.” He says as he looks at them with seriousness in his eyes. “I’ve been sworn to not disclose any of this information by Recovery Girl, herself, in order to protect the student. I have no idea how others were able to find out about this, but that’s neither here nor there. With that said, while I wouldn't give away information as serious as this, seeing as you were both his former teachers and you’re both rather trustworthy, I don’t see any reason not to reveal the information I’m about to disclose to you, so long as it’s kept between us.”

Aizawa’s eyes widened at hearing this. ’His former teachers? And, Nezu said HE, so, it’s someone we both know. But, who?!’ “Of course, sir!” Present Mic exclaims as he slings an arm around Aizawa’s shoulder. “You can trust both of us not to give this information away to anybody, sir! Our lips are sealed!”

Nezu nods his head with a smile as he clears his throat in preparation.

As the saying goes, ‘Some things are better left unsaid or unheard’. Not many things phase Aizawa nowadays; not even the most heartbreaking news on TV can cause him to falter, in the slightest. But if there’s one thing he’s is certain of in this moment...

He wishes with every fiber of his being that he had NEVER heard the words that came out of his boss’s mouth.

 

-

 

”It’s been at least a month since I’ve last seen young Midoriya. I wonder how the boy’s doing?”

Yagi says to himself as he checks over the remaining papers he just got done grading before getting up from his seat. After over 3 years of being a teacher, Yagi found it easier to grade his students’ work in his own private office after school let out, rather than doing it while everyone was still there. Less likely to make mistakes with grading if it’s completely silent.

Ever since Izuku was accepted at Yuuei, Yagi couldn’t help but feel proud of his former pupil. Despite the hiccups and the possibility that he might fail, Izuku never showed any sign of backing out or giving up; even when he was faced with different adversities, he never allowed them to sway him. Something Yagi saw in himself when he was the boy’s age.

”Perhaps I’ll pay young Midoriya a visit after class, tomorrow. We can go to a cafe near the school, get some tea or coffee and catch up, a bit. I'm sure he would like that, very much.” Yagi says as he gathers his things and makes his way down the hall to go home for the day.

Even after Izuku transitioned from high school to college, that never stopped Yagi from being a source of comfort and support for the boy. Whether it be giving him advice on improving his studying habits, helping him through his bouts of anxiety when they became too much, or just sticking around to simply talk, Yagi didn’t mind, at all. If anything, he very much enjoys being someone Izuku can rely on, besides his friends and even his own mother.

Yagi is very much happy to be a parental figure for Izuku, no matter how old he gets, or what others say about them and their relationship.

Just as Yagi makes his way down the stairs and past the doors on the ground floor, he stops in his tracks when he hears something odd. After a moment of straining his ears so he can better hear what the noise is, he hears a distinct sound coming from down the hall. Deciding to find out the cause of the mystery sound, Yagi walks down the hall in the opposite direction of the entrance.

As he walks further down the empty hall, the sound becomes more prominent and clear, and Yagi is able to make out the sound as being that of a crying noise, a sob, even.

’There’s nobody else here in the building, I don’t think, so who could that possibly be? Is someone hurt? In distress? I’d better check it out; make sure they’re okay.’

Just as Yagi rounds the corner, he hears the crying become even more clear, and as he continues down the hall, he finds where the crying is coming from the faculty break room. Raising a nonexistent eyebrow, Yagi enters the break room, only to stop in his tracks at who it is crying so much.

Aizawa is seated in one of the chairs near the back; his face hidden behind his hands as his shoulders shuttered from his heavy sobs. Present Mic is sitting beside him; his arm wrapped around his husband’s shoulder, rubbing his hand soothingly up and down his arm while saying soft words and sweet nothings to him.

”Wha-what’s going on? Did-Did something happen?” Yagi stammers as he takes in the sight before him; never has he seen Aizawa cry like this, before. Hell, he’s never seen him cry, period.

”Present Mic, what’s wrong with Aizawa?” He asks, genuinely concerned. He and Aizawa have never seen eye to eye, and Aizawa made it clear from day one that he didn’t take too kindly to Yagi’s upbeat, optimistic attitude. Despite this, however, that didn’t stop Yagi from feeling worry creep into his chest at seeing the normally stoic and apathetic man bawl his eyes out. Aizawa lifts his head up when he hears his name being spoken, and Yagi can’t help but feel his heart clench at seeing his face. Aizawa’s normally pale face is now red, puffy, and tear-stained, his eyes are bloodshot and glossy with tears; which one would believe to be good for his normally dry eyes.

”Y-Y-Yagi,-sob-...s-some-something...something -sob- ha-has happened..I-I, I d-don’t...-sob-” Yagi is shocked; unable to process what is going on before he starts speaking. “Aizawa, what’s wrong? Did something happen to your mother or father? What about your cats?” Aizawa shook his head violently; tears leaking faster as he did. “N-no, you dumbass! It’s n-not my parents or our cats, -sob- it’s..i-it’s…” Aizawa couldn’t even get the words out as he buried his head into Present Mic’s shoulder, overcome with sadness.

Present Mic wrapped his arms around Aizawa and held him close as he looked up at Yagi with sadness in his own eyes. “Yagi...we, we really shouldn’t tell you this. We were actually told by Nezu to keep this between us...but...I think you might be an exception, since you were his teacher, as well, and...I’m sure Nezu and Recovery Girl will understand…”

”What the hell are you talking about? And, what do you mean by 'I used to be HIS teacher'? Yamada, what is going on?! What happened?!” Yagi was getting tired of being left in the dark. Whatever it is that was terrible enough to bring even Aizawa to this state, he’s honestly scared to find out.

”A former student of ours tried to commit suicide last week, Yagi…” Present Mic finally says. Yagi’s eyes widen at this; he can feel his breath hitch in his throat he tries to breathe, normally. ”What?! What-what do you mean? Who was it?!” Present Mic continues stroking Aizawa’s trembling back as he takes a deep breath, and looks Yagi in the eyes; a look of deep hurt in his gaze.

”It was Midoriya!”

 

-

 

Izuku’s POV

So far, things seem to be going okay. Well, for the most part, anyway.

My visit with Hana was nothing like I thought it was going to be; I’ve always thought of doctors as being cold and uncaring, and simply want to get through each patient as quickly as possible to get their paycheck, not to say that all doctors are like that, though. But not Hana, there was just something about the way she spoke to me and paid painstaking attention to every detail pertaining to my problems, and how they affect my life, as a whole. Hana went above and beyond to make me feel comfortable, and she never once interrupted me while I spoke about the trauma I experienced while I was bullied, or asked questions that may have been too intrusive or invasive.

Overall, I’m definitely looking forward to future visits with Hana, even if they mainly consist of me answering questions and talking openly about my personal life.

It made me even more happy to know that Kacchan is allowed to sit in with me during my therapy sessions. Speaking of which, Kacchan called me that same evening to tell me that he would be attending his own therapy sessions; granted, they would take place on different days, but he would also visit Hana to speak with her about his own problems. At first, I wasn’t sure why Kacchan would need therapy, but it made sense to me the more I thought about it.

Kacchan has always been very hot-tempered and aggressive, even when he never means to be, and his anger is definitely something to steer clear of when within sight of it. He even told me that he has no idea why he started bullying me, much less why he started calling me ‘Deku’. Perhaps that’s all the more reason to speak with Hana, in order to find the answers he can’t find, at the moment.

Even with all the good things happening in my life, for some reason, I still can’t shake this heavy uneasiness inside of my stomach.

It feels like...everything’s changed, and not in the way I expected or anticipated. Not that I’m ungrateful or unappreciative of everyone who’s put so much effort into helping me, but there’s something inside of me that makes me feel that none of this is actually happening, or this is all just a vivid dream, and my real life is waiting for me to wake up.

How is it that one minute, everyone around me, not including Mom, Auntie Mitsuki, Uncle Masaru, and Yagi treat me like I’m less than human, and has no problem with putting me down; even most of my professors seem to find some reason to call me out and point out my flaws, then the next thing I know, they’re all treating me like I’m made of fragile glass, and I might shatter into a million pieces if they so much as sneeze on me?

Even Nagai-sensei seems to have become more soft-spoken when addressing me; or at the very least, she’s not as harsh as she usually is. So, if I hadn’t tried to commit suicide, would they still treat me like they are now, or is it BECAUSE of my suicide attempt that now suddenly, everyone is acting nice towards me? Would Kacchan be the same way…? If it weren’t for what happened a week ago...would he carry on with bullying me the same as he always had?

’No! I really need to stop thinking like this. Of course, Kacchan wouldn’t treat me that way, even if I hadn’t tried to kill myself! I know this because...why in the hell would he save me from Yamaguchi and bring me to his home, if he didn’t care about me, in the first place? He MUST care about me, deep down, otherwise he wouldn’t have even bothered...’

~Are you SERIOUSLY that stupid, you idiot?! How many times do you need to be reminded, that everyone is just pitying you?! Why would ‘Kacchan’ be any different?~

I stop dead in my tracks while walking in the courtyard at those thoughts. The class just let out a little while ago; Kacchan is most likely waiting for me at the gates so we can walk home together, but I try to pull myself together as I feel my heart rate increase, my breath comes out in shallow huffs and my palms become sweaty. I squeeze my eyes shut as I try to put those horrible thoughts to rest.

’It’s not true! They don’t PITY me! Just SHUT UP!!!’

”Midoriya-senpai?” My eyes fly open at hearing my name being called. I look over, only to see a girl standing there with a slightly confused look on her face. She’s obviously a high school student given her Yuuei girls’ uniform; I’m not sure what grade she’s in, not that it matters. What I’m wondering...is why a high schooler is wanting to speak with ME, of all people?!

”Y-yes?” I ask, trying to make my voice stop shaking, but I think she can tell I’m not fully put together, at the moment. She gives me a slight bow before speaking. “Um, are you alright, senpai? Is this a bad time?” She asks tilting her head, slightly. I wave my hands around frantically, not wanting to give her a bad impression. “No, no! It’s not! I’m sorry you had to see me like this.” She smiles at me and tells me not to worry about it. “Anyways, I’m sorry to bother you, senpai, but I was asked to come and find you, and to bring you over to the faculty room. Are you busy right now? If so, I can let them know an-”

”Oh, no. I’m not busy right now, but...what is this about?” I ask her, feeling a bit anxious at being put on the spot, like this. Who could possibly want to see me to the point they have to send out a high schooler to find me?

”It’s best if you just come with me; you’ll know soon, enough. Oh, but don’t worry! You’re not in trouble or anything. In fact, it was actually Yagi-sensei who requested to speak with you. You were a former student of his, as I was told. But I wasn’t told why he wanted you to drop by.” My mouth hangs open slightly at this. ’Yagi wants to see me? But why?’

”Uhh, sure. No problem, just, give me one sec!” I turn away from her as I pull out my phone and sent Kacchan a quick text, letting him know I have to take care of something and to not wait up on me. After he replies back saying to take my time and he would text me later, I turn back to the girl and nod my head. “Okay. I’ll head over, right away!”

 

-

 

”I wonder what Yagi wants to see me about? I never did tell him where I’ve been for the last few days...I hope everything’s okay. I’ll just explain that I’ve been feeling sick, and apologize for not texting him, sooner.”

As I round the corner, I find myself standing near the entrance of the faculty room; the bustling of a few teachers talking to one another, mostly discussing upcoming tests and the new schedule for after summer vacation, which is right around the corner.

Taking in a deep breath, I walk up the slightly open door, knock on it softly and poke my head inside.

”Uh, excuse me? I-I’m sorry to intrude, but I uh-” I don’t even get a chance to finish as I hear a familiar voice cut me off and a tall figure is now standing in front of me. “YOUNG MIDORIYA!!!” I jump slightly at hearing Yagi’s sudden presence and booming voice. I guess he takes notice, and quiets his voice down, a bit.

”My apologies, my boy! Didn’t mean to scare you! How have you been?” I look up to meet Yagi’s gaze, and he looks…different? I can’t quite explain it, but he doesn’t look like his usual self; he appears more tired, with deep bags under his eyes. What on Earth happened?

”Oh, uh, I’ve..been okay, I guess. I’m sorry for not coming by to see you, Yagi. I’ve been…busy, or well, maybe I haven’t been feeling too well. But, don’t worry! I’m feeling fine, now!” Yagi holds his large hand out in front of me to stop me from rambling; a kind smile on his face. “It’s no trouble, at all, young Midoriya, I understand. Actually, I would like to speak with you about something, do you have time?”

”Of course, Yagi! What did you wanna talk about?” I ask him with a smile, but then I notice his own smile drop slightly. “Actually, young Midoriya, it would be better if we spoke somewhere more private, if possible.” I raise my eyebrow at this, but I don’t respond to this, and simply nod my head. “Okay! No problem, Yagi, lead the way!”

He leads me up the stairs until we’re on the third floor. I stop walking when Yagi stands in front of a vacant club room. He turns to me with a smile before saying “You ready, young Midoriya?”

’Ready? Ready for what?!’

”Sure thing, Yagi!” Nodding his head, he opens the sliding door and ushers me to go inside. I’m expecting to walk into the completely empty room....what I DON’T expect, is to find Aizawa and Present Mic in the room, with us.

They’re sitting next to each other at the long table; hand-in-hand, as they stare right at us; at me, which makes my heart beat faster. Aizawa and I didn’t exactly have the best relationship in the beginning; in fact, he made it very clear that he would expel me on the spot for not putting in 100%, or if he just felt like it. But over time, he started to soften up a bit with me, not being as harsh; granted he still displayed his cold, uncaring attitude towards me like he did with the others, but at least he didn’t outright hate me.

That doesn’t stop me from feeling light-headed at seeing him here.

”Hey there, Midoriya!” Present Mic calls out in his usual happy, energetic manner, but his voice isn’t as loud as it is, normally. “Good to see you, again! Hope you’ve been doing well!”

I nod my head a bit, trying to keep a smile on my face in an attempt to hide my nervousness. I jump a bit a feeling Yagi’s large hand rest on my shoulder. “Please, have a seat, young Midoriya.”

I slowly make my way to an empty chair directly across from Aizawa and Present Mic and take a seat. Yagi goes around and sits beside Aizawa, which also surprises me. I thought these two hated each other, well, I thought Aizawa hated Yagi, so why in the world is he okay with Yagi sitting next to him?

Whatever they’re wanting to talk to me about, it must be serious.

”Umm....is, is everything okay...?” The room is quiet for a while; my former teachers just exchanging looks for a moment, my guess is they’re trying to decide who should go, first. Finally, after almost two minutes, Aizawa clears his throat, looks me in the eyes, which also look the same as Yagi’s did, well, not as tired-looking as usual, but there’s definitely something different about them.

”Midoriya...we, we heard about what happened to you last week…” Aizawa’s voice is softer than normal; it doesn’t possess the flat, tired, uncaring tone it usually does, which makes me nervous...but not as nervous as I am at hearing what he just said to me.

”Uh, what-what do you mean, Sensei? Oh, uh, if you’re referring to my being absent for a few days, I...I just wasn't feeling well, that’s all. I-”

”Young Midoriya,” This time, it's Yagi who speaks up; his voice is soft but with a stern undertone to it, though he still keeps his composure. I assume it's because he doesn't want to lose his temper with me. “we know about your suicide attempt. Nezu had told Aizawa and Present Mic yesterday, and...Aizawa and Present Mic had both told me there had been rumors going around from various professors and teachers, so...we just wanted to hear it from you, first.”

I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to feel. All I can do is stare at them with wide eyes; my mouth becoming dry, and the back of my neck and my palms becoming sweaty.

’There were rumors going around? About my suicide?! But… HOW?! How could others have heard about this...unless...no, NO! Kacchan...Kacchan would NEVER tell others about something like this, he apologized for what he did to me, and he promised that he would help me! but then, how…'

”Midoriya,” Present Mic says with a sad smile; his voice barely above a whisper. “you can be honest with us, son. We’re not going to tell anyone. We’re just worried about you, and we wanna make sure you’re okay, and you’re safe.”

I feel my eyes burning with unshed tears, my bottom lip quivering as I gather the courage to tell them the truth. These three have been nothing but supportive of me; they’ve taught me, they’ve been my mentors, hell, they’ve practically been like my dads. Yagi, especially!

They deserve to know the truth. Yagi, especially.

”I...it’s true...I, I-I overdosed on..on my prescription medication, and-and I tried to kill myself…” I couldn’t look either of them in the eyes as I stare down at my hands resting on the table. I feel so ashamed for what I did; I feel even more ashamed that I worried these three men, I worried Yagi, and I’ve let them all down!

”Young Midoriya...please talk to us...we just want to better understand; to know what lead you to do something like this, so we can try and help you.” Yagi says with a hint of hurt in his voice.

I feel my heart squeeze in my chest; my face feels like it’s becoming hot, a blush of embarrassment spreading all the way to my ears as I refuse to look him in the eyes I can feel my struggling to breathe, as my breath comes out shorter and shorter. The bravery I had felt from before suddenly evaporates as I hunch over a bit and cry out “I...I-I can’t s-say! Please, don't make me! I can’t!!”. I cover my face with my hands, tears trickling down my cheeks. I feel like I'm on the verge of having a panic attack right in front of not only Yagi but Aizawa and Present Mic, too.

I’m such a coward!

I jolt when I feel a hand rest gently on my back, looking up with my face blotchy, red and streaked with tear tracks, and to my surprise, it’s Aizawa. Though his eyes still appear tired and somewhat dry, it didn’t keep the gentle smile from being prominent. “It’s alright, Midoriya. You don’t have to tell us if you don’t feel comfortable; we were just worried about you.” He shoots the other two men a look, and I couldn’t help but notice the slight glare he gives to Yagi before he looks back to me, again; the smile back on his face.

”We’re sorry for pushing you to talk about this; it was wrong of us to do. Whenever you’re ready, you can come back and talk with us, but only if you’re comfortable. Just know that we’re here to listen, Midoriya.”

I stare at Aizawa, completely dumbfounded. This is probably the first time I’ve ever seen or heard him be so kind and sincere; he actually cares about me. Aizawa; the same man who would practically brag about all the times he expelled his past students and would threaten to do the same to us if we got on his nerves, is comforting me?! I'm dreaming, right? This has to be a dream.

All I can do at that moment is nod my head while I continued staring at my former Homeroom teacher. He pats my shoulder before pulling his hand away; the smile still on his face, and both he and Present Mic make their way out of the club room, but not before Aizawa leaned in close to Yagi, and whispers something to him. I can't hear what they're saying, but judging from the hard glare he's giving Yagi, it can't be good.

After they leave, it's just me and Yagi, now. I don't feel anxious or scared like I used to when Kacchan and I were left alone together, but a similar feeling begins to well up in my chest as I stare at my feet. "I'm sorry about this, young Midoriya." Yagi finally says; I don't look up at him. "It-it's okay, Yagi. I...I'm gonna go now, i-if that's okay with you." I feel so embarrassed and ashamed, I can barely form a sentence without stuttering. It's almost like back then when Yagi and I first met, and I felt so nervous just staring at him. "Of course, my boy! Perhaps...perhaps we can catch up, sometime?"

I look up at him this time, and I chance a slight smile. "Y-yeah..." And with that, I leave the room, and make my way down the stairs, and head home.

 

-

 

The next day, I go through the day like normal(or as normal as it can get, now), barely speaking to anyone. I feel even more drained and on-edge than I did before this all happened. I want so badly to blame somebody, anybody, for the way I'm feeling now; I want to blame somebody for me wanting to commit suicide in the first place...but deep down, I know I can't. After all, it's my own fault.

Kacchan takes note of my behavior and asks me if I'm feeling okay, to which I tell him that I'm fine. If I tell him about what took place in the club room yesterday, I know for a fact he would march straight over to the faculty room, and demand answers from our former teachers, especially Yagi. Even though Kacchan did tell me I can talk to him about anything, I'm currently not in the mood to deal with this. Maybe after a day or two when my nerves aren't as frazzled, maybe I'll tell him. Despite Kacchan not believing me and looking as though he wants to ask me again, he nods his head and drops the issue.

Luckily it's Friday, so I have the weekend to clear my head. After Kacchan bids me farewell and promises to come over so we can go do something fun and just hang out tomorrow, I find myself sitting in my room, working on some homework. Just then, my phone rings; the chime of my ringtone jolting me from my concentration. When I look at the collar ID, I feel my heart sink into my stomach when I see it's none other than Yagi calling me.

'I can't keep dodging the issue, forever. And I can't just ignore Yagi for the rest of my life. I have to talk to him; he's done so much for me, so much so that I wouldn't even be at this school without his help...he deserves to know.'

I swipe the screen to answer the call, hold the phone to my ear and anxiously wait for Yagi to speak.

*H-hello? M-Midoriya Izuku speaking?*

*Good afternoon, young Midoriya! Sorry to call so suddenly, like this.*

*Oh no, it's fine, Yagi. I'm just doing some homework, is all.*

*Ahh, I see, I see! Diligent as always, young Midoriya! Anyways, would it be alright if I stopped by for a bit?*

I pause at this, as I don't know what to say, at first. *You mean, like, right now?*

*Yes, if possible! Unless it's a bad time, and you would prefer to be alone, right now. You don't have to!*

I couldn't help the smile spreading over my lips at Yagi's consideration for me. He's always been like this; putting his own needs last, and the needs of those closest to him first. Sounds familiar to me. After a moment, I finally answer him.

*No, it's not a bad time, Yagi. You can come over if you want. My address i-*

*Oh, no need! I already know your address, young Midoriya.*

I raise my eyebrows in surprise, wondering how Yagi knows my address. Did he ask Nezu-san? My classmates? Kacchan?! I decide not to dwell on it, as I reply. *O-Oh, okay. In that case, then I'll see you in a bit?*

*Of course! I'll be by in about 30 minutes. See you then, young Midoriya!*

After hanging up, I leave my room; abandoning my homework for now, and tidy up a bit in preparation for my spontaneous guest. I have a feeling that whatever Yagi wants to talk about, has something to do with what happened yesterday. As I said, I can't keep dodging this, and I know I should've told him as soon as I was released from the hospital. Now's not the time for 'I should've's, though, I have to tell him.

As I placed my dirty dishes in the sink, I catch a glimpse of the digital clock on the stove. 5:02 PM

Just 28 more minutes to go

 

-

 

Exactly 30 minutes later, there's a knock at the front door.

I quickly get up from the couch and open the door. Standing there in a plain T-shirt and jeans, Yagi has a fond smile on his face, and a plastic bag in his hand. "Greetings, young Midoriya!" Yagi says cheerfully as he holds the bag out to me. "Here you are."

I take the bag and look inside, smiling when I see it's full of peaches. "Thank you so much, Yagi! You didn't have to bring me anything." I step aside so Yagi can come in. "It's no trouble, at all! I saw them on my way over, and thought you would enjoy them."

After setting the bag of peaches on the counter, I offer Yagi something to drink. Once I set the glass of water on the table in front of him, I take my seat at the dining table across from Yagi; waiting for him to speak, first.

"Let me start off by saying how sorry I am, young Midoriya." Yagi says with a crestfallen look on his bony features. "It was wrong of me to force you to stay and speak with us like I did, especially after what you went through, and with that, I sincerely apologize."

I stare at him silently for a bit before speaking. "No, it's not your fault, Yagi. I wasn't being honest, so I-"

"No!" Yagi says firmly; his bright blue eyes cast over with seriousness and a hint of sadness. "It's NOT fine, young Midoriya. Even though I knew about your suicide attempt, and how it may have affected you, I pushed anyway; I still tried to make you talk about it. It was completely wrong of me, and I should know better!" He pauses to take a breath. "I just hope that you can forgive me for my actions, young Midoriya."

I stare down at my hands for a moment before answering him, quietly. "I understand, Yagi..."

We're both silent for a bit; neither of us saying anything as I try to collect my thoughts, and gather the courage to tell me what he wanted me to yesterday. But I never get the chance, as Yagi speaks up, again.

"You're probably wondering why I asked to come by? Well, as you may know, it does have something to do with what happened to you. And if you were wondering, yes, I also know about the students who assaulted you, as well. I don't know if you already know this, but luckily you won't have to worry about them, anymore. Nezu had them expelled on Monday." I was already made aware of this that Monday when I came back to school, but still, it's nice hearing about it. And I'm willing to bet Kacchan is even more thrilled to have them gone and out of his hair. I smile to myself at the thought of Kacchan cheering at this news.

"But rest assure, young Midoriya, I'm not going to make you talk about anything you don't want to; Aizawa already gave me a pretty good scolding about that, yesterday." Yagi says as he chuckles to himself; scratching the back of his head. "Actually, I came here to tell you about something that I believe would be very beneficial for you. Do you remember Tsukauchi?"

Tsukauchi? That name does sound familiar...where have I heard that name from?

"Oh!" I exclaim in realization as the name finally clicks. "You mean that police officer who arrested that creep who attacked me and Kacchan over 3 years ago?!" Yagi nods his head with a wide smile. "That's the one! Well, he's not just an officer, Tsukauchi also happens to be a sponsor of the advocacy group that I direct, and he also runs a support group on the side. This group is called One For All, and its main goal is providing support and aid for people with various problems, such as those who are recovering drug addicts or alcoholics. But the main thing One For All is known for and is something Tsukauchi prides himself on is providing support to people who suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal thoughts."

My eyes widen as Yagi tells me this. A support group? And Tsukauchi is the one in charge of it? I had no idea.

[Well I woke up to the sound of silence the cars were cutting like knives in a fist fight.]

"After what I was told from Aizawa and Present Mic, and Nezu, since I technically wasn't supposed to find out, to begin with, and after what you told us yesterday, I decided to hit Tsukauchi up and ask him about his support group. They just so happen to be located in Downtown Musutafu, near the shopping area, and they usually hold meetings twice a week. Tsukauchi said that you're more than welcome to attend the meetings whenever you're ready. And if you're curious, no, I didn't tell Tsukauchi about your situation; I simply told him that a former student of mine may need help. I didn't tell him your name or that you were the boy who was assaulted all those years ago."

"Yagi...why are you telling me all this...?" I didn't mean to sound rude or ungrateful, but, I just don't understand why he's doing this. Yagi's done so much for me, already, so why do more? I've barely even managed to repay him for all that he's done for me, aside from a hoard of 'Thank you's and 'You're the best's. That hardly even covers for everything Yagi has done.

[And I found you with a bottle of wine, your head in the curtains and heart like the fourth of July.]

"What do you mean, my boy?" Yagi asks while taking a sip of his water. Why is he being so casual and cavalier about this?!

"I mean...you've already done so much for me, Yagi..." I voice my thoughts, this time, not even caring if it sounds ridiculous coming out of my mouth. "I, I just don't understand why you would want to help me, even more, when I've barely even done anything to repay you! So why would you want to do even more for me?! Plus, I'm already receiving so much help and support from everyone else; I'm even getting therapy, and even then, you STILL wanna help me!" I can feel tears brimming my eyes as I try to calm down, but it's so hard to.

[You swore and said we are not, we are not shining stars. This I know, I never said we are.]

"My boy," Yagi sets his glass on the table as he gets up from his seat, stands in front of me and kneels down to my level. "I want to help you because I want to. Everything I've ever done for you has always been to help you and to watch you excel in your goals. Never once have I done anything out of the obligation of being repaid. And I know you know this." His voice is so kind and gentle, it's as if he's talking to a small child, but it doesn't help the anxiety welling up inside. If anything, it's making me feel worse. I don't even stop my tears from falling as a broken sob erupts from deep in my throat.

"But I -sob-...I've been nothing but a burden to you, Yagi! And not just to you, but -sob- to everyone; even with all the help I'm receiving, I'm STILL so useless and weak! And everyone treats me like I'm fragile, but maybe sob, it's because I AM fragile...I can't stand feeling like this!!" I begin to tug on my curls out of anxiousness as the tears keep flowing down my face. I'm so tired of crying like this, but I can't seem to make myself stop.

I feel a big, warm hand reach out and wipe away my tears, and the next thing I know, I'm being pulled into a warm, tender hug; my body held close against the slender but strong torso of my former teacher and a good friend. "Young Midoriya...Izuku...please, don't ever say anything like that about yourself ever, again! None of it is true, do you hear me?" Yagi holds me tighter as he strokes my back tenderly, his fingers threading through my wild green curls. "Izuku, I've never ONCE thought of you as a burden, nor will I ever!"

[Though I've never been through hell like that, I've closed enough windows to know you can never look back.]

He pulls away a bit so he's looking right in my eyes, and I let out a soft gasp when I see tears in Yagi's eyes. I've NEVER seen Yagi cry, before. And yet...he's crying for me? Do I even deserve to have tears shed for?!

"I've never told you this before, Izuku...but ever since the day I agreed to help you pass Yuuei's Entrance Exam, I've always cared about you; in fact...I've always thought of you as my own son." I gasp at this, not even expecting to hear this from my former teacher, my idol, my hero! "R-R-Really, Yagi...?!"

"Yes, really!! I know it's not something a teacher should say to a former student, but I don't care. You've always been like a son to me, Izuku. And even now, just seeing you in so much pain..." A tear manages to slip from his eye, and I want so badly to wipe it away. "I can't stand it!" Yagi pulls me close, again, and just holds me close. "I don't mean to sound desperate or selfish, but please, Izuku, allow me to help you. I'm so sorry for not being there for you when you were hurting most, and I'm so sorry for not noticing the signs, sooner. But if you'll let me, I want to make it up to you. Please allow me to give you what you need and deserve!"

[If you're lost and alone, or you're sinking like a stone, carry on.]

I can't speak or even move, I'm so overwhelmed with emotions; and not just because they're from Yagi, or because those words are very similar to the words Kacchan spoke to me, but because...Yagi just said he thought of me as his own son. I barely even know my own father; I only know as much as what Mom has told me before he left to go overseas for his job. But Yagi....now that I think about it, he really HAS been like my father. Always supporting me, helping me out when I need it, or just being someone for me to talk to and bond with.

It's even more than anything I could ever ask for in a dad, and Yagi has been so much more than my hero, he's been like my DAD!

With more tears streaming down my face, I wrap my arms tightly around Yagi's skinny neck, burying my face into the crook of his neck; soaking his shirt with my salty tears as my body convulses with each wracked, broken sob. Yagi holds me just as tightly, his large hand stroking my back as he rocked slightly; whispering soothing words into my ear.

[May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry on.]

I don't know how many times it will take for someone to tell me how much they care about me and love me, how many times it will take to be told that I'm worth the time and effort being poured into my very existence, but none of that matters to me, right now. Because at this moment, I feel safe and warm in Yagi's(Dad's) arms.

[Carry on, carry on.]

Even if I never stop feeling like a burden to others, at least I know I won't ever have to feel this way alone, ever again. Not while Yagi and everyone else who cares about me is here.

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s POV

Week 2 of therapy, and so far so good.

I agreed to come in once a week, just like Izuku, except his appointments are every Wednesday, while mine are every Thursday, which he seems fine with. We both have therapy after school at 4 PM, though my sessions won’t keep me from spending time with Izuku; I still make sure to walk with him every day after school to his place, hanging out with him for about thirty minutes before leaving for my appointment, but not before making Izuku dinner.

Here I am, sitting in the spacious room with Hana sitting across from me like she did the first time we met. I don’t feel awkward or tense like I did the first time I sat one-on-one with her. Hana’s aura doesn’t make feel like I’m talking to a doctor, but rather, it's more like I’m having a casual conversation with an old friend who I haven’t seen or spoken to in ages, and we’re simply catching up.

I guess that just comes with the job, that or she’s just naturally gifted.

 

-

 

”How have you been, Katsuki? Did anything new happen over the weekend?” Hana asks in her usual soft-spoken tone; sitting casually with a kind smile on her face as she waited patiently for a response. “I’ve been okay; a bit tired, but I’ve been okay. Nothing new going on, just usual stuff at school, and hanging out with Izuku. Oh, but, I did start my part-time job a week ago.”

”Oh, yeah? Where are you working now? If you don’t mind me asking.” She asks with a hint of genuine curiosity.

”Nah, it’s cool. I’m working as a cashier at the 7 Eleven a couple of blocks from where I live. I actually go there a lot, the manager’s seen me enough times; she’s really nice and they were in need of a part-time worker, so she was able to hire me.”

”That’s wonderful, Katsuki! I’m so happy for you!” Hana exclaims happily, quietly clapping her hands in enthusiastic glee. “Anything else you’ve been up to? Any new hobbies or activities?”

I sit there quietly for a bit, trying to think about what I’ve been doing, but nothing came to mind. “I don’t think so...aside from my new job, I guess it’s been same old same old.” I slouch in my spot as I got more comfortable; my hands playing with a loose thread on a rip in my jeans. “Summer vacation is starting soon, and everyone at school’s been busy with studying for exams, but other than that, nothing new.”

Hana nods her head, as she writes something down in her notepad. “I understand. Sometimes it’s hard to do things we enjoy when we’re busy like that. Luckily, though, summer vacation IS right around the corner. Plenty of time to unwind and enjoy yourself!” Then, she leans forward a bit so she’s looking at me right in the eyes, but not in a creepy sorta way.

”Tell me, Katsuki, how have you been feeling, lately? Have the exercises been helping you with your anger and aggression?” I don’t answer her right away; simply slouching more in the couch as I stare at my feet.

I know exactly what she’s referring to.

 

-

 

My first therapy session consisted of Hana doing the same thing with me as she did with Izuku, and having me talk about my personal life, or at least as much as I was comfortable with. Not feeling a need to hide anything, I told her everything: where I came up with the nickname ‘Deku’, my and Izuku’s friendship falling apart, me physically, verbally and emotionally bullying Izuku until just a little over 3 weeks ago, me finding his prescription pills and sending a photo of it to some of my classmates back in middle school, everything.

I didn’t hold anything back; practically spilling my guts out in front of Hana, waiting nervously for her opinion and judgment of me and for her to tell me what a disgusting human being I am.

But no such thing happened. Just like with Izuku, Hana was nothing but patient and understanding with me; never once did she look or sound appalled or angered by my confession. She even told me how proud she was of me for being honest with her; for putting so much effort into righting my wrongs, and assured me she would offer as much help as I would allow.

Based on my long history of aggressive anger, and the fact that I would go from being sympathetic, courteous and humble to being vindictive, volatile and crude, she suspected that I most likely have anger issues and possible Bipolar disorder, and even borderline personality disorder.

She gave me a list of different ‘exercises’ for me to do while at home and during school(and now work) to help me maintain control of my anger. Taking deep breaths; and if needed, counting to 5 in my head between each inhale and exhale, keeping a journal for me to write down my thoughts and why I’m feeling angry or irritated, listening to music to calm me down, or simply just keeping something to use to help me physically relieve my anger, like a stress ball or putty.

Though it may all seem like something past me would scoff at and call it ‘something only whiny, pussy-ass crybabies would use’, I’ll gladly carry around a small cylinder of Play-Doh to take my anger out on(hell, I'll carry around a goddamn fidget spinner, if I have to) if it’ll help me to become a better person for Izuku.

 

-

 

”Yeah, I think so...I started using a journal as you suggested; it seems to help. I even went and got myself some of that moldable sand I’ve seen kids play with...but…” I pause, averting my gaze from hers. “What is it, Katsuki?” Hana asks gently, not trying to push me into finishing my sentence. “...I...I don’t think it’s working…” I feel my ears burning from a blush trying to crease over my features. “Why do you say that?”

I pause to take a deep breath; trying to clear my head before I speak. “Even though I’m doing everything on that list, I still feel angry, irritated and annoyed with people! Don’t get me wrong! With Izuku, I make sure to not lose my temper around him; he’s already had to put up with my fucked up bullshit. That’s the last thing he needs, right now. It’s everyone else that I have a hard time keeping my fucking cool around, even when I do that damn breathing exercise you showed me, all of my classmates and even some of the professors get on my goddamn nerves." Despite the angry irritation I feel welling up in my chest, I make sure to keep my voice down; doing my best not to shout. “I know it all seems like I’m making fucking excuses, but I swear I’m not!”

Hana doesn’t say anything to that, she just nods her head slowly and writes down more notes. “That’s alright, Katsuki.” She says with a smile. “Just like I said about Izuku’s recovery not happening overnight, it’s the same with yours. These things take time; you’ve only just started using other resources and outlets to help combat your anger, without lashing out physically and verbally at others. It’s all a matter of knowing when the best time to internalize your emotions versus externalizing it, as well as knowing what helps you best to keep your anger under control, without closing off your emotions, completely. This is all where the process of anger management comes into play.”

I sit quietly as I listen to her words. Past me would immediately scoff at her words, saying she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and that she’s just talking out of her ass. But now, I actually listen to her. Hana’s here to help me, to help Izuku, and if I want to have any hope of making a change to better myself for him, I need to pull my head out of my ass and hear her out.

”You told me you’ve recently been using a journal, and you also got yourself some moldable sand to help you keep calm, which is good. If I may ask, what do you write about in your journal, Katsuki?” I think back to my journal; I only started using it a week ago, so there wasn’t much in it, yet. But there was enough in it for me to recall.

”...I’ve written about things that piss me off or get on my nerves a lot, and reasons why I think they make me feel that way; whether it’s classmates or other students, professors, total strangers or just stupid random crap, but...I’ve also made sure to write down things that I wanna change about myself...so I won’t be the same person I was when I’d hurt Izuku...I’ve written about some new hobbies I want to try getting into...maybe Izuku would like to try them out with me...and I've even written down some ideas for potential vacation ideas over the break...possibly even doing something together with Izuku...”

It’s when I remain silent for a time that I notice the grin appearing on Hana’s face, almost like she’s just heard a big secret. What is she thinking, right now?

”What? Was it something I said?”

She smiles even wider and says “I just find it amusing that even though this is your therapy session, you seem to be more interested in talking about Izuku.”

My face turns beat red.

”W-Wait! No, i-it’s not-! I-I’m not, it’s, I-I d-don’t-”

”Oh no, no. It’s not that big a deal, really. I didn’t mean it in a bad way. Promise.” She waves her hands out in front of her as if she was trying to backtrack on her earlier statement; realizing I may have interpreted it the wrong way. “I actually think it’s very admirable of you to think about your friend, like that. Most of my patients spend their time with me talking about themselves and their problems; not that it’s a problem, of course, I mean, that’s kinda the point of therapy. But with you, your main focus while there always seems to be revolved around Izuku, and what he thinks and how he feels.” Hana’s grin turns into a soft smile as she leans in a bit, her hands folded in her lap. “You’re very fond of him, aren’t you, Katsuki?”

I remain silent for a moment; processing everything she's told me. “Well, of course, I am...I mean...who WOULDN’T be fond of Izuku? He’s a fucking amazing person! He’s kind, sweet, caring, selfless as fuck and he’s constantly thinking about others, and what THEY want and feel...and,”

I pause, thinking carefully about what I wanna say, next. “he’s so damn passionate. He’s always so determined and driven; always pushing himself to do better, and he always goes above and beyond in everything he does...I’m willing to bet Izuku could definitely be an inspiration to others.”

The room is silent for a time; neither of us saying anything, the ticking of the clock on the wall is the only sound being made. Until Hana closes her notepad and sets it on the coffee table. “You’ve mentioned before that you two have been friends since you were very young. How long have you and Izuku known each other?”

I relax against the couch cushions before I reply. “Yeah, we’ve known each other since we were both practically in diapers; our moms are actually close friends, too, so it’s only natural that both of their kids would grow up to be just as close.” Hana smiles at that. “I see. So you’ve known each other for quite a long time. You’re both the same age, correct?”

”Yeah...well, kinda. I’m nineteen, and Izuku’s still eighte-” I pause mid-sentence, as a thought pops into my head.

...am I forgetting something?

Hana tilts her head slightly; her eyes filled with concern. “Hmm? Something wrong, Katsuki?”

”Uhh, Hana? What’s today’s date?” She stares at me in confusion for a second before checking her phone. “Today’s the 12th. Why do you ask?”

The 12th...of July...?!

Holy fucking shit. Izuku’s birthday is in 3 DAYS!!

”FUCK!!” I jump up from the couch, causing Hana to jolt back a bit, as I gather my things. “I completely forgot what day it was! Oh, uh, Hana, is there any way we could end today’s session early? I know I still have another hour to go, and it’s being covered by the school, but I-” She waves her hand out for me to stop, as she gets up from her own seat, and approaches me with a kind smile. “It’s no trouble at all, Katsuki. I understand. You just go on and take care of what you need to. We can pick this all up next week, so no worries.”

”Awesome! Thanks so much, Hana, you’re a lifesaver!” Hana chuckles at this as she adjusts her glasses. “No need to thank me. Now, off you go! I’ll see you next Thursday.” And with that, I quickly make my way out of the small clinic, and practically sprint down the sidewalk, as I make my way back home so I can figure out what to do for Izuku’s birthday before I go into work.

 

-

 

’I can’t believe I forgot about Izuku’s birthday! How could I be so fucking stupid? I’ve only got 2 days to figure out what the hell I’m gonna do. I don’t even know if he already has any plans, let alone what he’d even want to do if he didn’t. Goddamnit, what am I gonna do?!’

While I continue internally monologuing to myself, I don’t notice my manager Kira standing in the doorway to the break room until I hear her call out to me. “Hey, Bakugou! Your break’s over. I need you to come restock some shelves, okay?”

I startle out of my thoughts at hearing her voice, as I hastily straighten out my work uniform. “Oh, yeah, yeah. Sure thing, Kira!” I quickly make my way to take care of my task, while the lingering thoughts of Izuku’s upcoming birthday keep plaguing my mind.

’Maybe I should just ask him if he has anything going on for his birthday; couldn’t hurt to ask, right? And even if I don’t ask him, I could always ask Auntie. But do I wanna plan a surprise for him, and if so, what kind of surprise?’

Once I finish restocking the shelves in one of the small aisles, I make my way back around the counter to mark my checklist, and to check and see what else needs to be done(while also discreetly looking over my schedule).

’Let’s see...Izuku’s birthday is on Sunday. So luckily, neither of us have school, and I can use my day off tomorrow to plan something special for him-wait, ah FUCK! I have work on Sunday! That won’t work, and I don’t wanna just ask him if he wants to celebrate tomorrow. God fucking damnit! Think, dumbass, think. What can I do?!’

”Hey, Bakugou.” I practically fall off the stool that I’m currently perched on as Kira’s voice calls out my name. “Everything okay? You look like you’re about to bust a blood vessel.” She says as she lets out a chuckle; my face becoming beet red from being called out. Then, a thought comes to mind. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to ask this, especially since I haven’t been working here for that long, but just one time shouldn’t hurt.

Welp, here goes nothing. “Actually, Kira, uh, I was wondering...um, would it be okay if I took Sunday off?”

She looks at me with a somewhat flat gaze; almost half a minute of silence passes over us as I feel myself starting to sweat, and I don’t know whether I should feel nervous or relieved with the silence. Then, she gives me a sideways grin. “Alright, Bakugou. I’ll humor you.” She says almost sarcastically, but with a hint of understanding. “Tell me what’s so important for you to need the day off?” I think for a moment on how I’m going to explain that it’s for my friend’s birthday, and if that even warrants me taking the whole day off.

Taking a deep breath, I look her straight in the eyes and just say it. “The thing is, it’s my best friend’s birthday on Sunday, and I completely forgot about it until today. I wanted to plan something fun for him. I promise I’ll make the hours up, and I won’t ask for another day off, again.” I wait for her to reply; feeling anxious for her answer. I’m half expecting her to flat-out say ‘No’, and tell me that that’s not her problem. Instead, she flashes me a kind smile.

”I get it, Bakugou. That’s no problem with me. And don’t worry about making up the hours; you only get to be young once, right? I’ll just call in Takamura and have him cover your shift. You go and have fun with your pal!”

I just stare at her with my mouth partially agape. I swear this lady is related to Hana; there’s NO WAY anybody’s this laid back and lenient with their employees. Guess I lucked out.

”Awesome! Thanks so much, Kira! I owe you big time!” She waves her hand at me while still smiling at me. ‘Don’t mention it, Bakugou.”

With that out of the way, I get back to work; the weight on my shoulders finally easing up, while being unable to keep the smile off of my face as I brainstorm all the things I want to do for Izuku.

 

-

 

The next day, while sitting in the large library after class, I’ve managed to fill two whole pages in my journal with ideas on what I should do for Izuku’s birthday: a simple home-cooked meal, karaoke, the arcade, or even just a simple get-together. We could even invite his friends to come over and celebrate; and of course, there’ll be cake and presents.

There’s just one problem: his friends all hate me(or at least, they probably wouldn’t feel comfortable with me in their presence).

I could always let Izuku spend part of the day with his friends, and then he and I can have the rest of the day to spend, together. But then there’s Auntie; she might want to celebrate Izuku’s birthday, too. And I can’t just outright tell her to not spend time with her son, and on his birthday, of all days.

Plus, what am I going to do for a present? It’s bad enough that I don’t even know where to begin for celebrating his birthday, but I have no clue what Izuku would want as a gift. Is he still into All Might? Has he grown out of it, and likes something different? What are some new hobbies he likes? What anime and video games does he like, now, if he still even watches anime or plays video games?

Ugh! This is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.

Then, I sit up when I realize something. I quickly pull my phone out and begin texting Auntie, determined to make this happen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katsuki: Hey, Auntie. Quick question: do you know if Izuku is doing anything for his birthday? Do you have anything planned for him?

I wait for a bit; feeling a bit nervous at her answer. Though, I have no idea why(probably because it’s Izuku’s BIRTHDAY). Just then, my phone buzzes, indicating a reply.

Auntie Inko: Hello, Katsuki! I’m not sure what Izuku’s wanting to do, honestly. Actually, he hasn’t once brought up any hints or ideas as far as wanting to do anything. I was planning to bake him a cake, of course, but other than that, not a clue.

Auntie Inko: In fact, it’s been a while since he’s actually asked about wanting to do anything. Though I think he did something last year with his friends, I can’t quite remember what he did.

Katsuki: Oh. I see.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That’s weird. Before, whenever his birthday rolled around, Izuku would become even more giddy, like a kid being locked in a candy store all day. Even as we got older, he always became excited and flamboyant(which I found kinda cute, but would never admit at the time). But now, for Izuku to not even mention anything about wanting to celebrate his birthday, and to Auntie of all people, is a bit unnerving.

So, what could’ve changed?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Auntie Inko: I’m sorry, honey. Wish I could tell you more.

Katsuki: It’s ok, Auntie lol I was just wondering. Wanna plan something nice for him, I might ask him if he has any plans, or if he wants to do anything.

Auntie Inko: Oh, how nice! Well, let me know if you need any help, dear.

Katsuki: I will. Thanks, Auntie. :)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After that, I leave the library and make my way to the Liberal Arts Department to wait for Izuku to finish up with his class, all the while searching online for fun and creative birthday ideas.

While leaning against the brick wall and peering down at my phone, I don’t pay any mind to the people filing out of the building; mostly keeping to myself and ignoring the strange looks I’m getting, only to hear a voice calling out my name. ”Kacchan!” I turn around, only to smile at seeing Izuku’s face; his wild, curly green hair and matching, large green eyes, his round cheeks dotted with adorable freckles; making him look at least 5 years younger, and his smile, dear god his smile is so bright, I’m willing to bet Izuku’s smile could illuminate the whole room. He’s just so...so...

”Kacchan?” Izuku calls out to me, again, and this time, I shake my head and look at him. “Are you alright, Kacchan? You were staring at me.”

I feel a blush cover my cheeks as I rub the back of my neck; trying to play it off like I wasn’t just staring at(or possibly checking out) Izuku a second ago. “Y-Yeah, I’m fine. Sorry about that.” I hear Izuku giggle softly, which causes the heat on my face to spread.

This boy is gonna kill me, I swear!

”It’s okay, Kacchan. Sorry to keep you waiting. Were you here long?” I smile at his concern for me as I adjust the straps of my bag on my shoulders. “No, not at all. I’ve only been here for maybe 5 minutes, or so.” He smiles again at this, and we make our way through the courtyard. While we’re walking, Izuku and I chat about different things, mainly passing back and forth possible plans for summer vacation. Next Friday is the beginning of summer vacation for Yuuei students, and then we don’t return to class until the 3rd of September for the second semester.

I wonder if Izuku would want to do anything, together.

As we pass the front gates, I decided to go ahead and ask him about his birthday. ”Hey, Izuku.” I say after a moment of comfortable silence. Izuku looks up at me with a questioning gaze; waiting patiently for me to continue. “I was wondering if you had any plans for your birthday. Anything special you wanna do, together? Maybe we can have your friends hang out with us.”

It takes about ten seconds before I realize that Izuku has stopped walking, and I end up turning around to find him staring down at his feet. I walk back over to him, but stop when I notice the troubled look on his face; Izuku almost looks afraid to look me in the eyes.

”Hey, Izuku. You okay?” I ask him, feeling a pang of regret at asking him about his birthday, especially if it’s causing him distress. “I’m sorry, Izuku. I didn’t mean anything by that-”

”No, no! It’s okay, Kacchan!” Izuku says finally, looking up at me with wide eyes; waving his hands in front of him. “It’s just...you caught me off guard, is all. I...I uh…” Izuku looks back down at the ground; his hands wringing together. I really hate seeing him like this.

”Izuku,” I say softly; placing my hand on his shoulder. “you know you can tell me anything, right?” Izuku looks unsure for a second, then after a moment longer, he glances up at me with worried eyes. “But, it might make you mad, if I tell you…”

I smile gently at him. “Nothing you could say could ever make me mad, Izuku, I promise. And even if I do get mad, I’ll get over it! So…” I gently stroke his shoulder with my thumb, in an attempt to comfort him. “won’t you please tell me?”

A minute and a half passes before Izuku takes a deep breath, and looks at me. “I...haven’t really made any plans for my birthday. In fact, I can’t really remember the last time I actually got excited about my birthday, let alone celebrated it, aside from a simple get-together with Mom.” I stand there in silence for a bit; not sure how to answer this.

Why wouldn’t Izuku want to celebrate his own birthday? What would make him feel like his birthday isn’t just as important as anybody else’s? Unless....

”Izuku...why wouldn’t you want to celebrate? And, why would I get mad over something like that?” He looks back down before responding. “Because...during middle school, whenever my birthday would roll around, I would usually become excited and happy, even if no one else cared...but, you would always make fun of me for acting like a ‘selfish little kid’ or a ‘big baby’, and you always seemed to bully me even harder on my birthday. So...I stopped getting excited about my birthday.”

I just stood there, completely speechless, but also not surprised at the reason why.

’He stopped celebrating his birthday...because of me. Is there nothing I haven’t done to him to make his life a living hell?’

”Izuku...I’m so sorry. I…” I don’t know what else to say to make this right. What CAN I say? After everything, I’ve done to him, already, and as if to add insult to injury, I had to make him feel bad for being excited or selfish on his birthday. The one day someone should be allowed to be selfish. I really hope he’ll allow me to make it up to him on Sunday.

”Is there anything you would like to do for this year? Whatever you want, just name it, and it’s yours!” I ask him, feeling a bit hopeful that he’ll take me up on my proposal. Though he doesn’t look as worried as before, he still has that uncertain glaze over his eyes. “I, I’m not sure, honestly. I don’t know if my friends will be busy, though I’m sure Mom will at least have cake for me...I don’t really know what I want.”

He remains silent for a second before he looks back up at me with a look of realization “Oh! But, I do remember celebrating my birthday with my friends, last year.” That’s right. Auntie did mention something like this, before.

“Shouto had invited me and the others to go out to his family’s vacation house; he had reserved it for us to use for the whole weekend, even saying we could stay over for all of summer break if we wanted to! It was really big with a hot spring, a big game room, and even an in-home theatre! He had a big feast prepared for us in my honor and even had a giant birthday cake made just for me. I shared it, of course! Haha! But all in all, it was a lot of fun.”

I feel a tinge of irritation at the idea of Half n' Half doing something like that for Izuku; almost like he thinks he's better than everyone else. Better than ME. But I do my best to hide it, as I smile at Izuku. ”Oh, really? That does sound like a lot of fun!” I say with a big smile. “Well, if you DO decide you wanna do something, anything at all, just let me know, okay? I wanna make it up to you, after the way I treated you.”

He smiles brightly at me before nodding, enthusiastically. “Okay, Kacchan!” I chuckle softly before we continue to make our walk back to his place.

The very thought that I’m the reason he doesn’t wanna celebrate his birthday, makes me feel just as horrible as I did when Izuku was hospitalized. For some strange reason, just the mere mention of Half n’ Half’s name, and the thought that he had spoiled Izuku as he did makes my blood boil and my teeth grit hard together. I can’t describe this feeling, but it makes me want to one-up that rich asshole.

’Of course Half n’ Half would flex his money to show Izuku a good time; that fucker probably did it to rub it in my face! Who the fuck does he think he is? I’ll show him! I’m gonna give Izuku the best fucking birthday he could ever ask for!!’

 

-

 

Once I get home, I find Kirishima sitting in the living room playing Halo. He greets me cheerfully over the microphone of his headset, to which I say hi back with a grin. I head straight to my room, get on my laptop and begin searching for anything that Izuku would like to do for his birthday, as well as different ideas for a present. I could always play it safe and get him something All Might-related, but I feel like that’s too easy. I don’t want to get him something that’s an obvious shortcut. I wanna make his birthday special, because HE’S special, damn it, and he fucking deserves to feel that way!

