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And quite simply, they were just out of time

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If he was being honest, he’d rather not be here. And that was him being nice.

Katsuki Bakugou leaned against the concrete pillar, letting the cool texture seep into his skin through his hero costume. Sweat was already pooling at his lower back from the walk over from the dormitories. The air conditioned, industrial style room felt good against his blistering skin. Katsuki’s under armor clung to his skin, causing him to produce excess sweat when he was f**king stationary. Honestly, he was just relieved to be back in his summer hero costume.

Sure, all that sweat did make his explosions more powerful; however, he didn’t want to be setting off such strong explosions when he wasn’t even in battle. Or worse…when his emotions were just a little out of his control.

And f**k you, he had perfect control! (Katsuki was still relieved to be in his summer hero costume.)

However, what was really getting under his skin were the noisy extras. His loud classmates and the shitty Class 1-B class were in this control room with tv screens plastered across one wall. The students were talking incessantly and too god damn loud for the room they were in. Each laughter or shout, echoing into the high ceiling filled with old metal beams and slightly rusted over pipes. Katsuki could feel the nervous energy from his classmates flooding the room in waves, and sinking into crack in the old tile floor – wherever it could catch a good hold.

Katsuki didn’t want to be around all that high energy, and everyone constantly asking “Do you think the test will be hard?” or “I’m so nervous, what do you think?” And so, Katsuki backed himself into the corner of the room. To get away from everyone. Although, he did note that the Bird Guy and his Dark Shadow were backed in the opposite corner doing the same thing. Katsuki wondered if Bid Guy felt the same way with all this noise. Dark Shadow seemed to be floating around and enjoying the room’s ample space for him to fly around.

Suddenly, Bird guy opened his eyes and locked eyes with Katsuki. A little surprised, Katsuki narrowed his eyes. Bird Guy simply nodded, before closing his eyes again to continue to meditate(?).
What the f**k? How did Bird Guy notice Katsuki’s gaze?

Dark Shadow chose that moment to sink back low to fall into Bird Guy’s shadow. F**k…was Dark Shadow scoping the room and relaying any info to Bird Guy? But, he was totally sure he didn’t see Dark Shadow communicate with—

“Bakugou, why you sulking by yourself in the corner!?”

Katsuki tilted his head slightly, and narrowed his eyes in irritation at the unwelcome intrusion. Kirishima’s contagious smile and warm eyes, so readily apparent as he bounded closer to the angry blonde. It appeared Kirishima had also foregone his winter costume in lieu of his summer one.

“Hah?” Katsuki generously responded. At least Bird Guy knew how to leave Katsuki the f**k alone.

Kirishima laughed, the grin revealing his sharp teeth. “Bro, you literally look emo as f**k right now.”

Katsuki could feel a headache coming, but decided better against another outburst this morning. He simply crossed his arms.

“Shut up, Shitty Hair. I’m concentrating.”

Kirishima nodded slowly, letting his smile fall from his face. His fingers brushed slightly against his headpiece to adjust it for the hundredth time today. Katsuki wondered if the headpiece was uncomfortable since it was all carbonized metal directly on his face.

If someone punched directly against the metal, how bad would it hurt Shitty Hair?

“Wow that’s a creepy smile you got there…”

“What do you want, you idiot?”

“Are you worried about the final exam?” Kirishima asked suddenly. His voice dropped a few octaves, only low enough for Katsuki to hear. “Me too, bro. But you’ll do great. You killed it during the joint training session against Class 1-B a few months ago.”

Katsuki watched as Kirishima’s eyes dragged across the room, during their conversation. It wasn’t hard to see that Kirishima was following Racoon Eyes’ figure after she smiled brightly in their direction before tackling Invisible Chick into a loose hug. Their giggles filled the chambers, and Katsuki noticed that a few girls from Class 1-B were nearby smiling as well.

“Tch,” Katsuki grunted in response.

A few moments passed, where both boys continued to evaluate the room and watch the other students. While both classes were grouped in different sections of the room, he did note that students like Class 1-B’s Big Hands and the Copy-Cat bastard were talking with some of the students from Class 1-A.

“I…I am nervous, because our teams will be divided and intermingled with Class 1-B.” Kirishima scratched his chin in thought. “I mean I know their quirks…but not enough to totally formulate a battle plan. It’s like going in blind!”

“You idiot,” Katsuki rolled his eyes. “That’s the point.”

“N-No U-Uraraka! O-Of course not!”

Katsuki’s ears picked up Deku’s voice easily among the throng of students. In the center of the room, Deku was waving his hands frantically in front of Round Face. A red blush spreading easily across Deku’s face, and even noticeable from this far away. The disgusting red tint against his cheeks hiding the millions of freckles all over the nerd’s face.

Round Face was laughing and pointing to Deku and Four Eyes. Some other students from Class 1-B were laughing along with Deku’s frantic, embarrassed cries.

“Do you think you’ll get paired with Midoriya, again?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?” Kirishima had also heard Deku’s cries in the room, and also noted the students nearby laughing and smiling along with Deku’s antics. Iida finally got more involved and was now waving his hands all over the place, while it only made Round Face laugh even harder.

“We’ve been paired several times this year.” Katsuki crossed his arms, and looked away from Deku. He needed to scout the room and formulate loose ideas of what he could do if paired with different students.

“Yeah,” Kirishima suddenly jumped up in front of Katsuki’s face. He activated his quirk as he flexed his arm. The shadows and divots in his arm more prominent with the hardening quirk. “Bro, hopefully we finally get paired together in a group!”

“Your stupid ass would barely be better than those other extras.”

“Aw bro!”

“Shut up, Shitty Hair!”

Just then the automatic door slid open on the other side of the room. Their teacher Aizawa, with the prominent dark circles under his eyes and messy rats’ nest of hair, walked purposefully across the room with the Class 1-B teacher. The students’ murmurs echoed softly against the tall walls, as Katsuki watched the final teacher trailing in the back behind Aizawa.

All Might.

The decrepit old man was walking in the room with thick manila folders tucked underneath his arm. His yellow suit was too big for him, and was probably left over from when he could still muster his One For All form.

Before Kamino Ward.

(A tinge of pain entered Katsuki’s chest.)

Before Katsuki failed.

(Another sharp pain.)

Focus.

Katsuki watched as All Might smiled at all the students. The skin stretched tight across his skin when he smiled, showing his age. But…his smile was still warm and encouraging. He watched the old man’s eyes scan a little longer over Deku’s f**king excited, determined face.

Then All Might met Katsuki’s eyes.

Katsuki wasn’t expecting this, and so narrowed his eyes in instinct. The once powerful man continued to smile, before finally looking to Aizawa and Vlad to continue with the First Year Final Exam.

 

“So you guys know it’s the Final Exam today,” Aizawa drawled in a bored tone. “If you fail today, you will have to take remedial classes during summer break—”

“Not this time, Teach!” Kaminari’s voice echoed across the room, earning a few chuckles from some students.

“We paired you off in teams in which we think will prove to be the most challenging for you.” Aizawa stated, completely ignoring Kaminari. He motioned for Vlad to continue as Aizawa carefully took the manila folders from All Might and opened one of them to presumably review something.

Vlad coughed for a moment to clear his throat. “This ‘challenge’ does not necessarily mean that we chose students to work together based on the non-compatibility of their quirks. Some groups are chosen based on our students’ personalities. Some groups are chosen based on who their opponents are.”

“You are all going to work in the field someday as exemplary heroes. However, you will realize that sometimes you cannot work in your preferred environment.” All Might had now taken a step forward to better address the students. “We want you all to be comfortable and learn how to work with other heroes you meet for the first time if there is ever a situation that warrants it. You are the future, and we want to prepare you young heroes for any challenge you may face!”

Katsuki could practically feel Kirishima’s nervous energy flooding off of him by now.

“This is your moment to show us what you all learned this year!” All Might beamed. “Plus…”

“Ultra!!!” Cheers echoed across the students, excitement palpable in the air.

“Without further ado…” Aizawa clicked a button from a remote in his hand. “Here is the first group.”

Team A v. Team 1
Neito Monoma | Fumikage Tokoyami
Katsuki Bakugou | Momo Yaoyorozu
Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsuuya | Itsuka Kendou
Minoru Mineta | Izuku Midoriya

Katsuki stared at the screen for a moment, completely floored. He was paired with two hot heads of Class 1-B and the pervert. F**k, he hated the Copy-Cat bastard, too. Aizawa did this to him on purpose. Katsuki wasn’t an idiot. This was going to force Katsuki to be level-headed while working with other hot-blooded heroes.

F**k.

Finally, begrudgingly, Katsuki let his eyes wander to his opposing team. He should have known better. Honestly, he really should have known better.

Izuku Midoriya. F**king Deku.

Aizawa not only did this to him on purpose…he did this to spite him. Katsuki was sure of it.

“Good luck, Bakugou.” Kirishima grinned while placing a firm palm on Katsuki’s shoulder. Katsuki let him. “You got this.”

A familiar snarl spread across Katsuki’s face as he grunted to Kirishima in response.

Kirishima just laughed as Katsuki began to walk near the front of the room, the rest of the students giving him space as he stalked by from the back. Right as he crossed the main throng of students in the middle, he heard the annoying voice even if he was trying to avoid him.

“Good luck, Kacchan!”

Deku stared at Katsuki, his viridian eyes beaming with confidence and determination. The dark green hair was unruly, and unkept as usual. It hung low almost covering his eyes. Katsuki hated the freckles that danced across the nerd’s face, and how the skin beneath his eyes crinkled slightly when the nerd smiled.

“Tch,” Katsuki begrudgingly acknowledged the boy, but stayed focused on his plan to accommodate for the dead weight extras on his team. And now he needed to figure out a plan to counteract Deku on top of this.

Deku’s head shook slightly as he walked to keep up with Katsuki – his smile warm and infuriating.

“I’m going to win today, Kacchan.”

Katsuki turned suddenly and stopped, causing the smaller boy to run straight into his chest. Deku squeaked in response and quickly brought his hands up to his nose in surprise. These past few months, Katsuki grew another inch over Deku meaning he now stood a couple inches taller than Deku. With a dangerous smirk, Katsuki used the height advantage to his benefit as he loomed over Deku’s smaller form. He loved the look in Deku’s eyes when the smaller boy held back another yelp of with his hands covering his mouth.

“No matter how hard you try, I will kill you!”

“That’s so dark!” Kaminari exclaimed somewhere in the background.

“A fated battle between men!” Round face chanted nearby.

Deku’s lips were pursed into a thin line, and his smile turned wobbly. He didn’t respond to Katsuki, but nodded slowly. After a few moments, Katsuki pushed past Deku so he could meet with his shitty team. The smaller boy did stumble slightly, but Katsuki continued to walk forward to meet the teachers. Katsuki didn’t look back.

He didn’t need to.

Katsuki could feel Deku’s eyes on his back as he exited the room. Worse, was that Katsuki knew what he would see if he met Deku’s eyes again. Dark green eyes beaming with disgusting admiration and confidence. Those eyes that were telling him that Deku thought he was better than Katsuki. That he could win. That he would win.

No.

That wasn’t quite right.

The f**king stalker looked up to him. He said as much during the fight they had months ago.

(Wait for me, Kacchan!)

Katsuki grew frustrated, but took a deep breath to keep from erupting small sparks from his sweaty palms. He could hear the nerd’s mumbling behind him, as both teams were escorted to the battle grounds. Katsuki just tuned out Deku per usual, but not before noticing that he was swarmed by his eager teammates. All excited to be paired with him.

