Shinsou first meets Bakugou when they’re both six years old, and the other boy’s being shoved in front of the class and told to introduce himself to a judgemental crowd of unruly classmates.
“My name’s Bakugou Katsuki, and I’m gonna be the number one hero.”
A couple of kids snicker at that, but Bakugou’s already giving them the ugliest glare Shinsou’s ever seen on a boy their age, and that shuts them up pretty quick. He’s told to take the seat on Shinso’s left- and isn’t it just his luck that the angry-looking new kid’s got the desk right next to him?
The moment their teacher steps out of the room for a minute to grab some worksheets from the printer, the guy’s already facing him with a menacing look about him, as if he’s attempting to size him up as best he can while he’s sitting down. Shinsou resists the urge to roll his eyes into another dimension.
“Oi, purple hair, what’s your name?” Bakugou demands, and the desire to roll his eyes increases exponentially.
“Name’s Shinsou Hitoshi.”
“Careful, new kid-“ someone in the back mutters loud enough that it’s clear that they mean to be heard, “you don’t want to get caught up with Shinsou.”
Bakugou’s turning on the person who spoke in an instant with a snarl ready and waiting on his face. “Oh yeah? And why’s that?” he demands.
“He’s got a villain’s quirk.”
Okay, Hitoshi thinks, here we go. All aboard the ridicule Shinsou train. Toot toot- fuck me, I guess.
“Oh really?” Bakugou sneers, and he’s facing Shinso again now. “And what would that ‘villain’s quirk’ be, then?”
He sighs both internally and externally before answering. “It’s Brainwashing- if someone answers a question I ask, I can get them to do stuff.”
Bakugou scoffs, and that’s not quite the reaction he was expecting.
“’Villain’s quirk’. That’s not a fucking ‘villain’s quirk’- actually sounds kinda badass, if I’m being honest.”
Okay, definitely not the reaction Shinsou was expecting.
Oh Bakugou, look what you’ve done now- you’ve sent my poor old mental dialogue into a baffled screaming fit.
“Seriously? What’s your quirk then?” some other nameless, faceless classmate queried.
“Haven’t got one. But I can still take you and I’ll fucking prove it if I have to.” Bakugou replies, and things are suddenly a heck of a lot more interesting.
They bond- because there’s little else they can do when the rest of their class is determined to dislike them- and when they’re both determined to dislike them right back. They do a good amount of note-passing during class (mostly bad-mouthing every other human being who so much as looks at them funny), and an awful lot of loitering just outside the school building, bitching about how they’re going to flip the world and its stupid societal expectations on its head.
Shinsou doesn’t quite remember when it turned into how they were going to flip shit on its head together, but he likes it better that way.
At some point, they actually start calling themselves friends- and soon enough Hitoshi’s being invited over to Bakugou’s house for the night. Bakugou’s mother is just as over the top and hot-headed as Bakugou himself is, and Shinsou hadn’t been expecting anything less. Masaru’s kind meek- but he supposes that there has to be someone to control the two of them- the world wouldn’t be able to handle two unrestrained Bakugous with tempers as quick as their left-hooks.
The sleepover’s really fun- and it quickly dissolves into an all-out pillow war when Shinsou absolutely decimates Bakugou in Mario Kart- and Katsuki hurls a futon at his face because he’s a salty little shit. They don’t get much sleeping done, and at some point they end up in a heated competition to see who can do the best nonsensical dance while in their sleeping bag, and it becomes a pillow fight once again when Katsuki pipes up and says that Shinsou looks like a demented caterpillar. Only this time’s different because there’s marshmallows for some reason, and they’re both too busy throwing those at the other and trying to catch them in their mouths to really focus on the battle they should be waging upon each other.
Shinsou also discovers that Bakugou isn’t a morning person, either- and delights in groaning and complaining in perfect harmony with his friend as they both shamble down the stairs for breakfast.
It’s at one of their many sleepovers a month or so later- at Shinso’s house, this time- when they promise that they’ll always have each other’s backs.
When they’re both eleven and just as bitter and determined as they were when they first met- maybe even more so- they decide that they’re going to really start training themselves.
Hitoshi does attempt to use this time to strengthen his quirk occasionally, roping his and Bakugou’s parents into letting him brainwash them so he can practice controlling multiple people at once. But, they mainly just focus on getting their bodies into the right shape, because Bakugou claims that Hitoshi (or Hito-shit, as he so lovingly christened him) looks like the human equivalent of a wet noodle. And Katsuki (or Kat-suck-it, as Shinso had taken to calling him in retaliation) had said that he wanted even more proof that he could beat up cocky bastards in the form of rock-hard abs.
Bakugou was, unsurprisingly, excellent in pulling together a doable training regimen for the both of them. They put it into action immediately- and were understandably smug when their efforts began to reap visible results in the coming months. But they weren’t only increasing their physical capabilities- and when they weren’t training together, they threw themselves into their joint study sessions in order to prepare for Yuuei’s entrance exam. They may have only been eleven, but they were going to have to be ready if they were going to do this. Besides, they’d promised each other:
They’re heading straight to the top together. And they’re gonna fuck shit up on the way.
At age thirteen, Bakugou arrives at Shinsou’s house with the darkest look on his face that he’s ever seen on the boy, which is really saying something.
“Katsuki?” Shinsou questions, “What happened?”
Bakugou scowls angrily. “Turns out the number one and two heroes are douchebags.”