It’s then that something pops up on my screen while I’m browsing random sites, and as I stare at the contents, a giant, Cheshire-like grin spreads over my mouth.

’Yes! This is PERFECT! He’ll love this! I’m certain of it!!’

I check the details and credentials on the site, and somehow I’ve lucked out with my find. ’A bit last minute, but it’s doable!’ After filling out the required information and checking my account to make sure I have enough money to make this happen, I click the checkout button and lean back in my chair, releasing a sigh of relief. I’m still smiling as I’ve just won the fucking lottery. Well, I kinda did, in a way.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katsuki: Hey, Auntie! Good news, I found something perfect to do for Izuku’s birthday.

Auntie Inko: That’s wonderful, Katsuki! What did you find?

I told her what I was planning, and to not tell Izuku. She seems to approve of it.

Auntie Inko: How fun! Don’t you worry, dear, your secret is safe with me! :)

Katsuki: Great! Thank you so much, Auntie!

Katsuki: And also, I have a favor to ask you.

Auntie Inko: Of course, honey. Name it!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-

After that, I make a list of all the things I need to prepare for Izuku’s big birthday surprise, and it’s in that moment I remember something else. Something that causes me to internally cringe and verbally groan.

Even though this surprise is mainly for me and Izuku, I know for a fact he’d want his friends to join in, which I don’t have an issue with, but they’d most definitely have an issue with ME. Well, aside from Pinky; she seems cool with me, but everyone else will refuse to be anywhere near me.

But despite this, I want to make this special for Izuku, and as long as it’s for his sake, I know they’ll drop everything to help out.

With that, I open up Facebook Messenger, scroll through all the contacts until I find Half n’ Half’s profile icon. Jesus, even his profile picture makes him looks so fucking mopey! But that’s not what’s important, right now. I click on his icon, and after a few seconds of staring at the empty message box, I begin typing.

Bakugou Katsuki: Hey.

I wait for a minute; the message just sitting there. I can tell he read it, but there’s no indication of him responding. A minute or two passes when I think he’s not gonna reply, then I see the bouncing ‘...’ icon pop up; indicating he’s typing out a response. I tense up and hold my breath, half expecting him to tell me to leave him alone.

Todoroki Shouto: What do you want, Bakugou?

Okay, not the response I was expecting, but I’ll take it for what it is and not dwell on it.

Bakugou Katsuki: So, Izuku’s birthday is the day after tomorrow.

Todoroki Shouto: Oh, I’m well aware. I’m surprised you actually bothered to remember, considering what a prick you’ve been to him.

Okay, NOW I’m starting to get pissed. I can feel a vein bulge in my temple anger, and I’m about to start typing out insults at Half n’ Half, telling him to shut the fuck up. But I stop and take a few deep breaths(using the breathing techniques Hana showed me), as I try to keep calm.

’Calm down. I need to calm down! I can’t let what Half n’ Half says get to me. I have to stay focused and remember why I’m even doing this: for Izuku. This is for IZUKU!!’

Bakugou Katsuki: Listen, Todoroki, I understand that I’m the last person you probably want to hear from, but this is important. I have a big favor to ask, and it’s about Izuku.

There’s a pause after that, and I think to myself that he’s either left the chat floating to go do something else in another room, or he’s waiting for me to give more context.

Which I do.

Bakugou Katsuki: I’m planning a big surprise for Izuku, and it’s gonna be out of town. We’re gonna be gone for most of the day, but I still have something planned out for him when we get back. I wanted to ask if you and the others could help me out?

Past me would probably wretch at the idea of sending a message like this; he’d probably rather lick a crack addict’s feet than ask Half n’ Half for ANY kind of favors. But right now, I don’t give a shit if I look and sound desperate. This isn’t for me, this is for Izuku, and I’ll keep reminding myself that until it’s all set in stone. There’s another long pause before the typing icon pops up, again.

Todoroki Shouto: I’m listening.

I smile at that; feeling relief wash over me, as I proceed to explain to Half n’ Half what I need him and the others to do.

If all goes well, this will be the best birthday Izuku has ever had in his life. There's no room for cutting corners with this, it's all or nothing!

 

-

 

Izuku’s POV

”Would you like anything to drink, dear?”

I hear Mom call out from the kitchen as I turn my head from the TV to look at her. “Sure, Mom! Some milk, please?” I see her smile brightly as she nods. “Of course, honey. Lunch will be ready soon, so I hope you’re hungry!”

Today’s Saturday, so I decided to spend the day with Mom. It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve been back home; everything looks the same, aside from my old bedroom, which has been turned into a storage space. I asked Kacchan if he wanted to come with me, but he said he had other things to take care of.

It was kinda odd, but I didn’t question him. I figured he wanted me to have some alone time with Mom since it’s been almost a month since I last saw her.

Not since I was brought back home after being hospitalized…

”So Izuku,” Mom says as she places a glass of milk on a coaster in front of me, to which I thank her, as she takes a seat next to me on the couch. “your birthday is tomorrow. How exciting! My little boy is all grown up!”

I smile softly at her before taking a sip from my glass. “Come on, Mom. No need to get all worked up. It’s just my birthday.” I say in a leveled, disinterested voice. “What?! But honey, it’s not ’just your birthday’, it’s MORE than that! It’s such a special day for my little boy!!” I cringe a bit at her shrill voice as I hold my hands out in surrender.

”Okay, okay! I get it! I didn’t mean it, like that. It’s just…”

I notice in the corner of my eye that Mom has calmed down, placing a comforting hand on mine. “Oh, honey. I know your birthday isn’t something you like to talk about. I’m sorry for overreacting.”

”It’s okay, Mom…” I say quietly as I look down at my lap, know exactly what she’s referring to…

 

-

 

From the start of middle school till my sophomore year, I would always come home looking completely dejected and pitiful. Whenever I would even mention it being my birthday, Kacchan would do everything he could to humiliate me and make me feel like I had no right to even have a birthday, let alone celebrate it.

He would do things like steal my indoor shoes and PE uniforms, draw obscene and often ‘phallic’ things on my assignment papers and textbooks, etc. My last year of middle school, he even tricked me into thinking he and the rest of our class had planned a party for me after school; he even went as far as to pass out ‘invitations’ with the address of the party, and everything. After school, I left to go to the location indicated on the birthday invitation, where I waited, and waited, and WAITED, before I realized nobody was coming. The next morning, I arrived at school with my eyes red and puffy from crying all night, only to find Kacchan and the others laughing hysterically at me.

I still remember all of the hurtful things Kacchan had said to me, that day.

'I can’t believe you actually fell for it! You ACTUALLY waited for us to show up?! All fucking night?! WHAT A DUMBASS!!'

All I could do at that moment was lightly laugh along with him; doing my best to keep my tears from falling while everyone joined in on Kacchan’s teasing and mocking.

Even after making so many friends at Yuuei, I stopped getting excited for my birthday, even when my friends insisted on treating me. The only thing I looked forward to, was going home to find a cake and a couple of small gifts from Mom; something as small as that always cheered me up. The last time I had had a ‘real birthday party’ was last year when Shouto had invited me and the others to his family’s vacation home. I never asked for anything from anyone, but he did all that for me, anyway. It really made me feel happy and loved to know my friends care about me as much as they do.

Still, it did very little to erase the dread I always felt when my birthday rolled around. The memories of Kacchan’s pranks and taunts seared into my mind, permanently.

Needless to say, my birthday is probably my least favorite day of the year.

 

-

 

Suddenly, I hear a loud ringing noise sound out from somewhere in the apartment until I realize that it’s the house phone. “Oh! I wonder who that could be? Just one sec, honey.” Mom says to me as she makes her way over to the phone. After she picks it up to answer it, she’s silent for a moment before she gasps.

*Hisashi? Oh my god, Hisashi! It’s been ages since you’ve last called!*

My breath hitches in my throat, and I freeze in my seat at hearing that name.

Hisashi...Midoriya Hisashi...my father.

 

-

 

According to what Mom has always told me, Dad had left to go work abroad before I was even born. He worked as an I.T. specialist for a while, and when Mom became pregnant with me, he was promoted to software developer and transferred to some big-name tech company in New York City. I have never once seen or even met him in person; I’ve only ever spoken to him by phone or Skype, and he would even mail me letters, talking about how things have been going in the states, and saying how much he missed Mom and me.

Despite leaving us behind back home in Japan, Dad made an effort to continue supporting us by sending money every month, even though Mom began working after I started elementary school. I later learned that Mom has been saving the money Dad has been sending to put towards my schooling, which makes sense. Yuuei’s tuition isn’t exactly cheap.

My phone call and Skype conversations with Dad used to be pretty frequent, as in once or twice a month; he even managed to call me on my birthday, saying how he wished he could be there to celebrate with me. But as I got older, his phone calls became less frequent. To the point that the last time I’d spoken to him was just before I turned eleven years old.

I most likely would’ve forgotten what he looked like if it weren’t for Mom showing me photos of him, albeit pictures of Dad slightly younger-looking; appearing to be in his mid-late 20s. I inherited Dad’s freckles and his wild, curly hair texture, but he doesn’t have the same hair and eye color that Mom and I share. Instead, he has dark brown hair and gray eyes. Mom has told me he’s fairly tall; about 5’9’’ or 5’10’’, and has always believed that I’ll become tall just like him.

Despite Mom’s best efforts at keeping me close to Dad, I’ve lost touch with him; while younger me would become excited to talk to Dad at the first chance, current me feels almost no desire to engage with him, and honestly, as bad as it sounds, I wouldn’t feel bad if he stopped contacting us, completely. But Mom refuses to sever ties from or divorce him, and to be honest, a deep part of me still wants to try and rekindle what’s left of our barely-existing relationship.

But I highly doubt that will ever come to fruition, anytime soon.

 

-

 

*How have you been, darling? I was so worried about you, especially after hearing about all the awful things that have been happening over in the states.*

...

*Ah, that’s a relief! I’m so glad you’re safe. Those hurricanes looked so terrifying, especially since you live so close to that area!*

...

*Oh, Izuku? Yes, he’s doing great! He’s studying at Yuuei, isn’t that awesome?*

I internally cringe at the mention of my name; while I don’t particularly mind Mom fawning over me to others(at least, not recently), hearing her talk about me to Dad makes a shiver crawl down my spine.

Then, she says it.

*Oh, Did you want to talk to him?*

Crap!

*Of course! He’s right here. Just a sec, dear!*

Then she brings me the phone, whispering to me “It’s your father!”, and says that he’s excited to speak to me...which I doubt. If he truly missed me, then he wouldn’t have waited 8 YEARS to contact me, again!

*H-Hi, Dad…*

*Hello, son. It’s good to hear from you, again. I was beginning to think you forgot about me. How have you been, Izuku?*

I mentally scoff at the way he said that; like it’s MY fault for the lack of communication between the two of us. I don’t even know his PHONE NUMBER, how does he expect me to contact him?! The nerve!

*I’ve...been fine, Dad. Just...busy with school, is all.*

*Ah, yes. Your mother was just telling me about you studying at Yuuei. That’s wonderful, son. Part of me was worried you would end up at a poor-level school, and honestly, I didn’t think Yuuei would be right for you, but you've proven everyone wrong, it looks like. Congrats!*

I try my best not to squeeze the phone; my teeth gritting behind my lips as I try to keep my voice from sounding annoyed and hostile. ’He sounds so astonished at the fact I actually managed to get accepted into Yuuei. Sure, Yagi said something similar to that, but at least he didn’t sound smug and certain about my potential failure. Does Dad doubt me that much?!’ *Y-Yeah, it is...I’m d-doing really great at s-school…*

*I see you haven’t broken your stuttering habit, yet. You really should do something about that, if you’re attending a prestigious school like Yuuei; it might make you look unconfident or even unprofessional.*

He even has the nerve to FRICKIN’ CRITICIZE ME?! Does he have anything else to say to me besides that? At this point, I’m visibly trembling with anger and frustration, and I don’t even care if Mom notices.

I just want this phone call to end, already!

*So...how have you been, Dad? Anything new going on?*

*Oh, no, everything’s been the same as always. Things have been quite hectic around here, though, with work becoming busier by the minute. Not to mention that Trump guy doesn’t seem to have all his ducks in a row. What a strange man! Hahaha. Anywho, has anything new been going on with you, son? Are you still friends with that boy? Hope he’s not getting himself into trouble.*

Now, I’m starting to get pissed. And this time, I don’t even try to hide the disdain from my voice.

*Katsuki, Dad. The boy’s name is Bakugou. Katsuki!*

”Izuku…” I ignore Mom’s soft but warning tone as I begin to raise my voice into the phone.

*Izuku. There’s no need to speak to me in that tone of voice. I simply asked you a question. Don’t tell me this attitude of yours is a result of that Bakugou boy? You really shouldn’t hang around people like him; he sounds like a bad influence to me.*

Oh, that does it.

*How can you even say that about Kacchan when you barely even KNOW him!? You have no right telling me who I should or shouldn’t hang out with, when you’ve barely been in my life!*

”Izuku! What has gotten into you?”

I don’t even care what Mom says to me, as I let my frustration take over. Is this how Kacchan feels, constantly? I can’t imagine feeling this way for one minute, let alone on a daily basis.

*Young man. Don’t speak like that; it’s rude. I am your father, and I simply want what’s best for you.*

*I’m being rude?! You’re the one who basically said that I had little to no chance of getting into any school, let alone Yuuei, and that you basically doubted me. You have the absolute NERVE to tell me what to do, when you have no idea what’s been going on in my damn life!! Do you even know what has happened within the last few weeks, months, even?!*

*I understand that you’re angry, Izuku. And I understand that what I said wasn’t the most appropriate thing to say, and I apologize for that. And to answer your question, no, I believe I have yet to be informed of any recent news regarding you or your mother. Care to enlighten me?*

I scoffed at his words. Of course, he wouldn’t know what has happened. I doubt he ever has, or that he would care. As best as I could; while gritting my teeth, I calmly told Dad the news.

*Almost a month ago, I tried to commit suicide by overdosing on my prescription pills.*

Silence passes over us, except for the audible gasp Mom makes at hearing me tell Dad about my suicide attempt. I guess she wasn’t expecting me to tell Dad the truth, so soon. But it’s what he says to me in reply that makes my blood boil and my stomach coil.

*Sorry that you feel that way, son.*

I. Am. Speechless.

My hands are shaking, my breath is caught in my throat and I can feel pressure behind my eyes at the words I have just heard come out of my own father’s mouth.

*...That’s it? That’s all you have to say to me; to your own son?! ’SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY’?!*

I shove the phone back into Mom’s hand before storming out of the living room, angry tears in my eyes as I went into the bathroom and slam the door shut behind me; ignoring Mom calling out to me. I slide down to the ground with my back against the door; drawing my knees close to my chest as I try to control my rapid heartbeat. Hot tears pouring from my eyes as I can hear Mom’s frantic voice on the other side, trying to explain the situation to Dad over the phone.

I cannot believe that my own father; my own fucking FATHER, would say something so cavalier; so casual; so disinterested to me after hearing that his only son had tried to commit suicide. I didn’t say it so I could gain sympathy from him, or from anyone for that matter, I said it because, despite him barely being apart of my life, I believe Dad has a right to know what’s been going on in his child’s life. Instead of saying something like ‘What happened?’ or ‘How did this happen?’ or ‘Are you okay?’, all he could say to me was ’Sorry that you feel that way’.

After I was sure that Mom had gotten off the phone with Dad, I quickly wipe my eyes and slowly make my way out of the bathroom; ready to face the music.

I find Mom sitting in the living room, waiting for me. As soon as she saw me, she got up quickly from her seat and makes her way towards me; her face filled with worry and a mix of confused frustration. “Izuku! Why did you say all of those things to your father?!”

I shoot her a glare. “Did you not hear what he had said to me? I just told Dad that I had attempted suicide, and all he said was ‘sorry that you feel that way, son’! That’s all he could say to me!!” More tears are spilling out as I’m unable to control myself. “As if it’s bad enough that he hasn’t contacted us for almost a DECADE, but he actually had the nerve to say that to me!!”

Mom is taken aback by my sudden outburst; never has she seen or heard me so angry, before. Hell, I’VE never heard myself sound so angry. But the truth of the matter is, I AM angry!

”Izu...I know you’re upset, sweetie, but you need to calm down, and just take a deep bre-”

”’Calm down’? Dad just spoke to me like I had just been rejected by my crush; not even bothering to ask if I’m okay, and you want me to fucking CALM DOWN?!”

Mom looks absolutely stunned. I’ve never cussed like this before, but right now, I don’t care. I’ve never felt so angry and hurt in my entire life; not even all the things Kacchan has done have ever made me feel this enraged.

”And then he had the fucking GAUL to tell me who I should and shouldn’t have as friends when he hasn’t even MET them?! Who in the hell does that bastard think he is?! Mom, I don’t understand why you’re still married to someone like him when you deserve better than some deadbeat, like him!!”

”MIDORIYA IZUKU!!!”

I violently flinch at Mom’s sudden temper flare-up. It’s very rare seeing Mom so angry; I often forget how patient she is, so to hear her shout like that was a huge shock to me.

”Don’t you DARE speak like that, ever again! You hear me?!” Mom’s face is twisted in anger, but she does her best to remain calm; her voice not as loud, but still just as rage-filled.

I hate seeing Mom like this, and I’M the one who did this.

”I understand that what your father said has upset you, and I agree that that was absolutely uncalled for, but you will NOT speak of your father, or anyone, in such a manner while in MY home! And I don’t ever want to hear you suggest something like the both of us separating, ever again! And in case you’ve forgotten, Izuku, it’s the money that that ’deadbeat’ has been sending us that has allowed you to attend Yuuei, at all!”

The room is silent, now, and all I can do is look down at the ground; averting her hard gaze, as I take in everything that she’s told me. My anger and frustration leaving my body, is now replaced with self-disgust and regret.

I feel so ashamed. I may be angry at Dad for what he’d said, and while this doesn’t change how I feel about him, that doesn’t excuse my behavior. And for me to suggest that he and Mom get a divorce all because I’m feeling petty and spiteful, I feel sick to my stomach! Mom’s right; if it weren’t for Dad’s earnings from his high paying job, the topic of attending Yuuei wouldn’t even be up for discussion. And even if I work hard to pay off my debts all on my own, it would take over a decade to do so.

And I may not feel the same love towards him that I feel for Mom, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s still my father, and he’s the only one I’ll ever have (even though I now see Yagi as a father).

Mom takes a few deep breaths; her face no longer red with anger, as she looks back at me with more calm looking eyes after taking note of how visibly shook up I am.

”Izuku…” Mom walks closer until we’re about a foot apart, and places her hand on my cheek. This causes me to flinch like I’m expecting her to hit me, which is completely ridiculous. Mom has NEVER once used physical violence on me in my entire life, so why would now be any different?

”I'm sorry for raising my voice at you, honey. And I'm sorry for what I said earlier about your father's earnings being the reason you're able to go to school. I know that you’ve been through a lot in the past years; having to live your entire childhood without a father-figure in your life, and I know you and your father didn’t have the best relationship, to begin with."

She continues to wipe away stray tears from my face while trying to keep her own at bay. "Just know this, Izuku, that everything your father has done; everything he’s been doing, has always been for his family. It may not seem like it right now, but I promise you he’s doing his best. He loves you, Izuku, and there’s not a thing in this world that would ever make him love you any less. I'm so sorry for not telling him about your suicide attempt, sooner. You were right to be upset about that, honey. I just...I didn't think it was my place to tell him something so personal and traumatic, and I felt that I should let you tell him, first...if you want me to, Izuku...I can call him back, and explain to him what's been happening. I know he'll understand if he knows the whole story. I'll even make him apologize to you, properly, that's a promise.”

Tears of shame and guilt are now pouring from my face as Mom pulls me into a tight but gentle embrace, while I bury my face into her shoulder. “I-I’m, sob I’m s-sorry, Mom! sob I’m so sorry!!”

She holds me tightly as I continue to sob; her fingers threading through my hair while her other hand stroked my back soothingly, her soft voice shushing me while she cries her own silent tears. “No, baby. I’m the one who should be sorry! I didn’t mean to make you cry. I love you so much, Izuku, please forgive me!”

”I, sob I love you, too, Mom.”

We stay like that for almost five minutes; just crying and holding each other while Mom continues to sob out apologies and 'I love you's, until finally, she pulls away from me, but not letting go of me. Her face is puffy and red from crying, as is mine, as she gently wipes my tears away with her thumb. “I won’t force you to mend your relationship with your father; it’s not my place to do so. But maybe, once things cool down between you two, perhaps you could try talking with him, again, and let him know how you've been feeling. If you want to, that is.”

I smile at her, still sniffling and drying my eyes. “Yeah...I can try. I’m sorry, Mom, for saying such awful things, earlier.” Mom smiles back at me, before hugging me, again. “I’m sorry, too, sweetie.” She says before kissing me on the cheek.

After that, we sit at the dining table; the air not so thick and heavy anymore, while we enjoy the curry and rice Mom had made for lunch. While eating, I remember something. “Oh, hey Mom.”

Although I don’t really like talking about my birthday, much less making plans for it, I at least enjoy doing things with Mom. But as I say this, she suddenly looks...taken aback? Kinda like I’ve just revealed some big secret I wasn’t supposed to know.

”Oh, that sounds lovely, Izuku, but I uh...I, I have work, tomorrow! Yeah, that’s it!” I quirk my eyebrow confusingly at this. “You have work? But Mom, it’s Sunday, tomorrow…”

”Oh, I know! But someone screwed up some very important documents in the office, the other day, and they need some of us to come in tomorrow to fix them.”

”Oh. I see...” I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed, even though I know this is for work. “Oh, but don’t worry, honey! I’ll make sure to be out by at least 7 or 8 tomorrow evening, so we can do something, then! I’ll even make a cake! What do you say?” She has a huge grin on her face; her face positively beaming, which I find kinda strange, but I just smile and nod my head. “Yeah! That sounds fine!”

With that, we finish our meal, and I offer to help with the dishes since she’s the one who cooked. While placing the dirty dishes in the sink, I hear my phone go off, indicating a text message. I take out my phone, smiling when I see it’s from none other than Kacchan.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kacchan: Hey nerd! :)

Izuku: Hey, Kacchan!! What’s up?

Kacchan: Nothin’ much lol just running a few errands. How’s Auntie doing?

Izuku: She’s great! ^^ I’ll tell her you said hi.

Kacchan: Awesome! Hey Izuku, do you have any plans for tomorrow? I know I asked you already lol just wanted to make sure.

Izuku: Uh no? Lol not really. Mom has to work till late tomorrow, but she said she would try to get off in time so we can do something, together.

Kacchan: Oh ok lol so you have no other plans?

Izuku: Nope lol

Kacchan: Sweet, cause I have something planned out for you. Well, it’s more for the both of us lol but it’s mostly for you.

Izuku: Oh ok! What is it?

Kacchan: I can’t tell you now, goober lol that’ll ruin the surprise!

Izuku: Lol okie dokie!

Kacchan: Great! :) Make sure you’re ready to leave by 4, ok?

Izuku: Huh?? 4? As in, 4 in the MORNING?!

Kacchan: Yep

Izuku: Why so early, Kacchan??

Kacchan: Surprise lol :p

Izuku: Lol ok Kacchan. 4 a.m. it is. Do I need to bring or wear anything specific?

Kacchan: Actually yes. Make sure you wear a hat and some comfortable walking shoes, like sneakers. And bring sunscreen!

Izuku: Oh ok? Lol Will do! ^^

Kacchan: :) I’ll come pick you up in the morning. See ya then, nerd!

Izuku: See ya Kacchan!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After finishing the dishes, I join Mom on the couch so we can watch TV and just enjoy each other’s company. I can’t help but wonder what Kacchan has planned out for us, for me. ’He wants me to be ready by 4 AM? Why so early? And he wants me to bring sunscreen? Maybe we’re going to the beach. Sounds like fun! But if that’s the case, why does he want me to wear sneakers, and not flip flops or swimming trunks?’

Guess I’ll just have to wait till in the morning to find out.

 

-

 

I wake up at 3:30 AM the next morning so I can start getting ready.

Today’s my nineteenth birthday. Though I don’t feel any different than I did when I was eighteen, I doubt this will make me look any older. Hell, I’ll probably still be rocking a baby face even after I turn thirty!

I quickly take a shower, brush my hair and teeth and get dressed. I have on a plain T-shirt with a short sleeve plaid button-up shirt over it, and a pair of dark jean shorts(making sure they cover up the scars on my thighs). I make sure to grab a hat, which is a snapback cap with the All Might logo on it, and I even packed a backpack with a couple of bottles of water, a camera, my phone charger, wallet, and keys, and I even went out and bought a new bottle of sunblock.

After eating a quick breakfast of toast and milk, I check the time and see that Kacchan will be here any minute, so I decided to just hang out in the living room until he arrives. I’m half expecting texts to pop up on my phone from my friends wishing me a happy birthday. I feel a little bad because I didn’t even think to invite the others to come with us. Then again, Kacchan is the one treating me, so it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to just ask them to come when this is Kacchan’s surprise for me. Plus, they’re all probably asleep, still.

A few minutes later, I hear the doorbell ring, and I quickly get up to answer the door; already knowing who’s on the other side.

“Hey, Izuku!” Kacchan greets with a smile. “Morning Kacchan!” I say with my big smile. I take note of his outfit for the day: Kacchan’s wearing a black tank top, cargo shorts, and converse. A backward cap sits on his head, he has his own bag strapped across his torso and he even has a pair of sunglasses dangling from his shirt collar. “Ready to go, birthday boy?” Kacchan asks with a wink, which causes me to blush. “Y-Yeah! You bet, Kacchan!”

Kacchan leads us to the train station, where he buys us both something to eat before we board the train.

First, we take the JR Tokaido Line to get to Tokyo Station, which according to my ticket, will take about 2 and a half hours(that explains why Kacchan wanted us to leave so early). Once we arrive at Tokyo Station, we’ll get on another train, which will take about twenty minutes, and then we’ll arrive at our destination...wherever the heck THAT is! Kacchan has yet to give me any kind of hint or idea as to where he’s taking me. There’s only so many places that require us to get there via train, but I’m too nervous(and excited) to think about the possibilities.

 

-

 

After only thirty minutes of riding the train, I glance over at Kacchan who’s sitting right next to me; he’s sitting in the window seat, while I’m in the aisle seat, his head leaned back against the headrest with his eyes closed, earbuds in his ears and I can hear him lightly snoring. While Kacchan sleeps, I take the time to take in his features:

Light ash blonde spiky hair; smooth, lightly tanned skin; behind closed eyelids are gorgeous crimson eyes that seem to look more like rubies that sparkle in the sun. When Kacchan doesn’t have a scowl on his face(which is almost rare), he actually looks so relaxed; soft even, and it just makes him look even more handsome than he already is. And when Kacchan smiles; whether it’s a cocky smirk or a genuine smile, I’m almost blinded by it. Add it all together with well-toned muscles....am I a pervert for ogling Kacchan, like this?!

Suddenly, as if he could sense he was being stared at, Kacchan peeks at me from the corner of his eye, which causes me to lightly gasp and lean away from him; playing it off like I hadn’t just been checking my best friend out while he slept. “Ahh! S-Sorry, K-Kacchan!! I-I didn’t mean to disturb you while you were s-sleeping!” I stutter out as I cover my face with my hands; my face must be as red as a tomato at this point. Kacchan simply flashes an amused grin while he chuckles at my display. “No worries, nerd. I was just waking up.”

Taking his earbuds out, Kacchan glances at his phone to check the time. “Still got another hour and a half before we get there. Won’t be much longer.”

Another hour and a half till we get there? Get WHERE?! Ugh, I can’t STAND not knowing!!

”Kacchan, where are we going? Can’t you give me some sort of hint, at least?” He simply smiles cheekily and says “You’ll see.” before putting his earbuds back in his ears and lolling off to sleep, again. I reluctantly drop it and pull my own phone out so I can listen to some of my own music.

May as well keep myself busy until we arrive.

 

-

 

”Hey. Hey, Izuku! Wake up!” I hear Kacchan’s voice call out to me as I feel him nudging me awake. I’d somehow fallen asleep, myself; don’t know how long I was out long enough. “Ngh, uh. Huh?” I look around while still in a sleep-induced daze as Kacchan pats my arm. ”We’re almost at our stop.” I rub my eyes sleepily as we reach the station. Once we’re off the train, Kacchan and I take a quick restroom break, grab something to drink then get onto the next train on the JR Keiyo Line, which will take us to Maihama Station; luckily this train ride will only take about twenty minutes.

Again, I’m at a complete loss as to where Kacchan is taking us; it honestly feels like we’re going in circles. It also doesn’t help that as the ride progresses, I can’t help but notice the big smile plastered on his face. Just as I’m about to ask Kacchan for the fiftieth time where in the hell he’s taking me, the voice over the intercom calls out to indicate that we’re reaching our stop.

Once we get off, we then get on a bus(jeez, how many times are we gonna be riding on transportation before we get to the ‘surprise’?), and we’re silent for a time…

Until…

*Next stop: Tokyo Disney. Next stop: Tokyo Disney.*

’...Huh? W-Wait...did...did I just hear that right…?’

Then, Kacchan turns to me with a giant smile on his face before saying “This is the surprise: a fun, stress-free trip to the happiest place on Earth: Tokyo Disney! Happy Birthday, Izuku!”

I was so overwhelmed with happiness and joy that I completely forgot I was supposed to get off the bus with Kacchan. Tears of happiness brimming my eyes as I tried to find the right words to say, but just couldn’t. Not that it was necessary; my expression must have been enough, judging by the way Kacchan kept smiling at me.

’Kacchan really did all of this just for me? I really wasn’t expecting anything like this. I don’t know if anything can top this!’

”Welp, let’s go have some fun, birthday boy!”

Chapter Text

Izuku’s POV

Of all the things I was expecting for my birthday, THIS was not one of them!

Tokyo Disney! Of all the places Kacchan could bring me, THIS was definitely not what I expected! I’m so overwhelmed and in shock, I can hardly form any words, coherently.

”Ka-Kacchan! I c-can’t believe you-you brought me to T-Tokyo Disney for my birthday!! This is so…s-so…!”

Kacchan looks at me with furrowed brows; a hint of worry shadowing his features. “Do you...not like it…?” My eyes widen at that. That’s the last thing I wanted to hear him say, cause it’s not true. “N-No, no!! I DO like it! That-That’s not what I meant, Kacchan! It’s just that...this is way too much, and just for my birthday? You really didn’t have to do all of this…I can’t even imagine how much these tickets must have cost...”

I feel like an ungrateful jerk for saying all this, but I can’t help it. I almost feel like I don’t even deserve any of this. What have I done to deserve such an amazing gift? And from Kacchan, of all people.

”You’re right. I didn’t have to do any of this…”

Kacchan says in a deep, flat tone of voice. It almost made him sound like his old self.

”H-Huhh?!” I’m shocked by what Kacchan said, and honestly, I’m a little hurt by it. Now, I REALLY feel like an ungrateful jerk! But just before I can say that I’m sorry for saying what I did; with tears starting to brim my eyes, I see Kacchan smile fondly at me. “But guess what? I wanted to do this. And I wanted to bring you somewhere special for your birthday. And that’s all that matters!”

My eyes widen at this, and a giant smile spreads on my face. His words sound so much like the words Yagi had said to me the Friday after I came back to school. I feel my heart warm at the fond memory. “Thank you so much, Kacchan!!” Tears of happiness are now spilling out, as Kacchan huffs out a playful sigh and pats my shoulder. “Come on, you nerd, let’s get going!” He says as he reaches for my hand and practically drags me towards the entrance. I feel a blush forming, not just because of what Kacchan had said, but also because…he’s holding my hand!!

Once we get inside, Kacchan shows the lady behind the counter something on his phone. Upon closer inspection, it actually has our ticket information on it; Kacchan must have purchased our tickets online. Once the barcodes are scanned and approved, she stamps the back of our right hand; a friendly smile on her face and tells us to have fun.

Even just walking into the World Bazaar, I feel the same jittery excitement I felt on my first day at Yuuei. I can’t help but bounce on the balls of my feet, moving like a Gazelle as we walk down the large walkway; other people chatting and enjoying themselves.

For a moment, I completely forget about the things Dad had said to me, yesterday.

”So, uh, what should we do first, Kacchan?” I ask after a moment of comfortable silence(or as much silence as we’re able to have with the sound of squealing, giggling children running around) passes over us. Kacchan looks at me, still smiling, as he shrugs his shoulders.

”Whatever you want, Izuku. It’s your birthday, and this trip is all about you. Whatever you wanna do or see, you call the shots!”

I smile a big toothy smile at that; my heart swelling with so much happiness, it almost hurts. “Okay, Kacchan! Well, for starters…” I scratch the back of my head and laugh a little. “we should probably get a map, first.”

I guess Kacchan didn’t think that far ahead, because he stops dead in his tracks, and is now brandishing a sheepish look on his face, which causes me to laugh. “Oh, yeah. I guess you’re right, huh?”

After that, we head inside one of the bakery shops in the World Bazaar to get something to eat(FYI, the raspberry and cream cheese crepes are to DIE FOR!!). Once we finish, I decide that we should start from the left, and make our way around the park. This means the first stop would be Adventureland, and I already know what ride I want us to go on first: Pirates of the Caribbean!

 

-

 

By the time noon rolls by, I’ve lost track of how many rides and attractions we’ve gone on, or how many Disney characters we’ve met, but I didn’t care. I’m having the time of my life!

We went on all kinds of fun rides; from Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, to Big Thunder Mountain in Westernland, and the list goes on! And the best part: we hardly had to wait in ANY lines, thanks to the Fast Pass Kacchan had gotten for us before arriving, so at most, the longest we had to wait to get on a ride was about 10 minutes. Everything was so much fun here, even Kacchan looked like he was having a great time, even if he wasn’t expressing it in the same boisterous manner I was; and I couldn’t help but notice the fond smile he would give me whenever I would express my excitement to him.

After we get done with Splash Mountain, Kacchan suggests we go somewhere for lunch, so we stop at a small kiosk and have some pizza with cold drinks. While enjoying my food, I notice a young boy with his father. The boy, who looks to be about 4 or 5 years old, is smiling and laughing with joy as he meets with someone dressed as Mickey Mouse, the dad smiling at seeing his son so happy.

I feel my heart swell at seeing that, and part of me really wishes Yagi was here. Though I know Kacchan was probably only able to afford tickets for the both of us, he most likely intended for this trip to be just for us. Still, the thought of Yagi being here and having fun with us makes me wish he was here. Yagi has been so much more than my idol and my teacher; he really is like a father to me...even more so than my own father…

Just then, the memory of my conversation with Dad from yesterday, and all the things he said to me surges through like an overflowing river. I feel my breath hitch; my throat becoming tight, and my eyes burning with unshed tears.

’Why? How could he say all those things to me and be okay with himself? And just before my birthday, of all days?’

’Sorry that you feel that way, son.’

”Izuku?” I’m pulled out of my thoughts with a start as I hear Kacchan’s voice calling out to me. I look over to him, he’s looking at me with concern. “Hey. Are you okay? You were spacing out, for a moment there.”

I don’t answer Kacchan, right away, as I try to get my breathing under control. I feel my ears beginning to burn with embarrassment as I rub my eyes with the back of my hand(the one without the stamp on it). “Y-Yeah. I uh...I’m fine, Kacchan…” I lie, even though I know Kacchan will probably be able to tell.

And I’m right.

”Izuku,” He says softly, scooching his seat closer to mine. I’m a bit surprised that he hasn’t started yelling at me for lying; that’s always been something Kacchan has hated. Instead, he speaks as if he were talking to a small child. “I can tell something’s wrong. You were so happy and carefree a moment ago, and now you look like you’ve just seen a ghost. You sure you’re okay?”

At first, I want to keep my mask up and try and convince Kacchan that I’m fine; I don’t want to ruin our trip by acting all scared and worried. I’ve been doing so well with not letting my anxiety take over. But I know that that won’t work. If I want to make myself better, and if I want to mend my relationship with Kacchan, I have to be honest.

”I...I was thinking about something that happened, yesterday...while I was visiting Mom.” I say barely above a whisper while looking down at my now cold pizza; unable to look Kacchan in the eyes.

Kacchan seems surprised by this as he presses on with trying to get me to open up. “What happened at your mom’s place? Is everything okay?”

”Oh no, nothing bad happened. It’s just...my, my dad called us...he...it’s been 8 years since I’ve last heard from him.” Kacchan takes note of my mood drop, and carefully asks me “Do you wanna talk about it?”

I look up at him, and for a moment, I’m a little scared to tell him, especially after what Dad had said to me. Taking a deep breath, I tell Kacchan about what happened, yesterday.

”Dad...he, he and I don’t really have a close relationship. I’ve never actually met him since he’s been away from home due to work for my entire life…” Kacchan nods his head and says “I remember you saying something like that, before. I think we were both still in grade school, at that time.”

”Yeah. And like I said, yesterday was the first time in 8 years that I’ve heard from him. It’s like he couldn’t even put any time aside to give his wife and only son a call, even if it was just for maybe 5 minutes. Or maybe...he just didn’t want to. And…he…” My bottom lip begins to wobble a little as I recall those hurtful words Dad said to me before our conversation abruptly ended(well after I stormed off into the bathroom). Kacchan notice this and places a comforting hand on my forearm.

”You don’t have to tell me, Izuku; not if it makes you uncomfortable.” I shake my head; trying to still myself for what I would tell him. Kacchan knew as much about my dad as I did, which was a very small amount, but he also knew the reason why he had to leave us. I trust Kacchan enough(especially in recent days) to tell him everything that had happened between us.

“Dad said such terrible things about you, Kacchan! He said that you were a bad influence on me. I got so angry with him, and basically told him off, right in front of Mom! H-He said he just wants what’s best for me. He’s barely been in my life, and he had the NERVE to tell me what he believes is best for me? He even told me he didn’t believe I would have been able to get into Yuuei, or ANY school, for that matter! It was in that moment that I...I-I told him about my suicide attempt...”

Kacchan’s eyes widened in shock at this, but then he relaxed slightly, as he strokes my forearm with his thumb, as a comforting gesture. “What did he say after you told him?” I feel tears threatening to fall, but I refuse to let them. I look Kacchan in the eyes, and with as much confidence as I can muster, I tell him what my own father had told me.

”He said…’Sorry that you feel that way’.”

We’re both silent; neither of us say a word as the air suddenly becomes heavy around us. I’m waiting for Kacchan to explode with rage and start shouting about what a despicable piece of shit my dad is.

”Holy shit...Izuku, I, that’s fucking horrible.” Not as explosive as I was expecting, but I can tell Kacchan’s very angry, albeit not as loud as it normally would be. “I’m so sorry that happened. I wish I was there so I could’ve put that bastard in his place.”

I giggle a little at that; the idea of Kacchan angrily shouting into the phone and telling Dad off with his special brand of colorful vocabulary makes me feel a little better, though I’m kinda glad he wasn’t there for all that. Mom was angry enough with just me saying those things about Dad, and Kacchan being there would’ve made things worse.

”I’m sorry, Kacchan…” I can’t help but to apologize, especially after what Dad had said about him, despite some of it being true. “You don’t have anything to be sorry for, Izuku. Your dad’s the one who’s an asshole! He’s complete scum for even saying something like that to you.”

”Yeah…” I never should have brought up my dad to Kacchan; not while we’re supposed to be having fun on my birthday. Now I feel like I’ve just ruined our fun time, here. Just then, I feel myself being pulled into a side hug; Kacchan holding me close while he ruffles my hair with his free hand.

“Hey, you know what? Screw him! He’s a piece of shit, anyway! He’s not even worth the time of day!” He says while looks at me with a big grin on his face. “Anybody who can’t even be bothered to get to know their own child more, let alone to even stay in touch with them more often, is a total loser! Your dad lost his chance at seeing what an amazing person you’ve become, and I betcha he’s gonna eat his words when you graduate from Yuuei and go on to make your dreams a reality!!” I can tell Kacchan’s trying to cheer me up with what he’s saying. And weirdly enough...it’s actually working. I feel a thousand times better, now, and hopefully, I can keep those thoughts of Dad out of my mind for the rest of the day. Hopefully for the rest of my life.

At least, until he and I can try to talk things out. But even then, I stand by my decision to cut ties with him, completely. I may love him like I always have as a child, but I just don’t see my father like I used to, anymore. Hell, I don’t know if I even want to call him ‘Dad’, anymore; as disrespectful as it may be, I don’t care. That title goes to Yagi, now.

”So no more frowning, okay Izuku? This is your special day! We’re in Tokyo Disney, for fuck’s sake! Let’s have some more fun!!” I flash a toothy smile at that. “Yeah! Let’s go meet some more characters, Kacchan!!”

Kacchan smiles back at me, seemingly satisfied that he was able to cheer me up. “Hell yeah! Who do you wanna meet, next?”

”GOOFY!!!”

 

-

 

We continue on our fun-filled Disney adventure as we make our way through the park. After a while, I was finally able to clear my mind of all thoughts plagued with anything involving Dad; Kacchan made sure of it.

We rode on even more rides, ate all kinds of tasty food and got to meet tons of people dressed up as different Disney characters; they even had someone dressed as All Might(even though he’s not a Disney character, it was still a cool thing to see)! I even convinced Kacchan to buy a pair of Mickey ears with me so we could match; he was reluctant about it, but he was still a good sport about it(and I could tell he was secretly into it).

And of course, I made sure to take tons of pictures with the camera that I had brought. Most of the pictures were miscellaneous; random photos of the different attractions and scenery, others were of either Kacchan, me or the both of us, with a random stranger who was more than happy to take the picture of us, together. Kacchan even took some of his own pictures with his phone; wanting to have his own collection, he claimed

All in all, this has to be probably the best birthday, ever. And it’s all thanks to Kacchan.

 

-

 

Normal POV

It was 4 PM by the time Katsuki and Izuku decide to leave the park.

Not wanting to arrive back home late at night, they got onto the next train at Maihama Station and were expected to make it back home just after 7 PM. While Izuku is looking over the pictures he’d taken throughout the day, he couldn’t help but to catch Katsuki typing away on his phone; seemingly absorbed in whatever he was doing.

”Everything okay, Kacchan?” Izuku asks, simply out of curiosity. “Oh. Yeah, yeah, everything’s fine. Just letting my parents know that we’ll be back in a few hours. You know how the old hag gets when I don’t text her right away; she’d probably end up having a conniption if I don’t text or call her every 10 minutes!” Katsuki laughs at this, which causes Izuku to softly giggle along with him.

”So,” Katsuki says after calming down from his laughter. “did you have fun today, Izuku?” The latter turns to face his best friend with big, bright green eyes and the widest grin Katsuki’s ever seen. It was as if he was looking at four-year-old Izuku, all over again. “Yes!! It was so much fun! I’ve never been to Tokyo Disney, before, so this was such an amazing treat and an amazing birthday! Thank you so much, Kacchan!!”

Katsuki smiles at Izuku’s excited and child-like demeanor. “That’s good. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, Izuku.”

Izuku turns back to his camera, looking at the pictures with the same bright, giddy smile on his face. Meanwhile, Katsuki goes back to checking his phone; Izuku doesn’t pay any mind, though, thinking he must be checking on something, or just playing on his phone.

”So Izuku, you ready for finals?” Katsuki asks after a few minutes of comfortable silence passes over them. “Oh, uh yeah. I think so. What about you, Kacchan? You nervous about finals?”

”Kinda, but I’m sure I’ll pass.” Katsuki says with a shrug. “Oh, yeah? What are you guys doing for your finals? Just written exams?” Izuku asks. Though he’s confident that Katsuki will pass; he’s a genius, after all, and he was one of the top-ranked in class 1-A, so he had no doubt that Katsuki would do just fine.

”Yeah, there are a few portions that are mainly written, but for the main engineering class, Maijima-sensei is having us bring in our own equipment that we’ve developed ourselves, along with the blueprints that we’ve used to create our inventions.”

Izuku looks at Katsuki ecstatically. “Wow, that sounds so cool! I know you’ll do great during your finals, Kacchan! You’re really smart! What did you make, Kacchan? What are you gonna show them?” He asks while bouncing slightly in his seat. Katsuki grins at his best friend’s child-like excitement. “I think it’s better if I wait till after exams are done to show you my invention.” He then proceeds to give his now pouting friend a wink before saying with a smirk “Don’t wanna spoil the big reveal!” Honestly, Katsuki thought it was kinda fun teasing his friend and watching him pout like that; pulling off a spot-on chipmunk impression. Oh, how much he just wants to pinch those freckled cheeks!

Izuku is about to say something but decides to just let it go; letting out a somewhat dramatic sigh as he settles back into his seat, to Katsuki’s amusement. Katsuki then proceeds to playfully ruffle Izuku’s hair before saying “What about you, nerd? What do you have to do for your finals?” Izuku perks up at that; the pout on his face vanishing just as quickly, as he turns to Katsuki. “Oh, I have written exams for a few of my classes; nothing too difficult. But for my main sociology course, all we have to do for our final exam is to just write a paper.”

”Oh yeah?” Katsuki asks. “Uh huh! It has to be at least five pages long, but I’m not too worried! I love writing stuff for that class, and I’m actually really good at writing papers!” Izuku has a big, bright smile on his face; a look on his face that mirrored that of a child seeking praise from their parent for doing such a good job on their test. Katsuki smiles at him.

”I have no doubt that you’ll do great, nerd! You’re really smart, too, y’know? So, what’s your paper gonna be about?”

Izuku then looks at Katsuki in surprise, then his expression morphs into a cheeky grin. “Can’t tell you yet, Kacchan!” Then with a wink of his own, he says ”Don’t wanna spoil the big reveal!”

Then, both boys burst out into a laughing, giggling fit; the both of them laughing at their ridiculous but silly back and forth banter. They continued this for the duration of the train ride; doing their best to not disturb the other passengers. Not that Katsuki cared what others think; it wasn’t every day that he and Izuku were able to genuinely enjoy a good laugh, and he would do anything to be able to hear Izuku’s adorably sweet laughter.

And he was going to relish in the sound for as long as he could.

 

-

 

Katsuki and Izuku finally arrive back home just before 7:30 PM. Once they got off the train and exited the station, they start making their way down the street. It was then that Katsuki’s phone buzzed in his pocket; checking his phone and typing out a quick reply to whoever had messaged him, Katsuki turns to Izuku with a smirk.

”So, what do you wanna do now, Izuku?” He asks as they continue down the sidewalk.

”Hmm well, Mom said she was gonna be working late until about 8 o’clock. But she did say that after she got off, she and I could have dinner and cake. In fact,” Izuku stops to look at Katsuki with a smile. “you wanna go with me to my family home and wait for her, Kacchan? I still have my old key, so I’m sure she wouldn’t mind us letting ourselves in.”

Izuku notices a slight flash of something in Katsuki’s eyes that he couldn’t quite tell what it was, but he lost his train of thought when Katsuki replies. “Yeah, that sounds nice, but why don’t we swing by your place, real quick?”

Izuku looks at him questioningly, his eyebrow raised up, a bit. “Umm okay…? What do we need to go to my apartment for?” He asks. Why would Katsuki want to go to his apartment when they’re already planning to go to his family home, where Inko will be? “Well, for one, you’re still carrying a bag with you filled with souvenirs, and I’m sure you don’t wanna lug all this stuff back and forth with you, on top of some possible presents from your mom. We can just stop by so you can drop this stuff off, and then we can head over there.”

Izuku ponders this for a moment. Well, Katsuki DOES have a point; he did buy a few things from the park, including the things he’d packed from this morning, and it would be a bit of a hassle to carry even more things if Inko had gotten him some gifts. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to just drop his things over at his place, and then head out to his old home.

”Okay, Kacchan! We can do that!” He sees Katsuki smile widely at him, and they proceed to continue down the sidewalk in the direction of Izuku’s apartment.

After about twenty minutes of walking, they finally arrive at the apartment. Izuku unlocks his front door and allows Katsuki to go inside first, then stepping inside behind him. The apartment was pitch dark, aside from the small bit of light from the street lamps peeking out from under the curtains.

”Oh, hold on just a sec, Kacchan. Let me get the light.” Izuku feels around on the wall for the switch, and as soon as he flips it…

”SURPRISE!!!”

Izuku squeals at the sudden cheering, and he would have fallen flat on his ass if it weren’t for Katsuki catching and steadying him back on his feet.

What Izuku saw, causes him to gape like a fish out of water. The way his apartment looked from this morning and the way it looks now, it’s like night and day.

His living room and kitchen were completely covered from top to bottom in birthday decorations; colorful balloons and streamers line the corners of the walls and ceiling, there are stray balloons covering the floor and even resting on some of the furniture. There must have been at least fifty balloons! Rainbow confetti covers the floor in a spectacular mess, and a banner with the words 'Happy Birthday!' hangs from the top of the hallway entrance. The dining table has a brightly colored table cloth with balloons printed on it, and on the table sits a pile of beautifully wrapped gifts, in all different shapes and sizes.

On the counter that separates the kitchen from the living room is practically a mini buffet of all kinds of delicious-looking food: stir fry, soba noodles, fried chicken, shrimp tempura, watermelon, white rice AND fried rice, and there were even rice balls and sushi! There was also an assortment of water bottles, canned sodas and juice boxes sitting in an ice-filled cooler. And in the center of the buffet, sat a large, beautifully decorated strawberry shortcake with birthday candles sticking out of it.

But what surprised him the most, was that every one of his friends and loved ones were all here in the same space: Ochako, Tenya, Shouto, Mina, Yagi, and even Eijirou was here, too! He remembered Eijirou from their days in high school, and he always thought that he was a really cool and fun guy. He was super nice, too, but he seemed more compatible with Katsuki, which Izuku didn’t mind, at all. Katsuki didn’t have too many friends back in middle school, or at least not many close and honest ones, so he thought Eijirou was good for him.

But when Izuku saw that even INKO was here, he was beyond confused.

’Wait...Mom is here?! But-but how..?-When..?!’

”-Wha-what-how-how did-wha..when..?!” Izuku is so frazzled and confused by what was going on, that he was unable to form a proper sentence. Everyone was saying things to him like ‘Happy Birthday, Izuku!’ and ‘Congratulations!’. He then sees Ochako and Mina walk over to him; Ochako wraps her arms around him in a tight hug while Mina places a birthday hat on Izuku’s head before giving him a kiss on the cheek.

”But, but I don’t understand! How did-how did you guys all...and, Mom?! Why are you here?! I thought you had work till late, tonight!” Inko simply chuckles as she walks towards her son and pulls him into a tight hug. “Oh, I know I did! But the truth is when I said I had ‘work’, I was actually busy getting things ready for your surprise party! I cooked all the food, with your Aunt Mitsuki's help, of course! I even made a cake, as promised! I’m sorry for lying, sweetie.” Inko says with a kind but apologetic smile. Izuku then looks at his friends for an explanation from them.

”And we helped with decorations!” Eijirou exclaims with a big smile. “Whaddaya think? It looks pretty sweet, huh? I think it looks really manly, if you ask me!”

Izuku then looks to Yagi, then, which causes him to jolt, slightly. “Oh! I...I had actually dropped by earlier, today, and I was just gonna drop off your gift. But then I just so happened to stop by while they were getting your apartment ready for the party, so I figured...why not stay and help?” Yagi says as he scratches the back of his neck, laughing nervously.

Izuku smiles at that and then turns back to look at Inko. “So, this whole thing was your idea, Mom?” He asks with big, sparkling eyes.

But to his surprise and utter confusion, she shakes her head no.

”Nope!” She says cheerfully, almost too cheerfully.

”Huh...?” Izuku then looks to his friends with the same questioning expression; silently asking the same thing he asked Inko. Shouto is the one to answer. “No. This wasn’t us.”

And then he looked to Yagi. Again, with the same expression. “Not my idea, Izuku. As I said, I was just coming to drop off your gift, at first.”

”So...so then, who…?”Izuku doesn’t get a chance to finish his sentence, as Ochako is the one to chime in and answer his question with overflowing enthusiasm. “Actually Izu, this was all Katsuki’s idea!”

Izuku’s eyes widened at hearing this. “...What…?!” He then turns around where he sees Katsuki still standing behind him, with a kind smile on his face. “Yep. All of this, including the trip to Tokyo Disney, was yours truly’s doing!”

Izuku is beyond speechless.

”Yeah,” Shouto says after a moment of silence passes over them. “Bakugou had messaged me Friday evening to ask me to do him a favor, and to get everyone together and, well…this was that favor!” Shouto says with a smile. “And Katsuki had messaged me asking me to help with preparing all the food!” Inko says happily. "And I had Mitsuki-chan help out, too.”

“Yeah!” Mina chimes in. “And we also helped your mom with getting the food set up. I gotta say, Mama-Midoriya and Mama-Bakugou are AMAZING cooks!!”

”Yeah, but that’s because you wouldn’t stop sampling everything, Mina-chan!” Ochako scolds her girlfriend, playfully.

Izuku couldn’t believe how lucky he truly was. Not only did he get to go to Tokyo Disney for his birthday, but on top of that, all of his friends and loved ones were all here, and they had planned a surprise party, just for him.

And the best part? This was all because of Katsuki.