“Wow, to see Class 1-A’s most hated student paired with us—”

“Chill Monoma!” The Steal Guy beamed at Katsuki, his smile very similar to Kirishima’s actually. “We got to win this!”

“We have Bakugou,” the Pervert drawled. “We basically don’t have to do anything and—”

Katsuki tuned the rest of them out as he focused. He would win, he knew it. He needed to show everyone that Katsuki had grown a lot these past few months. That he was not the same temperamental brat who first sauntered into UA at the beginning of the year.

But more specifically:
That Katsuki Bakugou was not weak.

This wasn’t Kamino Ward.

Katsuki ducked his chin low as he caught sight of Deku hunched in on himself, muttering up a storm. His supportive teammates basically groveling at the intel he was dropping unbeknownst to him. Deku obviously too lost on running calculations in his head.

(Wait for me, Kacchan!)

Katsuki watched as Deku’s eyes suddenly slid up to his, as if sensing Katsuki’s gaze. All these years, Katsuki could hear Deku crawling behind him. Struggling with every step to catch up to Katsuki. To grasp onto him. The infuriating mumbling. Those stalking eyes he felt always latched onto his back.

But now, Deku was walking parallel to Katsuki. Wasn’t he?

Deku's eyes were alight with competitiveness.

Annoyed, Katsuki scoffed and shoved his hands into his pockets as he picked up his pace. The Copy-Cat bastard hot on his trail and needling Katsuki about how he was a hot-head. Yet, all the while, he could feel Deku’s creepy eyes still on him as they walked further down the corridor.

Katsuki would show this f**king nerd that Katsuki was the best. No matter how hard Deku would try, Katsuki would continue to win.

Even if Deku was getting…stronger.

(Shakes head.)

Even if…All-Might did recognize the nerd.

(Shakes head.)

Even if…Deku was there at Kamino Ward.

(Shakes head.)

Even if--

Focus.

Katsuki was strong. Yes, that’s right. Katsuki was very strong.

It didn’t matter that Deku possessed All Might’s power now. It didn’t matter that Deku could utilize whatever bullshit percentage in combat. Katsuki would still win. He would win every f**king time. For all times.

After all, Katsuki was going to be the best hero in the entire world, better than All Might.

And f**k that stupid nerd for thinking otherwise.

Chapter Text

It didn’t take a genius to figure out why Aizawa Sensei put Izuku in the group he was in. One look at the names glowing on the bright center monitor, and Izuku immediately felt all the air leave his lungs in a soft whoosh.

Team A v. Team 1
Neito Monoma | Fumikage Tokoyami
Katsuki Bakugou | Momo Yaoyozoru
Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsuuya | Itsuka Kendou
Minoru Mineta | Izuku Midoriya

It was an unbalanced match up.

That much was for sure.

Izuku felt his palms sweat a little, but he tried to ignore it. He could hear the urgent whispers of some of his classmates, slowly flooding his senses. Their voices almost lazily bouncing off the concrete walls; making it sound more like a crowd of murmuring spectators.

Izuku clenched his fingers tight into a fist. Tension flooding all his senses. The whispers around him making him feel the need to scratch incessantly at his skin.

He swallowed thickly.

(It was a bad match up.)

His neck felt hot.

(It was a bad match up.)

Plus, there was him.

(It was a bad match up.)

“Deku-kun?”

Izuku blinked rapidly for a moment, startled.

“Deku-kun, are you alright?” Izuku looked down to his right to see Uraraka smiling kindly at him. Her eyes focused in concern. He hadn’t realized when she had gotten so close. Or why she was moving up and down.

Oh.

No…he was the one moving. Or rather, he was shaking.

“A-ah Uraraka!” Izuku jumped slightly and scratched the back of his neck embarrassed. “S-sorry, I didn’t see you.”

“I was only standing right next to you the whole time, Deku-kun!” she smiled gently again. She put a gentle touch to his forearm.

“R-Right.”

Izuku watched as the people whose names were on the monitor, began slowly making their way forward. He noted Monoma confidently strut between Class 1-B as he laughed at a joke someone said to him. He even watched as Tokoyami slithered from the dark corner of the room, and firmly walk forward. Dark Shadow fast in tow.

If he turned slightly, he would see—

“You will beat him this time.”

Izuku turned to Uraraka for a moment and saw her soft smile. Her eyes glistened slightly with something Izuku couldn’t place. But he felt warm. He felt calm. He felt—

“You can do it, Deku.”

Izuku nodded, feeling his nerves settle. With a small smile towards Uraraka, Izuku took a deep breath and walked forward with his chest out.

“I know I can.”

He felt Iida give him a firm pat on his shoulder. “We’re counting on you, Midoriya!”

Izuku could do this. He saw All Might nod to him from behind Aizawa sensei.

(Show them you are here, Midoriya shonen!)

Izuku nodded back to his mentor. He could do this.

(Show them what you’ve trained for!)

He could do this.

Kacchan finally entered his vision.

His head was slightly down, making his eyes appear more curved, more menacing. Izuku was used to the fire that burned in those eyes. The rage that feverishly burned behind the crimson orbs for all the years they’ve known each other. Kacchan was stalking forward with purpose. Each step a quake, causing bystanders to move out of his way. His arms were intimidating given how much muscle he put on this year.

“Good luck Kacchan!”

Finally, Kachhan’s eyes met Izuku’s.

Focused. Cold precision. Calculating.

Izuku swallowed thickly. Kacchan had come a long way since the Ground Beta fight. Since Kamino Ward. He thought back on the uncontrollable rage behind Kacchan’s eyes when he first learned about Izuku’s quirk. Compared to then, his eyes now burned with that of a crackling heat traveling across coals in the summertime. earth. Slower to build, but ever present.

Yeah, Kacchan really had come along way.

Izuku felt a tinge of pride for his childhood friend’s growth as a hero.

But…Kacchan wasn’t the only one who grew this past year.

Izuku took a deep breath.

“I’m going to win, Kacchan!”

Izuku felt proud when Kacchan met his eyes again.

It was as if Kacchan was waiting for Izuku to say something. To say anything. An angry smirk etched across Kacchan’s features. He looked menacing and confident.

“No matter how hard you try, I will kill you.”

Izuku clenched his fingers again, and felt his competitiveness flood his senses. He heard some of his classmates say something, but he tuned them out. Kacchan’s eyes traveled across Izuku’s face for a second before landing on his eyes again.

(Focus.)

Kacchan always brought that fire Izuku thrived on into combat. It didn’t matter how nervous he got when he faced Kacchan. At least… not anymore. It was different now. The desire to show Kacchan that Izuku had grown, could fight, could compete, could (maybe) win—

(Focus.)

After their first battle in Ground Beta, Kacchan begrudgingly accepted Izuku as a threat.

After the UA tournament, Kacchan became more aware of Izuku’s presence.

After the first-year final exam, Kacchan finally accepted help from Izuku.

After the Kamino Ward incident, Kacchan began observing Izuku very closely.

After the Ground Beta fight, Kacchan finally, finally acknowledged Izuku.

They were rivals.

He acknowledges me.

He suddenly became aware that he was walking next to Kacchan as he entered the tunnel towards the battle. Even when his mind was on autopilot, he tended to follow Kacchan’s lead. His childhood friend was so smart, so amazing. It was too easy to fall into old patterns.

Kacchan was something familiar.

Focus.

Izuku thought back to the bright monitor with the list of his team. He let his thumb swipe across his chin in thought. Pairing Yaoyorozu with Kendou was an excellent idea on Aizawa Sensei’s part. The two young women were bright, and arguably the most intelligent students in their respective classes. They both showed promise during the Joint Training between the two classes a few months prior. If both women…could learn to work together…if they could learn how to compromise, well—

“Hey Midoriya?”

But what if the two women disagreed with each other’s strategies? Or worse, they couldn’t compromise?

(Smart move, Aizawa Sensei.) Izuku thought bitterly.

“Yo Midoriya?”

With two strategists on his team, Izuku’s own plans may fall on deaf ears. Now Izuku wasn’t stupid; he knew his plans were usually solid. But now, there would be no need for him. More specifically, there was no need for his brain. Rather, he was needed on front lines to battle the close-range fighters.

He wouldn’t have time to think.

Was that what Aizawa Sensei wanted?

“Shut it, nerd.” The blonde’s angry voice was like gravel, scratchy and grinding. “We can all hear you mumbling your plans.”

“Actually Midoriya, let’s slow down a little so that the other team doesn’t hear you.” Yaoyorozu suggested kindly.

Izuku rubbed his forehead, and tried to hide the flush building in his cheeks. He hadn’t realized he was mumbling again. Yaoyorozu motioned for Izuku to slow down again with a flick of her hand. He nodded in agreement and slowed his pace. In all truth, he really liked Yaoyorozu a lot and was grateful for her suggestion.

Kendou also flashed him a quick smile, and walked on Izuku’s other side.

As Izuku’s team took up the back as they all traveled down the tunnel, Tokoyami’s dark shadow ventured slightly ahead of their group. Its eyes crinkled as if in thought.

“Why are there three from Class A on our team?” Dark Shadow asked suddenly, his presence now lingering over the group.

“Probably because of our fighting styles.” Kendou remarked. “All of us are close range except for you, Tokoyami.”

“But everyone on that other side is also close range…” Izuku mumbled. Still lost in thought.

“That’s the point,” Yaoyorozu clenched her fists and brought them to her side. “Our match-up is unbalanced this way. Too many weak points in both formations. That’s probably the reason.”

“Besides,” Kendou scratched at her neck in thought. “If you think about it, we are the weakest formation and our teachers did that on purpose. Also, our teachers never said we would have an event split between Class 1-A or 1-B on each team.”

Izuku had to agree with everyone. This formation was odd, but made some sense if its purpose was to create a challenge for each of them. Putting Yaoyorozu and Kendou together was difficult– they were both strategists and would undoubtedly conflict with what to do. But…Izuku was also a strategist. Aizawa sensei knew that. Izuku already had ideas on how to take care of the other side. He had ideas on how to take out—

“Midoriya, you can’t go after Bakugou.” Tokoyami was next to Izuku suddenly. Izuku wasn’t sure when that had happened. “He’s just the bait.”

“I-I…”

“Your rather, your bait specifically.”

“That’s ridiculous.” Izuku shook his head frustrated. But then. He thought about it.

Ever since entering the tunnel, all Izuku thought about was Kacchan. How he would counter one of Kacchan’s opening attacks. How he would dodge a Howitzer Impact. In fact, Izuku was running probabilities of how he could take Kacchan out in the first 5 minutes.

Okay, maybe Tokoyami was right.

“That’s it,” Yaoyorozu nodded, her lips pulled into a tight grimace. “Midoriya, you need to stay away from Bakugou. Kendou and I can take care of him, so you should take care of everyone else.”

“But…you want me to take on Tetsutetsu, Monoma, and Mineta?” Izuku asked uncertainly. “That’s…that’ll be a lot at close range. And Kacchan is so strong!”

“Don’t you have long range attacks?” Kendou asked. “I saw you use some during the Joint Training a few months ago.”

“Trust us, Midoriya.” Yaoyorozu smiled down at Izuku. It made him feel protected. He imagined this was what having an older sister felt like.
“You’re not the only one with new tricks up your sleeves!”

Kendou was right. And so was Yaoyorozu. Izuku did have an arsenal of long-range attacks. But he was no expert. Not by a long shot. But, everyone had a point. He couldn’t devote all his attention to Kacchan. There were other fighters on his team that could be used for that specific purpose.

“I can’t have Dark Shadow doing most of the work at long range.” Tokoyami commented.

