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He'd been caught off guard. He'd gotten sloppy; allowed himself to get too comfortable, too soft, so who's f***ing fault could all of this possibly be other than his own?

Bakugou didn't even understand why he was so particularly hung up over it. He should have known, honestly, and should have been prepared. He'd had it coming for years now and he knew that karma was going to catch up to him eventually. He just hadn't been anticipating it to come around quite like this.

It was one thing that his classmates no longer wanted anything to do with him, he could respect that, but some of them could at least have the decency to just leave him alone and not glare holes into the back of his head all d*** day or try to rile him up for whatever stupid reason they have to be bothering him anymore, Half n' Half.

And it all centered around Deku. Of course it did. And of course everyone, including his own friend group, would effectively ostracize him in their scramble to come to the s***nerd's defense. Now, if it had been over an average petty squabble, he'd be on a warpath over it, because f*** them and f*** him for trying.

But this? This, he could understand to some degree, because even though it was in the past, it still did not paint the most flattering picture.

It had only been another episode between him and Deku. The class was used to them butting heads at this point, and thanks to familiarity, very few of them questioned why Deku would sometimes flinch when he got too close to his face or guard when he raised his fist as if it were programmed into the nerd's brain. There was a silent agreement between the two of them to not talk about it. At least, not until they were ready.

The only person who really knew anything was Kirishima, when he'd have a particularly bad night and would vent to the red-haired idiot and sometimes mention a tidbit or so of his and Deku's rocky history. Even then, however, he'd never revealed the worst of it.

And then come Thursday morning and he gets an earful from his mother out of left field because apparently she's having a rough week and wanted to rant at him to blow off stream and now everything's somehow his fault. They don't even hate each other. They just. Don't. Click.

But what would normally be a petty argument over nothing that would eventually calm down into snide remarks and a rough, well hidden apology from dear old mom somehow devolved into something a bit more sinister.

F***ing learn some d*** respect, you brat!” she hollered through the speaker, breathing harshly. “Don't talk to your mother like that!

“F*** you!”

F*** you!”

Honey, please...” could be heard in the background, his father's tone both nervous and dangerous. Neither paid him much attention.

“I F***ING HATE YOU!!!” he screamed out enough to shake the dorms, fully giving in to his seething rage. “I hate you so f***ing much!! Just go die in a gutter somewhere and leave me alone, d***it!!

Make it easier for both of us and go throw yourself into traffic!

“Choke on a d*** and croak, hag! I'll be there to dance on your ashes!”

THAT'S ENOU-

His father's yell was cut short as Bakugou ended the call and hurled his phone at the wall, snapping it in two and leaving a small crater in its wake. At the time, he couldn't care less. A broken desk chair and singed bookcase later, he'd be tearing through the halls with enough ferocity to cause Todoroki to back the f*** off.

Even Kirishima's efforts to calm him down were in vain, he was so p***ed, and Bakugou just didn't know what to do with himself. The anger was just building and building with no outlet, and he knew that sooner or later he was gonna explode, and someone was gonna get hurt, and it was gonna be on him. And so, in his blind rage, he turned to an old tactic that he hadn't used in a very long time.

Take it out on Deku.

Yelling, shoving and tripping, insults, and all the works. It was slightly startling to everyone just how hostile he'd suddenly become, and even the “squad” was keeping their distance. Deku, however, instead of doing the same and trying to stay away, was starting to pester him back, asking too many questions and giving him very questioning looks. It was different from the Deku that any of them knew. The one who kept his mouth shut and dealt with it in nervous uneasiness. It was certainly a far cry from the Deku that Bakugou knew back in middle school.

And then it was the end of the last class of the day when Bakugou shoved him out of his way and Deku immediately shoved him back, right into the wall.

The room went dead silent, Bakugou himself practically seeing red as Deku's eyes bore right into him. “Kacchan, what is your problem?! I thought we were past this!”

“None of your d*** business, s***ty Deku, now get the f*** outta my way!”

No!” Deku yelled, his fists clenched. “If you want to talk somewhere else, we can, but I am not letting it go! We've come so far! Or at least, I thought we did!”