Izuku was on the verge of crying with tears of pure and utter joy, but he was stopped by Ochako and Mina when they both threw their arms over his shoulder and smiled at him. “C’mon, Izu! Now’s not the time for waterworks! Now’s the time to PARTY!!” Ochako exclaims. “Yeah, ‘Zu!” Mina chimes. “You can release the floodgates, later. But for now, let’s get this party in full swing!!!”

And that’s exactly what they did.

 

-

 

Everyone's having such an amazing time, including Izuku.

From the moment he set foot into his home, Izuku was completely enthralled with the party, mainly because he got to enjoy it with everyone he loved and cared about, which is something he wouldn’t change, in the slightest. After helping themselves to the mini buffet Inko had set up, Izuku and his friends busy themselves with various party games and activities; playing board games, dancing, watching funny videos on Izuku's laptop, telling jokes, the list goes on. Even Katsuki got sucked into the fun, and to his surprise, he's actually having a good time.

Izuku even goes on to tell everyone about Tokyo Disney, and all the things he and Katsuki got to do; even showing his friends all the photos he’d taken.

Then, as if things couldn’t get any more amazing, just thirty minutes into the party, the doorbell rings. When Izuku goes to answer it, his smile grows even wider when he sees that Mitsuki and Masaru are standing there with big smiles, and a present in Masaru's hand.

”Auntie Mitsuki! Uncle Masaru!” Izuku exclaims excitedly, hugging them both tightly as they make their way inside the already cramped space; not that anyone minds.

”Did you really think we were gonna miss out on your birthday? Like hell, we would!!” Mitsuki says with a big smirk; Masaru smiling quietly as he makes his way towards Katsuki, not that Izuku is paying any attention.

After that, Izuku goes back to enjoying the party with the others; the college students are all huddled around the coffee table playing a round of Monopoly, meanwhile, the adults are standing in the kitchen; chatting and laughing amongst one another as they tell their own stories. Even Inko and Yagi were sharing stories and shared interests. Inko telling Izuku’s former teacher all kinds of things about her son, and what an amazing boy he is and how proud she is of him. Yagi agrees with her, stating in his own words how proud he is of him, and that he wouldn’t trade their first meeting for the whole world.

Inko had met Yagi during various parent-teacher meetings, with Yagi going on about what a great student Izuku was, while Inko would practically beam with pride at hearing such kind words about her son, and from Yagi Toshinori, of all people. He would even drop by the Midoriya residence for home visits, letting her know how Izuku was doing and, again, giving her son praise. Inko and Yagi a lot in common, aside from their love and adoration for Izuku. In fact, one could say Inko is rather mesmerized by Yagi...in more ways than anyone realized.

This must've been the first time in months that they've spoken, and it felt nice to be able to catch up.

After having cake, it was time for gifts. Everyone gathers around the couch as Izuku is handed one gift at a time; taking the time to read out each name and thanking whomever the gift came from.

Inko’s gift, of course, consists of an All Might T-shirt, and a birthday card full of money. She wasn’t too sure what Izuku would want for his birthday, or if he had grown out of All Might, but Izuku was still happy and thankful, nonetheless. Mitsuki and Masaru’s gift is a brand new tablet; Izuku’s eyes sparkle at the new device, and he thanks them both. Yagi’s gift, which came in a large gift bag, is a collection of All Might mangas and comics, all of which have his autograph inside the front covers. Even though he was sure that Izuku already had most of the volumes of the same comics, it didn’t change how happy it made him, especially to have them signed by his favorite idol.

Ochako got Izuku a bath kit from Bath & Body Works, including various body washes, scrubs, salts, lotions, and even some candles, while Mina got him the complete box set of Rick and Morty on Blu Ray(including Japanese subtitles). Tenya got him some books that Izuku had mentioned before that he had wanted to start reading, and he was very happy to finally have them. Though it was a bit last minute, Eijirou got Izuku a small basket full of hair care products; Eijirou wasn’t too sure what he would be into, but Izuku was still happy to receive the gift, regardless.

When it came time for Shouto’s gift, Izuku honestly wasn’t too sure what to expect. But as soon as he tears off the wrapping, his eyes grow as big as saucers at what Shouto had gotten him: it was an All Might figurine, but not just any figurine; this was a limited edition Play Arts Kai brand figurine, which is nearly impossible to come across unless you either have the money to afford it, or if you get extremely lucky and win it in a raffle. And this figurine is in pristine shape; not a single dent or scratch covers the box that houses the beautifully crafted figure.

Izuku is beside himself with happiness.

”Oh my god!! This is so amazing!!! Thank you SO, Shouto!! I’ll take such good care of this!!!”

Izuku bounces in his seat with joy at receiving his gift and Shouto flashes him a gentle smile. “I’m glad you like it, Izuku.” He says quietly as he reaches over and pulls Izuku into a hug; holding him close, to which Izuku reciprocates; still grinning happily. While everybody else is watching the friendly and innocent interaction, nobody notices Katsuki’s eye twitching and a slight snarl twisting his features.

’Who the hell does this bastard think he is?! Is he trying to one-up me, again?! Thinks he’s sooo special, just ‘cause he can afford some pricey toy for Izuku! And then to hug him like he’s his fucking property or something?! I’m not gonna let this asshole show me up like this, again! Just you wait, Half n’ Half!!!

”Hey. Hey, Bro! You okay, over there?” Eijirou calls out, and at that moment, Katsuki realizes that Izuku has started helping to throw away all the torn wrapping paper. “Oh, uhh, y-yeah. I’m fine.”

”You sure, dude? You looked like you were about to bust a blood vessel. You sure you’re good?” Eijirou asks with concern on his face. “Yeah, I said I’m fine. Stop worrying, already!” Eijirou raises an eyebrow; clearly not buying it, but he lets it go, after a moment. “Alright! If you say so, man!”

After Eijirou gets up to help the others clean up all the paper, Katsuki can’t help but to think about the events from just a moment ago; realizing how ridiculous he must’ve looked while thinking about Shouto, like that. ’I shouldn’t be thinking like this; not during Izuku’s party. I may despise Half n’ Half with every fiber in my being, but this isn’t about me, this is about Izuku. I’ll fume about that hug, later. For now, this is all about Izuku.’

 

-

 

When the time draws closer to almost 10:30 PM, everyone decides it’s best to call it a night, since everyone has school or work, the next morning.

After helping to clean and splitting up some of the leftovers for everyone to take home, they all give Izuku a big hug and wish him one last Happy Birthday. Now, it was just Izuku and Katsuki. This time, however, Izuku didn’t feel nervous or afraid to be alone with the blonde. If anything, there was a comfortable aura in the apartment that Izuku didn’t mind, at all.

”Thank you so much for everything, Kacchan!” Izuku says with big, sparkling eyes and a wide smile. “This was by far the best birthday I’ve had in a long time. I know I said that my birthday last year was a lot of fun, but I think this may have topped that!”

Katsuki smiles back at him, warmly. “It’s no trouble at all, Izuku. I wanted to make today special, and...I really felt bad for the way I’d treated you, before; I mean, I still feel bad about it! So…” Katsuki walks over to Izuku until he’s right in front of him, and reaches out to hold Izuku’s hands. “I really hope this makes up for the way I treated you in the past, and even then, I’d be glad to do something like this, again! Birthday or not!”

Tears brim Izuku’s eyes as he’s taken back by Katsuki’s words. But before he can say anything, Katsuki pulls away and makes his way to the hallway entrance. “Oh! Before I forget, I have something for you! One sec!!”

’What?! Kacchan has MORE?! He’s already done so much for me, what more could he give me?!’

Then, just as quickly as he had left, Katsuki returns, poking his head out the entryway; a big grin on his face. "You ready for your final gift?” He asks as he gestures for Izuku to take a seat. “What? More gifts?! But, Kacchan, I thought the trip to Tokyo Disney WAS your gift to me! You even set up this whole party, just for me! I-”

”There’s nothing wrong with too many gifts, nerd! Now sit down, already!” He waits for Izuku to sit down before saying "Close your eyes!", and Izuku does; he can feel the couch dip slightly from Katsuki sitting beside him. The next he knows, he feels something big and bulky plop into his lap, and when Izuku opens his eyes, he sees a fairly large and heavy present sitting there. He turns to face Katsuki, who simply nods his head for him to open it. Without another word, Izuku gets to work with tearing off the brightly colored paper. Then, he stares at the blank white box with puzzled confusion, but as soon as he lifts up the top of the box, his jaw drops open.

It's a PS4. But there was something different about it; it was then that he realized that this wasn’t a brand new PS4, but a used one.

”K-Kacchan...is...is this…?”

Katsuki smiles at him. “Yeah. It’s my PS4.” Izuku looks back at Katsuki with big eyes; unsure of what to think or say. He’s happy, of course, but he’s also couldn't understand why Katsuki would just give up something like this. "When did you even...?"

”I had Kirishima bring it by when he and the others were helping to decorate." Katsuki says; he then goes on to explain more about the gift. "When I first came by your place, I noticed that yours was missing. I wasn’t sure if you'd sold it or if you gave it away; didn’t think it was any of my business. Either way, I knew that you still liked gaming, so…” He gestures to the PS4 sitting on Izuku’s lap; still inside the box. “I figured you could have mine.”

Izuku still wasn’t too sure if Katsuki was serious about this, so he presses on with asking him. “But Kacchan, what about all of your games? And what will you do without a console to play on?”

Katsuki shrugs his shoulders. “I’ve pretty much played all the games I have, and I’ve gotten pretty bored with them, so it’s no big deal. Really.” He smiles kindly at Izuku when he sees him smiling. “Thank you so much, Kacchan! This is so sweet of you! But…” His smile drops when yet another thought comes to mind. “Kacchan...I don’t have any of my games, anymore. You were right, I had sold my PS4 a while back, including all of my games. So, I won’t be able to use this for a while. At least, not until I can buy some games, again.”

Then, in a somewhat sarcastic tone; making him sound like he wasn’t being serious, Katsuki says “Oh man! Really? That’s a damn shame! Really is.” Then he bends over the side of the couch like he’s reaching for something. “That’s too bad then, huh? I really should’ve thought about that before I brought you my PS4. I’m an idiot, aren’t I?” As he’s saying this, he then lifts up a large gift bag, and places it between him and Izuku; the look of stunned surprise on his face at seeing the second gift ever present.

”Well. Lucky for you, I just so happen to have brought all of my games, along with the console! I even brought both of my controllers and the charging cable for them. So now, you’re all set!”

Is there nothing that this boy can't do? It’s like he’s three steps ahead of Izuku!

”W-What...?! But Kacchan, you’re just-you’re just giving me all of your games, and your PS4?! Are you really sure this is okay?!”

”Of course, I am!” Katsuki says. “It’s like I said, I’ve already played all of these games; some of them I’ve played multiple times! So, I’m perfectly fine with giving them to you. Besides,” He then reaches into the bag, and pulls out one of the games, which just so happen to be a JRPG featuring All Might as the main character. “didn’t you say you’ve wanted to play this game for the longest time?” The look of amazement on Izuku’s face makes Katsuki’s heart swell with happiness.

”Oh, Kacchan! This is so sweet of you! Thank you so much!!” He exclaims as he sets the two gifts on the floor and reaches over to wrap his arms around Katsuki; pulling him into a tight hug. Katsuki stiffens for a second and then relaxes. Then, the memory of seeing Shouto hugging Izuku flashes in his mind. At that moment, he wraps his arms around Izuku’s small frame, holding him close to his chest in a tender embrace; taking in Izuku’s sweet pine smell as he continues to hold him. He didn't need an audience to do this, and he couldn't care less if nobody was here to say what a good friend he was. All he cares about is this. This moment right now; just him and Izuku, sharing this intimate closeness, basking in each other's warmth and soft touches.

At this moment, Katsuki isn't even thinking about Shouto, anymore. All he's thinking about is Izuku.

After a full minute of silence, the two finally pull away; a soft smile gracing Katsuki’s lips as he looks at his best friend, a fluttering feeling stirring up in his gut. Deciding to save setting up the PS4 for later and putting the bag full of games with the rest of his gifts, Izuku watches as Katsuki shows himself out, but not before wishing Izuku Happy Birthday one last time, and says he’ll see him in the morning.

Once he brushes his teeth and gets dressed into sleep clothes, Izuku heads to his room to get ready for bed, when he finds something on his desk. Upon closer inspection, he sees that it’s actually a note.

As he reads it, a smile begins to spread and he even feels a slight blush on his cheeks from the words on the paper:

’Izuku,

I hope you had an amazing birthday, today. I wanted to make today as special and memorable as possible, and I felt so bad after you told me why you’d stopped celebrating your birthday. I hope to be able to do something like this again with you, and maybe, we can even plan something to do for summer vacation. We can go to the arcade, the movies, hell, we can even go to the beach! And of course, your friends are more than welcome to come, too, if they want.

Happy Birthday, Izuku! :)

Katsuki.’

Izuku stares at the note with a smile on his face; silent tears of happiness streaming down his cheeks as his heart fills with pure joy from reading the words on the paper.

After placing the note safely in the drawer of his nightstand, Izuku climbs under the sheets and settles in for the night. The events of the day replaying in his head on repeat as the smile stays permanently on his face, and he drifts off into blissful slumber.

This truly was the best birthday Izuku could ever ask for, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chapter Text

Normal POV

Final Exams for Yuuei students seem to have came and went in the blink of an eye, but after 3 grueling days of nothing but tests, they were finally finished.

Wednesday is the last day of exams, and once the school day finishes, students are given Thursday to rest and either finish up any late assignments or to check in and see if they need to take summer classes to bring their grades back up. Others are busy talking with their friends and classmates about their plans for summer vacation; some are planning to leave Musutafu to travel elsewhere, others are planning to return home for the break(mostly those who’re staying at the dorms and live too far away from home).

Luckily for Izuku, he doesn’t have to worry about failing his finals or having to take summer classes. He’d been studying for his exams every chance he got, and despite the few days he was absent from school, he was able to make up any and all work and even volunteered to stay a few hours after class to earn his credits. On top of that, Izuku and the rest of his classmates in the sociology program were all given a week to work on and finish their paper for the final exam. Something that Izuku has very little trouble with accomplishing.

All in all, Izuku has little doubt that he’ll fail; not with the courses, he’s chosen to pursue. And he’s very confident that Katsuki passed his own exams with flying colors; expecting no less from his genius of a friend. Oddly enough, exams in college are a thousand times less stressful than they are in high school.

After Izuku turns in his paper for his sociology class, his professor simply says ‘Thank you, Midoriya. Have a good summer.’, and that’s that. Now he has the rest of today, tomorrow and part of Friday to pretty much relax before the break starts.

Most of the students have hardly messed with Izuku since returning to school almost a month ago; some of them have even started being nice to him, but that hasn’t stopped others from spreading rumors about the reason of his absence, and the suicide attempt, throughout the school. He’s tried convincing himself that they’re not talking about him; it’s just a misunderstanding, but sometimes, the things he hears are just too blatant and obvious.

Izuku has even walked in places like the library, cafeteria or even the restrooms, and would hear students barely whispering and talking behind his back; Izuku has tried to pretend that he doesn’t hear any of it, but it’s so hard not to when they’re saying things about him, and some of them are unfortunately true.

Today is no different.

”Isn’t that the guy who skipped school, just to off himself?”

”I heard something from one of my classmates about that. I heard that he left due to a big fight, maybe even drugs.”

”No way! Drugs?! But I don’t think he’s the kind of guy to be involved with something like that. Even if he was, he’d get in serious trouble with the school. They’d expel him, for sure!”

Izuku ends up leaving the space in a hurry just to get away from those horrible words; trying his best to clear his head and push those words towards the back of his mind.

’Great. Just great. Just when I’ve finally regained some essence of normalcy back, something like this starts to happen! It’s 1 step forward, and practically 3 steps back!’

He finds a nearby bench in the courtyard and takes a seat; trying to calm his rapid heartbeat by doing his breathing exercises. Sweat begins to prickle on his forehead and at the base of his neck; the back of his eyes stinging with unshed tears. Izuku feels like there’s a thousand eyes staring down at him, judging, disgusted eyes, burning holes into his body as he continues to try and breathe, properly.

’How could this have happened?! Why do all these people know about my suicide attempt? Or about my prescription? I doubt they’re referring to that, though; still, the fact they’d even mention anything about drugs, I just can’t help but to fear the worst!'

After about 3 minutes of slow and steady breathing, Izuku had finally gotten his breathing under control; though his hands still felt clammy, he’s at least able to stand without his knees buckling under his weight. Checking his phone, he sees that he’s still got a while before his therapy session; plus Katsuki hasn’t messaged him, yet. Gathering his things, he makes his way to the nearby cafe. After ordering a cappuccino and taking a seat at an empty booth, he takes out his earbuds and a book; listening to some music to help calm his nerves while waiting for Katsuki to finish up.

 

-

 

Izuku now finds himself sitting in the spacious room at Hana’s clinic. Luckily for him, Katsuki is able to join him for his therapy session; Katsuki’s boss had given him the week off due to finals. Thanks to that, he now finds his best friend sitting beside him; just like before, which Izuku his grateful for. Having Katsuki here with him makes him feel ten times better, especially after his mini panic attack. It also helps that just before arriving at the clinic, Katsuki had sent him a message with a picture attachment of himself while at the theme park; not only was he making a goofy face in the picture, but Katsuki had warped it using snapchat to make his cheeks look puffy like a chipmunk, and his nose was big and shaped like a pear.

This proved to be effective in making Izuku feel better when he ends up bursting in hysterical laughter; to which Katsuki simply says in an almost serious tone “What? You don’t like my selfie? I think I need to grow into my nose a bit more, don’t you think?”, which only spurs Izuku into another laughing fit, to the brink of tears, even.

To say Katsuki has succeeded in cheering Izuku up, is an understatement.

 

-

 

”You seem like you’re in high spirits today, Izuku!” Hana says cheerfully. “How have things been? Did you do anything interesting, this past weekend?”

This causes Izuku to perk up, and his face begins to glow as he remembers the events from the last few days. “Yeah! It was my birthday on Sunday!” He says with a wide smile. “Really?” Hana asks; her own smile gracing her lips, and for a split second, she glances over to Katsuki with a knowing look. “Well, Happy Belated Birthday, Izuku! What did you do to celebrate? Did you have a party?”

”Uh huh. Actually, I got to go to Tokyo Disney for my birthday, and after we got back, I came home to a surprise party. I got to celebrate it with all my friends and family. It was so much fun!”

Hana smiles brightly at hearing this. “How fun! Who did you go to Disney with?” She asks while glancing at Katsuki from the corner of her eye; already knowing the answer, deep down, if the way Katsuki had acted last week was anything to go by. “I went with Kacchan!” Izuku throws his arm around Katsuki’s shoulder. “He actually planned the whole thing! The trip AND the surprise party! It was such an amazing birthday!”

Katsuki can’t help but smile at hearing this, even though he already knows that he’d accomplished his mission at a successful birthday for his best friend. “Well, I’m glad to hear that, Izuku.” Hana says after a moment. “Anything else happen, this week?”

Izuku thought about it for a second before he remembered. “Oh yeah! Kacchan and I just finished our final exams, today. I’m pretty sure we both did really well, right Kacchan?”

Katsuki smirks as he pets Izuku on the head with a small chuckle. “Of course, we did, nerd! We’re both geniuses, after all, aren’t we?”

Izuku smiles back at him, as a comfortable silence settles over the three in the room. After a moment longer, Hana sets her notepad down and leans forward a bit; her chin resting on her propped up hands which rested on her knees. “Tell you what, Izuku. You seem to be doing very well as far as your sessions go, so instead of answering my boring questions, why don’t you just talk?”

”Huh? Talk? About what?” Izuku asks curiously; unsure of what to even talk about. “Whatever you feel like, Izuku!” She smiles at him. “Whatever is on your mind, whatever you feel comfortable discussing with me, I’m all ears!”

Izuku looks like he’s pondering in his head what to talk about; he could talk about his trip to Disney, some more, or his birthday party, and all the amazing gifts he’d received, even his plans for summer break(which isn’t a whole lot, but at least it’s something). Then, he smiles as a thought comes to mind.

”Well, in that case...would you tell me more about yourself, Hana?”

Hana is a little surprised by that, but her smile is still ever-present on her face. “Me? Well, I don’t see why not. What would you like to know, Izuku?”

”Hmm...oh, how about why you decided to become a Psychiatrist? Or what made you interested in the field? Anything is fine, really!”

Hana smiles widely at that, and after adjusting herself in her seat, she looks at him and says “Of course! I’d be more than happy to tell you.”

Izuku looks to Katsuki, who just smirks at him before looking back to Hana. “Though it may not seem like it now, at one point in my life, I suffered from severe chronic depression. I visited multiple doctors and therapists, but it felt like nothing was working. It especially didn’t help that just after starting high school, my mother had passed away.”

Izuku gasps softly after hearing this; his hands covering his mouth. “Oh my god. Hana, I’m so sorry!” Hana looks at him with a sad glaze over her eyes, but her smile is still there, strong and sincere. “It’s alright, Izuku. It’s been such a long time; nearly forty years, I believe. But soon after my mother had died, I found out that she had actually been suffering from suicidal tendencies for some time, and she had taken her own life.” Hana pauses for a moment, noticing Izuku’s expression has morphed into a look of shock. She gives him a comforting smile before continuing.

”After learning about that, despite how I had been feeling before while dealing with my own issues, I decided to take that moment in my life, and use it as a stepping stone to change my life for the better. I became very interested in learning more about mental health during my senior year, and from that point on, I knew what it was that I wanted to do in life. After graduating from high school, I went to college to pursue a degree in Psychiatry, and after that, I started my own practice, and my husband and I even opened up this clinic, together.”

Izuku beams with interest at hearing this, while Katsuki sits quietly and listens. “That’s so neat, Hana! So, your husband is a doctor, too?” He asks. “Oh, yes. He attended the same university as me, and we even started dating while studying there. Soon after graduating, we became engaged and got married soon after that. He was a psychiatrist just like me, and we opened this clinic. He’d always had the same ambitions as I do, and he’d always wanted to help others who weren’t able to help themselves, or at least, who needed a push in the right direction.”

”Oh, I see. So that’s why there’s another room here. I haven’t seen him around, though. Does he work a different schedule than you do?” Hana casts her eyes downward; her eyes appearing glassy with sadness. “Unfortunately, my husband past away about 5 years ago due to cancer.” Izuku looks as though he’d just been punched in the gut; internally scolding himself for being so ignorant. “Oh, Hana. I’m-I’m so sorry. I-I didn’t mean…”

She smiles gently at him. "No, it’s quite alright.” She says reassuringly; the sadness in her eyes fading away as she gingerly strokes the gold band on her left ring finger. “Although I had lost the love of my life, I know for a fact that he wouldn’t want me to spend my life grieving; he would want me to continue doing what I love. My husband had always told me, that helping others who are going through the same thing as you, and who are experiencing the same feelings that you are, is the greatest thing you can do for not only yourself but for others. And he was right; providing support to others, giving hope to others, knowing that you would want that for yourself if given the option, truly is the greatest feeling, ever.”

Izuku is silent; soaking in everything Hana said. ’Despite everything she’s gone through; the losses she’s had to endure; having her own internal struggles, she never let that keep her from her dreams. Even after losing someone so special to her, she never let that stop her from helping others. If anything, it drove her to work even harder to give others the help they need. People...like me.’

He smiles after a moment and looks to Hana who is silent for a time. “You’re very strong, Hana. You really are.” He says while looking her right in the eyes, hoping that he’s able to convey his feelings to her just by looking at her. “And, I think if your husband were here, right now, he would be very proud of you, and everything you’ve done.”

Hana has a bright grin on her face as a few tears prickle her eyes. “I think so, too!”

As they continue talking back and forth, Izuku can’t help but think about Hana’s words. He hopes that, despite his shortcomings and his struggles, he can have the same passion and determination that she has when he finally achieves his dreams.

He had no idea how much he and Hana had in common, as far as their drive to make their dream a reality; and knowing how much she’s been through and how she’s been able to put her own strife aside and instead allows her the drive to give hope to others, that’s something he hopes he wishes to do, as well.

 

-

 

The next day, Izuku busies himself by checking his course requirements for the next semester, while also cleaning out his backpack and folders of any old papers he no longer needs. “I think I’ll stop by the faculty room and visit Yagi. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind that.”

As Izuku makes his way through the courtyard; reaching closer to the hedge bushes that divide the high school from the university, he hears even more hushed voices from other students, and he already knows what they’re talking about just from the snickering coming from them.

”Didn’t that guy try to kill himself, a month ago? Why is he still attending school, here? I bet you he did it just to get attention. Can you believe the nerve of some people?”

”I heard something from my professor, too. I think he said something about him being mentally unstable; possibly schizophrenic! How scary!!”

”Is the principal seriously okay with having someone like him attending Yuuei?! What if he goes insane, and ends up attacking other students?!”

”Is it even a good idea for us to be around him? What if he flips and goes crazy at any moment?!”

Izuku didn’t even realize he practically started running towards the main building until he saw others giving him strange looks, but even then, he doesn’t care, as long as he can get as far away from those taunting words as he can, he doesn’t care if he looks like a spazz.

Izuku finds himself in the nearest bathroom sitting in one of the empty stalls; on the brink of a panic attack as he rocks back and forth on the toilet lid. He covers his mouth with his hands as he does his best to control his breathing; tears welling up in his eyes.

’Why is this happening?! Why does this keep happening to me?! How do they even know about my suicide attempt? There’s no way, there’s just no way other’s should’ve even found out! Who else could’ve…’

Just then, a thought comes to his mind. It’s something he’s thought about ever since the day that Yagi had brought him to meet with Aizawa and Present Mic; when he’d said they knew about his attempt. It made his stomach twist with worry. There’s only one other person who knew about that, aside from Granny Chiyo and Nezu.

'...Kacchan...no, no. No! He wouldn’t...he would never do something like that to me...would he..?’

~Are you seriously that stupid? You already know the answer to that. Of course, he would do something, like that, and you know he would.~

Izuku’s eyes widen at that; his breath hitches in his throat at the very idea of Katsuki doing something like that, again. Especially after he’d apologized for what he’d done to him, before.

’No! No, it couldn’t have been Kacchan! He would NEVER do something like this! He’s done so much already to make things up with me, so why would he do all of that just to throw it all away and do something like this to me?!’

~Do you honestly think the same guy who practically stole your prescription and shared it with your whole class, bullied and harassed you and even told you to kill yourself, wouldn’t do it all, again? I’ve already told you, he’s probably being nice to you; showering you in gifts and affection, just so he can strike you down while you’re at your most vulnerable.~

’It’s not true!! Kacchan isn’t like that, now!! Not once since that day has he tried to do anything to hurt me or lose my trust in him. He’s been nothing but kind and considerate to me!’

The voice in Izuku’s head continues to mock him; almost like it’s being more of a bully than Katsuki ever was. At this point, he can’t tell if what he’s hearing is true or not.

~You know it’s true. Deep down, you know that no matter what, you’ll never be able to escape your past. Even now, it’s still following you. All those things they’re saying about you, as long as you keep being around him, all you’ll do is suffer. If you hadn’t tried to kill yourself, I bet that he wouldn’t even bother with helping you. You know it’s true.~

Izuku froze. That was something he has never even considered until that moment.

’...what would Kacchan have done if he hadn’t found me? In fact...would things be like they are now if he hadn’t told me to kill myself…? Or...would he...would he continue to bully me, as he’d always done, before…?’

This thought made tears fall from his face; though his breathing had finally returned to normal. But now, for the first time in weeks...Izuku was feeling doubt.

After exiting the bathroom, Izuku makes his way through the halls so he can see Yagi. Though he feels more tired than before, he’s determined to go and see Yagi. Maybe speaking with his former teacher(and dad) will help him to feel better. He always knows what to say to cheer him up. At least he hopes so.

’...it can’t be true...it just can’t be…’

 

-

 

Katsuki’s POV

The Saturday after summer break started, I decided to meet with Auntie at her house, so we could talk about Izuku’s progress.

I decided to take Granny Chiyo’s advice, and meet up with Auntie at least once a month so we can discuss Izuku’s recovery progress. If any changes occur, whether they’re good or bad, I’ll be sure to let her know so we can make the necessary changes.

”So, how has Izuku been doing, Katsuki?” Auntie says softly as she places a teacup in front of me, and takes a seat across from me at the dining table. “Pretty good, from what I’ve seen.” I say as I take a sip from the cup. “Although I haven’t been to most of his therapy sessions due to work, I’ve made sure to ask him how things have been doing, and from what he’s told me, things seem to be going pretty well.”

Auntie nods her head before taking a sip from her own cup. “That’s good to hear. What about school? Has he been doing okay at school?”

”Well, we’re not in the same program, so it’s a little hard to say how he’s been doing as far as while in class, but I always wait for him after classes let out, and so far, nothing major seems to change. We just got done with our finals a few days ago, and he seemed very happy.” I smile to myself at the thought of his smiling face. “I’m very confident that he did very well. You’ve got yourself a very smart kid, Auntie.”

Auntie laughs softly at this as she smiles from ear to ear with joy. “Oh, believe me, Katsuki, I believe it! I’m so proud of my baby! He’s come so far since then, and I’m so happy that he’s pushing through. I can only imagine how it’s taken a toll on his mental state...I’ll admit, I was very worried about him going back to school after he was hospitalized, but…”

She looks at me with determination shining over her features, and a big smile to match it. “I know he would never give up on his dreams! If anything, this experience may serve to push him to work even harder! So, no matter what may happen, I believe in him, and, I believe in you too, Katsuki.” She says as she reaches out to place her hand over mine; squeezing it gently but firmly.

I smile at her; feeling my heart swell at her words. Knowing that despite how small my efforts may seem, they’re enough, for now.

”Thanks, Auntie. I’ll keep working to help him, no matter what.” Auntie nods her head before pulling her hand away. “I know you will, honey.”

We sit in silence for a little while; enjoying the tea she made and listening to the ticking from the clock and the chirping from the birds, outside. After a moment, Auntie’s the one to break the silence, again. “So Katsuki, how has Izuku been doing as far as his anxiety? Do you know if it’s gotten worse, or not? I know Chiyo-san said she wanted him to stay off of it, but, to tell you the truth, it makes me worried.”

I stare at my cup for a minute; contemplating what she said. How has his anxiety been fairing? I know that he’s had a few panic spurs here and there, but they’ve never lasted longer than a minute or two, and he’s been able to return to normal afterward. But still, she has a point; with Izuku being off of his meds, who’s to say if it’s actually helping him, or not.

Then, I remember something.

”Actually…” Auntie looks at me with full attention, as I look back at her. “it’s probably nothing, but, the other day, when I met him after school before my appointment...I could’ve sworn that Izuku looked a bit haggard; like he’d had a near-death experience or something. I’m not sure.”

”Did you talk to him about it? What did he say? Is he okay, Katsuki?” She asks at a mile a minute, looking more frantic than before. “Yeah, I asked him if everything was okay. He said that he was fine, but...look, Auntie, here’s the thing, I can tell when someone’s lying to me,” My face becomes hardened with seriousness. “and with all due respect, your son is a terrible liar. And when he said that to me, I knew right away that it was a lie.”

She places her hand over her mouth in shock; I’m not sure if it’s due to my bluntness, or from what I said, but either way, it’s got her attention. “You think...you think something’s wrong?”

I look back down at my hands; staring intently. “As much as I want to keep asking him what’s bugging him, and try to get to the root...I really don’t wanna pry, too much. I know I’m supposed to be helping him, Auntie, but,” I look her in the eyes with seriousness. “I also know that, if I wanna regain his trust, completely, I need to know when to offer help and when to back off. If Izuku is making it very clear he doesn’t want my or anyone else’s help, all I can do for the moment is let him know I’m here for him when he IS ready. When the time comes, and if he’s still acting weird, I’ll ask him again.”

We stare at each other for a full minute. I don’t want her to think I’m not trying hard enough, or not at all, but I also know that I can’t just keep offering my help when it’s unwanted; all that will do is push him farther away, and that’s the last thing I want.

I hear Auntie hum as she nods her head, and looks at me with a smile. “I understand, Katsuki. I know you’ll make the right call.” I smile back at her. “Thank you, Auntie Inko.”

After about an hour of us just trading stories and idly chatting, I decide it’s time for me to head back. Auntie hugs me tightly before saying her farewell to me and wishing me a safe trip back home. As I make my way down the street, I can’t help but think about Izuku, but instead of thinking about his laugh, his adorable personality or even his smile, all I can think about is the way Izuku’s been acting, lately.

Ever since Wednesday, Izuku seems to have become more down and depressed; like he’s had his dreams crushed. That amazing smile that always seems to make his whole face glow, had been replaced with a crestfallen frown. He even looked as though he’d been crying, if the redness around his eyes is anything to go off of. Not to mention, I’ve seen him just staring off into space, more so than normal, and he always seems to be lost in his head, and he always looks tired and sad. Is he starting to become more depressed?

I want so, so badly to help him with whatever has him so down; no matter how small, but I know that Izuku is stubborn; he’s just as stubborn as I am, and I’m one fucking stubborn individual.

No matter how many times I try to offer him help and advice, I can’t just keep pestering him. All I can do, for now, is give him his space, and once he’s ready to talk, I’ll be there to listen. If worse comes to worse, I can also talk to Hana about this change, and have her discuss it with him, without mentioning my name to him.

Just then, I feel my phone buzz in my pocket. I see that I have a new message.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kirishima: Hey bro! How’s it going?

Katsuki: Hey. I’m doing ok.

Kirishima: Not in a chatty mood today, huh? Lol

Kirishima: Anyways, Ashido and Uraraka were talking to me about getting together with the rest of our old classmates and doing something for the summer. She was saying something about going to the beach.

Kirishima: Whaddaya think, dude? Sounds pretty fun, huh?

Katsuki: I guess lol not one for going to the beach tho.

Kirishima: Aww c’mon Bro!! It’s not gonna kill you to just come out and hang with us! Plus, Izuku’s invited, too. I bet he’d have a great time, especially since he gets to catch up with everybody, y’know?

Katsuki: Hmm I suppose. Let me think it over, and I’ll ask him if he wants to go.

Kirishima: Sweet! Text me asap, ok dude?

Katsuki: Yep.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think about it for a moment, deciding whether a get-together with everyone would be a good idea or not. Not just because of what Kirishima had said, but I’m not sure if being around so many of us would be good for Izuku; given the way he’s been acting, lately.

’He just seems like he’s been jumpier and easily startled, lately. Is this even a good idea?...Well, he DID say it’s gonna be everyone from Class 1-A, and Izuku is pretty comfortable with everyone. So, it’s not like he’d be around a bunch of strangers. Plus, he’d get a chance to spend more time with his other friends, ugh...including fucking Half n’ Half.

After a moment longer, I finally text Izuku about the get-together plan.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku: Sure! That sounds like a lot of fun :)

Katsuki: You sure, Izuku? You don’t have to go if you don’t want to, you know. If being around so many people might make you anxious, I’m sure the others will understand.

Izuku: I’m sure, Kacchan lol and don’t worry about me, I’ll be just fine. Promise! Lol

Katsuki: Izuku?

Izuku: Yes Kacchan?

Katsuki: Is everything ok? I know I asked you before, but I’m still worried. You were acting really strange after exams finished.

Katsuki: Did something happen? You know you can talk to me about anything, right?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I feel like such a fucking hypocrite, now. After I had JUST told Auntie that I’d give Izuku some space and let him come to me when he’s ready, I turn around and do the exact opposite, but....god-fucking-damnit, I just wanna make sure he’s, at least okay! I wish he’d just talk to me, as selfish as that sounds, I can’t help it.

After almost two minutes passes, I get a reply from him.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku: Everything’s fine, Kacchan. And nothing happened, I swear. I’ve just been a little tired, lately.

Katsuki: So, nothing’s going on at school?

Izuku: Nope lol nothing at all! I’m perfectly fine :)

Katsuki: Ok. If you say so. But remember what I said Izuku. I’m here for you if you need me. You can trust me :)

Izuku: Of course Kacchan! Lol I always trust you ^^

Izuku: So when are we meeting everyone?

Katsuki: I’ll ask Kirishima, and then I’ll message you the details asap.

Izuku: Okie dokie!

Katsuki: Lol

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Although I have a feeling that Izuku isn’t telling the truth just from his texts, I decided not to push the matter, any further. I send Kirishima a quick text saying that Izuku and I will go with them to the beach.

He excitedly replies back, sending me the details and the address of where we’re meeting at. We’re all meeting at the train station at 9 AM a week from now, and then we’ll take the bullet train to the beach; he also tells me that Yaoyorozu will be providing the food and drinks. After that, Kirishima lets me know that he’ll be out with his boyfriend Kaminari tonight, and to got wait upon him. After wishing him a fun time and to ‘use protection’, I put my phone away, and make my way back to my place.

’I really do hope he’s okay...and I really do hope nothing’s going on at school. I’ll just have to be more patient, and leave him be, for now, and just trust that nothing's wrong. That's all I can do, for the time being.’

Chapter Text

Normal POV

1 week later:

Saturday July, 28 2018

Katsuki finds himself sitting in Izuku’s living room, waiting for him to finish getting ready.

Even after Izuku reassured that everything is fine, Katsuki can’t get rid of that annoying gnawing feeling in the back of his mind. He knows that something is wrong, and that whatever it is, Izuku doesn’t want him to know about it.

’What could Izuku be thinking about that he doesn’t want me to know? He’s not the type of person to keep secrets, for long. What could possibly be so bad that he doesn’t want me to know?’

He then smears his hands over his face as he begins to feel irritation well up in his chest; trying his best not to let his frustration grow bigger. ’Do others know? Has he told anybody else except me what’s been bothering him? Why can’t he just trust me?’

”Kacchan?” Katsuki jumps at hearing his name called. He looks up, and sees that Izuku is standing next to him; he’s dressed in a T-shirt, shorts, and sandals and he’s carrying a large beach bag with him. “You ready, Kacchan?”

”Oh, uh y-yeah yeah, sure!” He says as he tries to clear his head and pull himself together. Izuku notices this, as he tilts his head to the side and asks “Is something wrong, Kacchan?”

”No, Izuku. I promise everything’s fine.” He says with a smile, hoping that his eyes match his smile. Izuku stares at him for a moment before smiling back at him. “Okay! Well, let’s get going. We don’t wanna keep the others waiting!”

As they make their way to the station, Katsuki begins to rethink his earlier thoughts; suddenly feeling a sense of embarrassment.

’I really need to get my frustration under control. I shouldn’t be getting upset just because Izuku doesn’t want to tell me his problems. It’s like I keep telling myself and others when he’s ready, he’ll tell me...I just really hope he opens up to me, soon.’

 

-

 

Once they make it to the station, they immediately see a group of people standing near the entrance, and Izuku beams when he recognizes them as their former classmates from Class 1-A, including Ochako, Mina, Tenya and even Shouto(to Katsuki’s displeasure). ”Hey, guys!! You’re all really here!” He exclaims as he all but sprints over to the awaiting crowd; they all smile happily as they each give him a hug.

”It’s so good to see you again, Midoriya! I’m glad you seem to be doing well.” Momo says happily as she hugs him tightly, and next to her is her girlfriend and former classmate, Jirou Kyouka. “Nice seeing you again, dude. Feels like it’s been years since we’ve seen each other, huh?”

”Not really.” Tsuyu says bluntly while poking her head between Izuku’s and Kyouka’s shoulders. “It’s only been about 4 months since we became college freshmen, so it hasn’t been that long.” Izuku smiles brightly at seeing one of his other friends. “Tsu!! You’re here, too!” He pulls her into a hug, to which she reciprocates.

”Hope you’ve been doing okay, Midoriya. We haven’t seen or heard from you, much.” Tsuyu says as she pulls away. Izuku laughs a little while rubbing the back of his neck. “Yeah, well...you know how busy school life gets, hehe.”

”As long as you’re taking care of yourself, that’s all that should matter.” Fumikage says in his usual serious but sincere tone as he stands beside Tsuyu; his arm draped over her shoulder. “We understand how time-consuming classes have become lately, especially since transitioning into the college courses at Yuuei. It also doesn’t help that most of us are focusing on different majors, so it’s a lot harder to keep in touch. We’ve all been pretty busy, ourselves. Most of us even have jobs and club duties outside of normal school work. So don’t let your lack of interacting with us bother you, Midoriya.”

Izuku smiles at Fumikage’s words. Even after barely keeping in touch with his former classmates for 4 months, it hasn’t made the close bond he shares with his friends weak. If anything, it’s almost as if time hasn’t passed, at all. And for Fumikage to validate that, makes it all the more worthwhile, and Izuku couldn’t be happier.

”Glad to see you guys were able to make it!” Eijirou chimes in as he throws his arm around Katsuki’s shoulder. “Of course we made it, shitty hair. I told you we were coming, didn’t I?” Katsuki says grumpily, despite the smile that appears on his face from seeing Izuku interacting with the others.

Just then, Denki pops up and leans his head against Eijirou’s shoulder before saying “Good to see you’re in a flowery mood today, Bakugou!” He says cheerfully before pressing a kiss to Eijirou’s cheek. This causes a scowl to appear on Katsuki’s features. “Nobody asked you, Pikachu!”

This does little to deter Denki as he bursts into laughter and pats Katsuki on the back. “Good to see you, too, Bakugou!”

After that, the train arrives and everybody gets on; all of the former Class 1-A students make their way to the back of the train so as not to disturb the other passengers with their antics. Izuku sits beside Ochako, Mina, Tenya, Shouto and of course, Katsuki.

”How exciting!” Mina exclaims cheerfully while pumping her fist in the air. “A beach trip with all of our friends! I don’t know why we haven’t done this, sooner! So fun!!”

”We’ve only been on break for a week, Mina-chan.” Tsuyu states bluntly, causing Mina to blush furiously and the others to start laughing. “I know that, but still, we get to go to the beach with everyone!!” Just then, Tenya bolts upward and begins doing his weird chopping gesture with his hand.

”ASHIDO!! KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN! NEED I REMIND YOU THAT WE ARE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION WITH OTHER PASSENGERS, YOU NEED TO BE RESPECTFUL AND NOT TALK SO LOUD!!”

All of class 1-A looks up at him in silence, before Kyouka chimes in. “Uhh Iida, the only one who’s being loud is you…” This prompts all the others to burst out laughing at this while Tenya becomes flustered and tries to backtrack his previous statement; his face becoming as red as Eijirou’s hair.

Katsuki smirks at his classmates’ antics; all the while glancing over at Izuku, his smirk turning into a smile as Izuku giggles happily.

He isn’t sure what it is he’s feeling right now, but the warm, fluttering feeling forming in the pit of his stomach is something that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

 

-

 

Forty-five minutes later, they finally arrive. Class 1-A steps out and makes their way to the designated location. After a few minutes of walking, they come up to an empty parking area and, to everyone’s surprise, and confusion, a small black bus is parked to the side and waiting for them; the driver waving at them from his seat. “Oh, good! It’s already here!” Momo says gleefully as she makes her way to the entrance and waves at the others. “Come on in, you guys! This’ll take us the location. Now we don’t have to worry about walking the whole way; after all, it’ll take us about an hour to get there on foot.”

And with that nugget of information, everyone piles into the awaiting bus and makes their way to the beach.

Less than twenty minutes later, the bus stops at a small parking area surrounded by trees. They all file out and start following Momo’s lead down the wooden walkway. As it turns out, not only did Momo provide the food and drinks as promised, but she’d taken it to the next level, and had an entire beach party set-up: beach chairs, large umbrellas, a beach volleyball court to the side, large awnings posted over long picnic benches. There’s also a beach hut that turns out to be a full kitchen area with a cooler full of drinks. There was even a bathroom area; with separate sections for boys and girls, and it included changing and showering stalls.

To say everybody is both shocked and ecstatic, is an understatement.

”Holy shit, Yaoyorozu!” Denki exclaims. “You never told us you were bringing us an entire beach resort!”

Momo giggles while placing a hand over her flushed cheek. “Well, to tell you all the truth, this is actually one of our vacation spots. I got permission from my parents to reserve it, and I had everything set up for us.” She says with a sheepish grin while twiddling her thumbs. “I suppose I may have done too much.”

Kyouka walks over and playfully pinches her girlfriend’s cheek with a cheeky smile. “Oh c’mon, babe! You know you wanted to do something like this for everyone! No need to be coy!” She then smiles fondly at her before pecking her on the lips, tenderly. “This was very sweet of you to do, Momo.” Momo blushes at the public display before the others start laughing.

”Well. What are we just standing around for?” Mina states as she runs to the front of the group with a slight bounce. “Let’s have some fun!!”

Everyone cheers in agreement as they make their way to get changed into their swimwear.

 

-

 

Katsuki finds himself sitting at one of the picnic benches under the shade as he watches the others playing and goofing off; a subtle grin pulling on his lips as he takes a picture of his friends(but mostly Izuku) every so often.

Momo and Yuga are both busy sunbathing, with Yuga taking constant selfies while dramatically posing for his Instagram. Rikido, Tsuyu, and Kyouka are busy preparing lunch for the group. Denki and Eijirou are making sand castles, while also challenging one another on who could build the best castle or sculptor. Toru, Hanta, Mezou, and Mashirao are playing a round of beach volleyball, and from the looks of it, Mashirao’s team(consisting of himself and Mezou) is currently winning.

Koji is sitting by himself near the shore while he gently holds a hermit crab in his large hands. Mineta(being the ultra perv that he is) is trying his damnedest to sneak a peek of the girls’ cleavages while taking pictures of them from behind a palm tree, but of course, he gets caught and is promptly tossed into the ocean. Fumikage, deciding he’d rather not be out in the sweltering sun with the others, has found refuge under the shade and has chosen to read a book. Tenya has decided to play lifeguard and is running around flailing his hands in his trademark chopping motion; trying his best to keep some sense of peace and order among his classmates if they got too rambunctious.

And lastly, there’s Izuku, Ochako, Mina, and Shouto, who are playing in the water; the four of them splashing and dunking one another, while also floating around on inflatable rings. This is what Katsuki finds himself focusing on; most of his attention being drawn to a certain green haired boy who he did not realize had such an amazing body until this moment. Despite the lack of muscle, Izuku still had a slim, toned frame, and Katsuki has caught himself staring. His eyes lingering over the miles of smooth, flawless skin; curious as to what it would feel like under his touch, his lips pressing tender kisses to the soft-looking skin…

”Bakugou!! Heads up!!!”

Suddenly, Katsuki is pulled out of his lecherous thoughts with the feel of a volleyball slamming into his face with an audible ’plop’. Everyone is silent for a split second before bursting out into collective boisterous laughter; much to Katsuki’s embarrassment and dismay.

He grips the ball hard in his hand and pulls it off his face, only to reveal a big red mark on his forehead, which only caused the laughter to go up an octave at the comical display.

“Oh, you think that’s funny, huh?!” He says with a sinister grin while eyeing Hanta, who he knew for a fact was responsible for the assault. He then reaches into his bag while the others were still laughing, and without warning, pulls out a large water gun and sprays those who are within his reach.

This causes a shriek to break out from the sudden water attack as Katsuki chases down Hanta and the others with his plastic weapon. “Who’s laughing now, huh? You like that? That'll teach ya to throw a damn ball my way, you assholes!!!”

As he chased the culprits around the sandy beach, he felt himself smiling as he heard Izuku’s childish giggling. He stops suddenly in his tracks as he makes his way towards Izuku and the others, and without warning, he squirts Izuku with the gun.

”Hey!! Kacchan, no fair!!” Izuku squeals giddily as he tries to block Katsuki’s attack. He retaliates by splashing Katsuki with ocean water, successfully drenching him.

”Ohh it’s on, now!” Katsuki then dives into the water, causing Izuku to scream happily as he’s then flipped from his pool ring. This then spurs on the two to enter a splash contest, while the others laugh and cheer them on.

Despite the childish shenanigans and juvenile antics, Katsuki is having so much fun, especially if he gets to see Izuku having just as much fun. Just seeing his smiling face is enough for him to let loose and actually enjoy himself.

He wishes that this moment wouldn’t end.

”Hey, you guys!” Tsuyu calls out to the group. “Lunch is ready! Come eat before the food gets cold!” With that, everyone dries off and makes their way to the picnic benches for a much-needed break.

 

-

 

Several more hours of splashing, sand castle building, and Tenya giving up on trying to keep everyone from roughhousing, the day comes to an end with Class 1-A making their way back to the awaiting bus. After a long train ride, they arrive back home and thank Momo for an amazing day.

”It’s no trouble, really.” She says with a beaming smile. “We hardly ever get to spend time together, like this. It was my pleasure to treat you guys! We should definitely do something like this, again!”

After exchanging hugs and bidding their farewells, the group heads in separate directions back home.

”Hey, man. I’m gonna head back, now. See you back home, dude.” Eijirou says. “Sure thing, man. I’ll catch up with you, in a sec.” Eijirou gives him a thumbs up before turning on his heels and heading back to their apartment. This leaves him alone with Izuku, who is smiling at him. “I had such a fun time, Kacchan! Thank you so much!!”

Katsuki laughs softly as he runs the back of his neck, nervously. “Wasn’t my idea, y’know? But, I’m glad you had fun, Izuku.”

After sharing a quick hug, Izuku makes his way home, as Katsuki jogs over to catch up with his roommate, occasionally looking back to catch a glimpse of Izuku’s receding silhouette as the sun sets in the horizon.

 

-

 

Katsuki’s POV

1 week later: Saturday August, 4 2018

I’m laying in bed in the middle of the night; an amused smile on my face as I scroll through all the photos I’ve taken at Tokyo Disney and the beach.

I’m usually not one for saving and admiring photos, especially if they’re not of things I care about. But ever since Izuku’s birthday, I’ve found myself taking more and more pictures and actually saving them. And as it turns out, the majority of my pictures are of Izuku; whether it’s of just him, him doing something silly or stupid, or if it’s a selfie of the two of us.

My smile grows bigger as I scroll through more photos of Izuku; his adorable smiling face, so bright and happy and so full of life, I can’t believe I haven’t noticed before just how gorgeous Izuku is. And it’s not just his appearance that is attractive, but his whole personality is just so pure, so genuine; nothing about him is fake or dishonest. And that’s something that I love most about him…

’Wait…love…? Do I…’

I quickly shake my head as I try to clear my head. I tap on the button on my phone so I can exit out of my photo gallery and set my phone back on the nightstand to charge, but just before I do, I notice something in my library.

Upon closer inspection, I feel my heart drop into my stomach and my blood turn cold as I stare in mixed shock and horror at the image on his screen:

The picture of Izuku’s Zoloft prescription. The one I’d taken all those years ago.

I still had it, this whole time!

I just stare at my screen; my mouth hanging open like a fish and my eyes wide like saucers, completely stunned at the fact that not only did I still have this photo saved in my phone, but I had completely forgotten about it until this moment.

’This photo; this fucking photo, had practically ruined Izuku’s life! No, fuck that, it DID ruin his life! And I’m the one who ruined it!! How in the fuck could I have forgotten about this?! I’m pretty certain Izuku hasn’t forgotten about it. How the fuck could he?!’

I sit there in the dark of my bedroom; with the only source of light coming from my phone screen, as I try to figure out what I should do. There’s no way in hell I can just ignore this; I can’t just pretend that I didn’t stumble across this picture, especially if it’s something that became the catalyst to Izuku’s life taking a downward spiral.

’Should I tell him about how I remembered I still had it? And if so, should I ask him if he wants me to delete it, first? Or should I just delete it now and tell him about it, later? Should I delete it and just keep it to myself? I mean, even though it’s something that greatly impacted him, he hasn’t brought it up once during any of our conversations. So, does that mean he’s forgotten about it, too? Does he actually remember about it and he’s just keeping it to himself? Ugh! I don’t know what the fuck I should do!!

I truly feel like I’ve reached a dilemma.

For all I know, I’m probably making a bigger deal about this than it really needs to be. I don’t wanna be dishonest with Izuku; he has a right to know that I still have this photo. But at the same time, I feel like if I show this to him, it may trigger something in him; he may break down mentally at the fact that I’ve held onto this for all these years, despite having genuinely forgotten about it, in the first place.

I stare at the picture for another long minute, which feels more like an hour, and with a shaky thumb, I tap on the screen so the option icons pop up.

With my thumb hovering over the delete icon, I take in a shaky breath, and I delete the photo.

I drop my phone on the covers as I lean against the headboard; my heart feeling like it’s going to burst out of my chest with how fast it’s beating. I feel like I’ve just committed a horrible sin, but at the same time, I feel relieved.

’Did I do the right thing? Did I make the right decision?...I really hope I did.’

I wipe the sweat off of my forehead with the back of my hand as I plug my phone in and set it on the nightstand. I settle under the sheets and try to go to sleep. All while the thought of what I did hangs heavy over my head, like a storm cloud.

 

-

 

”Is everything alright, Katsuki?” Hana asks me; her face full of worry.

I’m currently in my therapy session with Hana sitting across from me, as usual. Except for today, I don’t feel like my usual self, and I’m pretty sure it shows on my face. It's been five days since I deleted that picture, and I still feel at a loss on what to do.

I remain silent for a bit, which prompts Hana to speak, again. “You seem to be lost in thought; you’ve been very quiet, as well. What seems to be troubling you?” She asks in a quiet voice while leaning forward, a little.

