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The Reason It's Wrong

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“Mama! When can I go to school?” Izuku bounced from foot to foot, his little rabbit ears bobbing with his movements. “It gets boring in the house all day. I want to go out and make some friends!”

 

His mother, Inko, wiped her hands on her apron, stepping away from the dishes she had just finished washing. She patted down her son’s ears, brushing her palm over his curly green head. Izuku stood up on tiptoes to lean into her touch.

 

“Well, hopefully, you’ll be able to join everybody at school right on time next year if you have better control at hiding your ears and tail.”

 

He tugged at her long skirt. “But why do I have to hide them? Why do you and dad always hide them? Doesn’t it feel better to keep them out?”

 

She kneeled down in front of him and answered patiently, “Izuku, I’ve tried to tell you before, but most people aren’t like us. Weres like us need to hide.”

 

“But why can’t I just make some Were friends then?” His big, lonely, green eyes sparkled up at her and Inko’s heart fell to pieces as she swooped her baby boy up into her arms.

 

“Most Weres don’t reveal themselves to other Were species, darling. It’s safer this way. To protect ourselves from humans and predator Weres.”

 

“What would be worse, Mama?” Izuku struggled from her hold to better peer up at her curiously.  “A human or a predator?”

 

“Definitely the predator,” Izuku’s eyes lit up with excitement, but Inko’s chest tightened at even having to think about all the terrible things that could befall her one and only child. “Humans tend to have some semblance of sympathy for animals and they have a weakness for anything cute, which you most certainly are!” She booped him on the nose and he giggled. “But a predator Were would feel nothing upon seeing you all shrunken down into my little ball of fluff. Nothing but the pure instinct to catch and feast!”

 

Inko let out a play growl and shaped her hands into pretend claws. Izuku laughed and escaped her grasp, racing out of reach. She stood up to chase him, intent on tickling him until he was breathless. She almost had him when her hands folded around his clothes and empty air. The little form of her boy morphed into that of a small bunny.

 

The tiny thing bounded around the room, binking in its excitement. Inko sighed to herself and rubbed at her temples. “Izuku, I told you, you shouldn’t shift!” She went to the windows and drew the curtains closed.

 

She turned back into the room. The floor was devoid of her child. Without the natural light of day, it was too dark to see inside their small apartment.

 

“Izuku?”

 

She stepped further into the room, letting her own ears spring forth. With her heightened senses, she caught the sound of scuffling on the hardwood. Inko followed it to the back of the room, getting on her knees to look under the couch.

 

Izuku’s twitching nose was the first thing that greeted her. Then she took in the rest of his trembling body. “Oh, no, baby. It’s okay. Mommy just gets worried, you know? You don’t have to be scared.”

 

Izuku cautiously hopped out and into her waiting hands. She lifted him into her lap to stroke the space between his ears. “Shhhhh shhhh. It’s okay. You’re okay. You just can’t shift at the drop of a hat like that. It could be dangerous. Maybe we should wait the extra year for school... until you’re ready?”

 

The way he pushed out from under her hand and stared up at her told Inko all she needed to know concerning his opinion on that particular subject.

 

“I know. I know. You’re lonely and you want friends. It wouldn’t be such a bad idea to let you out of the house more, I guess? We could have some practice runs. Maybe take you to the park?”

 

Izuku’s little front paws had him bouncing up and down in her lap, he was so excited.

 

“Okay, okay! But you have to shift back and we’ll need to do something about your ears.”





Two weeks later, Inko found herself tying a knitted snow cap with floppy rabbit ears around her boy’s head.

 

“How does that feel? Too tight? Too warm?”

 

“Just right!” He beamed at her.

 

She smiled back at him. “And your tail?”

 

He shifted on his feet uncomfortably. “I don’t like it so smushed down, but it’s okay.”

 

“There really isn’t much we can do about that, now is there?” She put her face in her hand, contemplative. She smiled at him. “You do look awfully cute in that hat though. Are you ready to go to the park and make some friends?”

 

Izuku nodded excitedly. “Yes!”

 

She grabbed his hand. “Then let’s go!”





Inko watched Izuku from a park bench as he happily bounded up to a group of boys about his age. Everything looked to be going okay. Izuku was still smiling after all. But she still eyed him nervously from afar, afraid to look away.

 

“This your first time at the park?” Inko startled and turned to the bench’s new occupant. “Relax! My kid’s out there with yours. You can take a breather and enjoy a friendly conversation with a fellow park mom.” The woman was maybe a little older than Inko, blonde. She was fiercely beautiful and had an air about her that made a person snap to attention at a word.

 

“O-oh, sorry. Yes, this is our first time here.”

 

“Which one is yours? The one with the rabbit ears?”

 

Inko swallowed and nodded.

 

“Thought so. Haven’t seen him before either. It’s a cute hat. Did you make it for him?”

 

“Y-Yes.”

 

The woman sighed. “It’s a shame, but most boys around his age probably aren’t gonna think it’s so cute. My son would set fire to the drapes if I tried to put that cap on his head.”

 

“I- Sorry? Is it bad for him to wear something like that?”

 

“Oh, no. It’s not like that. I just know how kids can be and I don’t really wanna see yours getting ganged up on for something as simple as a cutesy hat.”

 

As if on cue, Izuku ran back to the bench, tear tracks trailing down his face. Inko stood up and let him run into her arms.

 

Damn! She hadn’t meant to get so distracted. What happened while she wasn’t looking? The hat was still on, thank God.

 

“Izuku, sweetie. What’s wrong, baby? Are you alright?”

 

Izuku struggled to get out the words. “O-One of the boys over there!” He pointed to the children, huddled together and looking over at them. They sheepishly kicked up dirt. “One of them bit me!”

 

What? !” Both Inko and the other park mom exclaimed.

 

The blonde mom stood up and pointed at her feet. “KATSUKI! GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE RIGHT THIS INSTANT!”

 

A little blond boy with eyes as red as his mother’s clicked his tongue and started making his way over.

 

Explain ,” her voice was so commanding, Inko felt the need to suppress a shiver.

 

“I didn’t bite him! ” The boy, Katsuki, his mother had called him, screamed. “I bit his hat!”

 

His mom gave him a small slap upside the head. Inko flinched, but the boy merely looked annoyed.

 

“Whatcha do that for, old hag?!”

 

“You watch your mouth, brat! You can’t just go around biting people or their clothes,” she quickly amended the admonishment when he opened his mouth to argue further. “You scared him. Now apologize.”

 

Katsuki clicked his tongue again and turned his glare at Inko and her son. She instinctively tugged Izuku closer, but whispered into his ear, “He’s going to say he’s sorry. Be polite and face him, okay?”

 

Izuku sniffled, but turned to the pouting boy.

 

“Well?” The other mom scooted her son forward.

 

“M’sorry,” he grumbled out, clearly unapologetic.

 

Izuku didn’t seem to mind. He brushed away his tears and smiled at him. “Okay!” Inko sighed, relieved at her boy’s swift to forgive nature.

 

The other mom pinched her son’s ear and hollered down at him, “That was the most piss poor attempt at an apology that I’ve ever seen. You are so lucky he accepted it. Oh!” She stopped her tirade and looked at Inko. “I forgot to introduce myself earlier. My name is Bakugou Mitsuki.” Inko took her hand. “And this brat is my little fireball, Katsuki. We live just up the street.”

 

Inko bowed her head a little. “I’m Midoriya Inko and this is Izuku. We live up the street, but in the other direction.”

 

“Oh, cool. That means we’ll be seeing more of each other. And I’ll probably have to be breaking up more fights between our kids. It’s always nice to have another mom friend in the neighborhood.”

 

Inko’s heartbeat picked up speed. Her cheeks heated and she felt a small swell of happiness rise up. It had been so long since she had a friend to confide in. The last friends she had made had been in college, but, after getting pregnant, it just wasn’t going to be safe for Izuku if they kept in touch.

 

She grinned up at Mitsuki gratefully. “Thank you, we’ll be in your care!”

 

Mitsuki flushed and waved her hand in front of her dismissively. “Hey, quit that! No need to be so formal. You’re gonna make me all flustered.”

 

“Can I go back to playing with everyone else now?”

 

Mitsuki clicked her tongue and Inko suppressed a laugh at how similar her expression was to her son’s.

 

“You may, but you’re gonna take Izuku with you and you’re gonna behave, understand me?”

 

“Sure, sure.” Katsuki didn’t wait for Izuku as he sprinted out of his mom’s grasp and headed for the group of boys. Izuku scurried after.





Katsuki eyed up the newcomer warily. There was something off about him. About the way he bounded over to his little pack and introduced himself without reservations. The other two boys with him had looked at Katsuki questioningly, silently asking permission if they were allowing the newcomer entry.

 

“Hah? What did you say your name was?” Katsuki hadn’t bothered to listen the first time.

 

“I said my name is Midoriya Izuku. I’m four years old. How old are you? Would you like to be friends?”

 

Katsuki took a step back, overwhelmed with how quickly this other boy could spew words from his mouth.

 

Izuku was unperturbed by his trepidation, stepping closer to him. He peered up into his face with big, curious, green eyes. “What’s your name?”

 

A waft of something delicious floated up and delighted Katsuki’s senses. His wolf traits itched to spring forth. He clenched his jaw and kept them hidden. “Bakugou Katsuki.”

 

“Ah! So, Kacchan!”

 

One of his cronies snorted. The other simply restated in disbelief, “Kacchan...?”

 

Katsuki growled and pushed Izuku back. “What the hell is with that pansyass nickname, huh? And why the hell are you wearing such a dumb hat? You’re weird!”

 

Izuku, to his credit, didn’t even react to any of the cruel remarks. Instead, he pulled the ears of his hat down bashfully. “Oh this? My mom made it for me!”

 

“That’s pretty skillful...” One of Katsuki’s minions muttered.

 

“Still not really something I would ever wear...” The other remarked.

 

Katsuki had just about enough of Izuku’s jovial demeanor. He was being threatening, goddammit! Was this whelp just making fun of him? He wasn’t some bristling lapdog!

 

He released another growl and took one of the ears from Izuku’s hands. The other boy flinched. It felt firmer than Katsuki thought it would be.

 

That tantalizing scent from before lapped at his nose and drew him in. He felt his pulse quicken and he couldn’t help when his teeth clamped down.

 

Izuku gasped. A small hint of blood filled Katsuki’s mouth. He quickly licked his canines as he pulled back, wiping them clean. The sweet taste of prey lingered in his mouth.

 

Rabbit.

 

Izuku looked shell shocked, practically on the verge of tears. Katsuki watched the rabbit sprint back over to his mother and his own legs itched to give chase.

 

Not here. You aren’t allowed to shift here.

 

His mother called him over and made him apologize. He tried to catch her eye during the exchange, but she seemed to be enamored with making friends with the rabbit’s mother. His mom hardly had any actual friends of her own, being too aggressive and loud for most other parents to stand.

 

He looked at the rabbit, face pressed against his mother’s skirt, sniveling and quivering. His eyes focused on the subtle twitch of his ears behind the hat. He rejoiced in the supple flavor of fear scent rolling off him in waves. Katsuki licked his lips remembering the taste.

 

There was no way in hell he was gonna tell his mother that they were in the company of two very wary rabbits. It was her fault for being so distracted by a possible pack mate to the point that she didn’t even realize she was trying to induct a prey animal.

 

Besides, this boy was Katsuki’s prey and Katsuki’s alone. Like hell he was sharing.

 

“I didn’t bite him! I bit his hat!” Katsuki watched relief sweep over the mother rabbit. He hated playing dumb, but, if it gave everyone else here peace of mind enough to let him hunt uninhibited, then so be it.

 

The rabbit forgave him easy enough, his little prey brain too naive and trusting. Katsuki didn’t have to look behind him when he took off to know that Izuku was following him.

 

They made it back to the other boys, perfectly out of earshot of their mothers. Katsuki quickly turned on his heel, getting into the rabbit’s face. “Did you know? Your name can be read in another way.”

 

“You can read kanji, Kacchan?” One of the other boy’s eyes sparkled in admiration. Katsuki made no comment on the continued use of his new nickname, since he planned on giving Izuku one of his own.

 

He picked up a stick and drew the characters out in the sand. “Izuku can also be read Deku .”

 

The rabbit’s eyes sparkled. “Wow! What does that mean?”

 

“It means useless. Someone who can’t do anything.” He grinned ferally at him.

 

Deku shrunk down, his ears dipping down a smidge. Katsuki’s friends snickered behind his back.

 

“That’s... kind of mean, Kacchan.”

 

“Well, what do you plan on doing about it? Gonna run and cry to your mom again?”

 

Deku puffed up and made a determined face. “No! I’ll stay and play with you guys! I won’t get upset like that again!”

 

“Good. Cause we’re playing tag now.” Katsuki pushed him down. “And you’re it. Run! ” The other boys scattered at his command.

 

Deku got up and immediately gave chase to Katsuki, probably determined to prove himself by tagging the boys’ leader.

 

As if you could ever catch me.

 

Katsuki led him outside of the playground and into the wooded area just beyond. He slipped under a fence and heard Deku struggle with getting under unscathed. Katsuki ducked behind a tree, crouching down and watching as Deku sprinted right by his hiding spot.

 

Now it was his turn to chase!

 

He stalked the rabbit through the wooded area stealthily, careful not to overturn stones or sticks. He watched Deku come to a sudden stop, his hat snagging on a low hanging branch. He tried to wiggle free from it, but kept his hands firmly on the hat to keep it on top of his head. Eventually, he stopped struggling, attempting to catch his breath. Katsuki watched the rise and fall of his chest in fascination.

 

Purposely, he stepped on a twig underfoot and the sound echoed through the trees. Deku froze, his eyes darting around nervously, nose twitching.

 

“K-Kacchan?” Katsuki liked the way the nickname sounded laced with fear.

 

He growled, his anticipation growing. He wouldn’t let his ears out. Not quite yet.

 

Izuku trembled like a leaf, backing up against the tree he was trapped by, holding the hat to his head for dear life. He closed his eyes tightly, his lip wobbling.

 

Katsuki heard a few stuttered sobs escape his prey as he closed in.

 

He stepped out. “What are you doing getting stuck, huh, Deku?”

 

“Kacchan?” Red rimmed, bright green eyes caught Katsuki in their headlights and Katsuki froze.

 

Something was wrong.

 

Prey Weres were beneath him.

 

That was nature.

 

Katsuki wasn’t doing anything wrong.

 

He should theoretically be able to end this hunt right now.

 

Not yet.

 

A part of him scolded him, held him back.

 

I want more still.

 

Katsuki was perturbed by his wolf side’s piqued interest, but he abided by his instincts. He took a step forward and Deku bared his blunt teeth. “Don’t!”

 

Katsuki felt himself bristle.

 

How dare a mere prey Were threaten him?

 

Relax ,” Katsuki used the tone his mom used when she wanted absolute attention and submission. The alpha voice.

 

It worked instantly. Deku slumped against the tree, muscles lax and neck bared. Tears still flowed down his freckled face, but Katsuki could deal with that after he freed him.

 

He cautiously closed the space between them until he could reach the branch and untangle it from a few of the stitches on one of the ears. The sweet scent of rabbit fur called to him again, flooding his mouth with saliva. He briefly wondered how soft Deku’s ears were underneath the hat, but he kept himself on a tight leash. He had already given in to enough of his Were urges for one day.

 

When Deku was free, his legs buckled and he crumbled to his knees on the ground. Katsuki caught him, bringing him down gently. Deku clung to him and cried, snot dripping from his nose.

 

“Gross!” Katsuki reached into his back pocket for his hankie. “Geez, wipe your nose. You’re such a crybaby. No wonder your name is Deku.”

 

Deku blew his nose. Katsuki waved for him to keep the hankie when he tried to hand it back. Katsuki stood up and pulled Deku back to his feet by the hand. “Let’s go back before our moms start freaking out.”

 

“Kacchan?” Katsuki didn’t stop walking, but he peeked over his shoulder. Deku smiled shyly at their entwined hands before turning the delighted expression up at him. “Tag!”

 

Katsuki felt his face heat up, his eye twitching in rage. “You didn’t tag me, asshole! That’s not how tag works! You got stuck and I had to bail you out! You didn’t win and you definitely didn’t beat me, so don’t forget it!”

 

Deku’s smile didn’t falter. “Okay, I won’t! You saved me, just like a hero!”

 

Katsuki clicked his tongue and faced away from him. His inner wolf preened at the praise. The conflicting feeling made him feel sour.

 

“Annoying...”

Chapter Text

The first few rays of light filtered in through the curtains of Inko’s bedroom, rousing her from slumber. Before she could do much else other than open her eyes, she heard her bedroom door creak open.

 

Little footsteps thumped their way around her bed until Izuku stood before her. Her eyes grew wide and she blinked twice, clearing away sleep in case she was seeing things.

 

Izuku’s freckled face was proud. “I hid my ears!” He turned around. “You can’t tell, but my tails gone too!”