He'd had screaming matches with many people in his life. His parents, his teachers, his classmates, random pr***s he'd run into on the street, but as far as he can remember, he'd never had one with Deku, because the stupid nerd would just stand there and take it. He always just took it. So, even though he'd never admit it out loud, it was slightly startling to hear the full volume that Deku's voice was capable of. It seemed that some of the others agreed, Earlobes and Tentacles in particular fleeing in order to protect their sensitive hearing.

Bakugou faintly remembered Four Eyes calling to get a teacher to break them up, more than one pair of footsteps scurrying off in response. They were probably terrified that two of the strongest students in their class were about to straight up throw down right in the middle of the classroom. At least at this point, the only damage done was both of their burnt and broken desks and a few eardrums.

Only a minute later and he didn't even know what they were saying anymore. He was just screaming insults for the sake of screaming insults and Deku was probably venting about a lifetime's worth of trauma directly at him. At this point, however, he didn't care. He could handle anything that Deku could dish out.

Says the guy who told me to kill myself!!

Except for that.

Bakugou flinched as if he'd been physically struck, rightfully not ready for the sudden revelation dropped in front of a good majority of their class. Deku, on the other hand, was a deer in the headlights, realizing exactly what he'd just said out loud only a millisecond too late and going sickeningly pale, throwing his hands over his mouth and looking up at his childhood friend with wide eyes filled with fear and regret.

Bakugou was painfully aware of how silent the room had suddenly become. He couldn't bring himself to look, even as Deku began to scan the sea of faces with tears in his eyes. Bakugou couldn't quite place the foreign emotions swirling in his stomach, but it did nothing to quell his fury.

“You...” He growled menacingly, with more venom than even he'd intended. Deku looked ready to throw up.

Something hurt. He didn't know what it was, but it hurt. He didn't like it.

F*** you.” he spat, pointedly grabbing his backpack and shoving Uniform's desk over as he made a hasty exit, only barely catching glimpses of his classmates' dumbstruck faces.

He could hear Deku practically tripping over himself to follow after him. “Kacchan, wait! I didn't-”

F*** YOU!!!” he screamed, blinded and drunk with rage as he slammed the door behind him with enough force to create an audible crack.

He tried to ignore the feeling of finality that followed.


 

To be completely honest, he had absolutely no clue how he and Deku hadn't been expelled yet, considering how they'd been at each others' throats recently. Of course, they hadn't talked at all since Thursday, but his point still stands.

No, scratch that. No one has really talked to him since Thursday.

Not since he found them all in a cluster in the common room that night, trying and failing to comfort the distraught nerd after forcing him to cough up far too many details about their middle school experience for either of their liking. The idiot was a sobbing mess, less likely from digging up old memories that he'd rather forget and probably more so from revealing such delicate information when neither of them were fully braced for the repercussions.

Not that any of those extras would ever realize that. No, when they all turned their gazes on him, they weren't looking at a fellow classmate in that moment. They didn't see a friend.

He knew what they saw, but he refused to acknowledge it.

Some he could convince himself that he didn't give two s***s about, but others stood out, such as Four Eyes's sheer disappointment and Icy Hot's literal shaking, attempting to stare a hole right through his forehead. Round Face looked ready to lunge over the couch and strangle him on the spot and Earlobes was wearing one of the ugliest sneers he'd ever seen. Any other context and he'd legitimately be impressed.

Something still hurt. He chose to ignore it.

He paused when he met Sparky's eyes. Kaminari looked as ready to throw hands as Uraraka did, and he wasn't sure how he felt about that, but something twisted in his stomach nonetheless.

Since when did he care what these extras thought of him, huh?

Sero wouldn't even look at him. He didn't know if he was suppose to be offended or not, but the f***er wouldn't even look at him, brows furrowed as he pointedly glared off to the side. He felt rage churning inside of him, his blood boiling in his veins, and he latched onto that feeling in its familiarity. His one constant.

But then his eyes locked with Ashido and Kirishima and everything became static.

Ashido looked betrayed, as if she was staring at an abomination.

(She despises bullying more than anything else.)

Kirishima looked exhausted, as if he was finally tired of his bulls***.

(How has he even put up with you for so long?)

He retreated like a f***ing coward.