I look down at my hands for a moment, unsure of how I should say what’s on my mind. Would she even be able to help me or give me advice that I could use in this situation? Is it even something worth discussing? I have no idea what I should do.

”I...do you remember the first time I came here for a session with you, Hana?” I finally say to her; trying to keep my stomach from doing flips. Hana perks at the sudden question, despite it being a bit random.

”Of course, I do! You sure had a lot to say.” She says with a smile, but I can’t seem to bring myself to smile, back. “And do you remember the things I talked about, as far as all the things I did to Izuku...like all the bullying?” She nods her head. “Well...I was scrolling through some pictures on my phone, and...I found the picture I’d taken of Izuku’s prescription…”

I don’t even have to look up to see the look on Hana’s face; a look of surprise, but she doesn’t say anything as she allows me to continue. “I know it’s been years since I took that photo, but...it’s a photo that had hurt Izuku, in more ways than I even realized back then. I know now that what I did was wrong; hell, even at the time, part of me knew that it was wrong, but that didn’t stop me from doing what I did! I…”

”Katsuki,” Hana interrupts me; keeping me from rambling me on, before saying “I understand that this has caused you immense guilt. I understand. But I’m sure that if you just explain to Izuku that you found it and that you simply forgot about it, I’m sure he’ll understand.” I look at her with wide eyes, my chest feeling like it’s going to burst. “I know, but, that’s the thing...I...I deleted the photo! I didn’t know what to do, whether I should wait to show him, or if I should just get rid of it!”

Hana nods her head in understanding. “I see. So, are you feeling afraid of telling him the truth? Do you believe that you’ll lose his trust because of this?” I slowly nod my head. She hums in confirmation before placing her notepad beside her and leaning forward.

”Katsuki, I can understand that this feeling is something that you’re not used to feeling. The feeling of doing something that may sever your friendship with someone who’s close to you is the worst kind of feeling you can experience; especially when you could have done something differently.”

I can’t help but avert her gaze; my face feeling hot. “But just from the few sessions I’ve had with Izuku, he really looks up to you, Katsuki.”

I look up at her in shock. “He...he does?” It feels like a stupid question to ask; of course, he fucking does! He’s always acted like a lost puppy around me ever since we were kids. He always looked at me like I was his idol; even more so than frickin’ All Might!

”Of course!” Hana smiles at me. “During all of my sessions with him, no matter what questions I ask him, he always mentions you, and Izuku has always spoken highly of you. He really admires you, Katsuki, so I’m sure that if you just be honest with him and explain why you did what you did, he’ll understand.”

I don’t know what to say after that. Does he actually think that way about me? That same fluttery feeling begins to form in my stomach at the thought of Izuku talking about me in that way during his sessions.

I feel a smile starting to form.

”Yeah...yeah, I think you’re right.” I say softly with a fond smile. “Okay. I’ll just try talking to him about it. I’m sure everything will be fine.”

We’re both silent for a while, and I allow my eyes to wonder for a bit. Hana’s looking over her notes, so I find myself staring at her beads. Before, I didn’t think anything of it; they just looked like regular beaded jewelry, to me. But as I look more closely, I notice that the patterns of the colored beads aren’t random. Each set has colors that are intricately placed.

One set of beads is pink, blue and yellow; another set is pink, purple and blue; another is light pink, light blue and white; and the rest are just rainbow.

”Hey, Hana. Can I ask you something?” I finally say after almost two minutes of silence between us. She nods her head, yes, and I look her in the eyes. “Why do you wear those beads?” I say to her while pointing to her necklace. “I’ve noticed them for a while, and I wasn’t sure what they meant; I’ve always seen you wearing them, no matter what outfit you’re wearing every day.”

At first, she seems taken aback by my question; probably cause of how random and out of the blue it is. But then, she gives me a kind smile. “Oh, these? Actually, my late husband made these for me. Outside of his psychiatry work, he made beaded jewelry on the side; it was kind of a hobby, and he gave these to me as a gift on our last anniversary.”

”Oh, I see.” I say. “So, what do the colors mean?” She smiles again, before saying “Well, these colors represent the LGBTQ community.”

My eyes widen at this. “The LGBTQ community? You mean...that gay rights community...?” She nods her head with a smile. “Yes, and my husband was transgender.”

Now this was a surprise to me. Definitely was not expecting that.

”Transgender? So, you mean…?” Again, she nods her head. “He wasn’t born a male. He was born biologically female, but he always knew deep down that he was meant to be a male. Although his family never supported him, he never let their hurtful words affect him. He wasn’t able to receive the surgery he needed in order to fully transition until about 3 years after we got married, and of course, we had to travel abroad just so we could legally get married since he was still seen as female on his documents, and it’s still illegal for ‘two women’ to marry in Japan.” She chuckles to herself before continuing.

“Regardless of the hardships he’s had to endure, it never stopped him from being his true self. And I was more than happy to be there by his side, no matter what.”

I stay silent, just sitting there as I take in all that’s been said to me. I look at her, and before I could lose my nerve, I say “So...you never had an issue with being with someone who used to be a female, and...did you know he was trans when you got married?” I feel like an asshole for asking this, but my curiosity won’t leave it be. I’m half expecting her to get angry, but instead, she just gives me that same kind smile and says “I actually found out before we started dating. And of course, I never had an issue with it.”

I remain silent while she continues. “So many people nowadays are way too focused on what should be expected of others, or what they believe is morally correct. While I have received my own dose of verbal lynching for being with someone who was born a female and wants to be male, and so many people tried to tell me that I was confused or making a mistake, I’ve never allowed that to deter me from being who I am.”

”So, you were perfectly fine with just letting people walk all over you, like that? Just because of who you were with? I don’t think I could ever just stand there while others talked shit about me.” I can’t help but ask that. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

She looks at me with a wide smile; her eyes are filled with so much compassion, it’s surreal. “Katsuki, we can’t help who we fall in love with. No matter their gender, race, skin, hair or eye color, nothing should ever keep you from being with the one you love, and no matter what anyone says or does, you should always do what you feel is right. And I’ve never been one to let something as insignificant as gender keep me from following my heart, and my heart led me to my beloved.”

I’m silent for a time. I’m unable to say anything in response to that, as I take everything in; let it all soak in. I think I understand what she’s saying, and I understand where she’s coming from...but what does any of this have to do with me? She’s saying all this like it’s supposed to have meaning to me, but I…I don’t...

”Katsuki,” Hana says after a minute. “May I ask you something...rather personal?” I look at her questioningly, before I slowly nod my head. ”How do you feel about Izuku?”

My eyes widen and my mouth hands open; I’m completely caught off guard by the question. I was NOT expecting her to ask that. And why?

”W-What...what do you mean…? I, I mean, we’re best friends. We’ve been best friends since we were little. I know we had a fallout and we stopped being friends for a few years, but that’s just ‘cause I was a stupid brat. I...I honestly don’t even remember why I bullied him, in the first place…”

’Or at least...I don’t remember. There has to be a reason, but I just can’t think of anything. I mean, who just picks on somebody for no reason?’

”That’s not necessarily what I meant. I was mean is...are you in love with him?”

I feel my breath get caught in my throat, I’m stunned by that. I open my mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. Part of me wants to deny it; I want to say that she’s got the wrong idea, that I don’t like Izuku in that way, and that I’m not gay...but...another part of me wants to say yes, because...I do like him...a lot! But...I…

”I….what-what makes you think....that I’m in love with him…?” I feel like an idiot now for saying that. What the fuck am I thinking? Am I THAT obvious?!

She chuckles before saying “Katsuki, I’ve been doing this for a long time, and after working with hundreds of people, I can tell when a person isn’t being honest with themselves, especially when it comes to their true feelings. You’re in love with Izuku, Katsuki. I don’t know about the details, but I can tell that he means a lot to you. And I know for certain that you mean a lot to him, too.”

I just sit there, staring down at my hands as I think back to all the times I’ve ever felt all the things she’s just described, and...I think she’s right.

Ever since that day that Izuku skipped school, I’ve felt nothing but intense worry for him. At first, I thought it was just something that a normal person felt when someone they knew was in trouble, but it’s more complicated than that. The way I saw Yamaguchi touching Izuku, I felt a burning feeling in my chest; like someone had just triggered a bomb. And then there’s fucking Half n’ Half; the way he constantly hovers around Izuku, acting like a damn love-sick school girl, and the way he looks at him, touches him...it fucking pisses me off!

Is this...what love is supposed to feel like?

The worst part is...deep down, I’ve known all along that I’ve been in love with Izuku. But the way I’ve tried to hide my feelings is so petty and immature, it’s shameful. I’d tried so damn hard to keep it hidden deep in the pits of my mind; pretending these feelings never existed, and the reason for it...is so laughable it’s almost sad. And I’m so scared to tell Izuku the truth behind why I even bullied him, in the first place.

”Hana,” I finally say after a long moment. “I...I think you’re right…”

She sits up in her seat at this. “Right about what, Katsuki?”

”I’m in love with Izuku. I love him. I really, really do!” I almost shout the words as they fly past my lips. “But, I...I’ve done such horrible things to him. How could he ever want to be with someone with me after everything I’ve done to him?! For fuck’s sake, I fucking told him to go KILL HIMSELF!! How could I ever confess my feelings to him on the back of something so fucking EVIL!?”

I’m not crying, but I can feel myself about to break down, any minute as I pour my heart out. Hana smiles softly at me as she takes my hands into hers. “Katsuki. If only you could see and hear the way Izuku speaks about you during his sessions. He looks up to you with so much admiration, it’s almost unreal.”

I stare wide-eyed at her. “I know it can be scary trying to convey your feelings to someone special to you, especially when it’s not something you’re used to. But as long as you’re honest and genuine with what you tell him, I’m sure that he’ll understand.”

I gnaw on my bottom lip as I look at her. “But- But what if, what if he doesn’t like me, back? He may not even like guys!”

”Even if that is the case, just letting him know your true feelings and that he knows how special he is to you, should be all that matters. It may even strengthen your friendship by telling him the truth.”

I think about this for a moment, and after some time, I finally nodded my head with resolve. “Okay. I’ll do it! I’ll tell him! Along with me deleting the photo, I’ll tell him how I really feel!!”

I honestly have no idea how things will play out after I confess to him. Hell, it can only go so many ways. He’ll either forgive me for deleting the photo, reciprocate my feelings and we’ll end up dating, or he’ll tell me he hates me for what I did and never want to speak to me, again. Or, by the off chance, he’ll say it doesn’t even matter, and he’ll still wanna be friends, despite not returning my feelings.

There are so many ways this can all go down.

Either way, I’m ready. I’m ready to actually grow a pair and tell him the truth.

I’m going to tell him that I love him!

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s POV

While I’m at work, I think over everything Hana had said to me.

I’ve just admitted to not only Hana but also to myself that I’m in love with Izuku. And not only that, I’ve been in love with him for a long fucking time.

When Hana mentioned the LGBTQ community to me, it made me realize who I actually am; the person I’ve been acting as since childhood was nothing but a facade; a flashy mask, something that I tried to make people believe was the real me. In a sense, that IS who I am, but the person I used to be before I started bullying Izuku...is someone that I used to be so embarrassed and ashamed of to reveal to others and the reasoning for it...god, I can’t even stand myself for even thinking the way I did!

 

-

 

15 years earlier:

I had never been interested in girls the same way other boys were.

I always knew that I was different, but I never thought there was anything wrong with me. I liked the same things other boys did; I played the same kind of games they did, I liked getting dirty and roughhousing, I liked action figures and I acted like any other boy my age. So I never believed that whichever gender I was attracted to affected who I was as a person.

Even my parents didn’t seem to mind too much whether I liked girls or boys or, hell, both. I felt very content to just do my own thing, and I especially felt content in being with Izuku. And part of me really hoped that he felt the same way for me that I did for him.

But it all changed when some of my ‘friends’ pointed it out, and decided to use it against me.

I remember the day it happened; Izuku and I were out playing, like usual. I was playing on the jungle gym equipment, while Izuku had wandered off to the small field where he was picking flowers.

”Kacchaaan!” I looked over my shoulder while swinging on the swing set when I heard Izuku excitedly calling my name. “Kacchan! Kacchan! Come look, Kacchan!!”

I walked over to where he was, a big bright smile spread over his face; his cheeks flushed as he looked at me with glee. “Look at what I made, Kacchan!” He said excitedly and held up a big wreath made out of flowers that he’d carefully braided together using the stems. “What do you think? It’s a crown! Isn’t it pretty?”

I smiled as I looked at his giddy, smiling face. “Yeah, it is! You made it all by yourself, Izu?” He nodded his head in enthusiasm, and I felt my face starting blush. Then, he placed the crown on top of my head. “There! Now you’re a prince, Kacchan!”

At first, I didn’t know what to say or do, but after watching Izuku clap his small hands together and his eyes practically sparkling with joy at bestowing me the gift, I decided to leave it on since it made him happy.

And I loved making him happy.

”Thank you, Izu. Does it make me look handsome?” I asked him with a smirk. He laughed and nodded his head yes. That made my heart flutter, and I decided to wear the crown for the rest of the day.

Soon after, it was time for us to go home for dinner. As I made my way back home after walking Izuku back to his home, I was still wearing the flower crown; gently rubbing on one of the small petals between my fingers, marveling in its velvety softness...imagining Izuku’s skin is just as soft.

It was at that moment that I ran into my other friends from school. “Hey, Kacchan! How’s it going?”

I looked up at them and smiled as I greeted them. Then, one of them pointed to the crown. “What’s that thing on your head, Kacchan?” I looked at him confused before realizing what he was referring to. I took the crown off of my head to show them. “It’s a flower crown. Izuku made it for me. Pretty cool, huh?”

I was expecting them to agree since it was something that I liked, and it was made by the boy that I really liked. Instead…

”HAHAHAHA!! You actually like that kind of stuff, Kacchan?!”

They burst out laughing as they pointed to the crown; saying all kinds of horrible, mean things about it, and about Izuku. I was genuinely shocked at what they were saying.

”That’s so gay!!”

”Why would you wear something like that?! You look like a big sissy!!”

”Are you one of those fags too, Kacchan?! My mom said that those types of people are gross!!”

”Is that loser a gay fag, too?! Maybe he should start wearing dresses and ribbons if he wants to make gay shit, like that!”

”What a faggot!!! HAHAHAHA!!”

I was stunned. Not just by what they were saying to me, but because...deep down, I began to feel embarrassed. Not just by the fact that they were right about me being gay, but by the way they were referring to me AND Izuku.

But for some weird reason, I didn’t stand up for Izuku. I did stand up for myself, however, and told them to shut the fuck up...but I also began to deny everything they were saying. I denied that I was into boys, I denied that I even liked anything about Izuku, both platonically and romantically. But worst of all, I began to do by far the worst thing to try and keep Izuku from receiving the same treatment.

At that time, it made complete sense to me. In order to both protect my dignity and keep Izuku safe from those hurtful words, I did everything I possibly could to keep him away from me, even doing the most awful things to him. I genuinely believed that if I made Izuku hate me enough, to the point where he wouldn’t want anything to do with me anymore, that he would be safe.

As time past, my reason for bullying him began to change. It became less about trying to protect him, and more about me truly thinking that I actually hated him. I was so deep in denial, I had somehow convinced myself that I hated him simply because it was Izuku.

The bullying only got worse over time, and eventually, I had completely desensitized myself of any and all compassion for him. Every so often, my feelings for him would peek out whenever he would make eye contact with me, but I would stomp those feelings down by shoving him away. He was making it so hard for me to protect him by constantly following me and trying to stand up for himself. Like everything I’d done had all been for nothing, and it made me hate him, even more.

But in reality, and completely unbeknownst to me, I had become the very person that I’d tried to keep him safe from.

 

-

 

Present day:

As I lean against the shelves, I try to think of a way that I can confess my feelings to Izuku, and at the same time, trying to figure out the best way to tell him about the photo being deleted.

’I don’t know how I can possibly tell him that I love him, after everything I’d done to him. But then again, he did forgive me, and he seems to trust me a lot more, now. But how will that change after I tell him about the photo? And how do I know that everything will be the same after I do tell him?’

Just then, an idea comes to mind.

I dig out my phone and pull up something on the screen. After a minute, I decide to send Izuku a quick text.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katsuki: Hey, nerd! Are you busy tomorrow?

Izuku: No. I don’t think so. Why?

Katsuki: I was thinking we should do something tomorrow. That new All Might movie just came out, today. You wanna go see it with me, tomorrow? Since it's my day off lol

Izuku: Sure! That sounds like fun, Kacchan! :D

Katsuki: Lol Awesome. I’ll meet you at your place and we can head over there. Is 5:30 ok?

Izuku: Yep :) Can’t wait lol

Katsuki: See you tomorrow, nerd!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

”Bakugou!!”

I jump, nearly dropping my phone as Kira calls my name. “Off your phone during work hours! Unless it’s an emergency, I don’t wanna see you texting on the clock!”

”Y-Yeah! My bad, Kira!” I stutter out as I quickly put my phone away and get back to work; a blush spreading over my face as I hear her snickering under her breath.

Regardless, I’m feeling really good about this whole thing, now. I’ll take Izuku to the movies, and after that, I’ll tell him. All I have to do is figure out the best time to do it.

’It’ll all work out. I know it will. Tomorrow, I’ll tell him how I really feel.’

 

-

 

The next day, I’m standing in line at the movie theatre with Izuku by my side.

I’m not gonna lie...I feel like I’m about to pass out from all the nerves. I doing my damnedest to keep it together until we finish up here. I can’t let my nervousness get to me; not after I’ve already come so far to get to this moment. I’ve got to pull it through, it’s all or nothing.

After I buy our tickets and snacks, we make our way through the auditorium where we find some decent seats. All the while, I’m trying not to fidget around too much in my seat; not wanting Izuku to notice.

”Isn’t this exciting?” Izuku asks quietly with child-like excitement on his face. “They’ve been hyping this movie for almost a year! I’m so excited!”

I can’t help but to smile at his eagerness. Maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea, after all. Maybe all of my worrying about how Izuku would react was all for nothing. If all goes well, I may be able to tell him everything without anything going wrong.

 

-

 

During a rather emotional scene near the climax of the film, Izuku begins sniffling and using a tissue to wipe his eyes. Although I’m not as into All Might as I used to be as a kid, I have to admit that this is a pretty badass film. They even did a pretty damn good job at the casting; the guy who plays as All Might is almost a spitting image(hell, maybe it IS him).

At one point, I feel something press into my right arm, and in turns out to be Izuku. He’s absentmindedly nuzzling into my side; his fingers curling into my sleeve while his other hand is shoveling popcorn into his mouth. Smiling to myself, I subtly rest my head against his, hoping he doesn’t notice, but also secretly hoping he snuggles closer to me.

Now this is definitely starting to feel like a date. And maybe after today, it can be considered one.

 

-

 

After the movie finishes, we file out of the theatre with the rest of the crowd. It’s not too late; it’s only about 7:45 PM, and there’s still about an hour or so before it becomes dark. So as we make our way back to the station, I try to figure how I’m going to tell Izuku how I feel; all the while Izuku is talking at a mile a minute about how amazing the film was, and how he can’t wait for the sequel to come out.

Once we board the train, I lead us to towards the back of the train where there are almost no passengers around. I can feel my legs vibrating from the jitters coursing throughout my body. ’I can do this. I can do this. I've come this far, so now the only thing left to do, is to fucking say it!’

”Hey, Izu-” I don’t get the chance to finish my sentence before Izuku cuts me off.

”Do you wanna come over to my place for a bit, Kacchan? We can watch some TV and have snacks if you want.” He asks innocently. I feel my eyes widen at the sudden question, but I don’t let him notice. ’Yes. Yes! This is perfect! It’ll be much easier to tell him if we’re somewhere more private. This’ll work! I know it will!!’

”Yeah, sounds good, Izuku.”

 

-

 

We arrive at his place fifteen minutes later. After taking my shoes off, I settle onto the couch while Izuku is in the kitchen. “Do you want something to drink, Kacchan?” He asks with a smile. I smile back at him. “Water’s fine. Thanks.”

After handing me a bottle of water, Izuku settles next to me on the couch as he grabs for the remote and flips through the channels; he’s so close that our thighs are just barely touching. I feel my heart leap at the closeness. I even feel tempted to rest my arm over the couch cushions so my hand is almost grazing his shoulder.

This is it. I can do it. It’s now or never.

”...Hey...Izuku?” I finally say after almost ten minutes of silence. He looks at me with a smile before saying “Yes, Kacchan?”

I stay silent for a moment, trying to decide if I should tell him about the picture first, or if I should tell him how I feel about him, first. After a quick internal argument with myself, I dig out my phone, gingerly. Taking my time with opening up the apps.

”There’s something...that I wanna show you…” I say sheepishly while I scroll through my most recent photos and stop at the pictures from my last vacation trip to the mountains. Taking a deep breath, I hand Izuku my phone. He looks at it with confusion for a second, then looks at me; I give him a nod before he takes the phone from my hand.

’Everything will be fine. He’ll understand, I know he will. After I tell him about the photo...then I’ll tell him that I love him. And hopefully...we can go from there.’

I watch him slowly scrolling through the pictures with his thumb; his eyes skimming over each one. After over two minutes, he looks back at me with that same confused look, like he’s missed something. “What am I supposed to be looking at, Kacchan? These all look like a bunch of random photos from the mountains. Was there something I missed…?”

Of course, he isn’t able to find the picture…because I’ve already deleted it. “It’s not so much of what you’re looking at, but what you’re not looking at…”

He looks at me with a skeptical expression; seeming even more confused than he already was. I take a deep breath; knowing that I’m just gonna have to come out and tell him. With the phone still in his hands, I use my pointer finger to slowly scroll through the gallery until I come to the spot where the used to be, giving him a soft smile as I do so.

”Izuku...do you...remember that picture I had taken back in middle school...the one of your prescription medicine…?” I ask him cautiously. I see his expression shift from confused, to comprehension; his eyebrows lift up and create slight wrinkles on his forehead. He doesn’t say anything as he waits for me to continue. I take a few deep breaths as I gather up all the courage I can muster up.

’It’s now, or never.’

”Well...I was scrolling through the pictures I’d taken from our vacation to Disney and our beach trip, and I-I came across it in my gallery…”

”...And…?” Izuku asks, quietly.

”And…” I inhale deeply and look him in the eyes before saying “I deleted it.”

Oddly enough, I felt a huge weight lifting off of my shoulders; like I’d shrugged off bags full of sand, and I suddenly feel a hundred pounds lighter. I can feel myself smiling slightly, as a way to not only bring comfort to myself but to also assure Izuku that I’m being genuine and honest. He’s silent for a time; his eyes shifting downward like he’s averting his gaze from me. There’s a strange feeling looming over us, it feels like something that I can’t quite describe; it doesn’t feel light and airy like it did before, but it’s not very heavy, either.

Then, as if he did a complete 180, Izuku slowly looks up at me...and his face has shifted to a look that I can only describe as,

Anger.

”Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?!

He then aggressively shoves the phone back into my chest; causing me to almost drop it. His sudden booming voice startles me enough to get off the couch and slightly back away from him; my eyes wide with shock and confusion, my hands held up in a surrender-type gesture.

”I-Izuku! What’s-what’s wrong?!” I’m genuinely confused by his sudden mood shift, and I’m just as shaken by the fact that he’s cussing, something that is very rare. I expected him becoming angry and upset as one of the scenarios that would happen after telling him, but experiencing it in person is something entirely different. Especially coming from Izuku. “You waited until NOW to delete that fucking photo?! Why did you wait until now to do that?! Hell, why did you wait, PERIOD?! Why would you hold onto it for all this time, Kacchan?! Did you keep it so that you could sneak a peek at it every once in a while, just so you could feel big and proud?! Is that it?!”

”W-Wha..?” I was honestly confused by this. "N-No, Izuku, I swear I honestly completely forgot about the picture until just yesterday. That’s when I deleted it. I know I should’ve waited to ask you first, and I’m really sorry for not talking to you about it.” I’m feeling more and more frantic as I try to explain myself to him, but he’s having none of it.

”You ‘forgot about it’?! Really, Kacchan?! You honestly expect me to believe that bullshit?! You had the gall to fucking blackmail me with the damn thing, and so now you’re telling me, that this whole time, after over 3 years of being in school together, you just 'forgot about it'…? Meanwhile, you paired that with harassing me and making my life a living hell?!” He’s now up on his feet and standing there in front of me; his hands clenching tightly into angry fists.

”N-No, no! Izuku, that’s not true! I swear to you, I really did forget about it until now! I know that what I did was a complete dick move, but to tell you the truth, I never once even thought about the picture, let alone ever once looked back at it, after that day! I know it all sounds like complete bullshit, Izuku, but please believe me. I’m telling you the truth!”

I feel like a broken record, at this point. I feel like no matter how many times I tell him the same thing, it all sounds like excuses. And with the way it’s all coming out, combined with my previous track record, this whole situation is taking a turn for the worst.

He continues to stare daggers at me as he curls his hands into tight fists. "Even if you did have good intentions with deleting it, what difference will it make at this point, Kacchan?! You sent it to everyone in our class back in middle school, remember?!" I cringe at the memory of that; remembering all too well the mocking tones and expressions of my 'friends', back then. "They all most likely still have copies of that picture, and some of them probably posted it on social media! So it doesn't even matter if you delete it. It's still out there! And it's like you said to me, back then: 'What's done is done'. Your exact words!"

I grimace at those words; knowing that he's right. The memory of those things that I said to him when he tried to confront me make my stomach twist and flip; I feel so sick with myself. Deep down, I knew that even if I got rid of it, there would still be copies of it floating around, possibly on the internet, somewhere. And I can't just track down all the people I sent it to and make them delete it. What sense would that make, now?! I feel like a complete jackass, now!

”I should’ve known! This whole time, it was you!” He shouts at me with a slight squeak. I just look at him in confusion. “What..? What was me, Izuku?” He then shoots me an angry glare. “You know damn well what, Kacchan! All of those rumors that have been spreading all throughout the school about me! All those things people have been saying about me, behind my back, it was you, this whole time!!”

”What rumors, Izuku?” I ask him desperately. “What are you talking about?”

”The rumors about my suicide attempt!! Practically everyone knows, now!! And I bet you were the one who told them!! That’s why you deleted the picture, right?!” He’s getting louder and more irate as he continues spitting out accusations at me. “I bet you even sent out that photo to as many people as you could, and that’s how they know!! This whole time, you’ve just been acting nice to me, being my friend, just so you could make me vulnerable, again! And as soon as my guard was completely down, you did something like THIS!!!”

I’m stunned. I have no idea what to say. There were rumors going around? Since when?! I need to get to the bottom of this, but I can’t do that while Izuku is pointing the blame to me. But then again, it makes a lot of sense why he would think that I mean...if it were me, it wouldn’t be a surprise to him or anyone else who knows me, that I would be the culprit.

But this time’s different. I truly have no clue what he’s even talking about.

”Izuku...I swear to you. I didn’t spread any rumors around. This is the first time I’m even hearing about this, so why would I…?” I don’t finish that sentence, knowing full well that the outcome will be the same, and it’ll only make me look worse.

”So then how is it that everyone knows about my attempting suicide? Why are they saying things about me taking drugs, huh?! Did you tell anybody about this?!” I don’t answer, right away. I think carefully about how to answer that, and I remember that yes, I did indeed tell someone. In fact, I told 2 people. But, it was never with the intentions that he thinks.

”Y-Yes...I did tell a couple of people.” He’s about to say something before I cut him off. “B-But, but, I only told people that I trust, and that I know for a fact would never say anything to others.” Izuku’s silent for a moment. He continues to glare at me before saying “...who did you tell…?”

”Kirishima and my professor, Maijima-sensei. The day after you were hospitalized, Kirishima was worried because I had stayed over with my parents, the night before. I told him I would explain what was going on, but the only thing I said to him, was that you were hospitalized and that it was for something serious. Same with Maijima! I had to take the day off from class, and he wanted me to give him a reason as to why, and all I told him was that it was an emergency and that you were involved in a suicide attempt. I never once mentioned anything about your medication, and even if I did, he isn’t the type of person who would just openly tell others.”

He remains silent as he looks down at his feet. I’m doing my best at telling him the truth, but I can only tell him what I know, and I know I’m being honest, but to him, it must all sound too good to be true. “Izuku. I really have no idea how others found out. I really don’t. But I swear to you, I never told those two with the intention of hurting you. That was never my intention!” I want so badly to hug him and to tell him how sorry I am, but I can’t bring myself to move.

I can’t see his eyes as a shadow covers his features, but then he starts talking, again. It’s so quiet, that I almost have to strain my ears so I can hear him, clearly.

”Kacchan...I wanna ask you something.” He says with a cynical tone in his voice. I’m caught off guard by that, but I simply look at him. “W-What is it, Izuku?”

Still not looking at me, he says in a quiet voice “If none of this had ever happened; if I didn’t try to take my own life; if you hadn’t found me when Yamaguchi ganged up on me, would things be the same between us as they are, now? Or would you continue to bully and torment me like you did, before?”

My eyes widen at his questions. I open my mouth to answer, but I immediately close it, shut. I honestly have no idea how to answer his questions.

The truth is…I don’t have an answer. I could always just go with ‘No, nothing would ever change between us’, but in reality, I really don’t know how things would have played out between us. I doubt anybody knows how things would have been if none of the events that had transpired ever did. This is truly a difficult question to answer, and I can’t just casually give a simple yes or no answer, otherwise, I would be lying.

For once, I’m completely at a loss for words.

”Kacchan…” He says in a quiet and broken voice. “...I know that I’d already forgiven you for everything that you’ve done, and I know I said that I wanted to fix our broken relationship. That hasn’t changed...but...no matter how many times I try to look past everything that has happened between us, no matter how many times I tell myself that things are different, now, and that you’re not the same person as you were, back in middle school...part of me is still so scared to trust you!”

I’m taken back by his words, and I can’t help but feel hurt by this. He then begins to tremble as tears start to brim in his eyes. “I want so badly for things to be like they were, before. Back when we were kids, we were so close...but, now... every time I think that everything is back to the way it used to be, my thoughts go back to all the times you were so mean to me, and-sob-I can’t help-sob-but think t-that everything will-sob-w-will, w-w-will…” He’s unable to finish his sentence as his whole body becomes wracked with sobs and heavy panting.

Suddenly, he falls to his hands and knees, and he begins hyperventilating. “Izuku?!” I rush over to him, and to my horror, his eyes are unfocused and full of tears; his face has become pale, and he’s barely able to catch a full breath.

He’s having a panic attack.

”Izuku! Hey, hey. It’s okay, you’re okay. Nothing’s going to happen to you, Izu. I promise you’re okay.” I speak to him in a gentle voice, trying not to let my own panic and paranoia become apparent. I don’t touch him, but I let him know that I’m here for him as I help him ease out of his panic attack.

”Everything’s okay, ‘Zu. Just take nice, deep breaths. Nice and slow. Breathe with me, okay? In and out. In and out.” I breathe slowly, allowing him to copy my own technique, and funny enough, it’s also helping me to calm down, as well. He takes a few shaky breaths; his panic still visible, but at least he’s starting to calm down. “That’s it. Just like that.” I take a chance and place my hand over his, barely letting my fingers graze his hand. “You’re doing great, Izu. Just take it nice and slow. Take your time. Everything’s going to be okay.”

After almost five minutes of slow and steady breathing, Izuku is back to normal. All traces of his earlier panicked state almost completely wiped clean. But, as soon as he looks up at me, the fear that had been present in his gaze soon returns.

He roughly pushes me away with a panicked gasp and makes a B-line for the hallway, where he runs into his room, slamming the door shut.

”Izuku!” I knock on his door, trying to turn the knob, but finding it to be locked. “Izuku, please let me in!”

”Go away…” He cries out from the other side as I hear muffled whimpering coming from inside. “Izuku...please, I just wanna talk to you. Just let me in, so I can talk to you. Please.”

”I SAID GO AWAY!! LEAVE ME ALONE, KATSUKI!!!

It feels like I’ve just been slapped across the face.

I verbally gasp at the way he said my name. It’s been such a long time since I heard Izuku refer to me by my actual name; he’s always called me ‘Kacchan’, even after our fallout. So to hear him say my name and in such a venomous way...I feel sick to my stomach.

I want to stay and try to coax him to come out. I want to try and fix this...but that’ll only make things worse. All I’ll do is end up pushing further away from me, and considering the circumstances and how we got to this point, talking is the last thing that Izuku will want to do.

For now, the only thing I can do is give Izuku some space, and allow him to collect himself. Whenever he’s ready, whenever that may be, he’ll come to me, and maybe...just maybe, we can try to patch things up.

”Okay, Izuku...I’ll leave you alone.” I stare sadly at the door, trying to keep my voice calm and level. “If you need anything, anything at all, just let me know, okay…? I...I’m here for you, Izuku…”

I slowly make my way towards the living room, making sure to turn the TV off before putting on my shoes. With one last glance back down the hall, I quietly close the door, and make my way back home.

I’ve officially fucked up, big time.

 

-

 

’What have I done…? How could I have done something like that? I’ve fucked everything up.’

I’m walking down the street as I gnaw on my lower lip and feel tears threatening to spill over. I want so badly to break down crying at the fact that I’ve basically just ruined my chance at a relationship with Izuku and possibly even our friendship, but I have no right. I never should’ve done any of the things I did. If I wanted to tell Kirishima and Maijima about Izuku’s situation, I could've just told Kirishima that it was something private that I couldn’t tell him. With Maijima, I could’ve just said that it was a family emergency, and that again, it was private.

I didn’t even have to say anything. I didn’t have to delete that photo...but I did, and there’s no going back. There’s no way I’ll be able to go back and stop it from happening. All I can do, now, is live with it.

I wipe my eyes with the back of my hand as I stop walking. ’I just hope...that one day, he’ll forgive me...but honestly, I don’t think I even deserve that much…’

Then, in a sudden, spontaneous change of pace, I make my way towards my job at the 7 Eleven. I’m greeted by one of the night shift workers as I make my way down the aisles. I grab a couple bottles of tea(including Izuku’s favorite), some bags of chips(including Izuku’s favorite) and even a few candy bars(including Izuku’s favorite). Despite wanting to give Izuku time to himself, I still wanna at least do something nice for him, like getting him some of his favorite snacks and drinks. I then come across the magazine rack, and on the shelf is this month’s edition of JUMP magazine with All Might on the front cover. I smile to myself, and grab the magazine and start skimming through the pages.

’Hopefully, this’ll help to cheer him up. Even just a little bit.’

 

-

 

Izuku’s POV

I don’t know how long I sat here; in the dark, with my back resting against the door, my knees pulled up to my chest and my arms wrapped tightly around my legs as I continue to rock back and forth. The tears wouldn’t stop flowing from my eyes, I rest my forehead against the tops of my knees as I listen to my pitiful sobs echoing off the walls of my bedroom.

I try to catch my breath; wiping furiously at my eyes as the events from earlier re-play in my head. I feel so angry and hurt by what Kacchan had done, it feels like he betrayed me, betrayed my trust…but was I really in the right? Did Kacchan actually do anything of those things on purpose, or did I just assume that he was planning to repeat what he did to me back in middle school? To be honest, I hadn’t even been thinking about that picture until now; ever since I was hospitalized, that was the farthest thing from my mind, and I have a feeling that judging by the way Kacchan had been acting today, it was the farthest thing from his mind, too.

And the way he looked at me when I began accusing him…he looked so hurt; so heartbroken. The last time I saw him look like that was after I told him that I’d planned to kill myself over a month ago; those emotions he expressed were real. There’s no way he could fake them, and it was no different, today.

I feel my eyes widen in realization. The anger and rage that had consumed me not five minutes ago soon turned into exhaustion, and then, as if a switch has been flipped inside my brain, I’m overcome by the crushing weight of immense sadness and regret.

What have I done!?

That’s all I can think about. That’s all that keeps ringing out in my head as more tears continue to.

I’ve ruined everything.

’How...how could I have said such horrible, terrible things to Kacchan?! How could I?! All he was trying to do was help me; that’s all he’s done since that day in the hospital, and instead of listening to him; instead of hearing him out, I allowed my anxiety, my worries, my doubts to completely take over! I jumped to conclusions, I made assumptions up in my head before actually hearing what Kacchan had to say! Why couldn’t I have just listened to him?! I’m the worst person, ever!!’

I continue to rock against the door as my breathing becomes more and more haggard and strained. I try to control my breathing, but it seems almost impossible. I feel like I’m being crushed; like my legs weight at least a hundred pounds each.

I just want this feeling to go away! I just want it all to STOP!

’I just wanna take back everything I said to him!! I want Kacchan to come back, but...he’ll NEVER come back, not after everything I said to him!! I’ve just lost my best friend!!!’

I try pushing myself up, but I end up falling forward; my face hitting the hard floor with a ‘thump’. I rest on my elbows as my forehead pressed into the floor; more tears flowing out, and making it harder to see.

”K-Kacchan! P-Please-sob-come back, Kacchan!-sob-I’m-sob-I’m sorry!! Please, d-don’t,-sob-don’t leave me alone!!”

~Pathetic.~

My eyes widen at the horrible voice inside my head. I feel my bottom lip wobble as I try to sit up, again; my arms feeling shaky and weak.

~I warned you. But you didn’t want to listen. As long as you kept being around him, you would only suffer, just like before. And look what’s happened. You never listen, do you? You just do whatever you want, until you learn the hard way.~

’S-Stop...please, stop…’

~If you had just stayed away from that boy, and left everything alone, you wouldn’t be in this mess you’ve made. You wouldn’t be drowning in your own pitiful sadness. Or maybe...maybe you actually LIKE being crushed by the weight. Maybe you like having what little shred of your self-dignity and self-worth you have left stomped on and spat on.~

’Please stop it...just leave me alone, please…’

I try my best to ignore that voice, as I finally make it to my feet while supporting my weight against the bed frame, and begin making my way slowly towards the door. I need to do something to help me calm down.

Something. Anything!

~Even after everything that’s happened, you still insist on pushing forward? What’s the point? Nobody’s going to come and hold your hand!~

”Shut up…”

~What good will it do to try and relieve your anxiety, at this point? Even if you do manage to quench yourself, you know it’ll only be temporary. Why even bother with trying?!~

”I said shut up…!”

~Maybe you really should’ve tried harder, before. You clearly didn’t try hard enough when you first tried to end your life. So why not end it all? Right here. Right now!~

”I SAID SHUT UP!!! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!!! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!”

I scream at the top of my lungs; not even caring if I disturb my neighbors, as I stumble through the apartment. I’m barely even able to keep my balance as I make my way into the bathroom and search through the medicine cabinet; my hands are trembling like leaves as I feel around for what I’m looking for.

But to my horror, the thing I’m searching for; that I need, is gone.

”No! No! No, no, no!! Where is it?! Where’s my medicine?!” I frantically tear open all the cabinets, desperately tossing the contents out of each cabinet as tears continue to blur my vision. After everything’s been thrown to the floor, I begin to hyperventilate as I remember something very crucial...and I feel my mind beginning to crumble at the memory.

Kacchan had removed all of my prescription pills...and my box cutter.

All of my tools, my coping mechanisms, my anchors, everything. ALL. GONE.

I feel my whole body beginning to seize up with tension, sweat starts to trickle down my forehead and neck and I begin to feel nausea forming; all tell-tale signs of a panic attack forming. I can’t even control my breathing as I frantically search for something, anything, to make this horrible, crushing feeling go away.

I feel like I’m suffocating; like there’s an intense pressure sitting on my chest. It’s suffocating me. Killing me. I feel like I’m dying.

I’m dying!

I’m dying!!

I’M DYING!!

I don’t even know what’s happening around me, anymore. I can barely see or hear, or even feel much of anything. It’s like all of my senses have gone completely numb.

My vision feels fuzzy and clouded with fog and tears; I don’t even realize that my legs are leading me towards the kitchen. It feels like all I can hear is static and those awful voices; sometimes they sound a lot like a more cold and antagonistic version of me, other times they sound a lot like Kacchan; when they’re not spouting awful things at me, I can often hear memories from my childhood replaying in my head. I can barely feel anything; all I can feel is the prickling, itching, burning feeling under my skin that seems to be getting worse. I can feel it starting in my fingertips and crawling up my arms.

I just want it to stop. I want it all to stop.

The painful stinging and burning, the waves of nausea, the static noise, and those awful, horrible voices!

Make it stop.

Make it stop!

Make it stop!!

’Make it stop Make it stop Make it stop Make it stop MakeitstopMakeitstopMakeitstopMakeitstopMakeitstopMakeitstopMakeitstop!!!’

’UselesspatheticweakDEKU!You’reNOTmyequal!You’llNEVERbemyequal!YoufuckingRETARD!!INEVERaskedyoutosavemeDekuMaybenexttimeyouwon’tleaveyourshitlyingaroundforpeopletojustcomeupandmesswithwon’tyou?’ squilsh ’Don’tyouDAREgetintoYuueinerd.I’llmakesureeverysinglepersonatYuueiseesthis.Deku!Deku!Deku!Deku!SAYSOMETHING!!!!!’ glish ’YOUFUCKINGRETARDEDSONOFABITCHHOWDAREYOUGETINMYFUCKINGWAYAGAINDidyouremembertotakeyourmedicinethismorning?Nobodygivesashitaboutyouyou’renothingbutafuckingwastetothem!’ splitch He’suselessDekuYou’renothingbutauselessDekuYoudon’tfuckingbelonghereinfactyoudon’tbelonganywhere!’ drip ’INEVERaskedforyourFUCKINGhelpyoustupidfuckingdumbassYou’renothingbutascaredlimpuselesslittleNOTHINGNobodyfuckingcaresaboutyouDekuNobodyeverhasandnobodyeverwill!’ drip ’Whydon’tyoudoyourselfandeveryoneoneofusafavorandFUCKINGKILLYOURSELF!?!’

drip

Worthless

drip

Useless

drip

Retarded

drip

Deku.

Deku.

Deku.

Deku!

”IZUKUUUUU!!!!!!!!”

I feel my mind, and entire body, jostle from the sound of the sudden booming voice that seems to ring out through the entire space; reverberating off the walls and nearly making them shake, as well. I also feel my body jump at the feeling of someone yanking something violently out of my hand; something that I didn’t even know I had been holding until this moment, as I hear something hard, and possibly metallic, being thrown; the sound scraping against the tile floor.

Suddenly, as if a switch has been flipped, I feel my senses coming back; albeit, slowly. The annoying ringing and static in my ears fading away, until all I can hear is the panicked breathing and cursing from the person in front of me. My vision begins to clear, aside from my tears, the fog is starting to clear, I’m able to slowly take in my surroundings.

But as soon as I feel the numbness fading away, all I can feel is...

Pain.

I can barely make out what the person in front of me is saying as I look down, and I feel my stomach twist; the nauseous sensation returning, and sheer panic beginning to rise back up in my chest as I look in horror at what I see.

All I see...is crimson.

 

-

 

Katsuki’s POV

I’m expecting a few different things to happen when I walk into Izuku’s apartment: I’m expecting him to be sitting on his couch; blankly watching TV. I’m expecting him to be in the bathroom; still crying his eyes out, and possibly taking a bath to help him relax. I’m expecting him to still be in his room; either crying in the same spot he was in when I left or possibly asleep. I’m expecting anything, and I mean anything, at all.

What I don’t expect, is to find Izuku sitting in his kitchen with his back hunched, silverware and utensils strewn around, and Izuku softly crying and muttering to himself while cutting into his arms with a fucking STEAK KNIFE.

It feels like all of the wind was just knocked out of my chest as I stand there in horror at what I’m seeing.

”IZUKUUUUU!!!!!!!!”

I scream out as I drop my shopping bag and quickly rush over to him; not even caring that my shoes are still on as I tear the knife rather violently out of his hand, and throw it clear across the kitchen floor; the sound of the blade clattering against the tile. I’m freaking out at this point as I try to figure out what I should do. Where do I even begin with helping Izuku?!

”Shit! Shit! SHIT!! Izuku!! Izuku, look at me!” I say frantically as I quickly grab hold of his face to look him in the eyes.

Bad move.

”AAH! AAH!! NOO!!! NOOOO!!! LET ME GO! LET ME GO, NOOO!!!”

He screams out as he begins to struggle in my hold, even landing a few blows as his hands flail, and I’m completely thrown off at the sudden change in his demeanor.

”Izuku! Izuku! Stop! Please, stop!" I'm trying to keep my hold on him while being struck in the face and head; still keeping my voice as calm as possible.

"It’s okay, it’s me, it’s Katsuki. I'm not gonna hurt you. Please, Izuku, just calm down.” I try saying over his loud shrieks and screams as I grab hold of his upper arms and practically drag him down the hall towards the bathroom to get him cleaned up(thank god the floors are hardwood); all the while he’s still flailing and thrashing around, his voice becoming more hoarse and haggard. His panicked screams are slowly turning into exhausted, pain-riddled gasps and whimpers.

His eyes are all glassy and unfocused; like he has no idea that it’s me. And judging by the way he reacted to me touching him, that’s most likely the case. It's very similar to an animal that's trapped; it’ll do anything to escape certain death, even if it means gnawing their own paw off, just to get away. This was no different. He felt trapped, and his only means of escaping whatever mental predator loomed over him was to cut himself. A survival tactic.

But I can’t just leave him like this. He’s seriously injured, and this whole thing is my fault, so I have to get him to calm down and treat his wounds before he hurts himself, even more.

I gently lean him against the tub, making sure he’s sitting up-right while I quickly rummage through the cabinets for the first-aid kit. I take out all the things I need to clean and dress his wounds, all the while Izuku begins to lull his head slightly, and he looks like he’s about to pass out.

This concerns me.

”Hey, hey. Izuku, stay with me.” I say as calmly as I can as I adjust him so he’s upright, again. “Try to stay awake for me, okay Izuku? I promise I’m gonna take care of you. Please, don’t fall asleep, yet.” I need to work faster, otherwise, Izuku will be worse off than he already is. Rolling up his sleeves a bit, I begin using an alcohol pad to clean the cuts. This causes him to hiss in pain, and a whimper escapes his lips. “I know, I know. I’m sorry, Izuku.” I try my best to comfort him while I work on disinfecting his arms. “I’m going as fast as I can. It’ll all be over, soon. I promise. Just stay with me, okay?”

After I clean and disinfect his arms, I carefully wrap his arms in bandages; making sure not to wrap them too tightly, or not tight enough. Once I finish, I look him over to see if he’s hurt anywhere, else. His clothes are covered in blood, and I have no idea if he’s cut himself, anywhere else. Not taking any chances, I take off his clothes, leaving him in his boxers, and check the rest of his body. To my relief, the rest of his body appears to be clean; save for the collage of scars that litter his torso and upper thighs and arms. I really need to talk to him about that, sometime in the future.

After cleaning up the first-aid supplies and putting them away, I carefully pick Izuku up off the ground and carry him bridal style to his bedroom. I set him carefully on his bed and turn on the bedside lamp, and go to grab a clean T-shirt and comfortable sleep shorts and help him get dressed. Once that’s done, I help Izuku settle under the covers and gently make him lay back against the pillows.

He looks so exhausted, but he’s lost so much blood, and there’s no way I can leave him like this. “I’m gonna make you something to eat, real quick. Okay, Izuku?” I softly say to him. He doesn’t respond, but as I turn to leave, I hear him whimpering, which prompts me to turn back and look at him. He looks so small and frail, and I feel my heart squeeze at the thought of him feeling sad at my leaving him. I give him a comforting smile before saying to him in a gentle voice “I’m not going anywhere, Izu. I’m just gonna be in the kitchen. You need to eat something before you fall asleep. Okay?”

A few seconds passes before he slowly nods his head. I leave the room, making sure to leave the door slightly opened so I can hear him if he needs me.

When I walk back into the kitchen, I find a small pool of blood on the floor; blood smeared all over the cabinets and a slight trail leading towards the bathroom. I feel a wave of nausea pulse through my body as the thick smell of iron lingers heavy in the air. After I get the rice cooker going and allow a pot full of curry to simmer, I get to work cleaning up all the blood, while also remembering to take off my shoes. I notice the steak knife laying on the floor, and with anger coursing through me, I toss the bloodied knife in the trash.

'How could I be so fucking stupid?! I checked every nook and cranny of this place and got rid of everything that could cause Izuku harm, and never once did I ever consider that he would hurt himself with a steak knife. Why didn't I take that away, too?! I'm such a goddamn fucking IDIOT!'

I bite down on my lip as I feel my eyes burning with unshed tears; trying to stifle a shaky sob from escaping my mouth as I focus on cleaning the floors.

’Again. Again, I leave Izuku alone when he needs me most, and when I actually decide to come and check on him, he’s almost on the brink of death! To make matters worse, I broke the promise I made to my parents, to Auntie, and to myself. The promise that I would protect Izuku, no matter what, and what do I do? I fucking left him here. Alone! If I had shown up a few minutes later-no, fuck it, if I hadn’t shown up, AT ALL, he would have done so much worse, and I don’t even wanna think about what I would've walked in on!’

After I finish up, I get back to the kitchen to check on the food; my heart heavy with guilt.

He didn’t just cut into his arms, he practically FILLETED his fucking arms. The cuts went from his knuckles all the way past his elbows. I could almost see the muscles...there’s no way my amateur first-aid skills will be enough to keep those cuts clean and safe from infection. He’s definitely going to need stitches for those cuts, with how deep they are. But I don’t want to try moving him, right now; not with the mental state he’s currently in.

As soon as he eats and he’s calmed down enough, I’ll take him to the hospital.

After making a plate of curry and rice and a bottle of water, I make my way back to Izuku’s bedroom. When I enter his room, I find Izuku sitting up in his bed; his back slightly hunched. He’s staring blankly at his lap; he appears to be lost in thought.

”Izuku…?” I walk over to him as I set the plate and water on his nightstand, and sit beside him on the bed. I don’t touch him just yet, not wanting to startle him. “Izuku?” I say quietly, allowing my fingers to softly graze his bandaged hand.

Suddenly, his glassy eyes become moist and his bottom lip starts to tremble as large tears pour from his eyes, and he begins to softly sob. His hands gripping tightly onto the sheets, his back heaving and his shoulders trembling as his whole body becomes wracked with uncontrollable crying.

”Izuku.” I clamber onto the bed and pull Izuku into my lap and hold him close; being mindful of his arms as I lean against the headboard. I adjust Izuku so that he’s sitting sideways and is cradled in my lap. He tries pushing me away weakly, but he gives up after a few seconds and resigns to just clinging onto me as he continues to cry and wail into my chest.

“Hey, hey, hey. Shhh shhh, it’s okay, Izu. It’s okay, baby. Don't cry. Please, don't cry. I’m here, I’m right here, shhhh.” I say softly as I use my thumb to gently wipe away his tears and lay my head against his; rocking him, soothingly. “Everything’s going to be okay, baby. I won’t leave you alone like that, ever again. I’ve got you, I promise I have you, honey.”

I feel my heart breaking with each broken sob that pours out of Izuku’s mouth; his poor body is heaving and hyperventilating with debilitating wails, and I feel my own tears begin to stream down my face as I continue to rock and hold him. Gently stroking up and down his back while whispering sweet nothings into his hair and even peppering gentle kisses to his head, neck, and temple. This is in no way how I wanted to express my true feelings to this boy; not while all of this has transpired. But at this moment, this is the only thing I can think of to give him comfort.

”K-Kacch-chaaan!-sob-Kacchan, I-sob-I’m s-so so-orry, Kacchan!-hic-I-I-sob-didn’t m-mean-hic-any o-of it! P-Pleas-se, Ka-acchan,-sob-forgive m-me!!” He’s so overwhelmed with emotions, he can barely get a clear sentence out. But I don’t pay any mind to that as I just hold him closer to me and press a tender kiss to his forehead.

”Don’t you dare apologize, Izuku. Don’t apologize for this, you hear me?” I say gently but firmly to him. “None of this is your fault. None of it, you understand? This whole thing is MY fault, and my fault, alone. I’m the one to blame for all this.”

Izuku looks up at me with wide eyes, his eyes are puffy and bloodshot from crying so hard. “B-But, Kacchan! I said a-all those awful things to you! I-sob-called you a liar! I accused you of betraying me!! I-sob-I didn’t…I, I was j-just…” I sigh as I gently cup Izuku’s face in my hands, my thumbs stroking his tear-stained face.

“Izu. Look at me.” He slowly lifts his head so that his eyes are staring at mine. ”Please, trust me when I say that you did absolutely nothing wrong. I’m the one who should be sorry, ‘Zu.”

I pause as I try to keep a sob from erupting. “I never should’ve deleted that picture without talking to you about it, first. I never should’ve taken it, period! I never should’ve done so many things to you, Izu, but...I…”

I curl my lips inward as more tears start to flow, and a sob manages to slip out. I allow my fingers to curl into his messy hair; the pads of my fingers massaging his scalp. “I’m so sorry, Izuku!” I cry out as I lean down and rest my head against the crook of his neck.

“I’m so, so sorry! I know that, no matter how many times I apologize, no matter how many time I try to explain myself, none of it is going to change what I did to you!” This is probably the first time in such a long time that I actually allowed myself to openly cry in front of Izuku. I guess that goes to show my level of trust in this boy; in the person that I love.