 

Inko tore her bedsheets off and scooped him up in a hug. “That’s wonderful! Looks like you’ll be joining everyone at school right on time! I’m so proud of you!”

 

He laughed in her hold. His rabbit ears spilled out with his giggles. His laughter abruptly stopped. “Oh no! Momma! You got me too excited!”

 

“It’s okay.” She took one ear in her hand and inspected the small bite wound from a week ago. “You’re allowed to be excited about this. You’re a late bloomer, so we need to celebrate every step of progress!”

 

“Do you think I can go to the park today without my hat? I want to share my new All Might comic book with Kacchan.”

 

Inko was reluctant at the mention of her son’s new friend. She didn’t like how rough he could be with her boy or the strange way he looked at him. But Mitsuki was nice enough and they had even traded phone numbers to plan out a grocery shopping date.

 

“We can definitely give it a go, but you need to remember to be in control. You can’t let anything get you too excited or upset, okay? Remember what I taught you?”

 

“Deep breaths!” Izuku took a couple in and out and his ears slipped out of sight. He opened his eyes and peeked up, trying to see over his head. He felt around and only found tufts of curls. He looked pleased with himself.

 

“Very good!” She set him down. “Now, go grab your book and I’ll pack a lunch.”





Izuku arrived at the playground and immediately made his way over to Kacchan and his friends.

Kacchan dropped down from the monkey bars to land in front of him. He looked him up and down, his nose scrunching in distaste. “Not wearing your dumb hat today?”

 

Izuku shook his head. “I left that at home! But I did bring this!” He pulled the All Might comic book from behind his back.

 

Kacchan and his friends’ faces lit up.

 

“Are you guys fans of All Might too?”

 

“Nobody’s a bigger All Might fan than Kacchan,” One of the boys said.

 

The other patted Kacchan on the back. “Yeah, he’s got a bunch of DVDs from the old animated series at home.”

 

“Really?” Izuku gazed up at the boy expectantly.

 

Kacchan scoffed and threw his hands in his pockets. “Yeah, I mean it’s no big deal. I also have the issue you’re holding at home, so it’s not that impressive.”

 

“That’s awesome! What’s your favorite panel? I like the one where he saves the lady from getting crushed under a building.”

 

“What?!” Kacchan looked incredulously at him. “Obviously the best scene is where he Detroit Smashes the villain in the face!” Kacchan snatched the comic from his hands and flipped through the pages. He pointed to a panel. “There! See? That’s so much cooler than him saving some boring chick he’s never gonna see again. He punches the dude so hard his teeth fall out!”

 

“That’s cool too! But I think he’s the coolest when he’s helping people!”

 

“He’s coolest when he’s fighting.” Kacchan’s eyes narrowed at him and Izuku felt himself grow tense.

 

Izuku shifted the dirt around his feet. “Well, isn’t saving people what makes him a hero in the first place?”

 

“He’s a hero because he defeats villains. Saving people is just some secondary thing that happens as a result of him winning.”

 

“Who’s a hero?” A deeper voice spoke above them as a deft hand snatched Izuku’s comic out of Kacchan’s grasp. “Oh, what’s this? An All Might comic? This is a pretty new issue, isn’t it?” An older boy and his companion stared down at the four children challengingly. “Who’s comic is this?”

 

“My-”

 

“It’s none of your goddamn business. Now hand it back.” Kacchan interrupted Izuku, taking a step toward the older boys.

 

“What’s your problem, shorty? We’re just gonna ask to borrow it.”

 

“Fuck off. It’s not yours, so give it back.” Izuku felt no need at the moment to pipe up and say it wasn’t exactly Kacchan’s either.

 

“I don’t like your tone and you’ve sort of hurt my feelings, so I think I’ll keep it instead.” The boy waved it above their heads tauntingly.

 

Kacchan snarled, his fists tightening into furious balls at his sides.

 

Kacchan’s friends looked nervous. They grabbed Izuku and darted away. At some point they broke their hold on him and dove behind a trash can. Panicked and without guidance, Izuku found himself ducking behind a tree, peeking around the trunk to watch the scene unfold.

 

Kacchan grimaced at the two older boys. “Last chance,” he growled out through gritted teeth, “Give it back or die.”

 

The two bullies chuckled. “I don’t think so, shrimp. We’re not scared of y- AH!”

 

Kacchan leapt from the ground, grabbing a hold of the boy’s arm. He sunk his teeth into his flesh. The older boy let out an anguished scream. He started to flail around, attempting to free himself from Kacchan’s strong grip.

 

The comic book fell from the boy’s hand and Kacchan finally released his arm, dropping back to the ground to swoop it up. The two older boys stumbled back, the injured one sobbing and bleeding profusely. Kacchan spit out red and snarled at them again.

 

They scrambled to their feet. “You’re crazy! I’m gonna tell my mom! You’ll regret this!” They sprinted out of the playground and down the block, turning the corner out of sight.

 

Kacchan’s friends returned to his side, singing his praises. “That was amazing, Kacchan! You’re so strong!”

 

“Did you see their faces? So funny.”

 

“It wasn’t a big deal. I told you, heroes always win.”

 

Izuku peeked out from behind the tree a little farther, catching Kacchan’s eyes. His face felt hot as he ducked back and braced himself against the trunk.

 

Something was wrong.

 

His heart was beating so fast.

 

He looked up.

 

His ears were out!

 

Oh, no!

 

Did Kacchan see?

 

He steadied his breathing, willing them away again. He felt them slowly disappear and just in the knick of time as Kacchan’s head poked around his hiding place.

 

“Deku... What are you doing still hiding, huh?” Kacchan’s nose twitched as he sniffled.

 

“I, uh, I was just a little scared is all. S-sorry I ran away, Kacchan.”

 

“It’s fine. Just take your crummy comic book back already.” Kacchan tossed him the All Might issue.

 

Izuku caught it against his chest. There were little splatters of red on its cover. Izuku looked up and saw that Kacchan still had blood smeared over his mouth.

 

His pulse quickened at the sight. A deep primal thing inside Izuku made him shake as he clutched the comic tighter to his chest.

 

“T-thanks,” he was barely able to choke out. “I’m sorry. I have to go home for today!” Izuku pushed past Kacchan and made a beeline for his mom.

 

He pressed his face to her back legs as she stood, mid-conversation with Kacchan’s mom.

 

“Izuku? What’s wrong?”

 

“Momma... Can we go home for the day?”

 

His ears itched to spring forth.

 

She gave him a contemplative look before nodding. “Sure, baby.” She turned to Mitsuki, “I’m afraid he’s just not feeling well today. See you next time?”

 

His mother gathered him in her arms and he quickly buried his head in her chest, his ears came out, but were successfully stifled against her collar.

 

She noticed the shift immediately, hastening her pace home and cradling him closer. “Shh shh. You did so good coming to me right away. Shh shh.”

 

In the distance Izuku could hear Kacchan’s mom shouting, “KATSUKI! WHAT THE FUCK IS ON YOUR FACE?!”





Katsuki barely listened to his mother’s ninety-fourth lecture about biting people he doesn’t like on their walk home. Instead, his mind was on the rabbit, of that brief moment he saw the ears peeking out from behind the tree. Of that tangy fresh fear scent of prey lingering in the air when those ears got tucked away again. Of that look of horror on Deku’s face as Katsuki cornered him by the tree with another victim’s blood on his face.

 

The wolf in him had been awfully pleased with the reaction. There wasn’t a single doubt over why Deku had needed to leave so swiftly. He probably couldn’t contain his instinct to flee any longer. Not while Katsuki stood near in such an aggressive alpha state.

 

Katsuki smirked to himself and his mother smacked him on the head. He winced. “Why the hell are you smiling like that while I’m scolding you? You think this is funny?”

 

Katsuki rubbed the back of his head. “Sort of.” It was kind of interesting that his mother didn’t have a clue there were prey animals right under her nose. Katsuki relished in knowing he was Deku’s sole predator.

 

But he probably shouldn’t continue to play around. Predators were above prey, after all. And that fearful look on Deku’s face just begged for Katsuki to put him in his place once and for all.

 

His wolf side was still interested in extending the hunt, but Katsuki knew this sort of thing wasn’t supposed to be drawn out.

 

Hunts were supposed to have conclusions and if his wolf side had no intention on ending the hunt, he didn’t want to leave it as is.

 

He’d have to knock Deku down a few pegs before leaving him in the dust. He liked the image of Deku on his knees, crying and unable to keep up with him. That’s just how prey should be.

 

He smirked again and felt another whack to the back of his head. “Stop smiling while I’m reprimanding you!”





“Forward march, sidekicks!”

 

“Yeah!” Katsuki’s cronies answered excitedly.

 

“Y-yeah!” Deku hesitantly lifted his fist in the air after, clearly just tagging along to go with the crowd.

 

They continued their trek outside of the playground limits and into the trees past the fence. For a few weeks now, Katsuki had implemented his new agenda, his belittlement of Deku, pushing him around and calling him slow or useless. His friends were more than ready to adjust their demeanor to suit his whims.

 

Deku, surprisingly, was still tagging along, acting as if nothing had changed between them. It was aggravating, but Katsuki wasn’t in any rush. He’d make Deku learn his place in due time.

 

They came upon a log bridge hanging over a shallow river. Katsuki started to lead the boys across, chanting his marching tune. His sneaker slid on the wet trunk. The angle of the world tilted and he fell.

 

The water did little to cushion the fall, his hands and knees making contact with the bottom of the river below. He stared at his reflection in the water and sucked in air, shaking the wet from his hair.

 

“Kacchan! Are you alright?”

 

“Of course he’s alright! He’s Kacchan after all!” Katsuki huffed and smiled.

 

Of course! Predators were made of tougher stuff, dammit!

 

He turned around to face them. “I’m fi-“

 

“Are you okay?!” Deku’s outstretched hand slid into view. The rabbit’s concerned face, covered in sweat from sprinting down the slope to get to him so quickly hovered just behind his open palm. Deku’s wide, panicked green eyes searched his face frantically. “That looked like it hurt! Are you okay, Kacchan?”

 

His lip wobbled, a tell tale sign of Deku’s that he was trying to hold back tears.

 

Katsuki looked down and took note of the rabbit’s knees knocking together in the shallow water, clearly trembling.

 

This was wrong.

 

Deku was only supposed to look that way when Katsuki wanted him to, when Katsuki made him upset on purpose.

 

He wasn’t supposed to get upset for Katsuki’s sake.

 

This was so fucking wrong.

 

So completely ass backwards.

 

Katsuki slapped away his hand. “I said I’m fine, idiot!” He stood up and walked past him, quietly whispering under his breath, “No need to rush down here like some frightened rabbit...”

 

Deku eyes shot wide open. He whipped back around to face him, clutching at the excess fabric of his shorts. “W-What? Why would you say that?

 

Katsuki glared down at him for a moment before continuing his trek back up the slope. “You just looked stupidly desperate for no reason.”

 

“Oh...”

 

So annoying.

Chapter Text

The strain on their relationship only deepened after Katsuki refused to accept Deku’s hand on that breezy summer day.

 

Deku confused Katsuki. It wasn’t like the rabbit did anything in particular to make him confused. But there was just something about his very existence that made Katsuki question himself. His motives, his behaviors, his very nature as a wolf Were.

 

And he fucking hated it.

 

Did he want to hunt Deku or let him live to see another day? Another game of cat and mouse? Wolf and rabbit?

 

Why did Deku even bother trying to help him if all Katsuki did was put him in his place as his instincts told him a predator should do with prey?

 

Why did some unpleasant faces that Deku make excite him, while others frustrated him?

 

What did he want out of Deku? What did his wolf side want?

 

Why did every interaction between them feel so wrong?

 

It was beginning to be too much for Katsuki to take, but he still refused to ask his mother for advice, afraid she’d steal his hunt. So he did the only thing he knew he could do that would save both him and Deku a whole heap of trouble in the long run.

 

By their last year in elementary school, He had completely distanced himself away from Deku, and, being the popular guy he was, had successfully alienated Deku from making any other friends.

 

The latter wasn’t really as intended as the first.

 

It was just an accidental side effect of not having Katsuki’s favor that led Deku to be friendless, since most of the kids in his class wanted to be friends with him instead. While humans were scent blind to his predator Were status, they still knew how to recognize an alpha among themselves.

 

This led to middle school being even tougher on Deku. It only took Katsuki brushing him off aggressively once at the front gates for the other kids in his class to start looking at Deku as a pitiful person. He became an easy target for other bullies, something Katsuki tried very hard to ignore while sticking to his resolve to stay away from the rabbit.

 

But the bastards in his grade always liked to open their mouths and let loose any bullshit that came to mind, so hearing about Deku from time to time was unavoidable.

 

“Weren’t you and Midoriya childhood friends?” A crony Katsuki had picked up during his second year asked him at lunch.

 

Irritation flared its ugly head at just the mention of his name. Katsuki flicked a spoonful of peas at him and bared his teeth. “Don’t mention that shitty nerd to me.”

 

He picked up his school bag and went to trash the rest of his lunch, his appetite gone. He started to make his way outside for some fresh air for the duration of the break instead.

 

Something he hadn’t smelled in years greeted his nose.

 

Something mouthwatering. Tantalizing in a way that filled him to the brim with restless energy and starved curiosity.

 

Prey scent.

 

Delicious and close and laced with a garnish of fear .

 

He covered his nose and mouth and dove into the nearest crevice alongside the school building just as his ears and tail sprung forth. Sharp fangs bit into his lower lip. He let out a growl as what little control Katsuki found he had started to leave him.

 

The scent was clearly Deku’s.

 

Why was he shifting here?

 

Where was he?

 

Did anyone else see him?

 

His unaired questions were answered by the sound of laughter and the jeering of boy’s his age.

 

“Midoriya, why are you hiding behind your textbook? It’s hard to have a conversation like this, yeah? I just wanted to ask for your homework. You know, to compare answers. You don’t want to help a guy out?”

 

Ah .

 

A low rumble rolled deep in Katsuki’s chest.

 

“What was that sound?”

 

“I didn’t hear anything?”

 

Katsuki felt himself slink down on all fours, bones and limbs creaking to adjust. His fur spread down and around his frame as he slipped out of his clothes and padded towards the end of the small niche.

 

He rounded the corner and spotted two boys surrounding Deku, his face well hidden behind a book.

 

The pungent scent of rabbit dreamily entered Katsuki’s senses. His mouth opened, watering as the smell flooded inside.

 

“Holy shit! That dog’s huge!

 

“Oh fuck!

 

Katsuki growled at the intruders ignorantly standing between him and his hunt. They wasted no time scrambling away from his prey, tripping over themselves to sprint in the opposite direction.

 

Deku remained fixed in place, back pressed up against the wall, textbook still shielding his face entirely from Katsuki’s view.

 

Angered by the obstruction, Katsuki moved forward. He nudged his way under the book with his muzzle and found himself nose to nose with a teary eyed Deku.

 

Deku shook like a leaf, his rabbit ears pressed flat against his head. He hiccuped, the noise breaking Katsuki from his continued growling. He blinked up at the frightened rabbit, somehow collecting himself.

 

“D-don’t-” Another hiccup, “Don’t eat me!” He squeezed his eyes shut, too scared to even attempt to flee, a deer, well, more like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

 

A part of Katsuki delighted in the sight of this vulnerable creature at his mercy. His fur stood on end as his nerves buzzed with frenzied excitement.

 

But there was another part of him that opposed the feeling.

 

An odd pang rang through him, a longing he had felt before, but never really took the time to place.

 

He closed the distance between them and licked a stripe up one of Deku’s tear stained, freckled cheeks.

 

Deku choked on another sob, but remained frozen in place. He opened his eyes wide and locked his gaze with Katsuki’s, watching him with both surprise and hesitance, not yet trusting.

 

Katsuki grew impatient with waiting for a reaction and took a few steps back from Deku. He gave him one more glance over and huffed before bolting back the way he’d come.

 

He heard Deku call out for him, “Hey! Wait!” He fumbled. “Oh, right! My ears!”

 

Katsuki turned the corner of the building and slipped into the groove where he’d left his clothes. He shifted back and quickly pulled on his uniform.

 

A few minutes passed before Deku rounded the corner. Just as Katsuki had started to walk out, he felt him bump into his shoulder. His ears were safely tucked away, dampening his scent.

 

Deku steadied himself on Katsuki’s arm. “K-Kacchan!”

 

“Deku?” Katsuki hovered over him. Deku took a step back, hands up, pacifying. “Watch where you’re going, nerd.”

 

“I’m sorry! I just- Have you seen a dog?”

 

“A dog? Why the hell are you chasing after a dog?”

 

Deku looked forlornly at his feet. “Oh, uh, no reason, I guess...”

 

Deku’s body went rigid.

 

His nose twitched and then wrinkled up. His pupils dilated as a soft red glow crept its way into his cheeks. Without warning, he hastily scrambled back from Katsuki looking surprised.