 

The atmosphere of the city around them just seemed too d*** cheerful. It was crowded that day, the streets bustling with friends and families alike laughing like a bunch of screeching hyenas and blindly admiring all of the colors and sights assaulting their vision. Hero merch shops were everywhere, along with new restaurants, arcades, and other things of the sort. A lot of this area was relatively new to City A, so the noise was expected. He just wished that he hadn't been dragged into all of this. This was not how he wanted to spend his weekend.

F***ing h***, Kirishima.

The redhead was the literal next best thing that ever happened to planet Earth second only to All Might's hero debut and Bakugou could no longer be convinced otherwise. There was no other explanation, considering that out of everyone in his dumba** class, Kirishima was the only one who actually went out of his way to try and get his side of the story.

Not that it sounded any better. Bakugou was not the type of person to sugarcoat things.

“But you're not like that anymore.” Kirishima had reasoned as if it were obvious. Bakugou was not proud to admit that he'd gotten a bit emotional over it, but it was Kirishima, so it was fine.

He was his best friend. There. He said it.

He almost felt indebted, which drove him up the wall since he hated owing anyone anything, but the guy had chosen his side, even when he knew he was in the wrong, so the least he could do was come along when the idiot had invited him to tag along for their little excursion. As much as he didn't want to spend anymore time with his classmates and their stupid grudges(or Deku in general) than necessary, he felt like he owed it to Kirishima to stick with the guy as he'd done for him.

Of course, when they'd arrived at their destination, loud and irritatingly colorful and really f***ing crowded, he didn't expect for Aizawa to divide them into small assigned groups for a certain amount of time.

And he was convinced that Aizawa was out to get him too, because he was paired with Deku and Raccoon Eyes.

F***.

Awkwardly shuffling around the eighth hero merch store that they'd come across and Deku had begged to explore, Bakugou eventually found himself looking down from the indoor balcony of the two story merch store at the random extras browsing below. Up here, where there were less people, the mindless chatter from afar was almost relaxing, like background noise you'd fall asleep to. For a moment, he was alone with his thoughts.

Granted, they weren't the most reassuring, but still.

“Kacchan!” Deku chirped from somewhere to his left, a permanent smile plastered on his face trying to outshine the f***ing sun itself. Next to him, Ashido looked weirdly uncomfortable, refusing to look him in the eye.

He would never admit it out loud, but her reaction to everything might have hurt the most. He'd known her stance on bullying. She'd proclaimed it proudly on more than one occasion and had practiced her words religiously. Any time that the idiot parade would drag him off to go out on the town to hang out, and they came across any scene that even remotely resembled bullying, she would intervene, whether it was as small as aggressive name calling or a straight up beat down. It didn't matter.

He didn't care what they thought of him. He didn't.

He'd been worried about how she'd react.

“They have so much cool All Might stuff in the back!” Deku exclaimed, either not noticing or ignoring the tension in the air. Most likely the latter. “Come check it out!”

Bakugou glared at him, his scowl turning into a snarl. “F*** off, Deku. I'm not it the mood.”

Deku had been about to say something else when Ashido stomped her foot onto the ground with a slam. “The least you could do is say 'no thank you'.”

From the look on Deku's face, he was now acknowledging the aforementioned tension, looking at the acid quirk user in concern. Bakugou pushed himself off of the railing, crossing his arms and looking the girl straight in her stupid black eyes.

“Still gets the point across, doesn't it? Get off my back.” he says coolly, doing everything in his power to keep his temper under control. Lashing out now would lead to way too many problems that he neither the time nor patience for.

Ashido wasn't impressed. “The point you get across is that you're being a rude, selfish jerk!”

Deku cringed. Bakugou scoffed. “That all you got, horns?”

The pinkette's face turned a reddish color and she clenched her fists in anger. With a hard sigh, he shoved passed her. He could still feel his own temper rising, but he swallowed it down. This was a battle that he'd lost so many times in the past and if there was one thing he still hated more than anything else, it was losing.

“Stop being such a bully!” she spat behind him. He kept walking towards the left stairway. “You've always been such a bully! How did I not see that!?”

He took the first step down when she threw one last jab at him. “And you know what bullies are!? Villains, that's what!”

Ouch. That one kinda hurt.

He'd like to think it wasn't because they'd still been...allies earlier that week.