Izuku is quiet for a while, but I take it as him just listening to what I’m saying, and so I continue to speak while I cradle him.

“Izuku. Izuku, I care about you so much, and I’ve always loved you...since we were both little. But...I started getting picked on by my old friends from school. They called me awful, horrible names. And because of that...I started to feel embarrassed about liking boys. I tried to convince them that they were wrong but more than anything...I wanted to protect you from the same thing. But, for some reason, in my mind, I believed that the only way to protect you from being bullied like that...was by trying to make you hate me.”

Izuku is fully paying attention to me, now. I’m so engrossed in my explanation, that I don’t even realize that I’ve just confessed my true feelings to him. “At that time, I believed that if I started bullying you and pushing you away, that you would no longer want anything to do with me, anymore. You would grow to hate me. B-But I was wrong. About all of it! I was -sob- so convinced that I-I was doing the right thing, that -sob- I became the very thing that I was trying to protect you from…and I’ve hurt you!”

I’m crying even harder now, my face buried into Izuku’s shoulder. “K-Kacchan...did you...did you just say that, you loved me…?” Izuku asks in a soft voice. I look at him with tears in my eyes and nod my head. ”Yes! Yes, I do! More than anything!!”

He looks at me with confusion; his eyebrows furrowing. “B-But, I-I don’t understand, Ka-acchan. If, if you loved me, then...why wouldn’t you just admit it to everyone..?”

”BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID!!” I practically yell out as I pull him into a tight hug; making sure not to hurt his arms.

“I was a coward. A weak, pathetic coward! I was so ashamed by what those guys said to me, that I couldn’t even face my true feelings for you, head-on!!” I’m crying uncontrollably as I come clean to everything. Everything that I’ve kept hidden away; all the pent-up anger and insecurity pouring out, at one time.

”I’m sorry for not being honest with you or myself, Izuku. I should’ve never let their words get to me, and I never should’ve let it affect how I feel about you! Instead of just being honest with everyone, I let my sense of pride and my inflated ego get the better of me, and I ended up doing the one thing that I wanted to prevent from happening to you! And...no words could ever express how badly I want to take back everything I ever said or did to you, Izuku. But I know that isn’t possible, so the best thing I can do is to try and right my wrongs, and make you as happy as I can.” I pull away from him, and place my hands on either side of his head, pulling him close until our foreheads are touching, gently, just like I did almost 2 months, ago.

[I miss the words we used to say, I miss the sounds of yesterday. I miss the games we used to play, like ohhh.]

”I promise you, Izuku, I didn’t tell anybody about you with the intention of hurting you. And, I’m sorry for telling Kirishima and Maijima about you. That was wrong of me to do, and I’m sorry.”

Izuku is quiet for a while; the only sound being the sound of his breathing and sniffling. After what felt like an eternity, he finally speaks.

"All this time...I always believed that, that you treated me the way you did...because you couldn't s-stand me." I feel myself cringe internally at those words; I made him feel that way, all this time, and it was never my intention to do so. "I...I thought you hated me, Kacchan..."

I stare wide eyed at him, more tears spilling from his eyes and soft whimpers slip past his quivering lips. I wipe the tears away with my thumb and gently shush his cries; still holding his face in my hands. "No, no. Baby, I don't hate you. I've never hated you, Izuku. I never meant to make you feel like that."

I want to tell him more, to tell him in as many ways as I can think of, how wrong I was. I don't get a chance to, however, as Izuku's quiet, soft voice cuts me off.

“Kacchan…” He wipes his eyes with the back of his hand as he takes a breath before continuing. “I...I want so bad to not believe you. I want so bad to not trust you. I want so bad to hate you for everything you’ve done to me...but...the truth is…I just can’t!”

[I was trapped inside a dream, I couldn't see her next to me. I didn't know she'd set me free, like ohhh.]

I stare at him with wide eyes, but I remain silent. “I know that my anxiety wants me to not have anything to do with you; it’s like there’s a voice in my head that is constantly giving me false advice, telling me to not trust you, to not trust anybody. But, I also know...that it’s all wrong.”

Then, for the first time since our argument, he lets a small smile grace his lips. “And to be honest with you...I’ve actually felt the same way about you, Kacchan. And it makes me so happy to hear you say that to me.”

[Something happens when I hold her. She keeps my heart from getting older. When the days get short, and the nights get a little bit colder. We hold each other. We hold each other. We hold each other. Mmmm.]

I’m shocked by this. “W-Wait. You-You actually…?” He nods his head, still teary-eyed, but the smile ever-present on his face. “I love you, too, Kacchan. I always have.” Before I can say anything else, he presses his lips ever so gently to mine. This makes me gasp slightly, but then I relax my body and pull him closer as we share our very first kiss.

I feel my entire body tingling with excited nerves; my stomach is fluttering and my heart feels like it's about to burst from my chest. He tastes so amazing; like vanilla and cinnamon, complimenting his sweet pine smell.

The kiss isn’t rushed or awkward; it feels so natural, so right. I just allow my lips to graze his, tenderly; occasionally allowing my tongue to dart out and lick his bottom lip, but never doing anything beyond that.

I’d always imagined what our first kiss would be like, but this is way better than anything I could’ve ever imagine. Despite the circumstances that led up to this moment, it was all worth it.

I've never felt so happy in my entire life. It feels like my heart is going to explode from the happiness

[Everything looks different, now. All this time, my head was down. He came along and showed me how to let go.]

After nearly a full minute, we pull away. We’re both flushed and huffing for air, despite it just being a simple chaste kiss. I allow a smile to tug on my mouth as I gently stroke his cheek, and plant a kiss over his freckles; wiping away the remainder of his tears.

”So...does this mean…?” He asks timidly, avoiding my gaze as if he thinks I’m going to reject him, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. “Only if you want to, love.” I say with a smile as I thread my fingers through his hair. "I'd be more than happy to have you as my boyfriend."

[I can't remember where I'm from. All I know is who I've become. That our love has just begun, like ohhh.]

His face practically beams with brightness as he nods his head. “Yes! Yes! Yes!! I want that more than anything, Kacchan!!!” Then, his smiles seem to fall at the drop of a hat as a thought comes across. “But…” He then looks down at his bandages, a sad look covering his face. “Do you really want to be with someone like me? I’m...I’m broken, Kacchan. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. I’m completely broken!” More tears started to stream down his face as he looks at me. “Why would you want to be with someone like me? Someone who isn’t completely put together? I’ll just drag you down!"

I don’t say anything. All I do is silently lift one of his bandaged arms so that it’s in front of me. And I press a gentle kiss to his forearm; my lips barely touching. I continue to press soft, tender kisses, trailing up his arm, planting more kisses to his body. His shoulder, neck, jaw, cheeks, eyelids, nose and finally, I press a gentle, chaste kiss to his lips. I don’t pull away, just allowing him to feel how much I love him.

[Something happens when I hold him. He keeps my heart from getting broken. When the days get short, and the nights get a little bit frozen. We hold each other. We hold each other. We hold each other. Mmmm.]

I break the kiss and rest my forehead against his; stroking his cheeks with my thumb as I stare lovingly into his eyes. “Baby, there’s not a thing you could do, not a thing that you could say, that could ever stop me from loving you. And you’re not broken, Izuku, you’re just bent, and even if you are broken, it doesn’t matter. I’ll still love you, all of you, no matter what. If you're broken, I'll pick up all the pieces, and put you back together. And make you whole, again.”

Izuku’s eyes are wide as he just stares at me. “B-But, what if I do something like that, again?! What if-what if I try to push you away like I did before?!”

[If I'm stressing you that blessing that's sent from heaven. These days start to feel like hours, and hours feel like seconds. People judged us, they couldn't see the connection. When I look at you it's like I'm looking back at my reflection.]

”Then I’ll just keep coming back. No matter how many times you push me away, I’ll just come back, and I’ll help you stand up to your inner demons. I’ll never leave your side, again.” I smile at him as I kiss his nose. “You’re stuck with me, nerd. Through thick and thin. Always.”

We’re both silent for a moment, and then, after he takes in everything I’ve told him, a big, bright smile; a smile that I’ve always loved seeing, spreads over his face, and it seems like all the sadness and strife just melted away, as he wraps his arms tightly around my neck.

[I don't see nothing different, our pigments they coincide. We hold each other so tightly, they couldn't break us if they tried. My eyes are those of the blind, I see no color or size. I feel the love in your touch, and I trust what's inside your mind, ok.]

”Oh, Kacchan!!”

He exclaims happily as he holds me, tight. I hold him just as tightly, burying my face in the crook of his neck. “I love you. I love you so much, baby. You have no idea how much I love you.”

[I know that we've been through a lot. I know that we both grew up. You know I missed you a lot. When I was young, I was dumb, didn't think you'd fit in my plot. And I appreciate the break, because I love what we got, now.]

”Yes I do, Kacchan. Because I love you, just as much! You’re my everything!” We just sit there, rocking back and forth as we continue to hug each other and say ‘I love you’s to each other.

If this is what love feels like, it’s the most amazing feeling I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I love this boy, so much!

”There’s something else that I wanted to tell you, but I never got the chance.” I say after almost five minutes of us caressing and holding each other.

[You give me chills and I can't imagine you leaving. If I could build a perfect person, honestly you would be it. And you know nobody knows you as I know you. I can't wait to come back home so I can hold you.]

”What’s that, Kacchan?” He says with a sigh of happiness and relief escaping his lips. I grab his face in my hands and pull him close as I press a kiss to his face. “Thank you.” I say, pressing another kiss to his face as if to emphasize my statement. “Thank you for saving me from that fucking psycho, all those years ago.” kiss “Thank you for protecting me from Yamaguchi and his goon.” kiss “Thank you for always being my friend, even after all the bullshit I put you through.” kiss “Just...thank you, for everything, Izuku!” kiss kiss kiss kiss

He starts giggling, scrunching up his shoulders as I plant kisses all over his face and neck. “Kacchan! Heehee, come on! There’s no need to thank me, hahaha!” I look at him, momentarily pausing my loving assault on him as I smirk. “Sure, there is!” And I give him one last kiss on his cheek, pulling away with an audible 'smack'.

He sighs a soft laugh as he stares at me, lovingly. ”Well, if that’s the case,” Izuku says with a smile. He leans into me and rests his head against my shoulder, inhaling my scent. “Thank you, Kacchan. Thank you for also protecting me from Yamaguchi. Thank you for saving my life, and for being there for me. And, despite the way you went about doing it...thank you, for protecting me, and always being there for me.”

[Something happens when I hold her. She keeps my heart from getting older.]

Izuku lifts his head, and places his small hands on each side of my face as he smiles sweetly at me; his freckled cheeks blushing. “I forgive you, Kacchan.”

[When the days get short, and the nights get a little bit colder.]

And we kiss, again. This time, it’s a little more passionate, but it remains chaste and gentle. We continue to kiss before we need to pull away for air. When we do, we just sit there on his bed; I lean against the headboard while he's still sitting in my lap, and we just hold each other.

[We hold each other. We hold each other. We hold each other. Mmmm.]

This wasn’t how I wanted to tell him that I love him. This wasn’t how I expected the day to turn out, or how I wanted him to react to everything. But regardless, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Despite our shortcomings; despite how we got to this point, I wouldn’t trade this moment for the whole world.

[We hold each other. We hold each other. We hold each other. Mmmm.]

Because this boy, the love of my life, IS my whole world.

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s POV

So much has happened in the weeks leading up to the end of summer break.

The night that I confessed everything to Izuku, I immediately took him to the hospital, but not before making him eat the food I made him. As I suspected, he did, in fact, require stitches; given how deep the cuts he’d inflicted on himself were. Thankfully, not all of the cuts needed stitches, and there would hopefully be minimal scarring.

I stayed by his side the whole time they were treating him; telling him that everything would be okay and how brave he was. He remained calm the whole time they stitched up his arms. Luckily for the both of us, Granny Chiyo just so happened to be working the late shift that night, and she was actually the one to see Izuku about his injuries.

While the nurse was talking to Izuku about the at-home care he would need to do to keep his stitches clean, I spoke with Granny Chiyo about what had happened, I even told her about the stuff that has apparently been going on at school. It still baffles me how I was completely unaware of any of the rumors Izuku had mentioned; I guess that’s what happens when you make an effort to avoid drama and conflict with others, especially when your main focus consists of school and a certain green-haired boy.

After explaining the situation to her, Granny agreed that this was becoming more serious than she’d originally anticipated, and told me she would inform Hana about this, first thing in the morning(which would be in a few hours).

Though it was still early in the morning, I texted Kira letting her know that I had an emergency to take care of, and requested for at least a few days off from work. She texted me back, soon after that, telling me not to worry about making up the hours, and to take as much time as I needed, to which I thanked her for.

That same day, I got a call from Hana. She informed me that both she and Granny Chiyo agreed that therapy wasn’t going to be enough for Izuku’s recovery. Along with continuing his weekly sessions, he would also be placed on a new prescription antidepressant to help with his anxiety, and possibly to keep him more mentally stable.

They assured us both that this new prescription, Lexapro, would be safe and effective for Izuku, and they would start him off on the lowest dosage. She also informed Auntie Inko about everything that’s happened, including the new prescription. Though she was overwhelmed with all of the new changes, she seemed to understand and was very grateful for their help.

Within the same week of Izuku’s new prescription change, we also made some changes with how he would attend his classes.

After the severe mental breakdown Izuku went through and due to the drama that’s started circulating at school(I would definitely be looking into this, come hell or high water), Izuku thought it would be better if he switched to Yuuei’s Online Study Program, at least for the remainder of the year. I agreed with this, believing it would be better for him due to his anxiety, despite that meaning we wouldn’t be able to walk to school, together. Izuku’s mental health comes first, before anything else.

But the biggest change to come, was when I moved in with Izuku two weeks after the incident(with his permission, of course).

I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving Izuku alone, again; with what happened after our movie date, I didn’t want to take any chances. I spoke with my parents and Auntie about my decision to move in with him, and they felt that that was best. Though my landlord was a bit skeptical and a tad bit annoyed about me wanting to move out before the lease expires, after I gave him a brief explanation, he eventually gave me permission to move out early. He was even cool enough with letting Kirishima stay in the apartment after I moved out.

Speaking of Kirishima, weeell…that was an event.

 

-

 

One Week Earlier:

”What?! You’re actually moving in with Izuku?!”

I was busy putting my things into boxes when he asked me that. “Nah, I’m changing my identity and leaving to start a new life in Europe.” I said sarcastically. He just gave me a confused look.

”...You ARE?”

God-fucking-damnit.

”No, you fucking drooling gorilla! Why in the hell would I want to go to Europe for?! And what sense would it make to change my identity if I have no reason to?! Jesus fucking Christ!!” I shouted at him; feeling an angry vein bulge from my temple as I drop the box on the floor(luckily it’s filled with clothes). Even though Kirishima was getting on my nerves, it was still amusing watching his confused expression.

”But seriously, dude. Why are you moving in with Izuku? This all just seems so sudden, y’know? Did something happen?” He asks in a more calm voice. I thought of telling him about what happened after Izuku and I finished the movie, but I remembered that I didn’t wanna go behind his back and tell others his business; even though he said he’s okay with me telling our classmates only. I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake, again.

”Look, it’s a long story, it’s a bit complicated and hard to explain. So...”

Kirishima was silent for a few seconds before he hit the nail on the coffin. “Does it have something to do with you two going out?”

I felt my face heat up.

”W-Wh-What?! Wait, wait how the fuck did-did you..?!” He just gave me a smirk with his eyebrow raised and his arms crossed. “Oh c’mon, bro! You really think I didn’t notice the way you guys have been acting around each other, the past couple months? Practically all of us do!” He said with a shit-eating grin. “This may seem like an insane concept, but dude, you are NOT subtle with your flirting.”

I was pretty sure my face was red as a tomato, at that point. Was it really THAT fucking obvious?! I actually thought I was playing it cool, this whole time; and to think that all of our other classmates(including fucking Half n’ Half) knew about it, too. But damn it, he got me. I let out a sigh before looking at him. “Okay, fine. We’re dating, now.”

Kirishima flashed a toothy smile before saying “Awesome, bro! I’m so happy for you! I always had a feeling you guys would get together. Hell, now that I think about it…holy shit, Sero totally owes me $50!!”

I shake my head at him and return to packing; calling him an idiot, though the smirk didn’t falter from the positive things he was saying.

’Well, at least Izuku will have peace of mind at knowing our friends support us. So, that’s something...wait a minute…’

I turned to Kirishima with a scowl and toss my pillow at him after realizing what he meant by his last statement. “You guys were betting on whether we would get together, or not?! You goddamn assholes!!” I shouted; although I couldn’t keep a straight face, for long.

Unfortunately, he was quick enough to dodge the projectile while cackling like an idiot. “Oh C'mon! Chill out, bro. We didn’t mean anything by it, promise!” He defended while shielding himself from more onslaughts as I continued to throw more stuff at him; still laughing. “I betted that you and Izuku would end up together before graduation, and Sero totally owes me, now!”

I stopped after a minute and just sighed before collecting the things I threw at him. “Fine. I guess whatever keeps you guys entertained.” Then, while he wasn’t paying attention, I smacked him with a rolled up magazine. “But you’re giving me part of that money! I’m getting compensated for being part of your stupid bet!” I said with a grin while he gave me a sheepish look. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was planning on treating you guys, anyway!”

”Yeah right!” We just laughed at our stupid hijinx before Kirishima helped me pack some of my things. We’re quiet for a time, the only sound in the apartment being the TV show that was still playing. “So,” Kirishima said after a while. “you really won’t tell me why you’re moving in with Izuku?” He asked, sheepishly. He gave me a serious expression as he continued. “If it has something to do with what happened two months ago, I mean, I’m sure he doesn’t think badly of you for what happened back in high school.”

I gnawed on my bottom lip at the memory from back in June. I still got chills from remembering Izuku’s body lying unconscious on the bathroom floor; practically dead. “I just…sigh look, Kirishima...I’ve done a lot of terrible things to Izuku, and for reasons that were pretty fucking petty and stupid. But, I’ve been wanting to try and make things right, and..well…”

I took a deep breath; I figured that if Kirishima already knew about us, and since I already told him about Izuku’s suicide attempt, I may as well tell him my reasoning for such a drastic and spontaneous change. “Izuku, he...he had a relapse.” Kirishima looked at me with surprise and confusion. “A relapse..?” I nodded my head. “He...he’d been cutting himself for some time; probably since we started high school, maybe even before that. He’d stopped for a little while, but...we had a bit of an argument, I ended up leaving; wanting to give him space, and…he uh...”

He walked over to me and placed a hand on my shoulder; giving me an understanding look. “Katsuki. It’s alright, dude. I get it. You don’t have to tell me, anymore.” I stared at him for a bit before slowly nodding my head. “You feel guilty about leaving him and him getting hurt. I get that, man. The feeling that you’re responsible for someone getting hurt, and that you want to do everything you can to fix it. I totally get it. I feel like that sometimes with Denki.”

I frown at that. “This is different.” I emphasize. “It’s not just because of the shit I did when we were kids, I fucking told him to kill himself! Kirishima’s face hardened at this; the air shifting, slightly.

“Katsuki, I don’t mean anything by this, but you can’t control what others do, especially when it comes to things like that. It’s just something that you can’t-”

”EIJIROU!” I bellowed out; causing him to flinch. I rarely ever used Kirishima’s first name, but whenever I got heated up emotionally, I often didn’t give a shit. “I DID have control of something like that! Did you not fucking hear what I said?! I. Told. Him. To. Fucking. KILL HIMSELF! I could feel angry tears prickling my eyes, but I blinked them away. “Izuku never would’ve ended up in the fucking hospital if I hadn’t said that! Fuck, even if I hadn’t outright told him that, I’m willing to bet he probably still would’ve, with the way I fucking treated him!!”

I felt a sob become trapped inside my throat as the tears finally fell, to Kirishima’s surprise. “I failed him once when I did all that fucked up shit to him, and I failed him a second time when I fucking left him alone! He got hurt because I wasn’t there for him! I’m NOT gonna make that same mistake, again! I made a promise that I would protect him, and god-fucking-damnit, I’m keeping that fucking promise!!”

We’re both silent after that, the sound of my panting being the only other sound aside from the abandoned TV show. I was so overwhelmed with emotions, I felt like passing out. I didn’t mean to snap at Kirishima as I did, but it felt like nobody else understood why I was doing these things; as if nobody cared about Izuku and his health as much as I did. But I knew that was a ridiculous thing to think.

Just then, I felt my body being pulled forward, and I was being embraced in a crushing hug by my roommate and close friend. I tensed up for a bit, but then felt my body relax as I timidly placed my hands on his back.

”Katsuki. I’m sorry, dude. I didn’t mean it like that, I swear.” He said softly while resting his forehead on my shoulder. I didn’t say anything for a time, just allowing my tears to fall silently while he held me. ”I understand you’re angry and upset with yourself for what happened, in the past. I can’t even imagine what you must be going through with everything that’s happened to Izuku. But you can’t keep beating yourself up over it; if you keep holding on to this strain and guilt, all you’ll do is make yourself even more miserable.”

I rubbed the tears from my face while sniffling, not that it made a difference. “I love him, Eijirou.” I cried out, pitifully.

”I know. I know, you do. I can tell how much he means to you, dude. And I can definitely tell you mean a lot to him, too.” He pulled away so he could look at me; my face must have looked a wreck, but I didn’t give two shits. “Which is why I think you should do this, man.”

I just stared at him. Silent. “...Wha..? You..you mean it?”

He nodded his head with a big smile. “Definitely! He needs you, and you’re the only one besides his mom who knows him better than any of us! Plus, I think it’s so manly taking such a big step!”

I smile at him. Kirishima may be loud, annoying and sometimes a complete dumbass, but whenever someone is hurting, especially one of his friends, he’ll drop everything to comfort them and make them feel better. This is one of the qualities about him that I admire and respect the most. Despite my attitude, I’m grateful to have him as my friend.

Kirishima really is too good for my punk-ass self. What did I do to deserve such a good friend?

”Thanks, Eijirou.” I said in a low voice.

He then raised his eyebrows in shock before saying “No way! You actually thanked me! The Bakugou Katsuki, Class 1-A’s Biggest Party Pooper actually thanked me!!”

I felt my blush returning as I grabbed a nearby pillow and smashed it in his face. “Oh shut it, Kirishima! I was actually acting grateful, but way to ruin the mood, you asshole!” He let out a whine before saying ”Heyyy! What happened to calling me by my first name?! And here I thought you were starting to lighten up!”

I gave him a crooked smirk while crossing my arms. “You’ve already used up all of your first-name tokens. You only get 3 per bromantic heart-to-heart.”

This caused us to burst out into a fit of boisterous laughter. I laughed so hard, I was brought to tears. It’s been such a long time since I’d allowed myself to truly relax, especially around my friend and roommate, well, soon-to-be former roommate.

”So, you sure you’ll be alright being by yourself? I can help you pay the rent till the lease ends-” Kirishima cut me off. “Dude, it’s totally fine. Really, it’s no trouble, at all.” He said with a wave of his hand and a toothy grin.

”But this is a lot of space for one person, you know.” But then, I thought dawned on me after I said that, and from the way Kirishima was looking at me, he was thinking the same thing. “Actually, I was planning on getting my own place with Denki after the lease expired, but since you’re already planning to move in with Izuku, he can just move in with me. So it all works out!”

I was about to question him and ask why he was freaking out about me moving in with Izuku if he was already planning on getting a place with Kaminari, but I decided to drop it, and just smirk at him. “Yeah, guess it does work out, huh?”

”Totally! I get to have a place with my man, and I don’t have to worry about moving out. A total win-win!”

I chuckle at him. “So, what are you gonna do with a spare room, then? Since you guys will be sharing a bed, I’m assuming.” He gives me a cheeky grin before saying “A game room, of course! Now, we can have space for our PCs and games!”

I shook my head and sighed with amusement. “Glad to hear that the space in my former bedroom won’t go to waste. Fucking Hell.” We laugh at that, and I get back to packing, with Kirishima’s help.

Despite the emotional hiccup, I was glad that Kirishima took the news well, and I felt secretly relieved that Kirishima wouldn’t have to be here all by himself.

Everything seemed to be looking up for me, and I couldn’t have been more grateful.

 

-

 

Present Day: 2:36 PM; Friday August, 24 2018

”Where do you want me to put this, Kacchan?”

I look over my shoulder to see Izuku holding up a box with the words ‘Clothes’ written on it in sharpie. “You can just put that on my dresser, for now, babe.” I say with a smile. He nods his head and makes his way to his(no, OUR) bedroom.

The apartment is currently littered with boxes of various sizes. We're in the middle of getting as much stuff unpacked as we could so we wouldn’t wake up to a cardboard maze. I let Kirishima keep most of the furniture since Kaminari didn’t have very much stuff, plus, Izuku pretty much has everything we need, so there was no need to bring too much stuff. I sold most of my bedroom furniture while keeping my dresser and all of my clothes, books and nicknacks.

”I had no idea you had so much stuff, Kacchan! Is this all from your bedroom?” Izuku asks poking his head out the door. I just laugh. “Yeah, I guess I never realized how much stuff I actually owned; somehow, I managed to Tetris everything I have into one room. That’s a pretty awesome feat!”

Izuku giggles as he makes his way back into the living room, where he wraps his arms around my waist from behind; nuzzling his face into my back.

”I can’t believe this is actually happening. We’re really doing this!” Izuku says joyfully. I smile fondly as I shift in his embrace and wrap my arms around his neck. “I know. I never thought this would ever happen, but I’m so glad it finally did.” I rub our noses together in an Eskimo kiss, making him giggle, lightly.

I lift his hand, placing kisses over his knuckles and the back of his palm, and at that moment, I notice the jagged cuts that decorate his tender skin. Some of the cuts have already healed over, turning into scabs and have even started turning into scar tissue, while the deeper cuts leading up his forearm and ending at his elbow were still wrapped in thick white bandages; the stitches were removed just a few days ago.

I don’t realize that the corners of my mouth are pulling into a frown until I hear Izuku speak with concern laced in his voice. “Kacchan? Are you okay?” I look at him, still holding his hand in mine, as I begin to speak.

”Izu...I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something. I didn’t know when the right time would be to bring this up, given everything that’s happened, but I think now is the best time.” Izuku looks at me with worry in his eyes, but I stroke my thumb tenderly over the back of his hand to reassure him. “What-what did you wanna talk about, Kacchan?”

I take a deep breath while keeping my eyes closed. “The night that I saved you from Yamaguchi and his thug friends, I saw that your pants were pulled down, slightly.” I see Izuku turning his head to the side a bit, a blush spreading over his cheeks. He must have remembered that if he’s reacting this way. “And when I went to pull your pants back up...I saw that you’re thighs were bandaged up…” I notice his eyes widen and a soft gasp leave his lips, but I keep going.

”At first, I didn’t want to press the issue, thinking it wasn’t any of my business. I kinda had my suspicions, but I decided to drop it, at the time. But then…” I pause for a moment, feeling my throat tightening at the memory of that day; all the emotions I had felt from then threatening to resurface, but I push them down and continue. “The day I found you, laying on the bathroom floor, you were wearing nothing your underwear...and, and your body was covered in scars. Even your thighs were covered in cuts.”

I look at Izuku again but feel my eyes widen when I see his eyes tearing up and his bottom lip wobbling, a bit; still averting my eyes. “What I’m trying to say is,” I place my free hand gently on his cheek, turning his head so he’s looking back at me. “When did you start cutting yourself, love? I don’t think I have to ask why you started cutting yourself, and I know that you’d mentioned it briefly during your first meeting with Hana, but still…” I trail off, not finishing my sentence as I hear sniffling coming from my boyfriend, prompting me to lead him to sit down on the couch.

I wrap my arm around Izuku's shoulder and pull him close, his green curls tickling my cheek as he rests his head against my shoulder.

Still sniffling, Izuku begins to speak; his voice barely above a whisper. “I-I started cutting...just-just before we started high school..and...and it was on the day you blackmailed me with that photo…” I grimace at the memory of that day. Why in the hell was I such a fucking asshole?!

”But honestly,” Izuku continues, wiping the tears from his eyes. “it first started because of an accident.” I stare at him in confusion for a moment. “What do you mean, ‘an accident?’” I ask in a low voice.

”I had accidentally given myself a papercut. It wasn’t a big deal, but...despite the pain, I began to feel better; all of the anxiety and stress I had felt from that day just seemed to wash away, and so…” He looks up at me with watery eyes, a sad smile on his face. “it just went from there…”

I nod my head slowly, feeling sadness and guilt well up in my chest as I stroke my hand up and down his arm; resting my head against his. “I’m so sorry, babe.” I say softly; holding his hand in mine and stroking my thumb over his scarred knuckles, though the apology feels empty, for some reason. I feel soft curls tossling a bit as Izuku shakes his head slowly. “No no, Kacchan. It’s okay. I haven’t cut myself since after returning to school, or at least I haven’t felt the urge to. And after my last session with Hana, she suggested that I use different methods to help cope with my anxiety that won’t cause permanent damage, like an elastic band, or something.”

While I feel a tad bit better hearing that he’s been using new coping mechanisms, it’s not enough to snuff out the guilt from my heart. “That’s good to hear, love.” I say to him, pulling him closer.

”I’m sorry, Kacchan. I didn’t mean to worry you…”

”Don’t be sorry, hun.” I give him a kiss on the cheek. “Just promise me you won’t do it anymore, okay? I don’t want you to hurt yourself, again.”

I see a smile appear on his lips, making my heart flutter. “I promise.”

Returning the smile, I place my hands on the sides of his face and pull him in for a kiss on the lips. Sharing the tender, peaceful moment with Izuku, the worry and guilt that has been plaguing my mind and heart becomes replaced with warmth and love; this is one of the things I love most about him, his ability to make even the most hopeless situations feel more hopeful with his honest and sincere personality.

After a full minute, we pull away from the kiss with an airy sigh. His cheeks are flushed and he has an adorable smile on his face. I smile softly at him and press a kiss to his forehead. “I love you, so much.”

”I love you, too, Kacchan.” Izuku says with a bright and toothy smile.

After a few more moments, we get back to work, trying to finish as much unpacking as we can before it gets too late. While placing all the empty boxes in a pile in the corner and setting my belongings in another pile, I hear Izuku’s voice perk up from the other side of the small living room.

”Hey, Kacchan. I forgot to ask, do you want to go public with our relationship? Are you okay with others knowing that we’re dating?” He asks in a shy voice. I look over at him, and I smile at him; understanding why he asked that. He’s being considerate about other people finding out about my sexuality, and how it used to make me feel.

”Only if you are, babe. If you want others to know, I don’t care, either way.”

”Are you sure?” He asks again, more assertive this time. “I mean, I remember what you had said the other day about being afraid of others finding out, and-and that you didn’t wanna be made fun of for liking guys, and-” I cut him off by walking over to him and planting a quick kiss over his lips, silencing him.

He looks up at me with surprise, and I just smirk at him. “I don’t care about what others think of me, anymore. I was a dumb, insecure brat back then, and as long as I have you by my side, I couldn’t give two shits what other people think of me, or of us.”

Izuku smiles widely at me. “So, you’re okay with our parents and classmates finding out?” He muffles out, his face buried in my chest. I playfully ruffle his hair while exhaling out a chuckle. “Well, duh!” I wrap my own arms around him. He looks up at me with a somewhat worried expression. “But, what if you or I get made fun of? What will you do?”

I grin at him and say “Then I’ll tell them to go fuck themselves and kick their asses, and I’ll hold you in my arms and kiss you in front of everyone.” This makes Izuku giggle and snuggles deeper into my chest, and I nuzzle my face into his fluffy hair.

So far, this ‘new relationship’ thing isn’t bad, at all. I can definitely get used to this.

 

-

 

After two days of unpacking and reorganizing, I’m officially moved in with my boyfriend.

It still feels so strange but exciting at the same time referring to Izuku as my ‘boyfriend’; it feels like none of this is even real, like this is all a dream and I’ll wake up any minute.

Sunday morning, I slowly wake up feeling a warm presence, and I feel my heart swell and a big, dopey grin spread over my face when I find Izuku laying beside me in his(our) bed. With his back turned to me, I sleepily wrap my arm around his torso; my hand resting over his heart as I snuggle closer to him.

With a drowsy groan, I feel Izuku shift and turn around in my arms and I’m met with his adorable face. His hair is a spectacular mess of green curls, his large eyes filled with sleep, but not dulling the brightness from those sparkling green orbs. I smile softly and kiss him on the forehead.

“Good morning, beautiful.” I say, pulling him closer to my chest. He hums in content.

“G’morning, Kacchan.” Izuku yawns out, his voice hoarse with sleep.

We just lay there for a few minutes longer before getting up and getting ready for the day. Yesterday, after a long discussion, we decided that today is the perfect day to come out to our friends and family. It would be too much of a pain if everyone saw us holding hands and berated us with questions. I don’t feel like dealing with all that bullshit, so it’s better to get it all out on the table at once.

”You nervous about telling your parents?” Izuku asks while brushing his teeth. I shrug my shoulders as I start getting dressed. “Not really. I mean, my parents never really pressured me into dating, and they never pestered me about whether I liked girls or boys.”

I walk down the hall and stand in the doorway of the bathroom, where Izuku has finished washing his face. “So, your parents don’t care if you date a guy, or, me, for that matter…?”

”I guess not. And what are you talking about? Of course they’ll be okay with us dating. My parents love you, Izuku!”

He blushes and looks at me with a small smile. “That’s good to hear.” He heads into his(damn it, OUR) bedroom to get dressed, and I follow him and sit down in his computer chair. “What about your mom, babe? Is she okay with you being attracted to guys?” He turns around to look at me while pulling his T-shirt down. “I think so. She’s never asked me if I was ever interested in any girls from school, and to be honest, I think she secretly knows that I’m gay.”

I raise an eyebrow and stare at him confused. “What makes you say that?” He turns his head to the side as his face turns bright red. “Because...when I was younger, when I would watch All Might on TV, I would say things like ‘He’s so handsome!’ and ‘I wanna strong, handsome man like All Might to be my husband!’” He then covers his blushing face with his hands as he lets out a groan. “Oh jeez, how embarrassing!!”

I laugh softly at seeing him getting flustered at his own confession. “Really? You want a strong, handsome man like All Might to be your husband?” I tease him playfully, which only makes him groan even more in embarrassment. “Do you think he’s more handsome than me?” This makes him look up at me with wide eyes as he starts to sputter out a string of sentences while wrapping his arms nervously around his head and torso.

”No, no, no! Kacchan, that’s not what I meant, at all! I swear, it’s not! I was like, I don’t know, 6 years old when I said all those things! I don’t think that way about him, anymore! I think you’re very handsome, even more, handsome than All Might!!” When I notice that he’s starting to become more anxious and even upset, I get up from my seat and pull him into a comforting hug. “I was just joking, babe. No need to get all worked up, I was only teasing. I don’t care if you think All Might is handsome, it’s not like he’s the one you’re dating, right?” I say jokingly, which makes Izuku laugh.

”And if it makes you feel better, I think he's pretty handsome, too. But of course, I think you’re even more handsome than he is.” Izuku looks at me with a smile before saying “That’s not true, Kacchan. I’m not that good looking, not as good looking as you are...”

”Sure, you are! And don’t you dare say, otherwise. You’re fucking gorgeous!”

He smiles a huge grin at me before pecking me on the cheek. “That’s so sweet of you to say, Kacchan. Thank you!” I smile and return the kiss. “No problem, beautiful.”

We finish getting ready before making our way out the door, towards the direction of my parents’ house.

This is it. We’re about to make our public debut. Starting with the ones closest to us.

 

-

 

”Good to see you again, brat!” Mom exclaims while pulling me into a big hug. She then turns to Izuku and does the same to him. “And it’s good to see you too, Izuku! Have you been feeling okay?”

Izuku smiles as he wraps his arms around her waist, hugging her, tightly. “It’s good to see you too, Auntie Mitsuki! I’ve been okay. Sorry for worrying you guys.” She gives him a comforting look before ruffling his hair. “None of that, now. All that matters is that you’re safe. Now get your asses in here! Your father’s in the kitchen, Katsuki.”

We make our way into the house and I find Dad standing by the stove making lunch. He looks over and a big smile spreads over his face as he makes his way over to us. “Katsuki! Izuku! What a surprise!” He pulls us both into a hug, not as crushing as Mom’s but still just as strong. Izuku and I make ourselves comfortable in the dining room, sitting next to each other as Mom offers us something to drink.

We chat for a bit, talking about what we did over the summer and possible new stuff we might do for winter break. Dad joins us a few minutes later; sitting next to Mom across from us at the dining table. We share small talk for a few minutes longer and just enjoy the comfortable atmosphere.

Then, the big question.

”So, what brings you boys, today? It’s not like you to drop in unannounced, Katsuki. What’s up?” Dad asks, and I feel a slight twinge of nervous electricity zap through me. I look to Izuku first, and he gives me a smile and nods his head at me.

I look at my parents again, take a deep breath, and proceed to tell them.

’Now or never. Better rip off the band-aid quick and get it over with.’

”Actually, there’s...something I wanna tell you guys.” Mom and Dad sit there in silence, patiently waiting for me to tell them the news. With both our hands resting on the wood table, I slowly place my hand in his; lacing our fingers together and making sure my parents can see.

”Izuku and I are going out, now.”

Silence stretches over the room for less than thirty seconds, and just when I begin to think I’d fucked up, Mom smiles widely at me and claps her hands together once before exclaiming loudly “It’s about goddamn time, Katsuki!! I was wondering when you two would get together!”

Both Izuku and I stare at her with wide eyes and I notice a slight blush spread over his cheeks from the corner of my eye.

”That’s such wonderful news, son! Congrats!” Dad says with the same enthusiasm that Mom expresses and just as big of a smile. This was honestly not the response I had expected from them, despite knowing that they most likely wouldn’t give a fuck. But still, the fearful possibility of them rejecting and even forbidding me from dating the love of my life simply because we’re the same gender would crush my heart.

”I’m so glad you found a nice and pleasant guy like Izuku to be with you, otherwise, he would've been snagged by somebody else; you two were honestly made for each other.” Mom chimes in; leaning forward as she propped her elbow on her knee and rested her face in her hand. “Izuku, I’m so thankful that you’ve put up with Katsuki’s bullshit this long, and I know he’ll treat you right.” She gives him a wink, which makes Izuku sputter out gracious sentences, all while blushing.

Even though I know she’s right and that I don’t need to be reminded, I laugh nervously at the subtle undertone behind her words; it has a hint of ‘If you do anything to break this boy’s heart, you better have a will prepared’ lingering in them.

”So, when is the wedding?” Dad says cheerfully. We give him a shared look of ‘What the fuck?’.

”You two ARE planning on marrying, right? When’s the big day? Have you already looked at wedding bands? A venue? Oh, I know the perfect place for the reception! Izuku, you know Katsuki’s been planning for the perfect wedding since he was about five years old. He’s such a diligent young ma-”

”Dad! What the fuck?!” I shout at him, though it’s not filled with the usual anger, but rather a glaze of embarrassment at Dad’s attempt of humiliating me in front of my boyfriend. It’s too soon for this shit!

”Ahh come on, son! I’m just curious about when we’ll have Izuku join the family!” He gives me a shit-eating grin, and Mom decides to join in. “That’s right! He’ll be our son-in-law! How wonderful!” I swear if Izuku weren’t here, I would plow these two into next week.

”For fuck’s sake, guys! We’ve just started dating like, what, 2 weeks, now?! It’s way too soon to think about marriage!” Izuku doesn’t say anything during this whole transaction, and I can just feel him blushing hotly from our hands still clasped, together.

”I wouldn’t be opposed to marrying you, Kacchan.” Izuku chimes in with a sweet smile. “It may be a bit too soon to know, but I hope that day will come, someday!”

Now, it’s my turn to blush red like a tomato while my parents share an ‘Awww how sweet!’ response, and fawn over how sweet Izuku is, just adding to the embarrassment.

Maybe I should’ve just told them via phone call or text. Anything to spare me of the embarrassment!

 

-

 

After having a nice lunch together, we bid my parents farewell; promising to come to visit more often, as we make our way back home, walking hand-in-hand in comfortable silence.

”Well, that went better than I thought it would.” Izuku breaks the silence after about three minutes. I squeeze his hand lightly and smirk at him. “I told you they would be. Though, I could’ve done without their embarrassing chatter about us getting married.” I say with a groan.

”So...you don’t want to get married, Kacchan?” He asks with a hint of sadness or slight disappointment in his voice. I look at him and stop in my tracks. “What? No, no. Of course, I want to. Just...not so soon.” I say to him, desperately trying to backtrack my previous statement. “I mean, we’d just started being friends, like real friends for about two months, now! And I was a complete asshole to you for the majority of our lives, so…”

I take his other hand in mine free one and look him in the eyes. This must look like some cliche scene out of some anime, with the way we’re standing close together and the fact we’re alone. But who gives a shit?

”I at least want us to be together as boyfriends for a while before we start discussing getting married, y’know?” I feel relief wash over me when I see that same adorable smile on Izuku’s face. “I know Kacchan. And you’re right, it is a little too soon to talk about marriage.”

I smile at him, pecking him on the cheek before we continue our way back home.

Just then, Izuku perks up as a look of realization glosses his features. “Oh! That reminds me. I should probably tell Mom. She doesn’t know we’re dating yet, either.” As we make our way up the stairs and inside the apartment, Izuku plops on the couch while texting Auntie. I sit beside him while turning on the TV, watching his thumbs tapping against the screen with child-like excitement.

Not a minute passes before his phone chimes with a text. We both look at his screen and I feel a swell of happiness and relief overcome me at what we’re reading.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mom: Oh sweetie! I’m so happy for you two!

Mom: We should celebrate, sometime. Tell Katsuki I said congratulations! :D

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku looks at me, knowing that I saw the message, and gives me a toothy grin. “Mom said ‘Congrats’, Kacchan!” I laughed shaking my head at his silliness. “Tell her I said thank you.” And he does.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku: Kacchan said Thank you lol

Mom: Wonderful :) I love you both.

Izuku: I love you too Mom :)

Mom: Oh, and tell Katsuki I said that if he does anything to hurt you or break your heart, he’ll have ME to deal with.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We look at each other for a second and I give him a sincere smile before saying “I promise I won’t ever hurt you, baby.” With a bright smile, he replies to Auntie’s last text my exact words. She seems satisfied with that response.

”Man, both of our parents sure are protective of me, huh?” Izuku says genuinely. I wrap my arm around his shoulder and pull him close to my side as I lean against the couch. “Well, of course, they are, silly. They love you, and you’re a special person.”

With a smile, Izuku snuggles closer to me, and we spend the rest of the afternoon watching funny TV shows.

 

-

 

Izuku’s POV

I’m snuggling against Kacchan’s chest on the couch with Rick and Morty playing on the TV when I receive a message on my phone.

I’m a little surprised but also happy to see it’s from Yagi. With a smile, I open the message.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yagi: Hello, my boy! How have you been?

Izuku: I’ve been doing great Yagi! Thank you :) How about you?

Yagi: Been pretty good lol. Busy with getting ready for the new semester to start. Summer break sure went by fast, huh?

Izuku: Oh I see. At least you’re keeping busy lol.

Yagi: Very true! Lol

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At that moment, something clicks in my mind; something that I’ve been thinking a lot about for a while, now. With the thought still fresh, I begin typing out the message.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku: Hey Yagi, you remember that thing you told me about that support group?

Yagi: You mean One For All? Yes, I do! Why do you ask, son?

Izuku: Well, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I don’t know if my mom told you about what happened a couple of weeks ago, but I think it would be good for me to start attending meetings, there.

Izuku: At least, I want to try.

Yagi: Yes, your mother told me after she was informed by Recovery Girl. I’m so sorry that happened to you, Izuku. I hope you’re okay, now. And that’s good to hear. I can let Tsukauchi know that you’re planning on going if you want. He’ll be happy to help you with anything you need. :)

Izuku: Thank you, Yagi. Maybe I’ll start going after the new semester starts.

Yagi: Of course. There’s no rush, Izuku, and the meetings aren’t mandatory, either. Just go whenever you’re ready. And you won’t be made to talk about anything you don’t want to, Tsukauchi will make sure of that.

Izuku: :) I appreciate it, Yagi. Thank you.

Yagi: Anytime :)

Yagi: Btw, your mother told me that you and Bakugou have started dating. Congrats! :D I’m very happy for you, Izuku!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I should feel angry at Mom for telling other people, especially my former teacher, my personal business, specifically about my love life. But I’m not. In fact, Yagi is someone I trust just as much as Mom, Kacchan and all my friends with something like this, and I know he would never use my sexual orientation and relationship status to hurt or exploit me.

With a smile, I send him a reply.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yagi: Not a problem, my boy! Just know that if he does anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to hurt you, I’ll make him regret it.

Izuku: Lol I know Yagi. Thank you for being considerate of me.

Yagi: No problem :)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

”Who are you texting, love?” Kacchan asks as he shifts his hold of me on the couch. “Oh, it’s just Yagi. He was asking how I was doing, and I guess Mom had told him that we’re dating.” I say sheepishly, avoiding his gaze as I feel like I shouldn’t have said that. Kacchan may not be cool with Mom telling our former teacher about our business.

”Oh yeah?” He says, sounding more chill about it than I expected. “Let me guess: he said ‘Congrats’, and ‘If I do anything to hurt you, there’ll be hell to pay’?” He chuckles as he pulls me closer to him; my head resting against his chest. I laugh at this because he’s technically not wrong.

”Something like that, hahaha.” We continue watching the TV before I tell him about what I’d told Yagi.

”Hey, Kacchan?” I say in a hushed voice.

”What’s up, hun?” He asks, not taking his eyes off the screen.

”Umm, how do you feel about me attending a support group?” He’s quiet for a moment before he sits up a bit; looking at me. “A support group?”

”Yeah. Yagi had told me about a support group that a good friend of his manages. His names Tsukauchi, and he also happens to be a sponsor for the NJSP advocacy organization, that Yagi also happens to be the leading director of.”

”Wow, that’s pretty damn cool! What kind of support group is it? Is it here in town?” He plays with my hair as he says this. I nod my head. “Yeah, it’s here in town. And it helps to provide support for people like me. Those who suffer from things like anxiety and depression...and even suicidal thoughts..”

”Oh, babe. I think something like that would be good for you. You should totally do it.” He smiles and kisses me gently on the temple. “Really?” I ask him.

”Of course! And I can go with you if you want.”

I smile at Kacchan before snuggling further into his chest, taking in his sweet scent of burnt brown sugar and caramel. “Thank you, Kacchan, but I think I’ll be okay going on my own.” I feel Kacchan nod his head slowly as his arms tighten around my torso. “Whatever you want, baby.”

After that, we turn our attention back to the TV, and we’re both completely engrossed in the current Rick and Morty episode. “God, this show is stupid!” Kacchan bursts out with laughter at a particularly funny scene; something involving Rick and Morty doing some weird dance to a bunch of giant floating head things. I laugh along with him before saying “Yeah, but it’s funny!”

He chuckles before nuzzling his cheek into my hair. “Yeah. You got me, there!”

 

-

 

It’s late Tuesday afternoon when I receive a group text from Ochako and Mina.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ochako: Heyy!

Mina: Heyo Izu! How’s it going?

Izuku: Hey guys! :) I’m doing pretty good. Just hanging out at home. Kacchan’s at work atm.

Mina: Nice. Bringing in that moneyyy lol ;p

Ochako: That’s good to hear :) How’s he doing? You guys getting along alright?

Izuku: He’s doing fine :) He’s treating me just fine, Ochako lol.

Ochako: That’s good. I meant what I said before. If he hurts you in any way, Izuku, I’ll make him wish he hadn’t. Shouto will help with that lol

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I huff out a chuckle. Maybe Kacchan and I should start a bet on how many times we can get people to say something along the lines of ‘He better not hurt you, or else’ to either of us.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku: Lol I know, Ochako. Actually, I don’t think you’ll need to worry about that, anytime soon.

Mina: ???

Ochako: What do you mean?

Izuku: Well...Kacchan and I are actually going out, now :)

Mina: AFGLHGFHSGSJDAPPTPTKGPDP NO WAY!!!! Awesome, Izu! Way to go!! :D :D

Ochako: Seriously?! When did this happen???

Izuku: Lol about 2 weeks ago, almost 3 weeks now. You’re not upset, are you Ocha?

Ochako: Why would I be upset, Izuku?

Izuku: Well, I mean, you don’t seem to like Kacchan very much, especially after what’s happened a few months back. And you 2 don’t seem to be on very good terms, at least that’s what it seems like, to me.

Ochako: Izu, I don’t care who you date or if it’s Katsuki. Sure, he’s not the most likable person and may not be my favorite, but I care about you more.

Ochako: You’re my best friend, and I love you Izu. If being with Katsuki makes you happy, and as long as he treats you right, that’s all I care about :)

Izuku: Thank you, Ochako ^^ It means a lot to hear you say that. He really does make me happy, and he takes very good care of me :)

Ochako: Good! :)

Mina: You guys! We should totally celebrate! Let’s get everyone together and go do something. Maybe before school starts?

Izuku: Celebrate? What’s there to celebrate, Mina?

Mina: What do you mean “what’s there to celebrate”? We’re celebrating you and Katsuki getting together, of course!! Lol, We can get Shou-chan and Tenya-kun and the others together, too! Plus, we can use that as our last get-together before school starts up in a week. It’ll be fun!!

Ochako: Lmao you’re ridiculous Mina-chan :P

Mina: But you love me :D

Ochako: This is true lol ;)

Izuku: Lol that’s fine to me. I’m sure Kacchan wouldn’t mind, either. What did you guys have in mind? I don’t have anything in mind for us to do lol

Mina: Hmmm how about karaoke? That would be fun :).

Izuku: That does sound like fun lol.

Ochako: Then it’s settled! ^^ I’ll let the others know and see if they wanna join. How does Friday evening sound?

Izuku: I think Kacchan has work that day, so let me text him and see, real quick.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I quickly let Kacchan know about Ochako and Mina’s plans for us to go out for karaoke on Friday as one last summer get-together(and low-key as a way to celebrate us dating), and ask him what time he gets off from work and if he wants to go.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kacchan: Yeah, I don’t mind going out with the others. As long as you’re going, too lol. I’m not one for hanging out with large crowds lol. And I’m off tomorrow, so that’ll be fine.

Izuku: Okay, awesome! I’ll let the others know :) Thanks Kacchan!

Kacchan: Lol no problem, love.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I text Ochako and Mina back and let them know about Kacchan being off tomorrow. We agree to meet for karaoke at 6:30 PM, and they would let the others know of our plans. I bid them farewell, and smile from ear to ear.

I have such awesome friends, and an even more awesome boyfriend.

 

-

 

3 Days Later: Friday August, 31 2018

Kacchan and I are sitting on the bench outside of the karaoke shop. We’d arrived early since the others weren’t here, yet, so we decide to make ourselves comfortable and just enjoy one another’s company.

We share small talk for a little while; talking about Kacchan’s plans for the new semester and me talking about my new online courses, which won’t be any different from my normal classes except that they’re all online, meaning I can attend my classes while in my pajamas, if I wanted to(Kacchan’s is quite jealous).

After about ten minutes of talking and enjoying the warm summer evening air, I spot a group of people across the street on the other side of the large white crosswalk. As they make their way across the street, I smile when I see that it’s our classmates, or at least most of them. The only ones who arrived are Ochako, Mina, Tenya, Shouto, Tsuyu, Fumikage, Hanta, Eijirou, and Denki. Including me and Kacchan, that makes eleven of us. Not a bad crowd.

”Hey, Midoriya!” Denki says cheerfully with a big toothy grin. The others make their way over to us, and the next thing I know, I’m being pulled into a big group hug by Ochako, Mina and Eijirou. They’re all congratulating me and Kacchan for making it official; Denki even says something like they had a feeling we would end up dating sometime before graduation.

We make our way inside and up to the front counter. We each chip in our share of the money for a room that’s large enough for all of us, and since this was Mina’s idea, she offers to pay for everyone’s food and drinks, even though Kacchan insists he can cover for the two of us. When I ask where the others are, Mina explains that Momo and Kyouka already had plans to go out on a date together, while the rest were either busy getting ready for the new school year, spending time with family or were out of town.

Once we’re in our reserved room, I make myself comfortable on the couch next to Kacchan, while the others get themselves adjusted and search through the booklets on the table, deciding on who should go first.

Once it’s decided that Eijirou and Hanta will go first and choose their songs, our food and drinks arrive and the rest of us have an idle chit chat and watch in amusement at Eijirou’s outlandish and off-pitch singing.

After the first two finish up, Ochako and Mina are browsing through the songbook, deciding which one to pick. Meanwhile, I can’t help but notice that Shouto seems to be awfully quiet; he’s barely said anything since we got here. He’s given me a few glances here and there, and when I would actually look him in the eye, he would just nod his head and shoot me a small smile. It does very little to keep my worry at bay. I hope he’s okay.

When it comes time for my turn, I get up and unto the short stage and pick out some anime song. As the others are cheering loudly at my performance(even though I’m a terrible singer), I can’t help but catch Shouto and Kacchan leaving the room.

’Where are Kacchan and Shouto going? Should I follow them? I really hope everything’s okay with Shouto; he hasn’t said a word, all night.’