“Is it because of Monoma and Kacchan?”

“That’s correct.”

Izuku let his thumb swipe across his chin again. With Monoma on the opposing side, he could use Kacchan’s quirk to his advantage. With both of them, their team’s offensive ability basically skyrocketed. Especially since it blocks Tokoyami from using Dark Shadow.

“Maybe you should be support?” Izuku asked, his eyes still very focused on the concrete floor ahead of him. “Like help take out Tetsutetsu with Dark Shadow, but only do physical close-range attacks against Kacchan or Monoma.”

“And don’t anyone get stuck with Mineta’s quirk. It’s gross and sticks on you forever.” Yaoyorozu shook her head, frustrated. A hint of shame danced across her elegant features.

“He’ll probably be in the back of their formation.” Izuku commented. “I should…blast his quirk away with my long-range attacks.”

“It’s decided then, we’ll just have you and Tokoyami—”

“Hah? The f**k is up with this?”

Izuku looked up in time to see the opposing side stopped at the large metal door at the end of this tunnel. It was tall and felt like it took up most the wall. The gray, smooth surface looked cold and wholly unwelcoming.

“Hey, what gives?” Tetsutestu asked. His steal fist banging on the door. “I thought this was the way to the test site?”

“It is, maybe the teachers forgot to open it?” Yaoyorozu put her hands to the cool metal, examining it for some sort of hidden handle.

“Isn’t there a camera in here?” Tokoyami asked. Dark Shadow began stretching towards the high walls on either corner of the door. “Let’s just signal to them that the door is closed and to open it?”

“Good idea,” Kendou commented. She already began outstretching her large hands to wave at what looked like a camera box.

Izuku lo, letting his eyes travel across the gray walls and exterior pipes running along the ceiling. The voices of his classmates echoing down the hall and slowly fading with each breath he took. Everyone was near the metal door now, trying to figure out how to open it. However, Mineta was next to Izuku. His small stature appeared even smaller the longer the boy gazed down the hall.

“Guys…doesn’t this seem weird though?” Mineta met Izuku’s eyes. “What if the test is in here and not in the test site? Like what if it’s another robot?”

“That doesn’t make much sense—”

Suddenly, the lights went out.

Plunging the long hallway into total darkness.

(Boom.) (Ka-boom.)

Kacchan immediately lit up the room with small explosions from his palm, sending soft cascading light down the hallway. Even Monoma took a few steps from Kacchan and also began sending explosions from his hand, albeit not as gracefully.

“You can’t control for shit, you copy-cat freak.” Kacchan snarled at Monoma.

It looked like Izuku and Tokoyami’s theory about Monoma acquiring Kacchan’s quirk for the battle had been correct afterall.

“I’m doing the best I can with it.” Monoma rolled his eyes. “It’s not like I had your quirk my whole life or anything.”

“F**k you!”

“Kacchan!”

“F**k you too, Deku!”

“Dark Shadow, please scope ahead.”

Izuku watched as Dark Shadow grew in size and began trailing ahead of the students down the hallway. Now that the hall was so dark, the whole place felt eerie. Their voices echoed easily against the metal pipes and walls, bounced across the room with ease. Izuku focused on One For All, sending the familiar greed electric like energy through his body. He watched as Tokoyami stretched his Dark Shadow down the long hallway. He never once thought to ask how far Dark Shadow could leave Tokoyami’s body.

“It’s all just dark down here, but I’m picking up a sound.” Dark Shadow’s voice traveled back in a whisper. “Sounds like…running.”

“If not a robot? Then maybe one of the teachers?” Mineta gasped. “It can’t be a villain, right?”

“More likely that there is a twist in this test, and we’re about to experience it.” Yaoyorozu put a hand to her chest. Her skin glittered as she began pulling out a long metal rod.

Izuku blushed and looked away.

Click, click. Click, click, click.

Footsteps echoed against the hallways. Whatever it was, it was drawing near.

“Incoming.” Dark Shadow’s voice vibrated.

Kacchan’s face broke into a manic smile as he stepped forward into a lunging position. His form hunched over low, his biceps pulled to the side with fingers outstretched. His face ducked even lower, with his red eyes almost glowing in the dark. Izuku shook his head and quickly followed suit. He crouched low, with one foot placed more forward. Fists resting in the air near his chest.

(Click, click.) (Click, click, click.)

Both Izuku and Kacchan immediately jumped forward, ready to intercept the intruder. Their timing perfectly in sync. Green electricity pumped through Izuku’s veins and up his arms. Izuku stretched out his hand, at the same time he felt Kacchan next to him building up an explosion. Light from their quirks filled the area. When the intruder finally came into view, Izuku immediately dropped One For All and he felt, rather than heard Kacchan cuss under his breath.

“Ur-Uraraka!”

Izuku couldn’t stop his momentum so he skidded to a halt behind Uraraka before launching himself back against another wall. With a firm kick, Izuku flipped against the wall and landed as gracefully as he could before falling to his knees. Mindful to give Kacchan space for his own landing.

(Ka-boom.) (Boom.)

Kacchan stopped his momentum with a strong explosion before flipping down in front of Uraraka.

“Round Face.”

“Hi there, Bakugou!” Uraraka scratched at her neck awkwardly. She then looked across the room to everyone behind Kacchan. “Sorry everyone, I didn’t mean to scare you all.”

“What’s going on?” Kendou asked as the rest of the students drew closer. “Is everyone okay?”

“Yeah…we’re okay.” Izuku replied. He watched Uraraka turn to him and catch his eyes. She smiled.

“Yeah, so the power went out across all of UA.” Uraraka explained. “All Might called off the training exercise and wants everyone to re-group before we go back to our dorms for the time being.”

“Is it a villain attack?” Mineta’s voice floated from somewhere close to Yaoyorozu.

Some murmurs spread across the group at that comment.

“Uh…I’m not sure.” Uraraka clasped her hands together in another apology. Her forefingers carefully not touching each other. “They just want to talk with us in a group. I don’t think it’s a villain attack…but probably more precautionary. I volunteered to come get you guys.”

“Thank you for that!” Izuku replied easily. “Sorry we almost blasted you though.”

“Eh?” Uraraka shook her head, her cheeks flushed. “I should have announced myself! It was my fault.”

Izuku watched as Uraraka’s cheeks blushed a bit more, her eyes traveling across Izuku’s face. Her brown eyes lit up once he met her gaze. Izuku felt heat build at his neck and warmth spread across his cheeks. She probably only looked that way, because she had just run all the way here. Or because of the low light given off from Kacchan’s explosions. Not because—

“Let’s go everyone!” Yaoyorozu called out to everyone. “Maybe Bakugou or Monoma should light the way ahead…?”

“I’ll do it! Let me just copy Bakugou’s quirk one more time.”

“Tch.”

Before Izuku could say anything else, all the students began shuffling down the long dark hallway back to the rest of their class. Monoma easily pushed his way swiftly to the front. Enjoying the explosions expelling from his palms with each long stride. Monoma took the front with large strides, enjoying the explosions expelling from his palms. Izuku turned to join them, when he felt a hand firmly place on his shoulder.

“Eh?”

“Deku-kun,” Uraraka gripped his forearm with surprising strength. “Uh…um…can we…?”

Izuku turned towards her for a minute, with a nervous smile. “Hey, we should catch up with everyone? Thanks for coming to get us by the way.”

“Oh yeah, of course!” she narrowed her eyebrows. Her cheeks puffed out in thought. “Can we talk?”

“Oh right now?…uh right, okay!” Izuku felt his cheeks heat up, as Uraraka continued to hold his arm.

Izuku tried to keep up with the group, but Uraraka slightly tugged on his arm. He took the hint and slowed his pace down, but the group continued to walk forward. The light getting dimmer the further Monoma led everyone.

Launching One for All created some light between the two of them as they walked almost at a snail’s pace. Every time Izuku tried to pick up the pace, Uraraka seemed to tug on his arm slightly.

“Ah, your powers look so cool in the dark!” Uraraka examined Izuku’s face rather closely. Her fingers digging into Izuku’s arms a little as she drew closer.

“Yeah, that’s what it does ha. Lights up.”

“You have really pretty green eyes, you know?”

There was a pause, as Izuku turned more to look at the brunette. She held her head high, but her eyes almost glowing in the electric green energy dancing off the dark halls. Izuku loved the ways her hair fanned across her face, showing off her gentle brown eyes. But…right now they were so intent on him. More so than usual.

“Are you blushing?”

“Eh?”

Uraraka leaned in closer, her lips close to Izuku’s ears. “Can I tell you something?”

Izuku jumped at the sudden proximity. Uraraka’s warm breath ghosting over his neck, causing him to feel too warm and jittery.

“Uh…oh okay.”

Uraraka smiled suddenly in a very wide, crazed way. “Oh, Izuku. You’re so cute! I just want…I just want…”

Izuku noted the way her eyes glinted, and the way her fingers dug more into his arm. He could feel her nails trying to pierce through his hero suit, dragging almost across his skin.

Uraraka’s pinky wasn’t out.

(Deku-kun.)

It was like a rock hitting him across the face, followed by an even bigger boulder.

“What’s the matter, Izuku?” Uraraka leaned in closer finally. Her lips close to his cheek now.

It was like diving face first into ice water, a numb and burning sensation crawling at his skin. Izuku shook her hand away from him and took a giant step back.

“Izu—”

“You're not Uraraka.”

Uraraka cocked her head to the side. She swiped her tongue across sharp canines he hadn’t noticed earlier. Her eyes now looking glazed over in some sort of euphoria.

(How had he not noticed?)

“You’re so funny, Izuku.”

(How could he have been so stupid?)

“Don’t you want to play?”

(Stupid, stupid, stupid.)

“You’re no fun, Izuku.”

She took several steps forward, and Izuku held up a hand to stop her. He could call for help. The group couldn’t have gotten that far ahead. With everyone together, they could stop her. If she was here, that just meant everyone was in danger.

The League of Villains was here.

Izuku let the energy crackle through his body and focus toward his legs. He needed to get out of here. He needed to get away from her.

“You don’t want to know where we’re keeping her?”

The electric energy that was buzzing just beneath the surface began to dim.

“I can show you.”

Izuku felt the energy begin to leak out from him and seep into the cold tile.

“She will die, you know.”

“You’re lying.”

“Your choice,” she smiled. Izuku hated how she spread her toothy smile in Uraraka’s body. “But if you want to see her alive, you’ll have to come with me. I’m just the messenger.”

She shrugged, letting her fingers spread across her hair patting it down. Her eyes slowly making their way across Izuku’s figure, and stopping at where he thought his neck was. Izuku looked away for a moment, before stealing himself. A smile spreading across his face.

“Show me.”

Chapter Text

Katsuki felt the frustration boiling in his gut and radiating outward through his fingertips. Threatening to overflow. The small sparks building, as his fingers clenched and unclenched. Ignoring the extras bantering back and forth, Katsuki closed his eyes for a moment and centered himself.

The locked metal door.

It had to be a ploy. It had Aizawa’s name written all over it.

“Guys…doesn’t this seem weird though?” The pervert’s voice echoed against the tall, cold walls. “What if the test is in here and not in the test site? Like what if it’s another robot?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes, and stalked forward. He pulled his shoulders back, with a quick twitch of his neck when—

The lights went out.

Plunging the hall into total darkness.

Of course, the extras began noisily freaking out, driving Katsuki up the wall. He tried to ignore their grating voices. Such f**king extras! This was part of the test. Seriously. If they freak out this much over a f**king UA exam, then how would they react in the field someday?