His steps must have faltered, because it was a second or so before he was back to putting one foot in front of the other, resolutely deciding that he would not give her the satisfaction of any hint of hurt, whether she'd been wanting it or not. H***, she might not even want to hurt him. She was probably just trying to get a point across and do what she thought was right. She's a good hero after all. That's what he begrudgingly told himself as he reached the ground floor and made his way to the doors, ignoring the sharp sound of the wind picking up.

A moment later found him throwing a punch at the wall outside the store with a muffled curse before heavily planting himself on a thankfully empty bench and rubbing his temples due to an oncoming headache.

This was beyond aggravating. If he'd known that the majority of his time would not be spent with Weird Hair, he would have declined.

It didn't surprise him that just about everyone in his vicinity did everything in their power to avoid eye contact and keep themselves and their brats within a certain distance of him, probably due to the powerful rage aura he must be subconsciously emitting. A large part of him was grateful, as it meant less annoyances from random extras that might otherwise wander a little too far into his personal space.

A smaller part that sounded suspiciously like Deku oh so helpfully reminded him that people shouldn't be afraid of their heroes.

“Kacchan?” Well, speak of the devil.

Deku had somehow materialized next to him, alone, he realized, with an unbelievably irritating amount of sympathy in his eyes. Wringing his hands nervously, the nerd fearlessly took the seat next to him, clutching at his knees. “You, uh... You doing okay?”

“Why the h*** would I not be?” he bit back, looking pointedly away.

Awkward silence ensued, Deku's mumbling being the only sound outside of the constant murmur of the crowd around them.

“I, uh...” Deku began, sounding as if he wasn't sure what to say. “I got into a fight with Ashido.”

He finally turned to look at the nerd and cocked an eyebrow. “You? Get into a fight? With someone other than me?”

Deku chuckled at that, though his face fell a moment later. “I... I didn't like what she said. I know she's just trying to defend me, and everyone else is too, but... I don't like it.”

He exhaled sharply. “It's not fair. I-”

“The f*** do you mean, 'not fair'?” Bakugou interrupted. “Karma's a b****, Deku. I've had this coming for a while now. It was only a matter of time-.”

“IT'S. NOT. FAIR.” Deku said more forcefully than anything he'd ever said before, especially when disagreeing with Kacchan to his face.

Bakugou grimaced.

Deku breathed in slowly before letting out a long sigh. “I haven't been afraid of you in a long time,” he said. “And you haven't done anything that really hurt me in years. We're not the same people.”

His eyes hardened. “I'm stronger because of you. You're kinder because of them.”

“That's pretty f***ed up, Deku.”

“But it's the truth, and I'm grateful for that.”

Deku leaned back into the bench, the tension leaving his body. “Yeah, the things you did and said were a little messed up-.”

“A little?”

“Okay, yeah, really messed up, but...now? Now I feel like I can take on the entire world and come back smiling!”

His pearly whites reappeared, and Bakugou almost felt as if he had to squint. “And I don't mean I'm, like, jaded now or anything, but I have tougher skin, and that will really help me in the future! I'm a stronger person because of you!”

“Idiot. That doesn't make it any less wrong.”

“That's not what I'm saying.” the shorter teen argued, sitting back up and staring out at the crowd with a serene look and a soft smile on his face. “What happened between us was really unfortunate and has lasting repercussions, but it's not the end of the world. What's done is done. In the end, something good came out of a bad situation, a silver lining of sorts, 'cause good always prevails, just like how heroes always win. Get it?”

Deku was looking at him with a glowing smile and his arms outstretched as if he'd just explained the secrets of the universe, holding said look even as Bakugou gave him the most incredulous stare he could muster. He finally looked away, Deku shifting next to him and once again clutching his knees.

It was probably only a minute or two, but it felt like hours before Bakugou huffed. “You said you got into a fight with Black Eyes?”

Deku startled, looking up at him with wide eyes before sheepishly looking away, his face turning red. “I, uh... Yeah, I... Aha.” he stammered. “I may have...lost my temper.”

He looked completely away from him, hiding his face. “Did you, uh...feel any breeze? You know, before you walked out?”

There was a moment of silence as Bakugou put two and two together and his eyes widened in shock. “What the f***?! You took a f***ing swing at her!?”

“I came really close.” he admitted, wringing his hands again. His voice watery with guilt. “I'm glad I stopped myself before I actually hit her. I don't think I would have ever forgiven myself... I still feel really bad about it. I probably really scared her... I plan on apologizing later, but I just... I...”