”Hey, Izuku!” I’m pulled out of my thoughts when Eijirou calls out to me. “You good, dude? You just stopped singing.” I quickly nod my head, apologizing bashfully as I pick up where I left off.

After my song ends, I sit down between Tsuyu and Denki, while Mina and Ochako practically tug Tenya from his seat and beg him to sing along with one of them.

”So you and Bakugou are really dating now, Midoriya?” Tsuyu asks with her pointer finger resting on her cheek and her head tilted in her usual tic. “Oh, yeah, we are! We’ve been dating for three weeks, now.” I smile at her.

”That’s good to hear. To be honest, I didn’t think you would be into somebody like Bakugou.” She says bluntly. “I mean, he’s got kind of an aggressive and intimidating presence, and isn’t very good at listening to others.”

I laughed, breathlessly. “Yeah, he can be kinda intimidating, at first. But Kacchan and I have known each other since we were little, and if there’s anybody that knows Kacchan better than anybody, it’s me...well, I guess his parents would also be candidates, haha!”

”Still, it seems a bit out of the blue for you guys to be dating, especially with everything that’s happened in high school.” Fumikage says in a monotone voice, leaning back against his seat, his arm resting over the back of the couch behind Tsuyu’s head. “Regardless, as long as you’re happy and the relationship is at least healthy, that’s all that matters.” I smile at Fumikage’s words. Despite his reserved and somewhat stoic and uncaring nature, he always knows the right words to say and is always considerate of others feelings, especially his friends.

”Thanks, Fumikage.” He nods his head with a slight smile. We just sit there and swap stories and past events we’ve had over the school year and summer break, before Tsuyu chimes in and shows me something on her phone.

”Check out our new pet, Izuku.” She shows me a picture of a small green tree frog sitting inside of an aquarium. “His name is Froppy. Isn’t he cute?” She asks tilting her head. I smile widely at the picture before saying “Yeah! He is cute and very small! When did you guys get him?”

”A week ago.” Fumikage says, leaning his head back. “Luckily, Dark Shadow seems to like him. Though we don’t think it’s a good idea to take Froppy out of his cage, just yet. Dark Shadow might eat him.” I burst out laughing at the way Fumikage says that; he sounds so serious, but not really. “How’s Dark Shadow been, by the way?” I ask, bringing up Fumikage’s pet Black-capped parakeet.

He shoots me a look that screams ‘Don’t even get me started’. “A little shit is how he’s been doing.” This causes me and Tsuyu to start laughing, and despite his own words, even Fumikage smirks with a light chuckle.

After about thirty minutes of the three of us poking fun at Dark Shadow’s antics, I see Kacchan and Shouto return from...wherever they went to. Did they go to the bathroom? That’s an awfully long time for a bathroom break.

Tsuyu and Fumikage scooch down so there’s enough room for Kacchan to sit next to me, to which he gives them a curt nod in appreciation. Meanwhile, I see Shouto sitting near the other end of the couch, in which Eijirou and Mina practically beg him to go next.

Though he appears to look the same as he had when we arrived, he seems to a little more relaxed and even content. He’s doesn’t look as crestfallen and bummed out as before. I wonder what on Earth happened while they were gone.

”Did I miss anything exciting?” Kacchan asks, resting his hand on my waist. “Nah. Not really, just off-toned singing haha!”

”Hey!! Who are you calling ‘off-toned’?” Hanta chides, playfully. We laugh at his comment before he returns to his spot next to the girls.

”Hey, Kacchan? Where did you and Shouto run off to? Is everything okay?”

He doesn’t respond for a second; his eyes appearing to widen at my question before he relaxes and smiles at me. “Oh, It was nothing. He just wanted to talk to me about something, but it’s not a big deal. Nothing for you to worry about.”

He nuzzles his head against mine. I want to ask him again, but I decide not to press the issue, and just enjoy the rest of the evening with my friends and boyfriend.

 

-

 

The last few days of summer break come and go in the blink of an eye, and soon after, students finally return to school.

A week prior to school starting, Nezu-san had emailed me the details of the requirements for my online courses. It explained that my classes will remain the same and the required number of credits will remain the same, and the credits I’d already obtained during the previous semester won’t be lost or affected. All I have to do is make sure my assignments and papers are finished and turned in via email by the appointed deadlines, and if I have any questions, I can either email my professors or I can just come onto campus and discuss any questions I may have with them.

Kacchan and I are enjoying some breakfast while we talk about the new school year, and even discuss plans for the weekend.

”Will you be okay being at home, by yourself?” He asks with a mouth full of rice. I give him a slight grin. “Well, I’ve lived by myself for almost a year and have been just fine. I think I can handle a few hours.” I say with a hint of sarcasm.

Kacchan shoots me a look. “You know what I mean, Izuku.” He says in a firm but soft voice. “I go into work at 5 PM, so I’ll only be home for about two hours, and I may not be back till 9 PM. Will you be okay?”

I nod my head, understanding what he means. He’s been very protective of me since my last breakdown, which I don’t blame him for, but no matter how many times I reassure him I’m okay, he insists on checking in on me. But he also tries his best to not make me feel suffocated, which I appreciate.

”I’ll be just fine on my own, Kacchan. My new medication has really been helping, a lot, and I haven’t felt the urge to harm myself, at all. You don’t have to worry about me.” I give him a smile, hoping it’ll reassure him. He smiles back at me. “Alright. I trust you, Izuku. But you know you can call or text me if anything happens, right? Doesn’t matter if I’m at school or work.”

I nod at him with a smile. “Of course!”

After finishing breakfast, I place the dishes in the sink to wash late, while Kacchan grabs his bag and puts his shoes on. I walk over to him and hand him a bento box wrapped carefully in a cloth. “Here’s your lunch, Kacchan!” I blush, feeling like a cliche housewife handing her husband a packed lunch.

He smiles at me and takes the lunch. “Thank you, love.” He leans over and kisses me on the lips before opening the door. “I’ll see you later tonight. Take care, hun.”

”Have a good day, Kacchan!” I wave at him as he leaves, and with that, I head to our bedroom where my laptop is so I can get started on my online courses.

 

-

 

5 Days Later: Saturday September, 8 2018

So far, things are going really well with my new arrangements.

I have to admit, it’s way easier doing my classes online and in the comfort and privacy of my home than in a crowded lecture hall. Not to say this means I’m turning anti-social or becoming an introvert; I still enjoy meeting with my friends after school and hanging out with them, and as much as I want to walk to and from school with my boyfriend, this is surprisingly a much better alternative.

Plus, my new prescription has been doing wonders for me. At first, I was a bit reluctant about being put on medication, again, but after Hana assured me it would be different from my previous prescription, I decided to give it a try, and I’ve actually been feeling pretty calm, almost worry-free, even. Maybe after a few months of being on this new medicine and if my anxiety doesn’t get worse, I’ll go back to attending my regular classes, like before.

Right now, Kacchan and I are in an intense match against one another while playing Smash. It’s a pretty close match, with both of our characters on their last life. Eijirou had loaned us his Wii console and his Super Smash Bros. game so we could play it, which was kind of him to do. But at this rate, I don’t think he’ll be seeing it again, anytime soon.

”You’re SO going down, Midoriya!” Kacchan taunts playfully as he blocks my Dr. Mario’s slam attack, and his Samus counters with a laser gun assault.

”In your dreams, Bakugou! You’re barely even dodging. I’m so winning this match!!”

We continue our back-and-forth jabs and playful banter while focusing on trying to knock the other character off the edge. Just when I’ve got the upper hand and I’m about to land the kill, Kacchan pulls a dirty trick by wiggling his fingers against my side in a sneak tickle attack.

”Hahaha!! N-NO, K-Kacchahan! Dohohon’t, t-that’s not fahahair!!” I laugh hysterically as I try to swat his hand away, but it’s enough for Kacchan to gain the advantage, and launch Dr. Mario into oblivion; claiming the win.

”Sweet!! I’m the winner!!” Kacchan chants while pumping his fist in the air basking in his victory; a big, smug grin on his face. ”Hey! That’s not fair! You cheated, Kacchan!” I turn my back to him and cross my arms with a pout, though it doesn’t keep the corners of my mouth from lifting into a smile from our childish behavior.

”Awww c’mon, babe! It was a pretty close match! No hard feelings, right?” He says in a soft but teasing voice as he loops his arms around my waist from behind, but I just respond with a somewhat dramatic huff; still, choose to pout at him for pulling such a dirty trick.

The next thing I know, I’m assaulted with more tickles as Kacchan begins wiggling his fingers on my stomach and sides from behind.

”Gahaha!! N-Nohoho stohohop! Plehease stohop Hahahaha!!” I laugh and squeal hysterically as I try to get out of his evil grasp, but Kacchan manages to maneuver us to where I’m laying on my back and he’s straddling my waist.

”Aww no need to pout, Izu! We’re just having fun, right? Let me see that cute little smile.” Kacchan says in a teasing voice as he continues to scribble and dig his fingers over my sensitive tummy and ribs; a shit-eating grin plastered on his face while he attacks me. I involuntarily comply with his request by curling the corners of my mouth into a wide Cheshire Cat grin as I continued to laugh.

“There it is! You’re so cute, you know that?” He finally stops tickling me when my laughter turns to wheezing, only to lay on top of me; pinning me on the ground with his whole body weight.

”H-Hey, Kacchan!” I exclaim out, still laughing, as I try to push him off of me, but he’s refusing to budge. I can tell he’s doing this on purpose.

”Kacchaaan!! C’mon, get off of me! You’re heavy!” I whine, and then I hear a dramatic gasp come from Kacchan as he sits up, slightly; still laying on top of me, and feigns a look of shock and disbelief.

”Izuku! Did you just call me heavy? Are you saying I’m fat?! Oh, how could you? I’m wounded!” He says dramatically as he plops on top of me, again; acting like he’s dead. My face is squished between his and the floor, and he’s splayed out like a starfish. To any passerby, this would probably look ridiculous and highly amusing. “Kacchan! Come on, you big goof, get off me! I can’t breathe!” I continue to groan as I try to squirm out from under Kacchan’s dead weight, to no avail.

After a moment, he finally props himself on his elbows and looks at me with a smile. “Oh, alright. You win, I’ll get up.” He says, but he still hasn’t budged, yet. He then shoots me a mischievous smirk. “But, first…” He says before lowering his head closer until I can feel his breath against my neck.

I lay there in confusion, and I’m about to ask him what he’s doing.

And then…

*inhale* "PPBBPBTFTFFFT!

”HAHAHA! Ahahaha noho NOO! Ahaha Ka-Kahacchahan stohohop!!” Hysterical laughter and giggles escape from my mouth as Kacchan blows playful raspberries all over my neck. After a few more seconds of loving torture, he finally stops. “Alright, alright. I’ll stop.” He snickers, propping up on his elbows again and looking at me with an amused expression as I lay there panting and gasping; breathless giggles slipping past my lips while I look up at Kacchan with a wide smile.

Kacchan’s still laying partially on me, but he isn’t pressing down on me with his entire weight. Instead, he rests his forearms on either side of my head and just hovers over me. Staring down at me lovingly, Kacchan leans down and gently presses his lips to mine in a tender kiss.

Still laying on the floor, I wrap my arms around his neck while returning the kiss, and Kacchan is now cradling my head in his arms as the kiss turns into a light make-out session; our videogame match is long forgotten on the screen. A warm feeling begins to bloom in my chest, it’s the same feeling I felt the first time we kissed, in fact, it’s the same feeling I have every time Kacchan kisses me, like this. If this is how it feels every time we kiss or even touch, then I could get used to this all day, every day.

I’ve never been more in love with someone than I am with Kacchan, right now.

After a minute passes, we pull away for air; Kacchan doesn’t sit up, just hovering over me with our noses just barely touching. He smiles down at me as he softly brushes my hair from my sweat-covered forehead. “God, I love you, so much!” He says leaning down, again; snuggling into my neck, making me giggle, more.

”Hehehe, I love you, too, Kacchan. You’re everything I could ever want.”

A comfortable silence passes over us as we just enjoy staring into each other's eyes. Then, Kacchan is the first to break the silence.

”Hey, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you.” I look up at him with a curious look. “What’s that, Kacchan?”

”Is there any kind of pet name that you’d like me to refer to you by? Like, something you’d want only me to call you?” My eyes widen a little bit. I never took Kacchan to be one to be into using pet names, especially back then, when our relationship wasn’t the best.

I think for a moment about what type of name I’d want my boyfriend to use for me, but so far, the only thing that comes to mind…

I look up at him with a bit of a sad smile before saying “Well, I can’t really think of one, but, I do know that I don’t want you to call me Deku, again.” I watch Kacchan’s smile fall as I say this. “That’s the one name that I really don’t like, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use that name...it always hurt my feelings."

Kacchan finally sits up, and he pulls me up, too, so that I’m now sitting in his lap and he hugs me close. I wrap my arms around his neck, again, and rest my chin on his shoulder. “Never.” He says, stroking my hair. “I won’t ever call you that, ever again. I promise.”

After a few seconds passes, he pulls away and looks at me with a warm smile. “So, is there anything else you’d like me to call you?” Again, I can’t quite think of anything, or at least, not something that’s very clever or that would fit me. I honestly don’t mind if he keeps using names like ‘babe’, ‘baby’, ‘hun’, ‘honey’, and other names like those, but he probably wants to give me something only he can call me; something that nobody else can refer to me as.

”Actually, will you pick a name, for me, Kacchan?” I finally say to him.

”Oh? You want me to pick a name for you?” I nod my head, and he chuckles before pondering a name for him to call me. Then, I see the metaphorical light bulb go off over his head as he beams at me with a wide grin. “I got it!” I stare at him curiously as I wait for him to tell me.

”Fawn.”

....Huh?

”’Fawn’? You mean, as in a baby deer?” I ask him in confusion, he just nods his head with that same grin on his face. While I’m not opposed to the name, it’s definitely not what I’d expected him to pick, or something I’d expected Kacchan to be okay with calling me. I must look unsure, as I see his smile turn into a frown, again. “Do you not like it? We don’t have to go with that one. We can pick something-”

”Oh, no. It’s not that. I like it, I really do.” I tell him, swiftly; hoping to snuff out any worries from his mind. “It’s just...not something I expected, is all. Why Fawn?” He smiles at me, threading his fingers through my hair.

”Well...I’ve always thought that you looked a lot like some kind of woodland creature; like a bunny or a fawn. And the name just kinda came to me.” I giggle as his explanation. “I’m serious! You always reminded me of a fawn, with your big round eyes, and your adorable-ass freckles. Hell, all you need is a pair of antlers and deer-like ears and you’re all set!”

This makes me giggle even more, and I can’t help but agree with him. I think I like the new nickname. “Okay, I like it! Fawn, it sounds cute.” Kacchan smiles before he pecks me on the cheek.

”How about me? Got a nickname you wanna use for me? Unless you wanna just keep using ‘Kacchan’ as my nickname.” I ponder for a moment; thinking about what would be a good name to use for someone like Kacchan.

Then, the perfect name comes to mind. Kacchan stares at me, patiently waiting for me to respond.

”Hedgehog!”

Now it’s Kacchan’s turn to give me a questioning expression. “Or I can use Hedgy, for short, if you’d like. I think it suits you!” He smirks at me before asking me the same thing I asked him. “Okay, you silly goof. Why Hedgehog?” He chuckles at me, and I just smile widely at him. “Well…” I simply lift my hand up and use my finger to poke at his spikey blond hair. That’s the only explanation he needs for the nickname.

Suddenly, Kacchan bursts out laughing, and I join him, soon after. We bask in each other's mirth at our nicknames for each other.

Kacchan snuggles me close to him before saying “Well, I guess it’s settled, then! Fawn and Hedgehog, it is!”

I smile at him. “If you want, Kacchan, I’ll only call you that when we’re alone. I know it’s a pretty silly name.” Kacchan doesn’t say anything, he just kisses me on the forehead and hugs me, tightly.

”Whatever you want, baby. Oh, I mean, Fawn.” I laugh softly and pull him close to me, enjoying his warmth and taking in his sweet smell.

Yep, I could definitely get used to this.

Chapter Text

Katsuki’s POV

It’s been about a week since returning to school, and for once, I don’t feel like exploding on others for getting on my nerves.

I don’t know if it has something to do with all the things I’ve taken from each therapy session, or if it’s because I’ve finally allowed myself to open up and accept my true self, either way, I know one thing is certain:

Ever since Izuku and I started dating, I’ve never felt more content and genuinely at ease than I do, in this moment.

I feel a smile form on my face at the thought of Izuku, as I make my way through campus and towards the lecture hall. Just then, I notice a familiar head of red and white hair, in the distance. It can only be Todoroki ‘Half n’ Half’ Shouto that the bi-colored hair can belong to.

He must have spotted me, too, even amongst the crowd, as his heterochromatic eyes have now locked onto mine. Rather than simply walking past each other, we stand about a meter and a half apart and stare at each other, while everyone else walks past us.

On any other day, I wouldn’t even spare this asshole a passing glance, let alone stand anywhere near him, voluntarily. Instead, we stand there face-to-face for a good minute or two; staring into each other’s eyes, until Half n’ Half silently nods his head; a subtle side smile tugging on the corner of his mouth. I reciprocate and nod back to him; neither of us saying a word during the calm exchange.

At the minute and a half mark, he’s the one to break the silence. “Good morning, Bakugou.” I smirk back at him. “G‘morning.” We walk past each other after the short exchange and make our way towards our separate destinations. I don’t bother to look over my shoulder to him; knowing that he’s most likely not doing the same, and head over to class.

Ever since that night at the karaoke shop, my attitude towards Half n’ Half, or, well, Todoroki, has drastically changed from hostility and spite to begrudging acceptance and respect. And for some odd reason, I’m perfectly okay with how things have turned out, despite the way it all began between us.

 

-

 

2 Weeks Ago: August, 31 2018

I sat next to Izuku on the couch as I took in everything that was going on around us. I don’t normally do stuff like this, even if it’s with people I like, but if it’s something Izuku enjoys, I don’t mind participating in group outings or activities.

Izuku gets up from his seat and bounces over to the short platform to perform his song of choice. Even though none of us are taking this seriously and are simply having fun with mocking each other’s abhorrent singing, I’m looking forward to hearing Izuku sing.

Right when the song starts to boom from the speakers, I notice somebody standing next to me on my left. I look up, only to narrow my eyes at the two-toned bastard looking down at me. I’m about to ask what the hell he wants when he points his thumb over his shoulder; signaling at the door.

”Could I have a word with you? In private, if possible?”

I’m silent for a moment; not sure whether to decline the request and ignore him, or not. But whatever Half n’ Half wants to talk to me about, it must be somewhat important and worth hearing out if he’s wanting to discuss it, in private.

Eventually, I shrug and get up from my spot on the couch with a groan. I follow Half n’ Half to the door, not looking behind me to see if Izuku has noticed us leaving. But part of me hopes he hasn’t.

This would be very odd to explain to him as to why his boyfriend and his best friend are leaving, together.

We walk past the reception desk in the front lobby and out the entrance. At first, I thought we would just stand outside the shop and have our discussion right there, but Half n’ Half then starts walking again, to which I follow him in slight confusion; nervousness bubbling inside of my chest when we end up in a wide alleyway between the karaoke shop and another small business.

’If this asshole brought me back here just to murder me and dump my corpse inside a dumpster, he’s clearly underestimated how many cliche horror movies I’ve seen, before.’

”Alright. So, what exactly did you wanna discuss with me, Half n’ Half? And it better be fucking important if it requires us standing in some sketchy-ass alley.” I say with a hint of annoyance. He didn’t say anything for a moment; just staring at his feet with his hands shoved in his pockets.

I’m about to ask him again, less patient this time when Half n’ Half looked directly at me; his expression a bit unreadable.

“So...you and Izuku are actually dating…?”

I stared at him with wide eyes; I’m speechless for a moment. I narrow my eyes at him, again. ’I should’ve known this fucker was gonna bring up my and Izuku’s relationship, and make a huge fucking deal about it. Typical.’

”Ohhh, I see. Let me guess? I’m not worthy of having someone as sweet and innocent as Izuku as my boyfriend, and I swooped in and stole your man from under your nose before you could have a chance to claim him for yourself?” I sneer at him. He glared back at me, though it did little to sway or intimidate me.

”Izuku is NOT a prize to be earned or won, so don’t you dare say something like that.” His voice wasn’t loud or bellowing, but his words are just as stinging and sharp as he intended for them to be. I remain unfazed; if anything, I’m getting more pissed off.

”I never said he was!” I took a deep but angry breath, trying to calm down before I draw in unwanted attention. I needed to keep my cool and hear this guy out. Even if I’d rather be locked in a room for a whole day with fucking Mineta than spend even five minutes with this fucker.

”Look,” I say, my voice calmer. “I get that you and Izuku have become pretty close; you’re not exactly subtle with the way you act around him, and I get that our past relationship hasn’t always been the most...healthy. I get it. I really do.” I paused for a second, studying his expression, which had softened up, a bit. “Regardless of how things used to be and how you feel about all this, I’m in love with Izuku. I have been for a long time, and I’ve only just recently started opening up about how I really feel.”

I noticed his eyes widening, very slightly, but he remains silent; allowing me to continue.

”So, if you brought me all this way just to tell me what a complete piece of shit I’d been to him, and how we’re not the right fit for each other, you’re wasting your time. Izuku is happy, and if you REALLY care about him as much as you appear to, then you’ll drop the whole thing, back off and let us be together.”

We’re both quiet for a minute; my words seemed to have sunk in as Half n’ Half stared off into space. This was probably the first time I’d ever spoken to him so passionately, let alone spoken to him extensively, at all. But I’d had enough with dodging the issue with this guy, and I wanted to set the record straight with him, even if it meant basically telling him to ‘kindly fuck off’.

Just when I was about to walk away and head back inside, Half n’ Half’s finally spoke up in a hushed voice. “I understand where you’re coming from, Bakugou. I never said that I didn’t approve of the two of you being together. While yes, I find the dynamic the both of you share to be somewhat...clashing, I can tell just from the way Izuku acts around you that he's quite content.”

I couldn’t help but catch the small smile that appeared on his face. “As for your earlier assumptions of my having romantic feelings for him...you’re not wrong. In fact, I’ve actually been in love with him ever since freshman year of high school.” My eyes grew wide as saucers at the fact that I was right, this whole time. But then, the words flew out of my mouth faster than I could stop them.

”B-But, I don’t understand! If you were in love with Izuku this whole time, then why the hell didn’t you ask him out? You had every opportunity to tell him how you feel and to have him as your boyfriend, especially since I was such a jerk to him, back then. So then why didn’t you do it?”

He looked down at his feet; averting my gaze with a sheepish expression. “Because...I knew that Izuku never felt the same for me as I did for him…”

I was stunned into silence when he said that.

”...Wha-What do you mean…?” I asked him, still stunned and confused. He looked up at me, and gave a slight smile as he spoke.

”Izuku...he’s such a kind, loving person, but despite his caring nature, he’s also very easy to read; though it’s never stopped him from trying not to be.”

I didn’t say anything, I just allowed the information to sink in while he spoke, again. “He and I weren’t very close, back then; in fact, I guess you can say we were almost akin to being rivals, but despite this, it never stopped him from getting me to open up. Eventually, he was finally able to break down my barriers and I opened up to him. We became good friends, and as time went on, I saw him as more than that.”

I already knew that much, Half n’ Half isn’t exactly subtle, either. But I didn’t say anything.

”But despite how I felt about him, I knew that Izuku didn’t feel the same way for me as I did for him. Even if I had told him how I felt and that somehow led to us dating, it would’ve been completely one-sided, and knowing how Izuku is, he wouldn’t break it off out of fear of causing our friendship to become strained. That wouldn’t be fair to him; I don’t want Izuku to feel obligated to be with me just to make me happy.”

I had no idea that that was how Half n’ Half really felt. All this time, I thought he was just being overly friendly to Izuku and showering him with gifts just to spite and annoy me. Never once did I consider that, perhaps, he was doing all those things just to be a good friend.

”I…” I start, my voice was low and a bit hoarse. “I never thought of it, that way…” I avoid his gaze; feeling a bit embarrassed for making assumptions up in my head.

”Bakugou, listen.” Half n’ Half walked a little closer until he’s about a foot apart from me. “I never did any of those things for Izuku with the intention of making you jealous or to make you think I was trying to start something. Although I know my relationship with Izuku will never be anything more than platonic, that doesn’t change the fact that I care about him, deeply, and even though I still have feelings for him, I’ll still be there for him as a friend; no matter what, I’ll respect his choices.”

His expression lightened up a tad, and he smiled a bit. “If Izuku is happy being with you, and as long as you don’t do anything to hurt him, even more, I won’t do anything to come between the both of you. I hope this will put your mind at ease.”

I couldn’t find the words to respond with. This has to be probably the first time ever, that Half n’ Half and I have had an actual conversation that didn’t involve constant insults. The fact that he had the balls to tell me how he really felt about Izuku but was still perfectly fine with being his friend despite his feelings...for once, I actually respected this guy.

”That’s good to know, I guess…” I grumbled out, not too sure what else to say to that.

”I’ll admit, Bakugou, you and I have never exactly seen eye to eye on anything, and I dare say that I even thought that you were just a complete immature asshole.” I scowled at him, but remained silent; I’m sure he had more to say with that. “Regardless of your aggressive temper and your lack of class participation and cooperation, I’d always thought you were very smart and talented.”

I softened up a bit; not expecting him to start complimenting me after slapping me in the face with his earlier remark. “I know we’ve never been the most agreeable pair, but despite that, for Izuku’s sake, perhaps you and I could put our differences aside, and we could try to be cordial with each other. And maybe, if possible, you and I could be friends...or, well, acquaintances.”

I thought about it for a bit, and with everything that’s been said, and considering all the progress I’d made as far as managing my temper, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us to at least make an attempt at being friends. Plus, it wouldn’t be very healthy or comfortable for Izuku if his boyfriend and best friend hated each other. Half n’ Half is right; for Izuku’s sake, I can set aside my disdain towards him and try to get along.

Who knows? Maybe we can actually become friends, after this.

”Yeah.” I finally said with a crooked smile. “That doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”

He smiled and nodded his head in agreement. “But I do have a question to ask you: what’s gonna happen with you and Izuku? I mean, I know that you were in love with him, so wouldn’t it be a bad idea to hang around the same person you have feelings for?”

Half n’ Half’s smile faltered a bit, but he didn’t appear to be upset by my question. “I understand where you’re coming from, Bakugou.” He said, quietly.

”While it wouldn’t be ideal for someone to continue being friends with a person they also have romantic feelings for, I assure you nothing will change between us. I still care very much for Izuku, despite how I feel, and while it may seem ridiculous, if I were able to fall in love with him, I’m sure I can fall out of love with him, just as easily. It may take some time, but I don’t mind, at all.”

”So, you’re okay with staying friends with Izuku despite us dating?” I asked him; wanting to make sure all of the laundry has been aired out. If we’re gonna be honest with each other and attempt to be friends, I wanna make sure that there’s complete closure between us.

”Of course, I am.” He smiled, kindly. “I could tell for the past few months that you’ve been working very hard to earn Izuku’s trust and to fix your broken friendship, and it shows in the way Izuku acts around you. He trusts you, Bakugou, and if Izuku's comfortable enough to be your boyfriend, and there’s no reason for me to be worried.”

I smiled at his words. It felt really nice to be told that, and not things like ‘you better take good care of him, or else’. Half n’ Half saw it more as actions speaking louder than words, and I guess from what he’s told me, my actions within the last few months have spoken loud and clear.

”So, what are you gonna do, now?” I asked him. He stopped walking and turned around to face me. I guess he must’ve understood my question because it didn’t take him long to answer. “Like the saying goes: ‘there’s plenty of fish in the sea’; I’ll probably start doing some dating, of my own. And if I’m lucky, I’m sure I’ll find someone who shares the same feelings for me as I do for them. I’ll be just fine.” He smiled at me, and I nodded my head with a smile of my own.

After standing out in the alleyway for a good thirty minutes, we decided it would be a good idea to head back inside before the others started to worry. We slowly made our way back towards the entrance of the store before he spoke, again; stopping just a couple of feet from the front door.

”Bakugou, I have a favor to ask of you.” I stopped walking and stood there, waiting for him to continue. “Could you please not tell Izuku about the things we discussed?” I stared at him in confusion; not understanding what he said, at first, but then he started to elaborate. “Knowing how Izuku is, if he were to find out that I was in love with him this whole time, it would only make him feel guilty for not reciprocating my feelings, and it may even cause a strain to form in our friendship. I’d appreciate it if you just kept all of this between us.”

Normally, I wouldn’t keep secrets from Izuku or outright lie to him if he were to ask, but after everything Half n’ Half had told me and his reason for not coming clean on his own, I decided to respect his decision and leave things the way they are. I nodded my head and assured him his secret was safe with me.

We entered our reserved room and I smiled softly when I saw Izuku laughing and smiling giddily along with Froggy and Bird Beak. Half n’ Half sat down near the end of the couch while I made my way back over to my spot; Froggy and Bird Beak scooched over a bit to give me some room on the couch, to which I nodded to them in appreciation.

”Did I miss anything exciting?” I asked as I snaked my hand around his waist and pulled him closer. “Nah. Not really, just off-toned singing haha!”

”Hey!! Who are you calling ‘off-toned’?” Sero exclaims, playfully, which resulted in us laughing at his whining. I relaxed on the couch and watched the others goofing off and bickering over who would go next when I heard Izuku quietly speak up. ”Hey, Kacchan? Where did you and Shouto run off to? Is everything okay?”

I was about to answer his question and put his mind at ease, but then I remembered Half n’ Half’s request from earlier, and I decide to answer, carefully. “Oh, It was nothing. He just wanted to talk to me about something, but it’s not a big deal. Nothing for you to worry about.” I said before nuzzling my head against his.

He seemed unconvinced, at first, and looked like he was about to say something, but then he just relaxed against my side and we just watched everyone, else.

 

-

 

Present Day:

I enter the lecture hall and sit in my usual seat; the large space still fairly empty as a few other people start filing in.

As I get my textbook and notes ready, I feel a vibration coming from my pocket. Pulling out my phone, I see that I’ve received a text, and I raise an eyebrow when I see the name on the screen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Half n’ Half: Hello, Bakugou. Sorry to bother you.

Katsuki: Lol no worries. What’s up?

Half n’ Half: Kirishima, Kaminari and Sero had invited me to come and hang out this weekend. I told them I would ask you if you wanted to join us.

Half n’ Half: So would you like to?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I smirk a little at the message. It feels a bit surreal to be texting someone who I used to absolutely despise. Ever since that night at karaoke, Todoroki and I have been texting each other more often; we’re not as close as Kirishima and I are, but we’re at least making an effort at spending time together as friends.

 

-

 

He’d told me that he’s majoring in Literature and he was planning on becoming an author. He even has a few rough drafts saved on his Docs that he plans to publish when he becomes a professional.

I already knew that his dad is Todoroki Enji, a famous actor second to Yagi before his retirement, but I never knew that his father was an abusive, money-hungry piece of shit. He told me about his childhood and about what happened with his mom, including how he got that scar and how that resulted in his hatred of his dad.

That definitely explained why he always acted as he did. Honestly, I don’t even blame him, considering what his dad did to him.

According to Todoroki, he’d always been rather gifted in writing. This meant that Enji wanted his genius son to become a writer so he could work for his agency and produce scripts and even write books about his father’s success and his rise to stardom. Rather than allowing his son to use his writing skills to achieve his dreams, Enji only wanted to use Todoroki’s talents for his own selfish gain; wanting to become even more famous on the back of his son’s dreams and aspirations.

Obviously, he refused to allow his dad to use him like that. He told his father that he was planning to become an author and he would use his skills the way he wanted, not for his father to leech off of. He’d left his family home soon after that and moved in with his older sister, Fuyumi, who was more than supportive of her little brother’s dreams.

According to Todoroki, it was thanks to Izuku’s influence that he was able to build up the courage to stand up to his father, and he’d even started visiting his mother at the mental health facility so he could rekindle their bond. His mom sounds really nice.

Although his dad still pesters him about joining his agency, Todoroki seems a lot more relaxed; still a bit stoic and seemingly uncaring, but more relaxed and content, nonetheless.

 

-

 

I consider his earlier proposal for a moment before I text him back.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katsuki: Sounds like fun, but I think I’ll pass lol.

Katsuki: I was planning on taking Izuku out somewhere for a date. Maybe next time?

Half n’ Half: Lol I understand. No problem, I’ll let the others know.

Half n’ Half: How is Izuku, btw?

Katsuki: He’s doing fine. He seems a lot more relaxed nowadays, I think the online classes have been helping him with his anxiety.

Half n’ Half: That’s good :)

Half n’ Half: You guys have fun on your date. Tell him I said Hi.

Katsuki: Lol will do.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I put my phone away when the professor enters the lecture hall and starts class.

I allow my mind to wonder and I smile when Izuku is the first thing I think of. I wanna treat to a nice first date. Well, now that I think about it, I think this would technically be, like, our 3rd date; there was our Disney date and the movies, even though I didn’t call those a ‘date’.

Either way, I’ll think of something nice for us to do. Izuku deserves to go somewhere nice, and I’ll make sure he does.

-

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katsuki: Hey Fawn :)

Izuku: Hey Hedgy ^^ How are you?

Katsuki: I’m good. Classes are pretty boring, but I’ll live lol. How are you doing, love?

Izuku: I’m doing good lol just taking a quick break. My eyes were starting to become strained.

Izuku: I might have to get glasses if I keep staring at the screen for too long Lmao.

Katsuki: Lol I think you would look sexy with glasses ;) not that you’re not already sexy.

Izuku: Stop, Kacchan! You’re making me blush 0///V///0

Katsuki: Lol :) I was wondering, do you wanna do something, this weekend? I was thinking we could go out on a date.

Izuku: That would be nice! ^^ What did you have in mind?

Katsuki: How about we go to that new sushi place? I heard it’s been getting really good reviews. And maybe we can get some ice cream, after. How’s that sound?

Izuku: :D Sounds great!

Katsuki: Awesome! We can go Saturday.

Izuku: Ok Kacchan :) Gotta get back to work, gotta paper due, tomorrow. See you tonight, Kacchan.

Katsuki: Ok babe. Love you.

Izuku: I love you, too ^^

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

-

 

The words Izuku had said to me a few weeks ago, the things he had said about rumors spreading around the school about him, they continue to echo inside my head.

There’s no way that the details of that incident should’ve slipped out; Granny Chiyo isn’t the type of person to tell others about another student’s business. Plus, the fact that she’s a doctor, and there’s some type of ethical code, or something, that prevents someone in her position from revealing sensitive information about other patients, just proves that this couldn’t have been her doing.

It also wouldn’t make sense for other teachers and professors to somehow find out and start telling others, not without risking their reputations. So, who could have done this?

Well, I’m gonna find out, one way or another.

Right now, we’ve all been given instructions from Maijima-sensei for a new project; he wants us to get with a partner and come up with blueprints, and work together to create the design, testing, and the final product of our collaboration. We have two weeks to work on the project, and at the end of the two weeks, we’ll present our product to the class, demonstrate its mechanics and how it works, and how and why we believe it’ll be beneficial for consumers.

And, of course, everyone has already found a partner to work with, leaving me with none other than…

”Heyyy, Bakugouu!!” I can already feel the irritation creeping up on me at hearing Dreadlocks’ annoyingly peppy voice. “Looks like you and I are the only ones without partners! What luck!” She exclaims with a toothy grin while throwing her arm around my shoulder; the smell of machine oil heavy on her person.

I hold back the urge to shove her off of me, and simply let out a grunt in response.

”Yeah, yeah. Whatever. Just don’t get in my way, Dreadlocks.” I hiss at her while gathering my things and make my way to the lab to get started on this stupid project. I usually prefer to work on these types of assignments alone; it makes things way less complicated and distracting, and almost always guarantees a successful finish product.

I absolutely detest group projects and assignments; I’ve never been fond of working with others, especially when we can never agree or compromise with one another’s ideas. And it’s this attitude that has often landed me in hot water with Aizawa and the other teachers. But if I want to have any chance at reaching my goals, I’ll have to put my pride aside and learn to cooperate with others.

Honestly, there shouldn’t be any reason for rejecting another person’s ideas. Especially Dreadlocks. While I’ll never admit it to her, verbally, she is pretty talented and knows her craft, and she at least knows what she’s doing when it comes to this shit. So I can trust her.

We’re brainstorming and writing down different ideas for a potential design when my mind begins to wonder, again.

’I need to find out who it was that told others about Izuku, there have to be at least a few people from Class 1-A or at least one of the other classes, that knows something. Even if they weren’t told anything, directly, they must have at least overheard someone else talking about him. Who could it have been…? Is it someone I know? Someone I’ve only met once or twice?....’

”Helloooo! Yoohoo, Bakugou!” I snap out of my thoughts at the sound of Dreadlocks’ voice. Her hand is waving in front of my face like she’s trying to get my attention. She smirks and snickers at my dumbfounded expression.

”Sweet! I was worried you fell asleep on me. This is NO time for naps, mister! We’ve got a ground-breaking machine baby to get started on! Check out the designs I’ve come up with!” She reaches over and grabs a small stack of blue graph paper and starts sifting through the blueprints at lightning speed; talking a mile a minute about the possible design choices before I slam my hand down on the table, trapping the papers under my hand, and successfully halting Dreadlocks’ monologuing.

”Uhh, Bakugou…?” She asks me, tilting her head with a slightly worried look, but that passionate glint still glazing her features, and soon enough she went back to talking my ear off. “Oops, my bad! Did you not like these designs? I can start over, and we can just take elements from these babies and put them towards-”

”Dreadlocks.” My flat but firm voice is enough to silence her, again. I’ve got her full attention, now, so I choose to use this to ask her the questions I need answers for.

”Have you heard of any rumors going around about Izuku, by any chance?”

I normally wouldn’t bother with asking her about something like this, but she’s the only one I know that wouldn’t lie or say whatever I want to hear just to get off of her case. She’s also the only one I know that I can, for the most part, trust with something like this. The only thing she likes to show off and brags about is her inventing skills.

I can trust her with this.

”Izuku?...Oh! You mean Midoriya?” I nod my head, my expression unchanged. I can’t help but notice the glint in her eyes at the mention of Izuku’s name. “Rumors, you say? You mean, like what happened with Yamaguchi and the other guys?” I internally roll my eyes at her; I’d hoped to never have to hear that fucker’s name, ever again. I look over my shoulder to see if anyone is watching or listening in.

Everyone seems preoccupied with their own projects. Good. I don’t have to worry about adding salt to the wound. I lean a bit closer to her and hold my hand up to the side of my mouth to keep my voice contained(not like anybody is gonna care about what I’m saying).

”Yeah...something like that, but this isn’t about Yamaguchi. You know anything about what happened to Izuku a few months ago?” I ask in a low voice. She presses her finger to her chin like she’s racking her brain. She looks at me with a more serious look; her wide grin fading as she nods her head, slowly. “Yeah. I remember Uraraka-chan telling me about that,” I raise my eyebrow. She and Round-Face have been talking about Izuku?

I feel a wave of anger flow over me. I swear, if that fucking bitch is the one who did this, I’m gonna…

”She and I are actually in the science club, together. She seemed really down the day Midoriya wasn’t at school. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me he was at the hospital; she didn’t tell me why, but all she said to me was it was something serious. I didn’t ask her anything else, but I did tell her that if she needed to talk, she could come to me.” She then smiles and gives me a friendly wink. “If you’re worried about whether I told anyone, you can rest easy, my friend! My lips are sealed!” She exclaims, miming her hands to make it look like she’s zipping her lips closed.

I let out a sigh of relief; so I was at least right about Dreadlocks keeping her mouth shut, and not telling anyone. I had no idea she and Round-Face knew each other, but then again, they were partnered up at our first Sports Festival event, so I guess it makes sense that they would become friends, especially since they’re both pretty fond of Izuku.

”So...Round-Face told you about...you know…?” Her smile falters, again, and she nods her head. “Yeah...She didn’t tell me the details, but she did tell me that it was a suicide attempt. I didn’t bug her for more answers, I figured it wasn’t any of my business.”

For once, I actually agree with her. It isn’t any of her business. But, at least she’s humble enough to know that, given how arrogant and insufferable she can be.

”Anyways,” I start, wanting to get the conversation back on track. “what I wanted to ask you is, have you been told, or at least, have you heard of any rumors going around about Izuku’s suicide attempt, or anything like that?”

She’s silent for a moment, and then she looks at me before saying “I personally haven’t been told anything about something like that, or at least, I haven’t heard of anything. I spend most of my time in the engineering lab working on new machines and gear, so I most likely haven’t heard anything. Even if I had been told something, I most likely forgot about it because I was too busy with my tech work.”

”I see…” I had really hoped that Dreadlocks would know at least something, or at least someone would have told her, but I guess she’s a lot like me, in a sense. She would rather spend her time on her projects than pay any mind to school drama.

Just as I’m about to brush the whole thing off and tell her not to worry about it, she speaks up, again.

”But, I think I may know someone who does know something!”

I look at her, again, eyeing her with intent. If she knows something, anything, I’ll take whatever I can get. “One of the students in the Architect Department is dating a good friend of mine, and she knows a lot of people in the school. Maybe they might know something. I can ask them if you want.”

My eyes grow as big as saucers and I nod my head, furiously. I must look like a bobble-head doll, with how fast I’m nodding my head, but I don’t give a shit. Dreadlocks is offering to help me, and I’ll be damned if I let this chance slip away from me.

She smiles at me at reaches for her phone, handing it to me. I slowly take her phone, staring confusingly at her before she answers my question. “Punch in your number, and I’ll text you as soon as I find anything out! Plus, since we aaaare partners for this project, I figured it’d be a lot easier to have each other’s numbers!”

I nod my head once before typing my number and saving it in her contacts. I pass the phone back to her, which she takes with a big grin. She winks at me, again, and gives me a thumbs up. “Leave it to me, partner!!”

I feel a huge weight come off of my shoulders. I’ve never felt more grateful to have someone as dedicated and resourceful as Dreadlocks on my side than I do, in this moment.

’Don’t worry, Izuku. I’m gonna take care of this. I promise.’

 

-

 

The next day, I’m busy working in the lab; gathering all of the tools and materials Dreadlocks and I need. Maijima-sensei has allowed us to spend the whole class time to work on our group project, and if we need specific tools and materials that aren’t available, he’s offered to order them for us, so long as they’re reasonable to get a hold of.

We’ve decided on making a VR headset that specifically helps those with PTSD and anxiety. With Izuku as my inspiration, I want to make something that would be beneficial to not only him but others like him. Unlike traditional VR, our version will target the person’s vitals, and after articulating the main cause of their stress, the headset can create scenarios that are similar to the experiences that led up to their PTSD. It’s a lot like exposure therapy, but hopefully, it won’t be as scary as it sounds. That’s my goal, at least.

It will be able to simulate visual scenarios, while also simulating realistic sounds, smells, and maybe with the addition of specialized motion-detection gloves and suits, we can even make it produce the physical sensations the person has experienced through vibrations and pulses; as well as allowing it to adapt to heat and cold to make the senses seem more realistic.

It can be adjusted and customized to fit the person’s needs and conditions to make it more personalized to the person’s situation and to help everyone with different problems. There will even be a post-simulation aftercare feature that’ll allow the person to slowly and gradually return to reality after being put through the intense exposure aspect of the VR; it can be in the form of calming music and sounds, relaxing smells like lavender or vanilla, and even a peaceful visual scene like a meadow or beach.

It may be a bit of a complicated package to unwrap, and even an impossible feat to accomplish, but if it can help someone like Izuku to overcome their fears and the source of it, I’m always up for the challenge.

I’m sitting near the back of the lab looking over my notes; my earbuds in my ears and music playing to help me focus when I feel a tap on my shoulder.

I flinch, slightly, and I’m about to cuss the person out when I catch the sight of pink dreadlocks in my peripheral. I pull my earbuds out and turn around to look at her. She’s holding her hands up in a surrender-like motion, a big smile on her face.

”Hey, Bakugou! Sorry for startling you, haha!” I glare at her, slightly, before turning back to my notes. “What is it, Dreadlocks?”

”I spoke with my friend, and she says she and her bf know something.” I turn back to her, my eyes wide with stunned disbelief.

’Holy shit, that was fast!’

”Are you serious?! You already asked her?” She nods her head, enthusiastically. “Her class lets out in an hour, so we can just work on this assignment until then, and we can meet her and her boyfriend in the clubroom. Deal?”

”Sure…” There’s no point in fretting or getting anxious over the time, I get back to work on the project, Maybe it’ll help keep my mind from wandering.

 

-

 

It’s after 1 PM when Dreadlocks is leading me down one of the large hallways of one of the club buildings until we come across a room with a sign on the wall with the words ‘Science Club’ engraved on it.

There aren’t very many people here, but it’s a lot more packed than I’d anticipated. She walks past the others, me trailing behind her until we’re standing near a small group of students, a few of who I actually recognize: Round-Face, of course, Kendou Itsuka, that Tetsutetsu guy, and Kirishima?!

”Hey, guys!!” Dreadlocks exclaim cheerfully while giving them a friendly hug and pat on the shoulder. Of course, Kirishima and Round-Face are both staring at me with shock.

”Hey, dude! I wasn’t expecting you to be interested in after-school clubs, let alone in the Science Club!” He says with a big grin as he throws his arm over my shoulder. “Yeah, I didn’t think you were into clubs, but the more the merrier, right?” Round-Face says with a friendly smile.

”I’m not here to join your geek club.” I say with a hint of annoyance. “I’m here with Dreadlocks.”

They both look at me with confusion and then turn their focus to Dreadlocks, who is currently chattering with Kendou and Tetsutetsu.

I remember them from Class 1-B. We never spoke or interacted, much aside from school activities like the Sports Festival, but despite the rare times we’ve spoken, they seem pretty cool. Plus, Kirishima and Tetsutetsu seem to be pretty close; I remember seeing them hanging out after school, every now and again, and at one point, they were even rivals before they finally decided to try and become friends.

”Hey, Bakugou! Over here!” Dreadlocks calls out and began to wave her hand, ushering for me to come over, to which I comply. Kendou and Tetsutetsu are smiling and waving at me as I approach them.

”Hey there, Bakugou.” Kendou says with a small smile. “It’s been a while, huh? Glad to see you’re doing well.”

I nod my head silently, waiting for her to get to the point of our meet up. Kendou clears her throat before speaking up, again. “We should probably go somewhere a little more private. Is that alright with you, Bakugou?” I look at the others to see what they thought of the suggestion, they all nodded their heads, and so I said to her that it was fine by me.

She leads us up the stairs and into one of the empty rooms. Making sure that nobody was listening in, Kendou turns to me before taking a breath and speaking. “Hatsume had spoken to me about your concerns regarding the recent rumors going around about Midoriya, is that correct?”

”Yeah. She said you might know something? Like, maybe who it could’ve been?” I ask, flatly; not even bothering to beat around the bush. She turns to Tetsutetsu with a worried look before looking back at me. Something tells me by the way they’re looking at each other, that not only do they know who’s responsible, but they also know them, personally.

”Actually...we do know who it is.” Tetsutetsu says in a gruff but low voice. “In fact, we were the first ones he actually told.”

I just stand there, completely stunned. My mouth hanging open like a fish out of water. I’m barely able to speak when Tetsutetsu speaks for me.

“The only reason we didn’t say anything or report it to any of the teachers is that, well, we didn’t think he was serious. We just thought he was talking outta his ass, y’know? But we didn’t tell anybody, in case if you’re wondering.” He’s rubbing the back of his neck, nervously, as he looks away from me. “But then, as soon as we heard others talking about it, including the teachers, we realized that either he told them, or one of the students who were there did. We asked him about it, and he just shrugged it off and said it wasn’t his problem. We tried to tell everyone that it was all a misunderstanding, but it didn’t help. In fact, I think it may have made things worse.”

I don’t care about the details of how they found out, or about them feeling bad or sorry about the whole thing, all I care about is finding out who this son of a bitch is. He keeps saying ‘he’, so they obviously know who it is, but are probably too scared to tell me.

”Just cut the tip-toeing bullshit, and just tell me, already! Who is is?!”

They’re silent for a moment before Kendou says the name of the person responsible for the rumors, the person who told others about Izuku’s suicide attempt and even possibly about his overdosing on Zoloft.

As soon as she said the name, all I saw was red.

 

-

 

Normal POV

As soon as Katsuki enters the apartment, he feels all of the anger and frustration from earlier melt away at the sight of his beloved. But it does little to ease the anxiousness in his chest.

”Kacchan! Welcome home!” Izuku walks up to him and wraps his arms around Katsuki’s waist, Katsuki wrapping his own arms around Izuku’s neck, hugging him tight, though his movements are a bit stiff and even mechanical. He hopes that Izuku doesn’t notice.

”How was your day, Fawn?” Katsuki asks softly as he plants a kiss in his fluffy green hair, hoping it’ll mask the flatness in his voice. “It was fine.” Izuku says, nuzzling into his boyfriend’s chest. “Finished on a paper, a little while ago. I was about to get started on dinner when you-”

Izuku stops and looks up at Katsuki, and his smile turns into a slight frown. Katsuki stiffens even more at seeing his boyfriend’s expression. Of course, Izuku would notice something was off, he’s smarter than that. “Kacchan...something’s wrong.” He says in a quiet voice. Katsuki looks at him with a flat expression, unable to respond. Then, Izuku reaches up, and brushes his fingertips lightly over a rather nasty-looking bruise on his cheek, causing Katsuki to flinch from the pain. In fact, Izuku just now noticed a few bruises covering his face and around his jaw.

“What happened to your face, Kacchan? How-How did this happen?” Katsuki is silent; unsure of how to respond or the right words to start with. Finally, after a pregnant silence falls over to boys, Katsuki exhales a nervous breath and looks Izuku in the eyes.

”I...I kinda fucked up, today…”

Not surprisingly, Izuku gives him a look that’s a mix of shock, confusion, and perplexion. “What-What do you mean, Kacchan? Wh-What did you do?” Katsuki looks around the room, trying to avert his gaze, but to no avail. There’s no point in avoiding the topic, now, not after he’s confirmed that his odd demeanor isn’t just Izuku’s imagination.

He already made his bed, so he may as well lay in it.

Taking a slow, deep breath, Katsuki bites his bottom lip, anxiously, before opening his mouth. “So...there’s good news, and bad news.” Katsuki says, sheepishly. Izuku tilts his head, still confused, but allows Katsuki to continue.

”The good news is, I found the person responsible for those rumors.” Izuku’s eyes grow large. “Really? That’s great, Kacchan! Who was it…?” Katsuki’s eyes narrow at the very thought of that bastard.

”Fucking Monoma. That piece of shit!” Katsuki begins to seeth in anger when Izuku’s voice breaks him out of his rage-induced trance. “Are you serious?! This was all HIS doing?! But-But, I don’t understand. Why would he-” Izuku stops and looks back at Katsuki. “Wait. If that’s the good news, then, what’s the bad news?”

Oh, boy.

”Umm, well, I, uh, I maaayyy have lost my temper when I found out, aaaaaand…”

Izuku stares at him, waiting for him to finish. “Aaaaaand?” Katsuki swallows the lump in his throat.

”I ended up getting suspended for the rest of this week, and all of next week…”

Dead silence falls over them. Neither saying a word. Katsuki could’ve sworn he felt his heart skip a beat; his hands becoming clammy. Then, right on cue…

”WHAT?!”

 

-

 

1 Hour, 53 Minutes Earlier:

Everyone in the halls of the Science building all but rolled out of the way when they saw Bakugou Katsuki power walking past them; his ruby eyes burning with rage, his teeth gritting, and a beast-like snarl plastered on his face. He didn’t care if he knocked somebody over or even trampled over them, he had only one thing on his mind as he stomped past them.

Behind him was a small group of people frantically following him, and trying to convince him to not go through with whatever he was planning; said group consisting of Ochako, Kirishima, Kendou, Tetsutetsu, and Hatsume. All of whom looked terrified and anxious about what Katsuki was most likely about to do.

This was the first time in months that anybody has seen him like this. What could possibly have caused Katsuki to be so angry, so enraged?

Whatever it was, he was making an angry B-line towards his destination, or at least, that’s what they all assumed.

’When I find that fucking waste of space piece of shit, I’m gonna make him regret ever crossing me! That’s a fucking PROMISE!!’

Kendou and Kirishima were both trying to talk to Katsuki while doing their best not to trip over their own feet as they tried to keep up with their friend’s brisk speed. “Bakugou! Just hold on, a second! You don’t have to go through with this! It’s not worth it, come on!” Kendou tried to frantically talk him out of pursuing his target. “Yeah, man! C’mon, let's just go to the Chancellor’s Office and tell him about this. I’m sure he’ll hear us out, and maybe-”

”I don’t give a shit about that!! Don’t get in my fucking way!!” Katsuki cut them off with his booming voice; successfully silencing them.

Soon after, he came to his destination, the Psychology wing of the building. He began quickly glancing in each room, searching for the perpetrator; all the while causing the students in each room to look at him with bewilderment. After coming to the fourth classroom, he found the culprit sitting near the center of the room; there were a few other students in the room, but it was mostly empty.