(Ka-boom. Boom.)

Katsuki let small explosions go from his palms, looking forward. Light cascading in waves in time with each explosion. Another more powerful explosion sounded from behind him, and Katsuki looked to the side in frustration.

“You can’t control for shit, you copy-cat freak.” Katsuki snarled. He gestured to his own small, controlled explosions for emphasis.

“I’m doing the best I can with it.” The copy-cat bastard sounded annoyed from somewhere in the back. “It’s not like I had your quirk my whole life or anything.”

“F**k you!”

“Kacchan!”

“F**k you too, Deku!”

Katsuki pushed past Deku, to get away from the door. He rolled his eyes. Hard. Deku always had to f**king insert himself everywhere.

Everywhere.

It was his MO. But…as annoyed as Katsuki was by the f**king nerd, he liked that the nerd quickly followed him away from the other students to better evaluate their perimeter.

At least Deku had a f**king brain.

An annoying one, but at least reliable.

“…I’m picking up a sound.” Dark Shadow’s voice traveled among the students in a hushed whisper. “Sounds like…running.”

Katsuki tuned out the extras again and crouched into a better offensive position. Feeling his knees creak from his weight as he shifted his mass forward, hands outstretched. He could feel the familiar manic smile spreading across his cheeks. Fire searing through his veins.

He was going to kill this test.

(Click, click. Click, click.)

Electric green energy crackled to his right. A brief glance, and he noted Deku crouched into a lower stance. Katsuki breathed out, and brought his hands closer his sides – clenching his palms.

(Click, click. Click, click.)

Katsuki lunged forward, burning sensation spreading into his palms. A spike in electric green energy rushed past him. Katsuki squinted into the darkness.

Brown hair. Chubby cheeks. Wide eyes.

“F**k!”

“Ur-Uraraka!”

Katsuki skid to a stop, his hands dragging across the cold tile to try and lose some momentum. The nerd completely shot right past him, bouncing off the wall with a hard kick to the slippery tile. Annoyed, Katsuki stood up tall and stared down at the short brunette who was eyeing him rather curiously. Uraraka stood there, slightly out of breath as she pushed her hand through her bangs to lift it out of her face. Her eyes energetic as usual, despite the crazed look she was giving him.

“Round Face,” Katsuki spat.

“Hi there, Bakugou!” She gave him a smirk, but – again- her eyes seemed too dazed, too excited. Probably from running all the way here. She finally looked past him to address the group. “Sorry everyone, I didn’t mean to scare you all.”

Katsuki listened briefly as she explained about some bull shit power outage on campus, and how the test was over.

F**king great.

He listened to the f**king extras worry over the power outage, as Katsuki stood sullenly off to the side. A quick glance to Deku, and Katsuki noted that the smaller boy was already focused on Uraraka and muttering up a storm. Probably trying to figure out the cause to the power outage.

Katsuki wondered if Deku's shoot-style had improved.

Guess he wouldn't find out today.

The copy-cat bastard came over to copy Katsuki’s quirk, before leading the group forward down the hall and back to their respective classes. Katsuki grumbled slightly as he followed the steel guy. He let the extras talk ahead of him, as he lit up the back with his own small explosions. Even as the group slowly pulled ahead of him, Katsuki barely heard any footsteps behind him. He glanced back to see Uraraka and Deku walking side by side, before their pace almost stopped.

“Deku-kun,” Uraraka seemed to be touching Deku’s arm or some shit. Katsuki could barely tell. “Uh…um…can we…?”

It didn’t take a genius like Katsuki to see that Deku was probably turning red like a plump cherry tomato. “Hey, we should catch up with everyone? Thanks for coming to get us by the way.”

Katsuki noticed that Uraraka had pulled Deku closer to her. He had to strain his ears to pick up more of their conversation.

“Oh yeah, of course! Can we talk?”

Holy shit.

Was Deku getting a confession? Maybe he wasn’t a f**king loser after all! Maybe the crying, sniveling boy who always followed Katsuki was finally growing up.

With Deku being such a cry-baby, he'd probably cry during the confession.

(What a f**king nerd.) Katsuki mused.

Katsuki continued down the hallway with the rest of his class, and didn’t put much thought when he no longer felt Deku or Uraraka’s presence.

Not his business.

(What if he says yes.)

“Man, anyone else hear that?”

Katsuki didn’t hear anything.

“Yeah dude, maybe...the test is still on?”

“Or villains!”

“That would be absurd, Mineta.”

"What the f**k you extras talking ab--"

Then, Katsuki heard it.

That low keening sound drifting into the hall. Someone was screaming. Low rumbling vibrated through the walls. The building…was shaking.

The large, construction like building solidified for hero training was shaking.

“This…this sounds bad.” The steel guy said quietly. “This can’t be the test.”

“Wouldn’t an alarm have been triggered if it were villains…?” Yaoyozoru asked.

Katsuki began running. Years of training kicking in.

He pushed past the group, his shoulders aggressively brushing against the others as he bulldozed his way forward.

More screams echoed against the smooth white walls in the hallway, as he periodically let out explosions to light his way. The click, click, click click behind him told Katsuki that the others were close behind.

Once he finally turned a corner, Katsuki saw dim light spill into the hallway followed by flashes of bright light.

“Kami, keep it up!” Shitty-Hair’s voice barely filtered into the hall.

“On it!” Kaminari shouted over the sounds of metal scraping against more metal.

Katsuki was never one to enter quietly.

He rushed in, his explosions thrusting him forward. As he finally passed into the open room, he noted people throwing punches amongst one another. Fighting each other. Specks of familiar color told Katsuki that his classmates were fighting. But then there were faces of people Katsuki had never seen before.

Was this like the USJ? Were they villains?

One individual in a winter coat was controlling a giant glob of ice, and was slamming it against Kirishima with everything he had.

Kirishima faltered slightly from the impact, but stood even taller once the ice fell away briefly.

“Is that all you got, villain?” Kirishima smiled, but not his oblivious, carefree grin he shared with Katsuki earlier. This one looked more…intimidating. Especially with the face gear he wore.

A voice erupted from the hooded figure. “We aren’t villains, you are the true—"

In a few quick maneuvers, Katsuki thrust himself into the air and towards the ice villain. Kirishima turned to Katsuki in time to watch as Katsuki clawed his right hand into the guy's face.

The ice guy tried to grab Katsuki’s hand away from his face, but Katuski only smirked. “Ehh what—?”

(Boom!)

The explosion shook the immediate vicinity, and his classmates and the villains around instantly looked up to Katsuki.

“Baku!” Kirshima exclaimed. “Thank God you’re okay!”

“’m always fine, shitty hair.”

“When the villains attacked, we couldn’t get to you before they began spilling into here.”

Katsuki glanced around, and noticed that his classmates were faring well in the battle. There were more villains for sure, but his classmates were teamed with teachers which gave them advantage. However, there was something really bothering him about these villains. They looked so…

Plain clothes.

Normal.

Like civilians.

Nothing like the dirty, scummy looking b-rated villains at USJ that were used for fodder.

Katsuki snarled, but shifted his stance low and searched for his next prey. No. No. Not prey. Katuski needed to first identify which of the villains posed the biggest threat to the students.

He was here now. He could help. “Come on, Shitty Hair let’s—"

“Iida-kun, here!”

High pitched voice. Round face. Brown hair.

F**k.

“Uraraka! Be careful!” Iida kicked into a villain, and set him flying. Uraraka was already touching villains left and right within her grasp and sending them into the air.

“Ugh…Release!”
Villains came crashing down into the hard tile. Katsuki looked up to see several villains up high holding onto the pipes near the ceiling, in fear of crashing down like their comrades. Their expressions one of panic.

“Hey Baku, let’s help the others.”

Before Katsuki was thinking, he was running to Uraraka. Noticing the quick movement, Uraraka looked up with fierce determination before it settled into relief.

“Thank goodness, you’re here Bakugou! We need—”

Katsuki grabbed her shoulders probably too harshly. “Where’s Deku?!”

“What?” Uraraka shook her head confused. “I don’t know. Why are you—”

Katsuki shook her once. “You were confessing to him…in the hall…you were…?”

“Bakugou, what is the meaning of this?” Iida was hot on the scene now, his body wary of impending villain attacks as he stood close to Uraraka.
“Uh…no…I didn’t.” Uraraka, even with the battle-ready face, let a blush creep in.

Oh. Oh no.

“F**k.”

“What's wrong?” Kirishima placed a hand on Katsuki’s shoulder. “You’re scaring Uraraka, man.”

“Let go of her, Bakugou.” Iida commanded.

Katsuki shook her again. All he saw now were the eyes of the other Uraraka.

Eyes too elated, too excited, too—

“I gotta go.”

“I’ll come with you. Something's wrong with Deku, right?” Uraraka’s eyes searched Katsuki's for a minute before a fierce look settled over her face. She nodded to him before turning to four-eyes. "Iida-kun, help the others. They need you here.”

“You can't go alone with no backup.” Iida stated, as he pointedly ignored Katsuki.

“I’ll watch her back” Kirishima replied easily. “Kami, can fight with you.”

“Yeah, bro. I’ll cover you.” Kaminari smiled his cheesy grin, and lifting his fingers up to show the electricity dancing across them.

Katsuki didn’t care about any of this. He turned quickly, and began running back towards the hallway. Running back to where he came from. He didn’t have to turn to know that Uraraka and Kirishima were hot on his tail. He should have known Kirishima would follow him. No questions asked.

He thought of Uraraka's fierce eyes on his.

Of f**king course.

Katsuki should have known.

Those eyes were so different than the ones he saw in the hall.

Eyes dilated, too glazed, and too f**king excited.

The crazy bitch from the League of Villains.

She was here.

With Deku.

Katsuki thought about Kamino Ward. And about his time in captivity. She had shown him her knives. Had let the blades slide against his skin. Just enough pressure to let the blade sink into his skin.

But the hands guy had stopped her.

“Don’t touch him, Toga. Not yet.”

"Aw, you ruin all the fun Tomura." Her blades then withdrawing from Katsuki's neck.

But now…

The bitch was alone with Deku.

With no hands guy to tell her no.

She could be right now…cutting Deku….

He could be…

"Bakugou, where are you--?" Aizawa’s voice cut through the commotion.

Katsuki looked up in time to see his teacher use his bindings to immobilize another plain clothed villain before tossing him againsta wall in a loud thud.

“Saving the f**king nerd.” Katsuki screamed at him before he blasted himself over his teacher, and into the dark hallway.

“Sorry sensei!” Kirishima’s voice hollered close behind him.

Katsuki glanced back to see that Uraraka and Kirishima were floating in the air over Aizawa with momentum.

Aizawa’s eyes locked with Katsuki’s for that brief moment.

Aizawa made no move to stop them.

Passive permission.

That's what that was.

Katsuki nodded once, before focusing on his landing into the dark hallway. A soft thud behind him assured that Kirishima and Uraraka also landed close behind. With no words said, Katsuki used small, controlled explosions and the trio darted down the hall as fast as they could.

Where was Deku?

When had he last seen him?

After a minute in, Katsuki searched for different halls Deku could have went down.

None.

Did the bitch lead him down to the very end? The furthest from the commotion? Where that large, metal door was?

F**k!

Katsuki thought of the bitch using her knives and slicing into skin. Deku could already be…

F**k. F**k. F**K!

With that thought, Katsuki put on extra speed and ran down the hall. It didn’t matter if the bitch knew he was coming. He wanted her to know he was there.

With another small explosion, Katsuki immediately saw something.

