It starts with Deku, slapping a newspaper down onto Katsuki’s desk on a rainy Monday morning.
“Red Riot - Neighbourhood hero, or public menace?”
The headline states, and Katsuki scoffs at the thought of calling the masked troublemaker a ‘hero’.
“He’s started to gain a following.” Deku says, pointing at the blurry picture that accompanies the headline.
“No shit.” Katsuki pushes the paper away in disgust. The guy calling himself ‘Red Riot’ was probably just a kid looking for some sort of attention, and he was getting it. Twitter had been going crazy for weeks, with people from their city posting grainy videos of the ‘vigilante’ fighting crime. And now apparently the newspapers had caught wind of what was happening, and wanted in on the action. Soon, the whole city would be talking about the so called hero.
“Bakugou! Midoriya! My office.” Deku’s eyes widen at the order yelled across the busy precinct.
Katsuki rolls his eyes, but follows the nerd into the captain’s office.
Aizawa barely glances up from his papers as they enter, telling them to take a seat after a moment of uncomfortable silence.
“I’m assuming you both know about the man calling himself Red Riot?” They nod, Katsuki accompanying his with a scowl. “The higher-ups think he’s a cause for concern, and to be honest, I don’t care enough to argue with them. I want him found, got it?”
Great, Katsuki thinks, he’s being relegated to babysitting duties instead of actual police work.
He goes to argue, but surprisingly, Deku beats him to it.
“I understand why the higher-ups want him off the streets but sir, I’m not sure what we can even do to stop him? It’s not like he’s doing anything illegal, he’s just…” Deku flounders for a second under Aizawa’s cool gaze. “...getting in the way a bit?”
“Two of the criminals he has previously captured sustained minor physical injuries, and want to press charges, should we capture him. As of this morning, there’s a warrant out for his arrest. The DA will most likely let him off with a slap on the wrist, but his capture will hopefully deter any copycats wanting to get a piece of the action.” Aizawa levels them both with a calculating stare. “I understand both of you are more used to homicide and drug cases, but I’m trusting you to bring this guy in. Don’t disappoint me.”
“Yes sir,” both detectives chorus at the same time, Deku slightly more enthusiastic.
They make their way over to their desks again, Katsuki flopping down into his seat and groaning at the prospect of trying to hunt this fucker down.
“Cheer up, Kacchan.” Deku tells him, pulling up his own chair to Katsuki’s desk. They’ve done this so many times, it’s second nature to both of them at this point. “If we just treat this as a missing persons case, we’ll find him in no time.”
“No, that won’t work,” Katsuki frowns at the thought, “With a missing person, we already know who the hell we’re looking for; their family, friends, where they live, and work. But we don’t have anything on this guy.” Katsuki gestures at the newspaper still in front of them on his desk.
Deku stares at it, getting a fire in his eyes that always tends to make Katsuki a little nervous, not that he’d ever admit it. Deku can be very intense sometimes.
“I wouldn’t say we have nothing .” Deku says slowly. “In fact, I think we have more than enough to begin our investigation. The whole city is watching out for Red Riot, and people post online wherever they spot him.”
Katsuki dreads to think where this is going. “You really think we should find whackos on the internet as witnesses?”
“It’s a logical place to start.” Deku shrugs, “Even if not all of them are telling the truth, I’m sure we’ll find at least some people that can give us an accurate statement.”
Katsuki doesn’t give Deku the satisfaction of telling him he’s right. Katsuki can already sense this entire case is going give him one hell of a headache.
Deku suggests they start by mapping every picture and video taken of Red Riot. It’s a good first step, if a bit tedious, and confirms a suspicion Katsuki had been entertaining since being put on the case; the majority of Red Riot’s appearances are centered around their precinct and the surrounding area, leading both detectives to believe he’s a local in their part of the city.
“Now that we have that confirmed, we can move on to individual sightings.” Deku says, eyes flicking over the cluster of red pins currently sticking out of the map attached to Katsuki’s corkboard. “But I have no idea where to start.”
“Needs to be somewhere public,” Katsuki chips in, “Much higher chance of him being caught on security cameras, instead of shitty cell phones.”
Deku hums in agreement, still looking over the map. Katsuki rolls his eyes, knowing that he’s the one that will make this judgement call. Deku is rather indecisive when it comes to investigation, where as in the field he’s usually the first into action, Katsuki being the one to plan out their strategy. Aizawa tells them it’s why they make such a great team, but Katsuki is convinced that it has more to do with the fact they basically grew up joined at the hip.
“The corner of Prince Avenue, we’ll go there first.” Katsuki says firmly, “There’s a coffee shop right next to the area of the sighting, plus a jewelry store across the street. Should be able to get at least something.”
“Great idea Kacchan!” Deku chirps loudly, earning a couple of rolled eyes from the officers working closest to them.
“Yeah, yeah, let’s just go. Sooner we catch this guy the sooner we can get back to regular cases.”