Katsuki zeroed in on the target, everyone else seemed to blur in the background, and the only thing he was focused on was Monoma. It was as if time had stopped, and it was only the two of them. He lost all sense of self, all sense of awareness, as he narrowed his eyes on the smug face of the former Class 1-B asshole.

Before anyone could say or do anything before any of the students in the room(including Monoma) even noticed him, Katsuki made his way to where he was sitting, and without warning…

”YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!!!”

Monoma didn’t have time to react when his left cheek was met with Katsuki’s Right Hook, causing him to fall out of his chair, and collapse onto the floor. The other students shouted and gasped in surprise, most of them huddled near the window, trying to keep their distance as they looked on in shock.

Monoma looked completely unfazed by the sudden assault; a twisted grin forming on his face as he stared up at Katsuki with smugness.

”Oh, my. I certainly wasn’t expecting this.” He said, sarcastically, which only fueled the fire. “What seems to be the problem, Bakugou? It’s been a while since we’ve seen one another-” He wasn’t able to finish his sentence when Katsuki stepped forward, and grabbed the front of Monoma’s shirt and pulled him roughly off the floor. Their faces were so close, Monoma could feel the heat from Katsuki’s angry breath hit his face. The rage-filled scowl on his face a complete contrast to Monoma’s calm expression.

”You know DAMN well what you did, you fucking piece of shit! You were the one who told everyone about what happened to Izuku!!” Katsuki bellowed in his face, his voice practically causing the walls to shake.

The students just watched on in terror and shock at what was transpiring before them, including Kirishima and the rest of Katsuki’s friends. He didn’t notice( and most likely wouldn’t have cared) that one of the students had run out of the door; her frantic footsteps echoing in the hallway. She most likely left to go find help, possibly in the form of a professor.

”Look, I don’t know what you’re on about, Bakugou, but I believe this may all be just a big misunderstand-”

”Don’t fucking lie to me, you mother fucker!!” Katsuki bellows into his face, the grip on Monoma’s shirt tightening. “Kendou and Tetsutetsu told me it was you who told others about Izuku’s suicide attempt! So stop lying, and start talking!”

Katsuki didn’t care if others heard; there was no point in keeping anything secret when pretty much everybody already knew. Monoma glanced over at his former classmates before turning his attention back to Katsuki. Letting out a sigh, he finally began to speak.

”Fine, fine. I may know a thing or two about what happened to him, as far as Midoriya trying to kill himself. However, I only told a few of my close friends, how the entire school found out is beyond me.” Katsuki growled at him; his teeth gritting with rage.

”Quit bullshiting me, already! Start explaining, or I’ll make you talk.”

Monoma huffed out a chuckle before speaking, again. “I was planning to. But would you mind letting go of me, first?” He gave Katsuki a grin as he said this. With a grunt, Katsuki released his hold on his shirt by roughly shoving him away, but this did little to faze Monoma, as he smoothed out his clothes, and looked Katsuki in the eyes with a smile.

”So, you wanted to know how I found out about Midoriya attempting to take his own life?” Katsuki felt a twinge of irritation at being asked the same question. “Obviously, Einstein, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this fucking conversation.” He said, impatiently.

”Just clarifying. Anyhow, if you’re wondering how I even knew about this, I actually happened to catch you and Midoriya arguing outside the school gates, back in late June.” Everyone, including Katsuki, was silent as they listened to Monoma speak.

“Although I live in the campus dorms, I happened to stay the night at a friend’s place, the previous night. I was on my way to school that morning when I happened to find you and Midoriya outside of school. You were screaming and shouting in poor Midoriya’s face, and he looked like he was about to cry.” Monoma said this in a sickly sweet manner like he was kidding with being concerned about Izuku’s feelings.

He already knew that Izuku had a weak heart, and for him to borderline mock him for showing emotions, like that, only made Katsuki’s anger more apparent.

Katsuki was about to cuss him out, again, when Monoma cut him off. “At first, I wasn’t going to bother with sticking around, seeing as how you two are always bickering back and forth, like that. But then, you said something that even I was astounded by, you told Midoriya to kill himself, and if he ever got in your way, again, you would do it for him.”

Katsuki’s eyes grew wider, he was too stunned to respond to that. This prompted Monoma to continue.

”At first, I didn’t let it bother me, believing that things would go back to normal, and the both of you would go back to being bitter rivals. But that same day, as well as the next two days, Midoriya wasn’t at school. The only reason I knew about this, was because that Uraraka girl and Kendou are in the same after-school club, and I just so happened to be in the club room with them when Uraraka spoke about checking in on him.”

Katsuki glanced over at Ochako and noticed her expression morphing into a guilty grimace. He turned back to Monoma, who simply sneered at him.

“The next day, I visited the nurse's office due to a headache, and I found that Recovery Girl wasn’t there, but instead, one of her nursing assistants was filling in for her. I asked where Recovery Girl was, and all she could tell me was that she was at her job at the hospital, tending to her patients.”

Katsuki remembered Recovery Girl mention to him, his parents and Inko about having assistance running her office, while she took care of her patients at the hospital. It would make sense for someone, especially Monoma, to question where she would be. Then again, he highly doubted that the others wouldn’t be aware of her being an actual doctor when her full title is ‘Dr. Shuuzenji Chiyo’.

”Though I thought it was a tad bit strange for her to be gone in the middle of the day, I decided to let it go. But then, while I was helping to deliver assignment forms to all the teachers for extra credit, I happened to hear Nezu-san and, to my surprise and confusion, Recovery Girl, talking in one of the meeting rooms.”

Katsuki raised an eyebrow, not understanding where Monoma was going with this.

”I’m normally not one to eavesdrop on other peoples’ conversations, let alone the chancellor and primary nurse, but my curiosity got the best of me, that day, and I found myself listening in on their conversation. And when Recovery Girl started talking about Midoriya’s suicide attempt, the method in which he did this, etc., it was in that moment that I remembered the things you had said to Midoriya, and my suspicions about his absence had been confirmed.”

Katsuki’s mouth hung open from what he was hearing. The sheer arrogance and blatant cavalierness of how Monoma was admitting to this, and the fact that he, in no way, even remotely sounded remorseful or even apologetic about this, made Katsuki’s blood boil, and his knuckles turn white from balling his hands into fists.

”Are you telling me,” Katsuki said angrily after being silent for what seemed like an eternity. “That you decided to run off and tell other people about Izuku’s business after you had just eavesdropped on Granny Chiyo’s conversation with Nezu?!”

Monoma shook his head, his cocky grin faltering, only slightly, but it didn’t deter him from acting smug. “Like I said, before, I only told a few of my close friends, including Kendou and Tetsutetsu. I had no intention of telling the whole school about Midoriya’s suicide attempt, so my only guess as to how everyone found out is that the others who were there when I told them must have spread the news. As I said, before, it’s none of my concern if they told others or not. I’m not going to tell others what to do or not do. As a matter of fact, I specifically told them to keep the conversation between all of us, but I guess they didn’t listen.”

”That’s not true!” They both turned around and saw Kendou staring intensely at Monoma, angry tears brimming in her eyes. “You NEVER told any of us to keep it a secret, Monoma! You even started making fun of Midoriya and saying that he tried to kill himself for attention!” Tetsutetsu stepped in and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Yeah, dude! You told us like it was all a big joke! How the fuck can you even joke about someone wanting to take their own life?!”

Katsuki looked back to Monoma with a twisted scowl at hearing that he actually called Izuku a faker. Monoma frowned and stared at Kendou and Tetsutetsu with a glint in his eyes.

”When did the two of you start siding with these guys?” Monoma asked with venom in his voice. “Last I checked, these guys tried to one-up us all throughout high school, and they even had the nerve to make themselves look better than us in everything! Even during the Sports Festival, they always beat us and made us look like complete idiots! Why are you suddenly defending them?!”

His voice and overall demeanor became more and more unhinged and erratic; his calm and collected mask crumbling away with each breath. Kendou stared at him with a look of disbelief before she glared at him. “That was years ago, Monoma! Are you seriously still hung up on something like that?! We’re not talking about crap that happened back in high school, we’re talking about somebody’s LIFE! Are you saying Midoriya’s life and well-being isn’t worth anything?!”

Monoma didn’t answer. He merely stared at her, blankly. She scoffed at him and allowed Tetsutetsu to hold her hand. “This is why you and I broke up, all those years ago, Monoma. I can’t stand this side of you!”

Katsuki walked closer to him, his temper getting shorter with each passing moment before he was less than a foot apart from him. “You better apologize for what you said about Izuku, right now. Or I’ll make you.” He said in a low voice, doing his best to keep calm. This merely earned him a scoff from Monoma, and his mouth twisted into a sneering grin.

”Why should I, Bakugou? In fact, why do you even care? I thought you hated him. Why are you suddenly so concerned about what I say about him? Everyone knows how much of an insecure, puny little crybaby he is. He probably cries like that just to make others feel sorry for him. Seems to work, with how much he’s constantly crying and whining and acting like a scared little pussy. And I’m willing to bet he even tried to commit suicide just for attention. Guess it worked!”

At this point, Katsuki had stepped even closer to him, their faces just inches apart; his eyes almost glowing with anger. Everyone in the room froze with anxious anticipation.

”Don’t. You. Ever. Talk about my boyfriend, or call him any of those names, ever again.”

Aside from Kirishima and Ochako, everyone in the room looked shocked at what they just heard; even Monoma couldn’t help but look surprised by Katsuki’s confession. He could hear a few of them whispering and murmuring things like ‘No way! Bakugou is gay?’, ‘They’re dating, now?! When did this happen?’, ‘I never would have thought.’, and so on. He didn’t care, though. None of them mattered to him.

Then, the grin came back on Monoma’s face and he went back to being sneering and passive-aggressive.

”Ohhh, so you two are dating, now, are you?” He asked with a hint of sarcasm as if he thought Katsuki wasn’t being serious. “Yeah. What of it?” Katsuki said, flatly.

”Hmph. Well, this is quite a surprise! I never would’ve thought you would swing that way, but I guess looks can be deceiving. Midoriya already looks like a little fag, so it makes perfect sense that he would swing that way!”

He didn’t have time to prepare himself as Katsuki roughly grabbed the front of his shirt, again, and pulled him forward. “Don’t you fucking DARE call him that, you hear me?!” He shouted in his face. This did little to erase the look on Monoma’s face as he continued to sneer and mock Izuku.

”Why? It’s the truth! Setting gender aside, I never would’ve imagined in a million years that the two of you would ever be into each other! Actually, now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense that you guys would be dating. The abusive bully and the weak, defenseless victim. What a fitting pair!”

”Shut up.” Katsuki growled out through gritted teeth.

”I bet you threatened him to be with you, just so that you could make him your own personal punching bag. Someone to take all of your pent-up anger and frustration out on, whenever you please!”

”Shut up!”

”Oh, wait! I know what it is: Stockholm Syndrome! That sounds even more fitting! You warped and manipulated his poor, fragile mind to the point where he started to mistake your abuse as an act of kindness and love. How sweet!”

”I said shut the fuck up!”

”Or better yet,” Monoma narrowed his eyes as an evil grin curled around his lips. “I bet you’re really paying him just to be with you. You get to flaunt him around like some pretty little accessory, while he goes home with you every night and sucks you off. Like the filthy little harlot he is!

And just like that, all hell broke loose.

With inhuman strength and ferocity, Katsuki grabbed hold of Monoma, and threw him across the room, causing him to smash into the empty desks and chairs, everyone in the room screamed out in surprise. He ended up sprawled out on the ground and a pained groan escaped his mouth.

This didn’t stop Katsuki as he pounced on top of him and began furiously punching and slamming him in the face and head. Monoma was able to land a few hits here and there and even managed to roll them over, but Katsuki was able to overpower him and continued to wail on him; his expression similar to that of a wild animal.

Ochako, Kirishima and the others tried to separate the two and talk them out of fighting, but neither of them was listening. The brawl didn’t last long, though, as they were pulled apart and separated by two teachers. One of them was Kayama Nemuri-sensei, the Psychology and Modern Art History professor, and the other was Aizawa, who happened to hear the commotion when one of the students came for help.

The entire room was dead silent except for the huffing and panting coming from Katsuki and Monoma. Aizawa assessed the situation and looked at both boys, his eyes cold and stoic, as always. After a few more seconds of silence, Aizawa finally said in a calm but serious voice “Who landed the first punch?” His tone leaving no room for argument or retaliation.

Monoma merely stared at the ground in embarrassment, his face battered and bloody. Katsuki let out a reluctant, defeated sigh before he finally looked up at his former teacher.

”I did.”

With a silent nod, Aizawa pointed to the door. “Both of you. To the Chancellor’s office. NOW.”

Without another word, they both walked out of the class, neither of them making eye contact with their peers. After helping the other students pick up all the fallen desks and chairs and checking to make sure no other students were injured, Aizawa began asking everyone, including Ochako and the others, what happened, and why the boys were fighting.

After getting testimony from everyone and apologizing for the inconvenience, Aizawa left the room and asked Kayama to meet him in Nezu's office, to which she agreed.

He then sent a quick text to his husband and assuring him that he would handle it, and made his way to meet with the others.

This oughta be fun.

 

-

 

Excluding Nezu, himself, everyone in the office consisted of Aizawa, Kayama, Maijima, Recovery Girl, and of course, Katsuki and Monoma.

The air was heavy with tension as everyone remained silent and waited for Nezu to speak. He’d been told by Aizawa about the incident, and the details behind it. Finally, after a few long seconds, Nezu looked up at the two boys with a calm but stern face.

”After everything that’s been said to me, I think I have a clear understanding as to the reason for this little scuffle transpiring.” He said in a calm, collected voice. He paused to take a sip of his tea before continuing. “I’d already been informed by Aizawa-sensei of supposed rumors that have been going around, some time ago, and after reassessing the situation in regards to said rumors with both he and Recovery Girl, it’s all very clear, now.”

Katsuki was barely able to look him in the eye, let alone any of the other adults. His cheek and jaw hurt pretty bad, but that was probably nothing compared to the pain Monoma must’ve been in. He already had bruises forming on his face, along with scrapes, scratches, and even two black eyes.

”This is a very serious situation.” Nezu stated. “And it’s even more serious, considering the fact that not only did you, Bakugou, physically assault another student on school grounds, but, Monoma, had listened in on a private conversation involving very confidential information about another student, and you also told others about it, as well.”

Monoma didn’t say a word to that, he didn’t even so much as look Nezu in the eye. Recovery Girl then decided to chime in and give her own two sense. “The conversation that Nezu-san and I shared that day was a very confidential one, and it involved information in regards to the mental health and well-being of young Midoriya.” She adjusted her glasses and gave Monoma a very stern look.

”This type of conduct could not only get you in serious trouble with the parents of the student and even possibly the law but now both you and the school could be liable for being sued by the parents for disclosing private information about the student. You had no right to tell others about young Midoriya’s situation, and the fact you did all of this as some practical joke…”

Recovery Girl let out a sigh and shook her head in disbelief, she no longer had the words to express her disappointment.

”And to think that you’re planning on becoming a Clinical Psychologist, and yet you pull this type of crap.” Kayama scoffed out, glaring out her student. “Tch...I don’t know what else to say to you, Monoma, except that I am very disappointed in you. Honestly, I don’t think Psychology is the right major for you, not if you’re content with telling others about someone else’s personal business that could land any Healthcare professional in hot water.”

”I had my suspicions as to how both students and teachers found out about this when the only ones who knew about Midoriya’s situation were me, Present Mic, Nezu-san, and Recovery Girl. The fact that this was all a student’s doing honestly makes me sick.” Aizawa said with a stern look; his voice cold and sharp as he slowly made his way over to the boys until he was standing in front of them. “This is in no way how a student of Yuuei should behave; not only could this make Yuuei seem like a free-for-all, but you’ve practically ruined a good student’s reputation and peace of mind at this school, and if I had it my way, I’d have the two of you expelled, on the spot.”

Katsuki felt his blood go cold and his chest become tight at the thought of being expelled. This was his dream school, he worked so hard to get accepted, and he would never be able to forgive himself or even look anybody in the eyes if he ended up being kicked out of Yuuei because he had to act like a complete dumbass.

Nezu cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention. “I understand that everyone here is having rather intense feelings about this entire situation. And you’re quite right, Aizawa-sensei, this sort of misconduct would, indeed, shine a negative light over all of Yuuei; parents wouldn’t feel comfortable with letting their children attend a school where their most personal information, good or bad, would be at risk of being broadcast to the entire student body and teaching faculty. Not only that, we have to take into consideration the emotional and psychological repercussions this would have on a student. Midoriya has already been through enough, he doesn’t need to have this kind of weight hanging over his shoulders.”

Nezu took another sip from his tea, allowing the aroma to calm his nerves.

”Our zero-tolerance policy clearly states that any kind of physical altercation in the form of fighting or assault is punishable by expulsion. No exceptions. And this type of conduct that both of you have pulled does, indeed, warrant you two being expelled.”

Katsuki lowered his gaze and stared at the floor, and preparing for the news. ’This is it. My entire future, about to be flushed down the drain. All because of something, like this! What will I tell Izuku and my parents?’

”However,” Nezu stated with emphasis, catching both Katsuki’s and Monoma’s attention. There was a catch, a condition. There was more to this than Katsuki originally anticipated, but he wasn’t out of the woods, yet. ”given the circumstances of the situation and the fact that you both are remarkable students with no history or record of breaking or disobeying school rules, perhaps I can grant you both a less harsher punishment.” Everyone stared at the Chancellor in shock, but nobody said anything, waiting for him to give his verdict.

”Bakugou,” Katsuki straightened up and looked Nezu in the eyes. “you will be suspended from school for the remainder of this week, as well as all of next week. Monoma, you will also be suspended for the remainder of this week, but you will receive an extra four weeks of suspension from school. After your suspension is done, you will both bring me an apology letter with a minimum three-page count, explaining what you did, why you did it, and it must be a sincere apology. And also,” He wasn’t done, as he then turned his attention directly to Monoma.

”since you were the one who spread those rumors, Monoma, you will be banned from any and all after-school clubs and activities, as well as any school festivals, including the annual Sports Festival. You will also be required to participate in counseling. Maybe that will help to clean up your act, and prevent you from doing something like this, again. And I actually want you to write two apology letters: one for me, and one for Midoriya. And remember,”

He then gave him a wink with a smirk. “make it sincere.”

Katsuki felt a weight lift off of his shoulders, and he released a breath he didn’t even know he had been holding. ’Well, at least I won’t be expelled. Still, being suspended isn’t exactly a better substitute, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I’d much rather be suspended than kicked out.’

Then, something dawned on him. And he realized that he had just screwed over Hatsume with their project. “W-Wait! Hold on, a sec! I’ve still got a group assignment that I have to work on, and it’s due in two weeks. How am I supposed to get it finished before the deadline?!” He looked to his professor, who just shrugged his shoulders, and Aizawa, who simply gave him a look.

”Maybe you should’ve thought of that before you decided to play fisty-cuffs like a six-year-old.” Aizawa deadpanned, and Maijima nodded his head in agreement. Katsuki let out a defeated sigh and decided to take his punishment like a man. They were dismissed and sent home to begin their suspension.

Now, time to go home, and explain to the boyfriend.

 

-

 

Present:

”Kacchan, how could you do something, like this?! What were you thinking?!”

Katsuki rubs his temple as a headache begins to pulse, a groan slipping out. “I know, babe. I know I screwed up and I’m sorry.”

Izuku shot him a glare with angry tears prickling his eyes. “You really think saying ‘I’m sorry’ is gonna make all of this go away?! Why would you do something like this, Kacchan?!”

”Because, Izuku, I wasn’t just gonna stand there and let that fucking asshole say all that shit about you! He fucking admitted to listening in on Granny and Nezu’s conversation about you, and he had the fucking gall to brag about it! I wasn’t just gonna let him get away with what he did to you!”

Katsuki didn’t want to yell at Izuku, this wasn’t his fault, but he couldn’t help but to try and defend himself, even if he didn’t have a right to. “He said that you tried to commit suicide for attention, and called you all kinds of awful names. I just...got carried away, I guess.”

Izuku shakes his head and lets out a sigh. “Kacchan, I understand that you're angry, but you could’ve gone about this a completely different way that didn’t involve violence. You always do this, any time someone does or says something that even slightly rubs you the wrong way, you respond with physical and verbal aggression. If you keep this up, you’re gonna end up in serious trouble. You could’ve risked your entire future over something, like this!” Katsuki grimaces at his words. “I know that! It’s just not fair! It’s all because of that shitbag that you have to take online classes!”

“Kacchan! I’m the one who chose to switch to online classes! Nobody forced me to do it, and even if they had, you can’t just go around beating up anybody who antagonizes me! You go to a teacher and get help. That’s what they're for!”

Katsuki is silent after that, not sure of what to say, after that. “You have any idea how upset I would’ve been if you ended up getting kicked out of Yuuei?! I don’t want you to end up having your future completely ruined because of me!” Tears begin to roll down his cheek, but he continues to glare at his boyfriend. Katsuki wants to pull him into a hug but isn’t sure if it’s a good idea. He hates himself for making Izuku angry, and all because he couldn’t control his anger.

Just before Katsuki can say anything else, Izuku angrily turns and walks down the hall to their bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him. Leaving Katsuki to stand there, alone.

’Shit. This isn’t how I wanted things to end up. I need to make it up to him, somehow. I’m the one who fucked up, not him.’

After nearly a minute, Katsuki slowly makes his way down the hall. He cracks open the door, checking to see what Izuku is doing.

Izuku is sitting at his desk, angrily typing away on his laptop; most likely trying to distract himself. Katsuki opens the door, slowly, and walks over so that he’s standing behind him. Izuku doesn’t notice, or at least, he does, but he doesn’t care.

”Babe?” Katsuki says softly as he rests a hand on Izuku’s shoulder. He doesn’t respond.

Deciding to take a chance, he slowly wraps his arms around Izuku’s chest, resting the side of his head against the back of his neck. Izuku continues to ignore him, but he doesn’t seem annoyed by the gesture, so Katsuki stays there.

”Izuku, listen. I know what I did today wasn’t the smartest thing in the world. I know that, and I’m really sorry. I just got so angry with what he said about you, but I know that’s no excuse.” He nuzzles his forehead against his neck, taking in his scent. Izuku seems to somewhat relax under his hold but says nothing.

”I wanna make it up to you.” Katsuki says with a slight smile, hoping that’ll get his attention. “Tell you what, I’ll make us dinner, instead. And I’ll even make your favorite.” He waits for a response. Izuku is silent for a bit; he stopped typing on his keyboard. After almost a full minute, Izuku says in a soft, quiet voice “Katsudon...?”

Katsuki smiles. “Of course! I’ll make you as much katsudon as you want. Hell, I’ll even make you katsudon for the rest of my suspension. In fact, since I’m gonna be home for most of the time, now, I’ll take care of all of the chores. Doing the dishes, laundry, sweeping and mopping, you name it! I’ll even take care of all the meals, and I can even make your favorite dessert.” He begins placing kisses in Izuku’s hair and on his neck, and even though he can’t see it, he can tell that Izuku is starting to smile.

”I can even draw you a relaxing hot bath, and give you a massage, if you want.” He continues to press kisses to his neck, traveling to his jaw and the side of his cheek. Izuku begins to giggle as he finally turns around and looks at Katsuki; a small smile on his face. “You mean it, Kacchan?” He asks with a blush.

”You bet!” Katsuki wraps his arms around his waist, pulling him into a tight hug. Izuku giggles and wraps his arms around his neck. Katsuki takes the chance to hoist Izuku from his seat, making Izuku squeak out in surprise as Katsuki proceeds to carry him over to their bed, where they fall onto the comfy mattress and sheets and are now laying sideways.

Izuku has a big smile on his face, now, all traces of anger and animosity now replaced with love and warmth. Katsuki smiles at him and kisses him on the lips. They stay like that for a moment, just enjoying the tender touch, and just letting their lips linger over one another. They pull away and just stare into each other’s eyes, lovingly. Katsuki moves his hand and brushes some of Izuku’s hair out of his eyes, stroking his cheek.

”If you’re still up for it, we can still go on our date, this Saturday. We don’t have to do sushi if you’re wanting to do something else.” He asks, letting the pad of his thumb graze over Izuku’s freckled cheek. Izuku smiles at him and pecks him on the nose.

”Sushi sounds great!” He says with a big, toothy smile.

Katsuki smiles widely as he begins pressing more kisses to his face, causing a symphony of laughter to erupt.

Maybe being suspended from school won’t be so bad, as long as Katsuki has his most favorite person in the world here with him.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s POV

I slowly open my eyes. My vision is a bit hazy and blurred. I sit up from where I was laying down, and start to stand up. After blinking a few times, my vision becomes more clear.

There’s just one problem: I can’t see anything.

I quickly look around, and all I can see is pitch black. I feel panic beginning to rise in my chest as I frantically try to see where I am, hoping to find any source of light anywhere, even just a little bit.

”What is this place?” I say quietly to myself.

I start to walk forward, cautiously. My footsteps are slow and mindful. I hold my hands out in front of me, so as not to bump into anything. But that won’t make a difference if I can’t see where I’m walking. What if I fall into a hole? What if I end up walking right off the edge?

All of these thoughts flood my brain when, out of nowhere, I see something. In the distance.

It’s a bit hard to see what exactly it is; I rub my eyes to see if it’s just an illusion, but there’s no doubt that it’s real. It as if a dim spotlight is shining around it, making it the only visible source of light in the dark nothingness.

I slowly start to walk closer to it. My heart feels like it’s about to burst out of my chest the closer I get to it(or them). As I get closer and closer, I start to see that it’s actually a person crouched on the ground, they appear to be cowering; crouching on the ground, possibly hugging their legs. I hear muffled sobs coming from the stranger that starts to tug at my heartstrings.

After what felt like hours of just walking, I find myself standing a few feet away from the stranger. I slowly crouch down to their level.

”Hey.” I say in a soft voice, not wanting to frighten them. “Are you okay? Where did you come from?” I slowly reach out to touch them, when suddenly...the sobbing ceases and they slowly stand up.

I stare at them in surprise. My hand still and unmoving. Slowly, the stranger turns around, and I feel my eyes widen when I see their face.

It was me.

”W-Wha-What is this?” I stammer out in shock. “Why-Why are you...y-you’re me!”

Just as I’m trying to process what’s happening, my clone begins to smile. But it’s not a sweet, innocent smile, it’s not even a slight grin. It’s more like a wicked, sinister Cheshire-like sneer. His eyes begin to shine with an evil glint like he’s plotting something terrible.

”Pathetic.”

I flinch at the way other-me says that. He sounds just like me, but at the same time, he doesn’t. He sounds more...calloused, vicious, spiteful, even. He begins to chuckle, deeply, like he’s a villain, or something.

Then, out of nowhere, he withdraws something from behind his back and holds it out in front of him. It’s a knife. My eyes widen, even more, as I stare in petrified horror. What is he planning to do?

He then turns the knife so that the sharp end of the blade is facing his arm. He begins to slowly slide the blade over his flesh; barely any reaction on his face as he does this. ”Even with everything I’ve told you...every opportunity you’ve been given...every chance you had to change, you would rather take the easy way out.”

With each pause of his sentence, he slices further and further up his arm until he reaches the joint of his elbow. All I can do is stare as he does this; my body trembling out of fear, a cold sweat running down my neck.

He switched to the other arm and did the same thing. Slow, painful slits appearing over the skin, blood trickling down and dripping onto the dark ground.

”P-Please, don’t!” I beg him, reaching out to try and take the knife from him, but my body feels frozen in place. “Stop! Please, stop! Why-Why are you doing this?!” I feel tears running down my face as I stare helplessly at my disturbed double and watch him mar his body.

”Because it was you.” He says in a flat tone. His eyes narrow and his revolting grin wavers, slightly. “I tried to be a voice, a guide, to help you move forward from your suffering, but instead of heeding my words and listening to my pleas, you chose to cut into me.” He lifts the bloodied knife away from his arm, and then proceeds to cut open his T-shirt, revealing a collage of scars and cuts decorating his chest and stomach.

“You made me this way. Rather than facing your strife and learning to overcome it, you instead chose to punish yourself, punish me, by draining what little self-worth you had and then leaving me to wither away in your shadow.” He says this with malice and venom, and I start to feel sick to my stomach.

“But unlike you, I chose to not give up, no matter how much I bled, no matter how sharp the razors were. With every sting of a blade, with every numbing pulse of a pill, I submitted, I endured, and I survived. I took the brunt of everything you gave me, gave both of us, and never once did I beg you to stop. I just took it. But you…” He then moves the blade up towards his neck, I want to scream for him to stop, but my voice won’t come out. I can’t speak.

”you would rather be kissed by the sting of a razor, rather be painted in this lovely red hue.” Then...he does it.

In agonizing slowness, he strokes the blade over his throat and cuts deeply into the skin; a sickening sound emitting from the large slit, blood begins to flow out and drip over his chest and onto the ground. Again, he’s unbothered by this, but his words are enough to show how he truly feels.

Then, even as he bleeds out, he beams that heinous smile at me, again. “If you want to experience the comfort and release that death provides, then allow me to give it to you. Izuku.”

Then, just as fast as it had started, the blood from his slit throat flows faster and faster, almost like a waterfall, as his eyes turn almost completely black, even the whites of his eyes darkening. Blood then begins to pour from his eyes, nose, and mouth. A gurgled moan rings out as he becomes drenched in his own blood. He drops the knife with a clank as more blood starts to flow from the scars on his torso.

I’m frozen. I can’t move. I want to run, to get as far away from this monster as I can, but I can move my body. It feels like something is holding me in place. Just when I didn’t think this could get any worse, I feel liquid dripping from my mouth. It doesn’t feel like saliva, but more like black syrup. The next thing I know, I begin to vomit.

The dark, disgusting bile spills from my mouth so violently, my throat burns as I continue to gag and retch. More and more, the nasty substance exits my body, and just when I thought this couldn’t get any more terrifying, the puke turns into clumps of hair. Tears threaten to fall from my eyes as I hope, pray for it all to just end.

But suddenly, I stop vomiting. My double is gone, and I’m all alone, now. I don’t feel the ground below my feet, anymore. Instead, it feels like I’m floating. But as I try to move my limbs, it feels like I’m moving through water. My arms and legs feeling heavier and heavier as they try to maneuver through the vast darkness.

Suddenly, the black nothingness turns into a red hue, and the water feels thicker and even sticky.

Like blood.

Suddenly, it feels like I’m choking. I start to panic as I frantically search around and find a way to escape. I start to swim upwards, trying desperately to reach the surface, but it feels like I’m swimming through sand or syrup. My vision begins to become spotty and unfocused.

It feels like I’m suffocating. I’m dying. I don’t want to die!

Then, it feels as though I’m being pulled downward, and I’m now falling. Faster and faster, I fall down into the crimson abyss. And then, the bloody ocean disappears and I’m now laying on the hard ground, again. I quickly sit up, and I’m now in an alleyway. It’s dark and a bit damp, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m safe. Despite the tall, narrow walls blocking most of the sky, I can tell it’s around late afternoon or early evening.

I sigh in relief, thinking I’ve finally escaped from that vile place, and slowly stand up on shaky legs, making my way out of the narrow alley. Just when I feel like the nightmare is over, I sense something looming over me; something tall and eerie. I stand still; feeling a shiver run down my spine as a low, grumbling chuckle rings out and, without warning, a pair of large hands grab hold of me, and I find myself being pulled into the black, again.

My back hits hard against a brick wall as the tall, shadowy figure holds me in place; their hands gripping painfully around my wrists and pinning them on either side of my head. My heart is racing a mile a minute and tears are brimming in my eyes.

”Well, well, well.” The all-too-familiar gruff voice that could only belong to that psychotic man, the one who physically and possibly sexually assaulted me and Kacchan and nearly killed the both of us, rings out and reverberates throughout the narrow space. His hot breath hits my face, causing me to scrunch up my nose. ”If it isn’t my sweet little pet. Why are you in such a hurry? I never got to finish having fun with you.” His face becomes more visible, and I visibly shrink in his hold as a sinister smile spreads over his face, but he looks more like a demon, or even some demonic creature. His features are twisted and warped, making him look like a beast.

Before I can even react, he pins me harder against the wall with his body and sinks his sharp teeth into my neck, biting so hard that I feel blood begin to seep out.

”AAAAHHHH!!!! AHH HA!! GYAAHHH!!” I scream and cry out in pain, but he just lets out an evil laugh and just bites me harder.

”Mmmm, you taste amazing. I want more!” He purrs out, making me cringe from how much he’s enjoying this. He continues to bite and tear into my skin, and then, he releases my wrists and throws me violently to the ground, only for him to pounce on top of me. My eyes widen in fear as his face shifts and he now resembles Yamaguchi, except he’s more demonic-looking and completely inhuman, like a monster.

”GYAAHH!! Noo! No, stop! Please STOP!! UWAAHAAHH!! AAAAAHAAHHH!!! More screams and shrieks echo off the damp walls as ‘Yamaguchi’ starts to literally claw away at my chest, neck, and face; the flesh being ripped away in bloody clumps. The pain is so unbearable, and it feels so real.

I just want this to be over.

Just as I believe that I’m about to be torn apart and possibly eaten alive by this villain, I’m pulled into the dark, again.

Now, I find myself in a new place. This time, I’m standing on what appears to be the top of a tall building, if the sound of wind and the cool air is anything to go by.

’What is going on? Why is this happening? It has to be a nightmare. It just has to be. I have to wake up! Wake up!’

I start to lightly slap my own cheeks, hoping the physical smack will somehow jolt me awake and I’ll finally be free from this never-ending torture. But then, just when I thought the worst was over, I was horribly mistaken.

I hear footsteps behind me, I quickly turn around; not wanting to be snuck up on. But I feel my breath hitch and a cold sheen of sweat cover my forehead when the person in front of me…is Kacchan.

”...K-Kacchan…?” I stammer out, not knowing if I can even trust this person. It may not even be the real Kacchan. But I’m so terrified and in desperate need of physical comfort to help distract me from this nightmare, I feel myself walking over to him.

He smiles at me, but it’s not like the smile my twisted doppelganger gave me, but instead, it’s the same smile he’d always had. His eyes aren’t narrowed or demented. They’re soft, calm-looking. No other person would smile at me so kindly, besides my mother, than Kacchan would.

It’s really him!

”Kacchan! Kacchan, oh thank god, it’s you!” I rush over to him and fall into his embrace. He holds me tightly and begins stroking my back in a comforting manner.

His fingers thread through my hair, playing with it. It helps me to relax, a bit. He continues to comfort me when I suddenly hiss in pain at the feel of him gripping my hair, tightly.

”Oh, Deku. You’re just the same as you’ve always been from when we were kids. Too trusting and just downright clingy. Did you really think that I would ever like a useless little insect, like you?! So fucking annoying! I don’t have time to respond when, suddenly, he roughly pulls my head up by the hair and I’m now staring directly at my beloved. I flinch and stare in horror when I see his calm, gentle expression has now become dark and sinister.

He grins at me the same way he used to when he used to bully me; it’s menacing and just like he used to be. “You really thought you were worth showing love to?! Like anybody would even waste their time and energy on a weak, scared little nobody like you?! You stupid little fucker!!”

I begin to cry silently at his awful words. I feel my heart beginning to crack, but I ignore the pain in my chest as I timidly reach my hand out and try to touch his face.

”K-Kacchan, please don’t do this! This-This isn’t like you, Kacchan! I know it isn’t! Please!!” Then, I feel him grip tightly on my arms with his free hand as he begins to walk forward, essentially pushing me along. My eyes grow huge when I realize where he’s leading me to. I try to twist out of his grip, but he won’t budge. I try to reason with him; my voice breaking as I cry harder; begging him to stop.

I feel the heels of my feet meet the edge of the tall skyscraper. He lets go of my hair, and instead, grips onto the front of my shirt, the only thing keeping me from falling off the edge his Kacchan. All he has to do is let go of me, and I’ll find myself plummeting towards the Earth. I’ll be dead within seconds.

I don’t wanna die!

As Kacchan moves his arms forward so that I’m practically dangling off the edge, he sneers at me before he says something that almost made my heart break in two.

”Here’s an idea, Deku: how about you take a swan dive off the building, and pray that you become reincarnated in the next life?! Maybe then, you won’t be such a waste of space, anymore! Here, let me help you out!!”

Right before he lets go of me, I reach my hand out and go to touch his face. But just as my fingers graze his skin, he starts to crumble away and his entire body turns to ash.

I stare in shock and horror as I watch Kacchan, my former bully and the love of my life, disintegrate into gray ash and blow away. Just as this happens, I feel my body being pulled down by gravity.

I’m falling, now.

All I can do, now, is wait. Wait for my body to strike the hard pavement, below. I just want this to be over, I don’t even care about trying to escape, anymore.

’Please.’ I think sadly to myself as I close my eyes. ’Just let this be over.’

I fall faster and faster, feeling the ground drawing closer and closer, until…

 

-

 

”Izuku! Izuku, wake up!” I hear a frantic, panicked voice coming from somewhere. It’s hard to tell from where, though, and from who…

”Izuku, please wake up! Come on, Izuku! Wake up!”

I feel someone shaking me by my arms; the voice becoming more clear, now. My eyes fly open, and I jolt awake. My breathing coming out short and uneven. I look over, and I find Kacchan gripping my shoulders with firm but shaky hands. His ruby red eyes stare back at me with concern and fear and his eyebrows knitted together.

I sit up, covered in a thin sheet of sweat as I begin to frantically feel my face and chest with trembling hands; a shaky sigh slipping out when I don’t feel any pain; my flesh is still there. I look around and take in my surroundings.

I’m back in my home, laying in my bed. With Kacchan. It was all a dream, no, a nightmare.

”Izu?” Kacchan calls out to me, softly, but I don’t answer. I flinch slightly when I feel his hand resting on my shoulder blade. “Honey, are you okay? You were talking in your sleep, and you started thrashing around. I was trying to wake you up, but you…” He trails off, not finishing his sentence as he just stares at me.

It was as if a switch had been flipped inside of me as I suddenly feel a wave of sadness and panic wash over me. My body starts to tremble and rock, slightly, as a shuddered sob slips out and I start to cry; my hands anxiously tugging and pulling at my hair.

Kacchan places both hands on my shoulders and starts to pull me closer to him.

”Come here, baby.” Kacchan says softly, wrapping his arms around me. I bury my face in his chest and grip tightly onto his T-shirt; the tears coming even faster, now. He pulls me down gently so that I’m laying under the covers on my side. I allow him to pull me close while his arms circle around me. Kacchan wipes my tears away and strokes my cheek. Shushing me and whispering comforting words to me as I continue to sob and weep.

”Shhh, shhh it’s okay, baby, you’re okay. Everything’s alright. I’ve got you, you’re safe. Shhhh, it was just a dream, it’s not real. Nothing’s going to hurt you.”

He presses soft kisses in my hair, his hand rubbing my back, soothingly. After a few minutes of sweet words and soft touches, I finally feel myself calming down. My sobs have died down to quiet hiccups and the tears have stopped, at least.

We lay there in the dark for a few more minutes, neither of us saying anything, Kacchan’s breathing and my soft whimpers are the only sounds in the room. Kacchan shifts a bit so that he’s facing me. His arms are still cradling around me and he strokes my cheek with the back of his fingers.

”Feeling better, love?” He asks, his fingers finding their way into my hair; his touch making me feel ten times safer. “Mhm...” I hum in response while nodding my head, not trusting my voice, at the moment. “Do you wanna talk about it?”

I think about it, for a moment. Talking about it would probably make me feel better, or at least, it would help to get it off of my chest. But for now, I’d prefer to not think about it; I don’t want to relive the dream, again; those awful faces and smiles, the sight of the blood, and the way Kacchan changed back into his old self and the way he just disintegrated into ash.

Not to mention, the words that the Kacchan in my dream had said to me were still echoing in my head.

”N-No. I-I don’t want to...at least, not right now.” I snuggle even closer, nestling my head in the junction of his neck and shoulder, enjoying his warmth. “I just want you to hold me.”

Kacchan doesn't answer, right away, he simply wraps his arms tighter around my shoulders and waist; one hand resting on the small of my back and the other raking through my unruly hair.

“Of course. Whatever you want, sweetheart.” I feel Kacchan’s lips pressing gentle kisses to my forehead and his hand rubs soothingly over my back and sides.

I feel my body relax under his soothing touch as I look over my shoulder and glance at the clock on the nightstand.

2:36 AM

It’s still too early to wake up, but I’m also afraid to fall back asleep. I don’t want to relive that same nightmare, again.

Just then, Kacchan begins humming a soft melody. His voice is deep but soothing as he starts to sing; still holding me close.

”Let’s go in the garden.

You’ll find something waiting.

Right there where you left it,

Lying upside down.”

He slowly kisses my eyelids and cheeks with each pause, the feel of his soft lips helping me to calm down.

”When you finally find it,

You’ll see how it’s faded.

The underside is lighter

When you turn it around.”

I smile softly and nestle into his chest as I feel my body relax. My eyelids becoming heavy while Kacchan sings the lullaby to me. I can feel his mouth smiling against my face when he goes to plant another kiss.

”Everything stays

Right where you left it.

Everything stays,

But it still changes.

Ever so slightly.

Daily and nightly.

In little ways.

When everything stays…”

Just before I close my eyes and succumb to the comforting embrace of sleep, I remember hearing Kacchan say he loves me before kissing my lips, tenderly.

 

-

 

I wake up the next morning(well, a few hours, later), only to find Kacchan missing from the bed. I let out a yawn while stretching my arms over my head, my joints popping from stiffness and I glance at the clock.

8:32 AM

’Kacchan must’ve let me sleep in, this morning.’ I think to myself as I slowly get out of bed and make my way down the hall. I notice the smell of something wafting in the air. It smells amazing. I follow the smell and discover Kacchan setting things on the dining table.

He then turns around and smiles when he sees me making my way to the kitchen.

”Good morning, Fawn.” He greets me and walks over to kiss me on the lips. “'Morning, Hedgy.” I say back to him with a smile.

”Did you sleep okay?” He asks as he goes back to setting the table. I hum in response as I take a seat, noticing Kacchan has made breakfast for us, taking in the amazing-looking food.

”That’s good. You really had me worried, early this morning.” Kacchan sits across from me and we start eating. Last Tuesday, Kacchan had been suspended from school for a week and some days due to fighting on campus. While I was very angry after hearing this(I still kinda am) and don’t condone violence as a way to resolve a conflict, I understood why he did it and chose to forgive him, especially when he promised to help out with the chores and meals during his punishment.

If his cooking continues to be this amazing, I’ll probably let the whole thing slide, and pretend it never happened.

It’s Monday, now, and although I have classwork to get started on, it’s not very much and I’ve got all day to finish it. Kacchan doesn’t go into work until late in the afternoon, so we can have most of the day to spend together. Even if it consists of us just sitting around.

After a few minutes of comfortable silence, I think about the dream I had last night. While it’s not unusual for me to have bad dreams like that, this dream really bothered me, for some reason. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Kacchan was in it and we happen to be dating, now. Or maybe it was due to the fact that that evil version of me said all those horrible, vile things about me.

Either way, I really shouldn’t keep it to myself. I need to tell somebody about it; maybe it’ll help me to understand what it all means.

”Hey, Kacchan?” I say, softly.

”Hmm?” He response while biting into an omelette. I set my chopsticks down, take a deep breath and start to speak.

”I think I’m ready to talk about the dream I had, last night.”

Kacchan put his own utensils down and lean forward, a bit. I have his full attention, now. I proceed to tell him about my dream, including meeting my sadistic twin, being torn apart by the psychotic criminal/ Yamaguchi, and even the part where ‘Kacchan’ tried to push me off the edge from atop the skyscraper and the words he’d said to me before turning into ash. I also admit to having similar dreams, in the past, but none of them were as bad as this one. By the time I finished speaking, I was a trembling, crying mess.

Kacchan just sat there in stunned silence; he must’ve been just as shocked and appalled as I was. I wipe my tears away, only for more to spill over as Kacchan gets up from his chair and walks around to stand in front of me, pulling me from my own seat and tightly circling his arms around me. I’m still for a split second before I’m able to register what’s happening and I timidly wrap my own arms around Kacchan’s neck; still crying, silently.

”I’m so sorry that happened, love.” Kacchan whispers, burying his nose into my hair, inhaling my scent. He begins to sway us slowly, back and forth while continuing to hug me. “I’m so proud of you for being brave and telling me about your dream. I know it must’ve been hard, and you most likely didn’t ever want to recall it, again. But you shouldn’t keep things like this bottled up inside, Izu. You need to tell somebody whenever you have nightmares like this.”

I nod my head while burying my face into his shirt; my tears soaking the clothing. “I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to understanding what these things mean, but maybe Hana might know. Try asking her, maybe she’ll know what your dream really means.”

He has a point. Hana is a psychiatrist, and although she mainly deals with mental health, she most likely also knows a thing or two about the underlying meaning behind things like dreams and nightmares. I quietly agree, and we break apart before Kacchan kisses my cheek, and we settle back down to finish our meal.

Kacchan’s right. I can’t keep hiding my fears away and suffering in silence. If I don’t know what any of it means, someone else surely might. It couldn’t hurt to ask.

I think it’s time to seek out other outside sources for help.

 

-

 

”’One For All’. I think this is where it’s supposed to be…”

I stare at the slip of paper with the address written on it. I’m standing in front of a small, abandoned-looking store wedged between a bunch of other shops in the back area of the shopping mall. Yagi had given me directions on how to get there and which landmarks to look out for to help me find it, but as I stand outside the shop, I’m beginning to think he gave me the wrong address.

This shop looks like it hasn’t been active or open in months, years, even. The other two shops on either side of it have ‘For Lease’ signs plastered on the windows, and the windows on his shop appear to be tinted, so I can’t even tell if there’s anybody inside, or not. I stand there awkwardly for a good ten minutes, contemplating whether to ask a mall employee if this place is open, just walk inside or simply walk away.

My gut tells me to go with option 2.

’The worst thing that could happen is that it’ll either be closed or I’ll simply be told to not go inside.’ I think to myself as I slowly make my way inside the store, and to my surprise, the inside of it is fully lit.

The walls are made of brick and the floors are made of aged hardwood. There’s a small desk near the front entrance, a fake potted plant, a door near the back and a few chairs lining the walls with a coffee table and a bunch of magazines scattered over it; indicating it’s meant to be a small, intimate waiting area.

There’s nobody sitting behind the desk, which only confuses me, further. ’Is this the right place?’ I’m about to call out if there’s anybody here, or if this is One For All, when I decide the best thing to do is go through the only other door in the room. I stop in front of the door with my hand hovering over the knob; feeling unsure if I should go through with this.

’This is it. I’ve already come this far, I need to push through and trust that I’m making the right decision.’

I swallow the lump forming in my throat before turning the knob and slowly opening the door with a slight squeak of the hinges. I feel nervous tingles shoot up my back and neck when I spot other people seated in a circle of chairs, with Tsukauchi sitting near the back of the circle facing the door. Aside from Tsukauchi, there appears to be 8-9 people here, including me.

I knew that there would be other members here, and that I would most likely be sharing my story in front of others. But the reality of the situation seemed to hit harder than I’d originally anticipated. But there’s no going back, now. I need to push past my fears and worries, and face my anxiety head-on. These people are here for the same reason I am, and surely the last thing they’ll do is mock or judge me.

Tsukauchi gives me a friendly smile before gesturing his hand to an empty seat between a middle-aged woman and a slightly younger-looking man. I take a deep breath and take my seat.

This is it. I’m finally doing this. This is One For All.

 

-

 

”Welcome to One For All!” Tsukauchi greets to everyone, in general; not speaking to anyone in particular, just speaking to us as a whole.

”I see we have a few new faces here with us, and the rest of you have been to these meetings, before.” He explains in a soft but informative voice.

”To help our new members get settled in and feel more comfortable, we’ll take turns introducing ourselves and, if you want, also tell everyone why you’re here. It’s not mandatory, and you won’t be forced to say anything you don’t want to. Feel free to stop talking at any time and we can move on to the next person. I’ll go first.”

I feel less anxious about being here. Even though I knew I wouldn’t be made to talk about anything I didn’t want to, it still feels good to hear Tsukauchi confirm it.

I take the time to look at all the people here. It’s a mix of both men and women, though there seems to be more men. They all appear to be of different ages; ranging from late teens to mid-late 40s or 50s. One of them, to my surprise and displeasure, is Shinsou Hitoshi; I remember him from Yuuei’s Class 1-C, he’s sitting right across from me and just from his demeanor, I can that tell this is the last place he’d rather be at.

I feel a surge of anxiety rush through my body as I reach for the elastic band on my wrist and begin stretching it and then releasing it, causing a slight sting to shoot up my arm from the snap of the band. I do this a few times until I feel myself calming down, again. I’d decided to start taking the advise Hana had given me about using other coping mechanisms to help with my stress, like a rubber band. It doesn’t mark my skin, permanently and it’s ten time better than using a razor blade. Kacchan definitely agrees.

Tsukauchi clears his throat before speaking, again. “So, as some of you may already, my name is Tsukauchi Naomasa. I work as a Police Officer for the Musutafu Police Department, but I’m also a sponsor for a prominent advocacy organization in Japan, as well as the Director of One For All. Unfortunately, I’m not as active in the police force as I used to be.” Tsukauchi frowns, slightly, while saying this. “I’ve been an officer for over twenty years, and while I enjoy doing my job and keeping people safe, there’s also more risk than reward when it comes to taking down the bad guys.”

His voice is more hushed, and I can tell he’s had his fair share of terrible experiences, especially with a career as dangerous as being a cop.

”I was nearly killed during an intense robbery, ten years ago; the suspect had managed to take one of my guns and was seconds away from shooting me in the head. But luckily, backup was able to subdue him and I was able to get the others to safety. Even though I wasn’t terribly hurt and neither were the victims, I just couldn’t stop thinking about that incident. It was so easy for that man to get the upper hand, and that was all I could think about, rather than just being grateful that I was alive, in the first place, and it made it even harder to do my job without the fear of being killed. I was soon diagnosed with PTSD.”

I can’t help but notice the way his voice quivered as he told his story. And I also can’t help but compare his experience with the man who’d nearly shot me and Kacchan all those years ago. I had no idea that someone as kind and brave as Tsukauchi had PTSD. But then again, it makes sense; being an officer and the type of job that comes with it, of course anybody would be affected by some sort of traumatic experience.

“I was told by my good friend Yagi to seek out help, and so I did. He was able to help me find a therapist who specialized in PTSD, and I although I still suffer from it, it’s not as bad as it was, before. And it was thanks to the help I received that I was able to give that same help to others like me. And that’s how One For All came to be.”

I feel a smile spread on my face. I’m not surprised that Yagi would be the one to give Tsukauchi the support he needed, especially after going through something so traumatising. I hope to be as inspirational as Tsukauchi and Yagi, someday.

That’s my goal in life.

He smiles and looks around the circle of members. “Now then, we’ll start from the left and go around in a circle; everybody will take turns introducing themselves and explaining why they’re here. As I’ve said before, you don’t have to say anything you don’t want to, and you’re more than welcome to skip your turn.”

One at a time, each person says their name and why they’re here. Although everyone is here because of some mental disorder, the origins of each person’s experience with the disorder is strikingly difference, some even have multiple disorders aside from anxiety and depression; one man has both PTSD and bipolar disorder, another has OCD, severe depression and suicidal tendencies. After each person is done, Tsukauchi smiles at them and thanks them for sharing their experiences and praises them for being so brave and strong.

There’s one woman who actually surprises me with what she says. The woman, by the name of Inoue, explains how she’d lost her husband four years ago due to a car accident and she’s been struggling with depression, ever since. It got so bad that she’d actually made several suicide attempts; the most recent one resulted in her flatlining three times before she was resuscitated, and then sent to a rehabilitation institute for six months. She did cry a couple of times while telling her story, but she keeps herself together long enough to finish.

I can’t help but to compare her with Hana; I think of how Hana had lost her husband and the struggles she'd gone through after such a loss, but she never let it keep her from living her life.

It makes me realize that just because two people have gone through the same thing, doesn’t mean they’ll handle the aftermath the same. Inoue couldn’t bare with the death of her spouse and had tried to kill herself because of it, while Hana only went through a brief period of mourning, but still found the strength to pick herself back up and take on the world with a smile.

I wonder if someone else has gone through the same things I have and if they’ve reacted to it differently.

I guess I’ll never truly know.

Once all of the long-term members are finished introducing themselves, it comes time for us newcomers to do the same.

The first one to introduce themselves is a man in his late twenties by the name of Matsumoto, and just like Tsukauchi, he suffers from PTSD due to his career. But instead of being a cop, he actually served in the U.S. Air Force for eight years while he was living in America, but was honorably discharged after suffering from a severe brain injury that left him partially disabled, and he returned home to Japan, shortly after. Tsukauchi thanked him for sharing his story and also thanked him for his services as a soldier.

Next up is Shinsou, but he doesn’t say anything, right away. He just slouches in his seat, shooting me a look, every now and again.

”Young man, would you like to introduce yourself?” Tsukauchi asks. Shinsou gives him a slight glare before huffing out, reluctantly.