 

“What’s wrong with you?” Katsuki lifted a brow at him, aiming for nonchalance.

 

Deku looked him up and down, concern lacing his big doe eyes. He shifted his stance awkwardly. “N-nothing! I just feel a little flushed is all.”

 

“Yeah, you sort of look it.” Katsuki reached a hand out and brushed his fingers lightly over Deku’s cheek.

 

It felt soft. Smooth and round, like he’d never grow out of his baby face.

 

Deku flinched and let out a small gasp, “Ah!” He covered his mouth, his face growing three shades redder.

 

He took another step away from Katsuki and held the textbook over his head again. He looked frantic. “I, um. I need to go. I’m not feeling well. I think I’m gonna head home early today!”

 

Before Katsuki could interrogate Deku further for the strange behavior, the rabbit bolted toward the school gate, not even bothering to collect the school bag Katsuki knew was still in their classroom.





Izuku hadn’t had his ears tucked away for a full minute and already they itched to pop back out. He had turned the corner and slammed right into Kacchan. Both excitement and fear coursed through him as he looked up into the face of his estranged childhood friend.

 

How long had it been since he last tried to speak with him? A couple months? Maybe five?

 

The sudden contact of their bodies colliding jolted through him and he was surprised to find that he had missed it. He rested a hand on Kacchan’s arm to steady himself.

 

His nose twitched as something strong and intoxicating enticed his senses. He was fighting off being put into a daze, trying to follow their conversation, but the scent was distracting. Alluring.

 

Was Kacchan wearing cologne?

 

Or was that just his natural scent?

 

Why was he suddenly hyperfocusing on it?

 

Why was there a burning itch inside of him that begged to be closer? To drink more of the scent in?

 

“What’s wrong with you?” The question was so blunt. It was expected. Kacchan didn’t really do concerned , least of all for his sake.

 

Izuku tried to brush it off as a possible sickness, “N-nothing! I just feel a little flushed is all.”

 

But Kacchan seemed intent on prolonging their conversation, “Yeah, you sort of look it.”

 

With little to no warning, Kacchan’s fingers lightly grazed Izuku’s cheek. The heat from those fingertips raised goosebumps along his arms.

 

Izuku startled at the contact, finding that he had to hold himself back from leaning into the touch. But he couldn’t stop a noise from escaping him, “Ah!” His hands flew to his mouth. He felt his face heat up. Strange pangs echoed in his chest, thrumming through his whole body.

 

Something was very wrong.

 

He took a few steps back and quickly threw his textbook over his head again, hiding his ears in case they decided to jump out. “I, um. I need to go. I’m not feeling well. I think I’m gonna head home early today!”

 

Izuku didn’t bother to look back as he ran for the front gates of the school. His sprint home passed by in a blur of pure terror as his heart raced to keep up with his legs, his feet pounding against the pavement.

 

As soon as he was home, he threw the door open and collapsed in the foyer. Sweat soaked into the back of his uniform, making him feel uncomfortable. He removed his shirt and headed to the bathroom. He locked the door and turned on the shower, making sure the water ran cold.

 

Why was he burning up?

 

Was he really getting sick?

 

“Izuku?” His mother’s voice called from the other side of the bathroom door. He hadn’t noticed she was home. “Izuku, are you alright?”

 

“I’m... no? I don’t know.”

 

“You’re home early. Are you not feeling well?”

 

“I think I have a fever.”

 

“... a fever?” She sounded less concerned and more curious at that. “Honey, I think it’s about time I sit you down and have, um... the talk .”

 

The-! ” His face was on fire. “Mom! I already took Sex Ed! You really don’t need to- This probably has nothing to do with that- It’s-“

 

“It’s different for Weres, baby.”

 

Izuku went quiet.

 

His mom took the opportunity to continue, “We’ll talk more after your shower, when you’ve calmed down a little, alright?”

 

“Yeah... sure.” Izuku slipped into the small tub and sat down in silent contemplation as the chilling droplets rained down to sooth his scorching skin.





Izuku sat on the couch, across from his mother. A damp towel sat around his neck keeping it cool.

 

Her face looked about as flushed as his, but she trudged through the opening of what would assuredly be an awkward conversation regardless, “So! You’re going through puberty!”

 

That was probably the worst thing Izuku ever expected to hear from his mother’s mouth.

He almost didn’t know how to respond, “Uh, yep!”

 

Eloquent beginning.

 

“You’re going to notice some changes,” she stared at him firmly. Why did everything she say sound like it came from a how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-insert-topic pamphlet?

 

“Yeah, I’ve noticed some,” Izuku tried to better grease the wheels for her.

 

“I’m sure you know from Sex Ed that there are going to be times where you feel um, attracted to others.”

 

Horny. Izuku translated her words. She means horny.

 

“Well, Weres are just a little different from humans in that we have scheduled, um, intimacy .”

 

“Mating cycles?”

 

Mate-! “ Izuku’s mother was red to her ear tips. She cleared her throat, “Yes. It’s sort of like that. For rabbits, our season is usually from February until September or until we um, conceive . You’re obviously too young for that sort of thing yet, but you should be aware that having a breeding season means because your cycle is shorter than a human’s, the intensity for the call to intimacy will be greater.”

 

“Is there anything I can do to avoid the symptoms?”

 

She nodded. “Of course! Cold showers are good. I recommend one in the morning and at night. Don’t worry about the water bill. There’s also a few medications that I’ve found work well. Usually they’re for fever and aches, but they’ll limit the call. I’m also going to get you some prescription strength deodorant.”

 

“Why would I need that?”

 

“To mask your scent from other Weres. You’re going to be releasing pheromones.”

 

Izuku bit into his bottom lip.

 

God, how embarrassing! He couldn’t believe this was happening. And to top it all off, the person he’d been in front of when his first season hit was Kacchan!

 

Wait.

 

There are going to be times when you are attracted to others.

 

Wait!

 

Did that mean he was attracted to Kacchan ?

 

“C-Can humans smell me?”

 

His mother shook her head. “Oh, goodness, no! Their senses are much too dull. You won’t have to worry about them. Just other Weres.”

 

He breathed out a sigh of relief. At least Kacchan wouldn’t be able to smell him.

Chapter Text

Deku smelled different.

 

Katsuki didn’t think anything about his scent had inherently changed. Maybe it was sweeter.

 

But mostly it just smelled more .

 

Katsuki could barely enter the classroom without the smell immediately registering in his peripheral. He was painfully and acutely aware of Deku’s presence.

 

It was infuriating.


It was distracting.

 

But, fortunately, none of the other Weres in his class seemed to be affected by it.

 

Katsuki had discovered a chipmunk girl and a fox boy at some point. He never felt the need to approach them about their Were status. It wasn’t like the fox ever challenged him in any way. And the chipmunk girl was uninteresting when his thoughts were already so focused on the rabbit sitting at the back of the class.

 

Maybe it was just that? He had always been so focused on Deku and for such a long time that any little change in his scent was noticeable.

 

But Katsuki really couldn’t take it anymore.

 

He almost snapped during a group assigned project.

 

Their teacher had instructed Deku to sit with his group, clearly unaware of how the classroom hierarchy was set up. Deku took the seat next to his and instantly Katsuki tensed, teeth gritted and knuckles white as he gripped the pen in his hands with way too much strength.

 

One of his friend’s noticed his temperment shift and made a not-so-quiet remark, “Damn. How’d we get stuck with Midoriya?”

 

Deku frowned, but said nothing, pulling his notebook out and starting an outline for the chapter they’d been assigned.

 

Katsuki wasn’t in the mood to hear any asskissing, especially when he was straining to keep his inner beast at bay.

 

He stood up abruptly, his chair groaning as it moved across the floor.

 

“I’m going to the infirmary.” He glared at his group mates, daring one of them to say something.

 

Deku looked up at him with a hurt expression.

 

Katsuki ignored it, clicking his tongue and striding out of the classroom.

 

He caught the tailwind of what his peers were saying as he left, “Wait to go, Midoriya.”

 

“Yeah, he only left cause you’re in our group.”

 

“I’ll, um, I’ll try to convince him to come back?”

 

Katsuki picked up his pace down the hall. He moved into the stairwell, hearing Deku’s footsteps chasing after him. Rather than hook a left and head to the infirmary, he went right when he hit the first floor and made his way outside.

 

He made it just behind the Phys. Ed shed before his wolf finally emerged. Deku’s overwhelming scent had finally pushed him to his limit. His control slipped away and he shifted.

 

Fur rose on his skin and warmed the exterior of his body. He felt his ears prick to attention at the top of his head as he fell to all fours, shaking his clothes off his frame and slipping out of the harder to remove garments with practiced ease. Carefully, he pushed his uniform under a scraggly looking bush.

 

Satisfied that no one would notice them, he wandered out from behind the shed and came face to face with Deku.





“Oh!” Izuku flinched back, landing on his butt. He rubbed at his sore hips. “Well, that smarts.”

 

He looked back at the towering image of the stray that he’d seen only two weeks prior. It looked just as surprised to see him as he did to see it.

 

“You’re that dog! The one from the other day! Um, do you live around here? Do you have an owner? Maybe a collar?”

 

Izuku tried to lean in closer, but the dog growled. Izuku’s hands went up, trying to indicate that he had no intention of touching him.

 

Well, not anymore.

 

“Sorry! That was a little sudden, huh? I was just looking for my, um, friend? I was sure he went this way, but… He was trying to get away from me, I think.”

 

The dog blinked at him slowly.

 

Izuku rubbed at the back of his neck, a little bashful. “I don’t think he likes me much. I guess it’s kind of weird to call someone like that a friend, right?”

 

The dog continued to stare at him with indifference.

 

Izuku shook his head, reprimanding himself, “God, Izuku, you’re talking to a wild dog. It can’t even understand you. I should really look for my, um, classmate now.” He tried to get up.

 

The dog growled again. Izuku’s knees buckled at the sound and his ears popped out. The dog took a step forward and Izuku instinctively threw his hands up.

 

“Oh, God, please don’t-”

 

He felt thick, coarse fur under his hand and peeked one eye open. The dog had pressed its head up under his palm. Izuku’s heart was doing double time as he stared into the creature’s eyes.

 

He let his fingers flow through the fur gently, cautiously. “You’re actually not as scary as I thought. Both times we met, I thought you’d attack me, but-” He scratched behind the dog’s ears, “you’re a good boy, huh?”

 

The dog huffed, but continued to press into Izuku’s palm. After a few more scritches, the dog moved closer, eager to sniff at Izuku’s head.

 

“Oh, wait! Careful of my ears!”

 

The dog cocked his head to the side. Izuku felt his heart squeeze at the endearing gesture.

 

“You’re probably not used to seeing humans with this sort of thing, right? Actually, just between you and me, I’ve been dealing with all sorts of strange rabbit things lately. I went to the library three days ago and took out two books, one on rabbit biology and the other on petcare for rabbits. The lady at the counter asked if I adopted a bunny. I had no idea what to say, so I eventually I just said I was petsitting. There’s a lot of things in those books that are pretty applicable to what I’m going through right now. I guess it’s not that strange since- Blech! Bluh!”

 

The dog brought his forepaws up against his shoulders. He licked at Izuku’s face, effectively shutting him up.

 

“Okay! Okay! I’m done! Please stop! Not to be rude when you’re just giving me kisses, but my rabbit senses are freaking out right now with you being so close!”

 

The dog allowed himself to be pushed back while Izuku sat up and wiped the slobber from his face.

 

“Ick! That’s so gross.”

 

The dog panted, mouth open and tongue bouncing up and down, looking like he was silently laughing at Izuku.

 

“Ha. I’m sure you found that pretty funny.” Izuku pulled himself behind the shed. The dog followed him, sitting himself down between Izuku’s side and a frumpy looking bush. “I don’t get a whole lot of chances to talk to people. I don’t really have any other friends, so I’m sorry if I talked your ear off just now.”

 

The dog stared off into space. Izuku took it as a cue to continue.

 

He pulled his ears down by the tips. “I don’t get a whole lot of chances to shift either. It’s always really risky, so I have to keep everything hidden all the time. My mom doesn’t even like when I do it at home. But I think it’s made it really hard for me to maintain a human form. It’s stifling.”

 

Izuku sighed and leaned back against the shed, staring up at sky. A cloud drifted by lazily overhead.

 

“This is nice though. I wouldn’t feel comfortable shifting fully in front of you, but you’re the first dog I’ve encountered that hasn’t tried to jump at me when my ears accidentally came out. Oh, right!”

 

Izuku shifted around in his pocket. He found what he was looking for and pulled it out.

 

“I don’t have a whole lot to thank you for the other day or for listening to me right now, but I have these leftover carrotsticks from lunch. Do you like those?”

 

Izuku held out a carrot and the dog sniffed it. The animal huffed before a paw came up and swatted at Izuku’s palm. The stick fell from his hands and landed in the dirt.

 

“Wow. Picky much?”

 

The dog made a short, gruff noise.

 

“Okay! Okay! No more carrot sticks! Hmm… There’s probably something at home I can bring you? Despite my looks, my family does eat meat. I’ll bring you back some chicken or something. How does that sound?”

 

Maybe Izuku blinked too fast, but he was pretty sure the dog rolled its eyes.

 

“Well, it won’t hurt to try, right? I’ll come back here tomorrow. If I don’t see you, I’ll just leave the chicken out for you, okay?” Izuku stroked the length of the dog a few more times, appreciating its luscious coat. “Seeya!”





Katsuki stared out the window in class, bored out of his goddamn mind. He watched with amusement as Deku crossed the track, heading to the Phys. Ed shed for their break.

 

Obviously, he wasn’t going to be finding “the dog” there today.

 

The clock ticked closer to the end of lunch and Katsuki grew impatient waiting for Deku to come back. Was he going to skip class just to wait for him?

 

The bell rung and the students settled back into their seats. The teacher made no mention of Deku’s seat being empty. He didn’t talk much in class, although Katsuki knew he paid attention and always saw his name on the honor roll right under his. He probably wasn’t much of a concern.

 

The teacher requested that they get into their project groups for more discussion while he stepped out. Katsuki was starting to think this group assignment was an easy way for him to get the students to teach the course material to each other so he didn’t actually have to do his job.

 

Katsuki’s group members flocked to him, filling the spaces around his desk. None of them mentioned Deku missing. While the absence of discussion over Deku was usually appreciated, today it grated on his nerves. “We’re missing someone, right?” He forced himself to voice the question.

 

Midoriya? ” One of them asked incredulously, as if they had expected Katsuki to be more than happy to not bring him up. “I thought I saw him step outside for lunch. Maybe he didn’t hear the bell?”

 

Katsuki clicked his tongue. His group members looked at each other, clearly unnerved that they were no longer gaining his approval.

 

“I’ll go look for him,” The fox Were boy who was bad at masking his scent stood up, eager to please. “I’ll haul him back here, no problem.”

 

Katsuki ignored the suggestion, too busy focusing his attention out the window to answer. He heard the lesser predator leave the room.

 

A few seconds ticked by before some very bad realizations hit Katsuki one by one.

 

Deku was alone behind the Phys. Ed shed.

 

The shed where Deku had confessed just yesterday that he felt safe shifting his ears out.

 

Katsuki had most likely just sent a predator to go looking for him while he was vulnerable.

 

Like leading a fox to a rabbit’s den.

 

Katsuki stood up. He glared down at his group. “I’m using the restroom.”

 

They said nothing as he walked out of the room.

 

Katsuki made sure he made it to the stairwell before bursting into a full sprint. When he made it outside, he was unsurprised to spot the fox Were paused at the side of the shed. The fox stared intently into the space behind it, ears pricked forward, tail swishing back and forth.

 

Katsuki approached him from behind, peering over his shoulder. He saw Deku, seated on the ground, a plastic bag of chicken in his lap. His eyes were closed.

 

Katsuki was about to rip into the fox before he noticed the rise and fall of Deku’s chest.

 

He was asleep.

 

His rabbit ears were flopped down and around his face. The fox Were smiled down at him, the stinking scent of his interest rolling off him in waves.

 

Katsuki reached out and grabbed his shoulder, pushing him out of his way. The fox Were startled, letting out a small yelp before turning to face him. He bristled. “Bakugou? What are you doing here?”

 

Katsuki bared his teeth. “Walk away from here.”

 

The fox Were shrugged him off, coming to the conclusion that Katsuki somehow knew what was going on. “Geez. Humans are so troublesome to deal with. I’m not really supposed to expose myself like this, but at this rate, it’s your own fault since you’re the one clearly looking for trouble.”

 

Katsuki huffed out a laugh. “You think I’m human? ” He let his ears slide forth, watching with satisfaction as the fox finally caught a whiff of his scent. “Your sense of smell is so weak and you’re so sloppy about masking your own scent, so you probably didn’t notice. Leave before I kill you, bushy tail.”

 

“B-bushy tail? I have a name, you know! I’m still your classmate. I sat next to you all year and you still haven’t learned it by now?”