The tacky green suit. Tumbleweed hair. Viridian eyes.

“DEKU!”

Katsuki crashed into the flustered mess of Deku, leaving the boy to crumble underneath Katsuki's bodyweight as they lay on the floor.

“Eh!” Deku screeched in confusion. “Ka-Kacchan!”

As Katsuki pulled himself up off the smaller boy, he noted the cuts that danced across Deku’s face. Blood was slowly trickling down his cheeks from a cut just above his brow. There were cuts into his leather suit, and some dark crimson stains around the fabric. Katsuki quickly glanced at Deku’s eyes, and noted they were still shining and observant as ever.

Deku was okay. He was alive.

Katsuki let out a breath of relief at that.

Uraraka extended a hand down to the boy. Her eyes all kind, and soft. “Deku-kun, are you okay?”

“’m okay. Thank you!”

Katsuki took a few steps back, to let round face help the nerd up. His eyes trailed behind Deku, before looking at him again.

Where was the bitch?

“Glad he’s okay.” Kirishima said quietly. Katsuki was now itching to return back to the main fight in the other room. “Let’s get back to the others.”

Katsuki was already turning back to where they had come. As long as Deku was okay, it was imperative to return to the group.

Even if the crazy bitch was out there, it would be a trap. He was with the league of villains long enough that they were pretty smart.
The old Katsuki would have rushed into the hall to look for her. But if Deku was okay…there was no point. It wouldn’t be worth it.

Especially if she could change her appearance so easily.

“Are you hurt, Deku-kun?”

“Yeah, it hurts. Do you have any bandages on you?”

Katsuki paused.

“Ah…no, I don't sorry.” Uraraka’s voice sounded quiet.

Despite the normal heat that flooded into his body with his quirk usage, Katsuki felt something like ice trickle into his veins.

“Oi nerd.”

Katsuki turned, standing up to his full height. No slouching. He sauntered closer to Deku. Letting his body tower over Deku with each step forward.

Deku quivered at Katsuki’s closeness, his bright green eyes looking up at him with adoration.

No.

That wasn’t it.

That wasn’t adoration.

“So bitch,” Katsuki bent his head lower, a smirk stretching thinly across his features. “Wanna tell us where the nerd is.”

Deku’s smile faltered slightly. "Wha...Kacchan what--?"

(Boom, Ka-Boom.)

An explosion imploded the wall close to Deku's face. Just to the right.

"Ka...Kacchan...?"

Katsuki brought his hand and pushed it against Deku's face, so that his head was forced to turn to the side.

"I won't ask again."

For a brief moment, Deku looked pensive before a wide smile overtook his face.

“Kaaaachannnn!” Deku tilted his head slightly, and trying to wiggle away from Katsuki's grip. His face pulled away, and now leaning closer to Katsuki’s. The green eyes vibrant with excitement. “You’re so mean.”

Katsuki pushed Uraraka to the side, and then thrust his hand forward to slam Deku's face against the wall with more considerable strength.

“Oh Kacchannnn~”

Katsuki lifted the fake Deku away from the wall before slamming him again into it with more force. This time letting a small explosion go off. The fake Deku gasped in pain, the blood trickling from the head wound even more now. Katsuki’s smirk grew wider.

“You’re smiling, Kacchan~” Deku singed quietly. His eyes lazily following Katsuki’s eye movements with a knowing look. “Are you enjoying this?”

“You f**king bitch, I’ll kill you.”

Uraraka stepped to Katsuki's side suddenly. "Tell us where Deku-kun is!"

This fake Deku outright ignored Uraraka and leaned forward, his lips close to Katsuki's ear suddenly. Hot breath tickled his ear.

“You and me…we aren’t so different, huh Katsuki?” The fake whispered. “We like to hurt the things we ca—”

(Boom.)

A bright explosion impacted the fake, turning the fake into sludge that seemed to melt down against the wall. Smoke filled the hall a bit, as Katsuki rubbed his palms against his pants. Wiping the sludge away.

He could still feel the fake Deku’s breath against his neck and ear.

“A f**king fake.” Katsuki muttered.

“Let’s keep going,” Uraraka finally filled the silence. “He’s probably further down the hall.”

“Do you think he will be bleeding from the head like that?” Kirishima asked. “That was a lot of blood.”

Katsuki didn’t say anything, but began a light jog down the hall. If Deku was really bleeding like that, the nerd would continue fighting. He wouldn’t even say he was hurt.

Stupid Deku.

Uraraka and Kirishima easily kept up with Katsuki’s pace, as he began letting off small explosions again.

"How did you know it wasn't him?" Kirishima finally asked. His voice loud enough to reach Uraraka and Katasuki despite their quick pace.

Katsuki grunted.

"Deku-kun would never admit he was hurt like that." Uraraka stated.

Even Round Face knew Deku well enough to figure out the bitch was the fake.

“Okay, then let's come up with a safe word!” Kirishima advises. “I wouldn't have picked up on that not being Midoriya. I don't want to mix you guys up later if that happens again."

“Maybe Plus Ultra?” Uraraka supplies.

“How about ‘so manly’ or—?”

“It should be the first things we said to each other.” Katsuki growled. “No one knows that but ourselves.”

“Copy.”

“Sounds good.”

Katsuki grunted in response again and barreled down the hallway as fast as he could.

As the large, metal door finally loomed tall in their vision, Katsuki couldn't help but wonder what he would find on the other side of that door.

F**king Deku.

Chapter Text

“Izukuuuu~” The fake Uraraka whined. Her fingernails digging into Izuku’s wrist. “How could you not remember me?”

“I don’t know who you are. Y-You look like one of my fr—classmates.”

Izuku restrained his urge to forcibly pull his arm away from the girl clinging onto him so eagerly. Despite having Uraraka’s eye shape and color down, Izuku could see a gleam that wasn’t usually there. It was like this…girl wasn’t all there. Eyes focused on something else off in the distance.

Like she was stuck in a haze.

Now, Aizawa had taught the students about drugs and how some drugs can be used to alter quirks temporarily. Aizawa spoke of symptoms to watch out for, like jitters or even blown out eyes, anything that could be indicative of drugs or quirk enhancers.

Izuku turned to the girl again, to see the fake Uraraka’s brown eyes wide and alert. Her breathing rather fast. She was extremely touchy, which made him feel more and more uncomfortable.

She was high off something.

But, regardless if she was or not, the pure euphoric gleam in her eyes greatly unsettled Izuku.

The fake took notice of Izuku’s observation, and put one of her fingers to her lips. Izuku instinctually followed her hand movements, before he turned away awkwardly. Ashamed of his impending blush.

“Do you wanna see?” She whispered, as she pushed her face into Izuku’s space again. “See who I am?”

Izuku tried to turn away from her again. Setting his jaw tight and letting the dark hallway mask the sweat that was slowly building over his brow.

“You do, right?”

He didn’t say anything.

“I know you do.”

Izuku felt the fingers clutched around his wrist loosen slightly, and felt the girl’s presence leave his side. Confused, Izuku turned in time to see skin-toned sludge falling away from Uraraka. Alarmed, Izuku took a step forward to help her. Until…he remembered this wasn’t Uraraka. Even if it looked so much like her. The skin continued to melt away from her face, but her wide smile remained.

Izuku couldn’t shake the feeling of dread at watching his friend “melt” away into nothing.

Not his friend.

This was not Uraraka. He had to remember that.

Izuku shook his head before seeing a blonde girl next to him. Her hair pulled into buns at her head, and her body still changing. The brown/hazel eyes watched him in excitement, before Izuku turned away quickly.

“You were at the training camp.” He said quietly.

The girl with knives. The girl who had tried to tackle Uraraka to the ground. This…girl was there when…Kacchan was taken.

She had taken Kacchan with the other villains.

She held Kacchan hostage when—

“Ah…Kacchan?" The blonde's eyes flickered with recognition. "Katsuki, right? You failed to get him back that day.” The blonde whispered. Her tone surprisingly gentle which made Izuku turn to her.

“You’re so cute when you mumble, Izu-chan.”

Izuku felt like ice trickle into his veins. Making his limbs feel numb.

She smiled wide again. All canines sharp. That creepy glint in her eye so pronounced.

“You have so many friends, Izu.”

Izuku turned away from her.

“You care for your friends, right?”

The blonde got closer to Izuku so that her hands pulled at his head, so he was forced to look down at her.

“Can I be your friend, Izuku?”

Sharp canines. Angular face, pronounced shadows. Yellow glowing eyes. A cheshire grin.

A demon.

That’s what she was.

Izuku gulped, feeling his limbs again. He wasn’t even sure when they had stopped walking or why he felt so out of breath. Something about her was so unsettling. In a different way than what Stain was.

But—

Izuku was a hero.

I smile to trick the fear inside of my heart.

Green, electric energy crackled around Izuku, causing the blonde to blink at him in surprise. Feeling the familiar energy wrap around him felt good and reminded him why he was here.

“Tell me where my classmate is.” Izuku’s voice was steady. He smiled, even if it probably came out as a grimace. It didn’t matter. It was for himself. “Or, will you have me use force?”

The blonde didn’t move for a few seconds as she evaluated Izuku and the electric energy surrounding him. Finally, something he couldn’t decipher flickered across her bright yellow eyes before pulling away. Izuku glanced forward to see the steel door standing tall in front of them.

The same one from earlier.

This was a trap.

Uraraka could be in there.

This villain only said that to lure you here.

Uraraka could be in danger.

She is lying.

“Heyyyy~” The girl stepped away from Izuku to rap her knuckles against the steel door. “Open up, Tomuraaaaa~”

While the girl wasn’t looking, Izuku fished his hand into his pocket to locate the object of his plan.

His cellphone.

If he could grab it and quickly send a text out to everyone, surely, they would help. Especially, since they were in the next room over. That was hoping that everyone didn’t already start heading to the dorms.

All Might would see Izuku wasn’t with the group.

Aizawa should notice Uraraka wasn’t there.

All Izuku had to do was get the phone and—

Izuku’s mind went blank, and his stomach, if possible, felt even heavier in that moment.

His phone wasn’t in his pocket.

While the girl was still focused on knocking against the steel door, Izuku searched his other pocket.

No phone.

Izuku’s heart slammed against his chest, and he felt hot as he continued to search all his extra pockets Mei had put into his costume.

No phone.

Floating dust disturbed Izuku’s peripheral vision. He looked up in time to see that the door began to disintegrate.
It was disintegrating. The blonde turned back in time to see Izuku's flustered expression. She raised her hand slowly to reveal a sleek black smartphone, waving it like she just won the lottery.

I need to get out of here.

Green, electric energy flooded through Izuku again.

So stupid. Rushing in head first.

The girl turned her head back to Izuku, her head cocked slightly.

This was a trap.

She began sauntering closer to Izuku.

You knew that all along didn’t you? You knew they didn’t have Uraraka.

"That’s not true!!!" Izuku wanted to shout at himself. His thoughts were racing. "These villains could really have Ura--"

Liar! You wanted revenge for what happened to All Might! And for what happened to—

New footsteps echoed against the hall just as the last of the door disintegrated into nothing.

You really are a useless Deku. Aren’t you?

A tall boy stood there, with blue silver hair somehow gleaming in the darkness. Even from this far, Izuku could see the scratch marks etched angrily into his skin. Scars trailing up his face and arms. The once short, straight hair now tangled and long.

Shigaraki.

The subject of a few of Izuku’s own nightmares.

The dried, chapped lips opened to reveal a low voice like cracked asphalt. “Looks like we meet again, huh kid?”

Izuku felt the air leave his lungs.