He curled in on himself, glaring at the ground. “I was so mad. I just hate this so much. If I hadn't opened my big mouth-.”

“F***ing h***, Deku, don't even start with that.”

“I hate how everyone's treating you! I hate it so much! They're acting like you're still the same person you were when all of that happened and you're not!”

The idiot stood up at that, still glaring daggers at the ground and trying not to cry. “They don't know anything! They don't know!

Bakugou kept his face neutral as he stared at the overemotional nerd rubbing harshly at his eyes in an attempt to keep it together. He was willing to bet that Deku just wasn't as accustom to being this angry over something of this nature. He sat down heavily, taking a deep breath to calm himself down before they fell back into silence, and for some unexplainable reason, it was surprisingly comfortable.

And then Deku turned to him sharply and they made eye contact, his eyes hardened and holding a level seriousness and energy that caught him off guard.

“Read my lips, Kacchan. You are not a villain.”

He would take it with him to his grave, but the force and determination, the resolve behind his proclamation made his heart stutter for a moment. Deku must have caught on the second before he looked away, because he seemed to brighten back up, leaping up and moving to stand directly in front of him.

“So, on a less intense topic, about the All Might merch in there, what I was going to say is that they actually have some really rare items in there. I even saw figurines from his debut, even before the golden age!”

That caught his attention. All Might's first hero outfit had fallen into obscurity years ago, so only extreme fanboys, like the one in front of him(and himself, but nobody else needed to know that), could recognize it that easily. “S***, for real?”

Deku lit up like a Christmas tree at his acknowledgment. “Yeah! Yeah, and they've even got those really valuable gold plated ones for collectors that sell for thousands online! And they're super cheap, so I don't think they even realize their value!”

Deku was practically vibrating with excitement in front of him. “Come on, please, please, please? You're the only one that gets All Might merchandise like I do and I really don't want to talk to Ashido right now...” He trailed off at the end, most likely still feeling like human garbage for even wanting to hit her, if Bakugou knew him as well as he unfortunately did. However, Deku shook his head and smiled back at him, holding his hand out invitingly.

And then he flinched, going wide eyed for a moment as he glanced at his outstretched hand and suddenly had a moment of panic, pulling it back and clutching it tightly to his chest while laughing sheepishly. “Sorry... Force of habit.”

Bakugou sighed loudly, pushing himself off the bench and bending his back, an audible but comfortable crack following. “You know what? I'm feeling petty and got nothing better to do. Let's go.”

Compared to all of Deku's other smiles, the sun had nothing on the way his dumb f***ing face was shining right then. “Really?! Like, for real? You mean it?”

“Shut the f*** up, Deku.”

The nerd jumped, scrambling to cover his mouth, but kept on smiling nonetheless. “Right. Shutting up.”

Deku ran ahead as Bakugou briskly walked after him, disappearing behind the glass doors and making a beeline for the stairs. He must have gotten scolded for running, because Bakugou walked in to find him apologizing and bowing to a stern-looking retailer by the front desk in a manic fashion and sweat flying off his face. Bakugou didn't wait for him, making his way up the staircase with Deku catching up a moment later, his face redefining the color red. It looked darker than Kirishima's hair dye.

The next several minutes were not as bad as they could have been, considering that he was in Deku's company. They've had way worse days, anyway. It was mostly spent with them looking through all of the All Might merchandise on the second floor, Deku gushing over every single thing he got his hands on while Bakugou admired the rarer items on sale and would occasionally throw jabs at Deku to keep his Must Be An A**hole levels balanced.

He decidedly ignored Ashido watching them. He didn't know where she was, but he knew she was there.

“Hey, look at this one!” Deku laughed. “Look at the jacket. Don't you have one of those?”

“The h***?” It was a small figurine of All Might's younger days, back when he worked in the US, with rounder facial features, unfamiliar white scleras, and sporting a comfortable but fashionable varsity jacket.

Bakugou snorted. “Well, what do you know? He actually had a sense of fashion at one point.”

“Oh, come on, Kacchan. It's not that bad.”

“Don't you dare even try to defend that banana suit. It's f***ing hideous.”

“His hero suits all look cool, though.”