 

“Correction. You were my classmate. Now you’re transferring. Leave. Now, ” Katsuki snarled.

 

The fox Were gave one more look over his shoulder at the sleeping rabbit.

 

Katsuki lashed out, leaving a claw mark on his cheek. “Keep your mangey eyes off other people’s prey.”

 

The Were fox held a hand to his face. He nodded frantically and fled, racing back to the school building.

 

Katsuki took a step forward, dipping into the crevice behind the shed. A low rumble escaped his throat. The adrenaline from warding off another predator still lingered in his veins as he peered down at Deku.

 

Heat rolled through him and coiled in his gut. It urged him onward, gaze tightly bound to the rabbit sleeping soundly before him, practically a free meal laid out on a silver platter.

 

He braced his arms on either side of Deku’s head, sliding down until his face was inches from Deku’s. He inhaled the sweet prey scent of the blissfully unaware rabbit. Deku’s head tilted to the side, shifting ever so slightly to expose his neck.

 

Katsuki could snap it right now.

 

Just sink his teeth into the flesh and listen to Deku choke on one last quiet scream before his warm blood flooded into his mouth. It was so tempting. His scent was so strong. Intoxicating. Inebriating.

 

He couldn't fight it. His jaws opened and his teeth grazed his neck.

 

Wrong!

 

Katsuki jolted back. His senses blared out the message until his entire body thrummed with the feeling.

 

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

 

He stood up and staggered back, stifling a snarl aimed at no one but himself.

 

He looked down at Deku’s peaceful face, the plastic bag of chicken in his lap, and then down at his own hands, still slick with the fox Were’s blood imbedded under his claws.

 

Katsuki came to a very sudden decision that his wolf agreed with wholeheartedly.

 

He didn’t actually want to hurt Deku.

 

And if he stayed close, it was very likely that he would.

 

Effectively, nothing really had to change from this realization. He would just have to ignore him harder. Keep him at a longer distance. He could do that. Katsuki prided himself in the control he had over his instincts. It was only near Deku that he felt the urge to act out.

 

Katsuki reached down and plucked the small bag of chicken from Deku’s lap.

 

He tucked his ears away before heading back to class.

Chapter Text

“Izuku! Don’t forget your lunch!”

 

“Got it!”

 

“Izuku run a comb through your hair one more time!”

 

“I’ve done that three times already!”

 

“Izuku!”

 

What?! ” Izuku turned to his mother, exasperated.

 

She looked him up and down, admiring his new high school uniform. “You look so cool in your uniform!” Her eyes watered. “I’m so proud of you, getting into such an elite school! Have a wonderful first day, sweetie!”

 

He gave his mom one last hug. “I will, but it’s gonna be strange to start such a wonderful day out by being late if you don’t let me leave the house already!”

 

He hustled out the door, waving goodbye before he started his walk to school.

 

He was a few blocks in before he saw Kacchan exit his house and make his way out to the sidewalk. He wore the same uniform Izuku had on, grey blazer with navy slacks, although it looked like Kacchan had forgone the red tie. Izuku distinctly remembered the pamphlet he had received in the mail required the tie at least for the opening ceremony. Maybe Kacchan hadn’t read the pamphlet.

 

Or, more likely, he did and just didn’t care.

 

Izuku tried to wave to him, to get his attention. “Kacchan! Wait up!”

 

Kacchan turned away from him and kept walking, as if he hadn’t heard him.

 

It was beginning to become really apparent the last few weeks of middle school that Kacchan wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.

 

It stung.

 

Especially now that Izuku had become aware of certain feelings. Specifically the ones he had during his season. It took the whole of his first rut, but after some experimentation, Izuku figured out he only had heightened calls of intimacy , as his mother phrased it, when he was around his surly childhood friend.

 

I like Kacchan.

 

He nodded, confirming the feeling, as he increased his speed, trying to catch up. Kacchan didn’t look pleased to see him keeping pace by his side. “Kacchan, are you excited for the new term? I hear high school is really different from middle school.”

 

Kacchan said nothing. He stared ahead, mouth forming a sneer.

 

Izuku tried to start up conversation again, “Um, I hear we get to start Phys. Ed with swimming lessons? That should be kind of fun, right?”

 

Kacchan pulled out some earbuds and plugged them into his ears. He took out his phone and cranked his music up, lengthening his stride. Izuku let him move farther ahead, opting to stay behind him for the moment.

 

He sighed.

 

At the very least, he’d probably be able to make some actual friends this year. Everyone had known Izuku and Kacchan in their middle school, but this was a fresh start. A clean slate!

 

He was still thinking such optimistic thoughts when he tripped over his own two feet after just making it past the school’s main gate.

 

“Woah!” A bushel of brown hair flashed into his view before he fell, toppling over onto another student.

 

Izuku quickly scrambled off of her, “Oh my God! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to just plow you over like that, I-”

 

She waved him off. “Oh, no! I’m actually the one who dove down in front of you! I thought about trying to catch you, but I knew you were probably too heavy to keep upright, so I did the first thing I could think of and just threw myself down to at least cushion the fall. It would be terrible if you got hurt on your first day!”

 

“Oh…” Izuku felt heat creep into his face. “Well, thank you.”

 

“Weird…” He heard a group of other kids whisper as they walked by.

 

Izuku stood up, realizing the two of them sitting in front of the gate was probably causing a commotion. He held his hand out to help the girl back up. She gladly accepted it. “I’m Uraraka Ochaco.” She smiled at him.

 

“Midoriya Izuku.”

 

She tilted her head curiously, “Oh! Aren’t you that Deku person who got yelled at by that scary guy during the entrance exam?”

 

“Uh…”

 

Yeah, that was him. He noticed Kacchan was having a hard time finding his pencil and asked if he would like to borrow one of his. That did not go over well. Kacchan’s already tempestuous attitude had only been pushed to the extremes with the addition of the stressful test.

 

“Yeah, that was me.”

 

“What a cute nickname!”

 

“It’s not really a nickname. It’s more of an insult.”

 

“Oh,” She looked contemplative. “I still think it sounds cute. Sort of like ‘I can do it!’ you know?”

 

“You can call me that if you’d like.”

 

“Really? Okay, I-” Her eyes widened. Uraraka leaned in and briefly sniffed the air around him. “Hey, might you be-?”

 

“Ochaco!” Another girl with sleek, long green hair walked up to them. “Ochaco, you made it into this high school too, huh? I’m glad!”

 

“Ah! Tsuyu! Thank you for lending me your eraser on the exam. I don’t think I would have passed otherwise. Hey, guess what? This guy, he’s-”

 

The first bell rung.

 

“Going to be late!” Tsuyu finished Uraraka’s sentence and started to run for the school building. The other two followed close at her heels. “Just like us if we don’t start booking it!”





Izuku didn’t get another chance to talk to the girls until their break period. He liked that they were in the same class, but sitting right behind Kacchan sort of dwarfed his optimism at making some new friends.

 

Uraraka came up to his desk as soon as the teacher stepped out of the room, pulling him out of his seat. “Come with me and Tsuyu! I want to show you something!”

 

He had no time to refuse, as she yanked him and his bento lunch across the classroom and out the door. Tsuyu stood just outside, already waiting for them. “This way Midori-chan.”

 

Izuku spluttered unintelligibly at the cutesy nickname she had decided to bestow upon him, but followed them blindly anyway. They guided him up through the building and to a secluded stairwell just shy of the roof. Tsuyu peered down and around the corners of the stairwell.

 

She gave them a thumbs up. “Coast is clear.”

 

Uraraka clapped her hands. “Awesome! Now that we’re alone. Deku-kun, look at this!” She closed her eyes and puffed up her cheeks. Izuku wondered if he was supposed to be impressed with how long she could hold her breath before two small ears finally sprang up on her head.

 

He flinched back, utterly shocked.

 

“Tada!” Uraraka held her arms out wide, waiting for his response.

 

“Y-You’re a-”

 

“A squirrel Were!”

 

He pointed to Tsuyu, “And are you also a-”

 

“Bleh,” She stuck her tongue out and it rolled down much farther than Izuku had expected. “I’m a frog.”

 

Uraraka stepped closer to him. “And what kind of Were are you?” She asked expectantly.

 

Izuku’s mind was working a mile a minute trying to process everything that had just happened. “I’m not supposed to, well, technically, none of us are supposed to- You shouldn’t have just- uuuuh.”

 

“Oh, cripes. We broke him,” Tsuyu poked his face.

 

“You didn’t break me! I’m just shocked! My mom said Weres don’t reveal themselves to each other.”

 

“Not usually, but I sort of found out Uraraka was one during the entrance exam. Frogs have a really good sense of smell,” Tsuyu stated proudly, “Plus, we’re all prey Weres so we should be fine.”

 

“Oh, I… I guess that’s fine. There’s strength in numbers, right?”

 

“Sure, but, also, aren’t you tired of never making any close friends?” Uraraka looked drained. “It’s been so hard just keeping things a secret around everyone but my family, you know?”

 

Izuku let his ears pop up. “I know exactly what you mean.”

 

“C-” Uraraka stared at the top of his head, her fingers twitching with the obvious need to touch. “Cute! You’re a rabbit? That’s so cute!

 

“Ochaco, shh! Keep it down a little.”

 

“Oops. Sorry! But isn’t this kind of nice? We’re like the three musketeers now! No predator is gonna mess with the three of us!”

 

Tsuyu nodded. “Yeah, this will be a nice change of pace from how middle school was. I was friends with a snake Were in my last school, but I never told her I was a frog or that I knew she was a snake. I wanted to, but I didn’t really feel safe enough yet. She’s actually really nice, so I’ll probably confess about it at some point.”

 

Uraraka shivered. “That’s scary! Are you sure you should do that?”

 

Tsuyu smiled warmly, her cheeks heating up. “We’ve been best friends for two years already. I think she’ll be good about it. She controls herself really well.”

 

“Hey, if you guys aren’t busy tomorrow during break…” Izuku blurted out, interrupting the sudden change in conversation.

 

“Yes?” They both asked at once.

 

“Would you mind eating here with me? It would be a nice little spot to relax and have our ears and, in Tsuyu’s case, tongue out for a while without having to worry.”

 

“Of course!”

 

“Why did you think we brought you here, Midori-chan?”

 

He smiled at them. Maybe today was going to be wonderful after all.





Katsuki’s nose wrinkled. He was so tired from having to smell so many different Weres in one room. How did that even happen? What were the odds?

 

A squirrel and a frog had dragged Deku away during break. Some glasses wearing stag had yelled at him about getting his feet off his desk in the morning. A cat with two different eye colors sat in the very back of his class, attempting to not engage with anyone. And a very yappy red headed dog sat somewhere in the middle of the bunch.

 

It was honestly draining.

 

By the end of the week, he was about ready to start coming to class with tissues shoved up his nostrils.

 

Sometime in their second week, the yappy redhead had approached him during Phys. Ed. It was their first day of swim lessons. He was recalling Deku’s stupidly excited face while he went on about the required class on their first day before the dog came to sit next to him on a bench in the locker room.

 

“Yo! You’re Bakugou, right?”

 

“What’s it to you?”

 

“Ooh! Touchy!” The smile didn’t leave his face. How like a dog to not be immediately thrown off by Katsuki’s aggressive nature. “I was just gonna ask if you’ve got some sort of workout routine or a personal trainer or what. Your muscles are really defined. I’ve been going to the gym lately, but I’m pretty sure the suggested regimens they put up are more for the elderly people that still try to be active, because it hasn’t done a whole lot for me. What do you do?”

 

“Choke on some protein powder and die.”

 

The dog’s smile didn’t falter. “And that’s your secret, huh? Wild! I’m Kirishima Eijirou by the way!” He held a hand out.

 

Katsuki swatted it. “Why should I care?” He stood up and followed the other guys out to stand around the edge of the pool.

 

Kirishima leaned in close to whisper in his ear, “Well, you’re one too, aren’t you? A dog Were?”

 

Katsuki couldn’t resist the urge to snort.

 

So that was it.

 

Kirishima thought he was another dog.

 

He was wrong of course, but the guy was still a hell of lot more perceptive than Katsuki had given him credit for. He should have known a dog Were would have a similar sense of smell to his own. His was still superior by far, but the dog’s wasn’t bad.

 

“I’m not a dog.” Katsuki flashed him his canines in a wicked grin. “I’m a wolf.”

 

The intended effect was to make Kirishima back off with his tail between his legs. Instead, his smile doubled in size. “That’s so cool! Your canines are like twice the size of mine when you shift, huh? Or maybe even three times? Are you like really big in your wolf form?”

 

“Christ.” Katsuki was not expecting this dog to want to make nice. Especially since Katsuki had made it pretty clear that he had no intention of being friends with another Were let alone another predator.

 

His excitement suddenly dwindled, “Uh oh! It looks like someone’s getting chew out by the P.E. teacher.” Katsuki followed Kirishima’s line of sight.

 

He was surprised to find Deku, still fully clothed in his uniform, receiving a talking to from the swim instructor. After a few finger jabs and a few shakes from Deku’s head, the teacher gestured to the water. Deku shook his head again. His eyes lingered on the surface of the water, stretched wide in fear. Katsuki caught the scent of it, although he figured it was hard for Kirishima to detect over the smell of chlorine.

 

Suddenly, Deku’s eyes went white as his pupils shot up. His legs buckled and he went down. The P.E. teacher grabbed him just before his head could hit concrete.

 

“Oh shit!” Kirishima grabbed his arm, clearly shaken. “What the hell happened to him?

 

Katsuki shook him off and made his way over to where Deku had fallen prone. The P.E. teacher looked annoyed as he tried to rouse him from the fainting. “I’ll carry him to the infirmary,” Katsuki startled the man, appearing right behind him.

 

“S-sure. I don’t know what the hell happened. He just refused to change and then he went and fainted on me. I’ve seen kids pull some crazy stunts to get out of gym, but he seems genuinely down for the count, so…”

 

Katsuki stooped low and cradled Deku in his arms, making sure he was secure, before rising back to this feet.

 

He made his way back into the main school building, carefully watching to make sure Deku’s ears didn’t pop out.

 

What the hell was that?

 

Was this a strange rabbit thing he didn’t know about?

 

He pushed his way into the infirmary and was glad to find the nurse was out at the moment. He layed Deku in a bed and opened his phone to do a little research, not overly fond of having to go back to class so soon.

 

He typed in a question, do rabbits not like water into the search bar. The first link popped up. It was an article.

 

The Dangers of Giving a Rabbit a Bath.

 

Oh. Well, asked and answered. He sat down in the chair next to the bed and started reading. Apparently, fully submerging a rabbit could induce shock. The trauma of it might even kill him.

 

Katsuki looked at Deku’s soundly sleeping face. He thought about their time as children, specifically, the time he had fallen into the shallow ravine. Deku had tried to help him up, his legs clattering together in the water. It was summer time. The stream hadn’t been so cold.

 

Was he always scared of water?

 

But, then, why would he wade through the stream to get to him?

 

Maybe he was just more afraid of losing Katsuki.

 

Katsuki shook his head, trying to clear it. He went back to looking through his phone, trying to read more information on rabbits. He was surprised he’d never thought to do this before. He had always been so aware of his wolf side. He didn’t feel the need to do any research like Deku had.

 

He huffed out a laugh.

 

God, could Deku be any more obvious, checking out a bunch of books on rabbits? Katsuki bet he annotated them too and kept notes of everything he found that seemed relatable.

 

Where should you pet your bun?

 

Katsuki found himself clicking on the new article. “The cheeks and forehead…” He mumbled out.

 

Suddenly interested in testing it out, Katsuki stood up and strode back over to Deku’s bedside. He squatted down and brushed his fingers gently over Deku’s freckled cheeks. Deku’s nose twitched in his sleep before he rolled over, leaning into Katsuki’s palm until it cupped his face.

 

Katsuki brushed his other hand over Deku’s forehead and a soft sigh of contentment escaped his lips. A light thrumming echoed in Katsuki’s chest. He had no idea why, but it felt like he’d just acquired some pretty useful information.

 

He stood up, slipping his hand out from under Deku’s face just as the nurse walked in. A little old lady hobbled in with a cane. She spotted him and said, “Oh! Something wrong, dear?”

 

He shook his head. “Not me. Him.” He pointed down at Deku. “He fainted during P.E.”

 

“You sure I can’t get you anything for your fever?”

 

“Fever?”

 

“Your face is bright red!”

 

Katsuki moved to be in front of the wall mirror. He did look a little more flushed than usual. “It’s just from carrying him over here... We grew up together,” that was probably the closest Katsuki would ever come to calling them childhood friends, “and he’s afraid of water. He’s an idiot and he’ll try to push himself if you let him.”

 

“Oh my! I’ll have to confirm it with his mother, but I’ll be more than happy to give him a doctor’s note to avoid mishaps like this one in the future. Thank you for letting me know.”

 

“Whatever,” Katsuki shrugged. He gave Deku one more sidelong glance before exiting the infirmary.