This was bad.

He walked right into a trap.

This was really bad.

Useless!

“I have to tell you,” Shigaraki smiled down at Izuku. “What you told me back then. About my purpose. You were right. And…you helped me.”

Izuku choked on an incoming breath.

“You’re a hero!” Shigaraki’s smile stretched too far to either side of the face, his lips cracked and chapped now spilling blood. “I have my purpose now and it’s all thanks to you!”

“Where’s Uraraka?”

“Who?”

Izuku let the electric green energy run through him as he suddenly placed a sturdy palm on Toga’s shoulder before pushing her forward towards Shigaraki. Toga was light and was easily pushed straight into Shigaraki, knocking them both aside for the moment. Before either could react, Izuku jumped over both of their bodies as he rushed into the open chamber.

The room was cold, and dark. Luckily, there were a few flashlights around and Izuku’s power gave off enough light. He whipped his head to the side looking for Uraraka, but no one else was here.

Just pipes, concrete, and cool metal walls decorated the room.

It was empty.

No Uraraka.

A sudden breeze, and whoosh, and Izuku ducked to the right just as Toga brought a kitchen knife down onto the concrete floor.

Metal clanking against metal.

“Stay still, Izu!” Her giggle echoing against the metallic room.

Shigaraki began walking towards Izuku, his palms raised. Izuku narrowed his eyes and thought back to USJ. As long as he avoided the villain’s direct hand contact, Izuku couldn’t be hurt. With a quick glance, Izuku noticed Toga attempting to flank him.

Nobody knew Izuku was here.

“I told you Midoriya.” Shigaraki’s eyes became wide. “The next time I saw you would be when I decided to kill you!”

Izuku readied for Shigaraki to rush him, but was surprised to see the older boy raise his hands higher. A weird tug at his arms, and Izuku watched as the green sleeves of his hero suit began to disintegrate. Confused, Izuku searched for Toga and saw she was still 5 or so feet away. She giggled.

Izuku looked up to see Shigaraki smiling.

“Goodbye Midoriya.”

Sharp, searing pain flooded Izuku’s senses as he felt his skin tearing. Ripping.

Izuku saw red flood around his arms, and his vision. Thinking quick, Izuku raised his right hand to Shigaraki and flicked his middle finger.

Suddenly a torrent of wind rushed out and the pain searing through Izuku’s body stopped.

“Tomura!” Toga shouted.

“You f**king, hero wanna-be.” Shigaraki growled from somewhere much further in the chamber. “This is my game. My level.”

Shigaraki pushed himself to his feet, and let one hand push back his hair to reveal blood red eyes.

“And I’m the boss—"

Izuku let out another flick towards Shigaraki, and, even in the intense pain he was feeling throughout his body, Izuku pushed off the ground and ran towards the entrance of the chamber. There was a burning sensation spreading through his arms and chest; the smell of iron flooded the air. He knew his skin was disintegrating. The slight breeze as Izuku ran was enough to cause him to hiss in pain.

“No you don’t!”

Izuku could almost hear pipes and concrete floor cracking as he ran forward.

He felt the suit at his calves begin to fall away, and there was a sudden pain that ripped at the back of his legs.

Izuku hissed before digging his right foot into the ground and stomping into the concrete. In a quick move he learned from Iida, Izuku kicked up the concrete and swung his back leg back with as much force as he could muster without tearing any ligaments. A strong wind whistled passed, and Izuku turned in time to see concrete and dust fly backwards towards Shigaraki at an alarming speed. Instead of dodging, Shigaraki raised his hands and disintegrated the incoming mounds of concrete.

As if it was nothing.

Shigaraki’s smile widened.

Izuku grit his teeth and pushed off again to get more distance. The open chamber wasn’t that far.

“You're not the only one who leveled up.”

Izuku readied himself for more pain, but was surprised when nothing happened. Instead, Izuku looked forward and watched as a black mist began to appear in front of him.

"Don't come, Deku."

With a quick shake of his head, Izuku readied to jump over the mist. If he timed it right, he could clear the room and push at a higher percentage to escape through the hallway.

He could outrun Shigaraki’s quirk.

He had to.

The black mist began expanding, and a hand hand poked out. Izuku readied another flick, when he saw familiar blonde hair and a scrawny figure exit the mist.

Izuku felt his mind go quiet at recognition.

The skinny man was dumped onto the floor, and the man began to cough blood, before looking up.

Blue eyes pierced through Izuku as he ran forward towards his new target.

"A-All Might!"

Chapter Text

Gotta see it to believe it.

That’s the kind of man Katsuki is.

You say you can do something, well Katsuki won’t believe you until you actually do it.

You tell everyone that you’re some big hot shot, well Katsuki will tell you to prove it.

Regardless, Katsuki would be better anyways, but that’s beside the point.

Katsuki was a man of action. Never one to believe someone until he actually saw it.

So.

Imagine his surprise, when he turned a rounded corner and saw—

No large, metal door.

It had to be a trick of the eye, right?

He could have sworn it was there, but as they ran closer, Katsuki realized it was completely gone. The slick metal that stood so imposing, so grandiose was now just…gone. Suddenly, his foot slid on the hard concrete, causing Katsuki to waive his hands a moment to catch his balance.

“The f**k?”

He glanced down.

 

Ash.

 

Ash.

 

Ash.

 

Katsuki swallowed hard, slowing his pace. He felt his throat tightening, and his fingers clenching instinctually. His mind racing through memories of that f**ker's hands when he threatened Katsuki in that underground bar.

When he was--

“Yo man, you good?" Katsuki felt a warm hand touch his shoulder, secure and comforting. He knew if he turned even a little bit, he'd see Kirishima's concerned expression. And..he really, really didn't want to deal with that right now.

So he shrugged him off and took a few steps forward. Each step kicking up a tuft of ash.

Did all this really come from the door ahead?

Yeah, Katsuki really had to see it to believe it.

He took a few more steps forward, and squinted into the dark room ahead. Although, Katsuki could make out dim light in that room. He was even picking up...voices...and--

Crack. Crash.

Did...did he just hear the entire ground shatter in the main chamber? Another loud thud echoed from the chamber and into the hall. A light breeze, almost charged with electricity rushed passed Katsuki's face. He walked a little closer, the sounds becoming more distinct...more--

“You’re not the only one who leveled up.”

That voice.

All gravelly, and creepy and shit.

That voice.

“Don’t follow me yet.” Katsuki called behind him, as he already began running again. He clenched his fists to generate more sweat.

“Wait Baku—"

Without waiting for confirmation, Katsuki used his momentum to kick off the cool metal wall off to his right. Setting both hands behind his body, he kicked off the wall with everything he had while letting his palms set off multiple, in sync explosions to propel him forward. Uraraka let out a small yelp, before Kirishima pulled her behind him and hardened his skin to take most of the backlash of Katsuki's impulsive explosions.

Suddenly, Katsuki was flying through the air and gaining more and more speed. Sweat dripped down his biceps and wrists, and he used every ounce he could to continue his perfectly timed explosions. Within miliseconds, Katsuki entered the chamber and saw what looked like flashlights hanging from loose wires or thrown carelessly into a corner. His eyes searching every which way and looking for--

Deku.

Even while rushing in head first, a call back to his previous self, Katsuki was glad he rushed in.

Because f**king All Might was tumbling out of a black mist and f**king Shigaraki had his hands raised towards Deku....who was bolting across the room in incredible speeds to get to All Might. Even in the darkness, Katsuki could see the electric green energy swimming across his body and illuminating the clear panic in his eyes.

What a f**king shit show.

Suddenly Shigaraki looked up and his eyes widened at Katsuki’s unconventional entrance. Without waiting another moment, and ignoring Katsuki, Shigaraki raised his hands towards Deku.

But jokes on Shigaraki right? He can’t use his quirk unless he’s touchi—

Katsuki glanced down to see Deku’s body exposing multiple sections of bare skin, hero suit shredded in those areas. He finally noted the dark red poking through and tainting his hero suit.

You’re not the only one who leveled up.

Shigaraki was smiling. Eyes lit up in glee.

Katsuki aimed his right palm up, his other hand clenched in a loose fist over it.

“AP SHOT!”

A beam of light erupted from Katsuki’s palms and traversed the room in miliseconds. Shigaraki didn’t have time to think and barely ducked in time and missing the beam. Katsuki then aimed his hands down in a diagonal towards Shigaraki and the concrete below.

“Ka-Kacchan!!”

“STUN GRENADE!”

The strong explosion eased his descent towards Deku and All Might, while also sending sending a strong force Shigaraki's way. He didn't know what was going on, but creating distance between himself and that f**ker was the first step.

“You f**king hero f**king wanna-bes!”

“All Might!”

Katsuki's feet slammed into the concrete, and his bodyweight caused his body to skid across the floor. He felt a twinge in his ankle, but he shook off the pain and glanced back to see Deku already pulling All Might off the cold ground. The man's pristine mustard colored suit from earlier was now dirtied and looked crinkled. Katsuki wondered if All Might tried to fight off the portal guy before it took him. Speaking of which...

Katsuki turned further to see that the black mist was gone.

F**k!

“Bakugou-shonen, above you!”

Katsuki glanced up in time to see an outstretched hand pushing out from a black mist and too close into Katsuki's personal space.

Deep breath.

Katsuki aimed his palms upwards. He still had more sweat so he could--

“Duck!”

Katsuki growled in frustration, but dropped to the hard concrete, and watched as Deku flicked his fingers towards the mist. In an instance, a giant wind rushed passed Katsuki, making his ears clogged from the sudden air pressure change. Glancing up, he noted the emerging hand and black mist now gone from their vicinity.

“I had that f**king Deku!”

“Do you boys really need to fight right now?!”

Katsuki scrunched his fingers against the floor, and dragged himself up. He hissed as his ankle bore his weight, but he ignored it. Probably a sprain. After dusting himself off, Katsuki turned to see Deku standing in front of All Might with Full Cowl spreading throughout his body. All Might seemed to be favoring his stomach, because his hands hovered over the section. Perhaps, he was hit by the mist guy before being transported? Regardless, it was weird in that moment to see the weak, old then-hero allowing Deku to take the lead.

As if letting Deku would protect him.

It didn't sit well with Katsuki.

“Run All Might back to the hall.” Katsuki called out to Deku, taking deliberate steps towards the nerd while searching his surroundings. Katsuki glanced behind once before locking eyes with Deku. The nerd looked dazed, as if caught in thought. He marched closer to Deku, raising his voice. "Are you f**king deaf? Get your ass moving!”

Deku's eyes came back into focus, and the bright green met his in a flash. “You can’t do this by yourself!” Deku shot back. "This was my fault in the first—"

“You want to save people, yeah?” Katsuki felt his face contorting in rage. With adrenaline pumping through his system, he crossed the remaining distance to Deku and shoved his hands against Deku's chest, pushing the smaller teen back. Deku tried to right himself, before Katsuki fisted his hand into Deku's collar and then pointed to the older hero. He tried to ignore the blood dripping down the nerd's forehead. “Then save All Might!”

It was like a light went off in Deku's mind, because he immediately regained focus. Biting his lower lip, Deku nodded and began ushering All Might towards the hallway.

Clenching and unclenching his fingers, Katsuki trailed after them. His eyes scanning each direction, but he couldn't see the f**king black mist anywhere. Thinking quick, Katsuki shook out his hands and outstretched them to either side. He felt heat course through his forearm before igniting into bright, orange explosions that shot out in each direction. Anything to slow Shigaraki down. They couldn't die here.

He had to keep the other side guessing.