“Tch, whatever. I’m Shinsou Hitoshi, and I’m gonna be honest, this entire ‘support group’ thing seems like a complete waste of time.” He sneers out with a disinterested, stoic look. “And why do you say that, Shinsou?” Tsukauchi asks with the patience of a saint.

Shinsou rolls his eyes. “The only reason I’m even here is because my mom wouldn’t stop nagging me to go; saying that it would help with my depression and occasional bouts of insomnia and, sure, I’ve had experiences with bullying back in junior high, but it’s not like I’m having problems, now. I just don’t see the point in being here for something that I can’t change.”

I just stare at him, incredulously. How stuck up and insufferable can someone be? He’s not even willing to try and accept any help. Even though this was his parents idea, nobody is forcing him to be here; he’s more than welcome to leave but he’s choosing to stay and complain, instead.

Tsukauchi just nods his head and thanks him for sharing, moving on to the next person. After two more people, it’s now my turn. Tsukauchi looks to me with a smile. “Would you like to go next, Midoriya?” He asks in a patient voice. Suddenly, feel a jolt of nervousness as all eyes seem to fall onto me, including Shinsou’s.

I take a couple of deep breaths before looking at the group.

”Um, my-my name is Midoriya Izuku, and uh, I was told that this support group would be good for me.” I pause for a brief second, taking in everyone’s expression’s; they’re all sitting and waiting patiently(well, except Shinsou, who couldn’t care less) for me to go on. And so I do.

Without going into too much detail or mentioning any names, I tell everyone about my struggles with severe bullying, being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, my prescription medicine being exposed and everyone at my school thinking I was taking illegal drugs, how I began cutting myself to relieve my stress and I even admitted to nearly succeeding in killing myself via overdosing, but I was saved by my now boyfriend and how I’d been seeing a therapist.

I don’t tell them about the dream I had the other night; deciding to wait till I’ve attended a few more meetings to discuss it.

Nobody said a word as I look up and try to read their expressions. Tsukauchi gives me a sad smile before saying “I’m very sorry you had to go through all of that, Midoriya. I’m glad you’re getting the help you need, and I’m glad you decided to come here.” I smile sheepishly before nodding my head. “Thank you, sir.”

He then looks to the rest of the group with a big smile. “I’m very happy to have all of you here, today. The goal of One For All is for people to feel safe and comfortable with expressing their feelings and sharing their experiences, good and bad. Anything you wish to talk about or want to get off your chest, we are all open and free to do so here. Everything that goes on in this room, stays in it, and this is a judgment-free environment. If you want to cry, scream, cuss, or simply just pour your heart out, you’re more than welcome to let those feelings out here.”

After that, we remain seated as we take turns talking more about ourselves and our experiences; at one point, I even started feeling comfortable enough to ask the more seasoned members questions about themselves and why they specifically chose to come to One For All, instead of any other support group. Everyone was very open and friendly, and they didn’t make me feel isolated or unwanted.

For the first time since the first few weeks of high school, I truly felt like I could be myself and open up. I felt safe and welcome here. I think I’ve made the right choice.

About thirty minutes later, Tsukauchi thanks us again for coming and we all file out and make our way out of the building. I walk past somebody without looking at them, not wanting to seem nosy. But then, I hear them scoff out, and with that, I can’t help but turn around and see who it is.

I feel my spine stiffen up when I see that it’s none other than Shinsou; leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest.

”So,” Shinsou starts with a frown. “Mr. ‘I’m-A-Big Hot-Shot-At-The-Sports-Festival-And-Yet-I’m-Also-A-Big-Crybaby-Loser’ decided to come to some lame support group? And it sounds like all those rumors I’ve been hearing around school are true. You seriously tried to kill yourself like some coward? How pathetic.” He sneers almost sarcastically, still leaning against the wall.

As much as I want to cower away from him and just pretend like I didn’t hear him say that, I can’t help but feel a surge of anger pulse through me as I turn and face Shinsou.

”If you think making fun of my suicide attempt is supposed to make you feel better and bring me down, then you’re wasting your time, Shinsou.” I probably don’t look or sound as intimidating as Kacchan ever has, but I don’t care. I’m not gonna let Shinsou degrade me or make me feel weak by bringing up my suicide attempt.

He narrows his eyes as he heaves himself off the wall and strides over to me. He’s leering down at me with cold, dead eyes before he roughly and deliberately bumps into my shoulder with his, walking past me with a scoff.

”Whatever, Midoriya.” And just like that, he’s gone.

I just stand there for a moment; trying to process what just happened and clear my thoughts as best as I can. Even though it felt good to stand up to him, it didn’t stop the bouts of anxiety from welling up inside. I begin snapping the elastic against my wrist, again, while taking deep breaths. After a few more seconds, it’s gone, again.

Just then, my phone starts vibrating, indicating a phone call. I quickly pull my phone out and a feel the corners of my mouth tugging upwards when I see Kacchan’s name on the screen. I swipe the answer icon and place the phone to my ear.

*Hello?*

*Hey there, good-looking.*

I let out soft, breathy giggle before I start making my way to one of the exits; still talking to Kacchan on the phone.

*What’s up, Kacchan?*

*I was just calling to check on you. Hope I’m not bothering you while you’re at your support group. If you need to call back, I can.*

*Oh, no. It’s okay. We just got done a little while ago.*

I hear a Kacchan exhale a sigh of relief. I leave the shopping mall and walk down the sidewalk when Kacchan speaks up, again.

*So, I was getting ready to make dinner, but I saw that we’re getting pretty low on food. I was gonna run to the store before you got home, but since you’re finished, do you wanna go with me?*

*Sure. I can meet you at the store.*

*You’re not gonna come home, first? I figured we could walk to the store, together.*

*Yeah, but I’m already in the downtown area and it’ll only take less than ten minutes for me to walk over there. It would make more sense if I met you there, instead of having to walk all the way home just to walk back over, again.*

I hear Kacchan pondering this for a brief moment before he speaks, again. *Yeah. Guess you gotta point. Okay, I’ll head over there, right now.*

*Alright, Kacchan! See you in a bit!*

*I love you, babe.*

*Love you, too.*

And with that, we hang up and I start making my way to the grocery store. I have a feeling Kacchan’s gonna want to know how the meeting went, and he’s probably not gonna like hearing that Shinsou’s was there.

Call it a ‘gut feeling’.

 

-

 

”Are you serious?! That asshole Shinsou is in the support group, too?!”

Looks like my gut feeling was right.

”Y-Yeah...and I could tell he didn’t want anything to do with it, and he didn’t exactly seem thrilled to see me there…” Kacchan gives me a skeptical look as we’re walking down the canned goods aisle.

”What do you mean? He didn’t say anything to you, did he?” He asks while placing a couple cans of sliced peaches in the cart. I dart my eyes to the side; avoiding his gaze as I rub the back of my neck, nervously.

”Yeah...about that…” I told him about the things Shinsou had said about being a crybaby and a loser, and how he called me a coward for trying to kill myself. Kacchan’s eyes became hard and stern.

”Do I need to come over there and kick this guys ass? ‘Cause I will. I don’t know who this fucker thinks he is, but he’s not gonna get away with calling you a coward. He’s the one who’s a coward!” Kacchan’s voice became loud enough that other shoppers started looking in our direction, much to my embarrassment.

”No, Kacchan. That’s not necessary. I can handle myself; Shinsou’s words don’t affect me like they used to, and he’s attending meetings just like I am. I’m sure he’s got pent-up anger bottled up that he’s just trying to get out.” I say in a calm voice. I manage to lead us to another less crowded aisle, away from the prying eyes of other shoppers. “Beside, you promised me that you wouldn’t get into any more fights whenever somebody antagonizes me. Remember?”

Kacchan scowls for a second more before letting out a reluctant huff. “Yeah, yeah. I know. I just hate that all these douchebags have some sorta problem with you. It’s fucking petty and childish!” I laugh softly at his venting. I weave my arm around his; clasping our hands together as we continue with our shopping.

”I’ll be okay, Kacchan. Maybe I can try and reason with Shinsou, see if there’s some sort of middleground or compromise we can agree on. After all, I’m probably not the reason why he’s acting like this. I just know it.” He looks down at me and smirks.

”Yeah, that’s true. You always see good in people, even when they’re undeserving of it…” He trails off, turning his attention to the shelves. I smile warmly at him and we go back to finishing our shopping.

After paying for our groceries, Kacchan and I make our way down the sidewalk and head home. We walk past a few bistros and cafes when, in the distance, I can’t help but spot a couple people sitting outside of a coffee shop who look...oddly familiar.

As we get closer, I gasp softly when I recognize the two individuals: Yagi and Mom!

They’re sitting at one of the small tables outside the shop drinking coffee, chatting and laughing. Yagi is wearing a hat and sunglasses(most likely to try and hide his identity from fans), but that didn't stop me from being able to spot him. My legs start moving on their own in their direction, much to Kacchan’s confusion. He must’ve seen where I was walking towards when he follows close behind me, soon after.

”Mom? Yagi?” I ask in slight bewilderment as I stand there beside them. They both look up at me in unison, with Yagi's expression a mix of surprise and relief. Mom smiles brightly at me. “Hey, Izuku! And Katsuki! What a lovely surprise!” She exclaims, excitedly; Yagi smiling, silently, as he looks up at me; he places his pointer finger over his lips, silently telling me to keep my voice down so as not to draw any unwanted attention, even though there weren't a lot of people nearby. I blush and apologize, furiously, feeling like a big dummy. Yagi assures me it's no problem.

While it’s not unusual for me to run into my former teacher or my mom, it IS a bit strange for me to find them in the same place...and supposedly on a date? On the other hand, it could very well just be an innocent outing with between two friends. Either way, it’s still a surprise.

”What are you boys up to, today?” Mom asks while sipping her coffee. I completely forget where I am, for a split second, when I remember that both me and Kacchan are still carrying grocery bags. I guess seeing your parent on a date with your former teacher makes you unaware of your surroundings.

”Oh, uh, we were on our way home from shopping. We just needed to pick up a few things. What about you guys…?” I ask her with a slight hint of curiosity. This time, Yagi is the one to answer.

”Well, I was out running a quick errand when I happened to run into your mother. We both had some time to kill and I decided to treat her to some coffee.” He says this in such a calm, casual manner, it’s actually kinda funny.

For a split second, I start to think about what Dad would think if he were to catch Mom and Yagi out in public, like this. Would he be upset? Jealous? Angry? But then, I remember that it doesn’t matter what he thinks or feels; he hasn’t been back home in almost twenty years and he’s practically stopped keeping in touch with us for nearly a decade. If Mom wants to go out on a friendly date with someone else(even if it’s my former teacher), that’s her decision.

And honestly, I already see and think of Yagi as my dad, so this shouldn’t surprise me as much as it did, a few seconds ago.

“Well, we gotta get going; got dinner to make. You guys enjoy your coffee date.” I say with a smile. “Okay, dear. Take care!” Mom calls, Yagi smiles and waves at us as we head down the sidewalk in the direction of our home.

We’re silent for a while before Kacchan breaks the silence. “Well, that was interesting.” He says while still looking straight ahead. “Didn’t know your mom and Yagi were close, like that. Did you?”

I stay silent for a time, trying to find the right words to say. Kacchan is about to ask, again, when I finally speak up. “I kinda had a feeling they were getting close. I mean, Yagi would always stay and talk with Mom after parent teacher conferences, and they seem to get along pretty well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were on a date.”

Kacchan nods his head. “That’s true. But what does your dad think? Does he know?” I scoff out a laugh as I shake my head. “Probably not. Honestly, I don’t really give a crap what he thinks. Mom can be around whoever she wants, and if she happens to want to go on a coffee date with them, what’s he gonna do? Swim all the way here from the U.S. and stop her?”

Kacchan bursts out in laughter, which causes me to start laughing at my own response. Guess that came out more smart aleck and sassy than I’d intended it to be.

”That’s the spirit, babe!” Kacchan claps me on the back, making me smile up at him. The dread and worry from earlier in the day seemed to just melt away; only the sound of our boisterous laughter the only thing on my mind.

 

-

 

”Oh my. That does sound like a terrible nightmare.”

I nod silently as I lean my back against the plush leather couch in Hana’s office. I decided to take Kacchan’s advice and talk to Hana about the nightmare I’d had a few nights ago. I told her everything that occured in my dream: watching my doppelganger mutilate himself while insulting and degrading me, the psychotic man/ Yamaguchi duo turning into a demonic beast and tearing into my body and the part where Kacchan turned back into his old self and turned to ash before pushing me off the tower.

I all but broke down while recalling the memory of that awful dream, afraid that merely thinking about it would cause me to relive it, all over again.

”I was hoping that...maybe you would know what it all means. Why am I having these dreams, and what are they trying to tell me?” I ask her with a hint of desperation in my voice. I just want to know if there’s a hidden message that these dreams are trying to tell me, or if they’re just the result of the abuse I endured in the past.

Hana rests her thumb and forefinger under her chin like she’s pondering on something. Then, after half a minute, she hums and then looks at me with a kind smile.

”Yes, this sort of dream definitely has a lot of layers to it, and it’s not just due to how specific the details are. Based off of what you’ve described to me, it sounds to me like you have a lot of internalized emotions trapped inside.” I raise an eyebrow as she says this, but I don’t say anything; I simply listen to her and take in what she’s saying.

”Although each segment of the dream has different variations to it, I believe that the dream as a whole represents the stress and anxiety you’ve had to deal with is manifesting into something more physical and present. It can also be that your insecurities and feelings of being insignificant are emerging from the beneath the surface and you may possibly feel overwhelmed because of it; like you’re feeling as though you’re losing control of your own life or your own choices.”

I’m listening more intently, now, as the gears in my head start to turn. I makes so much more sense the more she explains it. Then again, it could just be purely subjective and mere conjecture. After all, it’s an opinion on the meaning of a dream, it’s not set in stone if this is truly what my dreams are telling me.

Regardless, I press on.

”So you’re saying, that all those things in my dream; my evil copy slitting his own throat, Yamaguchi ripping me apart and being pushed off the building by Kacchan, it’s all due to my anxiety trying to become more apart of me?”

Hana adjusts her glasses and sets her notepad down. “Something like that. It can also be all of your emotions manifesting into a representation of your most deep-seated fears; it could also mean that you’re finding yourself dwelling on your past mistakes, incidences or regrets, and you’re finding it difficult to move past them. There’s so many different meanings to these types of dreams, but they mostly have the same answer.” She says with a knowing expression. “And as for your anxiety becoming apart of you, actually, your anxiety is already apart of you, Izuku. But that doesn’t mean it has to be what defines you. It may be an aspect of who you are, but it’s not what makes you you. YOU make you you.”

I feel a swell of relief and understanding bloom inside me. She’s right; my anxiety, and all of the things that have happened to me in my past, they may be apart of me, but it’s not what makes me who I am. My anxiety will always be apart of me, but it doesn’t define ‘Izuku’.

I define ‘Izuku’.

”I think you’re right, Hana.” I say with a big smile; feeling like I’ve found all the answers I needed to hear. She smiles back at me before getting up from her seat and walking over to one of her bookcases.

”I want you to take this home with you. I think this could serve to help you with finding out more about the meaning of these dreams.” She walks back over to me and holds out a book; the word ‘Dream Bible’ written in English letters with the Japanese translation written in smaller text below it. “Although you shouldn’t take the meaning of these dreams literally, you can at least have a better understanding of why you’re having them. You never know when having the answer to these dreams may come in handy.”

I smile and take the book from her, sticking it inside my bag. “Thank you so much, Hana! I promise to bring it back as soon as I can.” She sits back down and shakes her head. “No need. That’s yours to keep. I think you’ll find more use out of it than I would.” I give her a nod; still smiling as I set my bag back down.

”There’s one more thing I want you to do before you leave, today.”

I sit straight up, giving her my full attention. “What’s that?”

”This is something I want you to do every night before you go to sleep. I want you to situate yourself in a calm and quiet position. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply and slowly.” She closes her own eyes and takes a couple of deep breaths, as if to demonstrate how to do the exercise.

“With each exhale of air, allow your mind to become more focused and still. All of the people who have caused you strife and contention, all of the words you’ve heard them speak to and of you, all of the worry and stress in your life, you’ll notice them becoming more and more visible and in-focus. Instead of wiping them clean from your mind, allow yourself to accept them. This is not to keep you anchored and grounded to your past miseries, but rather, this is to allow you to experience closure with your past miseries. And remember to tell yourself: ‘You are apart of me, but you do not define me. I define me.’”

I hadn’t even realized I had closed my eyes until I opened them. Even with just those words, my body feels more relaxed than before. I look over to Hana with a look of certainty. “You don’t want me to completely get rid of my fears and anxiety. You want me to learn to accept them as part of me without allowing them to consume me.” She nods with a smile.

I get up from the couch and walk over to where Hana is sitting. Without another word, I bend down and give her a hug. She wraps an arm around me without a second thought.

”Thank you, Hana. I really needed this.” I feel tears stinging my eyes, but I don’t let them fall, just yet. I pull away from her and she has tears of her own swimming in her aged eyes. “I’m glad you found the answers you needed, Izuku. Hopefully this’ll help you do find closure within yourself.”

After that, I leave her clinic and head back home, feeling confident with myself for the first time since I stood up to Kacchan, all those years ago.

’My anxiety isn’t me, I am me.’

 

-

 

Friday afternoon, I walk inside of One For All feeling less anxious and lost than I did the first time. I greet the members who’ve arrived early, and help myself to the drink table.

As I take my seat, I notice that there’s someone sitting a couple of seats away from me that I don’t remember from my first meeting here, however, he does look familiar. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I feel like I’ve seen him, before.

Just then, another familiar face walks in and plops down in an empty seat. I feel my heartbeat speed up when I see the wild purple hair and disinterested, glazed eyes of Shinsou in my peripheral.

’Oh, great.’ I internally groan as I try to busy myself so I don’t have to look at him. As long as he doesn’t try and instigate me, again, I’ll leave him be. But part of me can’t help but...feel sorry for him.

He stated before that he’d experienced bullying at his old school and had been suffering from insomnia and depression because of it. Even though it doesn’t excuse what he said, before, I at the very least want to try and understand him, better. I learned about this in one of my sociology courses: people are products of their own environment and circumstances, and because of that, bullies are often times the victims of bullying, themselves; abusive parents are victims of abuse; criminals are the victims of some sort of crime committed unto them or around them.

Perhaps, Shinsou isn’t like this because he wants to make others suffer or because he’s a big jerk, but because he’s trying to shield himself from getting hurt by hurting other people, first. If I can try and make him understand that his feelings are valid and he has no reason to lash out, maybe it could change how he sees others. How he sees me, even.

Tsukauchi walks in with a thermos full of coffee and sits in his usual seat. “Good afternoon, everyone! Glad to see that we have a full house again, today.” He says, cheerfully. I don’t feel nervous like I did on my first day, even though it’s only my second time here. I guess Tsukauchi’s presence just has that effect on people, much like Hana’s does.

”I see we have a new face with us, today.” He gestures to the guy who I thought looked familiar. He stayed quiet and motionless when I first walked in, but a soon as Tsukauchi points him out, he looks like he’s about to pass out with how pale his face becomes.

”Would you like to introduce yourself? You’re free to talk about what brought you here today, if you want. There’s no pressure.” Tsukauchi states with a friendly smile. He avoids eye contact with everyone and chooses, instead, to just stare at the floor.

”Uhh...s-sure.” He says barely above a whisper, a sure signs of anxiety visible on his features. “I’m...I’m Amajiki Tamaki...” A sudden jolt of realization hits me like lightning as soon as I hear his name.

’No wonder I recognized him! It’s really Amajiki Tamaki! He’s apart of The Big Three; the most popular students in all of Yuuei. He’s known for his academic and intellectual achievements, and according to what I’ve heard from others, he’s already received several internship and even job offers from some of the top-named corporations in his field of study before he’s even graduated. He’s practically famous!!’

”...I uh…” He starts, his eyes practically glued to the floor while he wrings his hands, nervously; a deep blush reaching up to his pointed ears. “I...I was recommended to try attending a support group to help with my social anxiety, but...I don’t know if this’ll really do anything to help me...and honestly, I’m not even sure if I fit in here.”

Tsukauchi crosses his legs and rests his chin on his hand, giving Amajiki-senpai a knowing look. “And why do you say that, Amajiki?” He asks. Amajiki-senpai shakes his head a bit, his black hair whipping around slightly while keeping his gaze low.

”Well...unlike everyone else here...I’ve never had anything traumatic or life-changing happen to me to warrant me feeling like this...I mean, I have loving and supportive parents, a good home life, great friends, I’m attending the top school in the country and I have an amazing fiance who’s also a student at Yuuei…”

Tsukauchi smiles at him, not saying anything as Amajiki-senpai raises his head, slightly but keeps his eyes downcast. “But despite having everything I could ever want...I can barely find the energy to get out of bed, let alone to leave my home. I don’t know why I feel so afraid to face others, but every time I try to interact with others or whenever I’m made to speak in front of the class, it feels like I’m suffocating and I become dizzy. I’ve always felt pressured to be perfect and to never make mistakes, and...ugh..”

I feel really bad for Amajiki-senpai, right now. He’s barely able to look at anyone without breaking down; he’s trembling like a leaf and he looks like he’s about to cry. I’m about to speak up and reassure him that everything is fine, when a sneering scoff can be heard.

We all look over to see Shinsou slouching in his seat with a crooked smirk on his face and he gazes at Amajiki-senpai with disdain.

”Are you fucking kidding me?! You literally just said that you have everything you could ever ask for: great parents, great friends, you’re attending the top school in Japan, you basically have everything you could ever want, and you STILL find something to bitch and complain about?!”

I notice the way Amajiki-senpai started to gnaw on his bottom lip nervously, and his blush has become deeper. Tsukauchi is the first one to speak up; giving Shinsou a soft but firm gaze. “Shinsou, I understand that you’re feeling angry or irritated, but that’s no reason to criticize another person, like that.” He keeps his voice level and low, not yelling out the words, but he’s loud enough for everyone to pay attention to him.

”Amajiki may not have gone through something traumatic to cause PTSD or severe depression like most of us, but that, in no way, means that his social anxiety is invalid or unimportant. You have to learn to be more compassionate.”

This just seems to fuel the flame, even more, as Shinsou gets up from his seat and walks over so that he’s standing a few feet away from Tsukauchi and Amajiki-senpai; glaring at both of them.

”I don’t wanna hear shit from you, or any of you, about being compassionate. I’ve never been given compassion from anybody, so why the hell should I do the same for someone else?! None of you know what I’ve been through, I’ve been made fun of my whole childhood for having a criminal for a father, and being told I’ll turn out just like him! None of you could EVER know what it’s like being told I’ll grow up to be just like him, so don’t tell me to show compassion when I’ve never had it for myself!”

The entire room is silent after Shinsou’s outburst, even Tsukauchi is speechless; the only sound in the room being Shinsou’s heavy, angry breathing. Amajiki-senpai has turned in his seat so that his back is partially facing the rest of the group.

”I understand how you feel.”

Shinsou looks right at me with a sneer. “What did you just say?” He snaps at me as I get up from my seat and stand between him and Amajiki-senpai. Despite his burning gaze, I remain firm and unfazed.

”I said, I understand how you feel.” I repeat myself, making sure he can hear me loud and clear. He snarls at me. “How the hell could some show-off like you ever understand?! Have you been told you’ll turn into a criminal; a villain, just like your father?! Have you been looked down on for wanting to achieve your dreams?! Well?!” I don’t flinch or sway, even as his voice becomes more irate.

”Yes, I have.” This seems to quiet him down, and so I proceed. “No, neither of my parents are criminals or wrongdoers, but I DO know what it’s like to be looked down on, to have others tell me my dreams will be just that, dreams. I’ve been told I would never make a change.”

I clench my fists as I muster up the courage to keep going. "I’ve never actually met my father. He’s been out of my life ever since I was born. I’ve only ever seen him through video chats and heard his voice through phone calls. The last time I heard from him...I told him about my suicide attempt, and he didn’t even care.”

Shinsou doesn’t speak, he just stares at me; that same glint in his indigo eyes and everyone in the room just watches, but I’ve got his attention, at least.

”Shinsou. I understand why you’re angry. I really do. All those feelings and emotions you’re experiencing, they’re valid! They do matter! YOU matter!” I take a deep breath, collecting myself, and I look him in his deep eyes while smiling. “You aren’t a bad person, Shinsou, I know that for a fact. You may have been mistreated by your peers for what your father may have done, but that doesn’t mean it has to define you. Your father’s actions don’t define you, you define you.”

I see his eyes widen, just slightly, but he remains stoic and uncaring. I press on.

“And sure, Amajiki-senpai’s social anxiety may not be the same as my anxiety or your depression or even Tsukauchi’s PTSD, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less worth discussing and seeking aid for as anyone else’s problems. You can’t just bring someone else down just because you think they have it better than you do or they’re not deserving of the time of day. You don’t know what someone is going through, so don’t claim them to be ‘complaining’ when they could actually be in need of help.”

Shinsou’s scowl wavers and he loses his glare and, instead, his eyes have softened up, a tad. I give him a kind smile before finishing.

”And I don’t blame you for not being able to give compassion when you haven’t been given it, yourself. You can’t give something that you don’t have, and I don’t fault you for that. But if you’ll allow me,” I stretch out my hand between us, reaching out for him. “I’ll be the first to give it to you. I’ll give you as much of it as I can.”

I feel a hand rest on my shoulder, I look over only to find Tsukauchi standing beside me with a big smile, looking both impressed and proud of me. The rest of the group intervenes with us and Shinsou then proceeds to leave the room. None of us go after him, figuring he might need some time to process everything.

I just hope I got through to him. If not, at least I did what I could.

I sit back down in my seat next to Amajiki-senpai while everyone else just mingles and talks about what just happened. In that moment, Amajiki-senpai actually starts to speak to me, albeit a bit timidly, but he’s actually talking to me.

”Thank you...for standing up for me…” He says with a slight smile. I smile back at him, feeling his sincerity through his words. “It was no trouble. I just couldn’t stand seeing you getting talked down to, like that. Still, I hate seeing someone suffering like Shinsou has.” I sigh as I recall what I told Shinsou.

”Well, either way, your words were very inspirational. You should do more stuff, like that; maybe do public speaking.” He starts to tremble from interacting with me, but I don’t pressure him into speaking to me and instead just nod my head. “Yeah, I’m actually studying in communications, so I guess it came in handy while giving that little speech.” I scratch my chin, nervously. He smiles, again. “Well, you’re very good at it.”

I give him a big, toothy grin. “Thank you, so much, Amajiki-senpai!” He waves his hands out before quietly saying “You can just call me Amajiki, or Tamaki is fine, too. I’m not really big on the whole ‘respecting your upperclassmen’ thing.” I laugh softly at his bashfulness before nodding. “Alright then, Amajiki!”

We sit in silence for a split second before a thought comes to mind. “So, uh, is it okay if I ask you something, Amajiki?” He glances at me from the corner of his eye before nodding. “You mentioned before that your fiance is also a student at Yuuei. If it’s not too much to ask, may I ask who it is?”

He gives a coy smile before turning his head, slightly, so that he’s somewhat facing me but not looking directly at me. “It’s one of The Big Three, Toogata Mirio. We’ve been friends since elementary school and we got engaged last year after New Years.” He then looks right at me, still blushing but he looks more relaxed than before. “We’ve, we’ve decided to wait till after graduation to finally tie the knot.”

That name also sounds familiar, and when he said one of The Big Three, it finally hit me who he’s referring to. I give Amajiki a friendly smile. “That’s wonderful, Amajiki. I’m so happy for you.” He hums out in response. “Thank you. Mirio’s a really amazing person. He’s always been there for me, even when my anxiety got to be too much, he’s never given up on me. I’m...really grateful to have someone like him in my life.”

I feel my heart swell with warmth. Amajiki’s words sound just like how I think of Kacchan; even though our relationship hasn’t always been the greatest, he’s always been there for me. And even now, no matter how rough and difficult things get, he’s refused to toss me aside and find someone else who’s less problematic.

I’m so glad that Amajiki has found someone to keep him grounded and stable. Everyone deserves that chance…even someone like Shinsou.

After Tsukauchi dismisses us and says he’ll see us next Tuesday, I exchange numbers with Amajiki and tell him he’s free to message me anytime as I leave the small shop and head down the shopping strip. Just as I’m a good distance away from One For All, I pass a small open space between two of the stores when I hear someone call my name.

I feel a twinge of slight fear and even deja vu when I turn around and see Shinsou standing near the opening. But unlike the last time, there’s something different about Shinsou. This time, he doesn’t have the same stoney, jaded expression he did, before, but instead, he looks...unsure, almost drained.

”Midoriya. You gotta minute…?” His question surprises me, a little. Before, he didn’t even ask my opinion, but here, he’s actually asking me if I have time for him.

Luckily for him, I do.

I nod my head and walk over to him; standing across from him just outside of the narrow space, the indoor plants of the mall somewhat blocking us from any passerbys. Shinsou has his arms crossed and he’s looking anywhere but at me. I don’t say anything and just wait for him to speak, first.

”Listen,” He finally starts, his voice just above a whisper. “I may have gotten a bit...out of hand, back there. I said some things that I didn’t mean to say, and, I wanted to say sorry…” He’s rubbing the back of his neck, still refusing to look me in the eyes, but I can tell he’s trying to convey his feelings as best as he can.

”It’s just...I’ve always been jealous of you, and people like you, in general.” Well, this was a surprise to me. I had no idea, but I didn’t say that. “You had all of your classmates as friends, they were all supportive of you, and you even got lucky enough to get placed in the top class in our grade, and even though my score on the entrance exam wasn’t the worst, I still got put in one of the remedial classes below you, and it just...really got to me. And it didn’t help that all throughout grade school and junior high, I’ve been told that I’ll never amount to anything.”

He looks at me, his eyes are heavy with envy, but he doesn’t look bitter, at least. “And even during the Sports Festival our freshman year, you managed to get the upper hand and were able to win against me. That just made me more resentful of you, and I just couldn’t get over it.”

I give him a reassuring smile before I finally decide to interject. “Shinsou. You don’t have to apologize to me. I understand, I really do. It’s like I said to you, before, I’ll be more than happy to give you the compassion that you were never given. Still, I appreciate the apology. It means a lot to me.”

He then gives me a genuine smile, not a smug, condescending one, but an actually smile. “Yeah…” He isn’t too sure what else to say, so I decide to fill in the silent space.

”And I never got a chance to tell you this, before, but I thought you did really great at the Sports Festival, back in freshman year!” He gives me an incredulous look, like he thought I was talking gibberish. “You...You really think so? Even though I lost…?”

”Absolutely! You came pretty damn close to beating me, but I guess I was feeling more confident that time, and I managed to push you out of bounds. But still, you really got me good with that surprise punch. You even managed to break two of my fingers, haha!” I can see he’s trying to stifle a chuckle, but the corners of his mouth raised upwards, slightly. “Y-Yeah, I did, didn’t I? Um, sorry about that, too, by the way.”

I let him know it wasn’t a big deal and that I was still really impressed with him. Then, he says something I never thought I would hear someone like him say. “To tell you the truth, Midoriya, I was actually really impressed with you after our first match.”

I look at him like he’d just grown three more heads. “R-Really?!” He nods his head, bashfully. I sputter out a thank you, and that I thought he was pretty great, too.

After a brief moment of silence, he decides he should get going. But before he leaves, he asks me if I want to exchange numbers, to which I happily oblige. We gives each other our numbers and I smile widely up at him. “That reminds me, Shinsou, if it’s not too much to ask, I was wondering what course your studying in.” He gives me a crooked grin before he replies.

”Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice.” I look at him with awe. “Whoa, really? That’s so cool!”

”Heh, yeah. Despite what people have said about me, I’ve also been told I have a way of getting people to speak, and even getting them to express their most deepest thoughts. I figured I could put those talents towards something I can use as a career.” I give him a big grin, feeling very impressed with him. “I think you’ll do great in that field. You seem really smart and it’ll definitely show those guys who bullied you before that you can do anything.”

He smiles at me, a slight blush painting his cheeks. “Yeah. I think you’re right.” Before he turns to leave, he looks at me over his shoulder and says to me “Hey, Midoriya. Uh, thanks for saying those things to me, before. I...I really needed to hear it.” And with that, he’s gone.

This time, I don’t feel like I’ve just come out of an emotionally exhausting fight, but rather, like I’ve accomplished a difficult task, and in some ways, it was. But I wouldn’t go back and change how things played out, and I’m glad that I was able to inspire not one, but two people, and I’ve even made two new friends.

I feel my phone vibrate just like before, but it’s for a text message. I pull out my phone and see it’s from Kacchan. He’s probably checking to see if Shinsou was bothering me, again. I smile to myself as I quickly send him an update.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katsuki: Hey, babe. Everything ok? Is that douchebag still acting up? I’m serious, Izuku, if I have to come up there and give this guy a piece of my mind, I will.

Izuku: Hey, love. Lol I’m fine, just got done. He did try to start a fight, but not anything physical. I managed to defuse the situation, and he actually backed off.

Izuku: In fact, he actually apologized to me and we even exchanged numbers.

Katsuki: No way, seriously???

Izuku: Yep!

Katsuki: Well, that’s good, I guess. I still don’t like that he spoke to you like that. But as long as he doesn’t pull that bullshit again, that’s all I care about.

Izuku: Yeah, me too lol

Izuku: I’ll be home in a bit.

Katsuki: Ok babe. See you soon.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After sticking my phone back in my pocket, I briskly start walking out of the building and towards our apartment, where my beloved prince is waiting for me.

 

-

 

”Alright, this should be everything we went over in class, today. If you have any further questions about the powerpoint, feel free to email me or drop by, again, okay?”

I nod with a smile and bow my head respectfully to Nagai-sensei. “Yes, ma’am! Thank you very much for taking the time to help me.” I say politely before turning around to leave the faculty room. We have a new assignment for one of our new courses and I must’ve not received all the details for it in my emails, so I decided to pay my professor a visit so I could get all the information I needed to complete it.

I’m sifting through the forms when I hear a familiar voice call my name.

”Midoriya.” I turn around and see Aizawa standing behind me. Though he looks exhausted, he seems happy to see me. I give him a small smile. “Oh, hey, Aizawa-sensei!”

”Getting some notes for homework?” He asks in a gruff voice. I nod at him. “Yeah, it’s a copy of the powerpoint my class went over.” I say while holding up the small stack of papers. “Sounds like your online classes are treating you well. That’s good to hear.” I smile and nod, again. Just as I’m about to bid him farewell, he makes a gesture like he wants me to follow him.

”I was wanting to speak with you about something, Midoriya.”

Despite the straight forward request, I agree and he leads me out of the faculty room and up the stairs to one of the empty classrooms. As he lets me walk inside first, I’m not surprised to find Present Mic sitting in one of the chairs near the front as he waves, cheerfully.

”Heyyo, kiddo! Nice to see you, again, Midoriya!!” He greets me in his usual peppy self. I smile and greet him back.

”Yeah, yeah, yeah. Keep your voice down, Hizashi. Others can probably hear you.” Aizawa grumbles out, unenthusiastically, which only makes Present Mic snicker. I sit down in one of the closer chairs and wait for one of them to speak, first. Aizawa is the one to start.

”So, I’m sure you’re already aware of Bakugou’s suspension from school.” He states. I slowly nod my head, avoiding looking at him. “Yeah...I wasn’t too happy when I found out.”

”Well, either way, I wanted to apologize for both his and Monoma’s behavior. And I especially wanted to apologize for not figuring it out, sooner. It’s my job to ensure my students are safe, and I wasn’t able to do that. So, I hope you can forgive me, Midoriya.”

I’m a bit taken back by his humbleness and sincerity, but I try not to let it show. “Oh, n-no, no! You don’t have to apologize, sensei. It’s not your fault! Kacchan was the one who acted stupid and started the fight. Besides, I’m the one who should be sorry. I caused a lot of trouble for everyone, including you and Kacchan, and the other teachers, as well. So, I hope you can forgive me.” I bow my head, slightly, but I raise it back up, again, when I feel a comforting hand on my shoulder.

Aizawa is smiling at me, his face a lot softer, despite the lack of sleep. “No need to be sorry, son. I’m just glad you’re okay, now. I promise, nothing like this will ever happen, again.” I beam up at his words, feeling a load fall off of my shoulders. “Honestly, I’m surprised you didn’t expel either of them, sensei. Especially for something like that.”

He lets out a huff. “I was pretty close to doing so, too. But, I figured it wasn’t my place to make that call, especially since he’s not my student, anymore. Still, their actions most definitely warranted an expulsion. Maybe after their punishment is over, they’ll know better, next time.” I giggle at his words. “Oh, trust me. I’m sure Kacchan will. I gave him a good talking to after he told me.”

Aizawa laughs and gives me a thumbs up for putting my foot down. After a little while, Present Mic perks up and walks over to us. “So, hey, Shouta! Aren’t we gonna show him the surprise, or not?!” He says in a childishly excited voice, to which Aizawa places his finger over his lips, indicating that he should stay quiet.

’Surprise…?'

Suddenly, Aizawa gets up from his seat and turns toward me. “We have something to show you, Midoriya. You mind waiting here for a sec?” I nod, and watch them leave the room; leaving me there alone.

As I wait for them to return with the ‘surprise’, I think about Aizawa’s words and how sincere they sounded. I really do have such amazing teachers. Aizawa had every right to expel Kacchan, and he could’ve, but he chose to let him off easy. He probably knew how hard he worked to get to this point, and that it would’ve crushed not only him, but also me, to see him get kicked out of his dream school.

Just then, I hear the door open again, but only Aizawa walks in. Where’s Present Mic?

”Midoriya, we want to show you something. You mind covering your eyes?” I look at him skeptically. He smiles and elaborates, further. “Just trust me, kid. It’ll only be for a second.”

After contemplating, I finally do as he says and cover my eyes with my hands. Then, I hear more footsteps, most likely coming from present Mic, thenI hear something bulky being placed on one of the desks. Something metal and squeaky sounds out, and I start to feel a bit nervous.

I’m about to ask them what’s going on when, suddenly, I feel something being placed in my lap. I peek through my fingers…

”Meww”

”A kitty!!” I exclaim loudly as I start fawning over the little ball of fluff in my lap. I hear Aizawa and Present Mic laugh, softly, and walk over to me. Aizawa reaches his hand down and allows the cat to rub its face against it.

”She’s a Ragdoll. We got her from the shelter, a few days ago. She’s a little over 3 months old, and she’s very friendly with people.”

”She’s so cute!” I coo out as I scratch lightly behind her ear and she continues to meow and chirtle at me. She’s fairly small, but not too small, she has long, fluffy white fur with light gray markings around her face, ears and tail, and the most gorgeous blue eyes I’ve ever seen on a cat. To put it simply, I’ve fallen head-over-heels for this fluffster.

”So, you guys decided to adopt another cat?” I ask, absentmindedly; not taking my eyes off of the kitten. “Actually,” Aizawa starts. “we got her for you, Midoriya.”

That caught my attention.

I whip my head up and stare at him with a look of surprise. “W-What?” Aizawa and Present Mic both smile at me.

”Yeah. We’ve been doing some thinking, and we thought that it would be a good idea to get you a pet. I read somewhere that people who suffer from severe anxiety and depression tend to get a pet like dogs, cats, or even rabbits to help feel more calm and relaxed. So we figured you would fair better with a cat than a dog; they’re more low maintenance and they practically take care of themselves.”

I feel my chest swell with the same warmth that I felt when Yagi told me he thought of me as his son. I really don’t know what I did to deserve such amazing teachers.

”You guys…” Tears of happiness threaten to spill over, but I quickly wipe them away with the back of my hand as I continue petting the kitten. “You really didn’t have to do all of this for me.”

”It’s no trouble! Really! We’re just glad that you like her, she seems to really like you, a lot!” Present Mic chimes in.

I nod my head while looking down at the cat as she curls up in my lap and meows, softly. “Yeah, I really do.” Just then, a realization hits me, and I feel my smile falter. “But, I don’t think I can afford the pet deposit, at the moment. As much as I want to keep her, I…”

”Oh, there’s no need to worry about that.” Aizawa says. “We’ve already taken care of that. We had to make sure your apartment complex would even allow you to have a pet, and we were actually planning to get her for your birthday, but we didn’t have the time. Luckily, though, Yagi just happened to be at your place, at the time, so we had him check with the property manager, and thankfully, they do allow pets. So we went ahead and paid the deposit for you.”

My mouth just hangs open as I stare at him. “And don’t you worry about supplies!” Present Mic explains as he comes over to pet the kitten. “We’ve already got you covered! We got her food, toys, a litter box with litter, and even a cat tree! You’re all set, Midoriya!” This can’t be happening, can it?

”There’s enough dry food to last you a couple months, and she doesn’t eat very much, so you should be fine, for now. And she’s already gotten all of her shots, we’ll give you her vet records so you’ll know when to take her in to get her next set of shots. And if you have any questions, you can always ask us. We’re pretty seasoned with taking care of cat.”

Now, the tears really are flowing, but I don’t stop them. No words are needed as Aizawa takes my silent tears of joy as thanks enough, and he gives me a one-armed hug before pulling away.

”All of her stuff is in the car. We can give you a ride home, Midoriya.” Aizawa offers with a smile. “Oh, that’s okay, sensei! I can just walk, I don’t live very far.”

He just chuckles. “Maybe, but I doubt you’ll wanna walk back home with your arms pull of cats stuff while hauling a cat in a carrier.” I realize that he’s right, and that I probably don’t wanna do that. I laugh as an embarrassed blush forms on my face. “Y-Yeah, you’ve got a point, haha.”

Both men nod before making their way out the door. “Just give us a couple of minute to get some stuff sorted out in the office, and then we’ll take you both home.” They leave the room, leaving me alone with my new kitten. In that moment, I realize that she’s not just my cat, she’s also Kacchan’s cat, too.

I decide to take a quick selfie of me and the kitten, I snap the picture just as she’s looking up at the camera, and open up the chat log.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku: Check out our new fur baby! attachment: 1 image

Katsuki: Are you serious?!

Izuku: Yupp! She's a Ragdoll!

Katsuki: Where the hell did you get a cat from, Izuku???

Izuku: She was a gift from Aizawa and Present Mic lol

Katsuki: Oh ok lol that was nice of them, but I don’t know if I’m ready to be a parent.

Izuku: Nonsense! You’d make a great dad, Kacchan! Plus, how could you say no to this cute little face? Lol

Katsuki: Lmao ok ok, you got me there. So you’re bringing her home today?

Izuku: Yep. Aizawa and Present Mic said they would give me a ride home.

Katsuki: Cool.

Katsuki: Babe, you know that the deposit for a pet is gonna be like $250? I don’t mind paying it, but we’ve still gotta get food and toys and shit for it, too.

Izuku: Oh don’t worry. Aizawa got us everything we need. And they also covered the deposit for us, too. We’ve got everything we need :)

Katsuki: That’s a relief lol So have you thought of a name for her, yet?

Izuku: No lol you know I’m terrible at picking names lol Can you pick a name for her, Kacchan?

Katsuki: Lol sure

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kacchan doesn’t message back, right away, so I decide to busy myself by petting her soft tail. She lets out a purr that vibrates throughout my legs. Just then, I hear the phone vibrate with a new message.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katsuki: I’ve got the perfect name for her lol

Izuku: ???

Katsuki: Dall Might!

Izuku: Lmao what? xD

Katsuki: Yeah lol you know, it’s Doll and All Might mixed together, or we can call her Dall for short lol

Izuku: It’s perfect :)

Katsuki: Don’t you mean, ‘purrfect’? lmao

Izuku: Lmao you dork

Katsuki: Sometimes lol

Katsuki: I'm gonna get the place ready for the new kitty lol I’ll see you in a bit, babe.

Izuku: Ok Kacchan, see you soon :)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I set my phone down and hold Dall close to my chest as she meows, gently, and nuzzles her little face against my neck.

Amazing friends, a loving and supportive mother, dream school, awesome teachers, the perfect boyfriend and now, a new fur baby. There’s no way my life could get any better than this.

Chapter Text

Normal POV

Katsuki exhales a breath as he walks through the courtyard of Yuuei’s campus; the crisp chill of the early Autumn air feeling strangely refreshing as it nips at his nose and ears.

His suspension had ended on the 24th of September; it honestly went by a lot quicker than he’d expected. He turned in his apology letter as requested, and Nezu seemed satisfied. Despite having a shit ton of homework to make up, he wasn’t too worried about his grades dropping; as long as he got everything finished before the end of the term, he shouldn’t have to worry about being held back.

And as for his group project, much to his shock and relief, the deadline wasn’t until the 28th, which meant he and Hatsume had almost a week to get it turned in on time. Even so, despite his absence, Hatsume was kind enough to not only copy down her notes for him to use, but she’d also mentioned to him that her family home also had a garage-turned-lab which her parents didn’t mind them using, since he couldn’t go on campus to use the engineering lab.

In other words, he was still able to help his partner with getting the group invention finished in time, and they had received the full grade and credits for the project, despite him being gone for most of it.

Katsuki thanked Hatsume for helping him with the project and for putting up with his bullshit and nearly messing them both up, since him being absent would most likely have affected her grade, along with his. He offered to treat her to lunch or coffee as thanks, but she insisted that it wasn’t a big deal. They got the job done, and that was all that mattered.

He hated to admit it, but Hatsume isn’t all that bad. At least she’s humble.

It’s been a week, since then, and now he’s back to his normal, boring school life; though he secretly misses being at home all day with a certain adorable, freckle-faced, green-haired boy.

October has just started, and everyone is dressed to accomodate for the change in temperature; Katsuki, himself, is wearing a leather jacket and lace-up boots to help keep warm and look more fashionable. All of the high school students are wearing their fall uniforms, which consists of either the standard blazer or a gray cardigan.

The leaves on the trees are changing into their exquisite hues; bright reds, sharp yellows and oranges, and deep violets and browns, all in a mosaic of gorgeous fall colors. Katsuki has spotted a few Halloween decorations, every now and then; maybe he and Izuku can get together with the others and carve Jack-o-lanterns, together.

Better yet, on the 31st, all their friends can get together, dress up in costumes and have a party. Afterwards, everyone can crash at their place, eat a bunch of Halloween candy and watch scary movies. Plus, it would be a great chance to show off their new kitten, Dall.

Speaking of Dall, she’s an absolute angel.

She’s very playing and active; Izuku and Katsuki find it very amusing watching her run around and chase her own tail. When she’s not being active and energetic, she’s an amazing snuggler; Katsuki has walked on Izuku napping on the couch with Dall sprawled out on his chest like a toddler, and yes, he’s managed to sneak a few snapshots of the adorable scene. They got a bed for her, but as it turns out, she prefers to sleep in bed with the couple; she’ll either be squeezed between the two or she’ll sleep at the foot of the bed.

High schoolers are all busy with studying for midterms, so the library is jam packed with Yuuei uniforms. So much for having space to work on make up assignments. Luckily, however, next Monday is Sports Day, and students will have the day off from school.

Katsuki feels his phone vibrate with a new message. When he sees it’s from Izuku, he smiles and check on what his love is up to.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Izuku: Hey Kacchan!

Katsuki: Hello, my love.

Izuku: So, I just saw this really funny video of someone putting a cucumber next to a cat, and the cat saw it and freaked out lmao I’ve never seen a cat jump so high, in my life xD

Katsuki: Lol That is pretty funny

Izuku: So, I tried to do it with Dall, just now.

Katsuki: How did she take it? Lol

Izuku: ….she just sniffed it… -.-

Katsuki: Lmao

Katsuki: Now that’s what I call a cat that doesn’t give a fuck.

Izuku: I was hoping she would get scared and jump just like the cat in the video lol it didn’t work.

Katsuki: That’s cause our cat is badass lol

Izuku: Maybe it’s because she heard me freaking out about it lol I’ll gte her good, next time. Just gotta be more sneaky lol

Izuku: Get*

Katsuki: I believe in you lol

Izuku: ^^

Katsuki: I just made it to class. I’ll text you later, babe.

Izuku: Ok! I love you, Kacchan.

Katsuki: I love you too.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

-

 

One Week and Four Days Later: Friday October 12, 2018

”Babe? Is something wrong?”

Izuku quickly looks up from his phone with wide eyes; seeming a bit flustered. “Oh, yeah! Yeah, I’m fine, promise! Hahaha!” He laughs, nervously, while scratching the back of his head and trying to appear like everything’s okay, but Katsuki isn’t buying it.

For the past couple of days, Izuku’s been acting a bit...off. Katsuki has caught him on multiple occasions either sitting in their room staring off into space, muttering to himself more frequently(even for Izuku) or just staring at his phone with a blank expression. To put it simply, it was making Katsuki worry, to no end.

Right now, they were at one of the on-campus cafes having a small coffee date, it was fairly empty in the small, intimate space; just them, another student and the barista were present. But it seems as though even the relaxing aroma of coffee beans isn’t doing much to calm Izuku’s frazzled nerves.

Katsuki lets out a slightly annoyed huff before he speaks, again. ”Izuku. C’mon, I know that something’s up.” He gives Izuku a stern look, and after a few seconds, he finally drops the facade. Letting out a defeated sigh, he looks at Katsuki with glassy eyes.

”It’s just…sigh Mom’s been acting...kinda weird, lately.”

Katsuki tilts his head, a bit; slightly confused and even a tad worried. “Auntie’s been acting strange? Strange, how?”

Izuku looks down at his phone, again, before looking back up. “Well, I got this phone call from an unknown number, the other day. When I went to answer it, the person on the other line just hung up on me. Then, I got this strange text from Mom; she was saying that she loved me and that I didn’t have anything to worry about.”

”Huh.” Katsuki looks at Izuku with skepticism, not sure how to take the news. “That is kinda strange of her to do. Did you try talking to her about it?” Izuku nods his head. “I tried calling her, but she’d either never pick up the phone or it would go straight to voicemail. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m really starting to get worried.”

Katsuki leans back in his seat and rests his thumb and forefinger against his chin; trying to make sense of the whole thing. It does seem odd for Inko to send a message like that, and then immediately after that won’t answer any of Izuku’s calls. Not to mention that unknown number. Izuku’s usually really good at remembering people’s numbers, so for him to not recognize this one is troubling.

Then, a thought came to his mind. ”Did you ask Yagi about it? I mean, last time we saw her was when she and him were out, together. Maybe he might know something.”

Again, Izuku shakes his head no, looking crestfallen. “I did, but he just told me that Mom might just be busy with something and I shouldn’t worry too much. But that’s the problem: I am worrying. And it seems like nobody wants to tell me anything, on purpose.”

Katsuki rests his hand on top of Izuku’s, giving him a reassuring smile. “I understand you’re worried, Izuku. But I don’t think she’s in any danger; if that were the case, then we wouldn’t have heard from her, at all. Plus, Yagi and both of my parents would most likely have been on our asses about checking up on her.”

He internally cheers when his small banter manages to make Izuku giggle, softly. He then cups both of his hands around Izuku’s and pulls it towards his lips and plants a tender kiss over it.

”Tell you what, I don’t have any plans tomorrow. If you want, we can swing by her place and check on her; we don’t have to stay all day, we can just stop by for a couple of minutes and just see if she’s alright. You know, like a welfare check, except no police involvement.”

Izuku seems to ponder over this for a moment, then he smiles at Katsuki; his face appearing more lively than it did, earlier. “Okay, Kacchan! Sounds like a good idea!” Katsuki winks at him before kissing the back of his hand, again, making Izuku blush, furiously.

Are those butterflies he feels fluttering around in his stomach, or is it just his imagination?

 

-

 

Izuku’s POV

That same night, Kacchan and I are relaxing on the couch with Dall curled up in my lap while we watch TV.

Part of me is feeling a little nervous about visiting Mom, but there’s no reason to be. I mean, we’re just stopping by to check up on her, and it’s like Kacchan said, if there really was something wrong, we most likely would’ve been contacted by Yagi and everyone else who’s close to her, especially her co-workers and boss at her work.

’Everything’s gonna be fine. We’ll just swing by and see if she’s okay...that is if she’s even home, tomorrow. Oh no, what if she’s not there when we stop by? And if I can’t even get a hold of her, what’ll we do?!’

Just then, I’m startled out of my racing thoughts by the sound of my phone going off. Dall mewls, softly, before curling even tighter into a fluffy ball. I reach over and grab my phone from the coffee table and check the caller ID.

It’s the same unknown number.

”Huhh?!” I gasp out in surprise, causing Kacchan to look over at me. “What is it?” He asks, sounding concerned.

”It-It’s-It’s the-the numb-ber from b-before!” I stammer out, my hands trembling so hard I’m about to drop my phone. “Well, what are you waiting for? Answer it!” Kacchan says, getting a bit antsy.

Taking a deep breath, I answer the phone and press the speaker icon so that we can both hear the caller on the other line.

Except...nobody’s saying anything, yet.

*Uhh he-hello…?*

No answer. I look over at Kacchan who looks just as puzzled. I’m about to ask who this is when I hear a muffled voice on the other line; it sounds like two people are speaking in the background, but it’s hard to make out what they’re saying.

But then, I hear what sounds like a woman speaking.

*...-on’t say....-nythin-...He…-oesn’t need..kno-...*

And then, a man’s voice.

*..He has…-ight to know...et- me tell him…-e’s our so-*