Chapter Text

Izuku opened his eyes to the orange haze of a sunset filtering in through the window.

 

“Oh, so you’re awake!” A scraggly woman’s voice roused him further.

 

He sat up, wincing at the dull throbbing in his head.

 

The nurse handed him a cup of water and a Tylenol. “Here. For the headache. Geez, if you have Aquaphobia, you should have listed it in your medical records. This is a really irresponsible way to let your school nurse know, young man!”

 

“Wuh- I’m sorry!” Izuku quickly apologized, recognizing he was getting scolded before he fully understood what she had said. Wait… Aquaphobia? “Did you say Aquaphobia?”

 

“Yes. The gentleman who carried you here from P.E. said you’ve been afraid of water for most of your life. At least he was kind enough to clue me in, you troublemaker!”

 

“I really am sorry! I didn’t mean to make everybody worry. Who, uh, who carried me in?”

 

She tilted her head. “I don’t know all my students’ names and it’s the start of the new year. If it helps, he was a real moody one.”

 

“Kacchan?”

 

The nurse burst out laughing. “That one’s name is Kacchan? Judging by his appearance, that doesn’t really fit much at all!”

 

“Um, he’s a lot nicer than you’d think!”

 

“You don’t need to defend him. He carried you all the way here. I know he’s a good boy. Now then, I called your mom and informed her about today’s incident. I have a doctor’s note for you to give the P.E. teacher that will prevent you from having to participate in swim lessons. He’ll probably just make you run the track instead. Kind of boring if you ask me, but they probably didn’t think too hard on it.”

 

She handed Izuku the note. “Make sure to thank your Kacchan after this, and please limit your visits. Usually, I can tell right away when someone’s going to be causing me trouble by how close to the beginning of the year they get sent here.”

 

“Right! I’ll try not to be here so often.”

 

He tucked the note inside his back pocket, thanked the nurse, and went to find his bag. When he made it back to the classroom the door was locked. He sighed, trying to peer inside to see if his backpack was hanging from his chair.

 

“Looking for this?” He startled and spun around to the smiling faces of Uraraka and Tsuyu. His backpack hung from Uraraka’s outstretched hand. He gratefully accepted it. “They were going to lock it up in there, so I suggested we take it and wait for you just in case you came looking for it.”

 

“Thank you!”

 

“We heard what happened during the swim lesson,” Tsuyu chimed in, “The girls were still changing so we’re sorry we couldn’t be there to help.”

 

“It’s fine, you guys! It’s my own fault. I’ve always been fine with showers, so I didn’t think about it too hard, but, I guess, as a rabbit, I just don’t like getting into large bodies of water? I should have known better. On the other hand, I bet you did amazing Tsuyu!”

 

Tsuyu beamed. “Fastest in the class.”

 

“That’s including both boys and girls!” Uraraka made sure to add on.

 

“Wow! I expected nothing less, but it’s still really impressive.”

 

They made idle conversation as they exited the school building. Izuku felt guilty about half listening to the girls, but his thoughts had started drifting to Kacchan again.

 

Kacchan had carried him to the infirmary.

 

Kacchan had noticed his fear of water.

 

Kacchan had helped him.

 

“Midori-chan?” Tsuyu pulled him from his train of thought.

 

“Sorry! Yes?”

 

“Are you okay?” Uraraka looked at him, eyes filled with concern. “You had this dreamy look on your face. You didn’t hit your head on the way down when you fainted did you?”

 

“No! I was just thinking... about someone.”

 

“Ooooh! Spill! A crush? Who is it?” Uraraka pushed her face in super close, eager to hear more.

 

“M-my childhood friend, Kacchan! He apparently carried me to the nurse’s office. But, I was pretty sure he didn’t like me. We haven’t really talked in a while.”

 

“Bakugou? The one who insulted you during the entrance exam?”

 

“Yeah. That’s him…”

 

“That’s quite a face to be making for just a childhood friend.” Tsuyu snickered and kept them moving homeward.

 

“I wasn’t making a face!”

 

“You were!” Uraraka easily matched this new pace of teasing him. “You looked like this.” She lowered her eyelids, a soft smile on her face. She sighed gently, batting her lashes in an upward glance.

 

Izuku pointed to her and threw a questioning glance Tsuyu’s way.

 

“Okay, well it wasn’t that excessive. But it was along the same vein,” She relented a bit.

 

“So… Do you like him?” Uraraka prompted him again.

 

“What? Me , like Kacchan? He always makes fun of me! And when he’s not mad at me, he’s ignoring me!”

 

“That’s not a no,” Tsuyu cut through his reasoning with a sharp blade of the obvious.

 

Izuku took a deep breath in. “Yeah, okay. I might like him. What does it say about me as a person that I’ve got a crush on a guy that treats me like garbage?”

 

“Welcome to the wonderful world of women. You’ll be hard pressed to find any guy that doesn’t act that way.”

 

Uraraka wagged a finger at Tsuyu. “You only say that because you’re holding out on confessing to your snake friend. You have an obvious lesbian bias.”

 

“I’m pretty sure being a lesbian makes me perfectly unbiased in this scenario actually.”

 

Izuku buried his face in his hands. “What do I do? I can’t do anything, right? I mean, he’s a human, so it could never really work.”

 

“You’ve known him for a while. Maybe it won’t matter to him?” Uraraka sounded hopeful.

 

“From what I’ve heard about the guy, I doubt it. His personality sounds like sewage. You should quit while you’re ahead.” Tsuyu, less so.

 

“I don’t know if I can. Thinking back, I think I’ve liked him for quite some time now. It would be hard to just move on.”

 

“Then like him. Just keep a lid on your feelings. Don’t date anybody else, but don’t confess,” Tsuyu pointed at him sternly. “He’s got a volatile personality and I don’t like him. He’s dangerous. Bad for you. Don’t touch. Keep off the grass. End of story.”

 

“Wise words, Tsuyu-sensei,” Uraraka teased.





Deku went to gym class with everyone else. He changed in the locker room, throwing on the UA shirt and sweatpants they’d been issued upon acceptance instead of the swimsuit.

 

A few guys to Katsuki’s right murmured among themselves about it, clearly dissatisfied.

 

“Why doesn’t Midoriya have to take swim lessons?”

 

“I heard it’s a medical thing maybe, but it sounds fake.”

 

“Someone said he might be scared of water. Weird, right?”

 

Katsuki sighed.

 

Even in high school, Deku seemed to stand out as the perfect punching bag. Not that he could really help it.

 

The boys left the locker room and Katsuki watched as Deku made his way over to the P.E. teacher, handing him the doctor’s note to excuse his participation from the lesson. The teacher nodded and directed him out to the track.

 

“Are you kidding me? All he has to do is run the track?”

 

“He’s gonna be unsupervised too. He can totally slack off.”

 

Katsuki rolled his eyes.

 

Knowing Deku, the chances of him slacking off were slim to none.

 

“We should teach him a lesson.”

 

Woah. What?

 

Katsuki’s attention drifted back more intently to the conversation the three stooges were having.

 

“I’m saying we should haze him a little bit. For skipping the lesson. We can get him to come to the locker rooms after school and push him into the showers.”

 

“How about we push him into the pool? He’d probably get in trouble if a teacher saw him swimming after hours, right? Then he’d be forced to rejoin the lesson.”

 

“Let’s go over it more at lunch.”


Katsuki faced forward. The P.E. teacher walked by, instructing them to warm up before they could get into the water.

 

Katsuki made a mental note to come back after dismissal.





Izuku had never received a love letter before. But the unmistakable heart sticker sealing the envelope closed assured him that this indeed was a love letter he was looking at.

 

He opened it up, and stared down at the handwritten note. The person gave no mention of who they were, only that they took notice of him and wanted to let their feelings be known. It was an incredibly brave move on this person’s part.

 

He felt a stabbing pain in his chest thinking about how he wished he could be so brave. This person at least deserved to have their feelings be heard, right?

 

He held the note close to his heart and went to the specified location.

 

The locker rooms by the pool seemed like a pretty racey place to confess. He briefly hoped this person wasn’t looking for much past declaring what they felt.

 

Izuku waved off the thought. Clearly , he was getting a big head. They probably just wanted somewhere nice and secluded. Maybe they were shy?

 

He shuffled around just outside of the locker rooms. It was so eerily quiet. He looked across the still waters of the pool. A shiver ran up his spine at just the sight of it. He quickly turned to step into the locker room.

 

“Hello?” His voice echoed in the dark damp space. “I, uh, I received your letter. I’ll listen to what you have to say, but I wanted to let you know, before you say anything, that I’m not really interested. I didn’t want to get your hopes up…”

 

Nobody answered him.

 

He stepped further into the space. “Hello?”

 

The lights flickered on. He blinked, trying to adjust to the change. He felt his arms get grabbed and two boys pushed him down from behind. His knees hit the concrete of the locker room hard and he hissed.

 

“That’s real gentlemanly of you, Midoriya. But you should know this isn’t really something you can refuse,” A third boy stepped out in front of him, staring down into his face.

 

He looked him over smugly. Then he rested his chin between his thumb and forefinger, making a show of thinking. “You know, we might have to get him into some trunks before we chuck him in. They’d believe he went for a swim more if he wasn’t in his uniform.”

 

The guy at his right nodded. “That’s good! Get the trunks and we’ll take off his clothes.”

 

The third guy left for the trunks while the other two wrestled him to the ground, pulling off his jacket and trying to remove his shirt.

 

“Stay still! It’s hard from this angle since we can’t reach the buttons. Get it over his head, moron!”

 

“I’m trying, but he keeps moving! Ouch! He bit me! Fuck!”

 

Izuku was absolutely terrified. He struggled as his captors managed to get the shirt over his arms and his torso, completely blocking his view as it coned around his head. His lack of vision was the last straw as full blown panic sunk in. His ears sprung forth, thankfully tucked out of sight by the shirt.

 

But as soon as they took it off, they would know.

 

They’d see his ears and either tell someone or continue with their plan to throw him into the pool.

 

He would drown .

 

Tears fell over his cheeks as he considered his current odds of survival.

 

Suddenly, the hands that held him to the ground let go.

 

“What are you doing here?” One of the boys asked.

 

Was he saved? Did someone hear the commotion and come to his aid?

 

Get. Out.

 

Every atom in Izuku’s body stopped moving.

 

“But he-”

 

GET. OUT. NOW.

 

The voice was like Kacchan’s but gruffer, more guttural. It sent more dread dripping through Izuku than he thought possible. Even more than what he had already been put through.

 

He heard rapid footsteps as the people standing around him fled from the locker room.

 

When it went quiet, Izuku remained still.

 

His ears were still out, shirt blocking them from Kacchan’s view.

 

He heard a soft step in his direction, felt the vibrations it carried through the floor and flinched.

 

He heard another step and flinched again.

 

Deku… ” The growl that came from behind him didn’t sound human.

 

Izuku gasped.

 

Something inside his mind snapped to attention. The primal part of his brain that wanted to keep him alive responded. Told him what to do if he wanted to live.

 

Shift.

 

He closed his eyes and the world went dark.





Katsuki watched as Deku shrunk before his eyes, shape falling in on himself, clothes pooling around him. Only a small lump under the button up remained, unmoving. He took a few more small steps to get closer to the tiny bundle, careful not to startle him further.

 

He hovered over the shaking thing, curious and hesitant.

 

The jig was up at this point, right? Deku knew that Katsuki saw him shift. He had probably done it in response to his alpha wolf voice. If he was smart and used that nerd brain of his, he’d put two and two together and figure out that Katsuki was a Were too.

 

He lifted the shirt up and Deku startled, but didn’t yet flee. Katsuki could see the small but fast beating of his heart. Could smell his fear and sense his nerves.

 

He sighed.

 

It was still wrong.

 

God. No.

 

Nothing about this would ever be right.

 

Katsuki reached out a finger slowly, seeing if Deku would respond. He didn’t move, didn’t try to sniff it or attempt to see if Katsuki had any ill intent. He was probably still too scared.

 

Katsuki took his pliancy as allowance and pet Deku’s forehead. Upon initial contact the rabbit was stiff. After a few stokes, Deku seemed to settle down, muscles loosening and hackles slowly lowering.

 

“You’re an idiot.” Katsuki picked him up off the floor of the locker room, cradling him against his chest. “And much too trusting.”

 

He went to sit on one of the benches.

 

Here, Katsuki thought he was the most dangerous threat to Deku’s existence, when really, that prize went to Deku himself.

 

The rabbit leaned into his torso, probably content with the warmth he found there and obviously enjoying the way Katsuki was smoothing out the fur on his cheeks.

 

It was in that moment of calm that a new plan boiled and baked itself inside Katsuki’s head. A new way to protect Deku from both Katsuki’s wolf and Deku’s own dumb decisions.

 

Katsuki smiled cruelly, removing the bunny from his chest so he could sit it in his lap to face him. He willed his ears out, bared large canines, and stared down at the now quivering rabbit.

 

“You’re my prey, so don’t think you can escape me.”

Chapter Text

Izuku stared up into the wide, manic grin of his childhood friend.

 

Kacchan was a Were!

 

Kacchan was a predator !

 

How long had he known about Izuku?

 

Since the beginning?

 

Was that why he had treated him so bad?

 

Because he had always been Kacchan’s prey?

 

He wanted to cry, but found that his body couldn’t produce the right sounds or means to do so as is.

 

Was everything up until this point part of Kacchan’s hunt?

 

Where did that leave Izuku?

 

Was he about to get eaten?

 

He had already contemplated dying once tonight. Guess it was just out of the frying pan and into the fire, huh?

 

Relax .” Kacchan’s voice was smooth and raspy, said with authority and allure, everything a predator was. It made Izuku go slack in his hold, defeated, submissive. “Calm down and shift back so we can talk about this properly.”

 

Izuku was panicking. Was he capable of that level of calm right now? He didn’t think so, but he also didn’t think Kacchan would appreciate it if he stayed a rabbit after he gave him an order.

 

Kacchan sighed, outwardly annoyed with the lack of shifting Izuku was doing. Soft, warm hands smoothed over his cheeks, brushing his whiskers back. The gesture felt so nice. Coupled with Kacchan’s natural scent so close, Izuku almost melted right into it.

 

Almost.

 

“Dekuuuuu, turn back already... My hands are tired from petting you... You aren’t doing this on purpose, right? You staying a rabbit just so you can get pet?”

 

Izuku felt a strange sense of embarrassed denial rise up. His nerves buzzed with the feeling of his shift and he felt himself take on human form again, the ears and tail the only Were traits that remained.

 

“No!” He burst out, vehemently denying the accusation.

 

Kacchan’s hands went to rest on his hips to keep Izuku from falling. They shared a brief moment of stunned silence as they realized just how naked and just how still in Kacchan’s lap Izuku was.

 

Izuku jumped up on shaky legs and quickly covered himself. Kacchan stood and moved across the locker room. He gathered Izuku’s clothes and held them out to him. His face was turned away, giving Izuku privacy, a light dusting of pink settled high on his cheekbones.

 

“Th-thanks.”

 

Izuku took the uniform, and hurried to put it back on, struggling with trembling hands at his tie. He gave up and let it hang frumpily at his neck. Honestly, it didn’t look any different from the usual.

 

“You can, um, turn around now, Kacchan.”

 

Kacchan clicked his tongue. When he faced Izuku again the hint of a blush was gone, stone cold arrogance in its place. “Finally. For a second there I thought I was gonna have to convince my parents I took the class pet home or something.”

 

“How long have you known,” Izuku didn’t frame it like a question. He was trying so hard to keep his emotions in check right now, but he felt utterly betrayed. All this time he had spent trying to get close to Kacchan, trying to repair their relationship, realizing his feelings for him. How much was a lie? Was it all just to rope him in?

 

“I’ve known since the beginning.”

 

Those words stung. Izuku took in a shaky breath of air and reality. His mind was going back, day by day, trying to find something untainted, something that this new revelation didn’t put into a grim perspective.

 

“Now what?” He guessed the question sounded like it was for Kacchan, but he meant it more for himself, for his broken heart.

 

“Now nothing. Nothing changes.”

 

Izuku looked up as Kacchan approached him, ears pointed up, tail swishing behind him. Izuku felt his back come into contact with the locker room wall. He didn’t dare take his eyes off Kacchan’s, even as the other Were’s arms splayed out on either side of his head, trapping him in place.

 

“You’ve always been my prey and you’re going to continue to be, got it?”

 

Izuku’s eyes prickled. His nose burned and he felt the telltale signs of tears coming on. “So am I just supposed to go about living my life knowing you’re going to end me one day?”

 

“Look at it this way,” Kacchan’s gaze was unwavering. “As long as you stay by my side, you’ll receive protection from other predators and you now have a healthy amount of fear and caution around me. It could work out more in your favor than mine if you play your cards right. Especially since all of my cards are faced up now too.”