Finally, finally Kirishima and Uraraka's concerned faces came into view. Uraraka had actually taken a few steps forward into the chamber, her fingers outstretched.
“Deku-kun, hurry!”

“Oh thank God,” Deku called to her. The relief dripping from his voice. “I’m so glad you’re sa—”

Suddenly, the black mist materialized directly in front of Deku. A yelp escaped the smaller boy's mouth, before he skidded to a stop. His hands outstretched to block and stop All Might's momentum. Katsuki watched in horror as a hand clawed its way through the mist, outstretched and threatening.

And Katsuki couldn't use an AP shot or an explosion. Not with Deku and All Might right there.

One quick glance to Deku revealed that the nerd...realized the same thing.

And Uraraka and Kirishima did not have distance quirks.

The hand finally stopped, palm faced forward.

“Deku-kun!”

Katsuki eyes widened even further as he watched Deku propelling himself forward with a spurt of electric green energy. Determination painted across his countenance like a mask before he--

Jumped through the portal.

“Midoriya-shonen!”

Deku...Deku just blindly jumped through a F**KING PORTAL!

The self-sacrificial idiot. He always did shit like this.

Katsuki tightened his fists, shaking them slightly as his eyes scanned the room again.

F**king Deku didn't even know where the portal would—

Right on cue, Katsuki heard something crack into the concrete far off to this right in the chamber. He turned in time to watch a green energy flicker in the distance.

Deku's Full Cowl.

He turned to Kirishima, meeting his familiar dark red orbs. "Take All Might to Aizawa!"

"You got it, Baku."

"Deku-kun!"

Suddenly, Uraraka was bolting passed Kirishima and was racing towards Deku's fight in the distance. Her expression one of sheer determination, and instinct.

Katsuki launched his hand forward, just barely catching her arm as she raced by him. She growled at him in frustration, making her brown eyes flare in anger.

"Let go!" She ordered. "I need to help him."

Katsuki pulled her back hard. She looked like she was about to deck him, but Katsuki grinded his teeth instead of pushing her like he wanted to. "You can't Uraraka! I'm the only one who can right now!"

"I can't just leave him!"

Hearing Uraraka so adamantly refuse him and basically declare her unshakeable bond with the nerd, really f**king rubbed him the wrong way. But...he was also so impressed fed up with her. She, who did not have a technical fighting quirk, was willing to put herself on the line for the nerd.

She was just as self-sacrificing as f**king Deku.

What a f**king pair.

"Bakugou-shonen is right." All Might urged Uraraka. His eyes flickering a moment in her direction before turning to Katsuki. "I fear that this is all part of some orchestrated attack on UA to get to me...to make a point...but..." All Might stopped for a moment, his eyes narrowed in thought.

"I think they are targeting Midoriya-shonen."

All Might's crystal blue eyes met Katsuki's crimson ones. His eyes urging the boy to understand.

Message received, old man.

Uraraka's face fell briefly, her brown eyes sparkling with tears of frustration, before she shook it off. She nodded quickly to All Might and ran up to his side.

"We leave Deku-kun up to you, Bakugou."

"Be careful Bakugou-shonen, don't do anything too--"

"This isn't your fight, All Might. Not anymore." Katsuki grounded out between clenched teeth. Ignoring the way his mentor noticeably sagged from his comment. "Tell Aizawa to bring backup."

Before anyone could say anything else, Katsuki began running towards Deku's fast moving figure in the distance. Each step forward causing spikes of pain in his ankle.
Luckily, the adrenaline was in full overdrive. The pain there, but easily overshadowed by the impending threat.

Finally picking up speed, Katsuki let off a torrent of strong explosions - catapulting his body forward. In midair, Katsuki decided to change his trajectory. He noted Shigaraki glance in his direction, his scowl deepening at seeing the blonde.

Katsuki grinned, letting the manic smile overtake his features.

"Join our League, Bakugou."

He let the rage fuel his movements and completely overtake his thoughts.

"You really were meant to be a villain, weren't you?"

Finally in range, Katsuki pushed his hand outward.

Shigaraki raised his hand toward Deku, and one at Katsuki.

"AP SHOT!"

"AHH!"

The explosion beam sunk straight into Shigaraki's right shoulder, causing the young man to hang his body forward. Blood dripping onto the concrete, soaking into the cracked edges created by Deku's quirk.

Katsuki almost yelped in pain, as he landed onto the same ankle. Hissing in pain, he let his momentum carry him forward so that he was skidding onto his knee pads on the hard floor.

He looked up in time to watch Shigaraki's bowed head, slowly pull up. His scraggily ghost blue hair, falling into his face. His eyes crazed, blood seeping out of his shoulder wound and dripping onto his finger tips that were laid against it.

“You…you are so f**king annoying!” Shigaraki began pulling at his hair with his free hand. The blood now dripping down his clothes and onto the floor. He now began laughing, the dry sound echoing against the chamber. “But...I think it’s time we head into the climax.”

Shigaraki just kept laughing; manic, scratchy and too high pitched.

“Don’t you?”

Suddenly, the black mist materialized into view again. Katsuki sneered at him.

“Come young Shigaraki.” The mysterious black mist said. Its yellow eyes narrowed. “Let’s finish this up.”

"AP SHOT: AUTO CANNON!"

Katsuki set off small explosions from his palm, hoping to hit one of the villains. The black mist guy moved in front of Shigaraki, waiting to rebound Katsuki's attack. Grunting in frustration, Katsuki ducked to the side, and set off a more direct AP SHOT from a different angle and aimed toward Shigaraki.

Between choosing to rebound the explosions or protect Shigaraki, the mist guy chose the younger villain. In an instant, Shigaraki and the mist guy were gone.

BOOM, KA-BOOM.

The explosions resounded in the chamber again, but hit nothing.

They were gone.

“Kacchan!”

Katsuki turned in time to see Deku jogging up to him, before sliding to a stop. There was still blood dripping from the nerd's forehead and mixed in with his green curls that hung loosely over his eyes. His breathing was ragged and eyes wide from adrenaline.

“Did you catch them?!”

“Obviously not f**king Deku, or I wouldn’t be standing here with you!”

Deku huffed at him, ignoring Katsuki's retort, before closing the distance to the explosive teen.

If Shigaraki said this was the climax, why did he suddenly disappear? What did that mean? Weren’t they after Deku?

“Hey Kacchan, we should—”

“Don’t you dare touch him!” Another Deku bolted into view, eyes focused and green energy surrounding his person with every step forward.

“Wha—?”

Suddenly the second Deku tackled roughly into the first Deku, and the two tumbled onto the floor in front of Katsuki. One Deku threw a punch at the other's temple, while the other gasped in pain. Before Katsuki could say anything, the two Deku's rolled again, and both were competing to gain control of the other. Both were bleeding from the head.

The Deku on the bottom turned to Katsuki, fighting the other's hold, his eyes pleading. Eyes desperate.

"Kacchan, it's me!"

Katsuki wanted to scream in frustration. He stalked over to the two Deku's and pushed the top one over with solid kick.

"Ka-Kacchan!" The top Deku fell back from the kick with a yelp.

Katsuki roughly grabbed the second Deku's collar, before dragging him up so that the two were face to face. This Deku's feet dangling off teh ground.

"Wh-what are you doing?!"

“First words you ever said to me.”

“Wha—?”

Katsuki grinned. In a crackling of heat and sound, the explosions burst from his palms and sent this Deku flying across the room. He waited until he heard an audible thud before finally turning to the other Deku.

When Katsuki took a step towards him, this Deku instinctually took one back.

“Ka—Kacchan, you didn’t even give time for a response—”

“First words you ever said to me.”

"Eep!"

Katsuki was already thrusting his hands into Deku's collar, and pulling his weight up so that the smaller boy was forced to dangle helplessly. Heat already building in his palms. Truth be told, he was running out of sweat to produce explosions, but nobody knew that but him. He could still generate the heat in his palms at least.

Deku turned his head away from Katsuki, away from his palms that were hot like burning coals.

"Let's hear it, Deku."

"..."

"I don't got all day."

“Y-You know it’s me already!”

"Either that or you're a f**king great copy."

Katsuki watched as Deku slowly turned his head back to face the explosive teen. His dark green curls still hung over his eyes, and were covering the wound Katsuki knew was on his forehead. The smaller boy's viridian eyes meeting Katsuki's as a blush barely dusted across Deku's freckled cheeks.

“Kacchan sugoi.”

Katsuki paused for a moment, while evaluating the younger boy's blush. He was confused by it really. This kid always following him, always stalking him, always going out of his way to basically be like Katsuki - and here Deku was blushing? Deku literally grew up always telling Katsuki how amazing he was! Why was he--

"Your turn."

Hearing Deku's voice snapped Katsuki out of his thoughts. Katsuki grunted, before tossing Deku away from him. He smirked when Deku let out a eep when his ass hit the stone cold concrete. Katsuki's smile grew when Deku grumbled and actually pouted.

"Let's catch up to Shitty Hair and Round Face."

Deku stood up and wiped his fingers against his hero suit. Delicately avoiding eye contact with Katsuki. Or at least attempting to. The older teen noticed.

"Right."

Chapter Text

Kacchan sugoi.

Izuku wanted to curl up and die. Like throw him in a dark corner, stuff him in a fluffy plush blanket, and leave him alone for a few days while he stews in embarrassment.

But he couldn’t do that.

Oh not at all.

After all, he was too busy running for his life. And arguably protecting All Might and his friends from impending danger.
That didn’t mean that Izuku wasn’t currently re-living the event in his head. Izuku especially couldn’t forget Kacchan’s very slight, knowing smirk at the admission. Izuku slapped his cheeks in frustration. He needed to remain focused. It wasn’t as if Kacchan didn’t know that Izuku thought his childhood friend was amazing. But…it just was humiliating to say it directly to Kacchan’s face, with just the two of them.

With Kacchan’s crimson eyes piercing so intently into his, while holding Izuku up by his collar clear off the ground in the show of some impressive strength.

Kachan had known it was Izuku all along.

He didn’t even need to hear Izuku confirm it. He just wanted to hear what Izuku would say, because he knew what he would say.
And that really unsettled Izuku.

“Stay focused, nerd.” Kacchan grounded out, while punching Izuku harshly in the arm. Izuku winced but continued to avoid eye contact. “I’m taking point.”

“I’m faster, Kacchan!” Izuku reasoned. His eyes trained on where he knew the hallway would appear. “It should be me.”
“F**king De—”

“KACCHAN!” Izuku finally turned to Kacchan. Bright viridian eyes finally meeting blood red. “I can do this. Please.”

“Whatever.”

Izuku smiled at Kacchan, before Kacchan huffed in irritation. He let One for All pour through his body, and applied 5% Full Cowl. Within seconds, Izuku pulled ahead of Kacchan. Finally, the tall metal frame stood looming in the near distance. The door gone and replaced with dust that sprinkled and floated in the air like mist pushed around from the fight. Feeling the electrical energy fill his body, Izuku breathed out slowly. He heard a frustrated growl behind him, before Izuku pushed to 15%.

Suddenly, Izuku was already in the hallway and letting his quirk light up his surroundings. He was mildly surprised not to hear Kacchan right on his heels. Although, it wasn’t long until there were a few explosions and Izuku noted Kacchan’s shadow in the hallway. Izuku wanted to push 20%, but he was too exhausted to hold that percentage for so long. Also, he could swear he heard ragged breathing behind him.

Kacchan must be nearing his limit, too.