“He didn't design them, moron.” Bakugou countered. “They were all done by that Shield f***.”

“Please don't call Melissa's dad a f***, Kacchan.”

Bakugou nearly choked while Midoriya's face reentered its perceptual state of embarrassment. As hilarious as hearing Deku cuss was, the idea of giving him the satisfaction of making him laugh made him queasy. Queasier than he'd expected, because he felt kind of sick all of a sudden.

The feeling grew in intensity at a rapid pace.

The air stayed out of his lungs and suddenly he was hyper aware, his twitching fingers begging to attack. He felt his heart squeeze and his eyes widened.

It was disturbingly sudden, but he knew this feeling.

He turned back towards Deku, who was staring directly back at him with wide, terrified eyes. He was sweating profusely, his shaking hands clenched tightly into fists and his breathing erratic.

Kacchan.

I know.

The two of them raced towards the railing, eyes scanning the area and the outside through the giant windows for any sign of danger. Deku's hands were wrapped around the railing so tightly that Bakugou heard it creak under the pressure.

“This isn't even normal!” Deku hissed through clenched teeth. “I've been dealing with the fidgety feeling for years and I've never felt it appear this quickly.”

“So being slammed in the f***ing gut out of left field isn't normal?” Unfortunately, he wouldn't exactly know. The whole “fidgety feeling” thing was still relatively new to him, so as much as he absolutely loathed it, Deku was the expert here.

No! It's always gradual! Even if it's a quicker build up, it always-”

The world shook.

The sudden momentum nearly threw them both over the balcony. Screams and shrieks could be heard all around them as people, products, and property alike were violently thrown around and the building groaned loudly as it slowly leaned towards the side. The large windows above shattered, raining glass down on fleeing civilians as they shielded themselves and their kids from the falling debris.

So, this “Hero Sense” can predict even the most procrastinated villain scheme or a single random moment of extreme danger several hours in advance, and yet it still doesn't have the balls to f*** with motherf***ing nature.

Duly noted.

“Kacchan!” Deku screamed in his ear and made him wince, but with a quick look behind them, it was clear that they were the only ones on the second floor.

“This floor looks clear! We have to go!”

“But what if-!”

“Hasn't Aizawa taught you anyway!? We'll be of no f***ing use if we get squashed! Now move it!”

With that, the two leaped off of the balcony, launching themselves through the broken windows and skidding around the ground outside. The second his feet touched the ground, Deku was hauling a** like it was on fire, vanishing into the crowd to help with rescue efforts right then and there, and Bakugou couldn't even think of having a say in it before he was alone.

It was difficult to get his bearings between the panicked crowd and the earth throwing a hissy fit, but ultimately, this kind of situation was not his forte. There was no villain to beat the s*** out of. This was a natural disaster. This was entirely rescue.

And he was gonna get to practice with a real life situation and real life consequences. F***ing fantastic.

The building was emptied out, and the majority of the crowd had moved away. Off to the side, Bakugou spotted the color pink, Ashido yelling at a boy with what liked like his younger sister to not hide under anything like a dumba** and get out in the open before they get flattened. After yanking them out from under the low hanging balcony, it caved, demolishing the land where the two had been curled under moments ago.

From behind, there was a huge crash, and Bakugou turned just in time to watch the hero merch shop fall to the ground with a resounding roar. He could only hope that everyone made it out. The hundreds of dollars of merchandise were gone for sure, though, and that was a real shame.

The world had been shaking for thirty seconds.

Where in the fresh h*** did Deku f*** off to?!

The building next door to the now destroyed merch shop swayed dangerously, people screaming and backing up as dust coated the entire area. Another building down the street collapsed, taking down another one near by. In response, Round Face and Tail appeared, already getting distance between the rubble and the populous and preparing to start searching once the shaking stopped.

And it did. Despite the severity of the earthquake, it barely lasted a minute.

It was astonishing, how easily the world around them was destroyed in a single minute. The streets had been torn in half, people barely avoiding falling to their deaths as a sinkhole opened up a ways down the street and swallowed up what looked like an entire block.

Somehow, the building next to the now destroyed merch shop was still standing, leaning over dangerously as terrified cries rang out. From the looks of things, heroes were already responding down the way, but if there were people still trapped, then they needed help now. Aftershocks were a thing, after all. That, and the Hero Sense was really kicking in now, which only meant bad things.