Shinsou raises his eyebrow in a way he knows Bakugou knows means to elaborate. “I met them just now. They’d rescued some guy from little-big villain of the week, and they were both walking off. I saw ‘em, and decided to go up to them, ‘cause why-fucking-not. I asked if they thought that someone quirkless like me could be a hero like them. Gall Might said that dreams were always a great thing to have, but sometimes you gotta be more realistic. Endea-vore straight up said that I had no chance if I’m quirkless, ‘cause it makes me weak.”
“And what did you say to them?” Shinsou asks, because he’s been around his friend long enough that he knows for a fact that Bakugou Katsuki never just walks away from an attack on his pride like that.
“Said that was a good thing, ‘cause I don’t wanna grow up to be some dumbass motherfucker that balances their whole career on something as volatile as a quirk. Then I told them both to kiss my ass and gave them double-birds when I was walking away.” Bakugou pauses, and then adds as an afterthought: “But if you think that this is gonna make me stop, I’ll blast you into the next century.”
Shinsou smirks. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”
“Oh? You two want go to Yuuei?” their teacher inquires, and suddenly their class is having a synchronised fit.
“Ha! You can’t get into UA! One of you’s a villain, and one of you hasn’t even got a quirk!”
Bakugou’s leaping onto his desk in a matter of seconds of seconds, dragging Shinsou onto the table with him. Shinso’s smirking tiredly, and Bakugou’s baring his teeth like a feral animal.
“Oh yeah?” Bakugou sneers, eyes like a stick of dynamite that’s just been lit, “And who’s gonna stop us? One of you? As if- you’re all collectively weaker than a crippled worm in the desert.”
Bakugou scours the room for any challengers, and Shinsou decides that it’s the perfect time to speak up for a rare moment. “Of course no one of you are gonna stop us. Just you wait- ‘cause we’re gonna rock your world.” Shinso grins with all his teeth, and the proud smirk he receives in return makes it all worth it.
Looks like some things just never change.
He wouldn’t have it any other way.
A few years later, when they’re both fourteen, they find out that the entrance exam pits them against robots.
“Kats- my quirk’s not gonna work on them, and I don’t think even you can punch a robot hard enough to break it. What are we going to do?”
Bakugou smiles viciously, as if he’s been eagerly awaiting this question for years. He throws an arm around Shinsou’s shoulders and leans in close. “Ah, my dear Hito-shit. You’re my best friend, and I love you with all of my shrewd, blackened heart- but you’re forgetting one very important detail regarding our entrance exam.”
Katsuki huddles the both of them forward, as if wanting to reveal classified government information.
“We can bring in whatever shit we want.”
They lock eyes, trading twin Cheshire-Cat grin, and Bakugou cackles madly.
“Oh, they’ll never see us coming.”
And no, they really won’t.
The written exam is almost easy for the two of them- four years of prepping is nothing to sneeze at, after all. And they’re not particularly concerned about the practical exam they’re about to go through, either. Hitoshi recalls their master-plan, and turns to grin in anticipation at Katsuki, who returns the gesture tenfold.
They stand in front of the battle-site, and before the announcement of the test’s start comes, they look each other in the eyes with smiles like the devil.
“We’re gonna rock their mother-fucking world.”
They’re having way too much fun.
Bakugou- the little pyromaniac- brought a can of hairspray. And while that’s non-threatening enough on its own, he also managed to acquire a cigarette lighter. The result of this is about as catastrophic as you might expect for the poor robots.
Shinsou, on the other hand, got his hands on his dad’s axe, and is deriving immense amounts of joy from beating the absolute shit out of every metal motherfucker that he comes across.
They switch weapons from time to time, and Shinsou finds that he too enjoys melting off metallic faces. Bakugou discovers that he also really likes bludgeoning his way through seas of robots, which isn’t exactly much of a surprise to anyone who’s known him longer than two seconds.
It’s when the exam’s nearly drawing to a close that they bring the infamous zero-pointer in. They catch each other’s eyes in amidst all the chaos after seeing some girl stuck underneath the rubble. They rush forward into the fray, pushing against the crowd going in the opposite direction- which obviously means away from the gargantuan machine.
“Hang on, where the hell did you get the fireworks?” Shinsou laughs exasperatedly while lifting rocks to free the girl, as Bakugou pulls said fireworks out of God knows where.
He gets a wonderfully shrewd look in return, and all it takes is for Bakugou to mutter “Book it” for them to make a mad dash away from the robot, Shinsou supporting the girl all the while.
All they hear is the crackle of the multicoloured explosives going off, and the groan of something very big and very heavy crashing into the floor. They share a look of unbridled triumph, and high-five harder than they ever have before in their lives. Their hands sting, but it’s worth it.
The first thing All Might notices while all the members of staff re-watch the practical examination is that there are two children tearing through the opposing robots with a maddening fervour. And one of them has a flamethrower (hairspray and a lighter). And the other has an axe (an axe).
“Um, Nezu,” Yagi begins, “what the hell?”
The anthropomorphic rat(?) chuckles lightly. “Well, I did say participants were allowed to bring in support items.”
“B-but Nezu, those are weapons.” Toshinori stutters.
“And quirks are not?” the principal replies, and that shuts him up quickly enough.
And when one of them sets fireworks- of all things- rocketing into the zero-pointer, and when they actually end up blowing the damn thing up, All Might can think of nothing else to say other than: “Who are they?”
“Future headaches.” Aizawa responds gruffly.
“The one who had the axe was Shinsou Hitoshi.” Hizashi supplies helpfully.
“And the other one?”
“The one who set off the fireworks was Bakugou Katsuki.” Present Mic replies, and All Might feels like he should know the name.
Maybe, if he’d just peered at Bakugou’s record, and gotten a good luck at face, as well as the bit that said he was quirkless- he might’ve just remembered who that little boy who’d flipped him off a couple years back was.