 

There was a strangely sound logic to it, like Kacchan had already weighed the pros and cons of the situation for Izuku. But, trapped between Kacchan’s arms, he didn’t really need to see any logic. It was obvious Kacchan had Izuku right where he wanted him. Had always had him right where he wanted him.

 

He caught a whiff of Kacchan’s scent and suppressed a shiver. Why was his body still reacting to him? Was it stupid? Didn’t it know the kind of situation it was in? How could he possibly still be attracted to him?

 

Well? ” Kacchan’s voice came out sounding like a purr. The noise shook Izuku to his core and rattled every bone in his ribcage, butterflies going absolutely batshit in there.

 

Izuku swallowed. “I understand, Kacchan.” He resigned himself to his fate, matching Kacchan’s gaze head on. “I won’t run away.”

 

Kacchan stepped back, hands up. They fell to his sides. “Good.” His ears and tail tucked themselves away without issue. “Now shift back fully already so we can go home. It smells like B.O. in here.”

 

Izuku slid down to sit on the floor. “I-I’ll try, but I have trouble with getting them to stay in.”

 

“I know. So emotional. Learn some control already.”

 

“You know? How do you know?

 

“Because I always know when you’ve got your ears out, dumbass. You’re so obvious. And your smell gets everywhere. I’m surprised only half the Weres in our class know.”

 

Izuku paled. “You know about Uraraka and Tsuyu?”

 

“The squirrel and the frog? Yeah, figured that out on the first day. I’m not interested in hunting them so you can stop freaking out now.”

 

Izuku tried to slow his breathing. “Geez. Just how good is your sense of smell?”

 

“The best.” Predator Were or not, Kacchan was still Kacchan.

 

Izuku’s ears finally settled back out of sight. He stood up. “What kind of Were are you anyway?”

 

Kacchan flashed him a wolfish grin. “Guess.”

 

“A cougar!”

 

“No.”

 

“A lion?”

 

“Wuh- No! I’m a wolf, jackass. Stop guessing.”

 

“You told me to guess...”

 

“I take it back. All your guesses suck.”

 

“Wow. A wolf… are you like crazy big in your other form? I heard wolves are a lot bigger than people think.”

 

Kacchan turned to leave the locker room. Izuku stuck close to his heels. “I’m huge, or, I will be. Currently, I look like an adolescent. That form’s too gangly. I’ll bulk up quite a bit by the time I turn eighteen.”

 

“Do you plan to eat me before or after that?”

 

Kacchan stopped short, just as they were making it through the school gate. Izuku had to catch himself from falling forward into his back. He didn’t turn around to look at him when he spoke, “... Haven’t thought about it.”

 

“Oh… Well, I’d sort of like to know, just in case I don’t have to worry about applying to colleges.”

 

“Stop talking like that! Just live your life like normal and don’t worry about it.”

 

“Like normal? Well, alright, I guess...”





This was not normal .

 

Katsuki had been only a spoonful of his spicy curry in when Deku plopped his sunshine spouting ass next to him at lunch the next day.

 

Kirishima sat across from him, his presence now a daily occurrence, or maybe annoyance. He wasn’t sure yet. The dog’s stupid grinning face turned Deku-ward. “Hey, Midoriya! How’s it hanging?”

 

“Oh, hey, Kirishima! Just thought I’d sit next to Kacchan today. Don’t mind me.”

 

Kirishima hacked into his soup. After chugging some of his milk, his throat was clear to speak, “Did you say Kacchan ?”

 

Katsuki didn’t address the eyebrows his newly acquired friend was giving him.

 

“Um, it’s a nickname I gave Kacchan when we were kids,” Deku answered for him.

 

Kirishima looked between the two of them with something one half amusement, the other half mischief. He stood up, picking up his soup. “Darn! I forgot I’m supposed to sit with Mina and go over our math homework. I’ll catch you guys later, alright?”

 

He walked away, leaving the two of them alone. Katsuki threw his spoon down and groaned, leaning against the back of his chair.

 

“I’m sorry. Did I chase him away?” Deku at least looked apologetic.

 

“No. He stood up and walked away because he’s an idiot and he thinks he’s doing me a favor.”

 

“Why would he think that?”

 

“Put two and two together, nerd. You just sat down, claiming you want to eat lunch with me and calling me that cutesy nickname from when we were four. What do you think he thought?”

 

“Oh.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

Oh no.

 

“Yeah, there it is.” Katsuki took some time to appreciate Deku’s blushing face while he could. “Why did you decide to sit next to me anyway? I told you to just go about things like normal, didn’t I?”

 

“But you also said to stay by your side. I thought that meant I should, um…”

 

“I also said you should develop a healthy dose of fear for me, didn’t I? Does cozying up to your natural born predator seem like a sane thing to do? Where’s that brain at today?”

 

“It’s a little stalled at the moment. If you hadn’t noticed, I have a lot going on right now. My head’s been sort of a mess, so sorry if I can’t keep everything straight! I also didn’t sleep well last night.”

 

Katsuki scoped the eyebags Deku was sporting. They did look terrible. “You should skip class and sleep in the infirmary. Have Squirrel Girl or Frogger take notes for you.”

 

“I can’t.” He looked troubled. “Sometimes my ears pop out if I get too comfortable.”

 

“Jesus, you’re a mess. They pop out when you’re stressed. They pop out when you’re not stressed. Just how much control do you actually have over them? Almost none at all?”

 

“It’s a lot harder to keep things under control when you’re f earing for your life every second of every day! Being a prey Were is hard!”

 

Katsuki really hadn’t thought too hard on it, but he guessed if he had to constantly look at others like potential threats, he might have some difficulties keeping in his scent and shifts too. “It does sound hard.”

 

“But does it sound hard enough that you’d feel guilty about finishing your hunt?”

 

Katsuki growled, “Just drop it already! I said don’t worry about it and just go about your business like normal. Maybe you’ll get lucky and I’ll get bored or something.”

 

Deku stared off into space, his brow furrowed in deep thought. Katsuki picked up his spoon, attempting to finish his lunch.

 

“That sounds like a cop out.”

 

The mumbled statement shocked him. He turned to see that Deku’s face looked just as surprised, as if he didn’t mean to voice it aloud.

 

“Do you want me to eat you?”

 

Deku looked up at him, cheeks tinged red. “No! I mean, it’s just, having to wait and guess when it’s coming is a lot more tortuous than having it happen immediately, you know? Honestly, forget it! Forget I said anything!

 

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”

 

They continued to eat in silence for a time.

 

Katsuki knew it wasn’t meant to last as soon as Izuku set down his fork. “So… Is it okay if I sit here tomorrow too, or…?”





Kacchan was confusing.

 

Izuku figured as a predator Were he would want his prey close by, but the wolf never seemed to show any possessive traits or exert his dominance by telling Izuku what to do. He’d only ever expressed a need to control Izuku’s life at very specific instances.

 

Like when he yelled at Izuku to get his medical documents in for their second year so he’d be excused from swim lessons again.

 

Or the time he demanded Izuku to not meet with a girl who was actually a bear Were in their third year when she asked him to join her after school study group.

 

It all seemed more like helpful advice or more like things his mother would warn him about.

 

And he seemed bothered with Izuku’s presence when he stuck too close, complaining about how Izuku should go hang out with his friends and just let Kacchan plot his eventual death in peace.

 

It was starting to get a little anticlimactic and just a tad ridiculous at this point.

 

His friends had long since found out. They knew all the Weres in the class by now. Some of the predators were even friendly! Usually it was the domesticated ones though. Like Todoroki, the cat, or Kirishima, the dog.

 

“Perhaps that’s part of his enjoyment? Lulling you into a false sense of comfort before finally striking? Some animals like to play with their food,” Iida, the stag who had joined their little friend group halfway through their first year, tried to supply his input. His antlers stood out proudly from his head, although they kept knocking into the wall behind him, as they ate lunch in the stairwell.

 

“I can definitely see Bakugou doing something like that. He’s got a nasty attitude. You can’t trust how predators act.” Tsuyu chimed in with her own bias. Ever since Kacchan had called her Kermit in their second year, she had been pretty insistent that Izuku find some way to get out from under the wolf’s rather lax thumb.

 

“How can you say that when you’re dating one?” Uraraka rolled her eyes.

 

“Habuko is different.”

 

“How so?”

 

“I love her.”

 

“My debating skills are a little rusty, but I don’t believe that’s a passable reason.”

 

“Well, do you think Izuku should continue to have feelings for Bakugou?”

 

“Wait! Wait! Wait! Who said anything about that? ” Izuku tried to jump back into the discussion the girls had somehow commandeered, “I haven’t thought about having those kinds of feelings for Kacchan for a while now. Not since I found out he was a wolf in human clothing.”

 

They all looked disbelievingly at him.

 

“What? If someone’s got something to say, say it!”

 

Uraraka put a hand on his shoulder. “I don’t know how many times you need to be told this, but it’s really obvious that you’ve never gotten over him.”

 

“I have too!”

 

“Have not. Why else would you still hang around him?” Tsuyu argued.

 

“He told me to stay by his side! I told you what he said! He said I could never escape!”

 

“He also keeps telling you to not take that so literally. He gave you the option to stay away. Actually, he pretty much encouraged it,” Tsuyu was reasonable and blunt as always.

 

“I have to agree, Midoriya. It would make much more sense upon being given the option to stay away from him, but you continue to go back.” Iida took a bite of his rice. “It’s suspicious to say the least.”

 

Izuku stood up, packing up his lunch.

 

“Deku…”

 

“Midoriya!”

 

“Midori-chan.”

 

He walked down the stairwell, tucking his ears away. “I’ll be back when you’ve all seen reason and decide to change your stance on this subject.”

 

He wandered down the hall, back to his classroom, appetite practically gone.

 

His friends were crazy! He wasn’t still in love with Kacchan! That would be ridiculous! That would be suicidal!

 

He stopped and thought about every time he’d approached Kacchan in the last three years of his own volition, completely unprompted, laying himself before the wolf like a free buffet.

 

Okay, so he was either suicidal or in love. Take your pick.

 

“I’m delighted to see you’ve taken an interest in the college you’ve chosen, Mr. Bakugou. An exemplary student such as yourself will surely get in! We can probably arrange a scholarship too. Have you applied for any of those yet?”

 

Izuku braced himself against the wall of the hallway, listening intently to the conversation in the classroom.

 

“Just one. They offer a full ride to U.A. for anyone who can score a hundred on their entrance exam. I intend to ace it.”

 

U.A.? Izuku thought Kacchan was going to the local community college for sure. Neither of their families had enough money lying around to dorm, but it was very like Kacchan to reach for the stars.

 

“I’m sure you’ll do us proud!”

 

Izuku wasted no time, racing down the hall. He went down a flight of stairs and threw open the door to the guidance counselor’s office. The lady sitting at the desk looked startled.

 

“Sorry for the intrusion! I’d like to change my first college choice!”

Chapter Text

“You need help, Deku. Serious help,” Uraraka’s voice chided him from his phone speaker. He continued to set up his dorm room at UA, awaiting his roommate’s arrival. “This is sick. It’s practically an obsession.”

 

“He told me to stay close, so I’m just following his instructions.” He shrugged to nobody but himself.

 

“Deku… Do you ever think he’s been trying to push you away?”

 

That had not been a thought Izuku was willing to entertain. If Kacchan really had gotten bored of him…

 

He didn’t even want to think about it.

 

But he’d been so proactive in helping Izuku navigate all the pitfalls he’d encountered in high school! Even in their last few weeks, Kacchan had told him to steer clear of the two cat Weres in the second year who liked to go into the third year bathrooms and, well, get intimate during break.

 

Again, that seemed less like a forceful command and more of a helpful tip to preserve Izuku’s virgin ears and eyes, but still. It counted for something , right?

 

“Uh… I guess?”

 

Oh shit. Had he said all of that out loud?

 

“Yeah. You’re still doing it. Hello? Earth to Deku. Come in, Deku. Over.”

 

“Deku here. Over.”

 

“Welcome back, space cadet.”

 

He heard a key turning in the lock of his door. “Roommate’s here. Gotta go!”

 

He hung up and spun around just as the door opened. Kacchan stood at the threshold, holding a hamper full of clothes. He looked confused to see Izuku standing in the room, momentarily checking the room number before confirming that, yes.

 

This was really happening.

 

“Why are you here?!” Kacchan’s anger finally boiled over. He strode into the room and threw his things on the empty bed.

 

“I think… because we’re roommates?”

 

“I can see that, dumbfuck. Why are we roommates? What did you do?

 

“Well, you told me to stay by your side so I-”

 

“God fucking dammit! Not this shit again! Are you really trying to die, or what?”

 

“Can I ask what what is in this context?”

 

“It’s my foot getting shoved straight up your-”

 

“Izuku!” Kacchan’s mother pushed her way inside the dorm, suitcases tucked under each arm. Kacchan’s father waddled in after, carrying what Izuku assumed to be literally everything else. “Aren’t you lucky! You get to room with somebody you already know.”

 

“Did you know about this?” Kacchan glared at his mother.

 

“What? You didn’t? I asked Inko where Izuku chose to attend and when she said he picked the same place as you, we filled out your dorm surveys together. You’re supposed to list people you already know going into the dorming lottery, so we both put down your names and voila! You’re roomies!”

 

“So the roommate thing really wasn’t your idea?” Kacchan side eyed him.

 

“No. I, uh, did pick this college because I knew you’d be here, but I didn’t plan to be spending this much time by your side.”

 

Kacchan’s mom squealed, “Isn’t he cute! Who else would stick with you all throughout your school days but Izuku? What a loyal friend you have! Cherish him more, you brat.” Mitsuki grabbed her son and pulled him down for a noogie.

 

Kacchan didn’t pull away, but he looked one-hundred percent done with the situation at hand. The glare he was giving Izuku promised annihilation as soon as his parents left.

 

And, as soon as they said their goodbyes and the door closed behind them, all hell really did break loose.

 

Both of their ears and tails sprung out. Izuku jumped up onto his bed and backed himself up against the wall while Kacchan whipped around to come after him.

 

Kacchan snarled as he grabbed for Izuku’s legs. After a few misses, he finally found a hold and pulled Izuku down, landing his ass on the edge of the mattress. Kacchan wasted no time capturing his wrists and pushing them down.

 

Izuku was only a little turned on by the fact that his crush was finally pinning him to a bed.

 

Only a little.

 

Wait, he had decided he wasn’t in love. He was suicidal. No, that wasn’t right. Uh, where had he left off with that argument in his head? It was hard to remember when Kacchan’s fiery red eyes were boring into his, his thick woodsy scent spreading over Izuku like a blanket.

 

This was seriously a dangerous line of thought!

 

He tried to struggle out of the hold to no avail. Kacchan’s pelvis came up to rest against his, effectively stopping his hips from wiggling.

 

Oh, God. Please don’t pop a boner right now, body!

 

“Deku…” Kacchan’s voice was so close to his ear, he could feel warm puffs of heat against the fur.

 

He whimpered, unable to keep the sound from leaving his lips.

 

Kacchan tensed above him. He was off in a matter of seconds, looking down at Izuku with a cross expression. “Did that scare you? If you’ve learned your lesson then get out of here and ask for a room change.”

 

“No!” Izuku was surprised by the volume he used to refuse the wolf, “I mean, I wasn’t scared. And I don’t need a room change. I can take whatever you throw at me, Kacchan. I won’t run away. When you’re ready to-to, um, finish your hunt, I’ll be right here and I’ll be ready.”

 

Kacchan huffed incredulously. “You aren’t even ready to say what finishing a hunt entails let alone accept it. Go back home, Deku.”

 

“No.”

 

Leave, Deku.

 

“I-I won’t.” Izuku shook with the effort that it took to remain seated on the bed. Whenever Kacchan used that tone on him, it felt like something broke a little. Something willful, prideful. Well, not this time. “I’m not moving.”

 

“Fine.” Kacchan started putting his clothes back into his suitcase. “Then I’ll go.”

 

“What? Why?”

 

“You wanna be unreasonable? I’ll be the logical one instead. I’ll. Go.”

 

“Logical? What the hell do you mean logical? Nothing you’ve done so far since I’ve found out you’ve been hunting me has been in your favor. How is anything you do logical?”

 

The revelation hung in the air between them like rippling water. When it reached the edges of Izuku’s frayed mind, it finally dawned on him.

 

“You’ve got no intention of finishing your hunt, do you?”

 

Kacchan growled at him, but Izuku didn’t even flinch. “Watch your mouth, prey!”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry. Do you still expect me to be scared of you when you’re running away like a dog with its tail tucked between its legs?”

 

“You crazy fuck! Just how bad do you want to die?”

 

“Well, how about you stop pussyfooting around and actually stick to your promises!”

 

“I don’t want to kill you, okay?!”

 

Izuku opened his mouth, but found all the wind had been stolen from his lungs. “What?”

 

“I don’t want to kill you. I told you I was hunting you so I could stick close and chase away other predators and maybe you’d grow some self awareness about me too in the process, but obviously that hasn’t been working because you’re a suicidal dumbass who pops his ears out whenever your emotions go a notch above indifferent on the sensitive idiot scale!”