Seriously, where the f*** is Deku!?

His eyes once again zeroed in on the faulty building, and somehow he knew that the idiot nerd heard those cries for help, too.

F*** it.

He took off in a sprint, letting his feet move on their own and carry him towards the groaning structure. He shoved passed several bystanders, all milling around like a bunch of morons instead finding their bearings and maybe a safer location. As he broke through the crowd, he saw a woman with an infant run out of the building sobbing, looking back expectantly as she cradled her screaming brat. Each second, her face fell, until she was nearly falling to the ground in despair.

This is a warning issued by the hero agency systems of City A.” an overhead voice rang out throughout the district. All able citizens are asked to evacuate the area due to the imminent threats of aftershocks and heavy flooding. Heroes will direct you to the nearest shelter. If you are unable, then you are advised to search for steady, high ground or wait for heroes or emergency services to escort you to safety.

Wait, flooding?

It had been a minor detail when they'd first come here, thus unimportant, but there was a huge reservoir a distance from the new district that must have been damaged by the earthquake. If that's the case, then this really is a race against time, 'cause that will be a f*** ton of water.

“Hey, lady!” Bakugou yelled, the woman's eyes snapping up to meet his. “What's going on here? Did you see a dumb-looking nerd with green hair and freckles come through here?”

The woman gasped. “Are you with him?! And the pink girl, too!? You have to help me! My daughters are still in there!”

“You've gotta be kidding me.” So, Deku and Black Eyes are both in there. This day just keeps getting better.

With little more prompting, he ran in, immediately having a coughing fit from all of the dust in the air. Rubble could be heard falling in the distance as the building continued to lean and moan with petrifying indications. As he lifted his shirt over his nose, he stopped, listening for any signs of life that may be hidden behind the wall of contaminated air. Almost instantly, the sound of a small child crying could be heard. Bakugou zeroed in on it, blindly feeling his way through the foggy air. He would create sparks to try and see better, but he thought he could smell gasoline.

He stumbled across a silhouette, a small child continuing to cry over some rubble on the floor, and Bakugou found himself pushing through the ruined, partially collapsed building just a little bit faster with his heart stuck in his throat.

“Is anyone there?” he yelled through the dust, watching as the silhouette jerked up, leaping up and waving its arms wildly.

“Over here!” the little girl screamed, jumping up and down as Bakugou finally reached the spot. If anyone asked, he would deny remembering the moment that all the blood left his face and made him white as a ghost.

Laying under some of the rubble was the stupid f***ing nerd. His leg was twisted in a sickeningly angle and blood slowly pooled around his head and side. From the looks of it, he'd barely missed the heaviest of the s***, Bakugou cringing at the flattened fingers of his left hand under the giant piece of what used to be a wall.

“He got me out of the way and now he's hurt.” the girl cried, big fat crocodile tears streaming down her face. He vaguely registered the sound of rubble moving a distance to his right. “Please help him!”

Bakugou let out a long sigh of annoyance. “This f***ing idiot.” he muttered to himself. The rubble that had fallen on him was heavier than he thought, which was concerning, but it didn't take too long to dig the moron out.

“Come on, come on...” Freeing his fingers was the hardest part, fighting against what felt like the weight of the entire building in order to free his hand and hopefully not ruin Deku's arm more than the idiot already has over the last several months. After what felt like an eternity, he was finally able to pull Deku's unconscious form away from the mess of metal and concrete. There was a nasty looking gash on his side, and for a moment, Bakugou wondered if the idiot had bled out. F***ing s***nerd moron.

The floor jerked beneath him, sending him and the brat to the ground. The building groaned dangerously in the face of the expected but unfortunate aftershock, like a beast preparing to devour its prey, as rebar and concrete began to rain from above them. The girl screamed, crying as a slab of concrete came just a little too close to crushing all of them.

“Hey, kid!” Bakugou yelled with just a little too much bite, pulling Deku into his arms bridal style. “Hop on my back! I'll give you a piggyback ride or something like that, yeah? I need you to work with me here!”