“Only you would be excited to get back to gruesome murders.” Deku says lightly, and Katsuki punches him in the shoulder.
“Shut up, nerd.”
When they arrive at Prince Avenue, they decide to split up, with Deku instantly calling the coffee shop lead, and leaving Katsuki with the jewellery store. Deku is as predictable as ever, and Katsuki makes him promise to get a decaf frappe-latte-mocha whatever the fuck Deku’s usual order is. The only thing worse than being forced to work a useless case, is being forced to work a useless case with Deku jacked up on caffeine.
Katsuki strides into the jewellery store, and right up to the counter. The assistant has a customer service smile on his face as he greets him, which instantly drops as soon as Katsuki produces his badge from his back pocket.
“I need to speak to whoever’s in charge.”
“I’ll go and get my manager,” the assistant scuttles off, and Katsuki takes a moment to look around. The store is right opposite their area of interest, and he silently prays the manager will give him any recordings without him having to request a warrant.
The assistant returns with an older lady who he guesses is the person he needs to speak to. He flashes his badge again, and the woman grimaces.
“I’m not entirely sure what this is about officer…?”
“ Detective Bakugou,” Katsuki introduces himself emphasising his title. “And I’m here investigating an assault that happened outside your store about two weeks ago. Are there any security cameras set up outside the store?”
“Yes, we have two cameras facing the street,” the lady confirms.
“Great, can I have a look?”
The lady considers him for a second, but eventually nods. “I don’t see why not.”
After around 30 minutes of scrolling through footage, Katsuki finds what he’s after, only to be disappointed. The video quality is hardly any better than the cellphone footage they already have from twitter, and most of the fight takes place out of frame.
Katsuki downloads the content anyway, hoping that Deku has had better luck with the coffee shop.
He finds the nerd sitting at the counter, sipping on a beverage that looks like it’s made up entirely of whipped cream.
“-ended up being punished for it! Can you believe that?!” Deku was saying to the barista behind the counter, who seemed to be listening attentively whilst polishing a latte glass.
“Well, that’s hardly fair. He started it!”
“I know, right?” Deku laughs, and Katsuki has heard enough to know what this conversation is about.
“You gave as good as you got, nerd. You deserved those push-up drills as much as I did.”
Deku whips around at his voice. “Kacchan! I didn’t think you’d be done so quick.”
“Place was a bust,” he informs Deku as he sits in the stool next him. “What about this place? Or have you been too busy fueling your addiction to do your job?”
Deku pouts at him, gesturing to his drink. “It’s decaf, I swear.”
Bakugou looks towards the barista, hoping for some confirmation, but the guy is just watching them, an amused look on his face.
“So you must be the partner Izuku was telling me about, huh?”
It’s so typical of Deku to be on a first name basis with a coffee shop barista he only met 30 minutes ago.
“Unfortunately.” Katsuki responds dryly, and the barista laughs.
“I was actually doing my job Kacchan,” Deku defends. “The manager won’t be back for another ten minutes, but Eijirou here was actually working when the assault happened, and we were talking about it.”
“And somehow you managed to turn an interview with a witness into a bitch fest?” Katsuki questions, and Deku flushes brightly.
“You shouldn’t be too hard on him, I was the one who asked about his partner,” the barista says lightly, and Katsuki can’t help but let his gaze flit over the man in front of him, suddenly curious about their first potential eye witness.
He seems to be as tall as Katsuki, with a stocky build. Katsuki could tell he works out more than the average person, muscles bulging underneath the tight shirt of his barista uniform. His hair was tied back, and covered in a tacky flame pattern bandana. His smile was laidback and friendly looking, but there was something about his eyes that had Katsuki on edge, almost as if he was-
“Kacchan!” Deku was waving a hand in front of his face. “Eijirou is trying to talk to you, stop staring into space!”
Katsuki snaps back to attention, shoving Deku’s hand out of his face.
Eijirou is failing to hold back a laugh at their display, and Katsuki inwardly prays their “unprofessional attitude” doesn’t make it back to Aizawa. Again.
“I was just going to ask if you wanted to order anything, but it looks like you might really need the caffeine.” Eijirou speculates, amusement sparkling in his eyes.
Katsuki glares at him, and he hears Deku snorting into his hand.
“I’ll have a green tea.” Katsuki says petulantly.
Eijirou chuckles again, pulling a mug down from a shelf, “Coming right up!”
As Eijirou sets to work, Katsuki turns to Deku, who is still trying to hold in a laugh.
“Where do you find these freaks?” Katsuki mutters in jest, and Deku slaps him on the shoulder.
“You’re just jealous I can actually make friends with people.”
“Shut up, Deku.”
They spend the remainder of the time waiting for the coffee shop’s manager discussing what Katsuki had gained from the jewellery store. Deku seemed just as disappointed by the lack of new information, but was annoyingly optimistic about the potential evidence that the coffee shop cameras might reveal.
Katsuki sips on his green tea, listening to Deku babble about potential leads. With any luck, they'll have this case solved within the day.