 

Kacchan stood in front of him, panting.

 

Izuku really had no idea what to say to all that. “You were… protecting me?”

 

“Are you seriously- I’m a predator. A wolf. I have large fangs and I play with and maim tiny things like you just because I can. Learn some self preservation already, would ya?”

 

There was a beat of silence.

 

“Are you still going to change rooms?”

 

Kacchan sat down on his bed, throwing his head in his hands. “You didn’t hear anything I said did you?”

 

Sure he had.

 

Izuku had heard plenty.

 

He heard that Kacchan had been keeping him safe from predators, including himself. Kacchan, much like he always tended to be, was Izuku’s hero, first and foremost.

 

“I heard you. I just decided I had my own opinion on the matter.”

 

Kacchan scoffed and peered up at him. “Stubborn bunny.”

 

“Awkward wolf.”





Katsuki finished unpacking and opened up his laptop to go over his course schedule. He had intended to print it out before he moved in, but his parents rushing him around all morning sort of put a damper on those plans.

 

Deku sat on his bed, leaning back against a husband pillow with a book. Every so often Katsuki would catch him peeking over the cover to stare at him like there was more he wanted to say. It was getting a little distracting, especially since his ears were still out, letting out more of his scent.

 

They stood upright, forward leaning in Katsuki’s direction. Honestly, it couldn’t be more obvious that Deku had almost all of his attention focused on him.

 

He was about to bring it up when Deku folded first, “So, what kind of courses did you pick?”

 

Katsuki sighed and turned his laptop around. Deku hopped off his bed, not even bothering to mark his place in the book.

 

God. So obvious.

 

He peered down to examine Katsuki’s work load. “You’re taking a lot of art classes!”

 

“Duh. I’m majoring in it.”

 

Deku looked surprised. “I had no idea you liked art! Do you paint or draw?”

 

“Paint mostly.”

 

“Well, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Your parents are fashion designers right?”

 

“Yeah. They end up taking a lot of inspiration from modern art so I figured it would be a good path.”

 

“Ah! We have the Gen. Ed English course together and Environmental Science.”

 

“You major in English?”

 

Deku blinked up at him. “How’d you know?”

 

“The amount of books and notebooks you brought with you was a big tell. How’s that book by the way?”

 

“Oh, uh, I already read it like a week ago. I was just going over my annotations.”

 

“... Did you already read all the books your classes required you to?”

 

A flush spread over Deku’s cheeks and down his neck. “Yes.”

 

“You do know they give you time to read them over the course of the semester, right? Like, they sanction off how many chapters you need to read after every class. Why am I explaining this? You probably know that and you still read them all. God, you’re such a nerd.”

 

Katsuki’s phone buzzed and Deku jumped. He picked it up with the intent of unlocking it, but then Deku’s phone buzzed too. He opened up his messages while Deku went to grab his.

 

Hello all! This is your T.A. for Environmental Science. The professor for this class is much more hands on than most. As such, we’ve got an excursion two weeks from now to the beach. We’re going to catalog a few different plants and animals we find there. There will also be time to walk around and just enjoy the day at the beach so bring swim trunks and sunscreen. We’ll send an email out with more information at a later date. See you in class!

 

Katsuki looked up to see Deku holding his chin, eyes scanning carefully over the text. “You gonna be okay?”

 

Deku turned to him and a not so genuine smile lifted up his face. “Oh, yeah. I’ll be fine.”

 

“You can probably just hang out on the beach. I don’t think you need to get anywhere near the water.”

 

“That would be weird, wouldn’t it? Everyone’s going to be playing in the water. And how am I going to record things for the assignment?”

 

Katsuki clicked his tongue. “You're usually so naively optimistic about everything. Realistic pessimism doesn’t suit you. Just say I’ll find a way! and stop worrying about it.”

 

Deku snorted and then quickly covered his mouth. “I’m sorry, but was that supposed to be an impression of me?”

 

“It was.”

 

“From when I was like four? I didn’t know your voice could get that high pitched.”

 

“News flash, squeaky. You still sound like your boys haven’t dropped.”

 

Deku was red to his ear tips. “They have too!” Deku backtracked, “I mean, that’s not any of your business, but my voice has gotten way deeper!”

 

“Yeah, I guess it’s mellowed out a bit. The real shame is that you stopped growing in middle school.”

 

“I’m five-six! That’s about the average!”

 

“I don’t think so.” Katsuki stood up and towered over him by a head and a half. “See? You’re short.”

 

You’re not the average! I am! Obviously I’m shorter than you. But, you’re like some breed of giant. Your perspective is skewed.”

 

“Alright, alright! Stop jabbing your finger at my face. You’re gonna pull something having to stretch it up that high.”

 

Deku looked absolutely frustrated. He grabbed his pillow and slid it over the bed towards him before slamming his face down into it and groaning. The fur on his ears was all fluffed up in irritation.

 

Katsuki reached out a hand and gently touched one, trying to smooth it out. Deku gasped and sat back up. Katsuki searched his wary face with some hesitation.

 

“Sorry. My ears are sensitive. I don’t usually like having them touched,” Deku tried to explain.

 

Katsuki nodded. He knew that from reading articles about rabbits and where they liked to be pet. He very simply just wanted to touch them. Forgot himself in how soft they looked. And they were soft.

 

“You can touch them if you want!” Deku blurted out.

 

“What?” Katsuki blinked at him.

 

“My ears.” He pointed up at them. “If you want to touch them, you can. It’s fine if I know it’s coming. I don’t mind.”

 

“Well, you should mind!” Katsuki shoved his hand down between Deku’s ears, flattening his curls and pushing the nerd back a few steps. He moved by him. “I’m going out.”

 

“Where?” Deku looked like he was trying to push his ears back in, but he wasn’t having any luck. “Out to dinner? Can I come?”


“If you come, you’ll be dinner.” Deku’s ears drooped down in disappointment. Katsuki stepped out into the hall and slammed the door shut.

Chapter Text

Katsuki stepped into the wooded area, a good ways from the campus. It was about an hour and a half walk to get there, but the peace it would give him to shift uninhibited would be worth it.

 

He let his ears spring forth and immediately picked up the rustling of leaves nearby. Cautiously, he turned his head and eyed some quivering brambles.

 

He scented the air.

 

“Kirishima, I know you’re here. Come out.”

 

Kirishima stepped out from his hiding spot, looking sheepish, his floppy, black labrador ears piqued slightly, giving away his excitement.

 

“I’ve been spotted... I got your text earlier about this place and thought I’d check it out too. I was hoping to see you tonight. Did you come out for a shift or just scoping the place out?”

 

Katsuki restrained a growl at the notion that he had any plans to share his newfound territory with the other canine Were. “I sent you that text as a warning to stay away!”

 

“So touchy! You sure you don’t want to share? I’ve already found a nice grassy field to roll around in.”

 

“Great. You’re telling me you’ve already stunk the place up?”

 

He shrugged, a knowing smile playing at his lips. “Well, I mean, if it already smells so much like me, you might as well just get used to having me around anyway. Even if I leave, you’ll have to get used to my scent being here.”

 

“Think you’re so clever? What if I just go find a different area, huh?”

 

“You wouldn’t do that! That would seem an awful lot like backing down.”

 

He was right. This was clearly a challenge. And Katsuki never backed down from a challenge.

 

“Hey, it’s your ass on the line. If I decide to hunt and blow off some steam, don’t be surprised when I want to try mutt out for a change.”

 

Kirishima smacked him on the back, happily victorious in making Katsuki cave. “Aw! It’s so swell that you worry about my wellbeing like that, but I trust you, bro! I know you’d never let your wolf hurt me!”

 

Katsuki grit his teeth. “Don’t be so sure. I actually came out here tonight because I didn’t know if I could hold myself back from hurting my roommate.”

 

Kirishima held his chin. “Oh, yeah. I got that text too. Bunking with Midoriya, huh? Well, I don’t think that’s so bad. You get to bunk with someone you like. Shouldn’t you be happy?”

 

“What the hell are you on about? I don’t like that stupid prey Were!”

 

“But you guys ate lunch alone together like every day in high school!”

 

“That’s because every time he sat down next to me, you’d get up and leave.”

 

“And you never made a move to eat him, even though you’re childhood friends and you’ve known each other since you were what? Four?”

 

“So? I got bored of the hunt is all. The nerd finally wore me down. It’s no fun when the prey runs toward you instead of away from you.”

 

“Okay, but how about all the shake downs you did of the predator Weres that discovered him?”

 

Katsuki grabbed the front of Kirishima’s shirt and pulled his face in close. “If that information ever leaves these woods, Kirishima, you won’t leave these woods, because I’m gonna bury your body somewhere out here and make sure it’s never found.”

 

Kirishima, unfazed by the threat, let out a low whistle, “Gee! That totally convinced me that you don’t have a thing for him at all!”

 

Katsuki pouted and shoved him away. He started removing his shirt and pants. “Whatever. You just gonna stand there like an idiot, or are you gonna strip down?”

 

Kirishima wiggled his way out of his tee, a big grin plastered to his face. “Last one to shift is a rotten egg!”





Izuku stared at his dorm room ceiling and waited as the minutes ticked by for Kacchan to get back home.

 

He had started to get restless a few hours after the dining hall had closed. He hadn’t gone out for dinner, too caught up in worrying about when Kacchan planned to get back, or if he even planned on coming back at all.

 

A little after three in the morning, Izuku’s ears picked up the sound of footsteps in the hall outside his door. He sat up in bed, watching as it slid open. Kacchan took a step in and froze. Their eyes met.

 

An earthy scent flooded Izuku’s senses. Curiosity coiled inside him and he itched to smell more of it, wanted to know where Kacchan had been, what he had seen.

 

But he brought his knees up instead, hugging them to his chest. “You’re home pretty late…”

 

Kacchan clicked his tongue and closed the door behind him. The minute it shut, his wolf ears were back out. He moved to his desk and set something down on the surface. “You didn’t have to wait up for me.”

 

“I wasn’t trying to,” Izuku didn’t really want to argue over it. But it would have been nice to have known when Kacchan was coming back. “My brain just wouldn’t shut off until it knew you were here.”

 

“Guess you’re in for a lot of sleepless nights then.”

 

“Guess so.” Izuku played with the end of one of his ears. “A heads-up for when you’d be back would have been nice though.”

 

Kacchan sighed. “Where’s your phone?”

 

Izuku blinked at him. “Pardon?”

 

“Where’s your phone, rabbit?”

 

“Oh, it’s charging on the dresser.”

 

Kacchan walked over and turned it on. “You should really put a lock on this. Anybody that finds it could open it.”

 

“Uh, well, I don’t really expect to lose it ever so… Um, what are you doing?”

 

“Putting my number in and sending a text to myself so I can save yours. That way, I can let you know when I’ll be back so you don’t gotta wait up all night. Satisfied with that?”

 

Izuku was glad it was so dark in the room. He hoped it was enough to hide the blush creeping over his face or his awkward smile.

 

He had Kacchan’s phone number!

 

“I’m very satisfied with that! Thank you! I-”

 

A loud gurgling noise broke through Izuku’s words.

 

Kacchan jumped and turned to look at him. “Was that your stomach? Did you eat dinner?”

 

“Oh, uh, no? I didn’t want to leave in case you forgot your key and needed to be let in.”

 

“Of course I took my key. I’m not as clumsy as you, idiot,” Kacchan grumbled as he made his way back to his desk, picking up what he had set down previously. “Do you like hot wings?”

 

Izuku nodded. “Yes?”

 

Kacchan brought over a white takeout box and shoved it into Izuku’s hands. “Hope you’re okay with extra spicy sauce. I don’t like mild.”

 

“That’s okay! I can handle spicy things. Thank you.”

 

Katsuki shrugged and moved to his side of the room. He started to dress down for bed. Izuku took a bite of one of the wings and winced. He could handle spicy things, but he generally didn’t like to. At least Kacchan had also left the celery sticks that came with them.

 

After Izuku had eaten the last of the leftovers and tossed out the trash, he turned to find Kacchan in only his boxers slipping into bed.

 

“You aren’t wearing pajamas?” He internally berated himself for the higher pitch his voice took.

 

“Uh, no. Actually, the fact that you’re still wearing pajamas to bed is super lame. We aren’t in elementary school anymore, Deku. You should lose the All Might bottoms.”

 

“But they’re warm!”

 

And he also liked the All Might design, but Izuku was pretty certain Kacchan would give him more flack for that.

 

“Shouldn’t you have a higher temperature as a Were?”

 

“Yeah… I guess.”

 

The room was quiet as Kacchan watched him, waiting. Izuku shifted from foot to foot.

 

“Okay, fine.”

 

He removed the bottoms and folded them neatly before placing them at the foot of his bed. His shirt was still large enough that it covered most of his boxers anyway, although they were All Might themed as well.

 

Izuku gestured outward. “That better?”

 

“Why the fuck would I care? I was just giving you some advice as a fellow adult man who doesn’t wear cartoon characters on his body anymore. Stop standing around half naked like it’s some big accomplishment and get into bed already!” Kacchan turned around to face the wall, pulling the covers over his head.

 

Izuku shivered. He quickly slid himself into his own bed, suddenly exhausted now that Kacchan was back.





“So, there’s a party this weekend at the frat house I’m pledging to,” Kirishima started.

 

“No.” Katsuki was quick to shoot him down, not even looking up from his sketchbook.

 

“Oh, come on. I’ve got three invites. I’m thinkin you, Kaminari, and Midoriya. Well?”

 

“You can invite that sniveling mouse Were and pray to hell and back that he doesn’t freak out and bail in the bedroom when you tell him you’re a predator, but leave Deku and I out of your sad courtship routine.”

 

“God, that was so unnecessarily harsh. Kaminari’s a good guy. He wouldn’t run away just because I’m a dog.”

 

“You’re probably right. He’s an idiot, so he’ll stick around for sure.”

 

“Again, harsh! I’m trying to do you a solid, and hook us both up this weekend. Don’t you want to relax and have some fun with Midoriya just this once? If you’re worried about going all feral, you’ve got me and Kaminari there in case anything goes wrong, although I doubt you’ll just lose control. You may act pretty threatening, but we both know you’re too disciplined for that!”

 

Katsuki slammed his sketchbook shut and stood up from the bench they had been taking their lunch break at. “You don’t know shit.”

 

“I know you were about to leave your phone.” Kirishima held up the device tauntingly.

 

Katsuki snatched it from his hands. He immediately opened it up to check his messages. Nothing seemed out of order. He eyed Kirishima suspiciously.

 

“I’m heading to my next class. I’m done talking about this particular topic with you.”

 

Kirishima shrugged. “Well, can’t say I didn’t try!”





Izuku eyed the clock in his Friday lecture, waiting impatiently for his lunch break. His phone buzzed in his pocket, snapping him out of his daydreams of the dining hall pasta bar. He fished it out and squinted at a new message from an unknown number.

 

Hey, Midoriya! It’s Kirishima! From high school, remember? I got your number from Bakugou and wanted to invite you to a frat party this weekend. Of course, Bakugou is also invited! Let me know if you can come, alright?

 

Hey, Kirishima! I’ll definitely go! Just text me the address and we can meet up there!

 

Yay! See you guys this weekend!

 

Izuku squeezed the phone tightly in his hands, excitement buzzing in his chest.

 

His first college party! With Kacchan!

 

This might just be what he needed to lessen the gap between them.

 

Kacchan was always so dismissive when he was at the dorm, and if Izuku ever got too chatty with him, sometimes he’d just get up and leave. But this could be his chance! If he could just hang out with Kacchan and prove to him that they could be in each other’s presence and still have a good time, maybe Kacchan would actually want to spend time with him?

 

And maybe Izuku’s chances with him would also go up?

 

Probably not, but a bunny could dream.





“Hey, Kacchan!” Deku burst into their dorm room a little after seven on Saturday, clearly too bouncy to keep his ears hidden. He slipped off a beanie and they spilled forth from his head.

 

Katsuki sighed and set his marker down. There’s no way he was gonna be able to focus with Deku’s current level of energy in the room. “What do you want, nerd?”

 

“I just came back from the dining hall. Did you eat dinner yet?”

 

“Not yet.”

 

Katsuki eyed the clock with disdain. Actually, he didn’t think he ate at all today. No wonder his hand had been shaking the last few hours.

 

“Oh, well, shouldn’t you get something soon? We have to meet Kirishima at his frat house in a couple of hours, right?”

 

“What?!”

 

Deku flinched, shrinking back behind the jacket he’d just taken off. “D-did you forget?”

 

“Hold the fuck up.” Katsuki held up a finger. He pulled out his phone and dialed Kirishima’s number.

 

He picked up on the third ring. “Hello?”

 

“You son of a bitch! I’m gonna hold you upside down and drown you in that fucking keg you no doubt watered down! I hope to God you’ve got a literal pair of beer goggles on standby, cause you’re going swimming headfirst into that tankard of booze! Do you hear me, Kirishima?”