Thankfully, the girl complied, immediately climbing onto his back and holding on tightly as he settled his cargo and bolted into the swirling dust. He could hear the building collapsing all around him, literally tons of debris slamming into the ground as he ran. For once in his life, he could actually thank his lucky stars that the rubble was so nice as to build a pathway for him. The light of the outside world was shining through the foggy air and he couldn't help but feel relief flood his system.

“Kacchan...?” Deku slurred, regaining consciousness. “What happened? The girl?”

“I got her, Deku. Just shut up for once in your sorry life.”

They broke through, the light blinding him and nearly sending him tumbling to the ground, kid, idiot, and all. There was a shrill cry, the woman from before being held back by a man as Bakugou approached them. It took all of his self control and memory of injuries to not just drop Deku like a hot potato. The girl hopped off, running to her mother and hugging her tightly as another building across the street collapsed and sent dust flying.

Deku struggled against his grip. “And Ashido?”

Wait, Horns was still in there, wasn't she?

F***.

“I'm going back for her.” he said, attributing the shaking in his voice to the earth as he set the nerd down.

“Wait!” he yelled, wincing at his destroyed body as Bakugou stood back up as turned to the couple. “He needs an ambulance, now!”

The couple didn't even get the chance to respond as he turned and sprinted back towards the building, leaning and grinding against itself in a display of danger and imminent death.

Things would never be easy for him, would they?

Going back into the dust cloud met going practically blind once again. Sounds were muted against the loud groans of the building, so Bakugou had to just follow his instincts and run, constantly tripping over rubble and dodging debris at the last minute a few times too many. At one point, he ate s*** entirely, foot getting caught and throwing him straight into the ground. F***, his nose was probably bleeding now.

There was a scream somewhere in the distance, Bakugou blindly following the sound of feminine voices just above the cacophony of screeching metal above them and through the haze of dust and dirt irritating his eyes and lungs.

Even through the contaminated air, he could see the bright pink breaking through the gray surrounding them. There was crying, revealing a girl around their age with a nasty cut on her arm. Ashido was reassuring her, pulling her away from the mess of rebar surrounding them and patting her shoulder.

“Horns!” he yelled, coughing as dust filled his lungs. She turned to him, looking a lot happier to see him than he'd been expecting, and yanking the girl along with her.

“This is the last civilian in here! We gotta go!” she screamed above the noise.

Bakugou nodded, grabbing the girl's other arm and dragging them both along with him. It was almost the exact same scenario as before, dangerous debris falling all around them as the girl continued to scream in terror of her approaching death. The sight of light filling the swirling dust cloud caused her to sob in relief.

“We're okay!” Ashido continued to reassure her. “Everything's gonna be fine!”

The ground caved behind them. Bakugou may have felt fear before, but there were few times that he was scared enough to actually show. Seeing the floor disappear behind them and a massive crack appear in front of them was one of those times.

The girl panicked, pulling away from them and the dangerous hole appearing ahead of them. Ashido yelled something, pulling her back towards them as the ground shifted, dropping them down a few inches.

Of course. Of f***ing course .

The building was collapsing, and it was collapsing right f***ing now.

Thinking fast, Bakugou hauled the flailing girl to him by her waist, running up to the edge beyond oblivion and straight up throwing her to safety.

F***ING RUN!!!

She hit the ground hard, bouncing off and rolling to a stop. There was a moment of relief that shot through him as she reacted almost immediately, leaping to her feet and sprinting for the exit in tears. Concrete came raining down where she'd once been, blocking out the light of the outside world.

He felt everything jerk to the side and throw his balance off before he saw anything, dust clouding his vision and irritating his lungs as the earth itself opened up to swallow them whole. For a single moment, in a millisecond's time, his wild eyes locked with Raccoon Eyes', hers alight with fear and adrenaline-fueled desperation. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realized that it was the first time she'd looked at him with something other than long deserved hatred in days.

The groaning of the building around them became so unbearably loud that he could barely make out anything around them, and everything shifted again. Distant cries could be heard for a moment, and he could only hope that the b**** is out of harm's way and hasn't rendered this whole f***ing suicide mission pointless.

If anyone ever asked, he would vehemently deny the sharp spike of fear that shot through his entire being when he felt the ground itself give way and the ceiling cave in above them. Somewhere in front of him, shrouded in an impenetrable wall of dust and concrete, Ashido screamed.

And then he was free falling.