Squinting into the darkness, Izuku spotted three figures running ahead in a straight line. Or at least…that’s what it looked like. As they neared closer, Izuku noted that All Might was being pulled by Uraraka, weightless, while Kirishima was hardened bringing up the rear.

“Keep running!” Izuku shouted, as he slowed his speed to match his friends. “We’re right behind you!”

“Copy.” Kirishima replied. “League of Villains?”

“F**king lost them.” Kacchan called out from next to Izuku. He had finally caught up and stopped his explosions once Izuku slowed.
Izuku noticed how Kacchan seemed to dip slightly on one leg with each step forward. Kacchan was definitely favoring his right leg.

“We aren’t far from where the class was!” Uraraka turned back. Her soft eyes and smile both reassuring. “Shouldn’t be long now.”

“There is definitely a fight breaking out in the main room, but it’ll be much easier to defend with more back-up.” Kirishima called out.

Izuku felt hope flare into his chest.

They could make it.

Their classmates and teachers will be there.

Everyone would be safe.

A prickling sensation traveled up Izuku’s neck, causing him to shiver.

Izuku breathed out.

Looking back, Izuku watched as the Black Mist flooded into existence. Shigaraki began walking out of the mist. His crimson shoes stepping carefully onto the concrete. A wide, cracked smile stared back. Eyes wild and somehow lit up in the low light. Shigaraki extended his hands.

“F**king a—”

Boom. Ka-boom.

Izuku watched in horror as Kacchan jumped, using his explosions, and brought his hand towards Shigaraki and the ceiling to let out a giant explosion. The hallway shook, and Izuku heard a creaking as the ceiling, pipes, and metal walls began crumbling and falling.
Falling behind the U.A. group, blocking the League of Villains from them. However, now the ceiling was falling in the students’ direction like a chain reaction.

“Hurry up!” Kacchan hissed. He landed too hard on his bad foot, and Izuku watched Kacchan’s face scrunch in pain.

“Kacchan!”

“Shut up, nerd!”

Uraraka and Kirishima were a little way ahead now that Izuku and Kacchan had slowed slightly in trying to mitigate Shigaraki’s quirk. Izuku glanced back to see that the falling debris was already disintegrating. Shigaraki’s wild eyes were peeking through.

“F**k this!”

Kacchan suddenly stopped in his tracks, letting his back bad leg drag his body to a halt. Izuku followed suit. He would never leave Kacchan alone.

Not after the Training Camp fiasco.

Izuku glanced around, but didn’t see the black mist around. A grunt beside him told him that Kacchan must have realized the same thing.

A strange, high pitched chuckle was coming from Shigaraki now. His laugh scratchy, and on the verge of breaking.

“Creepy f**k.” Kacchan muttered.

Izuku watched as Kacchan finally lifted his palm up, his other hand on the trigger of his left gauntlet.

“Kacchan, that’s too risky—”

“Oi, creepy motherf**ker.” Kacchan drawled. “Let’s see you disintegrate this, eh?”

“I guess there’s no hero around to save me?” Shigaraki’s voice hitched a little as he looked at his palm before raising it. “It’s all up to me then. Some things don’t change, huh?”

Izuku looked up in confusion at Shigaraki’s words. The weird, far away look in his dark red eyes as he trained his gaze on Izuku.

“I wonder, Midoriya.” Shigaraki began quietly.

“Cover your ears, Deku.”

“Do you know what it’s like to not be saved?”

Heeding Kacchan’s warning, Izuku put both hands over his ears right as Kacchan pulled the trigger.

BOOMMMMMMMMMMM!

The sound pierced through the hallway like an ear-shattering, earthquake. Izuku yelped in pain, as he felt his ear drums ringing. Izuku looked down and when he pulled his hands away he saw blood soaking into his gloves.

He felt a calloused hand wrap around his wrist. Surprised, Izuku looked up to see Kacchan’s red eyes focused intently on him. Eyes widened with concern as his eyes trailed down Izuku’s face to the blood on his gloves. Kacchan’s mouth began moving, but Izuku heard nothing. Why was Kacchan whispering?

Izuku watched in horror as crimson liquid began dripping down Kacchan’s cheeks as well. Kacchan’s lips began moving again.

“----ku, co--- --!”

“What?”

“------ ----!”

“I can’t hear you!” Izuku looked around, to see the walls crumbling. “Kacchan!”

Kacchan eyes widened a fraction of an inch, seemingly to understand the situation. He said something again, which Izuku didn’t hear before the larger teen began pulling Izuku down the hallway. Luckily, the trio was much further ahead of them.

However…

The hallway was crumbling around them from Kacchan’s gauntlet explosion. Izuku turned back to see smoke, and crumbling debris falling from the ceiling in chunks.

Did Shigaraki survive the impact?

Metal piping began to fall around the two teens as they bolted down the hall.

Would Izuku and Kacchan make it out before the ceiling came down?

Kacchan pulled harder on Izuku’s wrist and thrusted him in front of him. Izuku looked back at Kacchan, but still couldn’t hear anything except for the sharp ringing in his ears. Kacchan simply pointed forward to Izuku, and Izuku nodded quickly.

If Kacchan wanted to take up the rear, Izuku would let him. With his hearing affected, Izuku would be useless in that capacity. He could at least use his eyes to focus on what was in front of them.

“I guess there’s no hero around to save me?”

Izuku glanced back to see Kacchan’s darting around, scanning. He even noted the older teen glance backwards a few times for any signs of the villains.

“Some things don’t change, huh?”
Izuku felt a deep, sinking feeling in his stomach. It…didn’t feel right. There was too much tension in the air. The tension hung heavily in the hallway as both boys finally caught up with the trio ahead of them.

Something had to give.

Izuku swallowed hard. His throat feeling so dry.

Crackkkkk.

Like a flip of a switch, Izuku’s hearing came back. Not as…loud as it was, but at least Izuku could hear the walls crumbling around them. He could hear the metal walls scraping against the concrete floor every time debris fell around them.

Suddenly, there was an opening in front of them. Izuku could see it. They could make it.

The black mist began percolating into view. Right in front of Uraraka, All Might and Kirishima.

Uraraka slid to a stop, using her body to slow All Might’s momentum as well. Kirishima stopped quickly, and put his body in front of Uraraka, using his quirk to harden his skin as much as he could.

“To get through them, you have to get through me!” Kirishima shouted at the villains.

Shigaraki appeared into view. “Gladly.”

Izuku didn’t think twice and used 15% to tear his hand away from Kacchan, and jump in front of Kirishima. He could flick his finger again to cause a wind tunnel. Shigaraki extended his hand.

Izuku felt a strong hand fall onto his shoulder. Looking up he watched as All Might smiled down at him. His words moving. Izuku’s hearing was still in and out.

“I can save us, let go!” Izuku tried to pull away from his favorite hero. He had to save him!

“My ----, Bakugou-shonen’s quirk ------ and hallway is going to cave ----------have to get back.”

Izuku felt All Might push Izuku behind him.

“Let me protect my students,” All Might’s voice came in clear for that moment. “One last time.”

“All Might!” Uraraka screamed.

Izuku watched in horror as skin began crumbling away, similar to how Aizawa’s did during the USJ.

“Go the other way!” All Might urged the students. His face sweating. “Go down a different hall!”

“We….can’t leave you, All Might!” Izuku shouted. He fired up Full Cowling, with full intention to jump into action.

“Bakugou, save them.” All Might shouted to the older teen. “Save Midoriya-shonen. Save him so you can win the next time!”
The students stood in shock while their mentor, obviously in pain as his clothing and some skin was turning to dust, looked to them with a smile.

I smile to trick the fear inside me.

“Bakugou-shonen!”

Izuku felt the still unfamiliar black whips expel from his body with full intention of hurting Shigaraki. But…he suddenly felt a familiar calloused, strong grip around wrap around his wrist.

“Stop Kacchan!” Izuku cried. “Let me go!”

“Uraraka and Kirishima, follow me!” Kacchan shouted. For the first time in probably forever, Izuku heard Kacchan’s voice hitch.
Before Izuku could fight it, Kacchan picked up Izuku and flung him over his shoulder and began running.

“Kacchan!”

The smaller teen thrashed around in Kacchan’s grip, but Kacchan strengthened his hold. All the while, black whip was going nuts and was flinging itself against the walls trailing to Shigaraki. Izuku looked up to see his mentor smiling at him. The blue eyes piercing his.

You’re next.

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

Izuku felt a heavy quiet settle in his chest at watching his mentor approach the villains. He could hear All Might ask "Shimura-shonen" to stop and see the error of his ways. Shigaraki just laughed.

The small teen was confused as to how he couldn't hear any of the walls shaking or falling around him, and yet he could hear his hero so clearly. Izuku's vision was blurry from tears and from bouncing heavily on Kacchan's shoulders, but he willed the black tendrils towards Shigaraki again. With his zero control of the quirk, it was simply banging against the walls heading straight towards the villains. He wiped his eyes against his sweaty, grimy hero suit and focused on the black tendrils to wrap around Shigaraki.

Shigaraki's eyes met Izuku's. Red piercing green.

"Goodbye, All Might." The teen called out. "Now you'll finally know what it feels to be left for dead with no one to save you."

Suddenly, Shigaraki glanced at his hands, to All Might and then behind him. Shigaraki began shouting, and the black mist opened wider to allow Shigaraki to walk through. The blue, silvered hair teen looked to Izuku, eyes filled with mirth, one more time before disappearing.

Standing in the hall before All Might's crumpled form stood Aizawa-sensei.

"Ka-Kacchan!" Izuku pushed against the older teen.

"Deku." Kacchan's voice hitched again. "Stop I'm trying to--"

"Please Kacchan!" Deku cried. "It's Aizawa-sensei! The villains are gone!"

Kacchan stopped running and turned to see Aizawa-sensei bent over All Might's form. The older teen's unusual hesitation was all Izuku needed to push off and begin running back to his fallen hero.

"Deku!"

Izuku ignored Kacchan and used all the Full Cowling he could muster and was suddenly by his teacher in a second. Biting his lip, he looked down.

All Might was bleeding from somewhere in his chest and his arms. Izuku's vision was blurring at the edges.

"He's breathing." Aizawa-sensei said quietly. "There's still some debris falling, let's get him to Recovery Girl."

Izuku bent down to help pick up his hero, when he felt a hand fall onto his arm. He tried to shrug it off, but the hand actually slid up to his shoulder, while another hand met the side of his head.

"Deku, you're hyper ventilating." Kacchan whispered to him. "I need you to back up while I help Aizawa. Can you do that?"

"I can do this, Kacchan." Izuku begged, trying to pull away from Kacchan's grip. When the older teen didn't move, Izuku tried to breath out slowly. "I'll calm down."

"The old man is still alive." Kacchan assured him. "Until you calm down, let me help Aizawa."

Izuku nodded slowly. The older teen's eyes were softer and the color a deeper red than Izuku was used to

"Good." Izuku felt Kacchan's left hand leave Izuku's cheek. The warmth replaced with the cold.

Izuku blinked a few times, and suddenly Uraraka was there. She had touched All Might and now the man was floating next to the group. Kirishima was up ahead with Aizawa, nodding his head at some instructions the teacher was probably giving.

Aizawa was saying something to the students as a whole, but Izuku couldn't hear much anymore. Izuku's eyes remained on All Might.

I'll be here until you can fully wield One for All.

Izuku choked on a sob, before slapping himself hard against his cheek. He felt his vision clear, and decided to hover over All Might while trying to listen to Aizawa's instructions to Kacchan.

I'm proud of you, my boy.

Izuku wanted to laugh. What was there to be proud?