 

“Ah! So does that mean, you’re coming tonight? Can’t drown me in the keg if you aren’t here to follow through with your threat!”

 

“Eat shit and die!” Katsuki pressed the end call button and whipped around to a very confused and a little frightened looking Deku. “How the fuck did you get roped into that idiot’s scheme? Do you realize how many predator Weres that guy’s fraternity has in it? It’s like walking yourself into a den of wolves.”

 

“Um, but you're an actual wolf, so we should be fine, right?”

 

Katsuki crossed his arms. “You just assuming I’ll save your ass if you get cornered? And what if I don’t go? You gonna get dressed up and flaunt yourself like a full course meal and expect to come back unscathed?”

 

“Uh, well, Kirishima would be there?”

 

“Kirishima is only concerned with getting his dick wet. He’s hoping to score with some stupid mouse prey he picked up in Stats. They’re gonna ditch you and head upstairs the moment they get drunk enough, and then you’ll be predator chow.”

 

Deku moved to his dresser and started rifling through his shirts.

 

“What are you doing?”

 

“I’m looking for something to wear.”

 

“You aren’t seriously thinking of going?”

 

Deku pulled out a plain black shirt and a green, plaid button up. “I am going.”

 

“Did my words just fall on deaf ears, or are you really being this stubborn right now?”

 

Deku glared at him, the beginnings of tears forming at the corners of his eyes. “I wanted to go and actually hang out with you, but if my presence there is going to ruin your whole night, I’ll just go by myself. It’s fine. I can take care of myself. I’ll handle the consequences of anything that happens when and if something actually happens.” He set out a darker pair of jeans. “I don’t need you to watch over me. Sorry it’s been such a hassle all this time.”

 

“It wouldn’t be such a hassle if you didn’t make it one. You’re just knowingly putting yourself in harm’s way on purpose. Are you an idiot?”

 

“No! Well, maybe. I guess I was dumb enough to think you’d ever want to actually hang out with me.”

 

Katsuki growled and sat himself back down at his desk. He grabbed his marker and went back to inking out a sketch. His hand now shook twice as hard.

 

“What the fuck ever! Go out and get yourself killed for all I care! Not any of my business!”

 

He watched Deku from the corner of his eye as he finished getting ready. His face was stoney. He tucked away his ears and threw on the outfit he’d prepared. He looked nice, a perfect little snack for a predator Were on the prowl.

 

Katsuki ground his teeth together.

 

“I’m leaving now!” Deku called out to him.

 

“Good!” Katsuki yelled back.

 

“Have a good night!”

 

“I will!”

 

The door slammed shut.

 

Katsuki’s marker snapped in half. Ink splattered onto his hand and over his drawing. “Fuck!” He picked up a rag and started attempting to dab it off. “ Fuck! ” He stood up and peeked out his window, watching as Deku walked away from their building.

 

Katsuki groaned and rolled his eyes before moving to his closet for a change of clothes.

Chapter Text

Izuku arrived at the frat house a little after nine. Kirishima met him at the door with a smiley blonde guy who introduced himself as Kaminari before ushering them both inside.

 

Kirishima paused before following them in, checking his phone. He patted the frat brother watching the door on the shoulder and whispered into his ear. The doorman nodded and gave him a thumbs-up.

 

“What was that about?” Kaminari asked.

 

“Hmm? Oh that? Just making sure Bakugou can get inside when he shows up tonight!”

 

Izuku huffed, “Don’t hold your breath. He made it pretty clear he has no intention of coming.”

 

“That so?” Kirishima continued to beam at him, not at all perturbed by this information.

 

“Yep! He definitely wasn’t in a partying mood last I spoke with him.”

 

“Well, the night’s still young, so, who knows? Why don’t I show you guys where the drinks are. We’ve got a keg in the backyard, but the good stuff is being kept upstairs in one of the bedrooms.”

 

Izuku followed after as they started up the stairs. “The good stuff?”

 

“You know. Harder liquors. They’re lining up shots of fireball and vodka. I figure we can start the night with a few of those and then ease into the keg. You know what they say, beer before liquor, never sicker.”

 

“And liquor before beer means you’re in the clear!” Kaminari finished the rhyme.

 

Izuku wrinkled his nose upon reaching the second floor. He covered his face and coughed. “Did you guys get a fog machine for this party?”

 

Kaminari snorted.

 

Kirishima laughed and smacked Izuku on the back. “No, man. They’ve got a hookah set up in one of the rooms. You ever get high?”

 

“Uh, no.”

 

“Okay, well, best we stay away from that then. You can try it a different night if you ever feel up to it.”

 

With the way the smog was making his eyes water, Izuku doubted he’d like it very much.

 

They entered a bedroom, where all the furniture had been pushed back up against the walls. A row of glasses lined the desk at the far wall and a frat brother stood by with a few bottles behind him. “Hey, Kirishima. You paid in advance, right?”

 

“Yeah, forty bucks, ten per person so each of us can have three shots.”

 

“Where’s your fourth?”

 

“He’s dragging his feet.”

 

The guy guarding the drinks shrugged and gestured to the glasses. “What’ll it be gentleman?”

 

Kirishima and Kaminari both answered in unison, “Fireball!”

 

Izuku hummed, “I guess I’ll also have a shot of that, thanks.”

 

The frat brother poured out the shots and laid them out. He eyed Izuku nervously. “You gonna need a chaser?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“He’s asking if you need to drink something after to chase down the drink,” Kaminari whispered to him.

 

“Oh, no! I’ll be fine, I think. Thank you.”

 

“You make it really obvious that you’ve never done this sort of thing before,” Kaminari clued Izuku in, “Just so you know, there’s no shame in needing a chaser. Especially if it’s your first time taking shots.”

 

“Well, it’s my first time drinking in general, so…”

 

Kaminari and Kirishima’s faces lit up. The guy serving drinks poured out another shot. “Congrats. Have an extra on the house.”

 

Kirishima raised his glass. “Well, bottoms up!”

 

They clinked glasses and Izuku threw back his drink. The alcohol burned his nose and the taste made his face scrunch up, but the cinnamon flavor wasn’t so bad.

 

“Whatcha think?” Kirishima leaned across Kaminari’s space to ask for Izuku’s opinion.

 

“Not bad,” Izuku appraised it. He picked up the second shot and threw it back as well. “It certainly smells better than whatever’s sitting out over there.”

 

“That’s moonshine. You should probably stay away from that. Don’t want to get too fucked up for your first time,” The drink guy was nice enough to supply.

 

“Ready for the next round?” Kirishima asked, “We’ve got two more to go.”

 

Izuku nodded. Kaminari slammed down his shot glass. “You know it!”

 

Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad without Kacchan afterall?



Katsuki walked up to the bouncer in front of Kirishima’s frat, already trying to peek around the man to see if he could spot Deku. “Hey, I’m here as a guest of Kirishima.”

 

“Oh, yeah. He said he had a third invite comin late. That you?”

 

“Yeah, that’s me. You know where he is right now?”

 

“I’m still waiting to change shifts, so I haven’t been inside yet, but someone told me he and one of his guests are holed up in a closet playing seven minutes in heaven.”

 

Katsuki took a deep breath to steady himself as the realization that Kirishima had left Deku alone somewhere at the party was sinking in.

 

He managed to keep his voice even, “Cool. Thanks.”

 

He pushed his way inside and looked around. It was so loud. Too many people and so much movement. His senses were overwhelmed. He closed his eyes and took in a big whiff of air.

 

There.

 

He followed the scent up the steps and down the hall. He stopped at a door and swung it open.

 

Kirishima had that mousefucker pinned against the wall, the guy’s legs wrapped around his waist. Both their ears were out, but they must not have noticed yet.

 

They paused their game of tonsil hockey when rat boy caught sight of Kirishima’s ears in the light that now filled the enclosed space.

 

“Y-you’re a-!”

 

Kirishima put a hand over his mouth and turned to glare at Katsuki. “Bakugou! What the hell, man?”

 

“I came to drown you in the keg out back. But first, where’s Deku?”

 

“Midoriya? Oh! He was feeling sleepy, so I showed him to my room. He should be tucked in bed, all responsible-like! See? I didn’t let anything bad happen to your precious bunny boy!”

 

“After I get his ass home, expect a lengthy wall of text about how badly I’m gonna mangle you.”

 

Katsuki gave one more cursory glance at the prey Were. He grinned, flaunting his canines in a menacing manner. The poor guy looked like he was gonna piss himself.

 

“Have fun explaining yourself, jackass.”

 

He shut the closet door and walked away. He wasn’t halfway down the hall before the gross make-out noises started up again.

 

Wow.

 

Apparently mouse boy really was just that dumb.

 

Katsuki had only been to Kirishima’s room once since unpacking. It wasn’t hard to find, being the last door on the right.

 

He paused.

 

One of the frat brothers stood next to it, obviously intoxicated. Katsuki could tell by the vacant look on his face as he inspected Kirishima’s door.

 

“Hey, you.”

 

The guy jumped and turned to face Katsuki. He bared his teeth a little. Katsuki picked up the scent of weasel.

 

Scram.

 

The weasel bolted at Katsuki’s command, fleeing down the hall. Katsuki made sure he didn’t open the bedroom door until he was completely out of sight. Then he pushed his way inside.

 

Deku sat on the bed, looking very much awake as he played with his phone. His ears were out, pointing upward at attention. As soon as Katsuki entered, they turned to him. Then the rest of Deku’s head followed. His cheeks were a rosey shade of pink and he looked just a bit dazed.

 

“Kacchan?” he crooked his head to the side.

 

“Yeah, it’s me.”

 

“Kacchan!” Deku stood up abruptly, tossing his phone to the bed beneath him. He bounced off and onto the floor. Katsuki watched as he jumped from foot to foot, like he was performing a strange dance as he chanted his name, “Kacchan! Kacchan! Kacchan!”

 

 

“What the fuck are you doing?! You’re gonna make yourself sick!”

 

“Oh!” Deku stopped himself. He looked a little embarrassed. “Sorry. I was binking! I haven’t done that in years!”

 

“That a rabbit thing?”

 

Deku nodded. “Yeah! I do that sometimes when I get super excited!”

 

“And you’re excited right now? Why?”

 

“Cause you’re here! I always get excited when I see you!”

 

Katsuki felt heat rush to his face. “How can you just say something so embarrassing?!”

 

Deku bounced jovially up to him on the balls of his feet. He stood on tiptoes, peering up into Katsuki’s face. “I’m just happy to see you is all!”

 

Upon closer inspection, Deku had really put himself together for this party. The black shirt was form fitting, and the button up had the sleeves rolled halfway up to show off his forearms.

 

The jeans were, well, a lot tighter than Katsuki was used to seeing Deku wearing. Deku had a lot more muscle definition in his legs and a nicely shaped ass. Probably from all the excess time he spent running laps in high school, rather than taking swim lessons in gym class.

 

Katsuki shook his head to clear his thoughts, but his mind kept blanking out every time he looked down. “Are you… wearing makeup?”

 

“Oh! Just some eyeliner. Uraraka taught me how to do it right before the semester started! She said I should get a little bit more gussied up for college parties, so I thought I’d try it out! Does it look bad?”

 

“What? Uh, no. It looks, um,” Deku’s wide eyes watched him intently, awaiting a proper response, “It’s not bad. It makes your eyes look… moodier?” He didn’t just want to come out and say-

 

“Sexier?” Deku questioned.

 

Katsuki’s brain stalled, “Uh…”

 

“I got a few compliments on it tonight actually! We tried dancing a little bit downstairs, and a few guys tried to- what did Kaminari call it? Oh! Grinding! They tried to do that! I didn’t really like it though, so I asked them to stop. They did, but they also complimented my eyeliner before they left. Wasn’t that nice of them?”

 

“Stop talking!” Katsuki couldn’t contain himself. Deku was going about a mile a minute, and the topic at hand was really starting to stress him out.

 

Deku wearing eyeliner and getting called sexy.

 

Guys hitting on him on the dance floor.

 

The thought of his childhood friend being sexualized by other guys in any way.

 

It was so very wrong .

 

“I need to get you home ASAP.”

 

Deku pouted up at him. “What? But you just got here! I even waited for you.”

 

“Kirishima said you came in here because you felt sleepy.”

 

“I did say that, but I really just wanted someplace to hangout by myself until you got here. I heard from Kirishima that you texted him when you were on your way.”

 

“I texted him that I was leaving for the party a while ago. He only told you when it suited his needs.”

 

“His needs?” Deku tilted his head in a stupidly adorable way that had Katsuki’s heart doing somersaults.

 

“He’s making out with Kaminari in a broom closet. He waited to tell you until he felt like it was finally time for him to be alone with his new favorite chew toy.”

 

“Okay, first of all, Kirishima is genuinely, romantically interested in Kaminari. Like, absolutely head over heels in love with him. He told me on the dancefloor when Kaminari slipped away to the bathroom.”

 

Katsuki scoffed, “Yeah, sounds really romantic.”

 

“And, second of all, you could stand to learn a thing or two from him!”

 

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Katsuki put his hands on his hips.

 

Deku mirrored his stance. “All I’m saying is, just cause he’s a predator Were, that doesn’t stop him from falling for Kaminari. They’re proof that predator and prey Weres can be friends or even more than friends!”

 

“They’ve known each other for a week and they’ve only been making out for less than an hour! Kaminari didn’t even know he was a predator Were until ten minutes ago!”

 

“They’re in love! ” Deku bounced around the room again. “Love! Love! Love!”

 

“You’re drunk!” Katsuki grabbed Deku’s wrist and pulled him in close. He slid a hand over his mouth to try and quiet him, but Deku licked his palm and he had to pull back. “Gross! What are you, three?”

 

Deku stuck his tongue out at him and then fell into a fit of giggles.

 

“You’re absolutely ridiculous like this. I need to calm you down first before we can even think about leaving.”

 

Deku’s laughter died down. He swayed on his feet before his head crashed against Katsuki’s chest. He breathed out a deep sigh.

 

“You smell good.”

 

“I smell-?”

 

Deku’s fingers wove into the hem of Katsuki’s shirt as he tried to pull himself upward. His eyes were closed and his ears were pressed back against his head. He released soft, little exhales against Katsuki’s collar bone. Nuzzled up against his skin.

 

“Kacchan…”

 

“Deku...”

 

Suddenly, Deku’s full weight leaned into him and Katsuki had to catch him before he fell. He brought Deku over to the bed and laid him out as best he could with Deku’s fingers still pulling Katsuki close.

 

His face was redder now, flushed with waves of heat coming off. Katsuki pressed a hand to his forehead.

 

He was burning up.

 

Deku tried to push into the touch, but Katsuki pressed his head back down.

 

“You’ve got a fever. What’s wrong with you? Did you knowingly come out sick tonight?”

 

Deku shook his head, He closed his eyes and shuddered. When they flew open again, they were wide and panicked. He looked up at Katsuki and swallowed. “I-I need to go home… right now.”

 

“Why? What’s wrong?”

 

“I’m, uh… It- It really should have passed by now. We’re already in April, so it shouldn’t still be here!”

 

Deku looked down at himself. Katsuki could smell the rising hysteria in the air. He followed Deku’s line of vision. There was a noticeable tent at the crotch of Deku’s jeans.

 

“Oh.”

 

Oh.

 

“Oh! Are you in heat?”

 

Deku punched him in the shoulder. “Don’t say it like that! That’s not what it’s called!”

 

“How would you prefer I call it? Breeding season? Mating season? Rut?”

 

Deku covered his face with his hands. “Stop! Please stop!”

 

“It’s alright. It happens to me too.”

 

He heard Deku sniffle behind his hands. “Really?”

 

“Yeah, usually from January to April. I’m more aggressive during those months.”

 

“Mine’s supposed to be from February to March.” Deku pushed his hands away from his face and slid them over his hair and ears. He looked up into Katsuki’s face. “I take certain medicines to cope with the side effects, but it doesn’t usually pop up this late in April, so it really caught me by surprise.”

 

Deku shifted beneath him. His thighs rubbed against each other as he squirmed uncomfortably on the mattress. The scent of warm, wet arousal reached him and Katsuki swallowed. He pushed himself away, holding a hand over his mouth and nose, trying desperately to keep his Were traits in.

 

“I’m gonna step outside and let you take care of… whatever you need to take care of. I’ll guard the door and make sure no other predators come looking for you. Your scent is probably gonna spread, but we should be okay. There’s a lot of different body odors all mingling together all over the house, so you should be masked. Just calm yourself down any way you can and I’ll be outside when you’re done.”

 

Deku sat up, hugging his legs close to him. He had a wistful look in his eyes, something glassy and heady. “Alright, Kacchan. I’ll, um, I’ll try to be quick?”

 

Katsuku nodded and left the room, making sure it was locked behind him. Last thing he needed was to become the predator Were that he said he’d protect Deku from.